Mike Reviews Shows Considered To Be Stinkers – WWE No Mercy 2005
By Michael Fitzgerald on 28th October 2023
Happy Saturday Everyone!
Back with another Stinker Review today, where I look at a show with a bad reputation and see if that reputation is deserved or not. I did actually order No Mercy 2005 back in the day and I was pretty disappointed in it, but I don’t think I’ve watched it since it originally aired, so maybe I’ll have mellowed on it somewhat whilst removed from the initial disappointment.
The big matches are Batista Vs Eddy Guerrero, JBL Vs Rey Mysterio Jr, The Orton’s Vs Undertaker and a wacky Fatal Four Way for the US Title. Some of that should be watchable at least, although I think there’s a whole lot of nothing outside of those matches.
The Orton match is particularly wretched I believe.
Anyway, let’s see if No Mercy 2005 has improved with time.
You can view the card for the event by clicking below;
The event is emanating from Houston, Texas on the 9th of October 2005. According to CageMatch.net there are only 5000 fans in there, and from looking at the arena’s Wiki page you should be able to get 18,000 in there, so that attendance is pretty appalling and good example of just how wretched business was for the Smackdown brand at the time (although they did well in the ratings at least thanks to Eddy and Rey attracting Hispanic viewers).
Calling the action are Michael Cole and Tazz
The opening video package focuses on whether Batista can trust Eddy Guerrero or not. The answer was probably going to be not, but sadly we didn’t get to find out. There’s also a bit about Undertaker and coffins that is pretty uncomfortable considering that it’s sharing a package that also contains Eddy.
MNM (Mercury, Nitro and Melina) Vs WWE Tag Champs Road Warrior Animal and Heidenreich, and Christy Hemme
Animal had gotten rehired to WWE due to his brother John holding a position of influence in the company, leading to them teaming him up with Heidenreich as a more awful version of The Road Warriors. Melina and Hemme had a side feud going on because Melina broke one of her wacky fake fingernails on Hemme’s motorcycle helmet, so Christy has been dragged into this match as a result. As far as reasons for a feud, that is certainly one of them. I don’t think Hemme was in WWE for much longer following this and she eventually ended up in TNA in 2006. The Heels had beaten up the babyfaces on Smackdown in order to heat things up a bit.
I had a very unflattering nickname for Johnny H at the time, where I would refer to him as “Heidenshite”, which was actually quite mean, but I was still a younger more stupid guy back then. Mercury (Joey Matthews) and Nitro (Johnny Morrison/Mundo/Impact/TV/Bloodsport/WhateverWackySurnameTheyChoseToGiveHimThis Time) bump around for the babyfaces to start, but Animal has a taped shoulder and the Heels target that for the cut off. Animal can’t really do anything other than stand there and absorb everything, but he’s acknowledging that it hurts at least.
Melina’s thing at the time was that she would yell and scream during matches, and she does that a lot here. I believe it was one of the many reasons she had heat backstage at the time because they’d tell her not to do things, and she’d just do them anyway. Granted she was probably the best manager in the company at the time, but still, defying your bosses isn’t usually a good way to advance your career most of the time. It’s always so weird to me to hear how much Melina was supposedly hated by everyone during this time as she seems like such a nice person whenever she’s interviewed. Maybe she mellowed over the years?
Anyway, Animal manages to catch Mercury with a Powerslam OUTTA NOWHERE, and that leads to Animal making the hot tag to Hemme, which the crowd reacts big to. Hemme is next level sloppy during most of her spots here, but she has a lot of spunk and shows good fire, so that kind of covers for it. Hemme and Animal end up performing The DOOMsday Device on Melina, and miraculously no one ends up dying, leading to Hemme getting the three count.
WINNERS: ANIMAL, HEMME & HEIDENREICH
Thoughts: The crowd enjoyed this for what it was, and it ended up being a reasonable way to start off the show for that reason, but goodness me was the wrestling pretty awful for the most part, outside of when Mercury and Nitro were carrying things. Hemme was trying very hard out there, but she was not ready for prime time when it came to the in-ring yet and we were lucky that no one got seriously hurt out there
Eddy Guerrero and Batista tensely wish each other luck later on.
Simon Dean Vs Bobby Lashley
Simon is Mike “Nova” Bucci of ECW fame, who signed with WWE and got a new gimmick of a mean fitness instructor who spent his time insulting overweight people. It was as low card a gimmick as you could find, but he worked it with a certain panache. Lashley had only recently debuted on the main roster following a stint in development. He was greener than broccoli at this stage in his career, but he had a tremendous physique and incredible athletic ability, so they decided to just move him up and hope that he learned on the job. Dean has brought a plate of cheese burgers with him, and he promises to eat them all if he loses this match. Well, better get ready to get chewin’ there Simon.
Lashley probably could have done with another year or two in development getting some seasoning, but he ended up okay in the long run, with multiple World Title runs across WWE and IMPACT Wrestling. Dean tries to hit Lashley with the tray that he brought the burgers out on, but Lashley no sells that and then tries to muscle Dean up into his finisher, which was The Dominator at the time. Sadly that goes awry, but Lashley doesn’t panic and just lifts Dean back up to deliver the move again for the three count.
WINNER: BOBBY LASHLEY
Thoughts: This achieved what it needed to, as Lashley looked like a scary man and Dean got his comeuppance for being a jerk. I’m not sure it needed to be on pay per view, but it worked for what they wanted it to be
Lashley forces one burger down the gullet of Dean following that, as the commentators say that Dean will now have to eat the rest of them.
Steve Romero is backstage with Jillian Hall and John Bradshaw Layfield. JBL says that he isn’t worried about Raw wrestlers showing up tonight, and then he cuts a racist promo about how Rey Mysterio Jr likes to each tortillas. Rey-Rey shows up and cuts a promo on JBL in Spanish, which of course leads to JBL going all MAGA and demanding that Rey speak American. Rey has a mask for JBL, so that he can hide his shame after he loses to Rey later on.
WWE United States Title
Champ: Crippler Chris Benoit Vs Captain Charisma Christian Vs The Five Time WCW Champion Booker T w/ Sharmell Huffman Vs Orlando Boredom
The story here is that Benoit defeated Jordan in something like 26 seconds at SummerSlam to win the belt and had been continuously bullying him every week since that show, with Christian and Booker eventually getting involved in hope of winning the belt for themselves. There’s a subplot going on of Booker being a babyface but getting constantly henpecked by his wife, with the idea being that she’s playing the Lady Macbeth role in an attempt to coax Booker over to the dark side. She would eventually succeed in that attempt, with Booker going Heel in order to win the belt. Booker is from Houston, so he’s only going to get cheered tonight though.
Three of the guys in this contest are good workers, and Orlando Jordan also exists, so hopefully this will be an entertaining match as a result. They’re not bothering with tags here, with all four wrestlers being legal and just going at it instead. So I guess this would be a Fatal Four Way instead of a Four Corners match in WWE lexicon? Benoit might actually be more over with the crowd than Booker here, as they pop whenever it looks like he’s going to make someone tap out in a submission hold, regardless of who it is. The wrestling is good here for the most part, with Christian and OJ kind of working together against whichever babyface they happen to be opposing, but I’m sure that alliance won’t last.
Benoit and Booker of course face off at one stage, and the crowd actually sounds kind of split between them. The two Heels break up that battle before the two babyfaces can really go at it, leaving something on the table for an eventual singles match between the two. Booker gets a 2.9 count from a roll-up on OJ at one stage, which the crowd bite on, and that is followed by Booker running wild on everyone in the match before delivering the Spinaroonie and getting the Scissors Kick for two on OJ when Christian breaks up the count. That leads us into Finisher Madness™, where everyone has a chance to hit a big move of some kind for a pin or submission attempt.
One great sequence sees Benoit going to the Multiple German’s and crossface on Christian, with Christian desperately trying to grab the ropes in order to avoid being suplexed and then making Benoit FIGHT to put him into the hold by almost getting out, which is an example of the small touches that help make Christian such a good wrestler. OJ manages to break up the crossface, but he and Booker end out on the floor again, which frees Benoit up to lock The Sharpshooter in on Christian, which is enough for the submission victory after another struggle from Captain Charisma.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: CHRIS BENOIT
Thoughts: Benoit, Booker and Christian were all darn good in this match, and Orlando Jordan also existed. Christian in particular was the Man of the Match for me, as he made every little interaction he was part of feel like a struggle or a fight just by doing little things like trying to block moves in a kayfabe sense without shoot impeding the actual wrestler trying to perform the move itself. It advanced the Booker/Benoit issue and delivered on some good wrestling as well. I had fun with this!
Sharmell yells at Booker following the match over Benoit cheating Booker out of the win, although that didn’t really happen. Booker had no one to blame but himself there and Benoit wrestled legally.
Lashley is demanding that Simon Dean eat the burgers from earlier, whilst Dean chokes them down. Mike Bucci seemed to genuinely not want to eat the burgers in real life there. That or he’s just a very good actor.
Mr Kennedy……………KENNEDY Vs The Alabama Slamma Hardcore Holly
Kennedy was still quite new to the main roster after being in developmental, and he’d quickly started growing a cult following amongst a section of the fan base who were getting into his abrasive Heel character, especially when he was mean to ring announcer Tony Chimel. Holly was actually feuding with Sylvain Grenier at the time I think, with the idea being that Grenier was a mincing model, which offended Holly’s tough guy persona greatly. However, Kennedy had been doing commentary on Smackdown and that had led to an altercation between him and Holly in order to set this one up. Kennedy was still using the best version of “Turn Up The Trouble” here, which sadly isn’t available clean and uncut online, which makes me a sad panda.
This is the usual Hardcore Holly match Vs an up and coming prospect, in that Holly beats the crud out of the younger guy with nary a concern for his opponents safety, whilst the younger wrestler has to just hold on and survive the ordeal until it’s time for the finish. Kennedy does a good job selling it all, although I’m not sure he really has much of a choice. Eventually Kennedy begs off and uses the brief break in the action to cheap shot Holly and take over for a bit, pulling Holly into the ring post outside at one stage. Holly actually sells reasonably well whilst on the defensive, which kind of highlights why he survived in WWE for so long despite being an ultra-stiff curmudgeon. He was JUST professional enough to keep his job, whilst still being an almighty pain in the arse for everyone that had to work with him. They call that “Doing a Berbatov” in the footballing world.
Holly quite literally makes sweat fly with some chops to Kennedy during one of his hope spots, but Kennedy manages to cut him off again and targets the arm with some kind of arm bar, building on throwing Holly’s shoulder into the post earlier. Kennedy is doing such a good job as an unlikable loud mouth Heel here that he actually manages to get a wrestling crowd to chant for Hardcore Holly, which is no small feat. Holly ends up making a comeback, nearly ending Kennedy’s very existence with some clotheslines in the corner, with Kennedy bumping and selling for it big time. We get some near falls, leading into Kennedy getting a rolling Fireperson’s Carry off the top for the three count.
Thoughts: If this was some kind of test, Kennedy seemed to pass it, as they continued to push him following this until he started having injury issues and then nearly dropped Randy Orton on his head with a back suplex. This ended up being a hard fought win for Kennedy that enhanced him and didn’t make him look weak for getting so badly beaten by Holly, so fair play to both wrestlers for making it work. Like other bouts on this event, it’s not a match we really needed to see on a pay per view, but for what it was it was fine
Sylvain Grenier attacks Holly following the match in order to keep their issue going.
Simon Dean is still eating burgers, and finds a hair in one. HILARITY!!
Elsewhere, Sharmell is doing so much henpecking towards her husband Booker T that I’m surprised she doesn’t lay an egg halfway through. Ken Kennedy ends up interrupting her in order to make fun of Booker, and it actually gets a pop from the crowd.
John Bradshaw Layfield w/ The Fixer Jillian Hall Vs Rey Mysterio Jr
The story here is that JBL was being his usual racist self (the character I should stress) and that of course put him in natural opposition to Rey-Rey who, in case you might have missed it, is a masked fellow of Hispanic descent. Hall’s character at the time was that she was basically doing Mr. Perfect’s whole “Executive Consultant” thing, except she’s a woman with outrageous fake knockers and a horrific growth on her face, because that’s what passed for comedy in the Smackdown writers room at the time I guess. I think part of the backstory was that she had some kind of a mole in real life and had surgery to get it removed, so the writers thought it would be hilarious to make her have the growth. I guess in order to teach her a lesson or something? I don’t know, it’s WWE, leave your brain at the door, it can only help.
Tazz is pretty funny on commentary talking about Hall’s growth in all honesty, as he just keeps talking about it and Michael Cole leaves him to drown and it gets rather humorous. They work a lot of the usual Big Vs Small spots here, with Rey making JBL chase him around at one stage, which leads to JBL coming up breathing hard once it’s over, teeing up Rey nicely for a baseball slide. JBL of course eventually manages to get hold of Rey thanks to some underhanded tactics, and that leads to JBL working Rey over with the usual. Rey sells all of that well and the crowd gets behind the underdog in the hope that he will make a comeback. It’s simple straightforward storytelling done well by two wrestlers who understand their respective roles and how to play them, so it’s solid mid-card wrestling for the most part.
They actually gave Rey quite a decent length babyface shine until it was time for the cut off, which is a good thing because JBL is a former WWE Champ, so having Rey get the better of him for so long until it was time for the cut off helped make Rey come across as being on that level, which is what they needed to do with Rey at the time in order to elevate him. Rey eventually makes the comeback, and they work it in a believable way with Rey using his speed to keep JBL on the back foot. Hall ends up distracting Rey, but Rey manages to dodge a JBL attack and gets a nice looking Moonsault Press for two in a near fall that the crowd was buying. Rey gets the 6-1-9, but JBL dodges the West Coast Hop and the Clothesline from Manhattan gets JBL the last gasp win.
Thoughts: Good stuff here, as they gave Rey a tonne of offence before losing, which helped elevate him in defeat, whilst JBL still managed to get a clean win. If JBL was going over clean then that was the absolute best way to do it, as Rey looked good until it was time to look at the lights, so we got a good match that both wrestlers benefitted from
Video package for the next match.
Two on One Casket Match
The Orton’s (The Legend Killer Randy Orton and The Bodyguard Ace Cowboy Bob Orton Jr) Vs The Undertaker
Orton had been feuding with Taker since WrestleMania season, with Taker winning at Mania 21 and Orton winning at SummerSlam thanks to his dad getting involved. They had another match on TV, where Orton creeped Taker out by putting a wax model in a casket, only for Taker to still pick up the win. That would seem to end the feud, but apparently we still need some more matches, so now it’s time for a handicap match, where you have to stuff your opponent(s) into the casket and close the lid in order to win. Poor old Bob isn’t even wearing wrestling gear here, instead working in jeans and a long sleeve shirt. He looks like he’s dressed to go folk dancing, not wrestle on a pay per view.
Shockingly Bob was only 55 here, so he’s actually younger than Sting is today, but he’s possibly moving even worse than The Stinger does. Years of giving dudes the Superplex in hard 70’s and 80’s rings will do that to you I guess. There’s not really much to say about the match itself early on, as it’s mostly just all three wrestlers throwing punches and kicks at one another, with an occasional attempt at trying to throw someone into the casket. It’s unremarkable for the most part, but the crowd doesn’t seem to hate it at any rate. Bob takes some pretty impressive bumps for a guy his age in his physical condition though, I’ll give him that, with The Orton’s actually teaming up for a double Superplex onto Taker at one stage in a cool moment.
Taker makes the comeback following that though, getting both of the Orton’s with a DDT, which leads to Bob finding a fire extinguisher from somewhere. I’m actually a fire warden at work and I learnt whilst doing the training that the CO2 extinguishers can get incredibly cold on the bottom when you use them, so make sure you don’t hold the bottom of the extinguisher whilst using one of those as it’s an excellent way to give yourself horrific frost burn. Anyway, Taker boots Bob before he can even use the fire extinguisher, and then chairs Randy into the casket before locking a triangle choke on Bob to put him out and into the casket. Randy manages to recover before the lid can be closed though, leading to Randy and Taker doing a sequence together whilst Bob takes a breather.
Randy looks to have it won, but he hesitates in putting Undertaker into the casket due to the fact that he doesn’t want to trap him in there with his dad, which allows Taker to wind up and clock Randy right in his Viper Pit, with Randy doing a fantastic sell job for it. I wasn’t really feeling this one at first, but they’ve all worked very hard and I’ve gotten more into it as the match has progressed. I still don’t think it’s an especially good match, but it’s been entertaining in a kind of campy manner. Taker manages to take Randy on a Last Ride, and that looks to be the end of things as Taker prepares to dump Randy into the casket. However, Bob rises from the casket and blasts Taker with Chekov’s fire extinguisher. Taker tries one last fight back, but Orton chairs him into the casket and then closes the lid for the victory.
WINNERS: THE ORTON’S
Thoughts: This was okay, although it was pretty dull in the first half until they started upping the pace in the second half. Everyone worked hard and it ended up being a watchable spectacle, if not an especially good wrestling match
Things get even sillier following that, as The Orton’s set the casket on fire. Undertaker appears to be dead (well, deader than usual) following that, but he would reappear at the Survivor Series and his status would be upgraded to “alive”. This was basically a complete rip off of the angle from Royal Rumble 1998, where Kane set Taker on fire in a similar manner. Still, I guess after 7 years you’re allowed to copy a previous angle, so The Orton’s just managed to sneak in to that category. Honestly, if you’re going to have an angle where someone gets set on fire, you should probably have that particular match go on last, as it’s a stunt that’s very hard to follow. Also, I know it’s wrestling and all and the usual rules of real life don’t apply, but I’m pretty certain that setting a casket ablaze with someone inside it on a live worldwide pay per view broadcast would be sufficient evidence to charge Randy Orton with some kind of criminal offence?
Cool Down Match
WWE Cruiserweight Title
Champ: Nunzio w/ Vito Vs The Juice Juventud Guerrera w/ Psicosis and Super Crazy
Pour one out for these poor sods. Nunzio had held the belt for two months prior to this and defended it twice on TV, with both of those matches being on Velocity. Nunzio had ended up winning the belt as a result of Paul London having the temerity to ask Vince McMahon to let him keep doing the 450 Splash, to which Vince replied by having London do the jobski for Nunzio, even though they clearly had no plans for Nunzio as Champion. Juventud, Psi and Crazy were all members of The Mexicools, a group of Mexicans who ride lawnmowers. I think that was about it for their character development. So after someone was just murdered live on pay per view, they are sending these poor buggers out to wrestle, thus making this the literal “death slot” I guess.
This is actually a fun quick paced match, with the two wrestlers going at it in front of a mostly uninterested crowd. I never got why WWE stuck these matches this late on the show. WCW at least put these sorts of matches early on in the card where the fast paced action had a chance of getting over with a crowd that wasn’t tired yet. Juventud appears to be the babyface here, as he gets the better of things in the early going until Nunzio cuts him off and works some heat. Both wrestlers end up tumbling off the top face first down to the mat, giving us a double down. Psi and Crazy are doing their best to fire up the crowd at ringside, but sadly the crowd couldn’t be less interested.
We get some near falls, which leads to Vito getting involved and trying to help his buddy pick up the win. Juventud gives Vito a flying head scissors in order to put a stop to that, but Nunzio rolls through on a cross body back inside for two in a good near fall. Both guys trade counters and that leads to Juventud getting the Juvy Driver whilst Psi and Crazy keep Vito at bay in order to give Juventud the win and the Title.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: THE JUICE (WHICH IS NOW LOOSE)
Thoughts: I felt so sorry for these two as they were out there working a fun match and the crowd was giving them NOTHING. Part of that was due to the placement on the card, and part of it was also down to the utter contempt WWE treated this division with
The Mexicools celebrate with the Spanish announcers following that, which helps make the win feel special at least.
Simon Dean finishes eating the burgers and somehow survives. However, he does end up puking whilst Lashley laughs. Well, that was certainly worth dedicating so much pay per view time to!
Smackdown World Title
Champ: The Animal Batista Vs Eddy Guerrero
Eddy had been feuding with Rey Jr and had finally managed to defeat him in a big cage match on Smackdown, which led to him becoming a faux babyface for a bit and chumming up to Batista, leading to wacky things to sell this match like Batista stealing Eddy’s food. The eventual plan was for Eddy to be revealed as being evil all along in an effort to cheat Batista out of his belt, but before that could play out Eddy tragically passed away. This is actually his last ever appearance on pay per view. This one is pretty slow paced in the early going, with it being classic Heavyweight Style. It works for what they are going for, but it feels like a match out of the 70’s more than a match from 2005 at points.
Eddy eventually gets frustrated and teases using a chair, but he thinks better of it and throws it away. Batista is not pleased at this though and throttles Eddy, setting him up nicely for a hotshot and Frogsplash from Eddy for a two count in a good near fall. I liked how they worked that, as there was enough ambiguity to suggest that Eddy just happened to counter Batista in that moment, but you could also believe that Eddy planned for such an opening to present itself when he went out to grab the chair. It keeps you thinking as to whether Eddy really has turned over a new leaf or if he’s still as villainous as he was previously and he’s just suckering Batista, and us, in.
Eddy controls the majority of the match following that, with Batista occasionally trying to mount a comeback but being thwarted. The match continues to be wrestled at a more deliberate pace, but both wrestlers are doing their best to make it seem like a struggle where two people are trying to out wrestle one another, with Batista even busting out an inside cradle at one stage, which isn’t a move you usually expect to see from him. Referee Nick Patrick ends up taking a bump, which leads to Eddy going all Roddy Piper at WrestleMania VIII, where he has an opportunity to hit Batista with a weapon (in this case a chair) but then gets all conflicted about it.
Batista is still angry that Eddy would even consider using the chair, which makes him a pretty lousy friend in all honesty. Eddy has a PROBLEM and has TWICE fought the urge to cheat, despite it being a big part of who he is. You should be grateful for Eddy Guerrero’s friendship you overly muscled buffoon! Batista tries to drop an elbow on Eddy, but Eddy gets his knees up to block it and then delivers the Three Amigo’s before heading up for another Frogsplash. Batista manages to dodge this one though and catches Eddy with a desperation Spine Buster, which is enough for three.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: BATISTA
Thoughts: This was a little bit too slow at points for me, but they told a good story over the course of the match with Eddy fighting his inner urge to cheat and betray his friend, with him eventually holding off on two occasions. The actual wrestling was fine for the most part, the match just never really hit into a higher gear to pay off all the initial patient build-up. If you do the slow build you really need a blockbuster finishing stretch to pay it off, and we didn’t get that here, either because they wanted to leave more on the table for later or because the two wrestlers weren’t really capable of kicking it into that respective higher gear
Eddy gives a look when Batista isn’t looking that teases his eventual return to evil, but he passed away before the turn could be completed.
Is It Really A Stinker?
No I wouldn’t say No Mercy 2005 was a Stinker. There wasn’t anything on the show that I’d say was especially awful, with even the sub-par matches at least being short. It was a mostly average show that highlighted the lack of depth the Smackdown roster was suffering from at the time, something that they would try and address as the year went on by moving the likes of Matt Hardy and Shane Helms over so that there was a bit more going on in the mid-card for when they ran shows like this. There’s nothing on this show that you need to go out of your way to see, and there’s not enough star power to stop it from dragging a bit at points, but it’s not a terrible show, just a mostly forgettable one.
Final Rating – Odourless
Ratings done on a score of (Stinker/Stinky/Odourless/Pleasant/Fragrant)