SmackDown Live set its sights on its TLC pay-per-view on Tuesday night, assembling a card chock-full of matches involving tables, ladders and chairs. In the process, it allowed some of its top Superstars to pick up momentum as the Dec. 4 PPV approaches.
One such Superstar was the biggest winner of the night, his humor meshing well with the tone of his character to create the most hilarious moment of this week’s broadcast.
Another Superstar was not quite as lucky. After winding up on a Survivor Series card she was not originally supposed to be on, she was once again reminded of her spot on the SmackDown hierarchy.
Who are those two stars and which ones joined them on this week’s list of winners and losers?
More Winners and Losers from SmackDown – November 22
Wrestler Winner or Loser Why? American Alpha Winners Finally en route to a Tag Team Championship opportunity, Jason Jordan and Chad Gable have a date with Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt next week. The Vaudevillains Losers If their rapid elimination did not exhibit just how dead in the water Aiden English and Simon Gotch are, nothing will. The Miz Winner The Intercontinental champion continued his greatest run, selling the importance of his ladder match with Dolph Ziggler in a single promo.
Biggest Winner: Dean Ambrose
Sure, The Lunatic Fringe gimmick is more a caricature than a meaty character at this point, but Tuesday night, Ambrose was fantastic as the rebellious babyface who simply would not stay out of the arena after being thrown out.
He returned as a pizza guy, but it was his return as a mountie that led to the most entertaining moment of the night.
After a brief back-and-forth with SmackDown general manager Daniel Bryan, Ambrose tried not to crack as he leaned in toward the former WWE champion: "You tell AJ Styles, The Mountie…always gets his man."
To newer fans, that one line may have been a throwaway. But to the passionate, longtime viewers, it was golden. Impersonating former midcard act The Mountie, he played to the Canadian fans in the stands and nearly had Bryan breaking character.
It was silly and largely inconsequential, but when WWE Creative gives Ambrose something more to do than running around like a chicken with his head cut off, he can bring the entertainment value.
His involvement in the main event, where he interfered while dressed like a goalie for the Ottawa Senators, only intensified his ongoing feud with Styles and added heat to their Tables, Ladders and Chairs match in two weeks.
Biggest Loser: Natalya
When Nikki Bella was attacked backstage at Survivor Series and Natalya eagerly filled in for her, it was apparent that she probably had something to do with the assault. While that is likely still the case, and she will eventually find herself feuding with the Total Diva, her use on Tuesday night called into question how seriously WWE Creative will actually treat her.
Obnoxiously blowing a whistle as if she was John Tolos sporting some ridiculous ball cap and shades, she took to the squared circle to battle SmackDown women’s champion Becky Lynch.
Natalya was beaten cleanly, tapped out by Lynch’s Dis-Arm-Her.
For The Queen of Harts to be accepted by fans as a threat to Bella, she needs wins. She needs to have an edge of danger restored. As it stands now, fans see her for what she is: a veteran presence who will always be a supporting character rather than a star, regardless of how unfair that may be.