KELLER’S WWE NO MERCY PPV REPORT 9/24: Lesnar vs. Strowman, Reigns vs. Cena, Miz vs. Jordan

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


KELLER’S NO MERCY PPV REPORT
SEPTEMBER 24, 2017
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. AT STAPLES CENTER
LIVE ON WWE NETWORK

KICK OFF SHOW

Announcers: Renee Young, Jerry Lawler, David Otunga, Sam Roberts

Charly Caruso hosted the Social Media Lounge.

-Braun Strowman said the Beast will fall to the Monster Among men.

-A video package aired on Roman Reigns vs. John Cena.

-Angle joined the panel. Graves asked who he’s rooting for between Cena and Reigns. Angle said Cena has been reliably, but maybe Reigns is the man because he beat Undertaker. The Miz interrupted Angle. Angle wished him luck. Miz said luck has nothing to do with is victory tonight. Miz said he’ll retain his title against Angle’s “loser son.”

-Renee Young interviewed Finn Balor backstage. He said he controls The Demon, the Demon doesn’t control him. He said he is an extraordinary man capable of extraordinary things against Bray Wyatt later.

-The panel discussed Balor vs. Bray and Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus & Cesaro.

-Mike Rome interviewed Neville who said there won’t be a classic match tonight that people hope for because Enzo is an entertainer, not a fighter. He said Enzo found it hilarious when he kicked him in the “crown jewels” on 205 Live, but he will find it even funnier when he disfigures him later. Sam Roberts, for what it’s worth, predicted an Enzo win over Neville.

-An Asuka teaser video aired.

-Caruso interviewed Alex Bliss in the Social Media Lounge.

-The panel each picked a different woman to win the Women’s Title match.

-Micael Cole, Corey Graves, and Booker T took over to call the first match.

(A) ELIAS vs. APOLLO CREWS (w/Titus O’Neal)

Graves continued to be upset with Elias’s singing. Cole defended it. Elias won with Drift Away after Crews missed a top rope move.

WINNER: Elias.

-The panel pushed WWE Network and three free PPVs coming up if you sign up now, including Asuka debuting at TLC next time Raw has a PPV.

-A video package aired on the Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman match.

MAIN CARD

Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Booker T

(1) THE MIZ (w/Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel) vs. JASON JORDAN – Intercontinental Title match

They replayed the events from Raw last week that led to this match. Miz and Co. came out first. Miz put on his game face in the ring as Jordan made his entrance, letting out a “wooo!” as he walked down the ramp. They also went to the non-English announce teams. Cole noted this is Jordan’s first singles match on a PPV. Graves said Miz dedicated the match to his unborn child. Jordan got in early offense including a near fall after a delayed vertical suplex. Graves said Jordan hung in with Roman Reigns and John Cena, but the question now is whether he has the killer instinct that his dad Kurt Angle had. Jordan scored another two count a minute later with a Northern Lights Suplex. Miz escaped and rolled to the floor.

Jordan went right after Miz at ringside and threw him back into the ring. Bo and Curtis distracted him, and Miz slidekicked Jordan to take over. Miz rammed Jordan into the ring apron and threw him back into the ring. Miz scored a near fall with a DDT. The crowd chanted “Let’s Go Miz / Who’s Your Daddy!” Booker again contended Jordan wouldn’t be in this position without Angle. Cole demanded Booker justify that comment since Jordan won the Six-Pack Challenge. Booker said Angle brought him to Raw and he could have left him on Smackdown. Graves asked Booker if Jordan wins, will he give him credit. Booker said he would. Miz hit Jordan with the Yes kicks, but Jordan caught his leg and hit a sudden suplex. Both were slow to get up.

Jordan eventually locked on the crossface. Miz crawled over and forced a break after 30 seconds of drama. Pretty loud applause. Miz sidestepped a charging Jordan next. Jordan came back with a belly-to-belly and then charged Miz into the corner. When Bo climbed to the top rope, Jordan knocked him off balance. Jordan ran over and schoolboyed Miz, but the ref was trying to get No out of the ring. Axel then gave Jordan a cheap shot from the ring apron. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale for the win. Cole called Jordan “very game.”

WINNER: Miz in 10:00 to retain the IC Title. (**1/2)

(Keller’s Analysis: The delivery on that closing joke just wasn’t natural. He smiled before the obvious punchline like he was about to unleash an unexpectedly clever one-liner. Not nearly good enough to have confidence he can be a top tier guy anytime soon.)

-Renee Young interviewed Jordan in the ring and asked if he is disappointed. He said he couldn’t overcome the odds. “I still don’t respect the Miz and, quite frankly, I would love to have a rematch.” Some scattered boos. Jordan said it’s funny that when Kurt comes out, they lovingly chant “You suck,” but as far as Miz is concerned, “Miz you really do suck.”

(Keller’s Analysis: The delivery on that closing joke just wasn’t natural. He smiled before the obvious punchline like he was about to unleash an unexpectedly clever one-liner. Not awful, but still good enough to have confidence he can be a top tier guy anytime soon.)

-A video package aired hyping Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt.

2 — FINN BALOR vs. BRAY WYATT

No Demon make-up. Bray attacked Balor from behind as he posed to his music inside the ring. He threw Balor aggressively into the barricade at ringside and then head first over and over into the announce table. Then a chokeslam on the table. Balor clutched his ribs after Bray returned to the ring. Officials checked on Balor’s condition. The match hadn’t begun yet. Finn gasped for breath and winced in pain. The referees said they’d take him to the back to check on him. Bray laughed and looked sinister. As Balor struggled to walk to the back, Bray taunted him and said, “Run away little coward, please run away.” He said he is a god, not a mere man. He demanded Balor look at him. He said he’s no demon, and he’s not even a man, he’s a coward. Balor suddenly had the strength to run to the and go after Bray.

Balor side-stepped Bray and threw him to the floor. He slidekicked him hard into the barricade, but then went back to seeing his ribs. He hit Bray with a running dropkick at ringside. Bray came back inside the ring with a superplex and went on sustained offense. He head-butted Bray in the ribs, then played to the camera. He kneed him in the head, then posed for the crowd. He went after Balor at ringside, but Balor yanked Bray in between the ring apron and ring, which Cole noted is a Fit Finlay move. He stomped away at Bray and then punt kicked his head while on the ring apron. Balor then rammed Bray’s head into the ringside table.

Back in the ring, Balor climbed to the top rope. Balor lifted himself into the arched crab positions. Balor went bug-eyed and looked intimidated. Cole said that’s one of the most frightening things you’ll see in a WWE ring. Graves said the Demon wouldn’t have been intimidated like that. He leaped down and caught Bray with a sling blade. When he charged, though, Bray gave him a boot to the face, a urinage, and a running senton for a near fall.

Both were slow to get up. Balor eventually went to the top rope and landed a double stomp to the back of Bray’s neck as he was leaning over. That was good for a believable near fall. Bray and Balor battled for control mid-ring and Bray hit a hard forearm to the side of Balor’s head for a near fall. Graves called it “slaughterous.” Bray looked vicious and Cole said no more fun and games as meanness has crept in. Bray threw Balor across the ring twice. Bray posted on the second rope. Balor got up and kicked him off balance. He hit Bray with a running dropkick to the chest two times in a row. Then he landed the Coup de Grace for the clean win. Graves called it a monumental victory.

WINNER: Balor. (***1/2)

(Keller’s Analysis: Good match that really put Balor over. He took a beating before the match, had an apparent rib injury, and still managed to win despite not pulling out the Demon persona.)

-A commercial aired for a pizza sponsor.

-They went to the announcers on camera who talked about great moments in TLC history, and saying Asuka’s debut would be among them. Cole then threw to Charlie Caruso by name.

-Caruso interviewed Sheamus & Cesaro. Sheamus said they’re tall dominant alpha males and they don’t adjust to the world, the world adjusts to them. Sheamus said later tonight, when the match turns ugly, Dean and Seth won’t be able to adjust, they’ll fall to pieces and turn on each other. Cesaro said they don’t just set the bar, they are the bar.

(3) SETH ROLLINS & DEAN AMBROSE vs. SHEAMUS & CESARO

Dean got in an early flurry against Sheamus, so Sheamus bailed out to ringside. When Dean went after him, Cesaro and Sheamus double-teamed him. Cesaro gave Dean a big swing into the ringside steps. Dean yelled in pain, then on a two second delay grabbed at his left arm and started selling it. They isolated and beat on Dean for several minutes. At one point the ref stopped the match to check on Dean’s condition, but he shook his arm and showed he could go on fighting. Dean catapulted Cesaro toward the top turnbuckle. Cesaro leaped and ended up hitting the corner ringpost with his teeth, knocking out two teeth legit.

Dean hot-tagged Seth. He went on a series of moves against Cesaro, and when he hit a superkick, blood splashed from his Cesaro’s mouth. Cesaro tagged Sheamus and then went to ringside to regroup. They replayed the Cesaro turnbuckle collision and then showed him looking over at Sheamus afterward with two missing front teeth. “Oh my lord!” said Cole. Graves said, “Yikes!” Sheamus settled into a chinlock. Cesaro crawled back onto the ring apron after medics checked on him.

Cesaro tagged back in and gave Dean a running boot to knock him off the ring apron. Seth backdropped Cesaro, who continued to bleed from the mouth. He tagged Sheamus back in. Sheamus lifted Seth and then Cesaro hit him with an uppercut out of mid-air leading to a two count. The ref insisted Cesaro get out of the ring as he protested the two count. As Sheamus protested some more, Seth had time to recover. Seth fought back with punches and chops, then side-stepped Sheamus and sent him shoulder-first into the ringpost. Cesaro tagged in and stopped Seth from tagging in. Seth backdropped Cesaro over the top rope. Both Sheamus and Dean tagged back in at the same time.

Ambrose knocked Sheamus to the floor and then did his running dove into him aye ringside. Sheamus and Cesaro were both down at out at ringside. Dean rammed his left shoulder into the barricade. Booker said it appeared he was trying to knock it back into socket. Sheamus caught Dean on the top rope and set up a White Noise. Dean elbowed and head-butted out of it. Dean leaped at Sheamus with an elbow. When he made the cover, Cesaro broke it up. Cesaro knocked Seth off the ring apron, then joined Sheamus in double-teaming Dean. Seth came in for the save, but got kicked in the face. Cesaro then put Dean in a sharpshooter mid-ring. Dean crawled over toward the bottom rope, so Cesaro shifted into a crossface. Dean reached the bottom rope to force a break.

Cesaro tagged in Sheamus immediately. They gave him a double Irish Cross, but Dean kicked out. Graves said Sheamus and Cesaro have executed their gameplan about as perfectly as a team can. Dean came back with a Lunatic Clothesline off the ropes to Cesaro. Seth was still missing from the ring apron. Cesaro tagged in Sheamus, and then Sheamus tagged in Cesaro. When Cesaro went to the top rope, Seth tried to head-scissors him off the top rope. Sheamus gave Dean a White Noise, and then Cesaro powerbombed Seth onto Dean. Dean kicked out, which was ridiculous, but did lead to a big pop. Sheamus and Cesaro were shocked. “How on earth did Ambrose kick out?” yelled Cole.

Sheamus went for a Brogue Kick, but Dean collapsed before it hit. Dean surprised Sheamus with a small package for a near fall. Sheamus mistakenly gave Cesaro a Brogue Kick, and then Seth entered and gave Sheamus a knee to the face. Dean hit Dirty Deeds immediately afterward for the win. Booker called it one of the greatest tag matches he’s ever seen.

WINNERS: Dean & Seth to retain the WWE Tag Team Team Titles in 16:00. (****)

(Keller’s Analysis: Amazing tag match, and my only criticism is there were maybe two big spots too many, especially that powerbombed of Seth onto Dean. If that doesn’t lead to a three count, what finisher should be seen seriously? Cesaro will be remembered for this match and his gusty continuation of the match after losing at least two teeth. It was a miscue in the end by Sheamus and Cesaro that led to the finish, which was subtly foreshadowed by the announcers a couple minutes earlier.)

(4) ALEXA BLISS vs. EMMA vs. SASHA BANKS vs. NIA JAX vs. BAYLEY – Fatal Five-way for the WWE Raw Women’s Title

Jax splashed Bliss in the corner by mistake in the opening seconds. The other women knocked Jax to the floor. Banks, Emma, and Bayley locked up in a corny move. Emma kicked them, so Banks and Bayley double-teamed her. They knocked Emma to the floor, then turned to each other and locked up mid-ring. Jax knocked them out of the ring.

When Jax went for a cover on Emma a minute later, Bliss broke it up. Jax asked Bliss what her deal is. Uh, keeping her championship? Jax beat up both Emma and Jax, yelling between moves. Bliss slapped Jax and said, “You are nothing without me!” Jax lifted Bliss and then used her feet to knock Sasha off balance. Jax then put Banks on her shoulder also and delivered a double Samoan drop. Cole said he’s never seen that before. Bayley went after Jax, but Jax stuffed her and then went for a suplex, but Bayley countered into a guillotine. All of the women dumped Jax over the top rope and then Bliss, Emma, and Banks knocked Bayley off the ring apron to the floor.

Emma shoved Bliss. Bliss slapped her back. Jax tried to suplex Emma from the ring apron to the floor, but Emma escaped and tried to sunset flip Jax off the ring apron. Bayley joined her and they tried. Jax held on. Bliss and Banks then dropkicked Jax and the sent her off the ring apron onto the mat at ringside. She slapped the mat hard upon landing to spread out the landing, but the impact on her back and head and neck was still substantial.

The ref of the women battled with fast moves, reversals, and near falls, settling into Bliss vs. Emma until Bayley re-entered seconds later. Emma splashed Bayley and Bliss in the corner. Banks re-entered and went after Emma. Bliss broke up a Banks pin attempt on Emma after a running knee by Banks. Banks gave Bliss a back stabber and then rolled into a Bank Statement. Bayley broke it up with a kick and she tried to steal the pin on Bliss. Then she hit the Bayley-to-Belly, but Banks broke up her pin on Bliss.

Jax then reentered and went after Bayley with a splash in the corner. Then she legdropped Banks and went for a pin, but Bliss and Emma broke it up. Jax charged the corner, but Bliss side-stepped her and Jax went shoulder-firs tinto the ringpost. Meanwhile, Bliss gave Bayley a DDT for the win.

WINNER: Bliss in 10:00 to retain the WWE Raw Women’s Title. (***)

(Keller’s Analysis: Nice story here with Jax being dominant, all of the women breaking up pin attempts to protect their chances, a good reason being given for Jax to miss several minutes, only to return and factor into the sequence leading to the finish. Good action throughout, and they managed to pull off some complex and dangerous looking spots. The crowd was engaged throughout.)

-Renee interviewed Bliss afterward. She said there are a lot of big stars in L.A., but only one true Goddess.

-A lengthy video package aired on the John Cena-Roman Reigns rivalry.

(5) JOHN CENA vs. ROMAN REIGNS

The crowd loudly sang “John Cena sucks!” to the melody of his music. Cena had a few enthusiastic words for the announcers on his way toward the ring. “Time to do it one time again,” he said to the camera. “Time to go to work.” Cole said if Cena wins tonight, he’ll tie Undertaker for the most PPV victories at 94. Graves said Cena earned the name “Big Match John” for a reason. When Cena’s music stopped, the crowd started a “Cena! Cena!” chant. Reigns’s music played and the crowd erupted in boos. Graves said this is the biggest match of Reigns’s life, and Cena called for it. He said it’s big for Cena, though, because what does it do to his legacy if he loses. Booker said Reigns wants what Cena has.

Graves said at WrestleMania 21, in this very building, Cena beat JBL that Cena credits for propelling his career to the next level. Cole said JBL said that is the match where believed Cena was going to be the greatest of all-time after that match. A fan held up a sign that said, “You both suck.” Cole said this was the first-time-ever one-on-one match. Reigns winked at someone as the milked the anticipation in the arena before ringing the bell.

Cole said it’s an incredible atmosphere as fans are witnessing history. A “You both suck!” chant seemed to break out, although it seemed like a mix of anti-Cena and anti-Roman chants, too. Cena played to the crowd and pretended he was going to walk out on the match. He blamed the fans, but had a tongue in cheek expression. Reigns chased him down and punched him. Cena staggered back to ringside and into the ring. Reigns asked, “Where you going to, John?” In the ring, he gave Cena an uppercut and then punched him and circled him.

As the crowd got more into chanting “Roman sucks” and booing him, Cole said they are two of the most polarizing Superstars. Graves said it’s true because they’re top stars in the industry and fans get invested in them like no others. Booker said it’s “love/hate.” Cena came back by reverse-whipping Roman hard into the ringside steps. Roman clutched his left arm afterward. Reigns returned the favor a minute later. Then he gave Cena a Drive-by. Reigns sat on the ring apron and looked down at Cena and said, “We ain’t on the stick now, you have to fight now, John.” The announcers commented on that. Reigns shrugged and smiled at ringside. Graves wondered if Reigns has been onto something when he has said Cena’s work in Hollywood has affected his abilities in the ring.

Back in the ring Reigns ironically kept yapping at Cena and let him recover a bit. When Cena stood, Reigns punched him. Reigns said, “I hit hard!” Man, he’d be such a good all-out heel. Reigns settled into a chinlock which drew a “Boring!” chant from the crowd. Cena stood and shoulder tackled Reigns, but on a second attempt, Reigns punched him out of mid-air. Booker said some of Cena’s old tricks aren’t working tonight. Cena came back and rallied with his You Can’t See Me sequence. He smiled and looked at the crowd, then raised his hand. He looked a little more winded than usual at this stage of a match. When he went for the fist drop, Reigns caught him a sudden Samoan Drop for a two count.

Reigns clotheslined Cena in the corner about ten times. Cena came back, but Reigns cut if off with a big boot. Reigns stood and absorbed more boos. They showed two little kids dressed up in Cena gear in the front row. Reigns took his time and then signaled for the Superman Punch. Cena ducked and applied an STF mid-ring. When Reigns got near the bottom rope, he let go and dragged Reigns back to the middle, then reapplied it. Reigns countered by lifting and powerbombing Cena to break it. That led to a near fall.

When Reigns lifted Cena, Cena called the next spot and began a comeback with punches. Reigns punched back. When he leaped at Cena, Cena caught him. The crowd popped. Cena powered Reigns onto his shoulders and hit the AA for a believable near fall. The crowd popped. Cena climbed to the top rope and leaped at Reigns, but Reigns turned it into a powerbomb for a near fall. He didn’t get all of it. Reigns then slithered back to the corner and got intense and signaled for a Superman Punch. He hit it and scored a near fall. Reigns waited on Cena and then charged, but Cena side-stepped him and threw him into the ringpost. Reigns hit the ringpost shoulder-first. Booker laughed and said so many people thought they were going to knock Cena off the perch, but no one has yet.

Cena sat on the top rope and lifted Reigns onto his shoulders for a Super AA. 1-2-and-almost-3. Another big pop for the kickout. Cole wondered if Cena would second-guess himself after that. The crowd chanted “One more time!” Cena smiled and went to the floor, then took everything off of the top of the Spanish announce table. Then same to the German table. He threw Roman onto the German table and set up an AA, but Reigns escaped and speared Cena off of one time and through the other. The table collapsed. Both were down and slow to get up. Booker noted that Reigns landed on the top of his head on that bump. Graves said Roman might have jammed his neck and might have a stinger or worse. It did look pretty nasty.

Reigns got up and threw Cena into the ring and made the cover. Cena kicked out. When Reigns signaled for a spear, Cena gave Reigns an AA. He rolled right into another AA. He made the cover and scored a very near fall. The crowd was on its feet and gasping in shock. Cena sat up and looked frustrated. He looked over at Reigns as if to ask him, “What now?” Reigns popped up and gave Cena a Superman Punch and a spear for the three count.

WINNER: Reigns in 22:00. (****)

(Keller’s Analysis: Really good match. Maybe just a notch short of a top-top level for Reigns or Cena, which may in part be due to Cena’s part time schedule and age catching up a bit or just a chemistry issue with both being too similar in style to one another. But that’s hardly harsh criticism in the sense that they held the crowd’s interest big-time throughout and this was absolutely an effective and memorable match that delivered.)

-Afterward, Cena finally stood and walked up to Reigns and raised his arm in a sign of respect. The fans booed. Cena said something privately to Reigns and patted him and then Reigns nodded in response. Cena sat in the corner of the ring and collected his thoughts as Reigns left to his music. Cole said Cena is the greatest of all-time, but Reigns may challenge him for that crowd one day. After Reigns was backstage and his music stopped, Cena soaked up the situation and seemed emotionally overwhelmed, acting like this could be his last match. He moved over and sat up mid-ring. The crowd cheered and he smiled and began to show some tears. He saluted the crowd and left the ring. A “Thank you, Cena”! chant broke out. Cena hugged a little boy in the front row and gave him his headband. Cena put his hands on his hips and looked around the Staples Center, smiling like this was the end of an amazing and long journey. He was about to leave, but turned again on the stage and saluted the fans. He looked over his shoulder one last time, raised his arms, and left.

(Keller’s Analysis: This felt like they weren’t sure if Cena was going to wrestle Reigns again, so they wanted to make sure this “moment” happened. The post-match display definitely planted the seed in the conversation that this was possibly the end of Cena’s in-ring career.)

(6) NEVILLE vs. ENZO AMORE – WWE Cruiserweight Title match

205 Live play-by-play announcer Vic Joseph took over for Cole for this match. Neville came out first. Enzo insulted Neville’s appearance in a pretty heavy-handed way. He said if Neville fancies himself a king, he should have a queen. He said his queen is his CW Title, and he’s going to take it from him and treat it better than he ever has.

Early in the match Neville shoved Enzo’s face on a break against the ropes and then applied a chinlock. When he locked on an armbar, Enzo reached for the ropes. Neville just let go and Enzo fell toward the ropes. He applied a front face lock and yelled, “This is too easy.” A few minutes in, Enzo tried a comeback, but Neville took over again. He was so methodical that the crowd chanted “This is boring!” Then he climbed to the top rope and played to the crowd, but then stepped down to the second rope and went for Phoenix Splash instead. Enzo moved. Enzo climbed to the top rope and gave Neville a leaping DDT. Both were slow to get up. Enzo draped his arm over Neville and scored a believable near fall. Graves said he got nervous there for a second. Enzo stood and yelled and then dove through the ropes at Neville, but Neville ducked and kicked him mid-air. Then he threw Enzo hard into the time keeper’s area. Neville returned to the ring and the ref began to count out Enzo. Enzo grabbed the Cruiserweight Title belt and put it over his shoulder as he tried to stand. That upset Neville. He brought it into the ring. The ref scolded him and told him to hand it back to him. He did, and then he kicked Neville in the jewels again and rolled up Neville for the three count.

WINNER: Enzo in 11:00 to capture the Cruiserweight Title. (*3/4)

(Keller’s Analysis: The idea of building up a babyface title victory based around distracting the ref and kicking the heel in the nuts after the heel dominates the entire match is pretty awkward. Yes, Neville gloated a lot and was hardly gracious in his dominance, but still, it’s hard to feel too proud if you’re an Enzo fan. The match placed here wasn’t a sign of prestige for the Cruiserweight Title, but rather placing it here as a buffer between two emotionally draining main attractions.)

-The announcers reacted to the title change. Graves was beside himself.

-A long video package aired on the main event.

(7) BROCK LESNAR (w/Paul Heyman) vs. BRAUN STROWMAN – WWE Universal Title match

Strowman came out first. Then Brock with Heyman. During intro intros, Heyman took the mic and introduced Lesnar himself. Cole said he cannot wait for this match. The bell rang 50 minutes into the third hour of the PPV, but they have the freedom to run long.

Lesnar charged at Strowman as soon as the bell rang, but Strowman blocked him and shoved him hard into the corner. Lesnar smiled and went for a takedown, but Strowman stuffed it and threw Lesnar aside. Graves said stuffing a Lesnar takedown has never happened in college or UFC. Lesnar stood and did suplex Strowman, but Strowman popped up and delivered a chokeslam. “Chokeslam City, Brock,” said Graves. He powerslammed Lesnar and scored an early two count.

Strowman, bleeding below his left eye, methodically battered Lesnar. He knocked him to the floor. Graves said it has been dominance so far. Strowman lifted and shoved Lesnar into the ringpost back-first. Cole said Lesnar’s offense so far was one German suplex and one right hand. Back in the ring Strowman shoved Lesnar hard into the corner turnbuckles. Graves said “never ever ever have we seen Brock Lesnar dominated like this.” Cole said they saw it with Goldberg, “but that was quick, that was the shock, that was sudden the way that happened.” He said Braun has done this three times now the past few months.

Lesnar avoided a Strowman charge and went for a kimura lock. Cole said this broke Triple H’s arm twice and Shawn Michaels’s once. Lesnar dropped down and torqued Strowman’s arm. Strowman forced a break in the ropes. He then picked up Lesnar and gave him a spinebuster for a near fall. Heyman looked distressed. Lesnar suplexed Strowman four times. Lesnar took some deep breaths and stood up. He lifted Strowman for an F5, but Braun escaped and gave Lesnar a running powerslam. Heyman buried his face in his hands at ringside, then shouted some encouragement to Lesnar.

Strowman gave Lesnar another powerslam. Strowman covered Lesnar for a near fall. The crowd chanted “We Want Tables.” Lesnar did hit an F5, almost out of nowhere, to win clean. Cole said we haven’t seen the last of Strowman.

WINNER: Lesnar in 9:00 to retain the Universal Title.

VIP MEMBERS: Send any questions or reaction to this PPV for tonight’s special late-night edition of the Wade Keller Hotline “Ask the Editor” edition: askwadekeller@gmail.com

5 Comments on KELLER’S WWE NO MERCY PPV REPORT 9/24: Lesnar vs. Strowman, Reigns vs. Cena, Miz vs. Jordan

  1. McMahon again pushing Reigns when no one seems to care. The Enzo win was horrible, but the Lesnar match was short, but surprisingly good.

  2. Cena and Reigns killed the momentum of this show, and nothing came afterward that truly brought it back. John didn’t seem to care, and all of his goofy overselling at the beginning of the match really took me out of it, as did Michael Cole’s “greatest of all time” line. And it’s not that I don’t think Cena isn’t one of the greatest, it’s that Cole is obviously saying it to make Roman look stronger. That’s all any of this has seemed to be. You can tell Roman is trying to make the best of his still-unwanted push, but Cena just seemed checked out. Listening to him on the E&C podcast, it felt like he just doesn’t want to be there anymore, despite his whole “I’m a company man” stuff.
    On the flip side of that, the Lesnar / Strowman match was also a bit disappointing. I love that the chokeslam is a part of Strowman’s moveset now. It was weird when Strowman clearly got a rope break on that submission long before Brock was finally told to release it. Thought Strowman was selling too hard too soon for someone that’s been booked so ridiculously strong all year. Same F-5 out of nowhere that we saw with Joe a few months ago ended the match and it seemed like the entire arena just died. Talk about a missed opportunity. I mean, yeah, finishes should be legit finishes, but WWE has made Braun out to be more than strong enough to kick out after a single F-5 (or is that move stronger than an ambulance crash?). I suppose it will just make Roman look better at ‘Mania when he manages to kick out of an F-5 (or 2, God forbid). Again, that’s all this is for, and it’s pretty disheartening when that specter looms over everything Roman and Brock are a part of.
    It just blows my mind that they were going on and on about the main events being Wrestlemania-level when the scripting for both ended up being very unimpressive considering what Cena, Reigns, Lesnar, and Strowman have been doing this past year.

    All that being said, the undercard was incredible and made up for the last hour of the show. The Bar vs. Seth & Dean was one of the best tag matches WWE has presented this year. Much like New Day vs. Usos, I could watch these guys keep going for months. Finn and Bray had the best match of their short series, but I’m ready for them to move on. Women’s match was also surprisingly good. Alexa can hold on to that belt until Survivor Series for all I care. She’s been a great champion. At some point, Asuka is going to take it, though.

  3. Wade, I truly find you to be the current best show reviewer anywhere on the internet. Your detailed analysis is on par with the top out there but what separates your reviews is the ability to rate and grade a show on a scale relative to the mass audiences entertainment barometer. Basically, your reviews are relevant to the reader. Your 8 would be the readers 8. Most of the other internet reviews a far askew from the readers viewpoint. (i.e. a reviewers 6.5 score would be an 8.0 show to the reader. I really appreciate the balance you maintain, keep it up!

  4. I thought the women’s match was brilliant and pretty much put made everyone in it look strong, which is pretty unusual for a 5-way (I mean, they even got Emma plenty of time to shine, Nia was made to look like a monster, Bayley and Sasha both had finishers on the champ broken up, and Alexa got to win in the end), it was non-stop action… I’d actually rate it higher than Brock-Strowman which started strong and then became “I hit a few suplexes, you hit a few slams, then I randomly pin you after one finisher and make you look dumb after the crowd just saw the Roman-Cena kickout fest”. Thought that was hugely disappointing.

  5. Cena’s interplay with the crowd was as interesting as the actual wrestling aspects of the match.

    The tag match knocked it out of the park, and really stole the show. Agree with you — I would have preferred to see the spot off the top rope end the contest in Sheamus and Cesaro’s favor. If that isn’t a finishing move, what is?

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