Of course, in defense of WWE, it could be this head cold Iâ<80><99>m fighting or the mood Iâ<80><99>m in. Oh well, no one wants to hear me gripe. On to the show!
THE HEADLINERS AND THE HIGH-FLIERS :
While the writers may have intended Khali vs. Batista at No Mercy to be the big story, tonight I felt I had no choice but to give both The Headliners and High-fliers sections to that unlikeliest of tag teams, Matt Hardy and MVP, as they took on Deuce and Domino for the belts.
Not only do I enjoy the intrigue of having tag team champs are also rivals (and generally canâ<80><99>t stand each other), but Iâ<80><99>m just waiting for the eventual explosion thatâ<80><99>s sure to come with this storyline.
Always wanting to try and show Hardy up, MVP kicked things off with a push-up contest between the pair. A quick swipe at Hardyâ<80><99>s hand and MVP cheats his way to victory there. But thereâ<80><99>s more to worry about afterwards as their opponents make their signature automotive entrance.
MVP and Hardy seem to work well together, shifting well between one-upping each other and good teamwork, and it showed again tonight.
The match was back-and-forth early and really started to kick into high gear right before, of course, a commercial break. With both Deuce and Domino on the floor, MVP nails an elbow from the apron and poses for the cameras as Hardy leaps over him from the top turnbuckle to take the 50â<80><99>s flashback twins down. Of course, MVP looks irritated at Hardyâ<80><99>s move, but for the viewer it was as if it had been a perfectly planned combination. (Oh, wait â<80>” it was.)
Back from the break, Deuce has turned things around and has the upper hand on Hardy with, believe it or not, MVP helping to cheerlead the crowd. MVP does finally get back into the match only to become the classic victim of the isolation tactic as Deuce and Domino tag in and out and work over MVPâ<80><99>s lower back for a while.
The tag at last comes and Hardy took it from there. In the chaos, Domino prepares to nail Hardy from behind with a belt, but MVP preempted the attack with a low blow, followed by a Twist of Fate from Hardy who got the win by pinfall.
While itâ<80><99>s unsure how long the creative team will keep this pair together, MVP and Hardy pull this off quite well. Granted, the contests between the two do get a bit silly at times, but theyâ<80><99>ve got me waiting for that climactic moment when Hardyâ<80><99>s thirst for the United States Championship, or MVPâ<80><99>s arrogance, finally busts this championship pair in two.
But why, you ask, did I choose to put them in both categories? Well, to be honest, the intended â<80><9c>headlinerâ<80> of the night does nothing for me.
Khali is a monster. Heâ<80><99>s that Goliath that no one in their right mind would ever want to face. Heâ<80><99>s also boring. I simply cannot get my adrenalin pumping waiting for a match between Batista and a man who can no
One thing is certain. Iâ<80><99>m looking forward to the return of some more meaningful rivalry over the World Heavyweight Championship. We know that Undertaker will get into the mix, and so should Edge when he returns. Until then, Iâ<80><99>ll do something unusual and exercise some patience. Itâ<80><99>s not like I have much choice.
Iâ<80><99>m giving two matches the distinction of being in The Downsiders tonight.
The first one involves a tall, muscular guy in a bandana riding down to ringside on a loud motorcycle. Sound familiar?
Chuck Palumbo took on â<80>” who was that? Ace Steele I believe. Well, the poor jobber was allowed to get in a few blows in the midst of complete domination by Palumbo, but did a terrible job of selling a cross-body that Palumbo caught. Anyways, the match apparently served no purpose anyways other than to start a rivalry between Palumbo and Chris Masters, who just happened to run out and lock in his signature Master Lock.
My other downer of the evening was the match between Jimmy Wang Yang and Jamie Noble. These are cruiserweights, right? Iâ<80><99>ve seen some high-flying, high-impact, high-risk out of them before. But tonight they just seemed tired. Lost of locks, holds, and rolling around before a few blows are finally exchanged.
The â<80><9c>Resident Redneckâ<80> did pull off a nice move with Noble in the corner, and combination of a kick and a complete flip. But the power game of Noble won out in the end in a disappointing match between two usually good competitors.
– We got to see the announcement from The Chairman about John Cenaâ<80><99>s injury and subsequent loss of the WWE Championship, but nothing more that answered any questions leading into No Mercy.
– In case you missed it, the saviour_self spot aired again. People are still trying to decipher clues in these spots. Will the ad campaign be cut short by the suddenly greater need for star power?
– Batista did come out and talk up his No Mercy match with Khali, followed by more gibberish from Khali in retaliation. Isnâ<80><99>t it nice to have a heated debate with someone who canâ<80><99>t understand a word you say? (Or with someone you canâ<80><99>t understand.)
– Kane whipped up on Kenny Dykstra with minimal effort.
– Acting General Manager Vickie Guerrero set what should be a good match next week between MVP/Hardy and Kane/Undertaker.
– Jesse and Festus finally debut, not something I was overly anxious for. However, after watching them in action, the mix of speed (Jesse) and power (Festus) might be interesting. Not to mention that apparently the sound of a ring bell apparently has an interesting effect on Festusâ<80><99> personality. (Try from vegetable to grizzly bear, or something along those lines.) Iâ<80><99>m not completely sold on them, but Iâ<80><99>ll give them a chance.
– Iâ<80><99>ll give this to Rey Mysterio. It was fun watching him start to get the upper hand on Khali. Focusing on the leg of the monster, Mysterio even nailed his 619 around the outside corner of the ring and going up top before his No Mercy opponent Finlay interfered in the match. Enter Batista for the save, who dishes out a spinebuster to Finlay and a spear to Khali before getting in a chair shot to clear the ring.
All that being said, and knowing things have been rough in the WWE lately, I certainly hope theyâ<80><99>ve got a few surprises in store for us at No Mercy. Iâ<80><99>m left feeling like viewers need something to get excited about again. I hope, for all our sakes (viewers and the WWE), that that certain something is found soon.
Don’t like my take? Let’s hear yours! Send me your e-mails to email@example.com … the best and worst of the bunch may be featured in future columns.
And a special note to you readers out there, be sure to check out the Editorials Section below the headlines. Thatâ<80><99>s not only where youâ<80><99>ll find Sean Oâ<80><99>Macâ<80><99>s Pullinâ<80><99> No Punches (a weekly opinion piece that also includes your letters), but great pieces by Kevin Kelly, Chris â<80><9c>The Authorityâ<80> Schultz, Kevin McElvaney and more.