WWE first introduced No Mercy to their fans nearly 25 years ago. The inaugural No Mercy pay-per-view was a UK-exclusive show that took place in May 1999. Vince McMahon turned it into the October PPV event the same year and the tradition has continued since.
The first 11 iterations of No Mercy ran continually from 1999 to 2008. The show went on a hiatus before it made its return as a SmackDown-exclusive PPV in 2016. The final No Mercy event under the main roster’s umbrella emanated from Los Angeles in 2017.
In 2023, Shawn Michaels announced the return of No Mercy as an NXT premium live event.
The annual October PPV event has given fans some of the most memorable matches in WWE history. These are the five best matches in the show’s stacked history.
Triple H vs. Randy Orton (Last Man Standing Match at No Mercy 2007)
Following John Cena’s injury, Vince McMahon awarded the WWE Championship to Randy Orton at the October 7th pay-per-view event. Triple H showed up as the first challenger to the newly-crowed WWE Champion. It only took Hunter 10 minutes to defeat his former protégé for the title.
However, Triple H was informed by Vince McMahon that he’d still have to face Umaga per their pre-booked match for No Mercy. The Game survived the Samoan Bulldozer in his first title defense of the night.
Orton involved his rematch clause and Vince informed Triple H he was set for another title defense in a Last Man Standing Match. The bout was extremely physical and highlighted Orton and Hunter’s amazing chemistry inside the ring.
One of the major spots in the match saw HHH take an RKO to a steel chair. The Game emerged with a crimson mask. The former Legend Killer won the match after he hit his former mentor with another RKO on the announcer’s desk, preventing Hunter from answering the 10 count.
The Rock vs. Kurt Angle (No Disqualification Match at No Mercy 2000)
Kurt Angle walked into WWE ring with a stacked resume. The 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist spent his rookie year on the mid-card, winning the European and the Intercontinental titles. He earned a shot at then-WWE Champion The Rock by winning the 2000 King of the Ring finals.
A title match between the two proud competitors was set for No Mercy 2000. Angle had Stephanie McMahon in his corner. Rocky dominated the opening stretch of the No Disqualification until the challenger reversed the momentum.
This match was one of the first meetings between the pair and showcased their incredible chemistry inside the ring. It also featured cameos from both Triple H and Rikishi. Hunter came to the aid of his wife after she was knocked out during the match.
Rikishi, who had barely survived his No Holds Barred Match against “Stone Cold” Steve Austin,” tried to help out his cousin but ended up costing him the match. Angle went on to have a four-month reign with the WWE Championship until dropping it to The Rock at No Way Out 2001.
The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler (Title vs. Career Match at WWE No Mercy 2016)
The Miz and Dolph Ziggler carried the SmackDown mid-card division in mid 2010s. Both men were able to showcase their incredible potential as heel and babyface, respectively, on the new and improved SmackDown Live!
After months of humiliation at the hands of the former WWE Champion, Ziggler agreed to put his career on the line. The Miz responded by agreeing to their Intercontinental Championship match at WWE No Mercy 2016.
Both men sprung into action with the sound of the opening bell. Ziggler’s incredible timing meshed well with The Miz’s brilliant heel antics inside the ring. The title vs. career match was truly a fitting conclusion to the epic feud between the two longtime rivals.
Props to Maryse as well for proving her managerial skills during the match.
Edge and Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle (WWE Tag Team Championship Match at No Mercy 2002)
Any match involving the SmackDown Six is usually a certified five-star classic. This was proven true when Edge and Rey Mysterio collided with Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit at No Mercy 2002. The match had high stakes, as the winners would be the inaugural WWE Tag Team Champions.
This match is considered to be one of the best tag team matches in WWE history. All four men in the competition were given the time to shine. The action was fast-paced, but never felt out of place. Edge and Rey’s flashy move sets brought the best out of Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit’s technical prowess.
Angle picked up the win for his team when he made Edge tap out to the Ankle Lock.
Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels (Ladder Match at No Mercy 2008)
The rivalry between Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels might just be the last great rivalry of the Ruthless Aggression Era. The duo had a near-perfect match at WrestleMania XIX. They reignited the feud in 2008 after Jericho sent HBK crashing through the “Jeritron 6000” television.
The feud reached its peak with their Ladder Match for the World Heavyweight Championship at WWE No Mercy 2008. Y2J walked into the match as the defending champion. They put on an all-time classic performance in front of the Portland crowd.
The match received a four-and-a-half stars ratings from Dave Meltzer. It went on to the Match of the Year award from Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
The New Brood (Jeff Hardy & Matt Hardy) vs. Edge & Christian (Ladder Match at No Mercy 1999)
This was the first instance in WWE when two tag teams were involved in a ladder match. The New Brood (Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy) with Gangrel took on Edge and Christian. The winners would get the managerial services of Terri Runnels & $100,000.
The ladder match at No Mercy 1999 featured high-flying action. Both teams showed promise as future stars of the company with their incredible performance. This match really set the tone for the future tables, ladders and chairs matches in WWE.
Triple H vs. Chris Benoit (No Mercy 2000)
There’s no denying that the year 2000 was the year of Triple H. The former Blue Blood was putting on exceptional matches against the likes of Kurt Angle, Mick Foley, and The Rock. One of more underrated matches came against Chris Benoit at No Mercy 2000.
This was a wrestling match in every sense of the word. It showcased Benoit’s tremendous technical skills and Hunter’s strategic mindset as both try to outdo each other. The match lasted a little over 15 minutes, but never felt dull or lackluster at any moment in its given duration.
Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker (Hell in a Cell Match at WWE No Mercy 2002)
Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker had a bloody and barbaric feud over the WWE Championship in 2002. The Next Big Thing destroyed the Phenom’s hand in the build to WWE No Mercy. He also made things extremely personal by dragging Taker’s wife, Sara, into the feud.
The two men met inside the Deadman’s playground, Hell in a Cell, in the main event of No Mercy 2002. The match was not for the faint of heart, as the whole canvas was painted with both men’s blood. In the end, Lesnar conquered Taker with an F5.