I both love and hate TLC. I love it for the action it brings. I hate it for the careers it shortens. However, with SmackDown on a bit of a roll when it comes to their big shows this was much watch TV, and while the carnage was at times tough to stomach, it was also damn entertaining.
The build up to No Mercy wasn’t exactly an easy one for WWE’s blue brand. The circus that is the American presidential debate saw them move the main event into the opening slot on the card while Becky Lynch’s injury meant a late change to the Woman’s Title match. For a show which is already quite thin on the ground, SmackDown was suddenly even shorter.
While Raw has had a pretty solid start to life in the post-brand split WWE, it has been SmackDown that has caught the eye. Even with their limited roster, they have slowly been putting together a weekly television show that is worth watching. However, even the most ardent of fans must have questioned how that tiny roster would manage when asked to carry a PPV by themselves.
NXT Takeover: Respect felt like a strange show going into it. It was lacking the hype of previous NXT shows. Despite on paper, looking like it could be fantastic. It featured two women main eventing an NXT Special for the first time and the conclusion of the Dusty Roads Classic. Throw in the debuting Asuka and this show should have felt huge. Thankfully what it lacked in hype, it more than made up for on the day.