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The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: No Mercy 2016



Before anything, no, we did not review Clash of Champions. Fuck RAW PPVs. (No, seriously, your humble reviewer was too busy that morning and in the next couple of days to even see the show in full, and, well, fuck RAW PPVs.)

I have to admit that I'm pretty right-wing when it comes to my pro wrestling. I want traditions to be observed, swerves to mean something, and deviations from the norm to make sense. I don't care who it's going up against, whether it's Sunday Night Football or a presidential debate—I want my main events to stay being main events.




A strong main event will speak for itself, no matter what the odds are. No Mercy could have gone with either the WWE Championship match (which was hard to top) or the Intercontinental Championship match (which new champion Dolph Ziggler himself wished closed the show). Since SmackDown is a strong enough brand to reach deep into its pockets and give us two big fights in one night, if they were really going with a gimmick putting the world title match on first, the big emotional moment in Ziggler keeping his job should've been the other bookend to a solid evening.

Moving the card around to adjust to competitors is actually a smart move in hindsight—it's just that the tone-deafness that went into the decision of having Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton, a rather lukewarm feud by all standards, was jarring in the wake of the strong threads that were the main event, and in the wake of how tight and sensible SmackDown had become post-brand split.

And even though you might think it's such a small deal, these things matter. Think of a wrestling show as one book, with each chapter having its own self-contained story, its own contribution to the bigger picture. One big thing must happen to set the tone for the whole plot, and it must be bookended by a climax. If you change any of those things and end the book with a whimper, you'll have lost your reader and make them put it down with a sour taste.



We've now gotten used to the blue brand making the most wrestling logic out of an illogical main show that we can easily point out to this ridiculous technical main event being a classic McMahonism, forcing something where it shouldn't be. Yes, the reshuffling makes sense, but at the end of the night it bared how thin SmackDown really was—and how good their neo-Heymanesque booking in the second half of 2016 hid that. B

Photo from WWE

*****

Quick results

  • The team of American Alpha and the Hype Bros def. the team of the Ascension and the Vaudevillains in a kickoff eight-man tag match

  • AJ Styles (c) def. John Cena and Dean Ambrose in a triple threat match to retain the WWE World Championship

  • Nikki Bella def. Carmella

  • The team of Heath Slater and Rhyno (c) def. the Usos to retain the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships

  • Baron Corbin def. Jack Swagger

  • Dolph Ziggler def. the Miz (with Maryse) (c) to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship

  • Naomi def. Alexa Bliss

  • Bray Wyatt def. Randy Orton after interference from Luke Harper

*****

Romeo Moran (@roiswaris the Editor in Chief of Smark Henry and one of the three hosts of the Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. He gets by in this hard knock life through working in publishing. Smark Henry was his and Stan Sy's original vision of a watering hole for local wrestling fans. He roots for the undersized guys who hit hard, but really hates Davey Richards with his entire soul.

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