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WWE No Mercy
October 20, 2002
by Samoa Rowe
-Follow me on Twitter: @SamoaRowe
-From Little Rock, Arkansas. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, and Tazz.
World Tag Team Championship:
Chris Jericho and Christian © vs. Booker T and Goldust
Jericho is reluctant to face Booker and forces Christian to start the match. Jericho is only willing to enter when Goldust seems vulnerable. Goldust clears the ring, dumping Jericho over the ropes onto Christian. Goldust sets Jericho up for a 10 punch, but Christian hangs him on the ropes. Goldust gets isolated for a beating. Booker gets the hot tag and finally gets a chance to tear into Jericho. Goldust tags himself in as Booker nails a double clothesline. Christian suffers the Golden Globes and then Jericho takes a drop toe hold into his groin. Jericho applies the Walls on Goldust but Booker breaks it. Scissors Kick on Jericho, but Christian pulls Goldust out of the cover. Booker lands a missile drop-kick on Jericho and delivers a Spinaroonie. Christian misses a belt shot, and Jericho’s Lionsault attempt breaks the rope! Goldust gets the cover, but Christian puts Jericho’s foot on the rope. Jericho delivers a bulldog onto the belt and a moonsault ends it at 8:45. Lively, formulaic tag team opener. They handled the broken rope well, **½.
Winners and still World Tag Team Champions: Chris Jericho and Christian
-Smackdown’s #1 Announcer, Funaki, has an exclusive interview with Al Wilson! Funaki asks Al to respond to footage of Dawn Marie exposing herself to him. Al isn’t sure what to say, so they air another clip of Dawn stripping for him. Al still doesn’t know what to say, so they air ANOTHER clip of Dawn giving him her hotel key. Don’t worry, folks, this angle only continued for another three months. We get a fourth clip of Torrie Wilson finding her father in the shower with Dawn. Funaki wants to know why Al was wearing his clothes in the shower. Al steals Bill Clinton’s line about not having sexual relations and storms off. Funaki doesn’t think Al understands English.
Dawn Marie vs. Torrie Wilson
Ugh, I don’t want to recap this. At all. Torrie catches Dawn with a drop-kick off the apron. The crowd gives them the “We want puppies” chant as Dawn hangs Torrie on the ropes. Dawn drives Torrie into the apron and continues targeting the back. Torrie’s comeback amounts to a cat-fight and they roll over onto the referee. Dawn awesomely tells the referee off for being disgusting and finds time to clothesline Torrie. Wilson puts together some offense, hitting a slingshot into the turnbuckles for a 2 count. Swinging neck breaker by Torrie for the win at 4:53. Surprisingly watchable match, ¾*.
Winner: Torrie Wilson
-Jonathan Coachman interviews Rob Van Dam about his match with Ric Flair (who had just made his second heel turn of 2002). RVD differentiates himself from Flair as being more of a regular guy. RVD does a parody of Flair’s promos, which is only kind of embarrassing.
-Coachman finds Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman, and Tracy strolling through the back. Tracy has accused Undertaker of having an extramarital affair and tells Coach off. WWE Creative was on such a roll these days, eh?
Ric Flair vs. Rob Van Dam
RVD charges Flair and connects a kick off the apron. RVD drapes Flair on the barricade for a twisting leg drop. The match officially begins with Van Dam overwhelming Flair in the ring. Flair turns it around with a blind low blow kick. Flair mounts an assault on the leg, to keep Van Dam grounded. Also, chopping, lots and lots of chopping. RVD reverses the Figure Four, but the damage might have been done. Sunset flip cover by RVD gets 2. Reverse backslide by Van Dam but Flair blocks a drop-kick. RVD counters the Figure Four with an Inside Cradle. RVD tosses Flair off the top rope and delivers Rolling Thunder. Van Dam’s leg has miraculously healed. The Five Star Frog Splash ends it at 8:02. Same old Flair-post-50 match, and RVD’s bad habits were on full display, **.
Winner: Rob Van Dam
-Big Show is visibly upset while chatting with Stephanie McMahon. Eric Bischoff is enraged that “his property” is speaking to the competition. Stephanie leaves them to argue. Big Show tells Bischoff off for the way he’s been treated. Show hasn’t been on a pay-per-view since July, hasn’t main-evented in forever, and has been sitting around with his thumb up his ass. Bischoff is defiant and Show knocks him into some catering shelves. It’s funny to think that Big Show would be WWE Champion again in only 4 weeks.
Jamie Noble © (with Nidia) vs. Tajiri
Tajiri catches Noble with a baseball slide drop-kick and moonsault before the match. Noble quickly puts the boots to Tajiri in the ring. Tajiri fires back with his kicks and sneaks through the ropes to escape Noble’s hold. Noble comes back with a backbreaker and continues working over the back. Tajiri blocks a back superplex but lands on his feet in a moonsault. Tornado DDT out of the corner by Tajiri leaves both men down. Tajiri unloads with a series of kicks and a back handspring elbow. Tajiri spins Noble around on his back and suplexes him for a near fall. Tajiri applies the Tarantula but misses a head kick. Tajiri blocks the Tiger Bomb and catapults Noble into place for the head kick. Nidia kisses the referee for the distraction, allowing Noble to hit the Tiger Bomb. Tajiri kicks out! They trade counters but Nidia trips Tajiri to give Noble the pinfall at 8:13. Gutsy performance by Tajiri in another too-short Cruiserweight match, **¾.
Winner and still Cruiserweight Champion: Jamie Noble
-Tajiri steals a kiss from Nidia, who seems to like it. Noble is jealous and plants a kiss on his lady, but Tajiri kicks their skulls together!
-Chris Benoit is walking around the back, screaming for Eddie. Benoit tells Eddie that something is wrong with Chavo. They find a locked dressing room, and it sounds like Chavo is getting his ass kicked inside. Eddie accuses Benoit of trying to set up a trap for him. Eddie doesn’t even think that’s Chavo’s voice, it must be a little girl. Cue Chavo falling out the door, with a menacing Kurt Angle standing over him. Angle and Benoit laugh it up, as they finally seem to be on the same page.
World Heavyweight Champion Triple H vs. Intercontinental Champion Kane
In case you’ve forgotten, this is the match resulting from Triple H accusing Kane of murdering Katie Vick and then pretending to have sex with the corpse. For someone as smart as Triple H supposedly is, it’s hard to fathom that he thought anything about this angle was a good idea. The bell rings and J.R. and King are arguing over whether or not Kane is a murderer. Kane is looking to teach Triple H a lesson and dominates the early going. Triple H finds an opening after knocking Kane into the ring post. So far, the match has been clunky, and several moves have been sloppy. Kane counters a sleeper and makes a comeback. Ric Flair runs in to provide a distraction, shoving the referee in the process. Flair brings the title belt into the ring and Triple H clocks Kane with it. The ref wakes up to count the near fall! The Hurricane runs in and dumps Flair over the barricade, but takes a Pedigree for his trouble. Kane catches HHH with a power slam for 2. Triple H flies into Kane’s boot. The choke slam is blocked and Kane inadvertently big boots the ref. Kane choke slams HHH through the Spanish announce table. Flair attacks Kane and gets punched out. Kane looks to pin Triple H, but Flair attacks again with the sledgehammer. Kane grabs the hammer but Triple H kicks him in the groin. Triple H uses the hammer to block a Tombstone. Kane nails a choke slam anyway. A 2nd referee runs in but Flair attacks him. Choke slam on Flair! The Pedigree finally ends this at 16:10. This felt much longer than 16 minutes, with lumbering action and then a never-ending parade of interference at the end, *¾.
Winner and still World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H
-Despite becoming the last Intercontinental Champion, Triple H only celebrates with the World title. Stroke that ego, Hunter.
-Stephanie has a pep talk with Tracy, trying to get her to confess to making up her affair with Undertaker. Tracy admits that Paul Heyman called her out of the blue. Tracy admits that she previously had a relationship with Undertaker, but Heyman put her up to lying that it was recent. She’s only out to “get Mark back.” Undertaker appears in the room and calls Tracy a “lying bitch.” Oh yeah, there’s a TV camera in the room. Stephanie smugly orders Tracy out. At least no fictional women were killed in this storyline.
WWE Tag Team Championship:
Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit vs. Edge and Rey Mysterio
This is the inaugural WWE Tag Team Championship match. The other tag belts on Raw used to be called the “WWE Tag Team Championship” but have been renamed the “World Tag Team Championship” just to keep things nice and confusing. Angle sets out to embarrass Mysterio in the early going. Rey stomps the foot and unleashes a flurry of offense. Rey slaps the back of the head the way Angle did earlier. Edge tags but Angle quickly tags Benoit in. Edge holds his own against Benoit, delivering a gut buster. Angle cheap shots, but Edge spears him off the apron. Angle hangs Edge on the ropes, allowing Benoit to take control and isolate Edge. Angle and Benoit have a field day unloading their move sets on Edge. Benoit and Edge are down after a superplex and Mysterio gets a needed hot tag. Rey nails a flying leg drop onto Benoit hanging on the ropes for a near fall. Benoit counters into the crossface, but Edge makes the save. Benoit counters 619 but Edge missile drop-kicks Rey into a cover on Benoit! Rey goes high risk but Angle throws him off, giving Benoit a near fall. It’s Rey’s turn to get isolated as Benoit and Angle regain control. Rey takes some abuse before getting a hot tag. Edge cleans house, with Rey whipping him into a spear on Benoit. Rey follows with a bronco buster on Benoit! Edge spears Angle and tosses Rey into a hurricanrana! Benoit looks to break a cover with the diving head butt but hits his own partner! Edge gains a painfully close 2 count on Angle. German suplex by Angle, but Edge suplexes Mysterio into him! Benoit ambushes Edge with the crossface, but Rey breaks it with 619! Olympic Slam on Rey, but Edge nearly pins Angle with a roll-up. Spear on Angle, but Benoit breaks the cover. Rey dumps Benoit and Edge lifts him for the moonsault! Ankle lock on Edge, but it’s reversed! Angle reverses back and Edge taps at 21:53! That final sequence was crazy, with all four men delivering a creative, show-stealing, statement making match, ****¾.
Winners and first ever WWE Tag Team Champions: Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit
-Undertaker orders a doctor to give him a shot in his injured hand. The doctor doesn’t think this is ethical, but does it anyway. Inspiring stuff, really.
Trish Stratus © vs. Victoria
Victoria is a “very evil woman” according to J.R., who is the expert on the subject. Victoria scores first with a headlock takedown. Cue the “We want puppies” chant from the Arkansas crowd. Trish retaliates with a clothesline for a 2 count. Victoria comes back by ramming Trish into the ring post and slamming her onto the barricade. Slingshot leg drop by Victoria, who is in firm control. Trish counters with a reverse-rana. Trish counters a backbreaker for 2. Victoria nails a side slam but Trish surprises with an electric chair. Victoria kicks out of the Chick Kick. Pair of neck breakers by Trish but Stratusfaction is blocked. Trish scores a roll-up for the win at 5:29. Surprisingly clunky match here, given the quality of participants, *¼.
Winner and still Women’s Champion: Trish Stratus
-Victoria is a sore loser and kicks Trish in the face. This isn’t over!
-Rikishi hosts the pay-per-view party at The World. Rikishi feels chills looking back at footage of Undertaker knocking him off the top of the Hell in a Cell. He stresses that the Hell in a Cell is no joke and predicts an Undertaker victory tonight.
WWE Championship (Hell in a Cell):
Brock Lesnar © (with Paul Heyman) vs. The Undertaker
Undertaker is wearing a cast and has every intention of using it as a weapon. Lesnar is aggressive in the early going, driving Undertaker into the turnbuckles. Taker drives the cast into Lesnar’s gut. Lesnar wants out of the cage, but it’s well locked. Lesnar turns it around, attacking Undertaker’s broken hand. Undertaker counters with another cast shot to the head, which busts Lesnar open. The Dead Man bats Lesnar around and off the cell. Undertaker delivers a knee drop off the top rope onto the apron (badly). Heyman reaches into the cell, so Undertaker kicks him away. Taker drives Lesnar into the ring steps and takes a moment to drive Heyman into the cell by pulling his tie. Undertaker side steps to send Lesnar into Heyman (who is also bleeding). Lesnar flapjacks Undertaker into the cell wall to regain control. Brock wraps a belt around Undertaker’s cast and Heyman holds it against the wall for repeated chair shots. Lesnar continues targeting the cast while on the attack. Lesnar grabs the roof for leverage while kicking Undertaker on the ropes. Taker low blows and knocks Brock down for an elbow drop. Brock hangs Taker on the rope but Taker kicks him into the cell. Suicide dive by Undertaker! Lesnar knocks Taker into the wall and uses the ring steps to bust open The Dead Man. Back to the ring, Brock nails a spinebuster for only 2. Undertaker stomps the hand, but Lesnar counters Old School. Undertaker counters with a choke slam but Lesnar kicks out! Lesnar tries to steal the Last Ride but Taker counters with a DDT. Lesnar’s 10 punch attempt results in a Last Ride, but Brock gets the rope. Rope breaks in Hell in a Cell matches are weird. Lesnar counters a Tombstone and nails the F-5 for the win at 27:09. This was an outstanding brawl and surprisingly considering Undertaker was involved, ****.
Winner and still WWE Champion: Brock Lesnar
-Brock poses with the WWE title on top of the cell.
Final Thoughts: Two ****+ matches (including a MOTYC) make this show an easy recommendation, but DAMN was there some stupid booking in between, particularly the Al Wilson nonsense and the Triple H: World Heavyweight Champion show. No Mercy 2002 gets a Thumps Up in spite of itself.
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