WWE Smackdown is coming to us LIVE from Green Bay, WI, and we will have live coverage of the show starting at 8pm Eastern. With two announced matches thus far, this is shaping to be a solid show.
Kane is set to take on Bray Wyatt in a No-DQ match, plus Becky Lynch makes her return to TV, and AJ Styles squares off against Dean Ambrose – if Ambrose wins, he becomes #1 contender for the WWE World Championship.
All this plus lots more! Be sure to join us at 8pm for all the fun, and follow along with live tweets @RingRap on Twitter!
A video package highlights last week’s match between AJ Styles and James Ellsworth, which saw Ellsworth pick up the win via DQ. AJ Styles gets his wish – to face Ambrose tonight. But if Ambrose wins, he gets a title shot.
Ambrose is backstage chatting with a stage hand about reckless driving. James Ellsworth approaches him and thanks him for everything he’s done for him. He never thought he’d have two victories over the WWE Champion. Ambrose says noone – literally noone – would’ve guessed that could happen. Ellsworth wants to be in his corner tonight to pay back the favor, and Ambrose wants nothing to do with it. He asks him to stay backstage, trying to play it off nicely, and Ellsworth looks disappointed.
We go ringside, and Bray Wyatt makes his way to the ring. A video recaps last week’s match between Randy Orton and Luke Harper. We see Kane climbing out of a casket at ringside, helping Orton against The Wyatts. After the video, Kane heads to the ring.
Bray Wyatt vs. Kane in a No Disqualification Match
Wyatt gets control early on, keeping Kane grounded. Kane hits a sidewalk slam and goes up top, but decides against it as Wyatt bails out of the ring. The brawl begins as Wyatt grabs a chair. Kane counters and tosses him into the steps. Kane tears apart the announcer’s table, and goes for a choke slam, but more hocus pocus as the lights go out. Luke Harper appears on the table, kicks Kane in the face, and hits a clothesline. We go to break.
Harper is still at ringside after the break. Kane fights out of a rest hold. The announcers talk about Randy Orton likely watching backstage, but why isn’t he ringside to help Kane? Plot holes.
Kane hits a big boot and a DDT. Flying clothesline connects, and Kane sets up a choke slam. Harper makes the save, dragging Wyatt out of the ring. Wyatt hits a side slam off of a distraction for two. Wyatt sets Kane up for Sister Abigail, and Kane counters out of it. Wyatt connects with a flying forearm. And then, Randy Orton comes out.
Orton and Harper have a staredown in the middle of the ring. Harper backs out of the ring, and Kane stands up. The two nod at each other, and set up their own finishers. Out of nowhere, Orton hits Kane with an RKO instead of Wyatt, and the slides out of the ring.
Orton and Wyatt have a staredown, and Orton heads backstage. Wyatt makes the cover.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
That was so expected I didn’t expect it. Seriously, it seemed like exactly the predictable thing Orton would do, that I figured they would avoid doing it. Deep down in side, I’m disappointed – Orton as a straight up face was a nice change, and now we’ve got Orton going into business for himself, which just… it’s old.
Backstage, Charly Caruso says what we just saw was unexpected. She then turns to AJ Styles – “speaking of unexpected are the two victories James Ellsworth has over him.” AJ Styles calls Ellsworth a goober, and says someone put an action figure in the microwave and out came Ellsworth. He says Ambrose is going to wish he was James Ellsworth tonight, because Ambrose is going to be carried out. If he sees Ellsworth, he’ll be missing more than his chin when he’s done with him.
Renee Young is in the ring, and introduces the Smackdown Women’s Champion, Becky Lynch. Renee welcomes her back. Lynch starts to say it’s good to be back, and immediately, Alexa Bliss interrupts. She says it’s great to see her. Bliss says “For someone that just had back surgery, you look fantastic.” Lynch looks confused, says she didn’t have back surgery. Bliss says when she became #1 contender, Lynch grew a yellow streak from the top of her head down her spine, knowing her fairy tale title reign was about to come to an end. Lynch calls her “Dumbo” for all the Disney references, and apologizes for not being able to compete, saying she was rushed to the hospital. Bliss says she’s a World Champion, and a World Class Con Artist. Bliss believes Lynch is able to fool the fans, but not her. She asks what the excuse is in a few weeks – food poisoning, or “maybe your boyfriend dumped you because he realized he was dating an orange troll,” or maybe she realizes her life means nothing.
Bliss says she should just hand over the title to the rightful champion. Lynch naturally shuts that down, says she will be in Glasgow and will rip the arm from her socket. Bliss tells her to hold onto her title – in two weeks the title is hers. “But, in the meantime…” and Bliss takes a swing at Lynch, who counters it and the two brawl outside. Bliss gets the better of the exchange, tossing Lynch into the barricade and back into the ring. She hits a DDT in the middle of the ring, then gets a can of yellow spray paint, spraying a yellow line down her back.
Bliss continues to improve, and is great on the mic. Lynch comes across as natural and likable as champ. I’m looking forward to their match.
After the break, The Ascension is in the ring for a match. An inset promo shows them talking about the division being about survival of the fittest. There is no team bigger or badder, and at Survivor Series, they will rise. Assuming they win this match, anyhow…
The Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley & Zack Ryder) vs. The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) – Winner qualifies for the Survivor Series Tag Match
The Bros get an inset promo as well. It’s all hype.
Viktor and Ryder start it out. Ryder hits a pair of knees, and a dropkick to Konnor on the apron, but Viktor hits a clothesline sending Ryder over the top. Tag to Konnor, who rolls Ryder into the ring and pulls the apron over his head. Viktor now lega, they double-team Ryder.
Ryder reaches for a tag, but ends up cornered in enemy territory. Konnor in, he maintains control. Ryder nearly makes a tag, and manages to counter Konnor. Hot tag to Mojo, who is on fire. He hits a pair of shoulder blocks and a pounce. Splash in the corner, make it two. A slam is broken up at two. Mojo tosses Konnor into the ring post. Viktor misses an attack in the corner, and The Bros hit the Hype Ryder for the win.
Winners: The Hype Bros
I’m fine with this, though I still can’t help but feel like there’s a huge missed opportunity with The Ascension.
Backstage, Randy Orton is approached by Charly Caruso. She asks him to explain his actions earlier. He just stares at the camera, arms crossed, then turns to her, then turns back. “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” Well then.
A plug for Talking Smack features Kane, James Ellsworth, and Slater/Rhyno.
Daniel Bryan is on the phone. He’s talking to Shane McMahon. Natalya approaches him. She’s been thinking about Raw, their Hell in a Cell, and how they have 3 Hell in a Cell matches. She doesn’t want Raw to steal their thunder, and she has a solution to bring it all home to Smackdown Live. She wants to be appointed Team Captain for Survivor Series, because that will bring it all home. Bryan says she’s facing Nikki Bella tonight, and she wants to be captain too, so the winner of the match will become captain! But the loser? They’re off the team completely. And that match is next.
Nikki Bella vs. Natalya – Winner is Team Captain at Survivor Series, Loser is off the team
Bella and Nattie trade some locks early on. Bella goes for a crucifix for two. Natalya bails out of the ring, and Bella hits a basement dropkick. Natalya rips Bella off the apron. Back in the ring, the two collide with a clothesline, and Natalya goes for a cover, for two. She locks in a bow and arrow stretch. Bella counters it with a roll-up.
Natalya wrenches on a headlock and starts to heel it up a bit. She locks in a sharpshooter. Bella reaches for the ropes and makes it. Bella fires back, hits a clothesline in the corner and a springboard enzuigiri for two. She sets up a Rack Attack, but Nattie counters with a michinoku driver for two. Natalya locks in a surfboard, Bella uses her core strength, and then locks in an STF that looks better than Cena’s to get the win.
Winner: Nikki Bella
Carmella immediately attacks Bella out of nowhere. She hits a Bella Buster in the middle of the ring, and leaves Bella lying.
A pretty good match overall. They had a decent amount of time, and Bella kept up with Natalya. Unfortunately, Natalya has been so defined down that I never even considered she might win.
Charly approaches Dean Ambrose backstage, who is getting ready for his match. She talks about what AJ Styles said. Ambrose says messing with AJ Styles has been fun, but AJ is right – tonight is not about fun and games. It’s about becoming #1 Contender, about getting back his championship that was stolen from him. You know what they say – Karma’s a Bitch, and tonight will be fun and games after all – for him.
Backstage, The Miz, Maryse, and The Spirit Squad head to the ring, and out of the break, they do just that.
The Squad do a terrible cheer to introduce The Miz. Miz says these are dark times – 16 days of living in a world where The Miz is no longer the Intercontinental Champion. Instead, it’s Dolph Ziggler as champ. He says he feels most sorry for the legends that paved the way to make the Intercontinental Championship the most prestigious in WWE. He name drops Pat Patterson, saying he’s probably crying… and then Ziggler interrupts.
Ziggler says he feels sorry for anyone that’s had to deal with this crap for six months. He says they have a fighting champion finally, and if he wants his rematch, he’s got it right here, right now.
So naturally, The Miz milks the moment, and turns it down. He says a fighting champion has their rematch when they are good and ready. “But if it’s a fight you’re looking for, we can accommodate you right here, right now.
The Spirit Squad start to advance, but Heath Slater and Rhyno come out to back Ziggler up, and all three enter the ring. Maryse stands between them. Ziggler passes the mic to Slater, who says they don’t wanna fight if they put a woman in front of them. He asks Miz what his problem is. “What are you getting at?” He doesn’t understand why he would put Maryse in front of them because they are three gentlemen and they’re not going to do anything. Miz calls he and Rhyno as Tag Champs embarrassing. Miz asks what they know about being a great champion. Slater says he knows a champion wouldn’t turn around and run from a challenge. Miz calls it amusing – almost as amusing as Mikey pinning him last week. Miz says Kenny and Mikey want to challenge them for the Tag Team Championship.
Slater starts to come up with a few excuses, and Miz asks if they’re scared of a few male cheerleaders. Rhyno grabs the mic and says “You’re on!” and it’s a match.
Heath Slater & Rhyno (c) vs. The Spirit Squad (Kenny & Mikey) for the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship
After the break, both Miz and Ziggler are at ringside. Kenny and Slater are legal, and Kenny has control. Mikey tags in and keeps Slater cornered. Slater hits a back body drop on Kenny and kicks Mikey at the apron, reaching for a hot tag, which he misses. Mikey back in, he locks in a headlock.
Slater hits a running high knee to Mikey, and manages a hot tag to Rhyno, who tears into Kenny. Shoulder in the corner, but a boot to the face. Kenny leaps off the ropes and fakes tweaking his knee, allowing Mikey to attack Rhyno illegally. A roll-up is worth only two. Slater runs in and evens up the odds, as Rhyno hits a Belly to belly.
Outside the ring, Miz and Ziggler get in each other’s faces. Slater pushes Kenny off the apron into Miz, and Rhyno nails Mikey with a Gore for the win.
Winner: Heath Slater & Rhyno to retain the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship
A good match, and another successful title defense for Slater and Rhyno, who started as a joke but are building credibility each and every week.
Our #1 Contenders Match is up next!
After a plug for Raw’s Hell in a Cell, Dean Ambrose heads to the ring. James Ellsworth is sulking in the hallways, and Ellsworth once more begs him to be in his corner to return the favor. He says he’s been called a loser, but thanks to him these past two weeks he’s felt like a winner. Ambrose agrees reluctantly, and Ellsworth looks thrilled.
AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose (w/ James Ellsworth) – if Ambrose wins he earns a WWE World Title Shot
Ambrose immediately goes on the offense, laying in boots in the corner. He hits a back elbow and goes for a cover, getting one. Ambrose clotheslines Styles over the top rope. Styles goes after Ellsworth, pie-facing him to the floor at ringside. Ambrose goes to check on him, and Styles uses the distraction to hit a flying forearm over the top rope. We go to break.
Back from break, Styles has control of Ambrose, connecting with a gorgeous dropkick. Ambrose sends Styles out of the ring, and hits a dive through the ropes. Back in the ring, Ambrose hits a fisherman suplex for two. Styles goes for a calf-crusher, but Ambrose tries to counter. Backslide from Ambrose for one, and he twists it into an armbar. He manages to lock in a Texas Cloverleaf instead. Styles breaks it on the ropes.
Both men fight on the apron. Styles hits Ambrose with a snap suplex on the apron, and both tumble to the floor. We go to break.
We come back to Styles setting Ambrose up on the top turnbuckle. Styles goes for a superplex. Ambrose fights out of it, sending Styles crashing to the mat. A diving elbow to Styles connects, and both men are laid out. They trade blows, and counter each other back and forth. Ambrose connects with a swinging neckbreaker for two. Styles hits Ambrose with the springboard inverted DDT for two. Styles teases a Styles Clash twice, but Ambrose rolls him for two. Styles blocks and chops Ambrose, who rebounds with a clothesline. Ambrose sets AJ up on the top rope, and connects with a superplex.
Styles counters Ambrose with a Calf Crusher. Ambrose cries out in pain as Ellsworth cheers him on. Ambrose reaches around and slams AJ to the mat, but AJ grabs the hold again and wrenches it. Ambrose starts to pass out, but makes it to the ropes. Ambrose can barely stand.
AJ suddenly hits a dropkick to the outside, nailing Ellsworth. He goes for a Phenomenal Forearm, Ambrose counters, and a after a nice exchange, Stlyes hits a Pele Kick. He goes for a Styles Clash, and Ambrose dumps AJ over the top outside the ring.
AJ lands in front of Ellsworth, who starts to hulk up. He begs Styles get to his feet and hits No Chin Music on AJ Styles. Both Ambrose and the referee look on in absolute shock, as Ambrose knows exactly what is about to happen. The referee milks the moment before calling for the disqualification.
Winner: AJ Styles via Disqualification
Ambrose looks pissed, Ellsworth is basically in tears realizing what he’s done. Ellsworth says to Ambrose he’s sorry as AJ walks off with his title. The show comes to a close.
Well, that was an awesome main event, but you had to know Ellsworth would play a role in the finish once he begged to be out there. And I’m fine with it, as they have a few more weeks to get where they’re going, and can find a way to tell the tale for a bit longer.
Personally, I would like to see AJ and Ambrose split off, but if we need one more blowoff match to get there, then that’s fine. They work very, very well together, and with Ellsworth in the mix, it does add a bit of an X factor that’s been fun.
The rest of the show was solid for the most part. I don’t know if I’ve ever cared less about Randy Orton or Bray Wyatt than I do right now. Outside of that, I liked what they’re doing in the women’s division, and the tag division is looking pretty good right now too. Ziggler and Miz need to move on – but like Styles and Ambrose, I’m fine with one more blowoff match.
Bill and I will be by tomorrow night with Ring Rap Audio. Be sure to send in your Favorite Thing in Wrestling (this week) and we’ll discuss it on the air! Thanks for reading!