The ultimate video game experience is based on No Mercy, a 1999 PPV that represented the Attitude era. No Mercy will forever be known as the flagship of N64 video games, but was it a decent PPV?
If you need a reminder of how different WWE is compared to its early 2000s Attitude days then you need to check out the 2020 commercial for No Mercy on the Peacock Channel. The latest commercial features a group of cheerleaders in skeleton face paint doing a chant.
“N-O-M-E-R-C-Y. slam them down and make them cry. No Mercy!”
This commercial seems incredibly adorable compared to the brash and R-rated things that happened at No Mercy. In fact, the very first match to ever air on No Mercy in 1999 was…
The Godfather vs. Midian
The Godfather comes out with his…ummm…stable of…ummm…women? He offers Midian a night with any of these poor valets who will never be called divas. Instead, Midian explains that he prefers…ummm…ummm…dead farm animals.
“N-O-M-E-R-C-Y. Slam them down and make them cry. No Farm Animals.”
The mention of the Godfather’s…ummm..stable of…ladies by Jerry the King Lawler and Jim Ross did not age very well. In fact, every time Ross and Lawler mention the 1999 name of the ladies it gets bleeped out in the captions. Go figure.
The Winner: The Godfather via the ummm…lady train
Review: * * 1/2 WWF’s mid-card wrestlers were nothing special so they needed something edgy to get you to care.
Triple H is being interviewed about his match with Stone Cold. He reminds me of Kenny Omega’s heel persona.
Ivory talks about her match against the Fabulous Moolah
Ivory (C) vs. The Fabulous Moolah Women’s Championship
Ross and Lawler make ageist jokes about Moolah. Mae Young is at ringside and keeps Ivory from cheating. Ivory hits some nice dropkicks on Mae. Moolah hits a surprise roll-up and scores the victory. Moolah is the new women’s champion.
Winner: The Fabulous Moolah (and new Women’s Champion)
Review: * I give WCW a hard time for having demeaning women’s matches, but this one takes the cake. At least it was short.
I don’t remember if The Fabulous Moolah is a selectable character on N64’s No Mercy.
The New Age Outlaws (Road Dawg and Billy Gunn) vs. The Hollys (Hardcore and Crash)
The New Age Outlaws start with their electrifying schtick, which the crowd is 100% behind. Hardcore Holly hits an impressive hanging vertical suplex. I can’t help but think that the Hollys would make a great current NWA tag team. 80% of the match was the Hollys abusing the Road Dawg. The crowd goes wild and Billy Gunn hits a series of vertical slams and gorilla throws.
Winner: The New Age Outlaws get DQ’d using a steel chair to hit a Famouser
Review: * * 3/4 The best part was seeing Billy Gunn go wild on the Hollys.
Chyna vs. Jeff Jarrett w/ Miss Kitty (C) (The Intercontinental Championship)
It’s going to be a household appliance match. Jeff Jarrett’s angle is that he thinks all women should be in the kitchen and he shows this by hitting various women with his guitar. This was the test case for WWE banning all intergender matches.
Lawler cat calls Ms. Kitty who probably wishes she could have the integrity and respect that Sasha Banks gets.
“N-O-M-E-R-C-Y. Slam them down and make them cry. No sexism.”
Chyna beats Jarrett with a stick of salami and a frying pan. Chyna sets up Jarrett for a table spot, but Jarrett moves out of the way and Chyna eats it. Jarrett slaps Chyna with a fish.
I don’t recall a Good Housekeeping Match in N64’s No Mercy
Chyna uses salad tongs to give Jarrett a low blow. Jarrett hits Chyna with the belt and gets a 3-count. The ref restarts the match because the belt is not a household item. Chyna hits Jarrett with a guitar for the 3-count.
This match makes no sense.
Winner: Chyna via a guitar shot
Review: * * * Chyna becomes the first woman to win the IC championship. There were some silly spots, but the heat was good and the redemption was spot on.
Rock vs. British Bulldog
In the 90s there was a great chance that every guest referee would turn on the Rock. This match was no different as Bulldog was a guest referee that turned on the Rock. The feud angle involved the main star of The Jungle Cruise using a rock bottom on dog poop to humiliate Bulldog. The Rock says that the British Bulldog is a blemish on his buttocks.
The Rock’s match starts with a punch war. The Bulldog takes a huge bump into the ring ropes from an Irish whip. The Rock hits his six very good-looking moves (neck breaker, DDT, right hands, back body drop, and Samoan drop). The Rock reverses a power slam into a Rock Bottom and hits the People’s Elbow.
Winner: The Rock via the People’s Elbow
Review: * * 3/4 This was just a normal work shift for The Rock. Nothing special. This could have been a Smackdown main event. The audience loved it…of course.
Edge and Christian vs. Matt and Jeff Hardy w/ Gangrel (Ladder Match)
Terri promises to give herself and $100,000 to the winner of this ladder match. Lawler is excited that Terri is giving her body to the winners and uses every chance to make every joke he can.
If it wasn’t for these four men there would never be a cruiserweight division for WWF in the 90s. Lots of fun ways to use a ladder to hit people in the face, groin, and chest.
So many “Holy Cow!” moments. How did Edge, Christian, Jeff, and Matt ever stay out of early retirement after these matches?
Winner: The Hardy’s win $100,000 and Terri
Review: * * * 3/4 The best match of the night. It went a little long, but this is what WWE fans remember fondly from the early 2000s.
The Mankind talks to someone he thinks is the Rock in a bathroom stall. It’s not the Rock, but Val Venis. Val attacks him.
The Rock comes out to cut a promo. He challenges the winner of the Triple H vs. Stone Cold match. This promo was better than his match. Triple H blindsides him with a sledgehammer.
Val Venis vs. Mankind
Mankind and Rocky are current tag team champions. They had gotten into a feud with Val Venis on a Sunday Heat. Mankind pulls a sock out of Val’s tights. Mankind eats a big back body drop on a chair that looked career-ending. Val puts on the Mr. Rocko sock and grabs Mankind’s groin.
Winner: Val Venis via a testicular claw
Mankind attacks Val and steals the Mr. Rocko sock back.
Review: * * * 1/4 A fun match that made Val Venis look good.
Bradshaw vs.Faarooq vs. X-Pac vs. Kane (4 corner elimination match)
X-Pac was also a very underrated cruiserweight in the WWE. His tag team with Kane is his greatest storyline since joining the NWO. Kane eliminates Bradshaw with a chokeslam, while X-Pac eliminates Kane with a spinning heel kick. X-Pac turns Faarooq’s top rope dive into an X-factor and gets the win.
Winner: X-Pac via an X-factor
Review: * * * A pretty intense match that gave X-Pac the win his talent deserved.
Stone Cold vs. Triple H (C) (WWF Championship)
Triple H is such a vicious heel. We need more of this villainy in wrestling. Stone Cold and Triple H in a No DQ match embodies the heart of The Attitude Era.
Here comes the 30-minute punch war around the arena. Stone Cold is amazing. He has built his whole career off of punching, stunning, and clotheslines and the people love him. Stone Cold uses crutches, railings, and garbage cans to beat The Game. DDP and Scott Steiner tried this same match in WCW Greed 2001. Triple H draws blood fifteen minutes into the match. After Stone Cold goes ape on Triple H with a chair, The Rock comes out to sneak attack Triple H with a sledgehammer. He misses his intended target and hits Stone Cold in the knee. Triple H goes for the cover.
Winner: Triple H via outside interruption
Stone Cold continues to attack Triple H outside the ring. Chyna helps Triple H escape via a limo.
Review: * * * 1/4 This is the 4th match where someone retaliates after a heel win. Good match with lots of heat. Very predictable ending.
No Mercy Conclusion
I can understand why a WWF PPV was more entertaining than a WCW one. The WWF balanced character story and wrestling intensity much better than WCW in 1999. The Rock, Stone Cold, Mick Foley, Triple H, and X-Pac did a phenomenal job keeping the WWF afloat. Eric Bischoff couldn’t get his talent to do that to save his life.
The most amazing part of WWF’s talent in No Mercy was that every wrestler relied on clotheslines, punches, and vertical suplexes as their repertoire. But, even with the most boring moves in wrestling filling up a majority of matches they could still provide an exciting match.
No Mercy is the poster child of what the Attitude Era was meant to be, which makes it a prime candidate for the best wrestling game of the millennium. It wasn’t as polished as other PPVs by any means, but people got their money’s worth.