No Mercy 2016 Predictions – It’s All About AJ


Smackdown Live’s second Network Event, No Mercy, takes place tonight…holy moly is anyone else burned out by the constant barrage of these events? As a huge wrestling nerd, I am not, but for the average fan you might be.

Well luckily, after RAW’s Hell in a Cell event we’re going to get a bit reprieve as November is the combined Survivor Series event, and January is the Royal Rumble.

But for me, I’m amped for this show…well I’m only amped for one match — AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose vs. John Cena. Why? Because the true “Face that Runs the Place” AJ Styles is in this match, and he’ll bring the best out of both of these wrestlers.

Honestly, the rest of the card is a blur to me as I barely know what’s happening. Luckily, that’s why this prediction column is here…

Curt Hawkins Makes His Re-Debut: Fact – I like Curt Hawkins a lot. Fact – his new “fact” gimmick is pretty awesome.  I really love the fact he’s getting a spotlight on this Network Event. No real prediction here, just stating some facts. If he does wrestle, he’ll go over.

Hoss Match: Baron Corbin vs. Jack Swagger: A match I give absolutely zero F’s about. Both wrestlers have talent, and would probably be better served tagging together with a competent manager (Hello, Paul Ellering). However, the idea of watching them wrestle is about as appealing as cleaning my basement. Prediction: Could go either way, but I think Baron Corbin scores the win.

Nikki Bella vs. Carmella: This feud has been way better than it ever should’ve been. While I don’t think Carmella is on Nikki’s level yet, I think she makes up with it with charisma. Nikki’s really going to have carry the less experience “Princess of Staten Island” who I think by hook or by crook should win the match. She needs to get the duke here and would be a nice heel challenger for Becky Lynch for Survivor Series. However, it’s Nikki Bella who is in the “Lol Cena Wins” or as I say, “Bellas Never Lose” category. Winner: Nikki Bella in dominant fashion. 

Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt: This feud cannot end here. I think there’s a really good, physical, and intense rivalry that could be built up here, and now that Orton is cleared to wrestle we could at least see this run till the end of the year. WWE has to resist their impulse to bury Wyatt and make the constantly pushed RKO look stronger than he is. Bray’s gotta win this one. Winner: Bray Wyatt.

WWE Tag Team champions Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. The Usos: Slater and Rhyno had a really nice, emotional win at Backlash, but I think, and I can’t believe I’m saying this — let’s give The Usos the straps. They’ve evolved so masterfully as heels that winning the belts makes sense. They can rumble with Slater and Rhyno for a few more weeks, and then they can build to American Alpha vs. The Usos, culminating at Wrestlemania. Winners: The Usos.

WWE Smackdown Women’s champion Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss: Becky should walk out of this pretty decently competitive match. I think the match will see Alexa get the apprehend 1/4 of the way through the match, Becky fires up and wins. Winner: Becky Lynch.

WWE Intercontinental champion The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler: Ziggler Must Retire if he loses: So this may be the most intriguing match on the card. There are so many rumors that Ziggler is going to be done with WWE after this match. There’s rumors that WWE is pushing him, due to his age (36), to transition into becoming an agent. It’s no secret the WWE has not used Ziggler properly – whether it’s intentional, unintentional, or he brought upon himself – and honestly getting away from WWE may be the best thing for him. Could all these rumors be a complete and utter smoke show? Of course it could. Ziegler could go over here, but I’m going to be a contrarian here. Winner: The Miz.

WWE World champion AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose vs. John Cena: What do John Cena and Dean Ambrose have in common? The last awesome match they had was with AJ Styles. AJ has been, pun intended, phenomenal as a heel and the Smackdown champ. Could WWE panic and put the strap back on Cena? Sure. Do I think they will, I honestly don’t. Cena would be better served working with guys who really need to get over as heels. I’m not sure who on Smackdown will eventually supplant AJ as champion, but I just can’t see it happening at No Mercy. Winner: AJ Styles.

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites