no mercy

Not many people had huge hopes for No Mercy until they stacked the card with two “WrestleMania-worthy matches.” Of course, saying a match is worthy for WrestleMania would also imply it’s good enough for any other show. But it also notes a quality that could be placed among some of the strongest encounters on WWE’s calendar.

Roman Reigns vs John Cena is a match people have wanted for a very long time. At the same time, Brock Lesnar vs Braun Strowman was a match that’s been expected for quite a while as well. However, a Strowman injury made them push this clash between huge men back on the schedule.

The Miz was also set to defend his IC Title in a match which could be looked at as something that was added at the last minute but in reality, WWE has been planning this move for a while as well.

No Mercy was getting Los Angeles very excited and a packed crowd was in attendance to witness it all go down.

Apollo Crews vs Elias (Kickoff Show Match)

Elias tried to sing a song in the ring but got cut off mid-way through. It’s a good thing too because he was about to say everyone in LA was full of sh-t.

Titus O’Neil came out with his Titus Worldwide client and was ready to kickoff the kickoff show.

Elias and Apollo got off to a good start and tried to gain an advantage early on. When it wasn’t working out too well for Elias just tossed Crews to the floor in order to cause some separation.

Apollo hit some kicks and took Elias down with a jumping clothesline and a standing moonsault for a two count.

But Elias would soon hit the Drift Away which they’re really pushing as a strong finisher because that’s all it took to win this one.

The Miz vs Jason Jordan (IC Title Match)

Jason Jordan was out there to prove he belonged and The Miz dedicated this match to his unborn child. So that’s fun and neither guy really needed to lose this match which is always a fun place to start.

The Miztourage were at ringside and watched this match go down. Jordan showed off his strength by holding a vertical suplex up for a long time before hitting the move on The Miz.

Plenty of “who’s your daddy” chants were out there directed at both Miz and JJ which is fun too.

Miz hit a dropkick to Jordan and sent him to the floor then he sent Jason crashing against a barricade. Once they returned to the inside Miz locked in a submission hold to try and tire Jordan out.

Miz hit a DDT for a two count while Michael Cole did his best to put JJ over and Booker T painted a much more realistic picture of the situation. Jason got sent to the floor and Miz followed but this time it was Miz who took a bump off the barricade.

JJ almost slipped on the top rope but he recovered and hit a flying clothesline for a near fall. But Miz would eventually tee off with his Miz Kicks. Michael Cole brought up how Miz stole his kicks from Daniel Bryan as Miz missed his last kick because he always does. It’s like how Ric Flair never hits a top rope move at this point or something. JJ caught his left and sent him across the ring using a throw.

Jordan got another near fall after a suplex and “you suck” chants started to break out. They took it to the outside where JJ gained an advantage in spite of Miztourage’s best efforts. Once they returned to the ring Miz got caught in a cross face and he was crippled (can I say that?).

Miz got to the ropes and forced the submission break. The Miz moved out of the way from a charge to the corner and JJ took it hard. Now with both men phased they got to their feet. “This is awesome” chants broke out as JJ caught Miz and hit a belly-to-belly and then landed his shoulder to the corner.

Bo Dallas jumped in the ring and JJ knocked him off the top rope. JJ rolled Miz up but the ref didn’t see it. With the ref distracted with Dallas, Curtis Axel jumped up and hit JJ which turned right into a Skull Crushing Finale from The Miz. 1-2-3 and The Awesome One retains at No Mercy.

Bray Wyatt vs Finn Balor

Whether it’s the Demon or Fonzie Finn, Bray Wyatt is always going to have a task at hand in defeating the Irishman. So Bray jumped the gun and started a beatdown before the bell even had a chance to ring.

He beat Balor around the ring and punished him off the announce table. Bray returned to the ring and WWE officials swarmed Finn.

They started to walk him off as Bray Wyatt started bragging about what he just did to “your mighty little hero Finn Balor.” Then he started to encourage him to run away because Bray is a god.

Wyatt demanded Finn look at him as Balor sold his injuries Bray called him a coward and said he was no man. Then Finn started to take off his jacket. By the way, Finn was wearing silver trunks for the first time ever.

The match started and Bray started cleaning house. He knocked Bray outside the ring and landed a dropkick to Wyatt. They returned to the ring and Bray soon took control once again.

But Finn caught Bray with some boots the face and started to knock him down time and time again. Finn hit a chop to the corner but caught a kick to the head and was tossed outside once again.

Finn trapped Bray with the ring apron while Michael Cole credited Fit Finlay for influencing him in making that move. Balor his a kick to the face from the apron and Bray was taken out.

Finn was on the top rope ready to pounce and Bray popped up in his spider walk. It froze Finn for a second but he hit the move anyway because he’s starting to defeat The Eater Of Worlds mentally.

After some more back and forth Balor reversed out of a Sister Abigail and hit a leg drop for a two count. Balor hit a dropkick to Bray’s face and climbed to the top rope. Bray climbed to the top rope and joined him. They fought for position and Bray well allowing Finn to hit a Coup De Gras to the back of the neck. 1-2-kick out!

It looked like Balor was going for a 1916 but Balor reversed and caught a sick clothesline to take Balor out. Finn hit a nice throw which looked like it was starting out as a suplex but he just tossed him. He did that twice and the second one was even more aggressive.

Wyatt climbed to the middle rope but Balor hit a kick and climbed up to join Bray. They eventually got back down and Finn hit Bray. Then Balor climbed up to the top rope all by himself and hit a proper Coup De Gras for the pin.

Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose vs Sheamus and Cesaro (Raw Tag Team Titles)

Dean Ambrose hit a clothesline on Sheamus early on but The Celtic Warrior just ran outside to send Rollins into the barricade so he could take a little nap. Sheamus and Cesaro double teamed Dean and then Cesaro got the tag in the ring to bring it outside for more punishment.

Cesaro hit a sing into the steps and then he looked over like “well, it’s over now.”

Once they returned to the ring Ambrose took more punishment from Sheamus. Cesaro applied more pressure on Ambrose after getting the tag back in and kept The Lunatic Fringe away from his partner. The Bar hit a double clothesline on Ambrose and it was Sheamus’ turn to keep Dean down.

Cesaro got the tag and they hit double headbutts for a two count. Dean countered a Neutralizer and got the tag to Seth Rollins.

Seth hit a boot to Cesaro and a blockbuster. Then he hit a dive to Sheamus and then returned to the ring. Rollins hit a slingshot to the ring post and Cesaro was holding his mouth. Then he took a stiff superkick and there was immediate blood in Cesaro’s mouth. He knocked a couple teeth out and it was awful looking.

As the blood poured from Cesaro’s mouth, the match continued. Sheamus hit Rollins while the ref was looking at Cesaro. Sheamus went into the match where he started hitting backbreakers on Rollins for a two count. Cesaro went to the ringside pointing at his mouth.

The Bar tried to rally against Rollins and hit a double team uppercut move for a two count. Sheamus and Cesaro rushed the referee to argue with him. Sheamus took a shoulder to the post when Rollins moved and Cesaro got the tag.

Rollins hoisted Cesaro over the top rope and that bump just caused more blood to pour out of his face. Cesaro seriously lost his two front teeth.

Dean got the tag and clotheslined Sheamus over the top rope. He hit The Celtic Warrior with a suicide dive and The Bar was now a crumpled mess at ringside.

Ambrose rolled Sheamus back in the ring and climbed to the top rope. Sheamus stopped Dean and tried for a White Noise from the second rope but Dean knocked him off and hit a top rope elbow drop. Cesaro jumped in and broke up the pin. After taking Rollins out on the apron, Cesaro went back to wait for his tag.

Rollins came in the interrupt a double team but he was stopped. Cesaro slapped a sharpshooter on Ambrose and transitioned it into a crossface. Dean got out of the submission hold and eventually floored a toothless Cesaro with a clothesline off the ropes. Sheamus got the tag and hoisted Dean up for a White Noise off the top. Then Rollins jumped up and Cesaro grabbed him.

Sheamus hit the White Noise on Ambrose and Cesaro powerbombed Rollins onto Ambrose. 1-2-kickout!!!

Everyone was in disbelief that Ambrose kicked out of that. Cesaro’s look of shock was priceless while his face was covered in his own blood.

Rollins got the tag and he was quickly contained. Ambrose played opossum and ducked a Brogue Kick. Sheamus went to check on him and Ambrose rolled him up for a two-count.

Cesaro was accidentally Brogue Kicked after that and then Rollins hit the knee to the face followed by a Dirty Deeds from Dean. 1-2-3 and 2/3 of The Shield retained the Raw Tag Team Titles in a very good match.

By the way, it looks like they’re calling Seth Rollins’ knee to the face the “King’s Landing” now (aka Kenny Omega’s Ripcord).

Alexa Bliss vs Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax vs Bayley vs Emma (Raw Women’s Championship Match)

Emma has a nice little new intro to her theme song where her voice said: “it’s all about me”… that’s just neat.

Nia Jax started things out by destroying Alexa Bliss in the corner which put her out of commission from the get-go.

Emma, Banks, and Sasha battled for a bit but Nia Jax would soon return and start to really clean house. She took out Emma with ease and that was a good piece of business.

The most impressive spot was when Emma tried to powerbomb Nia Jax to the floor. Of course she couldn’t do it alone so Bayley came to help her. But Bayley’s help didn’t do it either so Alexa and Sasha both dropkicked Nia and she went crashing to the floor. It was rough looking and she landed on the back of her neck.

After a pretty good match between the five of them where they all got their spots in Alexa Bliss ended up scoring the pin over Bayley to retain the Raw Women’s title.

But Nia Jax still had a great showing in this match which only put a bigger stamp on her to solidify there are big things in store for The Girl Who’s Not Like Most Girls.

John Cena vs Roman Reigns

If John Cena wins this match he will tie The Undertaker for most WWE PPV victories at 94… therefore this is another reason for Cena to win this match because he would be toppling Taker’s record with the guy who allegedly retired the Dead Man.

After some feeling each other out while the crowd chanted “you both suck” they got down to business. Actually, John Cena turned around and started to leave. Roman followed him up the ramp and hit a right hand to bring the battle back to the ring.

Roman hit a few right hands and Cena was eventually sent back down to the canvas. Roman planted Cena and got a two count while Corey Graves put Roman over for getting a two count this early on. Insert huge “Roman sucks” chants here.

Roman sent Cena out of the ring but John revered a whip into the ring steps to hurl the Big Dog crashing over them. But Roman turned it around by sending Cena through the other set of steps.

Cena sold everything Roman did to him like a champ but it really slowed the pace down considerably. “CM Punk” chants were starting to ring out after Roman got a slow two count and brought Cena back down with another right hand.

“I hit hard,” Roman said. Then he hit him again. This was so slow and the crowd was starting to hate it.

Cena started to battle back but Reigns blocked a punch and delivered a kick to bring Cena down. Cena ducked under a clothesline and hit a shoulder tackle but Reigns topped John again. Big Match John returned with another shoulder tackle and he hit his suplex and geared up for the 5 Knuckle Shuffle but Reigns turned it into a Samoan Drop for a two count.

John eventually hit the 5 Knuckle Shuffle but he couldn’t deliver with an AA. The Big Dog hit a boot to the face that brought Super Cena down. Reigns took his time and looked at the crowd. He cocked his fist and prepared for his Superman Punch.

Cena ducked the Superman Punch and locked in an STF. Reigns used his power to turn Cena over and muscle him up for a slam and another two count.

They traded shots until Roman jumped for a cross body and Cena caught him to hoist him into an AA which he quickly hit. 1-2-kickout by Reigns.

John went for his top rope legdrop but Roman turned it into a powerbomb for another two count. Superman punch landed and another near fall happened. These guys were trading two counts like they were baseball cards at this point.

Reigns positioned himself back in the corner and yelled at the ceiling. He went for a spear but Cena didn’t move. He just ushered Reigns into the ring post and the Big Dog took a shoulder to the post.

Cena places Reigns on the top rope and positioned him for a Super AA off the top rope. He hit the devastating move and got another two count.

While Reigns writhed around in pain it was being made very clear Vince McMahon wanted this match to change a greater audience perception of Reigns. Even though the crowd chanting “one more time” to Cena proved they weren’t ready for it.

Cena went outside and cleaned off an announce table… then he cleaned off another one. With both the Spanish and German announce tables cleaned off, Cena placed Roman on a table and climbed up with him. He got Roman up for an AA but Reigns countered and hit a spear through the announce table.

Once they returned to the ring they got another two count when Cena kicked out. Reigns looked tired but it was nothing compared to Cena. The Big Dog yelled at the ceiling once again but ran right into another AA which Cena hit and rolled him into another AA. 1-2-kick out!

Everyone was in disbelief that this match was still going.

Reigns hit a Superman Punch outta nowhere followed by a spear to get the win.

After the match was over Cena raised Roman’s arm with respect and got a huge boo from the crowd for doing so. John whispered something in Roman’s ear and he left the ring. Cena sat down on the mat and leaned against the turnbuckle to let it all soak in. He just put over Roman Reigns and all he could do is hope it made a difference.

After Reigns left, Cena remained in the ring. He looked down at the mat and finally started to get up as the crowd cheered him. Cena bowed to the crowd as “thank you Cena” chants broke out.

John gave his stretched out armband to a kid at ringside and took his time leaving like it was his last match for a while.

Backstage Segment

The Miz walked up to Kurt Angle where he offered to do a special edition of Miz TV on Raw tomorrow night. He said Reigns beating Cena was the equivalent of beating Undertaker. Miz also wanted to ask Roman about rumors he’d heard about reuniting with his old buddies (The Shield… although he didn’t say, Shield). Then Kurt Angle said Miz TV would kick off the show tomorrow.

Neville vs Enzo Amore (Cruiserweight Title Match)

Neville and Enzo had a nice back and forth for a few moments but then Enzo found himself out of the ring and grabbed the Cruiserweight Championship.

Neville chased Enzo in the ring and then Enzo gave the ref the title. Enzo kicked Neville with a low-blow when the ref was putting the title back where it belonged and got a roll-up pin for the win to become the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion.

Comments withheld due to disbelief.

Brock Lesnar vs Braun Strowman (Universal Title Match)

After watching Roman Reigns kick out of four AA’s and Enzo winning the Cruiserweight Championship after a low-blow very early on in the match the crowd inside the Staples Center were ready for anything at that point.

These two huge men were in each other’s faces from the get-go. The introduction by JoJo gave this match an even bigger match feel than it already had. Of course, Paul Heyman stopped WWE’s ring announcer to do Brock Lesnar’s introduction for him where he called him “The Beast Among Monsters.”

Braun tossed Brock to the corner and just shook his head at him. Brock tried to go at Strowman again for a takedown but Strowman just ripped him off and tossed him to the other corner.

The stared each other down and then Brock went behind Braun for a belly-to-belly suplex but Braun no sold it and hit a chokeslam and a running powerslam for a two count.

At least this match lasted longer than Brock’s 2016 encounter with Goldberg at Survivor Series. Brock took some knees from Braun in the corner and tried for another suplex but an elbow and a headbutt took Lesnar down.

Braun hammered down on Lesnar but got picked up for an F5. Strowman got out of the F5 and sent Lesnar out of the ring. Braun’s cheek was bleeding from one of Lesnar’s shots.

Braun followed Brock outside and sent him into the ring post. Then they returned to the ring. Strowman drove his shoulder into Lesnar and then planted him in the opposite corner as well.

But Brock moved out of the way from another charge from Braun however he couldn’t capitalize. Brock tried to lock in a kimura lock but Strowman just pushed Brock against the corner over and over again to get  Lesnar to break the hold.

Lesnar kept in the submission hold and Braun tried to gut through it. Brock eventually broke free and hit a spinebuster for a two count.

While Braun sold his arm, Brock got back to his feet. With blood trickling down his face, Braun took two German Suplexes from Lesnar. Brock hit a third German Suplex and then motioned that he was going to end it. But he decided to hit a fourth and fifth German Suplex instead.

Brock got Braun up for the F5 but Braun got out of it and hit a running powerslam. But Strowman rolled the wrong way and didn’t get the pin.

Strowman made his way to his feet as Brock did the same. Then Braun picked Brock up for another running powerslam but he didn’t pin him immediatly. He finally did pin but it was delayed. 1-2-kickout.

Finally, Brock picked Braun up for an F5 and hit it. 1-2-3 and Braun Strowman lost clean.

Brock Lesnar is still the Universal Champion after one F5. That’s it. Goodnight everybody!



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Aaron Varble hasn’t just been writing for more than a decade in various formats including sketch comedy, stand up, television, radio, and other various projects; nor is he just another professional wrestling fan with a master's degree in journalism and Tourette’s syndrome. He's always looking to explore the why not with the why and the how come along with the how. Follow on Twitter @TheVarble