WWE returns to pay-per-view (PPV) -- if your cable provider is carrying the event, of course -- tomorrow night (Sun., Oct. 9, 2016) live from the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California with its No Mercy event starting at 7:00 p.m. ET with the Kickoff show leading right on into the main course at 8 p.m. ET on the WWE Network.
Set for the card: AJ Styles puts his WWE world championship on the line in a triple threat match opposite John Cena and Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler’s career is over if he doesn’t beat The Miz for the Intercontinental title, and so much more.
Luckily for you Cagesiders, our staff of learned wrestling blowhards is here to help figure out just how the event is going to play out with predictions for each match on the card.
Let's get to it.
WWE NO MERCY PREDICTIONS
AJ Styles vs. John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose
Geno Mrosko: Anyone else over triple threat matches? These three should deliver the goods, at least, but there’s no reason to expect a title change. In fact, Cena and Ambrose did an incredible job building to a match between them, title or not, so if rumors are true and they’re both leaving for a bit, here’s to hoping they go at it when they come back. Pick: Styles
Sean Rueter: This should be great, but there's not much suspense about the outcome. Dean and Cena get in each other's way a lot, planting more seeds for them to battle after they're both done in "Hollywood", while the guy who just wins everywhere he goes continues to do just that. Pick: AJ Styles
Kyle Decker: The AJ title reign isn't going to end this soon, especially with word that both John Cena and Dean Ambrose are going to take some time to work on some projects after this show. Even if they werent, there's no reason to take the strap of Styles yet. Pick: AJ Styles
Cain A. Knight: I'm willing to believe the rumors that Cena and Ambrose are both disappearing for a while after No Mercy is finished, so that means AJ Styles is the heavy favorite to win this match. Cena can never be ruled out for sure, but I think it makes more sense to give him the 16th championship in a one-on-one match rather than a triple threat. Pick: AJ Styles
ReverendKain: The Face That Runs the Place, the Champ That Runs the Camp, and now the There Are No Good Words That Rhyme With Rematch That Wins the Rematch. Pick: AJ Styles
Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss
Geno Mrosko: Bliss is incredible, a great talent who will be champion someday, but that day is not today. Pick: Lynch
Sean Rueter: Good job making the Pixie Hulk look like a threat on short notice, but I doubt Alexa is who they have in mind as the second woman to wear the new belt, and a quick change doesn't do much to establish the title. Pick: Becky Lynch
Kyle Decker: This feud has been great to open the eyes of fans who didn't get to see Alexa's work in NXT. However when it comes to future title programs, Becky matches up better with the possible opponents than Alexa does right now character wise. Pick: Becky Lynch
Cain A. Knight: This one has been booked by the numbers. Becky is the new champ who still needs to prove her worthiness to continue holding the mantle. Alexa is the rising upstart who has gotten the better of the champ at almost every turn, making her a legitimate threat to the championship. Then the champ wins at the PPV. It's happened many times before, and that's exactly what's happening here too. Pick: Becky Lynch
ReverendKain: The Queen of Hoss Style will be SmackDown women's champion sooner or later, but over Becky in her first defense? I don't think so. Pick: Becky Lynch
The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler
Geno Mrosko: WWE is really good about making stipulations without following through on them. I’m confident Ziggler will lose but won’t retire like they’re claiming. Still, the build to this has been fantastic and the match should have the emotion we long for in pro wrestling. Pick: Miz
Sean Rueter: No matter what lens I pick to look at this one through - fan boy, fantasy booker, long-time WWE observer - I see a Miz win. What's amazing is, I'm still not sure what's going to happen. For our purposes here today, the rumors of Dolph working behind-the-scenes and the fact Maryse's man is on fire and should be moving up the card, not losing feuds, lead me to... Pick: Miz
Kyle Decker: While the standard pick is to pick the man who has the retirement stip, I am going to go with Miz here. Dolph's been at his most interesting as a loser. Certainly, he'll find a way back, this is WWE after all, but it would be more entertaining to tell that story than the story of him overcoming tomorrow. Anyway, Miz's IC tour shouldn't come to an end just yet. He's been killing it. Pick: The Miz
Cain A. Knight: From the beginning it's felt like Dolph Ziggler was never the guy who Miz would drop the belt to. But then WWE added the stipulation that Dolph's career is at stake, and that's probably the best way to add some doubt regarding the outcome of this match. I don't really see why WWE would throw Ziggler off television for a while if he is healthy, so maybe he'll hold the title for a month before dropping it right back to Miz. But then again, WWE's stipulations are usually meaningless (see Survivor Series 2014 or any time John Cena was fired), so maybe Miz will win and then Ziggler will be back on TV in a few weeks. Yeah, that's probably it. Pick: The Miz
ReverendKain: I mean... Dolph can't win, can he? Whether it's legit retirement, a Charlie Brown From Outta Town angle, or even something REALLY cool like him being "fired" and making his way back up through the indies and into NXT for a triumphant return, the possibilities from him losing are endless, whereas if he wins, it's "just" a cool story and another IC title reign for Dolph. Pick: Miz
Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. The Usos
Geno Mrosko: It always felt like they were giving the tag team titles to Slater and Rhyno to pay off the Slater free agent storyline but the belief all along was the real money is in an Usos vs. American Alpha program. That requires putting the straps on a freshly turned Jimmy & Jey so Chad Gable & Jason Jordan can chase them. Pick: Usos
Sean Rueter: Slates & Rhyn's story kind of ended at Backlash and the Evil Uces vs. American Alpha is obviously what we're building to long-term. But something tells me the champs pull out a win here, maybe with Chad Gable & Jason Jordan returning the favor for the save from last Tuesday, just to delay the start of the money program for another couple months. Pick: Beauty & the Man-Beast
Kyle Decker: The Usos have been killing it as heels and there's no better way to add to that than by having them screw over the fan favorites Slater and Rhyno to take the title. American Alpha is going to get in that title feud soon than later and it will be against the dastardly Usos given the story thye've set up. Pick: The Usos
Cain A. Knight: I have never taken Slater and Rhyno seriously and was surprised that WWE didn't have the Usos win the tag team championship tournament. And I'll be even more surprised if the Usos fail to walk out of No Mercy as the champs. WWE threw a seemingly pointless Hype Bros match on SmackDown this week, so maybe the Usos will be pairing up with them after this PPV, until WWE is ready to pull the trigger on American Alpha. Pick: The Usos
ReverendKain: Okay, so the Usos didn't win on their first try, but they've been cutting a swathe across the tag division leg-first, and Rhyno's coming up on the time of year he's gonna get distracted by his hypothetical constituents. Sorry Heath, at least you got your pool, brother. Pick: The Usos
Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt
Geno Mrosko: I like the story they’re trying to tell here, that Orton is actually just as nuts as Wyatt but his insanity manifests in a different way. They teased that he finally understood on some level how dangerous Bray can be with that disappearing act on SmackDown this past week but this needs more time. I’ll say Wyatt wins to set up a rematch. Pick: Wyatt
Sean Rueter: Can I hope Pentagon Dark shows up and breaks both their arms? I should be having more fun with this program than I am, and that's because it's still a feud I don't think should be happening right now, as both guys need a win. After a rousing game of eeny, meeny, miny, moe between "predator" and "prey", I'll... Pick: Bray Wyatt
Kyle Decker: Even though SmackDown has been doing really well, this is still Bray Wyatt and WWE. He's going to lose. Pick: Randy Orton
Cain A. Knight: Bray Wyatt has been doing the same thing for years. At this point it just doesn't matter whether he wins or loses because nothing he does ever has meaningful consequences. Randy Orton is likely heading into a lengthy feud with AJ Styles over the WWE championship soon, and so The Viper will probably pick up the win here. Pick: Randy Orton
ReverendKain: I knew Brock opened Orton's third eye up at SummerSlam, but I wasn't expecting it to give him Bray's power over video. The Viper's been around the block enough times that Wyatt's gonna have to do more than pray to Sister Abigail to win this one. Pick: Randy Orton
Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
Geno Mrosko: They’ve spent weeks having Carmella beat up Nikki Bella. Do it again. Pick: Carmella
Sean Rueter: Other than hoping Carm continues to #BeatUpNikkiBella forever, I don't really care. Probably time for the self-proclaimed Wonder Woman to get some measure of revenge, though. Pick: Nikki
Kyle Decker: Much like the Alexa/Becky feud, this has been a great way to introduce Carmella to the main roster. However, I see a big Nikki/Becky feud in the future (and already getting pumped for it) so the former Diva's champion will need to win here to get there. Pick: Nikki Bella
Cain A. Knight: Carmella has beaten Nikki up several times already, so I think it's Nikki's turn to get her win back. She can always give Carmella the bigger win down the line in a higher profile match than this one, assuming WWE's goal really is to establish Carmella as a true force in the women's division. Pick: Nikki Bella
ReverendKain: It's a bummer we're not getting the no-DQ match, but alas, wait and escalate is good wrestling sense. But since it's on the table, we gotta get there, sooner or later, so with the caveat that I expect it to come to a DQ... Pick: Nikki Bella
Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin
Geno Mrosko: It’s 2016 and Swagger is still wearing chain wallets. Pick: Corbin
Sean Rueter: If this is anything other than a "prop up a guy who never should have been a World champ to make an interesting new guy look good", I'll complain about it on the internet. Pick: Baron Corbin
Kyle Decker: I'm surprised to say this is actually a match up I'm cool with. I enjoyed their first outing more than I expected. It's too big hosses going at it. Swagger won the first due to the ref mistakingly calling a submission so I say Corbin wins here by other weird happenings to force a third match. Pick: Baron Corbin
Cain A. Knight: This match is a great example of why I don't enjoy hoss fights just for the sake of being hoss fights. I need wrestlers that I care about to be in the match, and neither of these guys fit the bill. Swagger has consistently bored me for nearly a decade and I just don't see what the point is of pushing him yet again. Just give up, WWE. It never works. Pick: Baron Corbin
ReverendKain: God help the former Rudy Charles if he misinterprets a tap again, eh? Either way, goin' with my man Jack Swagger. He did it once, he can do it again. Pick: Jack Swagger
That’s what we think is going to happen.
How about you?