Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown Live 10/25/16: If You Can’t Beat ‘Em…
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.
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em…
– The opening video built up the main event of Dean Ambrose-WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles with the catch that if Ambrose won, he’d be #1 Contender for the World Title. They also glossed over James Ellsworth’s two wins over Styles with Ambrose’s help and how it’d all factor into things. It was another cool instance where a bout came from a “Talking Smack” segment. Only SD Live hypes their own post-show. None of that happens on Raw, but we guess three hours is enough to suffer through for most.
– The backstage segment with Ambrose and Ellsworth set things up for the main event, as Ambrose turned down Ellsworth’s request to join him at ringside as a “thank you” for the last two weeks. The people like Ellsworth, so there was an audible boo when Ambrose said “No.”
– The No Disqualification match between Bray Wyatt and Kane was an apparent Backlash rematch that we never wanted to begin with. They sparred back and forth with strikes, which led to Kane trying to Chokeslam Wyatt through the announce table when Luke Harper appeared after the lights went out. It takes a lot to suspend disbelief with all this hocus locus magic. If Wyatt’s capable of these things, why not just completely obliterate his opponents? The finish came out of left field with Orton’s surprise RKO on Kane when it appeared him and Kane were about to double-team Harper, but we’ll welcome it. We hope this doesn’t repeat itself like SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan’s infamous stint with The Wyatt Family. Wyatt got the cover after the RKO, as we’re intrigued to see how Kane reacts. Despite that, a Kane-Orton match sounds dull.
– The backstage promo from Styles helped hype the main event some more as he insulted both Ambrose/Ellsworth. He also promised some nice physical harm for them both.
– The in-ring segment with WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss did more great hype for Lynch’s defense against Alexa Bliss on Nov. 8 in Glasgow, Scotland. Bliss was excellent on the mic here, as her delivery and tone was perfect. She had enough sarcasm to express disbelief at Lynch’s absence and likened it to her fear. Lynch promised to rip her arm off, but she was flat on the mic. Bliss looked better out of this, but perhaps that was by design. She laid out the Champ with a DDT and sprayed a yellow line down her back, which tied back to her promo when she called “Lynch” yellow. You know what we say – if it worked for Randy Savage in 1996, it must work here.
– The Hype Bros.-Ascension match for a spot to represent SmackDown in the Survivor Series Tag Team match was good action-wise. Forgettable stuff, as the only thing that got us through it was the fact that they were in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where Mojo Rawley once sported #64 on the Green Bay Packers. His ring attire was Packers colors and they got the crowd into him, as The Ascension continue to be presented better (both teams had pre-taped promos in fact) but with the stipulation and the hometown factor, we already knew the result. Who’d want to see The Ascension represent SD? Hype Bros. won with the Hype Ryder.
– Orton’s backstage promo followed up his actions, as he silently looked cold at the camera and uttered, “If you can’t beat them, join them…” Cliche but effective. Again, we want to see what Kane does here. Don’t make them have a match though.
– The backstage segment with Bryan and Natalya in Bryan’s Office directly hyped the match to come, as we saw Natalya try to convince Bryan to make her the Team Captain of SD Women’s Team. She also loosely plugged the Hell In A Cell Pay-Per-View and the “Triple Main Event.” This was where we found out that Nikki Bella had approached Bryan with the same idea and he booked a match between them to determine the Captain, while the loser would be off the team completely. High stakes there.
– The Bella-Natalya match to determine Team SD’s Women’s Captain with the loser out completely was fine as far as ring action. Bella seems more comfortable on SD and has immensely improved in the ring. Also liked the note that commentary made that SS would come from Natalya’s hometown as an added twist. A back and forth bout, as we saw Bella break out some unorthodox things, like a springboard enziguiri. Creative finish as she countered Natalya’s Gory Special submission into an STF (an ode to her husband John Cena) to get the win. The post-match angle where Carmella attacked Bella and laid her out with the Bella Buster was also effective. Their feud will never end either.
– The backstage promo from Ambrose also hyped the main event as he also mentioned Styles’ earlier comments and brought a serious tone to things and said it was about becoming #1 Contender again. He got a bit cutesy with the “Karma’s a female dog” stuff, but we were left wanting to see this match more.
– The in-ring segment with The Miz, Maryse, The Spirit Squad, WWE Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler and WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions Heath Slater/Rhyno was a good follow-up to last week. Miz/Maryse continued to play up the “mourning” bit as they donned more black clothes and Miz spoke of the IC Title as a shame now as he compared it to the legends that once wore the gold. Ziggler’s involvement saw him throw down a suggestion to have Miz’s rematch now, to which the heel turned it down because he wanted it on his own terms. Just when it appeared a three-on-one beatdown would happen on Ziggler, the Tag Champs came down to have his back. Slater was a little flat on the mic, but luckily, it wasn’t the prime focus. Miz recalled Kenny’s pin on Slater last week, which set up the Tag Title match as predicted. Slater tried to get out of it, but Rhyno accepted when Miz goaded him with “Male Cheerleaders.” Classic Slater/Rhyno.
– The WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship match between Champions Slater/Rhyno and SS with Ziggler/Miz on commentary killed two birds with one stone. The crowd was hot for Rhyno the whole time, as Miz/Ziggler bickered on commentary to the point where they almost came to blows, which played into the finish. Slater knocked Kenny off the apron to land on Miz outside, while Mikey was left for a Gore that ended the match. What’s left for SS here? Who knows, but maybe they’ll change their looks. Also thought it was a nice touch to see that Ziggler donned an Ellsworth shirt under his blue denim jacket.
– The backstage segment with Ambrose and Ellsworth gave us one last ounce of main event hype as Ambrose encountered Ellsworth “sulking” backstage and cheered him up when he finally accepted his request to be in his corner during the match. A “Yes!” chant was audible for this. This also meant the trio of Styles/Ambrose/Ellsworth would be in the main event slot again, with roles differed once again.
– The Ambrose-Styles main event where if Ambrose won, he’d be #1 Contender for the World Title was actually another great match. Ellsworth was also a nice factor at ringside, as Styles threw his shirt at him and baseball slid kicked him at another point. Some new stuff was broken out by Ambrose such as a Fujiwara Armbar and a Clover Leaf. Styles snuck out a springboard inverted DDT. Also another nasty bump where Styles hit a snap suplex from the apron to the floor. There was another creative spot where Ambrose was caught in the Calf Crusher and fought out of it briefly as he slammed Styles’ head into the canvas before he was back in it. He got to the ropes and cleared Styles from the ring. Ellsworth had gotten up from Styles’ baseball slide and had enough, as he raged up for a “No Chin Music” superkick that laid the Champ out. The relief was subdued when we realized that Ellsworth’s superkick accidentally DQ’d Ambrose for outside interference. After a good 15-20 seconds, Ellsworth was shocked as Ambrose pleaded for the Official to not call for the bell, but it happened. Normally, we’d poo-poo on this, but it was an excellent way of having things play out as now we want to see how Ambrose takes this. After all, he never wanted Ellsworth out to begin with and now that he did let him out, it cost him a Title opportunity. They did it in a way that cast sympathy upon Ellsworth too.
- No Disqualification – Bray Wyatt def. Kane via pinfall
- Winner Represents SmackDown Live’s In Survivor Series Tag Team Match – The Hype Bros. def. The Ascension via pinfall
- Winner Captains SmackDown Live’s Women’s Team At Survivor Series, Loser Is Out Of The Team – Nikki Bella def. Natalya via submission
- WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship – Heath Slater/Rhyno def. The Spirit Squad via pinfall to retain
- If Dean Ambrose Wins, He Becomes #1 Contender For WWE World Heavyweight Championship – AJ Styles def. Dean Ambrose (w/James Ellsworth) via DQ
Posted on December 17, 2016, in WWE and tagged AJ Styles, Alexa Bliss, Becky Lynch, Booker T, Bray Wyatt, Carmella, Daniel Bryan, David Otunga, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Heath Slater, Hell In A Cell, James Ellsworth, JBL, Jerry Lawler, Kane, Luke Harper, Maryse, Mauro Ranallo, Natalya, Nikki Bella, Randy Orton, Renee Young, Rhyno, Survivor Series, The Ascension, The Hype Bros., The Miz, The Spirit Squad. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.