Date: November 1, 2016
Location: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, John Bradshaw Layfield, David Otunga
Survivor Series is coming up soon and Raw has announced a lot of the participants on its teams for the promotion vs. promotion matches. As luck would have it, tonight we’ll be getting most of the announcements for the Smackdown counterparts with the help of General Manager Daniel Bryan. Let’s get to it.
Here’s James Ellsworth to tell us goodbye. He hasn’t been able to eat and sleep since he cost Dean Ambrose that match last week. Dean comes out and calls Ellsworth his pal, whose head he’s been thinking about ripping off. James begs for a chance to apologize and mentions beating AJ twice but Dean just tells him to stay out of his way from now on.
Cue AJ to say he was going to take it easy on Ellsworth but Dean kept convincing him to do more. Dean says Ellsworth doesn’t take the cheap way out like AJ, which means Ellsworth has to break up a fight. AJ shoves Ellsworth into Dean and kicks Ambrose in the head. The Phenomenal Forearm leaves Dean laying.
We look back at Randy Orton seemingly joining the Wyatt Family last week.
Ellsworth is near tears trying to apologize to Dean. Bryan says Dean gets AJ again tonight and if he wins, he’s the new #1 contender but it’s his last chance no matter what. On top of that, Ellsworth is banned from ringside.
Randy Orton vs. Kane
No DQ. Orton is in his regular gear but doesn’t do his pose. Randy takes it start to the floor and has a chair less than fifteen seconds in. Kane takes it away and hits Orton in the ribs and back. It’s almost time for a chokeslam but here are the Wyatts for a distraction. The RKO doesn’t work and Kane boots Orton down. Bray and Luke pull Kane to the floor but he knocks the slightly smaller monsters away. Now the RKO connects and puts Kane away at 2:08.
Post match Harper gives Kane the discus lariat and Orton shoves Kane into Sister Abigail. Now Orton does the signature pose.
Baron Corbin vignette.
Becky Lynch/Nikki Bella vs. Alexa Bliss/Carmella
Nikki seems to have dyed her hair black. Carmella hides from Nikki to start so it’s off to Alexa, who is quickly shoved down. Stereo baseball slides have the good ones in control as we take a break. Back with Bliss getting caught in a reverse DDT but Carmella distracts the referee. A quick rake of the eyes and a DDT gives Bliss the pin on Lynch at 5:54.
Post match Carmella and Alexa brag about how awesome they’re going to be in the Survivor Series match. Oh and Alexa is going to win the title next week in Glasgow. Bliss has those evil eyes that get you to notice her and it makes her seem so much better as a villain.
Bryan and Shame put Naomi on the Survivor Series team, which is officially comprised of her and the four in the tag match. Naomi leaves and Natalya comes in to say she would be a perfect leader so Bryan makes her the coach.
Survivor Series Qualifying Match: Spirit Squad vs. American Alpha
Gable gets slammed down to start and Mikey gets two off a moonsault. We hit a chinlock before a double headbutt puts both guys down. Kenny misses the guillotine legdrop and it’s off to Jordan to clean house until he misses the shoulder in the corner. The blind tag brings Gable back in though and it’s Grand Amplitude for the pin on Mikey at 2:03.
Video on Goldberg’s appearance last night (with the slip edited out of course).
It’s time for MizTV with special guest Daniel Bryan. Daniel gets straight to the point and announces the Survivor Series team: Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, Baron Corbin, Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles. Miz isn’t pleased and asks if he was even considered. Bryan says no, but eventually changes gears and says Miz was considered until Daniel realized Miz didn’t want to fight.
If he did, he would have taken up Dolph Ziggler’s challenge for an Intercontinental Title shot. Miz rants against Bryan for not wanting to fight. That’s enough for Daniel who turns the set over and says Miz should stick to talking while Ziggler has an open challenge for the title right now.
Intercontinental Title: Dolph Ziggler vs. ???
It’s Curt Hawkins answering the challenge and he gets the city wrong on the way to the ring. Bell, superkick, Ziggler retains in seven seconds.
Ziggler issues an open challenge for any wrestler on Raw to come get a title shot, presumably for Survivor Series. Miz freaks out.
The new interviewer asks Ambrose if he’s confident now that James Ellis is banned from ringside. Dean corrects her but has to talk to Ellsworth. James begs to be at ringside but Dean says no way because he’s done enough already.
Bray says someone like Orton is welcome in the Wyatt Family. Harper doesn’t look pleased as Orton says he’s done trying to fight the devil whispering in his ear. Orton’s eyes light up in a bad looking effect.
Survivor Series Qualifying Match: Usos vs. Headbangers
Jimmy punches Thrasher in the face before the bell and of course the referee is fine with this. A Samoan drop gets two early on and we hit the choke. It’s off to Mosh vs. Jey with a Downward Spiral planting Jey for two. Not that it matters as Jimmy rolls Mosh up and grabs the skirt for the pin at 1:25.
AJ isn’t worried.
Dean has Ellsworth leave the arena.
AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose
Non-title. If Dean wins, he’s #1 contender for a match at some point in the future. Dean knocks him outside at the bell and sends AJ face first into the announcers’ table. Back in and a small package gets two on AJ and it’s off to a Texas Cloverleaf. A butterfly superplex gets two on AJ but he grabs the Calf Crusher to change momentum in a hurry.
That goes nowhere either so Dean takes him outside again for a crotching on the barricade. Back in and Dean misses a Blockbuster of all things, resulting in a bad knee. We come back from a break with Dean breaking up a springboard to knock AJ outside. The top rope elbow to the floor has Styles in more trouble but he suplexes Dean into the corner to get a breather. Both guys are down so here’s Ellsworth at ringside.
The distraction lets AJ get in a Pele for two as Otunga wants James to take his chin and go home. Cue security to go chase Ellsworth through the crowd as the inverted DDT is countered into Dirty Deeds which is countered into the Calf Crusher. The rope is grabbed but here’s Ellsworth AGAIN so AJ finally runs him over. The Phenomenal Forearm is countered into Dirty Deeds and Dean gets the pin and the title shot at 13:57.
Rating: B. Ellsworth aside, this was a fun match which set up the right ending while also giving us some amusing JBL ranting about Ellsworth being annoying. It wasn’t the cleanest finish in the world either and none of this matters if AJ retains the title. Dean getting the belt back wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world either and we probably get a big TV main event out of it sometime soon. Good match too.
Ellsworth is dragged away with a very satisfied look on his face. Dean hugs him before leaving.
Overall Rating: B-. This is a harder one to grade as there’s only the main event to talk about. That being said, they covered a lot of stuff and added a lot of names to Survivor Series, which is something they have to do with only a few weeks to go. I’m more interested in where things are going now and we have a new title match coming up in the near future. Good show here as they continue to get things done when they need to.
Randy Orton b. Kane – RKO
Alexa Bliss/Carmella b. Becky Lynch/Nikki Bella – DDT to Lynch
American Alpha b. Spirit Squad – Grand Amplitude to Mikey
Dolph Ziggler b. Curt Hawkins – Superkick
Usos b. Headbangers – Rollup with a handful of trunks
Dean Ambrose b. AJ Styles – Dirty Deeds
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