Date: November 1, 2016
Location: Prudential Center in Newark, NJ
The Big Takeaway --
There was a show-long storyline involving James Ellsworth wanting to be at ringside for tonight’s main event, but Dean Ambrose and Daniel Bryan both refused. Ellsworth ended up at ringside anyway and inadvertently helped Ambrose defeat Styles, allowing Ambrose to become number one contender for the WWE Championship. On Talking Smack, it was announced this title match will happen on December 4 in Dallas at TLC in a TLC Match.
Before that, Ambrose and Styles will represent Team SmackDown at Survivor Series, along with Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt and Baron Corbin. The women’s team will be Nikki Bella, Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss, Carmella and Naomi. Natalya will be their coach. The Usos and American Alpha joined the SmackDown tag-team.
Also for Survivor Series, Dolph Ziggler issued an open challenge to anyone on Raw for his IC Title. Finally, Randy Orton still appears on the same side as the Wyatts. Or Bray Wyatt, at least.
Show Recap --
James Ellsworth came out to a big reaction. He thanked Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan for letting him come out and say goodbye. The crowd screamed and chanted “no.” Ellsworth hasn’t been able to eat or sleep, and won’t be able to move on until he apologizes to Dean Ambrose. He called out Ambrose.
Ambrose came out and put his hand on Ellsworth, which made Ellsworth very uncomfortable. Ambrose said he had a lot of time to think about ripping off his head, but when he sees Ellsworth’s face, he can’t stay mad and forgave it. Ellsworth said he can’t forgive himself after Ambrose helped him beat AJ Styles twice.
Ellsworth said he made a mistake, but Ambrose said it was alright. Ambrose put his hand on Ellsworth and warned him not to get in his way ever again. Ellsworth pleaded with Ambrose, looked him in the eyes and said “I’m sorry.” Ambrose appeared bewildered and they were interrupted by AJ Styles.
Styles wondered why Ellsworth would ever apologized as loud “AJ Styles” chants started. He told the crowd to shut up. Styles told Ellsworth that Ambrose has been using him, and Styles respects him. He claimed he was going to make their title match quick and easy, but Ambrose is the one who pushed him.
Styles said Ellsworth should be thanking him, not Ambrose. It’s because of him people are buying his t-shirts and wanted a cut of his cheques. Ambrose got in Styles’ face. Ellsworth tried to separate them, but Styles pushed Ellsworth into Ambrose and kicked Ambrose in the head. Styles tossed Ellsworth out of the ring and nailed Ambrose with a Phenomenal forearm.
They announced Randy Orton vs. Kane in a no disqualification match up next.
Daniel Bryan confronted Ellsworth and Ambrose backstage, telling them they need to calm down. Ellsworth apologized again, but Ambrose didn’t care. Bryan told Ambrose he would get another shot at Styles tonight and would become number one contender if he won. However, this was his last chance. Bryan told Ellsworth he can stay backstage and watch, but he’s not allowed at ringside. Ellsworth understood.
No Disqualification Match: Randy Orton defeated Kane
They brawled for a bit with Kane getting the upperhand thanks to a chair, but the lights went out and the Wyatts appeared. Kane fought them off momentarily, but when attempted to chokeslam Luke Harper, Orton jumped in and hit an RKO for the win. Match was about 2 minutes.
Afterwards, Orton stared down Harper. Kane got up, so Harper nailed a discus clothesline. Harper was about to attack Kane again, but Orton pushed Kane into Bray who hit Sister Abigail. Orton did his usual pose on the ropes as Bray yelled, “follow the buzzards.”
A promo for Baron Corbin aired. Basically, he doesn’t care about anyone. This promo included a shot of him riding his motorcycle down a suburban street.
Alexa Bliss & Carmella defeated Becky Lynch & Nikki Bella
Only Lynch got a full entrance and they went to commercial a minute into the match. Immediately after a break, Lynch made a hot tag and hit forearms, kicks and an exploder to Carmella. Bliss broke up the cover and tossed Lynch into Nikki, knocking Nikki out of the ring. (Nikki never appeared again after this.)
Lynch hit a reverse DDT on Bliss (which they completely mistimed), but Carmella distracted the referee. Lynch knocked Carmella off the apron, but Bliss racked her in the eyes and hit a DDT for the win. The match was about 5-6 minutes and a lot of it was during commercial.
Afterwards, Dasha Fuentes tried to interview the winning team, but they kicked her out of the ring. Bliss interviewed Carmella and asked her who she was looking forward to humiliating at Survivor Series. Carmella ran down Bayley and Charlotte and told Nikki Bella to let her run the team. Carmella asked Bliss about her title match next week. Bliss called herself the wicked witch of SmackDown and would win the title next week in Glasgow.
Backstage, Bryan and Shane let Naomi know she would be the fifth member of Team Smackdown. The rest of the team would be Lynch, Nikki, Carmella and Bliss. Natalya jumped in and said they need someone on the team who they all get along with, to which Bryan responded, “You?!” Bryan begrudgingly made Natalya the coach of Team SmackDown.
Survivor Series Qualifying Match: American Alpha defeated The Spirit Squad
Jordan and Gable won in two minutes with Grand Amplitude. They join Heath Slater & Rhyno and the Hype Bros on Team SmackDown.
The SmackDown announcers plugged Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg for Survivor Series. They usually have a neutral voiceover person plug the other brand’s stuff, but they didn’t do that this time.
MizTV with Daniel Bryan
Miz introduced Bryan who came out to huge “Daniel Bryan” chants. Miz asked the crowd if he can start his show and they yelled “No.” Miz knocked Talking Smack, so Bryan said he could cancel MizTV, and the crowd chanted “Yes.” Miz threatened Bryan and told him to move on to Survivor Series.
Bryan said he had an announcement and plugged the tag team match, which he figured Miz would be interested in. Miz wasn’t, and asked about the men’s (singles) team. Bryan announced their team as Randy Orton, Baron Corbin, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose and WWE Champion AJ Styles.
Miz was displeased. He asked a series of questions, including “was I even considered?” and Bryan said “nope.” Miz called Bryan petty and jealous. Bryan said they actually did consider him, but they need superstars who aren’t afraid to fight. Last week, Miz proved he was afraid to fight when he turned down an IC Title rematch against Dolph Ziggler.
Miz said SmackDown would get obliterated by Raw and claimed Bryan was the one who was scared to fight. He placed Maryse between himself and Bryan and told him that he wasn’t good at his job or anything else anymore. Miz told Bryan to go back to moping around John Cena’s house on Total Bellas.
Bryan was pissed and tossed a chair aside. Miz jumped out of the ring. Bryan basically called him a bad wrestler and told him to keep hiding behind the announce desk. Bryan then called out Ziggler who was defending his title tonight in an open challenge.
They announced Ambrose and American Alpha would be on Talking Smack with Bryan and Renee Young.
Intercontinental Championship: Dolph Ziggler defeated Curt Hawkins
Hawkins did a promo on his way to the ring saying he would turn heads. Hawkins had his back turned when the bell rang, so Ziggler immediately hit a superkick and won in seconds.
Afterwards, Renee interviewed Ziggler, who issued an open challenge to anyone on Raw for the Intercontinental championship at Survivor Series. Miz was pissed.
Backstage, Dasha Fuentes asked Ambrose about tonight. She also asked about James Ellsworth, but got flustered, and said “James Ellis” instead. She’ll never hear the end of that. What’s worse, Ellsworth was standing right there (off camera).
Ambrose emphasized James "Ellsworth” in his promo, when Ellsworth appeared behind him. He asked Ambrose if there was any way he could come to ringside tonight. You could hear the crowd in the background yell “no” before Ambrose could even say anything, which was funny. Ellsworth begged him, but Ambrose said no.
There was a Wyatt segment backstage with Randy Orton. Orton said he was born with the devil whispering in his ear and the darkness has shown him the light. He called Bray a God and Orton’s eyes literally lit up. Bray chuckled.
Survivor Series Qualifying Match: The Usos defeated The Headbangers
Usos won in two minutes after an Uso got the pin holding a Headbanger’s skirt. Usos join Team SmackDown. This was the fourth match tonight that was 3 minutes or less, and the women’s match wasn’t much longer.
Backstage, Fuentes caught up to Styles and asked him about tonight. Styles was annoyed and said, “Why can’t I just make it to the ring without someone asking me a dumb question?” He said he would win and Ellsworth would end up back in the bargain bin.
Elsewhere, Ambrose led Ellsworth--still in his gear--out of the building. Ambrose told a flummoxed Ellsworth to grab an Uber.
Non-Title: Dean Ambrose defeated WWE World Champion AJ Styles
The match started during commercial. When they came back, Ambrose hit a suicide drive, tossed him over the announce table and into the barricade. None of that was a DQ. Somebody got in JBL’s headset and he let us know that Ambrose better not get disqualified. Back in the ring, Ambrose used a couple of rollups but Styles kicked out. Ambrose applied a cloverleaf, but Styles got to the rope.
Ambrose followed with a double underhook superplex for two. Styles applied the calf crusher but Ambrose quickly got to the rope. Ambrose then crotched Styles on the barricade, also not a DQ, and nailed a running forearm.
Styles had control during a break after Ambrose appeared to hurt his knee, but after the break, Ambrose dropkicked Styles out of the ring and hit a flying elbow drop. He followed with running forearms and a clotheslines in the ring. Styles suplexed Ambrose leg-first into the ropes, but Ambrose came back with a facebuster for a near fall.
After both guys went down on a double-clothesline spot, the crowd chanted “Ellsworth,” who ran out through the crowd. This distracted Ambrose and Styles hit a Pele kick for a near fall. Security ran out and chased Ellsworth back through the crowd.
They traded counters leading to Styles applying the calf crusher, but Ambrose got a rope break. Ellsworth, still running from security, ended up back at ringside. Security caught him and were about to carry him out, but Styles decked him over the announce table. (Styles violently attacking Ellsworth is always great.)
Styles went for the Phenomenal forearm, but Ambrose countered into a Dirty Deeds for the win. Big crowd pop for this.
Security dragged away a lifeless Ellsworth, who had a sly smile on his face. Ambrose picked him up for a moment, then dropped him again before security carried him out once and for all.
Final Thoughts --
As with the last few weeks, this wasn’t much of a show before the main event. Ambrose and Styles managed to have yet another good match and the show-long story with James Ellsworth was entertaining. The rest of the show was very missable, with all but one of the other matches going three minutes or less.