Tonight, the main event will see John Cena face Dean Ambrose, and Dolph Ziggler gets another shot at the Miz’s Intercontinental title.
Daniel Bryan is in the ring to kick off the show, and there is a table there as well. We are in Birmingham, AL this week. He brings up that Smackdown will host No Mercy in about 3 weeks, and there, the Smackdown Women’s Championship will be defended for the very first time. Tonight, we will have the first-ever Smackdown women’s contract signing. He says he plans to keep things civil, as he knows how these things normally go. This gets a round of boos, which Bryan calls the fans out on. This is a new era, and this is how things are going to be. So, first things first, it’s time to introduce the competitors for said match.
Out first is the champion, Becky Lynch. Bryan reminds her he wants to keep things civil. Lynch is fine with that, as she has her thick skin on. Out next is the challenger, Alexa Bliss, who won a 5-way last week, and by “won”, I mean “did next to nothing before getting a pin”. Thanks to an unfortunate shadow from her shnozz, Bliss looks like she’s rocking a Hitler. Bliss makes fun of Lynch’s skin, then says she doesn’t fit the roll of a champion. She then calls Lynch a failure and a choke artist. Lynch will lose the belt because she was born to be a loser, not a champion. Lynch says she indeed wasn’t born to be a champion; she was born to live in a small house in Dublin and barely make ends-meet. But, she listened to people tell her she could be anything she wanted, and she wanted to be champion. She wasn’t born to be it, but she has poured her heart and soul into this business. She wants that title more than Bliss ever could, and if Bliss thinks she can take it, Lynch will rip her head off. She wasn’t born to be champion; she fought to be champion. Bliss acts all apologetic and moved before switching right back to her usual self. She claims she was born to be champion, and she’ll take the title at No Mercy while exposing Lynch as a one-hit wonder. Bliss botches hitting Lynch with the clipboard, signs the contract, botches throwing it at Lynch, then botches flipping the table over on Lynch. She is just horrible. As Bliss leaves, Lynch chases her up the ramp and nails her in the back of the head, running her to the back before signing the contract herself and raising the belt over her head.
Daniel Bryan is approached by the Miz and his wife in the back. Miz has a problem, that being his title defense tonight. Bryan offers to cancel the match…and the Miz’s new contract gets canceled in the process. Apparently, Miz didn’t look at his new contract very closely, as he was apparently too busy bashing Bryan on Twitter. It states that, with the renegotiation, Miz defends the title on the company’s terms. That’ll make it really hard for Miz to do what Bryan “can’t do anymore”. Bryan asks if there’s a problem, and Miz says no before stomping off in a huff.
MATCH 1-#1 CONTENDER’S MATCH FOR THE SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS: THE USOS (JEY AND JIMMY) VS. AMERICAN ALPHA (CHAD GABLE AND JASON JORDAN)
Good lord, I the Usos’ new gear is just the worst. Last week, it was trash bags. This week, it looks like they’re wrapped in electrical tape. David Otunga takes this moment to point out he’s filming a new movie with Adam Sandler, which is something no one should ever brag about.
We get an inset promo from AA. Gable talks about getting his knee taken out by the Usos, but he’s still standing. Jordan wants to take this to another level.
Jimmy and Gable start, with Gable taking Jimmy down. Jey runs in and gets the same treatment. Gable hits an overhead belly-to-belly on Jimmy for 2 before working on Jimmy’s left leg. Jordan tags in to continue the attack as we see the tag champs, Heath Slater and Rhyno, watching on a monitor in the back. Gable tags back in for a double rolling leg snap. Then they hit a pair of double dropkicks on the Usos. Jimmy backdrops Gable to the outside, where he lands on his feet. Gable nails both him and Jey (on the apron) before Jimmy ties the bad leg in the ropes. Jey pulls him down, and Jimmy superkicks the knee as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Jimmy hits a legdrop on Gable for 2 before going to work on the left knee. Gable breaks things up with some kicks to the back, but then gets launched to the Uso corner. Jey tags in, but gets knocked to the floor. Jimmy then gets backdropped as well. Gable crawls for the tag and makes it after a temporary cut-off. Gable beats up on Jey before throwing Alpha-Plexes. He hits a pair of running shoulders on the Usos before another Alpha-Plex on Jey gets 2. Jey gets put up top for a belly-to-belly superplex, but shoves Jordan off. Jordan then runs the ropes like Kurt Angle for another attempt, which is broken with headbutts. Jimmy makes a blind tag before Jey nails a superkick. Jimmy comes off the top with a Samoan Splash, but only gets 2 when Gable breaks it up. Jey comes in and tosses Gable to the floor, where he tweaks his knee, the one the Usos injured a couple weeks back. Back in the ring, Jordan catches Jey with an Alpha-Plex before eating a superkick from Jimmy. He rebounds with a big clothesline as Gable pulls himself back up on the apron. Unfortunately, his knee buckles before he can make a tag. Jordan decides against the tag and rolls up an Uso for 2 before eating a superkick. Jey tags back in and chopblocks Gable on the apron before the Usos hit a double superkick. Jey then heads up and connects with the Samoan Splash for 3.
WINNERS AND NEW #1 CONTENDERS: THE USOS
We see the champions, Heath Slater and Rhyno, watching on a monitor and eating Cheez-Whiz with crackers. Slater says something about “Beauty and the Man-Beast” before saying he really wants to get the fans to get behind them with a “Rhy-No” chant. Rhyno doesn’t like that at all. The Usos walk in to make fun of the champs before whining about coming up short at Backlash. Jey threatens to take Slater’s knee out, but Rhyno interjects himself before the two can come to blows.
Tonight, Randy Orton goes one-on-one with Erick Rowan. Who cares?
Jack Swagger is on commentary for the next match, which is an absolutely horrible idea.
MATCH 2: APOLLO CREWS VS. BARON CORBIN
This is the match that was supposed to happen last week. We get a recap of Swagger’s return to Smackdown last week. Thankfully, his horrific promo is left out.
Talk about a match featuring two guys no one cares about. Corbin shoves Crews, so Crews fires off some rights and a flying kick. He hits a modified fall-away slam for 2 before Corbin rolls to the floor. Crews continues the attack at ringside, launching Corbin into the barricade. Crews then blasts Corbin with a gamengiri before rolling him back in for 2. The two trade a pair of punches before Corbin dropkicks Crews back to the floor. He pelts Crews with forearms to the back of the head, then throws him near the ring post in the ring. Inside, Corbin kicks Crews in the back repeatedly against the post, ending with a slingshot dropkick. The End of Days hits, and this one’s over.
WINNER: BARON CORBIN
I think we can officially say Crews is at Jobber To The Stars status. Even Zack Ryder has won more matches recently. Corbin gets in Swagger’s face after the match, but nothing comes of it.
Another Curt Hawkins promo. He does a bunch of parody-style quotes before saying it’s time to face the facts.
Charley Caruso stops Nikki Bella and Naomi in the back, asking about their match tonight. Naomi tries to get the phrase “glow time” over. It’s not going to happen. She keeps talking about glow and shine. There is nothing more to say here. Nikki whines about being attacked by Carmella, then cuts one of her usual terrible promos.
Renee Young is standing by with Dolph Ziggler and a ridiculous hairdo. She asks about tonight. Ziggler cuts basically the same promo he has been the last couple weeks: coming up short, redemption, etc. He calls Miz a bunch of names, then says he’s desperate to hold onto that belt. Ziggler is desperate, too. He wasn’t supposed to be the World Champion, but he was. He wasn’t supposed to be a Kent State Hall of Famer, but he is. Tonight, he needs to prove to everyone how good he is, and he’ll do that by shutting the Miz. Tonight, he has to win the whole damn thing.
MATCH 3-INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP: DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. THE MIZ (W/MARYSE; CHAMPION)
We get the formal introduction bit, which I honestly think should be present before every title match. Makes them seem more important, rather than “just another title match”. Ziggler gets a surprisingly mixed reaction. Ziggler gets a quick takedown for 1, then goes for the scissored sleeper, only for Miz to quickly get a rope-break. The two trade shoves before Ziggler hits a waistlock takedown and a quick cradle for 1. Miz rolls to the floor, where he’s chased back in. Ziggler trips him on the way back in and tries for the sleeper once more. Miz again rolls to the ropes and to the floor. Outside, Ziggler ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own. Maryse distracts Ziggler, allowing Miz to dropkick Ziggler to the apron. A dropkick through the ropes sends Ziggler back to the floor. Ziggler gets launched into the barricade, then rolled back in. Miz comes off the top with a double axe handle, then celebrates. He calls for the SCF, which Ziggler elbows out of. Miz blocks a superkick and the leaping DDT before hitting Ziggler with a pancake. Miz mocks Daniel Bryan by pointing to the ceiling. He then hits a terrible version of the Yes! Kicks. Ziggler blocks the final one and knocks Miz down. He gets in a few punches before Miz sends him shoulder-first into the ring post. Miz connects with a low running boot for 2, then goes into a surfboard. Ziggler reverses, then gets reversed himself. Ziggler breaks free with a stomp to the foot and a back elbow. He ducks a clothesline, hits two of his own and a corner splash. Miz avoids the neckbreaker and shoves Ziggler into the ring post once more. Miz connects with a pair of corner dropkick, further mocking Bryan. He connects with the Flailing Clothesline, then goes up top again. Ziggler blocks another axe handle with a mid-air dropkick, which is good for 2. Ziggler kicks Miz in the leg and looks for the rocker dropper. Miz counters with a hotshot and goes for the SCF once more. Ziggler rolls through and plants him with the leaping DDT for 2. Ziggler calls for the superkick, which Miz sees coming. Ziggler changes moves and clotheslines Miz to the floor. Commercials.
Back from the break, Ziggler is going for a superplex. Miz fights him off, but Ziggler stays on the buckles. Miz clubs him down and goes for a sunset flip powerbomb. Ziggler hangs onto the ropes, but it’s for naught as Miz nails a slingshot sit-out powerbomb for 2. Miz starts to work over the left knee and goes for the figure-4, which Ziggler counters into a scissored sleeper in a good spot. Miz quickly gets his foot on the bottom rope for the break. Miz whiffs a big boot, because of course he does, and that gets 2. Miz looks for the SCF yet again, which Ziggler counters with a victory roll for 2. The rocker dropper then hits for another 2. Both guys get back to their feet, and Miz blocks the Zig-Zag. In the corner, Miz charges into a back elbow. He distracts the referee as Maryse heads to the apron with her can of mace or hairspray or whatever. The referee see her, however, and ejects her from ringside. Miz begs and pleads with the ref, allowing Ziggler to O’Connor roll him for 2. Miz rolls through and gets a handful of tights for 2. Ziggler then hits the Zig-Zag, and Miz barely kicks out at 2. Miz pulls himself to the floor and goes for the IC title, looking for a count-out. Ziggler stops him with a shot to the head, then throws him into the ring steps. Miz is still holding the belt as he’s rolled back into the ring. The ref gets it away from him, and behind his back, Miz sprays Ziggler in the eyes. The Skull-Crushing Finale finally connects and is good for 3.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: THE MIZ
MATCH 4: RANDY ORTON VS. ERICK ROWAN
Rowan gets the jobber non-entrance. Orton wins with an RKO. The end.
WINNER: RANDY ORTON
The lights go out after the match. When they come back on, Rowan is gone and his mask is left in the ring. Bray Wyatt appears on the TitanTron for his usual shtick.
MATCH 5: CARMELLA AND NATALYA VS. NIKKI BELLA AND NAOMI
This roster really needs more than six women. They’ve pretty much already exhausted all match options, and it’s only been a few weeks since the Draft. Naomi has apparently raided Velvet Sky’s closet and is now wearing fuzzy boots. It’s dreadful.
Nattie and Nikki start, with Nattie immediately knocking Naomi off the apron. Nikki goes for a fireman’s carry, but drops it when Carmella tries to interfere. Carmella gets knocked to the floor, and Nikki turns into a forearm by Nattie. Nattie goes right for the Sharpshooter, only for Carmella to pull Nikki to the floor by her hair. The referee calls for the DQ for…reasons?
WINNERS VIA DISQUALIFICATION: NAOMI AND NIKKI BELLA
Carmella continues the assault on Nikki at ringside as Naomi comes in and hits Nattie with a roundhouse. She then heads outside, where Carmella just casually walks away. Great waste of two match segments in a row.
Charley Caruso is with AJ Styles. Styles defines the word “rivalry” before saying he doesn’t have a rivalry with either John Cena or Dean Ambrose, since he beat both of them. He is the World Champion. He is superior in every way, so why is he in a triple threat at No Mercy? It’s simple: the only way he’s losing the belt is if he doesn’t have to get beat to lose it. However, Cena and Ambrose are going to rip each other apart tonight, while Styles sits back and soaks it all in, because the champ is, and always will be, here.
MATCH 6: JOHN CENA VS. DEAN AMBROSE
The two lock up and Ambrose goes for a headlock, right into a hip throw. Ambrose hits a shoulder off the ropes, and for once, Cena actually sells. Why he sells the one of the weakest moves possible, however, remains a mystery. Cena goes for a headlock, which Ambrose elbows out of. Cena hits a shoulder of his own and goes for the AA. Ambrose escapes and goes for Dirty Deeds. Cena escapes and hits a hip throw of his own. Ambrose gets to his feet, where Cena hits a shoulder. He misses one in the corner and collides with the ring post. Commercials.
Back from the break, Ambrose escapes the AA and throws a few strikes. He lands a couple forearms off the ropes, then connects with a running clothesline. Ambrose hits the corner forearm/running bulldog combo, then calls for Dirty Deeds again. Cena counters into the STF, which he still can’t apply after all these years. Ambrose crawls and gets a hand on the bottom rope for the break. He then sends Cena to the floor, which sets up a tope suicida. Back in the ring, Ambrose heads up top for the elbowline. Cena catches him, rolls through and muscles him up into the AA, but only gets 2. Cena picks Ambrose up for another one, but Ambrose lands on his feet and counters into the Dirty Deeds for 2. Remember when all it took was one finisher to end a match? Pepperidge Farm remembers. Both men get to their feet and trade shots. Cena goes for the AA once more off a Lunatic Lariat, but Ambrose counters into a sunset flip for 3.
WINNER: DEAN AMBROSE.
Wow. That is definitely not what I expected. When was the last time Cena lost a match cleanly on free TV?
AJ Styles flies out of the crowd with a Phenomenal Forearm on Cena, then hits the ring, where he lays Ambrose out with a Pele’. Daniel Bryan comes out and calls what he just saw phenomenal. Last week, however, Shane McMahon promised Ambrose a one-on-one match for the title. That match will happen…and it’ll happen next Tuesday on Smackdown, which gets a pretty hearty boo from the crowd. Styles argues with Bryan, only to turn around into Dirty Deeds.
END OF SHOW
WWE: Attitude Era Unreleased Volume 3
WWE: Living on a Razor’s Edge: The Scott Hall Story (BD) [Blu-ray]
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