As long as I live, I will never understand why, during Linda McMahon’s attempted political runs, the media and those opposing her repeatedly aired those tired old “Vince makes Trish Stratus bark like a dog” clips. Aside from being baffled as how, precisely, a skit from the world of pro wrestling had anything at all to do with real life, I have but one question:
Seriously? That’s the best you guys could come up with?
I’m not one to take “journalists” (likely since my degree is in broadcast journalism) or politicians (since I don’t care about them at all) to task, but that’s just lazy. A cursory glance through the WWE archives will net you things a gazillion times worse than that. Heck, I’ll even help you out and present you with something that will truly make you uneasy, that being this match from the 2003 No Mercy pay-per-view we’re going to be talking about today.
Billed as the “First Ever Father-Daughter I Quit Match”, it features your favorite WWE plot device, the Feudin’ McMahons. Show of hands – who’d have thought that thirteen years (!!!!) later, we’d be getting the same schtick going into WrestleMania.
I’m glad to see all of you have your hands hoisted high in the air.
To be fair, prior to working on this article, I hadn’t seen this match in years. In fact, it’s quite possible that I’d NEVER seen it before. Before we had the Network, I was pretty Ebenezer-esque in my PPV purchases. But a kind Facebook friend named Chad Adams suggested this be inducted, and thus I threw myself headfirst into this train wreck.
Thanks a lot, Chuck!
Interestingly enough (or not), on the Network splash page of No Mercy 2003, they don’t even mention this match. They do, however, mention a BIKER CHAIN match. That sounds completely idiotic. Still, considering who was involved, it was probably pretty good.
Unless, of course, it featured Biker Taker bebopping around like a fool as he was want to do during this era.
Anyway, as soon as we get past the warning screen, sure enough, we get tons and tons of photos of Vince and Stephers, complete with complete creepy voice overs by the pair of them as a little girl says “I love you daddy” in the background. I know that sounds laughable, but trust me, this clip will give you “Can’t sleep, clown will eat me” nightmares.
Oh, and that warning I mentioned earlier?
Yeah, this isn’t helping matters.
Before we get to the match itself, let’s view this recap of just how we got here.
Let’s see, A-Train (the former Prince Albert (not in a can) and future Tensai (also likely not in a can)) beat Steph up…
…and then Brock Lesnar (yes, THAT Brock Lesnar) choking her out as Vince stood around and cheered on.
Only two words two describe this: creepy and gross.
Heck, by the time we got Steph tearfully giving her side of the story, it was almost welcomed. Think about that – I was looking forward to a Stephanie McMahon promo. That’s what this storyline did to me.
In fact, I won’t even mock her wacky makeup and bizarre hair, nor will I note that after watching last week’s Raw I believe she may have stolen someone else’s nose since the time this show happened. And someone else will have to tell you that she looks like the love child of Dolph Lundgren and Marcy D’Arcy, as it won’t be me.
Nope, I won’t do any of that.
Wait, I just did? My bad.
Let’s go to the ring!
Steph comes out to the ring with Linda, who is wearing what is arguably the worst outfit since the heyday of Bastion Booger (read about him in the archives!).
I mean, seriously, this is a company completely obsessed with looks, with image, and they trot Linda out wearing THIS ensemble. For Pete’s sake, where was Sandra the Seamstress (or even Needles the Tailor) to help this poor woman out?
Vince shows up with Sable in tow, and he is absolutely positively ginormously Lou Ferigno-esque jacked to the gills.
Don’t know about you, but I know when I see this…
…all I can think is “the physique of this 57-year old man proves this company’s testing policies are completely on the up and up.”
So the match starts, and Linda immediately begs Vince to end the insanity. Steph, being the gutsy babyface that she was born to be (yeah right), tells mom she’s got this and shepherds her out of the ring. This naturally allows Vince to sneak up from behind and smack Steph right in the back of the head.
With Vince taking the early edge, he then…wait, did you folks ever notice that Vince always likes to wear black jeans when he’s in a fight? I personally blame Vince McMahon for a lot of things, but now none top the fact that I have this stupid Michael Penn song stuck in my head.
Maybe he is, in fact, just looking for someone to dance with.
Steph fights back by jumping onto her pop’s back and riding him around the ring like the world’s least bouncy pogo stick, all the while screeching in the most non-human manner possible.
I’ve legit heard wounded animals at the zoo make less horrifying sounds.
Quickly, Vince tires of Steph’s antics and traps his daughter in a corner.
Now that’s a wrestling motif I’ve always found completely absurd – how can someone be trapped in a corner? There are wide open ropes, just step through them numbskull!
Please do not ask why I accept someone being whipped into the ropes always running right back at their adversary as completely logical while this offends me.
After successfully trapping his prey, Vince reaches way back into his “Best of Fabulous Moolah vs. Velvet McIntyre” playbook and grabs his daughter by the hair and tosses her across the ring. I seriously don’t think I’ve ever seen a man do that in a wrestling ring before.
Really hope I never do again, because that looks dumb.
Some good ol’ fashioned rope choking comes next, so as to position Sable to slap Steph right across the chops. This takes approximately 45 seconds, as Sable looks confused as to if she should be doing this right in front of referee Nick Patrick, who fails to take the bait and look the other direction. Who cares, though, as it leads to…
…a Linda McMahon vs. Sable foot race!
I kinda want to watch this GIF on a loop all weekend as Linda’s wacky theme song plays in the background.
Vince slaps on a half Boston crab, the worst of which you will ever see. You know, for a guy who was pretty much the definition of pro wrestling for as long as this guy has been following it, Vince never seemed to have a clue how to apply even the most basic of maneuvers.
From one horrible looking move to another we go, including whatever on earth this is supposed to be. I am honestly unsure if Vince is trying to choke out Steph or maybe thinking about giving her a big, wet, nasty kiss. As he reportedly wanted to do an incest storyline with Stephanie at one point, don’t be surprised if he has the latter thought rolling through his noggin.
Meanwhile on the outside, we get another Linda-Sable ‘cat fight’.
If you ever wanted to know where Shane learned to throw a punch, I present this image as evidence that it was from his mom.
Steph attempts to fell her father with a low blow, but c’mon, this is Vince McMahon we’re talking about! So she instead gives him a shot to the nads with a LEAD PIPE, which Vince reluctantly sells. Not enough to, you know, end this match, though. Instead, Steph keeps pounding on Vince with the pipe as Michael Cole screams at the top of his lungs, “HIT HIM IN THE DAMN HEAD!!!”
So she beats on him and beats on him and beats on him, but it’s never enough to put Vince away.
Eventually Vince gets the pipe and starts waylaying on Steph as Cole talks about how unfair this is, noting that Vince “outweighs her by 200 pounds!!!” Ummm, what? I’m no mathmagician, but by my calculations that means that Vince either weighs 365 pounds or Steph weighs 65 pounds.
Pretty sure neither of those are true.
The disaster of an encounter finally ends as Vince jams the pipe against his kid’s throat and Linda very literally throws in the towel. But the fun’s not over yet, as Vince grabs Linda…
…and faceplants her into the mat as well. As if that weren’t charming enough, we get the following dialogue:
Michael Cole: “Thirty-seven years of marriage, that’s probably the first time Mr. McMahon has laid a hand on his wife.”
Tazz: “Well, as far as we know, Cole.”
Between this match and the Raw a couple weeks ago where Shane noted that he remembered the beatings Vince gave him when he was younger, I am guessing that stuff with Trish bow-wowing are probably going back into the mothballs.