No Mercy 2016 Review and Match Ratings


A little late yes, but better late than never. Had to watch two senile people fight for each other, and one of them will hold the highest office in the land. The apocalypse is nigh.

AJ Styles (C) def. Dean Ambrose and John Cena – WWE World Heavyweight Championship

To the surprise of a lot of people, this match, the presumed main event went on first here, presumably in lieu of the competition that the Presidential debate would have presented. Nonetheless, I enjoyed myself here here immensely. The flow to this match was akin to that of AJ and Cena’s match at Summerslam. They all hit a bunch of big moves in what seemed like a rapid succession, but AJ’s phenomenal year continued and he showed his versatility here once again. The true measure of an elite talent, especially in WWE, is when you can elevate the talent around you, and AJ has done that throughout his career, and he did it here. The creativity here was something special, with little things like Dean stopping AJ from tapping, the clothesline and enziguri sequence and the majority of the near falls were well done as well. You’d think that with a triple threat match being no disqualification that Cena and Ambrose would have the wisdom to use weapons to their advantage and AJ ended up outsmarting both of them by being the only one to use a weapon, and that was what won him the match. I thought the double submission tap-out spot sort of ruined the flow of the match because it was starting to hit its peak, but the pause in action and the uncertainty sort of ruined the flow of it to me a little bit. Not that much, though. The winner of this match wasn’t ever in doubt, but it would be a matter of how it was done, and this triple threat match was another great performance from AJ Styles in particular. Cena and Ambrose pulled their respective weight as well. Now, the question is who is up next to challenge AJ. Feel sorry for whoever goes after this. ****1/2

Nikki Bella def. Carmella

Really thought Carmella could have used the win more here. Nikki doesn’t need to be going over anybody in all fairness, and Nikki can always pick up a win later down the line, but I assume that the feud between these two will continue. As for this match, I wasn’t feeling it. There was a lot of sloppiness, a lot of yelling from Carmella, and some mis-cues here and there. Carmella being drafted last in the WWE draft, fortunately didn’t ruin her standing on the Smackdown brand, but it’s clear she’s still green in a lot of areas, especially in the ring. 1/2*

Baron Corbin def. Jack Swagger

See, the thing is about Swagger is that he can get the crowd to say “We The People” (half of them are actually saying “Weed the People), but they just don’t care about him as a person. For everything great that Smackdown has done, they haven’t done a good job in giving the crowd a reason to care about Baron Corbin, who I might add was drafted right after the current Universal Champion, Kevin Owens. This match was another snoozefest for me. No better than what I would find on an episode of Smackdown. It just really felt plodding and slow without any real story to follow. If it’s any consolation, the crickets watching this match were super over for the match. *

Heath Slater (C) and Rhyno (C) def. The Usos – Smackdown Tag Team Championships

Well color me surprised. Slater and Rhyno winning the titles was really just to have Slater get his Smackdown contract, but I didn’t think there was anywhere else they were gonna go. I can’t imagine they will hold the titles for much longer, but you’d think with the way The Usos have been booked since turning heel, and taking out the originally finalists for the titles at the tournament, American Alpha, that they wouldn’t lose to Slater and Rhyno two times in a row. So I guess I was wrong. The match was really a basic tag team formula, with The Usos using their new heel tactics to try and score a win by isolating their opponent. Nothing bad here, but nothing blowaway either. It didn’t go too long either and they got to the finish at the right time, so I’ll credit them for that. Basically a Smackdown match. **1/2

Naomi def. Alexa Bliss

I read a report online that WWE had Naomi go over here because they wanted to build to a triple threat match upon Becky’s return. That’s fine and all, but you really have the challenger for Becky’s title lose clean to Naomi? Really? Naomi pinned the woman that pinned the champion the week prior? Very strange booking here. It also didn’t help that the match was god awful. I want to give it something because there was at least a little bit of psychology in Bliss targeting Naomi’s hand, but the flow of the match was too disjointed and the crowd was dead silent. The wrong person won, and it was in a bad match to me. DUD

Dolph Ziggler def. The Miz (C) w/Maryse – Intercontinental Championship (Career vs. Title)

Okay, I was scratching my head at this not being the main event. I understand that the triple threat title match was moved first due to the debate, but I though that would clearly set the stage for Ziggler and Miz to main event. They can’t honestly send the crowd home with Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton can they? Ugh. Anyways, I felt that these two were going to have their best one on one bout yet, and it turns out I was right. I have to say, though, that many of us got taken to the woodshed with the teasing of Ziggler losing and his career ending. In hindsight, Smackdown really can’t afford any losses to their mid-card considering how thin it is in bodies when compared against RAW, and Ziggler did a masterful job of trolling on Twitter, taking pictures of WWE personnel in a way that said goodbye and sending out information for booking inquiries. It was a troll job, and it was masterful. So too was the match. I bought every one of the near-falls towards the end, and my heart was racing to the point where I needed some water to stop me from becoming hypertensive. The Miz played a wonderful job in being the slimy heel once again, utilizing any advantage he could in order to win, while the increase in pace with Ziggler’s moves worked well and told the urgency of how important this match was to him. The spray that Maryse sprayed as well as the interference from The Spirit Squad also told a great story in playing up the failures of Ziggler’s fast and him overcoming them to win in an emotional match. The Miz’s Intercontinental Title reign this year was probably the second best run of his career, behind his WWE Championship main event run. I didn’t think that Ziggler would be the one to end his reign when guys like Cesaro, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn couldn’t take the title off of him, but then again, when looking at the current Smackdown roster, no one else that isn’t occupied at the moment wasn’t in any position to defeat him. Kudos to Miz for a great run, and kudos to both men for one hell of a match. I may be overrating it a bit, but I think these two men deserved it.****1/4

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