We’re in Green Bay, WI and Teddy Long starts the show by sadly letting Tiffany introduce ECW Champion and The World’s Strongest Challenger Mark Henry to the ring. Henry reminds Matt he has a tough week ahead of him as he’s in the Triple Threat Brand Champion match on Smackdown with Jericho and HHH. If you haven’t seen that match, take a guess how it ends and you’ll be right.
Henry says he knows Teddy didn’t want to tell Matt this, but he wishes Mark was still champ and again reminds everyone he wasn’t pinned for the title. Matt says he’s here to represent the brand, not get a Hall Of Famer to sell out and remind people every five seconds he’s the World’s Strongest Man. Before it comes to blows, Miz & Morrison interrupt and sadly remind everyone of that lame-arse match we had last week ”that was a match of the year” until Ricky Ortiz interrupted. They want those NERDS tonight and Teddy does what Teddy does best and books the Undertaker sets up a tag team main event match later tonight.
Jack Swagger vs. Lenny Lane
Still default CAW gear for Swagger but never mind that IT’S LENNY LANE. Sadly Striker says he resembles Buck Zumhofe and I’m sure Lenny’s thrilled with having to explain what that means to his family as they gather around the WWE Network every sunday to see what he did before birthday parties. Swagger quickly finishes with the Doctor Bomb and keeps on attacking after the finish so Dreamer chases him off again.
Winner: Jack Swagger
Tommy Dreamer vs. Mike Knox
Dreamer stays in the ring for the next match and has flash new tights. These help him pound away on Knox to begin with until he flies off the top rope and into a Knox clothesline. While I’m typing, it’s worth mentioning Colin Delaney has been gone since last month, so that Extreme Rules match where he got completely destroyed by Dreamer was the end of his WWE run. It’s rare you get a feud end so definitively. Knox’s basic, dull offence takes him to chinlock city but Dreamer quickly takes over with his basic-but-over offence until he misses a charge into the corner and takes the Hard Knox to lose.
Winner: Mike Knox (Knox without Finlay is like Christmas without Die Hard.)
Swagger returns after the match to give Dreamer a Doctor Bomb and gurns to the camera because he’s awesome.
Striker thanks Metallica for their song All Nightmare Long and tells us Grisham is more of a Clay Aiken fan. Striker’s pretty cocky for a guy that got caught sending dick pics to people (allegedly allegedly allegedly).
Advert for the World TV Premiere of Wrestlemania 24 airing on MyNetworkTV because they were going heavy with the hype for the network change for Smackdown. The SD debut generated the highest ratings in MNTV history so it worked and the only thing that got higher ratings than weekly SD was an airing of Home Alone (so maybe they should have aired Wrestlemania VII instead.)
Matt Hardy, Evan Bourne & Ricky Ortiz vs. Mark Henry, Miz & John Morrison
Miz starts with Bourne and uses his Captain Falcon-esque knees to wear him down so he can tag in Ricky. Grisham puts over Ricky’s confidence and Striker goes off on a rant on how the expression used to be ”that and a dime will get you a ride on the subway” but now it’s ”a buck and a quarter” and he blames the Democrats. Striker is turning into a bad Bill Maher (Dennis Miller?). Grisham compares Morrison to a scratched-off lottery ticket and neither myself nor Striker know what that means as I wonder what happened to this show. Morrison gets flipped out of the corner and fuck it, that deserves a GIF on the effort alone.
Bourne tags in but Miz grabs his legs to splat him on the apron as Striker compliments him: ”When you run out of toilet paper you do a handstand in the shower!” Morrison chinlocks Bourne as Striker explains Morrison & Miz hail from the TMZ and not the DMZ and proceeds to explain the joke and how hip he is. Bourne gets two low kicks on Morrison but he ducks the high and connects with his own in a cool spot.
Miz further wears down Bourne until Evan has enough and gets a Frankensteiner which gives him enough time to tag in Matt who destroys Miz and Morrison. Morrison nearly counters the bulldog/clothesline combo but Matt sees it, ducks and clothesline them both. Henry finally enters the match and…oh it’s advert time.
When we return, Morrison is getting stretched and it turns out Mark wasn’t legal, he was just bored. Ricky tags in to do nothing so he tags Matt Hardy in again. Bourne uses Matt for a Poetry In Motion on poor Morrison who gets kicked in the back by all the good guys. Eventually Morrison makes the (hot?) tag to Henry who clotheslines the life out of Ricky. Striker compares Henry to other agile big men like Gorilla Monsoon and King Mabel. Ricky gets clotheslined hard by The Miz as Grisham compares him to Raggedy Anne. I may watch next week’s episode on mute. Ricky is your undefeated green prospect in peril as Striker says Ortiz is in a quagmire and follows it with a ”giggidy giggidy” kill me now. Bourne gets the tag and sends Morrison down with the Anthony Pettis KO off the second rope.
The double knees off the top nearly ends it but everyone charges in for a brawl. Bourne attempts to kick Henry but he doesn’t notice and pins him with a World’s Strongest Slam.
Winners: Mark Henry, Miz & John Morrison (Went way too long because they didn’t book anything else on this show. Despite Bourne and others’ best attempts to get booked on totaldivaeps, this was skippable.)
Overall: More about hyping the Smackdown Network change than it was No Mercy. Bourne and John Morrison were working their arses (abs, lats and shoulders) off in the main event but this was the second episode in a row you could miss easily.
Also the commentary (which started off as a breath of fresh air after Tazz, Styles and Adamle) has gone completely off the rails with both men doing the opposite of what commentators are supposed to be doing and putting the focus on themselves with Striker never shutting up about how smart he is and Grisham attempting to keep up with comments that don’t make sense and put DOWN the wrestlers in the match.
Ah what the hell let’s watch No Mercy to take the bad taste away.
Matt Hardy vs. Mark Henry (ECW Title)
Grisham is commentating with Lawler as presumably WWE listened to last week’s episode and Striker is showering with JBL during this broadcast. This match is opening the PPV which is probably the best place for it as the crowd is hot for Matt. Hardy attempts the Twist Of Fate early but Henry launches him to big ”ooos”. The ref tells Henry off for not listening to him which allows Matt to kick away at Henry’s left leg until Henry clotheslines him down. Flex magazine apparently had Henry listed as Number Two strongest man to ever live. The Number One pick isn’t mentioned so it must have been Benoit. Hardy slithers out of a slam and continues to attack the left leg which again results in Matt getting clotheslined but it takes longer for Henry to recover this time. Another slam is escaped and a chop-block sends Henry to the canvas. Hardy makes sure to keep Henry horizontal but sadly for him Henry rolls outside to his feet and he swats Matt into the apron. Matt recovers quickly so Mark sends him into the corner and gets a big boot so he can mash the pad and get his stamina back. Banzai Drop in the corner only gets two so Henry locks in a neck crank but Matt escapes by elbowing him in the left leg. Matt looks like he’s winning but he runs right into a bear hug. Matt attempts to clobber Mark’s head but HE’S BLACK so it does nothing. Henry tries to slam Matt into the corner but he counters into a Sunset Flip which Henry tries to turn into an ass-drop but it misses and he’s in pain. Matt still can’t get the bulldog out of the corner but he gets his knee up on a charge and two second-rope elbows can’t put Henry down but a Side Effect does for two. Crowd: ”Awwwwww” Twist Of Fate again blocked and bounced and Mark hits the running Splash…but can’t pin due to the pain in his knee. He tries to pin Matt with a hand but Matt juuuust kicks out. Twist of Fate is again denied and Matt runs right into World’s Strongest Slam which he counters by punching away at the knee and converts it into the Twist of Fate to retain.
Winner and still ECW Champion: Matt Hardy (I love any match where a body-part is worked on and it factors into the ending so this match was the best thing on the brand since the last Hardy vs. Henry match. Henry has never been better, making sure everything he does in the match means something, even managing to make the rest holds fun. Hardy is over as hell and opening the show meant the crowd was loud so no complaints here.)
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