KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (11/14)
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WWE Smackdown LIVE review
November 8, 2016
From Glasgow, Scotland
Aired on USA Network
By Greg Parks, PWTorch Columnist (Twitter: @gregmparks)
– WWE Open.
– Smackdown Open.
– After fireworks inside the arena, the announcers plugged Becky Lynch defending her Smackdown Women’s Championship against Alexa Bliss. It’s the main event tonight.
– First out was A.J. Styles. As he walked down the aisle, Mauro Ranallo was shown joined by JBL, David Otunga, and Tom Phillips (awkwardly seated as the fourth wheel) at the announce desk. They showed James Ellsworth trying to get involved in the Styles vs. Dean Ambrose match from last week, with Ambrose getting the win. Three weeks from Sunday, Styles will take on Ambrose in a TLC Match for the WWE World Title.
Styles had the mic in the ring. He worked to ensure he’d get a heel reaction. Styles said Ambrose cheated against him last week. He called Ellsworth “an embarrassment to sports entertainment.” He also said the man looks like a foot. I believe there was a character like that on Rocko’s Modern Life. Styles said no one was flying Ellsworth to Scotland. He also made mention of a no-touching policy between him and Ambrose because of Survivor Series. He said he wants to beat Raw and that he’s the de facto captain of Smackdown. Styles said he’d bring the Smackdown team to the ring, but was interrupted by Baron Corbin’s music.
Ranallo speculated about possibly seeing Corbin and Braun Strowman in the ring against each other at Survivor Series, as if that’s some sort of dream confrontation. Corbin promised to deliver, just not for A.J.’s team. Before he could explain, the lights went out and Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Randy Orton appeared at ringside when they came on. Styles welcomed them, and they were followed by Dean Ambrose’s entrance. Ambrose walked to the ring, made a u-turn, and walked back up the ramp. Atop the ramp, he signaled for James Ellsworth, much to the chagrin of Styles.
“Ellsworth” chant by the crowd. Ambrose said Ellsworth is his guest. If we don’t get vignettes of Ambrose and Ellsworth discovering Scotland, all will be for naught. Styles said Ellsworth better not show up at Survivor Series. Ambrose said if Styles has a problem with Ellsworth, he’ll have to go through him. Styles said Ambrose is out-numbered right now, even if they have to team together at the PPV. Corbin rolled out of the ring and headed to the back. The Wyatt Family entered the ring, but before any physicality could commence, Shane McMahon’s music hit and he walked out.
McMahon asked the group if they wanted to prove they’re the best in the business. He thinks they are. But to prove it, they need to win at Survivor Series. He said they need to be on the same page. Shane said if they can harness Ellsworth’s passion and enthusiasm, mixed with everybody else’s talent, they’ll have a clean sweep at the Series. Ellsworth proposed that he be the official mascot for Team Smackdown at Survivor Series. McMahon made it official. Shane wanted to get some of the issues amongst the team out of the way tonight. The new Wyatt Family will face Ambrose, Corbin, and Ellsworth. Ambrose didn’t seem all that thrilled with having to team with Ellsworth.
– Becky Lynch was backstage preparing for her match with Alexa Bliss.
– Next: Tyler Breeze & Fandango face The Vaudevillains to see who will qualify for the tag team Survivor Series match.
– The Glasgow City Council headquarters was shown.
– Corbin was walking backstage when Shane came upon him. He wanted to make sure Corbin heard the match he’s in tonight. Corbin said he’s not interested. McMahon said it’s not a request. Corbin said he’s not going to stick his neck out for Ambrose or Ellsworth. And if Shane has a problem, he should kick him off the team. He said McMahon needs him more than Corbin needs him. McMahon took Corbin out of the six-man and put him into a one-on-one match with a returning Kalisto. Corbin didn’t seem happy about that, either.
1 – THE VAUDEVILLAINS vs. BREEZANGO – SURVIVOR SERIES QUALIFYING MATCH
No entrance for the Vauds. Breezango were dressed as police, with kilts. The fashion police, I guess, as they were giving tickets to fans at ringside. JBL, even dressed for the location, was given a ticket. Simon Gotch attacked Tyler Breeze as soon as the bell rang. Aiden English hit a Swanton off the top for two. Breeze delivered an enzuigiri to Gotch. All four men continued to fight. Falcon Arrow by Fandango on English for the win.
WINNERS: Breezango, at 1:18. Somewhat of an upset, I guess. The match was all action while it lasted.
– Lynch vs. Bliss is tonight’s main event.
– According to a video package, looks like Undertaker will be on the 900th episode of Smackdown next week. Plus, Edge returns with the Cutting Edge.
2 – NATALYA vs. NAOMI
Natalya blew on a whistle on the way to the ring. See, because she’s the coach of the women’s Survivor Series team. “Shades of Coach John Tolos and Bill Alfonso,” observed Ranallo. Nikki Bella joined the announcers, replacing Phillips. Quick roll-up by Naomi for two. Nattie with a hair-pull take-down, immediately into a rest-hold. Naomi came back with a jaw-breaker. Both ladies went for a mid-ring cross-body. Carmella sttormed down to ringside at this point. She and Nikki almost came to blows, but coach Nattie helpfully got in between them, blowign her whistle and shoving Nikki. Nikki shoved her down. Nikki forearmed Carmella down. Nattie barely beat the count back into the ring. Small package by Naomi for the win.
WINNER: Naomi, at 2:02. A nothing match, more of an angle to advance the women’s Survivor Series storyline than anything else.
– Alexa Bliss was shown backstage, readying herself to challenge Becky Lynch for the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
– Tonight, who will replace Baron Corbin in the six-man tag match?
– Corbin himself will take on Kalisto. It’s next.
– Ellsworth and Ambrose were backstage. Ellsworth said they don’t need Corbin on their team. He even noted their team involved the names “James” and “Dean,” and called themselves “two rebels without a cause.” Ambrose wasn’t buying. Daniel Bryan walked up. He found someone who could be their partner. It was Kane. Ellsworth was spooked by him. Ellsworth asked Kane what that strategy was tonight. “Don’t…tag…in,” replied Kane.
– Baron Corbin came to the ring for his match. As he did, they showed Corbin attacking Kalisto backstage three months ago. A week later, another attack. Kalisto flipped into the ring, and Corbin went on the assault. He rag-dolled Kalisto in the ring and tossed him out of the ring under the bottom rope. In exiting the ring, Corbin slipped off the apron and came up lame. He told the ref his knee popped. So Kalisto took advantage, and dropkicked Corbin’s injured knee into the steps, adding insult to injury. Referees tended to Corbin in the ring. Kalisto went back for more, splashing Corbin’s leg from the top rope. They replayed Corbin’s initial attack, his slip, and Kalisto’s response. I liked that segment, as it felt different, and was effective in different ways for both men.
– A look at the Lynch vs. Bliss match-up comes after the break.
– Phillips thanked The Weeknd for “False Alarm,” the official theme song of Survivor Series.
– Back at ringside with the rest of the announcers, Phillips fed it to a video package chronicling the Bliss vs. Lynch feud, beginning with Lynch winning the Smackdown Women’s Title at Backlash.
– Bliss came out for her title match. Ranallo again called it the “main event.” Of the first hour, I guess. She faces Lynch, next.
– McMahon had Team Raw and Team Smackdown on a whiteboard backstage. Daniel Bryan walked in and said he talked to the trainers and Baron Corbin won’t be able to compete at Survivor Series. McMahon gave Bryan a list of names. He said anyone on the list to replace Corbin was okay with him. He left the decision up to Bryan, who said he’d have his choice by the end of the night.
3 – ALEXA BLISS vs. BECKY LYNCH – SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
There was a bit of a stalemate to start inti he opening minute, with the women trading pinfall attempts. Two arm-drags and a dropkick by Lynch. Bliss took over and threw Lynch shoulder-first into the ring post. Outside the ring, the shoulder was worked on further with Bliss tossing her into the steps. In the ring, Bliss continued to focus on the arm and shoulder. The pace continued with Bliss stretching Lynch with various arm-locks, including a short-arm scissors. Lynch dead-lifted Bliss up and powerbombed her. They went to break with both women down at 5:53 of the match.
Back at 10:24 of the match. Lynch was still favoring her arm greatly, but she was on her feet and offering offense. Clotheslines and a leg lariat from Lynch. Bex Plex out of the corner for two at 11:19. High-risk move by Lynch missed as she tried a legdrop off the top rope. Double-knees to the mid-section of Lynch, twice, but Bliss couldn’t put Lynch away. The two women traded forearms in mid-ring, with Lynch eventually getting the advantage. After a roll-up out of the corner by Bliss, she went to the top rope. Like Lynch, she failed to find success there. Lynch met her up top, but a Tornado DDT was blocked. She countered into a regular DDT for two. Bliss was complaining about every near-fall at this point. Lynch got her knees up on a splash attempt. Lynch locked in the Disarm-Her. Bliss couldn’t get to the ropes, but her feet were on the ropes. the ref didn’t see it and Bliss tapped.
WINNER: Lynch, at 14:54. Good match here, even with Bliss working holds during the middle portion of it. I liked some of the moves she used there. The hype surrounding this match, from the build-up to what they did tonight, was spectacular and made this match feel like a big deal.
Replays were shown of the match.
– McMahon and Bryan were backstage. McMahon noted the ref missed Bliss’s feet on the ropes, but the ref’s decision is final. Bryan said he was narrowing down the list. Both agreed to accept Stephanie McMahon’s invitation to Raw next week. Maryse and Miz walked in. Maryse said Miz is so mad at Bryan he can’t even speak. Maryse said Bryan pissed her off, too. She asked why he’d let Dolph Ziggler defend his Intercontinental Title at Survivor Series. Bryan said he has confidence that Ziggler will beat Sami Zayn.
In exchange for Smackdown offering to defend the I.C. Title against a Raw brand wrestler, the Cruiserweight Title will be on the line when The Brian Kendrick faces Smackdown’s Kalisto. And if Kalisto wins, the cruiserweight division comes to Smackdown. They sort-of alluded to the I.C. Title moving to Raw if Zayn wins as opposed to Zayn coming to Smackdown, with Maryse saying that if Zayn wins, Miz won’t get a shot at the I.C. Title. Bryan said he can challenge for the title next week. Maryse accepted for Miz, who didn’t seem sold.
– The exterior of the SSE Hydro in Glasgow was shown.
4 – CURT HAWKINS vs. APOLLO CREWS
No entrance for Hawkins. They showed Hawkins and Crews’s interaction before the scheduled match three weeks ago that led to the match not even taking place. Jumping knee by Hawkins, followed up by forearms in the corner. Side slam for a one-count. Jaw-breaker by Crews, then a kick. Jumping enzuigiri for two by Crews. Hawkins ran into a back elbow in the corner. Flying cross-body off the top was no good. Oklahoma roll for Hawkins and the victory.
WINNER: Hawkins, at 1:40. I think Hawkins could be a valuable comedy figure. Crews continues his descent.
– The six-man tag match is next.
– On Talking Smack tonight: The Miz and Maryse, Breezango, and Alexa Bliss.
– Renee Young caught up to Dolph Ziggler to ask him about his bout with Miz next week. Ziggler said he’s a fighting champion, so he’s looking forward to it. He talked about all the returns next week and his upcoming match with Sami Zayn. “I can’t wait, Renee,” he said.
– The Wyatt Family came out for the six-man. A.J. Styles was shown at commentary, again replacing Phillips in the batting order. In the graphic for the five-on-five Survivor Series match that was shown between entrances, Corbin was still included. Kane, Ellsworth, and Ambrose all made separate entrances for the match. It begins after the commercials.
5 – BRAY WYATT & LUKE HARPER & RANDY ORTON vs. KANE & JAMES ELLSWORTH & DEAN AMBROSE
The bell rang right out of break for this one. Kane put Harper on the mat. Next up was Ambrose and Wyatt. Ambrose used his craziness effectively. Harper put a knee into his back, though, as Ambrose ran the ropes. Wyatt tagged in Orton despite Harper calling for a chance. Orton stomped Ambrose, but Ambrose was able to make a tag to Kane. “We want Ellsworth” chant. Kane side-slammed Orton. Ellsworth wanted to tag, but Kane gave him the throat-slash gesture. Orton drove Kane into the corner. He put the boots to Kane. Wyatt came in and splashed Kane in the corner. Back senton for two. Orton tagged himself in as it continued to show that Harper and Orton are not necessarily getting along. Orton kept Kane cornered on the heel side of the ring. They cut to break at 4:30 of the match.
Back with Harper and Wyatt working over Kane. Another “Ellsworth” chant. Dropkick by Harper, who willingly tagged Orton, but stared him down until he left the ring. Standing dropkick by Orton felled Kane. Kane recovered to hit a DDT. Wyatt and Ambrose both made tags. Ambrose took down both Wyatt and Harper. Combination bulldog clothesline, then a pescado onto Orton. Suicide dive onto Orton and Wyatt. Back in, Wyatt caught Ambrose with an uppercut. Sister Abigail was reversed. Dirty Deeds then blocked, into a boot from Harper. Kane and Harper brawled up the ramp and backstage. Double clothesline, well-timed, took out both Wyatt and Ambrose. Ambrose crawled over to his corner. He tagged himself in. He set up for the superkick. “Shawn Michaels is rolling in his grave and he’s not even dead!” remarked JBL. Wyatt grabbed Ellsworth as he tried a superkick, gave him Sister Abigail, and pinned him.
WINNERS: Wyatt, Harper, and Orton, at 13:07.
Wyatt, Orton, and Styles surrounded Ambrose, who was checking on Ellsworth. McMahon ran to the ring, getting in between the two parties to ensure no violence post-match. Daniel Bryan came to the ring to his music. Bryan talked about his task in picking someone for Team Smackdown at Survivor Series. Bryan said his name is in the top right of the list (but he said he isn’t allowed to wrestle). Below that is every male and female on the active roster. But in the upper left-hand corner is Shane McMahon’s name. So Bryan asked him to be the fifth member. Shane agreed. Kind of puts down the rest of the roster that Bryan would select a non-wrestler over them, doesn’t it?
– Next week, on the 900th edition of Smackdown, Dolph Ziggler faces The Miz for the I.C. Title.
– Plus, Edge hosts the Cutting Edge talk show.
– And, The Undertaker returns.
Celebration and lots of “Yes!” chants closed the show.
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Greg Parks has been covering WWE Smackdown for PWTorch.com since January of 2007. He co-hosts the PWTorch Livecast PPV post-shows at least once a month. 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 email@example.com.