WWE Smackdown LIVE review
November 29, 2016
From Columbia, S.C.
Live on USA Network
By Greg Parks, PWTorch Columnist (Twitter: @gregmparks)
– WWE Open.
– Smackdown Open.
– The Smackdown set was chock full o’ tables, ladders, and chairs, in preparation for the big show this Sunday.
– In a #1 contenders match for the Tag Titles tonight, American Alpha take on Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton. And it’s tonight’s main event.
– Renee Young was in the ring. She was there to host the contract signing for Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch for the Smackdown Women’s Championship at TLC. Bliss came out first. They showed her attacking Lynch after the champion submitted Natalya last week. Lynch was out next. Bliss dismissed Young quickly but said she’d let Young know if they need advice on bad fashion. She then knocked Lynch’s mental capacity and reminded her of what happened the last time they met and how Bliss only lost because the ref didn’t see her foot on the rope. Lynch said Bliss reminds her of her cousin as they both whine when they don’t get their own way. Only, her cousin is four years old. Bliss chastised the fans for reacting to that, saying it was “rude.”
Lynch signed the contract first. Bliss mocked her, saying she lives in a fantasy world. Lynch said being nice didn’t get her to where she is, but being relentless did. She said Bliss has been here four months and only has some Talking Smack soundbites and a victim’s mentality to show for it. Bliss faked vomiting, saying hearing Lynch makes her dry heave. Bliss said there’s always someone better, and for Lynch, that person stands right in front of her. She said on Sunday, she’ll pour ice-cold water on Lynch’s straight fire. Bliss then signed the contract. Lynch attacked Bliss after Bliss demanded she be called “Alexa” and not “Lexi” as Lynch had done earlier. Big heat for this as Lynch got the better of the brawl and prepped the table. She went to deliver a Bex Plex to Bliss off the top rope, but Bliss fought her off and pushed her, sending Lynch through the table. That spot was replayed. Really nice segment, as both continue to play their parts well and there’s no ambiguity to the characters.
– The Ambrose Asylum returns tonight, with special guest James Ellsworth.
– Next, Dolph Ziggler and Kalisto face The Miz and Baron Corbin.
– Tom Phillips thanked Adelitas Way for “Ready for War (Pray for Peace),” the official theme of TLC.
– They replayed Lynch attacking Bliss in the previous segment.
1 – DOLPH ZIGGLER & KALISTO vs. BARON CORBIN & THE MIZ
Upon Kalisto’s entrance, Baron Corbin’s involvement in his match last week, and vice versa, were shown. As the match was about to begin, the full announce team of Mauro Ranallo, David Otunga, JBL, and Phillips were on-screen. Corbin took Ziggler down immediately and with authority. They went to break 30 seconds into the match.
Back at 4:18 with Corbin continuing to dominate Ziggler. Ziggler was sent to ringside and a tag was made to Miz. Miz went under the ring and introduced a ladder. Ziggler avoided a whip into the ladder, and hit a DDT on Miz outside the ring. He followed it up with a superkick to Corbin. Both legal men crawled into the ring at the count of nine. Kalisto tagged in and used his speed to his advantage. Miz recovered and dropkicked Ziggler through the ropes, then sent him into the barricade. Suicide dive by Kalisto onto Corbin, still at ringside. Ziggler superkicked Miz as he headed back intot he ring. The ladder got involved when Maryse pushed it onto Ziggler. Salida del Sol onto Miz, but Corbin broke up the pin with a chair.
WINNERS: Ziggler and Kalisto, via disqualification, at 7:32. Makes sense for this to end in DQ with each man having weapons on their mind given their stipulation matches coming up. I’m thinking Corbin gets a significant push in the Royal Rumble this year.
– American Alpha vs. Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton is tonight’s main event, with the winners facing Heath Slater and Rhyno for the tag titles at TLC.
– American Alpha was working out backstage. Dasha Fuentes approached them. She asked if they’re prepared for the unpredictable Wyatts. Chad Gable assured she they were. Jason Jordan said they have a lot in common with Randy and Bray. He wondered if they could levitate, and Alpha said they could help them with that…via suplexes. And the lights going out with the Wyatts? Gable will help them take care of that as well. Jordan said the Wyatts should heed their own warning – when they see Alpha, run. The duo delivered their lines pretty well there, something they didn’t always do in NXT.
– Back in a smoky area of the arena, The Wyatt Family appeared. Wyatt said Alpha is delusional. Randy Orton said he used to be close-minded like Alpha, but now he feels as if he truly belongs. Orton turned to Luke Harper and asked if he would be able to finish the job tonight. Wyatt instructed Harper to send Kane back to Hell.
– Carmella was walking backstage. She is in action, next.
– Carmella came to the ring for her match. She wanted to send a message to Nikki Bella’s boyfriend first. “How you doin’” chant. Carmella said she’ll be doing a lot better when she gets the hell out of there. Nice ad-lib. Carmella apologized to John Cena for what she’ll do to Nikki on Sunday, hitting Nikki in the chest so hard with a chair that her “Bella Twins” will pop out of her back. That sounds painful. She also threatened to rearrange Nikki’s face. Nikki ran out, having had enough. Nikki brawled with Carmella. She got the best of her but Carmella did get in a hard slap to the face. Carmella was able to escape after taking more punishment. For some reason, they felt the need to immediately replay a few points of the brawl we just witnessed.
– The announcers talked about the main event scene, and James Ellsworth’s recent involvement. They sent it to a video package of Ellsworth vs. A.J. Styles in a Ladder Match from last week.
– Dean Ambrose was walking backstage. He’s out next for the Ambrose Asylum with Ellsworth.
– Ambrose walked out to his theme music. Inside the ring were a table, ladder, and two chairs, along with a small rug and a handwritten “Ambrose Asylum TLC Edition” sign. Ambrose quickly introduced the newest member of the Smackdown roster, James Ellsworth. Ambrose playfully criticized Ellsworth’s boots, saying it looked like he made them in 4th grade sewing class. He asked Ellsworth if he ever thought he’d be in the position he’s in. Ellsworth said no, but he kept fighting until he was in the right place at the right time. More joking from Ambrose before he asked Ellsworth who James is cheering for on Sunday, him or A.J. Styles. Ellsworth said it’d be fun to face Ambrose for the title, but on the other hand, he has beaten Styles three times, so maybe he can do it again. “He’s drunk with power ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know what else to say,” deadpanned Ambrose. A.J. Styles then walked out.
Styles took a shot at the quality of entertainment we were getting with this segment. He called Ellsworth a ventriloquist dummy. So of course Ambrose shot back that the dummy has beaten him three times. Styles demanded respect and threatened to beat it out of Ambrose on Sunday. He finally entered the ring and stood toe-to-toe with Ambrose. He said he’ll beat Ambrose ‘til he can’t stand anymore. Then, he’ll have something special for the Superstar (Ellsworth). He dared Ellsworth to show up at TLC, where he can use tables, ladders, and chairs on him. Ambrose said championships are won in one square foot of space (the brain). He talked of Styles being rattled. Ambrose said he’ll reclaim the WWE World Title on Sunday while Styles is still trying to clear the cobwebs.
Styles pushed Ellsworth into Ambrose and thus into the ladder. He put Ellsworth on the table, then attacked Ambrose outside the ring. He dropped the steel steps onto Ambrose. Back in the ring, Ellsworth was on his feet. Styles took him down and smashed the ladder into his back. Ellsworth slipped out of the ring, hanging on the bottom rope by his toes. Chair to the back of Ellsworth, followed by a Styles Clash from the steps onto the floor. Styles seemed to make sure to land more on Ellsworth’s legs than he usually does, perhaps keeping in mind the last time he tried that move on Ellsworth. The attack on Ambrose and Ellsworth was replayed. Referees and medics tended to Ellsworth, who was being placed on a backboard as they went to break.
– Moments ago, Styles tried to put Ellsworth out of commission.
– Ellsworth was being wheeled backstage on a stretcher. Ambrose was with him, along with a number of medics. Ambrose blamed himself for the attack and said he’d fix it. Ambrose joined the EMT’s in the ambulance as it drove away.
2 – KANE vs. LUKE HARPER
Kane shoved Harper off on a lock-up. Shoulder knock-down by Kane. The two men traded taunts, with Kane getting the upper hand thanks to an upper cut. Tombstone attempt by Harper went to the outside to regroup. Kane clotheslined Harper out of the ring. They went to break at 2:01 of the match.
Back at just over 5:00 into the contest. Harper had Kane in a rear chin-lock. Kick to the head of Kane for two by Harper. Kane made a comeback with a sidewalk slam for two. Kane has looked like he’s moving in slow motion for much of the match. Harper knocked Kane off his feet again. He mounted Kane in the corner, but Kane lifted him and powerbombed him. Only a two-count was garnered. Discus clothesline missed, but a spinning side slam got two. Kane went to the top, but missed a clothesline. Superkick by Harper for two. This will just not end. Harper then went to the top rope. Kane caught him and suplexed him off. Both men reached their feet at about the same time. They exchanged punches, but Kane chokeslammed Harper and picked up the win.
WINNER: Kane, at 10:47. There was little, if anything, redeeming about this match.
– The announcers talked about the value of the WWE Network.
– Up next, the main event tag match.
– The exterior of the Colonial Life Arena on the campus of the University of South Carolina was shown.
– Earlier tonight, Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch got physical during their TLC contract signing.
– Outside the trainer’s room, Renee Young was with Lynch. She asked Lynch how she’s doing and if she can defend the title on Sunday. Lynch said doc told her she has a spinal bruise, but no matter her condition, she’ll defend the title on Sunday. Young relayed the message that Bliss has challenged Lynch to a Tables Match at TLC. Lynch said she doesn’t care what kind of match it is, she’ll get revenge on that “little bitch.”
– Both tag teams came out for the main event. It begins after the break.
– After the debut of 205 Live on the WWE Network post-Smackdown, Talking Smack will feature Dolph Ziggler, A.J. Styles, Becky Lynch, and The Miz along with Renee Young.
3 – BRAY WYATT & RANDY ORTON vs. AMERICAN ALPHA – SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM TITLE #1 CONTENDERS MATCH
Jason Jordan and Randy Orton began the match. Couple of nice arm-drags by Jordan. Heath Slater and Rhyno were shown watching on a monitor backstage. Go-behind and a take-down by Jordan. Double dropkick on Wyatt. An irate Wyatt took the cover off the Smackdown announce table. Back in, Wyatt took over. Jordan went for a cross-body but Wyatt ducked. Jordan took a bump into the ropes. Orton picked Jordan up for a suplex and dropped him front-first across the top rope. Tag made to Chad Gable at 4:11. He came off the top with a cross-body. Hanging arm-bar over the top rope by Gable on Orton. Back to the top he went, but Wyatt knocked him off as the ref was dealing with Orton. They went to break at 4:57 of the match.
The show returned at 8:34 of the match. Wyatt sent Gable face-first into the ring apron to continue his onslaught. Orton tagged in and powerslammed Gable. More Rhyno and Slater watching backstage, with Rhyno eating a small bag of chips. Wyatt reached his feet before Gable and knocked Jordan off the apron. Gable went to make the tag and no one was there. Uranage by Wyatt and a good one. Gable was placed on the top rope and Orton planned to deliver a super-plex. He connected. Otunga said Orton had his own bell rung on that, allowing Jordan to tag in and take out both Wyatt and Orton. Saito suplex by Jordan. German suplex by Jordan and the straps came down. As they did, the Wyatts logo flashed and outside the ring, Luke Harper appeared. Jordan got distracted and walked into Wyatt. Gable came in and wanted Grand Amplitude, but Orton took him out. Jordan went after Wyatt in the corner, but Harper pulled Wyatt out of the way and Jordan went shoulder-first into the post. Sister Abigail to Jordan and it was over.
WINNERS: Wyatt & Orton, at 15:26.
The finish was replayed. Dasha Fuentes caught up to Rhyno and Heath Slater backstage. The champs said Wyatt and Orton need to prepare for them, not the other way around. A.J. Styles barged in and began talking about himself. Slater got serious and Styles told him to hit the bricks. Rhyno stepped to Styles. As he did, Ambrose walked into the room and went crazy on Styles, attacking him and throwing him all over the room. Slater and Rhyno were yelling off-camera, cheering on Ambrose, as the show went off the air.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.