WWE SmackDown Live for November 1, 2016
Watch: USA Network, Hulu, WWE Network on a one-month delay
Prudential Center – Newark, New Jersey
The show opens with James Ellsworth, who’s here to apologize for costing Dean Ambrose a future WWE World Title match by interfering in last week’s main event. Ellsworth thanks Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon for giving him the opportunity to say “goodbye,” before asking Ambrose to come out so that he can make things right. Ambrose makes a few backhanded comments about Ellsworth’s appearance before mentioning that James doesn’t owe him an apology. Ambrose says that what happened last week is “water under the bridge,” and warns Ellsworth not to interfere in his matches ever again. AJ Styles comes out, saying that Ellsworth should be apologizing to him, even crediting himself for Ellsworth’s success thus far. Things quickly become heated, and the segment ends with Styles taking out both Ellsworth and Ambrose.
We take a look back at last week’s No Disqualification match between Bray Wyatt and Kane, which ended abruptly when the latter was struck down following an RKO from “The Viper” Randy Orton.
Backstage, Dean Ambrose and James Ellsworth are shown with SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan. Bryan grants Ambrose a rematch against AJ Styles tonight and if Ambrose wins, he’ll become the #1 Contender to the WWE World Title. Bryan also makes it clear that he doesn’t want Ellsworth anywhere near ringside. A solid little backstage segment to set up what should be another good match between two performers with undeniable chemistry.
No Disqualification Match: Randy Orton vs. KaneNR
The action immediately spills to the outside and both competitors battle over a chair. Just as it appears Kane has taken control, the lights go out and The Wyatt Family hits the ring. One RKO later, Kane finds himself down on the mat for a three-count. Nothing to rate here, as this was more of an angle than an actual match. Post-match, The Wyatts and their newfound ally, Orton, continued to attack Kane.
Randy Orton def. Kane.
A Baron Corbin video package aired, presumably to build him up as Team Blue’s no-nonsense destroyer at Survivor Series.
Carmella & Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki Bella & Becky LynchEh
Prior to the match, we take a look back at last week’s episode of SmackDown Live, where Bliss made an emphatic statement by spray-painting a symbolic yellow streak down Lynch’s spine. Sadly, this match didn’t seem to have much going for it, and perhaps more importantly, it felt rushed. Lynch hit all her signature moves, both teams went back-and-forth a bit and a distraction from Carmella allowed Bliss to pin Lynch. What we got was a perfectly solid tag match, I just would have liked to see it go a bit longer.
Carmella & Alexa Bliss def. Nikki Bella & Becky Lynch.
Dasha Fuentes attempts to interview Bliss after the match, but Bliss cuts her off and begins to interview Carmella. Bliss asks Carmella who she’s looking forward to humiliating most at Survivor Series. Carmella makes a mockery of the RAW women’s division before saying that it doesn’t matter who’s on their Survivor Series team, because they “Can’t hang with one of the chicks on SmackDown Live.” Carmella wraps up her spiel and interviews Bliss about her title match with Becky Lynch in Glasgow, Scotland next week. Bliss claims that Lynch’s fairytale will come to an end and declares that next week, she will become the SmackDown Women’s champion. Another good promo that solidifies Bliss’ role as an unlikable bully, and gives her momentum heading into next week.
Daniel Bryan and SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon are shown backstage with Naomi, and they announce that she will be joining the women’s team at Survivor Series. Natalya interrupts Shane and Daniel’s conversation, saying that Team Blue needs a team captain that can coach the other women. Bryan obliges and Natalya happily leaves.
Survivor Series Qualifying Match: American Alpha (Chad Gable & Jason Jordan) vs. The Spirit Squad (Kenny & Mikey)NR
Here we have another compact, effective match. The Spirit Squad worked over Gable a bit before he eventually made the hot tag to Gable. After hitting Grand Amplitude, American Alpha finds themselves headed to Survivor Series.
American Alpha def. The Spirit Squad.
A recap of Goldberg’s appearance on last night’s episode of Monday Night RAW airs.
The Miz and Maryse are out for a special edition of Miz TV with Daniel Bryan. Miz takes a few jabs at Bryan, which Bryan responds to by threatening to cancel Miz TV. Bryan states that he’s here to make some announcements in regards to Survivor Series. Miz urges Bryan to reveal the male superstars for the traditional five-on-five elimination match and he names Randy Orton, Baron Corbin, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose & AJ Styles.Miz expresses his displeasure with not being on the team, to which Bryan replies: “We need superstars who are willing to fight and last week you proved you’re afraid to fight.” Bryan gets tired of Miz’s schtick, telling Miz to do what he does best and sit around while Dolph Ziggler comes out and defends his Intercontinental Title, next. Really good, intense segment that furthered the tension between Miz and Bryan while also seamlessly transitioning into a title bout.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Curt HawkinsNR
Hawkins finally makes his in-ring debut, only to lose in eight seconds. Okay…moving on.
Dolph Ziggler def. Curt Hawkins.
Renee Young enters the ring to interview Ziggler after the match. Ziggler briefly talks about his title before issuing an open challenge to any member of the RAW roster for a championship match at Survivor Series. Ziggler has really turned things around post-brand split and his passion really shines through in these short, yet heartfelt promos.
Backstage, Dasha Fuentes asks Dean Ambrose if he’s confident that he can become the number-one contender tonight, knowing that “James Ellis” will not be at ringside. Ellsworth makes an appearance, asking if he can come to ringside to make things right. Ambrose declines his offer.
Randy Orton is shown with The Wyatt Family. Wyatt welcomes Orton to his family and Orton spews a few cryptic phrases, solidifying the fact that he is now one of them.
Survivor Series Qualifying Match: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) vs. The Headbangers (Mosh & Thrasher)NR
The Usos jump The Headbangers before the bell rings and immediately go to work on Mosh. Jimmy quickly rolls up Thrasher to pick up the win. The less said about how atrocious The Headbangers have looked in their recent appearances, the better.
The Usos def. The Headbangers
Backstage, Dasha Fuentes interviews the WWE World Champion, AJ Styles about his upcoming match with Dean Ambrose. Styles sarcastically says that he’s excited about tonight’s main event and that this week, Dean won’t be able to blame his “little buddy” when he loses.
WWE World Championship #1 Contender's Match: AJ Styles vs. Dean AmbroseGood
Ambrose is a man on a mission tonight, laying into Styles from the outset. He maintains control in the early stages of the match, but starts to lose traction once Styles targets his left knee. Mid-match, James Ellsworth runs out and nearly costs Ambrose a title shot again. Styles is distracted when security runs off Ellsworth and gets hit with the Dirty Deeds from Ambrose. A good main event, if a bit quirky due to the appearance of Ellsworth.
WWE SMACKDOWN LIVE FOR NOVEMBER 1, 2016
Decent - 6.5/10
This week's episode of SmackDown Live continues with the theme of solid showings from Team Blue. Though the matches took a backseat to the stories and angles at hand, everything felt important and still contributed to the show in some way.