Hey guys. Well, here we are on the other side of No Mercy. AJ Styles is still World Champ. Dolph Ziggler still has a job. Curt Hawkins is still the cancerous mole of the WWE. Business as usual, in other words.
Things kick off with Dolph, because I figure when your company has tried its best to drive a man to suicide literally over the course of years, you owe him a little something. People chant ‘you deserve it at Dolph’, and those fuckers: nobody deserves to have to hold the Intercontinental Championship.
Dolph says that things got a little emotional on the road to No Mercy, which is the reaction I’d have if the Miz managed to best me at, well, anything in the world ever. He says he put it all on the line, not knowing whether he’d be in the ring tonight. He even began doubting himself in the final days, right before he walked down the ramp and stepped into the ring. Nothing was going to stop him then, and he did it.
Just as Dolph’s in danger of breaking his wrist jerking himself off, the Miz and Maryse come out. I think the entirely-black suit is a sign of Miz’s mourning, but a black shirt, jacket and tie is a little much. Oh, wow, the two of them actually do have a moment of silence in the ring, sunglasses and all. This is some Mafia funeral shit right here.
Miz asks if Dolph and the people are happy with themselves. He says that the Intercontinental Championship is officially dead, even though that title usually kills the momentum of whoever’s holding it. He says that he’s not going to allow the Intercontinental Championship to be tainted by its association with Dolph Ziggler. So the Miz, like a hero and martyr, will shoulder the burden of another Championship reign.
Ziggler says he’s quite happy that the Miz is out here, because he’s got something to share with people. He shows a clip of him winning, and then mocks the Miz for apparently being on the verge of crying. That’s some toxic masculinity you’re showing off there, Ziggler. Boys do cry, you shitlord. The audience even chants ‘you were crying’ at the Miz, which seems like a pretty decent bit of chant-improv.
Miz gets fired up, and says that there’s nothing he won’t do to get his title back. And part of his brilliant plan apparently involves bringing out two fifths of the Spirit Squad, who will be facing Ziggler in a handicap match. To be honest, fighting two guys who can’t have had an official match in around five years seems like a way easier task than fighting one semi-competent wrestler, so Ziggler’s got a pretty sweet deal.
Don’t tell me you weren’t dreaming of this in 2007
Nicky starts off against Mikey, who he sends off the ropes. Mikey kicks him in the face and is sent out of the ring; Kenny’s clotheslined out of the ring into a commercial break.
When we come back Kenny is in control of Nicky, snapmaring him before applying a chinlock. Nicky tries a superkick, but Kenny catches the foot and clotheslines him. Mikey tags in, and locks in a sleeper hold. Nicky throws him off the ropes, and applies a sleeper of his own. Mikey backs Nicky into the corner, but Nicky ducks under Kenny’s legs, pulling him off the apron.
Nicky tries to roll Mikey up, but the tag was already made and Kenny enters the ring. Kenny and Mikey try to double team Nicky, but the Intercontinental Champ hits a double DDT, planting both Spirit Squad members! Stinger splash to Kenny, and then multiple clotheslines! Mikey hangs Nicky up on the top rope, allowing Kenny to take advantage, looking for the Canadian backbreaker. Nicky slides out of it, however, and fells Kenny with a superkick for the win!
Not bad, considering the experience deficit of two-thirds of this match. 2.5 Stars.
Miz immediately rushes the ring and beats down Dolph before hitting the Skull-Crushing Finale. The Spirit Squad are about to hit their finisher, but suddenly Heath and Rhyno rush the ring! Slater and Rhyno vs. Spirit Squad: make the fucking match right this second now.
I’ve not bought a WWE game in a while, considering every single one of them was eventually just a remake of the one before it with an updated roster and my favourite is still SmackDown: Shut Your Mouth anyway. But even if for no other reason than idle curiosity and the fact I’m making enough cash to justify buying a single PS4 game, I might actually check this one out. Although if there’s no Falls Count Anywhere matches with multiple locations you can fight your way across then it’s the worst game in the world ever and people deserve to be shot.
Okay: I just watched a couple of matches and trailers and I am so buying this game. Damn it, WWE; I need to buy a new oven and paint my apartment, but you just won’t let me go.
Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon are backstage, talking about Survivor Series. They want to beat RAW in multiple ways, and they’re going to do that by offering an opportunity: in this case, five-on-five men’s, women’s and tag team Survivor Series matches. So, is ‘tag team’ now a gender? Because that explains Mojo Rawley.
Nikki’s less good at surprise attacks
Here’s Carmella, who lost last night to Nikki Bella. We see a backstage interview segment with Nikki and Renee…and the now-predictable surprise attack by Carmella. Eventually, Carmella is just going to run right into a left hand from Nikki, just because the Bella’s going to know that it’s coming.
Carmella is facing Naomi, whose entrance is still uniquely charming. The roster split did leave a lot more room for individuality for the women, and Naomi’s dancing is pretty awesome anyhow…and Carmella just attacked Naomi. And what was worse? I expected it. It’s going to be her signature move on 2K17.
When we come back from a break, Carmella’s got a headlock on Naomi. Naomi tries to get out of it, but gets taken down, and put in another sleeper. Alexa Bliss is watching this unfold on a monitor backstage, and Naomi manages to squash Carmella into a corner. Carmella kicks her away, but walks right into a split-legged jawbreaker.
Kick to the gut by Naomi, and then a volley of kicks, followed up by a roundhouse to the side of Carmella’s skull! Bulldog into the turnbuckle, then a flying crossbody by Naomi for two. Carmella reverses a whip into the corner, and then whips Naomi’s head off the mat. And suddenly Nikki Bella is trying to storm the ring, but apparently the referees don’t like that sort of thing unless it’s Carmella doing it. Naomi gets the roll-up and the win off the distraction.
Not bad. Carmella had some decent counters, and I like Naomi’s unorthodox offence. 2 Stars.
Nikki rushes after Carmella post-match, not quite catching her before the Princess of Staten Island makes her escape.
Backstage, Charley decides to rub Alexa’s loss in her face just a little, and Alexa makes the not-terrible point that she’d been prepping for a totally different fight than the one Naomi offered. She says that she could beat Naomi any day of the week, and suddenly Daniel Bryan appears. Aw Alexa, you done-diddly-did it now. She gets a match against Naomi next week.
The Usos are such dicks now
God, they’re still making the Usos and American Alpha have singles matches. This isn’t how it’s supposed to be, people. Not like this.
Gable takes Jimmy down, and goes right after the arm, keeping the Usos down and all tied up in knots. Jimmy shoves Gable away and hits a kick to the gut, following that up with a Samoan drop for two.
Headlock’s applied by Jimmy, keeping Chad down in the centre of the ring. Gable tries to fight back, but eats a headlock and is tossed over the top rope. Gable skins the cat, however, and is able to throw Jimmy over the top! Jimmy comes back in, only to get backdropped, and now Gable’s got his second wind, pounding Uso in the corner before hitting a clothesline from the top!
Alphaplex suplex connects, but Jimmy catches Gable on the turnbuckle…only for Gable to work the arm over the top rope with an armbar! He beats the count, hops over Jimmy, who then rolls him up, with Jey providing extra leverage for the pin!
I like the attitude and style the Usos have been showing, and Gable was just flat-out impressive. 2.5 Stars.
Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley are backstage joshing, and then the Ascension show up to try and intimidate them…with literally no effect. Mojo just seems a little confused about why they’re acting so weird. Hah.
Here’s AJ Styles, coming down to the ring to loudly exalt himself. He says he beat Cena and Ambrose at the same time. He tells the audience to cheer for him, and they do, so he has to call them a bunch of losers to piss them off quickly. He says that they’re trying to live vicariously through him, and he doesn’t appreciate the parasitic relationship, but says that they should go and cheer for Dean Ambrose instead.
Styles mocks the audience for not liking him exploiting Triple Threat rules to win, and says that he’s not taking any nights off: tonight he’s going to give someone a real opportunity. He calls out his opponent for the night, but Dean Ambrose makes his way to the ring instead.
Dean says he knows Styles wasn’t referring to him, because AJ doesn’t want any of him; he prefers the easy way out. Ambrose says that Styles isn’t done with him, and no-one’s getting in front of him. But Styles says that the guy he’s facing isn’t even on the roster, and it’s James Ellsworth. Holy shit, a genuine brick joke.
Styles says that he’s going to give Ellsworth the opportunity he never got from a month ago, and tells Ambrose to get out. Dean says he actually wants to see this, and wants a front row seat. But Styles tells Dean that he’ll just distract Ellsworth, and refuses to fight until Ambrose leaves.
Bryan then shows up, saying that whilst Styles is the Champ, he’s still the General Manager, and he makes the matches. Except he’s also a huge Ellsworth fan, so says that the match is on. Wow, people want to see this promising young man die. Oh wait, Bryan makes Ambrose the Special Guest Referee.
Dean steals the ref’s shirt, because that’s how Ambrose acquires most of his clothing. He empties out his pockets too, and hands AJ a box of Tic-Tacs. If I know my American customs right, it means he plans on sexually assaulting Styles later.
Dean calls for the bell, and then feels Styles up under the guise of checking him for weaponry: truly a Presidential figure.
Ellsworth wins! Ellsworth wins! Ellsworth wins!
When we come back from a commercial break, Styles is beating on Ellsworth in the corner as Dean looks on critically, counting fast and forcing breaks. They lock up in the ring again, and Styles backs Ellsworth into the corner, beating him down again. Dean blocks a punch, saying that there’s no closed fists. AJ tells him that it’s totally legal, but the distraction allows Ellsworth to get in a shot! Ellsworth just staggered AJ Styles!
AJ charges at Ellsworth, who’s chased around and back into the ring, only for Ambrose to trip Styles up! Ellsworth rolls AJ up, almost getting two, and Styles suplexes him in return. Backbreaker to Ellsworth, and then Styles locks in Calf Crusher. Dean gets on the phone rather than take a submission.
AJ is extremely pissed, and elects to throw Ellsworth out of the ring for a count out, which Dean refuses to do. When Styles steps out of the ring, Dean tries to fast-count him out; the next time Styles tries it, Ambrose just tosses Ellsworth back into the ring and flirts with a fan until AJ insists that he get back on with the match. He hits the Styles Clash on Ellsworth, which Dean refuses to count. AJ rushes Ambrose, who hits him with Dirty Deeds and puts Ellsworth on him for the cover, but Styles kicks out at the last second!
Dean heads out of the ring to chill, and then hits a second Dirty Deeds on Styles, puts Ellsworth on top and fast-counts him! Ellsworth wins!
This was genuinely fun. Ambrose was always going to take something with this much comedic potential and run with it, and he didn’t disappoint. 3 Stars.
Orton is backstage, nervously looking or Kane. Jesus, Orton: you’ve known the guy for thirteen years. When he actually finds Kane, he then recites some poetry that a fourteen year old would think sounded edgy about how his life as a celebrity sports talent is like being in hell or whatever, the rudderless fuck.
AJ Styles storms up to Bryan and McMahon backstage, yelling that he now has to commit seppuku to cleanse himself of shame or whatever. Shane makes Styles his absolute bitch and makes him walk away. Brock Lesnar had better watch himself.
Don’t even say Erick Rowan’s name. Not even as a joke.
It’s main event time, so here are the two talented Wyatts, here to deliver a promo which means fuck-all and makes me fondly remember their original vignette and weep for what might have been in the hands of someone who knew what the fuck they were doing.
Well, here’s Orton and Kane, who are here to perpetuate a feud which is stale after two months. Harper manages to rough Kane up a little before tagging in Bray, who’s thrown into a corner by Kane and beaten down before taking a big boot. Bray rolls out of the ring, right into another beatdown by Orton, who then throws him back into the ring to get goozled by Kane. Wyatt breaks out of it, dashing to the outside, looking disturbed.
When we come back from a commercial break, Orton’s taken Harper up to the second rope for a superplex. He hits it, and then tags in Kane. Kane hits a sidewalk slam for two, then a dropkick. A distraction from Bray allows Harper to get the upper hand and tag in Wyatt. Bray throws Kane into the barricade, and then back into the ring for a back senton.
Bray stays on Kane for a while before tagging in Harper, who hits a superkick to Kane’s stomach and stomps him. Bray comes back in, continuing to stomp Kane. Tag to Harper now, who throws Kane off the ropes, and Kane counters with a DDT! Kane and Harper make tags, and Orton runs over Bray with clotheslines! Powerslam levels Wyatt, and Randy rains down fists on him. Bray ducks away from the Vintage DDT, but Orton stays on him on the outside, hurls Harper over the announce table and lays Bray out with a clothesline!
Orton throws Bray all around the outside, and this was what this feud should have been about: Wyatt’s creepy, pseudo-mystical evil going up against the same Orton who broke Batista’s arm, assaulted Vince, Steph and Shane, and spent a disturbing amount of time kicking the shit out of Rollins. Back in the ring, Bray tries to beg off, but takes a Vintage DDT anyway.
Randy winds up for an RKO, but is distracted by Kane and Harper brawling on the outside. I feel like, if you’re a professional wrestler, being distracted by people fighting is going to be a real disadvantage. Bray shoves Orton into a superkick from Harper, although Orton is able to roll out of the way of the back senton, letting Wyatt crash and burn.
Harper and Kane are both calling for the tag. Orton’s inches away from Kane, but then all the lights go out, and when they come back on, Harper’s standing where Kane had been a second ago. Orton stares at Harper for a second too long, and walks right into a Sister Abigail for the win.
Not bad. That twist at the end was actually pretty cool. Orton and Bray really need a no holds barred match. 2.5 Stars.
Kane’s just missing, but fortunately no-one cares.
Well, this was a decent enough show. Nothing world-shattering, but mostly good all-round stuff. 7/10.
Tags: AJ Styles, American Alpha, Bray Wyatt, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Luke Harper, Randy Orton, smackdown, smackdown live, survivor series, The Miz, the usos