No Mercy (2003)
|No Mercy (2003)|
Promotional poster featuring Brock Lesnar
|"Today Is the Day" by Dope|
|Promotion||World Wrestling Entertainment|
|Date||October 19, 2003|
|Venue||1st Mariner Arena|
|No Mercy chronology|
No Mercy (2003) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and presented by Subway, which took place on October 19, 2003, at the 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. It was the sixth event under the No Mercy chronology and starred wrestlers from the SmackDown! brand.
Nine professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the event's card. The main event saw WWE Champion Brock Lesnar defeat The Undertaker to retain his championship in a match where a chain was hung from a pole and the first man to reach it could use it as a legal weapon in what was called a Biker Chain match. Two featured bouts were scheduled on the undercard. In a standard match for the WWE United States Championship, the Big Show defeated Eddie Guerrero to win the title. The other was also a standard match, in which Kurt Angle defeated John Cena.
No Mercy had an attendance of approximately 8,500 and received about 254,000 pay-per-view buys, more than the following year's event. This event helped WWE increase its pay-per-view revenue by $6.2 million from the previous year. When the event was released on DVD, it reached a peak position of seventh on Billboard's DVD Sales Chart.
The event featured nine professional wrestling matches with outcomes predetermined by WWE script writers. The matches featured wrestlers portraying their characters in planned storylines that took place before, during and after the event. All wrestlers were from the SmackDown brand, a storyline division in which WWE assigned its employees.
The main event at No Mercy was a Biker Chain match for the WWE Championship. In this match, a chain was hung on a pole above the ring, and when it was retrieved it could be used as a legal weapon. The match was between WWE Champion Brock Lesnar, who defended against The Undertaker. This title match would mark the third pay per view between Lesnar and The Undertaker for the championship. The first being September 2002 at Unforgiven where Lesnar and Undertaker fought to a double disqualification then the second event being the following month at No Mercy where Lesnar successfully defended the WWE title over the Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match. The buildup to the match began on the August 28 episode of SmackDown, when the Undertaker defeated Lesnar and The Big Show in a Triple Threat match, earning a title shot against then WWE Champion Kurt Angle. The following week on the September 4 episode of SmackDown, Angle defended the championship against the Undertaker, however, the match ended in a no contest after Lesnar interfered and attacked them both with a steel folding chair; Angle retained the championship as a result of Lesnar's interference. Two weeks later on SmackDown, Angle defended the title against Lesnar in a match in which the wrestler with the most scoring conditions by a set period of time would win the title in what is called an Iron Man match. Lesnar scored five falls, while Angle scored four in the encounter, thus, Lesnar won the match and became the new WWE Champion. The following week on SmackDown, legitimate WWE Chairman Vince McMahon held a ceremony to introduce the new WWE Champion Lesnar, but was interrupted by the Undertaker and SmackDown General Manager Stephanie McMahon, who announced that Lesnar would face the Undertaker at No Mercy for the WWE Championship. On the October 9 episode of SmackDown, Lesnar defended the title against Paul London. The match was interrupted by the Undertaker, who had a meeting with Stephanie earlier that night. He announced that his match with Lesnar at No Mercy would be a Biker Chain Match rather than a standard match.
One of the featured bouts on the undercard saw the WWE United States Champion Eddie Guerrero defending the championship against the Big Show. The events leading up to this match began on the October 9 episode of SmackDown, when it was announced that Guerrero would face the Big Show at No Mercy for the title. Later in the night, Chavo Guerrero (Salvador Guerrero IV) brought the Big Show out to the ring, followed by Eddie Guerrero bringing a sewage truck into the arena and spraying the Big Show with raw sewage. The next week on SmackDown, Guerrero defeated Rhyno (Terry Gerin) in a non-title match. Afterwards, the Big Show attacked Guerrero by using his signature lowrider as a weapon.
Another featured bout on the undercard pitted Kurt Angle against John Cena. On the September 18 episode of SmackDown, Angle lost an Iron Man match to Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship. The match marked the third time that Angle defended the title against Lesnar with the first being WrestleMania XIX where Lesnar won the title and the second being SummerSlam which Angle retained. The next week on SmackDown, Angle tried to call Lesnar out to the ring, demanding a rematch, but instead Cena came to the ring and attacked Angle. On the October 2 episode of SmackDown, two of the primary rivalries on SmackDown intertwined in a tag team match, where Lesnar and Cena faced the team of Angle and the Undertaker, which Cena and Lesnar won after Cena struck Angle with a chain. The next week on SmackDown, a rap battle took place between Cena and Angle, in which both men performed raps insulting each other. The battle ended with Angle attacking Cena and the two proceeding to fight in the ring.
Another prominent match on the card was an "I Quit" match between Vince McMahon and his daughter, Stephanie McMahon. At the No Mercy event, however, Vince announced that Stephanie could score a pinfall or submission to win the match. The match build up began on the September 25 episode of SmackDown, when Stephanie interrupted her father's ceremony honoring the new WWE Champion Brock Lesnar to announce that the Undertaker would face Lesnar at No Mercy for the championship. Vince, angered by this, demanded that she retract the decision. When Stephanie did not, Vince announced that the two of them would face each other in an "I Quit" match at No Mercy. The next week on SmackDown, Vince offered Stephanie another chance to rescind the title match, which she refused and as a result Vince added the stipulation that if she lost, she would be forced to resign as the General Manager of SmackDown!. The following week, Linda McMahon, Vince's wife and Stephanie's mother, made Vince agree that if he lost the match, he would resign as WWE Chairman.
Before No Mercy began and aired live on pay-per-view, an episode of Sunday Night Heat, one of the secondary television programs for WWE, was taped live. The only scheduled match was a standard match between Billy Kidman and Shannon Moore, which Kidman won via pinfall after a spinebuster on Moore.
After Sunday Night Heat, the event began with a match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship where the champion, Tajiri defended his title against Rey Mysterio. Throughout the match both men performed many offensive maneuvers, but Mysterio gained the upper hand when he performed a 619 and West Coast Pop. Before Mysterio could cover Tajiri, however, two "fans" (later revealed to be Ryan Sakoda and James Yun) interfered and distracted Mysterio. Following the distraction, Tajiri recovered and performed a Buzzsaw kick on Mysterio, followed by a cover and a pinfall to retain his championship.
The following bout was Chris Benoit versus A-Train in a standard match. Both men wrestled inconclusively in the early stages of the match, until Chris Benoit performed a dragon screw legwhip on A-Train to the ground and then placed him a Sharpshooter forcing A-Train to submit.
The third contest had Zach Gowen facing Matt Hardy in a standard match. Both men performed a variety of moves on one another until Gowen performed a springboard moonsault with one leg (Gowen had lost his other leg to cancer at age 8) on Hardy and covered him for a pinfall. This was the first singles match that Gowen had won while in the WWE.
The next match was the Basham Brothers (Doug and Danny Basham) versus the Acolytes Protection Agency (Bradshaw and Farooq) in a standard match. After both teams performed a number of offensive maneuvers on each other, Shaniqua (Linda Miles), the Basham Brothers' valet, struck Bradshaw with a club and (kayfabe) knocked him out. Doug then covered Bradshaw for a pinfall.
Main event matches
The fifth contest was an "I Quit" match, where in order to win one competitor must force the other to say "I Quit", between WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, escorted by Sable, and SmackDown General Manager Stephanie McMahon, his daughter. Stephanie was accompanied to the ring by her mother, Linda McMahon. Vince had altered the rules of the match, including the stipulation that Stephanie could defeat him by pinfall or submission, but he had to force her to quit. Furthermore, the loser of the match had to surrender their position in the company (Chairman or General Manager for Vince and Stephanie, respectively). The match ended when Vince choked Stephanie with a lead pipe, and Linda McMahon quit the match for Stephanie. As a result, Stephanie was removed from the position of General Manager of SmackDown.
The first featured bout on the undercard was a standard match between Kurt Angle and John Cena. Angle began bleeding after Cena performed a swinging reverse DDT on the ring apron on him. Later in the match, Cena attempted a FU but Angle reversed it into an unsuccessful cover attempt. Following that, Angle attempted an Angle Slam but Cena countered the maneuver. Angle then countered Cena and applied an ankle lock, which led to Cena submitting.
The second featured bout on the undercard was a standard match for the WWE United States Championship where the champion, Eddie Guerrero, defended against The Big Show. Guerrero used a variety of tactics including forcing the Big Show's head into an exposed steel turnbuckle, striking him with a trash can lid, punching him with brass knuckles and striking him with the United States Championship belt. After hitting the Big Show with the belt, Guerrero performed a frog splash onto the Big Show. Guerrero attempted a cover, but only received a count of two. The Big Show then performed a chokeslam and attempted to pin Guerrero, but he placed his foot on the rope, which voided the cover. The Big Show then performed another chokeslam on Guerrero and covered him for a pinfall, winning the WWE United States Championship.
The main event was a Biker Chain match for the WWE Championship, where WWE Champion Brock Lesnar defended his title against The Undertaker. During the match, a chain was hung on a pole above the ring, and once it was retrieved it could be used as a legal weapon. After enduring a series of punches from Lesnar, The Undertaker attempted to take the chain down, but the lights in the arena went out and he climbed back down to the ring. The Undertaker then delivered a Tombstone piledriver to Lesnar onto the ring steps. The Undertaker put Lesnar in a dragon sleeper. After getting out of the hold, Lesnar F-5ed The Undertaker. Lesnar made an attempt to go for the chain, but the Undertaker performed a chokeslam off the top rope. Following this, The Full Blooded Italians interfered in the match, trying to attack the Undertaker. The Undertaker threw them out of the ring and did a suicide dive onto them. He then retrieved the chain off the pole and wrapped it around it his fist, planning to strike Lesnar with it. Vince McMahon interfered, however, and pushed the Undertaker off the top rope onto the mat. Lesnar then took the chain, wrapped it around his fist, and punched the Undertaker in the face, followed by a cover for a pinfall.
|Commentator||Michael Cole (Smackdown)|
|Carlos Cabrera (Spanish)|
|Hugo Savinovich (Spanish)|
|Ring announcer||Tony Chimel|
As a result of losing her match against her father, Stephanie McMahon was forced to resign as SmackDown! General Manager. On the SmackDown following No Mercy, Vince McMahon announced Paul Heyman as the new General Manager. Heyman booked a Handicap match, in which the Undertaker faced Brock Lesnar and the Big Show. Heyman stated that should Undertaker win, he could face anyone he wished at Survivor Series. During the match, there were several opportunities in which the Undertaker would have won the match, but Heyman restarted the contest three times. The Undertaker did, however, win the contest, and announced he wanted a Buried Alive match against Vince McMahon. McMahon would go on to win the match with the aid of the Undertaker's half-brother Kane.
The feud between Kurt Angle and Cena ended shortly after No Mercy. On the November 6 episode of SmackDown, John Cena was offered an opportunity to become the final member of Team Lesnar for the traditional five-on-five elimination tag match at Survivor Series. Cena rejected the offer, however, and was attacked by the other members of Team Lesnar. The members of Team Angle fought alongside Cena, and the following week on SmackDown, Cena turned into fan favorite and joined Kurt Angle's Survivor Series team. The feud between the Big Show and Eddie Guerrero ended after No Mercy, with Guerrero going on to compete for the WWE Tag Team Championship with Chavo Guerrero. Guerrero went on to win a tag team title shot by defeating the Basham Brothers in a Handicap match, but he did not win the title.
The 1st Mariner Arena usually can accommodate 14,000, but the capacity was reduced for No Mercy. This event had an approximate attendance of 8,500 and received 254,000 pay-per-view buys. The promotion's pay-per-view revenue was $24.7 million. The professional wrestling section of the Canadian Online Explorer website rated the entire event a 4 out of 10 stars. The rating was lower than the 2004 event's rating of 5 out of 10 stars. The encounter between Kurt Angle and John Cena was given the highest rating of any match on the card with a 7.5 out of 10 stars, while the United States Championship match was rated a 3 out of 10 stars. The main event match for the WWE Championship was rated a 7 out of 10 stars.
The event was released on DVD on November 18, 2003 by Sony Music Entertainment. The DVD reached seventh on Billboard's DVD Sales Chart for recreational sports during the week of December 13, 2003, although falling thereafter. It remained on the chart until the week of December 20, ranking twelfth.
|1H||Billy Kidman defeated Shannon Moore||Singles match||05:12|
|2||Tajiri (c) defeated Rey Mysterio||Singles match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship||11:40|
|3||Chris Benoit defeated A-Train by submission||Singles match||12:24|
|4||Zach Gowen defeated Matt Hardy||Singles match||05:33|
|5||The Basham Brothers (Doug Basham and Danny Basham) defeated The APA (Faarooq and Bradshaw)||Tag team match||08:55|
|6||Vince McMahon (with Sable) defeated Stephanie McMahon (with Linda McMahon)||"I Quit" match in which Stephanie could also win by pinfall, and the loser was forced to resign from his/her job.||09:24|
|7||Kurt Angle defeated John Cena by submission||Singles match||18:28|
|8||Big Show defeated Eddie Guerrero (c)||Singles match for the WWE United States Championship||11:27|
|9||Brock Lesnar (c) defeated The Undertaker||Biker Chain match for the WWE Championship||24:14|
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