WWE No Mercy 2017: Results and observations from the show

No Mercy was promoted as a much bigger event than it was in years past.

On paper, No Mercy had one of the best cards WWE has provided all year, which made an event that is usually looked at as merely a “B” pay-per-view, seem like so much more.

Because of that, my personal expectations for what were going to see Sunday night were very high — maybe a little too high.

In my opinion, No Mercy fell short of my expectations, but that does not mean that it was a bad show. In fact, I still thought it was quite entertaining.

However, WWE put a lot into what is usually as just another pay-per-view on the calendar, mentioning that it had a “big-fight feel” or that it felt like WrestleMania had come early on multiple occasions.

On one end, WWE did its job as a promotion — it promoted its event. It did such a good job that I was personally very excited to see what it had in store Sunday night.

On the other hand, it worked against them, as I believe it made people like myself set too lofty of expectations.

Maybe I am alone in that, but that is just how I felt coming out Sunday night.

Here are the full match results from the Staples Center in Los Angeles:

- Kickoff match – Elias def. Apollo Crews

- WWE Intercontinental championship – The Miz def. Jason Jordan

- Finn Balor def. Bray Wyatt

- WWE Raw Tag Team championship – Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose def. Sheamus & Cesaro

- WWE Raw Women’s championship – Alexa Bliss def. Bayley, Nia Jax, Sasha Banks & Emma

- Roman Reigns def. John Cena

- WWE Cruiserweight championship – Enzo Amore def. Neville

- WWE Universal championship – Brock Lesnar def. Braun Strowman

Lesnar vs. Strowman was good, but not great

One of the matches I had very high expectations for was the Universal title match between Strowman and Lesnar.

WWE did a fantastic job of building anticipation for this match and for the most part, Lesnar and Strowman delivered in the ring.

However, it felt like there was something missing from this match that prevented it from being a match that I would actually go back and watch again.

That something was Strowman being the destructive force he is capable of being.

Surprisingly, the match was mostly confined to the ring, which I did not expect from these two behemoths.

I expected there to be at least some action outside of the, specifically with one of the announce tables, as Strowman had use three of them to decimate Lesnar at SummerSlam.

Instead of calling back to that, Lesnar and Strowman kept it to the ring and had a pretty good match. I enjoyed it. I just expected more.

I saw a lot of chatter on social media about the finish. In my eyes, it felt a little anti-climactic. The anti-climactic nature of the finish led to a lot of comparisons to Lesnar’s match against Samoa Joe at Great Balls of Fire in July.

Yeah, the finish may have felt similar, but I thought the match Joe and Lesnar was a cut above what we saw at No Mercy.

I know some fans were angry that it only took one F5 to defeat Strowman, which I could understand given that Strowman is a monster, but I also think we have been conditioned to believe that one finishing move isn’t enough to beat anyone. That shouldn’t be the case.

There is a reason why a finishing maneuver is a called a finisher, it signals the end of the match.

But we see far too often — even in another match on this card — where wrestlers are kicking out of finishers at multiples times during a match. We as fans almost expect it at this point.

If Lesnar is the beast we all know he is, one F5 should beat almost anybody. The same goes for Strowman’s running power slam or Cena’s attitude adjustment or Reigns’ spear or Ambrose’s dirty deeds or Bayley’s belly-to-belly suplex.

Cena passed the proverbial torch

I fully expected this match to hit a home run Sunday night and it came close, but not quite, in my opinion.

The ball may not have gone over the fence, but it definitely reached the warning track, which is still pretty darn good.

Baseball analogies aside, Cena and Reigns busted their butts to provide a very good match at No Mercy.

There were two big talking points coming out of this match. Firstly, Cena hit four attitude adjustments and was still unable to defeat Reigns. Cena even hit one from the middle rope. Later in the match, hit two in succession.

But as is usually the case, Reigns kicked out. I think it is time for Cena to find a new finish because it never finishes anyone anymore.

Fans groaned on social media about Reigns taking four attitude adjustments, but only needing one spear to pin Cena’s shoulders to the mat for a count of three.

However, Reigns actually hit two spears. Reigns speared Cena off one announcer table and through another. Granted, Reigns looked like he got the worst of that move by spiking his head into the ground, but it still counted as a spear.

The second talking point was everything that occurred after the match.

Despite throwing dirt in each other’s eyes for weeks, Reigns and Cena shared a respectful embrace after the match that culminated with Cena raising Reigns’ arm in the air, which was met by a chorus of boos from the Los Angeles fans.

It made sense for Cena to pass the proverbial torch, but it also felt kind of forced and it didn’t help that the fans didn’t buy into it.

Reigns eventually left the ring, leaving Cena alone with the fans. Cena was booed at first, but those jeers eventually turned into cheers, as Cena made it look like that No Mercy was going to be his last match for at least a little while.

I don’t think he is retiring or anything. If he were going to retire anytime soon, it wouldn’t happen at No Mercy.

Also, he left his armband in the ring after SummerSlam in 2016, only to wrestle for the WWE championship at last year’s No Mercy.

Cesaro earned his paycheck and then some

Arguably the best match on the show was Rollins and Ambrose fending off Cesaro and Sheamus to retain their Raw Tag Team titles, but that was not what everyone was talking about when this was all said and done.

What everyone was talking about was Cesaro’s two front teeth, as he lost them during the match.

At one point, Cesaro launched himself into one of the LED ring posts, which happens in a lot of matches in WWE these days. However, Cesaro must have launched himself a little too hard and came away with a pair of teeth missing.

The visual of Cesaro realizing he had just lost a pair of teeth was borderline surreal.

Despite losing a pair of teeth and blood pouring out of his mouth, Cesaro finished the match. Cesaro is truly incredible.

The same could be said for the matches between these two teams. The tag team title matches on both Raw and Smackdown Live have been fantastic lately.

Amore is the realest champion in the room

It wasn’t in the most honest way possible, but Amore won his very first WWE title after kicking Neville right in the groin while the referee’s back was turned and pinning his shoulders to the mat.

The realest guy in the room can now call himself the realest champion in the room.

Amore’s victory sparked quite a bit of outrage on social media, as fans and pundits were quick to proclaim the cruiserweight division, along with 205 Live, to be dead. Whatever happens from here on is coming from a zombie version of both.

I’m not going to that extreme by any means, but that is not to say I agreed with how the match ended. It simply wasn’t a great finish.

I’m not against Amore being champion because, quite frankly, he is the most interesting person in the cruiserweight division at the moment.

I don’t see how Amore becoming champion could kill a division that wasn’t really lively before he got there. If anything, Amore showing up on 205 Live got people talking about it again, which was WWE’s goal to begin with.

I know Amore is nowhere near the most physically gifted member of the cruiserweight division, but he is the most over, which means just as much if not more than being the most talented in the ring.

Sure, WWE could have someone more physically gifted in the ring challenge or even defeat Neville, but that wouldn’t stop people from leaving the building right after Smackdown Live is done every Tuesday night.

With that said, this is a great departure from what made the Cruiserweight Classic so much fun last summer.

We all should have seen this coming. I remember saying before the cruiserweights arrived on Raw that it was going to be interesting to see how WWE presented the cruiserweights on the main roster.

Either it was going to stick with the unique feel and presentation the Cruiserweight Classic provided, which was vastly different from what WWE does on a weekly basis.

Or it was going to make the cruiserweights feel like everything else on Raw, which would remove everything that was cool about the inaugural tournament. WWE chose the latter option and here we are today.

Amore didn’t create the problems the cruiserweight division has. Those problems existed long before he got there.

Bliss remains on the throne

I predicted Bliss to retain her title and she did just that at No Mercy.

Although Bliss won, the real star of the match was Jax, as she took a mean bump to the outside of the ring, only to return and wreck shop.

It was a star-making performance for Jax, who had that ability in her the entire time. It just took a while for her to find and develop it.

Far too often fans expect someone to be a finished, polished product the first day they show up on the main roster.

That is not always the case. Sometimes, it takes time for someone to develop into a star. Strowman is a prime example.

The potential was always there for Jax. At least I thought it was, which is why I wasn’t surprised by what she did at No Mercy.

Vaughn Johnson has a podcast with Nick Piccone called the Straight Shooters on WildfireRadio.com. Check it out here HERE.