This Week in WWE – SmackDown (11/1/2016)

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This week on SmackDown (11/1/2016), Randy Orton seemingly joins The Wyatts while Baron Corbin channels 1998 Edge. All that and more inside!

Randy Orton/The Wyatts

I still am kind of confused why we call them The Wyatt Family. I mean, it was Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, Braun Strowman, and Erick Rowan. None of those guys are named Wyatt except for Bray. Nevertheless, that doesn’t matter right now, it’s just something I’ve always thought about.

The whole thing with Randy Orton and The Wyatts is an interesting situation right now. Randy got an assist from Luke and Bray as he defeated Kane in a No Disqualification Match on SmackDown. The underlying factor in all of this is that Randy never actually interacted with The Wyatt Family at all. He merely took the easy win. I still wonder if Randy is actually going to align himself with Bray and Luke or whether this is all part of some mind games.

I’ll be slightly annoyed if Randy doesn’t join The Wyatt Family. I suspected that it might be a ruse, but if it really is, that will be a huge letdown. I feel like Randy has done so many things in WWE and that this could really refresh his character if done properly. The jury is still out on what’s up with this story, but hopefully, there is some type of curveball to keep things interesting. His weird promo near the end of the show left me wondering what to think.

Baron Corbin

There was a fantastic video package on Baron Corbin that went with the basic premise that family, friends, and other people only bring him down and that he’s only doing things for himself. This video reminded me of the original idea for Edge’s character. If you’ll remember back to 1998, Edge’s character was originally a loner that didn’t really talk or associate with anyone. Corbin seems to be a similar character with potentially more to say. I like this direction for Corbin. He’s very much that guy outside the ring so it makes all the sense in the world.

Alexa Bliss/Carmella/Nikki Bella/Becky Lynch

The women on SmackDown certainly didn’t get much time this week.  Alexa and Carmella got a quick win before talking about Survivor Series and Alexa’s title match next week. Both ladies were incredibly confident with Carmella talking about how the SmackDown locker room was superior. Alexa added her own wicked witch spin telling Becky she was taking her title in Glasgow.

It’s sad how little time these girls got this week. Every woman on SmackDown has been firing on all cylinders and they’ve been really fun to watch in the ring and with their promos. I’m really hoping that Becky retains her title next week as she hasn’t had much of an opportunity to really show what she’s capable of. I can’t see Alexa winning it so early, but she’s consistently had the upper-hand, so she might just walk away with the SmackDown Women’s Championship. It should be a great match next week!

American Alpha vs. The Spirit Squad

American Alpha beat The Spirit Squad in about 1 minute on SmackDown. It was great to see Gable and Jordan get a squash victory and they will certainly make the SmackDown team that much more dominant at Survivor Series. I would love to see them do more every week, but I know they’re trying to not burn out the fans with American Alpha because the creative team knows how good they truly are. They’ll get their shot down the road.

James Ellsworth/Dean Ambrose/AJ Styles

Can we please end the James Ellsworth experiment? I’m so sick of seeing this guy week after week. Anyone could have been this guy if they had been given the opportunity. He’s made the World Championship picture nothing short of ridiculous. I would certainly rather see AJ and Ambrose have a competitive match, but we consistently see Ellsworth get in the way. If this were one of the secondary titles, fine, but I hate that World Championship shots are being dictated by a random guy that isn’t even under contract. I’ve seen enough.

Quick Notes

The Miz and Daniel Bryan had another spirited verbal battle which led to an open challenge for the Intercontinental Championship. Curt Hawkins answered that challenge and lost in 2 seconds. Dolph then issued an open challenge to anyone on Monday Night Raw. The mid-card must be pretty thin on SmackDown to start offering shots to the competing brand…

The Usos beat The Headbangers to qualify for the Survivor Series team. How the heck do these random teams keep popping back up? At least bring in someone who poses some type of a threat.

Natalya was named coach for Survivor Series and I love this move. She’s been so entertaining channeling songs into promos lately. I think she’s going to somehow cost Team SmackDown the match at Survivor Series. I can’t really pinpoint why they’d be adding her to this match other than to add a weird wrinkle to the whole thing.

Conclusion

Kind of a meh week for SmackDown. There’s so much that they have to get through with only about an hour and 20 minutes of TV time without commercials that it’s a race to the finish. I just feel like I’m watching the same stuff every week and it’s starting to get difficult to be excited for SmackDown. Hopefully next week changes that opinion.

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