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WWE No Mercy 2017: Match Card, Potential Spoilers, Predictions and More

WWE No Mercy 2017 will be WrestleMania come early. At least at the top of the pay-per-view card.

Braun Strowman will challenge Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship in a smashmouth match worthy of a huge stage. John Cena will tangle with Roman Reigns in a potential passing-of-the-torch moment that would be right at home at The Showcase of the Immortals.

Those bouts will be among the biggest and best WWE delivers in 2017.

And while the rest of the card will feel more like the B-show that No Mercy is, fans cheering inside Staples Center in Los Angeles are likely to see solid action and two title changes. Neville and The Miz aren’t safe bets heading into their respective championship clashes.

The Raw brand’s PPV will air on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on WWE Network and on PPV through select cable providers.

Who will come out on top in The City of Angels? What does backstage buzz tell us about what’s ahead? Read on for a full preview of the 13th edition of No Mercy.

         

Potential Spoilers

As awesome as it would be to see Strowman reign as champion, that may not be in the works. Dave Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that the original plan for No Mercy was for Lesnar to hold on to the universal title (h/t Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc)

Booking plans change all the time, but this is more reason to not hold one’s breath about The Monster Among Men winning on Sunday.

On the Raw after No Mercy, it looks like two big-name veterans won’t be in attendance. Meltzer noted on Figure Four Online: “Neither Brock Lesnar nor John Cena [is] being advertised for Raw this week even though both will be in Southern California the night before.”

That could mean nothing in terms of what happens on Sunday, but it will create some speculation.

Lesnar regularly fails to show up on Raw. The Cenation Leader’s potential absence could be a sign about how he’s booked at No Mercy. Could Cena be stepping out of the limelight for a stretch after falling to Reigns at the PPV? 

And Asuka is coming soon—just not yet. WWE has been hyping the former NXT women’s champ’s Raw debut, but it looks as if she won’t emerge until after No Mercy.

According to Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc), Asuka is expected to debut for Raw at some point in October.

        

Match Card

  • Elias vs. Apollo Crews (Pre-show)
  • Neville vs. Enzo Amore (Cruiserweight Championship)
  • The Miz vs. Jason Jordan (Intercontinental Championship)
  • Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt
  • Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose vs. Cesaro and Sheamus (Raw Tag Team Championships)
  • Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley vs. Emma vs. Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks (Raw Women’s Championship)
  • John Cena vs. Roman Reigns
  • Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman (Universal Championship)

Per WWE.com.

            

Predictions

  • Elias over Crews.
  • Amore over Neville. 
  • Jordan over The Miz. 
  • Balor over Wyatt.
  • Rollins and Ambrose over Cesaro and Sheamus.
  • Bliss retains.
  • Reigns over Cena.
  • Lesnar over Strowman.

          

Raw Tag Team Titles: Revisiting SummerSlam

In a SummerSlam rematch, Cesaro and Sheamus will look to reclaim the Raw tag titles from the men who dethroned them in August.

The first time around, the story centered on the former members of The Shield repairing their relationship and reforming their alliance. En route to winning the gold, Ambrose and Rollins pushed aside their past issues.

Sunday marks Cesaro and Sheamus’ obligatory shot at getting the titles back.

There hasn’t been much of a narrative beyond that. The European bruisers have simply butted heads with the champs several times over. There is a lot of intensity flowing through this feud, even if it feels a bit forced.

Last time they met on PPV, at SummerSlam, these teams clicked. There is a good chance they produce one of No Mercy’s best bouts in the sequel.

        

Fatal 5-Way: A Gauntlet Ahead for Bliss

The Raw Women’s Championship picture got crowded in a hurry.

Sasha Banks’ feud with The Goddess of WWE had her hovering around the gold. Alexa Bliss’ supposed protector, Nia Jax,  later made it clear she wanted the title for herself when she sent the champ crashing to the mat mid-celebration. Jax and Emma won a tag team bout to add themselves to the title match at No Mercy.

And after Bayley’s return from a shoulder injury on the most recent edition of Raw, she was added to the mix.

As Bliss tries to survive against all these opponents at once, a number of narratives are worth looking out for. Will Bayley rebound from looking so feeble in her feud with the champ earlier this year? Will this be where Jax asserts herself as the apex predator of the division? And will we see the emergence of Emma, or will she just be fodder for everyone else?

There’s enough to be intrigued by here, even if the contest is lacking a true spotlight on the personal issues between everyone involved.

        

Reigns vs. Cena: A Changing of the Guard?

One generation’s top dog may soon give way to his replacement.

Cena has ruled the WWE landscape for a decade. Reigns looks to be on the verge of doing the same thing. The Big Dog, though, has to go through Cena.

Their feud often broke the fourth wall, as the rivals slung insults at each other derived from the criticism fans have long hurled at both men. Things got heated and intense in no time at all.

Cena claimed Reigns isn’t ready to be the No. 1 guy. The Samoan badass retorted by saying he’s already pushing The Cenation Leader aside.

What is set to follow is a meeting of two top-flight big-match performers. This will be a larger-than-life, high-impact contest that will be remembered for a long time.

And should the result be Reigns triumphing over Cena, it promises to be a historic moment for the on-the-rise star.

              

Lesnar vs. Strowman: Beast vs. Monster

Hoss against hoss. Titan against titan. The Universal Championship match is going to be a certified slobberknocker.

Lesnar has finally crossed paths with an animal more fearsome than himself: Strowman.

They banged heads at SummerSlam in the Fatal 4-Way match also involving Reigns and Samoa Joe. That night, Strowman laid out Lesnar and crushed him under a table but was unable to take home the victory.

At No Mercy, he gets The Beast Incarnate one-on-one for the first time.

Leading up to the bout, WWE made a clear effort to showcase Strowman’s power. He has been the dominant force. Lesnar, somehow, is an underdog for the first time in his life.

Lesnar’s expected date with the WrestleMania main event as champ is going to assure him the win here, but count on WWE doing everything it can to leave Strowman looking like a star.

This Looks Good: The Rock, Kevin Hart, And Jack Black Star In New Trailer For “Jumanji” [Video]

Kevin Hart and the Rock are starring in yet another movie together. This one has some big shoes to fill. Will you be watching the new Jumanji??

YouTube/Getty

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Tigers will not renew contract of manager Brad Ausmus – ESPN


ESPN
Tigers will not renew contract of manager Brad Ausmus
ESPN
The Detroit Tigers will not renew Brad Ausmus' contract after the 2017 season, ending the manager's four-year tenure with the franchise. The Tigers entered Friday at 62-91 and will finish with their fewest wins in a season under Ausmus, who is 312-325 …
Six candidates to replace Brad Ausmus as Detroit Tigers managerSporting News
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Tiger Woods Not Hitting Full Golf Shots, No Timetable for Back Injury Return

Tiger Woods continues to make progress in his recovery from back surgery, but there’s no timetable for a return to competitive golf. 

In a post on his official website, Woods updated his status by noting he’s hitting shots and doing regular exercise activities:

“I’m starting to hit the ball a little further — 60-yard shots. I have not taken a full swing since my back fusion surgery last April, but continue to chip and putt every day. I’m working out six days a week, alternating between the treadmill, bike riding, swimming and lifting twice a day. My muscle tone is coming back, but I’m not in golf shape yet. That’s going to take time.”

Woods only played in three events between the PGA and European Tours during the 2016-17 season. He withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic on Feb. 3 prior to the second round with back spasms. 

In April, Woods announced on his website he underwent a procedure on his back “to alleviate ongoing pain in his back and leg.” He added that typical recovery time required six months before patients were back to full strength. 

With the six-month timeframe approaching in October, Woods noted Friday he has an upcoming exam with his doctor that will determine “what I can do moving forward.”

Woods has only appeared in 24 tournaments since 2014 due to various health problems, including four different operations on his back. The 41-year-old hasn’t won a tournament since the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Aug. 2013.