No Mercy 2001

Summary: This is a great show, make no mistake about it. The feeling of optimism and change is in the air and you can feel the guys respond to what they consider to be the opening up of top spots. RVD and Jericho getting their main event opportunities showed the other undercard guys that their spots weren’t just there for protecting; advancement was a possibility. Of course this all changed somewhat and the spots earned by Jericho and RVD were soon handed over to Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan in 2002, which is what happens when the ratings and buyrates go down. But the fans weren’t responding negatively to Jericho and Van Dam and you can tell from the crowd reactions here. The WWF should have retained their fans with smart booking and strong performances from their stars and had faith in people, instead of all the hot-shotting that took place in 2001. It was the frequently changing landscape that made Jericho and RVD able to get these chances, but they got them for a reason. The WWF knew they needed to affect positive change. When you look at the buyrates for 2001, they’re not actually that bad and the panic changes the WWF made, and booking errors like the never-ending Triple H title run, actually made the buyrates worse in the years that followed. I think they expected viewership to go up, but instead of gaining WCW’s fans, those Southern fans who liked a different style just stopped watching. All I really care about is the quality of the wrestling and it was good here from the hot opener through to the thrilling conclusion to the show. Jericho’s title win was a gutsy booking move but it came at the expense of a poorly judged heel turn and there were still too many McMahon’s involved. From top to bottom it’s one of my favourite shows from 2001 though, WrestleMania X-Seven is obviously a lot better, but apart from that it’s up there. A top five PPV for 2001.
Verdict: 76

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