No Mercy took place on October 9th, 2016 at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. This was a Smackdown branded PPV taking place just two weeks after Raw’s Clash of Champions. I watched this one nearly live (on a slight delay) with G. It’s been quite some time since Mark and I have gotten together to watch a show.
This was up against the second presidential debate which turned out to be a doozy. Based on this (at least I think it was based on this) WWE did something a bit different with the way they booked the show… they started with the main event. WWE Network subscribers got the following email about two hours before the show was about to go on the air:
No Mercy WWE Triple-Threat Main Event Starts the Show
For the first time in WWE pay-per-view history, the main event featuring a triple threat match for the WWE World Championship — WWE World Champion A.J. Styles vs. Dean Ambrose vs. John Cena — will start the show LIVE at 8pm ET/5pm PT on WWE Network.
This was sort of weird but in retrospect makes a lot of sense. I’m guessing they were hoping to try and get people to start watching the show early and stick around through the event. I started watching the event a couple of hours late (as I imagine many people did) and had a SLEW of technical problems with the Network when attempting to start from the beginning. I ended up having to watch it live and rewind.
Overall I think this was a good show. It was far better than Clash of Champions even with the flow of the show feeling “weird” with the main event first. Much of the hype for this show centered around The Miz vs. Ziggler (as it should have) so I’d have expected THAT match to close the show. It didn’t and that felt weird.
(All photos courtesy WWE.com)
The Hype Bros and American Alpha Defeated The Ascension and The Vaudevillains
Talk about a match I couldn’t care less about. Nine minutes of boring. I don’t watch the kick off matches because of stuff like this. If WWE wants us to watch the kick off they’ve got to give us something compelling to watch. This is strait out of Saturday Superstars.
AJ Styles Defeated Dean Ambrose and John Cena To Retain The WWE World Championship
Regardless of why this was in this spot on the card, this is the way to start a PPV. High energy, crisp and full of moments that make you do a double take with how awesome they were. Many times in a triple threat match guys can get lost in the shuffle but that wasn’t the case here. All three guys worked hard, got their spots in and were able to shine. For over 21 minutes these guys put on a clinic when it comes to triple threat wrestling. The finish wasn’t without controversy (or at least a WTF moment) when both Cena and Ambrose had Styles in a submission. Styles tapped which led to some confusion but then the referee restarted the match because apparently you can’t tap to two guys at once. Naturally that makes perfect sense but I can’t recall ever seeing a match play out this way. After the restart Styles manged to get the win after using a steel chair. John Cena was going for his record tying 16th world title here and while I think it’s pretty clear he’s going to tie (and break) that record at some point a relatively small PPV like No Mercy isn’t the place to do it. The way this finished it gives both Ambrose and Cena a clear path back to a title shot and it keeps Styles strong. Tremendous way to start the show obviously.
Nikki Bella Defeated Carmella
This was going to be a let down match regardless of what it was. I don’t watch the weekly Smackdown show so I was missing a bit of the background here that apparently Nikki and Carmella have. I’m not quite sure why they don’t like one another but I don’t really think it matters. This was a solid match for what it was – a feud builder. I can only assume that eventually Carmella will get the best of Nikki as they grow her character, but at least for the time being they’re putting on good matches that aren’t the traditional “bathroom match” that the women’s division has been in recent years.
Heath Slater and Rhyno Defeated The Usos To Retain The WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship
With Rhyno doing the real life politician thing (he is running for the Michigan House of Representative) it would seem only a matter of time before he and Slater drop the titles. I’m happy to see that they’ll hold on to them for at least a little while longer because from what I see on PPV and in Smackdown recaps Slater is one of the best things going on the Smackdown brand these days. When you hear a crowd chanting, “He’s got kids!” you know there’s something special going on. This was a decent little ten plus minute match that showed off not only Rhyno and Slater but also the new look and new attitude Usos which I’m really digging as I was REALLY over their good guy run.
Baron Corbin Defeated Jack Swagger
Am I the only one that thinks about Baron Corbin as just some pissed off Amish guy? I’ll be honest here… I don’t really care for either of these guys. That being said, this was an entertaining match for what it was. Swagger to me will always be a mid card guy at best so if the idea is to build Corbin I don’t see how getting a victory after an eye poke does much for him. I’d be shocked if we didn’t see this match up again, though I’m not sure if they’ll hold it off until the next Smackdown only PPV which isn’t until December 4th (Tables, Ladders & Chairs). This isn’t a big enough match for Survivor Series so I’m guessing it’ll play out on Tuesday nights.
Dolph Ziggler Defeated The Miz To Win The WWE Intercontinental Championship
Wow. I’m at a loss for words. This match was quite simply incredible. Not only was this a match for Miz’s Intercontinental Championship, but had Ziggler lost, he would have been forced to retire. For nearly 20 minutes these guys went at it in a back and forth match that quite literally had me on the edge of my seat. There’s been talk for some time about how Ziggler was considering leaving the WWE to pursue his stand up comedy career. Couple that with the fact that he’s been on what can only be descried as a losing trend for the past several years and it really looked like he was going to be done. This match was full of false finishes that featured Ziggler playing the face in peril as well as Miz doing some of his best heel work. There were three or four times when I thought for sure that it was over and that Ziggler’s career was done. When he finally managed to battle back to get the unlikely win the roof blew off the place with good reason. Even if you don’t watch Smackdown, even if you don’t have any desire to watch this show, do yourself a favor and watch this match. It’s clearly the match of the night and should be in the conversation for match of the year when all is said and done. This absolutely should have closed the show. In fact I thought it had as the camera stayed on Ziggler for quite some time after his victory as he celebrated with the fans at ringside. Immediately following this match was an extended promo for WrestleMania 33. I was actually surprised when they came back and there were more matches. Honestly, I wouldn’t have minded if the show ended with this as it’s high point.
Naomi Defeated Alexa Bliss
We were supposed to get a match here between Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship. Apparently Becky got injured (still not quit sure what’s wrong with her) but she wasn’t at the event and was tweeting from the hospital. What we got was a randomly thrown together match that didn’t make a damn bit of sense. Not sure why they’d think having Alexa lose this match was the way to go as all it does it hurt her. Naomi has been a non factor then, now and forever. Why not just have Bliss come to the ring and cut a promo? Or better yet remove this from the card all together. Injuries happen. Every wrestling ticket says “card subject to change”. WWE would have been better off if they changed it rather than give us this garbage.
Bray Wyatt Defeated Randy Orton
Talk about a let down. I realize they’re trying to turn Bray Wyatt into this generation’s Undertaker but up to this point it’s just not working for me. Couple that with the fact that he’s going up against Randy Orton and it just ups my “don’t give a shit” meter even more. Toward the end of the match the lights go out and we get a returning Luke Harper *yawn* which helps Wyatt win the match. I’m just going to go ahead and pretend the PPV went off the air at the logical point with Ziggler celebrating. Everything after that was crap.
Overall this is a tough one to rate. On the high side we get the brilliance that was Ziggler vs. Miz and the well above average Styles, Cena, Ambrose triple threat. On the down side is the (injury induced) debacle of a women’s match and the final match of the night snooze fest between Orton and Wyatt. Everything else is somewhere in between. At first glance (and because I’d just watched it a day or so before) No Mercy was a better show than Clash of Champions but now that I go through it match by match I’m not so sure. Clash of Champions was a solid in ring show from top to bottom but didn’t have the ups, nor the downs that this show did. If you’re looking for a recommendation for this show I’d say watch the three title matches, paying special attention to Miz and Ziggler and skip the rest.
Upcoming WWE PPV Schedule
Here’s the rest of the calendar for the rest 2016.
- Hell in a Cell (RAW) – 10.30.2016
- Survivor Series – 11.20.2016
- Tables, Ladders & Chairs – 12.4.2016
- Roadblock – 12.18.2016
Did you watch No Mercy? Leave me a comment and let me know what you thought!