Liam Hoofe Reviews WWE No Mercy 2017…
WWE No Mercy boasted arguably the best card the company has put together this year. With two mega-matches sitting at the top of the card and every title being defended, the show had a lot to live up on Sunday night, but did it deliver? Let’s take a look at each match and see what worked and what didn’t.
Pre Show: Elias Defeated Apollo Crews
The last few pre-show matches have had some sort of title on the line and have therefore been worth watching. This one wasn’t. Both Elias and Apollo are talented guys but the company clearly has no idea what to do with them, so chucking them in a random pre-show match is as good as it’s going to get for both men at the moment.
The match itself was a standard match that wouldn’t look out of place on Monday Night Raw. Apollo is always good to watch, but on the whole, this was an instantly forgettable affair.
Rating: * 1/2
The Miz Defeated Jason Jordan to Retain the Intercontinental Championship
The Jason Jordan/Kurt Angle storyline just isn’t working. Jordan is one of the most naturally gifted athletes in the WWE right now, but this storyline is doing him more harm than good. The crowd’s reactions at No Mercy were a perfect example of this problem. If you were a first-time viewer here, you’d have presumed that The Miz was the face and that Jordan was the heel.
Jordan, as I’ve mentioned though, is incredibly talented in the ring and he showed it here in what was a fast-paced hot opener that sets a nice pace for the matches to come. Jordan’s in-ring style is really pleasing to watch, and I could watch him hit a suplex all day long. The Miz was great as always and the ending here sets up future matches between the pair. Jordan’s post-match promo was a fine example of why he is struggling to get over though, it was terribly scripted and went down like a lead balloon. Have him play an entitled heel whose constant complaints and demands put his ‘father’ in a difficult position, it would work much better for his character right now.
Match Rating: ***
Finn Balor Defeated Bray Wyatt
Where does Bray Wyatt go from here? His character is so, so stale at this point and now, with another feud lost, there is only so much the WWE can do with the guy.
The pre-match stuff here was a weak attempt at adding a little drama to proceedings, with Finn not really selling it once the bell rang and it added little to the story. The match also didn’t need it, with the two men putting on a solid encounter, one that was an improvement on their bout at SummerSlam. Balor picking up the win was essential, and perhaps he can finally move up to a Universal Title feud, if not, perhaps they should consider sending him to SmackDown. The match was a nice end to what has been yet another pointless Bray Wyatt feud.
Match Rating: ***
Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins Defeated Sheamus and Cesaro to Retain the Raw Tag Team Titles
Firstly, why does the WWE insist on sending out champions first!? This was the second time tonight, with The Miz coming out first in his match as well. Secondly, these two teams have some seriously excellent chemistry. This match was the best of the night so far and all four men put in a cracking shift. I do worry about what will happen to Cesaro now though. With Sheamus set to leave for a while, the tag team will have to break up, for the time being at the least, and I worry where the Swiss Superman is going to fit in on the Raw roster.
At this moment, though, I’m more worried about his teeth – what a horrible landing on the turnbuckle that was. The incident did slow the action down a little but this was still a great bout. The powerbomb off the top rope was a nice spot and Ambrose and Rollins are excelling right now. With the main event scene dominated by big guys, I’m happy they’ve found somewhere to fit these two.
The ending was well executed too, with Sheamus accidentally kicking Cesaro, leading to Ambrose hitting the dirty deeds on Sheamus for the win. Good stuff all around.
Match Rating: *** 1/2
Alexa Bliss defeated Sasha Banks, Bayley, Emma and Nia Jax to retain the Raw Women’s Title
Up until this point in the night, every match on the card had delivered and the female part of the roster delivered on their part as well. The main narrative, for the first two-thirds of the match, was Nia Jax’s dominance over the rest of the women and the spot where they all combined to take her out was well executed, and Jax’s double Samoan Drop was an impressive display of strength rarely shown in this division. Nia has come an awful long way since her debut last year, and she showed here that she doesn’t look out of place with some of the best female performers in the world right now. It was also nice to see Emma back on PPV. Someone on my Twitter feed pointed out that it has been 532 days since her last PPV appearance, a crazy statistic considering her talent.
Once Nia was dispatched, all the other women on the roster were given their time to shine, and the action was nicely split between them all, if not slightly muddled. Nia returned just before the finish, which saw Alexa pin Bayley to retain her belt. This was a really fun bout and a fine example of what multi-women matches can deliver. SmackDown, take note.
Match Rating: ***
Roman Reigns Defeated John Cena
The first of the night’s two big matches got off to a strange start. Cena walked out of the ring, only for Reigns to then chase him and throw him back in the ring. Cena then proceeded to oversell every-one of Roman’s punches in an almost comical fashion. The opening half of this match was actually fairly plodding. Reigns was incredibly dominant and Cena was selling everything like a madman.
Things started to pick up though once the match entered the classic Cena finisher after finisher formula. Reigns kicked out of AA after AA and the two exchanged finishers for the best part of ten minutes before Reigns finally picked up the win with a spear.
Cena raised Reigns’ hand after the match and while some were hailing this as a classic straight after, it was very much a bout of two halves, the first of which was pretty poorly booked. Cena left the ring to a standing ovation and with Ferdinand due for release in December, and Bumble Bee set to begin filming soon, this is likely the last we will see of him until WrestleMania season.
I’m one of the few people who is a fan of Reigns, but the WWE’s attempts at getting him over make him difficult to defend at times. The post-match stuff with Cena, and him kicking out of 5 AAs in the match was a bit excessive, and The Miz bigging him up to Angle after the match was overkill.
Match Rating: ** 1/2
Enzo Amore defeated Neville to become Cruiserweight Champion
What a terrible decision this was. Enzo won this match purely because he can sell more merchandise than Neville. The result made a mockery of the Cruiserweight division and while the Eddie Guerrero inspired finish protected Neville somewhat, as did the fact that the rest of this match was basically a glorified squash, this still sucked.
Match Rating: *
Brock Lesnar Defeated Braun Strowman to Retain the Universal Title
What a disappointment this was. Things started well, with Braun dominating the early goings and Lesnar selling everything really well. Then, it just turned into the kind of Lesnar match we were getting through his tiresome 2016 run. Multiple suplexes, a brief Braun fightback and an F5 to finish things off.
The most disappointing aspect of the match was how easy Braun went down in the end. After a month of hype, it took Brock one F5 to finish Braun off. Poor close to an otherwise great show.
Match Rating: **
Final Verdict: After weeks of hype, No Mercy 2017 delivered for the most part. The show was heading towards being a classic PPV, with all the early bouts delivering and then Cena and Reigns, despite putting out a fairly acceptable match seemed to slow the show down a little bit. Enzo’s win was a bad decision and the main event really failed to deliver. In the end, it was a good show that really should have been a great one.
What did you think of No Mercy? Let us know in the comments below, and let Liam know on Twitter @liamhoofe