It was WWE No Mercy night on Sunday in Los Angeles, with Brock Lesnar defending the Universal Title against Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns battling John Cena for the first time ever in a singles match.

Here’s a rundown of every match in the order they took place and I’ll also look at what’s next for the performers as well.

The Kickoff Show match was Elias beating Apollo Crews, which was no surprise. I didn’t see it and don’t plan on going back to watch it. I was watching NFL games and when I turned on No Mercy, that match was over, so I’ll move on to the main three-hour PPV event. WWE signed off at 11:01 p.m. ET, so it was actually one minute past three hours if you want to be technical about it.

The Miz defeated Jason Jordan to retain the Intercontinental Championship

This match had a very predictable ending that most wrestling fans guessed would happen. When I thought about it before the match, my feeling was “that’s too obvious” yet here they were doing the exact same ending with Bo Dallas distracting Jordan, so Jordan knocked him down, the ref was distracted by that, Curtis Axel got a cheap shot on Jordan and Miz hit his finish to win. Jordan was on offense for the majority of the match, hit Miz with about a half dozen suplexes and fell victim to the dreaded numbers game.

Miz and Jordan worked hard and it was a fun match. The weird thing about it is that Miz is one of the biggest heels in WWE who never tries to get the fans to support him, but the people were behind Miz. After the match, Jordan did this babyface promo that the crowd booed. Jordan’s storyline isn’t working, so WWE needs to either get Kurt Angle involved more or slowly start the Jordan heel turn.

What’s Next: The feud will probably continue with Jordan’s “dad” Kurt Angle trying to make things more fair by banning Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas from ringside. That’s when they might do the title change. I hope that if Jordan wins the title, he turns into an egotistical champion who becomes a heel because clearly the face run isn’t working. Jordan is very good in the ring, though. Listen to the fans, WWE. It’s important.

Finn Balor defeated Bray Wyatt

This was the most predictable match on the show because Balor winning to put an end to this rivalry made a lot of sense. There was no reason for Wyatt to get the win. He attacked Balor before the match, so Balor was selling a rib injury during the whole thing and that helped make it a better match. I think Wyatt was more motivated this time around for whatever reason. Balor hit the Coup de Grace double foot stomp to the chest for the win. The story is that Balor beat Wyatt at SummerSlam as “The Demon” and this time he beat him as a regular man, so it shows that Balor is better.

What’s Next: I think Balor is moving up the ranks, so to speak. I’m not sure who his next feud might be with, but maybe they go with The Miz (if WWE bails on the Jordan storyline) or perhaps a heel like Braun Strowman. The size difference may make that difficult. As for Wyatt, he’ll continue to float around the midcard as a heel who talks about being a god and loses quite a bit. Taking the Wyatt Family away from Wyatt was such a massive mistake that hasn’t helped Luke Harper or Erick Rowan either.

Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose defeated Sheamus and Cesaro to retain the Raw Tag Team Championships

I expected a great match here and that’s what we got as these teams wrestled at a fast pace for 17 minutes with a lot of cool moments. One of the biggest events in the match happened when Cesaro took a slingshot bump towards the corner, landing face-first against the ring post. Normally a guy takes that bump to the turnbuckle, but Cesaro opted for the ring post. Bad move because Cesaro ended up breaking two of his front teeth. Here are the after effects of it.

The match was excellent. There was a point where it looked like Ambrose had hurt his left shoulder because the ref checked on him multiple teams. He was clearly favoring the arm, but got through it. I hope it’s nothing too serious because I enjoy Ambrose teaming with Rollins a lot. After Rollins got the hot tag, the heels worked on him for a long period. Towards the end, they broke out some cool spots. At SummerSlam, Rollins gave Cesaro a hurricanrana that knocked down Sheamus. This time, Rollins went for the same move and Cesaro gave Rollins a Powerbomb off the ropes onto Ambrose on the mat. It looked great.

I liked the finish as well. Sheamus went for the Brogue Kick on Rollins, but he moved and Sheamus kicked Cesaro by accident. Rollins hit the high knee to the face of Sheamus and Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds to get the win for the team. I expected the champs to retain because it’s early in their run as a team. This title reign will probably go until the end of the year or early next year. The crowd loves both guys, so keep it going.

What’s Next: There’s a juicy rumor out there that Rollins and Ambrose will team up with Roman Reigns for a Shield reunion at TLC next month, so titles may not be at the forefront as much going forward. The next logical opponents for Rollins and Ambrose would be Gallows and Anderson since there aren’t many other heel teams out there. As for Sheamus/Cesaro, they do well as a team. I hope it continues.

Alexa Bliss retained the Raw Women’s Title in a Fatal 5-Way over Bayley, Sasha Banks, Emma and Nia Jax

They went about 10 minutes and wrestled at a fast pace. Pretty good match, but as I have written many times, WWE overdoes the 4-way and 5-way gimmick a lot with the women on both shows. Plenty of near-falls, which is standard in a match like this with so many women involved. Bliss ended up getting the pin on Bayley with a regular DDT. I wish she had a better finisher, but at 5 feet tall there’s only so much Bliss can do with credibility in there. Anyway, I mentioned the possibility of Bayley getting beat in my preview: “Bliss should retain the title and I can see Emma taking the pin. Emma getting pinned may be too obvious, so maybe they go with Banks or Bayley, but I highly doubt that Jax would get beat.”

The spot of the match was when Nia Jax was on the apron, so two women were at her legs trying to slam her down and the other two women hit a dropkick, which led to Jax taking a hard back bump (Powerbomb style) onto the floor. That drew a huge reaction. Everything Jax did drew a big reaction. No question that Jax is a huge star in the eyes of the fans.

What’s Next: Bliss was on Raw Talk after the show and spent about a minute trashing Mickie James as somebody who’s not a viable contender, so perhaps they do Bliss vs. James for the title. Maybe that’s why Mickie wasn’t involved in this match to keep her fresh. Asuka is debuting at TLC on Oct. 22., and it may be a few months since she gets into the title picture. I still think Jax will win the title before the end of the year and Asuka will probably beat her for the title at WrestleMania next year if WWE can wait that long.

Roman Reigns defeated John Cena

This was arguably the most anticipated match on the show. It also went the longest at 23 minutes and had an outcome that I think most of us were expecting. They wrestled at a slow pace with Cena selling every Reigns punch as a big move. The first 10 minutes wasn’t that exciting, but the last half of the match was fantastic. The crowd was into it a lot, even chanting “you both suck” at them and Cena left until Reigns brought him back. The journey to the finish is what really riled up some fans, though.

Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment fairly in the match and Reigns kicked out, which was no surprise because it was early. Later in the match with Cena on another offensive flurry, he hit the AA off the middle ropes known as a Super Attitude Adjustment. Reigns kicked out of that too. Towards the end of the match, Cena hit two AAs in a row. This is something he’s done against AJ Styles where he hits one AA, then rolls through and hits the guy with another AA. Reigns kicked out of that too, so Reigns took four AAs for three covers and kicked out of all of them.

Does that mean Reigns was booked too strong? Sure, but this was also against John Cena, who has probably kicked out of more finishers than anybody in history. I just know some fans hated it because I got a lot of complaints during the match and after it was over.

There was a spot in the match where Reigns had a rough landing. Cena cleared off the announce tables with the intention of putting Reigns through a table. Keep in mind that this was a regular match and the referee should have counted them out, but there was no count or mention of it from the announcers. Reigns ended up giving Cena a Spear (more like a tackle without much of a run up) that drove Cena back first through an announce table. Reigns landed right on his head/neck, but he managed to continue without much of a problem.

Reigns ended up getting the win with a Superman Punch followed by a Spear. That’s what drew a lot of complaints from fans online because Reigns kicked out of Cena’s finish three times (Cena did the move four times), yet Reigns beat Cena after one finisher. It was two Spears if you count the table spot, but that was out of the ring.

I’m not bothered by the way Reigns won because I expected Reigns to win and he should win over Cena, who is probably off to film movies anyway. Reigns is 3-6 in PPV matches this year, so pretending as if he wins all the time is ridiculous. Reigns was the one who got beat clean after one F5 in the SummerSlam main event last month, so Reigns has done his fair share of losing. If Cena kicked out of that Spear and Reigns had to do another one, it would have been a better finish and made Cena look better. It really doesn’t bother me, though.

Post-match, Cena went over to Reigns and raised his hand. Reigns nodded at him as a sign of respect. The crowd booed most of it because they hate Reigns. While Reigns left, Cena sat in the ring.

Cena took his time in the ring by going on his knees and soaking up the moment. Cena did a slow walk around the ring as he greeted young fans at ringside. When he got to the ramp, Cena paused and soaked up the ovation some more. That’s something The Undertaker did for many years when he got older. At 40 years old, Cena knows the end of his in-ring career is coming soon, but I see no reason for him to stop wrestling for another decade if he stays healthy. Cena’s merely going to a part-time role and has admitted so, so there’s really nothing more to it than that.

What’s Next: As mentioned earlier, the rumor is that Roman Reigns will team up with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose for TLC next month, so that’s what could be next for him. Reigns will probably get in the Universal Title picture in January for the Royal Rumble. They will keep him busy doing other stuff until then.

The expectation is that Cena is going to be off TV for most of the rest of the year, although there’s been no confirmation of that. Check out his IMDB page and you can see he’s filming the Bumblebee movie, so that’s going to be his focus. It might be January when we hear Cena’s music again unless he’s able to come back for a big event like Survivor Series.

Enzo Amore defeated Neville to win the Cruiserweight Championship

Worst match of the night and the only onethat was below average. Neville was in control for about 95% of it, but got too cocky and Enzo kept finding ways to stay alive. Enzo went to the floor, grabbed the Cruiserweight Title, the ref was counting him out of the ring and then the ref stopped because Neville was mad about Enzo holding the title. Enzo went in the ring with the title, the ref took it away and while the ref did that, Enzo kicked Neville in the groin and covered to win the title when the ref turned around to count the pin. Cheap win for the face Enzo. Weird booking and a step back for the cruiserweights because Neville is the best guy in the division while Enzo clearly is not.

What’s Next: There will probably be a rematch between them at TLC next month. I assume the booking of Enzo as champion will lead to fluke wins and disqualification/countout finishes to make him look like a fluke champion.

Brock Lesnar defeated Braun Strowman to retain the Universal Champion

I thought WWE made a mistake by not making this No Holds Barred or some other stipulation that would have allowed Lesnar and Strowman to break things around the ring. They should have let them use weapons, go through tables and do other big moments similar to the SummerSlam main event, which was a much more interesting contest. Instead, this was a regular match that went about nine minutes. I was hoping for 15 minutes at least. Nope. It didn’t happen.

The formula for the match was basic with Strowman using his power early on to dominate and he hit the Running Powerslam a few times for near-falls. Lesnar kept coming back with German Suplexes – I believe he hit six of them in total. At first, the suplexes didn’t have an effect on Strowman, but eventually they wore him down. Lesnar also worked on the left arm of Strowman with a Kimura Lock submission move. Strowman sold it well for most of the match, but not all of it.

The story was that Lesnar was unable to lift Strowman for the F5, but when he finally did it and connected with the move, Lesnar won the match clean with one F5. Should it have taken more to beat Strowman? Yes, I think so, but like with Reigns/Cena earlier that’s not what WWE did. If anything, what WWE did was put over the finishers of Reigns and Lesnar in a big way because they won easily after they hit them.

I thought the match was disappointing. I use that word more for the structure of the match because it should have been better. I really wanted Strowman to win. It’s not what I expected, though. Lesnar holding the Universal Title for one year until WrestleMania 34 where he will drop to Roman Reigns has been the plan since earlier this year and it doesn’t seem like WWE is going to deviate from that.

Both guys worked hard and had a good power match. It just didn’t live up to the immense hype most of us had for it after their incredible performance at SummerSlam last month.

What’s Next: The future of Lesnar in WWE 2017 isn’t known. There have been some reports suggesting he may be done for the year in terms of having matches and he’ll be back in January. I think having him wrestle at least at Survivor Series makes sense, so we’ll see in a few months. Lesnar is not expected to be in action at TLC in October as far as I know.

As for Strowman, he’s at a bit of a crossroads because he was booked so well heading into this match. Where does he go from here? Tough call because there aren’t many singles face wrestlers to pair him up with. I mentioned Finn Balor earlier as a possibility even with the big size difference. Roman Reigns again? No thanks. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose are busy as a tag team. Samoa Joe is currently out for a few more weeks. There just aren’t a lot of options for Braun, so I hope it’s something good.

In Closing

I enjoyed No Mercy and thought it was an above average show. I’d still rank Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber as the best WWE PPVs this year.

The main event was a bit disappointing. Compare it with SummerSlam, which was a long show that had some bad matches and an outstanding main event that was one of the best matches of the year. On this show, the two worst matches were the last two, so that hurts it a bit. When highlighting the best parts, the Tag Team Title match and the Reigns/Cena matches were the two that stood out the most. I would recommend checking those matches out if you missed them.

It was a predictable show as well. I went 6-1 in my predictions with Enzo Amore’s Cruiserweight Title win as the lone loser for me.

I’ll be back during the week with the usual Raw and Smackdown reviews. Raw’s next pay-per-view is TLC on Oct. 22 while Smackdown has Hell in a Cell on Oct. 8. Until next time, thanks for reading.

About John Canton

John has been writing about WWE online since the late 1990s. He's written for WhatCulture, Bleacher Report, Layfield Report, Rajah.com and many other places. You can follow John Canton on Twitter @johnreport or email him at mrjohncanton@gmail.com with any comments or questions. For more of his wrestling opinions, visit his website at TJRWrestling.net.