Powell’s WWE No Mercy 2016 live review: AJ Styles vs. John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose for the WWE Championship opens the show, The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler for the IC Title or Ziggler’s career

nomercyBy Jason Powell

WWE No Mercy 2016
Aired live on WWE Network and pay-per-view
Sacramento, California at Golden 1 Center

A video package opened the show and showcased the event’s top matches… The broadcast team of Mauro Ranallo, JBL, and David Otunga checked in. Otunga hyped that there was a sold out crowd of 14,324 fans in attendance… Ring entrances for the opener, er, main event, er both took place… A video package on the Triple Threat aired once all three wrestlers made their entrances…

1. AJ Styles vs. John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose in a Triple Threat for the WWE Championship. JBL boasted that this was the first time they had ever opened a pay-per-view with a main event. Ring announcer Greg Hamilton delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. The match got underway 13 minutes after the top of the hour.

Ambrose pie-faced Cena and then took a swing at Styles. Ambrose kicked Cena and went for Dirty Deeds. Cena avoided it and hoisted up Ambrose for the Attitude Adjustment, but Styles pulled him down and went for his finisher. The trio ended up doing a triple clothesline spot and were all down in mid-ring briefly.

The action spilled to ringside where Ambrose rammed Styles into the broadcast table. Ambrose leapt off the apron at Cena, who caught him and then ran his back into the ring post. Styles hit a flying forearm on Cena.

Back in the ring, Cena performed a double German suplex on both opponents around 4:00. At 8:30, they took turns applying sleepers. Cena rammed Ambrose into Styles to break the hold. Cena went into his five moves of doom on Ambrose, but Styles caught him from behind with a German suplex. Ambrose slammed Styles down face first and covered him for two.

At 11:25. Styles went for a Frankensteiner off the ropes on Ambrose, who rolled him up for a two count. Styles came back with a rollup of his own for two. Ambrose and Styles hit each other with clotheslines. With both men down, Cena performed a double Five Knuckle Shuffle (or would that be a Ten Knuckle Shuffle?).

With Styles cleared from the ring, Cena performed the Attitude Adjustment on Ambrose for a two count around 13:00. At 14:15, Styles suplexed Cena onto the ring apron. Styles followed up with a springboard 450 splash onto Ambrose for a good near fall.

Styles went for another springboard move, but Ambrose was waiting with a kick. Styles hit the Styles Clash. Cena quickly applied the STF on Styles. Ambrose grabbed the hand of Styles to prevent him from tapping, which the crowd didn’t find very suspenseful based on their reaction.

At 16:35, Cena hoisted up both men for a double AA, but Styles slipped away. Styles caught Cena with a kick, but Ambrose put Styles right down with a clothesline. There was a “this is awesome” chant. At 17:45, Cena powerbombed Ambrose for two. Styles performed a cross body block onto Cena, who picked him up and went for his finisher again, but Styles rolled into the Calf Crusher.

At 19:00, Ambrose applied a leg hold on Styles and there were a few boos. Cena joined in and applied the AA on Styles. With both submission holds locked in, Styles tapped out. The referee ruled that neither Cena nor Ambrose won and the match continued.

At 20:25, Ambrose performed Dirty Deeds on Cena and had him pinned, but Styles pulled the referee to the floor. Ambrose performed a suicide dive (and came up short). Ambrose threw Styles over the German broadcast table. Ambrose went to the top rope. Cena punched him and then performed an AA from the middle rope. Styles entered the ring and hit Cena with a chair a couple of times and then covered Cena for the win…

AJ Styles defeated Dean Ambrose and John Cena in 21:40 to retain the WWE Championship.

Powell’s POV: Those damn opening match spot monkeys didn’t save anything for the main event. Bad jokes aside, they got a little too cute with the double submission spot for my taste. I appreciate that Styles looked vulnerable by tapping, but it seemed to confuse the live crowd more than actually excite them. If you’re wondering why Styles was able to use the chair it’s because there are no DQs in a Triple Threat match. After that finish, maybe there should be.

A video package recapped the Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt saga…

2. Nikki Bella vs. Carmella. Ranallo recalled Shane McMahon announcing on the Kickoff Show that Becky Lynch is unable to defend her championship due to a medical condition. Carmella stalled by ducking between the ropes early, then slapped Nikki across the face. Nikki chased her and threw her across the ring and then slapped her. Nikki roughed up Carmella a bit, but Caremalla dropped her onto the barricade at ringside to take offensive control.

Camrella got cocky and moonwalked, then ran into a spear from Nikki at 4:30. Carmella came back with a head scissors takedown and then threw a soft superkick. Nikki caught Carmella in a small package for two at 6:30. Carmella applied her Code of Silence finisher, but Nikki powered out. Carmella applied the hold a second time. Nikki reached the ropes to break it. Carmella got upset and threw punches at Nikki after yelling at the referee. Nikki surprised her with the Rack Attack and scored the clean pin…

Nikki Bella beat Carmella in 8:05.

Powell’s POV: I’m not as down on Nikki winning as I thought I would be if only because they really did try to make Carmella look strong in defeat. The crowd was flat for the match, which was nothing to write home about. They did cheer a little for the finish. They had a tough act to follow, though I’m not sure the feud is over enough that it would have been a different story if they had been slotted elsewhere on the card.

Backstage, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan were talking about the previous match when they were interrupted by The Miz and Maryse. Miz said he can’t take all the credit for retiring Ziggler because Bryan is responsible too. He said Bryan gave him opportunity after opportunity to fail “every single time, much like in your in-ring career.” Miz said they will both be retired by the end of the night. Miz said he wants to renegotiate his contract once he gets rid of Dolph because they will have extra money to work with once Ziggler is no longer on the payroll…

A cancer charity commercial aired…

3. Rhyno and Heath Slater vs. The Usos for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship. Before the match, they introduced the German and Spanish broadcast teams. The Usos isolated Slater and worked him over early on. Slater escaped and tagged in Rhyno at 3:00. Rhyno worked over Jimmy in a battle of the shirt wearing wrestlers of their teams (Rhyno wore a t-shirt for the cancer charity). Jey tagged in and performed an Umaga splash in the corner. Slater took a hot tag around 7:00 and ended up getting a two count on Jey off a neckbreaker.

Jey came back by throwing Slater into the air and performing a Samoan Drop on the way down, which led to a two count. Jimmy tagged in. The Usos were setting up for a tag move when Rhyno pulled Jey to the floor. Jimmy caught Rhyno with a kick, then caught Slater with a shot. Jimmy went up top, but Slater recovered and powerslammed him off the top rope for a two count.

Jimmy caught Slater with a great looking superkick and then tagged in his brother, who performed the kick to the back of Slater’s knee. Rhyno gored Jimmy on the floor. Jey had his Tequila Sunrise finisher on Slater, but Rhyno broke it up. Rhyno went to his corner and waited for the tag. Slater tagged in Rhyno, who speared Jey and pinned him…

Rhyno and Heath Slater defeated The Usos in 10:20 to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championship.

Powell’s POV: This isn’t something the Usos can’t overcome with a tag title win before or at Survivor Series, but they sure are losing a lot of matches. I really like what the Usos are doing and would hate to see them be passed over for a tag title reign because WWE is dragging out the comedy run of Rhyno and Slater. That said, the match was entertaining and I look forward to future matches between these teams.

A WWE video game commercial aired…

Bray Wyatt sat in a rocking chair backstage and said something in what may have been Latin. He laughed maniacally and then sang “He’s got the whole world in his hands”…

The broadcast team recapped the finish of the Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin match from Tuesday’s Smackdown Live…

Powell’s POV: This match was originally billed as a Kickoff Sow match. I’m guessing it was bumped up to the main card due to Becky Lynch being pulled from the show.

4. Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin. Swagger got a good reaction for the We The People line prior to the match. More international broadcast teams were introduced and I like to think they all swore at us in their native tongues. The wrestlers fought to ringside early. Corbin kicked the back of Swagger’s knee. Swagger sold a hand injury.

The broadcast team played up the possibility of Swagger’s hand being broken. Corbin targeted Swagger’s hand once they were both back inside the ring. Swagger came back and hit multiple clotheslines and a suplex, then played ot the crowd and did the We The People line again. Swagger hit the Swagger Bomb, but Corbin kicked out.

Swagger set up for the Patriot Lock, but his hand was still bothering him. Corbin kicked the hand. At 6:40, Swagger managed to apply the Patriot Lock. JBL brought up the finish of the Smackdown match. Corbin reached out and grabbed the apron, so the ref broke the hold. Corbin poked the eyes of Swagger while the referee was distracted, then hit End of Days for the win…

Baron Corbin beat Jack Swagger in 7:30.

Powell’s POV: Corbin’s finisher looked great, but the crowd was flat for the match aside from yelling We The People a couple times. It’s early in the feud so perhaps they can still win them over. I like the way Corbin’s character exploited the injury. For whatever reason, Swagger just didn’t come off all that sympathetic despite nursing the hand.

An WWE toy commercial aired… A Total Bellas commercial aired…

A shot aired of Dolph Ziggler walking backstage, and the broadcast team hyped his match as coming up later tonight. A video package focussed on The Miz vs. Ziggler feud…

Powell’s POV: I’m surprised to see them go with Miz vs. Ziggler in this slot instead of the main event. Are they saving Orton vs. Wyatt for last? Are they putting this match on here because Ziggler is losing and they don’t want to end the show on a negative note?

5. The Miz (w/Maryse) vs. Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship and Ziggler’s career. Hamilton delivered the in-ring introductions and noted that Ziggler’s career was on the line. Dolph wore pink tights that included a logo for Motley Crue’s “Shout at the Devil” for reasons only he understands. Ziglger threw a nice dropkick early on and some fans chanted for him. JBL said he heard Ziggler’s standup routine and it’s not very good, so he better find something else he can do starting tomorrow. Ouch.

Miz worked over the right knee of Ziggler. Later, the referee caught Miz pinnned Ziggler while using the ropes for leverage. Miz continued to target the knee of Ziggler. Later, Miz removed the turnbuckle pad while Maryse distracted the referee. Ziggler caught him with a leg lariat for a two count.

Ziggler sold the bad knee. He got to his feet and went for a sleeper, but Miz shoved him off. Ziggler charged him again and this time Ziggler went face first into the exposed pad. Miz performed a bit of a clunky slingshot powerbomb for a two count.

Ziggler came back and had the fans with his various near falls. Ziggler applied the sleeper at 16:00. It looked horrible with Ziggler’s arm not even around the chin of Miz, who reached the ropes to break it. Maryse spayed Ziggler in the eyes again. Miz hit Ziggler with his finisher and covered him, but Ziggler put his foot on the bottom rope at the last moment. The crowd roared.

Miz pulled at the boot of Ziggler and it ended up coming off. Ziggler superkicked Miz. Maryse called for help. Spirit Squad members Kenny and Mikey came out to help. Ziggler superkicked Mikey off the apron. Miz hit Ziggler from behind and then put him down with his finisher again, but Ziggler once again kicked out at 18:40.

The referee caught Kenny winding up for a punch and scolded him and Maryse before ejecting them all from ringside. Ziggler caught Miz with a superkick and pinned him clean…

Dolph Ziggler beat The Miz in 19:45 to win the Intercontinental Championship and save his career.

Powell’s POV: Match of the night. Why didn’t they want that match closing the show? As much as Ziggler’s odd tributes to hair metal bands I grew up on come across, and as much as his character has been a loser, this live crowd loved him and was hanging on the near falls. This came off great. Ziggler and Miz did a hell of a job and this would have been a really cool ending to the show. Let’s see if they have something else that can somehow top it.

A WWE Network commercial aired…

Backstage, Randy Orton looked at himself in the mirror. Suddenly, his face started twisting and turning, and Orton looked frightened by what he and we saw…

Powell’s POV: Wow, Bray is total hocus pocus guy now. This was really corny.

The Kickoff Show panel checked in and set up footage of Curt Hawkins’ appearance. He’s having his first match since returning on Tuesday’s Smackdown Live. They also recapped American Alpha and The Hype Bros beating The Ascension and The Vaudevillains…

Alexa Bliss headed to the ring and cut a promo in which she speculated that Becky Lynch had a hangnail or her red hair fell out. Naomi was introduced as her opponent…

6. Alexa Bliss vs. Naomi. Naomi hit a series of jumping kicks to Bliss that got a favorable reaction from the crowd. She also performed a split legged moonsault for two. Bliss had a run of offense in which she worked over the arm of Naomi, who cut her off with a Rearview that led to a two count.

There was a sloppy spot where Bliss was supposed to spin around Naomi and apply the Cross Arm Breaker, but she fell to the mat and then applied it. Naomi simply rolled over and the on top of Bliss and got the win. Bliss threw a tantrum after losing the match while Naomi sold her arm and smiled before heading backstage…

Naomi pinned Alexa Bliss at 5:25.

Powell’s POV: Too many rough spots. Even the Rearview looked off. I like the idea of Bliss targeting the arm and then trying to win with the Cross Arm Breaker, but this just wasn’t a good match and the live crowd didn’t seem all that invested.

A video package for WWE Hell in a Cell on October 30 aired. The Smackdown broadcast team hyped the Roman Reigns vs. Rusev for the U.S. Title, Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte for the Raw Women’s Championship, and Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship…

A video package set up the Orton vs. Wyatt main event…

7. Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt. Wyatt came out first and then called for Orton. The fans chanted RKO before Orton made his entrance. JBL said Wyatt is in Orton’s head. Orton went for the RKO in the opening minute, but Wyatt avoided it and headed to ringside where he laughed. Wyatt came back with an early Sister Abigail attempt, but Orton shoved him off.

They fought to ringside. Wyatt slammed Orton into the broadcast table. Orton went for the RKO, but Wyatt shoved Orton over Ranallo’s table. Wyatt took the ring steps apart and set up the bottom piece in front of the broadcast table. Orton recovered and attacked Wyatt before rolling him back inside the ring. However, Wyatt quickly clotheslined him off the ring apron and into the barricade on the floor. Inside the ring, Wyatt clotheslined Orton and then performed a running senton for a two count. The fans were quiet.

At 13:45, Wyatt went for a running senton on Orton, whom he had placed on the ring steps in front of the broadcast table. Orton moved and Otron crashed onto the bottom of the stairs. Orton slammed Wyatt’s head into the table and then ran him into the barricade.

Back inside the ring, Orton hit the hanging DDT. Orton played to the crowd and then struck the Viper’s Pose. The Wyatt video flashed and when they cut back to the ring, Luke Harper was in the ring stuck his tongue out of his mouth while staring at Orton. Wyatt hit Sister Abigail and pinned Orton…

Bray Wyatt pinned Randy Orton in 15:40.

After the match, Harper looked to the crowd and held his arms out and received a few cheers. Harper helped Wyatt to his feet and they hugged.They went to ringside where Wyatt struck the crucifix pose while Harper stood behind him. Ranallow wrapped up the show 22 minutes before the top of the hour…

Powell’s POV: It’s great to see Luke Harper. They apparently swerved us by having Harper work the Raw international tour only to have him show up on the Smackdown side. Unfortunately, we will have to wait a few months at least to get the full reunion given that Erick Rowan underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. Aside from Harper, the main event was house show quality and wasn’t doing much for me. I hope they have plans to make Harper more than a henchman this time around.

Overall, No Mercy was a strange show with the main event actually opening the show, the women’s matches feeling more like old school Divas buffer matches, and the Intercontinental Title match blowing away everything else, yet being misplaced outside the main event slot. I will have more to say about the show with Jake Barnett later tonight in our members’ audio review. Let us know your thoughts on the show by voting in our poll on the main page.


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