However, the PPV took a different turn, as the match kicked off with what was supposed to be the main event–the triple threat match between WWE champion AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose and John Cena for the WWE championship.
Smackdown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon announced on twitter that the match would open up the highly advertised PPV.
— Shane McMahon (@shanemcmahon) October 9, 2016
It was stunning that the main event started the night, but it was a bold move by McMahon and Smackdown Live who are trying to beat out Raw as the top show.
This PPV had lots of surprises, so let’s get right to some of the top matches from No Mercy.
Match #1 WWE World Championship: AJ Styles v. Dean Ambrose v. John Cena
This match lived up to expectations, as all three superstars gave it all for the prized possession on Smackdown Live. Back and forth it went and Cena still showed why he is the 15-time champ, delivering an Attitude Adjustment from the top rope on Ambrose. This match ended very controversy, as Cena and Ambrose both had Styles under submission where he would later tap out. Due to both men having the submission, no clear winner could be deemed, so the match was restarted. In the end of the match, Cena hit Ambrose with another AA and was ready to seal the deal, but Styles took full advantage of the no disqualification rules of the match and used a chair to take out Cena, pin him and retain the title.
Match #2 WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship: Rhyno and Heath Slater v. The Uses
This was the surprise of the night for me the night. The improbable champions of Smackdown Live retained over the new, bad boy Usos. This match was mostly dominated by the Usos, who were looking to become 3-time tag team champs as they had injured the leg of Heath Slater with a kick to the back of his knee. However, before the Usos could pick up the victory, Rhyno took out Jimmy Uso from the outside, and then Speared Jey Uso to get the three count and remain tag team champions.
Match #3 Bray Wyatt v. Randy Orton
This feud between these two superstars was built up over the past 2 weeks on Smackdown Live, stemming from the last PPV Backlash. This match turned into the main event, and while these two are main event material, this match did not have that main event feel. This match was fought mostly out of the ring, to no surprise with this rivalry turning into a brawl. As Orton had the momentum on his side and was preparing to deliver a RKO, a shockwave was delivered across the arena in Sacramento. Luke Harper, who has been absent from the WWE for months and a member of the Wyatt family, appeared in the center of the ring, leaving Orton shocked. Wyatt would capitalize on it and delivered Sister Abigail to defeat the Viper.
Match #4 The Intercontinental Championship: The Miz v. Dolph Ziggler
This was the crown jewel match of the night for No Mercy as it should have been the main event match. The stakes and rivalry between the Miz and Dolph Ziggler made this match so intriguing with Ziggler calling it a career if he did not beat the Miz for the title. The odds continued to be stacked against Ziggler as he once again was sprayed in the eyes by Miz’s wife Maryse, leading to a Skull-Crushing Finale. But Ziggler kicked out. Then Ziggler’s former spirit squad members came out to distract Ziggler. But Ziggler kicked out again. The Miz, being distraught by his wife and spirit squad members being sent to the back, allowed Ziggler to land a Superkick to win the match, become the new Intercontinental Champion, and continue his WWE career.
Where Smackdown Live goes from here:
The only championship match that did not happen Sunday was The Smackdown Women’s Championship Match where Becky Lynch, due to illness, could not defend her title against Alexa Bliss. On Talking Smack, Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon announced she would get that match on November 8th, so expect the feud between Bliss and Lynch to heat up in the upcoming weeks. For the WWE championship, there is a lot of unclarity as who will contend with AJ Syles but expect it to be Ambrose or Cena after the controversial ending at No Mercy. Expect the same with Ziggler and Miz as the Miz is owed his title rematch against Ziggler. For where the tag team division will head, look for American Alpha to make a push for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship.
Catch the first episode of Smackdown Live since No Mercy, tonight at 8ET on The USA Network.