Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over twelve years now and have reviewed over 6,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
No Mercy 2017
Date: September 24, 2017
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T., Corey Graves
I don’t remember being this excited for a B pay per view in a very long time. This show is all about the double main event with a combination of Brock Lesnar defending the Universal Title against Braun Strowman and John Cena vs. Roman Reigns in one heck of a big time match. That should be more than enough to carry this show so let’s get to it.
Kickoff Show: Elias vs. Apollo Crews
No real story here as this was just thrown together for the sake of a Kickoff match. Elias sings a little ditty about Los Angeles but gets cut off by Titus Worldwide and Crews in particular. Elias shoves him away without much effort and grabs a headlock to keep Crews slowed down. An armbar has Elias in some trouble and Crews snaps off a dropkick to take over. Elias sends him to the apron though and knocks Crews outside as we take a break.
Back with Elias still in control until Crews punches him in the ribs and slowly slugs away. Crews fights out of a reverse chinlock and scores with the standing shooting star. An enziguri staggers Elias but he sends Crews into the corner, setting up Drift Away for the pin at 8:54.
Rating: D+. This felt like a long Raw match and to be fair that’s all it was really supposed to be. Apollo losing again doesn’t really do anything that bad for him as it’s not like h had anything going for him anyway. On the other hand you have Elias, who is looking more and more like someone they would like to push every single week. Good outing from Elias but not much of a match.
Elias goes after Crews again but Titus makes a fast save.
The opening video looks at the two main events and talks about how everyone has the potential to show no mercy.
Intercontinental Title: Jason Jordan vs. The Miz
Jordan is challenging after winning a six way on Raw. Miz gets a bit too cocky to start and walks into a series of suplexes for his efforts. A cheap shot to the ribs has Jason in trouble though and a DDT gets two. The dueling WHO’S YOUR DADDY/LET’S GO MIZ chants starts up as Jordan slugs away, only to get sent outside for a breather. Back in and we hit the YES Kicks to Jordan with Cole and Corey arguing over who invented them.
Jordan catches one of them in another suplex and a Saito suplex is good for a near fall. Some rolling northern lights suplexes give Jordan a bridging two and Miz bails outside again. Back in and Jordan slaps on a Crossface for a bit, only to miss the running shoulder in the corner. Another suplex drops Miz and now the shoulder hits but Jordan has to go after Bo Dallas. Curtis Axel gets in a cheap shot though, knocking Jordan into Miz for the Skull Crushing Finale to retain at 10:10.
Rating: C. Jordan’s suplexes looked great but I’m not sure that’s enough to carry him to glory. He really doesn’t have enough of a character to make it work but maybe it just needs another tweak to really start clicking. Miz retaining is the right call as he gets to keep setting himself closer towards the most days with the title.
Post match Jordan says he’s love a rematch and thinks Miz sucks, just like the chants about his father.
Long recap of Bray Wyatt vs. Finn Balor. Bray targeted Finn for thinking he was a false idol with the Balor Club. Bray beat him on Raw but then lost to the Demon at Summerslam. Now Bray wants to win again to show he can beat Balor himself.
Bray Wyatt vs. Finn Balor
Bray jumps him before the bell and sends Balor into various hard objects. The referees come out to check on Balor and start to take him to the back until Bray says that Balor is a coward who is scared of the monster in front of him. Of course those are fighting words and the brawl is on early. Sister Abigail is broken up and Balor sidesteps a charge to send Bray outside.
Back in and Bray catches him with a superplex to stay on the bad ribs like a good villain should. Finn’s shoulder is sent down into the apron as Bray is picking him apart piece by piece. Bray gets caught in the ring skirt though (That’s still a thing?) and Balor kicks him in the chest. Back in and Balor goes up, only to have Bray do the spider walk to scare the heck out of Finn.
The Sling Blade puts Bray down but he pops back up for a shot to the ribs and the backsplash for two. A double stomp gets Balor out of trouble but he takes too long going up top. Bray pulls him back down and hits a heck of a clothesline for two more. Back to back suplex throws have the ribs in more trouble (good psychological sense) but he takes too long on the ropes too. Balor hits the running corner dropkick and the Coup de Grace is good for the pin at 11:55.
Rating: C+. Better match than their last effort and hopefully this ends their rivalry so Bray can find someone else to beat him up for a change. The match ran into the same trap that so many Wyatt matches run into: I didn’t buy most of his near falls because it felt like we were just waiting around for him to get beaten. They really need to fix that if they want Bray to move forward. Balor on the other hand needs to be in the World Title picture like….oh anytime would be nice.
Asuka debuts at TLC.
Sheamus and Cesaro say they’ll win.
Tag Team Titles: Sheamus/Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose
Rollins and Ambrose are defending. Ambrose sends both challengers outside to start but gets run over from behind by Sheamus. Cesaro rams him hard into the steps and comes up (well, he’s still on the ground but you get the idea) holding his arm. Back in and things actually slow down a bit for the referee to check on the arm so you know it’s serious. Cesaro’s boot to the face gets two and he cranks on the arm for good measure.
Dean fights up and sends him into the post though, allowing the hot tag to Rollins so house can be cleaned in a hurry, starting with the springboard clothesline and a catapult into the post. There’s the low superkick as Cesaro is bleeding from the face, due to LOSING BOTH OF HIS FRONT TEETH WHEN HIS HEAD SMACKED INTO THE POST! AND HE’S STILL GOING! Sweet goodness someone get this man a…..what the heck should he get? Sheamus is ticked off (must be a dental enthusiast) and grabs three straight Irish Curses to take Seth down.
It’s back to Cesaro (now less bloody) for a big boot to take Ambrose off the apron. Rollins slugs away anyway and avoids a charge to send Sheamus into the post. One heck of a backdrop sends Cesaro outside and the hot tag brings Dean back in. Ambrose clotheslines Sheamus outside and, while still favoring the arm, hits a suicide dive. Back in and Seth has to save Dean from a double Razor’s Edge, only to have Cesaro kick him to the floor.
That means a Sharpshooter and Crossface for Dean, who somehow makes the ropes. The double Razor’s Edge gets two and Sheamus can’t believe the kickout (fair enough, as that should be a heck of a finisher). With nothing else working, the super White Noise is loaded up but Rollins is there for a hurricanrana….which is blocked through raw power.
Sheamus gives Ambrose the regular White Noise and Cesaro superbombs Rollins onto Dean for the most ludicrous kickout I’ve seen in months. Dean collapses before a Brogue Kick can connect so Sheamus tries again, only to hit Cesaro by mistake. The wind-up knee knocks Sheamus into Dirt Deeds to retain the titles at 15:57.
Rating: B+. Do we still have Isaac Yankem’s business card? I don’t think I need to explain that this was an insanely hard hitting match with both teams beating the fire (and teeth) out of each other. I wasn’t expecting anything coming into this and while the kickouts were ridiculous at times (unfortunately that has to be plural), heck of a performance here and worth checking out.
We recap the Women’s Title match, which is a five way due to trying to throw in everyone they can. Alexa Bliss is defending, Sasha Banks is getting a mandatory rematch, Nia Jax and Emma won a tag match to get here and Bayley is just there because reasons.
Women’s Title: Alexa Bliss vs. Emma vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley vs. Nia Jax
Bliss is defending her right to get killed by Asuka. Emma now has new music that starts with “it’s all about me”. Uh, nothing has ever been about you Emma. Bliss and Jax are knocked to the floor without much effort and it’s a rare triple test of strength from the other three. Emma is sent outside as well to give us the big showdown, only to have Nia back in and destroy the mere mortals.
Bliss comes back in and tries her DDT on Jax, who just shrugs it off in a nearly funny moment. Banks tries a save so Nia Samoan drops her and Bliss at the same time, leaving Bayley to dive in for a save. The guillotine choke over the ropes has Nia in trouble so everyone can get together and dump her out. Nia gets right back up and grabs Emma, who slips between her legs and grabs a powerbomb with Bayley helping and Banks and Bliss dropkicking her away from the ropes.
Nia lands ON HER HEAD but thankfully seems to be alive. Back in and Banks hits Rey Mysterio’s sitout bulldog on Emma, followed by the Bank Statement on Bliss. Bayley makes a save and grabs the Bayley to Belly for two of her own. Nia is back up though and starts destroying people again, including a legdrop on Sasha for two. The monster is taken to the floor but Bliss uses the distraction to DDT Bayley and retain the title at 9:59.
Rating: B-. THEN WHY WAS EMMA IN THE FREAKING MATCH??? Of all the people they could have take the fall (and by that I mean of like three), they pick BAYLEY? The one coming back from injury after her horrible run? They have the jobbiest jobber to ever job in Emma and she’s just out there on the floor with the rest of them while Bayley takes the fall? And they wonder why no one buys into her. The other problem here is Nia, who needs to actually win something at some point in her career.
Bliss says she’s a goddess.
Clip from No Mercy 2005 with Batista retaining the Smackdown World Title over Eddie Guerrero.
Long recap of John Cena vs. Roman Reigns. Cena came to Raw to face Reigns and then destroyed him in a series of promos. Reigns talked about Cena leaving for Hollywood and says he needs to win this match to really be the big dog.
John Cena vs. Roman Reigns
Reigns shoulders him down to start, drawing a YOU BOTH SUCK chant. Cena actually gets out of the ring and walks up the ramp (Huh?), allowing Reigns to follow him up and get in a shot to the face to take over again. Some right hands have little effect on Reigns, who drops Cena with a single shot for two. Cena sends him into the steps for a breather but still doesn’t seem to have the killer instinct going yet.
Reigns does the same thing to him, followed by the apron dropkick. The fans aren’t sure who to cheer for here as Reigns gets two. Cena gets in a few right hands but a pair of kicks cut him off again as Cena has still had almost no offense. We hit the chinlock as the announcers are suggesting that Cena is starting to lose his big match skills and the stupid fans chant boring.
Back up and the shoulder block is cut off with an uppercut as Reigns is nailing the heel style. Cena’s finishing sequence is initiated but the Five Knuckle Shuffle is countered with another Samoan drop. The Superman Punch is countered into an STF but Reigns powers out into the sitout powerbomb for two more. Cena powers up again and hits the AA for two on a very near fall that I almost bought.
The top rope Fameasser is countered with a not great powerbomb for two and another Superman Punch gets another near fall. Back up and Reigns’ spear hits the post (CHECK HIS TEETH! CHECK HIS TEETH!) so Cena grabs the super AA for another very close two that I bought more than the standard version.
With nothing else working, Cena loads up the announcers’ tables but his third AA is countered into a spear through the table, though Cena kind of countered it with a DDT. Fans: “YOU STILL SUCK!” That’s only good for two back inside but another spear is countered into rolling AA’s for a two that I didn’t buy as much this time around. Another Superman Punch and another spear gives Reigns the pin at 21:48. Cole: “This may be the biggest win of Reigns’ career!” No Cole. No.
Rating: B. Yeah this didn’t really work like it was supposed to and the spamming of finishers was laughable at the ending. The fact that I bought the first AA, really bought the second AA, and didn’t buy the rolling AA’s tells you all you need to know. This was supposed to be some big win that made Reigns but he’s main evented THREE WRESTLEMANIAS IN A ROW. Excuse me if I’m not thrilled with Reigns winning the co-main event of a B show. It’s a big win, but this wasn’t anything close to the level of epic they were hoping for.
Cena raises Reigns’ hand and sits in the corner after Reigns leaves. The fans applaud and give him a THANK YOU CENA chant because they’re acting like he’s retiring for some reason. Cena goes to the ramp, turns around and salutes before leaving.
Miz tells Kurt Angle he wants a special MizTV with Roman Reigns tomorrow night because that win was the same as retiring the Undertaker. Angle agrees and says it’s opening the show. Translation: PLEASE DON’T WATCH MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL!
Cruiserweight Title: Enzo Amore vs. Neville
Enzo is challenging and comes out dressed like Beetlejuice. Before the match, Enzo runs his mouth about taking the king’s queen (Enzo: “What is a king without a queen?” Still a king you buffoon.) and something about cookie dough. Neville wristlocks him to start and takes Enzo down with a front facelock. A backflip out of trouble just earns Enzo a kick to the leg as Neville doesn’t seem to be sweating this one too much.
Neville sends him head first into the corner and stomps away, followed by a sliding kick to the head. All champ so far and you can feel the screwy ending coming. One heck of a superkick drops Enzo again and more kicks have him reeling. Neville goes up but takes too long jawing at the fans for the Phoenix splash. The DDG gets a close two on the champ but he throws Enzo outside and over the barricade. With the referee at nine, Enzo holds up the title and dives back in. The referee takes it away, allowing Enzo to hit a low blow for the pin and the title at 9:43.
Rating: F. Enzo Amore is Cruiserweight Champion. This is a failure.
D for those of you who are picky about this kind of stuff. It was a squash with a screwy finish.
We recap Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman, which is going to be a big collision. Strowman is the biggest monster that Lesnar has ever faced and he might not be enough of a beast to conquer him.
Universal Title: Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman
Strowman is challenging. Brock gets shoved down to start and a takedown attempt is shoved away. The first German suplex is no sold and Brock gets chokeslammed (Graves: “CHOKESLAM CITY BROCK!”). Braun’s running powerslam only gets two and Heyman is panicking. An elbow and headbutt block another German suplex attempt and Brock’s back gives out on an F5 attempt.
Braun posts him and sends Brock hard into the corner, only to miss a charge. Strowman gets caught in the Kimura and despite Braun grabbing the ropes four times, he settles for a spinebuster to break the hold. It’s Suplex City time with numbers two thru six having Strowman in trouble and Lesnar in a puddle of sweat. The F5 doesn’t work though and a second running powerslam plants Lesnar. A third only gets two on Brock as the fans aren’t reacting to these near falls. Back up and the F5 retains the title out of nowhere at 8:58.
Rating: D. Well that was garbage. They had something going in the first few minutes but Brock just shrugged everything off and hit the F5 to retain. You know, likely because we need Reigns vs. Lesnar II in New Orleans. Braun made one big mistake coming into this match: he got himself over when he wasn’t supposed to and WWE isn’t changing their plans for anyone, especially if the World Title is involved.
Overall Rating: B. That was a heck of a surprise as everything I was looking forward to was either disappointing or just bad and almost everything that I wasn’t interested in was good stuff. Reigns vs. Cena was certainly entertaining though nowhere near as big as WWE thinks it was. Strowman vs. Lesnar….yeah we all bought into the false hope that we’re getting ANYTHING other than Reigns vs. Lesnar II in New Orleans. It’s a shame, but I can’t really say I’m surprised. Disappointed, but not surprised.
The rest of the show was actually very good with the low point being…..I guess Balor vs. Wyatt? I had a good time with this show, even if it was for the polar opposite reason I was expecting to. Still though, it’s one of the better B shows they’ve done in a long time and the good stuff at the beginning more than makes up for the lackluster main event.
Of course nothing makes up for Enzo winning. That’s a wound that will never heal.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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