WWE No Mercy 2017
September 24, 2017
Los Angeles, California
Watch: WWE Network
Meet our Previewers:
Andrew Sinclair: He’s back again for another WWE Preview. He just can’t get enough of these shows, can he? Follow him on Twitter @AMSinclair97 for a variety of takes on almost every sport under the sun.
August Baker: He can almost guarantee that this WWE show will be better than the last New Japan show he wrote about, and how often can you say that? Follow along on twitter @augustbaker12
WWE Intercontinental Championship
The Miz (c) vs Jason Jordan
Andrew Sinclair: The four week break between Summerslam and No Mercy has really freed up the booking on Raw and it’s a model I think they should stick to. All the matches on this show (well bar one) are well booked and seem like logical additions to the card. That’s not to say they are the most compelling stories, because in most cases they’re not, but they’ve come together nicely and they’ve been given room to breathe and there’s room for fan investment.
With that in mind, this match was the last to be announced for the show and it’s the one I’m most apathetic to. The Miz has been excellent on the mic in recent weeks, which is nothing new, but he definitely feels like he’s drifting aimlessly in the midcard. Jordan has not got over since they started the whole Kurt’s son angle and I think it’s leading towards a heel turn, although they may instead opt to freshen up the midcard and give him the belt. I hope they don’t, as the Miz has miles on his reign if he got a programme to invest in, but it’s a possibility. Prediction: The Miz
August Baker: Every time Corey Graves insists on calling Jason Jordan Kurt Angle’s son, I giggle. Every single time. I especially like The Miz telling Kurt Angle he’s a bad dad because he fathered a bastard, when Kurt has like five actual real life children who have appeared on the WWE Network excellent Kurt Angle 24. This whole thing is just ridiculous. I’ve said it before in these previews, The Miz should keep the IC belt forever. Or at least until his kid is born. It’s perfect for him and he’s perfect for it. And unless there are plans to put him in the main event (there isn’t), there is no reason he should lose here. But when it comes to Kurt Angle’s illegitimate child, logic and reason have gone out the window. Jordan may be a future IC champion, but it shouldn’t be yet. Let him try and get some actual crowd response first. Prediction: The Miz
Fatal 5-Way for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship
Alexa Bliss (c) vs Sasha Banks vs Bayley vs Nia Jax vs Emma
Andrew Sinclair: Surprise, surprise. A women’s main roster match in 2017 is a multi-woman scramble! Shock horror! Adding Bayley to the mix annoyed me, as there was no obvious reason to award her the shot. I’m still suspecting that they go with a Sasha heel turn sooner rather than later and Nia has momentum. Emma is the odd woman out here and she’s a cert to eat the pin. In terms of a winner, I think they give Nia the belt and let her run with it, setting up a match between her and Alexa at TLC. Prediction: Nia Jax
August Baker: I’ve been predicting a Nia Jax title win for months, and it still hasn’t happened. Is this the time? I’m hesitant to believe so. Normally, a person with her size is treated as unstoppable except in extreme circumstances (see: Strowman, Braun). But Nia has lost so many times. She’s not a monster, she’s just big. If they haven’t pulled the trigger on her winning the title yet, I’m not sure they’re going to. Asuka is coming, and the most satisfying debut for her would be to give Alexa Bliss some comeuppance. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for Nia anymore. Prediction: Alexa Bliss
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Neville (c) vs Enzo Amore
Andrew Sinclair: Without doubt I’m the odd man out here, but this is probably my third most anticipated match on the card. Neville’s programme with Tozawa was entertaining and this feels like filler before he moves onto a more serious programme with either Cedric Alexander or Mustafa Ali. Enzo isn’t the man to topple the King of the Cruiserweights, he’s little more than the jester in the King’s Court. The promo segment between these two that closed 205 Live was really good and showed how much Neville has grown on the mic since his return at the end of 2016. Not only will Neville win, he’ll do it in less than 6 minutes. Prediction: Neville
August Baker: Enzo on 205 Live is so bizarre, but if he actually gets more people to tune in, I guess I can give it a pass. As long as Neville squashes Enzo fast, I have no issue here. If instead, WWE does that stupid thing they do where an utter goof is presented as a credible threat and everyone one commentary acts surprised that Enzo is holding his own, then I might just fast forward. Prediction: Neville
Finn Balor vs Bray Wyatt
Andrew Sinclair: Let me get this straight – Wyatt beats Balor, so Balor has to find something deeper and darker from within himself. ‘The Demon’ returned and beat the Eater of Worlds and now…… we’re having another match between Balor and Wyatt? Balor’s Demon gimmick is great but it only works if they bring it out sporadically, and not for some wince-inducing, mindless midcard feud with Wyatt. Wyatt never wins feuds, so Balor is obviously going to win here and hopefully move to a programme with the Miz. Whatever it is though, it can’t be worse than this crap. Prediction: Finn Balor
August Baker: I’m running out of ways to say these stories are ridiculous, and we’re only four matches in. These guys have been fighting for months, and I still can’t tell you what they’re fighting about. I guess the story here is Finn has to beat Bray without the Demon’s help. Nothing besides a Balor win makes any sense storywise, though trying to analyze the story here is futile, so there’s not a whole lot to say. Prediction: Finn Balor
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose (c) vs The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro)
Andrew Sinclair: When these teams met at Summerslam I was somewhat sceptical but they had a really hot scrap there and they definitely have a better match in them. Sheamus and Cesaro have been wonderful to watch all year and I’m keen to see how good a match these teams can put on with a bit more time. I was worried for a point that they’d include Gallows and Anderson in this, which I wouldn’t object to from a wrestling perspective, it’s just ‘The Good Brothers’ have no cache at all and a regulation two-on-two will be infinitely better. I wouldn’t be shocked if they put the straps back on Sheamus and Cesaro whilst they wait for the Revival to heal up, but I think the former Shield buddies retain their gold. Either way, this will probably be match of the night. Prediction: Rollins and Ambrose
August Baker: I expected Gallows/Anderson and the Hardy’s to be added to this at some point, but I guess that’s not to be. Sheamus and Cesaro are must-watch TV for me. In the ring or out of the ring, these two are on the top tier level. The problem becomes what to do with them. Besides the aforementioned 4-way, there’s not much these two can do together. While Rollins and Ambrose are falling into the tag team ranks, these two need to burst up. I would love for Sheamus or Cesaro to get a one shot title match against Lesnar. Let Rollins and Ambrose stay in the tag ranks for a bit and build up some good will. Prediction: Rollins and Ambrose
John Cena vs Roman Reigns
Andrew Sinclair: Anything that’s even close to a shoot in wrestling is right up my alley, so I loved the first promo segment between these two. On that night and ever since Reigns has missed the mark with his promos and has looked like a total chump. Also unlike many, I like the fact this is on a ‘B-show’ as it were, as it has more room to breathe and has been given prominence. Cena is the established legend, defending his legacy and trying to teach the young man a lesson, whilst Reigns is the heir apparent looking to prove his legitimacy. The story is as old as time and I’ve loved it. Cena moving to Raw as a free agent makes me think he’s eating the fall here, especially given Reigns’ presentation in the build-up. Prediction: Roman Reigns
August Baker: I could complain about the fact that this match, and the title match, should be main events at WrestleMania. But instead, let’s just enjoy what we’re getting. Two WrestleMania main event caliber matches, each with a decent, coherent story being told and a build long enough that it doesn’t feel rushed. WWE is eager to sell Network subscriptions, and if that means better quality storytelling, I won’t complain.
With that being said, Roman has been embarrassingly bad on the mic against Cena. Roman is competent at reading a script by himself. But as soon as you throw him in the deep water with a guy like Cena, who likes to go off the cuff, Roman drowns. As for the match itself, we’ve seen it before. Roman goes up against the more popular vet and wins, and the vet raises his hand in a vain attempt to get people to like Reigns. That has been the script at least. If anyone is going to buck that trend, it would be Cena. I do think Reigns wins, but hoping Cena will be a less than graceful loser. Prediction: Roman Reigns
WWE Universal Championship
Brock Lesnar (c) vs Braun Strowman
Andrew Sinclair: HOLD MY BEER, THE BIG BOYS ARE COMING THROUGH! WWE rarely gets things right, this year has proven that time and again, but the rise of Strowman this year has been done to perfection. He’s come across as legitimate and that majestic main event at Summerslam was the Braun Strowman show. Paul Heyman’s promos have helped sell Strowman as a legitimate threat to Lesnar and that builds intrigue in a way little else can. Lesnar is the last true prizefighter in the WWE, someone who commands respect when he enters the ring and someone who has an aura that makes him look legitimate. You may have gripes about him outside the ring, I sure do, but you have to take him as Brock Lesnar the character. This will be balls to the wall, big hoss warfare and I’m all in. Strowman should be the one to dethrone Lesnar. His booking trajectory dictates that he should. In my opinion it will be a huge missed opportunity if they don’t give him the strap, he’s over and believable. Heart says Strowman, Head says Lesnar. Prediction: BRAUN STROWMAN!!!!
August Baker: I so badly want to predict Braun winning this thing. I really do. Andrew covered the rise of Strowman above, so let me explain why, unfortunately, Braun is not winning the title here. He’s not winning because his opponent is Brock Lesnar, and Brock Lesnar is not losing the title to anyone but Roman Reigns. That WrestleMania main event is set in stone, and no one else getting hot is going to interfere with that. And while Strowman is red hot, he still has poor qualities. Watching him throw people into objects and objects into people has been a joy the last couple months. But it’s easy to forget that he hasn’t displayed a lot of range besides the distance he gets throwing things. WWE has yet to prove that they will strike while the iron is hot, and I don’t think that changes here. Prediction: Braaaaawwwwk Lesnar!