With No Mercy just days away, SmackDown presents its final show before the brand's second exclusive pay-per-view this Sunday.
No Mercy will be headlined by AJ Styles defending his WWE World Championship against John Cena and Dean Ambrose in a triple threat match. And in advance of that match, the three competitors will come face-to-face tonight in advance of their title match.
The show will also see more build for the brand's other title matches at No Mercy. It was announced on last week's show that Dolph Ziggler would challenge The Miz for his Intercontinental Championship, and if Ziggler loses he will be forced to retire.
Becky Lynch will defend her SmackDown Women's Championship against Alexa Bliss at No Mercy, and Tag Team Champions Heath Slater & Rhyno will defend their titles against The Usos.
Tonight's SmackDown will also feature more build to Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt at No Mercy after that match was announced last week.
Our live coverage kicks off at 8 p.m. ET.
Bray Wyatt comes out to start the show. Not to cut a promo, however, as it’s a match that’s about to kick off Smackdown.
Kane defeated Bray Wyatt by count out
They started off pretty hot with some brawling. Kane’s already bleeding from the mouth. Wyatt countered a chokeslam with a uranage and was about to go with the Sister Abigail when he notices Orton on the screen. Orton says at No Mercy he’s going to turn his life right side up instead of upside down. He can play his game better than he can.
Of course, this means Kane gets right back up as Wyatt is distracted, and tries to finish but Bray escapes and after contemplating things a bit, walks away for the count out.
Baron Corbin was sulking around backstage when he runs into Charly, who mentions Jack Swagger. Corbin says that if Swagger thinks he can make waves, he’s dumber than he looks. Swagger came in. Swagger says he wants to go right now. Corbin says he wants to do it in the ring. Swagger says fine, he’ll find Daniel Bryan and they can finish this “conversation” in the ring.
Wyatt was wandering around a spooky hallway backstage while rambling about Orton.
Nikki Bella defeated Alexa Bliss by DQ
Carmella was on commentary, so about a minute into the match the two were on the outside when Carmella started jawing at Nikki. She responded by throwing Bliss at Carmella. Not too long after that, Carmella came back and attacked Nikki for the DQ.
This brings out Becky Lynch to even things up as we go to a commercial. Spidey senses indicate this’ll probably be turned into a tag...
Carmella and Alexa Bliss defeated Nikki Bella and Becky Lynch
Carmella and Bliss worked over Nikki until Carmella missed a bronco buster spot and Nikki tagged in Becky who made the hot tag. Carmella takes out Becky with a superkick as Nikki chases her away, leaving Alexa alone with a prone Becky. She hits the Twisted Bliss and gets the pin.
Wyatt was calling out Randy’s name in the spooky hallway. Wyatt’s chair was at the end. He asks if this is Orton’s master plan, is this all he got? Orton then closes down a garage door, apparently trapping Wyatt. Orton asks how it feels that the hunter is now the hunted. He finishes by saying “Lord, have mercy...or not”.
Daniel Bryan came out for a Susan G. Komen segment, bringing out a number of breast cancer survivors. He brings up More than Pink, the Susan G. Komen initiative which recognizes people who help battle breast cancer. He recognizes five women who have helped take part of this movement. They say not all heroes wear capes, but aren’t all these women heroes? Fans eventually chanted yes. They were all given Smackdown Womens titles in a very nice gesture.
They confirmed Swagger/Corbin was a go later tonight.
Hype Bros. defeated The Vaudevillans
Not very long, pretty basic. Early in the match Mojo decided it was hammer time and mimicked MC Hammer straight out of 1991. Zack was worked on for a while before Mojo came in for the hot tag and hit the Hype Ryder for the win.
The Ascension looked on at the entranceway, staring down the Hype Bros.
Miz TV is on the air. Miz wastes no time in introducing Dolph Ziggler. They teased this might be the last time Ziggler appears on Smackdown. Miz shows a video of Zigglers career, entitled “The Success of a Failure”, which goes over all of the embarassing details of his career, from being Kerwin White’s caddy, a member of the Spirit Squad, and various other moments that made him look like a loser.
Once the video ends, Ziggler cuts off Miz, he could have quit a long time ago but he’s still here because of the people who support him, the make a wish kids backstage. He mentions how he cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase a few years ago at Wrestlemania when he won the World title...that’s why he can’t walk away.
He’s come at a crossroads, and that is why he’s putting it all on the line. He will deliver on Sunday, he will become Intercontinental champion. Through all the hard work, the highs, the lows, it’s been a hell of a ride and he’s not done yet.
Miz says yes, you are. Say goodbye to everyone who’s supported you because your career will end at the end. He brings out, of all people, Kenny and Mikey from the Spirit Squad. They did a long cheer that basically told him he’d be at the unemployment line thanks to Miz. Miz said that there were more of them, but believe it or not they got lost in transit when they were sent back to OVW.
They eventually jump him, laying him out with their big parachute drop move. Mikey charges into a corner to finish the job but Dolph superkicks him and leaves them both laying. Miz comes in to lay out Ziggler but he reverses and Miz bails.
Wyatt was losing it backstage. Maybe he never had it to begin with.
Jason Jordan defeated Jey Uso
This didn’t last long, with Jordan scoring a roll up in a couple of minutes. Usos took both he and Gable out after the match, with the Usos going for their finish when Heath Slater and Rhyno came out, sending them their way.
Bray is now sitting in his chair, still mumbling. He says it's nice to see you again Abigail, he’s ready to come home.
Orton comes back to the scene of the crime and unlocks the garage door. BUT SURPRISE, Bray isn’t there. He isn’t happy about that.
They showed clips of John Cena speaking out against Dean Ambrose on Talking Smack, leading to their face off later tonight.
Curt Hawkins had more facts for us to share, before revealing he’ll make his in ring return at No Mercy.
Jack Swagger defeated Baron Corbin by submission (kinda)
Corbin was in control for a lot of the match, including hitting the deep six. Swagger started to mount the comeback. Went for the Swagger Bomb, but Corbin got the knees up so instead he went for the ankle lock. The bell rang, but Corbin never submitted as he was going for the ropes and slamming his wrist on the floor, not his hand. That was a weird finish. Announcers were treating it like it was a bad call by the ref.
Needless to say, Corbin was mad afterwards, destroying stuff at ringside.
Time for the main event - lots of talking! AJ Styles came out to start. He says Smackdown Live is all about opportunity, and he agrees, as he became the face that runs this place. He had the opportunity to beat Dean Ambrose, and he did that too.
Dean Ambrose comes out and calls him a chump. He respects that he’s won a bunch of titles over the last fifteen years but when it came to the top title in the business, he took the low road. He’s mad right now because John Cena just had to come in and interfere. He couldn’t stand a lowlife like me winning the title. He should thank me for bringing the WWE title to Smackdown so he could even have a chance at breaking Ric Flair’s record.
This brings out John Cena. AJ told him to shut up and mentions the Ric Flair reign again. How dare you compare yourself to an icon, a legend like Ric Flair. I don’t care how many championship you won, you’ll never be in the same league as Flair. While you chase history John, I make it.
Ambrose says he knows what Cena is going to say. He’s gonna spin it around, make yourself look good because you're the master of the political spin and why he’s in the match to begin with. Anyone who's a threat to you, you cut their legs off. He’s tried to do that from day one. He’s hustled more in the ring than him, he knows he has no respect for him because he wasn’t one to kiss his ass and ask for advice.
He guesses if he wants to be a fake, plastic suck ass like him he’d rather be himself than the guy who plays John Cena on TV.
Cena says “talk is cheap” as he strikes Ambrose and lays him out with the AA, taking out AJ in the process. He poses with the WWE title but Styles spears him to the floor and lays him out with the Phenomenal Forearm. Styles poses with the title, but Ambrose blindsides him and takes the title, yes, posing with it to close out the show.
This was a fine show. Not a lot of strong wrestling, but plenty of angles and good interviews to further storylines for No Mercy which, yes, is this Sunday. There's way too much wrestling on TV these days, but Smackdown still emerges as a better show than Raw in that it does a better job of furthering angles and keeping thing concise in a two hour period than Raw does in three.