Do you ever look back in wrestling history and think “Wait, HE was in the World Title picture?” Well wonder no more, in this series we will be reviewing WWE/F PPVs with wrestlers who had one off PPV world title matches. This can include any PPV that featured a wrestler who was feuding for the world title resulting in a PPV title match. However, for the most part multi man matches such as elimination chambers will not be considered due to the wrestlers involved not really feuding and instead simply qualifying to bulk up numbers. For the inaugural review, we will be looking at the shillelagh swinging, little bastard beating, Belfast bruiser himself Fit Finlay *applause*. He received a World Heavyweight Championship match in the main event of No Mercy 2006 in a Fatal 4 way match.
No Mercy 2006
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina.
Run Time: 2h31m
Commentators: JBL and Michael Cole
Matt Hardy vs Gregory Helms
The inaugural contest of this Smackdown exclusive PPV is the battle of the North Carolina natives and real life friends Matt Hardy and Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms. This is a non-title match as Matt is no longer a cruiserweight this time around. Matt is out first to a big pop followed by Helms who receives some boos. Helms is the longest reigning Cruiserweight Champion in WWE at this point but is not defending his belt tonight.
Match starts with some mat wrestling with Hardy getting the better of Helms. Helms eventually retakes control and shouts “This is my house!” – somewhere in Norwich a young Paige takes note. Hardy hits a nice plancha to the outside followed by a sloppy rope aided powerbomb. Helms regains control with a neck breaker to the back of his knee. Helms then hits a nice safe looking side Russian leg sweep from the middle rope. Eventually Hardy regains control and hits a flurry of offence including a clothesline/bulldog combo, nice top rope leg drop and calls for the twist of fate but is reversed into the eye of the hurricane which helms hits three times for only a 2 count before hitting a shining wizard on a rope hung hardy for another 2 count.
Time for the finish, Helms goes for a low blow but hardy blocks it for a twist of fate and the 3 count to win the match in 13:07. WINNER: MATT HARDY
Good opener to get the crowd hot with Hardy winning as the right call to effectively end the feud. Helms and Hardy have very good chemistry together. They should have had a cruiserweight title ladder match at some point as it had the potential to be an awesome match.
Author’s rating: 3.5/5
Quote of the match: “This is my house”
Backstage King Booker panicking at the dissention in his court asks Regal to find Finlay and convinces him to help King Booker in the main event. Regal cordially obliges.
WWE tag team championship match: Paul London and Brian Kendrick vs KC James and Idol Stevens
Out next is KC James (Discount Dolph Ziggler) and Idol Stevens (Damien Sandow) with Michelle McCool who looks amazing, she is in her teacher gimmick with Ziggler and Sandow as her teachers pets. She is wearing glasses with her hair in a bun with a short mini skirt and a ruler, 10/10. Out next are the champions London and Kendrick with Ashely who also looks great but not a patch on McCool 8/10.
There are zero tag teams left in the division so here are two guys only 6 weeks into their main roster debuts. Standard tag wrestling by London and Kendrick with the usual high flying spots. Ziggler and Sandow take control thanks to McCool distracting the ref and showing off her arse in the process. Awesome. Crowd pops for the hot tag as Kendrick runs wild before hitting a nice dropkick/DDT combo on Ziggler and Sandow before McCool puts Sandow’s foot on the rope. After repeated interference Ashley takes down McCool for a good ol fashioned cat fight. London and Kendrick nail a sliced bread/standing shooting star press combo for the finish and the 3 count getting the champions the win in 9:35. WINNERS: PAUL LONDON AND BRIAN KENDRICK
This was an ok match. There were snippets of good offence by the heels but they clearly weren’t ready as they were sent back to developmental when McCool was injured a few weeks later. London and Kendrick were awesome as usual but wouldn’t have any real challengers until December.
Author’s rating: 3/5
Quote of the match: “Ashely doing what I wish I could do, hop on top of Michelle McCool”
Backstage Regal searches for Finlay and runs into a dress wearing skipping Vito who proceeds to show him how to skip properly before being stunned by Vito’s package. Regal turns to leave and runs into a burger cart and ends up covered in ketchup and mustard. Classic Regal.
Back to the ring. You know it’s then MacMillitant, come to get it on. Out comes Teddy Long to introduce the Miz as it’s his birthday, in the ring is a big box. I wonder if anyone’s in the box? The Miz looks like an absolute cock with his hair and his surprisingly over catchphrase “Hoo-Rah”. Out comes Layla to give the Miz a lap dance and does so for about 20 seconds before blindfolding him. Wait a second what’s that music? Up comes the box and inside its big dick Johnson. Who then dances and gyrates for Miz who spanks his arse and feels his moobs, before recoiling in horror and running away.
Quote of the segment: “It’s either Dusty Rhodes or Big Dick Johnson!”
MVP vs Marty Garner
Out next is MVP who comes out to his awesome theme. He’s making his WWE debut against Marty Garner (The guy who botched the pedigree) MVP proceeds to squash him with the Playmaker (overdrive) in 2:28. WINNER MVP
Simple squash to get MVP over but the crowd spent the entire time chanting power ranger at him and the commentators buried him at every opportunity.
Author’s rating: 0.5/5
Quote of the match: “POWER RANGER”
Backstage Regal leaves the shower followed by Vito who exposes himself to Regal who runs away in response. In turn, Regal exposes himself to stage hands and Teddy Long who books him in a match for the night because why the hell not?
Mr Kennedy vs The Undertaker
Up next is United States Champion Mr Kennedy vs Undertaker. Kennedy has such a great gimmick as a self-ring announcer. Shame how his career turned out as he would have been an exciting World Heavyweight Champion if not for an injury.
Out comes Taker whose entrance is much more awesome, and shorter, than some recent Taker entrances. Taker immediately clocks Mr Kennedy with a big boot to start the match. The match is very slow paced, one move gets hit then they sell then they hit another move.
Amazingly Undertaker does something I never thought I’d see, he works Mr Kennedys arm and shoulder (his microphone arm) enabling him to eventually hit old school. Lot of classic Taker here hitting his usual moves, snake eyes, diving clothesline and leg drop on the apron. Mr Kennedy gets some offence hitting Taker with a nice DDT as he enters the ring and a beautiful spinning neck breaker. Taker hits a chokeslam but fails with a follow up last ride as Mr Kennedy sends him face first into an exposed turnbuckle.
Time for the finish Kennedy deciding F this goes to the outside and retrieves his US title but is stopped by the ref and gets booted by Taker who proceeds to deck Kennedy with the belt for the DQ loss in 20:34. WINNER MR KENNEDY. Post-match Undertaker tombstones Kennedy and the ref for good measure.
This match should have been better than it was. Mr Kennedy is a brilliant heel character but he never seemed like a real threat, it took him far too long to actually fight like a heel, plus the match was at least 5 minutes too long but they needed to kill time so we got this underwhelming match. Also why this match wasn’t for the US title I’ll never know, especially with the finish of the match and the fact that Kennedy drops the belt 5 days later on Smackdown.
Author’s rating: 2.5/5
Quote of the match (There wasn’t a good one so here is one from the previous segment):
“Was your father a donkey?”
-William Regal (talking to a naked Vito)
Rey Mysterio vs Chavo Guerrero: Falls Count Anywhere
Oooooooh Chavo. God I miss that theme. Chavo is out first with his aunt Vickie Guerrero. Rey Mysterio follows and the match begins.
Big brawl to start the match which is nice as this is a personal feud and am so glad it didn’t start with a collar and elbow tie up. Rey and Chavo soon bail out if the ring and fight up the entrance way where in a cool spot Rey reverses a powerbomb attempt by holding onto the titantron scaffolding and hitting a hurricanrana. They eventually end up in the crowd where Chavo reverses a wheelbarrow bulldog attempt and swings Rey into the barricade and several chairs.
Lots of walk and brawl in this match but since it’s in the crowd the audience is red hot for it. Eventually they reach some stairs where Rey hits a stair assisted 619 before climbing said stairs and hitting a diving cross body onto Chavo who awkwardly catches and falls for the 3 count and a Rey-Rey victory in 12:10. WINNER REY MYSTERIO
So… this was a match that happened, I was extremely disappointed by this, there were no weapons used and most of the match was walking and punching in the crowd. This was an awful feud that should never have happened, I’d take 50 more custody of Dominik feuds over this one.
Author’s rating: 2/5
Quote of the match: “Move! Move! Move!”
-Chavo Guerrero (to a camera man)
William Regal vs ???
William Regal comes to the ring. After the night he’s had so far, a wrestling match might be the best thing for him. And his mystery opponent is… the returning Chis Benoit!!!!!!!!! (WARNING: WHAT I WRITE ABOUT CHRIS BENOIT REFLECTS MY OPINION OF HIM AS A WRESTLER AND NOT AS A HUMAN BEING)
Benoit receives a massive pop from the crowd which the WWE network didn’t even bother trying to hide. This match, wow. This match is a technical masterclass me writing about it won’t do it justice, go and watch the match. Highlights include Regal busted open early, sick Benoit chops, double release T-bone suplex throw by Regal, a regal stretch, beautiful dragon sleeper by regal and a full nelson suplex into a crossface by Benoit for the submission victory at 11:16. WINNER CHRIS BENOIT
Again this match was amazing, for anyone who’s a fan of technical wrestling this is a masterclass I recommend anyone who likes Regal and/or technical wrestling to give it a watch.
Author’s rating: 4.25/5
Quote of the match: “Absolute artistic masterclass”
Backstage a bloody and beaten Regal is confronted and verbally berated by King Booker before Finlay approaches them and informs the King that it’s every man for himself tonight and he will be taking his title home with him. In a rage, King Booker continues verbally assaulting Regal before slapping him. Having had enough Regal punches Booker and leaves as King Booker realises his court have dissolved before his eyes. What did he really expect when he struck his last knight?
Main Event: World Heavyweight championship: King Booker vs Batista Vs Finlay vs Bobby Lashley: Fatal 4 way match
Nostalgic Ruthless aggression era promo package airs, forgot how awesome they were. Backstage because why the hell not Batista and Lashley discuss the main event and Batista quips that tonight there will be (sigh) no mercy.
Main event time and out comes the man of the hour, getting his first World Title match and first PPV main event it is the one and only main eventer Finlay!!!!!! (Applause) Out next is Bobby Lashley, followed by Batista and, finally, the defending world champion King Boooookah. The bell rings and Batista and Lashley double team Booker whilst Finlay the crafty veteran bails to the outside.
Eventually Finlay re-enters the ring and attacks the baby faces before calling a truce with his former King who for some reason stupidly believes the man who moments ago wanted to take his title is gonna help him no strings attached, let’s see how that turns out…
The heels batter the baby faces until Lashley cleans house and nails a nice double A spine buster on Booker. The heels regain control with Finlay doing most of the work. Very slow paced match for a main event. And what do you know 4 minutes after making a truce Finlay turns on Booker and hits him with a stiff clothesline. Batista eventually comes back and gets immediately battered by Finlay.
Nice to see the smallest man Finlay going toe to toe with the bigger men and actually looking the toughest of the lot. Lashley gets back in only to… you guessed it, get battered by Finlay. Pretty boring match so far. No wait Lashley sets up for a spear and little Bastard himself low blows Lashley who then gets a shillelagh shot from Finlay but the cover is broken up by Booker. Batista hits a spear on Lashley for a 2 count then Booker hits a Book end on Lashley for a 2 count. Time for the finish, Batista hits everyone with a spinebuster before nailing Finlay with a Batista bomb, before he can cover him Lashley spears Batista that takes both of them out, Booker rolls over and pins Finlay for the 3 and win in 16:52. WINNER KING BOOKER.
This was a boring match that only seemed to pick up in the last 5 minutes. Batista was a non-factor until the finish, Lashley as well both only served as fodder for Booker and Finlay. Finlay seemed to be the only one who looked good in the match, he got in the most offence, had the best near fall and looked strong from start til near finish when they ruined it by having him be the one to eat the pin.
Author’s rating: 3/5
Quote of the match: “It’s that little Bastard again!”
Overall the PPV was average, it had its moments but it also had its weaker moments and the fact the PPV finished 30 minutes early in a direct cause of that. The original main event was to be King Booker vs Bobby Lashley with Finlay vs Batista to be in the mid card. Rumour at the time was WWE didn’t think Bobby Lashley could sell a PPV main event of his own so they threw Batista in as star power and Finlay as a way to break him away from Booker. The opener was good, Michelle McCool and Ashley were amazing, Big dick Johnson was funny and Finlay proved his worth.
Author’s rating: 6/10
Match of the night: William Regal vs Chris Benoit
Worst match: MVP vs Marty Garner
Best Moment: Michelle McCool’s teacher gimmick.
Well that ends the inaugural “He had a PPV World Title match?” Join us next time for the next exciting instalment. Until then Finlay you had a World Title match on PPV, yes I’m serious.