We were told that history would be made at WWE No Mercy and by and large, it was. It was an absolutely crazy night from Allstate Arena just outside of Chicago, Ill. as the WWE Championship ended up being defended on three occasions and by two different people.

The show opens with no pyro as WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and RAW General Manager William Regal make their way to the ring. Inside the ring is a stand with a big red cloth over it.

Vince tells us that he makes decisions for us and he’s going to give us what we want. A huge “Y2J” chant flares up but he says he’s not going to give us that. He then reveals the WWE Championship (the spinner belt) and awards the title to Randy Orton. I guess because he was the No. 1 contender?

Orton comes out and takes the title and holds it in the air to pyro in the background and continues to parade around with the belt for a long time.

Regal congratulates him but says he will be defending the title tonight. Regal says that since Orton is the champion, he gets to choose who he will defend against. Another giant “Y2J” chant. Orton says he knows who he won’t be defending against tonight: John Cena.

Orton rambles on about nothing and out comes Triple H, complete with water bottle and ring attire to a thunderous pop. He, too, congratulates Orton on winning the title. Trips suggests that since he has to defend the title, why not Randy Orton vs. Triple H, right here, right now? Orton screams out “NO!’ and Triple H counters with “I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t want my second title reign to be shorter than my first one.”

After Vince backs up Orton, Trips runs down McMahon, calling him every name in the book and in the wisdom of professional wrestling, McMahon gives him the match right now.

Match #1 – WWE Championship – Randy Orton vs. Triple H

Orton tries to walk out on the match several times but is brought back each time. Crowd is heavily behind the King of Kings. Triple H controls the opening minutes but Orton takes over, eventually locking in his dreaded chinlock, but Triple H fires up with a big clothesline after escaping the chinlock. Trips hits a superplex, but it only gets two. He then hits the spinebuster, which also gets two. Orton crawls out of the ring, but is brought back again. Orton hits the middle rope DDT for two. He then lines HHH up for the RKO, but it’s countered. HHH goes for the Pedigree, but Orton backflips him. Eventually, Orton is thrown into the ring post and comes stumbling out where Triple H rolls him up for the three!

WINNER…and NEW WWE Champion: Triple H

Match Rating: 8/10

This is the first time Triple H has held the WWE Championship since dropping the title to Hulk Hogan at Backlash 2002.

Backstage, Orton is in disbelief and is met by McMahon who looks at him and just walks away.

Match #2 – Jeff Hardy, Brian Kendrick & Paul London vs. Mr. Kennedy, Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch

This was a tremendous match with a ton of non-stop action. These guys pulled out nearly everything in the book. This was one of the better 6-man tag matches I’ve seen. Bodies flying everywhere. Eventually, Kennedy got London on his shoulders and hit the Green Bay Plunge for the three count. Really, really fun match.

WINNERS…Mr. Kennedy, Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch

Match Rating: 7/10

Backstage, Triple H runs into Batista and they give each other props. Triple H runs into McMahon and he says that since they have advertised Triple H vs. Umaga, they will still have that match tonight and it will be for the WWE Championship.

Match #3 – ECW Championship – CM Punk vs. Big Daddy V

Punk was taking it to Big Daddy V, hitting a missle dropkick that knocks V down and in comes Matt Striker to nail Punk and cause a DQ. This wasn’t more than two, three minutes. Totally pointless.

WINNER by disqualification…and STILL ECW Champion: CM Punk

Match Rating: 3/10

Big Daddy V commences a post-match beatdown and stands over Punk with the belt to a chorus of boos from the extremely pro-Punk crowd. Big Daddy leaves as Punk is helped to the back by two officials, bleeding from the mouth and coughing.

Competition #1 – Chicago-Style Pizza Eating Contest – MVP vs. Matt Hardy

Tazz then MC’s another contest between the WWE Tag Team Champions — this time it’s a Chicago-style pizza eating contest. He then brings out the judges: Melina and Maria.

Tazz brings out the competitors and MVP guarantees his fans that he will win. Tazz puts two minutes on the clock and they are off. Hardy picks up another win over MVP, two slices to none.

WINNER by eating…Matt Hardy

Competition Rating: 5/10

MVP gets a mic and asks Hardy if he is sick, and indeed he is. Hardy blows chunks all over MVP. For our viewing pleasure, we get two slow-mo replays.

Match #4 – WWE Championship – Triple H vs. Umaga

Back and forth brawling, but Umaga takes control with a Samoan Drop and then starts to work over The Game’s ribs. He continued to control until missing the running butt bomb. Umaga ran at Trips again, but was met with a boot. He staggered back and tried a splash, but HHH moved and Umaga went flying head first into the top of the ring post. On the rebound, HHH hit the Pedigree for the three count. The ring post has certainly been Triple H’s best friend tonight.

WINNER…and STILL WWE Champion: Triple H

Match Rating: 5/10

Match #5 – Finlay vs. Rey Mysterio

End comes as Mysterio hits a kick on Finlay as he hung in the ropes. He then hit a top rope leg drop that sent Finlay to the floor from the ring mat right onto the back of his head. Referee Jimmy Korderas puts up the “X” and the crew of doctors come out and put Finlay in a neck brace and stretcher him out. Mysterio looks visibly upset and starts walking out with the stretcher. Mysterio gets out in front and all of a sudden, Finlay pops up and starts beating the tar out of Mysterio as the crowd chants “Finlay sucks!” I guess we’ll call this one a no contest.

Match Rating: 6/10

Backstage, as Triple H is getting his ribs iced, Vince informs him that Randy Orton is exercising his rematch clause. And the rematch will be tonight. And it’ll be a last man standing match.

Match #6 – WWE Women’s Championship – Candice Michelle vs. Beth Phoenix

There was really nothing to see here. Phoenix wins with a fisherman’s suplex.

WINNER…and NEW WWE Women’s Champion: Beth Phoenix

Match Rating: 4/10

Match #7 – Punjabi Prison Match for the World Heavyweight Championship – Batista vs. The Great Khali

What did you think of No Mercy?
It was great – 21%
It was okay – 18%
It was terrible – 16%
Didn’t see it – 44%

All four prison doors had their minute of being open go, so the only way to escape the inside structure was to go over. Khali sent Batista down and started to climb up the structure and made it out of the interior as Batista finally started moving. Khali started climbing the outer structure as Batista climbed the inner. Batista had no choice but to leap from the inner to the outer structure and barely eeked out the race to the floor. Batista snatches victory from the jaws of defeat to retain his title.

Winner…and STILL the World Heavyweight Champion: Batista

Match Rating: 6/10

Match #8 – Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship – Triple H vs. Randy Orton

They are really selling Triple H’s rib injury, as Orton works the body with punches. Orton is working the ribs over big time. Orton puts Triple H down for several near counts, including one of nine after choking him with a television cable while stretching the ribs out.

They move out to the ECW announce table where Orton nails HHH with a monitor. Orton goes to hit the RKO like he did to John Cena on Monday, but the champion pushes him into the next table. Orton makes it up at 9.75. Triple H hits a spinebuster on the floor. Orton up again at 9.5. Triple H picks up the steel steps and nail Orton square in the face. I don’t think he’s getting up from this one, but he’s up at 9.8!

HHH throws Orton back into the ring and grabs a steel chair, but Orton counters with a kick to the midsection and hits a DDT right onto the steel chair. Both men are being counted now. Orton is up at eight, Triple H at nine. Orton pounds Hunter in the corner and grabs the chair and sets it up and looks for the RKO and hits it right on the chair. Triple H gets up at 9.99 and gives Orton a crotch chop but falls flat on his face. Triple H is now bleeding.

Orton goes for the soccer kick, but HHH grabs the kick and hangs on and proceeds to Hulk Up. He hits a clothesline and sends Orton to the outside and rams his head into the barricade, then into the steel steps then six times into the Smackdown! announce table. He then throws Orton onto the RAW announce table, but Orton falls off. HHH goes for the Pedigree, but Orton counters and slingshots Triple H into the ring post. Orton goes for the steps, but gets low blowed in the process. Orton’s head lands right in the middle of the steps and the champion slams another chair onto Orton’s head. Orton is somehow up at 9.6.

HHH gets Orton up on the RAW table, but Orton hits a RKO out of nowhere on the table! Triple H struggles mightily, but can’t make the count!

WINNER…and NEW WWE Champion: Randy Orton

Match Rating: 9/10

A great match. These two put on two terrific matches in one night and really overcame the loss of John Cena to save the card.

This card was a strange bird, to say the least. Opening the show with a WWE Championship match is, I believe, unprecedented and having it defended three times on one show might be, as well. Big props to Triple H for three matches tonight, two of which were damn good. As I said above, the 6-man tag match was really fun. Those six really seemed to work well together, especially the two tag teams. The Punjabi Prison Match was largely inoffensive and have a neat finish, as did the Finlay/Mysterio bout, where even I was duped.

Now we await the return of Jericho…

Overall Rating: 7.5/10