Thursday, 11 June 2020

PPV REVIEW: WWF No Mercy 2000

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Event poster
October 22, 2000
Pepsi Arena, Albany, New York

From late 1997 until November 1999, there was no hotter star in professional wrestling than Stone Cold Steve Austin. 

One of those rare performers who transcends the medium while still retaining a devoted following among the hardcore audience, Austin's run as 'The Guy' was on a level not seen since the heydey of Hulk Hogan.

In fact, you could probably argue -and find statistics to back you up- that Stone Colds popularity even dwarfed that of The Hulkster.

So it was a credit to Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation's creative efforts that the company had continued to flourish in the eleven months that Austin had been on the shelf.

With the former multi-time champion on the shelf, The Rock had moved from being a close second to being the number one man in the promotion, while the likes of Triple H, Kurt Angle, and Chris Benoit had also kept the WWFs main event scene burning bright.







Tonight, however, the Rattlesnake was back.

Would he be able to return effortlessly his throne as the undisputed king of the lawless jungle that was the WWF, or would he have to fight to take his spot back from those who had claimed it in his absence?

Let's head to the Pepsi Arena to find out as No Mercy 2000 comes live from Albany, New York.

Stone Cold Steve Austin is Out For Revenge

After a year off, Stone Cold Steve Austin had finally returned to the World Wrestling Federation at Unforgiven 2000 and promptly set about trying to discover who ran him over back at Survivor Series 1999.

Between then and now, The Texas Rattlesnake had learned that the culprit was none other than Rikishi who, as we all know, did it for The Rock.


In tonight's opening video package, Austin swore to get revenge on his assailant, promising no mercy on him when the two locked up later tonight.

Austin's promo was interspersed with clips of him in the ring, and of rabid dogs barking at chain link fences. As opening videos go, it wasn't the greatest, but it was still pretty compelling.


With that over, we got the usual pyro, crowd shots and welcome from Jim Ross who, along with Jerry 'The King' Lawler, was ready to call all the action.

The Dudley Boyz Invitational Tables Match
Too Cool (Scotty 2 Hotty & Grandmaster Sexay) vs. Low Down (D'Lo Brown & Chaz) vs. Tazz and Raven vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D'Von Dudley)

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Chaz and D'Lo Brown competed in The Dudley Boyz Invitational Tables Match
The best way to describe this gauntlet-style, winner-stays on elimination match is that it was a good idea poorly executed.

Two teams began, and when one team was eliminated, the next team came in until only one team remained.

Too Cool and Low Down kicked things off, which really made you feel for D'Lo Brown.

For the past few years, the former European champion had been one of the most entertaining mid-card acts in the company and had become one of this writer's favourite performers from the time period.

However, he really hadn't been the same since the horrific Darren Drosdov incident and hadn't appeared on WWF PPV since Wrestlemania 2000. Even then, he'd been reduced to performing as The Godfather's mini-me and was now mostly a lower-card afterthought.

So it was no surprise when he and former Headbanger Chaz got taken out by the ever-popular Too Cool, nor did it come as much of a shock when Scotty 2 Hotty and Grandmaster Sexay were eliminated by Raven and Tazz, setting up an inevitable ECW showdown with The Dudley Boyz.

More predictability followed.

Since it was their match, Bubba Ray and D'Von naturally took out Raven and Tazz, then got the better of Right to Censor's Goodfather and Bull Buchanan, though not before a pointless false finish. Bubba put Bull through a table, but the referee was knocked out, so Goodfather was able to pull his partner out of the way. When the referee woke up, he saw Bubba lying on a broken table and called for the bell.

A moment later, a second referee came out to explain what had really happened. The match was restarted and, one quick 3D later was officially over.

As I say, it wasn't a bad idea in theory, but in practice, it just came off as bland and predictable.
Your Winners: The Dudley Boyz

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Trish Stratus with T&A
Backstage, Test, Albert, and Trish Stratus joked about how they were going to use Trish’s big boobs to distract Farooq and Bradshaw later on in the show.

I’m not making that up.

Across the way, Riksihi brandished a sledgehammer as he stalked the backstage arena in anticipation of Steve Austin’s arrival.

Back in the arena, King and JR told us why T&A were at odds with the APA.

It all stemmed from a backstage poker game between the two teams. T&A had run out of money, but Trish came to the rescue of her men by stripping down to her undies. It was then strongly implied that she showed them her hooha, distracting Farooq and Bradshaw so that Test and Albert could attack them.

Add Stratus’ arch-rival Lita into the mix, and we had ourselves a six-person intergender tag match.

When T&A Attack

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Lita was attacked before her match
Well, we were supposed to, but Trish, Test and Albert had other ideas.

The men assaulted the APA backstage and dumped some huge cases on them. By this time, WWF Women’s Champion Lita was already in the ring.

When she set off to find out what had happened to her partners, she was blocked by T&A and attacked by Trish.

All three heels then proceeded to give Lita hell until her buddies The Hardy Boyz came to her rescue.

Got Nuts?

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Edge and Christian talk to Lilian Garcia about their nuts
Backstage, Lillian Garcia interviewed Edge & Christian. The duo had previously claimed to have food poisoning as a way to get out of the earlier Dudley Boyz table match.

The pair thought said poisoning had come from some bad nuts they’d had at the movies the night before, but apparently, that wasn’t the case.

As you can probably imagine, this was just a chance for Edge and Christian to make as many jokes about their nuts as possible.

Elsewhere in the arena, Rikishi continued to wait for Austin.

Steel Cage Match
Chris Jericho vs. X-Pac

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Chris Jericho beat X-Pac in a cage match
With the notable exception of Bret vs. Owen at Wrestlemania 10, steel cage matches very rarely lived up to the hype.

Fortunately, this one did.

Before the bell, Chris Jericho took to the mic, rechristening the cage as a ‘Y2-JAIL’ and vowing to settle his long-running feud with X-Pac once and for all.

The two then locked up and gave us a really solid bout with plenty of high spots, the highlight of which saw Jericho slap Pac in the Walls of Jericho at the top of the cage before being thrown all the way down the canvas.

At that point, X-Pac looked to have the match won, climbing to the outside and standing atop the cage door. Before he could drop to the outside, however, Y2J dropkicked the cage, causing the former DX man to crotch the door, much to the delight of the crowd.

Jericho then climbed through the door and this very fun cage match was all over.
Your Winner: Chris Jericho

Backstage, Rikishi continued to wait for Stone Cold.

He approached Mick Foley’s makeshift office, where the WWF Commissioner insisted that, while he would be willing to declare ‘Kisihi the winner via forfeit if the Rattlesnake no-showed, he had every faith that Austin would arrive.

Billy & Chyna Reunited

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Billy Gunn and Chyna reunited to face Right to Censor
Having last teamed up back at Fully Loaded 1999, Bad Ass Billy Gunn and Chyna were once again a team and were set to take on Right to Censor here tonight.

A flashback told us that this match came about when Billy Gunn’s scheduled Intercontinental Championship match against Chyna’s ex, Eddie Guerrero, was cancelled due to a Guerrero injury.

For reasons that weren’t made entirely clear here, Eddie had formed an alliance of sorts with Steven Richards and Val Venis, making them a logical substitute.

Right to Censor (Steven Richards and Val Venis) vs. Bad Ass Billy Gunn & Chyna

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Right to Censor faced Billy Gunn and Chyna
Like the earlier gauntlet match, this was a rather bland affair with very little to get excited about.

Pre-match, Steven Richards cut a convincing promo, insisting that Right to Censor would never hit a woman unless they had to.

Tonight, he said, they had to. As such, he and Val were looking forward to taking out Chyna and her “rectally-obsessed” partner, Mr Ass.

That promo was the best part of this otherwise mediocre match which ended when Eddie Guerrero ran in and drilled his former Mama Cita with a lead pipe disguised as a bouquet of flowers behind the referee’s back.

That gave the RTC the opportunity to make the cover and pick up the win.
Your Winners: Right to Censor

Watching the action in the dressing room, Triple H was approached by his wife, Stephanie McMahon.

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Triple H & Stephanie McMahon
After Hunter refused to let her accompany him to the ring for a match with Chris Benoit, the McMahon heir handed her man a tape of The Crippler applying his patented Crossface which she assured him would be ‘very interesting.’

Paying little attention to it, The Game warned his missus that if anything happened to her as a result of her ‘business partner’ Kurt Angle facing The Rock tonight, he would put the Olympic Gold Medalist out of action for good.

Elsewhere in the arena, Riksihi looked set for battle, dressed in his ring gear and traditional Samoan attire and brandishing a sledgehammer.

The announcers told us that his match with Austin was next, and we got another look at the rivalry between the two men before the actual match took place.

No Holds Barred
Rikishi vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Stone Cold Steve Austin destroyed Rikishi in a no contest match
At this point, we were only an hour into a show in which Austin/Rikishi had been promoted as the only bout on the card that mattered, yet here we were already.

Much like he had done against  The Rock way back at D-Generation-X: In Your House 13, Stone Cold drove his pick-up truck right down to the ring and proceeded to stomp a mudhole in his nemesis.

Make no mistake about it, this wasn’t a match. This was Austin getting revenge on the man who tried to permanently incapacitate him by beating him down to within an inch of his life.

Sure, ‘Kishi got the occasional blow in, but Austin no-sold all of them and then went right back to his murder attempt.

Eventually, Austin killed Rikishi with a chair and dumped him in the back of his truck.

He then drove him outside, dumped him against a brick wall and was all set to murder him for real until a police car showed up.

Stone Cold rammed headlong into the police car, prompting about eight million more of them to show up.

The Rattlesnake was arrested and this utterly enthralling non-match was over.
No-Contest

Afterwards, the policeman who had been driving the car Austin ran into was taken out in an ambulance while Rikishi lay, battered and bloodied, on a grass verge.

World Wrestling Federation European Championship
WWF European Champion William Regal vs. Naked Mideon

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - European Champion William Regal faced Naked Mideon
Having ditched the ‘Real Man’s Man’ gimmick, William Regal had returned to the World Wrestling Federation in September 2000.

 Here, he made his first WWF PPV appearance since Survivor Series 1998 and his first appearance on any PPV since his cameo in the Hardcore Invitational Junkyard Battle Royal back at WCW Bash at the Beach 1999.

Before the match, Regal announced that  Commissioner Foley had given in to his demand that Naked Mideon wear some clothes for the match.

As such, the challenger came to the ring wearing an Undertaker tank top and those press-stud popper pants that were so popular in the 90s, so you knew some Naked Mideon nekkidness would take place at some point.

Sure enough, after a mostly decent throw-away match, the former Godwin stripped down to his thong and fanny-pack and drove the crowd into a frenzy.

His naked butt was enough to make Regal think twice about applying the Regal Stretch on him, but it wasn’t enough to help him win the match.

The champion hit a Regal Cutter and scored the fall.

The match was kind of entertaining for Regal’s always-excellent mannerisms, but the wrestling wasn’t much to write home about.
Your Winner and Still WWF European Champion: William Regal

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Kurt Angle edited together a fake interview with The RockUp next, we were shown the classic ‘Kurt Angle interviews The Rock’ promo in which the Olympic Gold Medalist edited together clips from several of The Rock’s past interviews to make it look as though the WWF Champion was admitting to behind Rikishi running over Steve Austin.

It was so amazing that even The Rock himself couldn’t help but smirk as he watched it on a backstage TV.

At least, he did before he turned the TV off and walked away.

Si, Senor

Backstage, Kevin Kelly interviewed The Conquistadors about their upcoming tag team title match against The Hardyz, and about the rumours that they were really just Edge & Christian in disguise.

To all of Kelly’s questions, the 80s jobber team could only reply ‘si, senor.’

It was pretty funny.

World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship
WWF Tag Team Champions The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy) vs. Los Conquistadors (Conquistador Uno and Conquistador Dos)

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Edge & Christian disguised themselves as 80s jobber team Los Conquistadors
If this was the original team consisting of José Estrada Sr. and Jose Luis Rivera, then this would be the first PPV appearance since Survivor Series 1988, but, of course, it wasn’t.

It was Edge and Christian, using the old gimmick to sneak their way into a title shot after it had been ruled that they would no longer be allowed to compete for the titles.

The match wasn’t the best Hardyz/E&C encounter we’d ever get, but the Conquistadors gimmick did make it very entertaining in its own right.

Towards the end, Matt Hardy ripped off Dos’ mask only to reveal another mask underneath. Uno then hit an Unprettier to claim the tag team titles.
Your Winners and NEW WWF Tag Team Champions: Los Conquistadors

Outside the arena, Steve Austin’s truck and the police car he’d destroyed were both taken away by police. Meanwhile, in the locker room, HHH studied the tape that Stephanie McMahon had given him and apparently saw something he liked.

This led to a video package explaining the rivalry between Helmsley and Benoit. In a nutshell, the evil Benoit had headbutted Steph and then cost HHH a title shot against The Rock.

The two would meet next.

Chris Benoit vs. Triple H

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Triple H battled Chris Benoit
A hard-hitting, high-impact, all-out war, this was probably the best match Triple H had up to this point that wasn’t against The Rock.

Everything they did looked great, made sense, and told a compelling story.

That story was Pedigree vs. Crosssface, with both men having seemingly figured every possible way to counter or prevent their opponent’s finisher.

Stephanie McMahon got involved near the finish, but even that didn’t detract from what was otherwise an exceptional contest in which both men genuinely brought out the best in one another.

After an epic battle, HHH finally nailed the match-winning pedigree.
Your Winner: Triple H

Backstage, Los Conquistadors were congratulated on their big title victory by none other than Edge and Christian themselves.

For some completely unknown reason (since they clearly hadn’t just competed in a match), E&C were tired and sweaty as they handed the tag champs celebratory bottles of Corona and said that they looked forward to challenging for those titles on Raw the following evening.

I might be wrong, but I seem to remember that the Conquistador who was supposed to be Christian was actually played by Christopher Daniels.

No Disqualification Match for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion The Rock vs. Kurt Angle (w/ Stephanie McMahon)

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 2000 - Kurt Angle defeated The Rock to win his first WWF title
A pre-match video told us that Stephanie had agreed to be Angle’s business associate and accompany him to the ring all the time after Triple H had banned her from his corner due to her being "a liability."

As the duo made their way out to the ring, Howard Finkle announced that it was now a no-disqualification match much to the surprise of the commentators who genuinely seemed taken off guard by the last-minute stipulation.

The champion then made his way out, and what we got was your typical WWF main event drama. I mean that very much as a compliment.

Nobody did main events quite like the World Wrestling Federation, and this was a perfect example of that. Though the earlier HHH/Benoit match may have technically been better from a pure wrestling standpoint, this was still a very, very, very good sports entertainment match that delivered on all counts.

That's even considering the couple of run-ins we had.

At one point, Stephanie got involved and ate a Rock Bottom for her trouble. Unsurprisingly, this brought out her husband who proceeded to attack both men, Angle for putting his wife in harm's way, and The Rock for causing said harm.

Angle even scored a near-fall after Hunter nailed the champion with a Pedigree, but that wasn't enough to end the match.

More gripping action followed before Rikishi made his way out. Wearing a bandage and wearing a mask of dried blood, he looked like he'd been through hell and back but was still out to help The Rock.

Not that he succeeded. On two separate occasions, he tried to hit Angle, missed, and planted the champ instead. Kurt then drilled Rikishi with an Olympic Slam, pinned The Rock, and won his first WWF Championship.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Champion: Kurt Angle

Afterwards, Angle raced from the ring so fast that Earl Hebner had to chase him down with the title belt. Holding the gold aloft, the new champion proceeded to drop to his knees and weep in such a way that you weren't sure whether it was part of his gimmick or whether he was genuinely overwhelmed.







What started off as a lacklustre show soon turned into a contender for one of the WWF's best efforts of the year. Outside of the Jericho/X-Pac cage match, the undercard was very underwhelming, but from the tag team title match onwards, everything got progressively better, culminating in two of the very best professional wrestling matches of the year 2000 and Kurt Angle's big moment.

Having debuted the previous year at Survivor Series 1999, Angle's rise had been nothing short of meteoric. From a nothing-feud with Steve Blackman in late '99 to the World Wrestling Federation Championship in less than a year, the Olympic Medalist had spent the time in between being the first man to capture the European Championship, the Intercontinental Championship, King of the Ring and now the grand prize in under 12 months, a feat which would begin establishing his status as one of the greatest of all time




For other year 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
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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.