WWE No Mercy: Ranking the 5 Greatest Performers in PPV's History
The SmackDown Six thrilled at WWE No Mercy time and time again.
The pay-pay-view's history largely coincided with the rise of Kurt Angle, Edge, Chris Benoit and Rey Mysterio. That's evident by how many of the event's best and most memorable contests featured those wrestlers.
Angle and Edge were on opposing teams in a tag team match for the ages. Angle helped catapult John Cena into the star he is today at No Mercy in 2005. Edge made his mark on the PPV early in its history in a groundbreaking ladder match.
Before a host of New Era stars make their No Mercy debuts on Sept. 24, let's look back at who has shined the brightest at the show over the years.
Braun Strowman will collide with Brock Lesnar at No Mercy 2017, giving him a big chance to produce something special out of the gate. He will still have ample catching up to do to contribute to the event the way Angle, Edge and others have.
The wrestlers are ranked here based on the number of standout matches they had at No Mercy, with an eye on both quantity and quality.
- John Cena
- Rey Mysterio
Christian battled alongside Edge in a tremendous ladder match in 1999. Two years later, they entered the ring as enemies in a thriller of a ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship.
Like Cena, though, he didn't perform often enough at No Mercy to warrant a higher spot.
Cena has only had two standout matches at the PPV—against Angle in 2003 and against Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles last year. Despite the brevity of his No Mercy resume, however, Cena deserves a mention because he's excelled in each of his two showings.
Going up against Roman Reigns this year will allow him to soar up future versions of this list.
Mysterio was one of the four men involved in the 2002 No Mercy tag match that's arguably its best contest ever. He doesn't have enough outside of that to nab a higher spot on the list. Three of his fellow SmackDown Six stars have better resume thanks to their work as solo acts.
5. Chris Benoit
- Chris Benoit vs. Triple H (2000)
- Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle vs. Edge and Rey Mysterio (2002)
- Chris Benoit vs. A-Train (2003)
- Chris Benoit vs. Christian vs. Booker T vs. Orlando Jordan (2005)
- Chris Benoit vs. William Regal (2006)
In addition to a strong showing against Triple H in 2000, Benoit can boast about being a part of a true No Mercy Classic in 2002. Tony Marshall of PWTorch raved about that tag team match: "It was absolutely off the freakin' charts and worth the price of the PPV alone. Unbelievable, phenomenal performances by all involved. Spectacular—absolutely spectacular."
Benoit, as one might expect, was solid at every turn. The Rabid Wolverine made a career of being a rock in the ring.
Subpar opponents, however, held him back from producing more barnburners at No Mercy. A-Train and Jordan aren't exactly elite dance partners.
4. Chris Jericho
- Chris Jericho vs. X-Pac (2000)
- Chris Jericho vs. The Rock (2001)
- Chris Jericho and Christian vs. Booker T and Goldust (2002)
- Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels (2008)
The masterpiece that was his ladder match against Michaels in 2008 alone would have earned him a spot on this list. Jericho thrived in that rivalry and its rugged, emotional climax at No Mercy.
As WrestleZone's Nick Paglino wrote of the grab-you-by-the-throat ending of Jericho vs. Michaels: "The two of them hanging onto either side of the belt on top of the ladder was the epitome of suspense."
Y2J also flourished against The Rock and churned out a good match against X-Pac earlier in the PPV's timeline.
Edge squeaked by Jericho here with a similar resume, but it has two bouts that can be considered bona fide No Mercy classics rather than Y2J's one.
- Edge and Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz (1999)
- The Conquistadors vs. The Hardy Boyz (2000)
- Edge vs. Christian (2001)
- Edge and Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle (2002)
Edge made sure he was a key part of No Mercy history.
When anyone argues about the PPV's top matches of all time, Edge has to figure into the conversation twice. In 1999, he helped spark a golden era in tag team wrestling. He outdid himself in 2002 with three top-flight performers in the ring with him. Add a really good showing against Christian on top of that.
If Edge's 2000 match had been something other than a so-so match with a fun finish, it would be hard not to push The Rated-R Superstar higher on this list. Aside from that contest, Edge's batting average, so to speak, is mighty impressive.
2. Kurt Angle
- Kurt Angle vs. The Rock (2000)
- Kurt Angle vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Steve Austin (2001)
- Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit vs. Edge and Rey Mysterio (2002)
- Kurt Angle vs. John Cena (2003)
- Kurt Angle vs. Big Show (2004)
The Olympian nailed it in five straight years at No Mercy. Angle simply didn't have a bad match at the PPV.
He and The Rock put on a quality main event in 2000. In 2003, Angle helped Cena deliver one of his first excellent matches. Even his collision with Big Show the next year is nothing to sneeze at.
Throw in an all-time classic tag team match in the middle of all that and you have quite the resume.
Although Edge's second- and third-best No Mercy matches are arguably better than Angle's (against The Rock and then against Cena), Angle's consistency gives him the edge. Every time out, he delivered. And he had five matches at the PPV, compared to four for Jericho and Edge.
1. Triple H
- Triple H vs. Steve Austin vs. Undertaker (No Mercy UK)
- Triple H vs. Steve Austin (1999)
- Triple H vs. Chris Benoit (2000)
- Triple H vs. Kane (2002)
- Triple H vs. Randy Orton (2007)
- Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy (2008)
As great as Angle has been at No Mercy, Triple H has him beat thanks in large part due to volume.
The Game wrestled at six editions of the PPV and fought Orton twice on the same night in 2007. The second of those bouts, a Last Man Standing contest, remains one of No Mercy's best bouts to date.
Henry Higgins of Cult of Whatever wrote of that match: "It was a belter of a contest between two well-matched wrestlers with a great history going back years. The two wrestlers put forth an awesome effort."
Sure, Triple H's 2002 Kane was nothing special, but everything else he did at No Mercy delivered.
His Anything Goes match against Austin in 1999 thrilled. He and Benoit nearly outshone the main event in 2000. The same goes for his 2008 WWE Championship match against Hardy.
On a list of No Mercy's greatest matches, Angle might appear higher a number of times, but Triple H's name would be smeared all over it.