WWE No Mercy 2017 looked like it would be a brutally physical show as it built up over the last month, and on Sunday night it definitely lived up to it’s name. Blood was shed, teeth were lost, a title changed hands, and jaws were repeatedly dropped as the superstars of WWE Raw went toe-to-toe in a series of incredibly physical matches that never failed to live up to their expectations.
A Hollywood Opener
After a pre-show match that featured the Titus Worldwide brand stumbling in the form of Apollo Crews losing to Elias, No Mercy began with The Miz defending his Intercontinental Championship against Jason Jordan, the son of Raw general manager Kurt Angle. Jordan impressed greatly, having arguably his best match since moving to Raw to join his father and becoming a singles competitor, and it took interference and a cheap shot from the Miztourage for Miz to retain his title in Hollywood.
That left Jordan angered, who told the WWE Universe that he has no respect for Miz, and that he thinks Miz “sucks.” This feud certainly does not seem to be over — and it might be starting to bring out a new, more vicious side of Jason Jordan.
Man Overcomes God
The first real eye-opening match of the night was Finn Balor taking on Bray Wyatt without the added power of his Demon persona. The action started before the bell even rung, with Wyatt unleashing a vicious assault while Finn was making his trademark entrance. Balor had to be helped up by the officials, and they were trying to get him to go to the back for medical treatment when Bray got his hands on a microphone calling himself a god and berating Finn for his “weakness” and “cowardice,” which got the Irishman’s attention and turned him right around.
From there, the match was on. Balor came in flying with adrednaline and rage on his side, but Wyatt targeted his injured ribs time and again to slow him down, including a jaw-dropping moment where Bray basically just picked Finn up and threw him across the ring. But some top-notch counter-wrestling from Balor kept creating openings for the fired-up Superstar, and finally he got just enough of an opening to hit his double-stomp finisher and put Bray Wyatt away for good.
The Bar Gets Bloodied
That match was followed up by one even more impressive, with Raw Tag Team champions Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose taking on “The Bar” of Sheamus and Cesaro. Ambrose took the worst of an early assault from Cesaro, getting swung shoulder-first into the steel steps outside the ring, and getting that shoulder worked over all match long by both Sheamus and Cesaro. It was the Swiss Superman who took the worst blow of the match, though, losing two front teeth and being left bleeding profusely after landing face-first when getting catapulted into the corner ringpost.
Cesaro did his best to shake that blow off, though, and he and Sheamus went on to work over the tag champs, coming brutally close to winning the belts back over and over again. At one point, it looked like they had the match won, with Sheamus picking Dean up for a White Noise, and Cesaro catching Seth out of the corner, powerbombing him off the top rope straight onto the laid-out Ambrose.
Some how, some way, Ambrose kicked out, but he was left seemingly for dead afterwards, falling flat to the mat before Sheamus could land a Brogue Kick while Seth was held at the ropes by Cesaro. But it was a ruse — Ambrose rolled Sheamus up in a small package to disrupt The Bar’s momentum, and one misdirected Brogue Kick into Cesaro’s chin later, and Sheamus was eating a high knee from Rollins and a Dirty Deeds from Ambrose, and the ex-SHIELD brothers retained their titles after a long, brutal, and exciting match.
Dominance Turns To Bliss
Alexa Bliss had to put her Raw Women’s Championship on the line in a Fatal Five-Way against Emma, Bayley, Sasha Banks, and the imposing presence of Nia Jax. Jax’s physical dominace was on display in a big way all match long, with all four of the other women in the match having to team up repeatedly to keep her out of the ring, but every time Nia got rolling, she made her presence felt in a painful way.
But after being powerbombed onto the floor in a four-woman combination move, Nia was left out of the ring for a long time, giving Bayley and Sasha Banks a chance to spend time working over Bliss, with occasional interludes from Emma on one of the two former champions in the ring. Sasha and Bayley spent a lot of time breaking up each other’s pinfalls and submission attempts on Alexa, but a late intrusion from Jax gave the champion a chance to catch a breather. Bayley managed to get Jax out of the ring by ducking a corner spear, but that just left her wide open for Bliss to finish her off and retain her title.
Another Legend Falls
John Cena and Roman Reigns are two of the biggest and most polarizing figures in WWE right now, so it was no surprise that they would eventually go head-to-head. After weeks of heated words between the two and no lack of disrespect, Reigns and Cena finally went one-on-one inside the ring, and it was a match every bit as physical and punishing as you would expect from two top-shelf, main-event wrestlers with a grudge to settle.
After playing up to the crowds’ divisive reactions for a bit, the match got underway for real with Reigns battering Cena on the entranceway and ushering him back to the ring after the 16-time World Champion acted like he was going to walk out at the behest of a booing crowd. Cena came to Raw specifically to fight Roman, though, and fight he did, with both men throwing everything they had at each other, including this brutal moment on the announce tables after Reigns slipped out of an attempted AA from Cena:
Cena would hit his trademark Super AA off the second rope, a move that’s beaten almost every man he’s used it on — but Roman became just the second man ever to kick out of it, a moment that left Cena mystified and searching for answers. Even an STF submission wasn’t enough to beat Reigns, even though it had beautifully countered a spear. Even another spear countered into an AA-rollthrough-AA — the same move that finally saw Cena beat AJ Styles earlier this year — saw Reigns kick out, and Cena was left in utter shock as Reigns bounced back to hit a Superman Punch and finally land a spear to beat him clean in the middle of the ring.
It seemed to be a tough moment for Cena, who finally showed Reigns the respect he had been demanding after the bell, and it took him a long time to finally head to the back. What’s next for the legendary Supertstar is uncertain — but what is clear is that after beating Undertaker at WrestleMania 33 and now Cena, Roman Reigns is the modern-day Legend Killer, and that he may finally really be the Big Dog he’s long claimed himself to be.
A King’s Jewels Crushed
Neville has long sat atop the mountain of the Cruiserweight division, the two-time Cruiserweight Champion and self-proclaimed King of the Cruiserweights. He was less than amused to have to face Enzo Amore, and he showed that disgust in the form of absolutely picking the loudmouthed Superstar apart for the amusement of no one but himself.
But Amore got an opening when Neville went up top for a Red Arrow and decided not to hit the move when fans started to cheer in anticipation, giving Enzo the time he needed to get out of the way of the follow-up move from the second rope. A huge flying DDT off the top rope left Neville dazed, and Enzo nearly won right there. He was forced out of the ring and then thrown into the timekeeper’s area by Neville, but came up holding the Cruiserweight title. That incensed Neville, and he lunged in to lay a beating on Enzo after the referee took the belt away — but with the ref’s back turned, Enzo kicked Neville straight in the King’s crown jewels to win the title in decidedly controversial fashion.
Beast Versus Monster
WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar isn’t used to being an underdog, but after weeks of being on the receiving end of absolute maulings from Braun Strowman, that’s exactly what he was headed into No Mercy. And on Sunday night, he was on the wrong end of physical dominance once more as Braun exploded out of the gates.
Brock was hardly able to land any offense at all against Strowman, and what he did barely seemed to phase the self-styled Monster Among Men. But it was a missed splash in the corner by Braun that saw Brock wriggle away that created an opening, giving Lesnar the chance to lock in his trademark Kimura Lock submission and do serious damage to Strowman’s arm and shoulder before finally having to relent and let go.
Strowman definitely had plenty of fight left in him, but after that Kimura Lock, the match had changed in a big and tangible way. Braun got in several more good shots, including multiple running powerslams, but Lesnar was clearly on top, and it shocked exactly no one when he managed to heft Strowman up to hit his F-5 finisher, retaining his title and leaving Strowman wondering just what else he has to do to finally beat the Beast and become the Universal Champion himself.