clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WWE SmackDown Live preview (Oct. 11, 2016): Interminable excursion

SmackDown has a long time to go before their next pay-per-view (PPV) - which is actually the co-branded Survivor Series. We’ll start finding out how they plan to kill those six weeks tonight in San Jose.

The Headliner(s)

Whether or not it deserved to main event (or whatever WWE is calling the match which goes on last these days) can be debated, but No Mercy delivered a couple surprises to close the show. For one thing, Bray Wyatt won against a future Hall of Famer! For another, Luke Harper returned from injury - and not on the brand rumors to which rumors had him slotted.

Of course, the latter played in to the former, as the Eater of Worlds pinfall victory over Randy Orton required the lights going out and Harper appearing to distract the Viper from an RKO. We knew Orton would be gunning for revenge ASAP, but we didn’t think it would start by teaming with the Demon.

Kane’s been a part of this feud since Backlash, when he defeated Bray with an assist from a still-injured Orton. And really, his history with Wyatt goes back years, to a still unexplained kidnapping after Kane lost at SummerSlam ‘13 in Bray’s PPV debut.

This probably still won’t pay off that. Or end this program, considering they have time to kill before Survivor Series. But it will be good to see Harper back in action.

The Title Scene

His methods leave lots of room for his rivals to complain, but AJ Styles is still the WWE World champion. Question is, will Dean Ambrose & John Cena air their grievances about the Phenomenal One retaining despite tapping out to General Daniel Bryan, or will they get distracted yelling at each other?

If we can call the match that opened No Mercy a main event, can we call the one that went on third from the end a co-main? Dolph Ziggler’s emotional, career-saving Intercontinental title victory over Miz deserves whatever accolades we can get ascribed to it. Now let’s go ahead and start a new never-ending world tour for the Moneymaker tonight, okay?

Speaking of dreamers, Heath Slater & Rhyno kept the party going at above ground pools all over West Virginia when they retained the Tag Team championship. Given their mean streak, the Usos probably won’t leave things at that, but they may have other business to attend to, especially after American Alpha looked ready, willing and Gable on the pre-show.

Whille we anxiously await word on Women’s titleholder Becky Lynch’s health, attention turns to the #1 contender scene. Naomi beat the wrestler who currently holds that distinction, Alexa Bliss. And with Carmella in her rear view, it’s hard to deny that Wonder Woman herself, Nikki Bella, entry into the title picture.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- If Curt Hawkins were here, he’d probably like to announce that tonight we’ll see the first match for... CURT HAWKINS.

- The Ascension and Hype Bros don’t seem to like each other. Might be worth keeping an eye on that. Or not.

- Having failed to beat Baron Corbin twice (because even when he won, it was a phanton tap), it might be time for the Jack Swagger reclamation project to find something else to do.

It’s the Fallout show for No Mercy!

What will you be looking for on SmackDown Live tonight?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats