Sunday, 20 October 2002

WWE No Mercy 2002 - TV Review

World Tag-Team Championship
CHRIS JERICHO & CHRISTIAN v BOOKER T & GOLDUST
At a time when the tag-team division of both WWE brands is crying out for the formation or reformation of established teams, the WWE opened up their latest pay-per-view offering with some good tag-team action involving four men who really should be embarking on flourishing singles careers, especially Jericho and Booker T.

Good performances from all men, getting the show off to a good start. Not even a broken second rope towards the end of the contest could scupper the efforts of those involved.

It was always going to be a Canadian victory though, as Jericho scored the win with a pin on Goldust following a moonsault. It's a shame there is no longer a secondary singles title for Raw, because although they are good tag-team competitors, Booker and Jericho are wasted in this division.

DAWN MARIE v TORRIE WILSON
Let's face it. Dawn and Torrie aren't exactly going to put on a match of the year candidate with top notch wrestling action. Although it showed in this match that they have undertaken extensive training recently, they are definitely not in the Sweet Saraya league.

As Lloyd Ryan reminded me this past Saturday, second up on a show is a difficult spot, and perhaps this dose of Diva T&A, which did get into a cat fight part of the way through, is the best way to keep the crowd happy.

If you accept this contest for what it was, then I suppose it was okay. There didn't seem to be any blown spots as Torrie won the match with a swinging neck-breaker.

One thing I must say though - am I the only one who is starting to get annoyed with Tazz's commentary? There's a man who's just retired, who is crying out for this sort of job. Anyone remember Diamond Dallas Page?

RIC FLAIR v ROB VAN DAM
In my last WWE pay-per-view review, I wrote that perhaps the Nature Boy should call it a day. I really hoped that now he had sided with Triple H, he would be more of a manager than a wrestler. When I heard he would be wrestling RVD, I feared the worst.

Van Dam may have beaten a veritable legend, a sixteen time World Champion, but is there really any prestige in beating the 2002 model of Ric Flair? I think not. This is not the Ric Flair of his prime, and it's about time the WWE seriously thought about what role they want Flair to have now.

Yes, we saw Flair's usual crisp attack on RVD's left pin. Yes, we saw the figure four. But in this contest, Van Dam seemed a shadow of his usual self, as Jericho had done one month ago.

RVD won after a five star frog splash, but this wasn't his best outing, probably because of who his opponent was.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship
JAMIE KNOBLE (c, with Nidia) v TAJIRI
It's a known fact that I'm a big fan of Smackdown's cruiserweight division. I've been saying for about four years now that Vince McMahon should give the smaller guys their chance in the spotlight, and now he finally has.

Although I'm not exactly a fan of Knoble's gimmick, I am a fan of Knoble's wrestling ability, and of course, I've been a fan of Tajiri's since his ECW days.

The fans were a little quiet, probably because they were expecting a parade of high-spots throughout. What they got was good wrestling action from both men, as wella s some good martial arts from the Japanese Buzzsaw.

Knoble won an entertaining contest after reversing Tajiri's attempted victory role, with a little help from his girlfriend. Nice to know that there's still something worth watching in the WWE.

World/Intercontinental Championship
TRIPLE H v KANE
We all know about the so-called storylines surrounding this match, both before and after this event. If you forget about this for a few moments, you'd be able to look rationally at a contest between two good athletes.

This match was not a classic, and I'm starting to agree with others when they say that Triple H isn't the same man he was before his quadriceps injury. Kane, though, has looked better since returning from his injury.

It promised much, but just didn't excite me the way it did certain members of the audience. Even the outside interference from Ric Flair and Triple H's trusty friend Mr. Hammer failed to get my blood boiling.

Hunter won after his trademark Pedigree. Sadly, we all know what happened the following night on Raw.

WWE Tag-Team Championship Final
CHRIS BENOIT & KURT ANGLE v EDGE & REY MYSTERIO
I am a big fan of all four men in this contest, and when I found out who would be in this final a few days ago, I was virtually salivating.

I really can't speak too highly of this contest. This match had it all - good mat wrestling, high-flying action, spills, thrills, excitement, the lot. I could go into a great amount of detail here, but there was just way too much action to chronicle here. This was tag-team action at it's best, with four wrestlers at the top of their game throughout.

After what seemed like an eternity of action, Angle made Edge submit to his trusty old ankle lock. How long was this bout? Who cares! It was damn good! It's true!

Women's Championship
TRISH STARTUS (c) v VICTORIA
After the excitement of the previous match, these two ladies would have a hard act to follow. However, this did promise more than the previous women's contest.

Trish Stratus continues to impress with each and every contest. I had heard much about Victoria in the past few months as well, and although they did put on a good match it wasn't the nest women's contest I had seen.

Stratus won after a roll-up, having botched her trademark Stratusfaction move. An enjoyable contest, perhaps spoiled by it's position on the card. After all, who could follow that tag-team match?

WWE Championship - Hell In A Cell
BROCK LESNAR (c) v THE UNDERTAKER
When one thinks of the Hell in a Cell, one thinks of those classic Undertaker matches with Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley, and in particular, of Foley's extraordinary dives, and with the disappointment surrounding the ending of the previous month's encounter between these two still fresh in the memory, it made you hope for a little more.

While this will not go down as the best Cell match in WWE history, it will certainly go down as the most brutal and the most graphic. There were no sick bumps, just sheer brutality as the fists flew and the blood poured, especially on the part of the Undertaker.

The slow methodical approach was the order of the day as Lesnar reversed Undertaker's tombstone attempt, turning it into an F5 to secure the pin and the victory. A good match, although it made you wonder why Taker couldn't lose this way four weeks ago.

In conclusion -not a bad pay-per-view effort from the WWE here, although it's a shame the efforts of the wrestlers will be overshadowed by what happened on Raw the following night. Match of the night - Angle & Benoit against Mysterio & Edge. The WWE may be crying out for proper tag-teams at the moment, but at least it's still capable of putting on good tag matches at the moment.