Wednesday, September 27, 2017

WWE No Mercy 2017

Full disclosure: I did not watch No Mercy live on the WWE Network... because Star Trek: Discovery just debuted and new Star Trek will always take top priority over a B-level WWE show. Saving my thoughts for another time, but I thought it was a good start. There were some bits I didn't care for, but there was enough for me to like that I'd be willing to give this show a follow and that's as far as I'll go.

In any event, I watched this over the span of two days; this packed B-show with two high-caliber matches that will end up be pretty disappointing no doubt... let's get on with it.

Intercontinental champion The Miz defeated Jason Jordan to retain the title. The match was okay, but I'm not feeling this Jason Jordan Angle angle thing. Guy's pretty good, at least from what I've seen of him when he was part of American Alpha over at Smackdown and NXT... but this Kurt's son thing is doing nothing for me. I think they wanted to have the idea that "We're not letting Kurt Angle wrestle, but we'll have his 'son' do the same." And it just doesn't work.

Finn Balor (just plain old Finn this time) defeated Bray Wyatt. Great, now everyone can move on with their lives now that this paint feud has been settled with once and for all. The match starts with Bray attacking Balor from behind and hitting his head on them announce tables and the attack is apparently bad enough that Balor's ribs hurt and has to be taken to the back. Nobody is buying this and rightfully so, because Bray challenges Balor and suddenly them ribs are fine because he goes back to the ring and theyz havez a match, yo. Anyway, the match was fine, nothing to complain about here, but hopefully, these guys will move on to something else.

Tag-team champions Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose defeated Sheamus and Cesaro to retain the titles. Say, I found a couple loose teeth on the floor outside my driveway. Wonder where they--- oh wait, they're probably Cesaro's after that nasty catapult; holy fuck, that was insane. Now poor Mick Foley is sad because he's no longer the only guy missing teeth in wrestling. I like the bit where Rollins tries to flip Cesaro and Cesaro just ends up powerbombing him into Ambrose; that's BRILLIANT... and only gets two. Hey, this was a fun, hard-hitting match; I actually liked this one more than I thought I would. Kudos to all guys and here's hoping Cesaro starts investing in mouth guards for the future; it worked for Kurt Angle, after all.

Alexa Bliss defeated Bayley, Emma, Sasha Banks, and Nia Jax in a Fatal-Five Way match to retain the title by pinning Bayley... the one coming back from injury... because we need to make this character that people actually liked and cared about look like a complete loser that nobody cares about. This is why nobody cares about the babyface heroes; because they keep getting buried and looking like losers and as is the case with human nature, no one wants to get behind a loser. There are EXTREMELY RARE cases of that being the exception, but Bayley is not one of them. It amazes me that WWE would be handed something that should near impossible to fuck up and they manage to pull it off in spades. Kudos.

Yeah, I'm sure the match is fine, but I don't care. The ending soured me.

And speaking of not caring...

Roman Reigns defeated John Cena in a match where both guys suck according to the crowd. Cena then raised Roman's hand, as if that means anything... but really, it's hard for me to buy into anything with Roman Reigns these days. The sad thing is that it's not the guy's fault because the match these two had was okay. It wasn't great, it wasn't all that dramatic, and it didn't keep me on the edge of my seat, but it was a fine match between two guys who know what they're doing. Say what you will about Roman's verbal attributes, but his ring stuff was adequate and probably at its best when put in a proper context where he could unleash his full potential.

However, there's a black hole of emotional investment in regards to Roman Reigns because I don't see him as some "big star" that I should get behind or even root against because he sucks, but rather he's a product. John Cena had that emotional investment when he started out, he got popular, he was given that main event push to the championship, and then people started hating him because he was the guy. And that was fun because that was a cocktail of organic emotion. You either cared for Cena and wanted to see him win or you wanted to see the other guy win because he deserved it more or something, but that was the emotional investment that drew you into the feud or the match.

Roman Reigns doesn't have that. Outside of his time with the Shield where he was at his best - when he was the man of few words that got shit done and garnered a positive reaction when he was up against Batista at the 2014 Rumble - there was never a point where I got truly excited over a Roman Reigns match... or even remotely cared. And once he started talking and spewing out stupid shit like "Sufforin' Sucotash" or "Tater Tots", this is where I'm like, "Okay. Whatever."

To put it in simpler terms, I don't like Roman Reigns as a character because I don't care. And to the morons who will read that and toss around words like "hater" and stupid shit like that, for me to "love" or "hate" someone, I have to care. Because those are reactions. I am not reacting to anything involving Roman. I simply don't care enough to react.

Enzo Amore defeated Cruiserweight champion Neville to win the title and give Don "Cyrus" Callis a brain aneurysm. Amore winning the Cruiserweight title... I guess somebody is happy... I honestly don't care.

Speaking of not caring...

Red Toy Belt champion Brock Lesnar defeated Braun Strowman to retain the title... and we're back to Shitsville with the Brock matches. Anyone who thought that Strowman actually had a chance to win this one were deluding themselves to such a degree that they'd think the sky was green. Lousy, lousy match that should've been a high point for Strowman even in defeat. I can't say I'm disappointed in the outcome; that would imply that I had high expectations to begin with. And with Bork Lazer, everything is paint by numbers.

No Mercy is an adequate show. On the undercard side of things, you have a few good matches, a really good tag title match, and a somewhat sour yet fine women's match. Then you hit the uppercard and the matches just deflate as far as excitement goes. One because there's no emotional reaction and the other because it's a Brock Lesnar match and he's fucking lazy. So... it's adequate but forgettable.

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