No, Merci: McNEILL Previews WWE No Mercy 2016 (with a Wrestling History Lesson)

By Pat McNeill, PWTorch columnist


Wake the pets and call the neighbors, it’s time for our exclusive WWE Network/pseudo pay-per-view projections!

StaffMcNeill07_120DISCLAIMER: Projections are based on what the columnist would do if he were booking this event, instead of Paul “NXT” Levesque, Runjin Singh, Ed Koskey, Ryan Ward and WWE Chairman Vincent Kennedy Trump McMahon. Projections are not predictions, because this is the column where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter. This preview has been sealed in a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnall’s porch since noon today. Some of our departing contestants will receive a supply of Hillshire Farms smoked sausage. Hillshire Farms sausages, slow cooked with natural spices, available in pork, beef and turkey. Remember, this is only an exhibition. This is not a competition. Please, please, no wagering. Pat McNeill’s wardrobe by Chez Antoinne: 19th Century craftsmanship for the 21st Century man. This lineup is based on the best available information as of this writing. These predictions are based on what the columnist would do if he had creative control over WWE, right after he puts the Cruiserweights back on WWE Network with their own weekly show.

As you may know, the latest silliness from Stamford is WWE’s viewer poll, asking if subscribers were willing to pay $15/month for additional perks, including “access to independent wrestling content including TNA and ROH”. Yes, that’s funny stuff. And yes, WWE may end up buying the TNA video library, so I suppose that’s a possibility. On the other hand, I don’t see ROH striking a deal with WWE to allow ROH shows on WWE Network. At this point, the Ring of Honor video library has to be one of the company’s biggest assets. So, what IS going on here?

You’re all familiar with UFC, WWE’s big “not a competitor” competition. On UFC Fight Pass, subscribers can watch shows from minor-league MMA promotions. This is perfect for folks who want to check out the up-and-comers, or fans who can’t get enough mixed martial arts. I believe WWE is interested in airing more indy wrestling content. But I don’t think they’re going to be streaming shows from Joe’s Indy Wrestling Promotion & Bait Stop. I think WWE has something else in mind. And if you’ve read Sean Radican’s latest piece, I think he’s nailed it.

Let’s say, for example, there was a company that has an over-the-top streaming service, like WWNLive. Let’s say the company owns a couple of indy promotions, (like WWNLive) streams live shows from several indy groups, (like WWNLive) and has archived shows from thirty different indy groups with older matches from guys like Daniel Bryan, Samoa Joe and Austin Aries (like WWNLive). If they had a friendly relationship with WWE, (like WWNLive does), then WWE might cut them a deal to fold their material into a premium WWE Network package.

It’s either that, or WWE’s going to use the extra $5 each to buy all of their customers subscriptions to Highspots TV.

Before we preview tonight’s show, let’s get to this month’s edition of the Wrestling History Lesson, because that’s why many of you clicked here in the first place. Twenty years ago, on October 26, 1996, Extreme Championship Wrestling presented “ECW High Incident” from the ECW Arena in South Philadelphia. In the main event, it was Tommy Dreamer vs. “Primetime” Brian Lee in a scaffold match. Joey Styles was there, and he had the call.

What was happening in World Wrestling Entertainment fifteen years ago? I’m glad you asked! On October 7th, 2001 the World Wrestling Federation aired an episode of “Sunday Night Heat” (pretaped) from the Mobile Civic Center in Mobile, Alabama. That show had a tag bout where Scotty 2 Hotty teamed with Perry Saturn against Justin Credible & Raven. No, really. Michael Cole & Al Snow had the call. (Good luck finding this on WWE Network. Or…anywhere else.)

Did you catch the opening match on WWE Main Event this week? Watch it now (sort of). It’s Naomi Fatu against Natalya Kidd in a battle of Total Di…I mean, revolutionary female superstars. Tom Phillips & David Otunga have the call.

Mauro Ranallo, David Otunga and John B. Layfield will be announcing the show. Renee Young, Booker T, Lita & Jerry Lawler will be doing the pre-show while Tom Phillips will be in the social media lounge, disguised as a coat rack. On with the program!

Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin (Kickoff Show Match): You think Kate McKinnon is funny on Saturday Night Live? She’s almost as funny as watching Baron Corbin put over Jack Swagger Tuesday night in the main event on Smackdown Live. Projection? I don’t believe WWE has serious plans for the master of the Swagger Lock. Corbin wins with the End of Days.

Curt Hawkins vs. Someone: I thought about it, but I don’t think WWE is flying James Ellsworth out to the West Coast for this match. Projection? Hawkins gets the win over Karl Fredericks or some other NoCal indy dude. C-Hawk gets the win with the Upside Down Frown, a perfect WWE finishing move. Maybe we can get that Ryder vs. Hawkins feud started up in time for TLC in December.

Nikki Bella vs. Carmella Van Dale: Carmella has come into her own as a heel. That’s good, because the Fabulous gimmick isn’t really cut out for the Women’s Revolution Era. Projection? The Total Bella survives the initial onslaught and wins with the Rack Attack.

Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss (WWE Smackdown Women’s Title):Yes, we’ve heard that Becky Lynch is injured. But at last check, it sounds like the Steampunk Sister will be ready to roll for her title match. If she’s not, disregard the rest of this paragraph. Projection? Long match. Becky wins with the Disarmer.

Heath Slater & Terry “Rhyno” Gerin vs. Jay Uso & Jimmy Uso (WWE Smackdown Tag Team Titles): Yes, I was against the Trailer Park Titans winning the straps in the first place. I’ve changed my mind. We have stories left to tell. Projection? The Usos have Slater dead to rights, but Chad Gable appears and distracts Jey Uso long enough for Rhyno to hit the Gore. The champs remain champs.

Mike “The Miz” Mizanin vs. Dolph Ziggler (WWE Intercontinental Title vs. Ziggler’s Career): So Dolph Ziggler loses to The Miz. And loses to The Miz. And loses to The Miz some more. Now, Ziggler’s career is on the line tonight. Projection? The Miz uses his feet on the ropes to pin Ziggler (after Miz botches the figure-four again for my amusement,) Dolph Ziggler’s career is over. The Masked Showoff arrives on Smackdown Live this Tuesday.

Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt: I’d like to congratulate WWE on making Bray Wyatt and the Wyatt family ineffective and boring. This would never happen if Matt Hardy were booking Smackdown. Projection? Orton wins with an RKO, right before Luke Harper returns and runs over Orton like a truck. Let’s face it, we might need a Team Orton vs. Wyatt Family elimination match at Survivor Series next month.

AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose vs. John Cena (WWE World Heavyweight Title – Triple Threat Rules): It’s probably a smart move from WWE to put the focus on John Cena’s quest to become a sixteen time World Champion. Otherwise, a three-way match doesn’t seem that appealing. Projection? Styles manages to pin Ambrose with the Phenomenal Elbow. I won’t be surprised when Cena does win the title for a sixteenth time, but it won’t be tonight.

Aftermath: We’re coming up on Survivor Series. If WWE does sign Goldberg vs. Lesnar, nothing else will matter. But I’d do Styles vs. Cena, Team Orton vs. Team Wyatt and Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown. And maybe WWE will get this deal done so we can watch Timothy Thatcher fight Drew Gulak on WWE Network by then.

Pat McNeill of Greenville, South Carolina has been a PWTorch Columnist since 2001. He likes the Green Bay Packets to defeat the New York Giants in Sunday night’s NFL game. You know, if gambling were legal.

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