UPDATE: Full WWE No Mercy results with analysis are below following each match description. Our analysts went 2-3 and 3-2, after excluding the Becky Lynch versus Alexa Bliss match due to Lynch’s injury.
This Sunday, World Wrestling Entertainment presents its second SmackDown LIVE-exclusive pay-per-view, No Mercy. Resurrecting a PPV name the company hasn’t used in several years. As with their Backlash event last month, WWE is hoping to put on another ratings-booster and continue to establish SmackDown as a legitimate contender to Monday Night RAW’s ratings. With all championships on the line and some special stipulations added to a few matches, look for yet another spectacular showcase of WWE’s underdog brand.
Fan Contributor Ryan Aday joins me again as we lend out predictions to Sunday’s contests and see which of us will emerge the victor.
Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler
Both competitors have something to lose in the match, as Dolph Ziggler has laid his career on the line for a shot at The Miz’s Intercontinental title. The idea of Ziggler retiring has sparked the internet wrestling community into a frenzy, with many people saying that he may actually leave the company if he loses this match. Ziggler has stated that he’s not happy with the way he’s been booked, and even though he has about a year remaining on his contract, he could very wall call it quits in the WWE depending on the outcome of this contest.
If he does win the Intercontinental title, it’d help establish his credibility a bit more, but if he loses, it’s very much a toss-up as to whether we’ll ever see Ziggler in a WWE ring again.
Jacob Anderson: The Miz. If Ziggler doesn’t retire, he can come back in the future for a return angle and get a massive pop from the crowd in the process.
Ryan Aday: Dolph Ziggler wins, possibly by DQ. A slant to keep him in the company while still keeping the strap on Miz.
Result: Dolph Ziggler defeats The Miz to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship and keep his spot on the Smackdown roster. It appears the Ziggler retirement rumors were just a swerve, at least for now. The Miz is delivering some of his best heel work in years, so hopefully this feud is compelling enough to keep Ziggler interested until the opportunity arises to interject himself in the main title picture.
Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
The first of two women’s matches on the card, Nikki Bella and Carmella get the chance to settle the score after feuding for several weeks. With WWE needing to find something to do with both women, turing Carmella heel and setting her on the veteran Nikki seems like it has the potential to build to a wonderful climax on Sunday.
Both women’s in-ring work is phenomenal, as the bout showcases the present face of the Women’s division in Nikki and the rising star and future champion in Carmella. Nikki has consistently helped to put over Carmella’s in-ring abilities in the other matches they’ve had over the past several weeks, and Carmella’s character turn from face to heel has helped solidify her as a legitimate threat and not just another pretty face in the ring. The chemistry is there, the match is on the card, and now all we need is a good show from both women to help move this feud forward.
Jacob Anderson: Nikki Bella. Maybe it’s because I’m just a big Nikki fan in general, but she can win this while still making Carmella look strong.
Ryan Aday: Nikki Bella. She should be strong since just returning and is in line to battle the Women’s Title match loser.
Result: Nikki Bella defeats Carmella after delivering the Rack Attack 2.0. There are no signs of this feud coming to a close, so plan on seeing at least one more PPV match between these two.
WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. The Usos
The newly crowned tag team champions Slater & Rhyno put their championships on the line for the first time against the Usos, who’s recent change of attitude is a very welcome sight. The two were antagonizing crowds as babyfaces that nobody wanted to see, but now that they’ve changed their look, their music, and added a more brutal feel to their in-ring skills, they seem like legitimate contenders in the tag team division again.
The question becomes: who do you want to have the titles on? Slater and Rhyno only just won the championships last month, and this is the first time they have ever been forced to defend them, so having them lose seems a little premature. But on the other hand, with this new look from the Usos, if Slater and Rhyno were going to lose the championships to any other team, better it be the Usos and their new gimmick than anybody else on the roster.
Jacob Anderson: Slater & Rhyno. It’s just a little too soon to take the belts from them, and the Usos are already engaged in their feud with American Alpha. Keep the belts on them for a little longer so AA can grow as legitimate contenders.
Ryan Aday: The Usos. Slater made the roster. The Usos are growing as heels. There are more babyface teams on the roster than heels so heel champs make more sense.
Result: Slater and Rhyno win after Rhyno delivers the Gore for the win. Slater and Rhyno are slowly building up fan goodwill, and this unlikely pairing is fun, at the very least.
Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton
This match was scheduled for last month at Backlash but was postponed due to an injury to Orton. The Eater of Worlds finally gets his chance to take the Apex Predator out for good.
Their story has felt lackluster since the beginning. The two have both cut promos on one another, but they’ve felt flat and very undeserving of making the WWE Universe really care about why they’re fighting one another. And because their match at Backlash was canceled, WWE needed to continue the feud for another month for the next pay-per-view, but all Orton and Wyatt did was repeat the same lackluster promos. Combined with the fact that Wyatt hasn’t won on pay-per-view in several years, this seems like a very stale matchup with an extremely predictable finish.
Jacob Anderson: Randy Orton. Giving Wyatt the win is the right call, but Orton needs a win, having not had a PPV victory since returning at SummerSlam. Wyatt really does need the win more, though.
Ryan Aday: Randy Orton wins and catapults into the title picture. As long as he is full time he should be top tier. Wyatt needs a title to really get him going but WWE seems reluctant.
Result: Bray Wyatt defeats Randy Orton with the Sister Abigail after the surprise return of Luke Harper. The most underrated member of the Wyatt Family is back! This could be just the spark Bray Wyatt needs to get things back on track.
WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss
This match suffers from the same issue as the Tag Team championship: Both champions were crowned a month ago and are the first ones to hold those titles. Taking them from the current champions seems extremely premature, but if it helps put over new talent, perhaps an exception can be made. Choosing Bliss to face Lynch was a pleasant surprise and the absolute right call to make, as Women’s talent that has recently been called up from NXT needs something to do and must be able to show what they can do in the ring early to be able to establish themselves.
The match is the right call, and both women are deserving of the title, but it’s unsure if WWE will chose to remove it from Becky’s waist so soon.
Jacob Anderson: Alexa Bliss. She’s been rising in popularity with the crowd, and this seems like the championship that’s most likely to change hands during the show.
Ryan Aday: Becky Lynch. By far the top woman on Smackdown needs to hold the title for a while, (maybe even until WrestleMania when a drafted Bailey gets her shot and becomes Smackdown Women’s champ) but I digress…
Result: Naomi, who was filling in for an injured Lynch, defeated Alexa Bliss with a surprise pin after reversing a cross armbreaker. This result is confusing for several reasons. Bliss will face Lynch Nov. 8 in a title match. Why make her lose this match to Naomi, who hasn’t done anything of note lately? Perhaps WWE Creative is trying to add some uncertainty to that November matchup while at the same time elevating Naomi to get her back on the map in the Women’s division. Or it could simply be they had to throw something together at the last minute due to Lynch’s injury.
WWE World Champion A.J. Styles vs. Dean Ambrose vs. John Cena
Cena and Ambrose collided at Hell in a Cell 2014 when they fought to see who would face Seth Rollins. Cena and Styles recently finished their huge three-PPV-spanning feud, which ended with Styles beating Cena at SummerSlam a few months ago. And Styles came out on top of Ambrose last month at Backlash to become the new WWE World Champion. Styles looks to retain his belt, Ambrose looks to reclaim his place as the company’s top dog, and Cena hopes to tie Ric Flair’s record and become a 16-time WWE World titleholder. It’s a contest that can go one of three ways. If WWE handles this correctly, it could prove beneficial no matter who wins the contest.
Jacob Anderson: Dean Ambrose. Everyone is expecting a Styles retention or a Cena victory to tie Flair’s record, so this is a great swerve that can help legitimize Ambrose a bit more. Having him turn heel during the course of the match wouldn’t be a bad idea either…
Ryan Aday: AJ Styles. AJ has proven an exceptional champion and I would assume he keeps the belt until at least SummerSlam.
Result: AJ Styles pins John Cena for the win after hitting him with a steel chair. It is nice to see AJ finally getting his due in WWE. It appears Ambrose is on the outside looking in, at least for the time being. We’ll see this Tuesday if Ambrose is able to do something unpredictable and remind people why they call him Lunatic Fringe.