No Mercy: Did “The Monster Among Men” slay “The Beast”
Braun Strowman is the best monster character WWE has made probably since Brock Lesnar. The way he’s run roughshod through the whole roster, all while keeping the fans interested in him is impressive on both his and WWE’s part. So the big question was “What happens when he faces Lesnar?”
That question and more will be answered as we take a look at No Mercy 2017.
Match #1: Jason Jordan vs The Miz (Intercontinental Championship Match)
The night opened up with The Miz taking on Jason Jordan in a fun match. Jordan continues to show some good promise in singles matches. It was a typical WWE style-match, with Jordan getting a nice flurry of offense in the beginning, Miz getting the advantage after some Miztourage interference, and Jordan making a fiery comeback before losing to the skull crushing finale.
It was a fun match that had a predictable ending, but predictable isn’t always bad, as I don’t think Jordan is ready to win the title. Also of note was Jordan’s promo afterwards, which was decent compared to what we’ve seen previously, but he still has a lot of work in that department.
Some random thoughts:
- Jordan has a nice variety of suplexes. Why can’t Lesnar throw out a northern lights suplex every now and then?
- I’m always a fan of dudes throwing dudes into other dudes, and Jordan throwing Miz into his entourage was no exception.
- Jordan smiled way too much in his post-match promo. He should be pissed that he was cheated out of a victory.
Match #2: Finn Balor vs Bray Wyatt (Man to Man)
Boy, you know some poor soul is in limbo when he has to feud with Wyatt. I am digging the story of this feud though, with the demon of Balor actually changing his in ring style and having an effect on him.
Anyway, during Balor’s entrance he was attacked by Wyatt and taken out by a uranagi through the announce table. The refs start to take Balor to the back, until Wyatt goads him on to fighting him. Then they brawl around the ring for a bit before going back to a regular match. The middle portion of this match was nice, with some good nearfalls and back and forth exchanges.
However, there was only one way this match was going to end, which was with Wyatt losing to the Coup De Grace. And Wyatt looks like a fool as usual. Pretty good match, regardless of the ending.
Some random thoughts:
- Why do people still get freaked out over Wyatt’s crabwalk? It’s not intimidating at all. And Finn’s face when he saw it was so goofy.
- Man, Wyatt can hit a nice clothesline. Also love the running headbutt thing he does. His suplex-throw thing is wicked as well.
- So, hopefully this is the end of this feud.
- Holy crap, Asuka is coming at TLC. So pumped to see her take out all the main roster women.
Match #3: The Bar vs The Almost Shield (Raw Tag Team Championship)
I could watch these four guys wrestle each other all day long. The Almost-Shield reunion has been some of the most well done and compelling TV in WWE all year, and The Bar have yet to disappoint in a tag team match not involving Enzo Amore.
This is a rematch from their Summerslam match, and started slower as Ambrose had his arm worked on for a while. Rollins gets a hot tag and cleans house for a bit, before The Bar gets an advantage.
After a series of double team moves from The Bar and some fabulous near falls, the champs retain after a miscue between Sheamus and Cesaro. This match was excellent.
- Watching The Bar go from fighting each other in barnburners, to teaming reluctantly, all the way to having one of my favorite WWE entrances and keeping the tag team division relevant has been a joy to watch.
- Just little things like Cesaro distracting Ambrose long enough to get an advantage is why I love The Bar.
- Cesaro’s camo shoulder tape made me chuckle.
- Cesaro lost both his front teeth in this match when he hit the ringpost. He’s sacrificing for the business!
- The Bar have their tag team psychology down. It’s amazing how captivating it is to watch those two beat down somebody for a few minutes.
Match #4: Nia Jax vs Bayley vs Sasha Banks vs Emma vs Alexa Bliss (Raw Women’s title)
For the life of me I don’t get the appeal of making Alexa Bliss so dominant. She is mediocre in every aspect besides being able to cut a good promo. But alas, Asuka will kick the bejesus out of her pretty soon. This match is your typical “all these people need to be on the show and have a feud, so let’s have them all fight each other.”
As soon as the match starts, they gang up and get Jax out of the picture. We then got a tease of Sasha and Bayley fighting it out before being interrupted by the other competitors. After some entertaining back and forth finishers and a really convincing near fall from Jax, Bliss hits a DDT on Bayley and steals the win, retaining her title. A good match with a disappointing ending.
- What they did to Emma’s music is a complete tragedy. Speaking of awful entrance music, Nia Jax. Imagine if Braun Strowman came out to a Justin Beiber song. Kinda kills the monster vibe. That’s Nia Jax’s problem.
- Props to Jax for taking that powerbomb onto the floor. That looked like it hurt.
- Why did Bayley have to take the pin?
Match #5: John Cena vs Roman Reigns
The story of this match is that Cena wants to fight Reigns since he’s a cheap imitation of him. Funny, since this feud feels like a cheap imitation of Cena vs Rock, with all the edgy promos and fourth wall breaking. This is a Wrestlemania main event match given out on a B-show. And it does feel like one. I’m pumped to see what these two will bring to the table. I’m firmly in the “Let’s Go Cena” camp.
The match started out with some Cena mind games and Roman overpowering him early… And the pace goes to a grinding halt. Cena gets hit with two moves from Roman and then starts moving and wrestling like an old man. After what seems like five minutes Cena shows some life and we get some nice back and forth action.
It rings a little hollow though when both guys hit one finisher and expect the match to be over. Nowadays it takes Cena 5 AAs and Roman 4 Spears and 6 Superman punches to win a match.
After hitting Reigns with a normal AA, a top rope AA and 2 AAs in a row, Reigns kicks out and hits a superman punch and a spear to win the match. That’s shocking, but not necessarily in a good way.
This match had the same problem Cena-Rock had. No one expects it to be over until we see those 5 AA’s and 4 Spears. Those faces of disbelief aren’t believable and it feels like a videogame with only finishers allowed.
So in a feud where Roman Reigns gets destroyed on the mic, he beats Cena pretty handedly and Cena, who talked the biggest trash, just holds his hand up in a “passing of the torch moment” and that’s supposed to make the fans like him? Give me a break!
Cena then does the whole hanging around thing and takes a bow, is it the end of his career? Most certainly not. What a poor manufactured moment, ironic considering Cena’s main criticism of Reigns was him artificial and manufactured.
Some random thoughts:
- I really wanna see Cena with a beard. Is it physically possible?
- That picture of a silhouette flying through the air with a fist on Reigns’ vest looks more like a certain Phenomenal One rather than Roman.
- Man that spear through the announce table was sick. Nothing to complain about there.
- Remember how I said predictable wasn’t always bad? This was the bad kind of predictable.
- That Snoop Dogg rap commercial for WWE 2K17 was very good.
Match #6: Enzo Amore vs Neville (Cruiserweight Championship)
Well, that happened. Eight months of domination and awesome work from Neville was rewarded with this waste of time. Enzo got destroyed for about seven boring minutes, kicked Neville in the crotch and won the Cruiserweight title. Nuff said.
Match #7: Braun Strowman vs Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship)
This is what I was waiting for. Strowman has had a fantastic ascension to the main event, and when Lesnar cares, no one does better than him. What a spectacle it was. The way Strowman easily tossed Lesnar around is so fun to watch.
Braun absolutely dominates Lesnar in the early going, before running into the post and getting his arm wore down in the Kimura lock. Then Strowman goes to Suplex City. Strowman hits two powerslams on Lesnar, but each time can’t capitalize on them due to his arm being injured.
Then Brock hits just one F5 and wins. So anticlimactic. These guys needed at least 10 more minutes to do more armwork, go through some tables and then it would’ve been an all time classic. As it stands, the match was just ok. Can we please get the title off Brock? Or can we have Asuka win the Royal Rumble and beat him at Wrestlemania? I’d pay good money to see that.
- Heyman remains the best part of Brock’s matches, reacting and yelling at everything that occurs.
- We better get a rematch at TLC between these two.
This was an interesting show. We had two Wrestlemania worthy matches on this show that both failed to deliver. It’ll be interesting to see how they book Strowman after this defeat and if he gets another shot at the title. I doubt it though.
The first half of this show was fantastic. Then it sucked hard once Cena-Reigns started. But this show highlights the exact problem in WWE today. The ending of Cena-Reigns was a manufactured, artificial moment no one wanted to see and it is leading to the biggest artificial moment no one wants to see when Reigns inevitably ends Brock Lesnar’s reign at Wrestlemania.
So while the ending of the show left a sour taste in my mouth, it’s worth noting that the tag match was amazing and is the match of the night in my book.
Check us out next week for some more Wolski’s Wrestling Ramblings.