Wednesday 4 March 2020

WWE No Mercy 2008 Review

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Hello and welcome to another edition to Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series that matters less than ROH! Harsh I know, hopefully they will turn it around with Marty at the helms. It’s time for WWE No Mercy 2008, Jeff Hardy’s chance at the big time. The Charismatic Enigma takes on Triple H, the duo respect one another but it doesn’t change the fact that The Game has stood at the top of the mountain many times while Hardy is yet to taste that feeling. We also have HBK chasing new World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho as their tale takes another turn, could HBK become champion for the first time since 2002? We also have Big Show vs Undertaker and Kane vs Rey Mysterio with Mysterio unmasking if he loses. Four big matches, let’s see how the rest of the card fills out! Home-run? Let’s find out!

(ECW World Heavyweight Championship Match) Matt Hardy © vs Mark Henry W/ Tony Atlas

These two have locked up previously with a quick DQ ending their battle, that is not going to happen this time though. Henry has had a constant stop and start career but The World’s Strongest Man looks to be on the right track as the resident monster of ECW. They lock-up, Henry immediately assumes control. Clean break, surprising from Henry. Side headlock from Matt, Henry shoves off Matt. Another headlock, Henry shoulder blocks Matt down. Massive right hand knocks down Matt, clubbing blows. Knees in the corner, Matt is in serious trouble. Henry misses a knee in the corner, Matt goes after the calf muscle of Henry. Henry shuts that down with a massive lariat, another kick to the ribs from Henry.

Henry’s powerslam attempt is thwarted, chop blocks to the left calf of Henry. Henry shuts down Matt once more but with a little less strength this time, Henry’s leg is starting to hurt. A military press slam is not as easy as before, Henry drops Matt. Matt chop blocks Henry down, Matt drops his weight on the leg of Henry. To the floor, Henry shoves Matt into the ringpost. Henry enters the ring, Matt grabs the leg. Into the apron, Henry’s leg is being decimated by the champion. Figure four attempt, Henry shoves Matt into the buckle. Massive big boot from the challenger, two for Henry. Banzai drop like manoeuvre by Henry, two for the challenger.

Reverse chin-lock from Henry, Matt struggles free but runs right into a bearhug from Henry. Matt begins to fade, the crowd rallies behind the champion. Shots to the head, Henry tries for a slam. Matt slides down looking for a sunset flip, Henry holds onto the buckle and ropes for leverage. Banzai drop misses for Henry, Matt misses a bulldog but nails a middle rope elbow, make it two. Side Effect from Matt for two, Matt wants the Twist of Fate. Henry throws off Matt, big splash from Henry. Henry’s knee affects the challenger, Henry can only drape one shoulder over the champion. Matt kicks out, Matt pushes away Henry. World’s Strongest Slam is dodged as Matt batters Henry’s knee and applies The Twist Of Fate for the win.

Solid match from these two stars of ECW, Matt works the leg the whole match. Henry never stops selling the leg throughout the match, it slows down Henry. It stops Henry from capitalising and ultimately, it leads to Henry’s demise as Matt can use that weakened knee to deliver a Twist of Fate for the win. Matt and Henry worked a good match with one another, Matt is very popular with the crowd and Henry just mauls him when given the chance. Good stuff, happy days so far!

Winner: Matt Hardy over Mark Henry via Twist of Fate!

(WWE Women’s Championship Match) Beth Phoenix © W/ Santino Marella vs Candice Michelle

Good to see Candice Michelle return after what happened, Beth tries to tap that injured shoulder. Candice nails a dropkick and leg drop for two, Beth meets the buckle. Two quick covers from Candice for two, kicks and corner clothesline. Beth counters Candice, Beth has the challenger in a celtic cross hold and slams Candice into the buckle. Beth goes to work on the injured shoulder, Beth tosses Candice into the buckle for two. Cross arm-breaker from Beth, Candice fires back but Beth drags down the challenger continuing to try and rip out the shoulder of the challenger.

Candice counters for a cover for two, kicks and jaw-breaker by Candice. Flying clotheslines from Candice, dropkick on Beth. Spinning Heel Kick for two, Russian legsweep is countered by Beth for a single arm DDT. Beth uncharacteristically climbs to the top rope, Candice manages to crotch the champion. Candice nails a dropkick to the back of the head, cover with Santino pulling the champion out of the ring. Candice dropkicks Santino as Beth dodges, Beth clotheslines Candice hard on the floor. Santino almost trips up Beth, two off a roll-up for Candice. Kick to the face, Candy-Wrapper is countered for The Glam Slam. The champion retains!

This was not bad, I liked Beth working the repaired shoulder. Beth is vicious inside the ring, it is believable you buy into Beth wanting to tear Candice apart in the ring. Candice has improved leaps and bounds, that injury cut a promising babyface run in half but with this match, there are glimpses of just what could have been. Also, Glamarella is fantastic!

Winner: Beth Phoenix over Candice Michelle via Glam Slam!

Kane vs Rey Mysterio (Mask On The Line!)

Kane is not happy when he sees Mysterio, Kane is a symbol of the people and Kane wants to take away the mask and everyone’s happiness. Kane shoves off Mysterio to begin, Mysterio tees off on Kane. Springboard dropkick and baseball slide, Kane shakes it off to deliver a massive big boot. Kane tries tearing off the mask, Mysterio rolls away. Mysterio fools Kane, leg drop as Kane re-enters the ring, Kane tries throwing out Mysterio. Mysterio skins the cat, dropkick to the back. Setup for 619, Mysterio comes running in but Kane counters with a clothesline. Kane looks for a powerbomb, Mysterio hurricanranas Kane to the floor. Plancha is caught by Kane, Mysterio escapes for a sleeper. Kane tosses Mysterio off the barricade into the timekeeper’s area.

Mysterio enters the ring to attacks from Kane, scoop slam from The Big Red Monster. Stiff kick to the spine, reverse chin-lock from Kane. Boot to the face from Kane, two for Kane. Kane is on his knees, hammering away at Mysterio. Back-breaker from Kane, Kane stretches Mysterio over his knee. Mysterio kicks his way out of the hold, Mysterio lands a tilt-a-whirl reverse DDT. Kane regains control though, Kane places Mysterio on the top rope, ripping at the mask. Mysterio elbows back at Kane, top rope moonsault flattens Kane. Mysterio cuts down Kane, springboard leg drop for two.

 Sidewalk slam counter from Kane for two, Mysterio escapes a chokeslam. Springboard bulldog from Mysterio, Mysterio clutches at his knee but makes it to the ropes. Springboard falling splash for two, Mysterio tries a crossbody but Kane nails a throat thrust for two. Mysterio dodges a corner attack from Kane, 619 to the legs of Kane. Kane is by the timekeeper’s area, Mysterio is on the top rope. Mysterio dives and Kane waffles Mysterio with the steel chair.

So, I actually really enjoyed the angle, Kane was masked and not embraced by the fans when unmasking being ridiculed for being a freak and such. Kane hated seeing Mysterio in the mask due to how it made him feel, Mysterio sells the chair shot excellently. Mysterio and big man equals fun match without a doubt, the two work well together with Mysterio bringing the fans along for the journey, the fans hanging on every move that is performed by Mysterio. Will be interesting to see where we go from here, looking forward to the next match between the two.

Winner: Rey Mysterio over Kane via DQ!

JBL vs Batista (Number One’s Contender Match)

The winner will challenge the world heavyweight champion in the near future, possibly at the next pay per view. The bell rings, JBL backs away from Batista before locking up, Batista backs JBL to the corner. No clean break as JBL pummels Batista, Batista answers with his own right hands. Clothesline by Batista, Irish whip and an elbow. Boot for two, elbows in the corner. JBL is whipped to the corner, boot to The Animal. Setup for the clothesline but Batista answers with a Spear. JBL wisely rolls to the floor, Batista sends JBL into the ring apron.

Batista tries re-entering the ring but JBL cuts him off with a massive boot. Make it two, JBL tees off on Batista on the floor. Two for JBL, hangman’s neck-breaker and an elbow drop for two. Reverse chin-lock, Batista manages to break free. Batista lands right hands, short-arm clotheslines. Corner clothesline, shoulder thrusts in the corner. Powerslam from The Animal, spear is blocked by JBL with a boot. JBL goes off the ropes and runs into a spinebuster, Batista Bomb and this match is over.

Disappointed by this match, I thought what they did was fine nothing sloppy or awful. But for a number one contender match to be so devoid of drama, I thought it came off as flat. It looked as if JBL was not worth The Animal’s time, like the match was over before it began. Killed my interest in the match and made it dull in my eyes. It is also sad because I have loved JBL post world champion because the guy continues to be the biggest dickhead walking the planet but I hope that the matches he has left before he retires are a little less one-sided than this match.

Winner: Batista over JBL via Batista Bomb!

Big Show vs The Undertaker

Vickie had made Taker’s life hell on Smackdown, Taker was so close to getting his hands and ending Vickie Guerrero. Big Show appeared to help Taker but it was a swerve as Big Show worked with Vickie to beat down Taker. The two meet now for a match, Show clotheslines Taker to the floor. Taker lands on his feet, right hands from the apron. Taker tries a headbutt, Show’s head is harder. Taker stun-guns Show but Show maintains control with a knee. Show lands massive body shots to Taker, Irish whip into the barricade. Show wants a powerslam, Taker shoves Show into the ring-post. The two trade blows with Taker winning that war, Show is laying across the apron. Apron leg drop from Taker, Show is up quickly but in defence mode.

Corner clotheslines by The Deadman, Irish whip reversal from Show. Boot by Taker but Show answers with a massive flying clothesline. Scoop slam and elbow drop by Show, two for Show. More body blows from Show, Russian leg-sweep for two, Taker is on his knees. Rattling off punches but Show knees and boots The Deadman. Clubs to the back, Taker wants to fight though. Show wants a scoop slam, Taker slaps on a dragon sleeper. Show backs Taker to the corner, Taker is dropped hard by Show. Show misses a Vader Bomb, right hands by The Phenom. Flying clothesline from Taker, leg drop connects for two.

Show manages to counter Old School for a Chokeslam, 1…2…. Taker kicks out! How close for Show, Knockout Punch misses as Taker looks for the chokeslam. Both men have one another by the neck, Show looks for the chokeslam, slapping away Taker’s hand. Taker counters with a DDT, Taker tees off on Show. Show rips off the buckle pad as Taker scares the referee, Knockout Punch from Show. Taker is dazed, another Knockout Punch from Show. Taker is lifeless, Show picks up Taker by the head and Show smashes Taker in the back of the head, Show wins by TKO!

Big Show is often booked badly, throughout his career it is a constant force/energy that surrounds him but when they let Show murder people it is a beautiful thing. Show as ECW champion? I enjoyed as Show murdered people, Show tossing around the likes of Eddie Guerrero and John Cena? Loved it and here we have another example where Show is treated as someone who is a monster. Show and Taker have a very entertaining match and then we have the finish where Taker sells the bejesus out of The Knockout Punch. One right hand flattens Taker, the second knocks out The Deadman and the third one is a cheap shot that was unnecessary. Taker wakes up disorientated not knowing where he is or how to stand, that is how you put over a finish. The Knockout Punch means business, and Big Show is business right now!

Winner: Big Show over The Undertaker via Knockout-Punch!

(WWE Championship Match) Triple H © vs Jeff Hardy

Jeff Hardy’s stock continues to skyrocket, people are clamouring to see The Charismatic Enigma crowned WWE Champion. People want it more than anything in life but he has to go through The Game. Triple H is no push over, the two shake hands and Triple H tries rolling up Hardy for the quick win. HHH grabs the arm, Hardy counters but the champion has a hammerlock applied within seconds. Hardy counters for a side headlock and takedown, Triple H uses his legs to break free. Stalemate, side headlock from Triple H. Hip-toss from Triple H, Hardy kicks away the champion. Side headlock takedown, Hardy is in control as Triple H tries to counter with a pin-fall attempt.

Triple H elbows Hardy down to escape the side headlock, Irish whip to the buckle. Hardy counters with a head-scissors takedown, Triple H is on the floor. Running clothesline off the apron from Hardy, slingshot leg drop in the ring for two. Hardy maintains control with a side headlock, Triple H shoves off Hardy. Lowering his head, Hardy nails a kick to the chest. Triple H backs to the ropes, Hardy is elevated to the apron, Hardy looks for a shoulder block but the champion clamps on his pedigree hold. Hardy manages to elevate Triple H to the floor, Hardy looks for a tope con hilo but Triple H dodges as Hardy crashes and burns, knocking all the air out of his body.

Triple H throws Hardy in the ring, two for The Game. Back-breaker from Triple H, elbows to the spine. Two for the champion, Hardy battles back before eating a face-buster for two. Knee drop for two, shoulder thrusts from The Game. Hardy is whipped to the corner, boot reversal from Hardy. Triple H recovers for an abdominal stretch, Triple H uses the ropes for a little leverage. Sleeper from the champion, Hardy breaks free with a slingblade. Corkscrew mule kick from Hardy, leg drop to the groin. Dropkick to the face for two, Triple H is sent to the floor, tope con hilo connects this time.

Both men are down on the floor, Hardy nails a middle rope neck-breaker for two. Twist of Fate is countered as Triple H shoves off Hardy for a vicious clothesline, close two for The Game. Whip to the buckle, Triple H elbows away Hardy. Middle rope nothing from Triple H as Hardy nails a sit-out front suplex for two. Middle rope crossbody from Hardy, Triple H swats away Hardy kind of, could not tell from the angle. Spinebuster from Triple H, Hardy counters with a catapult to the ring-post. Whisper in the Wind, Triple H barely kicks out! Slingshot dropkick by Hardy, Hardy climbs to the top rope as HHH is in position. Swanton Bomb misses, Pedigree is blocked. Twist of Fate connects, Hardy is on the top rope. Swanton Bomb, 1….2… Triple H cradles Hardy crucifix styles to steal the win.

That was a great match, I thought this would drag but it never came! The story they told was great too, Jeff Hardy is so close to being the champion, Hardy can hang with the best of them, Hardy can have that show-stealing match with diving off a ladder or doing something outrageous. Hardy belongs up there in the main event and will not be denied, Triple H does not heel it up but instead focuses on making Hardy look like his equal inside of that ring. Really enjoyable match from these two, arguably my favourite from Triple H during this time due to how the match was laid out, credit to both men for continuing a very good pay per view from the WWE.

Winner: Triple H over Jeff Hardy via Roll-Up!

(World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match) Chris Jericho © vs Shawn Michaels

The feud of the year, Jericho idolized Michaels but now Jericho believed he was superior to HBK. Jericho had nearly blinded HBK, punched HBK’s wife Rebecca and almost ended Shawn Michaels’ career but like a ghost, Michaels continues to haunt Jericho. Jericho cannot escape from the shadow of Mr. Wrestlemania. It has been a fantastic angle with layers of story-telling and psychology. Shawn Michaels is one of my all-time favourites to cover when reviewing as there is no time when the man does not leave me with a smile on my face. Shawn Michaels is tremendous, that is all ladies and gentlemen.

Side headlock and hammerlock from Michaels, Jericho counters with his won hammerlock. Elbows and shoulder block from Michaels, Jericho almost walks into Sweet Chin Music but dodges, Michaels goes for the ladder but Jericho stops that. Chops in the corner, whip to the buckle. Jericho dodges Michaels, Michaels meets the ring-post with his shoulder. They trade holds and Jericho lands a huge right to Michaels, clothesline to the apron. Springboard shoulder block by Y2J, Michaels falls to the floor. Jericho wants to throw HBK into the ladder, HBK counters by running up the ladder and diving onto Jericho. Jericho manages to send HBK into the ring-post.

Jericho grabs the ladder, HBK drop toeholds Jericho onto the floor and the champion’s face bounces off the ladder. Michaels has the ladder, Jericho trips Michaels and applies The Walls of Jericho. Jericho drags the ladder into the ring, Michaels see-saws the ladder into the face of Jericho. Jericho is bleeding from the mouth, Michaels is climbing towards victory. Jericho looks for a powerbomb, Michaels rolls through with Jericho rolling through too. Walls of Jericho is blocked so Jericho catapults Michaels. Michaels climbs the ladder off the catapult and Jericho tips Michaels into the top rope. Jericho picks up the ladder, hurls it into the ribs and onto the back of Michaels.

Forearms in the corner from the champion, Jericho looks for his bulldog but Michaels shoves off Jericho into a corner ladder. Jericho’s leg is trapped in the ladder, Michaels uses this as HBK punishes the leg of Jericho. Figure four by HBK, Jericho reverses the hold and uses a ladder set across the bottom rope. Jericho kicks it into the face of Michaels, Jericho drops the ladder on the head of Michaels. Absolutely disgusting from Jericho, Jericho begins climbing the ladder to victory. Michaels staggers to the ladder, Jericho is knocked off the ladder but lands on his feet. Jericho sets up the ladder on the top turnbuckle, Michaels reverses and sends Jericho into the ladder.

Jericho is down on the floor, Michaels has a chance to climb for the championship. Michaels takes the ladder and drops it on the head of the champion. Michaels and Jericho battle towards the announce table, Jericho is prone on the table as Michaels climbs a ladder. Jericho climbs the ladder with Michaels but both men crash through the announce table with Michaels countering Jericho’s back suplex with a crossbody. Jericho was crushed underneath the challenger, Michaels is on the top rope. Jericho counters sending a ladder into HBK’s face. Jericho climbs the ladder as HBK is on the turnbuckle. Jericho wants a superplex, Michaels battles back. Michaels shoves down the ladder and with it, goes the champion.

Michaels is on the top rope, Michaels lands his elbow drop into the heart of Jericho. Michaels measures for his superkick but Jericho swats away Michaels with the ladder to his face. Lionsault with a ladder on top of Micheals, both men are punishing one another brutally in this match. Jericho pins Michaels to the mat with the ladder as he climbs towards the championship. Michaels uses his strength to tip Jericho to the floor, Jericho looks to have blown out his knee on the landing. Michaels is so close to capturing the championship, Jericho squirms his way back and tips Michaels who falls into the ropes. The two meet atop the ladder, trading shots. Michaels rams Jericho into the rungs of the ladder, here comes Lance Cade. Cade grabs at the leg of HBK, Michaels nails Sweet Chin Music on Cade. Jericho is free from the rungs, the  two are battling for the championship. Both men have the championship, they are tugging at the championship. Jericho headbutts Michaels in the eye and pulls down the championship.

What a match between these two, these two men tore it up inside of the ring. Michaels and Jericho waste no time getting to work, they identify weakness in one another. Jericho softens the shoulder of HBK, HBK answers with attacks to the legs of Jericho. The ladder is used to weaken both men, HBK focusing on punishing Jericho with all sorts of attacks while Jericho goes to the eye when things are not going his way. Jericho being sent to the floor tweaking the knee is a great visual as well as the announce table spot. The more the match goes on, the crowd gets louder and louder for Michaels, it is tremendous stuff to watch. When Cade comes out and tries to thwart Michaels, the crowd is at fever pitch, it sounds like they will explode and even the tug of war spot which could have came off as cheesy works to perfection with the fans wondering which way will it go until Jericho headbutts Michaels right in that same eye he damaged all those months ago, it sends HBK crashing to the mat and Jericho hangs on to the championship. Is Jericho the better man? Jericho has the championship and that is all that matters to Y2J. Great match, great main event!

Winner: Chris Jericho over Shawn Michaels via Retrieval Of The Championship!

That was WWE No Mercy 2008, a very good pay per view from Mcmahon and CO. We kick things off with some good story-telling from Mark Henry and Matt Hardy, Matt battles his ass off to soften up the leg while Henry smashes Matt throughout the match. That resilience pays off as Matt uses that leg injury to stagger Henry and Matt wins the match. Good stuff, enjoyed it thoroughly. The women’s match was fine, I enjoyed it. Beth is vicious and has that meanstreak which makes her believable as a big powerful bully, Candice has improved leaps and bounds, they can do something special if given the time. JBL and Batista was an odd one because I felt it should have been more for a number one contender’s match, JBL did not seem like a threat to The Animal and that is a problem if I am suppose to buy into this match. Kane and Mysterio had a great angle and Mysterio is so fun to watch inside the ring so while it may not have been insane in-ring action, it was still enjoyable for me when all was said and done.

Big Show is put on the map once more with a dominating display, Show is at his best when he is allowed to be a monster, Taker sells his ass off to make Show look like a monster. A lot of striking which might turn people off but as Show is as big as he is, I can buy into his blows doing such damage. We continue to a match between Triple H and Jeff Hardy, the crowd were dying for that Hardy win, Hardy looked like a million bucks in this match. I think Triple H’s approach to the match helped a lot but make no mistake about it, Hardy deserved a shot at the main event due to crowd reactions and crowd investment like the two had in this match. Very fun championship match to watch and the pay per view ends with the culmination of a feud that has dominated WWE 2008 pay per views with Michaels and Jericho throwing everything at one another to become champion. The intensity and drama in this match is terrific with the closing minutes of the match being some of the most exciting in a wrestling ring. One of the best of 2008 for WWE, thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!

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