The 2004 edition of Smackdown’s “No Mercy” pay per view at the Continental Airlines Arena in the shadow of New York City is in the books, and it will best be remembered as being unmemorable. There was nothing horrible on the show aside from the closing minutes and overall it was entertaining, but nothing stood out or made it anything more than a run of the mill show. Three months from now fans will be wracking their brains to remember the results of the event.
The main event “Last Ride Match” between WWE Champion John “Bradshaw” Layfield and challenger The Undertaker didn’t do much to top their dismal, wave-inducing effort at Summerslam. The announcers repeatedly said the match was the first of its kind, in which the winner had to stuff their opponent in a hearse and send the vehicle out of the building. Do not confuse this with last years “Ambulance Match” between Shane McMahon and Kane, which had the same stipulation with an ambulance. Fans know history, it would be nice if the WWE would remember it.
Starting off with brawling, the match continued as a punch-kick effort, finally picking up when the two brawled to the outside and JBL took control hitting the dead man with the steps and hit a top rope shoulderblock inside the ring. Taker came back with his triangle choke submission and Bradshaw tapped but submissions did not count. Back outside the two brawled into the crowd and back to ringside, where Undertaker backdropped out of a piledriver on the steps and connected with the tombstone on them, busting open the champion, then seconds later chokeslamming Bradshaw off the announce table through the Spanish table.
The Champion seemed finished as Taker carried him to the hearse, only for Heidenreich to pop out and assault Taker and chloroform him. Obviously Heidenreich’s mentor Paul Heyman didn’t study Wrestlemania IX when Giant Gonzales attempted to do the same thing. Much like 12 years ago, Taker sat up inside the hearse and went after Heidenreich. This distraction allowed Bradshaw to hit the clothesline from hell, and the two men loaded the challenger back into the hearse ending the match.
As Bradshaw crowed on the mic about being unbeatable, the camera cut to backstage, where Paul Heyman emerged from the drivers seat and had Heidenreich slam into the hearse in an SUV, causing an inexplicable explosion. Heidenreich staggered out, bloody and bruised from the crash and the two men celebrated as the camera panned to the battered hearse. That groaning sound you hear is the realization of thousands of fans realizing that the dreaded Heidenreich/Undertaker feud is coming to fruition and the use of yet another Undertaker killing/car crash angle. This kind of crappy ending may be acceptable for a TV broadcast, but for a PPV it ranks up there with the cement covering of Paul Bearer as a horrid ending.
The next WWE pay per view is RAW’s interactive event Taboo Tuesday on Tuesday October 19.
No Mercy 2004 Results
Match 1: Eddie Guerrero vs. Luther Reigns.
Wonderful, first Benoit gets demoted to curtain jerker and then Guerrero does. Reigns is not in Guerrero’s league and it showed as not even the talented former champion could bring the big man to his level. A ho hum opener until Guerrero cheated, stealing an object from a police officer on the floor and hiding it in his boot before grabbing a chair. Eddie grabbed a chair and headed into the ring. Luther grabbed it from him, but Guerrero dropkicked it into him and missed the frog splash. As the referee was disposing of the chair, Latino Heat pulled the extendable baton he “borrowed” from the officer and clocked Reigns with it, then hit the frog splash for the win.
Winner: Eddie Guerrero in 13:13
In back, Dawn Marie said she and Charlie Haas were having an affair. My god, first she kills Al Wilson and then she tries to break up the engagement of the future Mrs. Jackie Haas and her man. She burst into Jackie’s locker room and surprised the topless one, whose hands covered her breasts as Dawn told her that she didn’t measure up.
Match 2: Spike Dudley (Champion) vs. Nunzio (Challenger) for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
Spike was accompanied by his brothers while Johnny Stamboli accompanied Nunzio. A solid effort by both men but the result was a given considering that Nunzio has had no character development for at least a year including no explanation for his sudden turn to babyface. A Sicilian slice nearly crowned a new champion but the Dudleyz put Spike’s foot on the rope. Stamboli tried to prevent interference from D-von, allowing Bubba to trip up Nunzio and crotch him on the post and giving Spike the win.
Winner:… and still Cruiserweight Champion… Spike Dudley at 8:44
They showed a clip of the first Taker title win at Survivor Series 1991 over Hulk Hogan, which apparently was exactly 13 years ago today. I guess U.S. Thanksgiving was in October back then.
Match 3: Billy Kidman vs. Paul London.
The best match of the night, as London and Kidman gave it their all in a fast-paced, exciting bout. London started off hot with a series of highspots, including a nice moonsault over the top to the floor. London is reminiscent of Kidman in his WCW prime. Kidman took over working on London’s midsection, and London did his trademark stellar selling. London learned as many have before him that you can’t powerbomb Kidman, who reversed into a sit out faceplant for a near fall. Kidman set up the shooting star press, but didn’t follow through and started to leave before remembering that he would be fired if he walked out. London came back and finally busted out his Shooting Star Press which remains one of the best in the business, but hit the knees. Kidman hit his own version, much less nice, for the win. After the match Kidman taunted the crowd saying they forced him to do it while medics put London, who was bleeding from the mouth, on a stretcher. Kidman then hit a much nicer SSP on the stretchered London.
Winner: Billy Kidman at 10:33
Flashback #2: Taker defeats Sid at Wrestlemania 13 for his second title win. Josh Matthews then interviewed JBL who said WWE was as biased as Dan Rather for showing all of Taker’s title wins.
Match 4: Rene Dupree & Kenzo Suzuki (Champions) vs. Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio (Challengers) for the WWE Tag Team Championship.
Kenzo butchered “Born in the USA” as tribute to New Jersey and Bruce Springsteen. Well, he is Japanese and WWE is so socially correct that of course Kenzo must like karaoke. RVD ended the misery with his entrance. RVD and Dupree started things off with the back and forth trading of moves that they had been testing out at house shows. Another solid match despite the clash of styles, with good effort but like much of the PPV overall forgettable. Rey hit the 619 on Kenzo but Dupree tripped him up when he attempted the west coast pop. RVD dove onto Dupree while Kenzo rolled up a stunned Mysterio and held the rope for leverage.
Winners:… and still Tag Team Champions: Rene Dupree & Kenzo Suzuki at 9:09.
Match 5: Kurt Angle vs. The Big Show
Not their best match but still a solid effort with a bald Show dominating his fellow bald man in the early going. Show looks sort of like an odd Goldberg/Austin/Bundy hybrid. Angle bailed out early in the match and lost by count out but Teddy Long came down and ordered him back to the ring with a no count out stipulation and that if Angle didn’t return he wouldn’t wrestle again on Smackdown. The match also initially had a no interference for risk of termination stip. Angle finally took control going after the leg and locking in the ankle lock. He attempted to pull out the stun gun, but Show broke it over his knee and then chokeslammed him from the top to the ring for a clean pin.
Winner: The Big Show at 15:07
A spot aired for Carlito Caribbean Cool. Um, why did we pay for this? The history of Booker T and John Cena aired going back to Kurt Angle stripping him of the belt.
Match 6: Booker T (Champion) vs. John Cena (Challenger) in match 5 of the best of 5 series for the WWE United States Championship.
The best match of the series, which isn’t saying much because the series has been a huge disappointment. Benoit vs. Booker this isn’t. Booker dominated until Cena took over about seven minutes in with a bulldog and the five-knuckle shuffle. He pumped his shoes up but the stalling let Booker take control briefly until a F-U out of nowhere earned Cena the surprising title win. Why they would put the belt on him when he is filming “The Marine” is beyond me.
Winner:… and new US Champion: John Cena at 10:32.
Recap of Taker winning his third title at Over the Edge 1999 from Steve Austin. It is the only time I can remember footage of the show airing as it was never commercially released due to Owen Hart’s death at the show.
Match 7: Dawn Marie & The Dudley Boyz vs. Miss Jackie, Charlie Haas & Rico.
Haas is now clean shaven, which looks odd. Dawn wore a t-shirt saying Charlie *hearts Dawn. A good blend of comedy spots like Bubba thinking Jackie was going to kiss him and getting a peck from Rico then screaming and fleeing the ring to rinse his mouth out with water, and Rico rubbing his crotch and inviting D-von to do the whassup headbutt combined with some good wrestling. The Heyman influence was evident in the catfights between Jackie and Dawn. Haas hit a flying cross forearm from the top and Rico capped it off with a moonsault for the win.
Winners: Miss Jackie, Charlie Haas and Rico at 8:44.
The final flashback to Taker once again defeating Hulk Hogan, this time at Judgement Day 2002 for his fourth title win.
Match 8: John “Bradshaw” Layfield (Champion) vs. The Undertaker (Challenger) in a “Last Ride” match for the WWE Championship.
Winner:… and still WWE Champion: John “Bradshaw” Layfield at 21:01
Overall event rating: 5/10.
Jason Clevett is from Calgary, Alberta. He is joined by some of the top stars of Stampede Wrestling to discuss No Mercy on Ringside Manners post show at http://ringsidemanner.tripod.com/