WWE Smackdown airs tonight starting at 8pm Eastern in San Diego, CA. As of this writing, no official matches announced, but we will see Dean Ambrose, John Cena, and WWE World Champion AJ Styles come face to face heading into their match at No Mercy. Will it come to blows? Probably!
Also, we are just days away from the Title vs. Career match between The Miz and Dolph Ziggler. Will Ziggler have second thoughts? What will The Miz do to get the upper hand?
All this, plus Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, and much, much more! Join us here for live coverage of the show, and on Twitter @RingRap!
A video package hypes up the main event at No Mercy, and that the three men involved will meet this evening.
We go to the arena and immediately start things off with Bray Wyatt’s music. The fireflies are out as he walks to the ring. He enters the ring, swings his lantern around as he spins in a circle, and the lights go back on. He paces back and forth, and then Kane’s pyro and music hit. It’s a match.
Bray Wyatt vs. Kane
Kane unloads with some fists in the corner early on. Wyatt gets momentum and hits a flying forearm, and a splash in the corner. Wyatt misses a senton, and Kane sits up, hitting a clothesline in the corner. Let’s make it two. Kane goes for a choke slam, but Wyatt hits a urinage and a senton. He crab walks out of the corner, but is distracted by an approaching Randy Orton, who is on the video screen. He’s upside down too. Orton says he’s looking at the world the way he sees it. He says at No Mercy he’ll turn Wyatt’s world right-side up. The video flips over and is normal again. Orton says he can play his game better than Wyatt. He challenges Wyatt to “catch his prey,” as Kane meets him and goes for a choke slam. Wyatt bails out of the ring and starts to retreat, but has a conflict as he wants to finish the match. He ends up walking away and the bell rings.
Winner: Kane via countout
Baron Corbin walks backstage. He’s approached by Charly Caruso, and she asks him about his win streak. She says he’s caught the attention of Jack Swagger. Corbin says Jack’s dumber than he looks if he’s there to make waves. Corbin says he’s going to have to drop Swagger where he stands, but Swagger walks in, and wants to find out if Corbin is as bad as he says he is. Corbin says he does his talking in the ring. Swagger says he’ll find Daniel Bryan and see if they can continue their conversation in the ring. Corbin walks away.
Well, that felt incredibly scripted.
Bray Wyatt is searching for Orton backstage. He mumbles about how Orton’s time is coming.
Back to the ring…
Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki Bella
Carmella is sitting in on commentary for this one. Bliss hits Bella with an elbow and slams her to the mat. Bella sweeps the leg and gets a one-count. Bella hits a shoulder block and a dropkick, sending Bliss ringside. Bella follows her out in front of the announcer’s desk. Carmella starts talking trash, and Bella tosses Bliss into Carmella.
Back in the ring, Bliss hits a pair of boots to Bella, but Bella counters. Out of nowhere, Carmella runs in and attacks Bella, causing the DQ.
Winner: Nikki Bella via DQ
And then, Becky Lynch’s music hits, and she runs out to even the odds. She takes out Bliss and then Carmella. Lynch tosses Carmella out and Bella tosses out Bliss as we go to break.
We come back, and it’s a tag match.
Alexa Bliss & Carmella vs. Becky Lynch & Nikki Bella
Bliss has control of Bella for an extended period before tagging in Carmella, who cinches on a headlock. Carmella goes for the bronco buster, but gloats too much and misses.
Hot tag to Lynch, who is on fire. She takes out Carmella, and Carmella tags in Bliss. She hits a pair of suplexes, but Bliss dodges out of a corner move. Lynch follows her off the apron with a running forearm. Back in the ring, Carmella clips Lynch with a superkick. Bella hits a spear on Carmella and the two chase each other up the ramp. Meanwhile, Bliss goes up top and hits her finisher, Twisted Bliss on Lynch for the win.
Winners: Alexa Bliss & Carmella
Paint-by-numbers singles into tag match here. Bliss gets a win so Lynch looks vulnerable heading into the pay-per-view.
More Bray Wyatt backstage. I had enough of this last week, why am I being subjected to it again this week? Anyhow, Bray walks into a storage container with a rocking chair in it, and Orton sneaks in, shutting the door and locking it behind him. He asks Bray how it feels to be the hunted now. There’s a camera inside, and Wyatt is flipping out.
The announcers plug the main event for No Mercy, and The Miz’s “Dolphumentary,” a film about Ziggler’s career, for later tonight.
Out of the break, and Daniel Bryan heads out to the ring as the arena is covered in pink. It’s a plug for their partnership with Susan G. Komen. Bryan leads about five women to the ring, and they all stand in the middle of the ring in front of a table covered with a pink cloth. Based on last night, I can only assume there are titles underneath.
Bryan introduces the five women by name, all survivors of breast cancer. He says they’re all heroes and champions. He leads the fans in a Yes chant, and then his music hits. Bryan tells them to cut the music, since he’s the GM and they don’t tell him when to leave. He says you can’t be a champion without a title, and reveals five women’s championships. He hands one to each survivor.
Out of the break, The Vaudevillains are in the ring for action.
The Vaudevillains (Simon Gotch & Aiden English) vs. The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley)
Gotch and Rawley start it out. Rawley yells at Gotch that “he ain’t hyped.” He drops Gotch and does his “Hammer Time” hammer drop. The crowd isn’t sure what to think of it, but I think it could get over. Ryder tags in, and as the match continues, The Ascension walk onto the ramp, looking on. Aiden English tags in and Gotch hits an exploder to Ryder. English gets a near fall.
Gotch hits a boot while the referee is scolding English. English misses a knee drop but Gotch tags in. Ryder rolls out of a powerbomb attempt and makes the hot tag. Rawley hits a pounce to English, and a splash in the corner. He slams English to the mat, boot to Gotch, and a Hype Ryder on English puts them away.
Winners: The Hype Bros
Good to see a little bit of attention on the rest of the tag division, since it’s been all about the title feud up to this point.
Back from break, The Miz and Maryse are in the ring for MizTV, a “Dolphumentary.” Miz brings out Ziggler in what could be his final appearance on Smackdown Live.
Dolph Ziggler walks out in casual wear. The three sit down, and Miz says it’s not about him tonight, it’s about Ziggler. Title vs. Career at No Mercy, and Miz promises Ziggler that his career would not be forgotten.
The film plays, and it shows Ziggler’s career through the years, back when he debuted as Kerwin White’s caddy, then in the Spirit Squad, and then all the different humiliating things he’s done over the years. The video shows a bunch of past and present WWE stars cleverly edited to make it seem they’re putting Ziggler down. “After 11 long years of mediocrity, Dolph Ziggler says farewell to a career that never was.”
Ziggler is not pleased. Miz says if his career was as embarrassing as his he would’ve quit years ago. Ziggler says he’ll slap Miz’s face if he keeps talking. For every 10 embarrassing moments in the video, there was one moment that would always keep him going. He talks about a kid wearing a Ziggler shirt in the front row, thrilled to see him. That’s the kind of thing that keeps him going. He gets a good pop for that. Ziggler says backstage with Make a Wish, where kids tell him he’s their hero, but Ziggler says that they are HIS hero. It’s real emotion. He talks about cashing in the Money in the Bank contract to become World Champion. He says it was magical and the fans were the reason he became champ. That’s the reason he can’t walk away.
Ziggler says he came to a crossroads and that’s why he put his career on the line – if he can’t deliver he doesn’t belong here. Ziggler says there’s something in his gut that tells him he WILL win on Sunday. Miz isn’t taking his career away from him – not ever. With all the ups and downs, he’s not done yet.
“Yes you are,” says The Miz. Miz tells him to say goodbye to everything he just talked about, because his career will end thanks to The Miz. He says he’s got just the thing to raise his spirits though, and The Spirit Squad music plays.
And out comes two members of The Spirit Squad – Kenny and I think Mikey). They do a cheer for Dolph, making letters out of their bodies for each letter in his name. Miz says he wish there could be more of them, but two got lost in transit on the way back to OVW. He can see it now – Nicky reunites with the Spirit Squad. Ziggler gets fired up and pissed, and gets in Miz’s face, but Kenny and Mikey attack him, and hit their old finisher, lifting him up off the mat and slamming him to the ground. Ziggler recovers and hits a pair of superkicks on both men, and sends The Miz packing up the ramp.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t mark out a little when Kenny and Mikey showed up, and it just reminded me how they took an absolutely atrocious gimmick and did their best to make it work. Miz is a great heel, and this was a good segment overall. I’m not a fan of Ziggler’s promos though. He just rants and rambles too much, and never really gets to the point.
Wyatt is still in that storage container. He starts talking to himself, I think. He turns the chair and faces the camera, and starts rocking back and forth.
Up next, Jason Jordan vs. Jey Uso!
Jey Uso (w/ Jimmy Uso) vs. Jason Jordan (w/ Chad Gable)
Jordan immediately goes on the offense. Uso hangs Jordan up on the top rope and goes for a cover. Jey starts working the neck. Jordan readies for a suplex, but Uso tries to counter. Jordan drops to his knees and gets a roll-up pin.
Winner: Jason Jordan
Jimmy Uso immediately attacks Chad Gable outside. They take out Jordan and set him up to attack his leg, but Rhyno and Slater make the save. The Usos bail out.
More Wyatt, rocking in his rocking chair. He’s singing a song. Really, this is annoying. Wyatt starts talking to someone, and says he’s ready to go home. “Take me home.” He extends his hand to noone.
Back from break, Orton comes back to the container and opens it up. Wyatt is gone, and Orton is pissed. He throws the chair and walks away.
The announcers hype up John Cena’s appearance on Talking Smack last week. They play highlights from his interview, where he talks about working hard and not caring about Dean Ambrose. I’m not doing it justice, but it was pretty solid.
Jack Swagger come to the ring before the commercial.
We come back from break for another plug for Komen, and then Curt Hawkins lays into us with a few facts before announcing he’s making his debut at No Mercy.
And then, Baron Corbin comes out. Finally.
Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin
The two tie up and test each other’s strength. Swagger goes for a waist lock, but Corbin breaks free and hits a shoulder block, taking him down. Corbin hits a cheap shot on Swagger, and starts laying into him with elbows and fists. Corbin taunts Swagger as we go to break.
Back from break, Corbin hits a Deep Six on Swagger for a near fall. Corbin misses a charge into the corner. Swagger goes for a Swagger bomb, but Corbin scouts it. Swagger reverses the kick and locks in an ankle lock. He drags Corbin back, and as Corbin reaches for the ropes again, the referee calls for the bell. He believes that Swagger tapped out.
Winner: Jack Swagger
They replay it and Corbin’s hand hits the mat three times as he reaches for the ropes. Corbin is pissed and starts kicking over the steps. He tears up the steps and announcers’ table at ringside.
I suppose we’re getting this match at No Mercy.
Heading into our final segment, WWE World Champion AJ Styles makes his entrance. He says The Champ is here, and Smackdown Live is the land of opportunity. He had the opportunity to beat John Cena at Summerslam, and he did. He says he had the opportunity to beat Dean Ambrose to become WWE World Champion, and he did. At No Mercy he has the opportunity to beat them both at the same time, and… Dean Ambrose interrupts.
Ambrose walks into the ring with a purpose. He asks him what he’s going to become – the clown that runs the town? The chump.. AJ gets in his face and is pissed, but Ambrose says just the chump. Ambrose says AJ has one more mountain to climb, but he took the low road. He’s mad because he had AJ pinned last week until John Cena interfered. He says Cena couldn’t stand that Ambrose was about to win the title, and says Cena should be thanking him for bringing the title to Smackdown in the first place so he could even have an attempt to break Ric Flair’s record.
John Cena comes out mid-sentence. AJ cuts him off before he speaks and tells him to shut up. Everyone knows what Cena is going to say “so for once in your life just shut up.” Styles mocks him for chasing history and wanting to be a 16-time world champion. “How dare you compare yourself to an icon, a legend, like Ric Flair. I don’t care how many championships you have won, you will never be in the same conversation as Ric Flair.” He says he wouldn’t be worried about Ric Flair’s legacy if he were him – he’s be worried about AJ Styles. Styles says if Cena chases history, it’ll be a long road, because while he chases history, Styles makes history. He says he’s going to watch Cena make a fool out of himself, just like he did at Summerslam.
Before Cena can do anything, Ambrose cuts him off and gets in his face. He says Cena is going to tell him he screwed himself over, that Ambrose is his own worst enemy. Ambrose says Cena can’t outwork him. Every night he’s in the ring fighting in wars. Ambrose tells him to check his resume – zero sick days, zero injuries, more matches last year than anyone on the roster. Ambrose says Cena has no respect for him because he never came in and kissed Cena’s ass. He’s never played by his rules and isn’t gonna start. “If being fake, plastic suck-ass behind the scenes is what it takes to get ahead then I’ll be over here.” He tells him to have fun being the guy that plays John Cena on TV.
Cena tackles Ambrose and lays into him with punches. Cena tosses Styles out of the ring and Ambrose brawls. Cena sends Ambrose out of the ring, and grabs the belt, posing in the ring. His music hits, until AJ Styles attacks Cena, hitting a phenomenal forearm. He takes his title, holds it high, and his music plays as he heads towards the ramp.
And then Ambrose attacks Styles from behind, hits Dirty Deeds on the ramp, and grabs the belt, holding it up high. His music plays.
Good stuff from AJ, but really great fire from Ambrose. Cena didn’t say much because the others did all the talking for him. I’m looking forward to this match, and this definitely helped build some anticipation for it.
Overall, a bit of a lackluster show. Very paint-by-numbers heading into No Mercy. The build up to this point has been pretty good, so I’m ok with an episode on auto-pilot, but I’ve come to expect a bit more out of the go-home shows. That said, the main event is looking to be stellar, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the matches on the card as well.
Bill and I will chat up No Mercy, as well as some other topics of interest and YOUR favorite thing in wrestling. Hit us up on Twitter @RingRapAudio using the hashtag #FTIW and let us know what your favorite thing in wrestling was this week! See you tomorrow!