Everything that is wrong with the World Wrestling Federation walked down to ringside approximately eleven minutes into No Mercy’s main event title match. Some call him a brilliant businessman. Some call him a genius promoter. Well, that once “brilliant businessman” squandered millions of dollars on a football league that was doomed before the first pass was thrown. If he was still a “genius promoter”, this man wouldn’t have blown a historical interpromotional angle which could’ve captured the imagination of wrestling fans worldwide and would’ve been able to pull his company out of a seven-month tailspin that has turned a trend-setting wrestling promotion into a wasteland of regurgitated angles. Vincent K. McMahon Jr. is what’s wrong with the World Wrestling Federation and it is time he retired. As the active, hands-on head of the promotion, it is he who authorizes everything you see and hear on WWF television. It is he who is ultimately responsible for the current state the company is in. It goes without saying that no matter if you like him or hate him, Vincent K. McMahon he will go down as the man who revolutionized the wrestling business. At one time, everything he touched turned to gold. That is no longer the case. In recent years, his performance as the WWF’s head honcho has proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt. It’s not just the cyclical downturn that has caused a large proportion of die-hard fans to move on. It is McMahon’s desire to allow his company to coast by on as little creative effort as possible. One just has to look at last night’s hollow No Mercy main event to understand that.
No Mercy saw the WWF return to the well it has drained bone dry before. For fans who didn’t catch it the fifth, tenth or twentieth time they’ve run the angle, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Vince McMahon are about to feud once again. A chairshot by McMahon to the back of Austin’s head saw to that.
Austin and his challengers to the WWF World Heavyweight Title — Rob Van Dam and Kurt Angle — were moving the Triple Threat match along at a good clip until the McMahons pretty much ruined everything by executing some run-ins. First up was Vincent McMahon labeling Austin with a steel chair as he was waiting to put a dazed RVD away. The shot cut the back of Austin’s head open. Three minutes later, it was Shane McMahon’s turn to hurl Kurt Angle out of the ring and into a steel ring post. Vince tackled Shane over the announce table and the two began pummeling one another. Back in the ring, Austin laid a “Stone Cold” Stunner on to retain the belt as a disgruntled Vince scowled. Gee, how many times have we seen that scenario play itself out before? Austin wins. Vince fumes. Fans snore. Whatever.
The WCW World Heavyweight Title bout, which was held right before the Triple Threat match, was better in every way possible. The Rock and Chris Jericho worked a remarkable match. Even interference by another McMahon (Stephanie) didn’t take away from what the two young stars were able to put together. After being Rock Bottomed through an announce table, Jericho has the presence of mind to halt a People’s Elbow attempt by The Rock and turn it into his Walls Of Jericho submission move. At that point, Stephanie McMahon got involved and distracted Jericho. The Rock rebounded Rock Bottoming Stephanie and DDTing Jericho. Jericho, however, caught The Rock from behind and planted him face-first on a steel chair to win the WCW World Heavyweight Title. As Jericho posed with the belt, The Rock picked up the steel chair and teased hitting Jericho from behind. Instead of doing that, The Rock jawed a bit with Jericho then handed him the steel chair as a reminder that he needed it to beat the People’s Champion.
Editor’s Note: Just an observation. There was no special No Mercy stage set or banners on the ring. It could be that the WWF is looking to cut production costs by dropping the expensive and unique sets.
The next WWF pay-per-view is Survivor Series on November 18th.
WWF No Mercy 2001 Results
The Hardy Boys (champions) Vs Lance Storm, The Hurricane (challengers) (WCW World Tag Team Title Match)
- Rip-roaring opening match. Mighty Molly (I can’t believe I just typed that!), Ivory and Lita even mixed it up a bit. The Hardy Boys pull this one out despite the mass confusion.
- Winners: ….and still WCW World Tag Team Champions…The Hardy Boys at 7 minutes and 40 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
- RVD arrives at the arena. William Regal asks that RVD apologize to Austin for what he did to him on Smackdown! No way, says RVD. He is not on Austin or McMahon’s side for that matter. He’s looking out for Number One. McMahon drives up in his limo. He asked The Coach to help him put his jacket on. Coach drops it before slipping it on McMahon. McMahon tells Coach that he will prove tonight who he supports and that if Coach drops his coat ever again, he will drop Coach.
Test Vs Kane
- Truth be told, Test really let loose here. To Mick Foley’s chagrin, this could be his breakthrough match. Maybe. Test belts Kane in the head with the ring bell but referee Nick Patrick doesn’t call the match. Test brings in a chair. Kane kicks it into Test’s face. Kane picks up the chair. Patrick prevents him from using it. Test boots Kane in the face to score the pinfall. Kane chokeslams Patrick twice and powerbombs him once as payback.
- Winner: Test at 10 minutes and 23 seconds.
- Match Rating: 5 / 10.
- Coach knocks on Austin’s dressing room door. Debra answers Coach’s questions by repeating what Austin is saying inside. According to Austin, Angle is a sorry S.O.B., RVD is a piece of trash and Vince is an even bigger piece of trash than RVD is. Dressed in her undies and a robe, Stacy asks Matt Hardy what he thinks. Matt is stunned and stares at her as she walks away. Lita almost catches Matt in the act.
Stacy Vs Torrie (Lingerie Match)
- No nudity. Just undies. Stacy has a whip tucked down her brassiere and whips the ref and Torrie with it. Torrie catches Stacy trying to attempt a back-flip like Tajiri and rolls her up.
- Winner: Torrie at 3 minutes and 9 seconds.
- Match Rating: 1 / 10.
- Vince interrupts Angle’s interview time to wish him luck. Angle says he doesn’t need luck. “Oh, hell yeah! It’s true! It’s Van Dam true!,” shouts Angle. Christian talks about how he has always been better than Edge.
Christian (champion) Vs Edge (challenger) (WWF Intercontinental Title – Ladder Match)
- Some innovative moves keep this tried and true formula from getting too stale. Lots of balancing-the-ladder-on-stationary-objects spots. For example…the ladder is positioned on the ringstairs and the security fence. Christian is crotched on it. Edge puts Christian on a ladder that has been laid on two steel chairs then splashes Christian from the second rope. At the conclusion, Christian is put across the tops of two upright ladders and given a solo Conchairto by Edge. Christian falls to the mat and Edge snatches the title.
- Winner: …and new WWF Intercontinental Champion…Edge at 22 minutes and 14 seconds.
- Match Rating: 8.5 / 10.
- Spike Dudley is drowning his sorrows at WWF New York. An attractive groupie comes over to say hello. Spike says…”Molly who?”
The Dudley Boys (champions) Vs Tajiri and Big Show (challengers) (WWF World Tag Team Title Match)
- Whose idea was it to stick Tajiri in a tag team match with The Big Show? Talk about ridiculous. Tajiri is kicked around until Big Show makes the hot tag. He Chokeslams Buh Buh but Rhyno Gores Big Show. The Dudleys 3-D Tajiri.
- Winners: …and still WWF World Tag Team Champions…The Dudley Boys at 9 minutes and 16 seconds.
- Match Rating: 4 / 10.
- Regal congratulates Rhyno on his hit and run. Rhyno announces that he is going to make sure the Alliance gets the respect it deserves even if he has to do it all by himself. Booker, Shane and Test chat. Shane tells Booker that as the five-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, he should crush Taker. Booker replies that Taker is “one dead sucker walking”. This of course foreshadows Booker’s exit from the Alliance.
Booker T. Vs Undertaker
- Booker goes to use the ringbell like Test did in his match with Kane but official Tim White stops him. Lackluster bout which Taker wins with a Last Ride on Booker.
- Winner: Undertaker at 12 minutes and 9 seconds .
- Match Rating: 5 / 10.
Chris Jericho (challenger) Vs The Rock (champion) (WCW World Heavyweight Title Match)
- Winner: …and new WCW World Heavyweight Champion…Chris Jericho at 23 minutes and 44 seconds.
- Match Rating: 8.5 / 10.
Steve Austin (champion) Vs Rob Van Dam (challenger) Vs Kurt Angle (challenger) (WWF World Heavyweight Title Match)
- Winner: …and still WWF World Heavyweight Champion…Steve Austin at 15 minutes and 13 seconds.
- Match Rating: 4 / 10.
- Total Event Time: 2 hours and 40 minutes.
- Overall Event Rating: 7 / 10.