WWE // 2008 // 170 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // December 13th, 2008
Mercy is for the weak!
After delivering a decent show at Unforgiven, the stars of Raw, Smackdown, and ECW return to action in No Mercy 2008,a pay-per-view showcasing both the best and the worst the WWE has to offer.
Before we get started, here's a brief look of what to expect on this disc: Matt Hardy battles Mark Henry in an ECW title match; Beth Phoenix takes on Candice Michelle in a Women's title match; and Rey Mysterio goes head to head with Kane. Additionally, Batista fights JBL; Undertaker seeks revenge against Big Show; Triple H faces Jeff Hardy in a WWE title match; and Chris Jericho goes against Shawn Michaels in a ladder match for the World Heavyweight title. Let the show begin!
Here's the complete lineup:
* Mark Henry vs. Matt Hardy in an ECW Championship Match
I usually enjoy watching Matt Hardy fight because he's got an incredible flexibility and generally takes enough risks to give his audience a solid show, but what I don't enjoy watching is Matt Hardy going against someone like Mark Henry, who's basically twice the size and weight. Taking this into consideration, it's obvious that this opening matchup is slow-paced and rather uninteresting. Hardy tries his best to deliver some bold moves. While a couple of them succeed, it's not a good enough effort to turn this battle into a memorable one. This eight-minute title match is not exactly a disaster, but it's not that exciting either.
* Beth Phoenix vs. Candice Michelle in a WWE Women's Championship Match
At only five minutes, this is a rather short match. That said, it's also fast-paced and filled with impressive, bold moves from both Phoenix and Michelle. Some of WWE's divas sure have the ability to deliver strong kicks and create decent enough women's wrestling entertainment, and this title match is loads of fun to watch. Now we're talking.
* Rey Mysterio vs. Kane
WWE writers could easily come up with solid storylines, but somehow, they often miss the mark and come up with incredible rubbish. I mean, having a flexible athlete like Rey Mysterio go head to head with a giant like Kane? Where is the fun in watching this? Anyway, if Mysterio loses this thing, he has to take off his silly mask. Clocking in at 10 minutes, the match is at least short enough. Mysterio delivers some of his fun maneuvers while Kane opts for some powerful kicks, but despite both wrestlers' efforts, the battle as a whole is unimpressive. Surprises remain scarce throughout, and a disappointing ending makes this one even more forgettable than the event's opening matchup.
* Batista vs. JBL in a Match for the #1 Contender to the World Heavyweight
This one certainly delivers the goods. At only five minutes, it is incredibly short for a battle featuring two WWE heavyweight stars, but the show Batista and JBL put on is top notch. There's a lot at stake here for both men, and they don't waste any time slowing down the match with long submission holds or simple punches. Instead, the two athletes immediately engage in an entertaining combat filled with strong moves and fast-paced wrestling action, giving the crowd reason to cheer continuously throughout the matchup. This is good stuff that left me hopeful for the remaining three fights.
* Undertaker vs. Big Show
Ever since Unforgiven, Big Show and the Undertaker have been busy working on a nasty rivalry that started with Show's sudden turn against the Dead Man at the previous PPV. While they both have the ability to deliver solid wrestling action, they don't really get a chance to prove what they've got in this passable nine-minute match. To be honest, I was more disappointed by what I saw than I originally expected. The battle between the two giants is not necessarily a boring one, but it lacks the pacing of a first-class matchup. Again, I see no option but to blame this on the writers, who could have easily come up with a much stronger and more surprising showdown than the one we end up seeing here. This one would have looked good enough on an episode of Smackdown, but it certainly doesn't boast pay-per-view quality. Too bad.
* Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy in a WWE Championship Match
Triple H and Jeff Hardy may not exactly share the same weight class, but the two athletes sure have all it takes to give their audiences a darn solid show. Clocking in at 17 minutes, this title match is just the kind of battle you would want to see before heading into the big main event. Hardy's flexibility helps him deliver a bunch of risky but stunning maneuvers, while Triple H uses his force to counter some of these moves and pull off his own techniques. Much like Batista's matchup against JBL, this one is fast-paced from start to finish, complete with an excellent coordination and quite a suspenseful finish.
* Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels in a Ladder Match for the World
After delivering a strong match at this year's Unforgiven, Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels are at it again. Only this time, they're fighting for a title, and the rules of the game have changed as well. Considering this is a Ladder Match, the only way to win the gold is to be the first one to successfully climb the ladder and grab it. Loaded with plenty of energy and an obvious desire to offer audiences an excellent main event, Jericho and Michaels quickly engage in an overall brutal but entertaining battle by making good use of the numerous steel ladders laying around the ring. At 22 minutes, this is a great match to wrap up this overall decent pay-per-view. Jericho and Michaels bring a lot of power and endurance into the game, and the result is highly entertaining.
As always, I have no complaints as far as the disc's technical aspects are concerned. The quality of the image is clean throughout, while the audio transfer fulfills its purpose as well.
I may be repeating myself here, but I rarely enjoy the special features that come with these PPV DVDs. This disc is a little exception, primarily because it includes the main event from the Smackdown episode preceding No Mercy. The match in question is a Triple Threat Match between Matt Hardy, Chris Jericho and Triple H, and, believe it or not, it's a darn good one. All three wrestlers deliver some of their best moves during the battle's nine explosive minutes, offering viewers an exceptionally fast-paced main event that surpasses the quality of many PPV matches. Also included in the bonus section is a brief interview with the Big Show, but it's simply too short and too lame to stand out.
With four strong matches and three weaker ones, No Mercy is a satisfying WWE pay-per-view. If the show's writers would only put a little more effort into building more intriguing storylines and building a better card, the quality of these events would certainly increase in no time. Let's keep our fingers crossed for Cyber Sunday.
Review content copyright © 2008 Franck Tabouring; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
Running Time: 170 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Interview with the Big Show
* Triple Threat Match: Triple H vs. Chris Jericho vs. Matt Hardy
* Official Site