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WWE SmackDown live results: AJ Styles vs. James Ellsworth

Date: December 13, 2016
Location: Verizon Center in Washington, DC

The Big Takeaway --

Dolph Ziggler will face AJ Styles in two weeks on SmackDown in Chicago for world title. He won a fatal fourway elimination match over Dean Ambrose, Luke Harper and The Miz to earn the shot after Miz cost Ambrose the match. James Ellsworth did not get involved and did not face AJ Styles for the title. Yes, they postponed it again. Ellsworth was sent home by Daniel Bryan for apparently having the flu.

Becky Lynch defeated Alexa Bliss in a women’s title match, but Bliss escaped with her title after feigning a knee injury and losing via countout. Also, the Hype Bros earned a tag title match against the Wyatt Family.

Oh, and John Cena returns in two weeks.

Show Recap -- 

The show started with a cold open of Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon awkwardly watching a replay of Miz retaining the IC Title last week thanks to James Ellsworth. Ellsworth was there too but he appears to have a cold. He’s fake coughing and sneezing into his shirt. Bryan told Ellsworth to go home. He left, but not before sneezing on them. Bryan and Shane agreed they needed a new number one contender.

MizTV with AJ Styles

Miz announced that the WWE title match wasn’t happening tonight and there was no crowd reaction. Styles said Ellsworth came down with “chinfluenza.” Miz asked how Styles can sleep at night knowing he has to defend his title against Ellsworth one day. They both broke down in laughter and Miz complimented Styles’ hair.

After Miz asked him what’s next, Styles said he’s already beaten John Cena and Dean Ambrose, and will beat Ellsworth soon. He asked Miz who was on his level and Miz said himself. Miz said he made the IC title legendary, he beat Ambrose last week and he’s above Styles’ level. Styles stood up and they got face to face, but Ambrose interrupted.

Ambrose jumped in the ring as Styles and Miz fled to the apron. Dolph Ziggler came out next and called them both cheaters. Ziggler said if Miz can’t hide behind Maryse’s skirt, he could hide behind Styles’. Miz was insulted by this dumb comment and got in the ring. He brawled with Ziggler and hit a skull crushing finale, then Ambrose laid Miz out with a Dirty Deeds. As Styles left, Ambrose nailed Ziggler with a Dirty Deeds too. After all that, the Wyatt video went off and Luke Harper appeared to clothesline Ambrose.

Backstage, Styles is pissed and told Bryan and Shane that he wants protection. Bryan suggested he should try a pharmacy. Shane informed Styles that Ambrose, Ziggler, Miz and Harper will have a fatal fourway number one contender’s match, and the winner will face Styles on December 27.

Carmella defeated Natalya  

Natalya addressed Nikki Bella (who was on commentary) before the match. She claimed she wasn’t the one who attacked Nikki and called Carmella a liar. She didn’t want to do this in public but Nikki won’t return her calls. They went to commercial a minute into the match. The match spilled to the outside where Carmella was about to attack Nikki, but Natalya pushed her out of the way. They returned to the ring and Carmella caught Natalya with a rollup for the win.

They aired a promo for the Undertaker. It was for the Network.

John Cena returns to SmackDown in two weeks (December 27 in Chicago). 

Backstage, Gabriel Iglesias (a comedian) talked with Apollo Crews. Maryse and Miz showed up and Maryse told them to be quiet. Iglesias insulted Miz’s suit and figured he must’ve gotten it from Uranus. Miz and Maryse fake-laughed at his stupid joke. Miz was about to call him a fluffy piece of shit, but Crews stopped him. Miz said he didn’t have time for “Creed” or the other guy and they left.

The Hype Bros won a #1 Contender's Tag Team Battle Royal

After they seemingly broke up on Talking Smack last week, Heath Slater & Rhyno are together in this match. Mauro Ranallo did mention that they might not be on the same page. The Vaudevillains, Ascension, Breezango, American Alpha and Hype Bros are the other teams. Ranallo explained that both members of each team need to be eliminated.

Mojo Rawley eliminated Simon Gotch immediately.  Chad Gable eliminated Viktor. Konnor eliminated Gable. Slater eliminated Rhyno by accident. Commercial break. Jason Jordan eliminated Aiden English. Slater eliminated Fandango.

Jordan got a chance to shine, hitting shoulder tackles and suplexes. The crowd was into him, but he was backdropped out of the ring by Konnor and the crowd booed. Slater made a comeback of his own, but was also eliminated by Konnor. Konner eliminated Breeze and was about to toss Ryder, but Ryder countered and used a leg scissors to eliminate Konnor. The Hype Bros win and get to face the Wyatts. Rawley sprinted back down to celebrate with Ryder.

A promo aired for Baron Corbin featuring clips of a wolf tearing apart its prey and Corbin calming riding his motorcycle down a suburban street.

Alexa Bliss came out for a match with Deonna Purrazzo. Bliss grabbed the mic from the ring announcer before Purrazzo could be introduced. Bliss didn’t want to do the match. She said she doesn’t do charity cases and called Purrazzo, “Jane Ellsworth.” Bliss decked Purrazzo and sent her out of the ring. This brought out Becky Lynch.

Lynch figured Bliss didn’t want to compete last week because she wasn’t in her wrestling gear, but now she is and so is Becky. She challenged Bliss to a title match right now. Bliss said sure, but not tonight. Before she could walk out, Shane McMahon came out and announced the title match would be happening next.

Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch defeated Alexa Bliss via countout

Lynch won in 5 minutes via countout, so Bliss is still champion. They had a back and forth match leading to Bliss bailing from the ring and “tweaking” her knee. The crowd picked up on this immediately and started booing. Bliss limped around the ring as the referee counted her out. Not sure why Lynch never went after her. She did attack Bliss after the match. The brawl revealed that Bliss’ knee is just fine, and she managed to escape. Shane McMahon, who intervened earlier, didn’t bother after this.

They aired promos for Cena’s return and Randy Orton on “Shooter.”

#1 Contender’s Fatal Fourway Elimination Match: Dolph Ziggler defeated Dean Ambrose, The Miz and Luke Harper

Harper immediately went after Ambrose and Ziggler. He nailed Ambrose with a suicide dive as Miz looked on terrified. Miz then applauded Harper and tried to get on his side, but Harper smacked him and hit a Michinoku driver for two. After Ranallo asked him about the match, Styles said he wasn’t listening to Ranallo, he was trying to scout.

Miz used running dropkicks on Ziggler but Ambrose cut him off with a clothesline. Ambrose tried a suicide dive on Harper, but Harper blocked it and killed him with a big boot. As Harper had control, Ambrose tried to catch him with a Dirty Deeds, but Ziggler superkicked Ambrose, Harper clotheslined Ziggler, and Ambrose clotheslined Harper.

Miz was the first eliminated (it’s an elimination match) 11-12 minutes into the match after Ambrose caught him in a small package. Commercial break.

Ziggler hit Harper with a Zig Zag and Ambrose nailed Ziggler with a flying elbow drop for a nearfall. Styles called Otunga a moron. Harper hit Ambrose with a spinning side slam and the referee appeared to count three, but that wasn’t meant to be the finish, so Ambrose was not eliminated. The crowd booed the screw up.

Harper was finally eliminated after a superkick from Ziggler and a Dirty Deeds by Ambrose.

Ziggler nailed an facebuster off the top, but Ambrose caught him in a small package for a nearfall. After a double clothesline spot, Miz reappeared at ringside. Ambrose hit him with a suicide dive and Ziggler followed with a superkick.

Ambrose tossed Ziggler into the ringpost and then back in the ring, but Miz held Ambrose from entering the ring. Ambrose launched Miz into the barricade and jumped back in the ring, but Ziggler nailed a superkick and picked up the pinfall win. Dolph Ziggler will face AJ Styles for the WWE World Title in two weeks.

After the match, they cut to Rich Swann who plugged his match against TJ Perkins on 205 Live.

Final Thoughts --

The main event was pretty good but the rest of the show was not.