No Mercy 2016 predictions

If it feels like there was only a pay-per-view two weeks ago… you’re right! SmackDown’s second exclusive PPV is this Sunday, and unlike Backlash, they’re not throwing everyone on the roster onto this show. At time of writing, there’s a little over a dozen guys booked on the show, not including any pre-show matches…

WWE World Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Dean Ambrose vs. John Cena
After winning the title at last month’s Backlash, it seems like the feud of the month has been between the two guys that AJ’s just beaten. Set by Shane McMahon deciding to mix two matches together (Ambrose’s rematch, and John Cena’s wish to face AJ again), this seems to risk being another messy three-way – in a year where WWE’s fallen in love with triple threats. There’s no way AJ’s losing the title so soon… Prediction: AJ Styles

WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Alexa Bliss
This was a bit of a surprise for me – Alexa Bliss, having hardly featured on NXT before her call-up, being thrust into a title match, after winning a five-way match to get the title shot. For this, see AJ. There’ll be questions around how good the match can be, given Bliss’ relative inexperience, but that isn’t going to be the selling point. Sadly, I fear that Bliss is just going to be a distraction from the inevitably Becky vs. Bella match. Prediction: Becky Lynch

WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship: Heath Slater & Rhyno (c) vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso)
Effectively a rematch from Backlash, the Usos beat the returning American Alpha to get the title shot. Given that American Alpha vs. Usos is sort of a “money match” after the injury angle, I’m surprised that they had Alpha lose so quickly, but whatever – in this era of monthly PPVs with a short roster, we’ve got to expect a lot of rematches. Since Heath winning the tag titles paid off his storyline, I fully expect the Usos to go over and light the fuse on their inevitable feud with American Alpha down the road. Prediction: The Usos

WWE Intercontinental Championship vs. Career: The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
So, after Christ knows how many singles matches (19, if you only count TV and PPV… 41 if you count everything), this is supposedly it for now. The Miz’s title vs. Dolph Ziggler’s career. Considering we’ve had Ziggler built up repeatedly, only to lose, why should anyone believe that it’ll be different this time? We’ve already had a “you need to win to get a job” storyline, and I don’t believe that Ziggler on Raw would be any better than what he’s been on SmackDown… but apparently his contract really is coming up, so this prediction is a no-brainer. Prediction: The Miz

Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt
Hey, we might actually get this match, after their Backlash match was postponed through “injury”. Sorry, I mean “WWE advertised a match knowing one of the participants was still concussed”. Given that Wyatt lost to Kane at Backlash, a win here wouldn’t help Orton, and I doubt it’d rehab Wyatt either. They’ve got to keep this storyline going, given how much they’ve put into it… so I’m going to go for a screwy finish. Prediction: Bray Wyatt (DQ)

Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
The continuation of a feud that’s been bubbling for a while, I’d expect this to keep going. Unless they do something crazy and switch the women’s title to Alexa Bliss, Nikki shouldn’t win here, as the next step from this feud would be Nikki challenging for the women’s title. Prediction: Carmella

Pre-show: Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin
So much for the revitalised push, eh? Swagger has done precious little since his jump to SmackDown, and the fact that his first feud is pre-show fodder against Baron Corbin proves that there was likely little thought put into this. This is a pick’em, as this feud will continue either way. Prediction: Baron Corbin

Curt Hawkins Debuts…
Be careful – all he said was “he steps into the ring”. Given how he’s been doing nothing but vignettes for what feels like months, I’m not expecting a match… remember how Damien Sandow’s debut was a load of walk-outs?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ian Hamilton has been a wrestling fan since 1992, and when he’s not watching WWE, New Japan or his latest wrestling love, PROGRESS, he’s usually suffering through Sunderland AFC and the New York Jets. He’s got a couple of books out on Amazon – “Wrestling’s Sinking Ship” and “Gone Too Soon”, and can be reached via his website, BackBodyDrop.com, or on Twitter @theianhamilton

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