WWE World Champion AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose vs. John Cena
AJ Styles talks a big game, but the new WWE World Champion may have talked himself into a major corner when he battles both Dean Ambrose and John Cena in a Triple Threat Match at WWE No Mercy.
On his first Smackdown’s LIVE after low-blowing Dean Ambrose out of the WWE World Title, The Phenomenal One proclaimed that, since he’d made good on his promise to become champion, his word was now infallible and that everything he says from here on out should be taken as fact. So, for instance, if he was to claim that he could beat The Lunatic Fringe and John Cena, whom he knocked off at SummerSlam, in the same match, the WWE Universe would just have to take his word for it.
With John Cena on commentary, The Phenomenal One puts WWE’s most illustrious title on the line against The Lunatic Fringe.
Luckily, Smackdown’s Commissioner Shane McMahon was happy to arrange just such a test for Styles, putting Ambrose’s guaranteed one-on-one rematch on the shelf (he’ll get it at a later date, according to Shane) in favor of a Triple Threat Match between Styles, a frothing Ambrose and Cena, who returned for the first time since his defeat at SummerSlam to make a play for a potentially record-tying 16th World Championship.
Prediction: A.J Styles
Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt
The time for games, mind or otherwise, is over: Randy Orton will battle Bray Wyatt at WWE No Mercy Sunday, Oct. 9, in an inevitable collision that has been building and building for the better part of two months and was finally confirmed on WWE’s official Twitter account.
The Viper feverishly attempts to locate The New Face of Fear before time runs out.
Originally scheduled to battle at WWE Backlash, the bout never materialized thanks to a backstage assault on The Viper by Wyatt, but The Apex Predator and New Face of Fear continued to circle each other for weeks on end. Orton, for his part, has been angling for a score-settling match between the two ever since, but The Eater of Worlds opted instead to unman The Viper mentally, taunting him with eerie messages from afar and, occasionally, sending his disciple Erick Rowan out to do his dirty work.
Prediction: Randy Orton
Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler (If Ziggler loses, he must retire)
Frustrated by coming up short in one big-match scenario after another, Dolph Ziggler has agreed to risk it all and put his career on the line against Intercontinental Champion The Miz at WWE No Mercy.
If The Showoff wins, the monkey is off his back and the prestigious Intercontinental Title is around his waist. However, if Ziggler loses, he must hang up his boots.
The A-Lister goaded Ziggler into accepting the perilous stipulation on the Sept. 27 edition of SmackDown LIVE in Cleveland, with both Superstars’ parents in attendance. Though The Showoff was initially reluctant, he soon declared that if he couldn’t defeat The Miz once and for all, then he didn’t deserve to have a career.
The A-Lister confronts Dolph Ziggler’s parents before goading The Showoff into putting his career on the line against Miz’s Intercontinental Title at No Mercy.
Ziggler has earned plenty of hardware during his time in WWE, winning the World Heavyweight Championship twice and the Intercontinental Title four times. Yet, the records books of late reflect a different story. He failed to dethrone The Miz in back-to-back weeks, albeit due to the underhanded tactics of The A-Lister and his wife, Maryse. (The Miz and Maryse illegally sprayed a substance in Ziggler’s eyes, behind the referee’s back, in both matches.)
At WWE No Mercy, The Showoff will have one more chance to win when it matters most. With his career in jeopardy, will Ziggler prove to be a clutch performer? Or will The Miz and Maryse find another way to stop The Showoff and, in the process, end Ziggler’s career on a sour note, cementing a legacy of “what if’s”?
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler
SmackDown Tag Team Champions Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. The Usos
Rhyno & Heath Slater’s path to SmackDown Tag Team Championship glory may be a feel-good story for the ages, but their challengers at No Mercy, Jimmy & Jey Uso, aren’t concerned with fairytale endings. Claiming they were cheated out of the titles once before, The Usos want the championship gold and will stop at nothing to get it.
The twin brothers’ relentless pursuit has already left one Superstar battered. American Alpha’s Chad Gable has twice been injured at the hands of Jimmy & Jey, most recently on the Sept. 20 edition of SmackDown LIVE. In a battle to determine Rhyno & Slater’s next challengers, The Usos savagely targeted Gable’s bad knee en route to winning the match, sparking speculation that not only Gable returned from injury too soon, but also that The Usos will sink to any depth to improve their position in Team Blue’s tag ranks.
The Usos have all but promised more of the same for “Beauty and The Man Beast,” further demonstrating just how callous Jimmy & Jey have grown in recent weeks. Gone are the neon colors, call-and-response ring entrance and fan-friendly smiles, replaced by scowling countenances and a ferocious new attitude.
Yet, Rhyno & Slater’s success isn’t just improbable — it has been well-earned, too. The One Man Band and his Gore-minded partner defeated The Usos once before, in the SmackDown Tag Team Championship Tournament Final at WWE Backlash (albeit on a night that The Usos had already competed before). And Slater’s guaranteed SmackDown LIVE contract may afford him luxuries like an above-ground pool and a new double-wide, but it doesn’t mean he and Rhyno are planning to relinquish the titles any time soon.
Prediction: The Usos
SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss
Becky Lynch finally has WWE championship gold in her possession, but she won’t have much time to bask in the glory of her achievement with a diabolical top contender already named.
Alexa Bliss will be the first Superstar to challenge the SmackDown Women’s Champion, in a title clash slated for SmackDown LIVE’s next brand-exclusive pay-per-view, No Mercy, on Sunday, Oct. 9. Alexa moved into contention after defeating Nikki Bella, Natalya, Naomi and Carmella in a Fatal 5-Way on Sept. 13.
The war of words between the SmackDown Women’s Champion and her No. 1 contender turns volatile.
A petite punisher with a hair-trigger temper, Alexa claims she embodies everything that The New Era is designed to be. Between her dynamic offense (which is supported by a world-class gymnastics background) and chippy attitude, the villainous Superstar clearly means business, maintaining a steady focus on trying to rule Team Blue’s Women’s division.
As the competitor who currently does rule the division, Becky is living out a dream that has been many years in the making. The Irish Lass Kicker won’t easily let go of the title she worked her entire career to obtain, least of all to the first challenger who comes her way.
Will Becky Lynch’s textbook technique and limb-wrenching ways carry her to victory? Or will the always-irritable Alexa Bliss snap when the stakes are highest, to the detriment of the champion?
Prediction: Becky Lynch
Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
Carmella craves the spotlight, but the ever-fabulous competitor will find out if she can rise to the occasion when she faces the longest-reigning Divas Champion in history, Nikki Bella, this Sunday at WWE No Mercy.
The Princess of Staten Island has targeted Bella ever since SummerSlam, when Fearless Nikki made a triumphant and unannounced return from a career-threatening neck injury, pinning Carmella to win SmackDown LIVE’s Six-Woman Tag Team Match.
After attacking Nikki Bella on SmackDown Live, The Princess of Staten Island once again goes after her on WWE Talking Smack: Courtesy of the award-winning WWE Network.
Believing that Nikki’s comeback stole attention away from her WWE pay-per-view debut (in her home state, no less), Carmella revealed a newly vicious demeanor in the weeks that followed. She wasted no opportunity to attack Nikki, going so far as to ambush her on the set of Talking Smack, and Carmella has even pinned her more experienced rival, too, in tag action.
This Sunday, the young lioness looks to achieve the biggest victory of her WWE career at the expense of the most decorated athlete in Team Blue’s Women’s division.
Prediction: Nikki Bella
Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin (Kickoff Match)
Two of SmackDown LIVE’s biggest and baddest brawlers will collide this Sunday on the No Mercy Kickoff when Jack Swagger meets Baron Corbin in a newly announced return match.
General Manager Daniel Bryan took to Twitter today to make the hoss fight official:
The announcement comes one day after Swagger and Corbin’s showdown on SmackDown LIVE ended in a controversial submission victory for Swagger. Swagger had Corbin trapped in the Patriot Lock, and as Corbin struggled to reach the ropes and break the hold, the referee called for the bell, believing The Lone Wolf had tapped out.
Former World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger makes his SmackDown LIVE in-ring debut against the imposing Lone Wolf.
Which bruiser will come out on top in this donnybrook of a rematch? Will it be a victory for “We the people,” or will The Lone Wolf’s war cry be one of triumph?
Prediction: Jack Swagger