WWE News: James Ellsworth Heel Turn Changes ‘SmackDown’ World Title Picture

SmackDown Live held their Tables, Ladders and Chairs PPV special event last night on the WWE Network and there were two title changes on the card. However, the one title that did not change hands was the biggest in the company – the SmackDown Live world heavyweight championship. That title remained unchanged thanks to controversy when James Ellsworth interfered to help AJ Styles win the match.

Now, Wrestling Inc. reported that James Ellsworth will receive the next SmackDown Live world title match. This was also announced on Talking Smack, immediately following the TLC PPV. The announcement came when James Ellsworth sprung the news on Daniel Bryan.

This announcement was made while Daniel Bryan ripped into James Ellsworth for interfering in the match. According to Ellsworth, he was given the news by Shane McMahon backstage after James interfered in the match, which took general manager Daniel Bryan by surprise.

Daniel Bryan was angry because he felt that James Ellsworth completely changed the WWE SmackDown Live world title picture with the interference. Bryan pointed out that Kevin Owens

is the Universal Champion on WWE Monday Night Raw because Chris Jericho constantly interferes in his matches and the lack of interference makes the SmackDown Live world championship the better title.

Daniel Bryan said that James Ellsworth ruined that.

In the Talking Smack segment, James Ellsworth said that he had to interfere because his contract with SmackDown Live gave him a title shot against AJ Styles for the WWE world championship. James Ellsworth reasoned that he had to stop Dean Ambrose from winning to ensure he would get the title shot, which he said will now come on SmackDown Live this Tuesday night.

When James Ellsworth asked Daniel Bryan what he thought of it, the SmackDown Live general manager didn’t hold back. He said that AJ Styles was going to hurt James Ellsworth in the match and then Dean Ambrose was really going to hurt him after the match. James Ellsworth was agitated, took off his neck brace, and left.

As the Inquisitr previously reported, it looked like James Ellsworth was going to interfere in the match on behalf of AJ Styles, and that happened. It also reported that James Ellsworth would likely get his title shot, which is also happening. Now, the next step is to set up AJ Styles’ next title feud, since there is no chance for James Ellsworth to win the title.

From all reports, the WWE will bring back The Undertaker now and he will slide into a big feud with AJ Styles, which should culminate with the match at the WWE Royal Rumble PPV in January in San Antonio. From there, the WWE has a lot of directions they can go.


According to ComicBook.com, John Cena is expected to return by The Royal Rumble as well. An Undertaker world title win over AJ Styles at that event could then set up the John Cena vs. Undertaker match that everyone has been talking about this year.

That could see Undertaker wrestle his final match at WrestleMania in 2017, defending the title against John Cena. Much like the Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker match from a few years back, it could be a retirement match, with the loser retiring from the WWE after the match.

That could realistically mean that WrestleMania in 2017 could be both The Undertaker’s final match and John Cena’s record-tying 16th world title win, making it one of the biggest WWE matches in history. All this could be because of James Ellsworth, a jobber who made his name by having a lot of heart, but somehow choosing to make a heel turn at the TLC PPV.

[Featured Image by WWE]

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