Welcome to SmackDown Live! Pictures in today’s article are courtesy of FarthingDraws!
We open on a brief video reminding us about the upcoming pay-per-view No Mercy, and the main event being a triple threat for the championship. When we cut to the ring, however, the arena goes dark and fills with fireflies. We’re opening with Bray Wyatt, folks!
MATCH: Bray Wyatt vs. Kane
Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton has been confirmed for No Mercy! Bray Wyatt’s entrance is kind of giving me chills today, possibly something to do with the fact that I’m in a very cold rural town for the week and I wear hoodies until they melt off me.
- Wyatt immediately on the attack, backing Kane into the corner with strikes. Kane reverses, backing Wyatt into the corner with strikes.
- Wyatt breaks out, rebounding off the ropes for a clothesline, then a splash in the corner.
- More strikes from Bray, then into a rear chinlock. Kane powers to his feet and hits a jawbreaker.
- Running senton from Wyatt misses, with Kane rolling out of the way. Bray stumbles into the corner for a splash from Kane.
- Sidewalk slam from Kane, followed by a jumping DDT.
- Kane catches Bray for the chokeslam, but Bray counters with an uranagi into a senton.
- Bray up in spiderwalk position, but he’s not looking at Kane – he’s caught a glimpse of an upside-down Randy Orton on the Titantron. Randy tells him that he can play Wyatt’s game better than he can, and while Wyatt is distracted, Kane gets to his feet behind him.
- Bray turns around and Kane catches him for the chokeslam, but Bray fights out again, going over the ropes. He hesitates there for a moment, unsure if he’s getting back in the ring or going to find Randy.
- Eventually, Bray makes his way up the ramp, and Kane wins by count-out.
Bray laughs maniacally at the top of the ramp, grinning widely at Kane, before he makes his way backstage. Kane is in the ring with his pyro celebrating, but it’s something of a hollow victory, isn’t it?
Charly Caruso is backstage, interviewing Baron Corbin about Jack Swagger. Corbin says that if Swagger wants to pick a fight with him, then he’s stupider than he looks. The camera pans across to Swagger, who was apparently politely listening just waiting for a dramatic opportunity. Swagger challenges Corbin to a match for later tonight.
Bray Wyatt is milling about backstage, looking for Randy Orton. We cut away from this so quickly that I’m actually just thrown for a loop, and don’t have any funny jokes.
MATCH: Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki Bella
Carmella has joined us on commentary for this match, and she chirpily asks us how we’re doin’, before she launches into a tirade about Nikki Bella showing her up in front of her hometown crowd.
- Alexa straight on the offensive, but it’s Nikki with an attempted roll-up right off the bat.
- Both women back on their feet, Alexa tries to push Nikki into the corner, but Nikki floors her with a clothesline.
- A dropkick sends Alexa to the outside, then Nikki straight-up throws Alexa at Carmella, before breaking into a lovely little mocking moonwalk.
- Nikki throws Alexa back into the ring, then picks her up in fireman’s carry position.
- Before she can do anything, Carmella is in the ring, knocking Nikki over, and the bell rings.
Carmella lays a beatdown on Nikki Bella, until Becky Lynch’s music hits and she charges in for the save on Nikki. Less than two minutes of action for that match before Carmella’s interference; it’s quite disappointing, really.
MATCH: Nikki Bella & Becky Lynch vs. Carmella & Alexa Bliss
Well, shoot! During the ad break, Daniel Bryan pulled a Teddy Long and made this a tag-team match!
- When we come in, Alexa and Nikki are in the ring together. Alexa drags Nikki to the corner and makes the tag to Carmella, who goes for a cover for a one-count.
- Strikes from Carmella, then throwing Nikki into the corner for the Staten Island Shuffle.
- Alexa tags back in, blowing a dainty kiss to Becky Lynch as she drags Nikki around by the head, then tagging in Carmella again for a rear chinlock. Nikki powers to her feet, breaking the hold, then collapses in the corner.
- Carmella goes for a second Staten Island Shuffle, but Nikki scrambles out of the way and tags in Becky Lynch.
- Becky hits two running lariats and a leg lariat. Carmella makes the tag to Alexa, who Becky takes down with an exploder suplex.
- Carmella drags Alexa out of the ring and out of the way of Becky’s assault, and Becky dives off the apron after her.
- Both women back in the ring, then Carmella jumps in with a superkick on Becky Lynch. Nikki tackles her out of the ring to take her out, but Becky is down.
- Nikki and Carmella brawl on the outside while Alexa climbs up to the turnbuckle, and hits Twisted Bliss for a three-count.
Alexa looks absolutely terrifying as she backs up the ramp, grinning widely. Becky looks absolutely devastated by this development.
Bray is chuckling to himself as he calls out for Randy backstage. The camera pans over to his rocking chair, which Bray approaches, laughing to himself about how this is not a particularly cunning master plan. Randy sneaks up and closes what looks like a garage door, deadlocking it. Security camera footage from inside shows Bray pounding on the walls, faintly more frantic than we’d typically expect from him.
Daniel Bryan’s music hits as we come back from the commercial, and the arena is fairly thunderous as always. He’s here to talk to us about the Susan G Komen foundation. Despite the issues with the Susan G Komen foundation, it does tug the heartstrings a little as he presents his five guests with SmackDown Women’s Championship titles as the crowd screams ‘yes!’ at them.
MATCH: The Vaudevillains vs. The Hype Bros
The Vaudevillains are waiting in the ring as the Hype Bros make their way to the ring. I still miss Breezango. Just, if we forgot that since last week.
- Simon Gotch and Mojo Rawley start out in the ring together, and Mojo does a bit of dancing before he makes the tag to Ryder, attempting to work Gotch’s arm.
- Missile dropkick from Ryder onto Aiden English on the apron, then back in the ring to work Gotch some more. However, they’re distracted, as the Ascension make their way down to the ramp just, apparently, to watch a little bit.
- English tags in, and gets in some offense on Ryder, with Gotch adding some more behind the referee’s back.
- English with a scoop slam on Ryder, but misses with the knee drop.
- Gotch tags in, and Ryder reverses a move into a back body drop and makes the tag to Mojo Rawley.
- English tags back in, and Rawley hits him with a Stinger Splash, then a fireman’s carry slam.
- Ryder tags in for the Hype Ryder, for a successful pin.
The Hype Bros call out to the Ascension, still watching on the ramp, but still no one appears to know why the Ascension are here.
It’s time for a special episode of Miz TV: the Dolphumentary. Someone needs to explain to the Miz that his pink ribbon clashes with his red suit. Maryse has the right idea; she’s wearing white. Yes, fashion critic Jess is back with a vengeance. Did you think I’d forgotten?
Dolph Ziggler comes out, in ‘what might be his last appearance on SmackDown Live’, and I’m already heartbroken just imagining that. Dolph takes a seat, and then Miz starts playing a documentary about Dolph Ziggler’s career. Starting out as a golf caddy, moving through his time as a male cheerleader, his brief championship, his terrible stand-up comedy.
Poor Dolph, honestly. But he explains that yes, he’s had a bunch of embarrassing moments in his career, but there’s also the magic moments, that he can’t walk away from. He claims to have one last shred of dignity left, and I mean, to be fair, I’m sure there’s some embarrassing footage that the Miz failed to include! But that tiny bit of remaining dignity is what is going to push him to beat the Miz at No Mercy.
He finishes with “I’m not done yet!”, and Miz counters, “Yes. You. Are.”
However, the Miz is a good guy. You know how I know? He’s arranged a Spirit Squad reunion for Dolph Ziggler! Well, two of them at least. What a nice guy he is. Dolph is getting more and more antsy as they awkwardly cheer for him, until Miz taunts him one time too many and Dolph asks if he wants to go right now. Well, no, he doesn’t – he sneaks out of the ring while the two former Spirit Squad members lay a beatdown on Dolph Ziggler in the ring.
After taking some beats, Dolph manages to take them both down with a pair of superkicks, and Miz tries to come after him and Dolph goes for a third superkick, which misses – but Miz looks suspicious, and a little less than thrilled.
Bray Wyatt is still trapped in that storage unit. I haven’t recovered from the Dolphumentary, yet. Give me time.
Another match has been confirmed for No Mercy: Carmella vs. Nikki Bella!
MATCH: Jason Jordan (with Chad Gable) vs. Jey Uso (with Jimmy Uso)
American Alpha are already waiting in the ring when the Usos make their way out.
- Honestly, housekeeping came to the door and I got distracted and when I glanced over again, the bell was ringing, Jason Jordan winning with a roll-up. Quick and dirty little match.
The Usos try to lay a beating on American Alpha after the match, despite the loss, with Jey taking out Jordan’s leg, but then Slater and Rhyno make their way out for the save!
The security camera footage of Bray Wyatt in the storage area shows him sitting in his rocking chair. Suddenly, he tells someone only he can see that he’s glad they came back, then reaches out a hand and I’m entranced by just one word he says: “Abigail”.
Randy Orton comes back after an ad break to open the door and confront Bray Wyatt, but the storage area is empty. In a confused rage, Randy knocks the rocking chair over, and storms away.
Curt Hawkins announces that he is going to be stepping into the ring at No Mercy. I don’t know how I could care less.
MATCH: Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin
Well, I forgot this match was coming up. I suppose I had it coming after that crack about Curt Hawkins.
- Swagger on the offensive to begin with; Corbin floors him with a back elbow.
- Swagger working Corbin’s arm, then throws him into the corner. Corbin back with several strikes while kneeling over Swagger’s body.
- When we’re back from commercial, Swagger is face down on the mat cradling his stomach. He gets his way up to all fours, and Corbin puts him in a half-nelson chinlock.
- Swagger breaks the hold, but still seems to be suffering. He’s half-collapsed against the ropes, but sends Corbin over to the outside when he comes after him.
- Corbin back in the ring, and Swagger gets him in the corner for some corner clotheslines.
- Swagger goes for the Swagger Bomb, and Corbin gets his legs up to block, but Swagger transitions into the Patriot Lock.
- Corbin reaches frantically for the rope, but Swagger pulls him away. The referee calls for the bell – did Corbin tap out?
Corbin is livid and the commentary team seems confused. The referee called it as though Corbin tapped out, but it seems as though he’s actually just trying to reach for the rope and falling short, his hand thus hitting the mat instead. Corbin is on his feet in an instant, throwing the steel steps around in a rage, then clearing the announce table.
AJ Styles makes his way out to the ring first for the final segment – AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose and John Cena coming face to face to face.
He starts us off with a spiel about how he’s the new face that runs the place since beating John Cena, and the champ that runs the camp since beating Dean Ambrose, but before he can finish, Dean is on his way out to interrupt. First of all, he wants to trash-talk AJ because he could have tried to beat Dean fair and square, and very possibly could have done in a great moment, but went for a cheap shot. But that’s not even why Dean is mad. Dean is mad at John Cena, because he could have had AJ pinned last week if Cena wasn’t there making his presence felt.
John Cena makes his way out as soon as Dean mentions Cena’s desire to match Ric Flair’s record, because that’s just got him salivating. AJ gets in his face and asks ‘how dare’ he claim he’s going to match Ric Flair’s record, because even if he gets that many championships he will still never compare to Ric Flair. More importantly, Cena shouldn’t be worried about Ric Flair – he should be worried about AJ Styles.
AJ goads Cena into giving one of his big speeches, but as soon as Cena picks up the microphone, Dean is in his face, trying to predict the nature of Cena’s speech. He’s going to say something like, oh, Dean, I didn’t cost you the victory, you cost yourself the victory, because that’s what Cena does: any time someone looks like they’re getting momentum, Cena cuts their legs out from under them with some political spin, because he doesn’t want them to take his place.
And look at Dean: zero sick days, zero days on the injured list, most days worked of anyone in the company the past two years. No wonder John Cena doesn’t like Dean Ambrose around.
He caps off with “Have fun being the guy that plays John Cena on TV”, and Cena has nothing to say except “talk is cheap”, before he tackles Dean. An AA later, and Cena is hoisting the title triumphantly. AJ comes in from behind, and Cena tries to get him in the fireman’s carry, but AJ slips out and hits the Phenomenal Forearm.
As AJ tries to make his way to the ramp, however, Dean comes after him, hitting a Dirty Deeds onto the steel ramp. The last shot we see before No Mercy this coming Sunday is Dean Ambrose in a very flattering tight black tee, hoisting AJ’s title mockingly.