We’re already at the second Smackdown only pay per view and the card is already stronger than the “Backlash 2016” offering. If nothing else they already have more matches set up for this show, meaning we probably won’t have to sit through a ten minute opening segment and no team is going to have to work twice. Let’s get to it.
Pre-Show: Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin
We’ll start with this rematch from earlier in the week on “Smackdown Live” where Swagger won via submission. However, it’s not quite that simple as it sounds. In the first match, Corbin claimed to be reaching for the ropes instead of tapping out so there’s a much more logical reason for a rematch. It’s much better than having a rematch for the sake of having a rematch after one of the people wins completely clean.
I’m going with Corbin here as there’s really no reason to have Swagger win. Swagger is on “Smackdown Live” to lose matches to upcoming names, as he’s been stuck doing for years. Corbin is the kind of guy you could throw out there as a midcard title challenger at the drop of a hat so there’s no reason to have him lose to someone like Swagger in a spot like this. Odds are there will be a third match but hopefully this wraps up their mini feud.
Curt Hawkins vs. ???
This is the easiest call on the card as you don’t bring in someone for the sake of having them lose. Hawkins has had some entertaining vignettes but I don’t really see him doing much on the roster. There’s nothing wrong with filling the show with warm bodies though and a quick run for Hawkins isn’t the worst idea in the world. The opponent doesn’t really matter here because he’s going to lose to Hawkins in about five minutes.
Tag Team Titles: Heath Slater/Rhyno vs. Usos
Here we have another case where there isn’t a ton of suspense. Slater and Rhyno were never meant to be a long term solution at the top of the division so we can get to the big Usos vs. American Alpha showdown for the belts. The thing to remember is that Slater has already gotten his contract and done his big story so they can switch the titles and everything will be fine.
In case it’s not clear, I’m going with the Usos to win the belts. There’s no logical reason to keep the belts on the makeshift team when Alpha is waiting in the wings after having beaten the Usos in such quick fashion in the tournament. Salter and Rhyno don’t need to team together anymore after this as Rhyno can go off to be a politician while Slater can be a loveable goofball.
Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
It’s the first of two women’s matches as we have an actual grudge match for a change. In this case, Carmella has been tormenting Bella since she returned from injury, even calling her a Kardashian wannabe, which somehow didn’t seem to offend Bella in the slightest. This has been an actually well set up feud with Bella making Carmella look way better than she has any right to.
That being said, I think I’m going to go with Bella here as she hasn’t had a big win since here comeback. I’m not sure you can call beating Carmella a big win but at least there’s been a story to set this up. Carmella has already gotten a big boost from this feud and will be fine going forward. It would make more sense to have Carmella win here but I’ll go with Bella, who just hasn’t had enough publicity lately.
Women’s Title: Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss
We might as well cover the other women’s match here as Lynch is having her first title defense after winning the title last month. Bliss still isn’t great but the Harley Quinn look has done wonders for her and she’s gotten even better than she was at the start. Lynch is on a roll too and looks like the star of the division.
I’ll stick with the champion keeping the title here though as Bliss just isn’t ready to be the face of the division. It’s pretty clear we’re getting ready for a Lynch vs. Bella showdown over the belt and there’s just no reason to switch the belt in Lynch’s first title defense. The match should be fine and they did a good job of setting things up on Tuesday so this should be entertaining, albeit a bit predictable.
Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton
That leaves us with the big matches and we’ll start with the non-title entry. This was supposed to happen last month but Orton was still out due to injury, leaving us with an uninspired yet necessary Kane vs. Wyatt match. Orton is healthy now and that means we have an interesting match to look forward to.
As much as it pains me, I’ll go with Orton here, partially due to a lack of anyone else to go after the World Title after this show. With rumors or John Cena and Dean Ambrose taking time off, odds are AJ Styles retains the title (excuse me for jumping ahead of myself) and needs an opponent. There really isn’t anyone left other than Orton, meaning he has to win here. I’m sure Wyatt will be fine as he loses so often that he has to be used to it by now. Even with the potential debut of Sister Abigail, Wyatt loses here and that’s a shame in many ways.
Intercontinental Title: The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler
It’s more than a title defense for Miz as Ziggler is putting up his career. I’m not going to waste your time with any sort of pretense here: I’m a big Miz fan and I wouldn’t mind if Ziggler got lost at sea and turned into the king of a small island where he oversold poi burgers and coconut shakes. I’d love for Miz to win here and go on to a big story away from Ziggler and his “IT JUST MEANS SO MUCH TO ME AND I NEED TO WIN ONE MORE TIME” schtick which he’s been stuck with for months now.
That being said, I think they’ll actually do it here and have Ziggler lose in a big surprise. There’s nothing left for Ziggler to do in WWE and I really wouldn’t mind to see him leave for good. Miz has been on fire in the last few months and doesn’t deserve to lose to someone as stale as Ziggler. The story has been told well but Ziggler sucks the life out of me and I have no interest in seeing him do anything at all.
World Title: AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose vs. John Cena
Styles is defending and we’ve already covered the result earlier on. There’s no logical reason to have Cena and/or Ambrose take the title from Styles here and if both of them are leaving for a bit, it would make even less sense. Styles has been the most consistent performer in WWE for a LONG time now and he deserves to keep the title for several months. There’s not much more to this one as the ending is pretty clear and the best case scenario all around.
Overall “No Mercy 2016” is just there, though I have some optimism for the show. I’m not wild on the idea of having another pay per view this soon but at least the card looks solid. If nothing else they have eight matches this time around and “Smackdown Live” has shown the ability to set up an entertaining show. My guess is this will be a perfectly acceptable use of three hours (Repeat: THREE HOURS. Not three hours and another fifteen minutes. Three hours AT MOST.). The wrestling will be fine and they’ll use the Smackdown style of setting up simple stories but paying them off well.