WWE Smackdown Live’s No Mercy pay per view will have an unusual leadoff hitter. The triple-threat WWE Championship match will start the show.
The WWE Championship triple-threat match pitting champion A.J. Styles against rivals Dean Ambrose and John Cena will lead off Smackdown Live’s No Mercy pay per view Sunday night.
This is a fairly unprecedented move for the WWE. The WWE World Championship is the premiere title on its Smackdown Live show. The title match is usually reserved as the main event and the final match of the show.
With the star power in this match — the 15-time world champion John Cena, the former champion and fan favorite Dean Ambrose and the independent circuit legend and current champion A.J. Styles — it was a perfect match to finish off the show and get the build up throughout the show. The three have put in good work building up to the match with Cena’s quest to tie Ric Flair’s record as a world title holder and Ambrose seeking revenge for losing the title to Styles on a low blow at the last month’s Backlash.
Kicking off the show with this match is quite the firework to get things going.
Why would the WWE do this?
The show is slated to start at 8 p.m. on WWE Network and likely will end sometime around 11 p.m. That would coincide with the second Presidential debate. Considering the ratings the first debate got and the recent firestorm in the election news cycle, the second debate should figure to grab everyone’s attention from 9-10:30 p.m.
Getting the big match out of the way first, ensures there will be viewers for this potentially historic match.
No Mercy will feature several other intriguing matchups — including Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz in a career vs. title match for the Intercontinental Championship and The Usos taking on the tag-team champions Heath Slater and Rhyno. Becky Lynch is scheduled to defend the Smackdown Women’s Championship against Alexa Bliss. But there are rumors she is injured and may not be able to participate Sunday.
All those matchups will certainly lose some luster and attention on them though with the big match going out of the gates first and the debate stealing TV attention the rest of the evening.