The Rope Break #18: WWE No Mercy 2017 Review

By Curtis Suthard – 9/25/2017

 

The Rope Break #18:

WWE No Mercy 2017 Review

Credit: WWE.com

Well, well, well, another WWE: No Mercy has come and gone and it was a doozy. Going into this show, I wasn’t really feeling all that hyped. There were a few rematches from last month’s Summerslam, a “Dream Match” between two guys I rarely dream about being involved in really any match-up, a Cruiserweight match that seemed to be a nonsensical bit of filler, an Intercontinental match that had potential to be a great set-up for a future win, a multi-Woman match that seemed put together to allow the division to showcase some of its talent with no real chance for the title to probably change hands and a Championship match that would only serve to tease everyone with a new Universal Champion, once again. So, on paper, I wasn’t really looking forward to it. As a matter of fact, I was pretty certain that I was going to switch over to the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery and just go back and catch up with what I missed later on. Boy, was I wrong! This show turned out to be really good. So, join me as I take a look back at each match and offer up my two cents.

Credit: WWE.com

PRE-SHOW MATCH – Elias VS. Apollo Crews W/ Titus O’Neill: Alright, so this match isn’t really worth spending too much time on, quite frankly. I’m glad to see Apollo getting some attention, even though he isn’t really racking up too many wins. Apollo is a great talent in that ring, but just seems to be a bit rudderless ever since getting the call up to the Main Roster. Elias, on the other hand, has been getting better and better. Which is something I couldn’t have imagined typing, just a few months ago. From his opening insult songs to his promo/mic work to his in-ring abilities, the guy has really stepped it up. This match ended with Elias getting a solid victory, once again, which is a good thing. Hopefully, Apollo will find his niche soon and really hit on something or maybe even head back down to NXT, if need be.

Credit: WWE.com

Jason Jordan VS. The Miz W/ The Miztourage (Intercontinental Championship): The Miz is great. I just feel the need to throw that out there. The guy is such a solid worker and easily the best heel in WWE right now. His role as IC Champ, which I see as the top of the Mid-Card, should be pivotal in helping to shape and form the next big stars, who need to prove that they have what it takes to head to the upper tier on the roster. Jason Jordan, though still relatively new to the Main Roster, could very well be one of those stars of tomorrow. The guy has been having some good matches since heading over to RAW and shows real potential. This match was really good and only helped to build on all of that a little more.

Credit: WWE.com

Jordan came off very strong throughout a majority of this one and was in control most of the time. Miz played the heel role to a T, as always, and really sold hard on the power and intensity that Jordan was showcasing. In the end The Miztourage, Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas, interfered and got in a cheap shot that set up the Jordan for Miz’s Skull-Crushing Finale and the win. This is not a bad thing, as this is merely the opening act for this feud and Jason Jordan’s push. Jordan will undoubtedly, barring some unforeseen circumstances or bad luck or bad booking, win the Intercontinental title sometime in the future. Maybe, around Wrestlemania time, next year, we could see Miz dropping it to take some time off. Until then, I’m enjoying being able to just sit back and watch Jordan’s rise.

Credit: WWE.com

Bray Wyatt VS. Finn Balor (Man-To-Man): So after Wyatt pushed and pushed Balor over a month ago, only to get the “Demon King” at Summerslam. Bray, who refers to himself as the “Eater of World’s” and loves to endlessly spew dark visions of gobbledy-gook, has now suddenly decided that Balor wearing bodypaint and crawling to the ring during his entrance was just too far. Sweet little Bray Wyatt is now only interested in a gentlemanly bout of Man vs. Man, without all of that dark nonsense involved.

Credit: WWE.com

I was not really into this match. I thought that their match at Summerslam was okay, at best, but was lacking a bit. I thought that the match was too focused on Balor’s whole “Demon”-gimmick and not enough on what happened between the ropes. So, I was not too excited to see a rematch for what I felt was one of the bigger disappointments from Summerslam. But, I am happy to report that I was waaay wrong, when it came to this one.

Credit: WWE.com

Right off the bat, before even the bell rang or Balor even finished his entrance, Bray was on him and pounding the guy. Bray then took to the mic and taunted a wounded Balor a bit, which set things up very well for the rest of this match. Balor, of course, fought through the damage that he had already suffered and gave it right back to Wyatt ten-fold. This was such a solid, fast-paced, “Edge of Your Seat”-type match, that it easily made up for last month’s snore-fest. In the end Balor captured the win, but it was a hard fought victory. Bray came out of it looking pretty good as well, I felt. Though, it was yet another loss for him, hopefully this doesn’t stifle whatever momentum that Wyatt has built up, which doesn’t seem like all that much lately.

Credit: WWE.com

When I typed up my predictions, I bashed this match, begging for this feud to end. I will admit that I may have been wrong. First off, I’m pretty sure that this feud is going to keep up for at least a few more months. Probably lasting through until Royal Rumble, I’d wager. Honestly, if that is the case, I’m not against it, if these two continue to have matches of this caliber. Moreover, I don’t really see anywhere else for either one of these guys to go on RAW’s current roster or hierarchy right now. It doesn’t seem like Balor is going to be getting a Universal title shot anytime soon. Which is a real shame. And, I have no idea where Wyatt could go or who he could feud with. Maybe, if the whole Broken/Woken-thing gets going with Matt Hardy, Bray could be the perfect antagonist there. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Credit: WWE.com

Sheamus & Cesaro VS. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose (RAW Tag Team Championships): Much like that last match, I wasn’t super thrilled with this one, being another rematch from Summerslam. At least with this match, though, I had faith that it would be a good match, as all four of these guys (though mostly, Cesaro. I’ll admit it, I’m a mark!) are great and work extremely well together. And, I was not let down in the least. This one was a fun, hard-hitting, chaotic match that was stunning to watch. And, I could have said all of that easily BEFORE Cesaro busted his lip open and wrecked some of his teeth.

Credit: WWE.com

About midway through the match, Cesaro was catapulted into the turnbuckle and did the little thing where he overshoots it and makes as if he bonked his noggin on the post. Unfortunately, for Cesaro, he managed to get a hand down to pad a potential legitimate headbutt onto the top of the post, but was a bit off and looks as if he slammed his mouth right into the edge of it. He immediately pulled back and dropped to his knees, feeling at his mouth and teeth. I didn’t notice the damage right away and only realized something was wrong a few moments later when the blood started to flow down his chin. Much like the Announce Team, I thought that he had possibly broken his nose somewhere, somehow. It wasn’t until Cesaro opened his mouth and the camera got a good/gruesome look at some of the damage that had been done. It was a bit cringy.

Credit: WWE.com

Of course, a whole lot of other stuff went on in this fantastic match, including a great callback to a move from the last match that these teams had. As Seth Rollins went for a Frankensteiner onto Cesaro, who was sitting on the top turnbuckle, Cesaro caught him, this time, and Powerbombed Rollins onto a prone Ambrose, who had just been dropped on his head by Sheamus’ White Noise. It was great. Unfortunately, all of that other stuff will probably be forgotten about, in favor of this match going down as the match that Cesaro broke some teeth.

Credit: WWE.com

In the end, Rollins & Ambrose retained the titles with a win, following some miscommunication between Sheamus & Cesaro. This could be a sign of things to come, with the possibility of a break-up between Cesaro and Sheamus. Though, I’m not so sure that we’ll get that until a possible Draft or Superstar Shake-Up is a definite, so that one of these guys can head over to Smackdown. There is, of course, every chance that The Bar will stick together. Which isn’t a bad thing, as they really work well together and it keeps them both in a very prominent position on the roster. With the way things are right now, I’m not sure either Sheamus or Cesaro would be getting a solo push or if they would end up in a Sami Zayn-esque limbo.

Credit: WWE.com

Bayley VS. Emma VS. Nia Jax VS. Sasha Banks VS. Alexa Bliss (Fatal 5-Way for RAW Women’s Championship): All hail, Alexa Bliss…for now, it seems. Yes, Alexa retained. I’ll get that out of the way right off the bat. Not too much of a shock there. Bliss has been pretty solid, I feel, for the past year or so and is a really good heel. It just sort of feels like there could or should be some title changes happening, with a bit more frequency. And, of course, if Creative decides to have Alexa drop the title, maybe they should make it stick for longer than 24 hours or so. I mean, c’mon. Who is she? Asuka?

Credit: WWE.com

Speaking of the “Empress of Tomorrow”, it is confirmed that she will be making her RAW/Main Roster debut at RAW’s TLC show, next month.

Credit: WWE.com

Anyway, back to this match. Though, after everything has been said and done, this match felt like a filler match, that gave the Women’s Division something to do at this show, but it was still a pretty good match. Every woman had a moment in the spotlight and no one came off looking particularly weak. Heck, even Emma had a decent showing. Though, to be fair, the focal point of this one was Nia Jax. Nia was a beast throughout and took a ton of punishment, yet kept on getting up. Even after suffering a nasty looking Powerbomb from the ring apron to the floor, in which she landed high on the shoulders and, seemingly, the back of her head. She just wouldn’t stay down. Though, in the end, Alexa snuck in a quick pin to win it all, Nia came out of this one looking the strongest.

Credit: WWE.com

I’m not sure what the future of RAW’s Women’s Division will look like, after Asuka shows up? I mean, will Asuka keep up the same level of domination on RAW that she had in NXT? If she does win that title quickly, then who could we see taking her down and how long will we have to wait for it to happen? Will this just mean another potential year or two of Sasha Banks not winning and holding the Women’s Championship? Can I survive it?

Credit: WWE.com

John Cena VS. Roman Reigns: The build up to this one was decent. Better than I thought it would be, as some of the insults and verbal shots that Roman and Cena lobbed at each other for the past few weeks were kinda harsh. But, in the end, this was still always just going to be a Cena vs. Reigns, “Who’s the Big Dawg?”-match for nothing more than a possible Cena stroke. And, in the end, that’s essentially what we all got. This match wasn’t bad. Not in the least. Both guys threw themselves into it and put on an excellent overall match. There just really wasn’t anything to be gained, I felt, by either outcome. If Cena won, then it would be just another guy that Super Cena put down. If Reigns won, then it was just a match to further cement him as the next Top Guy and I already assumed, like I’m certain many others have, that that was the case already. And, even though Roman DID win this one, it felt sort of empty.

Credit: WWE.com

My only real issue with this one was that Roman came off looking a bit TOO strong. The guy kicked out of multiple Attitude Adjustments and though someone kicking out of 1 or 2 isn’t really shocking, nowadays, it just seemed like overkill this time around. I mean Reigns has already put down the Undertaker at Wrestlemania and tore through the rest of the competition in WWE. Did he really need to kick out of so many AA’s? This match didn’t really make me like Roman any more than I already do. Which isn’t very much. Nor did this match really make me respect the guy much more. It felt too forced, which, I believe, is the problem that most people have with Reigns. It isn’t that he sucks. He doesn’t. He can go in the ring and have some really good matches. It isn’t his ability or lack thereof. I think the biggest problem is that no matter how many Top Guys like Cena, The Rock, ‘Taker and Daniel Bryan show him respect, hold his arm up and try to rub off some of their earned respect onto the guy, he has yet to truly seek out the fan’s respect.

Credit: WWE.com

Enzo Amore VS. Neville (Cruiserweight Championship): F#@& you, WWE. That’s all I really feel the need to say right now about this one………….Okay. I’ll try to be a little bit more eloquent. So, Enzo made the move over to 205 Live and the Cruiserweight Division, following an injury that was suffered by his former partner and current enemy, Big Cass. 205 Live has been a bit stale, since its inception, I felt. So, adding someone new and fresh to the roster isn’t a bad thing. And, though I feel Enzo is lacking in the in-ring talent department, which is one of the staples of the Cruiserweight Division, he could always surprise everyone and add something to the show. Enzo, to be honest, did just that and made me pay a little more attention to the show….Uh, wait….Am I walking into a self-made trap where I begin to admit that Enzo made me more interested in a show that a month ago I forgot about every other week? Am I starting to work out that maybe Enzo did something good? NO….Snap out of it.

Credit: WWE.com

So, anyway, Enzo beat Neville and won the Cruiserweight Championship. He did however win by distracting the ref and kicking Neville square in the Gallaghers for a quick roll up and win. And….yes, I hate to admit it, I’m sort of looking forward to what happens from here on out. I am still not willing to admit to being a fan of Enzo. Not in the least. But, I have been hoping for that title to get passed around a bit more. Maybe now we’ll finally get to see someone else come along and take it off of Enzo like Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali, Tony Nese or Gran Metalik, all of whom deserve a real shot at that title. Of course, it’s more than likely that Neville will win it back, sooner rather than later, and Enzo will stick around taking up a spot that should be open for someone with more talent. F#$& you, WWE, indeed!

Credit: WWE.com

Braun Strowman VS. Brock Lesnar (WWE Universal Championship): So this match was…okay. I was really hoping for a bit more to come out of this one. I’m not really sure what they could have done different to make this better? Besides having Braun win the Championship, that is. Braun looked like a Monster throughout the early moments of this match and was just manhandling Lesnar. Which is sort of fun, since it’s not something we get to see too often. But then, Lesnar summoned up the will and the power to take the fight back to Strowman and eventually get the win and retain. Even though Braun lost, he still came off kinda strong, which is the way things have been going for the guy lately. So, in the end, nothing really changed at all. The build-up for this match was far superior to the actual match itself. I don’t have too much more to really say about this match, besides that it was kind of a letdown.

Credit: WWE.com

The show was going so good, but starting with the aftertaste from the finish of the Cena/Reigns match, through the Cruiserweight match and into this one, all momentum was sort of drained by the time this match wrapped up. Which is a shame, because this show was going strong and only began to drag in these closing matches.

Credit: WWE.com

So that, as they say, was that! The show was really good for the first half or three-quarters or so, which was a pleasant surprise. Only one title change for the whole shebang and, unfortunately, it was the one match where I was rooting for the Champ to retain. The Wyatt and Balor match was great. Cesaro took a licking and kept right on ticking, in typical Cesaro-fashion in what was a really good match. The Women’s Championship match was really fun, as was the Intercontinental title match. Cena & Reigns had a good match, but fell flat in the overall scheme of things, with a finish that ultimately achieved nothing of substance. The Universal Championship match was good, but couldn’t live up to the hype. It is for those reasons that I give WWE: No Mercy 2017 a 3 out of 5 on the Official Nerd Nation Radio Pocket Protector Scale!

 

I’ll be back here in less than 2 weeks for my predictions on Smackdown’s Hell in the Cell and then a review the show the day after it airs. Be sure to check out all of my other content in Curt’s Corner, right here on nerdnationradio.com! Also give us a Like or Follow us on our Facebook page, if you haven’t already. Be sure to check out our podcasts for a bunch of Comic, Movie and TV news and discussions, as well as a possible announcement that may be coming up about The Rope Break going live.

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Credit: WWE.com

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