Last week’s Smackdown Live! featured AJ Styles versus Dean Ambrose in a match that had a stipulating stating that if Ambrose won, he would get a shot for the WWE Heavyweight Championship. In the end, AJ Styles won the match by disqualification, caused by James Ellsworth. The Tuesday night brand does not need a championship match set just yet with Survivor Series being anchored by the Smackdown versus RAW elimination matches, but it will still be interesting to see where they go with this storyline. Will James Ellsworth get his redemption after causing Ambrose to lose out on a title match last week? Let’s see what happens this week!
Smackdown Live! Review – 11/1/16: Ellsworth’s Redemption
James Ellsworth made his way to the ring while the commentators recapped last week’s main event. Ellsworth looked dejected before speaking. The crowd chanted “Ellsworth… Ellsworth… Ellsworth” in the tone of the Goldberg chants. Ellsworth thanked Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan for allowing him to come down and say goodbye. He asked Dean Ambrose to come out so he can apologize to him. Ambrose obliged.
Ambrose said he thought about beating Ellsworth up but that he can’t stay mad at him with his E.T. looking eyes. Ambrose said that he invited Ellsworth to the ring and there was no need to apologize. Ellsworth said that he should apologize because he cost Ambrose a shot at the WWE World Championship. Ambrose told Ambrose to just never get in his way again. Ellsworth said if he could build a time machine he would, then looked Ambrose in the eyes and said he was sorry.
AJ Styles music hit and he made his way to the ring. He asked “Big Game James” if he was apologizing. Styles claimed that Ambrose wasn’t helping Ellsworth over the past few weeks, but instead has been using him. Styles said if Ellsworth owes anyone anything, its him because he made his career. Ambrose said that Ellsworth is a fighter unlike Styles, to which Styles took exception to. Ellsworth tried to get in between the two when Styles shoved him into Ambrose. Styles threw Ellsworth out of the ring and hit the Phenomenal Forearm to Ambrose.
A video played recapping last week when Randy Orton hit an RKO on Kane to help Bray Wyatt win their no disqualification match. As a result, Orton and Kane will have a no disqualification match tonight.
Rating – 6/10: The Ellsworth reaction was flat once he started talking and he was a little over the top with his facial expressions when Styles was talking. It was good to see Styles get the upperhand on Ambrose, particularly because Ambrose just claimed he wasn’t a fighting champion. The Orton/Wyatt stuff is interesting, but it feels like the Daniel Bryan storyline from a few years back so far. We will see where they go with it.
In the back, Daniel Bryan caught up with Ellsworth, who was still apologizing to Ambrose. Bryan told Ambrose he will get another shot at Styles tonight and if he wins, he will get another shot at the championship, but that this would be his last chance. Bryan told Ellsworth that he is not allowed to go to ringside for any reason at all.
Randy Orton made his way to the ring for his no disqualification match against Kane. During his entrance, the commentators questioned whether he had aligned himself with the Wyatt Family. Orton quickly rolled outside and grabbed a chair, which Kane promptly took from him and smashed him over the back. After about two minutes in, Kane set up for a chokeslam, only to be interrupted by the Wyatt Family sounder. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper were at ringside when the lights came back on. They tried to pull Kane out of the ring, but he laid both out. Wyatt tried to attack Kane inside the ring, but Kane grabbed him by his throat. Orton hit the RKO on Kane and pinned him while staring at Wyatt upside down. After the match, Kane started to get up but Harper put him down with a discuss lariat. Orton then pushed Kane to Wyatt so he could deliver Sister Abigail. Wyatt kneeled over Kane while Orton posed on the second turnbuckle.
Rating – 6/10: The match was very quick, but the real story was obvious the post-match happenings. Orton continues to tease being aligned with the Wyatts, but even they aren’t 100% certain. It’s a slow build, which is good.
A Baron Corbin video aired highlighting him running his mouth to fans and saying he doesn’t give a damn.
Back in the arena, Nikki Bella and Becky Lynch made their way down for a tag team match against Carmella and Alexa Bliss. Bella and Carmella started off, but Carmella ran away from her. Bliss tagged herself in and locked up with Bella. The heel team worked over Bella until Lynch made a hot tag and hit a few of her signature moves on Carmella. Lynch had Bliss covered at one point, but Carmella distracted the referee. Bliss gauged Lynch’s eyes and put her away with a DDT.
After the match, Bliss took a microphone from Sasha Fuentes and interviewed Carmella herself. Bliss asked who Carmella was looking forward to humiliating at Survivor Series. Carmella called out Bayley and Charlotte in particular and said none of them could hang with the women of Smackdown. Carmella asked Bliss what her strategy was for her Smackdown Women’s Championship match next week. Bliss said Lynch’s fairy tale will come to an end and delivered a cheesy line about being the wicked witch of Smackdown.
Backstage, Bryan and McMahon told Naomi that she would be the fifth member of the Women’s team for Survivor Series. After Naomi left, Natalya offered to be the coach of the team. Shane was in favor of it, but Bryan was hesitant. Eventually, Bryan gave in and agreed.
Rating – 6/10: Bliss going over is the right call as it makes Lynch look vulnerable going in to their championship match next weekend. The post-match talking was fine until the cheesy Wizard of Oz related line. Bliss has done well overall with the opportunity given to her since arriving on the main roster.
Back from commercial, the Spirit Squad was in the ring and about to do a cheer before they were interrupted by American Alpha for a Survivor Series qualifying match. The first few minutes saw the Spirit Squad dominate Chad Gable. Eventually, Gable dodged a Kenny Dykstra top rope leg drop and made the hot tag to Jason Jordan. American Alpha ended up hitting Grand Amplitude for the victory.
A video aired recapping Goldberg hitting Rusev with the Jackhammer and Paul Heyman with a spear.
Rating – 6/10: The tag match was fine and the right team won. It would be nice to see Dykstra stick around without the Spirit Squad gimmick, but otherwise, I don’t want to see the tag team again. They’ve fulfilled their purpose.
Back inside the ring, The Miz and Maryse hosted Miz TV and introduced their guest, Daniel Bryan. The crowd chanted Bryan’s name for a while until The Miz interrupted them. The Miz asked about the Survivor Series team. Bryan said that the tag teams will have two more qualifying matches to determine the final two teams to join the tag team elimination match. The Miz asked about the all-male tag team match. Bryan stated their team would be Randy Orton, Baron Corbin, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles. The Miz was not pleased that he was not on the team. Miz asked if he was even considered, to which Bryan replied “nope.” The Miz said he was Smackdown’s only chance for a victory and that he never gets an opportunity. Bryan said they need superstars who are not afraid to fight and brought up Miz not wanting to fight Dolph Ziggler last week. Miz said Bryan was scared to fight and put Maryse in between himself and Bryan. Miz told Bryan he wasn’t even good at his job and told him to go back and do what he does best, and that is to go back to moping around John Cena’s house on Total Bellas. Bryan told Miz to sit down and run his mouth while Dolph Ziggler defends the Intercontinental Championship in an open challenge. Ziggler made his way to the ring.
Rating – 8/10: The Miz and Daniel Bryan were great here. Both men showed good intensity and fire with their part of the promo. Baron Corbin being a part of the match is somewhat surprising, but is also a nice rub for him. It would have made zero sense if Styles was not a part of the team. The tease of an open challenge is a nice hook headed in to the commercial break.
Curt Hawkins answered the challenge and said there was no better place to do it than here in Atlantic City (they are in Newark). The bell rang, Hawkins turned right in to a super kick, and Ziggler pinned him.
Renee Young interviewed Ziggler in the ring after the match. Ziggler said he’s been a fighting champion his entire life and offered an open challenge to any superstar on Monday Night RAW, which set the Miz off.
Backstage, Sasha Fuentes interviewed Dean Ambrose about his match and asked about “James Ellis.” Ambrose corrected her but was distracted by Ellsworth standing nearby. Ellsworth asked if he could possibly be ringside. Ambrose shut him down.
Rating – 7/10: Well, so much for all of the Curt Hawkins promos. That was over before it even began. The Ziggler open challenge to RAW is very interesting. Will it end up just being The Miz who answers the call or will we actually get someone from RAW? And for that matter, who on RAW would be worthy that is not involved in the elimination match?
There was a recap of the Wyatt and Orton angle from early. Backstage, Wyatt told Orton that his desire to be one of them has been met with skepticism because he is a snake. Wyatt said anyone with credentials like him is welcome into the family. Orton said he was born with devils whispering in his ear and that he was done trying to fight it. He said he was done trying to fight it and that Wyatt was a god. Some weird lights flashed in Orton’s eyes.
The Headbangers were in the ring already while the Usos made their entrance. The Usos attacked the Headbangers before the bell started. After the match began, the Usos worked over Thrasher. Eventually, Mosh received a tag and hit a couple of moves on the brothers. A short time later, Jey hit Mosh from the outside, which allowed Jimmy to roll him up for the win.
Backstage, Dean Ambrose showed James Ellsworth where the exit was and put him outside.
Rating – 6/10: It’s worth noting that Luke Harper appeared to take offense to Wyatt openly welcomed Orton in to the family. The eye light stuff looked campy, but the whole Wyatt Family thing has been recently. The Usos winning absolutely should be in the tag team match and should be spotlighted in the big tag team match. Maybe Ellsworth turns on Ambrose tonight for treating him how he is?
Ambrose and Styles match quickly spilled outside, where Ambrose was in control. Ambrose tried to put Styles away quickly a few times and got him locked in the Texas Cloverleaf. Styles made his way to the ropes to force a break. Ambrose hit a top rope double arm hook suplex for a two count. A couple minutes later, Styles rolled Ambrose in the Calf Crusher until Ambrose reached the ropes.
Back from a commercial, Ambrose was in control. Styles fought back and both men were down with a double clothesline. While they were out, James Ellsworth showed up at ringside, coming in through the crowd. Ambrose turned his attention to him which allowed Styles to hit the Pele kick on him for a good near fall. Security made their way down to run Ellsworth out of the arena. There was a great spot where both men reversed a few moves that resulted in Styles locking the Calf Crusher again. After teasing passing out, Ambrose grabbed the bottom rope. Styles was setting up for the Phenomenal Forearm when Ellsworth and the chasing security guards showed up. Styles got off the apron and knocked Ellsworth over the announce table. Styles went for the maneuver but Ambrose kicked him and performed Dirty Deeds for the win. Ellsworth was shown smiling as the security guards drug him out of the building.
Rating – 7/10: Some people are probably tired of the Ellsworth stuff, but it isn’t too over the top… yet. It will be interesting to see when they decide to have the title match. Will it be next week or will they pull double duty at Survivor Series? Either way, Styles should hold the title through at least the Royal Rumble.