Top WWE officials are in full-swing double-duty mode now as both RAW and SmackDown have brand-exclusive pay-per-views every month. Since the July 19 draft, we’ve watched Battleground and SummerSlam, both of which were dual-branded shows, until SmackDown presented the first show of its own, Backlash. RAW goes next with Clash of Champions, followed by the blue brand’s No Mercy.
The focus of this article lies in the booking of No Mercy, which already has two confirmed matches on the card. AJ Styles is set to defend his newly captured WWE World Championship against John Cena and Dean Ambrose in a triple threat match, and Becky Lynch puts her women’s title on the line against Alexa Bliss.
All four SmackDown titles will inevitably be on the line on October 9 at No Mercy, in what is shaping up to be rematches from this past Sunday’s Backlash. According to the Daily Wrestling News, The Miz will go up against Dolph Ziggler once again, while Heath Slater and Rhyno will almost certainly be defending their tag team titles against The Usos.
In the case of the Intercontinental Championship match between The Miz and Ziggler, we already reported earlier this week that the WWE was looking at making it a cage match at No Mercy to spice up a rivalry that has spanned years and has suddenly been elevated near the top of the card on Tuesday nights thanks to a lack of depth at the moment. The reason for adding the cage stipulation would be to keep Maryse out so that she wouldn’t be able to interfere like she did in their match at Backlash.
As of Wednesday, the cage gimmick had been both approved and scrapped, so the official word has not been confirmed, but they are definitely competing against one another.
In the tag team division, Slater and Rhyno became the first SmackDown Tag Team Champions, at the culmination of a tournament at Backlash. Earlier in the night, The Usos defeated the Hype Bros in a second chance challenge match, but fell short to the eventual champions, earning Heath Slater a contract after going un-drafted nearly two months ago.
Originally, The Usos were scheduled to face American Alpha in the finals of the tournament with Jimmy and Jey turning heel either during or before the match. The heel turn was still executed, but they did so in a manner that would earn Jordan and Gable sympathy heat for when they returned. Also, Slater and Rhyno kept getting over every week, resulting in a groundswell of support backstage.
Their title reign isn’t expected to last long, potentially concluding at No Mercy thanks to The Usos. The plan remains in place for American Alpha to feud with The Usos, so look for The Usos to win the titles at No Mercy and then Jordan and Gable to chase them throughout the remainder of 2016.
The rest of the No Mercy card has already started to take shape on Tuesday nights. As noted, all four championships will be on the line, with three other potential matches set to fill out the card. The most notable of which should feature Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt, which was originally slotted for Backlash. Orton couldn’t get cleared because of a concussion, so Kane filled in. If Orton is cleared for No Mercy, expect the feud to resume, but if he’s not, it’s unclear what Plan B will be this time around, considering the fans might not accept Kane as the replacement.
Nikki Bella and Carmella have had issues since Nikki’s return, so expect those two to face off in an encouraging sign that WWE officials are willing to book two women’s angles. And Baron Corbin has started to stir a little bit and could potentially face Apollo Crews or Jack Swagger at No Mercy. His original program with Kalisto was scrapped due to Kalisto’s back injury, pulling their original match from the SummerSlam kickoff show.
[Featured Image by WWE]