The world is a better place. Maybe not for Dolph Ziggler, though. Ziggler's won-loss record used to just be a backstage joke among the boys. Now, it's part of a story line. Things are so bad for Ziggler that the WWE added Baron Corbin to the main event of next week's Smackdown episode. As it turns out, it's now a triple threat.
Worse, after Corbin delivered his End of Days move during the opening segment, the crowd cheered "One More Time!"
We also got some good reality moments on the show involving Renee Young and Dean Ambrose and Natalya and Nikki Bella. It's always cool when the real world creeps into WWE television.
Let's dive into our weekly review of Smackdown Live, with the power of an End of Days slam, and the grace of an AJ Styles moonsault.
AJ Styles vs. James Ellsworth
This was short and sweet, punctuated by AJ Styles' typically incredible entrance music. Whoever wrote that song deserves a Grammy. Styles never left his feet to defeat Ellsworth, pinning him with a few spinning back fists.
Ellsworth may finally be done as a main character, because the crowd hated him and loved Styles. Styles grabbed the mic after his victory and said he was done with 2016, and looking forward to 2017. Dolph Ziggler interrupted and reminded Styles that he had a title shot next week. Styles turned it real and said "the only thing you are good at is losing." Corbin came out as Styles exited and smashed Ziggler.
Grade: A- (It's impossible to dislike anything involving Styles).
Natalya Admits She Attacked Nikki Bella
I hate to say this, but Nikki Bella should never have a microphone in her hand. The WWE continued with its narrow portrayal of how women act when they are mad at each other. Of course, the B-word was involved. Natalya first attacked Carmella for being "a snitch" and then called Bella "a b*tch."
"I am Natalya Neidhart! I am wrestling royalty," she said.
Really? Wrestling royalty? Who? She's Jim Neidhart's, not Bret Hart's daughter.
Natalya admitted that she attacked Bella at the Survivor Series because she is jealous that everything has been handed to Bella only because she is "beautiful."
Two comments made this segment undeserving of an F. One was when Natalya told Bella, "You have no charisma. My cat has more charisma than you."
The other was when she told Bella that she's beautiful on the outside, but she's really a "nothing," and that's why "John will never marry you."
Bella is dating #JohnCena.
The Miz vs. Apollo Crews (Intercontinental Championship)
These two had a decent TV match. Crews is athletically believable, and it takes some special talent to make a match with The Miz believable. Of course, The Miz won with the Skull Crushing Finale, but the real news here was the outing of Dean Ambrose and Renee Young's off-screen relationship. So is this the new way to get a mid-card character over -- add a blonde on his arm? Young asked The Miz why he is obsessed with #DeanAmbrose, and the Miz, much like the Daniel Bryan incident, got real?
"My obsession with Dean Ambrose? What about your obsession with Dean Ambrose? After all, you are the one sleeping with him?" Massive crowd pop. Young then slapped The Miz.
Grade: A (The Miz is getting really good on the microphone and now it looks like the Renee Young character is going to expand).
Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper
Even though Dean Ambrose got the win here, it was Harper who again shined. He has "the look" and can work a lot better than other big men, including #BraunStrowman. Harper should be booked in a feud with The Undertaker - two big men who can work. Ambrose was up to his typical overselling and over-the-top facials in this match, and it was distracting. I see the Roddy Piper comparisons, but Piper came across as a real lunatic, not someone who is acting like one.
After the match, the rest of the Wyatt Family, Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt pounded on Ambrose and then left. Guess who came in for the easy beat down? Yep, The Miz and Marysse.
Alexa Bliss vs. La Luchadora
Becky Lynch, under a mask, submitted Bliss in a lame angle. JBL was just insufferable during this segment, purposely botching the La Luchadora name. Later when she hugged #MauroRanallo during her winning celebration, JBL said "that's the first time you have ever been hugged by a woman, Mauro." La Luchadora then ripped off the mask to reveal that it was Lynch under the mask, which led to the best part of the show, Bliss' awesome facial reactions. She's a soap actress living in a pro wrestler's body. It's Lynch vs Bliss at next week's Smackdown.
Mojo Rawley vs. Curt Hawkins
A nothing match, with Rawley winning. These guys shouldn't wrestle on TV until they have some matches at a few house shows. Actor #RyanPhillippe was in the commentator's booth to promote his new show, Shooter, which featured Randy Orton in last week's episode. Rawley just doesn't have the same spunk without Zach Ryder, who is out several months after knee surgery. The WWE should send both of these guys to NXT.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin (No. 1 Contender Match)
Poor Ziggler. He and Corbin wrestled to a double count-out before AJ Styles decided to go all ECW on Ziggler and Corbin and smack them both with a steel chair. Daniel Bryan came out and announced that next week's match will be a Triple Threat. That's a bummer. Regardless of Ziggler's booking, he is a good wrestler and would have had a great match with Styles. Now, we have Corbin there to disrupt the flow. Also, next week features the return of Cena, likely setting up a Cena vs Styles match in 2017.