No Mercy was billed as one of WWE’s biggest pay-per-views of the year. The first event following SummerSlam had to set the tone leading into Survivor Series season, and whilst WWE put together a fantastic card on paper, there are a number of members of the WWE Universe who would claim that the company failed to follow through on the hype.
Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman headlined the show in what was considered to be Brock’s toughest test as Universal Champion, since Braun had his number for the past few weeks. John Cena and Roman Reigns also collided in what was billed as a WrestleMania worthy match between two of the biggest stars in WWE today. Fans struggled to figure out who they thought would come out on top here after weeks of Cena showing Reigns up for all of his faults on the mic.
There were also Cruiserweight, Tag Team, and Women’s Championship matches as well as a strangely thrown together pre-show match between Apollo Crews and Elias just to get the crowd prepared for the fantastic night of wrestling that was ahead of them. Finn Balor and Bray Wyatt also collided in a rematch from SummerSlam, since Finn wasn’t allowed to bring The Demon to this month’s match.
Sadly, it rarely ever turns out this way for WWE; the following list looks at the 10 things that WWE got wrong on the night but the five things that they got right, which could help moving forward as the build-up to TLC officially begins.
15. Wrong: Seth Rollins And Dean Ambrose Entrances
Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose are the Raw Tag Team Champions and two former members of The Shield. Why are they not coming out together ahead of a Championship match? When Sheamus and Cesaro came out together it made them look like a cohesive unit, but it seems that WWE thinks that Rollins and Ambrose are still considered such big stars that they can’t come out together for a pay-per-view title defence?
Questions will always be raised about whether or not Ambrose will finally extract his revenge on Rollins at some point. The duo will easily be able to get along while they are winning matches and retaining their Championships, but right now, it seems that this is all their alliance has been built on. It will be interesting to see how a rumoured Shield reunion affects their blossoming friendship, but for right now, get it together, WWE, and actually make them look like a team!
14. Wrong: Kickoff Show
The point of the pre-show match is so that the WWE Universe can get a feel of the pay-per-view before it actually starts, while watching it for free on YouTube or any other streaming device ahead of the show. The company seems to think that this is a great advertising tool and that many fans then decide to go on to the Network and watch the main show after seeing the pre-show.
If this was true, would anyone want to tune into No Mercy after watching a match between Apollo Crews and Elias that meant absolutely nothing? There wasn’t even a setup that Titus could have been trying to recruit Elias, or a backstage altercation. WWE literally just saw that the two guys were in the arena and sent them out to have a match. That’s not the best advertisement for a pay-per-view. Perhaps WWE should put a little more creativity into it next time.
13. Right: The Women Turned It Up
The women of WWE were all put into a fatal five-way match last night, with the Raw Women’s Championship on the line. It was the final Raw women’s pay-per-view match before Asuka is set to make her debut at TLC, so the women knew that this was their best chance to make a statement before Asuka takes over the division.
Nia Jax took a nasty bump on the outside that kept her down for a while, before she was then thrown into the ring post and out of the match, which allowed the four smaller women to fight it out amongst themselves for a while. It was a well-structured match that saw Alexa Bliss shockingly pin former Champion Bayley to retain her Championship. Given that Alexa has now managed to walk over all of the competition in her way, it will be interesting to see where the Goddess moves to now.
12. Wrong: The Miz Retained
In the grand scheme of things, it was probably for the best that The Miz did retain his Championship in what was a fantastic opening match between Jason Jordan and The Intercontinental Champion. The Miz has developed a problem with Jordan and his father Kurt Angle in recent weeks, and it would have been fantastic to see the smile wiped off his face.
Sadly, this wasn’t the case and instead, it seems that The Miz will be stepping into a feud with Roman Reigns following his victory over John Cena. Miz requested that he has Reigns as a guest on Miz TV later on Raw tonight, so this could now lead to Reigns facing off against The Awesome Superstar with his Championship on the line. Reigns is only missing the Intercontinental Championship now, as he hopes to join Dean Ambrose as one of WWE’s youngest ever Grand Slam Champions.
11. Wrong: Referees
No Mercy was not billed as a show where every match would be contested under no disqualification rules, but it seems that the referees just decided to let a lot of things slide last night, much to the annoyance of the crowd, who were very vocal about their mistakes.
There were two moments that stood out where the referees just decided not to do their jobs. In Roman Reigns’ match against John Cena, the duo were on the outside when Cena tried to deliver an AA through the announce table, but the referee didn’t bother to start a count out. The same thing happened when Enzo Amore decided to climb out of the ring and grab the Cruiserweight Championship. It is unknown why the referees didn’t follow the rules and start a count, but it is thought that if they did, then both matches would end via count out and that wasn’t what WWE wanted.
10. Right: Ring Attire
It was said that there was a WrestleMania vibe to the whole show last night, because the two main event calibre matches seemed to add something to the event as a whole. That being said, there was a lot of new ring attire on display last night that showed that WWE really was treating the show like a serious event, not the B-level show that No Mercy is thought to be.
Finn Balor debuted a new light blue attire and a different leather jacket after Bray Wyatt decided to rip up his old one at a live event this past week. The women also sported new attire with Sasha Banks, Nia Jax, and Emma all sporting new patterned designs. Enzo Amore decided to take styling tips from Beetlejuice as he came out in a black and white striped suit, and Roman Reigns was even sporting a new gold designed vest that obviously led him to a huge victory.
9. Wrong: There Will Be Blood
WWE may be in a PG era, or an era where the company tries to shield the WWE Universe from seeing a huge amount of blood, but it seems that if the Chairman of the company can get away with bleeding all over a WWE canvas, then the superstars are also going to try their luck too.
Finn Balor was the first victim as he ended his match with Bray Wyatt with blood dripping from his nose, before Cesaro hit his mouth on the ring post and sent his teeth up into his gums. Despite this, Cesaro still managed to finish the match, but will be feeling the effects of that one for a while. Braun Strowman even turned crimson for a while in his match with Brock Lesnar as The Monster Among Men was cut open, but it seemingly left him unbothered as he powered through and finished up his match with no problems.
8. Wrong: Bray Wyatt Lost Again
What does Bray Wyatt need to do to be taken seriously by WWE? Wyatt lost The Demon version of Finn Balor at SummerSlam and has made a mockery of Goldust over the past few weeks so that he could point out that Finn’s Demon “Balor” was just face paint.
It was a great build to the match and it would have made sense if Bray was able to defeat the mere man rather than the demon, since he claims to be a God. Bray has nothing moving forward now and once again he has seemingly finished up his feud with Balor on the losing end of it. Finn can easily step up into the main event picture now off the back of two confidence-boosting wins, but WWE hasn’t considered what they are going to do with Bray now that they have proved that he too is just a mortal man underneath his facade.
7. Right: Seth Rollins And Dean Ambrose Retained
Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose won the Tag Team Championships from Sheamus and Cesaro back at SummerSlam and obviously, the former Champions decided to cash in their rematch clause on pay-per-view.
The match itself was incredible; Cesaro overcame having his teeth knocked in, while Dean Ambrose looked to be struggling throughout the match as well. Despite this, the four main event calibre stars managed to put on one of the matches of the night that later saw Seth Rollins hit the finisher now known as “Kingslanding,” before setting up Dirty Deeds and seeing the duo retain. The WWE Universe is now hyped ahead of what could be a Shield reunion in a few weeks time. Life is good right now for Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. Now, if WWE can just sort out a great entrance for the duo where they actually come out together or even dress like a team, then that would be great.
6. Wrong: Finishers Mean Nothing On Pay-Per-View
There is an old saying in WWE that “finishers mean nothing on pay-per-view,” and last night, Braun Strowman and John Cena found out just how true this was. Cena threw everything he had at Roman Reigns throughout their match, including three AA’s and an Avalanche AA, but despite all of this, Cena was pinned off Roman’s famous middle rope spear.
Braun was handed the same kind of luck in his match against Brock. He gave all he had for most of the match, even standing straight up from a German Suplex at one point, before he hit Brock with a number of running power slams and then set up for another one that could have won him the title on any other day. However, a quick reversal from The Beast Incarnate led to an F5 and a win for Brock Lesnar. It seems that even the Monster Among Men can’t defeat The Beast.
5. Wrong: No Undertaker Appearance
The WWE Universe began their own speculation ahead of Survivor Series since The Undertaker has been seen training and looking to get back into the ring. Undertaker debuted at Survivor Series 27 years ago and it would be a fitting ending for his career if he was able to come back and fight John Cena one more time at the pay-per-view he has become synonymous with.
Many fans thought that there would be no outright winner of the match between Roman Reigns and John Cena because The Deadman would intervene and set up a match between Cena and him at Survivor Series in less than two months time. Obviously, fans were disappointed that this didn’t happen, since Cena basically announced that he was leaving for a few months and now it is up in the air as to whether or not The Deadman will be back in time to compete at Survivor Series in November.
4. Right: The Streak Is Over
Roman Reigns defeated The Undertaker back at WrestleMania 33 in April and it looked to be the turning point of his career. Sadly, this wasn’t the case, since Reigns has since lost every single match he has had on pay-per-view since then.
This statistic made his match at last night’s show much bigger than it perhaps would have been under normal circumstances, and while it was a huge shock that Reigns got a clean victory over the former 16-time World Champion, it seems that it was the right decision. Reigns needed Cena to pass him the torch and Cena later stated on Raw Talk that he was so proud of Reigns and the way he stepped up his game against him. Roman will now step forward knowing that his last two pay-per-view wins have come against two of WWE’s biggest stars, and there’s no stopping him now.
3. Wrong: John Cena May Have Upstaged Roman’s Win
The whole point of John Cena coming over to Raw and destroying Roman Reigns over the past few weeks was so that Reigns could walk out with the victory and go on to be the next big thing in WWE.
The problem is the way Cena decided to leave the arena last night is all that the WWE Universe is actually talking about. Cena looked as though he was saying goodbye to the WWE and later gave an emotional speech on Raw Talk where he talked about the fact that Reigns had taken the torch from him and it was his now to use to set the world alight. Cena will be back in the future, as he is leaving to film the new Transformers movie, but it will be interesting to see who Cena will return to face after having a match of this calibre against Reigns on a B-rated pay-per-view.
2. Wrong: Enzo Amore Is Cruiserweight Champion
There have been a lot of rumours surrounding 205 Live over the past few weeks and the real reason why Enzo Amore was moved over to the brand. It seems that the show itself has been struggling for a while, and making Enzo the Champion could have been the company’s way of trying to use controversy to create a ratings boost for the show.
Amore isn’t much of a wrestler; he has shown signs of improvement in the ring, but he is still only in WWE because he can talk. Now Enzo is the only Champion on 205 Live and if social media is anything to go by, the locker room isn’t happy about this. Of course, Enzo didn’t exactly win the title in a less than controversial way, but there was a title change and now it seems that Enzo has become the face of a brand that he doesn’t really fit in with.
1. Right: Brock Lesnar Retains
This was a controversial decision to say the least. The WWE Universe has been backing Braun Strowman for a number of months now, and they thought that he would finally be the one to overcome the odds and defeat Brock Lesnar with the Universal Championship on the line. Braun dominated the match, until it seemed that Brock found his inner beast and Braun then fell victim to one of the most dominant champions WWE have ever seen.
In the simplest of terms, Braun is not ready to be Universal Champion yet. If Vince McMahon didn’t think Shinsuke Nakamura was ready to win the WWE Championship then did Braun really have any hope of walking out of Los Angeles with a Championship? It’s crazy to think that Brock isn’t booked for any other Raw pay-per-view events for the rest of the year now, though, which means that TLC and Survivor Series will be all about the full-time stars for a change, which could actually work to WWE’s advantage.
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