Tuesday Night Ellsworth – Smackdown Live Recap (11/29/16)


From the University of South Carolina, which is less cool now that you know Steve Spurrier isn’t drunk in a press box somewhere in the building (since, you know, he isn’t with them anymore), welcome to another edition of Tuesday Night Ellsworth.


Why the hell not?  That’s for later though, I’m going to highlight the rest of the roster who got some screen time tonight, starting with another contract signing with Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch, because if there’s one thing everyone loves its watching people talk about paperwork, but at least they both signed it before this segment broke down and Becky Lynch ended up going through a table.  We later find out in a backstage segment that Alexa Bliss has challenged Becky to a Tables Match, which Becky easily accepts outside the Trainer’s Room while icing her sore back and guaranteeing her title will be defended this weekend.

Well, Sunday we have two singles match….Tag Team Playa

In tag team action are four competitors experiencing the thrills of the TLC event this Sunday night as Dolph Ziggler teams with Kalisto to take on The Miz and Baron Corbin.  Everyone’s favorite blonde haired lion tamer is at ringside, and after a short match (which was split in half by a SEVEN! ad commercial break) and some pretty good action, Kalisto went for a pin on The Miz only to be assaulted with a chair by Baron Corbin, which will be legal in their Chairs Match at TLC, as will the vaguely utilized ladder on the outside in the Miz-Ziggler Ladder Match.  Ziggler and Kalisto get the win via DQ.

A Comment on our Commentary Team


Add Tom Phillips to the left hand side of this trifecta and you’ve got our four man color team.  They refer to Phillips as the “host” of Smackdown Live, but he’s a fourth commentary man, and thank the powers for it.  He legitimately progresses the flow of action with his commentary, occasionally slipping into the pointless banter but bouncing right back into the action like Corey Graves is so good at on Raw.

We all enjoy Mauro, I don’t know that I’ve heard anyone complain about his commentary….ever.  While JBL was good last week and Otunga gets some quick one liners in here and there, they’re both crap.  JBL has that feeling you used to get from Michael Cole when you knew he was just the show’s commentary puppet, and Otunga never really adds anything to the equation here.

So the hope is that Phillips is there for a short transition where he will take over for one, or both, of these commentary guys.  Phillips is great with Corey Graves, who should probably transition to Smackdown anyway since he’s got to be in the building for 205 Live.  Could you imagine Phillips, Graves and Renallo?  Yes Please!


It makes me laugh that audiences all chant “How you doin'” at Carmella, particularly since her whole thing right now is that she keeps taunting Nikki Bella by bringing up John Cena, and Carmella is noted to be dating Big Cass.  WWE Universe Trolling FTW!

They go at it, short segment, but sick Twitter burn.


Alright, back to Tuesday Night Ellsworth


We all know how I feel about all the Ellsworth screen time, but we’re recapping the show, so let’s get to this AA meeting.  It’s the special TLC Edition of the Ambrose Asylum.

This conversation is more of the same.  He’s defeated AJ 3 times, he’d like to fight AJ again because he’s got a better chance of beating him than he does Dean.  Queue “They don’t want none”.

AJ and Dean really are working well within the confines of what they are being given, but this match on Sunday Night is going to be amazing.  Given the backgrounds of both of these guys, neither one of them is going to back down from taking a sick bump, and I think Ambrose is finally going to get to have the match he wanted to have with Lesnar at Wrestlemania.

The crowd right here in Columbia, South Carolina…..is incredibly anti-Dean and pro-AJ Styles.  I think they’re at a roadblock with Dean Ambrose’s character.  He’s not really a heel, he’s not really a face.  And for all the efforts to make AJ Styles the bad guy, much like the trouble they were having with Seth Rollins before they seemingly gave up, the crowd is not following the narrative they seem committed to.

AJ has had enough, he takes Ambrose out, then goes for the unassisted Ellsworth, hitting him with a chair on the outside and following it up with a Styles Clash off the steel steps onto the ringside padding.  I sure hope he didn’t tuck his head like the last time.  He might be f*&^ing dead.

For the crazy person they make Ambrose out to be, he got thrown into the steps once and it laid him out for the entire 10 minute mauling of Ellsworth.  Then he was right back up when the stretcher came out for Ellsworth, they’ve got to do better in these sorts of situations.

The Workhorse vs The Third Wheel

After watching the Stone Cold Podcast with Big Show Paul Wight, wherein he discussed this idea of serving as whatever the company asked him to do, I have a profound respect for guys like Big Show and Kane, who seemingly just help other characters bide their time while they are waiting for a role to open in another storyline for them.

Kane has been at this for quite a while, and he’s a sturdy vet, and aside from the swelling Dad Bod, Kane is still pretty damn massive.  So we get Kane, The Workhorse, in singles action against the odd man out in the new Bray Wyatt-Randy Orton Bromance, Luke Harper, in a rematch of the kickoff show match from Survivor Series.

This match is to kill time for the audience in the arena, because another lengthy commercial break ate up the majority of it on television.  While I miss Todd Chrisley commercials when I’m in the arena, not having to sit through 74 ads for “USA’s Hit Drama Suits” or Comcast Home Security Systems is pretty awesome.

These two work really well together.  Given the lengthy run of the Wyatt’s against The Brothers of Destruction they’ve had plenty of opportunities to put it on display.  I’m a huge fan of Luke Harper.  For a big guy he’s ridiculously athletic.  As a testament to the Workhorse guys like Kane and Big Show, Harper regards Big Show as one of his biggest influences.

Kane picks up the win after a big chokeslam.  They had to make Harper look weak so that it would further the man love going on between the rest of The Family.


I’d be amazed to find that you read this site and don’t subscribe to the Network, but maybe if I keep plugging it they won’t sue me if they ever come across The Dark Match.  It’s only $9.99.  I watch it daily on the treadmill.  It’s loaded with good stuff.

The Main Event – American Alpha vs The Wyatt Bromance for the Number One Contendership for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship


As much as I want American Alpha to get that ultra push that I’ve been waiting on, the creative department is often pretty predictable.  They need a pairing of bad guys to put up against the darlings in Beauty and the ManBeast (Slater and Rhyno).

Orton and Wyatt work as a well oiled machine.  Randy Orton, when so inclined, is just a phenomenal talent for this company.  Problem more often than not is that his heart isn’t in most of the story and work they put him in.

Gable and Jordan are just a lot of fun to watch.  Jason Jordan ranked as high as 2nd in the NCAA for heavyweight wrestlers while at Indiana University, Chad Gable competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and while he won his opening qualifier against a competitor from Micronesia of all places, he lost the second match of his Olympic career to Pablo Shory of Cuba.  Long and the short of it, these dudes are good.

Are we completely sure that Bray Wyatt isn’t just Kevin Owens in a gross wig with fake tattoos?

As expected, this match was a pretty damn good one.  Both teams utilized the quality tandem offense you would expect.  Jason Jordan proved furthermore that he is “The Sultan of Suplex”, but even with the loss to Kane having just occured, you knew that Luke Harper would appear at ringside for a distraction and the save, and Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton will face Heath Slater and Rhyno on Sunday at TLC.  Bray and Orton take their places and poses in the ring, as Harper side eyes Orton.

In a backstage segment, Rhyno and Slater are interviewed about facing a dominant Wyatt pairing at TLC, but AJ Styles interrupts explaining that nobody cares about the Tag Team Champions, only for Ambrose to run in and attack him.

Overall:  B-

Not the best they’ve given us, not even as good as last week, but we got good wrestling in this one.  The main event was well done, and while I don’t understand why it was so low on the card, the Ziggler/Kalisto vs Miz/Corbin match was pretty good just cut a bit short.

For a go-home show, the whole thing felt a little disjointed.  It was out of order, it seemed like.  I get that Harper had to lose to make it seem like he might not play a role in the following match for the Number One Contendership, but you knew he had to.  The Miz/Corbin vs Ziggler/Kalisto was far too low on the card and didn’t get anywhere near enough time to play out, even if it progressed the storylines of both matches going into Sunday.  A decent brawl between Bella and Mella, but too short.  The expected finish to the tag team main event.  AJ and Ambrose both got a brawl win.  Plenty of progression, but you know, it just felt vaguely lackluster.  Maybe I just liked last night’s episode of Raw, oddly enough.

See you Sunday.  What did you think?