Powell’s WWE No Mercy 2017 live review: Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman for the WWE Universal Championship, John Cena vs. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus and Cesaro for the Raw Tag Titles

By Jason Powell

WWE No Mercy 2017
Aired September 24, 2017 live on WWE Network and pay-per-view
Los Angeles, California at Staples Center

A video package opened the show and focussed on John Cena vs. Roman Reigns, the five-way match for the Raw Women’s Championship, and the WWE Universal Championship match between Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman…

Powell’s POV: Welcome to the live review of No Mercy. If you missed it, Elias defeated Apollo Crews on the Kickoff Show.

Ring entrances for the Intercontinental Title match took place with JoJo serving as the ring announcer. The broadcast team was Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Booker T. The trio checked in on commentary after Miz made his entrance to a strong reaction. Cole said there was a big fight feel in Los Angeles. They aired footage of Jordan winning the six-pack challenge on Raw to become No. 1 contender. Jordan made his entrance to a flat reaction…

1. The Miz (w/Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas) vs. Jason Jordan for the Intercontinental Title. The Spanish and German broadcast teams checked in just before the bell. Cole noted that it was Jordan’s first singles match on pay-per-view. Miz picked up an early two count off a DDT. The fans chanted “Who’s your daddy?” loudly. Jordan came back with a top rope clothesline for a two count.

Miz came back and threw Daniel Bryan kicks. The fans chanted “yes” after each kick. There were some boos when Jordan cut off the big kick and performed a nice suplex. Jordan suplexed Dallas into Axel at ringside. Jordan got another near fall off a suplex at 6:45. Jordan applied a crossface, but Miz reached the ropes to break it.

Jordan was on a late flurry when he spotted Dallas on the top rope and suplexed him off. Jordan rolled up Miz and had him pinned, but the referee was trying to get Dallas out of the ring. Miz kicked out and Jordan ended up being struck by Axel from the floor. Miz hit his Skull Crushing Finale for the win…

The Miz defeated Jason Jordan in 10:15 to retain the Intercontinental Championship.

After the match, Renee Young entered the ring and said Jordan must be disappointed. Fans booed. Jordan said he’s disappointed that he couldn’t overcome the odds of Miztourage. He said he still doesn’t respect The Miz and he would love to have a rematch. Jordan said that fans love to chant “you suck” when “Kurt” comes out. “As far as Miz is concerned, Miz, you really do suck,” Jordan concluded…

Powell’s POV: A fun opener thanks in part to the live crowd. I would like to think that the crowd sent a message to Vince McMahon, but they’ve sent the same message about Roman Reigns and we all know how that has gone. It’s just a good thing they didn’t go with a Jordan title win because it would have come off horribly. Of course, I can’t rule it out for Raw since Jordan is already talking about a rematch.

A Hell in a Cell ad aired and focussed on the Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon match… Cole said he hopes that Owens knows what he started… A video package set up the Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt match…

2. Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt. Balor changed his his look with gray jacket, blue trunks, and gray boots. Wyatt attacked him from behind before the bell. Wyatt took him to ringside and performed a uranage on one of the broadcast tables, but it did not break. Four referees tended to Balor while Wyatt smiled in the ring. Wyatt took the mic and boasted about what he did to “your mighty little hero.” Wyatt told him to run away and referred to himself as a god. He demanded that Balor look at him. Wyatt said Balor isn’t a demon or a man, he’s a coward.

Balor returned to the ring and the bell rang to start the match. Balor avoided an early Sister Abigail attempt. They fought at ringside and Balor dropkicked Wyatt into the barricade before rolling him back inside the ring. Balor went up top, but Wyatt cut him off with an uppercut. Wyatt dominated the next couple of minutes and slammed Balor shoulder first onto the ring apron.

At 4:20, Balor pulled the ring skirting out and tripped Wyatt so that he fell inside it, then worked him over. Balor went up top for his finisher, but Wyatt struck the crab walk pose. Balor’s jaw dropped and he froze on the top rope briefly (ugh). Balor switched to a mean face and went after Wyatt, who caught him with a uranage and a running senton for a two count. Wyatt had a bloody mouth as he sat in the corner and laughed momentarily.

Balor avoided Sister Abigail and performed a double stomp for a two count at 7:00. Balor continued to sell rib pain and was cut off when he went to the ropes. Wyatt went for a superplex, but Balor fought him off with punches and then performed a Coup de Grace to the back of Wyatt’s head for a good near fall. Booker ruined the near fall by talking about how the match was over before the ref counted.

Wyatt came back with a lariat for a two count. Fans chanted for Balor. Wyatt picked him up and tossed him across the ring in a cool spot at 10:00. Wyatt repeated the toss. Wyatt went to the second rope and posed, but Balor recovered and caught him with a kick. Balor dropkicked Wyatt into the corner and then performed the Coup de Grace for the clean win…

Finn Balor defeated Bray Wyatt in 11:35.

Powell’s POV: A really good match and arguably the best that Wyatt has been a part of in some time. The pre-match attack by Wyatt was a nice move in that it put Balor in the underdog role for the remainder of the match and that seemed to connect with the crowd. Perhaps best of all is that my fear that Wyatt will cost Braun Strowman the WWE Universal Championship would seem to be out the window, as I assume they would have had Bray go over here if they were going to have him feud with Strowman.

A commercial aired and then a video hyped Asuka’s main roster debut for the WWE TLC pay-per-view on October 22 in Minneapolis…

Backstage, Charly Caruso interviewed Sheamus and Cesaro, who once again claimed that the Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose partnership would fall apart…

3. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus and Cesaro for the Raw Tag Titles. Rollins and Ambrose made separate entrances prior to the match and were over with the live crowd. Sheamus and Cesaro now have “The Bar” t-shirts. The other broadcast teams checked in before the bell. The heel duo isolated Ambrose early and worked over his left shoulder.

Ambrose catapulted Cesaro into the corner and then tagged in Rollins, who worked over both opponents. Cesaro came up missing a tooth from the turnbuckle spot. HIs mouth was bloody and they aired a replay that showed he lost a tooth. Sheamus took offensive control on Rollins and got a two count. Cesaro entered the ring and the challengers complained about the referee’s count briefly.

At 11:00, Ambrose headbutted Sheamus off the top rope and crotched himself. He got up and performed his elbow off the top onto Sheamus. Cesaro broke up the pin attempt. Sheamus caught Rollins with a Brogue Kick, then Cesaro put Ambrose in the Sharpshooter at 12:00. When Ambrose approached the ropes, Cesaro gave up the hold and countered into a crossface. Ambrose still reached the ropes to break it.

The challengers worked over Ambrose. They set up for a double team move, but Rollins caught Cesaro on the ropes. Cesaro got the better of the exchange. Sheamus performed White Noise on Ambrose, then Cesaro powerbombed Rollins onto Ambrose. Cesaro covered Ambrose for a really good near fall. Sheamus and Cesaro acted stunned by Ambrose kicking out.

At 15:00, Cesaro double stomped Rollins on the apron. Cesaro held Rollins and had him watch as Sheamus went for a Brogue Kick. Ambrose collapsed, then rolled up Sheamus for a two count. Sheamus went for another Brogue Kick, but ended up hitting Cesaro instead. Rollins caught Sheamus with a high knee, then Ambrose performed Dirty Deeds on Sheamus and pinned him…

Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose beat Sheamus and Cesaro in 15:55 to retain the Raw Tag Titles.

Powell’s POV: A slow start followed by a great second half of the match. The broadcast team did a nice job of telling the story that the challengers dominated the match only to have one mistake cost them. Booker T called it one of the greatest tag matches he’s ever seen. I wouldn’t go quite that far, but it was very good. A dentist in Los Angeles is going to be making some serious coin tonight. Poor Cesaro lost at least two teeth. The replay showed that his mouth hit the ring post casing when he was catapulted. Major respect for the guy not just continuing the match but working at a high level despite doing some serious dental damage.

A pediatric cancer awareness video aired… The broadcast team set up a video package on the five-way for the Raw Women’s Championship… During the ring entrances for the women’s championship match, Cole noted that Emma takes credit for the women’s revolution. He said many people played a part including Stephanie McMahon, whom he wished a happy birthday…

4. Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax vs. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks vs. Emma in a five-way match for the Raw Women’s Championship. JoJo delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Emma worked over Bliss in the corner to start the match. Jax splashed Bliss in the corner and sent her to ringside. Emma and Banks performed a double dropkick on Jax. It was supposed to be a triple dropkick, but Bayley’s timing was off.

Sasha and Bayley squared off briefly, but Jax pulled Banks to ringside and threw her into the barricade. Bliss also returned to the ring. She had a brief run of offense on Jax, who put her on her shoulders and used her to knock Sasha off the top rope. Jax put Sasha on her shoulders too and performed a double Samoan drop.

At 4:00, Bayley caught Jax with a guillotine, but Jax powered her over the top rope. Bayley held on. Jax was dumped to the floor by Bliss, Bayley, and Emma. The heels ran Banks into Bayley. Emma suplexed Banks. Bliss shoved Emma away and tried to steal the pin. Emma shoved Bliss, who slapped her. Emma caught Bliss with a running kick for a two count at 5:15.

Jax took a double powerbomb off the apron to ringside from Emma and Bayley after kicks from the other women. Ouch. Graves said it looked like Jax’s knee hit her own face. At 8:40, Banks delivered a Backstabber to Bliss and applied the Banks Statement, but Bayley broke up the pin.

Bayley caught Bliss with her finisher, but Banks broke up the pin. Jax made her return to the match and performed a leg drop on Banks, but other women broke up the pin. Bliss tossed Emma to ringside and then avoided a charging Jax, who tumbled to ringside. Bliss ran Bayley into Emma on the apron and then hit her finisher on Bayley and pinned her…

Alexa Bliss defeated Nia Jax, Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Emma in a five-way in 9:40.

Bliss was interviewed by Renee Young on the ramp after the match. Bliss said there are a lot of stars in Hollywood and a lot of superstars in WWE, but there’s only one true goddess and Raw Women’s Champion…

Powell’s POV: As much as I would prefer to see singles title matches, they did a really nice job with the challenging five-way format. This was an entertaining match and I really liked the way they laid out Jax’s big power spots. They did a great job of showcasing her as the monster of the division despite the fact that she didn’t win the match. This has been a really fun show thus far.

Footage aired from No Mercy in 2005 with Batista beating Eddie Guerrero…A video package set up the John Cena vs. Roman Reigns match…

John Cena made his entrance to the usual “John Cena Sucks” singalong. He made a brief stop at the broadcast table before heading to the ring. Cole noted that if Cena wins the match, he would tie Undertaker for the most pay-per-view victories in WWE history with 94 wins. Roman Reigns entered to an eruption of boos. Cole questioned whether it’s Roman’s time to rule WWE…

5. John Cena vs. Roman Reigns. Reigns smirked at Cena before the bell. A fan in the second row held up a “you both suck” sign. A fan in the second row held up a “you both suck” sign. Cena teased leaving the ring in reaction to fan chants. Reigns chased after him and hit him from behind on the ramp and got him back in the ring. Reigns put the boots to Cena and threw him to ringside at 3:20. The broadcast team spoke about the unique relationship that both men have with the fans. Who cares? Call the match.

Cena reversed a whip and sent Reigns into the ring steps at 4:05. Reigns came right back and delivered a Drive By kick. Reigns sat on the apron and told Cena that he has to fight rather than talk. Graves questioned whether Cena’s time in Hollywood was hurting him in the ring. Booker said Ric Flair always talked about time off being an enemy.

Cena used Reigns to pull himself up, then Reigns punched him right back down at 6:20. “I hit hard,” Reigns told the crowd. Cole noted that Reigns had been dominant since the match started. Cena blocked a punch and threw a couple of his own, but Reigns cut him off and got a two count off a kick at 7:05.

Cena connected with a shoulder tackle at 8:20. He went for another, but Reigns put him down with a punch. Cena came back with two more and then did the Five Knuckle Shuffle setup, but Reigns performed a Samoan drop for a two count at 9:05. Booker said Cena needed to stop messing around and get the job done. Graves said Reigns wasn’t intimidated by being in the ring with Cena unlike so many others.

Cena performed the Five Knuckle Shuffle minus the rope run. Reigns put him right back down. Reigns looked to the crowd and smiled before doing his locked and loaded pose. Cena avoided the Superman Punch and applied the STF. Cena released it briefly and then reapplied the hold after dragging Reigns to the middle of the ring. Reigns powered up Cena and performed a powerbomb for a two count at 11:35.

Cena and Reigns traded punches. Reigns went for a running cross body block, but Cena caught him, powered him up, and performed an Attitude Adjustment for a near fall at 12:50. Cole said the WWE fans respect Cena and Reigns in their own way, but this match was about Cena and Reigns earning respect from one another.

At 13:45, Cena went for a top rope leg drop, but Reigns caught him with a powerbomb on the way down for a two count. Reigns connected with a Superman Punch and got a two count at 14:25. Reigns got to his feet and fans booed. Reigns went to the corner and let out the war cry. Reigns charged Cena, who stepped aside and shoved him into the corner. at 15:35.

Cena took Reigns to the ropes and performed an Attitude Adjustment from the second rope for another near fall. The fans chanted “one more time.” Cena shook them off, then smiled and winked. Cena went to ringside and tore the Spanish and German broadcast tables apart. Cena placed Reigns on one of the tables, then went for an AA, but Reigns blocked it and speared Cena through the other table at 18:20.

With both men down, the broadcast team questioned whether Reigns jammed his own neck when he performed the spear. Reigns got back to his feet first. Reigns covered Cena once they were back inside the ring, but Cena kicked out. Reigns acted shocked. He may have been the only one in this case. Reigns went to a corner and let out another war cry. Cena hoisted up Reigns and performed an AA. Cena powered up Reigns for a second AA and covered him, but Reigns kicked out at the last moment at 20:50.

Cena sat in the ring and motioned as if to question what else he had to do. Both men got to their feet and Reigns caught him with a Superman Punch and a spear and pinned Cena clean…

Roman Reigns defeated John Cena in 22:05.

After the match, the ref raised the hand of Reigns and the fans booed. Cena got to his feet and leaned against the ropes. Cena approached Reigns and raised his hand to boos. Cena spoke to Reigns, who nodded and then left the ring. Cena sat down in the corner of the ring and watched Reigns leave. Roman looked back at him and nodded.

Once Roman’s music stopped, Cena sat up and got on his knees in the middle of the ring and looked to the crowd. Cena stood up and bowed. Cena waved and then left the ring. Fans chanted “Thank you, Cena.” Cena stopped and gave one of his wristbands to a young fan. Cena looked back at the crowd again and then headed up the ramp. Cena stopped and did his salute. He teased leaving, then turned and looked over his shoulder and held up both hands. Cena patted the stage wall before heading to the back…

Powell’s POV: A fun big WrestleMania type of match with all the big near falls and spots. I bought in when Cena performed two Attitude Adjustments in a row. I was hoping this was going to be a multi match series similar to The Rock vs. Cena. And while they can go back to this obviously, they already went to the big respect moment that you had to know was coming either tonight or whenever this feud concluded. Cena did a great job in the post match of showing emotion and had to leave viewers wondering what his next move will be given the way he conducted himself.

A WWE video game commercial aired… A Hispanic Heritage month video aired on Julio Cesar Chavez…

Backstage, Kurt Angle was on the phone talking about how great the show was and noted that they still had the cruiserweight title and the Universal Championship match left. The Miz, Bo Dallas, and Curtis Axel entered the room and said he wants to host a special Miz TV interview with Roman Reigns on Monday. Miz said he wanted to ask Reigns the tough questions. Angle said he hated to admit it, but it was a good idea. Angle said Miz TV with Reigns would kick off the show…

Vic Joseph joined Graves on commentary for the cruiserweight championship, meaning Cole and Booker got a match off… During entrances for the cruiserweight match, Joseph plugged Raw Talk with John Cena and Alexa Bliss for after No Mercy…

6. Neville vs. Enzo Amore for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. The crowd was flat for Neville. They weren’t as loud as usual for Enzo’s schtick, presumably because they were still coming down from the previous match. At 3:00, Enzo caught Neville with a nice double stomp in the corner. Neville came right back and put the boots to him.

Neville took Enzo to ringside and ran him into the barricade. Neville returned to the ring and told the ref to start counting. Enzo returned to the ring at the ref’s nine count. Neville sat on the top rope and stuck his tongue out, then went over and kicked Enzo.

At 6:00, Neville tossed Enzo over the top rope. Enzo skinned the cat, but Neville blasted him with a superkick and covered him for a two count. Neville toyed with Enzo and gave him a boot to the face. Neville went up top and teased the Red Arrow, then waved his finger at the crowd. Neville performed a Phoenix Splash instead, but Enzo rolled out of the way.

Enzo went up top and performed a DDT on the way down. Cool spot. Enzo put his arm over Neville, who kicked out at the last second. Enzo played to the crowd and ran the ropes, but Neville caught him with a kick to the head. Neville tossed Enzo into the timekeeper’s area. Neville returned to the ring. Enzo came up holding the cruiserweight title belt.

Neville went to ringside and followed Enzo back inside the ring. Enzo teased hitting Neville with the belt, but the referee stood between them. Neville handed the belt to the referee, who went to pass it off. With the referee’s back turned, Enzo kicked Neville in the balls and then pinned him…

Enzo Amore defeated Neville in 10:40 to win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.

Powell’s POV: Entertaining for what was essentially a buffer match. The story was that Neville was dominant yet cocky, and then Enzo did his Eddie Guerrero cheating bit to steal the title. I can’t say Enzo winning the title is very exciting. Sadly, though, nothing in the cruiserweight division is.

Cole and Booker were back on commentary. Cole noted that Enzo Amore would also appear as a guest on Raw Talk… The broadcast team discussed the cruiserweight title change briefly, then spoke about the tale of the tape and noted that Braun Strowman had a nearly 100 pound weight advantage over Brock Lesnar… A video package set up the main event…

Braun Strowman was out first to a strong reaction. Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman were next and received a favorable reaction as well. Lesnar entered the ring and went face-to-face with Strowman briefly. The referee separated them…

7. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Braun Strowman for the WWE Universal Championship. JoJo delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Heyman stopped her and delivered his own introduction for Lesnar. Cole noted that there were 16,106 fans in the sold out building. The bell rang and Strowman shoved Lesnar to the mat. Strowman stuffed a Lesnar takedown attempt. Graves put it over as a first time moment (even though Samoa Joe did it too).

Lesnar came back with a German suplex. Strowman no sold the move and then chokeslammed Lesnar. Strowman powerslammed Lesnar and got a two count. Strowman threw shoulder blocks at Lesnar at 2:00. Strowman had a small cut below one of his eyes that looked like a scratch. Lesnar powered up Strowman in F5 position briefly, then dropped him and clutched his back. Strowman knocked Lesnar to ringside.

At 3:30, Cole noted that Lesnar’s only offense had been a punch and a German suplex. Graves said they’d never seen Lesnar dominated like this. Cole said Goldberg beat Lesnar, but it was more shock than domination. Lesnar applied a kimura lock. Strowman tried to break it by slamming him into the corner, but Lesnar held on. Lesnar ended up on his back and maintained the hold at 5:00. Heyman told Strowman to tap out, but he reached the ropes to break the hold.

Both men got to their feet and Strowman put Lesnar down with a spinebuster. Strowman got back to his feet and sold the bad arm. Lesnar put him down with a German suplex. Graves noted that Strowman wasn’t so quick to get up this time around. Lesnar performed two more German suplexes and then played to the crowd before performing a fourth at 6:45.

Lesnar performed another German suplex and then hoisted up Strowman for the F5, but Strowman avoided it and countered into a powerslam at 7:30. Both men stayed down briefly. Once they stood up, Strowman powerslammed Lesnar again, then pushed him onto his back with his head before covering him for a two count. Both men got up and Lesnar hit Strowman with another F5 and pinned him clean.

Brock Lesnar beat Braun Strowman in 9:00 to retain the WWE Universal Championship.

Lesnar celebrated with the title belt while Strowman rolled to the floor and watched with his back against one of the broadcast tables. Cole hyped Raw Talk as coming up after the show on the network…

Powell’s POV: A disappointing finish in terms of Lesnar once again hitting the F5 out of nowhere and getting the pin, just as he did in the Samoa Joe match. The crowd was focussed on the match, but they weren’t as loud as expected and it was very quiet afterward. It felt damaging to Strowman, who was one of the most over guys in the company. It will be interesting to see what they have in mind to heat him up again because this was a deflating clean loss. This show would certainly seem to suggest that Vince McMahon remains hellbent on getting to Lesnar vs. Reigns at WrestleMania, though obviously a lot can change between now and then. Overall, this was a really good show despite the main event finish taking the air out of the building. I will have more to say in the member exclusive audio review with Jake Barnett later tonight.

Prowrestling.net Live returns on Monday with Jason Powell and Will Pruett taking your calls at PWAudio.net


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