No Mercy concluded with a lot of buzz and excitement. Even though the first half of the show was considerably superior to the second, the overall level of in-ring action was high and exceeded expectations.
From a spectacular bout for the Intercontinental Championship to the breathtaking Tag Team Championship match that saw Cesaro lose his front teeth in a brutal yet unsuccessful attempt at regaining the championships, every match delivered. The remaining matches also did not disappoint as everyone stepped up their game for this RAW exclusive PPV.
However, there has been a lot of controversy regarding the booking decisions of the final three matches of the night. Here is my take on why the decisions taken by WWE are correct.
Roman Reigns shows why he's The Big Dog
Even though the match was not as good as many expected, it was still a great effort put up by both men. Full of finishers, high spots and near falls, the match delivered in the 'big fight feel' criteria.
However, a lot of people were unhappy with Reigns defeating Cena in their first encounter and that too at a PPV which isn’t one of the big four PPVs. Many felt that even if Reigns were to receive this push by defeating Cena, WWE should have waited and given it more buildup, and finally culminated it at a bigger event like Royal Rumble or Wrestlemania.
In my opinion, the fans should be happy that the WWE is spreading out quality matches instead of having them clustered at a select set of events. In recent weeks, Cena has dominated Reigns in promos and upstaged him repeatedly.
Getting defeated by Cena would have severely hampered Reigns' credibility if he failed to save face with a victory at No Mercy. Without Cena around, Roman is likely to be the face of the company and he just could not afford a loss to Cena at this point.
Furthermore, there are plans of "The Big Dog" squaring off against Lesnar at Wrestlemania for the Universal Championship, so this match was is in essence a “passing of the torch” moment by the "Leader of the Cenation" to "The Big Dog" of the WWE.
Enzo Amore is the new King of the Cruiserweight Division
Many fans are not pleased about Enzo picking up the victory over Neville and becoming the new Cruiserweight Champion at No Mercy. This is justifiable to some extent, as Enzo is not only far away from “the Neville level”, but he isn’t on the level of any other member of the cruiserweight roster either, lacking both in athletic ability and experience.
However, he is certainly head and shoulders above all the men in the charisma department. Enzo is clearly the most popular superstar on 205 Live, and quite possibly the main roster as well. His antics and “gift of the gab” have attracted a large number of followers, making him a fan favourite.
Even though the 205 division comprised of great performers and phenomenal athletes, it has not garnered mainstream success. The main reason for this could be that most of the roster comprises of well-accomplished athletes from the independent circuit, who cater to a niche audience rather than having mass appeal.
Enzo will help bridge this gap between the audience and the performers by bringing the entire division into the spotlight. Just a few months ago, the cruiserweights were relegated to 'blink and you'll miss' five-minute matches on Raw, which were failing to generate interest from the live audience. Even the storied rivalry between Neville and Aries could not generate much interest for the division.
Enzo, however, has generated enough buzz around the division that the roster of 205 Live got the main event segment on Raw last night, something that was almost unfathomable a few months back.
Building the division around Enzo as the Cruiserweight Champion for the immediate future is a good idea, as more and more people will tune into 205 Live to watch Enzo. It could benefit the other Superstars as well, as they will get a wider audience to showcase their talents, thus elevating the division as a whole.
Brock Lesnar retains once again
WWE hit the bullseye with the way they built up this match going into No Mercy. Finally, Brock was presented with a threat that rivalled him in strength and brutality. Having suffered beating after beating at the hands of Strowman, "The Beast" was entering the match as the underdog. The match was a hard-hitting albeit short slobber knocker, that had both men trying to dominate the other, with Lesnar finally managing to pick up the win.
Some members of the WWE Universe are not happy with the decision of Strowman taking a loss at the hands of Lesnar. The feeling is that this loss will hurt the months of monstrous push Stowman received and might make him look weak hereafter.
Another issue irking the fans is that Lesnar being a part-time performer, should have dropped the title to Strowman, who has a full-time contract and will be present on every episode of RAW, unlike Brock.
It is clear by now that WWE is going forward with the initial plan of having Reigns face off against Lesnar for the Universal title at Wrestlemania 34. For "The Big Dog" to capitalise on a victory at Wrestlemania, Lesnar has to be presented as undefeatable, so having a title change at No Mercy would not fit into the larger scheme of things.
Braun has been booked perfectly till now as the remorseless monster who can run through anyone. Being defeated on his first outing as a number one contender, that too against another bona fide beast and a WWE legend, does not hinder Braun’s credibility, especially since he dominated a major part of the match, showing he can go head to head with one of the strongest competitors in the WWE.
It can also be argued that Braun does not need the rub by defeating Lesnar at this point in his career, as he is in any case, incredibly over with the crowd and riding high on momentum.