Sunday, 27 September 2015

No Mercy 2002 review

WWE recently announced Brock Lesnar's Go to Hell tour, a month of Network-related content centred around 'The Beast' himself. It culminate with a Lesnar versus Undertaker Hell in a Cell match. Having watched WWE for a while my first thought when this was announced was that it's a repeat of the No Mercy 2002 main event, which saw Bikertaker face 'The Next Big Thing' inside the Cell. I thought I'd give that show a watch in preparation for their rematch almost exactly thirteen years later. Here's what I thought...


Tweet 1: 'Taker versus Lesnar in Hell in a Cell has me so hyped that I'm going to watch No Mercy 2002, the show that featured their first HIAC match.
Tweet 2: Such a powerful opening shot. No better way to start a pay-per-view...

Tweet 3: I know nothing about this show other than it has Undertaker v Lesnar in a HIAC match...
Tweet 4: The intro vid is clearing some things up. Triple H v Kane is happening. It's World title v IC title. And it's the Katie Vick feud.
Tweet 5: Also, Heyman just said HIAC is Taker's signature. You're forgetting the dreaded casket match there, Paul mate.

World tag team championship: Chris Jericho and Christian (c) v Booker T and Goldust

Tweet 6: Opener features Chris Jericho. Seems to be heel Jericho. Timeline feels right for him to tagging with Christian.
Tweet 7: Yeah, nailed it. Christian will save this opener for me.
Tweet 8: Prime Christian.

Tweet 9: This show is thirteen years old and features JR knocking Fozzy.
Tweet 10: The Canadian Lads v Bookdust. Jericho aside this should be good.
Tweet 11: Trying to figure out if Jericho was still good at this point. The crowd are giving him some mad heat. That indicates he was.
Tweet 12: They're crazy into the main man, future royalty Booker T too. Little Rock, Arkansas knows what's up.
Tweet 13: Weird period for Jerry Lawler this. He's still pro-heel but he's happy when faces do their big spots.
Tweet 14: He seems keen to see a Spinneroonie here, for example.
Tweet 15: I miss Shattered Dreams. Possibly the best low blow with theatrics in the entire history of the grapple game.
Tweet 16: "A Spinneroonie, razorback style!" - Jim Ross, prompting a strong you wot, mate?
Tweet 17: Jericho won off a top rope moonsault. You know, the top rope moonsault he was always doing.

Funaki interviews Al Wilson backstage

Tweet 18: YES.

Tweet 19: Getting a recap of Al Wilson's relationship with Dawn Marie. I've stumbled into one of WWE's hottest post-Attitude Era periods.
Tweet 20: This is what wrestling's all about, folks.

Tweet 21: "Why were you wearing your clothes in the shower?" - Funaki to Al Wilson

Dawn Marie v Torrie Wilson

Tweet 22:  Dawn Marie and Torrie Wilson are about to do a wrestle. Michael Cole and The Tazz are on commentary. This show just got rough.
Tweet 23: SmackDown was considered the work rate brand at this point wasn't it...?
Tweet 24: "We want puppies!" - The crowd within seconds of this match beginning
Tweet 25: Tazz and Cole analysing the win-loss record of these two against one another in lingerie matches.
Tweet 26: Spot where Dawn and Torrie roll about with the referee there. Dawn had a go at him because she's a heel.
Tweet 27: Face women of this era were fine being felt up apparently.
Tweet 28: Torrie winning off a swinging neck breaker because why not?

Jonathan Coachman interviews Rob Van Dam backstage

Tweet 29: Great chinos on Coach here. Meanwhile RVD sets himself up as a man of the people and parodies Ric Flair. It's poor.

Tweet 30: Not hyped for Flair v Van Dam.
Tweet 31: Who's this Tracey lass? JR says she's a Jezebel. Jerry thinks she's hot. Has she made accusations against 'Mean' Mark? No memory of this.

Ric Flair v Rob Van Dam

Tweet 32: "He is Ric Flair" - Jerry Lawler on Ric Flair
Tweet 33: The opening minute has been far better than I expected tbf.
Tweet 34: Lol at JR saying Flair may have won thousands of matches with the figure four.
Tweet 35: Rob Van Dam can't sell a figure four. Who knew?
Tweet 36: Quite enjoying this match and I'm going to credit that to 'Naitch' because I dislike more of RVD's work than I like outside of ECW.

Big Show chats to Stephanie McMahon backstage until Eric Bischoff turns up and says he owns him

Tweet 37: WE-ELLLLLLLLL it's a Big Show backstage segment. Top notch stuff.
Tweet 38: Yet another highlight here: the Bischoff and Stephanie feuding GMs thing.
Tweet 39: "I'm a giant!" - Big Show
Tweet 40: Show angry that he's not been on PPV since July. He was overweight and lazy. I'm with Bisch on this. Good call, buddy. Keep him off shows.
Tweet 41: Everyone's favourite IC title memory.

Cruiserweight championship match: Jamie Noble (c) v Yoshiro Tajiri

Tweet 42: Tajiri in a cruiserweight title match? I'm down.
Tweet 43: YES.

Tweet 44: Just noticed Brian Hebner is refereeing this match. I'm not going to let it get to me.
Tweet 45: First mention of women being tomatoes from Tazz there.
Tweet 46: Tazz putting over Tajiri and saying he's been in the ring with him. Failing to mention he wasn't happy facing or selling for him.
Tweet 47: Sickened by Michael Cole not talking about educated feet when Tajiri started doing some kicks.
Tweet 48: Nidia's not doing much here. Pretty much sums up her run. I always thought she was good and deserved more than she got. #justsaying
Tweet 49: Nidia helps Noble win. Tajiri forces himself on her to even the score. She smiles about it. This booking though...

Los Guerreros, Kurt Angle and [REDACTED] backstage

Tweet 50: Awks backstage segment.

World Heavyweight championship v Intercontinental championship unification: Triple H (WHC) v Kane (IC)

Tweet 51: Kane being pushed as a top guy by embracing being a "freak". My word.
Tweet 52: Clean shaven Triple H accusing 'The Big Red Machine' of murdering sweet, innocent Katie Vick, the purest girl in all of rasslin'.
Tweet 53: I remember hating this match at the time it happened.
Tweet 54: Jerry Lawler trying to flesh out the Katie Vick story is just ridiculous. Who, other than Vince, thought this story was a good idea?
Tweet 55: Let the record show Kane is wearing his sexy semi-see-through ring gear here.
Tweet 56: Lawler cracking jokes about a kayfabe dead woman. Whadda pro.
Tweet 57: This match would be so much more enjoyable if it featured time-travelled-from-the-future Corporate Kane. In a vest.
Tweet 58: I'd be interested in knowing who thought Triple H v Kane would interest people in 2002.
Tweet 59: Plus side: this is the best period of Triple H's career as far as his hair is concerned.
Tweet 60: Hahahahaha run-in by The Hurricane hahahahaha.
Tweet 61: "Triple H is still alive" - Jerry Lawler, who I fully expected to follow up with "... unlike Katie Vick!"
Tweet 62: Imagine if another human being actually hit another human being in the head with a sledgehammer though.
Tweet 63: Lost count of the number of ref bumps in this match. Genuinely more than I remember from any Attitude Era main event.

Stephanie McMahon chats to Tracey in the office

Tweet 64: Another segment with this Tracey woman who I don't remember. She just called 'Mean' Mark a bastard. #strongwords
Tweet 65: Stephanie and Tracey having a heart-to-heart, just them and the cameras.
Tweet 66: Tracey confiding in Stephanie that she lied and wants 'Taker back. In front of cameras. Also Undertaker WAS STOOD IN THE ROOM.

Tag team championship tournament finals: Kurt Angle and [REDACTED] v Edge and Rey Mysterio

Tweet 67: Should be good.

Tweet 68: By good I mean I'm pretty sure it won some MOTY awards.
Tweet 69: "Kurt Angle in search of the one title that's eluded him" - Michael Cole as Angle entered for a match to crown the first ever champs
Tweet 70: Edge with his poor "Never gonna stop!" Zombie lad entrance music here.
Tweet 71: I'd already recommend this match on the strength of the opening sequence between Mysterio and Angle.
Tweet 72: You'd never get WWE putting some of their best workers and biggest stars in an extended tag feud now. It's a shame.
Tweet 73: This three-way feud shows how effective it can be. I'm sure the strength of his work here helped Edge get over.
Tweet 74: *Waits for Rey to tag in and blow his knee*
Tweet 75: Rey Mysterio doing Bronco Busters... *shakes head*
Tweet 76: 619 to [REDACTED] as he had the [REDACTED] Crossface on is such a great spot.
Tweet 77: That was a career highlight for all four lads. Obviously won't make it onto any compilations because of [REDACTED] but it deserves to.

Undertaker gets something injected into his hand

Tweet 78: What's 'Taker been up to...?

Women's championship: Trish Stratus (c) v Victoria

Tweet 79: Jerry Lawler talking about puppies, JR calling Victoria "chronically pre-menstrual", it could only be a WWE women's match from the early 00s.
Tweet 80: Disappointed Big Stevie Cool isn't paired up with Victoria at this point. That was an under-utilised act.
Tweet 81: Not exactly a classic that. But it was good. Could've done without Dawn v Torrie, splitting the time between this and the cruiser match.

Pre-Hell in a Cell chatter

Tweet 82:

Tweet 83: Pre-match video package establishing that Tracey was with Undertaker in 1995. He looked like this...

WWE championship Hell in a Cell: Undertaker v Brock Lesnar (c)

Tweet 84: The Hell in a Cell main is starting. Think I'm about to watch the best 'Taker-Lesnar HIAC match there will ever be.
Tweet 85: Mat wrestling and a cast plot line. This is how you start Hell in a Cell!
Tweet 86: I'm assuming this ends with Lesnar climbing to the roof and hitting a Shooting Star Press off the roof through a table.
Tweet 87: "The champion seeing his own blood. TASTING his own blood." Get a room, Cole.
Tweet 88: For the record I don't approve of pins or pin attempts outside of the ring in HIAC.
Tweet 89: I wish Tazz would refer to this as a big man extravaganza because that's EXACTLY what it is.
Tweet 90: Undertaker is wrestling in a bandana. I bet his Ministry of Darkness era self would be ashamed to learn of this.
Tweet 91: No Mercy: Battle for the Wank Rag.

Tweet 92: Lesnar and Heyman are both bleeding. If 'Taker doesn't blade it's ridiculous.
Tweet 93: Interesting note: Michael Cole is fully erect throughout this entire match.
Tweet 94: Undertaker versus Brock Lesnar in a Pub Car Park Disagreement match.

Tweet 95: Lol at 'Taker Hulking up here.
Tweet 96: Upset Tazz didn't refer to the choke slam as a goozle.
Tweet 97: This match should end with Brock taking a Tombstone then immediately kipping up to hit an F5.
Tweet 98: Pins on the floor are legal but rope breaks still count. What even are these rules?
Tweet 99: 'Dead Man Inc' fell to a single F5. What a weakling.
Tweet 100: I'll be amazed if they top that at Hell in a Cell.
Tweet 101:

Tweet 102: I liked that match and I liked that show. There was way more to it than I expected.

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