Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown Live 11/29/16: Proven Loyalty
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.
– The opening contract signing segment for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship match for TLC between Alexa Bliss and Champion Becky Lynch was a good start, as the events were also shown throughout the episode. Renee Young initially mediated, but was a ploy for Bliss to lay in some early insults, eventually hurled towards the Champ. The exchange here was strong, as Bliss continued to deliver her case that Lynch had “dumb Irish luck,” while Lynch argued that she earned everything she got so far. Lynch dipped into the Bad Pun Sea, but luckily they switched it up before eyes could roll. The physicality only made this out to be a typical contract signing segment, but was necessary. Lynch got revenge for Bliss’ attack last week as she initiated the brawl, but it was Bliss who stood tall, since she pushed Lynch off the top rope and through the table. Hey, if it worked for Sheamus in 2010…
– The Dolph Ziggler/Kalisto-WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz/Baron Corbin match was a smart way to fill up some time with attention to two feuds that had stipulation matches that favored the TLC layout. Ziggler was presented as resilient as he neared his “last chance” against Miz in a Ladder match, while the bully Corbin was equaled by a more aggressive Kalisto in a Chairs match. Plentiful action in short spurts and while the result was inconsequential thanks to the disqualification, it cleverly had the weapons used for their TLC matches. Maryse dropped a ladder on Ziggler on the outside, while Corbin used a chair on Kalisto before he could pin Miz after a Salida Del Sol. The heels sort of got the better end of that, customary for go-home shows.
– American Alpha’s backstage promo hyped the main event, where they’d fight Randy Orton/Bray Wyatt for the #1 Contender’s spot for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship. This was a welcome change, since AA had the chance to talk and show some of that charisma from NXT. Chad Gable particularly came off well and we liked the idea that Jason Jordan flipped the script and implied that The Wyatt Family should’ve been scared of them.
– The Wyatt Family’s fog promo was too instant, but it was what it was. Orton gave us the impression that they were a force and almost tried to rub it in Luke Harper’s face that him/Bray Wyatt had a better bond. That was done subtly though. Harper was questioned by Orton if he’d “do what he needed” against Kane, as Wyatt demanded he send the Demon back to hell. Feel that tension, yo.
– The in-ring segment with Carmella and Nikki Bella worked as hype for their No Disqualification match at TLC. Carmella handled herself well and responded awesomely to the “How you doin’?” chants that referred her former boys in Enzo Amore/Big Cass. Carmella publicly insulted Bella’s breasts and her boyfriend John Cena, which was justification enough for Bella to come out and attack. Carmella sold that spear like a Champ. They brawled around for a little before Carmella barely escaped.
– The “Ambrose Asylum: TLC Edition” segment with Dean Ambrose, James Ellsworth and WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles was a necessary way to draw big heat upon the Champion in lieu of his recent string of losses to Ellsworth with Ambrose’s help – the last one to bring Ellsworth a contract to SD Live. Ambrose had a brief moment where he “brought it home” on how the stipulation favored his unstable ways, before Styles took over the whole thing. It was brutal and we loved it. He isolated Ellsworth from Ambrose and then performed a Styles Clash off the steel steps onto the floor after he whipped him in the back with a chair. Ellsworth sold that brilliantly, as it had the commentary team question if it was all over for Ellsworth in WWE. Better yet, Styles went into TLC with momentum.
– The backstage segment with Ambrose and Ellsworth finely followed up, as Ambrose promised to fix things for his injured friend. He accompanied him in the ambulance. Good stuff.
– The Harper-Kane match was more of a slugfest than we anticipated between the two big men, but it was met with little fanfare. Can’t blame anyone there. Kane got the nod after a big superplex and he locked in a chokeslam for the win. Kane had no direction, so perhaps it was designed to further tension between Harper and Orton.
– Lynch’s backstage promo had the angle of how she felt after being shoved through the table. We learned this would now be a Tables match at TLC, which put the opening segment into full circle. Lynch came off as a fighter, but given her “injured” status as an out to lose, we expected Bliss to somehow get the win at TLC. The “bitch” line at the end was also nice.
– The WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship #1 Contender’s match between AA and Orton/Wyatt was fine for a main event and had plenty of time, which was all we could ask. AA were finally in a position where they were close to a notable accomplishment, yet didn’t get lost in the Wyatt hocus-pocus stuff either. Not much memorable in the way of big spots besides for Gables’ lariat off the apron onto Orton, but the hurried pace towards the end made this feel unpredictable. The “twist” was that Harper appeared before Jordan could take full use of his singlets going down, which served as a way of making it up to his leader. Gable was taken out by an RKO, as Jordan missed a run into the corner and was set up for Sister Abigail to take the loss. We also liked that WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions Heath Slater/Rhyno watched from backstage to sell the moment. Yes, Rhyno ate chips in case you wondered. Orton/Wyatt made a good match for Slater/Rhyno at TLC and the potential for the Wyatt tension to bleed its way into the Tag Team Division could give the whole division a storyline spotlight. It could actually go either way and that’s the feeling you want to convey, especially headed into a Pay-Per-View.
– The backstage segment with Slater, Rhyno, Styles and Ambrose was okay for a show closer, though it felt unnecessary on the Ambrose-Styles side of things. We did like the Styles-Tag Champs interaction, as that’s something they could build upon down the road. Rhyno was about to get at Styles before Ambrose beat him to it and walloped him all over the catering table. This was set up as Ambrose getting his revenge for his friend, but we would’ve left it where Styles had all the heat earlier. Then again, this was a typical brawl and not the end of the world. TLC still looks solid though.
- Dolph Ziggler/Kalisto def. The Miz (w/Maryse)/Baron Corbin via DQ
- Kane def. Luke Harper via pinfall
- WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship #1 Contender’s Match – Bray Wyatt/Randy Orton def. American Alpha via pinfall
Posted on February 6, 2017, in WWE and tagged AJ Styles, Alexa Bliss, American Alpha, Baron Corbin, Becky Lynch, Bray Wyatt, Carmella, David Otunga, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Heath Slater, James Ellsworth, JBL, Kalisto, Kane, Luke Harper, Maryse, Mauro Ranallo, Nikki Bella, Randy Orton, Renee Young, Rhyno, The Miz, The Wyatt Family, TLC, Tom Phillips. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.