Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown Live 9/13/16: The Champ That Runs The Camp

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez


“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.






(Aired 9/13/16)

The Champ That Runs The Camp

– As we expected, the opening video showed us the biggest highlights of the Backlash Pay-Per-View: Becky Lynch became the first-ever WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion, Maryse helped The Miz retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Dolph Ziggler with a foreign substance spray, Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt played a game of “I can injure you better than you can injure me,” there was a No Holds Barred match, an announce table (not the Spanish one) was broken, Heath Slater received both a WWE SmackDown Live contract and the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships with Rhyno and arguably the biggest news – AJ Styles defeated Dean Ambrose with a low blow and a Styles Clash to complete his rise to the top with the company’s most coveted prize, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Follow-up shows are always fun. Let’s hope this is one of those episodes.

– The opening in-ring segment with Ambrose, Styles, John Cena and SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon was a hot start to say the least. Instant money was created with the No Mercy main event announcement and we had a fair build-up for it. Styles got his moment to brag to the Philadelphia crowd that he was now “The Champ That Runs The Camp” and clearly didn’t expect Cena to interrupt him. We’re not sure what Cena has done to deserve a Title shot, but when he brought up his aspiration to tie Ric Flair’s 16-time World Title reigns, we couldn’t help but get washed up in it. Cue an angry Ambrose, who called out Styles on his underhanded tactics to his face. The promo’s real fire came in the Cena-Ambrose exchange. Cena felt Ambrose deserved what he had coming when he “crotched” Styles just the week beforehand, while Ambrose boldly labeled Cena a “lazy part-timer.” Ouch. This brought in Shane-O-Mac, who justified that a triple threat between all three men for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship only made sense because Styles “tore the house down with his opponents.” Again, still don’t see how Cena easily earns a Title shot when Styles cleanly defeated him, but Ambrose easily fits in the equation based off what happened at Backlash, so the more, the merrier. These three will kill it at No Mercy. We also had the news that Shane booked the main event as Cena/Ambrose (yup, reluctant partnership again) against Styles and a partner of his choosing and if he couldn’t find one, one would be appointed for him. So much accomplished there.

– Some of the booking might be looked at as lazy for this episode since a good portion of it were Backlash rematches, but the case of The Usos-Hype Bros. match made sense, as the goal was clear from the start to further showcase the heel Usos, who relayed more aggression and raked eyes to get to the top. The big splash ended a short, but effective match.

– Curt Hawkins will bless our screens in the coming future. With all the things that this guy could supposedly do, he sounds like a lifesaver. He had another hype video promo, except this time he said the facts himself and was live and in living color.

– The in-ring segment with Miz, Maryse, Zigler and SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan was effective in setting up a supposed NM rematch between the two. Miz brought up some cool factoids where he said his 162-day reign already surpassed others like Pat Patterson, Triple H and Ziggler himself. Miz and Ziggler exchanged some hearty insults before Ziggler asked for a second go with “no wives, stunt doubles, or Maryses this time.” Bryan was out to make the bout official based off how Miz won at Backlash when Miz reminded him that Ziggler didn’t earn the original Title shot to begin with and said the belt wouldn’t be defended until his contract was renegotiated. Basically, a good way to continue those separate tensions between Bryan and Miz and Ziggler and Miz. The A-Lister can do no wrong right now. We do argue that Bryan could simply strip Miz of the belt if he really wanted to, but maybe it would hurt his work ethic.

– The two had a recent interaction, but it was interesting to see Styles approach Baron Corbin as a partner option. True to his character, Corbin refused and only eyed in on the Championship Styles possessed. We also learned of Corbin’s apparent Backlash rematch against Apollo Crews to come.

– The Corbin-Crews match didn’t even get to see life, as Corbin ambushed Crews right from his entrance and wiped him out with the End Of Days on the floor. This followed up with Jack Swagger confronting Corbin shortly before Corbin backed away. Hey, that’s the guy whose contract expired yesterday. Swagger had a different look to him with the black t-shirt and backwards cap. His initial promo bombed with his outdated Rollins Stones reference and mention of his “smoking hot wife.” He recovered with the “We The People” chant, but the people always say that. It seemed most were confused on how to react to Swagger, but perhaps SmackDown will be good to him like it once was. You could only go up from a loss to Jinder Mahal of all people.

– The Fatal Five-Way between Naomi, Nikki Bella, Alexa Bliss, Natalya and Carmella to determine Lynch’s next challenger followed a pre-match promo from the Champ, as she soaked in “You deserve it!” chants and confidently welcomed her next opponent, whomever it would be. This was more of what we saw at Backlash, but that’s a great thing here. Energetic match where we saw a little something from everybody involved and good near-falls too. The Carmella-Bella feud continued on as they went back-and-forth on one another. Bella was even getting high crowd support at one point surprisingly enough. The finish was nice since it saw an opportunistic Bliss again take advantage of a situation and “steal” the pinfall away from Carmella, who had Bella laid out with a superkick. Bliss felt like the right person to go over since a feud with her and Lynch was already kind of planted and could go further here. They’re polar opposites in terms of character and that always makes for fun matches.

– The backstage segment with Styles and Kane continued Styles’ struggle to find a partner, as “The Devil’s Favorite Demon” laughed at the Champ’s request to team up.

– Here it was – Slater would finally get to sign his contract and make it official. He brought Rhyno to the ring as Shane already told in there. Slater was the proud man as he thanked Bryan, Shane and his wife before The Ascension interrupted him and challenged them to defend the belts. It was a bit funny to see Slater try to get out of fighting as he used the excuse of there being a table, to which Shane gleefully booked the bout.

– The WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship match between The Ascension and Champions Slater/Rhyno was ultimately short and sweet, as it followed the usual Slater/Rhyno formula where Slater got manhandled and eventually tagged in Rhyno, who made the difference with the Gore to get the pin. Think that was blood on the side of Slater’s nose there. Why does he always bleed?

– Possibly the greatest moment of the night came when Bryan approached Styles about the partner situation and boldly introduced Styles’ appointed partner, the one and only James Ellsworth. Yes, that same guy.

– The in-ring segment with Orton, Wyatt and Erick Rowan mixed in a Wyatt fog promo that responded to an Orton challenge that basically beat around the bush to reveal that Rowan was back in the equation to show that Wyatt had both the mental and physical advantage. Of course, it couldn’t end without an RKO on Rowan, to give Orton some momentum.

– The Ambrose/Cena-Styles/Ellsworth main event never got to materialize thanks to Miz’s actions when he brutally assaulted Ellsworth and laid him out with the Skull-Crushing Finale on the ramp. This was perfect because Miz clearly sabotaged Bryan’s plan and the guy believed his Title made him the main event, so it made sense. This meant that Miz was Styles’ new partner. The Ambrose/Cena-Styles/Miz main event didn’t stretch its limits and was action-filled where it counted most. Basically, the three-way World Title feud continued and Miz got to hang with the big guys. The finish was formulaic, as Ambrose took out Styles with a suicide dive while Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment on Miz for the pinfall. The post-match angle was great as Ambrose wasted no time giving Cena the Dirty Deeds to pretty loud boos, all things considering. This was the perfect way to book Ambrose, who has shown signs of either heelish tendencies or more of an “edge” where he has ditched the quirky comedy. He was serious this whole episode. The way it needs to be.






Quick Results

  • The Usos def. The Hype Bros. via pinfall 
  • Winner Gets WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship Title Shot – Fatal Five-Way – Alexa Bliss def. Carmella, Nikki Bella, Naomi and Natalya via pinfall 
  • WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships – Heath Slater/Rhyno (Champions) def. The Ascension via pinfall to retain 
  • John Cena/Dean Ambrose def. AJ Styles/The Miz via pinfall 

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on October 30, 2016, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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