It’s a rare things these days when a match involving John Cena or Roman Reigns can get me excited. The WWE somehow managed to get me intrigued when their two biggest babyfaces were set to clash in the ring for their first one-on-one match at No Mercy. You can definitely thank the build up for this as John Cena totally ripped into Roman Reigns during their promos with his half-truth/half kayfabe promos. I legitimately thought there was some animosity between Roman Reigns and John Cena because of this. But, oh! There are other matches at No Mercy? Let’s go look at them as well!
Match #1: Jason Jordan vs The Miz (with the Miz-torage) for the Intercontinental Championship
Can I just say first that I feel sorry for Jason Jordan? He’s saddled with a dead end gimmick of being Kurt Angle’s son. I mean, where else can you go from there? It’s a shame, really, because I do think Jason Jordan is extremely talented in the ring… but his mic work? Yeesh!
Anyway, this match was perfectly functionable but predictable. Jason Jordan got the early upper hand, utilizing various suplexes to take the fight to The Miz. The Miz eventually took over after some distraction from the Miz-torage. Essentially, this was your typical Miz match. I will say that I loved the intensity of Jason Jordan in the ring. He really got to show his great in-ring ability for most of the match.
The finish came when The Miz attempted his running clothesline in the corner but Jordan caught The A-Lister with a belly-to-belly suplex. Jordan followed this up with a spear into the corner. Kurt Angle’s son (yeesh!) pulled the straps down, signalling he was going to finish The Miz but got distracted by Bo Dallas climbing the ropes, who he did take out. Jordan rolled The Miz up but the official was busy rolling Dallas out of the ring. The Miz then kicked out and sent Jordan into a cheap shot by Curtis Axel. This enabled The Miz to nail Jordan with a Skull Crushing Finale for the pinfall victory and to retain his Intercontinental Title. Jordan was interviewed and gave a lame promo about The Miz sucking or something. I tuned out because it was bland and boring… the promo, not the match.
This match was a great way to start off No Mercy. Jordan showed off a lot of intensity and looked really strong suplexing The Miz everywhere. I don’t mind the cheap finish because it’s The Miz and I didn’t really expect anything else from him. It was fine for what it was: a good way to set the tone for the rest of the pay-per-view to come.
Rating: 6.5 of 10.0 Miz-Torage interferences
Match #2: Finn Balor vs Bray Wyatt
Oh, goody. A rematch from Summerslam. How unexpected and original of the WWE.
Wyatt ambushed Balor during the latter’s entrance. He’s probably mad because Balor didn’t see fit to put on his Demon makeup? Anyway, Wyatt focused on Balor’s ribs early on and baited Balor to come back as he was being brought to the back, which sent Finn rushing back into the ring. Balor used his anger to dominate the early moments of the match but The Eater of Worlds soon took the upperhand. Balor tries several times to fight back but Wyatt took control each time.
However, the Demon King’s tenacity did pay off at the end. After tossing Balor around the ring a couple of times, Wyatt perched himself on the top turnbuckle to gloat a little bit. Balor took this time to retaliate and catch The New Face of Fear off guard. Balor dropkicked Wyatt into the corner a couple of times, taking the bigger man down. He finished the match with his double footstomp Coup De Grace for the pinfall victory.
This was another good match but a tad too unrealistic because of Wyatt’s ambush at the start. I would’ve been okay if Wyatt eventually won because Balor eventually succumbed to his injuries. Having Wyatt a second time to Balor, even after that ambush makes him look weak and not worthy of the name, The New Face of Fear in the WWE. Give Wyatt some wins, WWE!
Rating: 6.0 of 10 losing streaks for Bray Wyatt
Match #3: Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose vs Cesaro and Sheamus for the RAW Tag Team Championship
Oh, goody! A rematch from Summerslam! How unexpected and original of the WWE. And this time, I’m actually excited!
The RAW Tag Team Championship Match was my favorite match of this year’s Summerslam. So I guess it did make sense for the WWE to book both teams again for No Mercy and it didn’t disappoint. Both teams have already shown that they work well with each other in the past and the teams of Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose vs Cesaro and Sheamus do have a lot of charisma individually. Well, maybe Cesaro lost a bit of charisma because he had his two front teeth knocked out during the match! That’s how brutal the match went!
Despite Cesaro getting his teeth literally knocked into the back of his skull, he still continued competing and it was a really glorious bout. It was actually rather one sided affair as the duo of Cesaro and Sheamus generally dominated both former SHIELD members handily. It should’ve been boring since the heels dominated most of the match but, thanks to some really creative double team moves by the challengers, it didn’t get old.
The finish of the match came after Cesaro powerbombed Seth Rollins onto Dean Ambrose after the latter got hit by Seamus’ White Noise (which honestly should’ve ended the match right then and there). Seamus signalled for his Brogue Kick and threatened to hit a helpless Ambrose as Cesaro held Rollins back. However, Dean plopped down onto the mat before The Celtic Warrior could connect and Seamus towered over The Lunatic Fringe. Dean was apparently playing possum as he attempted a small package. Cesaro let go of The Architech as Seamus kicked out. During the confusion, Sheamus accidentally hit Cesaro with a Brogue Kick, and this in turned allowed both former SHIELD members to nail Sheamus with their finishers to get the pinfall victory and retain their RAW Tag Team Championships.
This was a hard hitting match, filled with really good action and fantastic spots. A part of me actually wished that Cesaro didn’t have to get his teeth kicked in for this match as it kind of distracted me from what was happening as I was legitimately concerned about it because, God! That looked painful!
Rating: 8.5 of 10.0 Cesaro’s missing teeth
Match #4: Sasha Banks vs Bayley vs Nia Jax vs Emma vs Alexa Bliss for the RAW Women’s Championship in a Fatal-Five Way Match
Did this match really need the returning Bayley included in this Fatal-Five Way Match for the RAW Women’s Championship? Well, it wouldn’t be called a Fatal-Five Way if there were only four competitors? But in the biggest picture, why include Bayley in an already stacked match that had Sasha Banks, Emma, Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss already in it?
At least the match followed a logical flow to it. Bliss formed a tentative alliance with Emma but immediately reneged on it as soon as it suited her. There was a lot of good, fast paced action between the “smaller” competitors with each of them performing some really fun sequences on each other. The star, however, was Nia Jax. She was the “monster” for this match and WWE did a really good job making it look like she was the dominant force. It generally took the other four competitors to take her out each and every time.
The finish was brilliant because, well, it was Alexa Bliss that single handedly took out most of the competition in quick succession. Sasha was taken out by a giant legdrop from Nia Jax. Bliss then tossed Emma out of the ring and deftly sidestepped a spear attempt from Nia Jax, sending her out of the ring. Bayley then went after Bliss but The Goddess threw her into Emma, who was trying to get into the ring. Bliss then capitalized and nailed a DDT to retain her RAW Women’s Championship. I guess they really needed Bayley for this match, then.
This match was really, really good. However, I still feel that it could’ve been better if they trimmed down the number of competitors to four. The ring felt rather cluttered and Sasha Banks looked underutilized. I mean, she didn’t even figure in that mad scramble for the finish. Still, it was a really fun and entertaining match that’s probably worth another watch or two.
Rating: 8.0 of 10.0 quadruple teams on Nia Jax
Match #5: John Cena vs Roman Reigns
The buildup to this match was phenomenal, with John Cena eviscerating Roman Reigns on the mic and Roman Reigns just struggling to keep up. It’s easy to see why this was the match to see in No Mercy. Was it worth the wait? Well…
The match started weirdly enough, with John Cena acknowledging that the crowd wanted him to “go home.” So he almost did! He actually started up the ramp and Roman Reigns chased after him and brought him back into the ring. Roman dominated early… and this is where things started to feel a little stale with The Big Dog just going for chinlocks and punches instead of actual savage moves. Cena did make a few comebacks and actually hit Reigns with a couple of Attitude Adjustments, which Reigns kicked out off, which kinda pissed me off. I’ll explain later.
Things did pick up during the later part of the match, with the action spilling to the outside after Cena hit an AA from the second rope but Reigns still kicked out (getting really pissed off). The Leader of the CeNation then tried to do an Attitude Adjustment on Reigns through the announce tables but Reigns reversed it and speared Cena instead! But even that wasn’t enough because Cena kicked out after Reigns rolled him back into the ring.
I will say I heavily dislike the way the match ended. It started after the sequence of events described above. Reigns went for another spear but Cena reversed it into another Attitude Adjustment. Cena wanted to make sure the Big Dog was down so he rolled into another Attitude Adjustment and immediately went for the pin. But Reigns kicked out! Cena complained to the referee (which I also would’ve since Reigns got clocked by two of Cena’s finishers). Reigns recovered enough and delivered a Superman punch and followed it up with a spear to get the pinfall victory over Cena. Cena was still gracious with his loss as he raised Reign’s hand at the end.
This was a pretty good match but the finish just rubbed me the wrong way. I really don’t like it when WWE Superstars kick out of finishers. If there’s a slight gap between the finisher and the pinfall attempt, fine. They can kick out. But if you nail someone with two finishers consecutively and they still can kick out after that, then it looks ridiculous. To rub salt in the wound, Reigns just did his superman punch and spear combo and got the pinfall over Cena? That’s stupid!
Rating: 6.0 of 10.0 more Attitude Adjustments needed to pin Reigns?
Match #6: Enzo Amore vs Neville for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Look, I love Enzo Amore’s antics on the mic. But his actual wrestling ability needs a bit more flair and panache. But I guess the folks at WWE knew this because we got this match.
There’s nothing really much to say about this match. Neville, being the King of the Cruiserweights, simply dominated Enzo Amore for around 98.9% of the match. But it wasn’t a savage beatdown. It was some attacks mixed in with a lot of headlocks and rest holds, which made the entire match kind of boring, especially if you consider the kinds of matches Neville has had before. Also, aren’t these guys supposed to be high flying cruiserweights? What’s with all of the rest holds?
Unfortunately, that last 1.1% that Neville didn’t dominate was during the closing moments of the match. Enzo got his hands on the Cruiserweight Championship belt and taunted Nevile with it. Enzo then crawled into the ring and hinted that he was going to smash Neville in the face with the belt and the referee took the alleged weapon away. While the official’s back was turned, The Certified G kicked The King of the Cruiserweights in the crown jewels and rolled him up for the pinfall victory and to become the NEW Cruiserweight Champion.
I wouldn’t have such a big problem with the match if it was at least a competitive bout with Enzo getting some offense in. But he didn’t. I guess this was to show he was tenacious and he was willing to lie, cheat and steal to get what he wants ala the great Eddie Guerrero. But at least Eddie did some great in-ring work as well. This match didn’t really show us what Enzo was capable of besides him able to sell getting hurt. Crappy match with a crappy ending.
Rating: 3.0 of 10.0 low blows to victory
Match #7: Braun Strowman vs Brock Lesnar (with his advocate, Paul Heyman) for the WWE Universal Championship
This is weird. For once, Brock Lesnar seems to be the “underdog” here! Well, not really.
This was a brilliant idea by the WWE. Pit the two biggest monsters they have on the RAW roster and have them go at it. It looked good on paper anyway and the idea is definitely sound. However, it’s in the execution where this match suffers. Braun immediately showed that he was a force to be reckoned with by immediately getting up from a Brock Lesnar german suplex and just went to town on Lesnar. The Beast was pummeled by The Monster Among Men for the majority of the match. However, Lesnar called back to his MMA days managed to weaken Braun with a Kimura armbar, essentially rendering the bigger man to a bigger man with one arm. This allowed Lesnar to start sending his opponent to Suplex City.
The finish came soon after than with Braun managing to reverse Lesnar’s F5 into a running powerslam but The Monster Among Men was too weak to try to get a cover. He did connect with another running powerslam but was still unable to go for a cover immediately, allowing Lesnar enough time to recover enough to get his shoulder off the mat. Lesnar then went for an F5 and that was all she wrote.
I was disappointed with this match. I was expecting a more hard hitting brawl but it came off as a slow affair between these two musclebound athletes. I guess it’s partially my fault for expecting two guys who are actually slow paced wrestlers to change the way they wrestle and perform in the ring. It was an okay match for what it was worth but I really wanted it to be much better.
Rating: 6.0 of 10.0 running powerslams
Overall rating for WWE’s No Mercy:
Despite No Mercy having two stellar matches, the one for the RAW Tag Team Championship and the Fatal Five Way for the RAW Women’s Championship, the rest of the card were pretty average. I can’t say it was an overall disappointment but none of the other matches just screamed “watch me because I’m awesome.” I would go see the two matches I mentioned but the rest of if, I’ll just pass.
Rating: 6.5 of 10.0 could’ve been much better pay-per-views
What did you think of this year’s No Mercy? Let me know in the comments section below!