When it comes to winning the WWE World Heavyweight Title, there are no friends among thieves. Every competitor in the Triple Threat match at No Mercy – champion AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose and John Cena – all have one goal in mind, that being to walk out of the pay-per-view with the belt in hand.
Strangely enough, by inserting Cena into what should have been a rematch between Styles and Ambrose, the former WWE Champion and former Shield member looks to be the odd man out here. Styles has a firm grip on being Smackdown Live’s biggest heel. Cena, like in years past, is the lovable, hated superstar who is seeking history. Ambrose is the Jekyll and Hyde performer who may just snap when it’s all said and done.
All of this has the makings of a tremendous main event in the blue team’s second pay-per-view event. And in the end, this could make Ambrose a wanted or loved man once again with the fans.
I am not a big fan of these kinds of matches, as they lend to produce more saliva than substance. They fray the lines of competition and they get away from the idea of man-on-man for the title. The only time I like these kinds of gimmick matches is when it is warranted like The Shield’s final quest at Battleground. There is more than just Styles trying to remain the face that runs the place and Cena seeking history with a 16th title run.
This match has become one of necessity, with Cena returning to action after SummerSlam to seek revenge and to continue to reinvent himself. This is a match that helps the Styles legacy that is young and ever-growing. This is a match that takes Ambrose, who shocked many with the Dirty Deeds on Thursday night on the unsuspecting Cena, to another dimension in his career.
It’s not SummerSlam or WrestleMania, but its significance for the newly designed brand is just as valiant, if not more so.
Who wins? Who loses? And more important to that, who gets the rematch? Smackdown Live doesn’t have the onion layers to peel back over time like Raw and WWE itself. There is no real mid-card and there is no true main event roster. There are three men (add Bray Wyatt and maybe Randy Orton) and you have your pick of stars to wear gold.
That makes this match important. That is why these three men have to deliver. And maybe that is why fans gravitate to blue rather than red – because the underdog story is that much more inviting.
I assume (and hold my breath) that Cena wins this match, because his ego, his loss at SummerSlam and his quest for history dictate it. I also assume Styles wins to maintain momentum and to prove he is the heel the company needs him to be. I assume that now Styles is the “chosen one”, Ambrose is the ugly stepchild in the room, just for show.
With this match, you may get excellence, but you may also get turmoil and confusion, which is nothing new in this business. What fans want is the success for all three stars – which is understandable. This will be one of the rare occasions where a title win for Cena is not a bad thing being history is meant to be rewritten. But in the case of Ambrose, a win helps keep him on the main event ladder. A loss makes it a lot harder to book him as a believable front runner.
Whoever wins at No Mercy, there will be plenty of happy fans and plenty of disappointment. Most of all, there will plenty of questions left unanswered – which always happens when matches are booked and the outcome is not really thought about in terms of moving forward.
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