We are in Cleveland, OH this week for Smackdown Live! (Ambrose is from Cincinnati, so expect a big pop), and the show kicks off with Randy Orton. Good, because I worked hard today and need a nap. I notice the ring post screens have changed, despite the fact that they were just implemented a few weeks ago. Orton talks about Bray Wyatt and fear. He says Wyatt is afraid. The crowd is completely dead for this, and the show has just started. We’re in for a long night, folks. Orton eventually gets to calling Wyatt out after what seems like an eternity.
The lights go out, and when they come back on, Wyatt appears on the screen. He has a story. I’m not interested. He challenges Orton to hurt him, but hurry, because the sands of time wait for no mortal man. Wyatt starts singing as the camera zooms in on a giant hourglass. After the lights come back up, Orton immediately heads to the back.
Dean Ambrose has arrived, and he’s stopped by Charley Caruso in the back. She asks what’s going through his mind. He says unfortunately, this is a PG show. Styles is bragging about beating John Cena, which Ambrose also did. That’s old new, just like Cena. Styles stole his title at Backlash, so now, Ambrose is going to break his face. He’s going to turn the “face that runs the place” into the “guy that’s going to cry”.
MATCH 1: THE ASCENSION (KONNOR & VIKTOR), AND THE USOS (JEY & JIMMY) VS. AMERICAN ALPHA (CHAD GABLE & JASON JORDAN), AND SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS RHYNO & HEATH SLATER
The order of the introductions is weird. The Ascension and AA get jobber non-entrances, followed by the tag champs, then followed by the Usos. The Usos finally have a new entrance theme at least. Sadly, it sounds like a hip-hop version of Rusev’s theme.
Jordan and an Uso start, with Jordan hitting a pair of waistlock takedowns. This is Jimmy. Gable tags in and begins to work over Jimmy’s left arm. He hits a takedown before tagging Jordan back in, who takes a punch and a chop. Jordan hits an elbow out of the corner and a double-leg gets 2 before Jordan goes into an armbar. Jordan gets backed into the heel corner, where Jey tags in. Jordan avoids a double hiptoss and tags in Gable. AA then hit a pair of monkey flips, sending Jimmy to the floor. Gable goes for another on Jey, gets reversed in the corner, then traps Jey in a hanging armbar over the ropes. Outside, Gable goes after Jimmy until Jey chopblocks his bad knee. Commercials.
Back from the break, the Ascension are working over Gable in the corner for a 2-count by Konnor. Jimmy tags in and hits a straight right. He tees off on Gable in the corner to set up the hip attack, which misses when Gable rolls out of the way. Gable crawls for a tag to Jordan before sidestepping an incoming Viktor. Viktor gets tossed, and the same happens to Konnor as well. Gable crawls once more as Jimmy grabs his ankle. The Ascension take Jordan out outside, only for Rhyno to wipe them both out. Slater begs for the tag before Gable and Jimmy collide off an Irish whip. Slater and Jey both tag, with Slater throwing punches on Jey, followed by a high knee. He connects with a side kick on Jimmy, then hits a neckbreaker for 2 as Konnor breaks it up. Gable and Rhyno takes care of him before Viktor nails Rhyno with a spinning European uppercut. Jordan clotheslines him to the floor. Slater ducks a superkick and goes for an O’Connor roll, but Jimmy makes a blind tag. Jimmy connects with a kick, and the Usos take out Slater’s left knee with a double team. Jimmy then locks in the Tequila Sunrise, and Slater taps.
WINNERS: THE ASCENSION AND THE USOS
Wow. The Ascension were actually on the winning side of a tag match. Granted, they did absolute jack…
Charley Caruso stops John Cena in the back. She says he will be ringside during the main event, and asks if it matters who wins tonight. He says AJ Styles is at the top of his game, and Dean Ambrose has guts. He’ll be watching closely, and using it to make history. At No Mercy, one man is walking out and will be able to say, “The 16-time champ is here!”
We see the Miz and Maryse in the back. Miz has a poster of himself hung over some athlete named Mo Williams.
We see Randy Orton in the back, where Bray Wyatt was earlier. He looks at something on the wall. Can’t tell what it is, because the lighting sucks. Oh. It’s some kind of weird door handle you have to spin. What is this, Indiana Jones? Orton walks through the door, and then we see that the handle has been turned again, and Erick Rowan is standing there. At least, I think that’s what happened. The lighting was atrocious.
We then see Bray Wyatt talking to the camera with his hourglass. I don’t know what the hell is going on here, and I don’t care.
MATCH 2: NATALYA AND CARMELLA VS. NAOMI AND NIKKI BELLA
Inset promo from Nattie and Carmella. Carmella does all the talking, which is horrible, because she is a massive pile of suck.
As Naomi makes her entrance, we learn that TLC this year will be Smackdown-only. The Bellas are on Muscle & Fitness. Yeah, because when I think of muscle and fitness, I think the Bellas…Inset promo from Naomi and Nikki. Naomi is talking about lights. Nikki is talking about glowing flames. Jeezus f**k. THIS is what women’s wrestling in WWE has come to.
Carmella and Naomi start. Naomi hits a hip throw. Carmella avoids a charge in the corner and moonwalks. What the hell else is she going to do? Naomi trips her and smacks her ass, then forces her to toss the salad. There is no other way to describe that move. Naomi with a leg lariat before tagging out to Nikki. Nikki hits a facebreaker before Carmella rolls to the floor. Commercials.
Back from the break, Nattie is attacking Naomi at ringside. She hits a Michinoku driver #2 on the floor, then tosses her back in for a 2-count. Nattie tries for a surfboard, only for Naomi to armdrag out. She hobbles for a tag, but Nattie muscles her to the heel corner. Carmella tags in and they hit a double wishbone for 2. Carmella sits on Naomi’s back in the ropes, then Nattie boots her behind the ref’s back. Naomi gets a small package for 2 before Carmella runs Naomi’s face into her foot in the corner. Carmella hits the worst bronco buster this side of Mae Young and “slaps” Naomi before getting 2. Nattie tags in for a double northern lights for 2. Naomi reverses a suplex into a schoolgirl for 2, then gets yanked by the hair on a tag attempt. Nattie knees Naomi in the heel corner before Naomi fights her way out. Nattie hits a slingshot arsebreaker, steps over her back and lands a basement dropkick for 2. Nattie misses a legdrop, Naomi kicks her away and makes the tag. Nikki hits some Dropshits, a corner splash and a Disaster Kick for 2. Carmella nails her in the back and makes the tag, only to get whipped into the ring. Nikki goes for the TKO, but Carmella rakes her eyes and kicks Naomi off the apron. Nattie tries to come in, but gets a forearm to the face. Carmella then rolls Nikki up for 3.
WINNERS: CARMELLA AND NATALYA
Once again, Carmella does less than everyone involved in the match. What a waste of time.
More fun time with Randy Orton in Uncle Touchy’s Naked Puzzle Basement. There’s a not written on the wall that says “One way choose wisely”. Orton looks around at some doors with writing on them. I’m sorry, this isn’t a bad Indiana Jones ripoff; it’s a bad Saw ripoff. The door Orton chooses has a cut-out of him inside it, with the eyes removed. Orton then goes to the other door, which says “Predator or prey” on it. On the other side is Erick Rowan, who Orton can’t see, because he doesn’t open the door all the way. There are way too many cameras for this segment. Oh, and somehow the door is now locked behind Orton. WHAT THE F**K IS HAPPENING WITH PRO WRESTLING?!
The Miz and Maryse come out for a “homecoming celebration”. The ring has the red carpet covering it, and there are blown-up photos of him set up in the ring. Maryse trips over her lines, because of course she does. Miz points to the screen, where we get an video package for him. It’s all of the horrible things Miz has been responsible for, all crammed into one video, set to some atrociously bad music.
Back to the arena, he sucks up to the crowd by announcing the Cleveland Cavaliers won the championship, then bitches about how his “hero’s welcome” isn’t good. He rags on the city for the cheapest of cheap heat. Something, something, world tour. He then points out his parents are here. His dad still looks like he’d rather be anywhere else in the world. Miz also points out Dolph Ziggler’s parents, who are also in attendance, as Ziggler is also from Cleveland.
Miz calls Ziggler a loser, which brings him out. Ziggler gets on Miz about talking trash, and if he needs to say something, say it to his face. He calls Miz out for repeatedly cheating to retain his title. Miz lists off his accolades. Ziggler was great, but now he just loses. He needs to end his mediocre career. He calls Ziggler an opening act. He would be embarrassed if that was his career (which it has been, several times). Miz continues to brow-beat Ziggler, then refuses another match. Ziggler has nothing that matters. Unless Ziggler is giving up his career, they’re done.
As Miz and Maryse are heading up the ramp, Ziggler tells him he’s right. The ring is all he has. Sometimes, things you love don’t love you back. You can give and give, and sometimes, you get nothing back. People ask, “Why are you still here? Why do you still do this every night?” It’s because he can’t stop. Maybe things didn’t turn out the way he wanted them to, but he can’t stop himself. But…If Miz puts the IC title up one more time, Ziggler will put up his entire career. Miz marches back and wants to clarify that Ziggler will be done with the entire company for good if he loses. Ziggler says he either walks out champion, or he’s done. Either way, he’ll be out of his misery. Miz accepts.
Good promo courtesy of Ziggler. Waste of human life courtesy of Miz and Maryse.
Oh, boy. More Bray Wyatt super-terrific happy fun time. He’s talking to the camera again. That’s all.
Becky Lynch comes out, but she’s attacked from behind by Alexa Bliss, who slams her face into the entrance ramp. She then takes the Smackdown Women’s title off Lynch, screams in her face, then tosses it on her back. Well, that was a waste of time and yet a further waste of Lynch.
More Curt Hawkins facts from the man himself. Next week, he’ll be making a big Curt Hawkins announcement.
And now even MORE Bray Wyatt. Way to run an angle into the ground at an accelerated rate. Wyatt calls for Orton. Orton is behind him in a sheep mask. Wyatt turns around and gets assaulted. Why does Orton make so much noise when he throws punches? Orton then starts laughing. He picks up the sheep mask and sits down. More laughing. Orton puts it back on. He starts laughing. The video jump-cuts a bunch, and then we’re back to Wyatt, sitting somewhere else. WHY? WHAT THE HELL IS THE POINT OF ANY OF THIS? THIS IS ABSOLUTE WRESTLECRAP OF THE HIGHEST ORDER. MY GOD, KILLS THIS BULLS**T. KILL IT WITH FIRE.
Charley Caruso stops AJ Styles in the back. He talks about defending his title tonight. How did we get here? He beat up John Cena, then beat him. He beat up Dean Ambrose, then beat him for the title. All eyes are on Styles and they’re going to see him beat Ambrose again. All ears will hear him announced as the winner and still champion.
John Cena comes out to do commentary for the main event.
MATCH 3-WWE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: DEAN AMBROSE VS. AJ STYLES (CHAMPION)
Mauro Ranallo points out last week, Cena lost for the first time on Smackdown in 13 years. That makes me cringe.
Ambrose starts with a double-leg before throwing Styles into the buckles. He drops Styles with some chops, then grinds his face across the top rope. Styles comes back with a kick before he gets clotheslined to the floor in front of the announce desk. Ambrose tosses Styles onto the desk for some mounted punches, then breaks the count as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Styles has Ambrose in a rear chinlock. Ambrose fights out, misses a clothesline and collides with Styles in the middle of the ring. Ambrose ducks another clothesline, hits a couple forearms and connects with a clothesline of his own. He catches Styles off the buckles and connects with a sidewinder backbreaker for 2. Ambrose heads outside and up top for the elbowline. He misses, lands on his feet and rolls through, then charges at Styles in the corner. Styles catches him and tries for the Calf Crusther, but Ambrose counters into a Texas clover-leaf. Styles manages to get to the ropes, and Ambrose breaks at 4. Styles rolls to the apron, where he hits a hotshot. Ambrose recovers and forearms him into the barricade. Ambrose wipes Styles out with a tope suicida, then rolls him back in. Styles immediately rolls back out to the floor, so Ambrose climbs up top and hits the elbowline. Commercials.
Back from the break, Styles has recovered and is now working on Ambrose’s left knee. Styles counters a hiptoss attempt and goes right into the Calf Crusher. Styles cranks on the leg as Ambrose crawls for the ropes. Ambrose gets his arm around Styles’ neck and repeatedly slams his head into the mat, resulting in Styles breaking the hold. Styles gets back up, kicks the leg and goes for the Clash. Ambrose backdrops out of it and goes for Dirty Deeds. Styles counters that with his strike combo until Ambrose hits a swinging neckbreaker. The two trade blows before Styles goes back to the leg. Ambrose blocks a kick, hits a few shots, eats a forearm and goes for the Lunatic Lariat. Styles counters that with an Ushi-Goroshi attempt. Ambrose escapes and hits a double chickenwing into a sit-out facebuster (think the Glam Slam) for 2. Ambrose sets Styles up for a superplex, which Styles escapes. He then picks Ambrose up in an Argentine backbreaker, only to spin-out into a powerbomb for 2. Styles slaps Ambrose around, so Ambrose peppers him with forearms. Styles connects with a gamengiri before missing a forearm in the corner. Ambrose crotches him across the top rope and absolutely blasts him with a flying clothesline for 2. Good smack on that clothesline.
Ambrose grabs Styles, who grabs the ropes. Styles stuns Ambrose with a Pele’, then heads out for the springboard 450, which unfortunately misses. Ambrose heads up top now for the elbowline, which is only good for a 2-count. Ambrose knocks Styles to the floor with a punch, then misses a slingshot plancha. Ambrose tweaks his knee, and Styles nails him with a high knee. He rolls Ambrose in, then nails Cena with a forearm. He misses the Phenomenal Forearm, and Cena is up on the apron. Referee Charles Robinson is arguing with him as Ambrose gets Styles in an O’Connor roll for the visual win. Robinson turns around and counts, but it’s only good for 2. Ambrose heads out and nails Cena with a forearm, then comes back in and gets O’Connor rolled himself, and Styles gets 3 with a handful of tights.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: AJ STYLES
Ambrose and Cena get into itafter the match. Ambrose tries for Dirty Deeds, but Cena counters into the Attitude Adjustment. He then does the same off a Styles Clash attempt, because of course he does. Cena then celebrates with the World title.
END OF SHOW
The main event was good, as was Dolph Ziggler’s promo. The rest of the show was absolute garbage. One of the worst episodes I’ve ever recapped.
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