Tonight WWE brings us the Smackdown-branded No Mercy, live on pay-per-view and the WWE Network starting at 8pm Eastern. The show is taking place at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA. We will have live coverage of the show beginning at 8pm, with limited coverage of the preshow as well.
The card is, as follows:
- Preshow Match: Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin
- Curt Hawkins vs. TBD
- Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
- Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt
- The Miz (c) (w/ Maryse) vs. Dolph Ziggler – Title vs. Career Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. If Ziggler loses, he must retire.
- Heath Slater & Rhyno (c) vs. The Usos for the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship
- Becky Lynch (c) vs. Alexa Bliss for the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship
- AJ Styles (c) vs. Dean Ambrose vs. John Cena for the WWE World Championship
Be sure to follow along here for live thoughts and coverage as it happens, and don’t forget to join us on Twitter @RingRap as well!
WWE No Mercy Preshow
Curt Hawkins walks to the ring with a scepter in his hand as his voice plays over his music, announcing a bunch of Curt Hawkins facts. It’s super cheesy and over the top.
He grabs a mic and yells out “San Francisco!” (They are in Sacremento). He says he did it and that he stepped foot in the ring at No Mercy. “Thank you and goodnight!” His music hits and pyro goes off. He starts to leave, but stops himself, says he’s going to take a step forward and leave everything with a big Curt Hawkins announcement. A siren plays, and he says very dramatically that he will have his very first match on Tuesday’s Smackdown.
Extremely lame, but that seems to be what they’re going for. I have zero anticipation for his actual debut now.
Backstage, Alexa Bliss approaches Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan. They officially inform her that Becky Lynch (as rumored) is not medically cleared to compete tonight. Bliss says she signed a contract for a championship match and she deserves the belt. Bryan says championships are earned, not given. She’s still #1 contender, and he officially makes the match for Smackdown Live from Glasgow, Scotland on November 8th.
American Alpha & The Hype Bros vs. The Vaudevillains & The Ascension
Chad Gable and Aiden English start it off. Gable quickly drops English to the mat a number of times. Zack Ryder and Viktor in, Viktor locks in a side headlock as a “Let’s go Ryder” chant breaks. Viktor catches Ryder with a suplex, but Ryder reverses it into a neckbreaker. Tag to Mojo Rawley. He starts yelling at Viktor, saying he ain’t hyped, then corners him with a 3-point stance. He connects with a clothesline for two.
Viktor corners Mojo and tags in Konnor, who lays in with a series of chops. Blind tag to Ryder, who hits a flapjack on the advancing Viktor. American Alpha runs in and hits suplexes on The Vaudevillains. A clothesline spot sends all four heels over the top ropes to the floor as we go to break.
Back in, Ryder is getting destroyed. English tags in and goes for a cover, getting 2. English starts singing a lullaby to Ryder as he cinches in a headlock. Funny. English keeps Ryder from making a hot tag, and tags in Gotch. Gotch goes for a cover in the corner, and tags in Konnor. Both men spill out of the ring, Ryder is first to make it back in. One by one, the heels run in trying to keep him from making the tag, and he clears them out, but just as he goes for the tag, Viktor yanks both Mojo and Gable off the apron. Konnor misses a spear and Ryder hot-tags Jason Jordan.
Jordan is on fire. He hits an exploder out of the corner. All hell breaks loose and everyone is attacking everyone, but ultimately, American Alpha hit Grand Amplitude on Aiden English for the win.
Winners: The Hype Bros & American Alpha
A fun match to start the show. All four teams looked good out there and worked well together. Is there anyone that sells a hot tag better than Jason Jordan? My god, what fire!
In a strange change of events, it looks like the WWE World Championship match is starting the main show. That’s interesting. Miz/Ziggler closing?
WWE No Mercy Main Show
John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles (c) in a Triple Threat for the WWE World Championship
Big match feel, big match intro. The video package for this match plays after the entrances, and then Greg Hamilton introduces all three men, with a good pop for Styles.
The bell rings, and AJ talks a lot of trash to both men. Ambrose pie-faces Cena, and Cena goes for an early AA. All three hit clotheslines on each other, and they’re all out early. Cena and Ambrose break off and start brawling. Ambrose knocks Styles to the side. He lays into Cena with kicks, and then hits a low dropkick to Styles, sending him outside before tossing him into the barricade.
Ambrose tosses Cena into the barricade too, then slams Styles head-first into the announcer’s table. He leaps off the apron onto Cena, who catches him and slams him back-first into the ring post. AJ Styles leaps over the top rope with a Phenomenal Forearm onto John Cena.
Back in the ring, Styles and Ambrose tease suplexes over the ropes. Dean leaps in and goes for a German, but Styles counters. Cena gets in the mix and it’s a double-German Suplex. Impressive. Styles and Cena in the ring, Ambrose outside. Styles teases a Clash, but Cena catapults him into the corner, and then hits a swinging somethingorother for two. Styles flips out of an AA and hits a Pele kick. Ambrose hits a sunset flip for two, Styles hits a springboard reverse DDT onto Ambrose and combos it into a regular DDT on Cena at the same time. Cool spot.
Styles takes Ambrose out and lays into Cena with a roundhouse. Cena counters it with a front face slam. He hits a sunset flip powerbomb for two. Cena climbs up the turnbuckles, but AJ counters it with a backbreaker rack spinning into a powerbomb for two. Cena crawls to his feet. He blocks a right from Styles and counters it with his own. Styles locks in a sleeper. Ambrose joins in and locks in a Sleeper on Cena too. Cena rams Ambrose into Styles in the corner. Shoulder blocks from Cena and it’s time for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, which AJ Styles stops with a German Suplex and a front slam. Two count, and Ambrose then hits the same move on Styles for a two-count of his own.
Ambrose hits a flying forearm to Cena, and Ambrose hits Styles with a kick, setting up for Dirty Deeds. Styles backs him into the corner and heads up for a top-rope hurricarana. Ambrose rolls it through. Styles counters with a rollup, and both men hit running clotheslines. The ref counts when Ambrose has his head on Styles, and Styles has his shoulders down. It’s only worth two anyhow.
Cena is in the ring, only man standing. He hits a double Five Knuckle Shuffle on both men. AA to Styles, but Styles rolls out of the ring. Ambrose gets hit with an AA too, but he kicks out. Cena locks in an STF. Styles breaks it up.
Styles hits a suplex to Cena on the apron. Vicious. He climbs up to the apron and hits a gorgeous springboard 450 onto Ambrose for two. Styles counters Ambrose and hits a Styles Clash. Cena yanks him off and locks in the STF. Ambrose breaks it up.
Ambrose hits running elbows, but Cena follows him in and sets both men up for a double AA. Styles slides off, and it’s crazy. Cena hits Ambrose with Styles, Ambrose hits a rebound clothesline and all three are out. Ambrose and Styles are up, Ambrose goes up top with Styles, but Cena hits a powerbomb on Ambrose for two. Styles hits a flying cross body that Cena rolls through and deadlifts AJ, but AJ counters with a Calf Crusher. Ambrose breaks it up. Ambrose rolls Styles into his own Calf Crusher. Cena locks in an STF on Styles too. AJ Styles taps out, and we have ourselves a weird finish.
Cena and Ambrose get into each other’s faces, and the referee orders the match continue. Ambrose counters an AA with a Dirty Deeds. Styles pulls the referee out of the ring. Ambrose leaps out of the ring onto Styles (barely). He tosses AJ over the announcer’s table, then heads up top. Cena meets him there and sets up a top-rope AA. He hits it, but AJ runs in with a steel chair, which he slams Cena with. He covers Cena and the referee counts to three.
Winner: AJ Styles to retain the WWE World Championship
A fluky finish that keeps the heat on Styles. I don’t like that Triple Threat matches are also No DQ matches, but in the context of this story, it works. Now, Cena and Ambrose both have a claim to the title and (presumably) can fight it out between themselves, while AJ hopefully moves on to another challenger for a bit.
Finish aside, that was a great, great, great match.
A video package on Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton airs, implying it’s the next match, except…
Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
Mauro Ranallo reminds us that Becky Lynch is indeed unable to compete tonight (due to a medical condition unrelated to in-ring activity).
Bella immediately runs after Carmella, who hides in the ropes. She slaps Bella and Bella fires back with a slap of her own. She yanks Carmella’s hair and pulls her back into the ring and tosses her across the ring. A face buster forces Carmella out of the ring. Nikki hits a dropkick to her, but Carmella drops heron the barricade and tosses her into the LED apron.
The referee counts as Carmella gets back into the ring. Carmella goes after Bella, attacking her neck on the apron and stretching her neck and back around the ring post. Two-count. Carmella continues with the offense. She taunts Bella with a moonwalk, hits a Bronco Buster in the corner, gets two.
Carmella keeps control. She drives Bella head-first into her boot on the corner, then pulls the hair as she grinds Bella’s head into the ropes. More moonwalking allows Bella to get a tackle out of the corner. Bella hits a clothesline, and a springboard kick for two. Bella hits a Bella Buster for two. Carmella hits a head scissors out of the corner for two.
Carmella goes for her submission headlock, but Bella powers out and hits a clothesline. Carmella counters and goes for a second try. She locks it in, and Bella makes it to the ropes for the break. She lays into Bella with wild arms. Bella counters with the “Rack Attack 2.0” and it’s over.
Winner: Nikki Bella
Carmella looked pretty vicious here, using lots of heel tactics to keep the advantage. Bella winning here doesn’t hurt Carmella in a major way as long as Carmella can get her heat back, which I feel she can.
Backstage, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan are chatting about the last two matches. The Miz and Maryse walk in. Miz says what will make the show Awesome is when he retires Dolph Ziggler. He can’t take all the credit though, because Daniel Bryan has something to do with it. Miz says it’s like Rocky 4, Apollo Creed always gets destroyed by Ivan Drago. He says he keeps giving Ziggler opportunities, and that makes it his fault that Ziggler put his career on the line. After Ziggler loses, Miz wants to renegotiate his contract, because they’ll have some “freed up funds.”
Heath Slater & Rhyno (c) vs. The Usos for the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship
Rhyno and Jimmy start it out. Rhyno tackles Jimmy, lays into him with a chop. He corners Jimmy and tags in Slater. They hit a pair of elbows. Slater hits a running forearm as a “He’s got kids” chant breaks out. Jimmy counters and tags in Jey, who says “I got kids too!” He slams Slater to the mat. Belly to back suplex for two. Tag to Jimmy. They keep Slater cornered. Slater flips out of a suplex attempt and tags in Rhyno. Rhyno clears the ring and hits a running clothesline to Jimmy, followed by a short spear and a belly to belly suplex. He sets Jimmy up for a Gore, gets distracted by Jey, and Jimmy hits a dropkick. Tag to Jey, who hits a running bump in the corner.
They keep Rhyno grounded. Tag to Jimmy, who continues to work on Rhyno. Teamwork rules as The Usos hit a dropkick to Rhyno’s head. Rhyno begs for more, Jey obliges. Jimmy tags in. Rhyno elbows out of the corner, hits a spinebuster to Jimmy. Slater is pumped up and tags in. He takes out both Jimmy and Jey. My feed is glitching a bit, but he’s keeping control. Jey hits a pop-up Samoan Drop for two. Tag to Jimmy, and my feed froze. I see them getting set up for a pair of superkicks. I see Rhyno doing something to Jey outside the ring. I have to restart my feed.
The match is still on. Rhyno is begging for a hot tag. Slater is clutching his leg. Rhyno is in, and he sets Jey up for a Gore. He nails it, and Rhyno gets the surprising pin.
Winners: Rhyno & Heath Slater
I missed the entire end of the match. Looks like Rhyno was the MVP based on the highlights. I’m surprised they retained, honestly. I really felt like they would pull the trigger on The Usos here, but I’m ok with it. You don’t want to move a new title around too much in the beginning, if you can help it.
Bray Wyatt cuts a promo from his rocking chair. It’s mostly laughter and humming.
Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin
I guess this got bumped to the main show due to the Women’s Title match getting switched. I’m fine with it.
Baron Corbin doesn’t take his eyes off Swagger at all during the entrance. The bell rings and both men immediately go at it. Corbin slides out of the ring on an Irish whip. Swagger catches him with a clothesline and a second one sends him outside the ring. He tosses Corbin into the barricade. They continue to brawl outside. Corbin takes out the leg, attacks the hand on the steps, and clotheslines Swagger, laying him out.
Back in the ring, Corbin focuses on the hand. He shoulder blocks Swagger, goes for a cover for two. Corbin charges into Swagger, but Swagger sends him sloppily face-first into the turnbuckle. They trade blows. Swagger gets some momentum and connects with a Swagger Bomb for two. Corbin hits a Deep Six for two. He gets in the referee’s face. Swagger hits a clothesline out of nowhere for two. He locks in the ankle lock. Corbin reaches for the ropes, and grabs the apron instead.
The referee fixes the apron, and Corbin jabs the eyes. He hits End of Days for the win.
Winner: Baron Corbin
Corbin continues to look impressive. Swagger looks like Swagger. Not a dig at him, just it is what it is.
A video package highlights the Ziggler vs. Miz, career vs. title match.
The Miz (w/ Maryse) (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. If Ziggler loses, he must retire.
Huge heat for Miz. Ziggler goes for the legs immediately. Ziggler goes for quick pin attempts. Miz counters a dropkick and slingshots him over the ropes, but he lands on his feet, hits a dropkick and a clothesline sending Miz over the top rope to the floor.
Back in the ring, Miz kicks the ropes into Ziggler’s crotch. Another dropkick from Ziggler for two. Miz gets the advantage and stretches Ziggler out. Ziggler breaks free, but gets clotheslined. Miz lays in some stomps, and sets Ziggler up for a Daniel Bryan surfboard.
Ziggler gets to his feet and goes for a superkick. Miz counters with a neckbreaker combo for two. Miz keeps control and hits a pair of running dropkicks in the corner, again, from the Daniel Bryan playbook. He runs into a surprise dropkick from Ziggler. Ziggler picks up speed and hits a series of clotheslines. Splash in the corner, neckbreaker, diving elbow, two-count. He goes for a Fameasser, but Miz catches him and goes for a powerbomb. Ziggler counters for two. Miz goes for his own cover and uses the ropes, which the referee catches and scolds him for.
Miz misses a spear in the corner. The two trade rollups. Ziggler goes for a DDT, but Miz counters, takes out the knee and hits a spike DDT for two. Miz starts working the leg, and sets up for a Figure Four. Ziggler counters. Miz drapes the leg over the ropes and starts working the leg, hitting a dropkick even. Ziggler rolls Miz in a small package, but Miz kicks out and immediately hits a clothesline in the corner. Miz goes up top, Ziggler meets him there, and goes for a superplex. Miz counters it, goes for a sunset flip powerbomb, and goes for a slingshot. Ziggler reverses, Miz reverses that into a Figure Four. Miz slowly backs the move into the center of the ring, but Ziggler gets the ropes.
Maryse distracts the referee as Miz takes off the top turnbuckle in the opposite corner. Ziggler hits a leg lariat for two. Miz sends Ziggler into the turnbuckle head first. He goes for a the slingshot powerbomb and hits it this time, but it’s worth only two.
Miz lays into Ziggler with Daniel Bryan roundhouse kicks. Ziggler ducks the last one and hits a Zig Zag for a believable near fall. Ziggler goes for a superkick, counters Miz with a roll-up, then locks in a sleeper. Miz makes it to the ropes. As the referee checks Ziggler, Maryse sprays Ziggler in the face with a hairspray. Miz hits Skull Crushing Finale and makes the cover, but Ziggler gets his foot on the ropes. Miz starts punching the leg. He wrenches the leg and tries to rip the boot off. Ziggler hits a superkick with the bad leg out of nowhere. He can barely make it to make the cover, and Maryse calls out Mikey and Kenny from The Spirit Squad. Both men are on the apron. Ziggler, hits a Superkick to Mikey, goes after Kenny, and Miz sneaks in a skull crushing finale for a very, very near fall.
The referee throws out Maryse, Mikey and Kenny from ringside. Ziggler hits a superkick on Miz out of nowhere, and covers Miz. He gets the pin, and the win!
Winner: Dolph Ziggler to become the new WWE Intercontinental Champion
This match started out just like every other Ziggler/Miz match, but grew better and better as it went on. I honestly wasn’t sure who would win this one, and felt it really could go in either direction, though when I realized it wasn’t the last match on the card, I had a suspicion Ziggler might win. That said, Ziggler finally won his match, and that’s awesome, but he still needs something to freshen up his character, and I have yet to see any indication that will happen.
Big celebration with the fans for Ziggler, as Miz practically cries in the ring. Perfect. I love it.
Randy Orton stares at himself in a mirror backstage. He makes a face, and then the mirror starts warping. Really stupid hocus pocus stuff here.
The kickoff panel talks about the show so far, and kicks it to a reply of Curt Hawkins’ debut on the preshow.
Alexa Bliss heads to the ring for her match. She says Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon are protecting the pathetic Becky Lynch, as she has a medical condition unrelated to wrestling. She asks if she has a hangnail or her hair dye made her sick. Bliss says Lynch is scared of her, and there isn’t anyone in the arena that’s on her level… and then Naomi’s music hits.
Alexa Bliss vs. Naomi
Bliss hits a shoulder tackle early on. She steps on Naomi’s back and head, slamming her head repeatedly to the mat. Naomi hits a flurry of kicks, ending it with a kick to the head. She hits a split legged moonsault for two. Bliss counters with a forearm. Naomi hits a pair of boots to the chest. Bliss drops Naomia on the apron, then hits a swinging arm breaker across the rope. Two-count. Bliss keeps at the arm. Naomi goes back on her feet. She hits a sit-out face buster. Naomi hits a rear view for two. Bliss locks in a cross arm breaker, but Naomi rolls it up and gets a surprise pin.
The crowd was dead for this one. Naomi was a suitable replacement considering the circumstances, but either the crowd was burned out from the last match, or they wanted Becky Lynch. Probably a bit of both. One would think they would want to keep Bliss strong, unless Lynch is out for the rest of the month? Then you can get a small program going with Bliss and Naomi until Bliss gets her title match.
Another video package for Wyatt/Orton.
Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton
Wyatt comes out to the ring first, Orton next. I wonder what sort of shenanigans we’ll get in this match. The two lock up. Wyatt heads to the corner and looks at Orton upside down. Orton goes for an early RKO. Wyatt bails out of the ring and laughs. Wyatt returns to the ring and lays into Orton with fists. Orton fires back with a series of rights. The two trade blows. Orton gets the advantage and starts stomping the arms and legs. He punches Wyatt from the second turnbuckle, and takes him out with an elbow. Wyatt catches Orton off the ropes, but Orton counters, sending Wyatt out of the ring. Wyatt drapes Orton over the ropes, and sends him into the barricade. The two brawl near the announcer’s table. Orton goes for an RKO, Wyatt counters and sends him over the table.
Wyatt breaks the count. He tears up the steel steps and drags the larger set in front of the announcer’s table. Orton catches him with a punch and a clothesline, followed by another clothesline. Back in the ring, Wyatt attacks Orton from behind and sends him flying off the apron into the barricade.
Orton rolls into the ring and is immediately attacked. Wyatt hits a senton. Orton punches his way out of the corner. Wyatt, cuts him off with a knee and a running splash in the corner. Wyatt locks in a headlock. Orton fights free of it. The two battle on the apron. Wyatt kicks the knee and hits a DDT on the apron. Two-count.
Wyatt hits a bodyslam in the middle of the ring. He goes for a second-rope senton and misses. They trade blows back and forth. Orton hits a clothesline out of the corner, and hits another one. He goes for a powerslam, but Wyatt scouts it. Orton counters Sister Abigail, and gets the powerslam after all. Wyatt hits a flying forearm for a near fall.
Orton and Wyatt counter each other over and over. Wyatt hits the urinage for two. Outside the ring, Wyatt sets Orton up on the steps that he placed earlier. He goes for a running senton and misses, slamming his back on the mat. Orton breaks the count and starts tearing up the tables. He slams Wyatt head-first into the announcers’ table and back drops him on the barricade. Back in the ring, Orton hits the draping DDT. As Orton sets up for the RKO, Wyatt’s noise/music hits and the lights go out. They come back on, and a returning Luke Harper is standing in the middle of the ring. He stares down Orton, and Wyatt hits Sister Abigail out of nowhere for the win.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
Harper stands in the middle of the ring, spotlight shining down to him. He spreads his arms wide to a huge cheer, then helps Wyatt get back to his feet. The two leave the ring, posing on the ramp to end the show.
Good seeing Harper back in the mix again. I’m glad he’s healthy and back, and looking forward to seeing his role on Smackdown, now that the pool of fish is smaller. That said, this match didn’t feel like it should’ve headlined. Just my two cents.
A good show overall, with some very strong matches throughout. Now that we’ve gotten through two brand-exclusive pay-per-views, we’ve gotten the first few pairings of matches out of the way, so it’s time to see what Smackdown can do with the roster depth they have. Seemingly, most of these feuds will continue another month, but eventually we will have to move past them.
That said, I’m giving the show a thumbs up. I think the important matches delivered, and kept the titles strong and desirable. I’ll have more to say about the show on Tuesday’s Around the Ring with Ring Rap. Be sure to tune in for those thoughts, and please take a moment to vote in our reader polls for Match of the Night as well as our normal 1-5 rating for No Mercy. Thanks for tuning in folks!