Smackdown – November 29, 2016

Date: November 29, 2016
Location: Colonial Life Arena, Columbia, South Carolina
Commentators: Tom Phillips, David Otunga, Mauro Ranallo, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s the go home show for Tables, Ladders and Chairs 2016 and Smackdown has managed to put together a pretty decent build in such a small time frame. Tonight we’ve got Dean Ambrose hosting the Ambrose Asylum with James Ellsworth as his guest, meaning AJ Styles is bound to get involved. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

There are tables, ladders and chairs all over the arena.

Renee Young is in the ring for a contract signing for the Women’s Title match. Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch come out with Alexa telling Renee to get out of here because they need someone with better fashion sense. They recap the feud with Becky saying Bliss has the mentality of a four year old. The champ signs but Alexa keeps talking about Becky’s accent and how this isn’t the Disney Channel where you get further by being nice. Becky rips into her for not accomplishing anything in her time here other than having a loser mentality. Alexa signs as well and the fight is on with Becky actually being knocked through the table.

Dolph Ziggler/Kalisto vs. Baron Corbin/The Miz

Corbin knocks Ziggler down to start and we take a break less than thirty seconds in. Back with Corbin whipping Dolph hard into the corner and doing that slide underneath the bottom rope to keep Dolph in trouble. It’s off to Miz, who pulls out a ladder to lean up against the steps. Ziggler gets in the running DDT on the floor, followed by a superkick to Miz.

The hot tag brings in Kalisto for his usual, including the hurricanrana driver for two on Miz. A big suicide dive sends Miz into the announcers’ table. Everyone is staggered and Maryse shoves the ladder onto Ziggler. Back in and the Salida Del Sol looks to finish, only to have Corbin use a chair for the DQ at 7:31.

Rating: B-. For a match this short, they packed in a lot of action into the time. Kalisto could be an interesting guy if they would stop cutting his legs out from underneath him. The same is true with Corbin, who certainly has the look but I’m not sure if he has enough in ring skills yet to hang at this level.

American Alpha isn’t scared of the Wyatts and are ready to levitate the Wyatts with suplexes.

The Wyatts are ready for American Alpha and don’t like their positivity. Orton gives Luke Harper a pep talk for his match with Kane but Harper doesn’t seem to trust Randy.

Carmella comes out for her match but first of all she has a message for John Cena. She promises to hit Nikki with a chair so hard that the real Bella Twins pop out of her back. Nikki charges to the ring and the brawl is on, meaning no match. Carmella is easily cleaned out.

We recap last week’s ladder match with Ellsworth earning his contract and a shot at Styles’ World Title.

It’s time for the Ambrose Asylum, complete with a single piece of carpet in the middle of the ring. Ambrose gets right to it by bringing out Ellsworth as the first guest. Dean asks how old James’ boots are before letting James celebrate his win a little bit. Ellsworth offers to do anything Dean needs so Ambrose gives him money to pick up a six pack after the show. As far as James’ future, he’d rather face AJ for the title after beating him three times in a row. Ambrose: “He’s drunk with power ladies and gentlemen.”

Cue AJ to stand on the announcers’ table and make puppet jokes about Ellsworth. Dean: “So what you’re saying is you lost to a dummy three times?” AJ gets in the ring and promises to get rid of Dean before dealing with the new superstar, as long as James shows up on Sunday. The brawl is on with AJ shoving both guys through the furniture. Ellsworth is hung upside down for a chair shot to the back, followed by a Styles Clash onto the steps. That should get rid of him for awhile but odds are he’ll be at the pay per view.

Post break, Ellsworth is taken out on a stretcher.

Kane vs. Luke Harper

Harper’s headlock doesn’t get him anywhere as Kane comes back with his own power offense. A big boot and clothesline puts Harper on the floor and we take a break. Back with Harper kicking him in the knee and head, only to get caught with the running DDT. Harper hammers away in the corner but gets powerbombed out for two more. The swinging Boss Man Slam gives Luke two of his own and a superkick drops Kane again. Back up and Harper misses the discus lariat, setting up the chokeslam to give Kane the pin at 11:05.

Rating: B-. What is with the good matches on here tonight? These two beat the heck out of each other in the only kind of match they should have had. Kane has taken a backseat since the Draft but he’s still fine for something like this. You can tell they’re doing something with Harper so maybe he’ll wind up getting a push out of the thing.

We recap the contract signing.

Becky has a sore back but doesn’t care what kind of match she has with Alexa. Again, and I can’t emphasize this enough: they’ve taken a simple idea and ran with the thing, which can often make for something very entertaining.

Bray Wyatt/Randy Orton vs. American Alpha

The winners get the title shot on Sunday. Orton and Jordan get things going with Jason snapping off some armdrags and working an armbar. It’s off to Wyatt who throws Jordan throat first into the ropes to take over. The beatdown begins with Orton draping him over the top rope and grabbing a chinlock.

Jordan fights up and makes the tag off to Gable, who cleans house for a bit until being sent hard to the floor as we take a break. Back with Gable getting DDT’ed onto the apron for two as the beating continues. Bray hits the release Rock Bottom and Orton’s awesome looking superplex has both guys down.

Unfortunately it’s actually enough for the hot tag to Jordan as everything breaks down. The suplexes begin on Bray but the lights go out, revealing Harper at ringside. Gable breaks up Sister Abigail but an RKO breaks up the Grand Amplitude. Jordan’s spear hits the post and Sister Abigail sends the Wyatts to the title match at 15:29.

Rating: B. Heck of a match here with the right team going over. Bray almost has to win a title soon and they even protected Alpha in the loss. There’s something so cool about watching Jordan fighting for all he’s worth as he does the big comeback as well as almost anyone in the company right now. This was better than I was expecting and I had a good time with it.

Slater and Rhyno are ready for the challenge when Styles comes up to say no one cares about the Tag Team Titles. Ambrose runs in and beats AJ up to end the show.

Overall Rating: A. Now THIS is how you go into a pay per view. Smackdown had a battle plan tonight and executed it to near perfection. I’m pretty sure every match on Sunday got some focus here and the wrestling was even good on top of that. You really can tell that there’s a lot of effort put into the planning of these shows and they know exactly what they want to do on almost any given week. This was one of the better go home shows I’ve seen in a very long time and it was everything they needed to do and more.


Dolph Ziggler/Kalisto b. The Miz/Baron Corbin via DQ when Corbin used a chair

Kane b. Luke Harper – Chokeslam

Randy Orton/Bray Wyatt b. American Alpha – Sister Abigail to Jordan

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  • Nick Demola


    … ners.

    Good show.

  • Buster Abbott

    Kane shouldn’t be going over Luke Harper, period. I don’t care about the angle.

    • C BREEZY

      There’s no way Harper (or anyone within earshot) isn’t thinking “seriously?!” when they’re told the finish for that match. Kane should be gracious enough to insist on jobbing at this point

    • Mordecai Jones

      I thought they were going 50/50 with the SS pre-show match so I was pretty surprised Luke ate it again.

  • Surprised at the Kane match rating. Kane was his usual slow self here with Harper having to slow down so Kane could keep up and was the most boring match that had a superplex in it.

    • Daniel Swinney

      I haven’t seen it yet but the only other review I read was on PWTorch where Greg whoever said there was “nothing redeemable” about the match. POLARIZING.

    • Mordecai Jones

      They did a repeat of the Survivor Series pre-show match which was slightly better. Any way you slice it, it was way more than expected. Luke is obviously the guy pulling it together. To me, the pre-show match just about hit *** and Smackdown was closer to a **1/2

  • Ioan Morris

    For anyone who’s been evangelising about Miz this year try watching Talking Smack with him as host instead of Bryan. Unbearable.

    • Matthew Maynard Adams

      Maybe because he sucks?

    • C BREEZY

      I like him as a character and performer but yeah, he’s not the guy to be hosting an objective panel show

      • Ioan Morris

        A little Miz goes a long way.

    • Daniel Swinney

      Good God, that’s not permanent is it?

      • Ioan Morris

        I hope not. Not sure why Bryan wasn’t around yesterday.

  • MaffewOfBotchamania

    I look forward to Smackdown Live every week.

    Shame Talking Smack had The Miz hosting and so it wasn’t it’s usual self.

    • kbwrestlingreviews

      Same. It’s nothing incredible most of the time but it’s a well thought out, well performed wrestling show that tries. You don’t get that from most shows.

  • Miko363

    “Kalisto could be an interesting guy if they would stop cutting his legs out from underneath him.”

    Or maybe if he’d stop being a complete embarrassment on the mic.

    • Aaron

      Let’s not hold anyone to the impossible.

    • THE DUCK: *shakes rump*

      And just plain unacceptably sloppy in the ring. RYBACK was having to cover his fuck ups up earlier this year.

    • The Polish Hammer

      He can always fall back on being a good lucha thing.

  • Aaron

    WWE Tuesday Night Memphis is always a good use of an evening. Ellsworth is still getting pops, which is just great booking. They’re doing really well with Orton to where I’m not sure when, how or even if the other shoe will drop.

    Alexa and Becky were the real stars tonight, though. Each had a good enough promo that got the crowd going and they each get their role. It’s the little things.

  • Miko363

    I love the idea of putting the tag titles on Orton and Wyatt. Helps legitimize the titles while they try to make the Smackdown tag lineup less jobber-iffic.

    • TheDJR

      Agreed, I hope Orton grows his beard out.

  • THE DUCK: *shakes rump*

    Another year, another awesome and interesting Orton storyline!

    When they remember to actually write stories for him he ALWAYS nails it.

    • TheDJR

      I’m nowhere near his biggest fan but he’s been really good since returning, he was great in the build up to the Brock match too.

      • brak_attack

        I much prefer his character as a generally apathetic guy with this ace in the hole finisher than some raging psychopath or the toughest guy in the room.

  • The Polish Hammer

    So with a whopping three matches on the show, I guess the plan was to starve the crowd so that they’d stick around to see more actual wrestling on 205 Live afterward.

  • IC

    Becky has a sore back but doesn’t care what kind of match she has with Alexa. Again, and I can’t emphasize this enough: they’ve taken a simple idea and ran with the thing, which can often make for something very entertaining.
    You missed the highlights of this interview though. One was Becky accepting Alexa’s offer for the title match to be a tables match and the other was Becky dropping the goofy puns act and straight up calling Alexa a bitch.

  • TPrincess

    Of course Orton has an awesome superplex!!!

    He learned from the master.

    • Big D Wangston

      Bray’s uncle had a pretty good one too

  • Got Luger’d

    I may be a AJ homer and hate the way he’s been booked as Champion but how does Ambrose come across as the face in this feud? He’s constantly getting the upper-hand on him, belittles him as if he weren’t a serious threat, and continues to rub it in that he’s lost multiple times to a glorified indie goon. At this point, even if AJ retains and wins clean on Sunday, they’ll probably continue to make him look like a complete joke and he’ll be finished.

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