No Mercy 2016: The Same Old Surprises

No Mercy 2016
Date: October 9, 2016
Location: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, John Bradshaw Layfield, David Otunga

It’s the second Smackdown exclusive show and things have already been shaken up a bit. As announced by WWE.com, the Smackdown World Title match will open the show, presumably to avoid direct competition with the second US Presidential Debate. Why someone couldn’t watch both at once isn’t clear. Let’s get to it.

On the pre-show, Curt Hawkins comes out, says hello to San Francisco, and then leaves because he only said he was stepping in the ring. Ok that’s funny. His first match is Tuesday.

Pre-Show: American Alpha/Hype Bros vs. Ascension/Vaudevillains

Bonus match and PLEASE let this be the only pre-show match. Gable and English get things going and it’s already time for an NXT chant. Both Vaudevillains are thrown into the corner and English takes a double hiptoss. Viktor and Ryder come in and guess which one the fans like best. It’s off to Mojo for some dancing and again, WHY DOES JBL LIKE HIM SO MUCH??? Ryder tags himself in and everything breaks down so a quadruple clothesline can put the bad guys on the floor.

Back from a break with Ryder in trouble with English grabbing a chinlock. They head outside with Konor being sent into the barricade and then missing a charge into the post, allowing the hot tag to Jordan. Everything breaks down again and the Grand Amplitude ends English at 9:13.

Rating: C. Nothing we haven’t seen a bunch of times before but it’s a good choice for a pre-show match. Just let the guys go nuts with Alpha doing their stuff to hype up the crowd as a glorified dark match should. Above that though: they kept it relatively short and didn’t try to do anything more than they needed to. It’s better than Corbin vs. Swagger at least.

The opening video features a voice asking for mercy for the sins about to take place.

Smackdown World Title: Dean Ambrose vs. John Cena vs. AJ Styles

AJ is defending and the fans do not like Cena in northern California. For a change of pace, we get a recap video after all three guys have their entrances. Short version: AJ has beaten them both and we’re having a triple threat because TRIPLE THREATS RULE! It’s a big jawing session to start before all three fail at their finishers in the first minute. Ambrose takes over with some of his brawling and takes AJ outside for a few rams into the announcers’ table.

Cena follows them out but walks into a slingshot Phenomenal Forearm (that looked great). Back in and Cena German suplexes both of them at the same time (Mauro: “MAMA MIA!”) but AJ flips out of the AA and Pele’s Cena down. AJ moonsaults into the reverse DDT on Ambrose and grabs a regular version on Cena for a bonus. Ambrose is tossed outside and hits the steps, leaving Cena to grab a Code Red for two on the champ.

In something you don’t often see in a triple threat, AJ and Cena trade sleepers but Ambrose comes in and grabs one of his own. That goes nowhere so Cena initiates his finishing sequence on Ambrose until Styles makes the save with another German suplex. The finishers don’t work again so Ambrose and Styles suplex each other, leaving Cena to come in and pick up the pieces.

A Ten Knuckle Shuffle doesn’t appear to do much damage because it’s just a fist drop so Cena goes with an AA and STF on Ambrose. Styles makes the save and gets two on Ambrose with the springboard 450. The Styles Clash takes Ambrose out but Cena grabs the STF on the champ. Ambrose saves that so Cena picks them both up for the AA at the same time. I know it’s been done before and it’s been done with bigger people but THAT IS NOT NORMAL!

Neither guy gets flipped though as AJ escapes and Dean clotheslines Cena down. The Calf Crusher has Cena in trouble but Ambrose makes the save. Dean puts AJ in the Calf Crusher while Cena gets an STF, making AJ tap at 19:27. That doesn’t count though because it’s a double submission so the match continues. Dean gets two off Dirty Deeds with AJ pulling the referee out. Cena comes right back with the super AA but Styles blasts Cena with a chair to retain at 21:39.

Rating: B+. The match was great but can someone explain the false finish to me? Somehow Ambrose is the only one here who didn’t lose but AJ is the one leaving with the title. AJ winning is the only logical winner here as Ambrose had his one title reign and is much more interesting chasing the belt anyway. Cena can win the big one at Wrestlemania and that’s all that matters in the long run.

We recap Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton. Wyatt targeted Orton for whatever reason (like he has logical reasons) and they were scheduled to fight last month but Orton’s injuries prevented it from happening. Their big showdown is tonight and there’s a possibility that Sister Abigail is lurking.

Carmella vs. Nikki Bella

Standard “you’re famous but I’m better than you” feud. Carmella goes right after her to start but gets thrown outside. Nikki follows her out and is tossed into the LED board to mess her neck up all over again. Back in and we hit the chinlock on Nikki, followed by the moonwalk into the Bronco Buster for two. Carmella cranks on the neck even more before just pulling on the hair.

A quick Bella Buster and small package get two each on Carmella but she grabs the Code of Silence. Nikki isn’t about to sell a neck hold though and powers up, followed by the big forearm. Another Code of Silence sends Nikki to the ropes and the Rack Attack 2.0 (TKO, which isn’t a move out of a rack) is enough to pin Carmella at 8:05.

Rating: C-. Now come on. You knew Nikki wasn’t about to lose her first singles match when she can get out of a finishing move twice and prove that she’s the real fearless star in a match. Carmella will be back, though hopefully nowhere near Nikki in the future. The build to this was good but Nikki winning the way she did made my eyes roll.

Miz comes up to the bosses and says Daniel Bryan and Ziggler will have a lot in common after tonight. Miz: “Maryse, say adieu.” Maryse (looking insanely good here): “Adieu.”

Tag Team Titles: Heath Slater/Rhyno vs. Usos

Usos are challenging. Jimmy pops Slater in the face to start so the fans remind Jimmy that SLATER HAS KIDS. Jey comes in and lets us know that he has kids too. An early chinlock doesn’t last long and it’s off to Rhyno for a running shoulder to the ribs. The running Umaga attack puts Rhyno down for two as the fans aren’t exactly thrilled with this so far. Rhyno fights out of a chinlock but gets dragged into the Uso corner to keep him in trouble. The twins keep taking turns on Rhyno until Jimmy runs into an elbow in the corner.

That’s enough for a hot tag as Slater comes in to clean house but the fans still aren’t getting into it. Everything breaks down and the fans get behind the champs as Jimmy punches Slater in the face. Heath is right back up though and powerslams Jimmy off the top for two (cool little spot). It’s time to go after Heath’s leg but Rhyno breaks up the Tequila Sunrise. Rhyno Gores Jey to retain at 10:17 in what I’d call a big surprise.

Rating: C. This got better by the end and the ending was a surprise but it didn’t get off the ground for the most part. I’m not sure I get the booking here but maybe the Usos get the titles back in the next few weeks on TV. Not a bad match though the lackluster crowd reactions didn’t help things here.

Bray Wyatt speaks in tongues before shifting to He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands.

Quick recap of Baron Corbin vs. Jack Swagger. Corbin lost to Swagger via submission but claimed he was reaching for the ropes instead of tapping out, which the video seems to back up. It’s nice to have a rematch over something that makes sense instead of just having one after someone wins clean.

Baron Corbin vs. Jack Swagger

Corbin goes right after him to start and sends Swagger outside to crush his hand between the steps and the post. Back in and Swagger starts wrenching at the bad hand before getting two off a hard clothesline. Swagger drops him close to onto the post but the hand keeps Jack from following up. Something like a belly to belly plants Corbin, who comes right back with a Deep Six for two more. One heck of a clothesline drops Corbin and it’s off to the Patriot Lock. This time Corbin makes the rope and pokes Swagger in the eyes, setting up End of Days for the pin at 7:27.

Rating: D+. This show needs a charge soon as it’s starting to lose a lot of steam. This wasn’t the best match in the first place but at least the story made sense. Swagger coming over to Smackdown is fine as he’s only there to be a jobber. Hopefully this leads to Corbin climbing the ranks as he has all the tools, save for the experience. Wins like this help, but Swagger doesn’t have the most value in the world.

We recap Ziggler vs. Miz. Ziggler has lost two straight title shots and is on a major losing streak. He has to win one big match though and is willing to put up his career for one more shot.

Intercontinental Title: The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler is challenging and has his career on the line. Dolph tries to take it to the mat to start but opts for a pair of dropkicks instead. Miz comes back with with a double underhook crank before doing Daniel Bryan’s YES double knee stomp. The Reality Check gets two but Ziggler comes back with another dropkick. The Fameasser is countered into a slingshot sitout powerbomb and a rollup with a handful of tights gets two on Ziggler.

Miz changes gears by going after the knee with a dropkick to the back of the leg. That means the Figure Four goes on and it’s time for the long screaming session from Ziggler. A rope is grabbed and Ziggler comes back with a Rough Ryder of all things for two. The drama is really starting to take hold here and it’s working way better than I was expecting.

Ziggler is sent head first into an exposed buckle, setting up another slingshot sitout powerbomb for two. Miz is so furious that he gets caught in the Zig Zag for a VERY close near fall. The Skull Crushing Finale is countered into a rollup for two more so it’s off to a sleeper on the champ. Miz gets the ropes and hits the Skull Crushing Finale, only to have Ziggler get his boot on the ropes.

Miz rips Ziggler’s boot off and walks into a superkick but Ziggler’s injured leg delays the cover. Cue the Spirit Squad for a distraction so Ziggler superkicks Mikey down. The Skull Crushing Finale gets one of the closest near falls I’ve seen in a long time and Miz is ticked. The referee finally ejects everyone from ringside and it’s a superkick from Ziggler for the pin and the title at 19:33.

Rating: A-. It says a lot when I was begging for Ziggler to lose and was still getting into the near falls. They might have overdone it a bit with the Spirit Squad (Maryse could have done the same thing) but the drama was insane here because it felt like something was on the line. Miz’s reign made the Intercontinental Title feel like the most important thing in the world at times and that means Ziggler winning the title is important. Now, I have no faith in him to keep things going this strong because Miz is that much better than Ziggler and we’ve been here WAY too many times before, but very well done on the moment.

Randy Orton’s reflection distorts in a mirror.

Pre-Show recap.

Alexa Bliss vs. Naomi

Naomi is replacing an injured Becky Lynch, who will defend against Bliss on November 8 from Glasgow, Scotland. Bliss goes after her to start but gets dropped into the corner for the split legged moonsault. Naomi kicks Bliss away but gets her arm cranked to put Alexa in control. Bliss: “I DON’T LIKE YOU!” A dropkick knocks Bliss away and the Rear View gets two. Alexa grabs a cross armbreaker but gets rolled up for the completely clean pin at 5:01.

Rating: D+. Regretting this immediately, can someone explain the thinking here? Unless they’re setting up a triple threat (which is what they’re probably doing), this is another really head scratching result because Bliss should be rolling over everyone to set up the title shot. Instead she gets pinned by a replacement to…..I have no idea actually.

Hell in a Cell ad.

We recap Orton vs. Wyatt again, this time focusing on Wyatt tormenting Orton and playing mind games.

Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt

Bray laughs throughout Orton’s entrance. An early lockup sends Bray outside for a bit before it’s time to slug it out. The threat of Sister Abigail sends the fight outside again with Orton being thrown over the announcers’ table. Bray sends him into the steps and does the Orton pose before taking him back in for the running backsplash.

The slow beating continues with more clotheslines and a chinlock. Bray takes his sweet time going to the middle rope and misses the backsplash, which would have missed by two feet even if Orton hadn’t rolled away. Some forearms don’t have much effect for Orton so he goes with clotheslines because that’s how you make comebacks in WWE.

The snap powerslam gets two on Bray but the RKO is countered into Sister Abigail which is countered into a rollup for two more. Bray plants him with the release Rock Bottom and it’s back to the floor, only to have Bray miss another backsplash onto the steps. A belly to back suplex onto the barricade sets up Orton’s elevated DDT…..and there go the lights. Luke Harper shows up in the ring for a distraction and it’s Sister Abigail for the pin on Orton at 15:37.

Rating: B. So in other words it’s the old standard for Bray: the Family has to come in and help him out because Heaven forbid he does anything on his own. At least Bray won a pay per view singles match (first time since Battleground 2015) and it seems that we’re waiting on the Orton vs. Styles title feud that seems to be inevitable. It’s a good main event but this wasn’t going to follow Miz vs. Ziggler.

Overall Rating: B. The three main matches all nailed it but the rest of the show was pretty dreadful. They still don’t have enough to warrant three hour pay per view but at least the top of the card worked. Having the World Title match go on first was stupid and the Intercontinental Title match would have been a better main event, though at least the matches were good. This show really isn’t memorable aside from Miz vs. Ziggler but at least it was entertaining and went off the air early enough. Good show but it’s going to fall through the cracks.

Results

AJ Styles b. John Cena and Dean Ambrose – Chair shot to Cena

Nikki Bella b. Carmella – Rack Attack 2.0

Heath Slater/Rhyno b. Usos – Gore to Jey

Baron Corbin b. Jack Swagger – End of Days

Dolph Ziggler b. The Miz – Superkick

Naomi b. Alexa Bliss – Rollup

Bray Wyatt b. Randy Orton – Sister Abigail

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8 comments

  1. Dan says:

    When the Ziggy’s boot came off , it reminded me of Eddie Guerrero vs Kurt Angle @ WM 20

    Prophet Reply:

    I think that was the point.

  2. Jay H (the real one) says:

    The 3-Way,Miz/Dolph,and Bray getting a PPV win I think makes No Mercy a solid Show. The rest was fine though I was bummed Becky couldn’t go but at least that Match will happen next month in Scotland.

  3. Anon de Ymous says:

    Somebody should tell Jey Uso that nobody cares about his kids because they’re probably already signed to WWE contracts.

    All kidding aside, was this Ziggler’s best match ever? (I personally preferred Survivor Series 2014 even though it wasn’t a singles match.)

    And Rack Attack 2.0? Seriously? If they had to rename the move, I would think BKO is about as easy a lay-up as you could get.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I still think the old name has to be a rib. Come on: a move called the Rack Attack where she drops to her knees? That’s not a joke?

  4. Bloodbuzz Bunk says:

    It was a fine PPV. The big three matches all got time and delivered. The rest of the show was relatively quick and mildly enjoyable and made sense booking wise so it’s hard to really complain about that. Good show. Would love to see what they can do once they a roster that is more filled out with talent than the one they currently have.

  5. Liam Fenech says:

    I’m scared Why have Zigger win the title AGAIN? The only posative that could come out of this Is MIZ moving up to the main event which I’m not sure will hapen 1 more thing What was the deal with putting Whyrtt vs Orton on last? 1 MORE THING If Randy is surposed to be AJ Styles next challenger Why have him lose the match?

    Wim Reply:

    That’s probably the reason he didn’t lose clean. He lost the match to make Wyatt relevant again. Why it was last beats me because I didn’t care about Wyatt for a long time now. After the opening match I wanted to stop watching because I thought I saw it all. Luckily I stayed to watch Miz vs Ziggler.