WWE No Mercy 2005 10/9/2005

October 9, 2005
Toyota Center
Houston, TX
Attendance: 7,000
Buy Rate: .55
Announcers: Michael Cole & Tazz

Fun Fact:
Texas hosts its 10th PPV here, and its Houston’s first PPV since Bad Blood 2003.

Sunday Night Heat

1) William Regal (Darren Matthews) & Paul Burchill defeat Paul London & Brian Kendrick

Pay Per View

1) Road Warrior Animal (Joe Laurinaitis), Heidenreich & Christy Hemme defeat MNM when Christy pins Melina (Melina Perez) after the Doomsday Device at 6:25

Fun Fact: This is Christy Hemme’s final PPV match. In late November, she was sent down to OVW to stay fresh while the creative team worked on ideas for her. Unfortunately, the office claimed they had no ideas and that due to budget cuts she was released on December 5. After being released, Christy would intimate that she left on her own based on staying true to her morals. She would move to TNA, debuting at Lockdown 2006. She would compete on the active roster and eventually move into a role as backstage interviewer, which she remains in at this time. Her final PPV record is 2-2.

Fun Fact II:
On 8/25, Heidenreich defeated Mercury by DQ in a singles match when Mercury hit him with a steel chair. A week later, Heidenreich pinned Mercury clean, but MNM would take out the tag champs after the bout. On 9/9, during a special webcast portion of Smackdown, Animal & Heidenreich defeated MNM cleanly and they would defeat them again by DQ a week later. On 9/30, Melina would defeat Christy thanks to help from MNM. They would look to do further damage after the bell, but Animal & Heidenreich made the save. Finally on 10/7, MNM hit the ring during an LOD match and assaulted the champs and even took out Christy with the Snapshot.

Fun Fact III: This is Heidenreich’s final PPV appearance. He and Animal would lose the tag titles back to MNM on the 10/28 Smackdown. Heidenreich would stick around with Animal for the remainder of the year and would make one more appearance in January before being released. The reason is unknown, but it was believed that he needed time to help his family rebound after Hurricane Katrina, as his family resided in New Orleans. Since his release, he would make appearances for several indy promotions, including the World Wrestling Council, even winning their Universal Heavyweight Championship. He was last seen on the Hulkamania Tour in Australia in November 2009. His final record is 2-4.

Over the past couple of years No Mercy has been Smackdown’s flattest PPV, so we’ll see if this one is any different. Our opener involves the big tag team feud on the Blue Brand. I thought this slapped together team of Animal and Heidenreich would be short lived, but alas it has lasted since July and has kind of gotten over. After the early Snapshot on Animal’s injured shoulder I thought it was over quick but it took too long to get the pin attempt. Animal spent most of this match doing what his late partner Hawk did well: Play the face-in-peril. MNM worked the shoulder over for a good portion of the match. I have to say, hearing the Houston crowd chant “LOD” is somewhat blasphemous in my opinion. There’s only one LOD, and after 2003, they’ll never be together again. Christy seems to be a little better in the ring, including hitting the legendary Doomsday Device. Better days would be ahead for MNM. Overall this was an ok match to get the show going. Grade: 2

Justin: After multiple assaults from MNM, Animal arrives here with his shoulder heavily taped. I must say, when LOD won the belts back at the Bash, I really did not like the idea at all. But now that Heidenreich was wearing the classic LOD gear and cool paint and they had the smoking Christy by their side, their team was beginning to grow on me. I also liked that we had a heated and legit tag feud going down. Of course, it still made sense for MNM to be champs because they were the young studs and potential future of the company, but I digress. Heidenreich showed some nice aggression here early and he and Animal had gotten pretty over with the fans. MNM on the other hand was just a well-oiled heel machine. They used some nice double teams to work over Animal’s shoulder, frustrating Heidenreich on the apron. After a quick heat segment, we get the standard Diva catfight. Christy was fired up out there and she brought a great energy to the ring. I liked seeing two fresh, hot Divas out there as well, as they were finally turning over what had become some stale eye candy. The finish was pretty hot as well as Christy pins Melina after knocking her off Animal’s shoulders. MNM still came out looking strong as Melina eats the pin. LOD rolls on and the crowd is ready to rock as well. Grade: 1.5

2) Bobby Lashley defeats Simon Dean (Mike Bucci) with a Dominator at 1:55

Fun Fact:
Born in Kansas, Bobby Lashley was a successful amateur wrestler and US Army Ranger during his formative years. While training for the Olympics in 2003, Lashley injured his knee while doing business at a bank when a robbery broke out. With his Olympic hopes dashed, Lashley decided to try pro wrestling and signed a WWE developmental deal in late 2004. He would head to OVW where he was managed by and eventually feuded with Kenny Bolin. He would make his debut on September 23, answering a Simon Dean open challenge and defeating him in under three minutes. The next week, Dean gave Lashley a Simon System protein shake to help him prepare for their No Mercy rematch. Lashley would stomp the shake in anger.

Scott: An auspicious debut for Smackdown’s rising star. I barely remember where Lashley came from, as it seems like he just came out of nowhere and was a star on the show. You can clearly tell Lashley was on the sauce as he was busting out of his skin when he came into the ring. Of course he immediately is in Vince’s crosshairs being so jacked. But its moving in the ring and cutting promos that he needed to work on. Simon Dean was a good foil for Lashley’s PPV debut. Of course Lashley wanted to be cute and catch Dean in mid-air to set up for the Dominator, but he fell. He set it up again and drilled it. Thus Lashley wins a pretty quick squash and Simon Dean had to dig into the tasty cheeseburgers. Grade: 1

Justin: In our first debut of the evening, Bobby Lashley makes his way out to face off with Simon Dean. Lashley had a great look, good ring presence and was quite agile and many pundits wondered if he could finally fill the giant void left by Brock Lesnar over nineteen months ago. Simon was pretty funny here as he brings out a plate of cheeseburgers and mocks the crowd for being out of shape. Dean would use the tray as a weapon, but Lashley easily shook it off and quickly wiped Dean out. This was a basic squash to establish Lashley as a force on Smackdown. It was an effective, old school introduction and the crowd was pretty hot to watch Dean get smashed. Grade: .5

*** Throughout the rest of the evening, we would see quick clips of Lashley forcing Dean to eat all of the cheeseburgers that he had brought to the ring. The whole thing would end with Dean scurrying to the bathroom to throw up. ***

3) Chris Benoit defeats Booker T (Booker Huffman), Christian (Jay Reso) and Orlando Jordan to retain WWE United States Title in a Fatal Four Way when he forces Christian to submit to the Sharpshooter at 10:22

Fun Fact: This is Christian’s final PPV match until 2009. His contract expired on October 31 and he decided not accept the renewal, needing some time off to recharge his batteries. He does appear at Taboo Tuesday in a backstage segment and would wrestle his final match on the 11/4 Smackdown. His recharging period didn’t last very long, however, as he debuted in TNA at their Genesis PPV on 11/13. Christian will remain in TNA until late 2008 and we will pick his story back up upon his eventual WWE return.

Fun Fact II: On 9/9, new Smackdown talent Ken Kennedy tried to create some dissension backstage by asking Sharmell why Chris Benoit had yet to grant Booker a US title shot. The next week, Christian and Orlando Jordan would defeat Benoit and Booker in a tag match when Christian pinned Benoit. On 9/16, Sharmell would help Booker defeat Christian in a singles match. Later that night, Sharmell told Booker that he was being held down and that he needed to take a title shot, not wait to receive one. On 9/30, OJ defeated Christian and Booker in a triple threat match and GM Teddy Long told Benoit that he could choose his No Mercy opponent after watching the bout. Benoit would end up choosing to fight all three men in a triple threat match. Booker would defeat OJ a week later, again thanks to Sharmell getting involved. After the bout, he would chastise his wife for cheating.

Our first legit workrate match of the night is here, as the Wolverine takes on the hometown hero, Booker T, the CLB, and the former champ that Benoit bitch-slapped at Summerslam. Benoit goes straight ahead, almost making Jordan tap out for the fifth time since Summerslam. Booker gets a good pop from the hometown crowd and gets some shots in. The historians love seeing Booker and Benoit in the ring, going back to their best-of-seven series in WCW in 1998. Surprisingly Michael Cole mentions it when they’re in the ring together which completely shocked me. Sure Vince owns WCW, but that doesn’t mean we have to talk about it. Christian really spent most of this match throwing himself all over the place and not getting much in-ring work. Well since his exit from WWE was probably pending he wasn’t going to get much of anything. Booker T essentially got a majority of the work for his hometown crowd, getting a few close falls against Orlando Jordan. Overall the match was pretty good as the action really never let up and Benoit worked like a machine out there. Even Jordan got some face time in there and worked Benoit over. One side note: I noticed as Benoit has gotten older he stopped doing the obligatory snot rocket before going for the flying head butt. Benoit misses the head butt, but does get Christian to tap out to the Sharpshooter and retain his championship. We start seeing the heeling out of Booker T as Sharmell starts badmouthing Benoit. A pretty good match and after the first two matches, it was much needed. Grade: 2.5

Justin: After spending the last six weeks embarrassing Orlando Jordan, Chris Benoit enters here a confident champion, looking to fight off tough three challengers. Despite some recent heelish actions, mainly thanks to his wife, Booker gets a big pop from his hometown fans upon his arrival. The match got off to a hot start as Benoit hooked the Crossface on OJ, looking for a quick win, but Christian would quickly break that up. Benoit was a dominant machine early, eviscerating everyone in his path and keeping a good pace for the bout. Booker would come back and get a really good near fall with a roll up on OJ. Everyone worked hard here and worked tight and stiff throughout, including a great Crossface struggle between Benoit and Christian. Unable to hook that hold, Benoit turns to the Sharpshooter, locks it in tight and forces Christian to tap out. It was a nice win for Benoit, who looked tremendous, and the match was filled with non-stop action. Unfortunately, this is it for Christian for the next few years. Since his debut, he has been a workhorse month in and month out, always delivering an entertaining performance. After a strong 2004, he was lost in the shuffle and buried in the mid card despite being red hot with the fans. He saw the writing on the wall and didn’t want to become a glorified JTTS. Grade: 2.5

4) Mr. Kennedy (Ken Anderson) defeats Hardcore Holly (Robert Howard) with the Green Bay Plunge at 8:49

Fun Fact:
Ken Anderson grew up in Green Bay, WI where he announced basketball games in high school. It was then that he first began announcing players’ last names twice in a dramatic fashion, a gimmick he would later carry over to his wrestling career. After spending time as a security guard and personal trainer and a stint in the US Army, he began training to become a wrestler in 1999. Between 2001 and 2004, he spent some time doing jobs on WWE syndicated programs. After contract negotiations fell apart with TNA, he finally signed a WWE deal in February 2005 and was assigned to OVW. Shortly after, he was brought up to Velocity as Ken Anderson and at Paul Heyman’s urging, he referred to himself as Mr. Anderson and began dramatically announcing himself, repeating his last name twice like had done years earlier. Before moving to Smackdown, he was renamed Ken Kennedy to eliminate any links to the Anderson wrestling family. He made his Smackdown debut on 8/25, defeating Funaki. Over the following weeks, he would get into arguments with announcer Tony Chimmel; leading to Kennedy’s trademark self ring announcements. On 9/30, Kennedy and JBL defeated Rey Mysterio and Hardcore Holly in a tag match. Holly took the pin from JBL after Kennedy distracted him at ringside. 10/7, Kennedy came to ringside as Holly was wrestling Sylvan. After the match, he hit Holly with the microphone and announced Holly as the loser of the match.

Fun Fact II:
On 9/1, Sylvan made his Smackdown debut with a brand new look. Gone was the French sympathizer garb and gimmick and in its place was the role of a narcissistic French model that came to the ring to Techno music. Sylvan would defeat Holly on 10/7, but wasn’t done with him as we see after this match.

In true Smackdown fashion, we have not one but two PPV debuts here. First Lashley, then Mister Kennedy! His voice is his biggest asset, as he projects a great charisma with his promos. As usual Hardcore Holly is brought in to put over the new guy. He’ll take some liberties like all good locker room assholes do, and we all still wondered how this guy still had a job. His usefulness ended about five years before this match, but for some reason Vince kept him around so he can rough up the newbies and be on random midcard tag teams like he did with Charlie Haas in 2004. As expected the match wasn’t anything really special, it was a grinding TV match, maybe not sparkling enough for PPV, but it was a chance for the new guy to pick up his first PPV victory against a guy no one cares about. God Holly even wearing the same tights he wore in 2000. We also get some nobody cares beatdown by Sylvan Grenier on Holly. Grade: 2

Justin: In our second debut of the evening, Mr. Ken Kennedy comes to the ring, gives a lengthy and entertaining introduction and looks to make an impact against the Smackdown stalwart, Hardcore Holly. Kennedy really had a good presence and star aura right out of the gate and his shtick was already catching on with the fans. Holly was his usual miserable, stiff self but Kennedy withstood the assault and began to work the arm. The match would be technically fine but it was a bit bland despite some good selling and comebacks by Holly. The finishing segment picked up as Kennedy gets the win in his PPV debut. This was another strong debut here tonight and Kennedy has the look and gimmick to really succeed. We will see if they give him the chance to develop. Grade: 2

*** After the match, Sylvan charges to the ring and assaults Holly, furthering their feud. Backstage, Kennedy taunts Booker and Sharmell about his loss earlier in the night. After he leaves, Sharmell tells Booker that he only has himself to blame for his recent troubles. ***

5) John Bradshaw Layfield defeats Rey Mysterio (Oscar Gutierrez) with the Clothesline From Hell at 13:24

Fun Fact:
Jillian Fletcher made her wrestling debut in 1998 after training under David Finlay. She worked the Indy circuit until 2003 when she joined OVW and adopted the name Jillian Hall. During her time in OVW, she would have roles as a wrestler and a manager as both a face and a heel. On 7/28, she was brought to Smackdown in the role of “fixer” for MNM. The hook was that she had a grotesque mole on the side of her face. The mole was an awful fake prosthetic that took up most of her face and was there strictly for laughs. After assisting MNM for a few weeks, JBL met with her and asked her to become his image consultant, a role that she accepted. She accompanies him to ringside here.

Well you can tell that JBL has been shunted down the card after his feud with Batista ended. Now he’s facing a guy that’s half his size to bring back the anti-Mexican vitriol that JBL used in 2004 during the Eddie Guerrero feud. The early portions of the match were what I expected as we had the big guy/little guy formula of Rey running around the ring area trying to tire the bigger JBL out. Rey had to change his style a bit as he was used to the smaller, equally faster Eddie Guerrero for the last six months. Now he has to do a little more stick and move, plus take a lot more punishment ala power moves and wear down holds. JBL hit a nice fallaway slam off of the top rope in the match, showing that having a small guy to toss around makes a match better. That was followed by a fallaway slam onto the floor. A question: Who did come up with the whole Jillian wearing a big ugly mole thing? Was that a rib on her, or just something dumb that an idiot creative writer came up with. The match had a good back-and-forth flow until JBL take a 619 but avoids the West Coast Pop and clobbers Rey with the Clothesline from Hell and takes the win. A surprise in my opinion as Rey has been on a roll all year. JBL had slumped, but dug down and got the win. The feud involving the Raw brand is heating up after the previous Monday’s WWE Homecoming, when Raw went back to USA Network, but more on that at Survivor Series. Grade: 3

Justin: After spending the last seventeen months as a main event player, JBL officially heads back down to the midcard and his first challenge is the ever-popular Rey Mysterio, who gets his usual pop when he hits the ring. Rey would be aggressive early and then back off, playing a cat and mouse game as JBL kept trying to ground him and slow him up. These two actually showed some nice chemistry in there as Rey bumped like a pinball for JBL’s stiff power offense. I also liked Rey’s offense as he worked smartly, flying in and taking quick shots at JBL, including a sweet bulldog off the apron to the floor. JBL would take over and work a hot heat segment, featuring some help from Jillian at ringside. Rey’s comeback was really fun and it looked like he was going to pull it out until JBL crushed him with the CFH for the victory. This was a really good match that never slowed up and was well built from start to finish. JBL gets back on the winning track and Rey eats a pin but is bulletproof and can easily absorb it. Grade: 3.5

6) Randy & Bob Orton defeat Undertaker in a Handicap Casket Match at 19:16

Fun Fact: On 9/16, Undertaker and Orton faced off in a Summerslam rematch. Taker would win but during the bout, Cowboy Bob brought a casket out and inside was Undertaker’s image. A week later, the Ortons rolled the casket out again, but this time the real Undertaker was inside. He popped out, and threw Randy into it, knocking it over. The Ortons escaped but Teddy Long set up this PPV match. On 9/30, Taker defeated Bob in his first WWE match since 1987. Finally on 10/7, Roddy Piper returned to confront his former running buddy and would battle the Ortons in a handicap match. During the bout, Taker’s gong sounded, distracting the Ortons and leading to Pipe rolling up Cowboy for the win. Druids then brought a casket down and this one contained images of the Ortons. Taker would appear in the ring behind them but the Ortons got out of dodge before he could strike.

Fun Fact II:
This is Bob Orton’s first WWE PPV match since Wrestlemania III when he and Don Muraco lost to the Can-Am Connection

Fun Fact III:
This match was referenced to as the first ever Handicap Casket Match multiple times, however that was incorrect information. On the 9/23/99 Smackdown, Viscera and Mideon defeated Triple H in this exact type of contest.

I didn’t like this match the minute it was announced. First off casket matches are just notoriously bad in general. Second you have Bob Orton wrestling in his first PPV match in WWE since 1987 and third, I don’t know what happened but suddenly Randy Orton doesn’t know how to wrestle. Except for a couple of nice double superplexes, all Randy does is headlocks and punches. He looked like a thin Big Boss Man. The fact this match is almost twenty minutes is bad enough. There’s one good moment where Taker puts Cowboy Bob in the triangle choke and drags him by the throat into the casket. Randy stops the match from ending by getting out of the casket. The crowd gets quiet at times but once Cowboy Bob is stuffed in the casket and its just Randy and Taker the match gets a bit better but at this point I feel its dragged on a bit too long. Taker looks to have it won until Cowboy Bob sprays the Fire Extinguisher in Taker’s eyes. The handicap factor eventually catches up to the Deadman and after a chair shot Taker falls in and the Orton family pulls off the upset. Unfortunately the shocking upset doesn’t take away from the fact that I thought the match was sloppy and dull. The last five minutes maybe ups the grade from awful to average. The Ortons lock the casket shut and starts hacking the casket up with an axe. I don’t get it because Taker can now get out but then Cowboy Bob goes all Kane 1998 and brings out the gas can. A nice visual but doesn’t save the match. Grade: 2

Justin: After weeks of mind games, the Ortons entered the ring with a confidence that may have been unwarranted. Undertaker’s entrance was pretty cool, as the Druids rolled the casket down and smoke filled the arena ahead of him. After quelling Taker’s hot start, the Ortons would begin to take him apart with some good double team offense. The flow was a bit choppy here due to the handicap dynamic as well as mixing in the usual casket spots. Things would begin to pick up as the Ortons unleashed a really nice double superplex, followed by a stiff chair shot from Taker to Randy. Bob would also get taken out and left for dead in the casket, leaving Taker and Randy to work a solid one-on-one match. Randy would snap Taker over with a picture perfect scoop powerslam but Taker recovered, took Randy down and dragged him over to the casket. However, as the door opened, Bob popped up and sprayed Taker with a fire extinguisher. They would eventually wipe Taker out and slam the casket door to win the bout, courtesy a Randy chair shot. The crowd was pretty hot for most of this one and it really picked up after a slow start. After the bout, the Ortons rolled the casket to the entrance, hacked it with an ax and then lit it on fire for a cool visual. I liked the Ortons as a devious heel team and the Randy/Taker chemistry from Wrestlemania returned here as these men delivered a fun and well worked gimmick match. Grade: 3

7) Juventud (Eduardo Hernandez) defeats Nunzio (James Maritato) to win WWE Cruiserweight Title with a Juvy Driver at 6:50

Fun Fact: Nunzio defeated Paul London to win the Cruiserweight Title on the 8/6 Velocity thanks to an assist from Vito, who was making his WWE debut. On the 10/8 Velocity, Juventud won a battle royal to earn this title match. Nunzio had his problems with the Mexicools prior to this match as Psychosis and Super Crazy had defeated him in non-title singles and tag matches in the weeks leading to the show.

Fun Fact II: Vito LoGrasso began his wrestling career in 1990. He would do some WWF job duty in the early 90s before heading to ECW as Skull Von Krush. He would later change his name to Vito “The Skull” LoGrasso and start up a stable known as Da Baldies. He would remain in ECW until 1999, when he jumped to WCW and joined up with Johnny Stamboli to become The Mamalukes. They would win the WCW Tag Titles and remain a unit until WCW closed up shop. Vito would get lost in the buyout shuffle and would eventually reshuffle in TNA. After a brief stint there, he would sign a WWE developmental deal in early 2005. After some time in OVW, he debuted on the 8/6 Velocity.

Well talk about a complete 180 degree change. We have two fast workers going back and forth for the Cruiser Title. I actually liked the Mexicools when they started but never thought they’d get any gold. However Juvy won a Velocity battle royal to get the #1 contender spot and then put on a great performance to win the Cruiserweight Title. At this point the Cruisers were the consistent highlight of the weekly show and with the Mexicools, all accomplished guys it gives that much more credibility. Good slot on the show to put it in, separating that dreadfully long casket match with our main event. Grade: 3

Justin: The Mexicools were still pretty hot as they enter here. They had been picking up wins on Smackdown and Velocity and Juvy earned this match the night before on Velocity. The two would put on a standard cruiser contest but it was clear this was here as a cool down match for the crowd between the two main events. They tried their best and put on some solid action, but the crowd just wasn’t feeling it. Juvy did look good and he picks up a big win, taking home his first taste of WWE gold. The highlight of the match may have been the celebration as Hugo Savinovich came over and interviewed the elated Mexicools. Nunzio’s brief reign is over and Juvy is now the king of the cruisers. Grade: 2

8) Batista defeats Eddie Guerrero to retain World Heavyweight Title with a spinebuster at 18:40

Fun Fact: This is Eddie Guerrero’s final PPV match. As November dawned, there were rumors circulating that Vince was planning on putting the World title back on Eddie’s waist, feeling he was better prepared mentally to carry the brand than he was back in early 2004. Eddie would wrestle Ken Kennedy on the 11/11 Smackdown, earning a slot on the Smackdown team for Survivor Series. However, he would never make it there. On the morning of 11/13, Chavo Guerrero went to Eddie’s hotel room but when he entered, Eddie was unconscious on the floor. Chavo attempted CPR but when the paramedics arrived they declared Eddie had died. The autopsy later revealed that Eddie had passed away from heart failure and it was clear that his hard partying past and clear steroid abuse had led to his demise. That week’s WWE programming was dedicated to Eddie’s memory, but his passing would lead more of a legacy than he could ever imagine. Upon his death, WWE and Vince McMahon came under heavy public fire for their lax drug and steroid testing policies. This all came during a time when congress was heavily pressing football and baseball over their drug testing as well. Eddie’s death along with public pressure forced Vince into creating the WWE Wellness Policy, which included drug violation policies and mandatory medical testing to ensure wrestlers weren’t competing in a dangerous physical state, as it was clear Eddie had been in prior to his death as confirmed by his wife Vicki. Eddie Guerrero left a storied and epic legacy in his wake. He was one of the most talented wrestlers in the sport’s history as he could deliver an epic match but mixed it with an undeniable charisma as well. Unfortunately, his is also a cautionary tale as he lived and partied hard and then mixed that with heavy steroid abuse, feeling he was never quite big enough to succeed in a big man’s sport. One would have hoped that he would have learned not to follow in the footsteps of his late partner and fried Art Barr but Eddie ignored the past and paid for it with his life. His final WWE PPV record was 20-25. He went 1-2 at the Rumble, 2-3 at Wrestlemania, 0-2 at the King of the Ring, 2-3 at Summerslam, 3-1 at the Survivor Series, and 12-14 at other events.

Fun Fact II:
Following Summerslam, Eddie Guerrero finally defeated Rey Mysterio in a cage match on the 9/9 Smackdown. Soon after he was named number one contender to the World Heavyweight Title. Eddie would claim to be Batista’s best friend, a role Batista played along with, figuring he could keep an eye on the tricky Guerrero. Batista would continually play mind games and Eddie would occasionally turn back to his cheating ways during matches when Batista and Eddie were facing MNM. Guerrero and Batista would defeat JBL and Christian in a tag match with Guerrero reaffirming his friendship with the champion. After this show, the two men would begin to show mutual respect and Eddie poured his soul to Batista about his struggles and basically turned face as a result. Rumors abound that Eddie’s face turn was temporary and he would go heel again upon defeating Batista for the title later in the month.

Our main event is a fresh matchup between two great champions. But let’s be honest. It’s pretty hard to watch this match, knowing what’s going to happen in over a month’s time. Eddie comes out looking pretty big, bigger than he has been. It’s…tough to watch to say the least. As for the match, the whole psychology over whether Eddie will play it straight up or will he “Lie, Cheat, and Steal” his way back to the top is excellent. Eddie is methodical, picking up a chair, then dropping it and getting Batista to get over the top rope so Eddie can clothesline him on it then work over Batista’s lower back, taking away his power moves. The back and forth action is really good and actually will save the grade of this PPV from being a real disaster. There were a few missed spots, including Batista elbowing Eddie’s…feet? Eddie spends the match battling with his conscience about whether to cheat or play it straight up. He has a few moments where he lifts up the steel chair, but then puts it down. He hits the Three Amigos but can’t hit the Frog Splash, and due to the work done on his back, Batista must win the match with a spinebuster. Afterwards Eddie gives a hand out to congratulate his “friend”, but not before smirking behind his back. This was a great main event that saved an otherwise blasé and dull PPV effort. Sadly, this is Eddie’s last PPV match. I…uh…I don’t know what more to say. On November 13, Eddie Guerrero’s battling heart will finally stop in a Minneapolis hotel room. We were witnessed to some of the greatest moments in wrestling history, from the classic ladder match with Rob Van Dam, to the memorable win over Brock Lesnar in San Francisco. Eddie Guerrero gave us some exemplary matches and great charisma to boot. His promos, face or heel were classic and it didn’t matter whether it was the main event or the opener, Eddie brought 100% every single time. I would say his greatest opponent was easily Rey Mysterio, dating back to their Cruiserweight wars in late-1997. The next night on Raw was probably one of the saddest shows in wrestling history. Six years earlier we had to say goodbye to a great personality and person far too soon. Now we have to do it again. Rest in peace Eddie. I’m imagining him hustling the angels with Brian Pillman while Owen Hart takes their wings. Grade: 3

Justin: Well, this sad day has arrived: Eddie Guerrero’s final PPV match. To this point, Brian Pillman’s death had been the only one to really affect me on a personal level. I was a huge Pillman fan and his unexpected death was the first one to really shake up the wrestling world and really caught me off guard. Eddie’s was the next one to hit me on any sort of personal level. When I first saw that news that he had passed away, it really shook me. He was a major star, in his prime and a main event player ready to win a world title. Plus he was easily one of my favorites at the time and his early passing brought a sense of mortality upon me for some reason. It took me over a month to shake the feeling but Eddie’s passing would bring some good to WWE in the form of the Wellness Policy. With that said, let’s take a look at his final PPV bout. I liked his new music as it fit his new persona. I liked this angle a lot and it was pretty layered with Batista and Eddie both weary of the other. As much as his death shocked everyone, when you look at how gassed up Eddie was here, it really shouldn’t have been a shock. The Eddie chants were pretty loud here and the fans seemed pretty split throughout. Batista truly had the star aura around him here and he was embracing his role as the top dog. After an early stalemate and slow start, Batista would use his power to control things. Playing off the storyline, Eddie would grab a steel chair but was torn on whether to use it and would decide not to do so. Eddie would instead zero in on Batista’s back with some precision offense, mixing in some sluggish restholds as well. Batista would use his power again for some nice reversals, but during the struggles the ref would get bumped. Eddie would grab the chair for a second time but again he decided against using it. Batista would avoid an Eddie Frog Splash and then plant him with a spinebuster for the win. The match was pretty disappointing and blasé despite the hot storyline. After he had delivered so many epic big time matches in the past, I wish Eddie could have gone out on top of a five star thriller, but it just wasn’t meant to be, unfortunately. Batista moves on with his belt in tow but from here on out, his title reign would become a bit more turbulent. Grade: 2

Final Analysis:

Scott: Overall this is probably one of the blandest shows I’ve watched in recent memory. Every match wasn’t awful, yet somehow seemed very underwhelming. The four-way US Title match was pretty exciting, and it reminded me how great Booker T and Chris Benoit are in the ring together. On paper I wasn’t crazy about the JBL/Rey Mysterio match, but the big man/little man matchup was better than I expected. The main event was tough to watch because we were witnessing the final PPV match of one of wrestling’s most unique personalities and intensely talented superstars. I still tear up whenever I see anything from that Raw special the night after his death. That’s probably the lasting emotion I get from this otherwise lackluster show. Smackdown in general gets somewhat disorganized due to the sudden death of Eddie and the last few shows of the year are all over the place. Things tighten up a bit by the start of 2006, but right now a shocking, saddening event in WWE history throws the Blue Brand into chaos. Final Grade: C-

Justin: I will admit that I wasn’t expecting much out of this show when I first put it in. But as the show moved along, I really got hooked into it. Starting with the surprisingly fun JBL/Rey battle, the show really picked up down the stretch and delivered the entertainment. Even the early portion was filled with solid character development and storyline advancement. Smackdown was really in a state of flux here as some new faces were debuting and new angles were being introduced. It was good to see some new blood on the PPV roster and it will be interesting to see how well they are infused as the year winds down. Of course, this show is often overlooked, and rightfully so, as it will always be remembered as Eddie Guerrero’s swan song PPV. WWE would be shaken up on many levels as its planned storylines for Smackdown and current state of affairs overall are thrown into disarray. Final Grade: C-

MVP: JBL & Rey Mysterio
Runner Up: Undertaker & The Ortons
Non MVP: Simon Dean
Runner Up: Nunzio

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