It's time for WWE No Mercy presented by the Raw brand. The show is headlined by Brock Lesnar defending the Universal Championship against Braun Strowman and John Cena vs. Roman Reigns.
The Kickoff Show match saw Elias beat Apollo Crews, which was very predictable. I didn't watch it because I was watching the end of the NFL games that were on. I don't think I need to watch it since it was just an easy win for Elias.
WWE No Mercy
September 24, 2017
Staples Center in Los Angeles, California
The opening video package was longer than the usual because it went about three minutes. They covered the major matches on the card with a heavy focus on Lesnar vs. Strowman of course.
The crowd in LA was hot as Michael Cole welcomed us to the show. Shoutout to the guy with Al Bundy’s head for a sign. Polk High is proud of you.
The Miz made his entrance with Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas for the first match. The announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Booker T talked about how excited they are for the show.
There wasn’t much of a reaction for Jason Jordan for his entrance. The Spanish and German announce teams were at ringside as they reminded you to visit TJRWrestling.net every day because that’s what cool people do.
Intercontinental Championship: The Miz (w/Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel) vs. Jason Jordan
It was noted by Graves that Miz dedicated this match to his unborn child. Miz is from Cleveland, but has lived in Los Angeles for over decade, so it's sort of the home town advantage for Miz.
Jordan took control early on with a delayed vertical suplex for a two count. Northern Lights Suplex by Jordan got a two count. Miz bailed to the floor, so Jordan went after him. Axel and Dallas got close, which distracted Jordan and Miz hit a dropkick to knock Jordan down. Miz sent Jordan back first into the side of the ring apron. Back in the ring, Miz grabbed a chinlock. Miz remained in control with a knee to the gut followed by his weak look kicks to the chest that he stole from Daniel Bryan. Jordan caught Miz and hit an overhead suplex as both guys were down. Jordan hit a spinning back suplex for a two count. The crowd was behind Miz much more than Jordan. Two count for Jordan as he sat on top for a pin. Jordan hit back to back Northern Lights Suplexes into a bridging pin for a two count. That's a sweet sequence Jordan does in every match now. The Miztourage were checking on Miz on the floor and Jordan hit a belly to belly on Dallas to knock all three guys down. Back in the ring, Jordan locked on the Crossface submission near the ropes. Miz had a short crawl and got to the ropes. There was brief “this is awesome” chant that shows this crowd is easy to please. Running clothesline in the corner by Miz, but Jordan caught him with a belly to belly suplex and shoulder tackle. Dallas was on the turnbuckle, Jordan knocked him down, Jordan rolled up Miz, ref checked on Dallas to try to get him out of the ring and Axel punched Jordan. Miz hit Skull Crushing Finale for the win after 11 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: The Miz
Analysis: *** It was a solid match with the most predictable finish possible. That’s the kind of finish that we talk about WWE doing and then wondering if they would actually do it because it’s so predictable, yet they still did it. They worked hard and Jordan got in a lot of offense. Miz really didn’t come close to winning until the end after help from his buddies, so Jordan was able to look good right until he got beat. I picked Miz to retain because it feels like this story is in the early stages and while Jordan may win the title later in the year, this wasn’t the right time for it.
Post match, Jordan was interviewed in the ring by Renee Young. Jordan said he was disappointed that he couldn’t overcome the odds from The Miz and the Miztourage. Jordan said he didn’t respect The Miz and the crowd booed. Jordan said he wanted a rematch. Jordan mentioned when Kurt comes out there the people lovingly chant “you suck” but when it comes to The Miz “you suck.” Jordan walked away and Booker said “get to the back of the line, kid.”
Analysis: It’s rare to see an in-ring promo after a loss. I thought they might use that opportunity to have Jordan rip on the fans, but he didn’t go that route. Jordan did a face promo that didn't feel like a big deal. WWE has to be listening to the people and know it's best to turn Jordan heel.
Commercial aired for Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon at Hell in a Cell in two weeks.
Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt is up next. A video package aired for it.
Wyatt made his entrance first and it took a few minutes as usual. Finn Balor got a nice ovation from the crowd. The announcers kept pushing this as "man vs. man" since Balor isn't using the Demon look.
Wyatt attacked Balor outside the ring before Balor could take his jacket off. Wyatt sent Balor into the barricade at ringside and then beat him up on the announce table. Four referees checked on Balor on the floor.
Wyatt mocked Balor walking up the ramp and called him a “little coward.” Wyatt said that the man Balor was going to face was no man, but a God. Wyatt told Balor he ain’t no demon, he’s a coward. Balor took off his jacket and predictably went into the ring to start the match.
Analysis: It was just a pre-match angle to build sympathy for Balor as the face in the match.
Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt
Balor is wrestling in grey and white attire instead of the usual black. Balor hit a dropkick that sent Wyatt out of the ring and then a dropkick on the floor that sent Wyatt into the barricade. Wyatt hit a superplex followed by a headbutt to the ribs. Wyatt attacked Balor on the apron with a move where he punched him in the back and Balor went face first into the ring apron almost like a DDT. Balor with running forearms and a running dropkick. Wyatt nailed a kick to the face and dumped Balor to the floor. Balor grabbed the ring apron and tripped up Wyatt so he was trapped against the apron. Running kick to the face by Balor on the apron. Balor rolled Wyatt back in. Balor up top, so Wyatt did his upside down walking routine with Balor having a stunned look on his face. Balor jumped off the top, hit a Slingblade and Wyatt came back with a uranage slam followed by a senton splash for a two count. Balor came back with an overhead kick. Double foot stomp by Balor to the chest for two. Balor with a dropkick in the corner. Balor went up top slowly, but he was in pain selling the ribs and Wyatt stopped Balor on the top rope. Balor punched Wyatt down and Balor hit the Coup de Gras double foot stomp to the back of the head of Wyatt for a two count as Wyatt got his shoulder up.
Wyatt went for a slam, Balor slipped out of it and Wyatt decked him with a hard clothesline for a two count. Fans chanted for Balor. Wyatt picked up Balor and tossed him across the ring like a suplex across the ring. Wyatt did it again. Wyatt went to the second rope, so Balor kicked him in the head to stun him. Balor hit a running dropkick that sent Wyatt into the corner and another dropkick into the corner. Balor went up top and hit the Coup de Gras double foot stomp to the chest of Wyatt for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Finn Balor
Analysis: ***1/4 That was a fun match to watch and I thought they improved on what they did at SummerSlam. Better story this time with Balor selling the rib injury the entire match. It was interesting that Balor had to hit the Coup de Grace twice to win because normally all it takes is one time and he’ll win with it. Wyatt was bumping well for Balor and looked better than he does in a regular match. The crowd was into most of the match, but they weren’t loud during the entire thing. They picked it up at the right points. Balor getting the win was what I predicted because it’s time for him to move onto something else and Balor needed to be the victor in this feud.
A commercial aired for Little Caesars Pizza.
A video aired for Asuka noting she is coming to Raw at the TLC PPV on October 22.
Sheamus and Cesaro were interviewed by Charly Caruso backstage. Sheamus said they are tall, dominant, powerful alpha males and they don’t adjust to the world because the world adjusts to them. Cesaro talked about how they are a real team because they don’t just set the bar, they are the bar.
Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose made their entrance first as the Raw Tag Team Champions. Sheamus and Cesaro were up next.
There was a shot of the other announce teams in the arena: Portuguese, Russian, Hindi, Japanese (hey Funaki), French and Mandarin.
Raw Tag Team Championships: Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus & Cesaro
The heels sent Rollins out of the ring early and Sheamus whipped Rollins into the barricade. The heels double teamed Ambrose on the floor as well. Cesaro did the swing on Ambrose that sent him shoulder first into the steel steps. The ref checked on Ambrose to see if the shoulder was okay, Ambrose gave thumbs up to Seth and said he was okay to continue. Sheamus gave Ambrose a single arm DDT to work on the left shoulder as Cole went over Sheamus’ accomplishments noting he has done it all. Ambrose did a slingshot that sent Cesaro into the steel post (not the turnbuckle, it was definitely the steel post), which Cesaro sold great. Rollins got the tag with a blockbuster on Cesaro and a slingshot dive onto Sheamus on the floor. Slingblade by Rollins on Cesaro followed by a standing side kick for two. Rollins did a collision spot with Cesaro, so Sheamus hit a clothesline to knock down Rollins. The ref John Cone put on the white gloves because somebody was bleeding as Sheamus hit three backbreakers in a row for two. They replayed the spot where Cesaro hit the turnbuckle. Cesaro lost multiple teeth and is bleeding from the mouth. Rollins broke free, but Ambrose wasn’t on the apron. Uppercut by Cesaro got a two count on Rollins. Sheamus went for a shoulder tackle, Rollins avoided it and Sheamus hit the ring post. Back body drop by Rollins on Cesaro over the top to the floor.
Ambrose got the hot tag with forearms on Sheamus and a back elbow on Cesaro on the apron. Ambrose clothesline on Sheamus. Ambrose hit a suicide dive onto Sheamus on the floor that sent Sheamus into the barricade. Back in the ring, Ambrose hit a flying elbow smash on Sheamus for a two count with Cesaro making the save. Rollins saved Ambrose and Sheamus hit Rollins with a Brogue Kick. Sharpshooter by Cesaro. Ambrose fought out of it, so Cesaro did the Crossface and Ambrose got to the ropes. Double team Irish Cross (Razor’s Edge) by the heels for a two count on Ambrose. Cesaro knocked Rollins out of the ring with an uppercut. Ambrose did his bounce off the ropes clothesline. Rollins tried to give Cesaro a hurricanrana off the top, but Cesaro caught him and Cesaro gave Rollins a Powerbomb on Ambrose for two. WHAT A MANEUVER! That was sweet. Drew a big reaction and a “this is awesome” chant. Cesaro held Rollins on the apron. Sheamus went for a Brogue Kick, so Ambrose just collapsed and got a rollup for two. Sheamus went for a Brogue Kick, Rollins ducked and Sheamus hit Cesaro to knock him out of the ring. Rollins with a knee to the face of Sheamus and Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds for the pinfall win after 17 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose
Post match, they showed replays of all the big spots and the announcer put this over as an awesome tag match. Booker was really over the top with it. Ambrose and Rollins celebrated with their titles.
Analysis: ***3/4 Excellent tag match. I expected them to get a lot of time and knew that if they did they’d deliver one of the best tag matches of the year. That’s what happened. It was similar to the New Day/Usos matches in the last couple of months in terms of all the nearfalls and creative spots. Cesaro deserves a lot of praise for gutting it out after losing some teeth when he hit the ring post. That Powerbomb out of the corner leading to a nearfall was a great spot that drew the biggest reaction of the match. The finish was also well done with Sheamus accidentally hitting Cesaro with a Brogue Kick, which led to Seth and Dean hitting signature moves to get the win. Heel miscue leading to the finish is a formula that works. I went with the champs retaining here because it’s too early to have them lose the gold, so I’m 3-0 in the main card picks so far. Love when tag matches get time like that and have a lot of believable nearfalls throughout the match.
A video aired promoting WWE’s effort with sick children.
Video package aired for the Raw Women’s Title situation because it’s up next.
Order of entrance for the women’s 5-Way match: Bayley, Emma, Nia Jax (she’s not like most girls), Sasha Banks (nothing against her, but I want to punch Michael Cole when he yells “It’s Boss Time”) and Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss. The five women stood in the ring while ring announcer Jojo introduced them all individually.
Raw Women’s Championship Fatal 5-Way: Alexa Bliss vs. Emma vs. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax
First fall wins the match and the title.
Jax hit a splash on Bliss in the corner to knock her out of the ring leading to Bayley, Banks and Emma hitting a dropkick to knock Jax out of the ring. Banks nailed a hard kick on Bayley. Jax pulled Banks out of the ring and sent Banks into the barricade. Running body attack by Jax on Bayley. Emma jumped on Jax’s back and that led to Jax hitting a spinebuster on Emma. That spinebuster was not like most girls. Bliss grabbed Jax from behind and went for a DDT, but Jax gave her a powerslam. Jax tossed Bliss across the ring. Running splash in the corner by Jax on Bliss and for Emma as well. Bliss yelled at Jax saying she was nothing without her. Jax put Bliss on her shoulders, Banks was on the top and Jax hit a double Samoan Drop on Bliss and Banks for a two count on Bliss as Bayley made the save. Bayley had a choke hold on Jax and the other three women worked together to knock Jax out of the ring. Emma suplex on Banks. Argument from Emma and Bliss led to an Emma dropkick for a two count. Jax got back into the picture wit ha headbutt. Jax teased a suplex on Emma out of the ring, so Emma blocked it and tried a Powerbomb to the floor. Bayley helped out and Banks/Bliss did kicks that sent Jax down hard on the floor. Emma got a rollup for a two count on Bliss and Bliss came back with a pin attempt of her own. Bayley gave Emma a suplex into the corner. Butterfly suplex by Emma on Bayley and Emma hit her running corner splash for a two count on Bayley. Banks back in the mix with a kick to Emma and a bulldog. Running knee to the face by Banks for two count as Bliss made the save. Banks with a Backstabber into a Bank Statement submission on Bliss and Bayley broke it up. Bayley hit the Bayley to Belly suplex on Bliss for two as Banks made the save. Banks covered and Bliss took care of her. Jax sent Bayley into the turnbuckle. Leg drop by Jax on Banks got a two count as Emma made the save. Jax with a charge that failed because somebody moved and Jax hit the ring post. Bliss sent Emma out of the ring. Bliss hit a DDT on Bayley and got the pinfall win after 10 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Alexa Bliss
Analysis: ***1/4 That was a fast paced match with a lot of good nearfalls that allowed each woman a chance to shine. The crowd reacted to Jax in a big way for everything she did. To Jax’s credit, that bump off the apron to the floor was a big moment and it’s not an easy bump. Good for her being willing to take that to put over the other girls. I'm not a fan of Bliss using a DDT as a finish because so many people in WWE do DDTs that never win matches and Ambrose's finish is a DDT too, but Bliss is limited in what she can do. Bliss pinning Bayley was the second most obvious choice because Emma was the most obvious and that’s why they didn’t do it. Bliss was my pick to retain the title, so that’s 4-0 in predictions so far with three more matches.
Post match, Bliss was interviewed and said she’s the only true goddess in WWE. Simple promo.
A commercial aired for The New Day vs. The Usos for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships at Hell in a Cell on October 8.
There was a clip of No Mercy 2005 showing Batista vs. Eddie Guerrero with Batista retaining the World Heavyweight Championship. Eddie died about one month after that.
The announcers thanked Kit for the song No Mercy.
Video package aired for Reigns vs. Cena because they are next.
John Cena vs. Roman Reigns
There was stalling form both guys with Cena even leaving up the ramp because fans were chanting "you both suck" at them. Reigns went after Cena to deck him with a punch. Cena stumbled back into the ring. Reigns hit a spinning slam that Cena usually does and the announcers didn’t even mention it’s a Cena move. Cena was out on the floor, Reigns went after him and Cena whipped Reigns into the steps at ringside. Reigns got back to his feet and whipped Cena into the other steps at ringside. Reigns with a running Drive By dropkick. Reigns was on offense in the ring with a punch combo followed by a kick to the chest for two. Reigns slapped on a chinlock. Cena got back to his feet, hit the shoulder tackles and the spinning slam. Cena teased the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Reigns countered into a Samoan Drop for two. Cena hit the spinning slam again followed by the fist drop. Reigns escaped a AA attempt and hit a boot to the face. Cena came back with the STF submission. Reigns countered it with a one armed sitout Powerbomb for two.
They had a slugfest with each man hitting punches. Reigns charged in, Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment and Reigns kicked out at two. Big reaction to that by the announcers as well as the crowd. Cena went up top for the leg drop, but Reigns caught him and hit a Powerbomb for a two count. Reigns hit a Superman Punch that got a two count, which is what it usually gets. Reigns went for a Spear, Cena avoided it and Reigns hit the ring post. Cena went to the middle ropes and hit a Super Attitude Adjustment for a two count. The crowd thought that was it, so they reacted to it in a big way. Fans chanted “one more time” for Cena and Cena shook them off. Cena cleared off the two announce tables at ringside. Cena picked up Reigns on the announce table and went for the AA, but Reigns fought out of it and Reigns hit a Spear that drove both of them through the announce table. Reigns landed hard on his head/neck area, but he looked to be okay. Reigns rolled Cena back in the ring for a two count around the 20 minute mark. If the ref was counting them out it would have been a ten count, double countout finish, but there was no count.
Reigns back to his feet, Cena caught Reigns and hit an Attitude Adjustment. Cena rolled through, hit another AA and covered for a two count as Reigns got his shoulder up again. Crowd was popping huge for that. Cena was frustrated by it as he asked the ref John Cone if he was sure. Reigns nailed Cena with a Superman Punch that was done in a way that was a surprising move and then Reigns hit a Spear to win after 23 minutes. Loud reaction to it with mostly boos.
Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns
Analysis: **** That was a great match like I expected it to be. Four stars out of five. The best thing about the match is that they wrestled at a slow pace to build up the big spots. When a match is rushed and you do big kickouts they mean a lot more. The table spot was fine, but like I noted in the review they were out of the ring way too long and the ref didn’t count at all, so there was no explanation of that lack of logic. Cena’s selling was really good. He sold everything Reigns did in a big way, especially his punches. Reigns winning the way he did was done in an emphatic way and put over his finishing Spear as a deadly move. I thought Cena might kick out and Cena needed to kick out of it, but that was it. There are people complaining about how Reigns was booked too strong because he kicked out of four finishing moves (Cena went for pin three times so technically three kick outs by Roman), but that’s the same thing Cena used to do when he was the guy they were pushing. It was probably too many AA's. I would have done two instead of four and I would have had Reigns hit two Spears in the ring to win instead of one. The reality is that Reigns was pinned in the main event of SummerSlam last month, so it’s not like he is protected as much as some people think. Anyway, I enjoyed it and look forward to another match between these two down the road whether that’s next year or another year. I picked Reigns to win, so I’m 5-0 so far.
(Side note: Roman Reigns WWE PPV record in 2017 is 3-6.)
There were replays of the big spots in the match. One of the replays showed a stunned kid when Cena didn’t win after one of his AA moves.
Post match, Reigns had his hand raised by the referee. Reigns had a staredown with Cena in the ring. Cena raised Reigns’ hand and whispered something to him. Reigns nodded at him. Reigns walked up the ramp to a mixed reaction. Cena sat in the ring and didn’t move until Reigns was gone.
Analysis: That was the post match moment I expected with Cena raising his hand and putting him over post match.
Cena sat in the ring as the crowd cheered him. He soaked up the ovation and bowed to them. Cena waved to the crowd and left. Cena hugged a kid at ringside and whispered something to him. Cena gave the kid his armband. Cena’s music played. Cena paused at the top of the ramp to soak in the reaction. Cena raised his arms up to the crowd as he left.
Analysis: That took a few minutes to give Cena a big moment as he contemplated where he’s at in his career. I don’t think it means anything more than Cena is going to take some time off because of his movie commitments. Maybe it's the last Cena match this year and he comes back for the Royal Rumble. Perhaps he's back before that. I don't know his schedule and I don't think he's going to reveal it.
Kurt Angle was in his office talking about how great No Mercy was. The Miz, Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas showed up. Miz said he wanted to do a special edition of Miz TV and have an exclusive interview with Roman Reigns. Miz said there’s so much buzz about him and Miz said there are rumors about Roman and some of his old buddies (The Shield). Angle said that it’s a great idea. Angle said that Miz will kick off the show tomorrow night.
Analysis: Big segment to start Raw tomorrow. Rumor is that The Shield will reunite for the TLC show next month, so this could be the start of it.
The announce team for next match is Vic Joseph and Corey Graves because they call 205 Live together.
Raw Talk after No Mercy is hosted by Renee Young and Jerry Lawler with John Cena and Alexa Bliss as the guests.
Neville entered for the Cruiserweight Championship match. Enzo Amore did a promo that I’m not going to write about because I was busy writing about the previous match.
Cruiserweight Championship: Neville vs. Enzo Amore
Neville was in control of the first few minutes of the match. Enzo wanted a DDT, but Neville overpowered him as he stomped away on Enzo in the corner. They went outside the ring with Neville sending Enzo into the barricade. Enzo rolled back in at the count of nine. Neville tried to toss Enzo out of the ring, but Enzo did the skin the cat to go back in the ring. Neville hit a superkick for a two count. “This is boring” chant from the crowd and Neville stomped away on Enzo. Neville nailed Enzo with some kicks. Neville up top and he took way too long while he was up there. Neville went to the middle ropes for a Phoenix Splash, but Enzo was able to get out of the way. Enzo went to the top rope and jumped off with a DDT for a two count as Neville got his shoulder up. Neville was on the floor, Enzo tried to attack and Neville kicked Enzo in the head. Neville tossed Enzo over the barricade at ringside. Neville was out by the timekeeper’s area and Enzo grabbed the title, so the ref stopped counting because Neville was angry about it. Enzo went into the ring with the title and Neville stared at him with the ref telling Enzo to give him the title. The referee put the title out of the ring, so Enzo kicked Neville in the balls (ref never saw it) and covered Neville to win after 10 minutes. The crowd cheered.
Winner and New Cruiserweight Champion: Enzo Amore
Enzo celebrated with the title as Graves was complaining about it and they replayed what happened. Crowd was happy.
Analysis: * Poor match with a unique finish. It was Neville on offense for about 90% of it and he did the cocky heel routine for most of the match. When Neville was acting like that I knew it was going to be a title change even though I didn’t predict it. Cheap finish to show that Enzo is a fluke wrestler that can’t win a regular match, but he took advantage of the ref being out of position to get the win. I had Neville retaining, so I’m 5-1 in my picks so far.
A commercial aired for Hell in a Cell featuring Jinder Mahal vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Title.
Raw Talk after No Mercy has Cena, Bliss and now Enzo Amore as the guests with Renee Young and Jerry Lawler hosting.
Michael Cole and Booker T were back on commentary with Graves to set up Lesnar vs. Strowman. A “Tale of the Tape” graphic was shown.
A video package aired to set up Lesnar vs. Strowman.
Braun Strowman made his entrance first. Really good reaction for Strowman, who is a heel that gets cheered because of how impressive he is.
Brock Lesnar, the Universal Champion, was out last with his advocate Paul Heyman. Loud ovation for Lesnar.
Lesnar and Strowman stood in the ring as Jojo did the introduction for Strowman. Heyman took the microphone from Jojo and did the introduction for Lesnar like only he can.
WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Braun Strowman
The bell rang at 10:50pmET and Strowman shoved Lesnar down. Strowman blocked a Lesnar takedown attempt and Strowman tossed Lesnar across the ring. Lesnar hit a German Suplex, Strowman popped right up and delivered a Chokeslam. Strowman hit a Running Powerslam for two. That’s one minute into the match with Lesnar kicking out of the finisher of Strowman. Strowman worked over Lesnar with shoulder tackles. Strowman pounded on Lesnar some more with punches, Lesnar went for the F5 and he couldn’t do it, so Strowman knocked Lesnar out of the ring. Strowman drove Lesnar back first into the ring post. Back in the ring, Strowman hit a running shoulder tackle and then he drove Lesnar back first into the turnbuckle. Strowman missed a corner attack because Lesnar moved and Strowman hit the middle turnbuckle. Lesnar slapped on the Kimura Lock on the left arm of Strowman. Lesnar had the Kimura Lock on Strowman so that Strowman was face first on the mat selling it. Strowman got his hand on the bottom rope to break free. Strowman hit a spinebuster for a two count on Lesnar. Strowman missed a clothesline, so Lesnar hit a German Suplex. Lesnar hit two more German Suplexes with Strowman selling it like he was in pain. Lesnar hit another German Suplex and another one, which makes it six for the match. Lesnar picked up Strowman for the F5, but he couldn’t actually hit the move. Strowman hit a Running Powerslam and he was too hurt to cover because Strowman was selling the left arm injury. Both guys were down on the mat. Strowman picked up Lesnar and delivered another Running Powerslam, which led to a two count. They got back to their feet and Lesnar hit the F5 on Strowman and covered or the pinfall win after about 9 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Brock Lesnar
Analysis: **3/4 It was an okay match with some interesting moments although it was disappointing compared to how good the SummerSlam match was. This was similar to Lesnar and Joe two months ago. Is it the finish I would have done? No, but that doesn't take away from the work they put in. It would have been nice if they got more time, but Lesnar singles matches usually don’t run that long. Strowman hit his finisher a bunch of times and Lesnar kept kicking out of it. I don’t think it hurt Strowman much at all because it was a guy of Lesnar’s stature. I think the match would have been better if they went longer and also if it was a No Holds Barred match because they could have brawled around the ring to have some more memorable moments. Look at the SummerSlam match when Braun put Brock through the tables. That provided us with something we’re going to remember. In this case, it was just hitting signature spots that earned nearfalls and that’s fine, but it didn’t feel as special as it could be. It would have been better if Strowman kicked out of one F5 or even two because the finish didn't protect Strowman enough. I still liked it, though.
Replays aired of the finish with Lesnar hitting the F5 for the win.
Lesnar celebrated with the Universal Title in the ring while Strowman was outside the ring staring back at him. Lesnar left with Heyman and the show signed off at 11:01pmET.
The PPV had a run time of 3 hours, 1 minute.
Analysis: I picked Lesnar to win the main event, so my record was 6-1 on the main card. As I wrote in the preview, it's not what I would have done, but I think Vince McMahon is set in his ways and wants to give a Lesnar a one year run as Universal Champion before facing Roman Reigns in a singles match at next year's WrestleMania. I think Strowman was booked in the right way and is clearly over enough to have credible as a major champion and I would have had him win. That's nothing against Brock. I just think the timing would have been right to have a new champion in Strowman.
Five Stars of the Show
- John Cena
- Roman Reigns
- Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose
- Braun Strowman
It gets a 7.5 out of 10 from me.
Really good show from top to bottom in terms of match quality, but the Cruiserweight Title match was poor and the main event wasn't nearly at the level of what we got at SummerSlam. I thought the Reigns/Cena and Tag Title matches were the best of the night. The only bad match was Neville vs. Enzo. Some of the results may not make some fans happy because Reigns and Lesnar won, but I don’t really mind any of it. Good matches all night long makes me happy.
I figure there will be some hate for this show because of booking decisions and that's fine. What's funny is people complain to me about Reigns all the time, yet the guy did a clean job at SummerSlam last month on a much bigger show and in a bigger match.
In terms of match quality, this was one of the better shows of the year because there was only one bad match (Enzo) and the rest of it featured matches that I'd consider good with two great ones.
WWE PPV Rankings 2017 (Scores on the 1-10 scale)
Royal Rumble – 8
No Mercy – 7.5
Great Balls of Fire – 7.5
SummerSlam - 7
Backlash – 6.5
WrestleMania 33 – 6.5
Extreme Rules – 6
Payback – 6
Fastlane – 5
Battleground – 4
Thanks for reading this review. My contact info is below. I’ll be back during the week with Raw and Smackdown reviews as usual.