Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown Live 12/6/16: Drunk Off Chin And Juice
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.
Drunk Off Chin And Juice
– The opening video replayed James Ellsworth’s betrayal of Dean Ambrose, as he tipped over a ladder with him on it and caused him to land through two tables outside, which helped WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles retain. As we learned on the post-TLC Talking Smack, Ellsworth planned to challenge Styles for the belt and pawned off the idea of an angry Ambrose as an obstacle. The dynamic would be interesting this time since Ellsworth was on his own.
– The opening Styles/Ellsworth/Ambrose in-ring segment was pleasant followup, carried by Styles’ stellar mic work. Also revealed was that Styles wasn’t medically cleared to compete since he sported a boot on his left foot, so the Styles-Ellsworth Title match was off. Ellsworth actually showed some upbeat prowess on the mic for once, as he accused Styles of ducking him because he had his number with three previous defeats over him. Styles was good as he reminded Ellsworth he was here because of Ambrose and needed to prepare for punishment, because he knew what an angry Ambrose was like, as he pointed to his boot for a visual aide. Ambrose’s portion of the segment made total sense, since he came down and simply hit Ellsworth with a Dirty Deeds, much to Styles’ delight.
– Glad to see they finally reworked the blurred Wyatt Family sounder to fit in recent images of Randy Orton and Luke Harper. The Wyatt Family fog promo simply told us they were there and to run.
– The WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship match between Champions Orton/Bray Wyatt and Heath Slater/Rhyno went better than expected, since it was a TLC rematch. The babyface challengers put up more of a fight here luckily, especially from Slater. Rhyno also appeared more amped than usual. The match’s second half belonged to the heels. The odd thing was that we’ve begun to dig Orton as part of The Wyatt act. He has settled in nicely at the right time. The finish was anticlimactic, as Slater was primed for a Sister Abigail before Wyatt passed him off to Orton for an RKO to retain. We suspect Rhyno will turn on Slater to give them a program headed into the new year.
– Kalisto’s backstage promo focused on his request for a rematch against Baron Corbin, as he emphasized that “speed kills.” He also put Corbin over as he described his injuries sustained from their chairs match.
– The Carmella-Natalya match advanced the “Carmella stirs the pot” storyline where the two were supposed to battle, before Carmella cut a lengthy pre-match promo where she backed up reasons why Natalya would attack Nikki Bella at Survivor Series, wrapped up in jealousy. Carmella’s snap on the “How you doin?” chants was great. Anyways, like anybody would upon being insulted, Natalya came down and attacked Carmella. The heel slipped away after a cowardly slap and we were left with the image where Natalya ran into Bella backstage, as she tried to convince Bella not to believe what she heard. Well, that was awkward.
– Corbin’s backstage promo hyped his match with Kalisto, as he gave him the Ryback treatment (“I’m a big guy and he’s a little guy”) and called him a “mosquito that would be splat.” Always works.
– The Hype Bros.-Ascension match was put together to see who’d “make an impact.” Besides for the good idea to have both teams cut pre-taped promos to state their case, not much here to get excited over. For a moment, we thought maybe Ascension would get a mini-push since The Wyatts were on top and it was even mentioned in their promo, but the match went to the Hype Ryder finish instead. We have no desire to see either of these teams in the Title hunt at the moment when there’s better teams out there.
– The MizTV segment with WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz, Maryse, Ambrose and General Manger Daniel Bryan was great and also set up the night’s main event. The gist of it was that Miz repeatedly got under Ambrose’s skin as he reminded him of what Ellsworth did and painted him as a manipulative person who deserved what he had coming. The “Participation Award” bit to Ambrose got a nice rise out of the crowd and was a fun reference to Miz’s past promos and jabs at Bryan. Before Ambrose could strike Miz, it was Bryan’s job to get some revenge, as he booked Miz to compete against Ambrose in the main event and for fun, put the IC title on the line. Biggest pop of the night, believe it or not.
– The Kalisto-Corbin match was a TLC rematch we didn’t mind seeing. When something works, keep it going. The early story saw Corbin come aggressively while Kalisto flew around. Corbin hit a nice shoulder pounce before Kalisto soon countered with a top rope moonsault. Eventually, Kalisto’s efforts where thwarted with an End Of Days. It would’ve been cool to see Kalisto get an upset here to keep the feud going and it was less time than TLC, but we also welcome the idea to keep Corbin strong for whatever the next plan might be.
– The backstage segment with Bella and Sophia Grace was a cheap plug for something for some other.
– The Chad Gable-Tyler Breeze match was some nice singles action, if you’re into that. The basic storyline was that AA didn’t accept the “fashion police tickets” that were handed to them “earlier in the day” and challenged them to bring it in the ring. Gable particularly shined there as he ripped Breezango a new one. Some lighthearted action that emphasized AA for the better. Jason Jordan hit Fandango with a German Suplex on the outside, which set Gable up to hit a cool combination of an Okada roll into a German Suplex with a bridge pin to get the win.
– The WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss/Becky Lynch in-ring segment was about Bliss’ “Championship celebration” that was ultimately cut short by the former scorned Champion. Wait – there was pyro upon Bliss’ entrance, so there was that. Bliss soaked up the moment before Lynch came down. She emphasized that staying on top was different than getting there and tried to get her rematch right there. That set up the classic “Heel pretends to want to fight and walks away” bit, as Bliss decided it wasn’t time. They’ll probably drag that out some more.
– The WWE Intercontinental Championship main event match between Ambrose and Champion The Miz succeeded as a back-and-forth even-handed battle that gave both men something different. Some nice counter reversals towards the end, as we saw Maryse attempt to cost Ambrose the match, but failed. We expected an Ellsworth run-in and got one, as he distracted the Referee on the apron when Ambrose had Miz pinned. Ambrose approached Ellsworth and before he could lay a hand, he was put down with the Skull-Crushing Finale to lose. We can see why it happened, as it gives Ambrose more reasons to get his hands on Ellsworth. Hell, we actually got a kick out of it. Can Ambrose form a tag team with someone just so they can get a shot at the Tag Titles and Ellsworth can cost him another belt?
- WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship – Randy Orton/Bray Wyatt (Champions) (w/Luke Harper) def. Heath Slater/Rhyno via pinfall to retain
- The Hype Bros. def. The Ascension via pinfall
- Baron Corbin def. Kalisto via pinfall
- Chad Gable (w/Jason Jordan) def. Tyler Breeze (w/Fandango) via pinfall
- WWE Intercontinental Championship – The Miz (Champion) (w/Maryse) def. Dean Ambrose via pinfall to retain
Posted on February 19, 2017, in WWE and tagged AJ Styles, Alexa Bliss, Baron Corbin, Becky Lynch, Bray Wyatt, Carmella, Chad Gable, Daniel Bryan, David Otunga, Dean Ambrose, Fandango, Heath Slater, James Ellsworth, Jason Jordan, JBL, Kalisto, Luke Harper, Maryse, Mauro Ranallo, Natalya, Nikki Bella, Randy Orton, Rhyno, Royal Rumble, Sophia Grace, The Ascension, The Hype Bros., The Miz, The Wyatt Family, TLC, Tom Phillips, Tyler Breeze. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.