The Awesome History of WWE No Mercy

WWE NXT No Mercy logo.

WWE will stage its 14th No Mercy event this month. It will be the first No Mercy under the development NXT brand. It follows the tradition of No Mercy as an ever-changing and experimental event. Over the years it has featured many historic moments and one-off gimmick matches since it originated as a sales experiment. Here, we take a look at the – quite frankly – super fun and awesome history of WWE No Mercy.

The Awesome History of No Mercy

No Mercy’s Birth: Will Brits Buy Wrestling?

The inaugural WWE No Mercy PPV was a test event to see if British wrestling fans would engage with the Pay-Per-View model. Before May 1999, WWF PPVs had been available for free in the UK to subscribers of Sky Sports.

The WWF had tested whether British people would pay for wrestling before in 1997 with WWF One Night Only. No Mercy took place in Manchester, England on May 16 and was the true test event. It proved successful as those not in the MEN Arena wanted to see the WWF show happening in their country. From this point, PPVs were available to order via Sky Box Office in the UK.

Historic First No Mercy In The USA

A mere five months later, WWF No Mercy took place in Cleveland Ohio. The Fabulous Moolah won the WWF Women’s Championship from Ivory to become the oldest-ever holder of that belt. Chyna won the WWF Intercontinental Championship from Jeff Jarrett in a Good Housekeeping match to become the first-ever female holder of that belt. 

The Hardy Boyz and Edge & Christian had an insane tag team ladder match that helped put them on the map and paved the way for TLC. In true Attitude Era fashion, the winning team got the ‘services’ of Terri Runnels.

The main event was Steve Austin vs. Triple H but with honorable appearances from The Rock and Vince McMahon and was prime Attitude Era chaos.  It became the annual October WWF PPV and also spawned a video game.

Greatest Wrestling Video Game Of All Time 

The 2000 N64 release, No Mercy, is the greatest wrestling video game ever, according to who you ask. Check out the video below of many current WWE superstars saying just that. No Mercy the game provided a realistic grappling experience with an arcade-style and – at the time – groundbreaking graphics. Don’t believe this game had a cultural impact? Well if it wasn’t for No Mercy on the N64, we may never have had Tyler Breeze or Mia Yim.

Stone Cold Tries To Kill Rikishi 

As we reached the new millennium, wrestling – and in many cases simple TV fans – were griped with a classic tale of ‘whodunit’? Someone hit the hottest thing in the WWF, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, with a car in November 1999 at Survivor SeriesEveryone had their top suspects – Shaun Michaels, Triple H, The Rock, or any McMahon family member. Then it was revealed – conveniently just before No Mercy 2000 – that it was Rikishi whodunit.


Stone Cold returned to face Rikishi at WWF No Mercy 2000 but had little to no intention of a classic grappling bout. Austin beat Rikishi to a pulp and dragged him outside the INSERT ACTUAL BUILDING where he attempted to run him over with a car. 

This incident was one of a few that took place in WWF that year that made Channel 4 in the UK decide not to renew its contract that aired four WWF PPVs for free. The PPV model remained unchallenged in the UK. Despite the WWE Network being £9.99, WWE PPVs were sold on Sky Sports Box Office up until 2020. They are now available on TNT Sports.  

WWE No Mercy 2002 Continues History-making Tradition

WWE No Mercy 2002 was the first PPV following the WWE brand extension. This meant it was the final PPV before WWE explored brand-exclusive PPVs. The following PPV, Rebellion, was SmackDown exclusive.

This also meant No Mercy had a historic card. Brock Lesnar fought The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match for the WWE Championship. SmackDown also crowned its inaugural WWE Tag Team Champions when Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit defeated Edge and Rey Mysterio in what was voted the Wrestling Observer Newsletter match of the year. Also, Triple H defeated Kane in a unification match for the World Heavyweight Championship and the WWE Intercontinental Championship. 

No Mercy – Home Of The Gimmick Match

Over the next few years, No Mercy continued to be synonymous with gimmick matches whilst a SmackDown exclusive PPV. In 2003, The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar tangled in a Biker Chain MatchThe next year, JBL and The Undertaker went to war in a Last Ride Match. Or to describe it more accurately: who can throw the other guy in the back of a hearse first match? 

In 2005, The Undertaker took on both Randy Orton and “Cowboy” Bob Orton in a Handicap Casket Match. The next year was supposed to be pretty elementary with just a Falls Count Anywhere match between Chavo Guerrero and Rey Mysterio to break tradition. But then William Regal accidentally flashed his penis during a backstage skit.

Batista and The Great Khali met in a Punjabi Prison match at No Mercy in 2007; Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels had a brilliant Ladder match in 2008 and then No Mercy went on a hiatus. 

No Mercy Returns and Cesaro’s Teeth Go

No Mercy returned in 2016 and 2017 but neither event produced much to write home about. Although, Cesaro did collide with the ring post at the latter event that he forced his two front teeth up into his gums.

Feel free to watch the video below if you think you can stomach it.

NXT No Mercy will take place on September 30th. So far a British Rules Match is the only thing out of the ordinary. If WWE wants to stick to the unique nature of this event we should expect a Last Ride, Casket on a Pole, Punjabi Prison Match between Bron Breakker and Von Wagner.  

More From LWOS Pro Wrestling

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can check out an almost unlimited array of WWE content on the WWE Network and Peacock.