The new Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose kicked off this week’s episode of Smackdown. It was another edition of the Ambrose Asylum and Dean Ambrose announced that he was entering the Royal Rumble match. There was a fake alligator head named Maurice propped up on a stool. The Miz and Maryse then came down to the ring and Miz was not in a good mood. The Miz stated that Ambrose is tainting the integrity of the IC title and the Royal Rumble match. The Miz then announced that he was also going to be in the Royal Rumble match. The Miz asked for his IC title back because the match should have been thrown out last week. Instead of giving him the title back, Ambrose presented The Miz with his own participation award.
The Miz held the award in his hand while the entire crowd chanted “you suck!” at him. The Miz then lost it and attacked Dean Ambrose. The Miz then held up Ambrose and instructed Maryse to slap him. Ambrose ducked and Maryse slapped The Miz. Ambrose then planted Miz with the Dirty Deeds and handed Maryse the participation award. Maryse threw a tantrum and smashed the award in the ring as Ambrose walked away.
Reaction: This was a quick and entertaining promo. It wasn’t the best thing in the world but it sure beats having authority figures open every show like Monday Night Raw. The Miz was made to look like a buffoon so I would expect him to get some sort of revenge before Smackdown goes off the air tonight.
Nikki Bella vs Natalya
Natalya attacked Nikki backstage before the match.
Nikki then stormed to the ring and attacked Natalya before the bell rung. The action spilled to the entrance ramp and the two Superstars traded punches. Back in the ring, the continued to fight. Natalya tried to escape through the crowd but Nikki caught her and brought her back to the ring. A few referees emerged from backstage and pulled Natalya and Nikki apart. The crowd started to chant “let them fight!”. Nikki charged at Natala again but the referees separated them once again. Natalya then targeted Nikki’s injured knee and applied the Sharpshooter on Nikki on the entrance ramp. Finally, Natalya walked backstage and left Nikki laying in pain.
Dolph Ziggler was interviewed backstage and was asked why he attacked Kalisto and Apollo Crews last week. Ziggler didn’t answer the question and walked away.
Dolph Ziggler vs Kalisto
Kalisto attacked Ziggler to start the match and connected with a Hurricanrana. Ziggler fought back and locked in an Arm Bar on Kalisto. Ziggler knocked Kalisto out of the ring and Smackdown went to a commercial break. When Smackdown returned, Ziggler had Kalisto in a Chinlock. Kalisto broke the hold by hitting a Jawbreaker on Ziggler. Dolph then a Dropkick on Kalisto but Kalisto rolled up Ziggler for the victory.
After the match, Ziggler attacked Kalisto and beat him down. Ziggler then grabbed a chair and hit Kalisto several times with it. Apollo Crews then came out and attacked Ziggler. Once again, Ziggler got the upper hand and hit Crews with the chair a couple times. Ziggler then hit Kalisto once more with the chair and the crowd cheered him.
Reaction: The crowd tonight was very approving of Dolph Ziggler beating the hell out of Crews and Kalisto. It is good to see Crews back on Smackdown. I think he is an incredibly talented performer. The only problem with Crews is that he is very monotone on the microphone and is always smiling. If this feud with Ziggler can somehow bring some intensity out of Crews I think it will help him in the long run. I’m probably overreacting to one segment, but I can already envision a scenario where the crowd doesn’t cheer for Crews throughout this feud. Crews has not connected with the WWE Universe at all and hopefully the WWE can figure out a way to make that happen in the next few weeks. Ziggler can certainly bring out the best in Crews in the ring, but they still need to establish some kind of personality for Crews.
Smackdown Tag Team Championship: American Alpha (c) vs Randy Orton & Bray Wyatt
Orton and Wyatt started out the match in control. Wyatt went for the Sister Abigail but Gable countered into a roll up. Wyatt kicked out and exited the ring. Gable followed him and connected leaped onto him from the ring apron. Back in the ring, Wyatt hit a running Crossbody on Gable and then tagged in Orton. The action once again went outside the ring and Orton slammed Gable’s back into the barricade a couple of times.
Orton stomped on Gable a few times in the ring and tagged in Wyatt. Bray continued to beatdown Gable for a couple of minutes and then Orton got back in the match. Orton connected with a Slingshot Suplex on Gable. Once again, Wyatt was tagged in and he went for a Clothesline but Gable ducked out of the way. Gable then finally was able to tag in Jason Jordan and Jordan cleaned house.
Jordan climbed to the top turnbuckle but Luke Harper hopped onto the ring apron and distracted him. Bray then hit a Clothesline and Jordan fell to the outside of the ring as Smackdown went to a commercial break. When Smackdown returned, Orton had Jordan in a Chinlock. Bray Wyatt was tagged in and he hit Jordan with a Clothesline in the corner. Bray followed it up with a running Senton and several punches to Jordan’s head. Jordan battled back and landed a hell of a Clothesline that knocked Wyatt to the mat.
Gable and Orton were then tagged in. Gable hit a Crossbody of the top rope onto Orton and followed it up with a Northern Lights Suplex. All four Superstars were then in the ring. Wyatt through Jordan out of the ring and Gable knocked Bray out the ring. Gable then hit a Clothesline on Orton. Luke Harper once again got on the apron and distracted Gable. Orton went for the DDT between the ropes and he “accidentally” whipped Gable’s body into Harper on the ring apron. Harper fell to the ground and Orton hit the DDT. Harper then got back on the ring apron and stared at Orton. Gable shoved Orton into Harper and rolled Orton up for the victory.
After the match, Bray Wyatt tried to separate Harper and Orton. Harper tried to kick Orton but he accidentally hit Bray. Wyatt then got up and stared at Orton and Harper individually. Wyatt, Harper and Orton all left the ring separately.
Winners & Still Smackdown Tag Team Champions: American Alpha
Reaction: I thought this match was very good and I’m glad American Alpha retained the titles. I didn’t want the Wyatt Family to lose the belts in the first place but I’m glad they didn’t get them right back. The WWE has gotten into the habit of having titles change hands way too frequently so I’m glad that didn’t happen here. The Wyatt Family was never meant to be with Randy Orton but I’m surprised we are already at this point. I figured the Wyatt’s would last until close to Wrestlemania and then everything would come apart. Instead, we are already seeing that take place and it is just assumed that it is going to lead to a match between Orton and Bray Wyatt. Another possibility is that Harper is the odd man out of the family. Even if that winds up being the case, I still think that Orton will eventually turn on Wyatt as well. I would have preferred for tonight’s events to happen a month or so from now but it is still a very interesting storyline.
Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss were backstage with Daniel Bryan. Becky wanted another match for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Alexa Bliss claimed that she was simply trying to find out the identity of La Luchadora last week and Becky ruined it. Daniel Bryan granted Becky another shot at the Smackdown Women’s Championship next week and the match will take place in a steel cage.
Carmella w/ James Ellsworth vs CJ Lunde
Ellsworth kept interfering in the match and preventing Lunde from attacking Carmella. The match ended with a botch and a half followed by the Code of Silence by Carmella for the submission victory.
Reaction: This was horrific.
Baron Corbin vs John Cena
AJ Styles joined commentary for this match. Corbin started out the match dominant and he launched Cena out of the ring as Smackdown went to a commercial break. When Smackdown returned, Corbin was barking at Styles. This allowed Cena to get back into the match for a moment but Corbin once again took control. Eventually, Cena fought back and the action spilled outside the ring. Corbin charged at Cena but Cena moved and Corbin smashed into the steel steps.
Back in the ring, Corbin once again had control of the match but he couldn’t put Cena away. Corbin started shouting at the referee because he couldn’t get a three count. Corbin hit a Sidewalk Slam on Cena. JBL called it a Deep Six but Styles corrected him and stated that it was just a Sidewalk Slam. Cena battled back and hit a Tornado DDT. Cena followed it up with the Attitude Adjustment for the victory.
Winner: John Cena
Reaction: Corbin dominated the entire match and Cena wound up getting the victory. This match was decent. I know people will complain about Cena getting the victory. Corbin will have his time in the near future. Cena is fighting for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble so it makes sense that he would win this match. Overall, this week’s Smackdown was solid. I thought the best part of the show was the American Alpha and Wyatt Family segment.
205 Live 1/10/17
Cedric Alexander vs Noam Dar
Noam Dar once again cut a creepy promo about Alicia Fox before the match started. The crowd was painfully silent for this entire match. Alicia did her best to slam on the ring apron to get the crowd engaged but it just wasn’t happening. Dar controlled the majority of the match, despite Alicia Fox trying to get the crowd behind Alexander. Eventually, Cedric fought back and hit Dar with a couple of forearms. Dar locked in an Arm Bar but Alexander reached the bottom rope to break the hold.
Dar focused his attack on Cedric’s injured arm and smashed his arm into the steel steps. Dar went to attack Alexander again by the steps but Alicia Fox got in the way. Cedric then hit Dar with a Dropkick. Alexander went for the Lumbar Check but Dar blocked it. Alexender then hit a kick to the face of Dar and went for a pinfall but Noam kicked out at two. Alexander went for a Moonsault but Alicia Fox pulled Noam Dar out the way. Dar then hit a kick to the face of Alexander for the victory. Alicia Fox seemed to be confused by her own actions after the match. Fox then slapped Dar when he went for a kiss to close out the segment.
Winner: Noam Dar
Reaction: Alright, this storyline is getting a bit too goofy now. I guess the takeaway from this match is that Alicia Fox likes both Cedric Alexander and Noam Dar. This was actually a solid match but the crowd didn’t care at all.
Brian Kendrick called out Tajiri for spitting the green mist in his eyes last week on 205 Live. Kendrick was facing the same wrestler Tajiri defeated last week. Kendrick told Maluta that if Tajiri could beat him, he would be lucky to last 30 seconds in the ring with Kendrick.
Brian Kendrick vs Sean Maluta
Maluta controlled the early part of this match and Kendrick was getting frustrated. Maluta hit a diving Heatbutt on Kendrick in the ring. Kendrick battled back and hit a boot the face of Maluta. His momentum was short-lived as Maluta hit two Suplexes in a row and then smashed Kendrick face first into the mat. Maluta went for a splash off the top rope but Kendrick got the his knees up. Kendrick then applied the Captain’s Hook for the submission victory.
Winner: Brian Kendrick
Cedric Alexander broke up with Alicia Fox backstage. Fox flipped out and screamed insanely loud.
Jack Gallagher and Ariya Daivari came down to the ring and set at a desk. Gallagher set William (his umbrella) down on the desk and stated that Daivari had besmirched his honor. Daivari claimed that Gallagher called for this parley so that he could surrender. Gallagher called Daivari a scoundrel. Gallagher presented a contract for an “I forfeit” match. Daivari signed the contract and tossed William out of the ring. Gallagher then attacked Daivari until referees eventually broke up the fight.
Reaction: Jack Gallagher is excellent at what he does. This feud is decent and this segment was much better than the Gentlemen’s Duel between Gallagher and Daivari that aired last week on 205 Live.
Rich Swann vs Tony Nese
Swann and Nese shook hands before the match. Swann dominated early and connected with a Dropkick that sent Nese out of the ring. Swann followed him but Nese launched him into the barricade. Back in the ring, Nese continued to control the match. Nese was targeting Swann’s ribs the entire match. Swann was hung up on the top rope and Nese connected with a big kick to Swann’s ribs.
Nese then launched Swann into the turnbuckle and posed for the crowd. Nese went for a Springboard Moonsault but Swann got out of the way and Nese fell to the mat. Swann followed it up with a Hurricanrana while Nese was perched on the top turnbuckle. Nese battled back and once again stomped on Swann’s ribs. Swann fought through and landed a Tiger Bomb on Nese. Swann went for the pinfall but Nese kicked out at two. The crowd started to chant “lets go Swann!” and Swann landed several kicks. Swann landed a final spinning kick to the head of Nese for the victory.
After the match, Rich Swann grabbed a microphone. Swann stated that Neville wasn’t the king of the Cruiserweights and that 205 Live is his show. Neville then interrupted and Swann challenged him to come down to the ring. Neville stayed at the top of the entrance ramp and demanded a Cruiserweight Championship match. Swann told Neville to name the time and the place. Neville said that he will officially be crowned king of the Cruiserweights when he faces Rich Swann for the Cruiserweight Championship at the Royal Rumble.
Winner: Rich Swann
Reaction: Tony Nese is very impressive in the ring. Neville and Rich Swann will put on a great match at the Royal Rumble. Tonight’s episode of 205 Live started out slow but wound up being decent. The crowd got into the show as the matches and segments got better.
What did you think of this week’s episodes of Smackdown and 205 Live? Let us know in the comments below.