Well Hell, We’ve Already Got Matches for No Mercy – Smackdown Live Recap (Sept. 13, 2016)


Our Smackdown Live for September 13, 2016 comes to us live from Philadelphia, and after a fairly lengthy recap of Backlash (and very well deserved recap because the show was awesome), SD kicks off with The Champ That Runs the Camp (his odd choice of words, not mine), The Phenomenal One, AJ Styles.

“The Champ is Here” indeed.  AJ Styles has beaten John Cena (clean) and AJ Styles has beaten Dean Ambrose (cheap, but I mean barely).

AND HE’S HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It’s John Cena!  Back from China and ready to get big #16.

John Cena wants a title shot, and he wants it against Styles, and after that match at Summerslam hell I want that match too.

But Ambrose needs to make it known he wouldn’t have lost if he hadn’t been kicked in the dick.  Reasonable.  And he’s owed a rematch per any title loss.

Side Note: Those P1 side plates are bad ass.

Cena doesn’t give a damn about Ambrose, and for the first time in as long as I can recall, there is an entire audience of people chanting for John Cena, all the while both Ambrose and AJ are in the ring.  Ambrose was getting booed on Sunday at Backlash, and it’s going to keep getting worse because his shtick is old and nobody cares anymore.  At least with Roman, the kids and the ladies love him.  What does Ambrose have left when the smarks don’t have a reason to care about him anymore?

But, as can be expected when there are 3 superstars in the ring at the same time, two of which have the same goal, it’s time for a commissioner to approach the ring, and HERE COMES THE MONEY….

And we’re not wasting any time, jumping straight to the meat and potatoes and announcing that at No Mercy next month, it’s a Triple Threat Match for the Title….but tonight, Ambrose and Cena will tag against AJ Styles and a partner of his choosing.

Oh man, while I don’t necessarily need Ambrose in that match at No Mercy, I’m more on board with No Mercy with only one announced match than I am for Clash of Champions.

Throughout the show, AJ is asking around in the back if anyone will team up with him, but he’s not having much luck…sort of goes with the terms of being a raging dick (in kayfabe) to everyone you come across backstage.

Welcome to the Most Must See WWE TV

Miz would like you to know that he is not, in fact, a coward.  Also, Maryse actually wore normal clothes this evening that didn’t make her look like some sort of world champion circus lion tamer.

Miz would also like you to know that he’s still the champion, and he’s held the title longer than 132 other competitors that have held the belt in the history of the IC title.  This tirade wasn’t going to last long before someone interrupted him.  I’m glad it is Ziggler.  Ziggler should have won that belt on Sunday, but he got maced.  Yes, I said that right.  He got maced by Maryse at Backlash and lost.  WTF was that?

And Ziggler has had enough, so he’s challenged Miz to compete with no help.  No wives, no girlfriends.  Just a match.

The Miz has more heat than I could have ever imagined him having, and all rightfully earned.  He’s a phenomenal talent and performer, and he’s worked his ass off to get that heat.  Daniel Bryan enters to inform Miz that Ziggler will get a rematch, to which Miz says he won’t do anything on Smackdown Live or any other show until he gets what he wants and his contract is renegotiated.  Bryan gets in the ring, more teases that he has miraculously been cleared to do something physical, only to have Miz dive out of the back side of the ring and run away.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Your Smackdown Women’s Champion


I know, I’m thinking the same thing.  Those steampunk side plates are pretty cool too.

She’s just legitimately thrilled to have finally been awarded the belt that she’s long been deserving of.  She’s appreciative and it shows.  Later this evening, we’ll get a fatal five way to determine who her number one contender is.  Essentially it is the same match from Backlash just without Becky.  Becky would thank everyone for their support and then sit ringside during the fatal five way.

He’s Got Kids


So, when I got the e-mail this morning from WWE Shop, I didn’t think much of it, then I noticed that the fine print said Heath Slater had a new shirt, so I was curious.  I almost peed myself when I saw the newest Heath Slater shirt.  And hopefully, in addition to signing his new contract tonight, we get one of the “earlier today” moments where he signs the mortgage on his new double wide with Beaula.

Again, I know I said it in the Backlash recap, but seriously, this wasn’t just huge for Slater that the company just let this gimmick and Heath Slater just organically get over with the audience, but they let Rhyno do it too.  I haven’t seen any pair of guys get over more organically since….Daniel Bryan?

Heath Slater is no longer a free agent, he is the newest signee of Smackdown Live.  I wonder if the audience realizes he’s poking fun at people who live in trailers?  I think the best part of this segment was watching how much Shane McMahon enjoyed it.  He was either slightly smiling or laughing during the whole bit.

Heath Slater thinks that he and Rhyno can take on anyone, any place, any time.  So we get our first challengers…..The Ascension?  So Shane makes it so.  This is going to be a really odd decision for their short lived title reign.

The Viper addresses Bray Wyatt’s attack (subtext – Brock Lesnar is a dick)

Following the attack on Orton by Wyatt, to not have to admit that Orton still isn’t medically cleared to perform after getting the shit kicked out of him by Brock Lesnar, The Viper is in the ring and he openly challenges Bray Wyatt.  Orton must still not be cleared to do anything, as Bray Wyatt’s response is one of his prerecorded promos from what I can only assume is the boiler room, or the basement from That 70s Show, either way there’s entirely too much smoke in the room and it does a disservice to the segment.

Or maybe not.  Wyatt has gone back to the whole lights go down and a family member appears thing.  Bray appeared at ringside and took off his jacket like he might be willing to get in the ring, but the lights go down and Rowan appears to attack Orton, only to get himself #RKOOuttaNowhere’d.

This is the Wrestling Show of the Two

Unlike the Red Brand, Smackdown Live does actually show more than two matches per broadcast (and yes, Raw technically does too but two of their four are squash matches for Nia and Braun).  So let’s get to the matches from this episode.

The Hype Bros vs The Usos

You know how hyped I stay, but if you’re going to have Zack Ryder with a kayfabe knee injury, don’t go ahead and send them back out against the Usos.  This match lasted about as long as it took me to make the header bold.  Usos by pinfall 

Baron Corbin vs Apollo Crews

Crews apparently demanded this rematch from Backlash, but before the bell even rings, Corbin nails Crews in his entrance and knocks him to the outside, where he hits an End of Days on the outside.  As Corbin taunts from the ring, Jack Swagger (who’s contract with Raw apparently expired and he’s signed with Smackdown), comes to the ring to confront the Corbin.  Jack Swagger launched into a promo that bombed pretty heavy from the offset.  He’s not wearing his trademark “We The People” shirt, but at least he did chant his catch phrase with the audience to end the segment.  This was weird.  Could he not have just had a match with Curt Hawkins?  Match didn’t actually happen, but I guess I could say Baron Corbin won when he hit that End of Days at ringside.

Fatal Five Way for the Women’s Number One Contender Spot:
Naomi, Nikki Bella, Natalya, Alexa Bliss and Carmella (order of entrance)

This is not elimination, the first of the five to score a pinfall or submission will get that title shot.  Much like Sunday night, all of these women got their knocks in.  It was pretty much intended to highlight the pending feud between Nikki Bella and Carmella, but each of them performed well.  Nikki Bella reconfirmed why both of us here at The Dark Match fully support her in the thick of the title race.  She’s, as Jeremy referred to her, “A Diva in a Women’s Wrestling World” and she’s doing just fine within that world.  I think we’re all just sort of expecting Nikki Bella to get all the wins because that’s what we got used to, or at least that’s what the Universe was used to.  We weren’t as dedicated during the bulk of the Nikki Bella/Divas Butterfly Vagina Belt era.  Carmella hits a super kick on Bella while she’s trying to deliver that modified Rack Attack finisher on Alexa Bliss, who throws Carmella to the outside and takes advantage of the opportunity, gaining the pinfall over Nikki Bella.  So there’s two matches that you half expected her to win that she didn’t.  “An Opportunistic Alexa Bliss” for the win and the No. 1 Contendership

Heath Slater and Rhyno vs The Ascension

I still don’t know why this is a thing, but here we are.  This is the best they’ve allowed The Ascension to look since their call up, even if they were in some weird Insane Clown Posse makeup instead of the typical look.  Wasn’t a terribly long match, and per usual Slater got the hell kicked out of him and Rhyno tagged in to take care of business.  It’s their inevitable downfall, and I’m glad they’re building towards it.  Rhyno wins via pinfall following the Gore, so technically Slater wins too

AJ Styles and everyone’s favorite Jobber James Ellsworth The Miz against Cena and Ambrose

Miz jumps Spike Dudley, I mean James Ellsworth, on his way down the ramp and decides to partner up with AJ because he is “The Main Event”.  This match goes about as should be expected.  Miz and Styles work well together, focusing most of the match on Ambrose.  After a while though, the hot tag and John Cena takes over, and the team works together to eliminate AJ from the equation and then Cena hits the AA on Miz.  Ambrose hits the Dirty Deeds on Cena to a roaring chorus of boos from the Universe.  Cena wins via pinfall on The Miz.

That’s your show.  It wasn’t Smackdown Live’s best to date, but the opening segment was pretty solid.  I think they’ve learned that the shoot style is quite popular with the crowd, from Miz constantly berating Daniel Bryan to Dean Ambrose and John Cena going at it.  We had five matches in two hours and somehow this episode felt light on the wrestling.  Well, four matches and a Jack Swagger appearance.  I don’t know that I’ve ever heard him speak before tonight.  That lisp is intense.  Not to knock people with lisps, and good on him for managing to stay on the roster while we lose significantly more talented people like Sandow and Rhodes.

No Mercy is already shaping up.  We currently have a Triple Threat title defense for AJ Styles and a Women’s Championship match for Alexa Bliss.  Seriously, it’s already more exciting than the card for Clash of Champions.

Tune in on Friday.  I’m working on a new Making Cruiserweight segment that I think you’re going to enjoy.