WWE No Mercy has come and gone with a really great night of pro wrestling, but that means it is time to ask the question: who comes out as the biggest winners on the night, and who are the biggest losers?
No matter how you feel about Reigns or John Cena, this is a huge win for The Big Dog and another big name to add to his already impressive legacy.
Early in the match it felt like no-one quite knew who to cheer for, but the crowd quickly warmed up as things progressed. The roof nearly blew off the Staples Center when Reigns kicked out of the double Attitude Adjustment and the crowd was eating out of Cena and Reigns’ palms when the final fall came.
It is tempting to see the post-match handshake and arm raise by Cena as just another example of the WWE manufacturing Reigns a career built solely for a highlight package, but the moment was at least consistent with the way Cena has conducted himself for the majority of his time in the WWE: bringing fire in the build-up, going hard in the ring and ultimately giving respect where it is earnt afterwards.
From the post-match comments on RawTalk it doesn’t seem Reigns has ended Cena’s career outright, but with this win he has undoubtedly and unequivocally assumed the position at the top of the company.
The self-proclaimed goddess of the Raw women’s division managed to outsmart the rest of her combatants to retain the Raw Women’s title. Despite being overmatched in many ways and being beaten from pillar to post at times she picked the perfect time to inject herself at the end of the match and pick up the win.
All five women involved deserve credit for putting on what was arguably the match of the night. It not only gave all its combatants a moment to shine but also furthered a number of rivalries that can now grow out of the match.
Nia Jax deserves special mention for her destructive performance, even managing to hoist up both Bliss and Banks at the same time for a double Samoan drop, dropping a squat beforehand as if to hammer home the point that she is the real muscle of the division.
But ultimately Bliss was at the heart of the story and character of the match and will continue on with yet more momentum, a date with the unbeaten NXT phenomenon Asuka awaits.
The King is dead! The Cruiserweights have a new champion in Enzo Amore who is now the holder of his first ever piece of WWE gold.
Along with Neville, Amore told a terrific in-ring story. The former champ dominated for the majority of the time but underestimated Jersey’s finest, and his hubris costing him a chance to win.
Amore winning with a distraction and a low blow only adds some extra spice to this budding rivalry, which will hopefully draw some extra character and eyes to the cruiserweight division.
The Certified G walked out of Summer Slam and his feud with Big Cass a beaten man reportedly in the doghouse with management. He has now turned that around and won a WWE title while his former partner has been left sitting on the shelf.
Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins
The former Shield brothers survived a war of attrition, with Sheamus and Cesaro to rack up their second win and first Raw Tag Team title defence.
It was a bruising and bloody encounter that saw the MVP of the match Dean Ambrose take a hell of a beating to his shoulder and Cesaro left bloodied and toothless after a run-in with the ring post.
Even though the Ambrose and Rollins pairing hasn’t been as prominent as in the lead-up to their reunion at Summer Slam, they still got the crowd to their feet tonight and have really found some worthy rivals in The Bar.
Eventually Braun’s dominance was going to end and his feats of strength toppled but his white-hot popularity in the lead-up had many thinking the WWE were going to give him the ultimate win over Brock Lesnar.
However, not only did he lose, but he looked pretty average while doing it. Gone was the seemingly unstoppable amount of energy and gone was the ungodly physicality seen in the Reigns series.
Instead he badly messed up the kimura submission hold, ruining the suspense of the hold by grabbing the ropes multiple times before the ground struggle towards the ropes, and he looked positively lethargic towards the end of the match.
This is Braun’s first loss since his match with Reigns at Fastlane and also the first time he hasn’t impressed in the ring since he re-debuted on Raw last year. It isn’t the end of the road for The Monster Among Men, but it is certainly a big setback.
His next few months and how he rebounds could well decide where he sits for the rest of his career: either the once-in-a-generation monster he looked like at Summer Slam or the big guy that makes a good challenger of the month like today.
Here is a guy who just cannot get a win to save himself, unable to gain victory even after injuring Balor before the bell and goading him into the fight anyway.
The match may have been trying to tell the story of how a man can make a God bleed, but instead it just showed once again that Wyatt is not a God to be feared but a hillbilly who is the only one that believes the nonsense he spills.
Wyatt is a great talent, but he is in desperate need of a character refresh or, if nothing else, some kind of consistency with how he is presented and booked in ring. Until then expect to see him as a regular on this side of the ledger.
Um… Apollo Crews
He lost on the pre-show, not that we expected much else. It was a seriously good show, guys, not a lot of losers in the room today.
But over to you Roarers/Lord of Pain: who do you think were the biggest winners and biggest losers at WWE No Mercy?