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November 27, 2015

WWE SmackDown rundown: Ambrose becomes No. 1 contender

Wrestling WWE
112715_ambroseowens_WWE WWE/Twitter

Dean Ambrose became the new No. 1 contender for Kevin Owens’ Intercontinental Championship on Thursday night.

WWE hosted their Thanksgiving edition of SmackDown on Thursday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN. The main event featured a Triple Threat match for number one contendership for the WWE Intercontinental Championship, Roman Reigns and Sheamus actually had a promo that now makes me care about this feud somewhat, and The New Day was once again probably the best highlight of the night, which is saying something, because this show was pretty damn good.

With TLC just over two weeks away, SmackDown did more to make us care about these feuds heading into the last pay-per-view of 2015 than Raw did on Monday night. I’m not sure that’s how it’s supposed to go, but I’ll take it.

Here are the main stories coming out of SmackDown on Thanksgiving night:

We have a new number one contender for the WWE Intercontinental Championship - which is currently held by Kevin Owens - and his name is Dean Ambrose. Ambrose was after the Intercontinental Championship earlier this year, but never captured the gold. Could this be the moment he is able to capture his first singles title since becoming United States Champion years ago?

Ambrose defeated Dolph Ziggler and Tyler Breeze in a great match to become No. 1 contender. Owens was on commentary for the match, which always turns out golden. After the match, Ambrose and Owens had a staredown, and Ambrose shoved Owens back into his seat. Owens would get into Ambrose’s face afterwards, but eventually walked away and nothing happened. It was a great way to officially start this feud.

I think Ambrose and Owens would be a fantastic feud that should have a boatload of matches, and the title should be exchanged back and forth a few times. Because that’s what’s lacking in today’s WWE - not enough feuds that feature multiple title changes. Not every feud has to be that way, but when stars like Ambrose and Owens are involved, it honestly doesn’t hurt anybody.

One would think that on Raw this past Monday, Reigns and Sheamus would have built to their match at TLC pay-per-view in a little over two weeks a lot better than they did. Their promo on Monday was lacking passion, excitement, and it really made me miss Seth Rollins.

Thursday night, however, the two had a great back-and-forth promo that built quite well towards their TLC match. Reigns began with a story about how he and The Usos would wrestle all around the house until one of them broke a table, which got them banned from wrestling indoors. Of course, they’d take it outdoors, where they’d wrestle on their favorite spot, the trampoline. Reigns explained how it was a dream of theirs to one day hold the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and his dream came true, if only for a split second, at Survivor Series when he defeated Dean Ambrose.

Sheamus interrupted Reigns and taunted him the entire time about how he took his dream away and stabbed him in the heart. Well, geez, that’s a little graphic. Sheamus continued his fantastic heel promo, probably one of his better ones in years.

Reigns said he was going to break Sheamus’ back with a chair, then powerbomb him through a table, and then climb the ladder and retrieve the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

It wouldn’t be a true Thanksgiving episode of SmackDown unless The New Day appeared. And, man, did their segment of a Thanksgiving Pot Luck Dinner instantly become one of the best segments of the year. From Heath Slater’s Slater Slaw, to Adam Rose’s rabbit stew, from the return of the Gobbledy Gooker, this segment had everything.

My favorite part had to be where they denied entry to The Ascension, who brought desolation and destruction, instead of something to eat. Whoever’s writing these promos, if it’s not any three members of The New Day, deserves employee of the year.

Later in the night, during their match with the Lucha Dragons, Big E and Kofi Kingston thought their partner, Xavier Woods, was in the Gobbledy Gooker costume since he showed up with it on earlier. But, that was not the case.

As Kingston was going for an illegal pin with his feet on the ropes, the Gooker pushed his feet off and everyone was confused. Oh, except me. It turns out that the Usos stole the costume from Woods, and Jey Uso was the prime reason for them losing their match to the Lucha Dragons. This was pretty awesome, even for a wrestling angle.

The Usos would finish off Woods with a Superfly splash.

The Wyatt Family and Dudleyz tangled once again, this time with Erick Rowan and Braun Strowman representing the family and the Dudleyz trying to gain some revenge after losing on Raw on Monday night. If this is the beginning of a feud between the two teams, I’m all for it, because the Wyatts can at least try to get some of their heat back after looking like complete losers at Survivor Series.

Is it too late to make people view Bray Wyatt and company as a threat? Probably. Ever since the beginning of 2014, they’ve looked like a joke. Wyatt’s promos are what’s keeping them afloat. And if they dominate the Dudleyz, what good does that do one of the best tag teams in wrestling history? They should be in the Tag Title picture, and eventually win the titles. Will that ever happen now?

I’m really starting to dig the tandem of Alberto Del Rio and Zeb Colter. I liked it at first when Del Rio re-debuted at Hell in a Cell in October, but they sort of cooled down afterward. On SmackDown Thursday night, their promo was great, and if it leads to a longer feud between Jack Swagger and Del Rio, then I’m all for it.

Colter said that he and Del Rio see a self-indulgent, selfish, ungrateful SOB. Colter said that Swagger has blind American loyalty, which is a dangerous thing when not channeled in the right direction. Talk about a complete 180 degree turn for Colter.

The match between Del Rio and Swagger ended in a DQ after Del Rio used a steel chair, so it looks like it’s not the end of this feud. Swagger would stand tall in the ring at the end.

Match rundown

     • The Dudley Boyz d. Braun Strowman and Erick Rowan by disqualification after Luke Harper interferes. Rowan and Harper give Bubba Ray a double-team chokeslam through a table.

     • Paige d. Becky Lynch by pinfall via a rollup.

     • Non-Title: Jack Swagger d. Alberto Del Rio (c-US) by disqualification after Del Rio hit Swagger with a chair on the outside.

     • The Lucha Dragons d. The New Day by pinfall after Kalisto hits the Salida Del Sol.

     • No. 1 Contender’s Triple Threat Match for the Intercontinental Championship: Dean Ambrose d. Dolph Ziggler and Tyler Breeze by pinfall via Dirty Deeds on Breeze.

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