We’ve had our 2nd Smackdown Live exclusive PPV with No Mercy, with 2 hugely anticipated title matches taking place. Predictions were made for the PPV and were quite shambolic, and WWE 2k17 released so we did our own brand split and draft across RAW, Smackdown Live & NXT. Welcome to Shoot Talk.
No Mercy 2016
The PPV seems like a good place to start, our predictions and results will feature in the Book It Vince section later on. Firstly the WWE World Championship triple threat AKA the main event was the first match of the show. A really weird thing to do, but at the same time an awesome thing to do. The match was very entertaining and the crowd were receptive and into it straight away. There was a moment in which we thought fuckery was instigated with AJ tapping out to two submission moves at once, but thankfully the match restarted and AJ did go on to retain the title. Personally believe that this was the right move. AJ Shouldn’t be a transitional champion with a short reign, he should be holding that till at least Wrestlemania now in my opinion.
The Ziggler and Miz IC match had a lot on the line. I should have known that Ziggler would win, of course he wasn’t leaving. But Miz really should have retained that title after the resurgence of importance of that title. Hopefully Ziggler continues the relevancy of the IC Championship and future feuds for it are just as interesting and passionate as the Ziggler & Miz feud were.
I have to mention though that given the WWE Championship started the show, and the stakes that were on the line for the IC title, that really should have been the main event. The match felt like a main event, the crowd response to it felt like it was a main event, what was on the line felt like it was main event. By all intents and purposes this match should have seen the show out. While Luke Harpers return is great news, the importance of the IC match on this occasion was definitely a greater than a returning roster member. Ziggler brought it up in Talking Smack following No Mercy and Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon both acknowledged that it should have been the main event. Maybe next time then?
Another thing that wound me up particularly was Alexa Bliss losing to Naomi. Unfortunately Becky couldn’t compete to defend her title and she’ll be out of action now till November. Alexa Bliss got a PPV match against Naomi to fill the time in, but having the number one contender losing on a PPV in a match in which she should have been competing for the title, It’s such a weird decision. I guess this was done to give Alexa a mini feud till Becky is back. Alexa and Naomi will probably now swap wins on Smackdown Live with Alexa reasserting herself as the true number one contender again just in time for Becky’s return. Still it was a pretty shitty thing to see Alexa losing at No Mercy in an impromptu match.
James Ellsworth saved by AJ
Smackdown Live was a little slower than in recent weeks, but one of the standout moments was the continuation of the Ambrose and AJ rivalry for the WWE World Championship. Rather than facing each other Daniel Bryan organized that everyone’s favourite jobber since the draft James Ellsworth got a match against AJ Styles. He added the stipulation that Dean Ambrose is the special referee. The match was pretty hilarious with Dean being an excellent biased referee. There was a scary moment though with AJ Styles hitting the Styles clash on Ellsworth. Ellsworth tucked his chin down which is a huge no no. AJ reacted incredibly during the move to readjust the way he landed the move so his knees took the bump rather than snapping Ellsworth’s neck. Ellsworth would go on to win the match after Ambrose hit 2 dirty deeds on AJ and a fast count pin.
While it’s all entertaining and part of the story to mock AJ, next week on Smackdown Live Ellsworth will have a title shot against AJ Styles unbelievably. Hopefully Ellsworth is being schooled in the coming week to take the clash properly.
RAW using their undercard
Week on week since the draft Smackdown Live have for the most part found a role for the majority of their roster so that they all have something relevant to do on a weekly basis culminating with a PPV appearance. While the rivalries might not be all that interesting (Swagger vs Corbin for example), at least there is something there for him to do. It’s a chance to rebuild him image and more TV time goes wonders to help. RAW this week seemed to follow Smackdown Live’s lead by giving a little more time to some forgotten roster members too. Bo Dallas has been in action the past couple of weeks, Shining Stars have been in the mix with the other popular tag teams and the latest edition saw Curtis Axl back. We also saw R-Truth in a match rather than playing Pokemon GO! While not everyone will want to see the likes of Curtis, Bo, Truth, the only way these guys will ever be relevant or get over is if we see them more. Remember Curtis was once an Intercontinental title holder under the tutelage of Paul Heyman?
Hopefully RAW continues to use the full card on their show, they need to do so more than Smackdown Live with that extra hour to fill. If the right gimmick clicks with one of the undercard they can go over with Heath Slater being a prime example of this.
The Club Rebooted?
It’s early days, but it looks like creative have decided to reboot The Club back to how they first made their debut as the overly aggressive team that beat the shit out of people. They lost their aura after their debut and became a bit of a side comedy act to other tag teams. I’d have thought given their past they were meant to be brought in to be aggressive and dominant, not taking The New Day’s balls and putting them in jars. The recent Uso’s turn has done wonders for them, so hopefully creative continue this Club revitalization and see them continue to steamroller teams weekly and genuinely heel it up with sneak attacks and ambushes.
Dana Brooke feud with Bayley best for both right now
At the end of Bayley’s victory on RAW she was attacked by Dana Brooke. Right now this is a good decision for both parties. Dana was hitting her stride on NXT, but since the call up she has taken a back seat in the woman’s division with Sasha, Charlotte and Becky becoming the main women on the roster. Even Bayley has struggled to really capture what she had in NXT on the main show, so having these two pitted against each other is a pretty great move for both. Bayley is undeniably a great performer and wrestler, one on one feuds against Dana, she can kind of aid Dana in picking up where she left off in NXT. They can both really benefit from this with Bayley recapturing the crowd which are of course still behind her, but recapture the hype from NXT, and Dana can continue her heel run but as a singles competitor on the main show learning from one of the best. This feud can definitely help both with their aspirations of the RAW Women’s championship and can assist in building them up as legitimate competitors for that title.
Goldberg to return
Just a quick mention on Goldberg. So Goldberg and Lesnar is pretty much happening. This has gone down pretty badly in some parts as the first match at Wrestlemania XX was pretty diabolical. Circumstances then were that both Lesnar and Goldberg were leaving so couldn’t really give a shit. Hopefully this time they’ll actually treat it like the spectacle it should be.
However though I’m actually totally fine with Goldberg and Lesnar. It should be a spectacle and puts the part timers/veterans in their own little universe. I’m fine with Lesnar feuding with Taker, Cena and Orton even though he beat them all. What bothers me is when Brock is booked in matches where he goes over current roster members that are meant to be the future of the company, the likes of Ambrose at Mania.
Book it Vince
Well, we did terribly with the No Mercy predictions. No one lost or gained any ground as we all got 3 predictions correct each. We all took 0 points for the Becky vs Alexa match. On the spot when it was announced that Alexa would be against Naomi we all made a prediction there with all 3 of us going with Alexa. We lost that too. Yay! So here’s how our predictions went for No Mercy.
And here’s how the scores shape after 3 PPVs.