Before I get into this week’s recap, I am going to let all the readers know that this will be one of my last recaps. Unless the show makes some serious changes for the better over the next few weeks, I am retiring from recapping by the end of the year. Wrestling just isn’t fun anymore, and watching now feels like a job. Thanks to everyone who has been reading for the last five years or so. Your support has always been appreciated.
We are in Newark, NJ this week, and the show is opening up with…ugh, James Ellsworth. Hasn’t this joke been run into the ground enough already, for chrissakes? We go to a replay from last week’s main event, where Ellsworth cost Dean Ambrose a shot at the World title. Back to the arena, Ellsworth is getting mixed reactions. He thanks Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan for allowing him to come out here tonight to say goodbye. After last week, he hasn’t been able to sleep or eat. He can’t move on until he can tell Ambrose he’s truly sorry. He calls Ambrose out, and Ambrose responds.
Ambrose pats Ellsworth on the back and says he’s had a lot of time to think about this, to think about ripping Ellsworth’s head off with his bare hands. But when Ellsworth looks at him like ET, he can’t stay made. Ambrose says this is on him. Ellsworth says an apology is the least he can do. Because of Ambrose, he has two victories over AJ Styles. He repaid that by costing Ambrose a title match. He came to SD to fight, but last week wasn’t his fight. He knows that now, and he knows any man with two hands can make a mistake. Ambrose forgives him before saying Ellsworth has to promise to not ever get in Ambrose’s way again. Ellsworth bitches how he can’t go back in time and change things. All he can do is look into Ambrose’s eyes and tell him he’s sorry.
Ambrose is at a loss for words, which opens it up for Styles to come down to the ring. He asks Ellsworth why he would apologize to Ambrose. Styles accuses Ambrose of using Ellsworth over the past few weeks. He respects Ellsworth more than Ambrose does. He was going to take it easy on Ellsworth in the World title match, but Ambrose kept egging him on in order to get Styles disqualified. If anything, Ellsworth owes Styles an apology. Because of him, people are wearing Ellsworth shirts. He owes Styles some merchandising dollars, as well as his entire career. Ambrose steps between them and says Ellsworth is honest and a hard worker. He doesn’t take the cheap, easy way out like Styles. Ellsworth tries to separate them, so Styles shoves him into Ambrose, then kicks Ambrose in the head. Ellsworth then gets launched to the floor before Styles hits the Phenomenal Forearm on Ambrose.
We get a recap of the Wyatt/Orton saga from last week, one of the worst storylines in recent memory.
Ambrose and Ellsworth are in the back loudly talking before they are joined by Daniel Bryan. Ellsworth begs for a chance to repay Ambrose for what happened last week. He starts crying before Ambrose is told he gets another shot at Styles tonight, with the same stipulation as last week. However, this is his last chance, no matter what. Ambrose agrees and leaves. Ellsworth keeps blubbering to Bryan. Bryan tells him he can stick around as much as he wants tonight, but he is not allowed at ringside under any circumstances.
MATCH 1-NO DISQUALIFICATION: RANDY ORTON VS. KANE
Oh, boy. A no-DQ match last week for this angle, and it’s followed by ANOTHER one this week. Orton avoids his normal poses in the corners. Because he’s a heel now. What a badass.
Orton immediately bails to the floor. Outside, he meets Kane with strikes and throws him into the ring post. Kane avoids a chair shot with a boot to the gut. He grabs the chair and smacks Orton across the back. Back in the ring, Orton kicks Kane coming in. Kane counters a corner whip, hits a corner clothesline and follows with a sidewalk slam. He signals for the chokeslam, and that’s when the lights go out. When they come back on, Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper are at ringside. Back in the ring, Kane avoids the RKO and hits a big boot. The Wyatt Family pull Kane to the floor, and he lays waste to them. He uppercuts Orton through the ropes before rolling back in, then goes for the chokeslam. He breaks it when the Wyatts come in. The distraction allows Orton to hit the RKO for 3.
WINNER: RANDY ORTON
Two awful no-DQ matches in a row that barely used the stipulation. Ugh.
Orton and Harper have a stare-down as Wyatt sits in the corner. Kane gets back up, and Harper drops him with a discus clothesline. Orton then shoves Kane into a Sister Abigail from Wyatt after shoving Harper out of the way. Orton and Harper continue to stare at each other. Wyatt drops to do the family pose as Orton goes to the buckles for his pose. Harper looks nonplussed.
Daniel Bryan will be a guest on “MizTV” tonight.
We get a hype video for Baron Corbin. Why? He’s already been on the roster for the better part of a year. We’re all aware of this assclown.
MATCH 2: NIKKI BELLA AND SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPION BECKY LYNCH VS. ALEXA BLISS AND CARMELLA
This is Lynch’s first televised match since she was hospitalized. Nikki and Carmella start before Carmella immediately goes to the floor. Bliss tags herself in. Nikki applies a waistlock, but Bliss elbows out and yanks Nikki down by the hair. She runs into a Dropsh*t before Lynch gives a dropkick to Carmella. The faces hit a pair of baseball slides as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Lynch and Carmella tag in. Lynch hits a few moves before landing the Flying Firearm, a springboard kick, a mule kick and a Bexsploder for 2 as Bliss breaks it up. Nikki tries to interfere, but gets knocked to the floor. She drags Carmella to her corner for a tag, only to get caught with an inverted DDT. Carmella distracts the referee, so Lynch forearms her to the floor. That allows Bliss to rake Lynch’s eyes and follow up with a DDT for 3.
WINNERS: ALEXA BLISS AND CARMELLA
Some new and terrible interview girl is in the ring with them. Makes sense, because they both suck on the mic. Bliss cuts the girl off and does the interview herself. They verbally fellate each other before Carmella insults Bayley and Charlotte. Christ, she is just the worst thing on this show. Carmella then interviews the second-worst thing on this show. Where does WWE find these broads? She’s quoting the Wizard of Oz. Edgy!
Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan are with Naomi, who is named the fifth woman on Team Smackdown at Survivor Series. She leaves after some garbage about glowing. Natalya comes in and offers to be the coach for the team. She’s quoting Aretha Franklin. Apparently, her new gimmick is song lyric promos. Bryan officially makes her the coach.
The Spirit Squad are in the ring. They are cut off by American Alpha’s music before a cheer can begin.
MATCH 3-SURVIVOR SERIES QUALIFIER: THE SPIRIT SQUAD (KENNY AND MIKEY) VS. AMERICAN ALPHA (CHAD GABLE AND JASON JORDAN)
Gable and Kenny start, with Gable hitting a waistlock takedown. Mikey gets a distraction in, allowing Kenny to hit an uppercut. Mikey tags in after a bodyslam, and an assisted moonsault gets 2. Mikey misses a couple shots off the ropes before connecting with a flying forearm. Kenny tags in and misses a guillotine legdrop. Jordan tags and goes to town on both members of the Squad. He hits an Alpha-Plex before missing a corner shoulder charge. Kenny rolls him up for 2 before tagging into Mikey. Gable makes a blind tag, pulls Kenny out and hits Grand Amplitude with Jordan for 3.
WINNERS: AMERICAN ALPHA
We get a video hyping the Brock Lesnar/Goldberg match. Sweet merciful crap, does Goldberg look like hell. He looks like Jeff Munson, only not completely batsh*t insane.
“MizTV” time. I didn’t think a person could ruin French accents for me until Maryse came along. His guest tonight is Smackdown GM Daniel Bryan.
Miz tries to get under Bryan’s skin, so Bryan offers to cancel “MizTV”. Miz switches gears and moves onto Survivor Series. Bryan has some announcements about the teams. He mentions two more qualifiers for the 10-team match. Miz doesn’t care about that, and is instead concerned with the men’s traditional elimination match. Bryan agrees to talk about it, and lists who will be on the team: Randy Orton, Baron Corbin, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, and…WWE World Champion AJ Styles. Miz thought it would be him, so he’s all angrypants now. Bryan tells him he wasn’t even considered for the team. Miz bitches about being humiliated on his show in front of his wife. The “hand goes up/mouth goes shut” catchphrase isn’t catching on, jackass. Let it go. Miz starts slinging insults at Bryan. The show is full of opportunities to everyone not named “The Miz”. Bryan says they actually did consider him, but Survivor teams have combustible elements. Smackdown needs superstars who aren’t afraid to fight, who are willing to fight any time. Last week, Miz proved he was afraid to fight. Dolph Ziggler offered him an IC title rematch last week, and Miz turned him down because it wasn’t on his terms. At Survivor Series, Bryan and Shane McMahon need men who will fight on THEIR terms. Miz calls them Bryan’s terms, and now Team Smackdown will lose to Team RAW. Miz calls Bryan scared before putting his wife between them. Miz calls Bryan bad at his job, and bad at everything. So, why doesn’t he go back to moping around in John Cena’s house on Total Bellas? Bryan gets pissed and throws chairs. He says what Miz is best at certainly isn’t wrestling. So, Miz can go run his mouth behind the announce desk and leave the real fighting to the superstars. Last week, Miz turned down a title opportunity, but there are a ton of guys in the back who would love the opportunity. So Miz can sit there and run his mouth while Ziggler defends the IC title in an open challenge right now.
Dolph Ziggler hits the ring for an open challenge for the Intercontinental title. Curt Hawkins is apparently going to answer. He says this is tailor-made for his big debut. Tomorrow morning, there are going to be a lot of sore necks, because he’s going to turn heads when he becomes the new champion. Ziggler will be the sorest of them all, because he’s the sad, sorry, sucker who has to face the facts.
MATCH -INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP: DOLPH ZIGGLER (CHAMPION) VS. CURT HAWKINS
The Miz and Maryse are on commentary for this match…
…which ends when Ziggler immediately hits a superkick and gets 3.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: DOLPH ZIGGLER
Wow. What an absolute waste of Hawkins. What the hell did he do to deserve that?
Renee Young joins Ziggler in the ring to congratulate him. Last week, Miz told everyone he’s not a fighting champion. He’s been fighting for this his whole life and even put his career on the line for a shot at the title. Now, onto Survivor Series. Fantasy warfare becomes reality. He begged Miz to take his rematch last week, and Miz said no, because he’d do it on his terms. So, now things are on Ziggler’s terms. He challenges anyone on RAW to face him at Survivor Series for the IC title. Miz has a meltdown at ringside.
Charley Caruso is in the back with Dean Ambrose in the back. She asks if Ambrose is confident tonight knowing “James Ellis” won’t be at ringside. Ambrose corrects the name, then says last week was his fault. Tonight, there are no excuses…Ellsworth is right there to interrupt. He asks if there’s any way he can be at ringside tonight. He wants to make things right. Ambrose repeatedly tells him no and to go relax somewhere.
Wyatt Family promo time. The Wyatts are in a dark room with Randy Orton. Bray Wyatt tells him his desire to join them has been met with skepticism by some. Orton is a snake and a serpent, which has always represented treachery. He thinks anyone with credentials like that is welcome here. Orton claims he was born with the devil whispering in his ear. He’s done trying to fight it. There’s ominous music playing as this is going on. Orton calls Wyatt a god. THEN HIS G*DDAMN EYES FLICKER LIKE A HORROR MOVE, FOR CHRISSAKES, KILL THIS DUMPSTER FIRE.
MATCH -SURVIVOR SERIES QUALIFIER: THE HEADBANGERS (MOSH AND THRASHER) VS. THE USOS (JEY AND JIMMY)
The winners join Rhyno, Heath Slater, American Alpha and the Hype Bros on Team Smackdown in the 10-team elimination match.
Gee, the ‘Bangers get the jobber non-entrance in only their second TV match in about a decade. I’m sure they’ve got a chance here. The Usos go on the attack immediately, knocking Mosh to the floor. They double-team Thrasher before Jey hits a Samoan drop for 2. Jey applies a rear chinlock before Thrasher breaks out and hits a swinging neckbreaker. Jimmy and Mosh tag in, with Mosh hitting a hip attack in the corner. He drops Jimmy with a reverse STO for 2 as Jey breaks it up. Thrasher dumps him, and the ref pulls Thrasher back as Mosh gets in an O’Connor roll. Jimmy shoves him into a shot from Jey, then rolls him up with a handful of kilt for 3.
WINNERS: THE USOS
Charley Caruso is in the back with AJ Styles. She asks about tonight. He wants to know why he can’t get to the ring without someone stopping him. He’s going to beat Dean Ambrose tonight, and James Ellsworth won’t be there to interfere.
Ambrose and Ellsworth are also in the back, heading to the ring. Ambrose completely kicks Ellsworth out of the building.
MATCH -WWE WORLD CHAMPION AJ STYLES VS. DEAN AMBROSE (NON-TITLE); IF AMBROSE WINS, HE GETS A SHOT AT THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
This is Ambrose’s final chance at a title match. Ambrose starts with a shot to the back, knocking Styles to the floor. He follows with a tope suicida, then slams Styles face-first into the announce desk before throwing him over it. Styles gets slammed into the barricade. Back in, Ambrose gets a 1-count before he lights Styles up with some knife edges. Styles comes back with a sunset flip for 2. Ambrose with a small package for 2. A schoolboy gets 2. Ambrose then applies a Texas cloverleaf. Styles manages to reach the bottom rope. Ambrose sets up a butterfly superplex, which gets 2. Ambrose tees off on Styles before Styles counters a hiptoss into the Calf Crusher. Ambrose gets a rope-break and rolls to the floor. Outside, Ambrose crotches Styles on the barricade, then sends him into the timekeeper’s area with a running forearm. Ambrose breaks the count before rolling Styles back in for 2. Ambrose gets corner-whipped and hits an elbow. He goes up to the middle, where he misses a blockbuster and seemingly blows out his knee. Commercials.
Back from the break, Ambrose prevents a possible Phenomenal Forearm with a dropkick, sending Styles to the floor. He heads up top and hits the elbowline. He rolls Styles in to break the count, then heads up top again. Styles avoids an attack as Ambrose lands on his feet and rolls through. He tweaks his knee a bit again, but recovers enough to attempt Dirty Deeds. Styles escapes before getting hit with a pair of forearms and a running clothesline. Styles tries for the Calf Crusher out of the corner again, but Ambrose rolls through and goes for a suplex. Styles counters and suplexes Ambrose into the buckles. They trade waistlocks before Ambrose hits a Glam Slam for 2. Back up, Styles chops Ambrose in the throat and hits a few strikes before trying for the Styles Clash. Ambrose escapes and the two knock each other down with simultaneous clotheslines.
James Ellsworth runs in through the crowd and is at ringside, cheering Ambrose on. Ambrose is distracted, which allows Styles to hit the Pele for 2. Security chases Ellsworth out through the crowd, which distracts Styles. Ambrose O’Connor rolls Styles for 2. Styles ducks the Lunatic Lariat and goes for the moonsault into the inverted DDT. Ambrose escapes and goes for Dirty Deeds. Styles counters that into the Calf Crusher on the bad wheel. Ambrose almost passes out, but manages to grab the bottom rope. In the corner, Ambrose backdrops Styles to the outside as we see security still chasing Ellsworth through the crowd. Ellsworth tries to get into the ring, but is cut off. Styles sees him and shoves him over the announce desk. Back in the ring, he goes for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Ambrose boots him and hits Dirty Deeds for 3.
WINNER: DEAN AMBROSE
Ambrose gets one final shot at the World title now. We see security literally dragging Ellsworth up the ramp, with Ellsworth smiling along the way.
Ambrose celebrates in the ring a bit, then heads up the ramp. He looks down at Ellsworth on the stage, then walks off, shaking his head. Security continues to drag Ellsworth away.
END OF SHOW