It is rare that a tag team match where no gold is at stake overshadows a World Heavyweight Title match on pay-per-view though that’s what happened at last night’s WWF No Mercy broadcast from the Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The bitter feud between WWF World Heavyweight Champion, Hunter Hearst-Helmsley, and the popular “Stone Cold” Steve Austin took at backseat to a ladder match pitting The New Brood (Jeff and Matt Hardy) against Edge and Christian for ten thousand dollars and the services of manager Terri Runnels.
In a word, all four men were astonishing. The sixteen minute bump-fest that brought the crowd to their feet in appreciation will go down as a classic dethroning Shawn Michaels versus Razor Ramon as the greatest ladder match ever. The Hardy Boys (or the “mini-Sabus” as SLAM! Wrestling’s “Hardcore” Chris Gramlich aptly describes them) and Canadian boys – Edge and Christian – are the future of the federation. Give them a hefty raise, I say. They deserve it after last night’s once in a lifetime performance.
Triple H’s valet and wrestler in her own right – Chyna – also made wrestling history by beating Jeff Jarrett to become the first woman ever to win the coveted WWF Intercontinental Championship.
Triple H and Austin were no slouches in their dust-up either. Earlier in the evening, The Rock cut a promo in the middle of the ring challenging the winner to a match. As The Rock was about to exit through the curtain, Triple H laid him out with that darn sledgehammer. The Rock was carted off on a stretcher to the backstage area where he refused to be taken to the hospital.
In his title defence against Austin, Helmsley brought the sledgehammer out again. This time, Vince McMahon (when did Vinnie Mac become a hero all of the sudden?) ripped the hammer out of Triple H’s hands. Helmsley popped Vince in the chops Bret Hart style. Austin and Triple H brawled in the entrance way area. It was all Austin dinging Helmsley off of steel fences, rearranging his face with a trash can and a microphone boom. Seven minutes passed before Austin and Triple H actually got into the ring.
Austin spiked Helmsley with a Stunner though there was no referee to slap a three count. He has been injured outside the ring as Austin reversed a Pedigree slingshoting Triple H into the official. Both went careening over the ringside barricade. Austin scrapped the ref off the floor trying to bringing him back into the ring. Helmsley Irish-whipped Austin into the official who was thrown off the ring apron into the barricade. Helmsley’s Pedigree on Austin gained him a two count from the new ref. Irate, the champion got into a pushing match with the official. Stone Cold caught Helmsley unawares, slinging him off for a Lou Theiz Press, machine gun punching him in the head and striking him in the chest with a running elbow drop.
Out on the floor again, Austin rammed Helmsley into the steel ring stair and J.R. and The King’s announce table. As the great Gorilla Monsoon would’ve said, Triple H bled profusely. J.R.’s head-set in his hands, Stone Cold choked Helmsley prior to repeating the same throw into the stairs and electrical wire choking sequence of moves once more. Not falling for the same routine twice, Triple H iced Austin by crowning him with the ring bell twice. Helmsley dragged a stunned Austin to his feet then suplexed Stone Cold on…guess where? Yepper. The Spanish Announce Team’s table which incidentally, didn’t break into a bazillion pieces on impact as it usually does. They must’ve boned up on their Bob Villa home repair skills. Do they have a volume on table-making?
Once in the ring Triple H worked on the same knee he “injured” at SummerSlam punctuating the attack by wrapping Austin’s knee around the steel ring post. A series of near pinfalls drove Helmsley’s blood pressure through the roof. He brought a steel chair into the ring. Austin caught him with a well-placed mule kick to the gut. Triple H dropped the chair. Stone Cold picked up the chair. Helmsley kicked and clotheslined him down before he had a chance to use it.
Austin crotched Helmsley on the top rope. Reverting back to his “Stunning” Steve days in WCW when he actually used more than a handful of wrestling moves, Austin suplexed Triple H off the second rope. Austin won a tug of war over the steel chair. Stone Cold mirrored Helmsley’s assault on him at SummerSlam by whacking him over and over with the steel chair. A low blow from Triple H put a stop to the beating.
His ribs bandaged heavily and carrying the sledgehammer, The Rock ducked into the ring. The WWF Champion avoided the sledgehammer as Rock swung it. It connected with Austin’s gut knocking the wind out of him. Triple H Pedigreed The Rock and pinned Stone Cold to hang onto the WWF’s most prized championship.
Austin and Triple H traded blows through the backstage area to an underground garage. Chyna whisked Helmsley out of harm’s way in a waiting limousine.
Can you say Triple Threat – Elimination Match for the WWF World Title at Survivor Series? Could be.
- The next WWF pay-per-view is Survivor Series on November 14th.
WWF No Mercy Results
The Godfather Vs Median
- Viscera interferes more times than J.R. has used the word “slobberknocker”.
- The crowd is so bored with the match they start a “We want puppies!” chant.
- Godfather dodges a Viscera avalanche. Viscera hits the steel ring post.
- Median is the victim of the running splash and a roll up.
- No animals were hurt by Median in the filming of this match.
- Winner: The Godfather at 7 minutes and 30 seconds .
- Match Rating: 3 / 10.
The Fabulous Moolah (challenger) Vs Ivory (champion) (WWF Women’s World Heavyweight Title Match)
- No disrespect to Moolah but this could very well be the WORST match I’ve ever seen. Missed and fouled up moves aplenty are on display. I’d rather sit through the Roberts – Martel Blindfold Match at WrestleMania 7 again. That should tell you something.
- Moolah scores the pinfall and captures the women’s title. The King and Ivory are beside themselves.
- Winner: …and new WWF Women’s World Heavyweight Champion…The Fabulous Moolah at 2 minutes and 50 seconds.
- Match Rating: 1 / 10.
The New Age Outlaws Vs The Hollys
- Am I the only one who shakes his head every time Jim Ross says the NAO are “perhaps the greatest tag team ever in the WWF”? Inquiring minds wanna know.
- Thank goodness NOA is back together. Now we can hear their intro another fifty thousand times.
- Bob Holly throws in a steel chair. Gunn connects with the Fam-asser driving Crash into the chair. The official calls for the bell disqualifying the Outlaws for using the illegal object.
- The Outlaws retaliate by slamming Hardcore onto the steel chair too. Who says the NAO aren’t sore losers?
- Winners: The Hollys at 10 minutes and 32 seconds via disqualification.
- Match Rating: 6 / 10.
Chyna (challenger) Vs Jeff Jarrett (champion) (WWF Intercontinental Title – Good Housekeeping Match)
- Irons, brooms, food, pans, a kitchen sink and even a gutted fish are weapons in this bout.
- Jarrett clocks Chyna with the Intercontinental belt and gets the 1-2-3. Since the belt isn’t a household item Jarrett’s win is overturned. The match is started over. Jarrett slaps the figure four on referee Teddy Long. Chyna breaks a guitar over Jarrett’s head, pins him and becomes the first woman ever to hold the WWF Intercontinental Title.
- Since when is a six-string guitar a “household item”?
- Miss Kitty abandons Jarrett for Chyna.
- Winner: …and new WWF Intercontinental Champion…Chyna at 8 minutes and 25 seconds.
- Match Rating: 2 / 10.
The Rock Vs The British Bulldog
- A well-fought, explosive encounter. Rocky pushes out of The Powerslam reversing it into a Rock Bottom. There falls the People’s Elbow. There falls the Bulldog.
- Winner: The Rock at 7 minutes and 21 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
Edge, Christian Vs The New Brood (Terri Runnels Tournament – Double Ladder Match)
- As I stated above, a Match Of The Year candidate that has to be seen to be believed.
- Gangrel tries to help by carrying a ladder to the ring. The ref sends him packing.
- Matt and Jeff break open a bottle of champagne with Terri to celebrate their win backstage.
- Winners: The New Brood at 16 minutes and 40 seconds.
- Match Rating: 10 / 10.
Val Venis Vs Mankind
- Mankind is wearing a Cactus Jack shirt underneath his white dress shirt.
- Mankind takes a nasty spill as Venis backdrops him onto a steel chair.
- Venis misses The Money Shot. Mankind puts on Socco. Venis puts on Rocco. Mankind locks in the Mandible Claw. Venis, the Testicular Claw. Both men collapse. Venis falls on top of Mankind for the win.
- Mankind regains Rocco. Venis runs.
- Winner: Val Venis at 9 minutes and 18 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
Bradshaw Vs Faarooq Vs X-Pac Vs Kane (Four Corners – Elimination Match)
- Kane Chokeslams Bradshaw to give him the boot at 8 minutes and 23 seconds. Kane stands up and X-Pac nails the Big Red Machine with a Spin-Heel Kick to expel him at 10 minutes and 15 seconds.
- Faarooq goes for a second rope shoulder tackle. X-Pac turns it into his X-Factor finishing move eliminating Faarooq.
- Winner: At 10 minutes and 15 seconds, X-Pac.
- Match Rating: 6 / 10.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin (challenger) Vs Hunter Hearst-Helmsley (champion) (WWF World Heavyweight Title Match)
- Winner: …and still WWF World Heavyweight Champion, Triple H at 21 minutes and 53 seconds.
- Match Rating: 8 / 10.
- Total Event Time: 2 hours and 50 minutes.
- Overall Event Rating: 8 / 10.