WWF (January – June, 2000)
WWF No Mercy hit shelves November of 2000, and roughly covered the first six months of that year. The Right to Censor and Trish Stratus, both of whom debuted in June are in the game, but guys who returned later in the summer like William Regal and Raven aren’t included, so the timeframe lines up.
By the by, here’s a list of folks who debuted in WWF in the first six months of 2000 — Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit, Perry Saturn, Tazz, Lita and Trish Stratus. Kurt Angle just barely missed 2000, showing up November of 1999. New faces that have debuted in the first six months of 2014 — Adam Rose, Rusev and Paige. Jesus. I like some of those 2014 faces, but Jesus.
On the other hand, early-2000 WWF didn’t have this lady, soooo…
The above paragraph says it all, really. Early 2000 was the most profitable, and quite possibly the most creatively vibrant era in WWE/F history, with a huge influx of legendary talent all hitting the company at once — a company that already had a main event scene that was hot, hot lava. Early-2000 WWF was all about the ascent of Triple H from smirking trickster heel to the toughest, coolest wrestling God king on the planet, and he had the perfectly matched opponent in scrappy, sweatpants-wearing, dude of the people, Mick Foley. Oh, and hey, just to add a little color guys like The Rock, Undertaker and a younger, hair-having Big Show were kicking around.
I still haven’t quite recovered from Triple H coming out on top of this feud. Really, none of us has.
It wasn’t just the main event scene that was on fire, every division was overflowing with talent. Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero (and, uh, Chyna) were in the mix for the Intercontinental Title. The Hardyz, Dudleys, Edge & Christian, APA and New Age Outlaws were chasing the tag titles. The women’s division hadn’t quite got its shit together, but Lita and Trish would make their debuts in the first half of 2000 and a brighter future was on the horizon.
It wouldn’t last long unfortunately — the later-half of 2000 would devolve into multi-man title match mania. Things would briefly pick up again in a big way with the death of WCW and Austin’s big heel turn in early 2001, but then things got, well, sad. I…I’d rather not talk about it.
And Your Winner Is…
Man, I’ve set myself up for a real wrestling nerd’s Sophie’s Choice here. The most beloved wrestling video game of all time, or arguably the best run in WWE/F history?
After wrestling (eh? eh?) with the question for a while, I have to give the nod to Wrestling Reality. Both No Mercy and early-2000 era WWF are as good as wrestling gets in either media, but, I dunno — I feel like a good wrestling game is easier to make than good actual wrestling. That’s what the record seems to show at least. A pretty decent percentage of wrestling games are good, or at least playable, while so much of what WWE does is, objectively speaking, complete dreck. Early-2000 WWF was a special time where the stars aligned to create a thing that may never happen again (at least not in WWE). WWF No Mercy was a great game, but Wrestlemania 2000 and a number of other games are very similar, and almost as good. I wish really great wrestling wasn’t so novel, but it is, and early-2000 WWF wins because of it.
The Undisputed Unified Champion (This Week): WWF (January – June, 2000)
Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your own memories of WWF No Mercy and the golden age 2000-era WWF. And hey, if you have a catchier name for this series, feel free to suggest it, because sometimes I’m not great at titles.