Curt Hawkins comes down to the ring and says he’s stepped into the ring at No Mercy like he said he would. Hawkins then makes an announcement, that he will have his first match this Tuesday night on SmackDown Live.
In his office, Shane McMahon informs Alexa Bliss that due to medical reasons, her opponent for Becky Lynch is not here tonight. Bliss reminds the SmackDown Commissioner that she signed a contract for a title shot and she still wants one tonight. SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan informs her she is still the #1 Contender and will get her title shot on the November 8th episode of SmackDown in Glasgow, Scotland. Bryan says she won’t have tonight off as she will compete in the ring. Bliss vows to win the title come November 8th.
Social Media Lounge: Tom Phillips interviews the #1 Contenders for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship – The Usos. They say the WWE Universe are the inspiration of their new attitude of not giving a damn anymore. Jimmy & Jey say they have nothing to be jealous of regarding American Alpha’s popularity as they have the title match tonight. The Usos are focused on first winning the tag titles tonight and then they’ll pursue a lengthy title reign like RAW’s tag champions The New Day.
Nikki Bella joins the Kickoff panel of Renee Young, Booker T, Jerry Lawler and Lita to discuss Total Bellas and her match against Carmella tonight. Nikki says Carmella reminds her of the old Nikki Bella, calling her a bootleg version. After returning from a neck injury, Nikki feels unstoppable and is confident she’ll come out on top against “The Princess Of Staten Island” who disrespected her to make a name for herself.
Kickoff Match: American Alpha & Hype Bros vs. The Vaudevillains & The Ascension (8-Man Tag Team Match)
Gable starts the match with takedowns on English before tagging in Jordan for a double team on The Vaudevillains. Ryder and Viktor are tagged in, Viktor with a side headlock and shoulder tackle on Ryder. A suplex attempt is reversed into a hangman’s neckbreaker by Ryder for a two count. Mojo tags in and goes to work on Viktor, nailing a running lariat for a two count as well. Konnor gets tagged in, receives a crossbody from Mojo, Ryder flapjacks Viktor, American Alpha with stereo Alpha-Plexes on The Vaudevillains. The fan favorites then clothesline all the heels out of the ring simultaneously.
The Ascension & The Vaudevillains focus their attacks on Ryder with frequent tags and keeping him from his team. Outside the ring, Ryder tosses Konnor into the barricade. Ryder tries to make a tag but Viktor grabs both Mojo & Gable by the legs, sending them crashing to the floor. Konnor ends up shoulder-first in the ring post when Ryder dodges an attack. This allows Zack to tag in Jordan who goes to work on English with a strikes, an Alpha-Plex, turnbuckle thrust and an exploder suplex. A pin attempt is broken up by Gotch, Mojo clocks Gotch with a running jab, Viktor knocks down Mojo, Zack with a Rough Ryder to Konnor, Gable nails a flying crossbody on Viktor and English receives Grand Amplitude from American Alpha for the three count.
Winners: American Alpha & Hype Bros
Rating: 3/5 – A fun and exciting Kickoff match for the No Mercy PPV event. Lots of action from all eight superstars, especially at the end. Ryder showed he’s resilient enough to fend off four opponents and bring a fresh man into the mix, helping his team win the match. American Alpha continue to impress as they were the deciding factor in the outcome of the chaotic contest. Hopefully one day they’ll hold the SmackDown Tag Team Titles after the current champs conclude their feud with The Usos.
Tonight’s SmackDown PPV event No Mercy comes live from Sacramento, California in the Golden 1 Center.
Match 1: WWE World Championship Triple Threat Match
AJ Styles vs. John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose
All three superstars start trash talking each other after the bell rings and attempt to hit their finishers, looking for an early win. They knock each other down with a triple clothesline. Ambrose focuses his attack on Cena until AJ gets in his face twice. Styles gets dropkicked out of there ring, where Ambrose tosses him and Cena into the barricade. Dean with a Russian leg sweep on Cena into the barricade and then proceeds to drive AJ’s head into the announce table. Cena catches Ambrose mid-air and rams him back-first into the ring post. Styles nails Cena with a Phenomenal Forearm outside the ring. Back in the ring, Cena pulls off an awesome double German suplex on Styles & Ambrose. Styles clocks Ambrose with a forearm, knocking him off the apron onto the floor. Cena catapults AJ into the turnbuckle followed by a swinging cutter for a two count. Cena attempts the Attitude Adjustment but Styles counters with a Pelé Kick.
Ambrose comes back in via a sunset flip on Styles for a two count. AJ delivers an inverted DDT / DDT combo on Ambrose & Cena. The champ attempts to pin both of his challengers but only gets a two count each time. Styles with a backdrop near the ropes that sends Dean head-first into the steel steps. Cena slams AJ to the mat with a front suplex followed by a sunset flip powerbomb for a two count. Cena sets up for a Super AA but Styles counters with the Rack Bomb for a two count. AJ locks Cena in a sleeper hold, Cena locks a sleeper hold on Styles, Ambrose comes back in and locks Cena in a sleeper hold, even jumping on his back for extra leverage. Cena rams Ambrose into Styles in the corner to break the submission hold. Cena with a couple shoulder tackles and a spin-out powerbomb on Ambrose, gestures for a Five Knuckle Shuffle but AJ delivers the Styles Suplex Special for a two count. Ambrose slams Styles to the mat with a chickenwing facebuster for a two count. AJ eats a couple shoulder tackles and a spin-out powerbomb by Cena, calls for the Five Knuckle Shuffle but Ambrose nails the Lunatic Fringe Elbow Drop for a two count. AJ with a forearm off the top rope on Cena and rams Ambrose into the corner to block Dirty Deeds. Styles pulls off a Frankensteiner but Dean rolls over into a pin for a two count. AJ counters a chickenwing facebuster attempt with a unique roll up for a two count. Styles and Ambrose take each other out with a double clothesline.
Cena comes back in the ring and delivers a double Five Knuckle Shuffle on AJ and Dean. He follows up with an Attitude Adjustment on Styles who rolls out of the ring before Cena can attempt a pin. Cena counters Dirty Deeds into an AA for a two count on Ambrose. Cena locks the STF on Ambrose but the hold is broken up by Styles. On the apron, AJ delivers a snap suplex to Cena, landing on the left shoulder. Styles lands the Superman (springboard 450° splash) on Ambrose for a nearfall. AJ blocks Dirty Deeds and nails the Styles Clash but the pin attempt is broken up by Cena for a STF on Styles. Dean grabs AJ’s hand to prevent him from tapping out. Ambrose unloads on Cena with multiple punches to break the hold. Ambrose with running forearms in the corner on Cena and Styles. All three men are down after AJ hits Cena with an enzuigiri and Dean clocks the champ with a rebound clothesline. Ambrose sets up Styles for a Super Dirty Deeds but Cena powerbombs him for a two count. AJ with a crossbody on Cena, gets caught mid-air and rolled over into an AA attempt but Styles counters with a Calf Crusher. Ambrose breaks the hold with an elbow drop on AJ. Dean locks AJ in the Calf Crusher and Cena then applies the STF on Styles causing the champ to tap out.
Despite ringing the bell, the referee continues the match after the double submission. Cena and Ambrose trade blows until John floors Dean with a huge clothesline. The AA is countered into Dirty Deeds and Ambrose gets a two count as Styles pulls the referee out of the ring. Dean with a suicide dive on Styles before tossing him over the German announce table. Cena pulls off the Super AA from the top rope on Ambrose but AJ nails him with a steel chair before he can go for the pin. After a chair shot to the back, Styles covers Cena for the pinfall victory.
Winner: AJ Styles
Rating: 4.5/5 – A phenomenal match (pun intended) involving three of the best superstars the SmackDown roster has to offer. Tons of exciting moments in the match with many nearfalls and awesome spots as well. While some people may be upset with how AJ Styles retained the title, he has been a sneaky heel champion since winning the title at Backlash. You can’t blame the guy for taking advantage of the No Disqualification rule in a Triple Threat Match. He’s simply desperate to keep the gold at any and all costs, not unlike Ric Flair, Triple H or Randy Orton before him. And how apropos is it that AJ prevented Cena from tying the 16-time world title record of “The Dirtiest Player In The Game” by cheating? Love him or hate him, “The Phenomenal One” is still the WWE World Champion as well as “The Face That Runs The Place”. #TheyDontWantNone
Match 2: Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
Immediately after the bell, Carmella tries to leave the ring but Nikki unloads on her by the ropes. Nikki drops Carmella with a slap to the face. Nikki tosses Carmella across the ring by her hair and hits a knee to the face which leads to Carmella trying to retreat outside the ring. Nikki nails a baseball slide but then Carmella stun guns her on the barricade. Carmella sends Nikki into the LED ring display. She focuses her attack on Nikki’s back with a bow and arrow on the ring post.
Back in the ring, Carmella applies a headlock on Nikki, hits a Bronco Buster for a two count and goes back to work on the neck with another headlock. In the corner, Carmella grabs a handful of Nikki’s hair and uses the rope to stretch the neck up to a four count by the referee. Nikki fights back with a sloppy spear, a couple dropkicks and a springboard roundhouse kick for a two count. Nikki delivers a Bella Buster for another two count.
In the corner, Carmella nails a headscissors takedown followed by a superkick for a two count. “The Princess Of Staten Island” delivers a flatliner followed by the Code Of Silence, however Nikki stands up and readies for the Alabama Slam which is countered by Carmella. Nikki decks Carmella with a big forearm shot. Carmella locks in Code Of Silence but Nikki reaches the bottom rope. Carmella unloads on Nikki with multiple blows but shortly receives the Rack Attack 2.0 for the three count.
Rating: 2/5 – A decent match from two members of the SmackDown Women’s Division, although I was expecting more from these two as they’ve been feuding for awhile now. It just felt too much like a match that would take place on SmackDown Live rather than a PPV event.
Shane McMahon & Daniel Bryan are discussing No Mercy in their office when Intercontinental Champion The Miz and Maryse show up. Miz says the show will be better when he retires Dolph Ziggler. He compares his match tonight to the Rocky IV bout where Ivan Drago destroyed Apollo Creed. Miz says both Ziggler and Bryan will be retired after tonight. He wants to renegotiate his contract once again since they’ll have some extra funds after Ziggler’s no longer on the payroll. Miz and Maryse then make their exit.
RAW Superstar Titus O’Neil narrates a Susan G. Komen / WWE “More Than Pink” video promo focusing on a champion breast cancer survivor.
Match 3: SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match
Rhyno & Heath Slater vs. The Usos
Rhyno starts the match with Jimmy Uso, brings him into the corner and tags in Slater. The tag champs double team Jimmy, Slater hits a running forearm in the corner but runs into a right hand. Jey Uso tags in and delivers a belly-to-back suplex on Heath for a two count. Jimmy tags in and The Usos double team Slater in the corner. Rhyno gets tagged in and goes after Jimmy with a couple clotheslines and a belly-to-belly suplex. Jey prevents a Gore attempt and Jimmy nails a corner dropkick on “The Man Beast”. The Usos make frequent tags and continue to focus their attacks on Rhyno while cutting him off from his partner.
Rhyno clocks Jimmy with an elbow shot and slams him to the mat with a spinebuster. He makes the hot tag to Slater who unloads on Jimmy and Jimmy (now the legal man). Heath hits a neckbreaker on Jey for a two count. Jey delivers an awesome Samoan Drop on Slater for a two count. Jimmy tags in, Rhyno prevents a double team move and rams Jey into the ring apron. Jimmy nails Rhyno with a rope dropkick and strikes Slater through the ropes. Slater pulls off an amazing super powerslam to Jimmy off the top rope for a nearfall. Jimmy nails Heath with a superkick and tags in Jey for the jumping kick double team move. Jey locks in Tequila Sunrise while Rhyno takes out Jimmy with a Gore outside the ring. Rhyno breaks up the submission hold by decking Jey with a low clothesline. Heath makes the tag to Rhyno and Jey receives a Gore for the win.
Winners: Rhyno & Heath Slater
Rating: 3/5 – A very exciting match from both teams that each showed why they’re the top of the SmackDown Tag Team Division. Frequent tags and working over one opponent didn’t quite pay off for The Usos as the champs are proving to be a well-oiled machine despite initially being an odd pairing in the Tag Team Title Tournament. I’m curious to see how long they can hold onto the gold as there’s plenty of tag teams on the blue brand who seek to dethrone “The Beauty And The Man Beast”.
Bray Wyatt promo where he hums and sings “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” while sitting in his rocking chair.
Match 4: Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin
Corbin unloads on Swagger with rapid strikes, Swagger knocks him down with a shoulder tackle and clotheslines him against over the ropes, bringing the fight to the ringside area. Swagger drives Corbin into the barricade and repeatedly slams his head into the announce table. Corbin kicks Swagger in the knee, Jack’s hand gets stuck between the steel steps and the ring post allowing Corbin to brutally kick the steps, potentially breaking Swagger’s hand. Corbin follows up with a a hard clothesline and brings Jack back in the ring where he focuses his attack on Swagger’s left hand.
Corbin tackles Swagger into the corner, with Jack’s head hitting the second turnbuckle. Baron gets a two count on Jack and yells at the referee to, “Count faster!” Swagger sends Corbin face-first into the top turnbuckle, hits a couple corner clotheslines and a Swagger Bomb for a two count. Corbin blocks the Patriot Lock and kicks Jack’s left hand. Corbin with a Deep Six for a two count and he berates the referee. Swagger nails a stiff clothesline for a two count, then applies the Patriot Lock but Corbin makes it to the ring apron. While the referee fixes the ring apron, Baron pokes Jack with a thumb to the eye and delivers End Of Days for the three count.
Winner: Baron Corbin
Rating: 3/5 – Very good physical match between two of SmackDown’s toughest superstars. Baron Corbin and Jack Swagger both proved they’re ready to be in the main event picture should they receive the opportunity. Corbin has the aggressive attitude required to become champion whereas Swagger has plenty of technical ability to proudly represent the blue brand. I hope to see at least one of these two motivated superstars receive a shot at the WWE World Champion AJ Styles sometime in the near future.
Match 5: Intercontinental Championship Match
The Miz w/ Maryse vs. Dolph Ziggler (Title vs. Career)
Miz misses a clothesline, Dolph misses a superkick but rolls up Miz for a two count. Ziggler with a leaping lariat for another two count. Miz catapults Dolph out of the ring but he comes back in for a dropkick and clotheslines the champ over the top rope, sending them both to the floor. Back in the ring, Miz runs into a dropkick for a one count. Miz whips Dolph into the corner and gets a two count. Miz nails a hard clothesline on Ziggler followed by a running boot to the face for a two count. Miz continues his attack by stomping on Dolph, slingshots him into the bottom rope and mocks Daniel Bryan’s “YES!” taunt before slamming Ziggler’s knees to the mat. Miz hits a hangman’s neckbreaker for a two count. Dolph eats three running dropkicks in the corner and nails Miz with a dropkick off his own.
Ziggler fights back with a couple jumping clotheslines, a stinger splash in the corner, a swinging neckbreaker and a jumping elbow drop for a two count. Miz catches Dolph for a slingshot powerbomb but Ziggler rolls over into a pin for a nearfall. Miz knocks him down with a big boot for a two count, he tries to use the ropes for leverage but the referee sees this and warns him. They trade pin attempts and Miz nails the snap DDT for a two count. Dolph blocks a Figure Four, Miz kicks his knee in the corner and attempts the Figure Four again but is rolled up for a two count by Ziggler. Miz hits the Awesome Clothesline, blocks a superplex attempt and goes for the slingshot powerbomb but once again Ziggler rolls for a pin however Miz locks in the Figure Four this time. Dolph’s shoulders go down for a two count and he reaches the bottom rope to break the hold after a four count from the referee.
Maryse distracts the referee which allows Miz to expose a top turnbuckle. Miz runs into a Rough Ryder by Ziggler for a two count. Miz shoves Dolph into the exposed turnbuckle and finally delivers the slingshot powerbomb for a two count. Miz with Daniel Bryan’s repeated shoot kicks to Ziggler and misses the roundhouse kick before Dolph nails the Zig Zag for a two count. The superkick is blocked, Miz goes for the Skull Crushing Finale but Dolph rolls into a pin for a two count. Ziggler quickly locks in the sleeper hold but Miz is able to reach the bottom rope. Miz then distract the referee which allows Maryse to spray Ziggler in the face. Miz delivers the Skull Crushing Finale to Dolph for a two count as “The Showoff” manages to get his foot on the bottom rope.
Miz attempts the Figure Four but pulls Ziggler’s boot off in the process. Dolph clocks Miz with a superkick and crawls over for the pin. Maryse signals for Kenny & Mikey to run down and they distract the referee on the ring apron. Mikey gets knocked off the apron by a superkick from Ziggler. Dolph runs after Kenny but he jumps off the apron. Miz with another Skull Crushing Finale but only gets a nearfall. Maryse is hysterical at ringside, Kenny gets on the apron and the referee catches him setting up for a cheap shot on Dolph. The referee then ejects Maryse, Kenny & Mikey from ringside. The distraction allows Ziggler to nail Miz with a huge superkick for the pinfall victory!
Winner and New Intercontinental Champion: Dolph Ziggler
Rating: 5/5 – An awesome match truly worthy of being the main event of No Mercy rather than Orton-Wyatt, in my opinion. I was not expecting Ziggler to walk out with the IC Title as many signs pointed to him retiring following the match. However, I was completely satisfied with the outcome as WWE managed to pull a pleasant swerve on me which is rare in this age of the internet. Both superstars put on one of the greatest matches of their careers as well as a Match Of The Year candidate. I can’t wait to see what’s next for the new Intercontinental Champion, Dolph Ziggler, come Tuesday night on SmackDown.
Randy Orton is shown pacing backstage and he looks at himself in the mirror. His face is briefly distorted and he shakes it off as a hallucination.
Prior to the match, Alexa Bliss talks about the SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch being unable to compete tonight. Bliss claims the real reason Becky’s not here tonightis because she’s afraid of losing her title. Alexa continues to talk until Naomi’s music plays, interrupting the #1 contender.
Match 6: Alexa Bliss vs. Naomi
They trade headlocks early on, Bliss takes down Naomi with a shoulder tackle, kicks her in the head and stomps Naomi’s face repeatedly near the ropes. Naomi fights back with multiple kicks and a split-legged moonsault for a two count. Alexa clocks Naomi with a stiff forearm but soon receives the modified Eat Defeat. Bliss grabs Naomi’s hair, slams her onto the ring apron and attacks her left arm. Alexa sends Naomi head-first into the second turnbuckle. Naomi fights back with a facebuster, a dropkick and the Rear View for a two count. Alexa botches a move but ends up locking in a cross armbreaker which Naomi reverses it into a pin for the three count.
Rating: 2/5 – An okay bonus match between both superstars from the SmackDown Women’s Division. Like Nikki Bella-Carmella earlier, it also had the feel of a match that would be better suited for SmackDown Live rather than a PPV event. Also, while I like Alexa Bliss as a character, she needs some in-ring improvement as there was a noticeable botch towards the end of the match. At first I didn’t understand Naomi getting the win but I realized she is a 6-year veteran of the women’s division looking to reinvigorate her career. And what better way than to defeat the #1 contender, Alexa Bliss? Perhaps this will lead to the Harley Quinn-esque superstar putting her contender status on the line against Naomi on an episode of SmackDown Live.
Match 7: Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton
The two polarizing superstars start the match with a lock up and Orton sends Wyatt into the corner where he does the upside down taunt. Orton goes for the RKO early and Bray retreats outside the ring. They trade blows for a bit until Orton slams Wyatt to the mat by his hair and follows up with the Garvin Stomp. Bray snaps Orton’s neck over the top rope, pulls him out of the ring and sends him into the barricade. Randy attempts the RKO but Bray shoves him over the announce table. Wyatt breaks up the referee’s count and goes back outside to take apart the steel steps. Orton lands a right jab and a couple clotheslines on Wyatt. Randy is sent crashing into the barricade following a running attack from Bray. Orton rolls back in the ring and Wyatt stomps away at “The Apex Predator”. Wyatt with a short-arm clothesline and a running senton for a two count. Bray hits Randy with a body avalanche in the corner and pins him for another two count.
They trade blows in the ring and then on the apron until Wyatt drops Orton with a DDT on the edge for a two count. Wyatt comes crashing down to the mat after Orton moves out of the way for a senton from the second rope. They trade blows some more, Bray sets up for Sister Abigail but Orton escapes and delivers a perfect powerslam for a two count. Wyatt sets up for the Uranage, Orton with an elbow strike, Randy attempts the inverted headlock backbreaker, Bray escapes, Orton attempts the RKO, Wyatt counters with a Sister Abigail attempt but Orton rolls him into a pin for a two count. Wyatt nails the Uranage for a two count and tosses Orton through the ropes. Bray places Randy on top of the steel steps and charges for the running senton but Orton rolls off, sending Wyatt crashing onto the unforgiving steel.
Orton breaks the referee’s count and goes back outside the ring to repeatedly slam Wyatt’s head against the announce table. Orton with a backdrop on Wyatt onto the barricade and brings “The Eater Of Worlds” back in the ring. Randy delivers the Elevated DDT on Bray and poses for the crowd. The creepy Wyatt graphic flashes and the lights go out. When they come back on, Luke Harper is seen standing in the ring face-to-face with Orton. Wyatt delivers Sister Abigail to Orton for the pinfall victory.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
After the match, Harper helps Wyatt to his feet and they embrace in the ring. No Mercy ends with Wyatt & Harper standing tall on the entrance ramp.
Rating: 4/5 – An incredible match from a couple of third generation superstars on the SmackDown roster. The WWE Universe finally got the match we’ve been anticipating since Backlash as Wyatt and Orton didn’t disappoint at all. While this wasn’t the main event match I was expecting, it lived up to the honor of being the last match of the night. There was a good mix of back-and-forth action, some outside brawling, various nearfalls and a surprise ending. I expect Orton to be seething after suffering a loss at the hands of his rival, in part to a member of Bray’s “family”. Luke Harper has got to be the new prey of “The Viper” in the coming weeks.Or perhaps Orton will stalk both Harper and Wyatt leading to a handicap match at the aptly named Survivor Series. Tune in to SmackDown Live this Tuesday to see what’s next in the Orton-Wyatt saga.