WWE No Mercy 2017: Recaps And Grades

Oofa doofa. First off, that’s a pretty bad photoshop, huh? Yeah, let’s not talk about that too much.

The No Mercy PPV was brought back last year as a part of the brand split to fill time, and it ended up being quite the surprising show. The Smackdown event in 2016 featured the WWE title triple threat of AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, and John Cena, alongside the MOTY contender in Miz and Ziggler’s Career v. Title match.

Can this year’s No Mercy live up the last year’s?

We can only hope.

Oh by the way, Elias beat Apollo Crews on the kickoff show. Eh.

 

The Miz (c) v. Jason Jordan РIntercontinental Championship 

Miz entered first. You know I don’t like that.

The story for this match has been shaky at best. They aren’t really doing anything with Jason Jordan being the long lost son of Kurt Angle except for saying it and then moving past it. Jordan doesn’t really have much of a character, so Miz has had to do all of the work.

The action is pretty back and forth to start, but Jordan gets some momentum going with a big delayed suplex. He gets thrown out of the ring briefly, but is so worried about avoiding Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel that he runs right into a kick from Miz. The crowd breaks out into a “Who’s your daddy” chant towards Miz. The champ starts hitting “his” It Kicks, but Jordan catches him with a pumphandle suplex. Miz almost hits a Skull Crushing Finale, but Jordan hits two Northern Lights Suplexes with a floatover in the middle. Miz rolls to the outside, but the challenger jumps onto the whole group. He then overhead suplexes Bo Dallas onto Miz and Axel.

Back in the ring, Jordan locks in a crossface but Miz eventually gets to the ropes. Trying to take advantage, the young challenger goes for a corner spear but hits the corner post. He shakes it off with a belly to belly suplex, and the second corner spear is successful. As Jordan goes for the roll-up, Dallas distracts the ref. Axel hits the challenger while the ref is away, and that gives Miz the room he needs to finally hit the Skull Crushing Finale and the three-count.

Miz retains his Intercontinental Championship and gets closer to being the second longest reigning champion with that title.

After the match, Renee Young interviews Jordan in the ring. He says things like “I really would like a rematch” and “Miz, you really do suck”. For all the great work he can do in the ring, he still needs some work on the mic.

Rating: 6/10

 

Finn Balor v. Bray Wyatt

Finn beat Bray at Summerslam, but the story here is that Wyatt claims he only lost to the Demon and not to Balor himself, so this match will be “man to man”.

Finn is wearing grey for the first time in his WWE career. That’s not really a noteworthy thing, I just wanted to point it out. He’s my favorite boy and I notice when he’s got new stuff. It’s definitely different, but I like it.

Bray attacks Finn almost the very second he gets into the ring. He takes Finn and throws him onto the announce table after several hard punches outside the ring. Finn looks real hurt, and the refs help carry him up the ramp. I’m fairly certain that this is a work, but after his injury from last year’s Summerslam, I’m very sensitive to the idea of Finn being hurt. Wyatt grabs a mic and calls out Finn trying to rile him up. The face shakes the refs off of him and runs back into the ring.

Finn immediately dodges a Sister Abigail and takes Wyatt to the outside, kicking him into the barricade. He gets back in the ring and goes to the top rope but eats a superplex instead. Wyatt drops him hard on the apron before throwing him outside again. Wyatt goes chasing, but Balor catches him with the ring apron and clubs him while stuck. Finn goes back to the top rope but sees Bray’s spiderwalk pose and freezes. As Bray stands back up, Finn starts growling and shakes off the fear. He misses the initial jump but hits a slingblade right after. He lands a Pele kick and almost gets caught with another Sister Abigail, but he turns it into a standing double stomp.

Balor is able to hit a partial Coup De Grace, but his 1916 attempt is turned into a big clothesline. Bray throws his smaller opponent across the ring twice before going to the second rope. Balor surprises him with an enzuigiri and follows up with a shotgun dropkick. He goes to the top rope and hits a full Coup De Grace for the win.

Finn Balor secures another victory over Bray Wyatt, even without the Demon.

Rating: 7/10

 

Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins (c) v. Sheamus & Cesaro – Raw Tag Team Championship Match

Ugh. The champs came out first again. Ugh.

Sheamus starts by throwing Rollins out, then attacks him outside. Ambrose gets double teamed and swung into the steps. The ref tries to keep Cesaro back, but Cesaro goes for a pin. The ref doesn’t even count it, so Cesaro just attacks the damaged arm. Dean wants to fight but gets kicked in the face. He continues to fall to the tag team offense of “The Bar”. Ambrose reverses a Neutralizer attempt into a monkey flip, and Cesaro hits the corner post hard. Ambrose escapes Cesaro in the corner and Rollins gets the hot tag with a blockbuster and slingblade. He hits a superkick and we see that Cesaro’s face is covered in blood. Michael Cole thinks Cesaro’s nose was broken, but Corey Graves said it was because of the corner post hit. Sheamus clubs Rollins while the ref is tending to Cesaro, who is a mess. Sheamus hits a couple hard backbreakers while his teammate slinks out of frame to see what can be done. At this point, we see a slow motion replay of the corner hit, and it looks like Cesaro broke his two front teeth. Teeth are super hard to break, that’s terrifying. I have some pretty deep issues related to teeth. This sucks for me.

After a close two-count, Sheamus and Cesaro begin arguing with the ref for a weird amount of time, as if they thought it was a legitimate three-count. Cesaro grabs Rollins by the pants from the corner to help, but it ends with Sheamus hitting the post hard, and then Rollins flips Cesaro out of the ring anyways. Ambrose finally hits a hot tag of his own, knocking Sheamus out of the ring and following up with a suicide dive. He seems to use the barricade to knock his shoulder back in to place, but I’m not entirely sure if that was real or not. Ambrose goes to the top rope, and while Sheamus tries to catch him, he gets headbutted back down. The heels try to double team Ambrose again, but Rollins sacrifices himself to save his partner. Ambrose is caught in a Sharpshooter and a crossface before reaching the ropes. Sheamus tags in and they land a double crucifix bomb. Ambrose and Cesaro trade blows before the champ hits his rebound clothesline, and I am terrified for Cesaro’s few remaining teeth. Sheamus gets back in and sets up for White Noise. Rollins tries to stop Cesaro on the top rope with a hurricanrana, but the Swiss Superman catches him and turns it into a powerbomb. Ambrose kicks out and the crowd is losing it.

Cesaro holds Rollins at ringside while Sheamus preps a Brogue Kick. Ambrose collapses in exhaustion (Kenny Omega style) before the kick connects, but when Sheamus goes to pick him back up, it’s turned into a roll-up by the champ. Sheamus gets up and goes to land the kick again, but kicks Cesaro instead. Rollins hits his jumping knee (also Kenny Omega style) and Ambrose lands Dirty Deeds in order to end the match.

Ambrose and Rollins retain their Raw Tag Team Championships in a second terrific match against Sheamus & Cesaro.

Rating: 8/10

I’m freaking out over Cesaro’s teeth. Miz had a tooth chipped last year, and Jeff Hardy lost a whole tooth earlier this year, but the way these teeth were broken is the scariest I’ve seen. I can’t even think about my own teeth right now or I’ll freak out some more.

 

Alexa Bliss (c) v. Sasha Banks v. Nia Jax v. Bayley v. Emma – Raw Women’s Championship Match

Oh look! The champion actually entered last!

Now, this one is gonna be a lot of names over and over again. I can’t really say “she” basically ever when there are five women in the match, and I assume they will be constantly changing matchups, so there will be a lot to follow.

Nia immediately corner splashes Alexa, but the remaining three dropkick Nia out of the ring. Sasha and Bayley get Emma out of the ring and face each other. Sasha kicks Bayley in the face, but Nia pulls her out and throws her into the barricade. Nia targets Bayley’s weak arm, then demolishes Emma. Alexa goes for floatover DDT but Nia just holds her short of the impact then slams her down. Alexa kicks Nia down at the knees. Nia carries Alexa on her shoulders, uses her to kick Sasha, picks her up for a double Samoa drop. Bayley catches Nia in a guillotine and is tossed to the apron while holding on. Everyone gets in the ring to throw Nia over the rope. They throw Sasha into Bayley before Emma hits some hard kicks and a shining wizard to Alexa. Nia tries to suplex Emma out, but Emma sneaks away. Emma and Bayley try to powerbomb Nia so Alexa and Sasha kick her down. The remaining four trade all over the place. Bayley suplexes Alexa into the corner, and Emma suplexes her followed by a running cross body. Sasha comes back and hits a standing bulldog on Emma. Alexa hits a hard forearm on Sasha, but Banks Statement, Bayley breaks up. Bayley To Belly, Sasha breaks up. Nia is back and corner splashes Bayley, then leg drops Sasha, but Emma breaks it up. Nia tries to attack Alexa in the corner but hits the ringpost. Alexa throws Bayley into Emma, then hits her with a DDT to retain.

Alexa Bliss manages to retain her championship in a hard fought match.

Rating: 7/10

This is the perfect setup, and exactly what I predicted. Nia Jax now gets to hunt Alexa for a while, and I think she’ll finally win the title if they get a one on one match.

This match was booked about the very best it could have been. Several great spots like the double Samoa drop and the powerbomb/superkick combo to Nia are great visuals that will hold up. Honestly, the only reason this isn’t getting more points is because there were just too many people in the ring and things can get hectic that way. Matches succeed more when there are two people telling a story. This is a great setup for even better things to come.

 

John Cena v. Roman Reigns

Things have managed to come full circle. In 2011 at Money In The Bank, an infamous poster in the crowd read “If Punk Loses We Riot”, referring to Chicago’s son facing John Cena in the main event. It wasn’t that they hated Cena, they just loved Punk too much. Here in Los Angeles, there was a sign that said “If Cena Loses We Riot”, and it wasn’t because the crowd loved Cena, they just really don’t like Roman.

Cena is allegedly playing mind games, but it doesn’t make sense to me. He starts walking away, and Roman punches him back in the ring. The selling feels like Cena’s version of the Michaels/Hogan match. Roman throws Cena out of the ring and into the stairs, but Cena reverses it. Roman reverses a throw into the other set of stairs. Roman gets him back in the ring and they trade punches. It’s very slow paced, but Reigns is dominating. Cena hits the combo and goes for Five Knuckle Shuffle, but turns into a Samoa Drop. Roman wants Superman Punch, turned into STF, picked up into powerbomb. Cena hits a surprisingly early AA for an expected kickout. Cena goes for top rope leg drop, but Roman turns it into powerbomb, then hits Superman Punch. Reigns spears the post hard. Hope there’s no teeth over there. Cena hits Avalanche AA but still a kick. The crowd chants one more time, but Cena shakes his head no. He looks at the camera and winks, then clears off Spanish and German tables. Pick up for AA, Roman shakes free and hits a spear as they both go through the table. Roman hit head first, so yikes. Back in the ring, third AA rolls through for fourth and still a kick. This is almost silly now. Another Superman punch and spear for the win. That math doesn’t add up.

Roman Reigns overcomes the odds and defeats John Cena, most likely sending the ace off on a short break so he can work on movies.

Rating: 8/10

Cena stays in the ring for a moment and the crowd starts cheering for him. He bows to the crowd and they get even louder. I really like touching moments like these that break the kayfabe barrier. I don’t care what you think about him. John Cena is already one of the all time greatest professional wrestlers and he isn’t even done yet.

No one can say that either of these men can’t wrestle. Both of them proved themselves beyond belief with amazing matches against AJ Styles last year in addition to marquee bouts with Daniel Bryan in their repertoire. The works speaks for itself, and they can both work with almost anyone and crank out good work.

 

Neville (c) v. Enzo Amore – Cruiserweight Championship Match

Ugh. Neville comes out first. This makes the least sense. Enzo should be first so he can do his opening speech. Ugh. I’m also upset because Enzo doesn’t belong anywhere near Neville. He may be the best talker on 205 Live, but he’s the worst ring worker of the roster. This should be someone like Cedric Alexander or Gran Metalik. Give me the book.

Neville controls the early match with working holds because he’s much better at wrestling. Enzo manages to escape a hold by flipping over Neville’s arm, but Neville kicks his legs out from under him. Enzo falls on his head pretty hard and rolls out of the ring. Back in the ring, Amore hits a couple lucky shots and goes to jump onto Neville, but the King Of The Cruiserweights catches him easily and throws his opponent into the corner. A vicious sliding kick from the champ and Enzo is outside the ring, then thrown into the barricade. Neville waits atop the fair turnbuckle as Amore barely breaks the 10 count. Enzo gets thrown over the rope but pulls the Royal Rumble move by holding on and pulling himself back in, but he turns into a killer superkick. Neville goes into his combo of kicks and heads to the top rope. The crowd cheers for the Red Arrow, but he decides to move down a rope instead. He misses the corkscrew maneuver, and Enzo takes advantage, hitting a top rope “DDG” (which I hate that it’s called that, no matter how good it looked), but can’t keep the champ down. Enzo attempts a suicide dive but runs into Neville’s foot before being thrown into the timekeeper’s area. Knowing he can’t make it back in the ring before the 10 count, Enzo takes Neville’s championship to draw the champ out. Neville chases Enzo back into the ring, but the ref stops Enzo from using the title as a weapon. As he turns his back to hand the title away, Enzo kicks Neville below the belt and wins with a roll-up.

Enzo Amore dethrones the King Of The Cruiserweights in despicable fashion.

Rating: 5/10

I hate this. Wrestling is bad. I don’t like it anymore. There’s no justice in the world if Enzo can take a title off of Neville. It’s a joke.

I know Enzo isn’t that bad, but I just hate the idea that now has the title after being on 205 Live for barely even a month. On paper, he’s clearly a heel. He has cheated in every single match that he’s had on the roster thus far, and yet he’s booked like the face against Neville. It makes no sense at all and I don’t like it. With all of the immense talent in the cruiserweight division, putting the title immediately on Enzo feels like such a waste.

 

Brock Lesnar (c) v. Braun Strowman – Universal Championship Match

Lesnar immediately goes after Strowman, but is pushed away like a small child. He tries again, but Strowman picks him up and tosses him away. After that, Lesnar hits a German suplex but turns into a chokeslam and a running powerslam, but kicks out. The match is not even two minutes in and Lesnar is dying. Strowman charges Lesnar in the corner, then just clubs him in another corner. Lesnar goes for another German, but Strowman just headbutts him away. Lesnar goes for an F5 but his back gives out, so Braun checks him out of the ring. The champ is driven back first into the ringpost before being thrown back in the ring. Strowman tackles him in one corner, then carries him into the opposite corner. One more charge and he finally misses, hitting the turnbuckles but not quite the ringpost. Lesnar locks in a Kimura Lock that is hard enough to bring Strowman all the way down to the ground. He eventually gets the rope break and delivers a big spinebuster to Brock. The champion hits five German suplexes in a row that the challenger doesn’t jump back up from. Lesnar wants the F5 still, but falls into another running powerbomb. Neither man has the energy to capitalize. As they both slowly rise to their feet, Strowman hits a third running powerbomb that still can’t put away the champion. Brock finally lands an F5 and just like that, the match is over.

Brock Lesnar retains his Universal Championship in the hardest fight he’s had, possibly ever.

Rating: 5/10

That felt like a waste to me. I might be too hard on it as I’m not a huge fan of either Lesnar or Strowman, but this was pretty disappointing compared to all the buildup. It only took one F5 to put away the “Monster Among Men”, and that’s a damn shame. When you add the fact that Lesnar is currently not scheduled for ANY dates in 2017, it sucks even more. After his WrestleMania victory, he was gone for about three months, and he’s about to leave again. I know that his name is a draw, but that doesn’t mean that he should be holding Raw’s top championship if he’s not ever going to show up with it.

Part-timers are good for the business, but part-time champions are not.

 

All in all, this was a pretty good show that would’ve been great if it ended like 30 minutes earlier. The tag team championship is a possible MOTY contender, but it’s hard to tell for sure.

What did you think of this year’s edition of No Mercy? How does it stack up to previous editions? What was your favorite match and what does it mean for the rest of the year? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter!

 

Nick Potter

Co-founder of The Filmsmiths. Degree in Broadcast & Cinematic Arts with a minor in Cinema Studies from Central Michigan University. Pretty much the barbecue sauce of people but I'm doing my best.

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