9. Vince McMahon Vs. Stephanie McMahon - WWE No Mercy 2003
Quintessentially WWE, if only the company were still capable of this sort of hyper-deranged entertainment in 2019. No other wrestling company could ever hope to emulate this warped slice of only-in-America. It was as idiosyncratic as it was just phenomenally inspired.
A sociopathic, gym-dwelling billionaire throttled the life out of his “bitch” daughter (neither of them wrestlers in the traditional sense) in an act of cruelty so unconscionable you could only laugh at it, revealing in the process the doomed human condition. But Vince McMahon was far worse than you—he was the one swaggering around the ring, thoroughly delighted at the prospect of braining his unwilling flesh-and-blood—and so it was easy to project everything back onto his bronzed, rippling mass.
As inspired in its plotting as its audacious pitch, the interference of mother Linda, who could no longer stand Vince’s vicious, cackling assault, set forth a stunning near-fall after Steph smacked Daddy in his grapefruits with a lead pipe. This warped f*cker of a sports entertainment masterpiece relied on Vince McMahon’s hammy, “demonic” facials to carry it, and he visibly revelled in his then-untouchable genius as a performer.
“Is that what this is all about, that man’s sick pleasure?” Michael Cole asked on commentary.
His and ours both.