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WWE Smackdown LIVE review
October 11, 2016
From San Jose, Calif.
Live on USA Network
By Greg Parks, PWTorch Columnist (Twitter: @gregmparks)
– WWE Open.
– A video package chronicling the events of No Mercy opened the show. Interestingly, the focus was on Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz and the World Title Triple-Threat, with nary a mention of the actual main event.
– New Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler walked out. Ziggler paused after his music ended, and eventually, a “you deserve it” chant picked up steam. Ziggler said he put it all out there in the lead-up to No Mercy. Ziggler said he wasn’t sure if he’d be here tonight, and as proof, check the guide on the television. Hey, mine DOES say, “…and a look at Dolph Ziggler’s exit from WWE.” Ziggler said for the first time in a while, he doubted himself, thought he made a mistake by putting his career on the line this past Sunday. He said no matter what happened on Sunday, he was going to walk out of No Mercy as I.C. Champion. “And damn it, we did it!” he shouted. Next was The Miz’s music as he and Maryse came out.
The couple was dressed all in black, including sunglasses. Miz said they were mourning the death of the I.C. Title. He said he brought the prestige back to that title. Miz said Ziggler winning drags the title down into mediocrity. He said this is the part of the movie where he, as hero, has to beat the odds to come back. He said the hero always gets the gold and the girl, and he’s already got the girl. Ziggler said he was glad Miz was out, then cued up footage of his pinfall over Miz on Sunday, and focused in on the dejected look on Miz’s face post-match. He asked Miz if he was crying.
Miz wasn’t amused at the accusations. “You were crying” chant in the middle of a Miz lecture to Ziggler. Miz got hot under the collar and said those people know nothing about passion and sacrifice. He told Ziggler he’d do anything to get the title back. “I’m not done with you, and neither are they,” he said, drawing out Kenny and Mikey for yet another appearance of the Spirit Squad. They cheered that Ziggler would have to face them in a handicap match. Apparently, that match is next.
1 – DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. THE SPIRIT SQUAD – 2-ON-1 HANDICAP MATCH
Ziggler sent Mikey out of the ring early on, then clotheslined Kenny over the top rope. Mauro Ranallo was having a tough time differentiating between Daniel Bryan and Ziggler for some reason. They went to break at :43 of the match, showing the match continuing in a smaller box on screen as the national ads aired.
[Commercial Break – During the break, a distraction by the Miz allowed the heels to take over. Ziggler fought back and registered a near-fall, but the Squad then went back on offense.]
Back at 3:30 with Kenny working Ziggler in a rear chin-lock. Kenny caught a superkick and delivered a clothesline. Back to Mikey, who dropped an elbow on his foe. After a bit of a do-si-do, Ziggler locked in a sleeper. Blind tag to Kenny, stopping Ziggler from pinning Mikey. Double-team back-drop by the Spirit Squad was countered into a double DDT by Ziggler. Mikey brought Ziggler’s throat down across the top rope, and a jumping clothesline by Kenny garnered him a two-count. Superkick dropped Kenny, with Ranallo dropping an “Oh my God, he killed Kenny!” South Park reference there. It was good for the win.
WINNER: Ziggler, at 6:42. The Spirit Squad as Miz’s minions could be fun, but they could really use a gimmick change if they stick around. If they don’t, I have no problem with how, as nostalgia, they’ve been used.
Miz attacked Ziggler right after the match, dropping him with a Skull Crushing Finale. As the Squad readied to hit their finisher on Ziggler, the tag champions Rhyno and Heath Slater ran out to make the save.
– They showed a Tweet from Becky Lynch hyping her return soon.
– The Smackdown Women’s Championship will be on the line when Lynch returns to take on Alexa Bliss on November 8th in Scotland on Smackdown Live.
– Tonight, Randy Orton and Kane face Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper.
– Next, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan will make an announcement regarding Survivor Series.
– On WWE2K17 The Video Game (as opposed to what, the board game?), you can create a bunch of your own stuff. They showed moves from the Ziggler vs. Miz match on Sunday, then the same moves in a match between the two on the video game.
– Bryan and McMahon spoke to the camera backstage. McMahon proposed a five-on-five elimination tag match at Survivor Series, pitting the five best from Smackdown vs. the five best from Raw. Also, a match featuring the five best tag teams from Smackdown versus the five best from Raw. And the five best women from Smackdown against the five best from Raw. It was an official proposal to the heads of Raw.
– Carmella came to the ring. Earlier in the day, it was shown that after Renee Young interviewed Nikki Bella about Total Bellas, Carmella attacked Nikki and threatened her career. Referees finally pulled Carmella away before she could do any more trash talking, I guess. Naomi came to the ring to oppose Carmella. Carmella attacked before the bell. The referee created some separation so the match could begin, which it apparently will during the break.
2 – CARMELLA vs. NAOMI
Carmella had Naomi in a rest-hold out of break. Carmella pulled Naomi’s hair to bring her down for a two-count. Another rear chin-lock. Alexa Bliss was shown looking on backstage. Jaw-breaker by Naomi allowed her to recover. She came back with kicks and looked like she whiffed on a roundhouse kick. Carmella sold it anyway. Cross-body off the top by Naomi for two. Carmella turned the tide again and Nikki Bella powerwalked to the ring. Referees came down behind her to hold her back. But it was enough of a distraction for Naomi to roll Carmella up for the win.
WINNER: Naomi, 2:56 shown. Naomi can be carried, but isn’t good enough yet to carry someone like Carmella to a decent match. They’re trying to make Carmella this aggressive character, which doesn’t really fit her.
Nikki chased after Carmella after the match, grabbing her ankle before Carmella broke free and exited through the crowd.
– Alexa Bliss was interviewed backstage by Andrea DiMarco. Bliss said she could beat Naomi any day of the week. Daniel Bryan interrupted and offered Bliss an opportunity to prove that by booking her against Naomi next week on Smackdown Live.
– A victory speech from A.J. Styles will take place tonight.
– Hispanic Heritage month honored Eva Longoria.
3 – JIMMY USO vs. CHAD GABLE
No entrance for either man. Both teammates were at ringside for support. Gable went after the arm of Jimmy Uso. Arm-bar locked in by Gable. Uso superkicked Gable in the gut, then gave him a Samoan drop. Gable skinned the cat and headscissored Uso out of the ring. The Alpha delivered a clothesline off the second rope, and an exploder suplex. Jimmy rolled up Gable out of the corner, and with an assist from Jey, got the three-count.
WINNER: Jimmy, at 2:50. It seems like American Alpha have been booked in nothing but short matches since they’ve been called up to Smackdown. I don’t get it. I would think the best way to get them over would be to show off their tag team skills.
– Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley were backstage discussing the Smackdown tag division. Each man talked about what they did last night until they turned around…right into The Ascension. Neither man answered Rawley’s questions and instead just walked away. “They ain’t hyped,” said Rawley to Ryder.
– Orton and Kane face Wyatt and Harper tonight.
– Next, an A.J. Styles victory speech.
– A.J. Styles came out for his victory speech, two minutes shy of the top of the hour. They showed stills from the Triple-Threat match as he came to the ring. “The champ is here!” Styles announced at 9:00 EST on the dot. You have to appreciate WWE’s timing of the shows. The fans cheered a bit for Styles, so he called them losers. He said there’s only room for one on his bandwagon. He told the fans to cheer for John Cena or Dean Ambrose instead. Styles bragged about his win on Sunday. He said winners find a way to win. Styles said he’s not taking a day off, because he knows Smackdown is a land of opportunity, and that’s exactly what he’s going to give someone tonight. He asked for his opponent to be brought down. Dean Ambrose’s music played, but it’s not who he was expecting.
Ambrose strutted to the ring in his own unique way. Ambrose said he knows Styles wasn’t talking about him. He said A.J. likes the easy way out. Ambrose said he doesn’t want any of Ambrose. He said he’s not going anywhere because he’s not done with Styles, and nobody is jumping him in line. Styles said his opponent is not on the roster. He called the wrestler down again, and it was James Ellsworth. Ambrose was aghast. Styles talked about Daniel Bryan booking Ellsworth as A.J.’s tag partner a month ago, but Miz beat him up. So now he’s giving him a shot at the champion (in a non-title match of course). Ambrose said he kinda wants to see this. “Ellsworth 3:16 says if you’ve got two hands, you’ve got a fighting chance.” He was going to sit at ringside, but Styles didn’t want Ambrose to distract Ellsworth. He wanted Ambrose to leave. Daniel Bryan’s music then played, bringing out the GM.
Bryan, in his preppy look, said he makes the matches. And lucky for Styles, he’s a huge James Ellsworth fan. So the match will happen, now. But Ambrose will not be at ringside…because he’ll be the special guest referee. Ambrose literally took the shirt off the ref’s back and put it on. And if Styles puts his hands on Ambrose, he’ll be fined and/or suspended. Ambrose emptied his pockets, giving the items to Styles (including a flask) in readying for his job.
4 – A.J. STYLES vs. JAMES ELLSWORTH – DEAN AMBROSE AS SPECIAL REFEREE
Ambrose patted down Styles after the bell rang. He was very thorough. They went to break with Ambrose still in pat-down mode, :27 officially into the match.
[Commercial Break – The action was shown side-by-side with the commercials in this break, too. The wrestlers didn’t even touch until the 2:09 mark. Lots of comedy and Ambrose involvement. He even tried to teach Ellsworth an arm-drag. Ellsworth followed it up by executing it on Styles.]
Back at 3:48 with Styles working over Ellsworth in the corner. Ambrose kept separating Styles from Ellsworth. “Where did he go to wrestling school, Kinkos?” asked David Otunga. What does that even mean? Ambrose blocked a punch from Styles, arguing there’s no closed fist. “In WWE, they’re totally legal!” responded Styles. Ellsowrth hit Styles with a right hand…then begged off. He ran and Styles chased him, with Ambrose tripping Styles. Roll-up by Ellsworth for two. Clothesline, then suplex by Styles. Ellsworth backed Styles into the corner, but Styles rocked him with a Calf Crusher.
While checking on Ellsworth, Ambrose took a phone call and missed Ellsworth tapping. Styles tossed Ellsworth out of the ring. More arguing from Styles and Ambrose. Ellsworth was sent into the barricade. Scoop slam followed. Ambrose fast-counted Styles out of the ring. Ellsworth was again thrown out of the ring. This time, Ambrose rolled him back in. Ambrose hit on a plant at ringside who wanted an autograph and a selfie. Styles ripped the paper. Styles Clash but Ambrose stopped at a two-count. Then he gave Dirty Deeds to Styles. It took him a while, but Ambrose put Ellsworth on top of Styles. Only a two-count. Ambrose went to ringside and got a drink for someone’s souvenir cup, then hit another Dirty Deeds and fast-counted the pin.
WINNER: Ellsworth, at 10:25. As far as WWE comedy goes, that was pretty good, if long.
– Randy Orton was walking through what appeared to be the bowels of the arena, when he came upon Kane. Orton said Kane is the only other one in the building that knows what it’s like to go through hell. He said he’s tired of living in Wyatt’s world, so can Wyatt live in his? He said there’s no way out in his world and asked Kane to come along for the ride. Kane agreed, then told Orton he’s got issues.
– The announcers were shown at ringside, talking about the Royal Rumble returning to San Antonio. Then we got the Royal Rumble by the Numbers video package.
– They showed clips of the last match, with Styles hitting the Styles Clash (don’t tuck your head, Ellsworth!) and Ellsworth eventually getting the win.
– Styles angrily charged into the office of McMahon and Bryan. McMahon told Styles to be angry at himself; he’s the one who wanted the match. Styles officially lost to Ellsworth, McMahon reminded him. Styles said he’ll have to take things into his own hands. After Styles walked off, Bryan told McMahon he had an idea for next week that deals with Ellsworth.
– Tonight, Nikki Bella and James Ellsworth will be guests of Renee Young on Talking Smack.
– Next: Kane and Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper. I see we’re getting the Curt Hawkins match in its proper spot: The main event. Right…?
– Ranallo talked about WWE’s pink-out in partnering with the Susan G. Komen Foundation in the fight against breast cancer this month.
– Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper came to the ring. Harper said the world has put him to sleep, but now, he’s wide awake and he’s seen the light. Wyatt told Orton to bring on his monster, as he’s brought his. The match takes place next.
5 – BRAY WYATT & LUKE HARPER vs. KANE & RANDY ORTON
Kane took the fight to Wyatt early on. Wyatt broke free from Kane’s chokeslam attempt. He recovered from the early onslaught at ringside as they went to break at 1:08 of the match.
Back at 4:12 of the match. Harper was perched on the top rope and Orton brought him down with a superplex. Kane gently dropped Harper with a sidewalk slam. Kane grabbed both Wyatt and Harper by the throat, but couldn’t capitalize. Dropkick by Harper. Senton by Wyatt onto Kane for just a one-count. The heels focused their attack on neutralizing Kane. Orton finally tagged in and cleaned house. He sent Harper into the lap of the announcers after driving Wyatt’s head into the desk. Then it was Wyatt being sent into the steel stairs. Back in, draping DDT from Orton. Kane and Harper went at it at ringside. The ref was worried about getting Kane back to his corner, completely missing Harper entering the ring. He superkicked Orton but Wyatt missed a senton. As Kane was about to make the tag, the lights went out. When they went back on, Harper had replaced Kane on the apron. He extended his hand to Orton and laughed. Orton walked right into Sister Abigail and was pinned.
WINNERS: Wyatt and Harper, at 10:54.
Replays were shown of the end of the match. They went off the air with the announcers wondering where Kane went and Harper and Wyatt celebrating as only they do, on the ramp.
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Greg Parks has been covering WWE Smackdown for PWTorch.com since January of 2007. He is the host of “Moonlighting with Greg Parks,” a PWTorch VIP-exclusive audio show posted each weekend. Follow him on Twitter @gregmparks for live Tweeting during Raw, Impact, and PPVs, as well as other bits of wisdom. Comments, questions and feedback are welcome, and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.