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WWE SmackDown live results: Bliss vs. Lynch in a steel cage match

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Date: January 17, 2017
Location: FedExForum in Memphis, TN

The Big Takeaway --

La Luchadora was revealed to be Mickie James after all. James interfered in the women’s championship match and helped Alexa Bliss retain over Becky Lynch.

Jerry Lawler returned but was superkicked in the chest by Dolph Ziggler. Shane McMahon announced that SmackDown will host Elimination Chamber next month and the WWE title would be defended in a Chamber match. Dean Ambrose defeated Randy Orton thanks to Luke Harper. The Wyatts haven’t broken up, but Orton and Harper will have a singles match next week. Finally, Natalya and Nikki Bella had another entertaining brawl.

Show Recap -- 

Shane McMahon came out and the announcers wished him a belated happy birthday. Shane plugged the Royal Rumble match and ran down the list of participants. Goldberg seemed to get the biggest reaction.

Shane announced the WWE Championship would be defended at Elimination Chamber (less than 4 weeks away), which brought out AJ Styles. Styles was displeased of course, but Shane mentioned it could be record-tying 16-time champ John Cena defending the title. Styles said that would happen over his dead body, and that Shane should've consulted him first. The crowd loudly chanted for Styles.

Shane wanted to make sure the best of the best was champ going into WrestleMania. He put over Styles but didn't like his attitude. Styles threatened to take the title and go back to Japan. This brought out John Cena and this led to loud dueling chants.

Styles told Cena to shut up as soon as he started talking. He said Cena’s brother-in-law gifted him a title shot and Shane’s Chamber idea was stupid. Styles claimed people didn’t respect him and wondered who would try to steal his spotlight next, which brought out The Miz and Maryse right on cue.

Miz said he would defeat Dean Ambrose to retain the IC title, win the Rumble and the WWE title. Styles called him delusional, so Miz mocked his accent and reminded him that he beat up John Cena at WrestleMania while Styles was in Japan.

Cena egged on Styles, so Styles reminded us that he knocked out Miz’s teeth last time they were in Memphis. Styles was surprised Miz doesn’t perform with a limp after the beating he gave him, then asked Maryse if maybe he does. Cena then egged on Miz, but before they could get into it, Shane made a singles match.

They announced a King’s Court segment with Jerry Lawler and his guest Dolph Ziggler.

Dean Ambrose caught up to Shane backstage, and they were all friendly despite Ambrose being super annoying to Shane several weeks ago. Shane assumed Ambrose wanted in the Chamber match. He did, but that’s not why he approached Shane. He wanted a new title IC title belt because his smelled like Miz’s spray tan and cocoa butter. Shane said there’s only one belt.

Ambrose brought up the Wyatts and the beating they gave him a few weeks ago, and requested a match against Randy Orton so he could cut the head off the viper. Shane booked it for tonight. (I thought Ambrose was going to bring up the new tag title belts, but he didn’t.)

Non-title: WWE Champion AJ Styles NC The Miz (w/Maryse)

Cena was on commentary, and JBL asked him about being called a part-timer. Cena called himself an all-timer, as in he’s everywhere all the time. The match ended after 10-11 minutes when Styles tried to toss Miz into Cena, but Cena saw it coming and pushed Miz into the barricade. The referee called for the bell but no winner was announced.

After Cena chased Styles away, Miz attacked him from behind, but Cena nailed him with an AA anyway. Styles tried to catch Cena with a Phenomenal forearm, but Cena caught him and gave him an AA too.

Nikki Bella-Natalya confrontation

Nikki Bella came out and called out Natalya in the most wooden manner possible. Natalya didn’t come out. Nikki wasn’t surprised and called her the best there is, was and ever will be at stabbing people in the back. Natalya showed up in the crowd and told her to watch the video screen. Natalya walked to the concourse and the camera followed her.

She went to the merchandise stand and pointed out the Nikki Bella merchandise displayed next to Cena’s. There was also a Bret Hart shirt there, but nothing for Natalya. She was pissed and said Nikki and her ex-uncle Bret have something in common because “both of you are going to die alone.”

Natalya grabbed a bunch of merch and was about to throw it in the garbage, but Nikki showed up just in time to save it and they brawled. Some security came into break it up. Nikki and Natalya broke away a couple of times but security was able to separate them eventually. This was different and well-done. Natalya was great and the reaction from the fans standing on the concourse helped.

Backstage, Dasha Fuentes asked Alexa Bliss if she was afraid of what Becky Lynch might do in the steel cage tonight. Bliss was confident and wasn’t worried about Lynch.

They played a video package for Kurt freakin’ Angle. This one focused more on is comedic moments.

Non-title: IC champion Dean Ambrose defeated Randy Orton (w/Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper)

Mauro Ranallo said it’s been over two years since these two had a one-on-one match. In fact, while these two have fought a lot in multi-man matches, they’ve only had four singles matches before tonight. Three of those ended in DQ.

Orton took control with help from a distraction. He pushed Ambrose into ring post and gave him a light backdrop onto the announce table. Ambrose attempted a comeback after a break, but was cut-off when Orton countered a rebound clothesline into a powerslam. Orton tried a draping DDT, but Ambrose dumped him over the top, then nailed Harper with a suicide dive. Orton caught him back in the ring and nailed the draping DDT.

Orton got ready for the RKO when Harper jumped in the ring ready to attack Ambrose. Orton and Bray sent him back outside but Ambrose used the distraction and won with a school boy. Not much of a match, which went 13:44.

Afterwards, Orton and Harper punched for a bit, but Bray separated them. He also clocked Harper, which caught Luke by surprise. He grabbed his mouth like he might’ve lost a tooth. Harper told Bray, “You did this” and walked out.

Backstage, Becky Lynch told Fuentes that we would find out exactly who Alexa Bliss is tonight, and it’s not a champion.

They aired another Royal Rumble feature, this time on Dave Batista’s win in 2005, last eliminating John Cena. Batista put this over as one of the highlights of his career.

The King’s Court hosted by Jerry Lawler with guest Dolph Ziggler

Lawler is dressed like this is old school Raw, which means he’s shirtless (wearing a robe). He got a nice reaction from the crowd and was glad to be hosting in his home town. He introduced Dolph Ziggler and asked what’s gotten into him, but Ziggler wouldn’t speak. Lawler showed a replay of Ziggler attacking Kalisto and Apollo Crews with a chair. Ziggler still wouldn’t speak and was about to leave, but Lawler asked him to come back. He said this segment would’ve been better if he interviewed an oil painting.

Ziggler complied and stayed in the ring. He knew what Lawler was up to and knew he would show the footage, but Ziggler had some footage of his own. He showed the clip of the repeated elbows he gave Lawler back in 2012 which likely led to his heart attack. Ziggler threatened to finish the job if Lawler kept this up. A stern Jerry Lawler had just one more question for Ziggler and asked how it feels knowing he’ll always be a loser no matter how many times he changes his attitude.

Ziggler superkicked Lawler right in the chest. Ziggler left and JBL frantically jumped in the ring to check on Lawler. Lawler got to his feet and dared Ziggler to get back in the ring, but he didn’t.

After a break, JBL said he had no respect for Ziggler. David Otunga made sure to mention that JBL tripped on his way to the ring just now. They could’ve just... not mentioned it.

Bray Wyatt announced that the entire Wyatt Family would enter the Royal Rumble match. However, before that, Orton and Harper would face each other next week and the family will be stronger than ever.

Women’s Championship Steel Cage Match: Alexa Bliss defeated Becky Lynch

Match can end by pinfall, submission, or by escaping the cage. Ranallo mentioned the Jimmy Snuka-Don Muraco cage match. I believe this was the only mention of Snuka on the show.

Both women went to the top rope and Bliss smashed Lynch into the cage a few times. However, they both came down landing face first against the top rope, which led to a commercial. Bliss was in control after the break, but missed a charge and went right into the cage.

Lynch followed with a missile dropkick. She tried escaping the catch but Bliss pulled her back down by the hair. Lynch managed to hit a sidekick using the cage as leverage, then an Exploder off the ropes for a near fall. “This is awesome” chant.

Bliss tried escaping through the door but Lynch stopped her and tried for the Disarmer. La Luchadora suddenly appeared in the doorway. Bliss tried to use the distraction, but Lynch countered and applied the Disarmer. La Luchadora jumped in the ring and nailed Lynch with a roundhouse kick (to which the referee asked, “Why would you do that?”). This led to a DDT by Bliss for the pinfall win. Alexa Bliss retains the title.

Afterwards, Bliss and La Luchadora attacked Lynch. Lynch fought back and unmasked La Luchadora, revealing it was Mickie James. They attacked her again and left her laying. James raised Bliss’ hand and they posed to end the show. The match was good while it lasted, but the angle at the finish felt somewhat underwhelming considering the weeks of build.