Monday, October 26, 2020

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE No Mercy 2002 Review

WWE No Mercy 2002 Review

October 20th, 2002

1) Chris Jericho & Christian (c) vs. Booker T & Goldust - World Tag Team Championship Match

Fun little opener, but not quite the banger these two teams had on Raw a few weeks ago, if my memory serves me right. Lots goes on here though and the crowd is hot for all of it. Also, wild moment where Jericho goes for a springboard and the second rope breaks completely. In the end, Jericho & Christian sneak the victory and retain the titles.

Match rating - **1/4

Funaki interviews Torrie Wilson's dad who says "I DID NOT HAVE SEX WITH THAT WOMAN" in reference to Dawn Marie. 

2) Torrie Wilson def. Dawn Marie in 4:40

Match rating - N/R

3) Rob Van Dam vs. Ric Flair

These two couldn’t even wait for the bell to start going at it. Van Dam comes in hot but Flair uses cheap tactics to gain the advantage and did his vintage working over the baby face routine. The dirtiest player in the game was in full effect. None the less, after a few mins Van Dam fires back, gets his shit in and gets the victory. Not bad, but very short and textbook.

Match rating - **1/4 

4) Jamie Noble (w/ Nidia) (c) vs. Tajiri - WWE Cruserweight Title Match 

For all the idiocy of Noble & Nidia on Smackdown in the last week or two, this was pretty enjoyable. Very competitive and high energy match because at the end of the day Tajiri & Noble are both good workers despite the sports entertainment centric program they are given. Not to sound like a party pooper because it’s funny sometimes but watching this week in and week out has gotten a little old. None the less, yeah, good in ring stuff here. Both guys are so good. Nidia distracts big Brian Hebner when Tajiri clearly had the pin which leads to Noble being able to catch Tajiri in a pinning predicament for the win with some extra help from Nidia. 

Match rating - **1/2 

Chris Benoit says Chavo needs Eddie’s help. Eddie freaks out until he realizes that he thinks Chris is just trying to get him back for the other week. Except it actually is Chavo. Angle throws him out of the door and Eddie tries to attack him but officials restrain. 

Back to the Raw side of things and Lawler & JR at ringside and it’s CHAMP VS CHAMP TIME. They’re still hyping up Kane as a murderer. Wow. 

5) Triple H vs. Kane - World Heavyweight Title Match 

Yeah, this was whatever. A match between these two can only be so good especially in the midst of such a dumb story. So uh pretty much a dud. Flair helps H win and the sledgehammer is involved.

Match rating - **

6) Edge & Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit - WWE Tag Team Championship Tournament Finals 

Now here we mf go. This is it! The culmination of the tag team title tournament that Stephanie created for Smackdown. It’s been packed with some fun and great matches, but this one topped them all. From the opening moments of Angle throwing Mysterio around, all four men feeling each other out to the finishing run of big moves and near falls. It had that classic tag formula and feel plus there’s so much backstory with everyone from the obvious Angle/Benoit tension that was a centerpiece of the story of this match and the various singles matches all four men have had with each other recently - there was no way this couldn’t rule. They wore down Edge and gave Mysterio a hot tag about mid way through. It got bonkers for a second then Angle & Benoit shut shit down and isolated Rey Rey. The way they controlled this match and cut off the ring was fucking awesome and made for great hot tags for both of the baby faces. The second bonkers run that was actually the finishing run rules and I had no clue who won so I bit on a lot of the nearfalls. I also have to mention Benoit having Edge in the cross face and Mysterio nailing a 619 on him to break it up. Just sick stuff throughout this joint. Benoit & Angle getting the win definitely caught me off guard but it’s definitely well deserved. 

Match rating - ****1/2

7) Trish Stratus (c) vs. Victoria - Women's Title Match

This actually isn't terrible despite being in the worst spot on the show. The cool down spot in between two huge matches. Trish retains and everyone is happy. Onward we go.

Match rating - **

8) Brock Lesnar (c) vs. The Undertaker - Hell In A Cell Match for the WWE Championship 

This is another one of those classic matches that I saw not long after it happened. I still remember being a kid and seeing the black/white photos of Taker and Brock bleeding in an old WWE magazine. This was an absolute war. Both men are bleeding every fucking where. Heyman is bleeding too. They look like they've literally been in a war and the mat is soaked in blood by the end of it. The crowd pops super hard for Taker's false finishes near the end. But when all is said and done, Brock retains with an F5 after a fuckin fight. Classic match. 

Match rating - ****1/2

Final thoughts: Smackdown really stole this show. Two MOTY contenders/all time great matches that everyone looks back on. Raw.. well.. they had a fun tag title match.

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