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Thread: WWE No Mercy 2001 Review

  1. #1

    No Mercy WWE No Mercy 2001 Review

    No Mercy
    October 21, 2001

    The Hardy Boyz © w/Lita vs The Hurricane and Lance Storm w/Mighty Molly and Ivory - WCW Tag Titles
    Since Unforgiven, Booker T and Test defeated The Brothers of Destruction to win the tag titles on the first episode of SD after the PPV. Two weeks later, The Hardyz would beat Test and Booker T for the titles on Raw. Meanwhile, it was just a couple of weeks ago that Molly dumped Spike Dudley and became Mighty Molly. As a reminder, it was after Summerslam that The Hurricane won the European Title off of Matt Hardy. God, they rushed so many angles during this time period. Back in 2008 when I reviewed Unforgiven 2001, I made a note about preferring to see The Hardyz vs Hurricane/Storm instead of the four-way and all of these years later, these two teams proved that they could put on a better match together than with The Dudleyz and Spike/Big Show. This was a nonstop action match with spots constantly happening. Even though the Hardyz are clearly the stars in the eyes of the WWE, the heel team were able to get in plenty of offense to look good themselves including Hurricane get in a nearfall after countering a Poetry in Motion by rolling up Matt. As expected, the women also got involved a couple of times to add to the excitement. I canít say I ever believed Storm and Hurricane would win simply because the titles were on the line, but that didnít stop the fun of this match. Finish would see Storm taken out by a Lita head scissors and Hurricane pinned with the Twist of Fate/Swanton Bomb combo to give the Hardyz the victory. A hell of an exciting opening match, even if it didnít mean anything. The following night on Raw, The Hurricane would lose the European Title to Bradshaw and the next night at the SD taping, The Hardyz would lose the WCW Tag TItles to The Dudley Boyz. *** ľ

    Backstage, WWE Hardcore Champion, RVD, has arrived to the building for tonightís triple threat match for the WWE Title. Alliance Commissioner, William Regal, approached RVD advising him to apologize to Steve Austin for giving him a Five Star Frog Splash recently on WWE TV. Van Dam isnít interested in any of Regalís advice though. Speaking of happenings since Unforgiven 2001, Regal turned on the WWE a couple of weeks ago when he helped Stone Cold defeat Kurt Angle to regain the WWE Title.

    Elsewhere, Mr. McMahon shows up and speaks on the rumors that RVD may be joining the WWEís side.

    Kane vs Test
    Itís time for another short lived Test push. As already mentioned, Test recently held one half of the WCW Tag Titles with Booker T. In November, the team would briefly hold the WWE Tag Titles as well. During which time, Test also won the WWE IC Title. All that for a guy whose push would be given up on by the end of the year. Believe it or not, but this was actually pretty decent. I suspect Testís push has caused him to be more motivated with Kane not having an ego to try and sabotage it. Most of it was built around Test coming so close to beating Kane, but not being able to finish him off. Testís strong offense began with using a ring bell on the outside in front of the Alliance referee, Nick Patrick. The first big nearfall saw Test send Kane face first into the ring post and then deliver a Big Boot. Back in the ring, that only gets Test a two count. A top rope elbow drop and pump handle slam also gets Test a couple of nearfalls. Yet, for all of Testís inabilities to beat Kane, he was also preventing Kane from doing much damage too, avoiding Kaneís top rope closeline. Itís Kane thwarting Testís plan of using a chair that ends up benefitting Test. After Kane dropkicked a steel chair into Testís face, Kane went to use the chair properly, but Patrick pulled the chair away. That little moment allowed for a distracted Kane to be low blowed by Test and then suffer a second Big Boot for the victory. Considering who was in this match, this greatly over delivered. ** Ĺ

    After the match, Kane gets revenge on Patrickís unfair officiating with a pair of chokeslams and his falling power bomb that I swear Kane did only a couple of times on TV, but became his finisher in the WWE video games for years to come.

    Stacy Keibler vs Torrie Wilson - Lingerie Match
    Billed as the first ever lingerie match. It was back in September that through a series of events including Torrie being accidentally misted by Tajiri and carried off to receive help by The Big Show, Torrie found herself drifting towards the WWE side with her new relationship with Tajiri. That caused problems in her friendship with Stacy with Stacy pushing her clients, The Dudley Boyz, to put Torrie through a table earlier in the month. As for the match, itís two very green women trying to pull off spots while in their lingerie. Both women are certainly athletic, allowing them to attempt spots that not every green talent could have. Still everything comes off as amatuer hour though. Itís embarrassing to watch and only further devalued the fanís opinions of the womenís division. Torrie would win with a roll-up. Great. Back to the interesting stuff. ľ *

    Christian © vs Edge - Ladder Match - WWE IC Title
    It was last month at Unforgiven that Christian, then still a member of the WWE, cheated to beat Edge for the IC Title. Since then, Christian officially joined the alliance, adding yet another belt to the outside faction. Try as they might, these two didnít have the chemistry together as opponents like they did as partners. Admittedly, it is their best match from their three match series (Unforgiven, No Mercy, and Rebellion), but itís still a pretty forgettable ladder match. It seemed as if they tried working the match similarly to a TLC match, bringing out some chairs and in total three ladders, but without additional wrestlers to hit spots, E&C were left resting on the mat often. When you look back at 2001, there were numerous BIG ladder matches with Benoit/Jericho (Rumble), TLC 2 (WM 17), and TLC 3 (SD), and thatís not even counting the average ladder matches at Judgment Day or Summerslam. Theyíre too frequent for them to stand out simply because theyíre ladder matches. Since they were still in the TLC mode of setting up spots, thereís not a high emphasis on trying to retrieve the titles, which is always a disappointment in ladder matches. As underwhelming as I am making the match feel, I do LOVE the finish. The Conchairto was such an important move for E&C and ever since Christian ditched Edge, he had been hitting an one man version of the chair based attack. Itís only fitting that in Edgeís revenge, he hits his own version of a Conchairto, but on top of a pair of ladders. That strike knocks Christian out, allowing Edge to easily pull down the IC Title to once again crown a NEW WWE IC Champion for the third PPV in a row. I liked the story of Edge getting revenge for all Christian had done to him, but considering Christian had just won the title at the previous PPV, this program felt very rushed. Alas, that was a common issue during this time period. Good, but not the blow away great match they were likely going for. Better than the previous ladder match of Hardy/RVD though. ***

    Over at WWF New York, Spike Dudley is clearly not missing Molly Holly as some chick approaches him and gives him some attention. Weíre shown a spot from Smackdown a couple of weeks ago where the Dudley Boyz launched Spike over the top rope, with him crashing through a table. Such a sick fucking bump.

    The Dudley Boyz © vs The Big Show and Tajiri
    Following the quiet end to the legendary tag team of Show Guns (Big Show/Billy Gunn), Gunn went off to team with Alliance member, Chuck Palumbo. Meanwhile, Show started a threesome of sorts with Spike Dudley and Tajiri. It wasnít an official trio nor were any of the tandems official, but it seemed that at any time, for a short period of time, you could see Show, Tajiri, and Spike team up in various ways. As stated elsewhere in this review, both Show and Tajiri have reasons for wanting revenge. For Tajiri, itís Dudley Boyz putting Torrie Wilson through a table. For Show, itís killing Spike with that insane table spot. Although this didnít look worthy of being a PPV match at all, it actually delivered. Itís a pretty fun match thatís fast pace. Tajiri is looked upon as the weak link of his team and the majority of the match is him having to endure the Dudleyz, but he manages to fire off kicks and dives to prove that heís not so easily beatable. Whether itís necessary or not, they add in a funky finish to protect Show/Tajiri in this loss. It starts with Tajiri accidentally spraying green mist into the eyes of the referee. That allows WCW US Champion, Rhyno, to run out and Gore Show out of the match. Other than dropping the US Title to Kurt Angle on the next edition of Raw, that would be it for Rhyno until he recovered from his neck surgery in 2003. With the match becoming essentially a two-on-one handicap match, Tajiri tries, but succumbs to the 3D to give the victory to the Dudleyz once the referee is able to get back to his job. Both of the tag matches on this show are examples of non-PPV worthy title defense, but ones that do deliver. ***

    Backstage, Alliance commissioner, William Regal, praises Rhyno for why he did. All Rhyno cares about is proving that the Alliance isnít a joke. If he has to be the one man proving everyone wrong, heíll do it. This makes me wonder, did the WWE know about Rhynoís neck injury? If so, utilizing him on this PPV seemed a bit senseless.

    The Undertaker vs Booker T
    As a reminder, Booker T and Test defeated The Brothers of Destruction for the WCW Tag Titles following Unforgiven. Since the title switch, Booker T had already defeated Kane in singles action on Smackdown. This ended up being roughly as good as their Judgment Day 2004 rematch. This went for a good amount of time, going nearly fourteen minutes. For the most part, it was pretty back and forth. Early on, Taker worked over the arm/shoulder for a bit, but it was quickly forgotten. Even though the story was never very strong, the match itself was very decent. For Kane/Test, that was a match with a lot of effort being displayed while this was an exercise in keeping the match going as long as possible without making it dull. The commentators made a big deal about Heyman putting a big emphasis on the Spinaroonie while Ross thought that it was ridiculous. Personally, Iím willing to side with Heyman since Ross tried to act like October was some big month for both men since Booker won his third WCW World Title in October 2000 and Taker won the first ever Buried Alive match in 1996. JR is trying way too hard for that. The finish saw Booker landing a series of punches in the corner until Taker had enough of it and countered with a Last Ride for the victory. This isnít a match you expect to be good and as long as it was fine, it was a positive of sorts for the show. ** ľ

    The Rock © vs Chris Jericho - WCW World Title
    Jerichoís first ever WCW World Title shot. This is a pretty big match in that itís Y2Jís coming out party for the main event scene. Heís had little glimpses of the main event, but something always got in the way to knock him back down. Granted, 2002 would cause Jericho to be knocked back down, but at least on this night, Rock did everything he could to accept Jericho into the main event. Both men are still on the WWEís side, but tensions over the WCW World Title has caused them to see each other as less of partners and more of two rivals. This causes both men to try and ditch out some big spots with Y2J stealing the Peopleís Elbow, but Rock delivering a Rock Bottom through a commentatorís table. The usage of Stephanie McMahon late in the match is pretty questionable, but Iím not entirely against her being involved. Sure, her getting involved, getting Rock Bottomíd but sliding a chair into the ring, does hurt the star rating, but whatís truly important is that it fits the story well. Is Jericho truly a heel for delivering a Breakdown to the Rock on the chair in order to get the pinfall and become the NEW WCW World Champion, was he unaware of the chair, or was he simply a guy who would do anything to win? Thanks to Stephanie, we get an advancement in Jerichoís heel turn. Does it take away from Jerichoís first proper World Title win? Maybe, but it still comes across as a big deal for Jericho. Besides, Jerichoís booking would be far worse come the end of the year and during his Undisputed Title reign. The match is still pretty great though. Rock delivers his best match since Wrestlemania, Jericho finally emerges triumphantly over a legitimately main eventer, and we have a match that takes this good PPV and upgrades it into an even better show. Since 2001 did have so many great matches, itís hard to say that this is a WWE MOTYC, but itís a stand out match for sure. The best Jericho/Rock PPV match by far. ****

    Steve Austin © vs Kurt Angle vs Rob Van Dam - WWE World Title
    A triple threat made far more interesting due to RVDís recent issues with the Alliance due to Stone Coldís jealousy over him and Mr. McMahonís growing interest in RVD. The legacy of this match is simply that itís one of the better 2001 matches that so rarely ever gets talked about. I only first saw it whenever the Austin Blu-Ray came out and was greatly impressed. On paper, it looked like a match that would only be just good. Instead, it was loads of fun. Throughout the match, Austin seems a bit obsessed with beating RVD. As if Stone Coldís ego is so fragile that he needs to beat Van Dam to prove that heís still the best in the Alliance. Like the previous match, thereís some wackiness with outside interference. In this case, itís Mr. McMahon coming out to screw with Austin, nailing him with a chair and busting Stone Cold open. Yet, who McMahon truly cares about winning the title is never actually revealed. Everything leading up to the match would imply RVD, but for this match, he seemed to be cheering on Angle more. Eventually, out came Shane McMahon leading to a brief, but really fun fight between Vince and Shane, with both men falling on the other side of the commentatorís table. Essentially, Angleís involvement in the match is to be Austinís personal bitch. Not only did he suffer two Stunners, he also managed to deliver an Angle Slam to RVD. While Shane would be there to prevent the Angle win, RVD was hurt enough that Austin was able to easily hit a Stunner to not only get the victory, but to also prove his superiority to Van Dam. Looking back, this is absolutely a match RVD should have won. People often bring up No Mercy 2002 as a time RVD lost when he shouldnít have, but to me, this stands out more. RVD as WWE Champion would have freshened things up since it would have been a World Champion that was neither WWE nor was exactly Alliance either. Thereís a lot you could do with a champion like that. Instead, Austin remains champion, the Alliance quickly ended, and RVD remained a midcarder. ****

    The start of 2001 tends to receive a lot of praise for putting on killer PPVs, but Iíd consider No Mercy as being a hidden gem PPV. Itís one of the best PPVs of the year and other than the awful lingerie match, the show delivered. Even matches like Kane/Test and Booker/Taker that you would expect to be lousy, were good for what they were. Neither tag match was truly important, but both were quite fun. Imagine, it was just last month that one of the tag titles matches The Brothers of Destruction vs Kronik. Thatís a nice step up. The Edge/Christian program continued to under deliver, but at least this ladder match was the best of their three match series. Both World Title matches were great. In the short history of having a WWE and WCW World Title defense on the same show, No Mercy featured the best pairing of title matches. If thereís one flaw of this show is just a general problem of the Invasion era of the WWE. Everything happened so quickly that literally on the next episode of Raw and Smackdown, we saw new WCW US Champion, WWE Tag Champions, WWE European Champion, WWE Tag Champions, and WCW Cruiserweight Champion being crowned! If that wasnít crazy enough, new WWE Tag Champions and WWE European Champion were crowned too! As his a show like No Mercy supposed to stand out as being important when literally multiple big things are happening on every single show? But, No Mercy 2001 remains a really fun show and well worth checking out on the WWE Network. Itís a highlight during an otherwise doomed Invasion era.

  2. #2
    The Planet's Admin

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    Re: WWE No Mercy 2001 Review

    I think I'm gonna watch the semi and main later today because I'm fairly sure I've never seen this PPV.

  3. #3
    The Only 2x WC HOF
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    Re: WWE No Mercy 2001 Review

    The double main events are amazing. I would rate Rock Vs Jericho a little higher than you, and I think that match does overshadow the main event. Both are great.

    Really fun show. Agreed about your thoughts on all matches (though Torrie Vs Stacy is a top 10 WWF match for 2001 according to the company). Edge and Christian didn't have much chemistry at all as opponents and struggled to stand out among the ladder matches from earlier in the year.

    Fun fact for Meltzer fans, this PPV has more 3 star+ matches than any other show in WWE history (tied with Summerslam 2015 and Payback 2013 - including pre shows).

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    Re: WWE No Mercy 2001 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    I think I'm gonna watch the semi and main later today because I'm fairly sure I've never seen this PPV.
    You really should. They're among the top highlights of 2001.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    (though Torrie Vs Stacy is a top 10 WWF match for 2001 according to the company).
    I can almost see the logic in that. This was a clear Diva vs Diva match. Two women that are just about their looks and nothing else. Since the re-launch of the Women Division in late 1998, McMahon mostly utilized experienced women wrestlers. So in some way, I do feel as if this match stands out for somewhat of a new era for the WWE's women division. Once the brand extension would start the following year, this is the exact sort of booking that Smackdown would have for years.

    Fun fact for Meltzer fans, this PPV has more 3 star+ matches than any other show in WWE history (tied with Summerslam 2015 and Payback 2013 - including pre shows).
    Those are some random ass PPVs.

  5. #5
    Curtain Jerker
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    Re: WWE No Mercy 2001 Review

    Really awesome show that nobody remembers, but I think that's cause 2001 was not only brought down by the disappointing Invasion, but the yearly trend of post-Summerslam shows dragging until the Rumble. Jericho/Rock was great, I thought ****1/2, but some think their Rumble rematch is better. Edge vs Christian in a Ladder Match should be remembered a lot more fondly but the WWF did so many ladder matches in 2001 and I personally did not want to see them split. Austin/Angle/RVD also really makes me wonder why RVD wasn't in the main event more often than he was throughout his career. You can't tell me JBL deserved a 9 month title reign in 04-05 over him.
    Last edited by AaronMidWest; 06-12-2018 at 06:30 PM.
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