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Countdown to No Mercy
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff




Shocked, aren't ya?

After a couple weeks of pushing Bobby Lashley in the title match (depending on which commercial was running on The Score), WWE kiboshed the big man's singles bout and added Batista and Fit Finlay to the contest. Admittedly, after Friday's Smackdown goings-on, there is some intrigue, but will it be enough to garner the PPV buys WWE needs?

The rest of No Mercy's card is a mixed bag of potential show-stealers and intriguing stories. Let's take a look at what the SLAM! staff thinks will happen tonight!


 
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH (FATAL FOUR-WAY)

King Booker vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Fit Finlay vs. Batista
 

SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur

This smells of desperation booking and shows how hurting Smackdown is for main-eventers. Booker has been entertaining in the King role, so I think they'll keep him as champion for now. Still, the whole thing makes you wonder - where is Chris Benoit and when is he coming back?

Matt Mackinder

Booker is the perfect champ at this point in time, but does Batista get the belt and his glory back? Does Lashley take the gold and run with it? Finlay as World champ? This is at best a toss-up, so I'll say the King retains somehow

Jon Waldman

We know King Booker gets the win here. What happens next you ask? King Booker declares that he has beat everyone and looks to retire to his throne, belt in hand, like Trish Stratus did. That's when "Whatever" hits and Chris Benoit makes his return, setting up a 2/3 falls match at Survivor Series. Oh, and Bobby Lashley nearly gets the fall until Batista breaks up a pin, which aids in Lashley turning heel, setting up the big-man match at the Series. Man, I love fantasy booking.

Greg Oliver

Desperation booking at its finest. I do think that Lashley could be a big part of the company, but it isn't today. Maybe if they gave him some mic time. The other three are very well developed characters, but Finlay isn't world title material at this point in his career and it's best to keep Batista chasing. So Booker escapes with the belt.

Andy McNamara

King Booker's reign will continue tonight as he cheats his way to another victory. This will set up a Batista/Booker show down for Survivor Series, where Batista can win back the belt one on one and on a bigger stage. This should be a hard fought battle with Booker getting help from Sir Finlay and picking up the victory.

Brian Elliott

What a bizarre decision to make this a Fatal Four-way match! With Smackdown's current dearth of talent, the last thing this PPV needed was for these two top singles matches to be meshed together. In any case, I expect Booker to retain his title, as none of the other participants are currently as well equipped for a run as World Heavyweight Champion.


GRUDGE MATCH

Mr. Kennedy vs. Undertaker


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur

After his last PPV match turned out to be an unfortunate debacle (the Punjabi Prison match), you know Taker will be looking to redeem himself - and Kennedy is good enough to help him do that. Kennedy runs away, and the count-out wins goes to Taker... Taker.

Matt Mackinder

Is this a U.S. title match? Even if it was, is Undertaker U.S. champ material? He's slowing down immensely these days (he's been in feuds with Mark Henry and The Great Khali for Christ's sake), but Kennedy is on his way up the ladder. I'll go out on a limb and call a Kennedy upset.

Jon Waldman

I really wish Mr. Kennedy was given the chance to shine. Unfortunately, Undertaker looks like he's putting a quick stop to any momentum the rising star has. Kennedy should win here, but that's not going to happen.

Greg Oliver

If Kennedy won, it would be an absolute shocker. And even if he did, I'm sure that he'd get squashed on the next Smackdown to put back any mythical "aura" on 'Taker.

Andy McNamara

I suspect a DQ finish here to contnue this feud onto the Survivor Series. I don't expect this one going terribly long. Kennedy becomes frustrated and smashes Taker with a foreign object for the DQ. The Dead Man sits back up and the feud goes on.

Brian Elliott

While it was rather amusing to begin with - which remarkably, was only twelve months ago - Mr Kennedy's microphone antics have become old very quickly, and I've yet to see him in a bout which really gripped me. The Undertaker is not a good opponent for Kennedy, both stylistically and because I don't believe Kennedy can defeat the 16-year WWE veteran. I expect The Undertaker to win via DQ.


  GRUDGE MATCH (FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE)

Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero
 


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur

This will be the best match of the night, but only if two things happen: one, no stupidity involving Vickie, Dominic or anyone else; two, the crowd doesn't dump all over this match in protest of the whole storyline. I'm not confident that either will happen. But I am confident that Chavo cheats to win.

Matt Mackinder

Rey is sinking and due for surgery soon, so time off will be a requirement. Chavo should be on Heat, but his last name keeps him on the main roster. I say Rey does the job and Vicki Guerrero again shows up.

Jon Waldman

Okay; explain to me why the steel cage match hasn't happened? Are they saving it for Survivor Series? Honestly, I think this will be a terrible bout and fall short of the expectations most would have for it. Chavito wins.

Greg Oliver

They have had the chance to steal the show in the past, and really haven't risen to the task. Are their hearts really in it? It doesn't seem like it. I'll take Mysterio to win. Given the match stipulation, hopefully it'll be a creative finish.

Andy McNamara

This should be a fantastic match, it's just too bad the storyline is so terribly offensive. Mysterio has been pushed around a lot lately so he's due. I picture some crazy high flying spots and a West Coast Pop to finish off the pesky Guerrero.

Brian Elliott

This has the potential to be an excellent match, and the only thing that will hold these two back is the heel presence of Vickie Guerrero, which was a bad angle to begin with. With Mysterio expected to have knee surgery sooner rather than later, Chavo is taking this one.


 

UNDERCARD

 


SLAM! Predictions

Bob Kapur

MVP vs. ??? - MVP wins - otherwise, what's the point of pushing him every week as the next big thing?
Gregory Helms vs. Matt Hardy -
Do cruiserweight matches even matter anymore? Matt wins what will probably be a great match, albeit the opening throw-away one.
Brian Kendrick/Paul London vs. KC James/Idol Stevens -
Paul London continues to be my favourite wrestler on Smackdown. Unfortunately, that won't help him much, as Michelle McCool helps her boys win tag team gold.

Matt Mackinder

MVP vs. ??? - Who has ever lost in their much-hyped debut? MVP takes it, obviously.
Gregory Helms vs. Matt Hardy -
Again, a title match? This feud should have more mileage by now, but the one Hardy in focus won the I-C belt on Raw. Matt surprises for the win and gets a title match soon.
Brian Kendrick/Paul London vs. KC James/Idol Stevens -
Hey, a title match? Whaddya know? James and Stevens win the straps.

Jon Waldman

MVP vs. ??? - The character intrigues me. He's good on the stick, but is he capable in the ring? Somehow I'm doubting it.
Gregory Helms vs. Matt Hardy -
Show-stealer here in front of the homestate audience. Does Hardy get the Cruiserweight belt after his win tonight?
Brian Kendrick/Paul London vs. KC James/Idol Stevens -
These four are capable of a match of the night contender if they're allowed the time. Let's hope they get it. James and Stevens get the duke.

Greg Oliver

MVP vs. ??? - He just signed, dontcha know.
Gregory Helms vs. Matt Hardy -
Rememeber when we thought Hardy had a future? Helms.
Brian Kendrick/Paul London vs. KC James/Idol Stevens -
James/Stevens nab the tag belts.

Andy McNamara

MVP vs. ??? - This is MVP's first match so no matter who it is he will get the quick win and go over strong.
Gregory Helms vs. Matt Hardy -
Hard to say who will take this one. This program is coming off to me as just something to keep these two guys on television and not much more. Hardy scored the win with a Twist of Fate.
Brian Kendrick/Paul London vs. KC James/Idol Stevens -
The tag divison looks like it's spinning it's wheels once again, as London and Kendrick have had the belts for a while now and the newcomers take this one after a hard fought battle.

Brian Elliott

MVP vs. ??? - MVP's opponent has yet to be announced, but I guess we can expect him to square off against the likes of Scotty 2 Hotty or Tatanka. In any case, MVP claims the win, and then cell-phones his agent to make sure he was watching.
Gregory Helms vs. Matt Hardy -
This feud has been the only highlight of Smackdown in recent weeks. Hardy wins via pinfall.
Brian Kendrick/Paul London vs. KC James/Idol Stevens -
James & Stevens have not yet done enough for me to warrant winning the titles, and I expect London & Kendrick - whose work I really enjoy - to retain.


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