WWE No Mercy airs this Sunday, Oct. 9, live on WWE Network. The Smackdown-exclusive event features a triple threat match for the WWE Championship, Dolph Ziggler putting his career on the line against The Miz’s Intercontinental Championship and, perhaps most importantly, Baron Corbin vs. Jack Swagger.
Here’s the complete No Mercy card as we know it:
WWE No Mercy 2016 Card
1. Triple Threat for the WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose
2. Intercontinental Championship vs. Career Match: The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
3. Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Alexa Bliss
4. Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: Heath Slater and Rhyno (c) vs. The Usos
5. Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton
6. Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
7. Curt Hawkins vs. TBA
8. Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin
Below you’ll find our full rundown of the card, including who we think should win and who we think actually will. Be sure to drop down into our comments section when you’re done to let us know what you think will happen, and whether you think Dolph Ziggler will become the world’s most physically fit full-time standup comedian.
Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin
What Should Happen: Corbin should lose here and decide to go make something of himself on Raw. When he gets there, it’s a total Twilight Zone moment where he realizes they’ve got a cruiserweight division, but he can’t leave. And he was just wrestling the biggest, laziest, hossiest guy!
Alternate plan: Apollo Crews interferes, and somehow loses to both guys.
What Will Happen: My instincts say Baron Corbin goes over clean — why wouldn’t you put Baron Corbin over Jack Swagger, you know? — but it feels weird to move Swagger from Raw to Smackdown just to have him be a confrontationally weird, cheating, unsuccessful undercard guy. Still, unless Zeb Colter shows up riding a machine like he’s Dr. Robotnik, I have no interest in Swagger going over. Baron Corbin for life.
Anyway, join us at Hell in a Cell for the Raw equivalent of this match, which would be what, Curtis Axel vs. R-Truth?
Bill Hanstock – Baron Corbin got screwed over in a big, bad way during this week’s Smackdown match between the two, so I hope he gets a chance to shine and get a big win here. “Big win” being relative, because he pretty definitively won feuds against Dolph Ziggler and Apollo Crews, yet here we are. I won’t be surprised if Swagger gets a clean win, but in my heart I’m pulling for my boy Barry C.
Justin Donaldson – This match should start with Daniel Bryan apologizing to Baron Corbin for the shoddy officiating on Tuesday night, and end with Baron ripping Jack Swagger’s heart out and eating it. But probably Corbin will just hit End of Days and pin Swagger.
Curt Hawkins vs. TBA
What Should Happen: TBA should be Lance Hoyt, a guy who has actually gotten exponentially better since leaving WWE, and he should just ruthlessly maul Hawkins for being Wrestling’s Charles Norris. Or TBA should be AJ Styles, and Hawkins should get so starstruck meeting the guy he’s been Single White Femaling that he just lays down and takes the pin.
What Will Happen: After the debut of Dan Matha on NXT this week, WWE’s got me believing they can do something as funny as hype up a guy with vignettes for months only to have him lose. Curt Hawkins isn’t new or fun or interesting, so why not use him to make the crowd love someone else?
So it’s either, “WWE turned Johnny Knockout into a cult hero by having him pin Curt Hawkins for not being big or sweaty enough,” or, “Curt Hawkins pinned Johnny Knockout after hitting his finisher, which is probably a modified Cross Rhodes.”
Bill Hanstock – I can’t really figure out who might be competing against Hawkins in his return match. I’m hoping it’s James Ellsworth, but I’m thinking it’ll probably be Tyler Breeze or Fandango. Honestly, Hawkins’ new gimmick is so over-the-top intentionally stupid that I feel like he’s going to lose this match … unless it’s against Any Man With Two Hands himself.
Chris Trew – TBA with a small package.
Justin Donaldson – If you asked me to name one hundred living wrestlers that I would like to see return to WWE, Curt Hawkins would not be one of them. The vignettes they’ve been airing on Smackdown have made my feelings on Hawkins go from indifference to disdain. Hawkins for the win, I guess?
Scott Heisel – I have never been more confident in a TBA victory than I am here. These promos have done nothing but set Hawkins up to be a hapless jobber that is just beyond full of himself, which will result in some decent in-ring comedy but a whole string of Ls.
Joe Starr – Fact: I don’t care. Second Fact: I am not the only writer that will make this joke. Third Fact: I’m more interested in what Tyler Rex is up to.
Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
What Should Happen: I’m torn. Carmella could use the victory because she’s still relatively new to the scene, and a win over Nikki Bella — an actual, straight-up win, without any bullsh*t … okay, maybe some hairspray in the eyes — could go a long way toward legitimizing her as a future opponent for Becky Lynch. At the same time, Nikki Bella’s a thing, and she hasn’t won much since her return.
Weighing one against the other, I’d say give it to Bella. She’s the quickest route to a championship challenger, since most of the Smackdown women’s division is either still a little inexperienced (Carmella, Alexa) or LOL never getting a push (Naomi). I’d say to give Nikki the strong, clean victory over the person who’s been a thorn in her side, and give them 8-10 to really put it out there and surprise people.
What Will Happen: Total Bellas just premiered, so this seems like most reasonable time to refocus on Nikki. I’m gonna say Carmella tries to cheat to win a few times, drawing out the wrath of a returning BRIE MODE. Brie shows up, hits Carmella over the head with an ultrasound unit or whatever and hugs Nikki on-screen one more time before having her baby.
Alternate plan: Brie starts managing Nikki, and they do Twin Magic when she’s 9 months pregnant.
Bill Hanstock – Carmella has consistently gotten the better of Nikki over the past month, so it’s time for her comeuppance. Nikki gets a nice first big singles win since returning and Carmella will probably attack her after the match to keep the program going. It’s a pretty good program, so I’m not mad about it.
Chris Trew – I like Nikki Bella more than I think I should and want to like Carmella more than I already do. The jury (of one. Me.) is still out on this one but I am absolutely doing a standing ovation for a non-title women’s feud that I think carries some weight.
Justin Donaldson – I think Carmella will once again find a way to beat Nikki Bella. I could see them keeping this feud going for a while.
Scott Heisel – Did you know Nikki Bella has not had a clean singles victory on TV since returning from injury a few months ago? Like, that’s kind of bonkers, right? There’s no question she wrecks Carmella here. I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes sub-five minutes, just to show off Nikki’s physical dominance.
Joe Starr – Carmella enters first, Bella kills her with a running forearm mid moonwalk. No contest. Or Carmella wins via nefarious means. I like the first one, though.
Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt
What Should Happen: Orton should break his clavicle trying to put on a t-shirt before the match and be ruled medically unable to compete. Bray should get lost backstage and accidentally lock himself out of the building. Kane defeats a returning Luke Harper.
What Will Happen: What we typed a few weeks ago:
Randy Orton looked like the world’s biggest chump at SummerSlam, so he desperately needs a win. A cool win, if he can get it. Bray Wyatt is the WWE Champion of losing high-profile matches, so I’m thinking Sister Abigail gets countered into an RKO somewhere in the middle and the Apex Predator gets back some of his shine.
The only difference between the Backlash feud and the No Mercy feud is that this one feels more like a pair of competing haunted houses.
Bill Hanstock – I mean … Orton wins, right? Bray Wyatt doesn’t do anything but lose anymore and Orton is the established main event performer here. Not only that, but he “needs” a win to start rebuilding after getting his melon split in half by Lesnar. Bray Wyatt is essentially “The One” Billy Gunn at this point, but with slightly better theme music.
Chris Trew – “Who cares about Bray Wyatt” is the new “I don’t have a Facebook” which was the new “I don’t even own a television” but everyone has a point because can we please fix Bray Wyatt? I’ll do my part — send me a Bray-style promo on snapchat (I’m christrew) and I’ll donate a $1 to the Fix Bray Wyatt charity drive that someone should start.
Justin Donaldson – I have a hunch Bray Wyatt is going to win this match when Randy Orton gets distracted by the debuting physical manifestation of Sister Abigail.
Scott Heisel – In this never-ending feud, the only true losers are those of us who watch the PPV live and can’t fast-forward. Also Orton. Orton loses.
Joe Starr – Vanguard 1 nukes this from orbit.
Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: Heath Slater and Rhyno (c) vs. The Usos
What Should Happen: Gonna jump ahead to agree with (most of) the Staff Predictions here. The point of Heath Slater and Rhyno winning the Smackdown Tag Team Championship tournament was to make Slater a fan favorite and get him a regular main roster gig. Mission accomplished. These guys don’t need to STAY champions, though, and the new-look Briscoe Brother Usos are as good as they’ve ever been. Give it to the Usos via Rhyno back-of-the-leg-superkick injury, and push them headfirst into a high-profile feud with American Alpha. Let’s see if Alpha can do for the Usos what the Revival does for every other team in NXT.
What Will Happen: Same. Don’t you want to see Heath Slater challenging AJ Styles for the WWE Championship on some random Smackdown? They’d tear the roof off.
Bill Hanstock – All good things must come to an end, and thus ends the championship reign of Beauty and the Man-Beast. The Usos are finally compelling for the first time since their debut, and you need a couple of dickheads holding the belts when American Alpha is finally at full strength. Luckily, so far the journey has been as fun to watch as the eventual destination will be.
Chris Trew – I wore out the rewind button on my DVR when the Usos made their brand new “definitely not giving a single sh*t” entrance and while I would love for them to be rewarded with the straps, I think they’ve got what it takes to carry some non-title feuds and I’d like to see that.
Justin Donaldson – Considering American Alpha is already feuding with The Usos over the Tag Team Title, I’m going with The Usos.
Scott Heisel – Heath Slater’s redemption story has been completed, and he is officially 100 percent over as a babyface — the titles were just a nice dab of Cheez Whiz on top of the Saltine cracker that is his career revitalization. This means the Summer Of Slater officially comes to an abrupt end this Sunday at the hands of Evil Jimmy and Evil Jey, who need the belts to be seen as a real threat.
Joe Starr – They’ve got kids to feed, damn it. Heather Slater and Rhyno pick up a beautiful win. For all our complaining about the brand split on various corners of the internet, Heath Slater is now a wildly successful babyface champion.
Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Alexa Bliss
What Should Happen: There’s finally a high profile Smackdown Women’s Championship (or even #1 contender match) that is one-on-one and not EVERYBODY INTO THE POOL, so I’m hoping both women lace up their worker boots and give us something special. It’s a great combination of a workhorse fan favorite and a young talent killing it in the entertainment department, so if Bliss can get rolling physically and Lynch can keep it all gelled together, this should be good.
Becky wins, because of course she does. Unless, I don’t know, Blake and Murphy show up dressed like Jared Leto Jokers and help Bliss cheat.
What Will Happen: Definitely think Becky Lynch takes the submission victory here. She just won the Championship and she’s Smackdown’s Only Four Horsewoman. Bliss will be champion one day, but IT IS NOT THIS DAY.
Bill Hanstock – Probably the easiest match on the card to predict. Becky is going to retain; the only question is how good she and Alexa look in the process. My guess: super good.
Chris Trew – I’m a big Alexa Bliss fan so I don’t want her to injure her shoulders holding the belt above her head. It’s already so big on Becky. Lynch retains, but Alexa has a strong showing.
Justin Donaldson – No doubt Becky Lynch wins this one, and I bet she helps make Bliss look like a million bucks at the same time.
Scott Heisel – This will be the first real opportunity for two women on Smackdown to have a lengthy, meaningful one-on-one match, and I am looking forward to it. Neither Becky nor Alexa has had a truly classic one-on-one encounter since being in WWE, so hopefully they pull out all the stops and get a solid 15 minutes to do so. Also, Becky wins. Duh.
Joe Starr – Two things happen in this match: we discover the secret of Alexa’s weird glove and Alexa wins the title. I don’t know how these two things are related, but I’m also not a WWE creative team member.
Intercontinental Championship Vs. Career Match: The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
What Should Happen: If you know anything about me as a writer, UPROXX Pro Wrestling Editor or fan, you know I want Miz to defeat Dolph Ziggler and legitimately — or at least as closely to legitimately as possible — retire him.
Joking and personal preferences aside, I think that’s the right call. Ziggler obviously needs a break from both a professional and an artistic standpoint. His character is stale and weirdly helpless, even when he’s doing great work. The way he’s been booked, especially since his star-making moment at Survivor Series 2014, has been f*cking RIDICULOUS. Smackdown over the past few months has helped, but sometimes you’ve got to leave and come back, you know?
Meanwhile, Miz is doing the very best work of his entire career. If you give him the win here, you not only shock a lot of people, you can go any number of ways with it. What’s more heel than winning, but not being satisfied with the win and running your mouth until it comes back around and bites you? I could see Miz winning clean here, then refusing to accept it and just badgering Ziggler in promos for like a year until Dolph shows back up in street clothes and beats his ass. And then Miz is forced to get Ziggler back in the ring if he wants to legally fight him. Maybe absence will make our hearts grow fonder, and a refreshed Ziggler can return to finally, finally be an important part of WWE.
What Will Happen: MIZ FOREVER, ZIGGLER NEVER.
I’m being facetious, but like last month, either result makes me happy. If Miz wins, Miz’s Intercontinental Championship World Tour continues and Dolph Ziggler goes away. If Dolph wins, Miz can refocus on (1) winning the WWE Championship, which he absolutely deserves right now, or (2) goading Daniel Bryan out of retirement for one final match at WrestleMania. C’mon, I know Bryan’s made out of paper at this point, but it’s MIZ. He’s not gonna hurt himself wrestling Miz. I mean, unless he dives.
Bill Hanstock – Some people actually think Dolph is going to lose this match, but I would be absolutely stunned if that happened. Like, it would legitimately be the biggest shock in pro wrestling since Lesnar ending the Streak. This feud has been shockingly good. Miz is of course on another level right now and Ziggler is doing his best work in years. I think Dolph wins the title, proves that it means something and moves on to his next challenger. Which … will probably be Baron Corbin. F*ck.
Chris Trew – I’ll miss the Ziggs but since I’m angling myself to be a feature act for his eventual worldwide comedy tour, I’m pulling for Miz here. Also he’s the Never-Ending Intercontinental champion and I really want to see Grandpa Miz trotting that belt around.
Justin Donaldson – I’m going with Ziggler. As much as I’ve enjoyed The Miz’s IC Title run, it only makes sense to put the belt on Ziggler and give him a soft reboot. But knowing how WWE has treated Ziggler over the years, it also wouldn’t surprise me if he showed up at the arena on Sunday and finds out they have booked him to retire.
Scott Heisel – Trying to read Dolph Ziggler’s intentions these days is impossible. He’s going very off-script on Talking Smack and basically saying goodbye to everyone; he’s flooding his Twitter timeline with photos of him with his favorite WWE talent and crew members; he even gave out the contact information for people who want to book him starting October 10. The smark in me says it’s all a work, but then the super-smark in me says it’s all real and he’s just being over-the-top honest to work as many people as possible this Sunday. I’m still not sure which way this is going, because to be honest, I’d be happy with either outcome. My brain says Dolph wins, my gut says Miz wins (but that could partially be because my gut wants Mr. Hero for lunch). Brandon says I have to pick one, though, so Miz it is. See you at the next AIW show, Dolph.
Joe Starr – The Miz is unstoppable. He picks up the clean win here with a Daniel Bryan knee and starts calling himself the Mizerican Dragon. Dolph retires for real and joins a Second City Touring Company to find some happiness and job satisfaction.
Triple Threat for the WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose
What Should Happen: A lot of the story focus here is on John Cena and whether or not he’ll win his 16th World Championship. I don’t think that’s gonna happen — not on a No Mercy pay-per-view, anyway — nor do I think we’re deep enough into the AJ Styles title run to pull the plug on it. You want to see Styles stay champion. The WORLD wants to see Styles stay champion. Cena has other things to do for the next few months, and Dean Ambrose is already the third wheel in his own title rematch. Put Styles over Cena one more time, trade the Club over to Smackdown (where they should’ve been all along, especially after the Finn Bálor injury rendered them pointless), and spend the next few months letting Ambrose go bonkers about it.
What Will Happen: A Jay Stalls for the win. There’s no better option. Cena will get championship 16, but if that’s gonna happen, it needs to happen somewhere important. Smackdown’s second exclusively-branded Network Live Special in a month isn’t that place. Give it to him at the Rumble if you want, and maybe let Styles get it back from him at Mania. Something big.
Bill Hanstock – All roads certainly seem to be leading to Styles retaining, as he has only begun to be the amazing world champ we all know he’s going to be. The only other potential outcome in this match is Ambrose grabbing a surprise second reign, just to keep us on our toes. Cena’s about to leave for a while again and they’re not going to waste his 16th title reign on f*cking No Mercy. My guess is Cena takes Ambrose out and Styles steals the pin, so we can continue this awesome Cena/Ambrose beef with large bout John returns.
Chris Trew – Whatever outcome keeps Talking Smack the best show on the WWE Network. So probably Styles wins and Dean/Cena (Deana?) get into an actual fist fight.
Justin Donaldson – I’m going with AJ Styles and I think he may even pin Cena again.
Scott Heisel – This is where reading “da dirtsheetz” hurts my emotional investment in a match to an extent. If you hadn’t already heard, Cena is heading off to film season two of American Grit, so the odds of him matching Ric Flair’s world title wins record of 16 this Sunday is pretty dang slim (unless Fox is going to let him wear the belt in every shot). So that removes the one guy I already didn’t want to win. As for Ambrose, his promos have been fire the past few weeks but the problem with him as champion is he actually has to wrestle and not just act like a four-year-old jumping around in a pile of leaves. (Talk all you want about being in wars, Deano, but your style is softer than the Miz’s right now.) My absurd fantasy booking: Styles and Ambrose team up early to beat the ever-loving sh*t out of Cena and go at it one-on-one for a while before Big Match Jern mounts his comeback. Only this time, he won’t be able to seal the deal as RIC FLAIR HIMSELF shows up, delivers a groin kick to Cena that would make Jon Stewart proud, then throws Ambrose in the Figure Four while yelling about how he was more than enough man for Halle Berry and she should return his calls as Styles pins Cena for the third straight time. (Okay, whether or not that specific stuff happens, Styles still retains.)
Joe Starr – Old Man Cena is crossing a post apocalyptic hellscape of inbred Hulk families and hot dog cart thieves in bootcut jeans in order to claim Ric Flair’s record, but it’s not happening tonight. AJ Styles takes advantage of Cena and Ambrose hating each other (sorry, Ambrose hating Cena) and walks out with the title. And then walks straight to a hair cut.