Up against a big NFL game and the second presidential debate, No Mercy was in a tough spot to deliver a quality show for those looking for an escape. WWE attempted to do so by staging its main event at the start of the show, booking a big title change and closing the pay-per-view with a surprise return.
The SmackDown-only event definitely featured some memorable moments but continued to prove that WWE's brand split has made this solo pay-per-views difficult to stack with quality matches.
Check out all the results from No Mercy below.
World Championship -- A.J. Styles (c) def. John Cena (via pinfall) and Dean Ambrose to retain the title: Trying to capitalize on a timeframe without competition from the NFL and second presidental debate, WWE actually opened No Mercy with the main event, which it claims is the first time in company history that's happened. That decision was certainly not an indictment on match quality, as the trio put forth a great effort -- even if the crowd in attendance was not ready for it. As is to be expected with triple threat matches, each wrestler had his moment to shine before finishers were traded at a frenetic pace.
Ambrose easily kicked out of an Attitude Adjustment -- imagine that happening five years ago -- leading Cena to lock in the STF, which Styles broke up before suplexing Cena right on the ring apron. Styles followed that up with an impressive springboard 450 splash onto Ambrose, who kicked out again. A Styles Clash hit on Ambrose did not result in a pinfall attempt, as Cena pulled Styles off to lock in the STF again; just as Styles was going to tap, Ambrose grabbed his hand to prevent the submission.
Reversing an AA into a Calf Crusher gave Styles a near submission on Cena before Ambrose broke that up and attempted the same move on Styles. With the submission locked in, Cena jumped on Styles' other leg and put him in the STF. Styles tapped out and the bell was rung, but no winner was named. Cena and Ambrose continued fighting and it appeared as if the match was continuing, though no announcement was made.
Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds on Cena, but Styles pulled the referee out of the ring during the his count. Cena hit an AA on Ambrose off the second rope and looked poised to win until Styles entered with a chair, hit Cena in the gut, slammed it on his back and earned the 1-2-3 due to no disqualification rules in a triple threat match. It was the third time in 2016 that Styles pinned Cena in a pay-per-view match.
Nikki Bella def. Carmella via pinfall: This match went as one would expect for the most part. Carmella, who has been booked as having the drop on Nikki for weeks, dominated nearly the entire match. Eventually, Nikki caught her with the Rack Attack 2.0 and picked up the win.
Tag Team Championship -- Heath Slater & Rhyno (c) def. The Usos via pinfall to retain their titles: It's rare that a tag team match is the highlight of the night these days, but Slater/Rhyno and The Usos certainly put on a show and made their case. The tide turned back and forth late in the match, but ultimately it was Rhyno who broke up a knee lock submission attempt with his signature Gore to allow his team to prevail and retain the titles.
Baron Corbin def. Jack Swagger via pinfall: It was a hard-fought battle between Corbin and Swagger in what looks like a rivalry that is bound to continue past No Mercy. Corbin eventually wound up victorious after he was able to rake Swagger's eyes while the referee was distracted and hit End of Days for the 1-2-3.
Intercontinental Championship / Retirement Match -- Dolph Ziggler def. The Miz (c) via pinfall to win the title: The best-built match of any entering No Mercy, a lot was on the line in this showdown, namely Miz's title and Ziggler's career. And these two certainly lived up to the billing by pulling out all the stops. Miz locked in the figure-four leg lock late in the match, though Ziggler eventually found the ropes. Once that happened, Maryse distracted the referee, allowing Miz to expose a turnbuckle cover. Miz was eventually able to throw Ziggler's head into the exposed turnbuckle and then hit a springboard powerbomb, but Ziggler kicked out at two. Ziggler then responded with a Zig-Zag, to which Miz barely kicked out before three. A Superkick attempt by Ziggler was reversed into a Skull Crushing Finale by Miz, which was thwarted. Miz then appeared to have the upper hand on Ziggler with a pinfall, though Ziggler's foot found the bottom rope to break the count.
While trying to grab Ziggler, Miz removed his boot and got stunned, giving Ziggler the opportunity to hit a barefooted Superkick. The Spirit Squad then ran out to distract the referee, and while Ziggler took care of them and was distracted, Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale, which Ziggler kicked out of to the crowd's delight. It was at that point that the referee through Maryse and the Spirit Squad out from ringside. With Miz distracted, Ziggler squared up and hit the Superkick to win the intercontinental title and stave off retirement.
Naomi def. Alexa Bliss via pinfall: A scheduled women's title match between Bliss, the contender, and champion Becky Lynch was pulled off the show due to what has been termed a non-physical medical issue. Lynch later tweeted a picture of herself in a hospital bed noting that she'll "do everything I can to get back ASAP and defend my title." Onto the match, one would have expected Bliss to get a clean win and strengthen her No. 1 contender status for the belt. Instead, Naomi won via roll-up pinfall, which could very well turn this upcoming title match into a triple threat.
Bray Wyatt def. Randy Orton via pinfall: Elevated into the main event position, Orton and Wyatt certainly delivered a memorable match from the final slot. An even match with big spots by both wrestlers wound up ending with a surprise return. Orton was poised to hit his signature RKO on Wyatt until suddenly the lights went out. When they came back on, Orton and Wyatt were joined in the ring by a returning Luke Harper, who stood toe-to-toe with Orton; this allowed Wyatt to get the jump on Orton, hit Sister Abigail and get the victory. Harper and Wyatt celebrated afterward, making it clear the team is back together.
No Mercy prediction record: 5-1