WWE PPV Flashbacks: No Mercy - October 17, 1999

No Mercy
October 17, 1999
Gund Arena, Cleveland, OH

Alright, this is the real 1999 instalment of No Mercy after we saw the UK exclusive event of the same name earlier in the year. No Mercy would go on to become a staple of the WWF calendar going forward for the next decade or so, taking place in the month of October from here on out. In our main event tonight, reigning WWF Champion Triple H puts his title on the line against Stone Cold Steve Austin. Also tonight, the Rock does battle to settle the score with the British Bulldog and we have a pretty famous ladder match that serves as the introduction to the future of the tag division for the next few years. Lets get this show on the road. Please send me your thoughts and feedback on Twitter at @Mpmcc91.

Our opening video is centred around the heated rivalry between Triple H and Stone Cold. In about a years time it would be even more heated. We kick the show off in the arena with our usual announce team of Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler.

The Godfather vs Mideon w/Viscera
Our opener tonight was really just thrown together on the Smackdown before this show. On that night, the Godfather was set to face Mideon, and prior to the bout, Godfather offered Mideon a night with his Ho's. Mideon turned the offer down, saying he preferred the company of farm animals (he used to be a Godwinn remember!), so Godfather went on to quickly defeat him. After that match however, Godfather was assaulted by Viscera and Mideon, bringing us to a rematch tonight. Of course, the Godfather has his ladies as usual, and he gets a good pop from the crowd as you expect from him at this time period. He starts this one out taking the fight to Mideon, building momentum until he is distracted by Viscera advancing on the women at ringside. Mideon jumps his opponent from behind, and Viscera gets some cheap shots in on the resident pimp as well. Anyway, Mideon goes to the chinlock as he usually does, but Godfather ends up launching a comeback with a sunset flip. Viscera attempts to intervene again, but we get some heel miscommunication leading to the Godfather putting Mideon away with the Ho Train followed by a roll up to score the victory at 7:30. Pretty basic stuff here, but the Godfather was always a good guy to open the show in 1999 since the crowd enjoyed the gimmick even if he wasn't very good in the ring. After the match, referee Tim White joins in the celebration with the Godfather's ladies. Lawler is of course jealous.
Grade: 3/4*

We see footage of an incident between Steve Austin and Triple H which saw the Game get revenge on Austin after the challenger set a rattlesnake on him at a prior event. We follow up with highlights of an interview from Heat, where Triple H brags about his actions.

We follow up with an interview with Ivory, who is the reigning Women's Champion. She says she isn't worried about the 76 year old Moolah. Yep, that match is up next.

WWF Women's Championship:
Ivory (c) vs Fabulous Moolah w/Mae Young

There's not a huge amount to talk about in terms of the build here. We saw Ivory confront Moolah and Mae after her match at Unforgiven. Ivory's better than the rest attitude as women's champion led to Moolah challenging her to put the title on the line against her here and that's about all there is to it. Of course, Moolah was the first ever WWF Women's Champion, so the angle is that she's looking to win back the title here. She's with Mae as usual here. Anyway, Ivory starts out taking her shots at Moolah until Mae gets up on the apron, only to be knocked off by the reigning champion. Ivory then goes to follow up by attempting to whack Moolah with the women's title belt, but Mae intercepts the champion and gets the belt off her. The distraction leads to Moolah rolling Ivory up with a terrible schoolboy to shockingly win the title at 2:50. Yep, you read that right, the 76 year old Fabulous Moolah is the women's champion. And people complain about the state of the division these days! Thankfully this was kept short. There was no need to put the belt on Moolah here, so that's where this gets its rating despite being so short. Next.
Grade: DUD

Backstage we here from Triple H following a recap of Mr McMahon making the title match no disqualifications. The Game is pissed that the main event as he had been relying on Austin's frustration to get him disqualified and hence cost his title shot.

New Age Outlaws vs Holly Cousins
Last we saw on PPV, the New Age Outlaws were the reigning WWF Tag Team Champions, and this was actually supposed to be a title match, with the popular champions defending against the Holly Cousins. That went out the window however, when on a recent episode of Smackdown, the Rock N Sock Connection, comprised of the Rock and Mankind defeated the Outlaws to win the titles. In fact, the Holly Cousins interfered in that match, costing the Outlaws the belts, and their shot at becoming champions here in the process. Anyway, the Outlaws are over as usual here, although they are reaching the end of their face run by this point. The Hollys are still super heavyweights in their minds by the way. Road Dogg starts this one out with Crash Holly and we get going. He starts out getting some offence in, but the Hollys take over when Crash sends him to the outside allowing Hardcore to take some shots on the former tag champion. From there the Holly Cousins work over Road Dogg, until the Outlaw member eventually comes back with a top rope suplex to Hardcore. He follows up with the hot tag to Billy, who comes in and cleans house. Chaos breaks lose between all four men and Hardcore Holly throws in a chair to Crash. Crash catches it, but before he can use it, Billy hits the Fameasser sending Crash's face into the weapon. At that moment however, the referee turns around and catches the use of the foreign object and awards the match to the Holly Cousins via DQ at 10:32. This was okay but really nothing special. The ending was a bit stupid as Billy didn't really use the chair to get DQed. If Crash wasn't holding it he would have just been hitting his finisher as usual so I would have preferred to just see the Outlaws score the pin off the move. Anyway, these teams would still get a decent push over the next few months, but would be overtaken in the tag team ranks soon enough.
Grade: **

Up next we get a video package highlighting the long standing issues between Jarrett and Chyna.

WWF Intercontinental Championship - Good Housekeeping Match:
Jeff Jarrett (c) w/Miss Kitty vs Chyna

We know the basic feud leading into this match as its been building for the past two months now. Of course, Jarrett retained his title via DQ against Chyna back at Unforgiven, whilst Chyna picked up a non-title victory at the UK exclusive Rebellion over the woman hating Jarrett. Of course, they've been going at it on TV between those shows as well, with Jarrett often assaulting Chyna with domestic objects which brings us to the first and only good housekeeping match in WWF history. The idea is that its essentially a no DQ match, but there are a variety of household objects around ringside that are specifically legal. Think a modern day chairs match with domestic objects instead of chairs I guess. Chyna is still in that weird phase as she's loosely aligned with Triple H, but getting more and more over as a face through this feud at the same time. That would be rectified with her splitting out on her own soon enough. This would also be Jarrett's last WWF match to date, which I'll get into after the match, but that should tell you how this one is going. The match starts out with Chyna on offence, hitting Jarrett with a variety of objects including a toilet seat before rubbing a banana and whipped cream in his face to humiliate her adversary. Jarrett comes back, and ends up using a fish against her. He goes to throw some flour in Chyna's face to follow up, but Chyna instead sends it back at him. Nonetheless, the champion regains his composure at gets the challenger in the figure four leglock. Chyna manages to get to the ropes and further humiliates Jarrett by squashing his balls with a pair of tongs soon after. She follows up with a shot from the good old kitchen sink itself and then attempts the pedigree, only for the champion to counter, dropping her into a cake and taking out the referee in the process. Meanwhile, Miss Kitty grabs the I.C title belt and throws it in to Jarrett. He whacks Chyna with it, but the referee refuses to count as its not a household object. Jarrett takes out his frustrations by locking in the figure four on the official, who is good old Teddy Long by the way. Chyna uses the distraction to her advantage and smashes Jarrett over the head with his guitar. Thats enough to keep the champ down for three, and Chyna wins the Intercontinental title at 8:25. This was actually a pretty fun match that served its purpose in Chyna getting revenge on Jarrett for all the humiliation he put her and various other women through over the past few months. I don't have a huge problem with Chyna winning the title here. She was always seen as being on a level above the women's division, and she really would not have fit in there, especially in the T&A fest that was 1999. Besides, she was able to go in the ring with the right opponents. As far as Jarrett goes, he actually held Vince up for cash prior to this show in similar fashion to the Ultimate Warrior back in 1991. Vince obviously paid him here, but Jarrett would head to the dying WCW right after this. He would not return when the company folded little over a year later, but he would of course end up starting up his own promotion known as TNA. But that's way down the line from here.
Grade: **1/2

We now get a video package highlighting the issues between the Rock and the British Bulldog, who are set to face off next.

The Rock vs British Bulldog
Alright, so as I mentioned at Unforgiven, shortly after returning to the WWF in September, the British Bulldog established himself as a heel by costing the Rock a WWF Championship match against Triple H on Smackdown. Both Rock and Bulldog would go on to compete in the six pack challenge at Unforgiven in a losing effort. The Rock would go on to cost Bulldog the championship in a match against Triple H, which led to the Bulldog getting involved in the Rock's match against the Game at Rebellion. The Rock would get another measure of revenge on the Bulldog on an episode of Raw is War, when he teamed with Mankind to take on Bulldog & Val Venis (now a heel - more on that later). The match would culminate in the Rock delivering a Rock Bottom to Bulldog onto a tray of dog manure. Ah the Attitude era. Also, as I mentioned earlier, the Rock is one half of the new tag team champions here, along with Mankind, although he does not come out with the title belt for this match. The Great One starts out on fire, throwing Bulldog out of the ring and sending him into the ring steps, however the first ever European Champion comes back, sending Rock into the announce table. The Bulldog goes on to stay in control with his power based offence as the action returns to the ring until Rock comes back with the Samoan Drop. Bulldog attempts to regain control by tangling Rock up in the ropes, but the Great One escapes and nails his opponent with a DDT. Bulldog kicks out and fires back with his trademark powerslam, but Rock gets to the ropes to break the pinfall. Rock follows up by hitting the Bulldog with the Rock Bottom and then puts this one away with the People's Elbow, which picks up the victory at 7:21. This was a shorter match than I expected it to be, as this was really the number two feud heading into this show in terms of main eventers. Having said that, this would effectively be the end of Bulldog as a top level player in the WWF, much as Billy Gunn's loss to the Great One was at Summerslam. The match was really nothing special, and sadly it was clear the Bulldog of the past was gone by this point. It was really a combination of injuries, personal demons and just looking out of place in the Attitude era, although he'll stick around for a few more months. Rock moves on victorious from this feud and that's really all there is to say about this one.
Grade: *1/2

The finals of the Terri Invitational Tournament are coming up next, and we see footage of Jerry Lawler interviewing Terri on a ladder on a recent episode of Raw is War. Or rather, Lawler spends the time looking up Terri's skirt. Anyway, this is the match we all want to see.

Terri Invitational Tournament Finals - Ladder Match:
Edge & Christian vs Hardy Boyz w/Gangrel

These teams had been getting involved in each others affairs for a few months heading into this show, but their rivalry really picked up a few weeks prior on Smackdown when the floating around Terri Runnels announced that she was going to hold a mini-tournament between two teams for her managerial services and $100,000. Those teams were announced as being the Hardy Boyz (still under the tutelage of Gangrel as the New Brood) and the popular Edge & Christian. The tournament was a best of five series, and later that night Edge & Christian picked up the first win. The teams would exchange wins over the weeks that followed and Terri announced that the finals would take place at this show in a ladder match, with the money being suspended above the ring. And the rest was history in establishing the greatest tag team rivalry of all time. The action starts out with both teams going at it on the outside, and the Hardy Boyz take control in the early going. They call for Gangrel to set up a ladder shortly after, but this gets him ejected from ringside by the official. With him out of the way, business picks up as these four put on one hell of a match. I won't go through the play by play because you really can't with these matches, but its the type of match everyone should see. All four guys take some big bumps as you would expect coming off the ladders and basically reinventing the ladder match. If Shawn/Razor put the match on the map, this match set the format for tag team matches of this kind, being the first and all. The ladder is of course also used as a weapon with a memorable spot later in the match seeing Jeff utilising them as a seesaw, jumping on the end of one on top of another to whack both Matt & Christian in the process. From there, both ladders are set up in the ring and all four men climb, with one tipping over sending Christian and Jeff flying down over the ropes to the floor in what would become a trademark spot for the future Captain Charisma in these matches. Moments later, Matt & Edge both come crashing down to the canvass from the top of the other ladder. All four men recover and we get some more climbing attempts, with Edge knocking Matt off one ladder, tipping over the other which Jeff and Christian are on in the process. Jeff makes himself at home in the high risk zone that is the ladder match however and manages to jump onto Edge's ladder before the other falls. He follows up by sending Edge down to the mat, and at 16:40, Jeff Hardy retrieves the cash, and Terri's managerial services for he and his brother. Wow, what an incredible match, and these guys would just get better as time went on. This was without question the match that put all four of these guys on the map as they stole the show, and the Hardy Boyz would effectively be turned face the next night due to the respect they had gained from the fans in one night. After the match the crowd gives all four men the standing ovation they deserve. A very good match that I cannot give enough praise to, and quite possibly the 1999 match of the year.
Grade: ****1/2

Up next we see footage from Heat where Mankind was looking for his tag team champion partner, the Rock. Figuring Rock was in the bathroom, he slid a copy of his book (Have a Nice Day) to the closed stall, but Rock was not there. Instead it was the newly turned heel Val Venis, who jumped Mankind prior to their match tonight on the PPV.

Before we get to that match though, the other half of the Rock & Sock Connection makes his way back out to the ring. Great reaction as expected. He gets on the mic and challenges the WWF Champion to a match at Survivor Series but ends up getting jumped by Triple H as he leaves, who destroys the Great One with his sledgehammer. Effective segment to set things up down the line. These two would pretty much be attached to each other soon enough. Rock gets medical help and backstage is helped onto a stretcher by Mankind, who is in action next.

Mankind vs Val Venis
The sudden heel turn of Val Venis really goes back to the very memorable and entertaining "Rock, this is your life" segment on a recent episode of Raw is War. During that ceremony, Mankind presented Rock with his very own Mr Socko by the name of Mr Rocko, much to the dismay of thr Great One. The Rock would throw Rocko in the trash, but it would be claimed by one Val Venis later that night, who would begin to use it to stuff his trunks. Later that week on Smackdown, Mankind confronted the resident porn star of the WWF, asking for Venis to return Rocko, but Val would refuse. Later that night he would officially turn heel by joining the Dudley Boyz in beating down Mankind. The next week, Rock challenged Venis to a match, a match which Rock would win, but in the process accidentally hit the Rock Bottom on Mankind. The Rock & Sock Connection would put their differences aside however, going on to defeat the New Age Outlaws to win the WWF Tag Team Championship, but tonight is about Mankind getting retribution on Venis. Anyway, Venis attempts to jump Mankind, but the Hardcore Legend intercepts him and the action gets going with Mankind sending him into the corner and actually reaching into his tights to retrieve Mr Rocko. The action spills to the outside shortly after and Val turns the tide by suplexing Mankind onto a chair and gets Rocko back. Mankind attempts to come back with the Mandible Claw, but Venis stays in control and the action heads back to the ring. After going on offence, Venis looks to put his opponent away with the Money Shot, but Mankind avoids it and follows with the DDT. He pulls out Socko and gets the Mandible Claw on his opponent, but Venis gets Rocko and grabs Mankind's balls. Venis ends up landing on top of Mankind in the scuffle that follows, and actually scores the shocking upset, pinning the former WWF Champion at 9:18. Definitely the biggest win of Venis' career to that point, although he wouldn't really capitalise on it, as he'd be back to being a face lost in the shuffle by our next show. A surprisingly solid match though considering Foley wasn't in the greatest ring shape at this time.
Grade: ***

Up next we see footage of Kane's recent frustration after losing a match with X-Pac to the Acolytes.

Elimination Match:
X-Pac vs Kane vs Faarooq vs Bradshaw

This is a pretty random match here as you would think this could have just been a tag match to further the issues between Kane & X-Pac. Thats pretty much all this is about as their union is sadly at the end of its run here. Both X-Pac and Kane are still faces here despite their recent issues, although X-Pac is slowly moving into tweener territory. In fact I'm fairly sure the Acolytes were too actually. Strange. Anyway, its every man for themselves here but you need to tag in, however the Acolytes work together to double team the Big Red Machine in the early going, whilst X-Pac uses the opportunity to his own advantage by taking a rest on the apron before tagging into the match. His strategy doesn't work very long however as the Acolytes begin to work him over with some more double teaming. X-Pac finally regains himself with a tornado DDT onto Bradshaw, and Kane comes in and finishes the future JBL off with a chokeslam to score the first elimination of the match. X-Pac shows his true colours however when he follows up with a leg lariat to his own partner moments later, pinning Kane to send the Big Red Machine packing as well. From there, we are left with X-Pac and Faarooq and they go back and forth a little with X-Pac failing to connect with the Bronco Buster. Faarooq takes him down with a spinebuster and goes to follow with a shoulder block, but X-Pac counters with the X-Factor to win the match at 10:15. A pretty uneventful match with the only real thing of note being X-Pac's elimination of Kane which would set up his heel turn down the line. This really could have just been a tag match though with X-Pac walking out or costing his team the match somehow to get to the same result in a few weeks time.
Grade: **

Backstage, the Rock refuses to be taken to a medical facility after Triple H's earlier attack. We then go to a video package highlighting the Austin/HHH feud as the main event is coming up next.

WWF Championship - No DQ Match:
Triple H (c) vs Steve Austin

Aside from this being Austin's first match since Summerslam, there's quite a bit to talk about here. Of course, after coming up short in the triple threat match on that night, Triple H brutalised Austin putting him out of action, which was the WWF's way of briefly writing the Rattlesnake out of action whilst still keeping him on TV to deal with his nagging neck issues. Of course, Austin cost Triple H his first WWF title to Mr McMahon and went on to be the enforcer last month at Unforgiven where the Game was crowned a two time WWF Champion. As I mentioned last month, Austin was promised a future shot at the title in exchange for reinstating Vince, and tonight he gets that title shot. The two men have been going at it ever since, with Austin going so far as to lure Triple H into a locker room containing a live rattlesnake! A few days after that incident on Smackdown, Triple H came out a bruised and battered mess. Triple H would approach Austin and offer to hand him the title, claiming it was not worth his life, but Austin would refuse to accept. The whole thing proved to be a set up however, as Trips smashed Austin with the title belt and ripped off the makeup that he had worn to give the impression the snake had destroyed him. He was fine and told Austin that the title meant more than life itself to him which leads us to this match. Alright, Triple H means business tonight as he brings his sledgehammer out with him, but Mr McMahon comes out and grabs it from him, only for Triple H to take him out. This lures Austin out into the aisle and thats where we get started and the two men trade blows, brawling through the crowd. Austin gets the better of the exchange, whacking the Game with a trash can and some camera equipment among other objects as they battle their way back to ringside. He throws the Game onto the barricade, but Triple H turns the tide, backdropping Austin and attempting a Pedigree only to be back dropped into the official by Austin. They finally get into the ring and Austin connects with the Stunner, but of course, the ref has just been taken out so there's nobody to count the fall. Triple H recovers and follows up with the Pedigree, but there's still no official until Earl Hebner runs out, but by that point the challenger manages to kick out. The action spills back out of the ring and Austin busts the Game open and sends him into the ring steps. Triple H finally goes back on offence, targeting Austin's knee, looking to redo the damage he did back at Summerslam. He get some more back and forth leading to Austin absolutely destroying Triple H with a chair, but the Game gets a breather following a shot to the Rattlesnake's knee. And then the crowd goes crazy as the Rock makes his way out, sledgehammer in hand. He goes to whack Triple H to get some revenge from earlier in the night, but he misses and ends up nailing Austin instead! With Austin laid out, Trips hits the Pedigree on Rock and then covers the Rattlesnake to retain the title at 21:55. This was a pretty fun brawl between two guys who were looking to destroy each other. Austin looked like a mad man in the early going, punishing the Game for taking him out months prior, but Triple H used his cerebral nature to go after the knee and it worked in his favour throughout the latter part of the match. The ending was fine as it set up the main event (or at least what the main event was supposed to be) for Survivor Series, and any time you have all three of these guys involved in something is fine with me. Not the greatest match in the world, and Austin and Trips would go on to have much better matches with each other down the line, but still a really good match that puts an end to any rumours saying Austin refused to put Triple H over in this time period.
Grade: ***1/2

After the match, Austin recovers as the Game celebrates his win, and the two brawl to the back. Austin gives chase as Triple H flees into a limo with the waiting Chyna and thats where we go off the air.

This was a show that got off to a slow start, but once you get things going there are some pretty good matches in there. Of course, the highlight of the night is the awesome ladder match, the importance of which cannot be overstated in terms of the careers of Edge & Christian and the Hardy Boyz, and the tag division for the next two years in general. The main event was also a solid brawl that saw Triple H pick up the controversial win to set things up nicely for next month. I was pleasantly surprised by Venis/Mankind as a pretty solid match, and Chyna finally getting her revenge on Jarrett was a fun moment. I'd say Rock/Bulldog was the biggest disappointment of the night, but really, Bulldog just wasn't clicking as a main event level guy anymore. An above average show, mainly due to the two big matches I mentioned, but its a lot of fun to sit through overall.

Three Stars of the Night:
1. Hardy Boyz/Edge & Christian (tie) - do I even need to explain this?
2. Steve Austin - I'm giving it to the guy who came up short in the main event. He was on fire for the early part of the match to the delight of the crowd, but he worked to make Triple H look like a legit top level heel as well by delivering a quality main event.
3. Triple H - pretty much the same as above being the second half of the match. The win was tainted, but it was good to see his momentum as the top heel continue after a shaky first month as champion following Summerslam. The Game hadn't completely arrived yet, but he was well on the way to being great.

FINAL GRADE: 7 out of 10

What I do here is add the three stars of the night with each review so as to keep track of who we can say overall is the greatest PPV performer to any given time. First place scores 3 points, second 2 and third 1. Austin 3:16 says we have a new leader in the rankings, just in time for him to take a hiatus.

Steve Austin = 84
Bret Hart = 83
Shawn Michaels = 67
Mick Foley = 32
The Rock = 32
Randy Savage = 28
Triple H = 27
Undertaker = 25
Owen Hart = 21
Hulk Hogan = 18
X-Pac = 18
Diesel = 15
Ultimate Warrior = 13
Vader = 13
British Bulldog = 12
Ted DiBiase = 10
Razor Ramon = 10
Vince McMahon = 9
Ric Flair = 8
Jim Neidhart = 7
Jerry Lawler = 6
Dynamite Kid = 5
Arn Anderson = 5
Roddy Piper = 5
Mr Perfect = 5
Marty Jannetty = 5
Bob Backlund = 5
Ricky Steamboat = 4
Ax = 4
Smash = 4
Bobby Heenan = 4
D’Lo Brown = 4
Christian = 4
Greg Valentine = 3
Tully Blanchard = 3
Tanaka = 3
Bam Bam Bigelow = 3
Sato = 3
Jake Roberts = 3
Hakushi = 3
Yokozuna = 3
Savio Vega = 3
Ken Shamrock = 3
Shane McMahon = 3
Matt Hardy = 3
Jeff Hardy = 3
Edge = 3
Brutus Beefcake = 2
Paul Orndorff = 2
Andre the Giant = 2
Rick Rude = 2
Sgt Slaughter = 2
Jeff Jarrett = 2
Jesse Ventura = 1
Texas Tornado = 1
Tito Santana = 1
Virgil = 1
Scott Steiner = 1
Rick Steiner = 1
Lex Luger = 1
The Roadie = 1
Billy Gunn = 1
Bart Gunn = 1
Marc Mero = 1
Flash Funk = 1
Animal = 1
Hawk = 1
Taka Michinoku = 1
Test = 1
Chris Jericho = 1

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