Preview by Joseph Currier
What looks to be WWE's biggest brand-exclusive pay-per-view since the roster split takes place tonight as the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California hosts No Mercy. The show will be headlined by two huge matches, with Brock Lesnar defending the Universal Championship against Braun Strowman and John Cena facing Roman Reigns.
We're looking for your thoughts on this show, New Japan Destruction in Kobe earlier today, and ROH's Death Before Dishonor, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match for each show to email@example.com
Strowman has more often gotten the better of Lesnar in the lead-up to their title match, while the feud between Cena and Reigns has been built around their verbal jabs.
Alexa Bliss will also defend her Raw Women's Championship against Sasha Banks, Nia Jax, Emma, and Bayley in a fatal five-way match, Cesaro & Sheamus will get a rematch for the Raw tag titles, The Miz takes on Jason Jordan with the Intercontinental title on the line, and Enzo Amore gets his shot at Neville's Cruiserweight Championship.
In addition to that, Finn Balor will face off against Bray Wyatt on the main card and Apollo Crews vs. Elias takes place on the pre-show. Our coverage begins with that match before the main card starts at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
ELIAS VS. APOLLO CREWS
An average match wth Crews doing some nice athletic stuff and Elias just being there. Elias won with the Drift Away after a series of near falls.
THE MIZ VS. JASON JORDAN FOR THE IC TITLE
The early part of the match had some wrestling that was off. Miz was just off on his timing. Once Jordan went to throw him in the ring and Miz actually looked like he ran in rather than was thrown. It got better with Jordan's comeback. The crowd didn't care for Jordan The announcing was really bad, so forced and fake sounding. The crowd did a "This is awesome" chant when both were down. The finish was the same old stuff. Jordan was on a run, hitting an overhead suplex. Bo Dallas went to the top rope and Jordan threw him off. The ref went with Dallas and Axel interfered and hit Jordan, and then Miz hit the Skull crushing finale for the pin.
They did an interview with Jordan after the match. The fans booed him. Said he was disappointed he couldn't overcome the odds. He said he didn't respect The Miz, fans booed. He asked for a rematch and was booed. He said fans say Kurt Angle sucks lovingly but Miz really does suck.
FINN BALOR VS. BRAY WYATT
Balor won with the coup de grace after a Woo dropkick. Good match. The story was that Wyatt destroyed his ribs with a uranage on the table and they were helping Balor away and teased the idea the match wouldn't happen. I don't think were buying it because they've seen so much worse stuff and people recover. Wyatt called him a coward so he came back. During the match, at one point Wyatt did he crab walk and Balor froze. At another point Balor did the coup de grace to Wyatt's back and he kicked out. Both guys bled, Balor from the head and Wyatt from the mouth.
Charly Caruso interviewed Cesaro & Sheamus. We don't just set the bar, we are the bar. They said when the going gets tough, Rollins & Ambrose will turn on each other.nt.
SETH ROLLINS & DEAN AMBROSE VS. SHEAMUS & CESARO FOR THE TAG TITLES.
Really good match. Cesaro looked like his front teeth were cracked or knocked out. Ambrose catapulted him and he went mouth first into the post. Ther was also an awesome spot where Sheamus gave Ambrose white noise and Cesaro power bombed Rollins off the top onto Ambrose but Ambrose kicked out. Booker said it was one of the best tag matches he's ever seen. I wouldn't go near that, but it was a story where Cesaro worked most of the match with his mouth bleeding badly. The finish saw Sheamus give Cesaro the Brogue kick when Ambrose moved. Rollins then used the knee on Sheamus and Ambrose folowed with Dirty Deeds on Sheamus for the pin.
ALEXA BLISS VS. NIA JAX VS. EMMA VS. BAYLEY VS. SASHA BANKS FOR THE WOMEN'S TITLE
Bliss won with a DDT on Bayley after Jax missed a shoudler and went to the post. Bayley and Banks both did their finishes on Bliss but the other one would save. Jax took a crazy power bomb spot off the apron by Bayley and Emma while Banks and Bliss dropkicked her. Another big spot was Jax with a Samoan drop on both Bliss and Banks. This was a better match that it sounded on paper. Very crisp wrestling and the crowd was into it.
JOHN CENA VS. ROMAN REIGNS
Another great match. Reigns dominated the match, but Reigns kicked out out of the Attitude Adjustment once, then another Attitude Adjustment off the middle ropes, and then near the finish, Cena used two Attitude Adjustments and Reigns kicked out of it again. Then Reigns hit a Superman punch and a spear and Cena didn't kick out. There was also a spot where Reigns speared Cena through one of the tables and Reigns nearly spied himself on the table. Cena raised Reigns' hand and the fans booed. We knew the program would end with that spot, but it seemed like this should have been a multi-match program before they got to that point. Michael Cole called Cena the greatest of all-time over-and-over. It's his new tag line that they are shoving down everyone's throat. The forced announcing having to push lines out of context is really bad tonight.
Cena stayed in the ring to get the standing ovation, hugged a kid and people did a "Thank you Cena" chant. It looks like Cena should do the guy at the crossroads program baesd on the faces he made as he took a long time staring at the crowd and saluting. This was sort of like a far less emotional version of Yuji Nagata at G-1.
Miz was with Kurt Angle. He wanted to do a Miz TV with Roman Reigns. Miz compared his beating Cena to his beating Undertaker at WrestleMania. Angle said it was a great idea and it's going to kick off the show.
NEVILLE VS. ENZO AMORE FOR THE CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE
The match was booked like Enzo wasn't in his league asNeville dominated. Enzo's only real offense was a great looking DDT off the top rope. Enzo was about to lose via count out but he grabbed the belt. Neville broke up the count. Enzo got into the ring and teased a belt shot. The ref demanded that Enzo give him the belt. He did and as the ref took the belt away, Enzo kicked Neville low and pinned him to win the title. Enzo is definitley booked as a joke as a champion.
BROCK LESNAR VS. BRAUN STROWMAN FOR THE UNIVERSAL TITLE
Disappointing after the hype. It was the usual Lesnar match of nothing but big moves but they didn't get over like with Goldberg. Strowman dominated early but Lesnar kicked out of he powerslam. Lesnar did a five German suplex sequence aftrer Strowman had no sold one after. Strowman was cut under the left eye. Lesnar weakened Strowman with a Kimura. Strowman went for a powerslam but was too weak to cover. He did another powerslam and Lesnar kicked out. Lesnar then hit an F-5 and got the pin. I don't think anyone expected that to be the finish.