The main event of Sunday’s WWE No Mercy pay-per-view, presented by the SmackDown Live brand, will see the phenomenal AJ Styles defend the WWE World Title against former champion Dean Ambrose and John Cena, who is looking to make history.

What kind of history is Cena looking to make? He’ll try to win his 16th World Title in WWE, which would tie him with Ric Flair, who is the recognized record-holder with 16 (Woo!) World Title reigns. Only two of Flair’s reigns were in WWE, while the other 14 were part of his NWA/WCW career. There were actually some more reigns that were taken away, but 16 is the recognized number that fans have heard about for decades.

I know that winning titles isn’t that important in the sense that WWE is a scripted “sport” where titles are decided based on the whims of Vince McMahon and his creative team. However, as part of a story, it’s very interesting because Cena’s had a love/hate relationship with WWE fans for over a decade now. Some people want him to tie and beat Flair’s record, while others would be furious with the idea of Cena reaching that monumental record.

I think the story of “Can Cena do it?” is an intriguing one and something that WWE should build up for several months, perhaps all the way to WrestleMania. Yes, that’s my way of saying there is very little chance that Cena is leaving with the WWE Title on Sunday. If he does, I’d be really surprised.

The reality of the situation is that AJ Styles just won the WWE Title from Ambrose in a great match at Backlash last month. Styles won by hitting a low blow when the ref was out of the picture briefly and then hit the Styles Clash to win. It was a cheap win for a heel character, but as a performer, it’s obvious Styles is “The Guy” on Smackdown.

Ambrose was boring as champion. He’s so much more interesting as a challenger. His promos in the last month have been incredible, whether he was on “Talking Smack” ripping on Cena or on SmackDown this week getting in Cena’s face and talking about how hard of a worker he is.

Ambrose with a chip on his shoulder is the best kind of Ambrose. It’s like a really good pro athlete who hasn’t won a championship yet, so they are insanely focused when they get close to the top. Once they get to the top, things change. In Ambrose’s case, he’s the angry former champion that is going to do anything he can to get to the top. I really hope that he’s able to turn heel in the next few months because he would be fantastic in that role.

Getting back to Styles, he really is “the face that runs the place” at the moment. I think he’s the clear winner of WWE’s Wrestler of the Year this year. There’s no way WWE will take the title off him after one month. This title should last all the way to WrestleMania, if not longer. The WWE Champion should be in the main event and any show that Styles is on feels like the main event because he has the best matches in the company. His matches with Cena have shown that. Long-term, I think he’s going to be a face, but the heel turn was needed for his character to reach the top, so I’m all for it too.

I’m excited about the match because I really like all three performers, but I’m sick of triple threat matches. They are so repetitive with the guys hitting a big move and then the other guy comes in to break up the pin. Hopefully, they can do some creative stuff that we haven’t really seen before. Considering how good Styles’ matches have been with both guys, I’m optimistic that it will be awesome if they get 20+ minutes like I assume.

As for the result of the match, Styles is likely going to retain the title by pinning Ambrose. I’d be shocked if Cena took the pin. Ambrose is the former champion that is in the match to put over Styles again. Cena’s scheduled to work Survivor Series next month, so I think they’ll do Styles vs. Cena in singles one more time – this time for the WWE Title.

While Cena’s chance to make history is an interesting story, this match will be all about the WWE Champion AJ Styles finding a way to win again.

Prediction: AJ Styles retains the WWE Title by pinning Dean Ambrose

WWE Intercontinental Championship: The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler (If Ziggler loses, he must retire)

Title vs. career. It’s a great stipulation that doesn’t happen very often, so I’m really looking forward to this match. Both guys have done a fantastic job of building up to the match with the evil Miz wanting to put an end to Ziggler’s career and embarrass him, while Ziggler wants to prove he can win a title.

What’s interesting is that they are the same age (36 years old), started in WWE around the same time over a decade ago and are from the Cleveland area. If you watched their Ride Along episode on WWE Network, it’s pretty obvious that they are very close friends. I bet they are having a blast doing this storyline and making it personal, like they did last week when both men’s parents were involved in their verbal jousting.

There are a lot of questions about Ziggler’s future with the likes of Ric Flair saying on his podcast that Ziggler may in fact be done as an in-ring performer. Then there’s a tweet like this from Ziggler.


It should be noted that Ziggler does joke a lot on Twitter. He may just be tweeting that to push the storyline in his own unique way.

They had two recent title matches with Miz winning at Backlash due to Maryse (who is fantastic by the way) spraying perfume in Ziggler’s eyes. In their next title match, Maryse was ejected, so Miz did the perfume-spraying himself to retain the title. They should probably do a finish where Miz and Maryse try to cheat like that again. But in the end, it will be Ziggler who wins because I doubt he’s going to retire in his mid-30s without any significant injuries. He has a lot more left.

Prediction: Dolph Ziggler wins the Intercontinental Title

Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt

It’s the second straight SmackDown pay-per-view where this match is advertised, since they were supposed to have the match at Backlash. Orton was written out of the match due to a concussion. I think the feud has lost a lot of steam, although WWE creative is trying to tell the story that they are playing mind games with each other.

This feels like a feud that’s going to have two or three PPV matches with Orton ultimately winning in the end, so he can move on to a rivalry with AJ Styles at some point. With that in mind, I’ll go with Wyatt winning in a way that’s not clean. He’s either going to get help from somebody or somehow cheat to win. That way, it sets up a future rematch down the road.

Prediction: Bray Wyatt wins in cheap fashion

WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss

Lynch just won the Women’s Title at Backlash, so it would be a surprise to see her lose to Bliss in her first PPV title defense. I think WWE has done a good job of building up Bliss as a crafty heel who is a threat to Lynch. Plus, Bliss is winning people over with the Harley Quinn look, which she pulls off well.

It’s just not the right time to do a title change. While the match won’t be nearly as good as the Women’s Title match we saw on Raw this week, it should still be a solid battle if they get 10 minutes to show what they can do.

Prediction: Becky Lynch retains the SmackDown Women’s Title

WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship: Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. The Usos

One of the best feel-good stories on the blue brand since the brand split has been the rise of Heath Slater from comedy loser to tag team champion. The big payoff to the story was when Slater won the tag titles with Rhyno at Backlash. Sadly, the story probably ends here.

The Usos are on a roll since they turned heel a few months ago. It was badly needed and they’ve done a great job as the twin brothers who have a bad attitude now. They injure people by going after their knees and are ruthless when they do it. The crowd is reacting to it the right way too, so it’s clearly working. As much fun as Slater and Rhyno were, they aren’t a true team and were barely on television in the last month. It’s time to put the titles on The Usos, which leads them to pick up their intense feud with American Alpha.

Prediction: The Usos win the Tag Team Titles

Nikki Bella vs. Carmella

The story has been pretty good here with Carmella turning heel as a way of making a name for herself. Since Nikki is the biggest name among the women on Smackdown, it makes a lot of sense. A lot of the story has been about Carmella getting the advantage on Nikki, usually by cheating. They are either going to continue that story or have Nikki get her payback by beating her during an official match. I think it’s going to be a clean win for Nikki, while the announcers plug that awful Total Bellas show about 47 times during the match as I yell “Serenity Now” at the TV.

Prediction: Nikki Bella wins by pinfall

Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin (Kickoff Match)

This was announced as the Kickoff Match after their Smackdown match ended in controversy with the referee saying that Corbin tapped out, but he really didn’t. Look for Corbin to get the win here because Swagger’s just the veteran who’s there to put over the newer guy. I’m not sure if it’s wise to put this as the Kickoff Match because it won’t be that exciting.

Prediction: Baron Corbin wins by pinfall

In addition to all that, Curt Hawkins will have a match.

That’s sunscreen on his nose. I swear.

In Closing

I think No Mercy will be a solid show from top to bottom. The WWE and IC Title matches really interest me in terms of how the matches will be booked and the match quality will be really high too. Everything else looks pretty good. I doubt it’s going to be a pay-per-view of the year contender, but it will be above-average and worth your time.

It’s fair to say that a lot of fans don’t see this as a major show. On Sunday night, there’s also the second presidential debate and the first one drew about 80 million viewers. The New York Giants at Green Bay Packers is a pretty good NFL game on Sunday night too. Plus, my Toronto Blue Jays have Game 3 in their playoff series as well. Sunday night is going to be busy and that’s going to hurt No Mercy in terms of fans thinking of it as a big deal. But if you have time for it on Sunday or another day after, I think it’s going to be an entertaining show. Remember, on WWE Network, everything is available on demand after it airs live, so watch it at your own convenience.

No Mercy takes place this place in Sacramento, California this Sunday night on WWE Network. The Kickoff Show starts at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT and the three-hour pay-per-view broadcast begins at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT. I’ll be back on Monday with a review of the show.

About John Canton

John has been writing about WWE online since the late 1990s. He joined The Comeback/Awful Announcing team in 2015. 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. Cheap pop!

1 thought on “WWE No Mercy preview: Styles vs. Cena vs. Ambrose for WWE Title

  1. WWE No Mercy 2017 Match Card
    Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strawman
    John Cena vs. Roman Reigns
    Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss vs Sasha Banks vs. Bayley vs. Nia Jax vs. Emma (Fatal 5-Way Match)
    Raw Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose vs Cesaro & Sheamus
    Finn Bálor vs. Bray Wyatt
    WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville vs. Enzo Amore
    Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. Jason Jordan
    Apollo Crews vs. Elias (Kickoff Match)
    Get WWE No Mercy 2017 tickets now http://watchwrestling.tw/watch-wwe-no-mercy-2017-92417/

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