By: Keila Cash
Hello everyone and welcome to another installment of The SmackDown Files. Tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live emanated from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The James Ellsworth Saga continues as he tries to make amends for costing Dean Ambrose a shot at the WWE World Championship. Was it an honest mistake? Is Ellsworth on the up and up or is he a devious mastermind playing Ambrose for a fool? The answer to these questions can be found throughout this blog. Without further ado, let’s dissect tonight’s episode of SD Live in no particular order.
· James Ellsworth apologized to Dean Ambrose for costing him another chance at the WWE World Championship. Ambrose accepted Ellsworth’s mea culpa but warned him never to do it again because Ellsworth would be a dead man walking.
· AJ Styles came out and tried to turn Ellsworth against Ambrose by saying that the Lunatic Fringe was using him for his own purposes. Styles claimed that Ellsworth owed his entire career to him because he made The No Chin Wonder a household name. T-Shirts adorning his image are selling like hotcakes on wweshop.com. Therefore, Styles wants a piece of the merchandise pie.
· Things got physical as Ellsworth tried to hold back Styles and Ambrose. Styles knocked Ellsworth into Ambrose which allowed Styles to toss out the former and deliver the Phenomenal Forearm to the latter as the opening segment came to a close.
· This was a solid way to kick off the show. Ellsworth comes off as such a sad puppy in need of a hug. Ambrose was in a forgiving mood, but he was running short on patience. Styles did a great job stirring the pot and planting seeds of dissension between Ellsworth and Ambrose. Is the fix in when it comes to The Chinless One’s true motives? We shall find out soon enough.
· Daniel Bryan booked Ambrose in another match against Styles. If Ambrose wins, he will become the number one contender for the WWE World Title. If he loses, this will be his last opportunity despite any controversies that might transpire during the match. Bryan also warned Ellsworth to stay backstage during the main event to ensure that the match has a decisive finish. Ellsworth agreed as he continued to apologize to Ambrose.
· I have a feeling that Ambrose vs. Styles will have a screwy ending.
· The most notable thing about the No Disqualification Match featuring Randy Orton and Kane was Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper giving The Viper a helping hand as they attacked Kane. Orton picked the bones by hitting the RKO for the win.
· After the match was over, Harper laid out Kane with a Discus Clothesline. He was about to finish the Big Red Monster off, but Orton tossed Kane to Wyatt instead. Harper looked pissed off as Wyatt nailed Kane with Sister Abigail. Harper still had a pensive look on his face as Orton did his signature pose while Wyatt told everyone to follow the buzzards to wrap up the segment.
· Despite this feud taking a sharp turn last week, I like how Orton is trying to assert himself as the number two guy in the Wyatt Family as he fed Kane to Wyatt. Wyatt is the Alpha Male of the group and any amount of brown-nosing is appreciated when it comes to pleasing the leader. Orton took that to heart while playing mind games at the same time by trying to rattle Harper. It’s an interesting twist. I will give the creative team credit for trying to breathe life into this never ending feud.
· Nikki Bella and Becky Lynch vs. Carmella and Alexa Bliss was decent, but it was too short to really judge it accordingly. Alexa knocked Nikki and Becky into each other which allowed her to rake Becky’s eyes behind the referee’s back and nail her with a DDT to pick up the win.
· She proceeded to cut a mean girls promo with Carmella as they dissed the women representing Team Raw at Survivor Series. Alexa called herself the Wicked Witch of WWE who was going to beat Becky and take her SmackDown Women’s Title next week in Glasgow, Scotland. Both ladies cut solid promos that showed off their bratty personalities. The written material could have been a tad better, but Carmella and Alexa held their own on the mic.
· Naomi is the final female member of Team SmackDown at Survivor Series. Plus, Natalya was named the official coach of the team as she recited the chorus of “Respect” by Aretha Franklin. At least she has something meaningful to do at the PPV.
· American Alpha punched their ticket to Survivor Series as they made quick work of The Spirit Squad as they qualified for the Tag Team Elimination Match at the November Classic later this month. Chad Gable and Jason Jordan dropped Mikey with Grand Amplitude and that finisher lived up to its reputation because Mikey caught a lot of air as he came crashing down to the ring.
· Daniel Bryan and The Miz had another intense verbal confrontation during Miz TV as Bryan revealed the five men representing Team SmackDown at Survivor Series. Randy Orton, Baron Corbin, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, and AJ Styles made the final cut while Miz was snubbed because he didn’t accept Dolph Ziggler’s challenge to a rematch for the Intercontinental Championship. Bryan wanted men who were willing to fight when called upon to do so. Miz blew a gasket which was reminiscent of his stellar promo on Talking Smack from a couple of months ago. Miz called out Bryan for no longer being a fighter and said that all he does is mope around John Cena’s house on Total Bellas. Bryan fired back by saying that Miz should let the actual wrestlers compete in the ring and stick to running his mouth on guest commentary.
· Miz and Bryan bring the best out of each when it comes to cutting promos. I thought Bryan was going to punch Miz in the face at one point but opted to throw some chairs around instead. That would pop the crowd something fierce because The Awesome One deserves a paddling for being an obnoxious jerk for all the right reasons. This was easily the hottest segment on the show so far.
· Thanks for coming, Curt Hawkins. Dolph Ziggler nailed Hawkins with a Superkick to retain the Intercontinental Title in quick fashion.
· Dolph Ziggler issued an IC Championship Open Challenge to any Superstar on Monday Night Raw as Miz lost it at ringside. Miz did it to himself because he wanted a rematch on his terms, but Ziggler flipped the script by putting his title on the line against the opposing brand. This could potentially be idiotic because it would give Raw two secondary titles, but a part of me hopes that Sami Zayn accepts Ziggler’s challenge. It would give Zayn something meaningful to do at a PPV for the first time since Battleground in July.
· Lame ass special effects side, Orton’s initiation into The Wyatt Family is complete. Orton’s magically glowing eyes was a tough pill to swallow, but the segment worked for the most part.
· The Usos qualified for the Tag Team Elimination match at Survivor Series by defeating The Headbangers when Jimmy Uso grabbed a handful of Mosh’s kilt to pick up the win. The match was fine while it lasted.
· Dean Ambrose defeated AJ Styles thanks to an unwanted assist from James Ellsworth. Before the match got underway, Ambrose escorted Ellsworth out of the building and told him to call Uber. However, Ellsworth didn’t get a ride to the nearest airport because he managed to get back in the building. He made his way through the crowd as he cheered on Ambrose from ringside. Ambrose was in shock which allowed to Styles to nail Ambrose with a Pele Kick for a near fall.
· Security chased Ellsworth through the crowd as they disappeared backstage. The focus returned to the ring as Styles had Ambrose in the Calf Crusher. Moments later, Ellsworth ran back to ringside as security tried to catch him Benny Hill style. Styles broke the hold and tossed Ellsworth over the announce table. Styles set up Ambrose for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Ambrose countered with Dirty Deeds to pick up the win.
· Ellsworth was dragged away by security, but he was happy that he made things right with Ambrose. Ambrose acknowledged Ellsworth’s good deed as SD Live went off the air.
· The Ellsworth/Styles/Ambrose Saga is the best storyline on SD Live. It is fun to watch and Styles and Ambrose continue to deliver the goods in the ring. Their main event match was easily the best thing on the show. Their chemistry is on point as both men bring something fresh to the table when it comes to their matches.
· Ellsworth did a great job trying to will Ambrose to victory even though the Lunatic Fringe didn’t want or need his help. It worked out in the end because Ambrose gets another shot at Styles’ WWE World Title. Styles will probably throw a hissy fit about Ellsworth getting the best of him for the third time in four weeks, but it will provide great comic relief heading into Survivor Series. I tip my cap to all three men for making SD Live worth watching because they are saving this show from a wrestling and storytelling standpoint.
· Overall, I thought tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live was okay. This show was filled with short matches until the main event. I guess WWE wanted to get the hell out of New Jersey and catch the red-eye to Saudi Araba without any delays. However, it doesn’t mean that they have phone it in wrestling-wise. Outside of Ellsworth/Styles/Ambrose and Miz-Bryan, everything else on the show felt lightweight at best.
· The good news is that the show should be hot next week as SD Live emanates from Glasgow. Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss for the SmackDown Women’s Championship should be good and it will be interesting to see the reception Ellsworth receives if he makes the trip to Scotland. SmackDown is in the same boat as Raw as they have one more live show to promote Survivor Series. The battle lines between both brands have been drawn. Who will come out on top? Most importantly, will fans care about Brand Wars 2016 besides WWE Management? We shall find out soon enough.
On that note, this wraps up another edition of The SmackDown Files. I hope you enjoyed it and I will be back next week with a brand new installment of The Raw Exposé. See you later, boys and girls!