Alright, my lovers? It’s time for another Spain SmackDown Review. Last week, as we’re shown pre-episode, we saw the amazingness that is James Ellsworth and his incredible victory over AJ Styles. Tonight, he has a World Championship opportunity against AJ Styles, because Daniel Bryan knows what the people want and, short of returning to in-ring action, will deliver.
Backstage, Dean Ambrose gives Ellsworth a t-shirt with his face on it. Ambrose knows that he’s contributed to the violent death of this young man, and is either trying to ease his guilty conscience, or his riding is fucker for all it’s worth.
When the show actually starts, Randy Orton shows up. Last week, Kane vanished and was replaced by Luke Harper. Randy Orton’s expression shows that he is aware that a twelve-time World Heavyweight Champion should not have to put up with this shit. He says that the evil inside of Bray Wyatt is worse than anything he’s ever known. Jesus, this guy hung out with Triple H for years, and he thinks Wyatt’s morally bankrupt.
Randy says that Bray Wyatt, in the course of a two month plus feud, has stripped him of his sanity. That is possibly the most pathetic thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Thankfully, Bray decides to intervene, showing a video of himself in a coffin. He tells Randy to grow the fuck up, because he’s coming for him. He says he’s about to take Orton on a journey which will…I don’t know, I guess freak him out some more.
Bray says that he’s having so much fun. That’s nice: someone probably should.
Luke Harper then makes his way to the ring, dressed like a hobo. He and Randy lock up, deciding to settle this seething pile of issues in a gentlemanly wrestling match instead of stabbing each other or something. They clean break, and then Orton goes low before hitting an uppercut. Harper comes back with a dropkick, sending Wyatt out of the ring.
Harper tries to dive on Orton, but meets a right hand. Harper regains control back in the ring, heading up to the second rope, but Orton cuts him off and pounds on him before taking him down with a superplex. Oh, great: the lights go out, and now Bray Wyatt’s coming out to the ring, still in the coffin. Wait, does that coffin have wheels? Who the fuck makes something like that?
When we come back from a break, Bray has gotten out of the casket, and Orton is prone on the outside. This had better not lead to a casket match; I just can’t, WWE. Orton beats the count, and Harper locks in a sleeper, wrapping his legs around Orton’s core. Randy fights back, hitting fists to the gut of Harper, but he runs right into a Michinoku Driver.
Bray opens and shuts the casket lid as Harper Gator Rolls Orton, like he’s trying to sell the fucking thing. Orton almost throws Harper into the casket, then fires up with clotheslines and a powerslam. JBL is acting like a casket is something everyone should be terrified of, like the entire WWE locker room is about six years old. Bray jumps Orton in the ring, ending this mess of a match.
This was ridiculous. I can’t believe the WWE made me hate what should have been a surefire winner of a feud. 1 Star.
Wyatt and Harper lay a beating on Orton, and that’s the least painful thing about this whole segment. Bray opens the casket, and oh, Kane’s in there. Yeah, sure: why the fuck not? Kane and Orton take out Harper and Wyatt and, much like Kane, this thing will just not die. Oh, and Harper and Wyatt vanish before they can take finishers. So, why don’t they do that in order to win every single match?
Styles is backstage with Charley. He says that this a surreal moment for him. Because he’s worked so hard for all of this, and he’s having to put the title on the line against James Ellsworth. He’s genuinely worried that Ambrose might interfere and WCW this whole thing.
Is Bliss cosplaying as Freddy Krueger?
Alexa Bliss is in the ring, here to have the match Bryan set last week against Naomi. Naomi dances her way to the ring, looking ready for another victory against Bliss.
Both women lock up, then break. They lock up again, and this time the ropes force a break. We see some shoving, and then Alexa backs off from Naomi, trying to avoid any physical confrontation. Naomi finally catches her with a Thesz Press, but Bliss is able to hit a knee to the gut, taking the advantage.
Naomi comes back with some kicks off her own. Bliss elevates her onto the apron, but eats a roundhouse kick from there, then a springboard crossbody! Naomi brings Bliss to her feet, snapmares her and hits a clothesline and a legdrop! Sleeper hold’s locked in onto Bliss, who works her way to her feet before throwing Naomi to the mat. Drop toehold from Naomi into the turnbuckle, sending Bliss out of the ring and into a commercial.
When we come back, Bliss has regained control with some kind of headlock in the ring. Naomi tries to reach the ropes, but Alexa is smart enough to bring her back into the ring’s centre. Naomi counters the hold with a lifting backbreaker, then hits a flipping clothesline, then a lariat and a jawbreaker! Naomi’s fired up, and she heads up to the top for a split-legged moonsault, getting a two count!
Naomi heads up to the top rope again, but pays for it, with Alexa upsetting her balance and dropping her to the ground. Bliss ascends, and she hits Twisted Bliss to end it.
Not bad, and it was nice to see Bliss get a clean win over a tough competitor in advance of her title match. 2.5 Stars.
In a post-match interview, Bliss says that the fairy tale’s over for Becky Lynch.
Thank You, Crews
Oh, Apollo Crews is in the ring. Wonder who we’re feeding him to this time…oh, Jesus, it’s Curt Hawkins. Kill me. Somebody kill me. Not even gently, but like a hate-crime murder. Oh Jesus, the facts continue during his entrance. I want to stab Curt Hawkins in the kidney and fuck the knife wound.
Apollo pops Hawkins in the mouth, sending him falling out of the ring. Hawkins yells at Crews for ruining his debut. He then angrily stomps away.
That was disgusting. -3 Stars.
Here comes Carmella, whose entire repertoire is a wise-guy accent and sneak attacks. She gets on the microphone, and talks about her unending, two month-old hatred for Nikki. Turns out, it’s because people like Nikki more than her. She doesn’t get much further, because Nikki comes right out to confront her.
Carmella’s irritated at Nikki stealing the spotlight, and says she’d never get away with this if her boyfriend wasn’t John Cena. Nikki says that Carmella’s just jealous; she’s got nothing to hide, and she’s not ashamed of being with John Cena. She says Carmella ‘shame on you as a woman’ for taking away every accolade she has and stripping it down to her having a famous boyfriend.
Carmella calls Nikki a gold digger, and then rolls a clip from Total Bellas. Well, this feud got so much worse. Bella laughs it all off, saying she fights her own battles; she doesn’t need John Cena to Attitude Adjustment Carmella, as amazing a thing that would be to see. Nikki says she’s fearless.
Carmella says that Nikki used her looks and her sister to get her foot in the door, and her boyfriend to become a celebrity. Then she walks off like she just said something like a bombshell. Well, this is all pretty substanceless.
Meanwhile, James Ellsworth is being interviewed by Renee Young. He says he’s nervous as hell, but things just keep working for him somehow. Wow, he seems both humble and sweet. Shame we’re going to watch him die tonight.
Looks like Dolph, Rhyno and Heath Slater are going up against the Miz and the Spirit Squad. I think I’m going to use my once-a-whenever-I-feel-like-it skipping privilege, and not cover this one. Six-man tag matches are pretty much worthless even without the Spirit Squad.
God, that felt good to do. Okay, now Daniel Bryan is backstage, talking about setting up the Survivor Series teams. Natalya shows up, saying she wants to be in the Women’s team. Bryan asks why she thinks she deserves it, and seriously, Daniel? When Natalya Neidhart offers to join your team, you don’t be an ass about it.
Oh yay: more of this.
Here’s Jack Swagger, and he’s facing Baron Corbin. Because this feud was just too awesome to move away from just yet. I mean…right?
Match starts with a shoulder block from Swagger, knocking Corbin down before clotheslining him out of the ring. He throws Corbin back inside before getting knocked off the apron and into the barricade. Corbin throws forearms onto Swagger’s head as it lies against the barricade.
Back in the ring, Corbin hits a knee to the face and then finishes Swagger with the End of Days.
Whoa, looks like they’re pulling the trigger on Corbin. A squash match with some really hardcore stuff could be the trick for him. 2 Stars.
Backstage, Natalya is showing Daniel Bryan cat photos. Ambrose shows up, ready to be the Special Guest Referee again. Bryan tells Dean he absolutely can’t do that, because Daniel Bryan is not insane. He does, however, tell him that he can do anything else he wants, which seems to appease Ambrose a little.
The greatest man in the history of this sport
It’s time for a WWE World Championship match! Dean Ambrose is at ringside, and AJ Styles follows him. Aw, bless: they gave Ellswort his own theme music. We are going to watch him get murdered.
Ellsworth gets some serious chants as he stands in the ring, and Ambrose announces both competitors, doing a pretty hysterical job at it. Dean then rings the bell, but for long enough that he almost distracts Styles. Ellsworth tries to take advantage, but Styles just locks in an abdominal stretch.
Dean calls for a commercial time out, saying that we’re going to a commercial. Styles actually breaks the hold. When we come back, Styles tries to lock in a chinlock, but Ellsworth lacks a chin, so he just slides off him. Ambrose distracts AJ again by announcing that they’re now selling James Ellsworth t-shirts in the store.
AJ goes back to punishing Ellsworth for a while, uninterrupted by Ambrose. I think they’re stretching this out just enough for it to be uncomfortable. Styles even ducks out of the ring to tell Ambrose that this is all his fault. More punishment to Ellsworth, and now Styles takes him up to the top rope…and now Ambrose is announcing that someone’s car’s lights are on in the parking lot, then follows that up with some sponsorship.
Ellsworth suddenly goes for a splash on Styles…and misses completely. Styles levels him with a kick, and then throws him out…before Ambrose throws him back in. And out…and in…and out…and back in again…and out again…and then in…and out…and in. Eventually, Styles gives up, because the only way to not lose to Ambrose is not to play…and Ellsworth tugs Styles off the turnbuckle, rocking his jaw! Superkick to Styles, and it gets two!
Massive “holy shit” chant from the crowd, who are totally on Ellsworth’s side. Styles spinebusters the sweet fuck out of him, though, and starts hammering him in the corner…and now Ambrose gets on the microphone, taunting Styles, goading him into going after Ellsworth more and more…until Styles refuses to adhere to the referee’s count and gets disqualified! Ellsworth wins again!
This was a lot funnier than it should have been. Ellsworth is a hilarious character, and Ambrose throws himself completely into anything he’s given. Styles, too, does some great work as the straight man, and props to him for selling for Ellsworth like he did. 3 Stars.
Pretty middling SmackDown, all in all. I could not care less about Orton and Wyatt, and Carmella and Nikki’s feud is fast going the same way. Watch this for the comedy match at the end, I think, and that’s about it. 6/10.
Tags: AJ Styles, Alexa Bliss, apollo crews, Becky Lynch, Bray Wyatt, Daniel Bryan, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Heath Slater, James Ellsworth, Kane, Luke Harper, naomi, Randy Orton, Rhyno, Shane McMahon, smackdown, smackdown live, The Miz, The Spirit Squad