No Mercy
May 16, 1999
M.E.N Arena, Manchester, England

I should preface this review by stating that this show is not the more widely known No Mercy PPV of 1999. That would come in the later half of the year. This event, which went by the same title, is the next of the biannual UK exclusive events to be held, and as such these matches didn’t really mean much in the grand scheme of things (in fact I can’t remember it even being mentioned on TV at the time). Further adding to the lack of overall importance of the event, there is no Rock or Big Show tonight as neither man was on this UK tour for some reason. Anyway, our main event is a triple threat match for the WWF Championship, pitting champion Stone Cold Steve Austin up against Corporate Ministry members Undertaker and Triple H. Lets get this show on the road. Please follow me on Twitter at @Mpmcc91

The opening video package is all about the recent formation of the Corporate Ministry faction, which as the name suggests was a merger of the Corporation and Ministry of Darkness under Shane McMahon’s leadership. As we saw at our last show, Vince had stepped out of the heel role in the weeks following Wrestlemania. Our announcers for the night are the usual duo of Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler.

We kick the show off with the Corporate Ministry making their way to the ring. Shane gets on the mic and runs down the card, in particular the matches that the faction members would be a part of. He says that he will put his European Championship on the line against X-Pac tonight, and also makes the WWF Championship match a No DQ match. These were the days before triple threat matches became no DQ automatically (a move that was definitely for the best logic wise). Anyway, the Corporate Ministry leaves and we are set to go with our first match of the night.

Gillberg vs Tiger Ali Singh
Wow, we’re really scooping from the bottom of the barrel to kick this show off. Gillberg is still the reigning Light Heavyweight Champion here, but this non-title, and the championship has pretty much been forgotten about anyway. Singh gets on the mic before the match and rips into the British fans, stating that they should respect him since he has more money than they do. Anyway, Gillberg hits the spear pretty much right away, but he wastes his time parodying Goldberg’s taunts. Meanwhile Singh manages to recover and hits the little guy with a reverse neckbreaker to score the easy victory at 1:05. There’s no way I can grade something this short. Gillberg was funny as always.
Grade: N/A

We now cut to the back as we see Stone Cold arrive in the building. We follow that with some footage highlighting the issues between the Brood and the Ministry.

The Brood vs Viscera & The Acolytes
Obviously this is a continuation of the issues I mentioned last time between the two groups following the Brood being ousted from the Ministry following Christian revealing the location of the abducted Stephanie McMahon. It goes without saying that the Brood are the faces here and they get a good reaction from the crowd as they come out with their always cool entrance. Gangrel starts this one out with Viscera so its pretty basic as we get going. Gangrel eventually tags in Edge, whilst Bradshaw comes in shortly after. Following some back and forth, the Acolytes work over Edge until Christian gets tagged in, but his momentum comes to an end as Faarooq tosses him into the guard rail. The heels continue to beat down Christian as Shane and Mideon make their way down to ringside as well. After a brief distraction from Edge, Christian manages to regain himself with a tornado DDT and tags Gangrel back in. From here we get some chaos as all six men go at it, and Bradshaw manages to kick out of a double DDT from Gangrel and Christian at one point. At this point, Mideon gets involved, hitting a DDT on Gangrel without the referee seeing, followed by Bradshaw connecting with the clothesline from hell to score the victory for the Ministry at 13:49. An okay match for what it was, but nothing special.
Grade: **

Steve Blackman vs Droz
The filler continues with our next match of the night. Droz is officially a heel now, with the LOD stuff finally coming to an end (they are now gone from the company). He had recently debuted his body guard/tattoo artist Prince Albert (that’s Tensai kids) however he is conspicuous by his absence to tonight. Blackman is basically doing a whole lot of nothing as he managed to do for most of his career. The crowd doesn’t seem to care about this match either as neither guy gets much of a reaction out there. Anyway, Droz works over Blackman to start. He misses a few moves which allows Blackman to get a little bit of offence in, but its mostly all Droz until Blackman rolls him up for a two count following a missed splash. Meanwhile Lawler is going on about where Droz has got piercings on commentary. Anyway, Droz goes back on the offence before Blackman finally comes back, locking in a Triangle Chokehold to pick up the submission victory at 7:43. The very definition of a basic filler match here.
Grade: *

We now get a video of the former Headbanger Mosh, now going by the name of Beaver Cleavage, a controversial gimmick parodying ‘Leave it to Beaver’. The whole thing would be scrapped before he even made his debut in the persona.

Mankind now makes his way to the ring. He gets a cheap pop from the Manchester crowd by mentioning their football team before giving a shout out to the British Bulldog. He then turns his attention to his opponent tonight, Billy Gunn, who had recently turned heel since Backlash. Mankind says that Gunn calls himself the ‘Bad Ass’, but anyone who had seen him in the showers knew that anyway. Usual funny stuff from Foley to kill time here. I’ll use this opportunity to say anyone who hasn’t seen his stand up comedy shows these days definitely should do so.

Kane vs Mideon
Aside from the general issues between Kane and the Corporate Ministry that basically stemmed from the break up of DX at Wrestlemania, there’s no real storyline behind this one to my knowledge. Kane is still one half of the WWF Tag Team Champions here, along with X-Pac who we shall see later on. Anyway, Kane goes on offence early on, but misses a charge which allows Mideon to go to work on the arm of the Big Red Machine. It doesn’t last for long though as Kane comes out unscathed and goes back on offence, hitting Mideon with a chokeslam. Before he can capitalise however, this brings out Viscera & the Acolytes, who attack Kane and give him the DQ win at 4:34. The Ministry members beat the Big Red Machine down, but X-Pac ends up making the save, running them off. Basically just a chance to get Kane out there for the crowd, but he really could have just pinned Mideon. Its freaking Mideon after all.
Grade: 1/4*

We now see some footage from Raw is War that saw Debra ‘defeat’ Sable to win the WWF Women’s Championship. I put defeated in inverted commas since the match was an evening gown match which Sable actually won, however Commissioner Shawn Michaels reversed the decision, declaring Debra as the winner for losing her clothes, and thus the new champion.

Tori vs Nicole Bass
This was supposed to be Tori vs Sable, but Sable apparently has a chest infection and is unable to compete. She was on her way out of the company anyway at this point – in fact this may have been her final appearance for a few years. She gets on the mic and announces that Nicole Bass will take her place, before leaving the ringside area. Bass comes out and chokeslams Tori pretty much right away to pick up the easy win at 0:27. Just a squash here to put Bass over as the dominant woman she was.
Grade: N/A

Up next we get a brief look at the ongoing issues between X-Pac and Shane McMahon in anticipation for their upcoming match.

WWF European Championship:
Shane McMahon (c) vs X-Pac
So as well as being the main heel authority figure in the company at this point, Shane McMahon is also still the reigning European Champion. He hasn’t defended his title much since controversially defeating X-Pac at Wrestlemania, and in fact the title would be briefly retired soon enough. For now though, we get a Mania rematch and a customary European title match for one of these UK events. Of course, X-Pac is also half of the WWF Tag Team Champions along with Kane. The announcers talk about Shane’s reprehensible actions over recent weeks as the Boy Wonder heads out to the ring, whilst X-Pac comes out to the expected solid pop. I don’t get why X-Pac gets so much hate nowadays, as he was always a solid performer in my book. Anyway, Pac takes the fight to Shane early on and has the champion attempting to flee down the aisle, however before he can get to the back, he is stopped in his tracks by Pat Patterson & Gerald Brisco, who are now faces, remaining loyal to Vince. They toss Shane back into the ring, but Chyna ends up coming to Shane’s aid, decking the stooges. She distracts X-Pac, and Shane capitalises, going on offence briefly, only for the challenger to come back with a backdrop. The referee ends up being taken out though, and Chyna comes into the ring to nail X-Pac with the European title belt. Shane attempts to follow up with a Bronco Buster on Pac, but the challenger moves out of the way. This draws Triple H out as well as X-Pac hits the X-Factor on Shane. Chyna gets into the ring, but X-Pac fights her off and attempts to go for a Bronco Buster on her. Before he can do so however, Triple H takes out his former friend with a Pedigree, and just like at Wrestlemania, it allows Shane to score the pin to retain his title at 8:26. Not quite as good as their Mania encounter, but this was solid enough for what it was. After the match, the heels beat on X-Pac but Kane makes the save for his little buddy.
Grade: **3/4

Michael Cole now gets a word with Mankind in the back. His match with Billy Gunn is up next but Cole asks him whether the Corporate Ministry will get involved in the match tonight. At this point in time, Mankind had formed a group of face superstars called the Union to go up against the Ministry which we’ll get into more at our next show. Before Mankind can answer, we find out anyway as the Undertaker and the rest of the Ministry beat him down, destroying his knee.

Mankind vs Billy Gunn
Billy Gunn is officially a heel now, going by the moniker of Mr Ass after turning his back on X-Pac and the Road Dogg shortly after Backlash. Since that storyline ties into his affairs at our next show, I’ll get into the heel turn in more depth there. By the way, this is officially the start of phase two of the Billy Gunn singles push after being tested earlier in the year in the face role. Needless to say it was a failure, but thats a story for down the line. Anyway, Mankind’s music plays as Billy waits in the ring, but he doesn’t come out due to the attack we just witnessed at the hands of the Corporate Ministry. Gunn gets on the mic and demands to be awarded the match via forfeit, but Mankind ends up coming out after all, limping all the way. The two men trade blows in the aisle, with Gunn getting the upper hand when he tosses Mankind over the guard rail. He begins to target Mankind’s leg, bringing him back into the ring and locking in the ringpost figure four (hey Bret, how you doing?). Gunn breaks it to yell at the fans a little and then locks another figure four inside the ring, only for Mankind to counter and grab a chair. He follows up with Mr Socko, but after tasting the sock, the Ass Man comes back with a piledriver onto the chair in the ring. It only gets two, but the bell actually rings in error. Anyway, Gunn follows up with a Fameasser onto the chair which takes Mankind down for the three at 12:17. This was better than I expected it to be considering Foley was working with a few injuries at this point in time, but that doesn’t really say too much. He did his best to make Gunn look good. Sure it was a bit of an upset for Gunn to pin a former WWF Champion, but Mankind was beaten up before the match so its not like it was a huge win. This show doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things anyway.
Grade: **

The main event is up next so we get a video recap of the issues between Austin and the Corporate Ministry.

WWF Championship:
Steve Austin (c) vs Undertaker w/Paul Bearer vs Triple H w/Chyna
Austin’s issues with the Rock are now put behind him and he instead has to deal with the Corporate Ministry, and its two top guns Undertaker and Triple H. This really all started when Austin came to the aid of Mr McMahon to save Stephanie from the Undertaker following her abduction as Backlash went off the air. Shane would reveal that he was behind the abduction and all of the Undertaker’s mind games with Vince over the months, leading to the Corporate Ministry officially being born. The whole thing led to Vince and Austin forming an unlikely alliance which we already saw the seeds planted for at Backlash. Anyway, the whole thing breaks down into a brawl on the floor between all three men as we get going here. As usual for this era, the action moves through the crowd and back to ringside, at which point, Taker and Triple H team up to take out Austin. Triple H gets a chair, but the referee takes it from him, however Austin gets his hands on it and comes back, whacking both his opponents with it. Its not enough to keep them down, but we get some heel miscommunication as Triple H and Taker start to argue with one another. In fact, Bearer and Chyna get into it on the outside as well. Anyway, Austin and Triple H decide to take on Taker, but Triple H blind sides Austin with a Pedigree, only for the pin to be broken up by Taker. Similarly, Taker follows up with a Tombstone on Austin, but Trips breaks it up. He goes to follow up with another Pedigree on the champion, but Austin counters and sends his opponent into a Chokeslam from Taker, then follows up with a Stunner to the Dead Man. Once again, Triple H saves the match by breaking up the fall. This brings out the entire Corporate Ministry to beat down Austin, but Kane, X-Pac and the Brood make the save. In the chaos that unfolds, Austin hits a stunner on Triple H to retain his title via pinfall at 18:27. Standard Attitude triple threat match here with the faces beating up Shane and Triple H getting another stunner after the contest. Austin celebrates with a beer bash with X-Pac to send the crowd home happy as we go off the air.
Grade: **1/2

Another pretty uneventful show here which is basically what I expected heading in considering it was a UK exclusive event. There was nothing really spectacular on the show, as the two title matches were okay for a show like this (essentially a televised house show), but nothing to go out of the way for. The main story is Austin’s issues with the Corporate Ministry which will be the focal point of the main event scene over the next few months. It was interesting to see just how depleted the roster was for this show, and I really cannot see why big stars like Rock and Big Show were left off the tour. That’s not all that was missing though, as a lot of the regular midcarders we have become accustomed to seeing such as Road Dogg, Shamrock, Al Snow, Val Venis and D’Lo just to name a few were nowhere in sight either. I was also saddened that we didn’t get to see Owen Hart on this show, as I was hoping he would have one last PPV moment prior to the tragic event that were mere days away at this point (which for the record I will be covering in these reviews for the sake of completeness). Overall a fairly basic show.

Three Stars of the Night:
1. Steve Austin – the face of the company, the guy that people came to see on this tour without question. He would have many better matches, but its not like there was much on this show from a quality perspective anyway.
2. X-Pac – with Mankind pretty much just here to put Billy Gunn over, X-Pac was essentially the number two face on this show. He did a good job and was over as usual for this time period. Its going to be interesting to see if he significantly drops off performance wise at some point, because he’s consistently been a solid performer thus far which makes me wonder where the whole X-Pac heat thing came from down the line.
3. Shane McMahon – played the douche heel boss well with no Vince to counter him on this show. He also put on an entertaining match with X-Pac much like at Mania.

FINAL GRADE: 3 out of 10

What I do here is add the three stars of the night with each review so as to keep track of who we can say overall is the greatest PPV performer to any given time. First place scores 3 points, second 2 and third 1.

Bret Hart = 83
Steve Austin = 74
Shawn Michaels = 67
Mick Foley = 29
Randy Savage = 28
The Rock = 26
Undertaker = 25
Hulk Hogan = 18
Owen Hart = 18
Triple H = 17
X-Pac = 17
Diesel = 15
Ultimate Warrior = 13
Vader = 13
British Bulldog = 11
Ted DiBiase = 10
Razor Ramon = 10
Ric Flair = 8
Jim Neidhart = 7
Vince McMahon = 7
Jerry Lawler = 6
Dynamite Kid = 5
Arn Anderson = 5
Roddy Piper = 5
Mr Perfect = 5
Marty Jannetty = 5
Bob Backlund = 5
Ricky Steamboat = 4
Ax = 4
Smash = 4
Bobby Heenan = 4
D’Lo Brown = 4
Greg Valentine = 3
Tully Blanchard = 3
Tanaka = 3
Bam Bam Bigelow = 3
Sato = 3
Jake Roberts = 3
Hakushi = 3
Yokozuna = 3
Savio Vega = 3
Ken Shamrock = 3
Brutus Beefcake = 2
Paul Orndorff = 2
Andre the Giant = 2
Rick Rude = 2
Sgt Slaughter = 2
Jeff Jarrett = 2
Jesse Ventura = 1
Texas Tornado = 1
Tito Santana = 1
Virgil = 1
Scott Steiner = 1
Rick Steiner = 1
Lex Luger = 1
The Roadie = 1
Billy Gunn = 1
Bart Gunn = 1
Marc Mero = 1
Flash Funk = 1
Animal = 1
Hawk = 1
Taka Michinoku = 1
Christian = 1
Shane McMahon = 1

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter at @Mpmcc91.

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