Hello and welcome to another family feud edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews! What is more precious than a father’s love for his daughter? Choking her with a pipe, yeah that’s right as I am reviewing WWE’s No Mercy 2003! Brock Lesnar had regained the WWE Championship after defeating Kurt Angle on Smackdown in a fantastic Iron Man Match, Lesnar defends against The Undertaker in a Biker Chain Match. Kurt Angle faces off with rising superstar John Cena and the uncomfortable Stephanie vs Vince I Quit Match. Yeah, Smackdown might have been more enjoyable than Raw at the time but it did not mean it had its low points. So, will Smackdown bring their A game once more or will this show be a disaster? Let’s rock!
Stephanie and Vince are the focus, we see pictures from Stephanie’s childhood while Vince narrates, Vince is disgusted with his daughter and is going to teach her a lesson while Stephanie is fighting for her brand, her Smackdown. We get a little montage of Lesnar vs Taker but as always, The Mcmahons are front and centre.
(WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match) Tajiri © vs Rey Mysterio
Tajiri is the heel under the orders of Mr. Mcmahon, Tajiri blinded Nidia, the girlfriend of Jamie Noble while Mysterio lost the championship to The Japanese Buzzsaw. Lock-up, both men tumble to the floor. Both men shove, huge kicks by both men. Tajiri is not happy with Mysterio kicking back, another lock-up with Mysterio shoving back Tajiri. Tajiri forearms Mysterio but Mysterio armdrags Tajiri and applies a leg lock to Tajiri. Tajiri rolls through for a Fujiwara armbar, Tajiri kicks Mysterio in the ribs over and over.
Mysterio elbows Tajiri, Tajiri clubs down Mysterio. Mysterio flips out of a back suplex, wheelbarrow into an armdrag by Mysterio and a huge dropkick to the knees. Mysterio blocks the handspring elbow with a dropkick, plancha by Mysterio. Mysterio is flung off the top rope by Tajiri arm first, Tajiri rams Mysterio’s shoulder into the ringpost for a two count. Tajiri stomps on Mysterio, kick to the face by the champion. Variation of The Fujiwara armbar by Tajiri, Mysterio battles back for a springboard armdrag. Tajiri regains control with two shoulder kicks and a huge crescent kick for two. Standing armbar by Tajiri, more kicks to the shoulder by Tajiri for two.
Shoulder first, Mysterio meets the turnbuckle. Mysterio kicks back Tajiri, Mysterio climbs the top rope but Tajiri kicks Mysterio in the head. Both men are on the top rope, Mysterio headbutts off Tajiri. Diving tornado DDT by Mysterio for two, springboard crossbody for two. Crucifix into a sunset flip but Tajiri rolls through for a catapult, Mysterio lands on the apron, slingshot headscissors leaves Tajiri on the floor. Apron hurricanrana by Mysterio, Tajiri avoids The West Coast Pop. Tajiri tries throwing Mysterio to the floor, Mysterio counters for a 619 to the ribs. Mysterio sets up for The West Coast Pop, Tajiri counters for a powerbomb, two count for Tajiri.
Tajiri elevates Mysterio over his head, Mysterio lands on the top rope, Mysterio connects with a moonsault for two. Mysterio runs into The Tarantula, Tajiri calls for The Buzzsaw Kick, Mysterio ducks and dropkicks Tajiri. Catapult by Mysterio, Tajiri is in position. 619 by Mysterio, West Coast Pop but a “fan” interrupts the action and Tajiri knocks Mysterio’s head off with a huge kick.
That was a solid opening match that picked up in the last few minutes. Tajiri worked the arm in the early goings and Mysterio was grounded, Mysterio kicked it into gear in the latter half with some great high-flying moves in the way Mysterio can only do. Finish was different with the fans running in, it has been some time that I had seen something like that in WWE so I will give them praise for that, could have worked a little better if Mysterio’s arm had played into the finish but good stuff nonetheless.
Winner: Tajiri over Rey Mysterio via Shenanigans!
Mr. Mcmahon Promo
Josh Matthews interviews Vince about the match with his daughter, Vince threatens and intimidates Josh while also proclaiming that if anyone tries to help Stephanie, they will be fired on the spot.
A-Train vs Chris Benoit
It’s a little bizarre to me how this year has panned out for Chris Benoit. From the match with Angle at Royal Rumble, it seems Benoit has lost a tonne of momentum and there is no real direction for The Rabid Wolverine despite his excellent performances when it comes to pay per views. Anyways, A-Train says Benoit cannot beat him and Benoit is not happy about the trash that A-Train is talking.
Match begins with A-Train throwing around Benoit, Benoit recuperates on the outside before attacking the arm, A-Train shoves off Benoit but Benoit comes back with huge chops. A-Train stops Benoit with a huge forearm shot, A-Train misses an elbow. More brawling by both men, A-Train starts throwing bombs before missing a splash. Benoit pummels A-Train, A-Train shoves off Benoit and slams The Rabid Wolverine. Splash by A-Train for two, uppercut by A-Train. Benoit drop toeholds A-Train into the turnbuckle and runs off the ropes into a bicycle kick from A-Train.
Chops by Benoit but A-Train clubs the neck of Benoit. Rope-hung guillotine by A-Train, A-Train shoves Benoit before scoring with a butterfly facebreaker for two as Benoit reaches the ropes. Headbutt by A-Train, A-Train jawjacks with the referee before Benoit comes back with a tonne of kicks and chops, A-Train ends Benoit’s momentum with a huge Polish hammer. Submission hold from A-Train, Benoit stops the assault with a huge DDT. German suplex by A-Train, Benoit is tossed to the floor. A-Train decides he wants a steel chair, Benoit kicks A-Train. A-Train lifts up Benoit for a military press slam and A-Train drops Benoit head first on the chair, that was a nasty botch.
A-Train wedges a chair into the middle turnbuckle, Benoit rolls-up A-Train, A-Train rolls through but Benoit applies The Crippler Crossface. A-Train bridges up, Benoit says fine, eat these three German suplexes. Benoit climbs for The Diving Headbutt but A-Train springs up and hurls Benoit off the top rope. A-Train mocks Benoit, Baldo Bomb for two. A-Train bicycle kicks the chair and Benoit applies a Sharpshooter for the win.
Tazz says it best “How good is Benoit?” Benoit made A-Train look unstoppable, I loved the back and forth in the beginning with Benoit fighting from underneath against the big behemoth. As the match went on, Benoit showed more heart and was able to control larger portions of the match. Loved the finish with the chair playing into it and the commentators talking about Stu Hart passing away, it was a great nod to Stu when Benoit applies The Sharpshooter. A-Train had never looked so good and Benoit continues to bring you some powerhouse performances in the mid-card. The booking may not show it yet but Benoit is earning that World Heavyweight Championship.
Winner: Chris Benoit over A-Train via Sharpshooter!
Matt Hardy is looking for Shannon Moore, Matt Hardy finds Heidenreich choking the life out of Shannon Moore. Hardy smooth talks Heidenreich into releasing Moore and the two leave for their match.
Matt Hardy W/ Shannon Moore vs Zach Gowan
Matt Hardy has a victory over Gowan as Brock Lesnar destroyed poor Gowan, Gowan had previously defeated Hardy so, they are tied in terms of wins and this is the blow-off to their feud. Hardy slaps Gowan, Gowan slaps back and bulldogs Hardy. Gowan tried a springboard but Moore trips up Gowan, chops by Hardy. Hardy chokes the life out of Gowan, corner clothesline and snake eyes before a huge clothesline by The Sensei of Mattitude.
Two count for Hardy, leg drop for two. Gowan drags Hardy into the middle turnbuckle, Hardy clubs Gowan. Falling mat slam, Gowan dodges a moonsault from Hardy. Dropkick by Gowan, Hardy powders to the floor. Springboard hilo by Gowan, crossbody for two. Side Effect by Hardy, two for Hardy. Gowan tries for a moonsault but Hardy crotches Gowan, Hardy is knocked off the top rope. Moonsault by Gowan, Gowan picks up the win over Matt Hardy.
That was alright, I mean I do not know what I can expect from Zach Gowan. The kid has one leg and I feel this is as good as it is going to get so damn it, it was alright. No better and no less, Matt Hardy has a very entertaining gimmick but he was in a much better position at Wrestlemania and it seems to have lost steam, do not worry Matt, better things are around the corner.
Winner: Zach Gowan over Matt Hardy via Moonsault!
The Basham Brothers vs The APA
Bradshaw clotheslined Shaniqua, the manager of The Basham Brothers and The Basham Brothers assaulted The APA with chairs. That’s about it in terms of a build-up for this match, Bradshaw clubs Doug before Faarooq beats the piss out of Doug. Danny blind tags in but Faarooq sees it coming. Tag to Bradshaw, double spinebuster for two. Tag to Faarooq, double shoulder block for two. Jawbreaker by Danny, tag to Doug.
Scoop slam by Doug, Faarooq blocks the splash. Bradshaw drags at Doug and slams Doug off the steel steps. Danny backs Faarooq into the corner, Bradshaw comes in and clubs The Bashams, The Bashams regain control for a double suplex. Danny bumps Bradshaw off the barricade, double beatdown by The Bashams. Reverse chinlock by Doug, Faarooq fights back but Doub pulls the hair of Faarooq. Tag to Danny, reverse chinlock by Danny. Danny gets too cocky, spinebuster by Faarooq which leads to Bradshaw receiving the tag.
Corner clotheslines, powerbombs but Doug kicks out, Danny & Doug take more of an ass-kicking. Doug is thrown to the floor, Danny eats a last call. Doug is kept at bay by Faarooq, middle rope last call by Bradshaw but Danny saves Doug. Referee is wiped out by Faarooq, Clothesline From Hell by Bradshaw to Danny, Shaniqua clubs Bradshaw with a huge lead pipe, rough ryder by Doug and The Bashams pick up the victory.
Sorry did not get into this match at all, it looks more like Bradshaw wanting to just rough up the new guys which is interesting with the whole Mauro Renallo situation. And what the hell is The Bashams gimmick? They are into whips, chains and ball and gags? That’s what seems to be implied and that might be one of the worst gimmicks I have ever seen. Doug & Danny are salivating over Shaniqua, their dominatrix. This is so weird but WWE has always been weird.
Winners: The Bashams Brothers over The APA via Rough Ryder!
Vince Mcmahon vs Stephanie Mcmahon W/ Linda Mcmahon (I Quit Match)
Stephanie loves this business, she is the general manager of Smackdown. Stephanie was the face manager of Smackdown when many expected her to be a big heel, it was a nice change of pace. Vince was not happy, Vince wanted Stephanie to quit as manager but it did not happen. Vince had A-Train fuck up Stephanie while Sable made out with Vince. Uncomfortable? Oh yeah, this was weird.
Vince jumps Stephanie from behind, tremendous heel work. Stephanie applies a chokehold, Vince shakes off Stephanie. Vince corners Stephanie, Stephanie kicks off Vince before Vince shoulders Stephanie. Hair-pull toss by Vince, Vince looks at Linda every time, asking “Do you like that Linda?” Vince chokes Stephanie in the corner, shoulder thrusts by Vince. Knees to the ribs by Vince, Sable slaps Stephanie and Linda gives chase. Vince stops Linda, Stephanie kicks Vince in the ribs. Huge clothesline by Vince, single leg Boston crab by Vince. Stephanie is screaming while squeezing her mother’s hand.
Reverse chinlock by Vince, Stephanie rakes the eyes. Sable has a lead pipe, Linda beats the piss out of Sable. Vince has Linda, slap by Linda and a low blow by Stephanie. Stephanie has the lead pipe, roll-up and Vince kicks out at two. Vince begs for mercy, playing on Stephanie’s emotions. Stephanie does not buy it and wallops Vince with the pipe. Middle rope pipe shot to the head, Vince places his foot on the ropes. Sable is on the apron, Vince is pushed into Sable. Bulldog by Stephanie, Vince kicks out at two. Vince stops Stephanie by grabbing her by the throat, Vince has the pipe and Stephanie is waffled with the pipe before being choked out. Linda throws in the towel as Stephanie passes out, Stephanie is no longer Smackdown General Manager.
As a wrestling match, do not bother it is laughable. As a drama, as a performance, The Mcmahons do what they do best and turn it a very entertaining show. Pantomine was written for Mr. Mcmahon, his facials and body language are fantastic. Mcmahon is such a dickhead, Stephanie shows a lot of heart and it was entertaining, I can’t say I hated it. They may not have any athleticism but they can put on a great show.
Winner: Vince Mcmahon over Stephanie Mcmahon via Linda throwing in the towel!
Kurt Angle vs John Cena
John Cena’ stock continues to rise as Cena works against the main event talent on Smackdown. Cena was exposed in his match at Lesnar as green and not having the skills just yet to reach the top but put him in there with someone who can work and you can have magic. Cena vs Undertaker was a treat at Vengeance and now, Angle vs Cena could be the show-stealer.
Lock-up, Cena is backed into the corner. Lock-up, side headlock takedown by Angle, shoulder block by Angle. Armdrag by Angle, Cena is not happy with how the match is going, we have duelling chants in the arena. Side headlock by Cena, shoulder block by Cena. Hiptoss by Angle, more armdrags into an armbar by Angle. Cena breaks free, frustrated by Angle who flips off Cena. Right hands by Angle, elbow by Angle for two. Right hands by Angle, Cena drills Angle with a clothesline, huge right hands by Cena. Back drop by Angle for two, spear by Angle. Chops by Angle, right hands by Angle.
Cena dodges Angle who spears the ringpost, Cena is on the attack. Corner clothesline and neckbreaker by Cena for two, Cena stomps all over Angle. Polish hammer by Cena for two, submission hold by Cena. Angle fires up but Cena nails a huge knee to the ribs, side suplex by Cena for two. Cena has a front chancery, right hands by Angle. Spinebuster by Cena for two, Cena is on the top rope, Angle looks for a belly to belly but Cena kicks off Angle. Cena dives into a dropkick to the knee. Right hands by Angle, Irish whip and flying forearm by Angle, huge clotheslines by Angle.
Russian legsweep by Angle for two, drop toehold into The Ankle Lock but Cena leaps to the ropes. Baseball slide by Angle, Cena and Angle are on the apron, Angle wants to German suplex Cena to the floor but Cena counters for a DDT. Guillotine leg drop by Cena as Angle is entering the ring for two, Angle answers back with a German suplex. Cena dropkicks Angle, snapover neckbreaker for two. Headbutt by Cena, Irish whip. Angle dodges Cena’s clothesline for a roll-up, German suplexes by Angle. Two for Angle after the suplexes, Cena stomps all over Angle on the canvas. Corner clothesline by Cena, turnbuckle powerbomb by Cena.
Two for Cena, FU by Cena and Angle kicks out at two and a half. Another attempt at FU goes wrong as Angle drills Cena with an Angle Slam, Cena kicks out of The Angle Slam. Cena crawls for the chain, referee stops Cena. Cena pulls out Angle’s medals, wham to the head of Angle. Angle kicks out at two and a half again, two close calls in the last seconds. Cena motions for another FU, Angle counters for a backslide, Cena dodges an Angle Slam. Angle slips out of a FU into a victory roll into an Ankle Lock, Angle grapevines the leg and this match is over as Cena taps out to The Ankle Lock.
Another great performance for Cena with a top-tier talent. Crowd were cheering for Cena, the kid had built a lot of momentum and it looks like Cena’s star and stock were only going to continue to improve. Angle is a great talent, we all know this and Angle brings the pain to Cena in this match. That finishing sequence was great fun, the counters and the finisher kick-outs were really good. Highlight of the night so far, fun to see Cena rise through the WWE roster and see Kurt Angle at his best tearing it up in the ring.
Winner: Kurt Angle over John Cena via Ankle Lock!
(WWE United States Championship Match) Eddie Guerrero © vs The Big Show
Speaking of a popular heel being turned babyface, we have Latino Heat. Eddie Guerrero with his lying, cheating and stealing had stolen the hearts of every Smackdown fan. Eddie had made fun of the giant, the giant got serious and attacked Eddie, it’s the usual stuff for Show feuds. Eddie has his back taped up due to being thrown through his lowrider by Show on Smackdown. Match starts with Eddie throwing the belt at Show, dropkicks and hotshots by Eddie. Right hands stagger Show before Show clotheslines Eddie. Huge chest slap by Show, Show steps all over Eddie’s back.
More chest slaps by Show, Eddie lowbridges Show and Eddie knocks Show to the floor. Eddie looks under the ring for a chair, Eddie distracts the referee with the chair while hitting Eddie with a trashcan lid. Chops by Eddie, Show shakes it all off so Eddie powders to the floor before hammering the giant until Show hurls Eddie into the ringpost twice. Show drops his weight on Eddie before applying a stretchhold to Latino Heat. Clubbing blows to the back by Show, Eddie fights back but Show is too strong. Show exposes a top turnbuckle, Eddie is whipped hard into the top turnbuckle. Eddie pulls himself up using Show, Eddie is placed on the top rope.
Eddie sends Show’s head into the top rope, crossbody by Eddie on Show. Show kicks out at two, Eddie squashes the referee. Show misses a leg drop on Eddie and hits the referee, Eddie has brass knuckles. Right hand to Show by Eddie, Eddie revives the referee but Show kicks out at two. Eddie grabs his championship, belt to the face by Eddie. Frog Splash by Eddie, 1…..2…. Show kicks out again! Eddie runs into a spinebuster and a huge Chokeslam. 1…2.. Eddie places his foot on the ropes. Show pulls down the strap, Eddie low blows and DDTs Show. Eddie covers for two, Eddie walks into a Chokeslam and Show wins The United States Championship.
Not a good match, Eddie gives it all he has with his charisma and body language to make this match fun but not even Latino Heat’s character work cannot save this match. Show plods around and does not exactly work over the back of the injured Eddie Guerrero, if you are going to go for that kind of angle with such a simple story, you should have lots of back work from the huge monster.
Winner: Big Show over Eddie Guerrero via Chokeslam!
Big Show Promo
Big Show says I told you so, Big Show says nobody is going to take away his championship before screaming he is the champ down a hallway.
(WWE Championship Match) Brock Lesnar © vs The Undertaker (Biker Chain Match)
From monster heel to monster babyface and here comes Lesnar back as a heel aligning himself with Mr. Mcmahon. Lesnar is sadistic in his role as a monster heel, it fits the man perfectly. Undertaker had been helping Stephanie which pissed off Mr. Mcmahon so the match was set with Undertaker standing up to Vince’s champion. The hype package kicks all sorts of ass with the two badasses beating one another to a pulp. The match type is meh, items on a pole match come off as corny for me. They always struggle to climb the pole in the corner and I do not think it should be the stipulation for a WWE Championship match.
Lesnar goes after Taker with shoulder thrusts and clubbing blows, Taker fires back with bombs of his own. Lesnar knees Taker in the corner, Lesnar misses a corner spear. Taker drives his shoulder into Lesnar, big boot and leg drop by Taker for two. Old School by Taker, La magistral by Taker for two. Right hand decks Lesnar, Taker elbows Lesnar in the face hard. Lesnar pounds Taker before hurling Taker into the steps. Right hands by Lesnar, Taker is being stomped in the corner. Hard Irish whip by Lesnar, fisherman suplex by Lesnar for two.
Hard Irish whip by Lesnar, Taker no-sells it and throws bombs at Lesnar. Taker misses a corner big boot, Lesnar has Taker on the apron. Hotshot by Taker, Lesnar regains control though. Leaping clothesline from Taker to stop the offence of Lesnar, stungun by Taker. Taker eyes the chain and begins climbing, the lights go out as Taker climbs. It buys Lesnar time to stop Taker, powerslam by Lesnar for two. Lesnar throws steel steps in the ring, headbutts by Taker. Taker knees Lesnar but Lesnar drop toeholds Taker into the steel steps. Taker powers out and clothesline Lesnar to the floor. Taker piledrivers Lesnar on the steel steps. Taker climbs for the chain, Lesnar cuts off The Deadman.
Taker has a triangle choke on Lesnar, Lesnar flops to the apron. Low blow by the champion to cut off Taker, steel steps to the head of Taker for two. Taker big boots the steps into Lesnar’s head, steel steps miss and Lesnar kicks Taker hard. Lesnar backs Taker into the corner, shoulder thrusts and stomps by the champion. Lesnar begins climbing, Taker bridges up for a Last Ride but Lesnar wriggles free and both men collapse to the mat after a double clothesline. Slugfest with Taker winning, corner clotheslines by the challenger. Snake eyes and big boot by Taker, Lesnar dodges the Chokeslam and spinebusters Taker.
Taker catches Lesnar in a triangle choke, Lesnar lifts up Taker and powerbombs Taker to the canvas. Lesnar tries a powerslam but Taker applies the dragon sleeper, Lesnar breaks out for an F-5. Cover and Lesnar is in shock as Taker makes it to the ropes, top rope Chokeslam by Taker to stop Lesnar reaching the chain. Here come The FBI, Taker starts beating bitches, Lesnar walks into a Last Ride. Taker dives over the top rope onto Palumbo & Stamboli. Nunzio is trying to grab the chain, Taker pulls down Nunzio and Nunzio is knocked to the floor.
Taker yanks down the chain, Vince crotches Taker on the top rope. Lesnar has the chain, huge chain shot by Lesnar and one chain shot to the face is enough to put down Big Evil as Lesnar walks away with the win and the WWE Championship.
As I said above, this type of gimmick match comes off as corny to me and not worthy of a main event championship match. It comes off as silly when Taker and Lesnar are competing for the chain when moments earlier, they were waffling one another with steel steps, a much heavier and more damaging weapon. A lot of interference too with FBI and Mr. Mcmahon coming out to screw Big Evil, I get why they were there to protect Taker but when your next feud is Mr. Mcmahon, you ain’t going to be looking too good when you have to make The Boss look credible as an opponent. Still, I would have had Lesnar go over like a Beast, Lesnar has always came off as a monster, it has worked and I see no need to change. For what is was worth, it was ok.
Winner: Brock Lesnar over The Undertaker via Chain to The Skull!
That was WWE’s No Mercy 2003, a mixed show from The Smackdown brand. As always, they are certain aspects I like such as Angle vs Cena, Tajiri vs Mysterio and Benoit making A-Train look dominant and convincing for the first time in his run. Other parts like the insanity of Vince vs Stephanie, the dull Big Show vs Eddie and a main event of Taker vs Lesnar built around a terrible gimmick match. It could be better but it could be much worse, check this out if you want to see some good and some bad. Thanks for reading and remember: There’s always another night!