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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
TEAM COVERAGE:
WWE No Mercy PPV Preview
October 7, 2006

Compiled by Rick Scaia
Featuring All Your Favorite OnlineOnslaught.com Semi-Stars

 

At the top of this document, I'll once again apologize for the sporadic updates and whatnot. What I won't do is explain in any more detail what's going on. Just chalk it up to "a personal matter," and be done with it, OK? And take solace in the fact that I fully intend to be back to normal sooner rather than later, too. It's starting to look like it might get worse before it gets better, but there is at least a Plan of Action in place, and I'll get back to the regular update schedule soon enough, I think. 
 
And also know that my sporadickiness has caused me intense physical pain to not be able to spend these PreRambles mocking the holy living fuck out of congressman Mark Foley. It is a strange quirk of mine that few things fully arouse and engorge me like lengthy, properly spelled, well punctuated Instant Messaging Sessions. But the flip side of

that is that few things make me laugh and laugh and laugh more than stereotypically braindead instant message transcripts. This phenomenon is doubled when said transcript is sincerely intended to seduce a would-be mate. And yes, I'm a small enough man that I'll admit it becomes TRIPLE funny when the seduction in question is homosexual in nature. I don't know why, but that really does just make it even lamer.

Then again, I'm a man who took the Big Book of Rob Feinstein Transcripts 2004, and both laughed my ass off and finished up convinced that I was James fucking Bond when it comes to smOOthness, so my tendencies aren't exactly a matter of national security.

Anyway, this isn't why you called. You want No Mercy PPV Preview. And I've got that for you in spades, thanks to the trOOps. Let's get to it: 

KING BOOKER vs. BOBBY LASHLEY vs. BATISTA vs. FINLAY
Fatal Four-way for the World Heavyweight Title

Sadly, the backstage machinations behind this match are about a billion times more intriguing than the on-screen ones. 

Two months ago, the plan was for this to be the big finale of the Booker/Batista feud. But then Batista landed in the doghouse cuz of his craptacular effort level since returning from injury. Lashley was plugged into the mix as Batista's replacement. 

Though Lashley's #1 Contendership came as the result of a relatively random match in which he defeated Finlay, there would at least have been some some backstory there (as Lashley and Booker feuded successfully over the spring and summer, with Lashley winning all the matches until the Most Important One, in which Booker took the King of the Ring crown from Lashley). But over time, WWE lost faith in Lashley's main event drawing power (and rightly so)....

Their solution? To plug Batista back into the mix. This is actually where WWE got a little bit clever and cool. Anybody who remembers The Rick's Fantasy Booking Tendencies knows that I love "Pick Your Poison," and that's what WWE busted out this week on SD!.... Booker and Lashley were allowed to pick each other's opponents, and Booker selected Batista for Lashley, and Lashley selected Finlay for Booker.

Finlay pinned Booker (thanks to Midget Shenanigans), and Batista beat Lashley via DQ (thanks to a Finlay run-in). So Teddy Long hit the scene, and declared that instead of having two distinct matches at No Mercy, we would form Voltron, and do a big Four-Way Booker vs. Lashley vs. Batista vs. Finlay match at the PPV.

Gotta say, I like that call. If I was within shouting distance of being in the same ballpark of even contemplating watching this PPV, this would easily be the straw that broke the camel's back.... sadly, this PPV's appeal is still half-a-world away, so I'm not ordering it up. But I applaud WWE for panicking and coming up with a semi-worthy main event at the last second. This foursome should allow all men to play to their strengths, while masking all necessary weaknesses (mostly thanks to Finlay's involvement).
  

The OOutlOOk
Booker wins: 6 votes
(No Other Superstar Received Winning Votes)

Canadian Bulldog Says... Booker wins.
I'm picking King Booker mostly because of a stale-dated PPV advertisement that (still) runs here on Canadian television. Originally, they were promoting Booker vs. Batista, then of course, Booker vs. Lashley, and now the fatal four way match. The one common denominator: King Bookah!
 
Now, I realize that many of these decisions are booked on the fly, but I've got to think that WWE still has tons of potential with King B in a leading role. Why not have a bunch of people chasing him for the belt for a while? It's not as though the fans have been exactly clamoring for a Batista or Lashley title run, or Finlay for that matter. No one gets hurt, and Booker continues to look strong in what, honestly, has become one of my favorite gimmicks this year. He plays the king to absolute perfection (as does Sharmell as the doting queen).
 
Another reason: Almost every time these fatal four ways happen, where the heel champion is being hyped as having nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, etc., he ultimately retains. Look at JBL. Look at Kurt Angle (remember him?). I'm sure there are other examples, too, but those are both somewhat recent ones.
The Cubs Fan Says... Booker wins.
I guess they figure Batista's a draw, but if you've watched him of late, it'd kinda tough to believe. He's really not been the same guy since coming back from the injury, and I don't think now's the time for the belt to go back to him. In fact, the more guys in this match, the more likely Booker is to retain, so that's what I've got here. Theoretically, they've got double the time for this match with two matches being melded to one, and I don't know if that's necessarily the best way. They're going to have to make this into no DQ to make it work, and that allows Booker to use some shenanigans to work.
Matt Hocking Says... Booker wins.
All right, I'm going to be honest with you, with my work schedule along with several weeks without UPN/CW coverage in my market, I'm not exactly up to snuff on what's happening on Smackdown.  I'm going to handle this one by
process of elimiation, take a wild stab, and hope I'm halfway right.

WWE clearly has no faith in Lashley to main event a PPV by himself, so what sense would it make to put the title on him?  Lashley's out.  Finlay is a great midcard heel, but there's no way he can make a go of it with the title.  So you're left with Booker and Batista pretty much.  Batista has
been almost completely derailed (oddly enough since Mark Henry got hurt in the middle of their feud), while Booker has been highly entertaining.  The question is then, do you give Batista the belt in the hopes that he'll right himself with the title, or do you keep it on Booker who has had a good run
to this point?

Truth be told, I'd say you let Booker keep it.  Dave has been flat thus far, and he really needs to earn his way back into title contention.  Smackdown can't, at this point with everything in flux, afford to gamble that Batista will refind his stride when they've already got Booker filling the role.

Adam Gutschmidt Says... Booker wins.
Just as an aside, I was really not excited about this PPV at all.  Then, I scored two free tickets to the show yesterday, so now I'm all, WOOHOO!  NO MERCY RLZ!  I'M SO EXCITED!!  Anyways, giddiness aside, the change in main event makes this a pretty easy pick.  It's quite obvious that this change was because they lost faith in Booker and Lashley being a main event draw.  (Well duh, I could have told you that right away).  So if they don't think he's a main event draw, there's no way he's winning the title.  As great as Finlay has been, there's no point in having him win.  You don't go from one heel champion to another.  And finally, I don't think Batista's out of the dog house, so he won't win either.
 
If they were smart, they could have made a real exciting main event and not done anything to affect the undercard.  What they should have done was had an elimination chamber match between Booker, Finlay, Regal, Lashley, Batista and then either Cena (had he lost at Unforgivien) or a returning Chris Benoit.  Of course, this would have meant RAW loaning out their "signature" match, which we all know wouldn't happen.  Even though Smackdown has no "signature" match of their own.
 
It'll be interesting if a double turn comes out of this Fatal Four Way.  Certainly Finlay was getting cheers and chants last night (although I suppose they could have been piped in) and Little Bastard is definitely over.  Plus, Batista was starting to sport the shady facial hair, which we all know is the universal sign for turning heel.  It could be the shake-up Smackdown and this match needs to make it seem more special.
 
In the end, though, King Booker will reign supreme and I will be there in person as a lowly peasant bestowing honor on our champion.
Jeff Snider Says... Booker wins.
No time today. Short picks for me. Booker retains the title, but the seeds of dissension are sown in the ranks of the King's Court.
Rick Scaia Says... Booker wins..
Look: if WWE wanted to put the strap on Batista, they wouldn't have taken him out of the match last month. If WWE trusted Lashley with the belt, they wouldn't have panicked and put Batista back into the match. 

And Finlay? I have much manlove for him, but he's not gonna be a World Champ.

So Booker wins and lives to fight another day while creative figures out what the hell is going on. Maybe somebody comes over from RAW (Kane is either jumping brands or entering a Jeri-tastic semi-retirement after Monday), or maybe we need to load up Taker for a 2 month run at Booker. We'll see.... but I don't see the belt coming off Booker given how we got to this four-way match.


KEN KENNEDY vs. THE UNDERTAKER
Possibly for the US Title, But Probably Not

NOTE: in the "Call to Action" E-mail I sent out to the staff, I listed this as a US Title Match. That doesn't appear to be the case. Some of the trOOps' picks may have been affected by this, and I am deeply sorry. But I also blame the fact that I am currently on two different prescription medications that required a "DEA Authorization Code." So my head ain't exactly right.

The backstory here is pretty simple. Kennedy won the US Title, and got a big head. He started talking trash about how nobody on SmackDown! was man enough to face him, and who should show up? The Undertaker.

A match was made, and that was that. The one interesting little twist was a promo cut by Kennedy this week on SD!, where he manfully dismissed Taker's headgames as "hocus pocus" (or "Gay Spooky"), and promised to persevere and be victorious come Sunday.

I still don't like his chances, but it's a nice change to have somebody see through Taker's mind games and act ballsy up till the bitter end.  
  

The OOutlOOk
Taker wins: 6 votes   --|--  Kennedy wins: 0 votes

Canadian Bulldog Says... Undertaker wins.
Poor Kennedy is in a catch 22 situation. He has really been pushed too quickly to get over on his own abilities and thus, a lot of his big wins have been overlooked because they didn't seem legit. And unless he absolutely destroys The Undertaker a la Great Khali (and because he's not 7 foot 400, it ain't gonna happen like that), his win will be overlooked yet again. 
 
So the logical choice has Undertaker destroying him, just like he's done to virtually everyone else for the last 60 years. I would argue that a loss (or even being obliterated by The Dead Guy) would also hurt Kennedy, perhaps slightly more than a fluke win would help him. I don't expect Taker to win the belt here (what good would it do his character?), but perhaps a DQ win that prolongs this feud just a little bit longer...
 
I've argued before why they should kill the Taker character once and for all, so no need to get into it here.
The Cubs Fan Says... Undertaker wins.
Can't see Undertaker winning the US Title. Can't see Kennedy beating Undertaker clean - they're high on Kennedy but they're not high. So it's going to be a disqualification, and it actually seems to have a point if Kennedy wins. It'll be interesting to see how much they do.
Matt Hocking Says... Undertaker wins.
WWE.com doesn't have this listed as a US title match, so where Rick got that, I don't know, but if it IS, I call schenanigans.  Half of Undertaker's gimmick right now is "he hardly ever shows up for work, folks!" so putting the U.S. title on him is stupid.  On the other hand, having him come out and punk out Kennedy is fine.

And hell, if Kennedy and Taker can manage to put on a good match, Kennedy might get the same kind of rub John Cena got when he and Taker feuded a few years ago.  One good match and Cena was practically a main eventer.  Kennedy
has a ways to go before he can get himself back into the same kind of popularity he had back at this time last year, but a loss to Taker won't actually hurt him in that respect.  And if it IS a title match?  The fall is by DQ or something.
Adam Gutschmidt Says... Undertaker wins.
Nice use of the U.S. title here.  Ahem.  This match has no real pupose other than to get the Undertaker on the card.  They could go one of two routes with this one: 1) Kennedy will get squashed and will move on from this nothing feud immediately or 2) Kennedy will get a really cheap victory that will set off a feud between the two that will go on for seemingly forever because Taker only shows up once every two months.  I choose option 1.  This seems like a perfect opportunity for Taker to beat a rising star and have the IWC get their panties in a bunch once again.  While I don't condone a squashing of any kind here, it wouldn't make sense for Kennedy to get into an extended feud with Taker while being the U.S. champ.  If he was going to be put into an extended feud with Taker, he'd need to drop the title quickly so it could be used by someone else.  That doesn't make a whole lot of sense considering that there would have been no reason to take the U.S. title off of Finlay in the first place.  Like I said, I believe this is a one and done feud and Kennedy will move on to probably feuding with Benoit for the U.S. title.
Jeff Snider Says... Undertaker wins.
Kennedy retains the title through nefarious means, either by DQ or countout.
Rick Scaia Says... Undertaker wins.
Now that I note that this is probably a non-title match, there's really no way that I can envision Kennedy winning. Taker will either put the period at the end of this feud's sentence by winning clean, or you'll get a deal where Kennedy purposely gets himself DQ'ed or counted out for a cheap finish. Either way: Taker wins, and Kennedy looks weaker than he would if I was booking.

If *I* was booking? I'd do a version of the angle that they TRIED to do with Khali, and have Kennedy be a guy who earns Taker's respect.... could set up a face turn for Kennedy, which might also solve the problem of who you send up against Booker for the title.


REY MYSTERIO vs. CHAVO GUERRERO
Falls Count Anywhere

Ugh. I know the "real story" here is that Rey and Chavo campaigned to get Vicki Guerrero on TV so she could earn a paycheck, since times are tough around her household....  but why not just put her on a stipend and charge that against the day when WWE ultimately puts together an Eddie 3-DVD set that sells like mad with royalties going to Eddie's family? It'd be a lot less painful for us fans.

Basic story: Chavo "retired" because of a mini-losing streak back this spring, saying he was disgracing the family name. Chavo came back as an advisor/manager to Rey when Rey started hitting some tough times. Chavo helped Rey retain the World Title for a while, but when Rey lost it, it was because Chavo turned against him. Chavo claimed Rey was abusing the Guerrero family legacy, adopting it as his own.

Vicki Guerrero showed up to try to arbitrate the debate, but quickly wound up turning against Rey, too. She sided with Chavo, claiming that Rey has absconded with the legacy of Eddie Guerrero. By and large, it's been uncomfortable TV to watch -- a little too real to be dismissed, but too badly acted to care about -- and yet, it's stretched out for about 2 months now.

There are positively no doubts about what Rey and Chavo can do inside (and outside, given the stipulation here) the ring. Let us just hope that that sheer talent and ability outshines WWE's urge to pile on with more of a storyline that no right thinking person could possibly care about.
  

The OOutlOOk
Rey wins: 3 votes   --|--  Chavo wins: 3 votes

Canadian Bulldog Says... Rey wins.
Yawn. This feels like the longest-running feud in WWE history. And I'm not even including last year's Rey-Eddie feud that this one seems to be an exact ripoff of.
 
The problem here (much like a lot of the top-tier SmackDown guys right now) is.... let's say Rey wins. Where does he go from here? Raw or ECW might be a nice side-step, but you kind of get the feeling that Rey's career has already peaked. It's sad because his skills haven't really eroded and he's not old enough to be considered "past his prime", it just kind of happened.
 
Nontheless, I think it makes sense for Rey to get the win here and then move on to something else for pete's sake. A heel turn? A different feud? A different brand? It doesn't matter. Just SOMETHING ELSE.
The Cubs Fan Says... Chavo wins.
This would seem to be the end of the road for Rey; they could always run an injury angle on SmackDown, but it'd more effective here. Falls count anywhere probably means Rey is going to fall from some big height onto a barely visible cushion below, to take him out for the time being. This should be a good match, since it's the last thing we'll get out of this feud for a while.
Matt Hocking Says... Chavo wins.
And the Vickie Guerrero Charity Fund Tour keeps on rollin'.  Really, if they're serious about helping Vickie along by having her come out with Chavo and earn a couple extra bucks as a performer?  Great, good for them.  But as soon as this feud is over, there's nowhere they can go with that.  And seeing as neither of these guys has anything else on the slate particularily, I could see them keeping it going until Royal Rumble, at least.

I guess Dominic is involved now too?  So my guess is that they steal the finish of the Flair/Foley match from a few months ago (and their own finish from last month), have Vickie grab Dominic out of the crowd (because Rey is clearly stupid enough not to stop bringing him to the arena), and force Rey to lay down for a beaten Chavo.
Adam Gutschmidt Says... Chavo wins.
I figure the "Falls Count Anywhere" stip was placed on this match so that they could do some overly Hollywood set-up backstage which sets up Rey getting written out of storylines for a while.  If that's the plan, they better have something effective looking and not just have cardboard boxes and think metal pipes fall on him.  Since I'll be there live, I hope most of the action takes place in the ring so I don't feel like I'm watching TV for that match.  As for the actual fighting content, I've given up thinking that this will be any five star classic.  Between Rey's injury and the WWE's intent on having them do a more grounded style, there's little chance of them busting out something cool.  I'm just glad that this should signal the end to this feud.
Jeff Snider Says... Rey wins.
The pin will take place in the study with a candlestick. Vicki will play a part in Rey's victory, either on purpose or on accident.
Rick Scaia Says... Rey wins.
This might be a case of me paying attention to stupid details that I shouldn't pay attention to, but I'm taking Rey here....

Because he's been heavily hyped as part of the "RAW Family Reunion" 3-hour special on USA on Monday.

Otherwise? I have Rey lose and suffer the egregious injury that will allow him the 3-4 months he needs for knee surgery, giving Chavo a boost up the card. But this way? I figure they give Rey the emotional win on the PPV, and then when you tune into RAW's Big Special on Monday, THAT is when they'll do the big angle to write Rey out.... and Chavo will STILL get the big boost as a result.


MATT HARDY vs. GREGORY HELMS
Ol' Fashioned North Cackalacki OMG GRUDGE MATCH~!

I think Hardy beat Helms in a non-cruiserweight title match (because Matt was too fat to qualify for the division? or wait, is that his brother?). Then Helms ran in on a Hardy match to cause him to lose. And thus: InstaFeud. I guess.

I never would have thought that I'd be more interested in Jeff Hardy than in Matt, but that's pretty much where we are these days.
  

The OOutlOOk
Hardy wins: 5 votes   --|--  Helms wins: 1 vote

Canadian Bulldog Says... Hardy wins.
So we have two excellent wrestlers with a legitimate history to them, and a belt that desperately needs defending. This has the potential of being the sleeper match on the card, and I'm hoping they can generate enough excitement to give them a series of future matches, too.
 
And I understand this is a non-title match (why, exactly?), but it wouldn't hurt to take the strap off Helms finally. He's already, by far, the longest-reigning champion in WWE right now. But because its such a meaningless belt, I don't imagine they've given all that much thought to Helms' eventual successor.
The Cubs Fan Says... Hardy wins.
This is a coin flip, but that's okay, because the feud has been built to find out who wins the coin flip. It's been a pretty simple build - they don't like each other, and they want to see who's better - and I think it'll get over well in their home area. I'm sure they'll try to steal the show, and they might do it. This is much better filler than we've usually had on the SmackDown! only shows.
Matt Hocking Says... Hardy wins.
I think they've decided to build to a Hardy Boyz reunion rather than pull the trigger on it right away, and I bet it happens at Wrestlemania.  To do that, they need to have both guys going at full speed, which means that they have to turn Matt around right away.  They've actually done a pretty good job at getting him some wins in the last six months or so, but for a Hardy Boyz reunion to really mean anything, he needs to start doing something a little more high profile.

So Helms eats the loss, which really doesn't hurt him because WWE can just stick him in there for a sacrificial "Cruiserweight Title Defense" and remind people 50 times that he's the longest reigning champion in the company, and Matt Hardy gets a win on PPV that solidifies some kind of
midcard run he can go on for the next three months or so.
Adam Gutschmidt Says... Hardy wins.
Nice use of the Cruiserweight title.  Ahem.  I'm still trying to figure out exactly why these two are feuding.  I mean, this wasn't thrown together at the last minute, yet I can't exactly figure out why they hate each other.  Way to go creative team.  You would think that since both guys are performing for the hometown crowd they would attempt to make their match a little bit more special, but I'm not going to hold my breath.  This seems like it should be the blowoff to this quasi-feud, which is why I picked Hardy to win here.  Let's hope these two can stop spinning their wheels after this and find some meaningful opponents.
Jeff Snider Says... Hardy wins.
No point making this non-title if Hardy's not gonna win, is there?
Rick Scaia Says... Helms wins.
I'll buck conventional wisdom here and call for a Helms win.... frankly, the story they're trying to tell with Tatanka (tons of hard-luck losses all in a row) is something that I might actually give a shit about if they did it with Matt.

Between Helms' promos leading into this match and JBL's commentary about "Hardy has all the tools, but none of the mental toughness," I'd love if a loss here contributed to a Matt Hardy heel turn. It wouldn't be a long-lived one, but it would provide a distraction until next spring, when Jeff could show up and start "talking sense" to Matt, leading to a Hardy Boyz reunion at WrestleMania.

But yeah, mostly, my Internet Jackoff Card is on full display here, cuz I think it'd be retarded to job your CW champ to a curtain jerking heavyweight.


PAUL LONDON/SPANKY KENDRICK vs. IDOL STEVENS/K.C. JAMES
Tag Team Title Match

Before Kid Kash got fired (for General Douchbaggery) we were headed to a big Three Way Pay Off Match.... as it stands, though, this standard Tag Match isn't so awful. Stevens/James made their debut and scored some big non-title match wins, and although they are still mostly defined by the mega-hot Michelle McCool (doing a Hot For Teacher gimmick), they've got the tag psychology down pat and are, objectively speaking, the equal of MNM in terms of ability.

Ability does not equal Sizzle, however, so how this match goes over with fans will have a lot to do with how London and Kendrick connect with fans (and also, being honest, with how McCool and Ashley are used as eye candy and extracurriculars). There's some Show Stealing Potential here, but it'll take a convergence of a lot of factors.
  

The OOutlOOk
London/Kendrick win: 4 votes
Stevens/James win: 2 votes

Canadian Bulldog Says... London/Kendrick win.
WWE has put belts on relative newcomers so many times that, it wouldn't shock me to see James and Idol get the belts. But again.... we get into the same problem with so many of these SmackDown guys: who would James and Idol face going forward? For that matter, who will London and Kendrick face going forward? At least with The Pitbulls in the mix, there was always a third option. Sigh.
 
So I'm going with London and Kendrick just because they're the incumbents - no better reason, really.
 
Just as an aside, I was watching Impact last night, and their boast of having "the best tag team division in all of wrestling" is SO true right now. Perhaps its time for WWE to take note of this and either acquire AMW, patch up their issues with Team 3-D, or hell, just built some new tag teams with your existing talent. I remember when tag team wrestling used to be THE reason to watch SmackDown. Right now? Not so much.
The Cubs Fan Says... London/Kendrick win.
I've got the champions retaining, but even then, I doubt it'll settle things, since it's a two team division at the moment. They seem to be putting more attention than usual on Kendrick and London - giving them a video package to make sure they're noticed even when they're not on the show as a big step for them (though not as big as actually being on the
show) - and almost by default, they'll be in as a high position on the card as they get. I don't think they trust James and Stevens enough to give them the belts, and they might as well see what they can get out of Kendirck and London
Matt Hocking Says... London/Kendrick win.
Hell, I don't know.  I'm almost tempted to pick James and Idol because past them it would be such slim pickings in the tag title division, so you have to do SOMETHING once in a while to spice things up.  But then again, they're so bland and Indytastic that it's hard to see WWE being very excited to pull the trigger on them as champions.

Then again, it's not like London or Kendrick have done a ton since their feud with MNM wrapped up.  They're the safer bet, and that's why I'm picking them, but for their sake I hope WWE is able to pair up a couple of interesting midcarders to give them a decent feud soon.
Adam Gutschmidt Says... Stevens/James win.
I don't like making this pick as I don't Stevens/Idol are anywhere near tag team title worthy, but it seems like London and Kendrick have had the title for a while and they can't resist having meaningless title changes.  Before I'm ok with having Stevens and Idol win the titles, they need to somehow show so sort of team unity.  Matching outfits, a singular name, something.  We always complain about random partner tag teams, but at least those are usually made up of known stars.  This is a randon partner tag team of unknowns.  I'd imagine that Ashley and Michelle will get involved in this and I wouldn't be surprised if they somehow factored into the finish.
Jeff Snider Says... London/Kendrick win.
I have no idea. I have only had Smackdown back for a couple weeks, so I still don't take these James and Idol guys seriously.
Rick Scaia Says... Stevens/James win.
The only good thing that Stevens/James have going for them is Michelle McCool. But hey: for a long time, the only thing M and N had going for them was Melina. The tag scene on SD! is so very, very tired. So let's shake it up, switch the titles, and see if we can't recapture some of the same MNM magic with McCool and Tools.



MONTREAL VENTRICLE PORTER (or "NAMBLA," for short) vs. MYSTERY OPPONENT

SD! has, to be fair, done a nice job of building up the "signing" of MVP as a big deal. It would have been WAY more interesting if they'd have him do cameos on RAW or ECW, but just as a one-dimensional heel-heat gimmick, his "I'm too good for you fans" shtick is going over pretty well.

His big debut won't be against a top-level talent, and it'll just be an cheap or easy win for MVP, which greatly lessens the appeal of this match... but by making this contest seem like a semi-big deal, WWE might be laying the foundation for MVP to be a future top level player. We'll see. From what I've seen of the guy, he's the more-charismatic-but-less-in-ring-talented Shelton Benjamin.... 
  

The OOutlOOk
MVP wins: 6 votes   --|--  ??? wins: 0 votes

Canadian Bulldog Says... MVP wins.
This prediction is Bulldog's Pick of the Month(tm). Pretty gutsy on my part, huh?
 
I'm thinking its Vito he's pitted against, but you have such a wide range of lower-tier losers on SmackDown right now (Scotty 2 Hotty, Funaki and... okay, I guess that's about it), it could be anyone. At least Vito and MVP have a bit of a backstory. I will say this MVP - they've introduced the guy to WWE fans properly. Now let's see if he's worth watching.
The Cubs Fan Says... MVP wins.
This'll suck. Too bad they weren't putting in this effort to build up someone good.
Matt Hocking Says... MVP wins.
You know what I'm hoping?  WWE's mysterious resigning of The Boogeyman Friday was actually just a one match deal, so he could come in, scare the shit out of MVP, and get the one comedy laugher in before he rides off into the sunset.  If I was booking WWE, that would be exactly how i would handle this match.

Lucky for you (?) I'm not, so I'm guessing he draws Tatanka or something, gets his "Yay, a New Guy!" win, goes on a streak for a month or so, and then jobs to Batista for no reason sometime around Thanksgiving.
Adam Gutschmidt Says... MVP wins.
A tough call considering we don't have a good idea of who his opponent is.  Best case scenario it's Chris Benoit and he gives MVP the Orlando Jordan treatment to a glorious return.  Worst case scenario and most likely the case, MVP's opponent is Vito and he beats him in unimpressive fasion.  As is the usual case with today's WWE, you have to believe in the motto, "Expect the worst, hope for the best".
Jeff Snider Says... MVP wins.
I don't care. I don't know anything about MVP.
Rick Scaia Says... MVP wins.
Duh. MVP ain't losing his big debut.

If WWE wants it to be stultifyingly bland, they'll bring out Tatanka to face him.

If they want some cheap heat, but still with an inevitable outcome, they'll do Jimmy Wayne Yang.

If they want to instantly shoot MVP into a mini-program, he'll get a cheap win over Vito. 

The only other option I can really envision is one that would take creativity and balls, so WWE wouldn't ever do that. In short: they roll the dice and have Benoit come out as MVP's surprise opponent. MVP walks away and gets purposely counted out, taking his dickweed, self-important sports star "hold out" gimmick to all new heights (you could have it take till fricking the New Year before he actually wrestles a match, if you play it right). Benoit says he still came here to wrestle, so he opens it up to anybody, and somebody like Miz or Grenier comes out to get his ass beat in a seamless transition into a Crowd Pleasing Bonus Match.


EXTRAS/CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

The melding of two matches into one leaves No Mercy with just six matches. That dog won't hunt, monsignor.... so what else can we look for on Sunday night?
  

The OOutlOOk

Canadian Bulldog Says... 
I won't be watching this month, although this time, it's not because I'm opposed to the card (more a scheduling conflict). This is actually one of the better-built SmackDown cards in recent memory, impressive considering they are so talent-deficient right now.
 
What else do I expect? Kane and Umaga may show up to tease their "Loser Leaves Raw" match, and perhaps some overall hype for what SD will do at the Raw Homecoming the next day. Jimmy Yang will be in some sort of HILARIOUS backstage sketch, I'm sure. Tatanka vs. Miz Part 20 will be YOUR Internet Heat main event. And could Benoit show up here to challenge a certain King? BANK ON IT!!!
 
I've been complaining through my predictions here about what SmackDown could to improve itself, but I think the single-biggest thing they could do right now is some sort of major shakeup. I'm not sure what I'm proposing exactly, although a feud with ECW might be cool. I just think that SmackDown can't, month after month after month, give us PPV's with no major happenings and expect people to keep buying them. Raw can do that because, sometimes, they put on really great PPV's on the match hype alone (see Unforgiven). TNA usually has a good mix of "surprises" and decent matches on their monthly shows. ECW still has the "new" factor that will help with their PPV buys. SmackDown has none of that going for them, and they need to develop something. Fast.
The Cubs Fan Says... 
Six matches is too short for a card. While everything should get plenty of time - there's no reason Chavo/Rey and Matt/Helms shouldn't get 12-15 minutes each - they still need to get another match or two in here. I guess Miz gets another win? Or maybe Yang? There's a bunch of one note
characters they could throw in here, and it'd be fine for a four minute encounter.

I don't think this PPV will be received well by those who don't get it, because it seems like they're keeping the status quo, and SmackDown! is not going to suddenly start interesting. I think those who do buy the show will be satisfied, because there are some good undercard bouts here.
Matt Hocking Says... 
I don't know.  Again, I haven't seen any more than 2/3 of a Smackdown in about three months.  Thanks to the "Rewinds" and recaps and things, I'm fairly up to date on some things, but mostly only the major points.  Maybe I should really be looking forward to this PPV because it's a landmark development in the history of Sports Entertainment or something, but honestly?  I hardly had any idea who was even going to be wrestling on this show until I got an e-mail from Rick.  Hell, I hardly knew there was a PPV this weekend.

And, I suspect, that this level of apathy is going to be pretty common among a lot of you out there, with the network reshuffling and the roster cuts and injuries, Smackdown's been a pretty hard show to follow for about two years now.  Hopefully, they'll turn things around in the next few months so Friday nights becomes destination viewing instead of "Oh, there's wrestling on tonight?"

OTHER CRAP

- I suspect that Krystal and Ashley will have some kind of costume contest to promote the fact that A) it's October, B) People like boobies, C) ECW is having a strip poker contest on Tuesday.  Ultimately it will end with everyone in underwear.  I suspect Ashley will dress like a Yankee, because she's a huge douche.

- Sylvester Turkay v. Jimmy Wang Yang is YOUR Heat match.

- JBL will name drop whoever leaked that this would be his last WWE PPV before he signed his new contract (I bet it was Justin Credible).

- William Regal and the Leprachaun will square off in an exciting game of Scrabble at ringside during the main event.

- Eric Bischoff will get thrown out of the arena by Teddy Long.
Adam Gutschmidt Says... 
Well you've only 6 matches on the card, and yet I really can't think of any egregious omissions on the card.  I guess you could say Regal, but I'm sure he'll be out there during the main event.  I think they'll milk the most out of those six matches to fill up most of the time.  If there are any other interesting extracurriculars, it will be things to promote future stuff.  So maybe some backstage things which promote RAW Family Reunion or ECW Strip Poker.  But for the most part, I think anything remote interesting from a storyline perspective will happen on the Family Reunion show, which seems pretty backwards considering that you're paying for No Mercy and getting Family Reunion for free.  Luckily for me, I get to see both for free, so let's hope for a pleasantly surprising good show.
Jeff Snider Says... 
They either need to stretch a few of these matches or add a couple more. I wonder if Jeff Hardy will show up and get involved in his brother's match, or if they will save that for the "Family Reunion" episode of Raw. I have nothing else to add, unfortunately.
Rick Scaia Says... 
Even if they give the 4-way main event upwards of an hour, I don't see this six match card holding up..... problem is, it's impossible to guess at what they'll add without knowing the plan for that MVP match.

Given the amount of TV time handed out on SD! recently, Tatanka, Jimmy Wayne Yang, and Vito would ALL be reasonable options for a little Bonus Match. On the heel side, Miz was mercifully absent this week on SD!, but would be a likely candidate.... and Sylvan Grenier is getting shoved down our throats too.

And let's not forget that the Boogeyman has been mysteriously re-hired, either. Ugh.

Don't know for sure what they'll do, but I'm guessing it'll either underwhelm or suck. And they'll save the "good stuff" (cross-brand shenanigans and all) till the next night on RAW's Family Reunion. Because SD! is, regardless of protestations to the opposite, WWE's C-brand right now.

 

Nathan and his Writing Partner will have the full report from No Mercy for you. Should be on Sunday night, shortly after the PPV wraps up, so come on back to OO for that, and you have my solemn vow that there will be a full OO Column published on Monday, as well. See you then.


  
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Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.

 

 

 


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