Thursday, 5 September 2019

PPV REVIEW: WWF - No Mercy 1999

WWE / WWF No Mercy 1999 - Event poster
October 17, 1999
Gund Arena, Cleveland, Ohio

Though there's every chance your writer could be wrong on this one, 1999 was the first and only year in WWE history that the company held two different pay per view events at different times with exactly the same name.

I say exactly the same so that we can forget about that whole Greatest Royal Rumble thing for a while and focus on the story of No Mercy.

In May of that year, the company held the first version of the event, a UK only PPV which saw WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin defeat Triple H and The Undertaker in a three-way main event.

Five months down the line and the World Wrestling Federation had decided that they liked the No Mercy name so much that they were going to use it again for their October PPV.

This time around, however, Austin would be the one to challenge for the title as defending champion Triple H walked into Cleveland, Ohio aiming to prove his reputation as The Game.






Let's head there ourselves and see just what went down when the WWF presented the American version of No Mercy 1999.

WWE / WWF No Mercy 1999 - Jim Ross & Jerry 'The King' Lawler called the action Tonight, there will no mercy

Though it was well done, there was nothing particularly special about tonight's opening video package. It basically told us all about the upcoming WWF title match between Austin and Triple H before sending us live to the arena where Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler welcomed us to the show.

The two didn't have time to say much as we went straight down to our first match

The Godfather (w/ The Hos) vs. Mideon (w/ Viscera)

WWE / WWF No Mercy 1999 - The Godfather dances with his hos
That week on Smackdown, Mideon and Viscera had double-teamed The Godfather after The Pimp Daddy scored a win over Mideon, leading to tonight's rematch.

Jim Ross told us that, after the attack on Smackdown, The Godfather was probably not in a jovial mood. Clearly contradicting JR, as he said this, we saw Godfather smiling hugely and dancing around with his hos.

Hilariously, Mideon had refused Godfather's offer to spend a night with one of the hos on Smackdown, insisting that he much preferred farm animals.

Tonight, Godfather addressed this by saying that since he didn't have any farm animals since Mideon didn't want any hos, he was just going to straight up kick his ass.

And kick his ass he did, in a match that you pretty much wanted to be over as soon as it started.

I mean, I'm not saying it was the worst thing you'll ever see, but it was exactly like you'd imagine a Godfather/Mideon to be...except about five times as long.

After what felt like an eternity, Godfather rolled up Mideon to bring this fairly average match to an end.
Your Winner: The Godfather

Up next, we were shown a clip of Triple H attacking Stone Cold Steve Austin on Smackdown, then bragging about it to Michael Cole earlier on Heat.

Age vs. Beauty

WWE / WWF No Mercy 1999 - WWF Women's Champion Ivory
Out in the back, Michael Cole interviewed WWF Women's Champion Ivory about her upcoming match against The Fabulous Moolah. Moolah and Mae Young had pissed off the champ by beating her up at last month's Unforgiven 1999, leading to tonight's match.

Ivory was clearly not happy about having to face the ageing Moolah and spent her entire promo laying into how old she and Young were. It was good stuff from Ivory, and without even having seen it, I can guarantee you it was a thousand times better than the match would be.

World Wrestling Federation Women's Championship
WWF Women's Champion Ivory vs. The Fabulous Moolah (w/ Mae Young)

Bless 'em. They tried hard to make this work, but it was more of a comedy match than anything. Ivory battered Moolah and whenever Mae Young tried to interfere -which she did a lot- Ivory just took her out too. Somehow, every time she hit Mae Young, it got funnier, but then Moolah rolled up the champ and stole a three count and suddenly it wasn't so funny any more.

Not a good match at all, though they certainly did their best with it.
Your Winner and NEW Women's champion: The Fabulous Moolah

I should note that was Moolah's first WWF PPV match since the 1987 Survivor Series.

Vince Changes the Rules

Earlier, on Heat, Vince McMahon informed Triple H that tonight's main event would no be no holds barred, anything goes. Naturally, this had angered The Champion, whose entire strategy depended on getting The Rattlesnake so worked up that he got himself DQ'd.

The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg Jesse James  & Bad Ass Billy Gunn) vs. The Hollys (Hardcore & Crash Holly)

WWE / WWF No Mercy 1999 - Road Dogg beats up Hardcore Holly
The Hollys cost The New Age Outlaws the tag titles in a match against a reunited Rock & Sock Connection on Smackdown which meant the two teams now had an excuse to fight.

For the most part, this followed the same formula as every Outlaws match you've ever seen:

  • Road Dogg spends a year getting his ass kicked.
  • Billy Gunn makes the hot tag.
  • The Match somehow ends.
Though it was generic, this was one of those instances where that formula served as the foundations of a very entertaining match.

After a solid effort from both teams, Hardcore Holly slid a chair into the ring, only for Billy Gunn to hit Crash Holly with a Fame Asser onto it. That was enough to cause the referee to ring the bell, bringing this enjoyable outing to a close.
Your Winners via Disqualification: The Hollys

Up next, we got a look back at the rivalry between Chyna and Jeff Jarrett which led to tonight's match.

Good House Keeping Match for the World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett (w/ Miss Kitty) vs. Chyna

WWE / WWF No Mercy 1999 - Jeff Jarrett & Miss Kitty
By now, we all know the story of how Jeff Jarrett's contract had expired the day before the PPV. As legend has it, Jarrett agreed to drop the Intercontinental title on his way out the door, but only if Vince McMahon paid Jarrett all of the PPV bonus money he was owed up front rather than months down the line as was the company's standard procedure.

McMahon relented, causing a rift between the two that wouldn't be healed until many years later.

Though the story telegraphed the ending of this match, it certainly didn't dampen the enjoyment of it.

A Good House Keeping match was essentially a falls-count-anywhere hardcore match in which only household objects were legal weapons. I say only as that would become important in the finish.

Before that, however, the unique stipulation gave us plenty of fun spots as Chyna and Jarrett beat each other with brooms and trash cans and all manner of household goods. It gave us even more fun spots as they hurled food at each other (at one point Chyna smacked Jarrett with salami and he countered later with a fish), and, overall, it gave us a match that, while certainly not a technical classic- really made you smile just watching it.

Towards the end, referee Teddy Long got squashed in the corner, so Jarrett grabbed the Intercontinental title and waffled Chyna with. The referee recovered, Jarrett made the three count, and this one was over...

..Except it wasn't.

Having somehow found out what had gone down, Long stopped Jarrett and Miss Kitty from leaving the arena and told them that the match had to continue since the Intercontinental title wasn't a household item.

WWE / WWF No Mercy 1999 -  Chyna won the Intercontinental Championship
"Of course it's a household item," quipped Lawler. "I've seen it in Jarrett's house!"

Back in the ring, an irate Double J looked to take out his frustrations on Long, knocking him to the mat and going for the Figure Four, only for Chyna to whack him over the back of the head with a guitar.

Despite it not technically being a household item either, Long allowed it and, one three count later, we had our first (and only?) female Intercontinental Champion.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Intercontinental Champion: Chyna

And so that was to be Jeff Jarrett's last WWF match until the Royal Rumble event some 20 years later. The following night, Double J would return to World Championship Wrestling and see out the remainder of the Monday Night Wars there before being publically fired by McMahon and going on to form a little-known company called TNA wrestling.

Meanwhile, Chyna had become not only the first female Royal Rumble entrant, but also the first female Intercontinental Champion and, in this fan's mind at least, that more than qualifies her for her own Hall of Fame induction outside of the 2019 D-Generation-X induction.

The British Bulldog vs. WWF Tag Team Champion The Rock

WWE / WWF No Mercy 1999 -  The British Bulldog battles The Rock
As with most major matches, this one began with a video package recapping the rivalry between The British Bulldog and The Rock. However, it totally glossed over the fact that Davey Boy had cost The Great One his WWF title match at Rebellion 1999 just a few weeks earlier.

That's mostly because the WWF still didn't really see it's UK PPVs as anything more than glorified house shows.

The actual match itself wasn't bad at all, but it never really picked up the pace and felt more like a mid-card bout from Raw rather than a top-level PPV match.

Nor did you ever really feel as though The Rock was in any danger of losing. Sure, The Bulldog got some offence in. He even hit Rocky with his trademark power slam, but Rock only sold a minimal amount and always bounced back pretty quickly.

After a short, passable contest, The Great One predictably picked up the win thanks to a Rock Bottom and People's Elbow.
Your Winner: The Rock

WWE / WWF No Mercy 1999 -  Jerry 'The King' Lawler interviews Terri up a ladder
Earlier, on Heat, Terri Runnels had been explaining to Jerry Lawler that, in order to win the Terri Runnels Invitational, a team would have to climb a ladder and retrieve the prize - money and a contract for her managerial services.

Lawler had Terri demonstrate by climbing a ladder just so that he could look up her skirt. It was pervy but very funny.

Terri Runnels Invitational Ladder Match
Edge & Christian vs. The Brood (Matt & Jeff Hardy w/ Gangrel)

Before the bell, JR told us that this was the first tag team ladder match in WWF history, though it certainly wouldn't be the last.

Referees ejected Gangrel early on, leaving Matt and Jeff Hardy to deliver an absolutely incredible match with Edge and Christian.

I said that the tag team gauntlet match back at Summerslam 1999 was the making of Edge and Christian, but tonight really was the night that stars were born in Edge, Christian and The Hardyz.

All four men held nothing back as they continually upped the ante to deliver one jaw-dropping spot after another. OK, so some fans might be quick to deride this as little more than a spot fest, but this kind of match -at least in the WWF- was groundbreaking at the time and when all the spots were delivered so well, who cares what you call it?

Truth be told, I tend to review these shows in bulk, usually going through about three or four different PPVs in a single weekend. That's a lot of wrestling and it's easy to get burned out, but not today. Watching this match was absolutely the most fun I've had watching wrestling in a long, long time.

All in all, a great effort that saw Jeff Hardy leap from one ladder to another and retrieve the sack containing $100,000 to win the match, and the services of Terri Runnels.
Your Winners: Matt and Jeff Hardy

Post-match, The Hardyz were rushed backstage in order to be filmed celebrating with Terri herself while Edge and Christian stayed in the ring to receive a standing ovation.

Finally, The Rock has come back to Cleveland

WWE / WWF No Mercy 1999 -  Finally, The Rock came back to No Mercy
Up next, we were shown a clip from Heat of Mankind wandering the backstage area looking to give a copy of his book Have a Nice Day to The Rock but instead getting beaten up by Val Venis in the bathroom.

Those two would square off soon, but first, The Great One came out to the ring to challenge the winner of tonight's main event to a title shot.

Though he kept things fairly short and sweet, Rock was as entertaining as ever.

On his way backstage, however, he was greeted by Triple H, who took out The People's Champion with a few well-placed sledgehammer shots. EMTs including Barbara Bush had to come and carry Rocky backstage on a stretcher.

Val Venis vs. WWF Tag Team Champion Mankind

WWE / WWF No Mercy 1999 -  Val Venis faced Mankind
Ah, Mankind, the three-time WWF champion capable of having memorable main events with the likes of Austin, Undertaker and The Rock, now spending the latter part of 1999 taking on lifelong mid-carders like Val Venis.

At first glance, this didn't look like it was going to amount to much, especially as Mankind was clearly so broken down as to be very limited physically.

Still, what he lacked in athletic prowess this night he more than made up for with the kind of psychology that only a savvy veteran could possess. What's more, he used that psychology to ensure that he and Venis put on the best match possible.

Sure, it wasn't pretty, but what started off relatively poorly eventually built up into a compelling bout that had you gripped all the way to the finish.

Speaking of the finish, Mankind slapped the mandible claw on Val, but Val pulled out a sock of his own and grabbed Mick by the balls until he passed out. A three count later and this one was over.
Your Winner: Val Venis

Afterwards, Mankind beat up on Val and then left with a copy of his book, which was important since this whole feud seemed to be about nothing more than not-so-subtly promoting Have a Nice Day.

Out in the back, The Rock continued to receive treatment from EMTs on a stretcher.

Four Corners Elimination Match
Farooq vs. Bradshaw vs. X-Pac vs. Kane

WWE / WWF No Mercy 1999 -  Farooq vs. Bradshaw vs. Kane vs. X-Pac
I'm not quite sure why they had two tag teams facing each other in an every-man-for-himself elimination match, but it didn't seem to matter too much.

From the opening bell, we got a decent battle between all four men, including parts where Bradshaw faced Farooq and X-Pac went at it with Kane.

After a lengthy showing, Kane eliminated Bradshaw then X-Pac immediately lept off the top rope and eliminated Kane, leading to a short but enjoyable fight with Farooq.

In the end, the former Nation of Domination lept off the ropes and straight into a horrible-looking X-Factor, giving the DX member the win.

This whole match never really went beyond being anything more than 'just OK,' but as a cool-down before the main event, it served its purpose.
Your Winner: X-Pac

Out in the back, The Rock's treatment now saw him with a bandage around his ribs, though JR & King told us that The Great One had, somewhat unwisely, refused medical treatment.

Before our main event, we got a look at how Austin and Triple H's rivalry had begun back at Summerslam 1999 and developed to the point that they'd face each other tonight for the title. the video was pretty cool and featured some of the H-Blockx song Oh Hell Yeah from WWF The Music Volume 4 which I'll be reviewing on here very soon.

Anything Goes Match for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Triple H vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

WWE / WWF No Mercy 1999 -  Triple H on Heat
And so, it came down to this, a lengthy, Attitude Era-style no holds barred match for the WWF title that delivered on all counts.

What we had here was Austin's typical main event format (lots of wild brawling and creative spots) combined with Triple H's penchant for drama, psychology, and spots involving the announce tables.

The result was a very good main event that was a joy to watch.

In the beginning, Triple H tried bringing his sledgehammer, but Vince McMahon came out and disallowed it, so The Hs decked him one.

Later, as the match reached its conclusion, Rocky came limping out with the sledgehammer to get revenge, but he only got planted by the champion. As did Austin who, three seconds later, lost the match.
Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: Triple H

And that was that. No fancy ending, no big post-match shenanigans, just Triple H riding off into the sunset with his title.





It's fair to say that No Mercy was mostly -mostly- a good show. Nobody needs Mideon/Viscera in their life and the four-man elimination match was nothing special either, but that incredible tag team ladder match, the entertaining Good House Keeping match and a thrilling main event all made up for the sour spots on what was probably a good, solid 3.5/5 rated card.

If there's any one match that's a definite must-see, it's the ladder match. Yes, the main event was very good, but it was so typical of the company's main event style at the time that it didn't really stand out among the many others like it.


1999 events reviewed so far
Other WWE No Mercy events
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    Retro Pro Wrestling

    New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.