WWE's four-day run of Canada finally came to a close Tuesday night with the 901st episode of Smackdown Live at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario.
Survivor Series was not the most successful night for the blue brand, as it lost three of its five matches against Raw, but that was a thing of the past Tuesday as Smackdown Live got down to the business of building toward Tables, Ladders and Chairs, which is already less than two weeks away.
Before I dive into my analysis, here are the full match results:
- WWE Intercontinental championship – The Miz def. Kalisto
- Tag team turmoil – American Alpha def. The Usos, The Vaudevillains, The Hype Bros, The Ascension
- Becky Lynch def. Natalya
- Baron Corbin def. Kane via disqualification
- Ladder match – James Ellsworth def. AJ Styles
Ellsworth's roll continues
Here is something I thought I would never type: James Ellsworth is 3-0 in matches against AJ Styles.
Yes, the same James Ellsworth that I, along with many others, did not even know existed six months ago, has defeated one of the best wrestlers in the world and the current WWE World champion on three separate occasions.
Now, he has had help in all three encounters, including Tuesday night, as Dean Ambrose lent him a helping hand, but it will go down in the record books as Ellsworth 3, Styles 0.
We'll get more into Ambrose in a minute, but by virtue of Ellsworth's victory, he now has a full-time Smackdown Live contract and also has another opportunity at the WWE World title. Yes, that will be his second time wrestling for it.
He defeated Styles by disqualification the first time.
I know some people may be tired of the Ellsworth story, but he is merely a means to an end. That end is fanning the flames between Styles and Ambrose, who will face each other in a TLC match for the WWE World title Dec. 4.
It may not seem like it at the moment because so much of the focus has been on Ellsworth, but this story is really about Ambrose tormenting Styles before their title match.
Ellsworth is merely the beneficiary of it. No harm is being done to anyone. Yes, there is quite a bit of comedy involved, which is something you probably don't want to associate with the industry's most prestigious prize, but it doesn't seem to be hurting business in any way.
Fans love Ellsworth and they're actually buying his merchandise. For Vince McMahon and WWE, fans speak with their wallets, not their mouths. If fans show the powers that be in WWE that they're willing to spend money on something, WWE will more than likely find a way to allow fans to do it.
Money talks and you know what walks. And in the strange, winding road that has been 2016, Ellsworth, of all people, is actually making money for WWE. As long as he keeps doing that, the company will continue to find something for him to do.
Dean Ambrose always gets his man
Ambrose took the comedy to a new level Tuesday night with his multiple appearances throughout the show.
Smackdown Live commissioner Shane McMahon, who is lucky to be walking after being destroyed at Survivor Series, wanted Ambrose to have the night off and even went as far as to personally escort him out of the building.
McMahon should have known that a man that goes by the name of the "Lunatic Fringe" was going to find his way back into the building and he did on numerous occasions.
First, Ambrose showed up with a pizza and offered it to McMahon. McMahon was not hungry and promptly told Ambrose to leave for a second time.
Ambrose returned again, but this time in disguise. It was a very bad disguise as we all knew who it really was, but it was tremendous at the same time because he came dressed as former Intercontinental champion, The Mountie.
Even Smackdown Live general manager Daniel Bryan could not prevent himself from chuckling at the sight of Ambrose standing there dressed as The Mountie.
McMahon, on the other hand, was not happy. In fact he was livid, but was consoled by Bryan, who said he had the situation under control.
Apparently, he didn't, as Ambrose showed up during the ladder match dressed in an Ottawa Senators jersey and helmet to help Ellsworth defeat Styles.
I would have preferred he wore an Ottawa Redblacks jersey and helmet since they're about to play in the 104th Grey Cup, but that's just me.
Other than Ambrose being in a Senators jersey and not a Redblacks jersey, I found this to be kind of funny, especially when he dressed as The Mountie. Again, I understand if skeptics aren't fond of this much comedy surrounding the richest prize in the business, but I think this actually worked.
TLC card quickly coming together
With very little time to shift its focus solely to TLC, Smackdown Live announced a slew of matches for the upcoming pay-per-view Tuesday night.
Joining Styles and Ambrose that night will be The Miz and Dolph Ziggler, who will face each other once again for the Intercontinental championship.
However, this time it will be contested in a ladder match. The Miz successfully defended his title against Kalisto Tuesday thanks to an assist from Baron Corbin.
As The Miz was celebrating on top of the stage, Ziggler snuck up from behind and super kicked him, reminding everyone that he is still owed a rematch for the title.
As for Kalisto and Corbin, they will face each other at TLC in a chairs match. After Corbin interfered Kalisto's title match, Kalisto returned the favor later in the night by disrupting Corbin during his match against Kane.
Full disclosure, I'm still not a fan of chairs matches.
In the women's division, we'll finally have a pay-per-view title match between Lynch and Alexa Bliss. It was supposed to happen at No Mercy, but Lynch's undisclosed injury pushed the match back nearly a month.
When Lynch and Bliss finally did lock up, the match ended in controversy. There is not a TLC stipulation involved in this one, but there will be one of sorts in the grudge match between Nikki Bella and Carmella, who will face each other at TLC in a no disqualification match.
The pair has been feuding since August so this should be the end of their feud once and for all. It should be a good match.
Wyatts to face American Alpha next week
American Alpha won a tag team turmoil match that was supposed to make them the No. 1 contenders for the Smackdown Live Tag Team championships.
However, Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton showed up on the big screen right as Alpha was celebrating and said that the duo had not faced every tag team on Smackdown Live, and that they will see them in the ring next week to determine the true No. 1 contender.
I fully expect Orton and Wyatt to beat American Alpha. The win won't help Alpha any, but it would create a babyface versus heel match for TLC.
To be honest, the match next week will be better than either of the ones that could take place at TLC.