WWE's No Mercy had a lot to live up to and with the news that Becky Lynch wouldn't be defending her Women's Championship, fans knew there would have to be a replacement. Sadly the replacement failed to live up to the hype of the Becky vs Alexa match and it seemed the crowd had fallen asleep.
The match between Dolph Ziggler and The Miz had the stipulation that if Ziggler lost he would be forced to leave the company. AJ Styles defended his WWE Championship in the opening match of the night against both Dean Ambrose and John Cena.
As with many pay-per-views No Mercy needed to ensure that it not only ended the current feuds but managed to continue some storylines heading into Survivor Series next month.
The WWE Universe will be taking their own opinions away from the event, but here are the 15 biggest takeaways and how WWE could fix them at the upcoming SmackDown Live event.
15. AJ Needs A Challenger
The face that runs the place managed to retain his WWE Championship in a hard fought match-up to open No Mercy and even though Styles needed the help of a chair to pin John Cena and defeat both him and Ambrose, he has retained his championship and now must move on to the next challenger.
Even though the ending to the match screamed re-match between Styles and Cena, it seems that Cena and Ambrose are set to have lengthy hiatus' from WWE over the next few months. This leaves AJ without a challenger moving forward, could Randy Orton be the one to step up in and challenge AJ as a way to push SmackDown forward.
14. Miz v Daniel Bryan Continues To Be Teased
Ever since their face off on Talking Smack, the WWE Universe has been buzzing at the prospect that Daniel Bryan could be coming out of retirement for one final match against The Miz.
Miz has done some fantastic work both in the ring and on the mic over the past few months and even at No Mercy earlier tonight Miz and Bryan once again got into a heated conversation. Miz raised the fact that Ziggler and Bryan were much more similar than anyone thought by referencing the fact that Bryan was forced to walk away from WWE as well. Bryan was not best impressed and after Miz mocked him in the match with Dolph, it was thought that Bryan could make an appearance, but sadly he didn't.
13. Poor American Alpha
How on earth did American Alpha go from being the biggest tag team draft pick as part of the WWE draft back in July to being relegated to one of four teams on the kick-off show? American Alpha was the biggest team to be promoted to the main roster from NXT and now it seems that they have been dropped in favour of a team that was put together in order for Heath to gain a contract.
Rhyno and Slater don't work as a team and American Alpha still has to face The Usos after they attacked them in the Tag Team Tournament. SmackDown has so much strength and depth in their Tag Team Division but they choose to put together their own team rather than pushing the incredible talent that NXT has created.
12. What's Happened To Becky?
Shane and Daniel Bryan told an upset Alexa Bliss backstage that Becky couldn't compete at No Mercy because of an injury that had nothing to do with her competing in the ring. So why wasn't she there to appear? Becky could have been attacked backstage and Alexa could have stolen the title and proclaimed herself the Champion until Becky returns.
Instead, WWE dropped the ball completely and told Alexa that she had a match but she couldn't have a Championship match until November 8th in Glasgow, Scotland. So the WWE Universe have to wait a month for a Championship shot? Why does this just feel like a cheap plug for an episode of SmackDown?
11. Nikki and Carmella Go To War
It's not very often that a women's match that doesn't include Sasha and Charlotte becomes one of the highlights of the show but Nikki Bella and Carmella managed to pull off an incredible match.
Carmella has been on fire since she turned heel on Nikki and the fact that Carmella's finisher works the neck means that it was the perfect feud for Nikki to come back to. The match was only announced this past week on SmackDown and wasn't given the build up that Alexa vs Becky Lynch had but it still managed to be one of the highlights of the show. With only six active female stars on the SmackDown roster, it means that these women moving to a new feud after this could be interesting.
10. Total Bellas is the new WWE Network
Admit it, we've all done the WWE Pay-per-view drinking games and back in 2014 the poor person who was given The WWE Network as their word to drink after rarely ever made it through the pay-per-view.
At one event the Network was actually mentioned more than thirty times and now it seems WWE has moved on to promote something new. Are you aware that Total Bellas premiered in America this past week? If not then you definitely will be now.
On the pre-show alone WWE invited Nikki Bella onto the kick-off panel to talk about the show and played a lengthy trailer for the episode that fans had already watched. Whoever drew Total Bellas/Divas for No Mercy will probably still be napping right now, and the WWE Universe all feel your pain.
9. Have Rhyno and Heath Slater Overstayed Their Welcome as Champions?
It was thought that WWE only allowed Rhyno and Heath Slater to win the Tag Team Championships so that Slater was able to finally sign a WWE contract and no longer be a free agent.
It would then have made sense for WWE to have taken the titles away from the odd pairing and then give them to The Usos who could in-turn take the titles into a much bigger feud going forward. Shockingly Rhyno and Slater retained their Tag Team Championships after a gore from Rhyno and now go into their second month as the reigning Champions of SmackDown.
8. Arriving With Less of A Bang and More of A Sizzle
Poor Curt Hawkins, he's been building up his debut for the past few weeks on SmackDown and then WWE opt to see him arrive on the Kickoff show. Well, that was predictable, Curt was a jobber when he was with WWE before, why does he think this time will be any different.
Hawkins wasn't even afforded a match, he was just given a few minutes to tell deliver an in-ring promo so that fans will tune into SmackDown Live and watch him wrestle on Tuesday night. I think it's time for you to face the facts Hawkins, once a jobber, always a jobber.
7. Booker T doesn't get hype, he stays hype!
Let's be honest, the kickoff show for any SmackDown pay-per-view always lacks any type of charisma, between Renee Young and Jerry Lawler there is sad dad jokes and a middle-aged woman tripping over her lines. It all feels very rehearsed, but Booker T brings an extra edge.
Booker always gets excited regardless of the match, he ensures that the crowd is aware that this is a wrestling event and we are allowed to be hyped. Booker T doesn't have any lines to learn, he's that much of legend that he can say what he wants and he always does. Thank god for Booker T. If Jerry, Lita, and Renee were there alone then the poor British fans would be asleep before the show.
6. Main Event Kick Off
For the first time in WWE history, the company announced that the main event triple threat match between AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, and John Cena would be kicking off the show. This was mostly due to the presidential debate that was taking place at the same time but it seemed to work quite well.
WWE usually save the best until last as a way to ensure fans would stay tuned in and the company was well aware that the WWE Universe would continue to watch because they really wanted to discover the fate of Dolph Ziggler. The match between the trio was incredible and it was the perfect way to kick off what turned out to be a fantastic pay-per-view.
5. Swagger's SmackDown Push Hit A Corbin Shaped Wall
Swagger made history a few weeks ago when he became the first WWE superstar since the draft back in July to switch brands because Raw simply didn't have any storylines for him going forward.
Speculation then stated that Swagger was set for a huge main event push on SmackDown which could lead to him finally being given the attention he deserves. Swagger taking on Baron Corbin should have been the beginning of this but instead, it was Corbin who was awarded the victory after a poke to the eye and a superb End of Days. The ending to this match opens the door to a follow-up match for the duo at Survivor Series, but once again it seems Swagger was promised a push and when it came down to it, WWE failed to deliver.
4. Dolph Ziggler Trolled The WWE Universe
In the weeks leading up to No Mercy, Ric Flair announced that Dolph Ziggler's contract ran out on Monday, October 10th and Dolph has been posting some cryptic tweets of his own.
Reports suggested that Dolph had been offered a backstage position with WWE and he was set to give up the thing that he himself claimed was his 'sickness.' When it was announced that the WWE Championship match had been pushed to the opening of the show, it seemed as though the stage was set for Ziggler to walk away from the company. Shockingly Ziggler defied all the odds, including Maryse's perfume and The Spirit Squad's involvement to walk out as a five-time Intercontinental Champion.
3. SmackDown Didn't Cover Becky's Absence Well
Becky Lynch tweeted a photo of herself in a hospital bed during No Mercy after it was made obvious that she wouldn't be gracing Sacremento California with an appearance. This meant that poor Alexa was left without an opponent and WWE decided to leave it until the final hour.
Fans got their hopes up and thought that there could be an incredible return on the table here, but instead Naomi was the superstar to walk through the curtain and even though the two women put on a fantastic match, there was a pang of disappointment for what could have been.
2. Luke Harper Has Switched Over To SmackDown
Bray Wyatt won a match on pay-per-view! Finally The Eater of Worlds picked up an impressive win over Randy Orton after his former Wyatt Family member Luke Harper made his return to WWE TV,
It would have made much more sense if Luke attacked Bray and gave him a feud going forward with his rivalry with Randy Orton now thought to be finished, but Harper has been added to SmackDown! The former Intercontinental Champion is a much needed addition since Ambrose and Cena look set to be gone from SmackDown Live for the next few months and I feel SmackDown have definitley scored big time with this signing.
1. Why SmackDown Is Number One
Ever since the July WWE draft all the reports regarding WWE ratings have stated that SmackDown has been the brand to beat. Given the fact that Raw has been the flagship show for the last few decades, it is hard for the Raw roster to hear, but No Mercy proved why SmackDown is number one.
The show ran smoothly despite Becky's late withdrawal and there wasn't a single in-ring promo. No Mercy was three straight hours of pure wrestling that proved that the creative team on SmackDown are head and shoulders above the group on Raw and WWE's trendsetting show should look over to their blue brand neighbours if they want to see how to put on an epic show.
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