The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
No Mercy: Preview & Predictions
The Kingfish Arnie Katz gets you ready for WWE’s October pay per view event!.
With the announcers already working in comments about “survival” and “survivors,” it’s a cinch that No Mercy is more of a lead up to a bigger pay per view than one of WWE’s tent pole mega-shows.
That doesn’t mean it won’t be a good show, though. The card looks fairly strong, topped by the ladder match showdown between Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Let look at the card to see how the matches got made – and what’s likely to happen at the actual event.
Rey Mysterio vs. Kane
Mask Removal Match
The Story: Kane’s parking lot attack injured Rey Mysterio and the Big Red Machine has stalked him ever since the Masked Marvel returned to the ring. Kane has focused on Mysterio’s mask and, after some prodding, Mike Adamle has scheduled this match to give him a crack at it.
My Prediction American promotions have shown a heedless disregard for the traditions of the mask, but I can’t believe they would strip Mysterio of his hood with so little fanfare. So Rey Mysterio will keep his mask, though Kane will get to bat him around pretty severely.
Predicted Grade: B+
Beth Phoenix vs. Candice Michelle
The Story>: Candice Michelle is back and she wants revenge on the woman who sidelined her. The Glamazon holds the title, so that’s another incentive for the erstwhile Go Daddy Girl, who wants that belt.
My Prediction: I’d anticipated Gail Kim as the opponent for Beth Phoenix, because of her skill in handling larger opponents, but WWE evidently plans to put the strap around the slender waist of Candice Michelle. It wouldn’t be a total shock if Santino Marella tried to interfere and cost his girlfriend the match and the title, because they will want to advance that plot if she is going to be without the championship for any length of time.
Predicted Grade: B-
Batista vs. John Bradshaw Leyfield
Number-One Contender Match
The Story: This is a clash between a man who feels he is the uncrowned champion and the man who wants to regain the heights he experienced when he ruled the roost on Smackdown. They both what a title shot and they also hate each other as a result of a dozen incidents since Leyfield ended his retirement.
My Prediction: Batista will win this and go on to fight Chris Jericho for the title in a main event that should boost the buy-rate of the next pay per view. The Cowboy Financier will look very good in defeat and may lose as a result of outside interference, but he will go down to defeat.
Big Show vs. Undertaker
The Story: Edge is on the outs with General Manager Vickie Guerrero and Big Show has injected himself into her simmering feud with the Undertaker. She suspended and reinstated Taker, but her attitude and lack of respect has fired up the Deadman. When Big Show attacked him at Unforgiven, the not-so-gentle giant put himself in Undertaker’s crosshairs.
My Prediction: This is the start of a program, not the end of one. There won’t be a definitive winner, so that Taker and Show can escalate to something like a No DQ or Cage match. The question is: who gets the DQ win? Since Undertaker needs some revenge against Big Show, Show could get the DQ victory – and the in-match beatdown. After the match, Big Show will get in some payback to keep the pot boiling. That’s what could happen, and it would make sense, but this looks like the perfect place for a wild, No Contest or Double Disqualification match. Undertaker goes nuts, Big Show battles back and the ref stops it for blood or something like that.
Predicted Grade: B-
Matt Hardy vs. Mark Henry
The Story: It’s all about the rematch. Matt Hardy beat the World’s Strongest Man for the title at the last pay per view, so he must defend against the former champion at this one.
My Prediction: The “right thing” might well be to put Mark Henry back on top, but WWE almost never lets a former champion win a rematch. Thai means Matt should retain the belt. Yet there’s also a scarcity of challengers for the ECW crown, unless they want Matt to work a program with Chavo Guerrero. Mark Henry needs to look good to protect his credibility, so it might well be a DQ win for Hardy.
Predicted Grade: B-
Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy
The Story: Can Jeff Hardy finally win the big one? The Game has done a lot to encourage his opponent to stretch to get over the hump.
My Prediction: The specter of Rob Van Dam looms over this match. I don’t think WWE will take the risk of putting someone on top who has a troubled history, including a couple of incidents in the last year or so. WWE doesn’t want a scandal to erupt around their flagship guy, especially with the demographic sliding a bit younger these days.
This creates a problem, because they love Jeff Hardy’s work when he’s on his good behavior. What they’ll most likely do is have Triple H keep the title while Jeff Hardy looks good without snagging the gold. Based on recent matches, Vladimir Koslov will likely get involved, perhaps leading to a threeway or even a fourway match for the title at the next pay per view.
Predicted Grade: A-
Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho
World Heavyweight Championship
The Story: The feud that began at WrestleMania over the circumstances of Ric Flair’s retirement, may be heading for its final confrontation. The title is at stake in this ladder match, but the gold is secondary to the personal animosity that blazes between these two stars.
My Prediction:: Chris Jericho will climb the ladder and snatch the belt after a hard-fought match in which Shawn Michaels puts the champion through the wringer. Lance Cade is sure to be involved and, most probably, will take a fearsome beating from his one-time mentor.
Predicted Grade: A
Predicted Overall Grade for No Mercy: B-
That’s it for today. I’ll be back on Monday with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising daily wrestling column. I’ll have the recap and analysis of No Mercy and you’ll be able to laugh at my predictions.
— Arnie Katz