SmackDown Live will hold its second brand-exclusive pay-per-view of the New Era with the reincarnation of “No Mercy” Sunday. This will be the first event in the series since 2008.
All four SmackDown championships will be on the line including the WWE World Championship. AJ Styles will face Dean Ambrose and John Cena in No Mercy’s main event.
Here’s a look at the entire card and predictions for each match.
Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin
Jack Swagger has new life as a member of the SmackDown roster. Swagger immediately jumped into a feud with rising talent Baron Corbin upon his arrival and will face the “Lone Wolf” in No Mercy’s preshow.
Prediction: Baron Corbin
Corbin is still in need of all the momentum he can get. It’s far less likely that Swagger will receive yet another push instead of the “Lone Wolf.” Expect Corbin to earn the victory.
Curt Hawkins vs. TBD
Curt Hawkins will finally make his in-ring return after weeks of vignettes featuring reworded Chuck Norris jokes. The only thing is, we have no idea who his opponent will be.
Prediction: Curt Hawkins
It’d actually be hilarious if Hawkins lost to a mystery opponent after all those vignettes. But surely he wouldn’t leave his steady indie gigs just to be a comedy jobber.
Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
Carmella turned heel by attacking Nikki Bella during her first official SmackDown appearance since returning from neck surgery. The self-proclaimed “Princess of Staten Island” has consistently had the upper hand on the Fearless Bella, including several wins in and eliminations in multi-person matches.
Prediction:: Nikki Bella
It just seems like Nikki has completely been on the short end of this angle. I get having her put over new talent, but I don’t see her outright losing the feud. She’s helped boost the division, but eventually Nikki will return to her spot as one of the top female competitors on SmackDown.
Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt
Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt have been feuding since the first post-SummerSlam episode of SmackDown. Sunday will mark the first time the two have engaged in a one-on-one match during the angle, which has mainly included backstage attacks and run-ins.
Prediction: Randy Orton
At this point can you ever have optimism in how Wyatt will be booked? Orton has never been booked as unfavorably as the Brock Lesnar squash match at SummerSlam. I see the former multi-time world champion defeating the “Eater of Worlds.”
Intercontinental Championship: The Miz (c) (w/Maryse) vs. Dolph Ziggler
The Miz and Dolph Ziggler continued their Intercontinental Championship feud after their Backlash match. Miz continued to gloat about his championship reign while Ziggler put his career on the line for one more match. Will the “Show Off” end the self-proclaimed “A-lister’s” reign as IC Champion or is his time in WWE coming to an end?
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler
There have been several rumors suggesting that Ziggler is on his way out after his match, which leads many to believe he’s losing. However, I think it’s a swerve and the “Show Off” will extend his time with the company. I’m taking Ziggler in Sunday’s match.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship: Heath Slater and Rhyno (c) vs. The Usos
It took a heel turn to make The Usos suddenly interesting. Jimmy and Jey took out American Alpha’s Chad Gable, which forced the former NXT Champions to miss their tag team tournament final match. The Usos somehow earned their way back into the match before being defeated by Heath Slater and Rhyno. The two teams have continued to feud even after Slater and Rhyno’s title victory.
Prediction: The Usos
Perhaps kayfabe-injuring Gable was a way to put Slater and Rhyno over while still booking American Alpha strong. Eventually, Gable and Jordan will be the brand’s top babyface team. My guess is it’ll be sooner than later, which means The Usos should get a transitional reign as champions until American Alpha wins the titles.
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Alexa Bliss
Becky Lynch has been SmackDown’s Women’s Champion for almost a full month. But Alexa Bliss has emerged as the top contender to the “Lass Kicker’s” title. The two NXT alums have built an entertaining feud so far, which has made Bliss look like a legitimate threat to Lynch’s reign as champion.
Prediction: Becky Lynch
I don’t see Lynch dropping the title just yet. She needs to establish the belt and herself as its champion. Expect plenty of straight fire on Sunday as the Lass Kicker retains the belt.
WWE World Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Dean Ambrose vs. John Cena
AJ Styles is now the face of SmackDown Live. Styles defeated Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Championship at Backlash and John Cena clean in a one-on-one match at SummerSlam. However, both Ambrose and Cena have worked their way back into the title picture and will battle Styles in a triple-threat match on Sunday. Ambrose has never lost clean to Styles in a singles match. Cena is looking to tie Ric Flair’s record 16 world championships with another title win.
Prediction: AJ Styles
Styles deserves to have a lengthy reign as champion. It doesn’t seem likely that he’ll lose, especially with the way this feud has played out. For the most part, it’s revolved around the rift between Cena and Ambrose, more so than Styles’ championship. That bodes well for the champion, however, who will likely prey upon one of the two after a hard-fought battle. Cena and Ambrose seem like they will extend their feud at least another month while Styles should retain and turn his focus elsewhere.