The Smackdown Live! exclusive pay per view, No Mercy, hailed from Sacramento, California in the Golden 1 Center. AJ Styles, John Cena, and Dean Ambrose faced off in a triple threat for the WWE World Championship, the Tag Team Championships were defended, and The Miz and Dolph Ziggler faced off in a title vs. career match. Did the show meet expectations? Was it as good as Backlash? Find out. For those of you that don’t read our weekly Monday Night Raw reviews, firstly, you’re missing out. Secondly, each segment is graded on a scale of one to ten Woo’s.
WWE No Mercy 2016 Review
AJ Styles (c) vs. John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose
In a truly bizarre move, the WWE World Championship was defended in the very first match of the show. Perhaps this was done so the match wouldn’t compete with the debate, or perhaps it wasdone to make the Dolph Ziggler/Miz match the main event. Regardless, two of the most polarizing figures in wrestling (and Dean Ambrose) opened the show to fight for the most prestigious prize in all of sports entertainment.
The match started with all three men teasing their finishers. The match quickly became a physical affair, leaving the ring. The ringposts and announce tables were brought into the flow of things, and AJ Styles hit a springboard forearm out of the ring. For all intents and purposes, it felt like a main event match.
The match featured some really great spots, especially from AJ Styles. Styles hit a springboard forearm out of the ring, suplexed Cena onto the apron, and did a springboard 450 splash. Cena and Ambrose obviously also held their own, but Styles had the big moments. The worst part of the match was Cena blatantly missing a double-five knuckle shuffle on Styles and Ambrose right in front of the camera.
Despite being the heel, AJ Styles wrestled for most of the match. It was Ambrose and Cena who had the most heated interactions leading up to the match, but the two didn’t spend all that much time in the ring together. The match definitely suffered from going on first, but they had the crowd chanting before all was said and done.
Cena and Ambrose applied their submissions to Styles and he tapped out. For a minute, it looked like we were going to see a title change. However, the referee waved it off and restarted the match. Dean Ambrose reversed an Attitude Adjustment into a Dirty Deeds, and was about to win the match when Styles pulled the official out of the ring.
Cena hit Ambrose with the Avalanche AA from the second rope, but Styles came in with a steel chair, destroying Cena and getting the cover to retain his title. It was a really good match that tried it’s best to overcome being the first match. Perhaps AJ winning the match with a chairshot is a sign of things to come. The next Smackdown Pay Per View is TLC after all.
Segment/Match Quality- 8/10 Woo’s
Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
Unfortunately for Nikki Bella and Carmella, they had the misfortune of following the championship triple threat. The match wasn’t really all that bad. Despite the fact that the two women aren’t known for being great wrestlers, they’ve both made big improvements and the match had psychology. Carmella was targeting Nikki’s neck for the better part of the match, and the former Diva’s Champion sold it well.
Carmella is no Kevin Owens, but she did some good Heel work in the ring. She was screaming at Nikki the entire time, and stayed in character. As someone that spent the better part of her NXT career as a valet, she proved to be perfectly capable.
There were a few botched spots, but ultimately what did this match in was that the crowd was almost completely dead. Both women tried really hard, but following a triple threat with three of the biggest names in the company is almost impossible. Bella managed to steal the win with the Rack Attack, ending what was actually a pretty decent match.
Segment/Match Quality- 5/10 Woo’s
The Usos vs. Heath Slater & Rhyno (c)
Next up was the Tag Team Championship match between The Usos and the team of Heath Slater and Rhyno. There’s still something very insincere about the Usos as heels. Everything they do feels very rehearsed and predictable. For some reason, dressing in street clothes and brightly colored shoes is supposed to make them villains? As always, the team did a good job in the ring, but their heel personas still need work.
Jimmy and Jey isolated Slater for the beginning of the match, but eventually the “One Man Band” escaped and tagged in Rhyno. Rhyno was getting ready to spear Jimmy Uso when Jey came up and distracted him. The Usos began isolating Rhyno with some success before he escaped and tagged Slater in.
Slater carried his own on his own against the twins for a good while, but eventually he tagged Rhyno in, who hit the gore, retaining the titles. It was a good match, but one that lacked direction. There were a lot of really cool spots, including a devastating superkick from Jimmy Uso, but at the end of the day, Rhyno and Slater retained.
Segment/Match Quality- 4/10 Woo’s
Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin
The two actually came out pretty quickly, and had a physical, fast-paced match. If you pretended for a second that the WWE hasn’t neglected Corbin since calling him up, and if you pretended the last few years hadn’t happened to Jack Swagger, you can really enjoy this match. Swagger sold a hand injury so well that you might’ve thought it was real.
Corbin is still relatively green in the ring, but the moves he can do, he does so well. “Deep Six” is a move he can hit out of anywhere, and “End of Days” is one of the coolest finishers in all of wrestling. Corbin eventually poked Swagger in the eye before using that very move to finish off Swagger in a very good match.
Segment/Match Quality- 6/10 Woo’s
The Miz (c) w/Maryse vs. Dolph Ziggler
Weirdly enough, this wasn’t the main event of the pay per view. In fact, this match went up before the Women’s Championship was mentioned or the Randy Orton/Bray Wyatt match. The duo always have good matches, and they played their roles well.
The Miz was a cowardly heel, taking every chance possible to steal the win, while Ziggler came painfully close to taking the match himself. It was almost difficult to watch the match knowing that whatever happened, it wouldn’t be closing the show. On what could potentially be the last match of his wrestling career, Dolph Ziggler still wasn’t the main event.
There was a great moment in the middle of the match where Miz had Ziggler in the figure four in the middle of the ring, and Ziggler was just screaming in pain. You knew he couldn’t tap out because it would mean the end of his career, but he was in so much pain. It was the same selling ability that made Ziggler a fan favorite in the first place.
Ziggler eventually reached the bottom rope, and while Maryse distracted the ref, Miz exposed one of the turnbuckles. After mocking Daniel Bryan with a series of kicks, Miz almost lost his title when Ziggler sprung up and hit him with a zig-zag. Unfortunately, Miz kicked out.
Maryse used spray to blind Ziggler again, but after Miz hit the “Skull Crushing Finale”, Ziggler managed to get a foot on the rope. The Miz desperately attacked Ziggler’s leg, but the Show-Off managed to get to his feet and hit a Superkick. Ziggler crawled over and covered the Miz, but the Spirit Squad, yes, the Spirit Squad, distracted the ref.
Miz hit Skull Crushing Finale again, but Dolph managed to kick out. After more hijinx, the referee threw Maryse and the Spirit Squad out of the match. Miz pleaded with the ref, and turned into another superkick! Ziggler covered Miz and became Intercontinental Champion!
WHAT A MATCH! The build was great, the match was great, and Dolph Ziggler is your Intercontinental Champion! Wow!
Segment/Match Quality- 10/10 Woo’s
Alexa Bliss vs. Naomi
Since the WWE Women’s Champion, Becky Lynch couldn’t perform, Alexa Bliss came out and cut a promo about how Lynch was afraid of her and that’s why she didn’t show up. Bliss was saying that there wasn’t a single woman in the arena that could fight her when Naomi came out.
Despite being so young, Alexa Bliss is really fantastic. Her facials and mannerisms as a heel are already so great. And the reality is, despite being a converted fitness model, she’s not bad in the ring. Wrestling someone as smooth and athletic as Naomi was a great idea.
Or at least it was until Naomi stole the win. If Bliss is the number one contender, she doesn’t need to be losing to anyone other than the champion. It was a decent match with a stupid finish.
Segment/Match Quality- 4/10 Woo’s
Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt
Finally, Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton faced off in a one-on-one match. Much was made about the psychological warfare going on between the two. The match was physical. It made it’s way outside the ring and all the usual haunts. Bray Wyatt popped the crowd when he climbed to the second turnbuckle and did Randy Orton’s pose.
Frankly, the match was kinda boring. Bray can’t be taken seriously because he’s lost so many matches, and with the triple threat and Intercontinental Championship matches stealing the show, fans were spent by the time this showdown happened.
Randy Orton was gearing up for the RKO when the Wyatt titantron flashed and Luke Harper was in the ring. Apparently Randy Orton has never seen a Wyatt Family match before, because he was stunned by the interference. So stunned that Bray was able to hit Sister Abigail, winning the match.
Segment/Match Quality- 4/10 Woo’s
Best Segment/Match of the Night- Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz
Wow. This was such a fantastic match. The build was great, the finish was unpredictable, and the match itself told a story. The Miz played his role perfectly, and when Ziggler got the pin, it was an amazing moment. Everything about this was fantastic, and it’s the only segment that’s ever earned a full 10/10 Woo’s.
Worst Segment/Match of the Night- Alexa Bliss vs. Naomi
Why would you have your number one contender lose clean to someone who isn’t part of the storyline? If Becky Lynch had cost her the match by showing up on the titantron, it might’ve been something. Now they have to add Naomi to the title picture for that booking decision to make any sense at all.
Event Quality- 4/10 Woo’s
The order of the matches really threw off this pay per view. The debate played a big part in that, but AJ Styles vs. John Cena vs Dean Ambrose should never be the first match on a show. Furthermore, Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz should’ve been the main event. It was the hottest feud on SmackDown and it ended up easily being the best segment of the night. When you stand back and take it for what it was, it was a decent show. It wasn’t particularly good, but the IC match did it’s best to save it.