The X-Factor: The history of No Mercy Submitted by Victor Mariscal on 09/19/2017 at 06:39 PM
Us older fans who got hooked by the Attitude Era will know this. No Mercy happens to be one of the greatest B-level Pay Per Views of all time. Also, the first one didn’t take place on October 17, 1999, but 5 months prior as a UK exclusive event. Don’t bother with it. It wasn’t good overall.
The 2000 event was notable for two reasons. It marked the in-ring return of Stone Cold Steve Austin who was out to destroy the man who “did it for The Rock”. Austin pretty much left Rikishi a mess in a No Holds Barred match which ended with him being arrested for trying to run him down. The bigger news story that night was Kurt Angle defeating The Rock to win his first WWF Championship.
In 2001, Chris Jericho “won the big one” when he defeated The Rock for the WCW Championship. Yeah, I put those words in quotes because that title lost a ton of prestige by that point. The next year, Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle would become the inaugural WWE Tag Team Champions – now the Raw Tag titles – when they beat Rey Mysterio and Edge in a Match of the Year. Brock Lesnar again cemented his place in history by retaining the WWE Championship against the Undertaker. It was done in the match that he made famous: Hell in a Cell.
2003, 2004, and 2006 didn’t do much. 2005 was notable for one reason. It was Eddie Guerrero’s last PPV match.
Randy Orton could’ve been a bigger star in 2004 had he broken away from Evolution on his own terms. Worked out well for Batista. Instead, RKO became another casualty in Triple H’s “reign of terror” that year. The 2007 No Mercy marked his first world title in three years thanks to John Cena having to forfeit the WWE title. Orton was awarded the gold by virtue of being #1 contender, then lost it to, and regained the belt from Triple H in the same night.
The name was retired in 2008, and then dusted off just last year as a Smackdown exclusive. Here’s a fun fact. The main event went on first. I’m sure it was just a coincidence the final presidential debate was going on that same night. The WWE title match between Dean Ambrose, John Cena and AJ Styles (C) marked the THIRD TIME Styles pinned Cena that year.
Of course, that wasn’t the No Mercy you wanted to talk about, right?
It was ranked above WrestleMania XV, and with good reason. It was the first US Pay Per View to use the large titantron. This was during a time when every PPV had a different stage. They were a bit meager at the time, but at least each one was different.
The main event was a No Holds Barred match with Triple H defending the WWF Championship against Stone Cold Steve Austin. A fairly good match to be sure which ended in typical Attitude fashion. While Stone Cold was one of the two biggest stars in the WWF – next to The Rock – he was not the biggest talking point when the night was done.
The Hardy Boyz were being managed by Gangrel and known as the New Brood. They were fighting in a ladder match against Edge & Christian – the original Brood – to win $100,000 and Terri Runnels as their manager. It wasn’t the first time someone was fighting for Terri.
What we would see was not only one of the finest ladder matches of all time but the start of a new golden age of tag team wrestling. The Hardys won but all four of them looked like mega stars. Yeah, Triple H once said Matt Hardy didn’t draw money. Right, I’ll bet that Hardy merchandise was outselling that of HHH.
If Michaels and Razor invented the concept of the ladder match, those two teams re-invented it. Also, The Dudley Boyz introduced tables into the mix three months later and you know the rest.
Anyone who’s been on WhatCulture.com has likely read this story by now. Jeff Jarrett was feuding with Chyna who was set to win the Intercontinental Championship from him. Chyna was to win the title at Unforgiven the previous month. Jarrett’s contract expired one day before No Mercy ’99. The leading theory is that Vince Russo told him to hold off on giving her the rub because he knew Jarrett was heading to WCW. Why did he want to leave? Well, Austin was asked to do an angle with Double J but he declined. Stone Cold was difficult to work with.
Chyna was winning the title anyway, but Jarrett extorted in the ballpark of $300,000 - $500,000 to do the job. He wasn’t obligated to be at No Mercy which left Vince McMahon with no choice. It blackballed him to this day.