The Ruthless Aggression Era was a time when the WWE roster was so huge and so varied that they had no way of continuing storylines each week on their two main shows – RAW and Smackdown – and so they created the draft where wrestlers and announcers would be drafted onto either one of the two shows. Smackdown wrestlers would not (usually) be able to appear on Raw or interact with Raw wrestlers and vice versa.
Ten years ago, on October 8, 2006, the PPV No Mercy aired. It was a SmackDown! PPV, and the first SmackDown! PPV since The Great American Bash way back in July. Personally, the PPV came at a time where I had grown weary with professional wrestling, confused by the sheer number of wrestlers and unwilling to spend so much time per week watching hours of footage and trawling through shows, replays, promos and matches. I simply watched the PPVs. Over the next four weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after a decade as well as my original thoughts as a younger man watching it at the time.
No Mercy 2006
Once again, there was no tagline for this PPV. I’m beginning to feel like the tagline thing isn’t such a big deal. I should probably stop talking about it at the beginning of each of these PPV reviews, probably. The poster makes up for it, however, as it shows King Booker and Queen Sharmell standing over the body of a slain dragon. Great.
We see King Booker force Bobby Lashley to kiss his feet and Teddy Long sets up a fatal-fourway match to see who will be the new World Heavyweight champion. Batista, who fought Booker at SummerSlam and won by DQ, thus failing to win the belt and Finlay, sometime ally to Booker but recent enemy, are also in the match. Lashley loves his steroids. So does Batista, actually. The pair of them.
There’s actually no promo for any other match. We have The Undertaker battling Mr. Kennedy, we have Benoit vs. Regal, we have Rey vs Chavo with Vickie. Great matches, great storylines, but we focus on the main event. What you’re saying there is that the rest of the card is shit.
Overly complex CGI welcomes us to WWE No Mercy. Pyro hits and the smoke fails to clear as we are introduced to the RBC Centre, Raleigh, North Carolina. 9,000 people in attendance with 197,000 PPV buys, a drop from the 230,000 buys the year previous and the 232,000 buys at The Great American Bash. Your announcers are moustache-and-soul-patch Michael Cole who says that we are on the campus of North Carolina State University, on the Legendary Tobacco Road, which seems unhealthy for students, but there you go; and Cunt JBL who is sticking around despite his utter lack of talent. JBL says nothing of consequence, which should go on his headstone. They are joined by oft-forgotten and regularly cut-off Mexian commentators, mental Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera.
(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match featuring Jimmy Wang Yang and Sylvan. It was of little import.)
Out comes Fat Matt Hardy, all fired up on McDonalds and cocaine. Raleigh is near enough his hometown of Cameron, NC and, according to Google Maps, is little under an hour away by car.
Gregory Helms comes out, introduced as the “longest running Cruiserweight Champion.” We see a flashback to SmackDown where the men share low blows. Helms is not putting his belt on the line at this PPV out of spite towards Matt Hardy, the rascal.
Matt Hardy def. Gregory Helms via pin in 13:07.
The bell rings and the two men square off. Matt has a wee sticker on his nipple, there, like a wee plaster. Reportedly, it is due to an infection there, although one reputable blog claimed that he was growing a third nipple, which as we all know is false. If anything, it should be a fourth nipple, the third one being his brother, Jeff Hardy.
The two of them start off and Michael Cole already fucks up, mixing up Hardy and Helms. Helms, in a fit of anger, throws his doo-rag at Hardy and shouts at the crowd. Hardy hits a full nelson slam and Helms goes for a leg lock, getting shoved away. This match comes across already like it is a straight-up shoot fight, with lots of shoving, pushing, shouting. They finally do the test of strength and the heel Helms wins, booting Hardy in the back, choking him in the corner. Helms drags Hardy to the middle of the ring but his suplex attempt is denied and Hardy hits it before throwing Helms outside of the ring, suicide diving out himself. Great.
The boys are back in the ring and Matt is giving Gregory hell, a pin attempt followed by a four-punch in the corner. They never reach the lofty heights of ten punches. JBL sucks up to Vince on commentary as the two men in the middle of the ring take their time. Matt goes to top rope and hits a Russian Leg Sweep from the top rope. JBL states that such a move hurts the guy giving it as much as the guy taking it, which is true out of kayfabe but cannot be true in kayfabe because otherwise only an idiot would do it. Helms is choking Hardy again, really living up to his heel persona. He hits Hardy with a Codebreaker but only gets a two-count for his efforts. Hardy might have a bust lip.
JBL states that this match “means the world to both of these guys,” which is a bit of an exaggeration. Rest hold city followed by an attempted fireman’s slam reversal to a reverse DDT. The ref starts his ten count and the men are up, punching each other like madmen. Hardy takes over and hits the running bulldog to a two-count. Hardy hits the body slam, moves to Bret’s rope, hits the leg drop, calls for the Twist of Fate but it’s reversed and Helms is back in control with a close two-count. Helms hits another Nightmare on Helms Street/Eye of the Hurricane (spinning headlock elbow drop) followed by a third but is unable to get the pin. Michael Cole calls it, “an almost backwards DDT”. Fucking idiot.
Helms goes to the top rope and Hardy is to his feet, countering Helm’s top rope axe-handle nothing with a punch to the gut. Hardy hits three Side Effects and goes for the moonsault, but Helm’s knees are up. Helms goes for the Shining Wizard to a roll up. Another Shining Wizard, a close two-count. Helms sets hardy on the top rope and attempts a superplex but is thrown off. While Hardy gets steady for the Swanton, Helms chucks him onto the ropes where he smacks his nuts. Helms hits the top-rope Shining Wizard, lands badly. Helms goes for the pin but Hardy’s leg is on the rope. Helms goes for another Eye of the Hurricane, is reversed into a Twist of Fate followed by a pin for the win in 13:07.
Good start. Lots of tiny botches though, like the boys were trying too hard to get all their spots out and weren’t being careful enough. Good thing no one got injured.
Great, great match but not enough high flying from the cruiserweights.
As Hardy celebrates and almost falls into the crowd. Helms still has the Cruiserwight belt, but he has lost his pride.
Cut to Booker and Sharmell backstage. Sharmell attempts to calm her king down and is interrupted by “Sir Regal”. Regal and Booker do a great job of pretending that they are in a royal court. Booker calls his opponents in the Fatal-Fourway as “fire-breathing dragons” and calls Finlay a “fallen Knight”. Good times. Booker orders Regal to convince Finlay to be Booker’s ally. Regal disappears and Booker stares into middle-distance.
Back to ringside and Cole and JBL run through a badly-scripted interaction. The music hits and out comes Teacher Michelle McCool with KC James and Idol Stevens AKA Damien Sandow. He looks young, fresh, cared about. How times have changed. KC James looks like a roided-up Gangrel.
Generic rock hits and down run the Tag Team champs, Brian Kendrick and Paul London with bad-jogger Ashley Massaro, who looks amazing but has less talent than clothes on. Little Naitch is the ref and holds the belts aloft to signal the start of the match.
WWE Tag Team Championship match: Paul London and Brian Kendrick (c) (w/ Ashley Massaro def. KC James and Idol Stevens (w/ Michelle McCool) via pin in 9:35.
Stevens starts off with London and the man in pink beats on the man in white in the corner. London hits a beautiful flying head scissors and tags in Kendrick to deliver stereo kicks to Idol’s heads. Revolving door of tag teams as the champs tag in, beat on Idol, tag out and wait for a bit. Stevens finally takes over and tags in James but it doesn’t take long for the champs to beat on him for a while. Idol attempts to jump in but gets a kick to the tummy for his effort. The challengers are thrown out of the ring and stereo suicide dives to either side of the ring. Good stuff, boys.
Stevens and Kendrick are in the ring but as London attempts to go in, he is harassed by McCool and James, falling to the outside. Stevens gets London in the old headlock but it doesn’t take long for London to hit the sunset flip, some Aloha Idol and eventually lose the advantage. James is working on London in the ring and there is some chinlock city in the centre of the ring followed by an absolutely brutal backbreaker. Stevens is back in and London is being tossed about like a ragdoll. Mrs. Undertaker watches from the outside as Stevens roars to some unknown god. London fights to his feet, lays the boots into Stevens, goes for the hot tag, but is literally dragged kicking and screaming to his opponent’s corner. James takes control once again and is rewarded with a head to the turnbuckle for his effort. London is going for the hot tag but once again he is denied by the heel challengers.
London escapes a double team, gets the hot tag and Kendrick cleans house in predictably high-flying fashion. Stevens sabotages the runnin’ wild, brother, but London suicide dives through Bret’s rope to knock him to the outside. Superplex from Stevens to Kendrick but only gets a two-count. Double team attempt from the challengers but it is beaten away by Kendrick and a pin attempt is thwarted by McCool casually placing James’ foot on the rope. As Ashley gives off on the apron, Idol hits a high-impact backbreaker on Kendrick but only gets the two count. Michelle once again attempts to interfere but Ashley runs to her, starting a caaaaaaat-fiiiiiiight. Ugh.
Stevens and James attempts a double suplex on Kendrick but he is saved by London and the two lads clean up, getting the pin in 9:35.
Very fast paced, no storyline and unnecessary women. This match was brilliant without the inclusion of McCool and Massaro. In truth, they took away from the match and that is a shame. They should have been kept for less-talented teams than these two. Kendrick and London continue to be God’s gift to tag-team wrestling.
I am sick of these motherfucking women taking away from my motherfucking wrestling.
Ashley beats on Michelle as the champs celebrate in-ring. We see a replay of the last few double-team moves including an impressive shooting-star press from London off Kendrick’s back. JBL has the gall to say, “that reminds me of the old APA, flying around everywhere!” which is bollocks because the APA were a shite tag team whatever way you slice it and I doubt JBL has jumped for joy never mind off another man’s back.
On the Card will return on October 15 with the second part of No Mercy 2006.