Huge night on tap for this edition of Smackdown as AJ Styles will defend the WWE World Title against... James Ellsworth. Yes, the man who got a very controversial victory over Styles last week thanks to special referee Dean Ambrose will be getting his shot at the title on Smackdown! Can he pull off the unthinkable or will AJ squash James to send a message to the rest of the locker room?
DISCUSSION QUESTION: Who would you like to see on the 5-male, 5-female, and 5-tag teams for the Survivor Series elimination matches on the blue brand?
Be sure to join us at 8pm/ET for up-to-the-minute results on Smackdown!
SMACKDOWN! LIVE (10.18.16)
DENVER, CO (Pepsi Center)
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, John "Bradshaw" Layfield, David Otunga
Written by Brendan Wahl
Dean Ambrose presents a James Ellsworth shirt to James himself as he looks nervous for his big title match.
Randy Orton comes down to the ring to open the show and gives credit to Bray Wyatt because the evil inside him runs deeper than Randy ever thought possible. He declares that he is coming for Bray but gets interrupted by a number of people wearing sheep masks. They are holding a casket in which Bray Wyatt emerges and tells "Randall" to get a hold of himself because he's the one coming after Orton. Bray declares "he's here" and then Luke Harper makes his way out for the opening match.
Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper
Harper starts off quick and knocks Orton to the outside but gets caught with a forearm while attempting a tope suicida. Harper tries coming off the second rope but Orton fires away and climbs up top with him to execute a superplex. However, the Wyatt Family music hits again and Bray is led down in his casket by his sheep-masked assistants and Orton is confused as we take a commercial break.
We're back and Orton is nearly counted out but makes it back in just barely. Harper then drops an elbow for a two count and applies a chinlock while using a body scissors. Orton fights out with right hands and a headbutt but Harper catches him with a Michinoku Driver for another near fall. Harper gives Randy the Gator Roll as he grinds on his neck with a side headlock. Orton reverses a toss over the top rope and hits a clothesline followed by a big powerslam. Bray eventually gets involved and attacks Randy for the DQ.
WINNER via DQ: Randy Orton (7:45)
Bray and Harper double-team Orton and they try to put him in the casket but Kane pops out of it and hammers away on both heels. Orton gets thedraping DDT on Bray while Kane hits Harper with a top-rope clothesline. Orton and Kane go for their finish but the Wyatt video plays and they have disappeared somehow.
WWE World Champion AJ Styles says that he's going to get into the ring with a no-talent waste of space in James Ellsworth. He knows that Dean Ambrose is going to try something tonight and cause a similar night like David Arquette winning the title in WCW. AJ says that if Dean costs him the title he will find him and take him apart piece by piece.
Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss
Lockup to start goes nowhere and then they get into a shoving match. Bliss keeps avoiding wild swings from Naomi but misses a clothesline allowing Naomi to get a Thesz Press. Bliss quickly fights back with a knee to the gut though and then rubs her face into the mat. Naomi goes into her rapid-fire kicks and then a dropkick that sends Alexa to the corner. She gets backdropped to the apron but fights back with a high kick and a springboard cross-body for a two count. Naomi then slows things down with a front facelock before getting a basement clothesline for a two count. Back to the wear-down holds but Bliss pulls her hair to escape. Naomi knocks her to the outside though and we take a break.
We're back from break with Naomi escaping a hold but then Alexa puts her into a neck vice that she manages to retain despite Naomi trying several times to roll out. Naomi comes back with some quickness and a sit-out jawbreaker as well as a split-legged moonsault but only gets a two count. She heads up top but Bliss trips her up and hits Twisted Bliss for the win.
WINNER via PINFALL: Alexa Bliss (10:43)
Renee Young interviews Alexa Bliss in the ring and she says that in three weeks the fairy tale is over and there will be a new champion crowned in the "fairest of them all" - Alexa Bliss.
Apollo Crews doesn't enjoy Curt Hawkins' taunting so he pops him in the face. Curt gets mad and decides to leave, thus depriving everyone of his debut.
Carmella comes down to the ring and talks about how she was basking in the glow of SummerSlam and then she had to hear Nikki Bella's theme song. She says that it's everyone's lucky day because she is here to spill the tea. Nikki quickly comes out for the interruption to tell her to say anything that's on her mind directly to her face. Carmella says that Nikki can get away with whatever she wants considering that her boyfriend is John Cena. Carm accuses Nikki of trying to hide the relationship but she says that it's very out in the open. When she's in the ring it's all about being an athlete and Nikki says that Carmella reminds her of every internet bully that harrasses her. Carmella comes back by calling Nikki a gold digger and then shows a montage of Nikki being needy around John Cena. Nikki congratulates her on being an editor but says that she's paved her own road and fights her own battles. She talks about being out of action because of her neck but she never gave up and she's not afraid of a boss, a queen or a princess from Staten Island. Carmella then turns the tables again by saying that Nikki used her sister, her looks and John Cena to make it as a wrestler and a celebrity. Carmella then drops the mic and simply leaves the ring.
James Ellsworth talks about being nervous for tonight's match and the road he's come down so far with last week's match and his appearance on Talking Smack with Daniel Bryan. He actually breaks down saying that he's gonna get to tell his grandkids that he appeared in the WWE competing for the top title.
Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler/Smackdown Tag Team Champions Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. The Miz/The Spirit Squad [w /Maryse]
Rhyno starts with Mikey by grabbing a side headlock and then working over the arm. Mikey reverses but Rhyno shoulderblocks him down and then shoulders him in the corner. Mkey manages to nail Rhyno and tag in Kenny though. Rhyno catches Kenny with a belly-to-belly for a two count and then tags in Slater for a double-team elbowsmash for two. Slater then tags in Ziggler, who also goes to work on Kenny but eats a leaping back elbow. Miz demands the tag but gets nailed by a dropkick and a Stinger Splash. However, some illegal triple-teaming goes down and then Ziggler misses a Superkick. Both teams square off as we head to a commercial break.
Back from the break and Ziggler is hammering away on everyone. However, Maryse's interference allows Miz to clothesline him from behind and then hammers away on him. Ziggler then gets triple-teamed for a while but wins a suplex battle with Mikey. Miz is tagged in and cuts off Ziggler from making the tag. However, he still makes the hot tag to Slater, who gets a hangman's neckbreaker on Kenny for a near fall. Rhyno Gores Mikey but then Miz cheapshots Slater, leading to a rollup from Kenny for the pinfall victory.
WINNERS via PINFALL (Kenny over Slater): The Miz/The Spirit Squad (9:16)
Daniel Bryan gets interrupted by Natalya, who wants a spot on the female team at Survivor Series. She quotes Whitney Houston and then shows Daniel some pictures of her cat on Instagram.
Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin
Swagger starts quick with a shoulderblock and hammers away, clotheslining Corbin to the outside. He quickly brings him back in but Corbin knocks him right back to the floor and then forearms him as his head sits atop the barricade. Corbin quickly gets back in with knees to the face and the End of Days for the very quick win.
WINNER via PINFALL: Baron Corbin (1:39)
Nattie continues to show Daniel pictures of her cat and then Dean Ambrose interrupts while wearing a referee shirt. He promises to call things down the middle but Bryan says that Dean is definitely not the ref for the title match but he can be anything else in the match. Dean seems to decide what he wants and quickly walks away.
WWE World Title Match
- Guest Announcer & Timekeeper: Dean Ambrose
AJ Styles (c) vs. James Ellsworth
Dean's incessant bell-ringing distracts AJ but he quickly puts James in an abdominal stretch. Dean says we need a commercial break ("we gotta pay the bills, brother!").
We're back with AJ going for a chinlock but it has no effect because James has almost no chin. Dean distracts AJ by showing an ad for James Ellsworth t-shirts on the TitanTron but the champ pushes James into the corner and smacks him around. AJ takes him down with a dropkick and then spends some more time jawing with Ambrose at ringside. Ellsworth manages to push Styles into the corner but he gets suplexed into the buckle. AJ then yells at Dean some more before going back in and goes for a superplex but Dean keeps interrupting with advertisements and notifications about someone's lights being left on in their car. Ellsworth misses a top-rope cross-body and AJ stomps away before tossing him out of the ring. Dean rolls him back in but AJ keeps tossing him right back out. They go back and forth for a while until James manages to trip AJ up on the top rope and then hits a superkick for a really close two count. James comes charging but AJ hits a spinebuster and then smashes him in the face with some forearm shots. Dean criticizes his form as AJ goes to kicks and more forearm smashes when eventually the ref calls for the DQ.
WINNER via DQ: James Ellsworth (11:59)
Dean declares that James Ellsworth is the winner and catches AJ with Dirty Deeds!
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