Wednesday, May 30, 2018

WWE No Mercy 2003

When I watched WWE Vengeance 2003 some time ago, I was pleasantly surprised by how good that show was. After sitting through a number of RAW-exclusive PPVs that were the absolute drizzling shits, Smackdown's first PPV was something of a palette cleanser and that lifted my spirits a bit. Sure, Smackdown had its share of bad angles, but its first PPV outing gave me hope that maybe things weren't ALL bad.

And then I watched that year's No Mercy PPV... and those hopes were dashed almost instantly.

The show opens with Cruiserweight champion Tajiri defending the title against Rey Mysterio; an otherwise good opener that is marred with the bad finish of a random fan distracting Mysterio enough for Tajiri to recover and hit his Buzzsaw Kick for the win. And if a bad finish to a good match was the worst this show would offer, I'd be fine with it... but sadly, we're just getting started with the vapid horror yet to come.

Then we have Chris Benoit defeating A-Train with a sharpshooter in a fairly decent "little guy slays the dragon" sort of thing and while it's not a technical showcase, it was still entertaining stuff. Again, if this was the worst thing to happen on this show, I'd be fine with it... but again, the worst is yet to come.

The one-legged Zack Gowen defeated Matt Hardy Version 1 in a match that had no emotional investment or interest whatsoever. It's hard to care when the guy who won the match would eventually be shitcanned before the year is up. On the bright side, Matt would move on to bigger and better things... eventually.

Doug and Danny Basham defeated the APA in a match that went about eight minutes and yet felt like it lasted eight months. Long, boring, and the fact that I barely remember the Bashams meant I had a hard time caring about the match. APA was bad enough as is. They were fun and all during the height of the Attitude days, but this reunion tour was nothing but boring stupid shit. And that's not something I'd want to associate with fun stuff from the teen years.

And then there was the street fight between Mr. McMahon and... Nipple H... and then you have Sable in there... and then Linda McMahon shows up to throw a towel and that's about as far as I go in talking about this "match" because this whole fucking waste of time was shit. Just shit. If you want to put this shit match on PPV, put it on a RAW PPV because that's a good place for it. Just bad.The only positive is that the match kicked Steph out of the Smackdown GM office and she was replaced with Paul Heyman, who had more to do back then than he does these days... which made him more interesting back then.

Kurt Angle defeated John Cena in a pretty good match. This was done to bring my spirits back up a bit after that whole shitfest of a timewaster and this was fun stuff. That's all I'm saying here because I don't want to jinx it.

And then you have FUCKING BIG SHOW beat Eddie Guerrero to win the U.S. title. Despite brass knux, belt shots, and a Guerrero frogsplash, Big Show overcomes the odds to win the title. FUCKING BIG SHOW would've been my reaction back then (thus proving that people were tired of Big Show back in 2003), but watching this today and with the benefit of hindsight, Big Show getting the title provided an eventual odd for John Cena to overcome at Wrestlemania XX while freeing up Eddie for bigger and better things. Not a great match, but it could've been worse.

And in our main event, WWE Champion Brock Lesnar defeated Undertaker in a Chain On A Pole match with an assist from Vince McMahon to retain the title... long, boring, put me to sleep. And this was when Brock gave enough of a shit to do different stuff, so is it any surprise that Brock in Suplex Spam mode vs. Old Man Taker wouldn't interest me in the slightest when those matches took place a decade-ish later? Sadly, going forward, Brock isn't given much to do that's worth talking about until his eventual dethroning by Eddie Guerrero that would lead to his then-final WWE match with Bill Goldberg... but that's another story.

No Mercy 2003 is the mirror universe equivalent of Vengeance 2003. Whereas Vengeance 2003 was a good show with some bad bits keeping it from being a great show, No Mercy 2003 is just a bad show with a couple bright spots keeping it from a real shit show. Angle vs. Cena is good stuff and a couple matches at the beginning held up well, but then you have the Battlin' McMahons and the Chain Match being terrible and overwhelming anything else on the card. This isn't total garbage, but it's starting to stink real bad and that has me concerned.

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