KELLER’S SMACKDOWN REPORT
NOVEMBER 22, 2016
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
ANNOUNCERS: Mauro Ranallo, JBL, David Otunga, Tom Phillips, Tony Schiavone, Jesse Ventura, Lance Russell, Dave Brown, Gordon Solie, Marty O’Neal, Gary Michael Capetta, Larry Nelson, Bob Caudle, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko, and Howard Finkle.
-Highlights aired of Survivor Series with background music.
-Shane McMahon entered the ring. He said if he’s not his usual energetic self, it’s because he feels like he was in a car accident at Survivor Series. The fans chanted “You still got it!” He said he wanted to give a shout-out to Team Raw. The fans booed. He said they brought it, but he’s glad Team Smackdown won. He began listing his opponents. They cheered when he said Kevin Owens. When he brought up Roman Reigns, the crowd booed, way more than when he mentioned Braun Strowman. “Like Roman or not, he always brings his A-game,” he said. “Roman almost separated me from my Jordans, so I have to give props to Roman for that one.” He also thanked two members of Team Smackdown whom he thought he’d have the most issues with – Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt. They got mostly cheered. He said the two individuals he asked to put aside their differences for just one hour couldn’t do it – A.J. Styles and Dean Ambrose. Ambrose’s music played and he marched out.
Ambrose asked what’s the deal with low energy. He said it’s a new day and the sun is shining on newly fallen snow. When Ambrose patted Shane hard on his back, Shane said, “Easy please, thank you very much.” Ambrose backed off and shrugged. Shane complained about him participating “with your Raw buddies” powerbombing his own teammate, Styles. He said it could have screwed up Smackdown’s victory. Ambrose said he needs to focus on the positives. He called for James Ellsworth to come out, calling him the MVP who took out Strowman. Out walked Ellsworth, with a neck brace on.
Dean told Shane to tell Ellsworth about the big surprise. Shane said he was going to tell him privately in the back. Ambrose said they’re all one big happy family, so tell him that he’s getting a Smackdown contract. He totally blurted it out. Shane threw his arms up. Ellsworth asked if it was true. Shane said that is correct because he bleeds blue and has unbelievable tenacity. Ellsworth broke down and cried a little. Shane said he’s offering Dean the night off because he’s been out of control lately. He said it’s time to go out and celebrate. “Wings on me!” he said. “Blue team!” He patted Shane hard on the back again. Shane said he knows it’ll be an unpopular opinion, but he needs to leave the building. Ambrose shrugged and said it’s okay and left. Styles’s music played and he crossed paths with Ambrose in the aisle.
Styles asked when did Smackdown, the land of opportunity, become the land of the undeserved opportunity. Styles said Ambrose should be kicked off of Smackdown Live after what he did to him at Survivor Series. He said he doesn’t deserve a shot at his championship at TLC. He said Ellsworth doesn’t deserve a contract. “Shane, Shane, Shane, you can’t do this,” he said. “Think about what you’re doing.” Shane said he is doing it, and Ellsworth deserves it. Styles said Ellsworth doesn’t deserve anything. He called him a charity case and told him to know that this contract is being given to him. Shane said he earned it. Styles said guys like him earned it through blood, sweat, and tears. He said Ellsworth should earn it by facing him in a ladder match tonight on Smackdown. Ellsworth clutched his neck brace.
Styles said if he climbs the ladder and grabs the contract, he’ll have earned the contract. But he said that won’t happen, because he’ll grab the contract and “rip it up in front of your ugly, pathetic face.” Shane told Ellsworth he has already earned it, so don’t worry. Ellsworth said he’ll fight him tonight with a contract on the line because he’s already beaten him twice. Styles glared at him. He said if he wins, he not only wants a full time Smackdown contract, he wants a future opportunity at the WWE World Championship. “I want it all or nothing at all!” he said. Shane said it’s a done deal. JBL said, “Yes! We have seen the last of that little slug, the alien who made it with the Lock Ness Monster.” Dean showed up behind Shane and Ellsworth out of nowhere and patted them on the back. Shane explained he was supposed to leave. Dean feigned being confused.
(Keller’s Reax: Dean is a great character for 10 years old kids, give or take. He’s amusing and really good at his role. Good set-up for the Ladder match, with Ellsworth accepting the Styles challenge, but smartly raising the stakes in his favor in the process.)
-Miz, with Maryse, backstage asked Daniel Bryan if he’s ready for the Miz Celebration. He said Bryan should thank him for saving his hide after Bryan was an irresponsible general manager by putting the Intercontinental Title on the line and at risk of going to Raw. Bryan said Miz humiliated Smackdown Live for the way he beat Sami Zayn at Survivor Series. Yes. Great point. Miz shook his head and said, “I won, didn’t I?” He said unlike him and Dolph Ziggler, he was a winner at Survivor Series. Bryan said it was a calculated risk. He said, though, that Boron Corbin ruined Smackdown’s chance to bring the Cruiserweight Division to Smackdown. So tonight he’s giving Miz the opportunity to honorably defend his IC Title against Kalisto. Miz said he doesn’t deserve it. Bryan said the match is next. [c]
-More highlights aired from Smackdown.
-Shane told Ambrose backstage he’s totally out of control. Ambrose offered to give Shane a shoulder massage. Shane said they need him to leave. Ambrose began to leave, but asked if he wants him to bring him something back. Shane said no. Ambrose asked to grab his jacket. Shane said he doesn’t need it. Just leave.
(1) THE MIZ (w/Maryse) vs. KALISTO – Intercontinental Title match
Kalisto scored a couple near falls on Miz. They cut to an early break after Kalisto tackled Miz with a dive through the ropes. [c]
In the end, Kalisto climbed to the top rope. The camera turned to show the ringside area where Baron Corbin was about to come out. I don’t think that was intentional. Kalisto then leaped off the top rope when he saw Corbin coming and landed on his feet. Corbin distracted Kalisto leading to Miz giving him a quick Skull Crushing Finale.
WINNER: Miz in 7:00 to retain the IC Title.
(Keller’s Reax: It looked like Corbin was late in arriving, as that was just an odd sequence.)
-Afterward Corbin gave Kalisto an End of Days mid-ring. He yelled at him to stay down. As Miz celebrated on the stage, Dolph Ziggler came out and superkicked him. Miz went down and stayed down.
-Backstage Shane and Bryan were watching on a monitor. Shane told Bryan things are out of control with Dean, Corbin, and Ziggler. Bryan said he’d go take care of it. Alexa Bliss walked up. Bryan told her he doesn’t have time for her, but Shane does. She began complaining about deserving a title shot. Becky Lynch showed up and told Bliss she will get her rematch at TLC. Bliss said keep the title nice and shiny the next two weeks. Natalya walked in with a whistle and said she knows Shane is stressed. She said as coach she did her part and stayed up all night with her cat Two Paws rewatching her role at Survivor Series. She said she and her cat decided Becky was at fault for losing. She said it’s clear she’s jealous, insecure, and threatened by Bliss taking her title. Shane said they’re all to blame for what happened at Survivor Series. He said there is no proof who attacked Nikki, but it would have been nice to have the captain Nikki in the match. He said if Natalya is so high on herself, prove how good she is against Lynch later. In walked Dean chomping on pizza. Shane said, “Seriously?” Ambrose said, “You said you were hungry, right?” An exasperated Shane said he asked Ambrose to please leave. Ambrose said he had to come back with pizza. He told him it’s good. He gave him a slice that Dean already ate a piece of. Shane refused more pizza. Dean said he has plans anyway with guys at the pizza place, so he was leaving. He told Shane to text him when it’s time to celebrate Smackdown’s win. Becky made a pizza pun and laughed at her own joke. Ambrose yelled from the other room: “I heard it! Loved it!” Shane yelled, “Go!!”
(Keller’s Reax: Natalya is finding her stride in this character more than in the past. The references to the cat fit her persona now. Bliss is obnoxious, but man is she small compared to the other two.)
-They went to the announcers. JBL said the place is out of control. Tom Phillips threw to a video package on the ticket launch for WrestleMania 33. [c]
-Again a camera was focused on Corbin walking backstage for no apparent reason at all. Bryan then suddenly walked up to him.
(Keller’s Reax: Storyline wise, how did the camera guy and director know to film Corbin if they didn’t know Bryan was going to walk up to him? Instead, just film Bryan scurrying over to talk to Corbin. That makes sense and isn’t just a stupid happy coincidence.)
Bryan told Corbin that he doesn’t mind when Superstars try to make a name for themselves, but not the way he’s doing it. He said they cost Smackdown the entire Cruiserweight Division and now he’s interfering in IC Title matches because of a grudge. He said actions have consequences, so he’ll have to face a close personal friend of his, Kane.
(2) HYPE BROS. vs. THE ASCENSION vs. vs. AMERICAN ALPHA vs. BREEZANGO – Tag Team Turmoil – Winner Gets Smackdown Tag Team Title match
It started as Hype Bros vs. Ascension. Ascension were eliminated first. [c]
Breezango came out next and eliminated Hype Bros. Then American Alpha came out.. They showed Heath Slater & Rhyno watching on a monitor backstage. Alpha eliminated Breezango. The Usos came out next. [c]
Alpha won clean with Grand Amplitude on Jimmy Uso to earn the shot against Slater & Rhyno.
WINNERS: American Alpha to earn a Smackdown Tag Title shot at TLC.
-As soon as Alpha began to celebrate, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, and Luke Harper showed up on the monitor and said they shouldn’t celebrate yet, because he and Randy are coming for them next week.
-The announcers tried to digest what happened. Nobody was sure who was supposed to talk and they just stared at each other and made brief utterances. Awkward.
-Bryan told Ellsworth backstage he doesn’t have to go through with this. Ellsworth said he knows he doesn’t look good and even his bruises have bruises, but even at 100 percent, Styles would be the heavy favorite because Styles has more talent in his little pinky than he does in his entire body. He said he has learned, though, that he can accomplish anything. There’s always a chance. He said dreams keep happening for him such as appearing in the ring with Undertaker and Edge. Bryan begged him to be careful.
Ambrose showed up again dressed as The Mountie. He told Ellsworth that Styles is a dangerous man. Bryan told Ambrose if Shane sees him, he’ll flip out. Shane said his behavior is insubordinate. He began to flip out and then went into his Little League Coach phrasing again: “Do you have anything to say for yourself?” Ambrose told him he’ll leave and he doesn’t have to yell at him. He asked Shane if he wants to know why he’s dressed as The Mountie. Shane flipped out and said no. Bryan said he’s had a rough week and to walk away. Shane said he’d leave before he does something he regrets. Dean said, “It’s a hell of a story. I’ll tell you next week.” As soon as Shane left, Ambrose said, “Don’t be such a hoser.” Bryan asked Ambrose to tell him, before he leaves, why he is dressed as The Mountie. Ambrose said, “Isn’t it obvious?” Bryan said no. Ambrose told Bryan to deliver a message to Styles: “The Mountie always gets his man.” Bryan couldn’t keep a straight face. [c]
(3) NATALYA vs. BECKY LYNCH
Alexa Bliss was on color commentary. She blamed the referee for costing her the win against Becky in her last title shot. They cut to a break with Natalya in control at 3:00. [c]
Bliss complained about Bryan having a bias against her and for Becky because he picked Becky as the no. 1 draft pick. Otunga said he picked Becky first because he thinks she’s the best. Becky rallied and went for the Disarm Her, but Natalya countered with a roll-up. Same sequence again, same results. Becky did the BeckPlex. A minute later Becky did get the tapout win.
-Afterward, Bliss attacked Becky and gave her a DDT. She stood and pretended to wrap the belt around her waist.
(Keller’s Reax: This is just basic Booking 101 stuff, and it works when you have a heel who comes across as smug who you want to see get beat up, and a likable babyface like Becky, and everyone backing the notion that the title matters and who holds it matters even more.)
-The Hype Bros. pitched a WWE Shop sale. [c]
-They showed the exterior of the Canadian Tire Centre. Mauro said it’s been chaos so far on Smackdown Live. JBL said Shane is melting down and he loves it.
-Miz walked up to Bryan, who was on the phone talking about how Ambrose was dressed as The Mountie. Miz insisted Bryan talk to him and get off the phone. He complained that Ziggler superkicked him for no reason. Bryan said, “No reason?” Bryan said Ziggler owed a rematch and he’s officially announcing it now for TLC. Bryan said win or lose, after TLC, he and Ziggler will go their separate ways. He said he’s making it a ladder match so they can go out in style. Miz said he will write the final chapter in the story and bring it to its skull crushing finale. Maryse put an ice bag on the back of Miz’s neck as they walked away.
-Elsewhere backstage Carmella was also on her phone bragging about what happened to Nikki at Survivor Series. Nikki yanked her phone away and blamed Carmella for taking her out before their Survivor Series match, so it’s her fault for their loss. Carmella pleaded innocence. She yanked her phone back. Nikki asked if not her, then who. Carmella said, “Maybe Charlotte Flair or her lapdog Dana Brooke or maybe half the staff at E! Network. You’ve made a lot of enemies.” Carmella said her man may be Mr. Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect, but she’s no Mother Theresa. Nikki said she’s no saint, but whether she attacked her or not, she wants to settle their differences. She said she talked to her brother-in-law, the G.M., and they have a no-DQ match booked at TLC in two weeks. Carmella left.
-Kane’s ring entrance took place. Then Corbin’s. Then they took a break. [c]
(4) BARON CORBIN vs. KANE
Mauro said for once Corbin is facing someone his own size. Corbin rolled to the floor, Kane chased after him. Kalisto then attacked Corbin, so the ref called for the bell. Kane chokeslammed Corbin.
WINNER: No contest when Kalisto interfered or Corbin won by DQ.
-Kalisto stood over Corbin on the mat as Kane’s music played. Mauro said Kalisto has had enough of the Lone Wolf. Kalisto went to ringside and grabbed a chair. The fans cheered, but Corbin fled the scene. He yelled for Corbin to come back. Corbin charged at him. Kalisto threw the chair at him. Corbin caught it. Kalisto kicked it into him. Corbin bailed out again.
(Keller’s Reax: A very kid-oriented angle with the big bully picking on the smaller wrestler, and the smaller wrestler resourcefully giving him some return fire and standing up for himself. Well done for that audience.) [c]
(5) A.J. STYLES vs. JAMES ELLSWORTH – Ladder Match with Ellsworth Contract at Stake
Ellsworth was in the ring already after the break. Styles made his full entrance. He mouthed off to Ellsworth, then attacked him and ripped off his neckbrace and knocked him to the floor. Mauro brought up how there have been some legendary ladder matches in WWE history such as Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels, and wondered where this would fit in. JBL said Ramon would do a run-in just for bringing that up. There were scattered “A.J. Styles” chants early in the match. Styles slid a ladder into the ring, then jabbed Ellsworth with it to knock him to the floor. Styles set up a ladder mid-ring and took his time climbing it.
Ellsworth crawled back into the ring and grabbed at Styles’s ankle. Styles decided to tear off his shirt and beat him up. JBL said he was loving this. He asked if Ellsworth was wearing a girdle. Otunga said it’s a back brace. Styles put Ellsworth’s legs in the ladder and hung him upside down and kicked him. Styles climbed the ladder and smiled. The crowd cheered as Ambrose showed up dressed in an Ottawa Senators jersey. He beat up Styles and threw him out of the ring. Ambrose pointed at the ladder. Styles springboarded at Ambrose with a Phenomenal Forearm. Then he climbed the ladder. Ellsworth, though, tipped the ladder over and Styles took a crazy bump over the top rope to the floor. Ellsworth then set up the ladder. Styles entered. Ellsworth kicked him. Styles bumped backwards and got his leg caught in the rope. Ellsworth then climbed the ladder and grabbed the clipboard to win. Ambrose celebrated with him as the show ended.
WINNER: Ellsworth to earn a Smackdown contract.
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