September 27, 2016
City: Cleveland, OH
Venue: Quicken Loans Arena
Commentary: Mauro Ranallo, JBL, David Otunga
Ring Announcer: Greg Hamilton
Tonight, AJ Styles defends his title against Dean Ambrose.
“Take a Chance” by CFO$
Randy Orton heads to the ring. He knows why Bray Wyatt likes to talk about fear; it’s because he’s afraid. He’s afraid of Orton. He’s had enough of the mind games though, and he calls Wyatt to the ring to face his fears.
Bray Wyatt appears on the tron and recounts the story of Hansel and Gretel. He also tells Orton that he is in control and Orton is in no place to make demands. Bray then starts to sing before the tron goes dark. Orton leaves the ring.
** I’m not really into this feud. I mean, it’s Orton, so that’s already a mark against it, but the whole thing just feels very vanilla. Like we’ve seen it before. Orton’s comment about Bray being afraid is totally unoriginal. I don’t know, I guess I’m just not feeling the chemistry between the two of them. **
Charly Caruso asks Dead Ambrose what’s going through his mind before his match. He says he will break AJ’s face and take back the title AJ stole from him.
American Alpha & Heath Slater (SD Tag Champ) & Rhyno (SD Tag Champ) vs The Ascension & The Usos
(referee: Jason Ayers)
Result: Jimmy Uso makes Heath Slater tap out to a half crab
Time: 6:12 (1 break)
This match was a lot of fun, did a really great job of furthering feuds, and built interest in the PPV very well. The match was mostly American Alpha (mostly Gable) versus The Usos, which makes total sense given Gable’s injury and anger. The Usos used Gable’s anger to their advantage and isolated him well with the help of The Ascension. Eventually, with ringside shenanigans, Heath Slater ended up getting the hot tag from Gable before the match started to break down leading up to the finish. It was fun seeing Slater get the hot tag, and even though most of the match seemed to focus on The Usos versus American Alpha, the finish put the focus squarely on the title match at No Mercy between Slater & Rhyno and The Usos.
Charly Caruso asks John Cena if he cares who wins the title. He doesn’t.
The Miz (with Maryse) has someone put his picture over a picture of Lebron James in a hallway of the arena.
Randy Orton finds an arrow made out of tree limbs hanging on a wall in a darkly lit room in the arena. He turns the arrow around and walks in the opposite direction of where it was pointed, but after the camera moves away and then back, the arrow turns back the other way and points to Erick Rowan.
Bray Wyatt admonishes for not following directions.
In a taped promo, Natalya and Carmella run down their opponents for tonight. Naomi and Nikki do the same.
Carmella & Natalya vs Naomi & Nikki Bella
(referee: Mike Chioda)
Result: Carmela pins Nikki Bella with a roll-up
Time: 6:34 (1 break)
Okay match. There wasn’t really a lot to it other than being a way to maintain interest in Carmella versus Nikki.
Orton finds doors with writing on them, giving him two choices of escape. He opens a door and finds an old cardboard cutout of himself with the eyes removed. He opens another door slightly, and a reverse angle shot shows Erick Rowan waiting behind it. Orton doesn’t see him and closes the door. Orton walks away. Apparently there was another choice for him to escape…
** This stuff is goofy. Also, I dislike the reverse angle shot. It makes me too aware that I’m watching a scripted and produced show rather than just some guy getting messed with at a wrestling event. **
The Miz and Maryse make their way to the ring. Maryse introduces a video chronicling the history of The Miz (though it’s pretty heavy on recent happenings). Back in the ring, The Miz is upset that he hasn’t been given a better reception in his hometown. He then introduces his parents and points out that Ziggler’s parents are also in the front row. That prompts Ziggler to head to the ring.
Ziggler tells Miz not to talk to his parents. He then congratulates Miz on his tainted title and starts to leave. Miz points out that the record books will just show that he’s champ, and that he’s been champ over and over. He says Ziggler should be embarrassed about his career. He tells Ziggler that he has nothing and leaves Ziggler alone in the ring.
When the Miz is half way up the ramp, Ziggler stops him. He says that sometimes the things you love don’t love you back. But Ziggler can’t stop. It’s a sickness. He tells Miz that if he gives him one more title shot, he’ll put his own career on the line. Miz agrees.
** This was really good. As complacent as Miz seems to get sometimes, when he wants to he can really deliver on the mic. Ziggler also showed a lot of good emotion in this one. Whether it’s true or not, it feels like there’s some honest emotion behind Ziggler’s words. This promo was good enough to get me interested in yet another Miz versus Ziggler match, even though I kind of wanted them both to move on. **
Bray Wyatt feels like he’s playing with a mouse. He also thinks it’s funny.
Becky Lynch comes out (presumably for a match), but Alexa Bliss attacks her from behind while she’s still on the stage. After leaving her face down on the stage, Alexa says Becky doesn’t deserve the title.
Face The Facts:
Gravity has to obey the law of Curt Hawkins.
Doctors recommend that each night sleep gets at least eight hours of Curt Hawkins.
The earth is 70% water and 30% Curt Hawkins.
Bray Wyatt was wrong about Randy Orton. The Viper has no venom. As Bray wonders where Orton is, Orton shows up behind him in a sheep mask. Orton punches Bray until he goes away. Orton then puts the sheep mask back on and sings and laughs.
** Uh. This whole thing, all of it, wasn’t very engaging. **
Charly Caruso asks AJ Styles about what Ambrose and Cena said earlier. Styles says he’ll beat Ambrose again. That’s all that really matters.
Remembering Ritchie Valens for Hispanic Heritage month.
WWE World Title Match
Dean Ambrose vs AJ Styles (WWE World Champ)
(referee: Charles Robinson; guest commentary: John Cena)
Result: AJ Styles wins via pinfall with an O’Connor roll
Time: 14:19 (2 breaks)
Good match. It wasn’t quite PPV quality, but it was very good. The ending was clever and did a good job of building interest for No Mercy. I think part of the reason this didn’t feel as big as it might have is because with a triple threat coming up, it really made no difference who the champ going in would be. There was no real reason to switch champs right here.
The show had two good matches that are definitely worth watching, and the segment with The Miz and Dolph Ziggler was very good, but overall it felt like there was too much time spent on stuff that either wasn’t that great or was just average. I especially didn’t care for any of the Orton/Wyatt stuff.
Match of the Night
Dean Ambrose vs AJ Styles
I really liked the tag match too, but this was a better wrestling match.