No Mercy

Match Results

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Staples Center
Los Angeles, CA

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Elias def. Apollo Crews

LOS ANGELES — Apollo Crews did not “walk with Elias” at WWE No Mercy Kickoff; Elias walked all over Apollo Crews.

In what may go down as one of Elias’ more pristine performances, Raw’s resident guitarist formed a perfect counter-attack to Crews’ crisp, textbook offense and showed up Titus Worldwide’s five-tool player by slowing him down. Specifically, Elias muscled Crews down to the mat, nullifying his foe’s speed and attempting to stop him from going into his near-bottomless well.

Of course, Crews would not be so easily stifled. The dynamic Superstar countered Elias’ strategy with an array of arm drags, armbars and dropkicks that could have come out of a textbook. If it seemed like Crews was taking his win for granted, however — he gleefully chanted “World-WIIIIDE” with his benefactor Titus O’Neil at ringside — that’s because he most likely was.

As Crews slowly revved his way up to his more astounding, risky maneuvers, Elias snatched the advantage back in quick, brutal fashion by swiping Crews’ legs out from under him on the outset of a springboard. To his credit, Crews stuck to his gameplan, roaring back to hit a standing moonsault and an enzuigiri that sent Elias tumbling from the ring. But when Crews inevitably attempted to go big, he whiffed on the opportunity, overshooting Elias on a top-rope maneuver.

The response was swift and decisive: A full-body drive from Elias that sent Crews face-first into the opposite turnbuckle, a match-ending Drift Away and a few extra cheap shots on Crews before O’Neil came to his defense. As talented as Crews is, and as impressive as his performance was, the rest of the locker room would be wise to note that it only takes one miscue for Elias to change the tune.