A2Z Analysiz: WWE No Mercy 2003 (Undertaker, Brock Lesnar)

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Baltimore Arena – Baltimore, MD – Sunday, October 19, 2003

Michael Cole and Tazz are calling the action for this SmackDown brand pay-per-view.

Billy Kidman defeats Shannon Moore at 5:12. They start with some chain wrestling and quickly escalate to a higher-impact style. Moore is able to counter Kidman’s attacks and he targets the back. Kidman fight back but Moore cuts him off and hits the Mooregasm but it only gets two. Kidman fights back and goes up for the Shooting Star Press but Moore stops him. They battle on the top rope and Kidman hits a Super BK Bomb to get the pin. Fun preshow match there, with both guys looking good in their pursuit of a Cruiserweight Title shot.
Rating: **½

~MATCH #1~
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Tajiri defeats Rey Mysterio at 12:05 to retain the title. Tajiri has been the Champion since 9.25.03, and this is his third defense. He uses a more ground-based attack and tries to slow Mysterio down, while the masked Mysterio tries to quicken the pace and connect with high flying maneuvers. Both men show off tremendous counters and reversals, and the crowd is reacting to all of it. When Mysterio hits the 619 and West Coast Pop, two unidentified assailants run into the ring to distract the referee and security. Tajiri then catches Mysterio with the Buzzsaw Kick to get the pin. Excellent opening match here, with a good clash of styles and a hot crowd. The finish was a bit of a bummer, but at least it led to something.
Rating: ***½

~MATCH #2~
Chris Benoit defeats A-Train at 12:21. The massive A-Train uses his size and power to control the early going. Benoit is tenacious and frequently fights back, but the power of the AT-Train is just too much to overcome. Eventually, Benoit hits a desperation DDT, but A-Train comes right back with a German Suplex. A-Train tosses Benoit to the floor, and then brings a chair into the ring. That results in Benoit taking a scary bump off a press slam, as he slips and lands hard on his face. Ouch. Benoit come back and locks on the Crippler Crossface. A-Train tries to escape but Benoit responds with three rolling German Suplexes. Even that isn’t enough to keep the massive A-Train down. A-Train hits the Derailer but Benoit kicks out. He goes for a big boot but misses and his foot gets caught in the steel chair. Benoit capitalizes, hitting a dragon screw leg whip. He then locks on the Sharpshooter and A-Train taps out! Nice little match here, with raw power facing off with (and losing to) pure skill.
Rating: ***

~MATCH #3~
Zach Gowen defeats Matt Hardy Version 1.0 (w/ Shannon Moore) at 6:50. Gowen scores with some early offense, but Hardy quickly shuts him down with help from Moore. Hardy works Gowen over with a variety of offense, and talks trash while he’s doing it. He misses a moonsault from the top rope and Gowen has the chance to fight back. Gowen starts flying around, showing off his balance and agility. Hardy cuts him off with a Side Effect. They go up to the top rope and Gowen knocks Hardy down and follows with a perfect Moonsault to get the pin. This was a short, TV-style match but it made Gowen look good. I think he was gone shortly after this though, so it was all four naught.
Rating: **¼

~MATCH #4~
The Basham Brothers (Danny Basham & Doug Basham, w/ Shaniqua) defeat The APA (Faarooq & Bradshaw) at 8:55. The APA dominate to start, because of course they do. Doug and Danny use some questionable tactics to take advantage on Faarooq. Did Bradshaw ever take the heat in an APA match? After a few minutes, Faarooq catches one of the Bashams with his spinebuster, and then makes the hot tag. Bradshaw cleans house, and the referee gets bumped. Shaniqua runs out and hits Bradshaw with “some kind of club.” One of the Bashams delivers a leg lariat and gets the pin. Typical APA match here, if you’ve seen one you’ve seen this one too.
Rating: **

~MATCH #5~
Mr. McMahon (w/ Sable) defeats Stephanie McMahon (w/ Linda McMahon) in the First Ever Father Vs. Daughter No Holds Barred I Quit Match at 9:28. This is quite the circus. Vince dominates, and when Sable interferes Linda goes after her! The crowd pops for that so Vince makes sure it doesn’t happen. Greatest heel of all-time, folks. Linda and Sable continue to be involved, and Stephanie abuses her father’s grapefruits and beats him with a lead pipe. Vince fights back and takes control of the pipe, choking Stephanie with it. Linda throws in the towel and Stephanie is no longer the GM of SmackDown. The crowd was into this, and they worked well enough for the extreme limitations of both McMahons, but at the end of the day it was a man beating up his wife and daughter while his mistress watched, which is exactly the kind of thing someone would point to when talking about how wrestling is a scummy, low-brow show.
Rating: *

~MATCH #6~
Kurt Angle defeats John Cena at 18:24. They mat wrestle to start, and just guess who has the advantage with that. Cena battles back and uses his “smash mouth” style to grind Angle down, keeping him from grabbing a hold or a suplex. Angle begins to fight back and BUILD MOMENTUM, but Cena cuts him off with a DDT on the ring apron, before everyone was doing it. Cena continues controlling Angle, cutting off multiple comeback attempts but not being able to put Angle away. Angle hits an Angle Slam from out of nowhere, and Cena kicks out. Cena grabs his chain and when the referee takes it away, Cena decks Angle with his own gold medal but only gets two! A series of reversals ends with Angle cinching in the Ankle Lock, and Cena is forced to tap out. Fantastic match between two opponents with differing styles that meshed very well. Cena looked great even in defeat, so credit to both men, especially Angle, for that. Both wrestled like something was on the line, and that made it feel important.
Rating: ****

~MATCH #7~
Big Show defeats WWE United States Champion Eddie Guerrero at 11:22 to win the title. Eddie has been the Champion since 7.27.03, and this is his sixth defense. He attacks Show right away but it doesn’t get him very far. Show injured Eddie’s back three nights ago on SmackDown, and that’s where his focus stays tonight. Eddie tries to lie, cheat, and steal his way back into the match, and the referee gets bumped with a Big Show legdrop. Referee Nick Patrick recovers way to quickly, enough to cunt a couple of near-falls for the United States Champion. Eventually, Show catches Eddie with a huge Chokeslam from out of nowhere to get the pin and win the title. This was actually pretty fun, with Eddie cheating like crazy trying to keep the massive Show down for a count of three. Show would then not defend the title for about four months, which makes no sense.
Rating: **¾

~MATCH #8~
WWE Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar defeats Undertaker at 24:20 in a Biker’s Chain Match to retain the title. Lesnar has been the Champion since 9.18.03, and this is his second defense. The biker chain is on a pole, and whoever gets it first can use it. A year prior to this these two wrestled in a brutal Hell in a Cell match at No Mercy 2002. Neither man controls for a long period in the early going, as they trade strikes and counters back and forth. Undertaker is the first one to go for the chain, and while he’s up there the lights go out. Chicanery I say! The battle spills to the floor and Undertaker hits a traditional piledriver on the steel steps. That may be the only time I’ve ever seen him do that. Undertaker makes another attempt at the chain but Lesnar stops him. The steel steeps make their way into the ring and Undertaker uses them as a weapon before tossing them back outside. Lesnar fights back and goes for the chain, but Undertaker pulls him down for the Last Ride, and Lesnar escapes. They continue battling back and forth, neither really selling much of anything. When Lesnar goes up for the chain, Undertaker brings him down with a huge Chokeslam. Undertaker goes up for the chain, and this time the Full-Blooded Italians (Nunzio, Chuck Palumbo, and Johnny Stamboli) come out to interfere. Of course, Undertaker fights them all off and then hits Lesnar with the Last Ride. Undertaker then takes out the FBI with a tope over the top rope. He finally gets a hold of the chain, and this time Mr. McMahon comes out and shoves Undertaker off the top rope. Lesnar gets the chain and blasts Undertaker with it to get the pin. Long, dull match that got silly overbooked by the end. These two have had some great matches, but this is not one of them.
Rating: *½

A2Z Analysiz
The main event is pretty lousy, and the father v daughter I Quit match is pretty offensive. Aside from that, there are some good matches here, most notable Angle v Cena and the Cruiserweight Title opener. The rest is solid but forgettable, so for a SmackDown-only pay-per-view in 2003, I’ll take it.

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