WWE Smackdown LIVE!- November 8, 2016
by Scrooge McSuck
- Forgive the lateness and poor timing of recaps lately. I've been fighting a bronchial virus for the better part of the last two weeks and the discomfort makes it really hard to sit through anything, let alone recapping a wrestling show with a clear mind. The NXT reviews will resume soon for those wondering.
- Last week on Smackdown Live... Dean Ambrose defeated A.J. Styles in a Non-Title Match to earn a WWE World Title opportunity at TLC... Randy Orton, with the help of Bray Wyatt, defeated Kane in a No Disqualification Match... The Usos defeated The Headbangers and American Alpha defeated The Spirit Squad to earn spots on the Survivor Series Tag Team... Dolph Ziggler defeated Curt Hawkins in 7-seconds and issued an open challenge to anyone from Monday Night Raw... Alexa Bliss and Carmella defeated Becky Lynch and Nikki Bella... James Ellsworth is still a thorn in the side of A.J. Styles...
- Episode #899, taped from Glasgow, Scotland, with (deep breath) Mauro Ranallo, John "Bradshaw" Layfield, Tom Phillips, and David Otunga calling the action. Why not just dump Otunga? Oh wait, never mind, need the good looking minority in the group. Advertised for tonight, and has been for weeks, is the Women's Title Match between Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss.
- A.J. Styles joins us to kick off the night. He's ticked off at James Ellsworth (he looks like a foot) and threatens to beat the ugly off him, but nobody is going to flow him into Scotland. Nobody. Not a chance. He's also been told not to have physical contact with Ambrose because they have to be partners at Survivor Series. Baron Corbin comes out and damn is he wooden. The screen flickers, and here's the Wyatt Family... with Randy Orton. AKA The New Wyatt Family. Finally, Dean Ambrose, the "only" babyface on the team, makes his way to the ring, then back to the top of the ramp, and then back to the ring with James "Ellis" Ellsworth in tow ("How did you get that thing through customs?!"). Corbin casually walks away since he doesn't for anyone but himself. Shane McMahon comes out to rally the troops for Survivor Series, names James Ellsworth the OFFICIAL Team Smackdown Mascot... then makes a Six-Man Tag Team Match with The NEW Wyatt Family taking on Dean Ambrose, Baron Corbin, and James Ellsworth. That is one random team. I like it. Except for the "no contact" stipulation only applying to Styles and Ambrose, I guess. Why doesn't this effect the rest of the team?!
- Hold the phone, Baron Corbin doesn't want to be in the Six-Man Tag Team Match, so Shane McMahon finds him another match tonight with the returning KALISTO. If you'll recall, in the first weeks of the split, Corbin had been bullying Kalisto until an injury put Kalisto on the shelf for the last 3-months.
Breezango vs. The Vaudevillains:
(Tyler Breeze & Fandango vs. Simon Gotch & Aiden English)
Winning team gets the final spot for Team Smackdown's Tag Teams. I can't recall the last time Breezango were featured on Smackdown Live, and the Vaudevillains have been fighting the Ascension for the spot as the bottom feeder heel team. Breezango come out in kilts and are being called the Fashion Police, complete with rent-a-cop shirts, caps, and glasses. They give JBL a ticket that says "Ugg-o" on it. Gotch attacks Breeze from behind and takes him over with a rolling foreman's carry. English comes off the top with a senton bomb for two. Fandango tosses Gotch, English tosses Fandango. Breeze surprises Gotch with a jumping roundhouse kick, but gets pulled to the floor and laid out with a clothesline. Fandango avoids the Whirling Dervish and connects with a Falcon Arrow on English... for three at 1:19?! That was quick.
- Next week on the 900th episode of Smackdown, Edge will be there to host the Cutting Edge (and is working on Season 2 of the Edge and Christian Show That Totally Reeks of Awesomeness), and THE RETURN OF THE UNDERTAKER.
Naomi vs. Natalya:
I guess someone found John Tolos's whistle in the warehouse left-overs pile and gave it to Natalya. She's the Coach of the Smackdown Ladies team for Survivor Series, don't you know? Nikki Bella has joined the commentary team, so expect Carmella to show up. Naomi with a quick roll-up. Natalya catches a boot and throws Naomi down by the hair. She hooks a chin-lock, but Naomi quickly escapes and connects with a jaw breaker. Both go for a diving body press, laying them out. Here comes Carmella, as expected. Natalya stops what she's doing to play referee for them at ringside and can't even blow her whistle properly, so Nikki shoves her down and decks Carmella. During the "confusion", Natalya almost gets counted out. She rolls back in at 9 and Naomi cradles her for three at 2:06. Well that was lame for Nattie. In case you haven't gotten the point, each Survivor Series team has combustible elements.
- James/Dean are backstage, and James Ellsworth tries to give a pep talk that falls on deaf ears. Daniel Bryan shows up to check in on things and he found them a NEW partner. He's dealt with the Wyatt's, he's reliable, and his career is "on fire." In case you couldn't have guessed, it's the Devil's Favorite Demon™, Kane. Ellsworth asks what's the strategy, and Kane sharply says "don't tag in." Good strategy.
Kalisto vs. Baron Corbin:
The match that was three weeks in the making until a two-month stint on the injury list put it on hold. Kalisto does his somersault entrance and Corbin lays him out with a vicious clothesline! Corbin throws him down by the throat, then into the corner, talking trash the whole time. He slides Kalisto out of the ring like he was riding the wet banana. Corbin looks to follow, but slips off the apron and sells a knee injury. Kalisto, tired of being pushed around, takes the low road and ATTACKS THE INJURED HEEL, dropkicking the knee into the steps. Finally, a babyface with a set of balls! Kalisto ignores the referee and returns to the ring, connecting with a Frog Splash to the knee. What's good for the goose, fight fire with fire, an eye for an eye, insert other phrases for getting someone back here. No match.
- Recap video to hype the Becky Lynch/Alexa Bliss Main Event (yes, it was advertised as the Main Event, even though it won't go on last).
- Due to the injury suffered moments ago, Baron Corbin is NOT Cleared for Smackdown Live's Survivor Series Team. Shane McMahon has a lineup of available members of the roster for Daniel Bryan to choose from as a replacement.
WWE Women's Championship Match:
I can do without the forced "Fairy Tale" references. Again, Shane McMahon calls it the Main Event, as does Mauro Ranallo. My point is that the last match isn't necessarily the Main Event, it's the match that is the center of the hype and most prominently featured. Lockup and Alexa with a takeover. Becky returns the favor and goes for the Disarm-Her, but Alexa makes it to the ropes. Becky avoids a leg sweep and an Oklahoma Roll gets two. Alexa with a roll up for two. Becky with a pair of arm drags and a dropkick. Alexa with a kick to the shin to slow Becky down, then throws her shoulder into the post. Alexa follows Becky to the floor and sends her into the steps. Back inside, Bliss continues to work the arm. Bliss stomps down on the chest while yanking the arm. Bliss with a drop toe hold into the bottom turnbuckle and slams the arm across the post again. Bliss with a wrist-lock whiplash for two. Short-arm scissors applied. Becky deadlifts Alexa off the canvas and slams her down to break the hold.
Becky Lynch © vs. Alexa Bliss:
We return from commercial break, with Becky rolling Alexa up for a near fall. Becky gets a boot up in the corner, connects with a pair of clotheslines and a jumping leg lariat. She dives into the corner with a forearm, followed by a springboard kick and Exploder Suplex for another near fall. Becky goes to the top rope, but misses the "Dublin Jam." Bliss with the double knees, followed by the handspring knees ("Insult to Injury") across the midsection for two. They start trading forearms, with Becky getting the better of the exchange. Whip to the corner and Alexa with a sunset flip for two. Becky slows Alexa ascending the ropes, but Alexa comes back with a DDT for two. She comes off the middle ropes, but meets the knees. Becky with a waist-lock into a roll up, but Alexa counters for two. Becky holds onto the arm during the kick-out, but Alexa taps out at 10:21 (excluding a commercial break) despite Alexa's foot being on the bottom rope the whole time. **3/4 Good match, although the limitations of Alexa Bliss were obvious. This leaves the door open for a rematch.
- Daniel Bryan is still chewing the options for Smackdown's Survivor Series team. The Miz and Maryse show up, and I guess Miz is so mad, he won't even speak, which means Maryse will do the talking for him. They question why would they allow Dolph Ziggler to defend the IC Title against someone on Raw? We find out that the Cruiserweight Title will be defended against Smackdown's Kalisto, and if Kalisto wins, the Cruiserweight DIVISION comes to Smackdown Live. Daniel Bryan offers Miz the Championship Rematch next week, and Maryse accepts on his behalf, despite his facial expressions suggesting otherwise.
Apollo Crews vs. Curt Hawkins:
Poor Curt Hawkins doesn't even get a ring introduction this week. Face the Facts, it was a waste of time to hype his debut for so long when he was quite clearly going to be enhancement talent. 3 weeks ago, Hawkins' D-level trash talk was interrupted by Crews, and he walked out on what would've been his debut. Hawkins surprises Crews with a running high knee, followed by forearms and stomping in the corner. Back suplex for a one count. Crews escapes a chin-lock and comes off the ropes with a boot to the head. Crews with a jumping clothesline, followed by an enzuigiri for two. Crews with another boot to the head for two. Crews comes off the top, missing a body press, and Hawkins with the Oklahoma Roll... for three at 1:42?! Wow, I still don't know who Apollo Crews pissed off.
- Renee Young is backstage with Dolph Ziggler. At least she can remember everyone's name without a cue-card. Her choice of wardrobe leaves a bit to be desired, though. He's amped for the title defense against the Miz next week, on the 900th episode of Smackdown. Just think, in two years, we'll be hyping Smackdown 1,000.
Dean Ambrose, Kane, and James Ellsworth vs. Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, and Luke Harper:
Whacky tag teams are always entertaining. A.J. Styles has joined the commentary team because why not? We can expect this to be 2-on-3 until the closing moments. Kane and Harper start. Kane comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle, but Harper escapes a Choke-Slam attempt. Ambrose pounds away on Wyatt and stomps him down in the corner. Harper with a cheap shot from the apron, allowing Wyatt to run him over with a shoulder tackle. Wyatt forcefully tags in Orton. Orton with a short clothesline and the Garvin Stomp. Kane tags in, follows Orton into the corner, and connects with a side slam. Ellsworth wants the tag, but Kane turns him down. Orton saves Harper from a Choke-Slam and sends Kane's shoulder into the turnbuckle. Wyatt with an avalanche and running senton for two. The crowd chants for Ellsworth while Kane gets worked over in the Wyatt Family corner.
We return from commercial break, and Kane is still getting worked over. This match is the pure definition of a lazy house show tag team match. Kane escapes a chin-lock, but Orton quickly puts him back down with a dropkick. Harper in and he's taken down with a DDT. Ambrose with the hot tag, and he runs through Wyatt with forearms and a clothesline. Swinging neck breaker to Harper. Bulldog headlock on Wyatt and a clothesline to Harper at the same time. He hits a tope suicida, taking out both Wyatt and Orton. Wyatt blocks the elbow drop. Ambrose counters Sister Abigail with a roll up. He goes for Dirty Deeds, but Harper lays him out with a big boot. Kane and Harper brawl up the aisle. Ambrose goes for the Lunatic Lariat, but Wyatt throws a clothesline too, laying both men out. Ellsworth tags himself in after a bit of contemplation. He teases No Chin Music, but Wyatt blocks it and hits Sister Abigail for the easy three count at 9:50 (excluding a commercial break). A.J. Styles celebrates at ringside because he's an awesome jerk. *1/2 So-so match to pad out the show, with Survivor Series hype being the big deal.
- Shane McMahon runs out to make sure nothing physical takes place between the four remaining Survivor Series team members. Daniel Bryan comes out with the List of Smackdown to choose the new 5th member for Team Smackdown Pre-Taped. Daniel Bryan references his name on the list, but he is unable to compete (sick tease). There's another name that catches his eyes, the name of the Smackdown Live Commissioner. Bryan asks Shane McMahon if he'll be the 5th member of Smackdown Live. The answer? Yes... Yes... Yes. Well, that was unexpected, but it also gives their team the underdog story.
Final Thoughts: We've done all we could to promote Survivor Series, which is still one week away, so next week needs to be a special show since there's not much more to do to promote the PPV. We got the long overdue title match between Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch, and while not a great match, it went reasonably well and leaves the door open for rematches. Kalisto is back, and not only paid Baron Corbin back, but is getting a chance to steal the Cruiserweight Title (and Division) from Raw. Everything else was just more Survivor Series hype. Partners who can't get along and not much else. Little focus on Dolph and Miz, and the Tag Team Champions were absent after Raw made a big deal to focus their Champions leading the team in a ridiculous segment. It's better to leave things on the cutting room floor than over-exposing everyone every week, I guess.
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