In my view, 2008 was WWE's most solid year since 2001-2002. There's a wide selection of very good ppv's to choose from that year, with only one being a real stinker, which was Survivor Series 2008. Now, No Mercy 2008 isn't something I would consider to be a must see. But it's definitely worth a rental, and it has gotten better over time to me.
No Mercy 2008 continued Jeff Hardy's quest to become WWE Champion for the very first time, continuing his rivalry against Triple H. Plus, the best storyline of 2008 continued, when Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels decided to end their feud in a Ladder Match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Also, the Big Show and Undertaker attempted to recapture the magic from their rivalry of 2003. Well, lets see how things worked out.
1)ECW Championship Match Matt Hardy(C) vs. Mark Henry
The shoe is on the other foot here. This time Matt comes in as the champion while Henry is the challenger. I will admit that the match let me down. Their match on free TV a few weeks before this proved that these two weren't oil and water. They actually had a very good match then, but on this night, these two were kind of off. Matt Hardy slowed down greatly to match Henry's slow pace which resulted in a couple of bad timed spots.
However, the match was far from being terribly booked. They told a good story with Matt working on Henry's legs with believable offense to try and set up his possible victory. The announcers also added credibility to the match, by pointing out that Matt never pinned Henry to become champion during the Scramble Match, that took place at the previous ppv Unforgiven 2008. So, Hardy actually had something to prove here. 3.25/5
After the match, an interview takes place between Triple H and Jeff Hardy. Triple H is always interesting to hear, and this segment is no different. But Jeff's mic skills do absolutely nothing for me. He's a talented inring performer, but he's a very bad talker.
2)Women's Championship Match Beth Phoenix(C) vs. Candice Michelle
These two have feuded before during the latter quarter of 2007. Their feud actually ended with Candice suffering a real shoulder injury. Here, Beth was pretty vicious going after her surgically repaired shoulder. But the match really wasn't good despite the efforts by the divas. Plenty of offense wasn't really connecting, and Candice appeared to be way too stiff. She just isn't very athletic to me, when compared to other divas such as Mickie James, Lita, Jazz, or even Trish Stratus. This match did nothing for me. 2.25/5
3)Rey Mysterio vs. Kane(If Rey loses, he must unmask)
Rey lose his mask? Yeah right. Just see his entrance and tell me will that ever happen again. The stipulation was not believable to me at all, but at least the match was. One of the main issues with Rey Mysterio's "David and Goliath" matches, is how believable his offense is going to be. This match surprised me and Kane deserves a lot of credit for his work effort. This was a very entertaining match with some sharp blows and very good counters. That nasty chair shot was definitely necessary to push the storyline and Kane's new heel turn. And anyone who's a fan of Kane, knows what to expect when he's in full heel mode. 3.5/5
4)#1 Contender's Match JBL vs. Batista
This was a #1 contender's match for the World Heavyweight Championship. The winner would meet either Michaels or Jericho at the next ppv. Michael Cole mentioned during the commentary that these two had a classic feud during 2005. I don't remember any classic matches involving these two, only a pair of bad matches that was actually better than this.
This match was important considering what was at stake. But all it did was put Batista over as being incredibly dominating. A squash like this would work on someone smaller, but JBL is a big guy too, and he was a heel with serious heat. Therefore, this could have been a little better. After the match, JBL grabbed the mic, and in a hilarious way he somewhat justified his lousy performance, which does make sense. Still, something like this shouldn't be on an event people paid money to see. 2/5
The reasons to really see this event, begins right here.
5)Undertaker vs. Big Show
Normally, I don't usually care for very big men matches. But anyone who remembers their No Way Out 2003 encounter, which still stands as their best ever, knows Taker is one of the few who can bring out the best in Big Show. From go, the crowd was heavily into this and these two went straight for each others throats, and considering how they built this feud up, I wouldn't have expected anything less.
There was a lot of great offense from entertaining brawling, to high impact DDT's and slams. This was a very good bout, with a creative ending that supported the storyline. These two would go on to continue feuding. 4/5
6)WWE Championship Match Triple H(C) vs. Jeff Hardy
From RVD, to Johnny Nitro, and to Umaga, whether it's the defunct Hardcore Title or Intercontinental Title. Jeff Hardy is almost always at his best when chasing a title. I don't think anyone tells the underdog story better than he does.
In any case, this is one of the best matches from 2008 and can make my top 5 of that year. Some very good wrestling that didn't require gimmicks, or the constant use of high spots. They took the time to slowly develop the pace. Everything worked out very well; the fast paced wrestling, lock ups, counters, and suspense. To include, the crowd was hot the entire time. This match could have went either way until the very end, and the good thing about it, these two would also continue this rivalry. Match of the Night for me. 4.75/5
7)Ladder Match for the World Heavyweight Championship Chris Jericho(C) vs. Shawn Michaels
Rules: The title is suspended above the ring. The first person to climb the ladder and claim the belt, will become the new champion.
I really did enjoy this feud. It was by far the most personal of that year, and that was by far Jericho's best heel run ever. And a match of this magnitude fit the rivalry perfectly. These two really seemed like they hated each other, and both men took heavy abuse. Jericho even lost a tooth and got bloody. I was also amazed that they were able to invent some new spots with the ladder. I also have to wonder how Jericho was still able to walk straight after this match. The match was very good with a lot of intensity. My only problem with it was the slight interference. I feel when a feud is at its end, it should be decided with no outside interference at all. I really wish this feud had continued, and ended inside Hell in a Cell. But WWE wanted their darling Batista in the title picture, for reasons I still can't digest. 4.5/5
DVD Extra: Hardly ever do I review extras, especially on a wrestling DVD of all things. I will only do so, if I feel there's a good enough reason. Because I don't believe people buy movies caring only about the extras before the actual content.
Champion of Champions Triple Threat Match Triple H(WWE) vs. Chris Jericho(WHC) vs. Matt Hardy(ECW)
This was a non title one fall victory to determine the best champion, which was on the final edition of Smackdown, before the ppv.
The match had it's entertaining moments with the superstars hitting their trademark moves and delivering some solid wrestling. But the fact it was non-title, left very little reason to care about it. It was smart not to save this for ppv. Simply because I couldn't imagine Triple H even attempting to become ECW Champion for any reason. Fun match for what it was worth. 3.25/5
A solid event that was saved by the last three matches. I still recommend at the very least renting this event.
Pros: -Last three matches save this event
Cons: -Almost everything else
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May 22, 2011
Jun 15, 2013 08:21 PM UTC
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