The build up for this show was quite strong, but it was executed in an odd manor. For years we’ve been given a formula for WWE PPVs, so the moment they change it up, it just feels strange. It’s refreshing that they’re at least willing to change up their normal order.
John Cena vs Dean Ambrose vs AJ Styles
I had first heard of this match going first earlier on Sunday, and initially it confused, however, I soon realized the debate was on the same night. Taking that into consideration, it’s safe to assume they wanted as many eyes on the event before the debate started.
While it was strange to see this match open the show, I was for it because these three didn’t hold back. Early on, they showcased their chemistry and how well it can work in a triple threat environment. Some of the highlights in the first half of the match included the brawl outside of the ring, and Cena’s double german suplex. Every transition in this match was done seamlessly. At one point they moved into a one on one with one man outside formula, yet it was hardly noticeable. That goes to show how intense this was.
Towards the last quarter, I noticed how even this entire triple threat was. While I had predicted AJ to win, nothing about this felt predictable. While we saw a ton great wrestling based spots, the highlight of the match was undoubtedly Dean holding AJ’s hand from tapping out. Has anybody evert seen that before? Just about everything in this match was highly entertaining, and that includes the double tap out. Once it was over, I’m sure everybody knew the rest of the show would have a tough time following it.
Nikki Bella vs Carmella
Before this match had started, I was under the assumption we were going to see Orton vs Wyatt, simply based on the video package that was played before hand.
This wasn’t an extraordinary match, but it was pretty solid. Along with that, both competitors showed a great amount of intensity, which showcased how much they disliked each other. Their moves were executed pretty smoothly, which added to the excitement. Overall, their feud came across well, and the finish made a lot of sense. Carmella losing didn’t effect her stop, because she’s done such a great job at bringing it up before this PPV. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing this program extended.
The Usos vs Heath Slater & Rhyno
Considering how intense the opening match was, and how well the second match was, these two teams had to do their best to not feel like filler. For the most part, they actually did avoid that, and they kept the momentum of this show going. The Usos especially looked amazing during their many beat downs over the tag champs. Also, I applaud Rhyno and Slater for making the most out of their comeback spots. The crowd clearly wanted to see them win, and they milked that well.
The finish to this match was less than eventful. Story wise, it made no sense for the champs to retain. Essentially, this holds back a team that could accomplish a lot more in the tag division heading forward.
Baron Corbin vs Jack Swagger
If they didn’t wrestle on Smackdown, this match wouldn’t have any excitement heading into it. The two did a decent job, but it didn’t help that they had to follow three more meaningful matches. At least the right performer came out on top.
The Miz vs Dolph Ziggler
Since the WWE World Heavyweight Title match was the opening match, why didn’t they just allow this match to close the show? It easily could have been the main event, as it had the highest stakes on the show. Regardless of the placement, the wrestlers and commentators made this feel important.
The match started off slow and calculated, but that only added to how important this was for both men. While the pacing was slow, it felt urgent, and that allowed for them to make this more intense as the match went one. I personally thought every spot was done well, and that added to the match. The only thing that confused me was the Miz’s willingness to use the springboard powerbomb. Can anybody recall him using that in the past?
The last few minutes of this match were truly worth the few skips in my heart. Once the Spirit Squad interference happened, I’m sure most fans thought this over. I didn’t think there was any way Ziggler was going to win. After all the rumours that had surfaced about Dolph losing, it made his win special. The Miz does has a lot left in the tank, but this feud was given a solid pay off. Along with that, they told a great story.
Alexa Bliss vs Naomi
I was under the impression Becky would be wrestling, but apparently that wasn’t the case. After this match had started, I decided to check on her status and Becky had actually tweeted from the hospital.
This match was brought in quite cold, but I thought it would be a great chance to keep Alexa strong. Well, it turns out the WWE didn’t think that way. This was definitely a contest Bliss should have won, and it could have been executed with a dirty win.
Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton
Going into this show, there was no way Wyatt vs Orton was worthy of the actual main event slot. However, the WWE deserves some credit because they spent the entire PPV hyping up this match. Not only did they air multiple video packages, the announce team reminded the fans of how the two are still bonafied superstars. By the time the main event rolled around, it actually felt worthy.
Like I’ve mentioned many times on this blog, I saw these two wrestle at a house show and they had natural chemistry, which showed in this match. This was another contest that thrived at a slow pace. It made sense because of how both of them like to play mind games. They also made up for the slow pace in the ring with a hard hitting style outside of it.
With the reports of Luke Harper wrestling at house shows, I’m sure most people could have foreshadowed the finish that was presented. It worked though, because neither Orton or Wyatt left looking week. It doesn’t appear this will be the end of this feud, but hopefully it was.
Honestly, this felt like a reverse PPV, but it wasn’t an issue. It just felt strange, as I’m sure most fans aren’t used to the card being switched the way it was.
No Mercy essentially relied on 3-4 matches, while everything else didn’t feel nearly as important. There were a few missed opportunities, and that effected the PPV. The low point was the tag title match, while the high point was Miz vs Ziggler. Overall, I give this show a 7/10.