A family dog is smarter than the entire management and booking staff at Titan Towers. Wanna know why? Because when a dog does something wrong and is disciplined, it eventually learns from its mistakes. The WWE as a whole never does and apparently never will.
Fans have voiced their displeasure with the direction of the WWE product for what seems like ages. Even lifelong fans have found other things to do Monday and Thursday nights when the WWE’s flagships shows air. They have stopped buying their pay-per-views. They’ve shied away from house shows. Amazingly enough, the protest has fallen upon deaf ears. Arrogantly ignoring the advice of the wrestling community on how to set things right (i.e.: ditching the separate Raw – Smackdown! promotions) the company continues on with its leisurely suicidal death spiral. Any other company would’ve heeded the marketplace and instituted changes to somehow desperately win back their fans. Unfortunately, we are talking about the WWE here. A company that thumbs its nose at the marketplace with one hand while hammering the final nails in its own coffin with the other. Go figure.
A family-run entertainment business that once respected its viewers has evolved into the personal playground of its egomaniacal owners and operators. It all began with the Steve Austin – Vince McMahon angle and it has been all downhill from there. Even though it is clear that fans don’t want the McMahons to be the focus of WWE’s storylines, they insist on putting themselves in the spotlight and pushing their irritating, one-dimensional on-screen personalities onto a disinterested public. The McMahons were the ones who brought pro-wrestling into the mainstream consciousness during the eighties. It is somehow only fitting that the McMahons also be the ones who kill off any mainstream interest and drive pro-wrestling back underground.
There is no better example of how completely out of touch and conceited the company is than last night’s No Mercy pay-per-view. How they have the audacity to charge their regular pay-per-view rates for the incessantly mundane monthly line-ups boggles the mind. The decision to charge that much for such a feeble product is an absolute insult and another reason why their fan base is steadily shrinking.
It should be no surprise that company’s head master of disaster – Vince McMahon – wrote himself in as the star of the show. The broadcast was built around his laughable feud with daughter Stephanie McMahon and he alone brought about the conclusion of the main event championship match. In the ho-hum ‘I Quit’ match, Vince of course came out on top by choking out Stephanie with his trusty lead pipe and relieving her of her “general manager” duties on Smackdown. Heaving the ‘I Quit’ conditions and all storyline logic out the window, Stephanie lost when good old mom Linda McMahon couldn’t stand seeing her daughter suffer any longer and literally threw in the towel. After Vince threw Linda to the canvass for good measure and gave his “personal assistant” Sable a kiss for all her support (read interference) during the match, a confused Stephanie demanded to know why mom called it quits for her. This sets up Steph’s return following her real-life wedding to WWE star Hunter-Hearst Helmsley. Awww. How sweet. Announcers Michael Cole and Taz droned on and on speculating who the new Smackdown! GM would be. The proposition might be interesting if anyone actually cared.
Vince regrettably returned once again to foul up the Undertaker’s quest to become the WWE Champion and ruining ‘Taker’s best performance in the squared circle since he adopted the biker gimmick. Combining technical wrestling moves including a Dragon Sleeper and an innovative leg-lock submission move over the top rope with his bash ’em, crash ’em style, the Undertaker proved that even after all these years in the business (or maybe because of them) he can still deliver and hang with substantially younger talent.
In the Biker Chain match with WWE Champion – Brock Lesnar – you just knew that the storyline scribblers in the back were against ‘Taker though when he went to retrieve the biker chain off the steel pole and the lights in the arena mysteriously went out. With Vince’s fingerprints all over the strange occurrence, ‘Taker was forced to climb back down. Not breaking his stride, ‘Taker took Lesnar outside and piledrived him on top of what was left of the steel ringsteps. This brought about a healthy “Holy s–t!” chant from the crowd who evidently thought the move was more vicious than it actually turned out to be. Either that or the poor slobs have never witnessed an ECW match in their lives.
The said steel ring steps came into play with both men bashing each other with them. Lesnar powered out of a Dragon Sleeper to bring The Undertaker crashing down with an F5. Lesnar went to retrieve the chain but ‘Taker chokeslammed him off the top rope. At that point, everything Lesnar and ‘Taker worked for went down the tubes. The F.B.I. executed a run-in but were no match for The Undertaker who tossed them out of the ring and then flattened them with a REAL “Holy s–t!” move, a running head-first suicide dive or tope over the top rope. As ‘Taker clambered up the pole, took down the biker chain and wrapped it around his fist, Vince came up from under the ring and pushed ‘Taker off the top rope. Insert groan here. ‘Taker crotched himself and fell to the mat. Lesnar punched Undertaker with the steel chain and got the pinfall.
The next WWE pay-per-view is the Survivor Series on November 16th.
No Mercy 2003 Results
Tajiri (champion) versus Rey Mysterio Jr. (challenger) (WWE Cruiserweight Title Match)
- Redundant yet fantastic bout from these two high-fliers. Mysterio being tossed up onto the top rope and then moonsaulting Tajiri in one smooth move was astounding. The match is blown to bits when two “fans” dressed in Mafia-style business suits distract Mysterio so Tajiri can kick him in the chops for the pin. Methinks these “fans” will be appearing again on Smackdown! perhaps as Tajiri’s comrades in arms.
- Winner: … and still WWE Cruiserweight Champion…Tajiri at 11 minutes and 43 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
- Vince arrives and is interviewed about his match against Stephanie. It is “personal business” and if anyone at all interferes in the match, Vince will make sure they never work in pro-wrestling again…anywhere. Talk about being full of yourself.
A-Train versus Chris Benoit
- In match nobody wanted to see, A-Train plays the power heel slamming around the technician Benoit. I feel sorry for A-Train. He does have the skills to be a top ranked heel but as with many of the WWE’s moldy characters, the bookers steadfastly refuse to update his gimmick and therefore are sabotaging his career. He could be so much more in the right hands. Train’s chicken wing drop has Benoit’s face smashing into his knee. The move splits Benoit’s lip open. Benoit is also dropped head first onto a steel chair. Ouch! A-Train sets up a steel chair in a corner but misses a kick later on getting his leg wrapped up in it. One Dragon Screw Leg Whip and a Sharpshooter by Benoit has A-Train tapping out. The point of this match was…?
- Winner: Chris Benoit at 12 minutes and 25 seconds.
- Match Rating: 4 / 10.
- Matt Hardy is searching for Shannon Moore in the backstage area. He finds him being strangled by some huge blond-haired dude. Matt smooth talks the giant into letting Shannon go. He still has the big man’s try-out tape and will be delivering it into the right hands. That satisfies the big lug who goes on about someone named “Little Johnny” before bumbling away. Matt and Shannon breathe a sigh of relief. SummerSlam promo airs with a football team being crunched by WWE wrestlers on the field. It is an immature, petty swipe at the NFL who are kicking the WWE’s tail in the ratings. Funny bit at the end has Vince in a limo watching the action and saying: “The WWE and football? Naw.” Too bad Vince didn’t have the same revelation before he started that XFL project.
Matt Hardy versus Zach Gowen
- Zach shines here with some jaw-dropping moves. I am still amazed at his uncanny sense of balance. Incredible. Zach scores the win with a kicking Moonsault. The announcers call the victory an “upset”…which is kinda insulting if you ask me. Prepare to see Zach sporting some gold after WrestleMania is in the books. I predict that WWE will save that moment until then.
- Winner: Zach Gowen at 5 minutes and 12 seconds .
- Match Rating: 4 / 10.
- Linda barges into Vince’s “office” as he is lacing up his shoes. She begs Vince not to fight Stephanie. That course of action will divide their family…for the one hundredth time. Vince says that the match is more than fair. Steph can win if she makes him submit or pins him. She already has an advantage. Just to make things interesting…Vince decides to make the match a no DQ bout. Linda leaves in a huff. Vince wonders if it was something he said.
APA versus The Basham Brothers
- These Basham Brothers have potential. They just need more personality and more teams to battle. Typical brawling – tag team match until Shaniqua makes an appearance and cracks Bradshaw over the head with a nightstick from behind to pay him back for the Clothesline From Hell weeks ago. Bradshaw is knocked out and pinned. Shaniqua and The Brothers are interviewed. Shaniqua says that her breasts have been “swollen” ever since Bradshaw’s attack. The condition might never go away. Shaniqua leads the Brothers away for their “reward”. “Let’s go whip it good,” she says. Oookay.
- Winners: The Basham Brothers at 8 minutes and 51 seconds.
- Match Rating: 3 / 10.
Stephanie McMahon versus Vince McMahon
- Winner: Vince McMahon at 10 minutes and 12 seconds .
- Match Rating: 0 / 10.
Kurt Angle versus John Cena
- Best match of the night. One of those bouts where frustration looms as neither man will go down. Cena gives Kurt a wicked Swinging DDT on the ring apron. Kurt comes up bloody. Cena eventually submits to the Ankle Lock. Hope this feud progresses to give us some more brutal matches.
- Winner: Kurt Angle at 18 minutes and 33 seconds.
- Match Rating: 7.5 / 10.
Eddie Guerrero (champion) versus Big Show (challenger) (WWE U.S. Heavyweight Title Match)
- Naturally, Eddie carries this match using every means at his disposal to try and put the Big Show down. He bashes his head into an exposed steel turnbuckle, hits him with a trash can lid, punches him with brass knuckles and dings him with championship belt. Big Show keeps on trucking. Insert groan here. A Chokeslam out of nowhere ends the agony. Chavo comes out to argue with Eddie when all is said is done. Big Show is interviewed backstage about his title win. He told us so. He told us so. Whatever.
- Winner: …and new WWE U.S. Heavyweight Champion…Big Show at 11 minutes and 28 seconds.
- Match Rating: 3 / 10.
Brock Lesnar (champion) versus The Undertaker (challenger) (WWE Championship Title – Biker Chain Match)
- Winner: …and still WWE Champion…Brock Lesnar at 24 minutes and 15 seconds .
- Match Rating: 7 / 10.
- Total Event Time: Two hours and 45 minutes.
Overall Event Rating: 4 / 10.