Can King Booker withstand a peasant uprising? Considering those peasants are Batista, Finlay, and Bobby Lashley, King Booker's World Championship could be in jeopardy.
The usual good video package opens the show, highlighting the four men competing for the World Championship. The main event was originally Lashley vs. Booker, but it was changed to a fatal four way because the office did not have faith in Lashley's drawing power.
Our commentators for the evening are Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield. This event is airing from the University of North Carolina.
Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms vs. Matt Hardy
Both of these men are from North Carolina, so someone is actually going to win in their home state! Wow! This was the billionth match between these two in 2006, which is actually alright, considering how good the matches have been.
The match kicks off with both men talking trash before
tying up. Helms unleashes a fireman's carry, and whips
Hardy into the ropes, who then floors Helms with a
shoulder takedown. Helms takes a moment to absorb some
heat from the audience and the match restarts. They
tie up again, but the action is stalemate. The crowd
is extremely hot for this one, as a 'Hardy' chant
picks up. Helms takes advantage of a test of strength
by aggressively taking control of Hardy. Helms stomps
and chokes Hardy with his boot. Hardy comes back with
a suplex and hard shots. Elbow drop by Hardy only gets
a two count. Hardy knocks Helms over the ropes with a
clothesline and whips himself onto Helms on the floor.
Back in the ring, Hardy corners Helms and drops him
back first on the mat. Helms reverses a 10 punch by
dropping Hardy head first onto the turnbuckle. Helms
follows it up with a modified neck breaker, which only
gets a two count. Hardy climbs to the second rope, and
Helms hits a side Russian leg sweep, in a pretty cool
spot, which was built up well. Helms puts Hardy in a
front head lock, and drives his knees into Hardy's
shoulder's. Helms, ever the evil heel, chokes Hardy
with his boots. Helms drives Hardy's face into his
knees, and gets a two count. Frustrated, Helms chokes
Hardy on the second rope. The heat Helms is getting
from this crowd is awesome, by the way. Helms hits an
arm drag and puts Hardy into a sleeper. Time for the
crowd to 'help' Hardy get to his feet. It works, Hardy
battles out of the sleeper. Helms counters lifting
Hardy on to his shoulders. Hardy counters and hits the
DDT. Hardy and Helms exchange punches, which gradually
turns into Hardy going wild. Hardy hits the running
bull dog, but only gets a two count. Hardy hits the
scoop slam and climbs to the second rope for the leg
drop! Hardy hits the flying move, but it only gets a
two count. Hardy signals the twist of fate, but Helms
counters. Helms gets a near fall. Helms hits his
'unprettier' variation, but it only gets him another
two count. Helms slams Hardy for a third time, and
climbs to the top rope. Hardy drives his fist into
Helms in mid-air, and hits the side effect! Hardy gets
another near fall, and hits the side effect again.
Helms kicks out yet again. Hardy hits the third side
effect and climbs the ropes again. Hardy hits the
moonsault, but Helms got his knees up. Helms misses
the shining wizard, and Hardy gets a roll up in. Helms
comes back with the big back body drop and hits the
shining wizard. Somehow, Hardy kicks out of the cover
again! Helms plants Hardy on the turnbuckle, but Hardy
fights back. Helms comes back and hangs Hardy up
crotch first on the ropes! Helms climbs to the top
turnbuckle and hits a top rope shining wizard! That
was awesome! Helms goes for the cover, but Hardy got
his foot in the ropes. Helms goes for his unprettier
again, but Hardy reverses and hits the Twist of Fate!
This was enough to get Hardy the win at 13:06! This
was a great opener, much more dramatic than their
Great American Bash encounter and a bit more
inventive, ***3/4! The hot crowd really helped this
Winner Matt Hardy
Backstage, King Booker is worried about his upcoming title defense along with Sharmell. William Regal comes in to visit. Booker refers to his opponents tonight as fire breathing dragons. Booker asks Regal to find Finlay and convince him to put his love of fighting away for one night. Regal vows to not let Booker down. This was an entertaining segment.
WWE Tag Team Championship:
Paul London and Brian Kendrick © (with Ashley Massaro)
vs. KC James and Idol Stevens (with Michell McCool)
JBL goes all Lawler when he sees Michelle. Just thought it was worth a mention. London and Kendrick are wearing Cyrano masks tonight, which is pretty amusing. London starts off against Idol Stevens. Stevens is much bigger than London, and corners him. London fights out with some punches, and catches Stevens off guard with his speed. Kendrick is tagged in and they hit some double team moves. Kendrick gets a near fall and tags London in, who leaps off the top onto the wrist of Idol Stevens. Another tag is made, and Kendrick hits a crossbody off the ropes. KC James is tagged in, and he wears down Kendrick with some stiff shots, but Kendrick uses his speed to escape and tag in London. They hit a double team before James takes control of London again. Tag is made to Idol Stevens, but London and Kendrick take control again, and hit simultaneous flying moves over the ropes onto their opponents on the floor. The match restarts, and Kendrick hits a nice suplex on Idol Stevens. London is tagged back in, but is thrown off the ropes onto the floor. Stevens takes control of London with a rest hold. London comes back with a sunset flip, but Stevens gets out and hits the leg drop. Stevens clubs away on London, setting him up in the ropes. James is tagged in and drives his knee into London's back. James snapmares London and puts London into a rest hold. London heroically fights out, but James retains control with some clubbing. Idol Stevens is tagged back in and they double team London. Stevens snapmares London, drives his knee into London's back, and puts him into a modified abdominal stretch. In other words, we have another rest hold by the heels. London fights out, slides through Stevens' legs, and almost gets the tag before Steven locks himself onto London's ankle. The tag is made to James, and the isolation of Paul London continues. This earns a 'you suck' chant from the crowd, James and Stevens must be doing something right. London almost makes the tag again, but Stevens pulls Kendrick off the apron. Stevens and James go for more double team moves, but London finally tags in Kendrick, who cleans house. Kendrick goes for sliced bread #2, but Stevens shakes the ropes, stopping him. London makes the save by diving at Stevens. In the ring, James hits the superplex on Kendrick. London makes the save on the cover, as Kendrick was surely defeated. Kendrick hits a big DDT on James, hitting the attacking Stevens in the process, and goes for the cover. Michelle places James' leg on the ropes, saving the match. Stevens plants Kendrick again, getting a near fall for James. Meanwhile Ashley finally attacks Michelle at ringside. In the ring, Stevens and James go for a double suplex on Kendrick, but London makes the save. London tosses Kendrick into both opponents, taking them down. Kendrick then hits the sliced bread #2 on James. London then hits a moonsault off of Kendrick's back onto KC James, allowing Kendrick to get the cover for the victory at 9:36! This was another impressive title defense by London and Kendrick, who carried the green James and Stevens to a worthy match, ***. The crowd eats this all up.
Winners and still WWE Tag Team Champions: Paul London and Brian Kendrick
Backstage, Regal is looking for Finlay. Instead, he finds Vito jump roping. Regal shows Vito how to jump rope, but is distracted by Vito wiping his forehead with his dress. Regal turns around and walks right into the janitor and gets trash spilled all over himself. This was not quite as amusing as it probably sounded.
In the arena, Theodore Long comes out to address the crowd. There is a giant present in the ring. Apparently, it's someone's birthday. Long wishes a 26th birthday to Mike Mizanin. JBL says he is going to throw up. The Miz can't believe it, and neither can I. The Miz can only think of one thing to say, and it's 'hoo-ra.' Long has noticed that Miz has been hitting on one of the divas, it hasn't been working, but maybe she changed her mind. This brings out Layla, the most recent Diva Search winner. The Miz's one birthday wish is Layla. Layla sits The Miz into a chair and performs a lap dance. The Miz proclaims this to be his best birthday ever. Layla then puts a blind fold on The Miz, something tells me the giant birthday present is about to come into play. It does, and the fat-ass stripper, Big Dick Johnson, was in the present, who continues the lap dance on The Miz. It takes The Miz several seconds to figure it out, but when he does his reaction was priceless. This was a complete waste of pay-per-view time, but this was the most amusing Big Dick Johnson segment yet.
Montel Vontavious Porter vs. Marty Garner
MVP is finally making his in ring debut, and he gets pyro for his entrance. What a star. Before his opponent is introduced, MVP takes a microphone. MVP cuts the generic arrogant heel promo. The crowd is chanting 'power ranger' at him, hilarious!
Garner is a no name jobber, for those of you confused.
MVP slaps Garner across the face before the bell even
rings. MVP then stalls a bit before tying up. MVP toys
with Garner, gathering some heat from the crowd. They
are kind enough to chant 'you suck' instead of
'boring.' MVP hits a snapmare and goes for an early
cover. MVP stalls some more, and now we get a 'boring'
chant. Garner wrenches MVP's arm, but MVP counters and
pushes Garner into the corner. Garner hits some shots,
but gets tackled back into the corner. Garner whips
himself over MVP in another whip to the corner, but
MVP takes control again. The 'power ranger' chant
returns. MVP then hits Randy Orton's old finisher for
the victory at 2:28. Oh my, this sucked, DUD.
Winner: Montel Vontavious Porter
Backstage, we are censored from seeing Regal's penis, as he is wearing a towel (the live audience was not so lucky). Vito is also running around in a towel and makes fun of Regal. Regal loses his towel and runs around the backstage area. Ah, the trend of male nudity in the WWE continues. Regal runs into Theodore Long, who is outraged by Regal's horseplay. Long tells Regal that he has a match later tonight. Thank goodness for censorship.
The Undertaker vs. United States Champion Mr. Kennedy
Mr. Kennedy cuts his usual entertaining promo before the match begins. He is clutching his United States Championship, which is NOT on the line tonight. This kicks off Undertaker's tedious entrance. Kennedy is scared of The Undertaker, which is par for the course when it comes to Undertaker vs. young heel feuds.
The bell rings and Undertaker immediately goes for the
big boot, but Kennedy dodges. Kennedy corners Taker
with some punches. Taker whips Kennedy into the
opposite turnbuckle and soon hits the big boot. Taker
works the arm of Taker and floors Kennedy with a
shoulder shot. Taker goes for 'old school' but Kennedy
escapes to ringside. Taker chases him and rams his arm
into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Undertaker
continues his assault, mainly target on Kennedy's
hand. Kennedy escapes to ringside again, but Taker
follows and drives Kennedy's shoulder into the ring
post. Kennedy wraps himself around the ropes to
protect himself before escaping to ringside again.
Taker chases him, and Kennedy gets a few shots in
before Taker regains control. Taker goes for 'old
school' again, but Kennedy arm drags Taker to the mat!
I love it when that move is reversed. Kennedy
aggressively attacks Taker with some punches, kicks,
and choking with the boots. Taker comes back soon
enough with another boot to the gut. Taker goes for
'old school' yet again and finally hits it. Taker goes
for the cover, and surprisingly it only gets a two.
Taker stalls, which allows Kennedy to loosen the
padding from a turnbuckle. Taker doesn't notice it and
continues his assault. Taker goes for a running boot
into the corner, but Kennedy dodges and pushes Taker
over the ropes to the floor. Kennedy aggressively
stomps away at the fallen Undertaker and drives his
skull into the barricade. Kennedy then leaps off the
apron, but Taker catches him in mid-air and drives him
back-first into the ring post. Taker rolls Kennedy
into the ring for a cover, but it is only a two count
in a real shocker. Kennedy tosses Taker through the
ropes again, hoping that Taker will be counted out.
I've been known to use the same tactic in wrestling
video games too. Kennedy hits a DDT as soon as Taker
is back in the ring and goes for the cover, yet Taker
gets a foot on the ropes. Kennedy continues his
thrilling punching and kicking offense before choking
Taker on the ropes. Kennedy hits the running leg and
gets a near fall. Kennedy follows this up with more
punching, kicking, and choking. Kennedy corners Taker
and hits a running boot to the temple. This gets
Kennedy another near fall. Kennedy hits some elbow
drops and goes for another cover. He follows this up
with, you guessed it, choking! Taker comes back with
some punches and clothesline Kennedy over the ropes.
Taker performs his signature elbow shots and leg drop
on the apron spot. Back in the ring, Kennedy makes a
comeback and hits a piledriver! Kennedy goes for the
first convincing near fall of the match, yet it only
gets two. That sure woke the crowd, and myself, up.
And just as fast as the match picked up, it slows down
again with a rest hold. You won't believe it, but The
Undertaker fights out of the hold. Taker finishes his
escape with a back suplex. They slug it out for a few
seconds. Taker sends Kennedy into the ropes and hits
the flying clothesline. Taker hits some clotheslines
on Kennedy, who was stuck in the ropes before hitting
a snake eyes. Taker kicks Kennedy right in the skull
and gets in a leg drop for yet another cover. Taker
signals the chokeslam, but Kennedy grabs the referee
for safety. Kennedy hits a swinging neck breaker,
which only gets a two count. Kennedy misses some kicks
and takes a chokeslam for real. Taker sets him up for
the last ride, but Kennedy escapes. Kennedy then
drives Undertaker's head into the exposed turnbuckle
and follows it up with a clothesline. Kennedy goes to
the top rope and hits the Kenton Bomb. Kennedy goes
for the cover, and Undertaker kicks out of the second
convincing near fall of the match. Kennedy grabs his
U.S. title belt, but the referee stops him from using
it. Taker then grabs the U.S. title himself and hits
Kennedy with it himself at 20:34, getting himself
disqualified. The crowd hated that finish. This match
was far too long and really exposed Mr. Kennedy at
numerous points. It gains points for making Kennedy
look strong in the later portions of the match up,
Winner by disqualification: Mr. Kennedy
After the match, Undertaker continues his assault on Kennedy, hitting him with a tombstone piledriver. He also tombstones the referee, because he is such a nice guy.
Falls Count Anywhere match:
Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero (with Vickie Guerrero)
The exploitation of Eddie Guerrero's memory continues. The video package for this feud includes Chavo's awesome chair shot on Rey at the Great American Bash, Chavo accusing Rey of leeching onto Eddie Guerrero, and Vickie turning heel on Rey by nailing him with a steel chair. What can I say, this feud was despicable.
The match kicks off with some intense brawling. Chavo
floors Rey with an elbow in the early going and hits a
beautiful uppercut. Rey slides through Chavo's legs
and hits the drop kick. The brawling continues at
quite a fast pace, which is always fun to watch. Rey
climbs to the top, but Chavo meets him there. They
trade shots at the top, as Chavo tries to powerbomb
Rey to the floor. Rey counters and they simultaneously
fall off to the floor. Rey hits a drop kick to the
skull of Chavo, as they brawl through the entrance
aisle. Chavo violently whips Rey into the barricade.
Chavo clubs away at the back of Rey, while reminding
him that he is not a part of his family. Chavo then
tries to powerbomb Rey into the steel lighting grid on
the No Mercy set, but Rey grabs the set for
protection. Rey hits a hurrancanrana off the set onto
Chavo, and gets a near fall on the steel stage. Rey
takes control of the brawling and rams Chavo into the
barricade. Chavo takes control again and drops Rey gut
first into the barricade. Chavo clubs away at Rey's
back again, but Rey reverses an Irish whip, sending
Chavo into a steel guard. Chavo launches Rey over the
steel, but Rey hangs Chavo up on the guard rail and
hits a leg drop! Rey then hits a head scissors on
Chavo, as they continue their brawl through the
audience. Rey goes for a planta, but Chavo grabs him
and swings him into the wall. Chavo goes for the
cover, but it only gets two. Chavo then lifts up Rey
and swings him like a bat into the chairs and
barricade. Chavo continues his assault on Rey as they
head up the stairs of the arena. Rey comes back and
pushes Chavo down the concrete steps. They reach the
bottom and Rey hits a seated senton on Chavo off the
barricade! Chavo comes back with a clothesline. They
continue their brawl, far away from the ring, on the
very edges of the floor area. Chavo shoves Rey onto
some chairs and copies Eddie's mannerisms. Chavo whips
Rey into some steel barricades, but Rey comes back
with a modified 619 around another set of barricades.
Rey climbs up the steel fence and hits a crossbody!
The cover gets Rey the victory at 12:12! This was a
violent, intense brawl, and a great showing by both
men, ***1/2. I just wish that the focus of this feud
was not Eddie Guerrero.
Winner: Rey Mysterio
We are now treated to footage from the premiere of John Cena's movie, The Marine. The premiere took place on a military base, neat.
William Regal vs. Chris Benoit
Yep, Regal's opponent is none other than the returning Chris Benoit. Benoit receives a MONSTER pop from the crowd. Seriously, that just made me happy. They tie up and Regal corners Benoit, who quickly reverses it. They tie up again, and Regal works Benoit's arm. Benoit hits the first chop of the match, but Regal apparently blocked it. Regal takes down Benoit, continuing to work on the arm and head. Benoit breaks Regal's hold and the match restarts. Benoit and Regal grapple for position. Regal forces Benoit's shoulder down for a trio of cover attempts. The test of strength continues, as Benoit wrenches Regal into a bridge. Without breaking the test of strength, Regal kicks up and hits a monkey flip. Benoit traps Regal in a scissors lock, and I will mention the test of strength still has not been broken. Regal finally breaks it to slap Benoit's chest, but he is still trapped in the leg scissors. Regal escapes and they grapple their way to their feet, where Benoit hits a chop. This leads to an exchange of shots and then into a German suplex by Benoit. They tie up and Benoit hits some head butts and a release German suplex. Benoit climbs to the top rope and hits a head butt. Regal has been busted open, Benoit goes for the cover. Regal is out on the apron, and tries to suplex Benoit onto the floor. Benoit joins him on the apron and tries to hit a German off the apron. Regal blocks it and drops Benoit face first onto the apron. Back in the ring, Regal goes for the cover, but Benoit gets his foot in the ropes. Regal hits some knees to Benoit's jaw and chokes him with his knee. Benoit comes back and goes for the sharp shooter, but Regal counters. Regal hits a running knee and goes for the cover again. Regal traps Benoit into a modified abdominal stretch, as the blood trickles down his forehead. Benoit drives Regal into the corner and strikes again with a chop to Regal's bloody forehead. Regal hits a series of suplexes and drops a knee on Benoit's gut. Regal tries to put Benoit into a crossface STF, but Benoit counters into an arm bar. Regal gets into the ropes and hits some stiff kicks for another cover attempt. Regal pretzels Benoit, but Benoit uses a full nelson take down before Regal hits a full nelson suplex. Benoit goes for the crossface, and it takes him a few seconds before locking it on, but when he does Regal quickly taps out at 11:17! This was an intense, technical beauty of a match, and a real treat to have seen on a pay-per-view in 2006, ****. I would have loved to see this one get another ten minutes, but it was wonderful while it lasted.
Winner: Chris Benoit
Backstage, King Booker asks Regal if he found Finlay or not. King Booker is furious with Regal for failing him, but Finlay finally shows up. Finlay gets into King Booker's face, and says he came here for two things. He came to fight, and he came to take the World Heavyweight Championship. Booker blames Regal for this and calls him pathetic and useless. He slaps Regal and more or less fires him from his court. Regal strikes Booker across the face, and gets a well earned pop from the crowd. This was an awesome segment.
The hype video for the main event airs, and fades into the backstage area, where Batista and Lashley remind each other that every man is for himself. Batista reminds Lashley that this event is called 'No Mercy.' Yeah, that Batista is a real bad-ass when he's not busy cuddling Rey Mysterio.
World Heavyweight Championship:
King Booker © (with Queen Sharmell) vs. Batista vs.
Finlay vs. Bobby Lashley
The match kicks off with Finlay escaping the ring while Lashley and Batista corner King Booker. They whip Booker into the ropes and hit a double shoulder takedown. They corner Booker again, but Finlay runs in and tosses Lashley out of the ring. Finlay takes Batista down with a clothesline. Lashley returns, and is quickly tossed out by Booker. Booker and Finlay are apparently working as a team again, as they double team Batista. Lashley returns and tosses Finlay through the ropes. Lashley pummels Booker into the corner. King Booker reverses, but gets caught with a spine buster from Lashley after a series of reversals. Lashley whips Booker, but Finlay pulls Booker to ringside. Lashley foolishly follows, and finds himself double teamed by Booker and Finlay. They drive Lashley back first into the apron. Back in the ring, Booker and Finlay wear down Batista with elbow drops and punches. The evil duo corners Batista and take turns hitting him with stiff blows. Finlay is especially stiffing the Animal. Batista reverses an Irish whip from King Booker, but Finlay takes him down with a clothesline. Finlay takes this chance to finally attack King Booker. Finlay tosses Batista through the ropes and then rams him into the steel steps. The traitorous Finlay returns to the ring to attack King Booker. Finlay violently and methodically tears King Booker apart and sets him up on the apron. At this point, Bobby Lashley tries to get back into the match, but Finlay kicks him off the apron. In the ring, Finlay hits a snapmare and drops a seated senton onto the champion. Batista gets back into the match, but Finlay catches him with an arm lock. Batista sets up Finlay on his shoulders for an improvised Samoan drop. However, Finlay never lets go of Batista's arm. That is, until Lashley breaks it up. Finlay immediately locks himself to Lashley's leg. Finlay transitions this into a half Boston crab, but it is broken up by King Booker. Batista breaks up a cover attempt by King Booker on Finlay, and chokes the champion with his boot. Batista hits some corner shoulder tackle shots on Booker. Booker dodges a clothesline and hits a big kick onto Batista. Booker and Batista trade shots until Batista hits a side slam. Batista gets a two count on Booker. Lashley then returns and unloads both Booker and Batista from the ring, but almost gets his head taken off by a chair wielding Finlay. Lashley takes control of Finlay, and hits a military press into a gut shot. The Little Bastard then dives into the ring and low blows Lashley. Finlay hits Lashley with the shillelagh, and almost gets the win, but King Booker broke it up! Booker dukes it out with Finlay, but Batista reenters and unloads his fury on both Booker and Finlay. Batista hits the vertical suplex into a jackhammer slam on Booker, but Finlay breaks up the cover. Finlay is unloaded from the ring, and it is now down to Batista vs. Lashley. Batista spears Lashley, but the cover attempt only gets two. Batista tries two more cover attempts before realizing that this spot never works. Batista corners Lashley for a bit and goes for a power move, but Lashley plants Batista with a spine buster. Somehow, Batista got busted open. Lashley hits some corner clotheslines and then hits a release suplex on Batista. Lashley dumps Batista over the ropes, and does the same with Finlay. King Booker then catches Lashley off guard with the book end, and almost picks up the victory! Lashley reverses a suplex into a roll up and almost pins King Booker. Booker gets back up quickly and regains control. Booker drops Lashley and gets another, less convincing near fall. Booker sets Lashley up for the scissors kick, but Finlay interrupts with a clothesline. Finlay then misses a spear on Lashley and is thrusted into the ring post. Batista returns and hits spine busters on Booker and Finlay. He signals the thumbs down and hits the Batista Bomb on Finlay! Lashley then spears the hell out of Batista, and all four men are down! Booker then covers Finlay in all the confusion and pins him at 16:54 to retain the title! This was a pretty decent contest, though nothing special. All four men delivered competent performances and pieced together a worthwhile main event, **3/4.
Winner and still World Heavyweight Champion: King Booker
King Booker celebrates with his queen, while his opponents watch in frustration.
Final thoughts: Aside from a dead section in the middle of the show (the birthday party, MVP's debut) this was a pretty great pay-per-view. There was a good variety of matches and most of the roster was booked to look strong. This is the type of momentum that Smackdown really needs to continue to improve and become the force in wrestling that it has the potential to be.