No Mercy 2001

Ladder Match
WWF Intercontinental Championship
Christian (c) vs. Edge
Christian has also joined the Alliance to try and give them a shot at credibility by adding as many WWF stars as possible, which they wouldn’t need to do if they hadn’t buried all the WCW talent with the booking. These two had an underwhelming first match at Unforgiven so they’ve thrown the ladder gimmick in to try and get the feud over. Much like at Unforgiven, I’m surprised at how little they seem to have planned. You’d think these guys would have a match they’d always wanted to do for years and years and would have spots coming out of their ears. Once the ladder comes into play matters improve slightly but the spots, while quite creative, aren’t much fun. Like them both standing on a ladder and Christian getting punched until he drops groin first onto it. I’ve not seen the spot before but it lacks the “wow” factor. Another issue is the waiting between these spots as they can’t hit a fast pace in a 20-minute match and also having to sell the bumps as they’re so big. The match structure is somewhere between the Shawn-Razor kind of ladder match and the TLC matches with the tables removed. For whatever reason Edge and Christian never had a great match together. This is arguably their best match and I’ve seen it rated up near ****. For me it rather pales in comparison to even Jericho-Benoit from the same year in terms of good ladder contests. Edge wouldn’t get really good in singles until the following year and Christian seemed to hit a brick wall of career progression around 2000.

JR manages to get the slow climbing over by claiming Edge has cramp in his back as Christian works on that general area to get some psychology into the match. Both guys take monster bumps off the ladder to get the match over and because of their history, there’s an excellent level of trust. You could argue if you don’t trust your opponent you’re not going to have anything approaching a good match regardless of personal history, something that was evident in the Bret-Shawn match at Survivor Series. No complex and big bumps in that match, as there was no trust. After a spot off the ladder Christian goes for the Conchairto to finish only for Edge to kick the chair into Christian’s face. What follows is Edge setting up a ladder across two chairs, which seems unnecessary and Edge hits a splash on it that looks more painful than effective. At least there is consistency in the selling as Edge stays down thanks to his previous back/rib injuries. Christian climbs and Edge goes up the buckles to spear him off in the match’s best spot, albeit a re-tread of TLC spots, usually involving resident fraggle Jeff Hardy. The ladder match had the gloss taken off it a bit when the TLC matches started and with this one they still used chairs. That was the nature of how the ladder match had evolved. This one struggles to live up to the legacy. Christian gets up the ladder but Edge low blows him with a chair, as a receipt for Unforgiven. To cap off the match Edge grabs a pair of chairs and hits the Conchairto on top of the ladders. They only needed to set up three ladders and two chairs to do it. Edge pulls down the IC Title to regain it.
Final Rating: ***¼

 

Video Control gives us a shill for Survivor Series next month, pointing out tickets are still available. That shows how the company was doing at the time! Imagine an Attitude era PPV from just a year beforehand not selling out that quickly. At WWF New York, Spike Dudley is enjoying a few drinks. Paul Heyman tries to destroy his confidence by pointing out he got dumped by Molly a month ago, but Spike’s too busy hitting on rats.

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