Team Building Exercises – Smackdown Live Recap (11/1/2016)


Smackdown comes to you Live from Newark, NJ.  And in a continued push, James Ellsworth kicks off the show.  This dude is seriously getting more screen time than 90% of the WWE roster.  Like, Dolph Ziggler is the Intercontinental Champion but I honestly can’t remember the last time he got enough screen time to be memorable….No Mercy?  Is Big Show still alive?  These are legit questions….I’ll wait…….


No, that’s not real, it was just funny.  So Ellsworth kicks off and invites Dean Ambrose out so he can apologize.  Ambrose consistently assures him that it’s alright, but Ellsworth keeps it up repeatedly.  It took forever, and then finally AJ Styles comes out to wreck the budding bromance.

Can someone explain to me why the top two talents on Smackdown (I know, it hurt to type but Cena is on hiatus) are in a feud over who loves or respects James Ellsworth more?

You’re right, AJ Styles’s Theme Song, I don’t want none.  This has run its course.  It’s not a novelty thing when you have to see it every damned week.

Answers from a Snake


Meh, not really.  But a No DQ match between Cowboy Bob’s offspring and the Demon we will get.

But with No DQ and a potential Wyatt Family member in the ring, of course Kane gets set up for the chokeslam only for the lights to go out.  Kane ends up in a 3-on-1 handicapped match, completely legal in this No DQ scenario, and Kane holds his own for quite a while, but gets an RKO while setting up to chokeslam Bray Wyatt.  Orton with the win.  And now we’ve got Orton and Harper battling for Wyatt’s affections.  Luke Harper wants Daddy’s love.  What time does Chrisley Knows Best start?  It is entirely less confusing.


The Women are the Cruiserweight Division of Smackdown


It’s not a bad thing, necessarily.  Look, I love the women’s revolution and I love each of the four women involved in this Lynch-Bella vs Bliss-Mella tag match, but why are they always booked into a quick tag match segment?  Why are the amazingly talented cruiserweights only ever given 6-man tag matches?

If you read any portion of this, I’m assuming you watched Hell in a Cell, which means that you understand just how amazingly talented the women of the WWE are when given the opportunity to show it.  I don’t mind women’s tag matches periodically, but when it’s the only way you get four women on screen, it diminishes what they’re capable of.  When you sit through all five hours of televised WWE programming each week, NXT, Superstars and Main Event, and then end up with the PPV on every other weekend now, you notice a lot of wasted time where these women could be given so much more opportunity.  We don’t need the same video package 90 times.  If you can’t get the point across with the storytelling and maybe one short recap of the start of Raw right before the main event it set up, then you need to get your shit together and hire better storytellers.

In the meantime, fill that void with all of these talented athletes, both cruisers and women.

Another quick match, with the heels beating the good guys with some heelish tactics.  Honestly, the mic time they got after the match was the best part of all this, and Carmella cut one hell of a promo.

They also showed us that Naomi is the fifth woman on Team Smackdown: Carmella, Nikki Bella, Alexa Bliss, Becky Lynch and Naomi, and now they have a coach in Natalya…who didn’t shamelessly plug her cat’s Instagram page.

They Ain’t Hyped


Sorry, another curveball, especially since the header for this section was directed at the Spirit Squad, American Alpha’s opponents tonight.  Poor, poor Spirit Squad.

Smackdown is going to have to get to the point with American Alpha sometime soon.  These guys are absolutely &$*%ing amazing.

Why are the matches on this episode of Smackdown so short?  In about two minutes time, Grand Amplitude carries American Alpha to the third spot on the tag team Survivor Series team, joining the champs (Rhyno and Slater) and the Hype Bros (haha, there it is).

When my hand goes up…

Tonight’s guest is Miz’s favorite person, Daniel Bryan, but Miz has promised to keep his professional integrity as a journalist in tact.

This segment is to get to the bottom of Smackdown Live’s men’s team for Survivor Series.  They’ll banter for a bit, so let’s recap.

Raw announced that Strowman was the fifth competitor for Team Raw, but that makes no sense, as the only people already stated to be on the team were Roman Reigns, Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens.  So that’s four.  Hopefully the missing piece is something exciting.  I don’t necessarily want all of these matches filled with infighting, which is kind of what these teams all seem like they’ll build to.

Smackdown Live’s Survivor Series Team is: Randy Orton, Baron Corbin, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles.

I didn’t think Orton would be able to be a part of the show, as he’s expected to go on paternity leave right around then.  Additionally, Baron Corbin?  Not Luke Harper for the Wyatt Family trifecta against Strowman?

Smackdown should clean house in the Tag Team match, the other two I don’t really know about.

They’ve also teased Daniel Bryan going up against Miz at some point, regardless of the fact Daniel Bryan would probably die if he bumps his head on a cabinet in his kitchen…sorry, John Cena’s kitchen.  Bumping the cabinets in John Cena’s kitchen is against the roommate agreement and terms for eviction, dead or alive.

The Dolph Ziggler Intercontinental Open Challenge has Begun!!!


Living with John Cena has brought us something good.  This had better be a consistent segment on Smackdown Live.

Miz is told that he isn’t allowed to compete, he has to sit at ringside and watch.

In case you didn’t know, Curt Hawkins is capable of slamming a revolving door.  He’s also Ziggler’s first opponent in the IC Open Challenge.

Man, am I glad I dropped this jackass on my fantasy team.  The bell rang, Ziggler hit a Superkick, title defended.  Another incredibly short match.  Why does Smackdown feel like Raw tonight?

Ziggler gets a post match interview with Renee Young, and to shove the shit in Miz’s face, he openly challenges any comers from Raw who want an IC title match.  He won’t drop it, because that would create an imbalance in the belts between brands.

Ellsworth gets more TV time in the back with Ambrose



Oh, we do get some answers

Orton is in the boiler room where Wyatt normally hangs out.  Harper is still untrusting.  But this wasn’t terrible.  Orton has finally succumbed to the voices in his head…..ok, they had me until the stupid flickering in Orton’s eyes.  I can’t even really describe it.  I bet they didn’t put it on Twitter either when they saw how stup…nope, there it is.

Who the hell thought that was a good idea?

I spent just enough time on Twitter finding that to embed, as I knew it had to be on there, and completely missed The Usos get another two minute match win against the Headbangers to join the Tag Team Team for Survivor Series.

“Any man with two hands can call an Uber and get a ride out of here” – Dean Ambrose.  Someone topped Mauro for quip of the night for the second week in a row.

Dean Ambrose vs AJ Styles to become the Number One Contender….Again


When they do things like this, have you ever wondered why they don’t make it apparent who the actual Number One Contender is in the interim?  Like, Ambrose lost last week, does that not move him to the back of the line, regardless of shenanigans, so what about the guy that is pissed off that he gets upended for the spot if Ambrose wins this match?  There’s so much in there that could make for good, well rounded storylines.  Use it.  Design a Road to the Title sort of template, make it transparent.  It could just be Daniel Bryan in the back with the ESPN Top 5 board from rankings revelation night once the committee takes over in the NCAA.  He could even do it at the end of each Talking Smack episode, so that what happened that week is immediately taken into consideration and the rankings updated.  I think that would be incredibly interesting for quite a while in the “Land of Opportunity”.

Ambrose and AJ were putting on one hell of a match, then Ellsworth came out of the crowd though he was sent out of the building and specifically banned from ringside by Daniel Bryan.

He’s only out there for a second, seemingly leading to another loss for Ambrose on the Pele kick but Ambrose kicked and security chased Ellsworth back through the crowd.  He came back through the crowd a second time, drawing an assault from AJ, leading to Ambrose recovering and hitting a Dirty Deeds off a Phenomenal Forearm reversal.  And James Ellsworth closes another episode of Smackdown Live.  But Dean Ambrose is the Number One Contender, again.

This was not their best Smackdown Live show.  I liked when this show was 90% wrestling and 10% all the other stuff.  Now they’re getting uncomfortably close to the imbalance that has plagued Raw for quite a while.

And now, the Season Finale of Chrisley Knows Best.