No Mercy 2003

No Mercy 2003
Date: October 19, 2003
Location: 1st Mariner Arena, Baltimore, Maryland
Attendance: 8,500
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz

It’s the Stephanie vs. Vince Show as the McMahons are battling in the real main event. The last few months have been building up to the I Quit match with both of their jobs on the line. Other than that we have Brock Lesnar defending the World Title against the Undertaker in a Biker Chain match, meaning chain on a pole. Let’s get to it.

The opening video, narrated by Vince and Stephanie’s arguing, looks over a little girl’s things, including a tiara, shoes and a teddy bear. We hear Vince demanding that she quit and Stephanie refusing but also begging to not have the match. Thankfully Brock and Undertaker get some time as well.

Cruiserweight Title: Tajiri vs. Rey Mysterio

Tajiri is defending and is admonished to not use the mist of any color. They fight over a lockup to start and fall to the floor with no one getting an advantage. Back in and Rey gets smart by going after the leg with a quick leglock. That’s broken up with some shots to the head but the handspring elbow is dropkicked away to put Tajiri on the floor.

That’s enough of this wrestling stuff so Rey hits a dive to give the fans more of what they’re expecting. Mysterio tries to get a bit too fancy though and has a springboard broken up with his arm landing on the top rope. You wouldn’t exactly expect these two to go with limb work but it’s actually working. A springboard armdrag gets Rey out of an armbar but hurts his arm even more, allowing Tajiri to kick him in the head. Slow Rey down with the arm to set up the best offensive move. Good stuff.

Rey grabs a tornado DDT for a delayed two before using his legs to pull the champ out to the floor. Back in and Tajiri tries to throw him to the floor again but gets a 619 to the ribs. The West Coast Pop is countered with a powerbomb but Rey is right back with a moonsault press. Tajiri goes right back to the arm, only to have the knee give out on the Tarantula attempt. Now the 619 connects and Rey grabs the West Coast Pop but a “fan” runs in for a distraction. Tajiri hits the Buzzsaw Kick to retain.

Rating: B-. Good opener with a bad ending. You can imagine Tajiri getting a lackey out of this and that’s not exactly a thrilling way to wrap up the match. If nothing else, there wasn’t any mist either after Tajiri has spent over a week building it up. I liked the majority of the match though and that’s a good way to open the show.

Replays shows security holding a second “fan” back as well so yeah we’re probably looking at a mini stable. The division needs more bodies so that’s not the worst idea in the world.

Vince yells at Josh Matthews (good) for asking how he’s feeling. This is somehow both personal and business with some people on the roster being on Stephanie’s side. That’s fine with Vince, because if they try to help her, he’ll just fire them.

A-Train vs. Chris Benoit

A-Train is annoyed because he can’t beat Benoit. Tazz: “They love pierced nipples in Denmark.” A hard shoulder puts Benoit on the floor and we’re starting at a slower pace. Back in and Benoit can’t get either a German suplex or the Crossface. Instead he just slugs away with chops and some forearms for little avail. A-Train goes with the power as a slam and splash get two.

The clubbing forearms keep Benoit in trouble and A-Train catapults him throat first into the middle rope. More time wasting allows Benoit to slug away until a Polish Hammer (with the Putski references) drops him again. A DDT gives Benoit a breather but A-Train grabs a German suplex of his own. With the wrestling not working, A-Train brings in a chair but gets it knocked away.

A-Train tries a gorilla press instead but drops Benoit HEAD FIRST (didn’t seem to be on purpose) onto the chair in a scary looking landing. Benoit is of course fine and starts rolling the German suplexes. The Swan Dive is broken up so A-Train teases going up as well. Thankfully, for the sake of not breaking the ring, he comes down and hits the Derailer for two instead. With the chair wedged in the corner, A-Train kicks it by mistake, setting up the Sharpshooter for the submission.

Rating: C. Considering who Benoit was in there against, this could have been a lot worse (if nothing else just for dropping Benoit on the chair). A-Train was fine as a dragon for Benoit to slay but that’s all he was going to be. The hairy look and only somewhat above average power offense held him back a lot but at least the story here made sense.

Heidenreich yells at Matt Hardy and Shannon Moore about throwing away his highlight tape but Matt talks his way out of trouble.

Members of the military are here.

Zach Gowen vs. Matt Hardy

Shannon Moore is with Matt Hardy, who cannot be grossed out and has survived five car wrecks. They trade slaps to start before Gowen hits a leg lariat to take over. A middle rope bulldog gets two but Moore breaks up a springboard. Cole: “How much longer is this going to go on? It’s been week after week after week.” Agreed, but they’ll give up on pushing Gowen eventually.

Snake Eyes and a running clothesline put Gowen on the floor, followed by a double arm crank as Cole talks about believing in Gowen. Matt misses the moonsault though and gets knocked outside, allowing Zach to springboard (pulls himself up, puts his shin on the top rope and flips forward) onto him for two. Still shaken from the missed moonsault, Matt takes him to the top but has a belly to back superplex broken up. Gowen’s moonsault is good for the pin.

Rating: D. If they have to give Gowen a win, I’m kind of glad that it’s a clean one. Having to hear about Gowen winning the match with someone handing it to him would have been too much, but as usual everyone has to slow down to let him keep up. The moonsault had good form but it’s really hard to buy that anything from Gowen is going to be enough for a pin.

Linda McMahon tries to talk Vince out of the match but Vince says no. He’ll make a concession though: Stephanie can win by pinfall as well as submission, but Vince makes it no holds barred to keep it even. They’re throwing everything they can at this match to make it interesting and it’s not working.

APA vs. Basham Brothers

This was set up on Sunday Night Heat. Again no Shaniqua, thank goodness. Bradshaw pounds Doug in the corner to start before running him over with a shoulder. Faarooq comes in for a powerslam but is smart enough to know that Danny tagged himself in. That means a knockdown to Danny as well because Faarooq pays attention. A double spinebuster gets two on Danny and Doug gets kicked in the face for daring to interrupt.

Cole and Tazz argue over sexual fetishes and journalistic integrity as the Bashams take over with a quick double team. A double suplex gets two and we hit the chinlock. That actually draws a loud APA chant, which I think may be a first time event. With the first chinlock working so well, Danny grabs another one to keep Faarooq down.

Since Faarooq is tired of being stuck in a chinlock, he fights up and hits a spinebuster, setting up the hot tag to Bradshaw. A powerbomb and Last Call drop Doug and it’s a super Last Call for Danny. The referee gets bumped so here’s Shaniqua to knock Bradshaw out with a club, giving Danny the pin.

Rating: D. Well we were free of her for a few weeks. The Bashams winning was the right call as the APA doesn’t have anything to gain, but Shaniqua and the dominatrix stuff isn’t helping anyone. The division isn’t deep enough that they can’t get to the top very fast, but get rid of the ball and chain as soon as possible.

Post match Shaniqua talks about the Clothesline making her chest swell, which has the Bashams freaking out at a level that Jerry Lawler would find disturbing. They’re going to be rewarded though so she’ll whip it good. And that’s it for whatever good the Bashams got out of the win.

Tazz has keys to victory in the Biker Chain match.

Very long recap of Stephanie vs. Vince. Stephanie won’t quit her job as GM despite what Vince wants so we’re having this match to make her do it. Vince is also sleeping with Sable so Linda is in her corner. This story has dominated Smackdown in recent months and has been turned into the most melodramatic feuds in wrestling history. Thrown in Stephanie’s acting “abilities” and you know how well that’s going to go.

Vince McMahon vs. Stephanie McMahon

Sable and Linda are the seconds. Vince has to make her say I Quit while Stephanie can win by pinfall or submission. Vince jumps her from behind so Stephanie jumps on her back and screeches a lot. Just in case this wasn’t going to feel long enough already. That’s enough offense from Stephanie, who gets thrown down by the hair with Vince saying she could have quit. Some shoulders in the corner have Stephanie acting like she was shot.

Sable gets in a slap, triggering a chase from Linda which is begging for the Benny Hill theme. Vince gets in Linda’s way and then clotheslines Stephanie again, which is treated as the biggest, most brutal thing ever. We hit the half crab and Stephanie screams like she’s in labor. Stephanie bites her way out of a double arm crank so Sable grabs a pipe, triggering the “catfight” with Linda. A low blow into a rollup (Cole: “WE’VE GOT HIM!”) gives Stephanie two but she can’t hit him with the pipe.

She finally does and Cole lets out a “COME ON GIRL!” but Vince gets his foot on the rope. Another low blow into another rollup gets two and it’s time for the announcers to play cheerleaders. Vince chokes her down and gets in a pipe shot to the ribs, prompting Cole to say Vince outweighs her by 200lbs. So is Stephanie 63lbs or is Vince over 300? Vince chokes with the pipe but Stephanie won’t quit (well duh) so Linda throws in the towel to save her daughter. I’m kind of stunned that this was so short (just shy of ten minutes) as I easily could have seen that being doubled.

Rating: F. Just read any part of this and you’ll get why this was a failure. This was one of the dumbest storylines WWE has ever put together (and consider the competition on that list) and somehow managed to be all about making Stephanie look awesome. These four need to go far, far away for a long time and never speak of anything here again. I never need to hear about Stephanie again and I’m kind of glad the family is destroyed FOREVER (yes FOREVER you see) so they won’t bother trying to get back together again.

Vince shoves Linda down and leaves with Sable. Stephanie gets the big sendoff because of all that hard work she’s done. Like kissing Eric Bischoff, signing Mr. America without knowing who he was, treating Zach Gowen like the world’s biggest charity case and being CLOTHESLINED BY HER FATHER!

The announcers act like they saw an orphanage burn to the ground and puppies used as crash dummies.

We recap Kurt Angle vs. John Cena. John wants to make a name for himself so he rapped about Angle a lot. Kurt did his own few raps and promised to teach him a wrestling lesson.

Kurt Angle vs. John Cena

Cena does his usual gay joke rap before the match. With that out of the way (and the chain laid in the corner), Angle headlocks him to the mat to start. Cena reverses into one of his own and we hit the dueling chants, allowing Cole to talk about Cena’s street cred. Back up and Angle flips him off, earning a hard clothesline to take him down again. A hard running shoulder in the corner rocks Cena again though as this is back and forth so far.

Another shoulder hits post though and Cena gets all fired up, including a running clothesline in the corner. We hit a double chickenwing on the mat and then a front facelock as the pace slows considerably. Back up and a spinebuster (way too common of a move on this show) allows Cena to go up, only to have Angle dropkick him in the shin on the way down. An ankle lock attempt sends Cena scurrying for the ropes so Angle adds a baseball slide.

Kurt does his insane tease of a German suplex off the apron but Cena, fearing a bad case of death, DDT’s him onto the apron to escape. Back in and the Throwback gives Cena two but he gets rolled with the German suplexes. It’s Cena’s turn to pop back up, this time with knees to the head and a buckle bomb of all things for two. The FU and Angle Slam get two each and it’s chain time. The referee actually pays attention for once and takes it away, leaving Cena to hit him with the gold medals for two instead. Back up and another FU is countered into the ankle lock for the tap.

Rating: B. I liked this one quite a bit with some nice work, though Cena going over was the logical play here. The “he earned respect” argument only works for so long and Cena is getting to the point where he really needs a big win. The match was entertaining though and Cena looked good, though Angle kicking out of the FU didn’t do him much good. Not bad, but Cena needs to do something soon.

We recap Big Show vs. Eddie Guerrero. I’ll spare you the details and go with burritos, sewage and a destroyed low rider. Sounds serious, right?

US Title: Big Show vs. Eddie Guerrero

Eddie, with a taped up back after Thursday, is defending and Show wastes no time sending him hard into the corner. The champ is right back with a neck snap over the top rope but Show sends him back first into the corner again. Eddie gets creative by throwing in a chair before switching over to some kicks to the knee.

The bad back is sent into the post though and Show launches him over the top to take it back inside. They’re doing a good job of making Show look like the dominant monster but I have a bad feeling of where this is going. We hit the trash talk with Show slowly dragging Eddie around the ring. Eddie manages to send him into an exposed turnbuckle though and a frog splash crossbody gets two.

That’s enough for a ref bump (well duh) so Eddie pulls out some brass knuckles for a knockout shot and two. A title shot to the head knocks Show even sillier and the frog splash….gets two. Show gets the same off a spinebuster (ok enough already) so Eddie kicks him low and grabs a DDT. He can’t follow up though and it’s a chokeslam to give Show the title as the arena deflates.

Rating: D. Eddie was trying as hard as he could but when a brass knuckles shot, a belt shot and the frog splash can’t put Show away, there’s not much more Eddie can do. Show isn’t someone I ever need to see get a push like this or of any kind really, and I certainly hope that Eddie gets the momentum back because he’s been so entertaining as of late.

Post match Chavo comes in to yell at Eddie for losing.

Big Show says no one can beat him because he is, in fact, a giant.

We recap Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker. Vince turned Brock evil and Undertaker wants to set things right. Then he decided he loved chains for some reason so we’re getting a chain on a pole match.

Smackdown World Title: Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker

Brock is defending and the chain is on a pole in the corner. Undertaker misses a right hand in the corner to start and Lesnar seems to be running early on. Another miss lets Brock unload in the corner and Old School is blocked. A shoulder goes into the post though and Undertaker hits a big boot and legdrop for two. So the chain can be completely ignored? Now Old School connects and Undertaker grabs la majistral of all things for two more. They head outside with Brock kneeing him in the ribs a few times, followed by a whip into the steps.

Back in and Undertaker strikes away but misses a running boot in the corner. The chain hasn’t been a factor yet, save for some clanking noises here and there. Undertaker gets knocked off the apron and into the barricade so the beating can continue. Back inside again with Undertaker winning a slugout, including a jumping clothesline for two. It’s finally time to go for the chain but the lights go out.

They come back on with nothing changed though Lesnar uses the distraction to grab an electric chair. The steps are thrown in and Undertaker gets sent face first. That’s not enough yet either as Undertaker takes it back outside for a piledriver on the other steps. Rather than go for the win, Undertaker goes for the chain but comes back down with a triangle choke over the ropes instead. A low blow and steps to the head give Lesnar two and it’s time for another slugout as this just keeps going.

Undertaker gets the better of it but his chokeslam is countered into a spinebuster for two. A short armscissors is reversed with a powerbomb so Undertaker switches to the Dragon Sleeper. That’s reversed into the F5 for two so Brock goes up. This time it’s a chokeslam off the top for a HUGE crash but the freaking FBI runs in for the save before Undertaker can go for the chain.

The Last Ride (nearly into the corner so Undertaker has to pull it back a bit) drops Lesnar and it’s a Taker Dive onto the FBI. Nunzio gets knocked away from the chain and Undertaker FINALLY gets the chain. Cue Vince to crotch Undertaker on the top, allowing Lesnar to chain Undertaker in the head. The F5 FINALLY retains the title.

Rating: D+. It was a half decent power match that was crippled by both the length and all the shenanigans. You really could have made this into a regular match or a street fight as the chain wasn’t a factor until the last two minutes. The problem here though is the time as it ran nearly twenty five minutes, or at least eight minutes longer than it needed. With no drama on the chain until the end, there wasn’t much to see other than slow brawling. Not terrible, but not the way this should have gone.

Vince runs away to end the show.

Overall Rating: D. There’s good stuff in here to keep it from being a disaster or a horrible show but the two main events are a combination of terrible and way too long, which is too much to overcome. Hopefully this is the end of this era as they really need to change a lot of stuff up around here. Find something fresh to work with because the McMahons are so horribly played out and Brock needs a new challenger. Maybe Survivor Series can help because this show was pretty bad.

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