As announced by SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon on Sunday afternoon via Twitter, the Triple Threat Match main event at WWE No Mercy 2016 featuring AJ Styles vs. John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Championship was the first match that aired on the blue brand’s exclusive October PPV. Upon hearing this news, the WWE Universe immediately began to speculate as to why the WWE would open a show with its biggest match. As AJ Styles picked up the victory in a manner that wasn’t extremely controversial, that question remained unanswered.
The only real controversy from the match was the fact that AJ Styles tapped out and the timekeeper rang the bell. However, since both John Cena and Dean Ambrose had the champion in a submission hold at the time, no winner could be declared. The referee informed the timekeeper that the match would continue. While Styles did resort to bringing a steel chair in the ring to get the pinfall on Cena, the rules of a Triple Threat Match include a no disqualification clause, so using the chair didn’t violate any rules.
At the time of this writing, WWE No Mercy 2016 was still underway. It’s possible that Dean Ambrose and/or John Cena will lobby Shane McMahon and General Manager Daniel Bryan to have the match restarted once again since the champion technically tapped out. That seems to be an unlikely explanation, however, since virtually the same thing could be accomplished by having the match at the end of the card and simply bringing out either authority figure after the match ended.
It’s possible that WWE has something major planned for later in the show that they have managed to keep under wraps. Still, it seems unlikely that they would move the biggest match of the night to the beginning of the card. Even with a huge return from someone like Bill Goldberg or Brock Lesnar, which might end up being a bigger story than the main event, WWE wouldn’t bump a WWE World Championship Match to the opening of a major event.
As reported by the Post and Courier, when Monday Night Raw went up against the debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, WWE’s flagship show suffered record-low ratings. With the second debate coming fresh off the leaked conversation in which Donald Trump made some especially lewd comments about women, it’s entirely possible that the WWE anticipated record numbers of viewers tuning out about an hour into the PPV to check on the debate. If that’s the case, perhaps they thought it was best to air their main event at the top of the hour in which viewers were most likely to be watching.
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For further developments, follow the Inquisitr‘s live coverage of WWE No Mercy 2016.
Where To Watch
WWE No Mercy 2016 can be viewed on-demand exclusively on the WWE Network. The event, which originally began at 8:00 EST, began with the Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Championship featuring AJ Styles vs. John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose.
WWE SmackDown Live airs Tuesdays on the USA Network at 8/7c. Replays of WWE SmackDown aren’t made available on the WWE Network until several weeks after the original air date. However, a replay of SmackDown Live is available to stream on-demand Wednesdays with a Hulu subscription.
[Featured Image by WWE]