|Event||WWE No Mercy 2005|
|Date||Sunday October 9 2005|
|Location||Houston, Texas, USA|
So, WWE No Mercy 2005 is best remembered for hosting Eddie Guerrero’s final PPV match. Of course, nobody would have known that we would lose Latino Heat just five weeks after this show. Not being aware of the fact makes it easier to enjoy the last major bout of his career, though, even if it’s clear that he and Batista were preparing themselves for what they were hoping would be several bigger matches to come. As for the rest of No Mercy 2005? Let’s take a closer look …
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE PREVIOUS TV SHOWS? READ OUR PRE-PPV REVIEWS OF RAW & SMACKDOWN!
WWE No Mercy 2005
Animal, Heidenreich & Christy Hemme vs. MNM & Melina
The opener to this show would bring back memories of a previous Legion Of Doom battle on PPV. Not a particularly notable one, mind you: Hawk, Animal and Droz against The Disciples Of Apocalypse and Paul Ellering at Judgment Day 1998. Hey, look at their similarities: six-person bouts on October PPVs with a version of LOD triumphing. Indeed, the forgotten tandem of Animal and Heidenreich and their even less memorable association with Christy would prove successful here. It would actually be Hemme who struck Melina with a clothesline in Doomsday Device mode to seal the pin. MNM seemed to be flagging after a positive start in the spring, but they would rebound by regaining the WWE Tag Team Titles from LOD 2005 a few weeks later.
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE PREVIOUS EDITION? READ OUR WWE NO MERCY 2004 REVIEW!
Bobby Lashley vs. Simon Dean
No Mercy 2005 is a low-key historic PPV event. We have Eddie’s last supercard, Animal’s final WWE PPV win, and debuts for two significant names associated with Ruthless Aggression. One of those happened here, as Bobby Lashley arrived on the PPV scene. Considering that Simon Dean was opposing him, with Dean having less momentum than his own debut in 2004, only one outcome could suffice. Sure enough, Lashley quickly dispatched of him with the Dominator, before making him eat a double cheeseburger. Dean had brought twenty of the burgers to ringside, so Lashley punished the fitness freak by amusingly making him eat all of them throughout the night. Dean’s profile continued to diminish, whereas Lashley would carve out an eventful but all-too-short first WWE tenure.
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE PREVIOUS PPV? READ OUR WWE UNFORGIVEN 2005 REVIEW!
Before the next match, we would hear from John Bradshaw Layfield and Jillian Hall, with JBL quashing suggestions of a Raw invasion. A rivalry between the brands was slowly igniting, which would lead to war being declared in the weeks to come. And since the brands rarely clashed during this period, the storyline is fondly remembered to this day. All that would still be to come at this point, though, as JBL’s main focus was facing Rey Mysterio later on.
WWE United States Championship Fatal Four Way Match
Chris Benoit (C) vs. Booker T vs. Orlando Jordan vs. Christian
Our third contest would see four performers of varying career directions clash for the US Title. Booker was in the midst of a slow heel turn, which would eventually result in him becoming World Champion in 2006. Benoit, the defending titleholder, would remain in his upper mid-card role for what remained of his life. Jordan would never reach his potential, and he would be gone from WWE less than a year later. Christian would leave WWE just four weeks later, departing for TNA at the start of November 2005. Still, all four were capable of meshing well to deliver an enjoyable match, which is what we got here. Unmemorable, yes, but still entertaining, and one of the stronger bouts of the card. Benoit submitted Christian with a Sharpshooter to retain, though Booker (thanks to Sharmell) would capture the title from him later that month.
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE FIRST EDITION? READ OUR WWF NO MERCY (UK) 1999 REVIEW!
Mr. Kennedy vs. Hardcore Holly
Here, we have the other debutant. Arriving on the August 25 SmackDown, Kennedy was already garnering attention as a future star, and this marked his first PPV test. Personally, if I had been in Kennedy’s position, I’d have preferred facing someone other than Holly. Not because Hardcore wasn’t a credible veteran, but because he would likely chop the hell out of me. Which is what happened, since Holly was still the recipient of the occasional half-arsed push during this period. Still, Kennedy would not be denied, and a Green Bay Plunge provided Kennedy with his first supercard victory. As it turned out, Kennedy came close but not close enough to becoming a WWE main eventer, but unlike Lashley, Ken has yet to return to WWE. Might he make a comeback someday? I hope so (he would be an ideal surprise entrant in a Royal Rumble match).
Rey Mysterio vs. John Bradshaw Layfield
With a long feud against Eddie Guerrero finally behind him, Rey Rey was now setting his sights on other top SmackDown heels. JBL would be first on his list, with Mysterio having pinned The Wrestling God a few weeks earlier. Though the size difference was obvious, these two still put together a fun bout, with JBL far easier to tolerate when he wasn’t in the headline slot. Though Mysterio was on the rise, he would be made to wait to start achieving career-making victories. Indeed, despite his best efforts, Mysterio lost here courtesy of a Clothesline From Hell. Their feud would resume over the years, as Rey actually retired JBL twice: once in kayfabe in 2006, and once more for real at WrestleMania 25 in 2009.
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE LAST EDITION? READ OUR WWE NO MERCY 2017 REVIEW!
Handicap Casket Match
The Undertaker vs. Randy Orton & Cowboy Bob Orton
It’s odd how some storylines actually succeed with fewer props to play with. The Undertaker-Randy Orton feud delivered awesome matches at WrestleMania 21, SummerSlam and Armageddon in 2005. Yet, with Randy’s dad as an extra body and the Casket stipulation to add some appeal, this would be rather forgettable. Maybe it’s because their rivalry clearly wasn’t ending here and it had already been going on for ages. Either way, this is perhaps the least memorable Casket bout that Taker has ever had on PPV. I’m not denigrating the efforts of all involved here because it was certainly enjoyable. But it’s a bout which you would have to be reminded about, even if you saw this PPV live at the time.
And that is with a big post-match angle to boot. The Ortons KO’d Taker with a steel chair to keep him in the Casket, and afterwards, Randy set the damn thing on fire. Kane had done this back at Royal Rumble 1998, when it felt like a truly major moment. Here, it seemed unnecessary, though it was certainly head-turning. And of course Taker would return from the dead at Survivor Series to continue his war with Orton. As noted, their rivalry was fun, but it did run long, meaning matches like this go under the radar.
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE FOLLOWING PPV? READ OUR WWE TABOO TUESDAY 2005 REVIEW!
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
Nunzio (C) vs. Juventud
It’s easy to forget Juventud’s time in WWE. Joining as part of The Mexicools with Super Crazy and Psichosis, his tenure would last just seven months. Supposedly, his backstage actions were responsible for him being unable to match the highs of his more famous WCW stint. Still, at least he was able to capture gold during his time in WWE. Granted, it was the Cruiserweight Title while it was held by Nunzio, who was as threatening as cotton wool by this point. But it’s better than nothing. The Juvy Driver finished off Nunzio, and Juventud had become Cruiserweight Champion, with the fans not exactly wowed by the moment.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
Batista (C) vs. Eddie Guerrero
Main event time. The tension between the champion and challenger heading into No Mercy 2005 was not exactly of a high level. In fact, then-heel Latino Heat was trying to convince Batista that he had reformed. Having been an intense psycho for several months, Eddie was hoping that Big Dave would accept him as having had a change of heart. Batista wasn’t entirely convinced, but he was also willing to give Eddie a chance to prove himself. This match would be a test of that: could Eddie maintain his new front, or would rage take over with the WHC at stake?
As it turned out, we would see only a small hint of the “evil” Eddie, though Batista was by far the more popular performer on the night. This match is best described as being “good enough”; it’s not worth seeing from an artistic standpoint, but there have been far worse main events (including from this era, as any WWE fan who was watching in 2004 would tell you). Eddie did contemplate using a steel chair, but just like Roddy Piper at WrestleMania VIII, he would throw down the seat. Batista saw it, though, and charged at Eddie, though Latino Heat still came close after that to winning.
Ending Of No Mercy 2005
A missed Frog Splash led to the second of two spinebusters (I wonder why the Batista Bomb wasn’t used). One-two-three, and Batista had retained his World Heavyweight Title. Eddie did shake Batista’s hand afterwards to keep their “friendship” alive. After the PPV broadcast had ended, Batista got the fans in Houston to sing “Happy Birthday” to Guerrero in a nice touch (and before you ask, yes it was his birthday).
Legacy Of No Mercy 2005
I mentioned earlier that it’s easy to watch Eddie’s last PPV bout because his fate wasn’t obvious at the time, but now I’m not so sure. But that is partly since the match was clearly designed to be step one of a major storyline. As a one-off bout with no plotline, perhaps it would genuinely be easier to judge it on its own merits. However, that’s hard to do here when knowing what was to come. On-screen, Eddie had been slated to betray Batista and win the WHC, giving Batista time to recover from injuries. Chances are that they would have battled again at Royal Rumble or WrestleMania, where Batista would regain his gold.
Instead, Eddie sadly and suddenly passed away on November 13. Who knows what direction Eddie’s career might have headed into had he lived longer. But he remains hugely popular 15 years later, which demonstrates the impact he had on fans while he was alive. So, while it’s hard to watch with an independent mind, this match does have value for any of Guerrero’s many fans.
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE FOLLOWING TV SHOWS? READ OUR POST-PPV REVIEWS OF RAW & SMACKDOWN!
No Mercy 2005 Summary
WWE No Mercy 2005 has historical appeal, but as an overall show, there were far better PPVs that year. The best matches are only above average, though admittedly there is nothing offensive on the card. It’s simply a skippable PPV from a time when solo-brand cards were held every three or four weeks. I’d recommend giving it a watch if you get the chance, but it’s definitely not must-see material.