Hey there, gang. Sorry this review’s a little late, but after the news early yesterday morning I needed to conduct a grand tour of the nearby bars (and maybe a place where you could get a really good steak) just to sort of find an equilibrium. Don’t worry: I’m not planning on going on any kind of political spiel here, because this is a review of a wrestling show that barely anyone reads and that would just be crazy. I will say that I challenge you to deny me the right to drink a lot of damn delicious cocktails and eat a fillet fucking steak after this election.
In conclusion, 2016 can fuck right off.
This week’s SmackDown Live is coming at you from Glasgow, Scotland, where the wrestlers are probably considered pacifists in comparison to the locals, credited with both the Glasgow Kiss and the Glasgow Smile. I mean…that’s one more finisher than most of WWE’s talent.
Also, the WWE roster were overseas when the results came in? That had to have been a surreal moment for them, finding out at six in the morning. Anyone know if Rhyno got into Congress?
Wait, what? Tom Philips has been added to the commentary team? Four commentators has got to be overdoing it, right? I’d be happy with just JBL and Mauro Ranallo; that would be audio heaven.
AJ Styles makes his way out to the ring, and tells the crowd off for cheering him. They boo him, because Glasgow knows a knobhead when they see one. He tells them to have a seat and be quiet, and they boo him again because who does this fancy Yank wanker think he is, coming in here and telling them what to do?
Styles goes off on one about Dean Ambrose and James Ellsworth, saying he’d kick both of their asses if Ellsworth was here and he wasn’t banned from fucking up Ambrose before Survivor Series. Apparently AJ actually cares about winning at Survivor Series, which is way more character development than I’d have ever credited him with. He says that, as captain, his job is to whip his team into shape, and calls them out.
Baron Corbin walks out, and the look on AJ Styles’ face (exasperation, depression and a little bit of loathing) is exactly how I feel whenever I see Baron Corbin. Styles says that he’s fine with Corbin being a total dick, just so long as he delivers at Survivor Series. Corbin says that he’ll deliver, but not for Styles’ team. Wait, is he dropping out? Is he dying? Because I will take either one of them.
Wyatt, Harper and Orton suddenly teleport to ringside and get into the ring. Good God, is anyone buying Orton working with Bray? Does AJ buy it? Before we can delve too deeply into that question, Ambrose makes his way down to the ring too…and then just turns away and walks back up the ramp…and he brings out James Ellsworth! Ellsworthamania is running wild in Scotland! The Glaswegians will hunt him down and use him to make haggis!
Have you guys ever had haggis? It’s a disgusting concept, but it is fucking delicious.
Ambrose tells Styles to calm down; Ellsworth is his guest, and he’s never been to Scotland before. AJ blows past that, saying he doesn’t care as long as Ellsworth’s not around at Survivor Series. Ambrose tells Styles that if he’s got a problem with James Ellsworth, then he has a problem with Glasgow, Scotland. To be honest, I don’t think the people of Glasgow care too much about James Ellsworth. I think they care more about fast food, alcohol and heroin.
Dean continues to defend James Ellsworth’s honour, which is made so much better by the Wyatts and Orton stoically watching all of this like it’s a mildly interesting TV show. Styles tries to get the others to beat the shit out of Ambrose, and Corbin just fucks off. Best thing he’s done in his whole career. The Wyatts seem up for a bit of the old ultra-violence, but then Shane McMahon comes down to the ring, getting the warmest reception yet.
Shane talks sternly to everyone in the ring, which I suppose means that the Wyatts actually respect his authority. Also, remember when Orton forcibly kissed Shane’s sister and hospitalised his father? Shane spouts the traditional Survivor Series speech about teamwork, brotherly love and beating the shit out of those inbred mutant dickwads from whatever show this isn’t, and then James Ellsworth whispers an idea in his ear.
Oh Jesus Christ: James Ellsworth is officially the SmackDown Team Mascot at Survivor Series. Shane is the mole! Shane is the Manchurian Commissioner! How much is Mick Foley paying him?!
Tonight, the new Wyatt Family will face Corbin, Ambrose and Ellsworth in a tag team match, because I kind of think Shane might be a psychopath.
When we come back, Baron Corbin is backstage because nobody loves him. Shane shows up to inform him about the tag team match later tonight, but Corbin says that he’s not interested. God, walking out mid-segment, refusing to have matches: where has this Baron Corbin been all this time? He says that he’s agreed to be on the team at Survivor Series, but he doesn’t have to help Ambrose and Ellsworth tonight. If Shane doesn’t like it, Corbin says, he can kick him off the team! Yes! Shane, do it! He gave affirmative consent!
Shane puts Corbin in a singles match against Kalisto instead…because that’s some kind of punishment, I guess?
Are Breezango strippers now? Because that’s what dude strippers look like.
The Vaudevillains are in the ring, awaiting the arrival of Breezango. This contest is to decide the final team to join the others in the Tag Team Survivor Series match. Breezango are wearing police uniforms mixed with kilts, and about half the audience is outraged whilst the rest are frantically trying to conceal their illicit substances underneath their cheesy chips.
Gotch immediately jumps Breeze after the bell, taking him over in a rolling fireman’s slam. This match is going to be pretty interesting, because one of these teams is actually going to have to be taken seriously. Gotch tags in English, who hits the senton bomb! Fandango breaks up the pin before getting ejected; Gotch tags in, but runs into an enzuigiri from Breeze.
Breeze tags Fandango in before brawling on the outside with Aiden English. Gotch boots Fandango off the apron, then brings him back in to try and hit the Whirling Dervish with English. Fandango is able to counter, and shoves English into a superkick from Breeze! Fandango hits the Falcon Arrow, and Breezango wins!
Not a bad match, even if it was quick. Just because these guys are comedy teams, it doesn’t mean you can’t let them put on a good show. 2.5 Stars.
This is like a really physical Mean Girls
Aw bless, it’s Natalya: the only woman who couldn’t be on the SmackDown Live team. Nikki Bella is at ringside, and she’s Captain even though Becky is the Champion. Sometimes, you kinda get what people mean about her.
Natalya is facing Naomi, and the match gets underway. Naomi rolls Nat up quickly, and Nat grabs the ropes before smashing Naomi’s head off the mat. Nat surfboards Naomi, transitioning into sleeper before Naomi hits a jawbreaker. Both women run into each other to hit crossbodies, leaving both of them on the mat.
Carmella is suddenly walking out to the ring, because sneak attacks have gotten to be so passé. Nikki gets up, but suddenly Natalya is between both of them, blowing her whistle. Nikki stares at her for a second, and then shoves Natalya over before decking Carmella on the chin. Natalya remonstrates with Nikki before heading back into the ring to get rolled up by Naomi!
They’re really trying to dysfunction the hell out of all of these teams, aren’t they? Can’t one of them just co-exist really well? 2 Stars.
After a break, Dean Ambrose is backstage with Ellsworth. Ellsworth tells him that they don’t need Corbin: THAT’S RIGHT, JAMES. He keeps trying to psyche Dean up, and Ambrose is obviously trying to suppress the urge to strangle Ellsworth.
Daniel Bryan shows up, and he says that he’s got a partner for them. Oh, it’s Kane. Got tired of stealing votes from the two main parties, you Libertarian burn victim?
This was perfect
Oh yay, I get to write about a Baron Corbin match. Apparently he has a rivalry with Kalisto; I actually review this show, and I have no memory of any of that happening. I think I might be drinking memories of Baron Corbin away.
Kalisto makes his entrance, vaults into the ring and gets run over by a clothesline. Corbin keeps beating on Kalisto, and it looks like I don’t have to review a Baron Corbin match. Man, Corbin’s just handing me shit today. Corbin gets out onto the apron, and then slips and hurts his knee! Is Baron Corbin injured? Will it get infected and kill him?
Kalisto dropkicks Corbin’s knee into the steel steps, because fuck Baron Corbin and everything about him. He starts to walk away, and then heads up to the top rope and frogsplashes Corbin’s injured knee! Kalisto’s the hero we deserve!
Baron Corbin’s greatest match ever. 5 Stars.
JBL says that Baron Corbin could be out for months. Don’t tease, John.
We take a look back at Becky and Alexa’s rivalry. Considering this really seemed like a throwaway rivalry at first, Bliss has done some great work as the villain.
Bryan and Shane are backstage, and Corbin is too injured to be at Survivor Series! There really is a God!
Fair play to Alexa Bliss
Oh, the Women’s Championship match is happening now? Silly me: I thought “main event” meant that it would go on last. Alexa Bliss makes her way to the ring, followed by Becky Lynch.
In-ring announcements to give it dat BIG MATCH FEEL, and we’re underway. Becky and Alexa lock up, with Bliss throwing Lynch to start things off. Becky throws Alexa in turn, going for the Disarmer before Bliss slides out of it. Becky goes for a quick cover, takes Becky over with a snapmare; Becky matrixes away from Bliss; the two women exchange roll-ups before Alexa grabs the ropes, stopping the exchange for a second.
Becky sends Alexa off the ropes, takes her over with armdrags and then hits a calf kick before kipping up. The ref stops Becky from going after Bliss, allowing Alexa to take advantage, throwing Becky first into the ringpost and then the steel steps. Bliss stomps on the left arm, going after that limb in order to take the Disarmer out of the equation.
Back the ring, Alexa continues to punish the arm, even applying the armbar before stomping on the shoulder. A pin attempt gets two, and she goes right back to the champ’s shoulder. Becky fights back for a second, but Alexa throws her right back into the turnbuckle before working the arm over on both the steel steps and the apron. She wraps the arm around the ropes, then wrenches on it some more, every single move targeting the arm and shoulder of Becky Lynch.
Becky keeps trying to fight out, but Alexa has all kind of attacks and holds to bring forward to against her. Becky tries to roll Alexa up, and then is able to hoist the smaller woman into the air and hit a sit-out powerbomb to break the hold! When we come back from the break, Becky is trying to roll Bliss up again. Alexa runs into a back elbow, then a boot from Becky.
Bliss misses a charge, then eats some clotheslines, and then a calf kick. Becky hits the forearm in the corner, a kick and then the Bex-Plex for two! Becky is clutching her arm, limiting her offence, but she heads up to the top rope, comes down for a leg drop but she misses! Alexa kicks her in the face and hits knees to the gut of Becky Lynch. Bliss grabs Becky, screaming into her face before the two of them exchange blows! Becky hits a kick to the gut; Bliss leapfrogs Lynch in the corner, rolling her up for two!
Alexa heads up to the top now, but Becky catches her up there, trying to stop the assault. Alexa goes for the tornado DDT, has it blocked by Becky, but manages to hit a regular DDT for two! Bliss yells at the ref, wasting valuable time, but Becky seems to be in bad enough shape that it doesn’t matter much. Alexa heads over to where Becky lies in the corner, going for what seems to be a Swagger Bomb, but Becky gets the knees up to counter!
Becky rolls Alexa up, gets rolled up herself, and locks in the Disarmer! Bliss grabs the rope, but Becky moves her away from edge of the ring, locking the Disarmer in again! Alexa’s foot is on the bottom rope; the referee didn’t see it, and Bliss taps out!
Looks like we’re setting up for a return match, and after this I’ve got no problem with that. Alexa was better than I’ve ever seen her on SmackDown, and really stole focus here. 4 Stars.
Backstage, Bryan and Shane are discussing the match, saying that the ref’s decision stands. Bryan has his list of names for possible fifth man members ready, but the Miz shows up to argue, through Maryse, that this whole Dolph Ziggler/Sami Zayn awesomeness is total bullshit. Bryan offers Miz a title match next week, and Maryse accepts on his behalf. What, so Miz is offended by the Intercontinental Championship possibly going to RAW, but not the entire Cruiserweight Division being put up as stakes in a bet like they’re not even people?
Here’s Apollo Crews, who is being forced to be in the same ring as Curt Hawkins. I mean…I suppose if I was going to be allowed to potentially cripple Curt Hawkins, I might do it.
Sweet God, if Baron Corbin and Curt Hawkins ever team up, I fucking quit.
Hawkins starts off with a high knee and hitting forearms and boots to Crews in the corner. Back suplex to Apollo gets a one count, and Hawkins applies a sleeper. Jawbreaker from Crews, then some kicks and a clothesline. Leaping enzuigiri puts Hawkins down for two, and he gets a running boot to the face to follow that up.
Crews is sent into the corner, but hits Hawkins with a back elbow. Apollo heads up to the top, misses a crossbody, gets rolled up and…yep.
Another chapter in the tragic misuse of Apollo Crews, and so much for him being the dark horse pick for the five man team. Also, seems like Curt Hawkins can and will actually wrestle a little bit, which is more than I was expecting. 1.5 Stars.
Dolph Ziggler is walking around backstage when Renee Young ambush-interviews him. He seems pretty amped up about facing Miz and Sami Zayn. We had better not fucking be giving up the Intercontinental Championship just so we can have some Cruiserweights over here.
Is there just the sound of a ticking clock in Orton’s head?
Not-main-event-but-last-match time. The Wyatts make their way to the ring, followed by Kane, Dean and Ellsworth. AJ Styles is on commentary, because that doesn’t seem like a poor choice for team unity.
Kane and Harper start off, with Kane hitting a shoulder block. Kane goozles Harper, who fights his way out before getting backdropped. Kane tags in Ambrose, and Harper tags out to Bray. Ambrose starts beating the shit out of Wyatt in the corner, then runs into a knee from Harper, allowing Wyatt to take him down. Bray tags in Randy Orton, giving us a chance to see a pairing we’ve not seen much of so far.
Orton clotheslines Dean, then hits the stomps to the guy. He sends Ambrose into the corner, but runs into a back elbow; Ambrose tags in Kane. Kane comes in with an uppercut to Orton, then squashes him in two corners. Ellsworth is calling for a tag, because the guy just don’t fucking listen. Kane uppercuts Orton again and, off a distraction from Harper, gets hurled into a corner by Randy.
Bray tags in, hurling himself into Kane in the corner, then hits the running senton. Harper tags in, hitting a superkick before stalking Kane. Kane takes some uppercuts before Orton tags himself in, thus endearing himself even more to Harper. Is Orton just hoping his toxic personality brings the Wyatt Family down? Because I can see that happening. Orton stomps the shit out of Kane as we go to a commercial break.
When we come back, Harper has a headlock applied to Kane. Kane hits a jawbreaker to bust out of it, but runs right into a dropkick from the big man. Tag’s made to Orton, who applies a chinlock before hitting forearms to Kane’s chest. Another headlock to Kane, then a beautiful standing dropkick from Orton. Harper tags in, and he most definitely still hates Randy Orton from the nose-to-nose stare he just gave him. Or he really wants to kiss the guy; it could be one or the other.
Kane DDTs Harper, and both Kane and Harper tag about to Ambrose and Wyatt respectively. Ambrose lays Bray out with clotheslines, hitting him from every direction before hitting a swinging neckbreaker to Harper. He clotheslines Wyatt in the corner, and runs out with him in a bulldog, clotheslining Harper en route. Dean knocks Orton off the apron before leaping out onto him, then hurls Bray out of the ring too! He dives through the ropes to take out Randy and Bray, then throws Wyatt back into the ring.
Ambrose comes off the top rope, but is caught with a kick from Bray. Wyatt wants Sister Abigail; Ambrose rolls him up for two, goes for Dirty Deeds, and gets shoved into a big boot from Harper! Harper tries to dive through the ropes onto Kane, but the Big Red Machine cuts him off with a forearm before he can. Kane beats Harper the fuck up the ramp whilst Ambrose is down and Bray…yeah, just fucking crab-walks. He’d better stop with that shit at Survivor Series. He needs to zip it, lock it and put it in his pocket.
Wyatt blocks Dirty Deeds, and both men clothesline each other. Ambrose rolls over to his corner, barely conscious, to where James Ellsworth is waiting. SmackDown, why are you so fucking good to me? Ellsworth checks that Kane is nowhere the fuck near him, and then he tags in! He tags in! James Ellsworth is in the ring! James Ellsworth wants the superkick…and Wyatt Sister Abigails the fuck out of him. Way to bury a guy, Bray.
Still laughing at the ending. This was pretty good, and it was nice to see a preview of Orton/Ambrose. Wyatt’s Sister Abigail at the end looked fucking hardcore. 3 Stars.
Ambrose looks around and notices that Wyatt, Orton and Styles are surrounding him. Well…sort of surrounding him. I mean, he could roll out of two sides of the ring; he just won’t. And wait, aren’t they all supposed to be on a team? Wasn’t the whole point of this so they could batter the fuck out of each other and then have a beer?
Before Dean can get his ass handed to him, Shane rushes the ring. For a second, I thought he’d remembered that Orton once assaulted Stephanie, but who am I kidding: he probably laughs about that now.
Bryan’s music hits, and surely he should be the one who breaks up these fights. I mean, the threat of a flying knee to the face should be enough to make bitches fall into line. He says that he can name anyone on the list he has, and they will be on the team at Survivor Series. Props to the guys chanting for CM Punk; it’s an optimistic assumption.
Bryan teases us by actually implying that he’s going to compete, because my heart just needed another knife through it. Wait, he says that there are female superstars on the list too? Whoa, SmackDown‘s getting very broadminded. Becky should quit the female team and join these guys. He says, however, that there is another name. And that name is Shane McMahon’s. Shane accepts! Shane has replaced Baron Corbin to be the fifth man on Team SmackDown! Tactically ridiculous, but this just made Survivor Series way more awesome!
This was a really good show. Becky and Alexa take the spotlight, naturally, but the final match was fun and the Breezango/Vaudevillains match was surprisingly decent. Plus, the whole show is way funnier when you realise that all of these guys, including Bray, are thinking ‘man, I wonder who’s going to win the election’ during their matches. 9/10.
Tags: AJ Styles, Alexa Bliss, apollo crews, Baron Corbin, Becky Lynch, Bray Wyatt, Breezango, Carmella, curt hawkins, Daniel Bryan, David Otunga, dean ambrose, James Ellsworth, jbl, Kalisto, Kane, Luke Harper, Maryse, Mauro Ranallo, naomi, Natalya, Nikki Bella, Randy Orton, Renee Young, Shane McMahon, smackdown, smackdown live, The Miz, The Vaudevillains, Tom Philips