Following the controversial close to Backlash, which saw AJ Styles defeat Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Championship by sneaking in a low-blow, the new titleholder opened SmackDown LIVE with nothing but celebration on his mind … but then John Cena shockingly returned, claiming he only had one goal in mind — becoming a 16-time World Champion. Meanwhile, Dean Ambrose stormed out wanting retribution on Styles, but was also quickly met with a tongue lashing from Cena himself.
SmackDown LIVE Commissioner Shane McMahon soon completely halted “the champ that runs the camp’s” victory lap and called time on Ambrose and Cena’s personal war of words, stating that thanks to The Phenomenal One’s actions at Backlash, he would now defend his newly-won crown at SmackDown LIVE’s next exclusive event, No Mercy, against both Dean Ambrose and the returning John Cena!
Shane then also informed all three competitors that, in addition to the No Mercy main event, SmackDown LIVE’s main event would be Cena and Ambrose against Styles and a partner of his choosing!
The SmackDown LIVE Universe instantly said “Yes, please” to No Mercy.
While Intercontinental Champion The Miz came out to boast about his Backlash victory over Dolph Ziggler, The Showoff also had some thoughts on his mind.
Still upset that Miz’s wife Maryse cost him the match on Sunday by spraying an unidentified substance in his eyes, Ziggler did not hesitate to suggest that the A-Lister would never gain the WWE Universe’s respect.
While Ziggler proposed a rematch to fix the situation, Maryse chimed in to pronounce that her husband had fulfilled his contractual obligations and there would be no rematch … but Daniel Bryan had something to say about that.
The SmackDown LIVE General Manager suggested that because of the controversial ending to their last encounter, Ziggler indeed deserved a rematch. Miz shot that down immediately, citing his continued desire to renegotiate his contract and claimed he would not defend the Intercontinental Championship until that situation was resolved. The A-Lister then dropped the mic and that was it … for now.
Randy Orton came before the WWE Universe, still enraged over the blindside attack by Bray Wyatt at Backlash. Upset that the attack led to Orton forfeiting this past Sunday, The Viper wasted no time in challenging his adversary to a match right then on SmackDown LIVE.
Instead, Wyatt appeared on the TitanTron to continue his usual mind games. When Wyatt’s ominous “DAT!” rang throughout the arena and the lights flickered out and back on to have him suddenly appear behind Orton near the announcer’s table, it seemed as though The Eater of Worlds might accept The Viper’s challenge. But then he vanished as quickly as he appeared.
But then, when it seemed matters could get no more bizarre, the lights flashed out and on again and Wyatt’s loyal follower Erick Rowan suddenly appeared in the ring to attack Orton. Rowan’s blindside was not enough though, as Orton finished Wyatt’s sheep with an RKO.
AJ Styles struggled to find a partner for this main event match against John Cena and Dean Ambrose all evening until finally Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan appointed him one – local competitor James Ellsworth.
The WWE World Champion looked as though he would have preferred no partner to the slender-framed Ellsworth. However, the champion’s problem would not remain a problem for long, as The Miz soon came from behind Ellsworth and attacked him, screaming out that he was the “main event” and signaling to Styles that he would take his place in the match. The WWE World Champion and Intercontinental Champion would now team together to take on Cena and Ambrose.
These four mega-Superstars did not hold back, all busting out with their best to put the other side down. The action in the match’s final moments was furious with Ambrose taking out Styles with a Suicide Dive and Cena finishing off Miz with an Attitude Adjustment for the win.
There would be no mutual respect shown between partners, however, as Ambrose did not hesitate to strike with Dirty Deeds on Cena after their victory.
No Mercy cometh
In other action... The Usos def. The Hype Bros... Jack Swagger jumped ship and joined SmackDown LIVE... Alexa Bliss won a Fatal 5-Way Match to become the No. 1 contender to SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch... Heath Slater signed his SmackDown LIVE contract... and Heath Slater & Rhyno def. The Ascension in a SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match.