The Smackdown Breakdown: The James Ellsworth Show!

Hello WNW people, Mitch “Big M” Adams here welcoming you to the Smackdown Breakdown. I don’t like beating around the bush as you know, so let's just get stuck into what happened on Smackdown Live this week, shall we?

In-Ring Segment: James Ellsworth, Dean Ambrose & AJ Styles > B
I’m not quite sure what the purpose of this segment was quite frankly. Dean was his usual hilarious self, but Ellsworth just kept apologising again and again. Even after Dean had said it’s fine, just don’t get in my way.

AJ coming out to try and drive the wedge between Ellsworth and Ambrose further before attacking them both honestly saved this segment. However, I will say that the pop Ellsworth got during his entrance was pretty cool.

I know a lot of people hate this storyline, and I can understand why. But it’s still arguably the most talked about program in WWE right now. And in the end,…that’s all that matters!

Backstage Segment: Ambrose, Ellsworth & Bryan > B
I know the fact he’s not your typical WWE superstar and he’s been messing up a lot is part of what makes Ellsworth character work! But that doesn’t mean you have to make him look like a crybaby.

Bryan getting in-between the two and announcing Dean will get another shot was to be expected. As was Ellsworth being banned from ringside during the match. Which of course mean he will be at ringside at some point. But you know what? I don’t mind predictable booking if I have absolutely no idea what the end result will be!

That’s what sells another match between AJ and Dean.

No DQ Match: Randy Orton vs Kane > F
Remember when I said I don’t mind predictable booking if I don’t know what the end result would be? Well, this match was booked predictably, and I knew exactly what the end result would be. The Wyatt’s came out and assisted Orton in gaining the victory against Kane. I also know exactly where this storyline between Orton and the Wyatt’s is going.
Orton will pretend to join the Wyatt’s for a brief period and then when he has their trust he’ll take them out.

This program between Orton and Bray started out with so much potential and has since gone down the road of typical #WWELogic! No originality, no creativity, no common sense. Just rehashing tired old ideas that simply don’t work anymore!
Winner: Orton

Video Promo: Baron Corbin > A
Now this is more like it! Baron Corbin’s lone wolf who hates indie darling gimmicks worked a treat in NXT under the proper creative direction. The type of creative direction rarely found on the main roster these days. And as a result, Baron hasn’t been connecting with the audience like he should. But more promo’s like this coupled with better thought out matches, and he’ll be over like rover in no time.

Tag Match: Becky Lynch & Nikki Bella vs Carmella & Alexa Bliss > B
Am I really the only one who thinks the Smackdown Women’s Champion not being the Captain of Smackdown’s Women’s Survivor Series Team makes ZERO sense. And Nikki came out this week and said being Cena’s girlfriend makes being in the industry harder for her (I know, I laughed when I read that too).

But in the end, it really doesn’t matter who leads the Women for the blue brand. Because they are still going to flog the Raw Women’s Team (you hear me, Kendra).

Sasha Banks and Charlotte made history and stole the show at HIAC.
That is simply an undeniable fact! But despite what Morgan Hench said on WNW Predicts HIAC, Smackdown has the best Women’s Division. Simply because we have the best Women’s Champion in Becky Lynch.

Ok, enough with the WNW brand warfare smack talk! On to the match itself. I can’t tell you how glad I was to see Alexa switch back to “Harley Bliss” after last week's ill-fated appearance of “Alexa Kruger”. And Becky Lynch returning to the ring without a single thread of injury or ring rust made me happy beyond belief.

Nikki Bella as usual just dragged the whole match down. But fortunately, there was enough talent in the ring from the other three participants to make this a bloody enjoyable match.

Alexa getting the pin against Becky was to be expected as they have to build up to the Smackdown Women’s Title match in Glasgow next week. A match I am really looking forward to by the way. All in all, this was a short, but solid Tag match.
Winner’s: Alexa & Carmella

In-Ring Promo: Alexa & Carmella > A
I loved the Smack talk by these two directed towards the Raw’s Women’s Division. Go get them, girls! These two are probably the strongest Women on the mic on both brands. And it certainly showed here.
Although I will say that despite Kevin Dunn’s ridicules thoughts on the subject! People with accents can give great promos too. So he better gets his head out of his arse soon and gives the mic to Becky at some point. Because I think she can cut a mean promo with the best of them.

Backstage Segment: Shane, Daniel & Naomi > A
Naomi is on the Smackdown Women’s team as well! Now I know the blue brand is going to win at Survivor Series.

Natalya being the Smackdown Women’s team coach is a little concerning (as well as not making any sense storyline wise).
But I’m still putting my Money on Smackdown.

Tag Match: Spirit Squad vs American Alpha > B
I’m guessing Kenny Dykstra and Mike Mondo will be a part of Smackdown Live Roster going forward (Groan). But at least they were jobbed out to American Alpha in this match. Jordan and Gable may be the best pure wrestling tag team in WWE today. And it shows every time they are in the ring. Even working with horrible teams, they can put together great matches.

The matches on this week's edition of Smackdown have been a little too short for my liking. But booking this match to be short was definitely the right decision.
Winner’s: American Alpha

MIZ TV: Daniel Bryan announces Smackdown’s Main Survivor Series Team > A
Every time Bryan comes out to a massive pop I smile. He will always be remembered as one of the greatest workers of all time. And to think Vince once thought he lacked the motivation to be a top star.

The Miz is honestly probably Smackdown’s strongest heel. And I wouldn’t mind seeing him in a future WWE World Title program. Which is something I would have never even considered a few months back.

I loved Bryan’s teasing of Miz about not being on the Survivor Series team. And it furthers the program between these two. All the digs these two made against each other was pure promo gold. And Bryan getting emotional in the ring and selling the Smackdown roster got me pumped.
As did the announcement of an Intercontinental Championship open challenge. Even if it is Dolph Ziggler holding the Title.

People may think Smackdown automatically has the weaker team due to the perception that they’re still the “B show”. But I simply can’t understand why people can think that. You have got viable main event stars in Orton, Ambrose, and Styles. But you also have guys like Baron Corbin who hasn’t been booked to his full potential yet on the main roster. And guys like Bray Wyatt who could be main event stars already if it weren’t for them working in poorly booked programs for so long.

All this just reminds me why I am a 100% supporter of the brand split.
It gives people more opportunity to prove themselves and receive the recognition the deserve. Not just from the audience, but from management as well.

Intercontinental Title Open Challenge: Dolph Ziggler vs Curt Hawkins > F
I keep trying to get invested in Dolph Ziggler as IC Champion, but I just can’t. I keep expecting WWE’s higher-ups to pull the carpet from underneath him mid push again. When someone has a ratio of ten losses for everyone win in his entire career how are we meant to get invested in him?

I know I harp about this, but Road Dogg could not be more wrong when he says wins and losses don’t matter. It doesn’t matter how talented someone is, if their booked to lose ten times more often than they are booked to win…the audience is never going to get behind them.

And the opposite is also true of workers who are booked to win two times more often than they are booked to lose. If you book someone to go over in gloriously over the top fashion nine times out of ten, the audience will quickly get tired of it.

Now as far as the match itself goes, I only have one question. WHY? Why after weeks of promo’s and teases that actually got me invested in Curt Hawkins re-debut in WWE would you have him lose in less than five seconds!

The Intercontinental Championship used to be known as the “Wrestlers Title” in its heyday. I had hoped with the brand split that it might somehow return to this prestigious position in Pro Wrestling lore. But obviously, WWE’s higher-ups have other ideas. Or, much more likely, absolutely no ideas at all.

This match gets a big fat F for so many reasons.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler

In-Ring Interview: Dolph Ziggler > D
The fact that Dolph couldn’t get any reaction from the audience in attendance only proves the points I made above. But him challenging anyone from the Raw roster to try and take the IC Title next week does have me intrigued somewhat.

Backstage Interview: Dolph Ziggler > A
Dean Ambrose plus a live microphone will equal gold every single time. The new interviewer flubbing her lines again this week was annoying. But Dean correcting her subtlety and hilariously is what makes him one of the best. Most workers in today’s micro-managed WWE would be too scared to ab lib like that. Which is a bloody shame if you ask me.

Dean’s reaction to Ellsworth asking him to come to ringside despite everything made me laugh out loud. Why is “Hello…McFly” not a more comment pop culture phrase?

Video Promo: The Wyatt’s & Orton > F
What are they trying to accomplish with this honestly? Do they really think we are that dumb? Not even Bray can sell this painfully predictable garbage. And can we please leave the shiny eye stuff to the Lucifer TV show.

Tag Match: The Headbangers vs The Usos > D
Oh man alive, not the Headbangers again! Why is WWE continuing to bring back names from the past instead of developing and pushing the talent they already have?

But as the Usos (rightfully) went over here, I guess I can’t accuse them of counterproductive booking this time around.
Winner’s: The Usos/b

Backstage Interview: AJ Styles > B+
Short, sweet, but entertaining. AJ continues to prove people were wrong about his apparent lack of mic skills.

Backstage Segment: Ambrose & Ellsworth > B
Ellsworth following Dean around like a lost puppy was rather sad I thought. But Dean showing him the door while saying we can exchange Christmas cards gave me a chuckle.

Dean Ambrose vs AJ Styles > A
We may have seen this match one time too many at this point. But bloody hell can these two work a hell of a match together or what? The lack of reactions from the audience was again upsetting. But after so many brief matches this week my guess is they were just underwhelmed by the show in general.

As I said earlier, we all knew Ellsworth would wind up making an appearance at ringside during the match. But, as I don’t think anyone could have predicted the outcome of said appearance, I didn’t mind it. In fact, I rather enjoyed it all things considered. And that is exactly why adding James Ellsworth into this program was a pure stroke of genius.

WWE hasn’t been known for originality in their storylines the last few years. And this kind of unusual storyline is exactly what WWE needs.
Something different from their usual re-hashed over scripted rubbish. I completely understand why some people haven’t liked it. But personally, I’ve enjoyed almost every moment of it. Why? because I can never work out what the outcome will be each week. When was the last time any of us have said that? To top everything off, the look on Ellsworth’s face while security dragged him out was classic.
Winner: Dean Ambrose

Overall Grade > B

This wasn’t the best show Smackdown has put on since the brand split. The matches were far too short for my liking. And a few of the programs took a bad turn creatively. But it was a definite improvement from last weeks show.

I honestly keep tuning in every week and expecting a better show than the one Raw has put on the day before. And so far, my expectation have been met every week.

And that ladies and gents was the Smackdown Breakdown; I hope you have enjoyed it. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter @TheBigM91

  • 1molly23

    I’m thinking Nikki Bella has had one too many shots to the head – the only reason she’s still in WWE is because of Cena. Sometimes I feel kind of bad for creative, not only do they have to please VKM but they also have to try and “pretend” to please the WWE universe – unfortunately Bray Wyatt, immensely talented as he is, has no where to go – he’ll never replace ‘Taker, he’s a great heel – but that’s about it.

    • “BIG M” Adams.

      I think taking a few shots to the head would actually make Nikki smarter honestly LOL.

  • Mandy

    Great breakdown! I have to agree about the SD Women’s Team I mean I love Sasha, Charlotte, Bayley they are strong opponents but when I saw the team for SD it was impressive. SD has a chance!

    When I saw that squash match with Ziggler and Hawkins, I hated it but the open challenge for RAW makes me hope Sami gets his chance at the spotlight. I really want him to be the one to challenge Ziggler and win!

    Ambrose said on Talking Smack that AJ brings out the best in him and I believe that is true, these two work so well in the ring together that I never get tired of watching them fight.

    • “BIG M” Adams.

      Thank you!

  • DM

    For the first time in a long time I’m really interested in the main event, midcard title, women’s title, midcard scene and tag teams. This week, smackdown was good, Orton vs Kane didn’t do so much, the women division is still going, glad to see american alpha again, the miz and bryan just gave a great segment and finally Ambrose and AJ put entertaiment on the table… again. There are some wrestlers I think could be doing better at smackdown, people like enzo and cass, cesaro and sami zayn, that way smackdown could be what it was at 2006-2007: guys with experience and young talent.

    I’m afraid Vince is gonna put his “A” show over at survivor, you know, his logic (raw has been awful, smackdown is growing… so raw needs to squash smackdown) the open challenge is a great oportunnity to put Ziggler over AND so the IC title, for me that was a good idea for the ppv. Another week, another solid show, nice reading.

    • “BIG M” Adams.

      Thanks!