SummerSlam 2008 gives us The Undertaker and Edge in a Hell in the Cell match. CM Punk and JBL go face-to-face for the World Heavyweight Title, Matt Hardy squares up with Mark Henry for the ECW Championship and on the WWE side of the Strap we get Triple H and The Great Kahli….all this and so much more in this edition of The Chairshot Classic.
Today we will spend the evening in The Conseco Fieldhouse, home of the Indiana Pacers, in Indianapolis, Indiana. The show is sold-out with 15,997 in attendance and another 447K tuning in on PPV at home. The theme song for the night will be “Ready to Roll” by Jet Black Stare and the event is sponsored by the 20th Century Fox film “Street Kings”. On a sidenote this is a great movie that stars Keanu Reeves and Forrest Whitaker. Its the story of crooked cops and one mans journey to bring it all down. Check it out. This is also the first PPV after the WWE went to a PG rating, the last one of the PG-13 era being The Great American Bash. Let’s head to the arena and see if this effects the overall product as it’s time for “The Biggest Blockbuster of the Summer”!
The show opens with a movie trailer that is done to make SummerSlam seem like the Blockbuster event of the Summer. It goes on to show Vickie Guerrero reinstate The Undertaker and grant him his Hell in a Cell match with Edge. This a feud that carried over from WrestleMania and Taker and Edge were the first to Main Event both events in the same year. This is a well done package and ranks up there in best opens at SummerSlam for sure.
After the package ends Jim Ross welcomes us into the sold-out show and he introduces the other announcers, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Michael Cole. The three men run through the nights card and the first competitor of the night is introduced. Jeff Hardy enters and he gets the usual love from the fans. Or as a JR says “A Michael Phelps-like welcome.” JR is tasked with calling the first match and his partner is Tazz. I wish they would move past this mutli-brand announcing as I am a fan of just one announce crew, not three. Montel Vontavious Porter, or MVP is next out for what looks to be a good opening bout.
As soon as the bell sounds, MVP goes for a big opening kick but Hardy dodges it. This opens a window of opportunity for Jeff to land a series of haymakers to the midsection. MVP rolls from the ring to recover and Hardy is quick to follow him. MVP uses this to his advantage and slides right back into the ring, hoping to get the upper hand. This backfires, and Jeff pulls him back out of the ring by his feet. Hardy then slams MVP into the security wall getting the first nice pop of the night. After high-fiving some fans, Hardy bounces MVP off the apron and returns him to the ring. A springboard leg drop and a pin attempt follow, but MVP gets his foot on the rope to break the count. An armbar is next, and when Hardy transitions into a standing variety of the hold, MVP is able to find the ropes. Hardy keeps the advantage for some time but it starts to shift after MVP hits the charging Hardy with a belly-to-belly toss into the turnbuckle. MVP tries for a cover but Hardy gets the shoulder up at two. MVP works Hardy with an armlock next and every time Hardy is close to escaping, Porter nails him with strikes to keep the hold applied. This eventually leads to Jeff Hardy being put in the camel clutch in the center of the ring. Jeff manages to escape it, but MVP is quick to put him into a variation of a single leg crab. Hardy finally finds the ropes and the official is forced to break the hold.
Hardy rolls to the apron to escape the stomps of MVP and tries to springboard back into the ring. This doesn’t go as planned and MVP catches Jeff, mid springboard, with a right hook. The crowd have a little “MVP” chant here as he brings Hardy back into the ring. Porter tries for a cover and is shocked when he is only rewarded a near fall. An Alabama slam is next, and this leaves Hardy suspended in a tree of woe position. After a quick argument with the official, MVP slams Hardy to the mat and goes for another cover. He is again only gets a near fall and pick Hardy back up. He puts Jeff into a Razor’s Edge like set-up but Hardy escapes with the backslide and catches MVP with a reverse neckbreaker. Hardy lands the mule kick and this sends MVP into the corner. When Hardy charges him, MVP pulls off the ropes for momentums and dropkicks Hardy square in the chest. This had some nice impact and sends Hardy sailing across the ring. MVP is quick with another cover attempt, but for the fourth time he only gets the two count. MVP then whips Jeff into the corner, and when he bounces back out, MVP sends him right back into it with a dropkick. MVP tries for the Drive-by Kick but Hardy explodes from the corner and catches him with a slingblade. Both men lay prone as the ref starts his count. They both slowly return to their feet at the count of seven and Hardy gets the advantage with a Russian leg sweep. Hardy tries for the leg drop cover but it’s MVP’s turn to kick-out. Hardy explodes into a springboard Whisper in the Wind and so does the crowd when this happens. Hardy is quick to return to the top rope, and when he gets up there we see Shelton Benjamin appear at ringside. Hardy crossbodies him and returns right to the top rope. Jeff tries for the Swanton Bomb, but the interference allows MVP to roll from harms way. Hardy hits the mat hard and this allows MVP to hit the Drive-by Kick. When MVP makes the cover, this time he gets the three count and the victory. This was a decent match but I expected better from these two. Not a must watch by any stretch of the imagination and could be skipped over. Match Time-10:21
Next we get an interview with two of the competitors in the next match that is an inter-gender bout with the Intercontinental and Women’s Championships on the line. This is team Glamerella, which is made up of Beth Phoenix and Santino Marella. Maria Kanellis interviews the two and this is all really lame stuff here. We re-enter the arena after this tragedy and Lillian Garcia tells us that this is a winner takes all tag-team bout for the IC and Women’s Titles. I find this quite offensive to one of my all-time favorite Titles, The Intercontinental Championship. Out first is the Women’s Champion Mickie James, who receives a nice pop from the fans. The IC Champ is out next and the crowd has even more pop for Kofi Kingston. Glamerella is out next and incase you’re to young to remember this name was a play on the common theme of combined celebrity names at the time. Most famously was the couple of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, or Brangelina, if you will.
The Glamazon and Mickie James start the bout and the collar and elbow leads to a side headlock for Mickie. She tries to hip toss Phoenix, but she is overpowered and Phoenix tosses Mickie off of her. Phoenix is soon kneeling after James dropkicks her knee out from under her. James then hits the ropes and lands another dropkick, this time to the face of Phoenix. Phoenix reverses into a backdrop and this allows her to tag in Marella. As this is a inter-gender match Mickie James isn’t forced to come out and lands a kick to the back of Marella’s head. She avoids a clothesline from him and this gives her the opportunity to tag in her partner. After the tag is made, Kingston enters the ring via the top rope and nails Marella with a crossbody. Kofi lands a few flipping maneuvers before he sends Santino Marella flying from the ring with a European uppercut. Phoenix starts to yell at her partner and this is when James enters the ring and sends Phoenix sailing off the apron with a dropkick to the back. The crowd pops for this and Beth picks Santino up, as to protect him, because it looks like Kofi is coming out of the ring with a suicide dive. Kofi instead dives into the top rope, intentionally, and bounces back into the ring. Cool stuff here from Kingston.
Marella returns to the apron and when Kofi tries to pull him into the ring Marella hotshots him with a reverse neckbreaker. After Marella does a little more offense and delivers a thumb to the eye of Kingston, he tags Beth Phoenix back in. After a quick kick to the midsection of Kofi, she tags her partner right back in. Marella hits a snap suplex and goes for the cover. Kofi kicks it out at two. Marella responds to this by sitting on the back of Kofi and wrenching on the IC champ’s neck. Kofi eventually stands this up and both men hit the ropes. The two collide in the middle and it looks as though they accidently bumped heads. Marella makes the tag and Kofi is able to do the same. Mickie comes in hot and nails the Glamazon with a series of forearms. Mickie then hits the ropes and takes Phoenix off her feet with a slingblade. She hits a second slingblade and when Marella tries to enter the ring James dropkicks him off the apron. After a hurricanrana, Mickie heads to the top rope and hits Phoenix with the Lou Thesz press from the air. She goes for the cover but Marella enters the ring to break it up. James hits him with a cool tornado DDT but this allows Phoenix to attack her from behind. Phoenix hits James with the Glam Slam and makes the cover. The ref counts the three and Beth Phoenix and Santino Marella are new Title holders. This is the first time the IC Title changed hands at SummerSlam since 2002 when Rob Van Dam beat Chris Benoit. (More on that here.) If you have taken the time to read about this match do yourself a favor and DON’T watch it. Pure trash and a disgrace to a Title that has been carried by some of the greatest bell-to-bell performers of all-time. Match Time-5:35
Chairshot Classics: WWF Royal Rumble ’88
Our road to the 2019 Royal Rumble begins with a look back at the inaugural event!
This was originally not a PPV, but actually a special which aired on the USA Network. It would however, create the 3rd in WWF’s ‘Big 4’ PPV’s and become the annual January tradition that a lot of fans look forward to even more so than WrestleMania. A little known fact is that in late 1987, WWF experimented with the Royal Rumble idea, holding one in St. Louis, Missouri that saw One Man Gang victorious. This is never referred to though, as WWF considers this the first for historical purposes. It’s every man for himself and luck of the draw, let’s get to the action!
Open: Photos featuring all the matchups for tonights event are shown, as Vince McMahon runs down the card that includes the contract signing for the biggest rematch in WWF history between Hulk Hogan & Andre The Giant. In the arena are Vince & Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura, there’s no time to waste and we go right to the ring and Howard Finkel.
Match #1: ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude vs. Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat
They tie-up and Rude doesn’t hesitate to throw hands, Steamboat fires back with chops and Rude goes to the eyes. He tries to throw Ricky over the top, Steamboat hangs on, skinning the cat back inside and tossing Rude out to the floor. The Ravishing One collects himself, telling the ref Steamboat grabbed the tights back inside. Rude wants a test of strength, stops to have a conversation with the fans at ringside and then they lock hands. Rude gets wrist control, driving The Dragon to his knees. Steamboat to his feet, gets out, taking Rude down with a top wristlock and going into an armbar. The Dragon works over the arm, wrenching at the joint and putting Rude to the canvas.
Rude breaks it with a right hand, into the ropes, Steamboat slides through the legs and gets an armdrag, going back into the armbar. Steamboat relentless on the shoulder joint, Rude with forearms and Ricky fires back with chops. Into the ropes, back and forth and Steamboat with another chop, gaining control over Rude’s arm once more. Rude gets to a vertical base, breaking the hold with boots and right hands. Whips The Dragon in and lands a back elbow, finally getting something going. The Ravishing One smashing Steamboat’s head into the turnbuckles, Rude continuing to hammer away.
In the ropes again, Ricky slides through Rude’s legs and hits another armdrag, grabbing an armbar and driving his knee into the shoulder. Rude gets to his feet, sending Steamboat into the ropes and driving an elbow into the chin. More heavy shots from Rude, Steamboat fires back, into the ropes, Rude reverses and drives a knee to the midsection. Steamboat falls out to the floor, Rude giving chase and driving his back into the apron, then slamming Ricky on the floor. Rude drags The Dragon to the apron, bringing him in the hard way with a vertical suplex for a count of 2, then locks in a variation of a Camel Clutch.
The Dragon attempts getting up, but Rude jumps down on the back numberous times. Steamboat gets up again, this time lifting Rude on his shoulders and then dropping him to the mat. Ricky to his feet first, goes for a splash, but Rude gets the knees up, following with an atomic drop for a 2 count. Rude goes back to the Camel Clutch, Steamboat propels him into the corner and then drives his head into the top turnbuckle. The Dragon with a snapmare and a falling chop for 2, Rude goes to the midsection and gets a side headlock takedown, they float over into a bridge and Ricky gains a backslide for a near fall.
He ducks a right, grabs a roll-up for another. Both guys go back and forth with small packages for 2 counts, Rude flooring Ricky with a clothesline for another. Rude attempts a vertical suplex, Steamboat blocks and hits one of his own, then climbs up top. The Dragon jumps off with a crossbody, Rude pulling the referee in front of him and Steamboat takes him out. Rude gets Steamboat up in a Rack, the ref gets to his feet and calls for the bell.
Winner: ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude (Rack)
- After The Bell: Finkel announces that the winner is by disqualification and it’s Ricky Steamboat. Rude hits the ring again after a premature celebration and berates the ref.
Winner: Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat (Disqualification)
- EA’s Take: Two great workers here, but definitely not as quality of a match as you’d expect. Lots of rest holds and the pace didn’t pick up until the last 15-20 seconds of the match. Rick Rude is easily one of the most underrated WWF Superstars of all-time, after arriving from the NWA in the summer of 1987. No real feud between these two here, as they had limited interactions. Steamboat was one of the company’s hottest babyfaces after his WrestleMania III bout with Randy Savage, but a few weeks after Steamboat asked for time off to be with his wife, who was expecting the birth of their first child. It didn’t sit well with management, as a lot of time had been put into grooming Ricky to be a top babyface. When he would return in late 1987, he was not pushed or really put into any meaningful storylines.
In The Arena: ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is with Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura. Tonight, Canadian strongman Dino Bravo will attempt to break the world benchpress record of 705 lbs. They introduce Dino Bravo along with his manager Frenchy Martin. Dino calls it a big challenge, but he feels up to the task. Frenchy says something in French, of course. Ventura goes over some of the technicalities, as Dino goes for a warmup rep at 415 lbs. Dino stops and says it requires total concentration, asking the crowd to be silent. Using Ventura as his spotter, Bravo lifts it and reps it with no problems. They rip through 505, 555, 595 and 655. The crowd keeps making noise and Bravo feigns leaving with 715 lbs. Dino comes back and attempts it, Ventura helps Bravo get it up and they proclaim it legit.
- EA’s Take: I know they were trying to gain heat for the newly repackaged Dino Bravo, but this was just brutally long. The fans were clapping in support of him breaking the record, until he walked off. Dino would return to singles competition when his alliance with Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine as The Dream Team was phased out, joining up with his new manager Frenchy Martin as the French-Canadian Strongman.
Match #2 for the WWF Women’s Tag Team Championships 2/3 Falls: WWF Women’s Tag Team Champions The Glamour Girls (Judy Martin & Leilani Kai) w/’Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart vs. The Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo Toteno & Itsuki Yamazaki)
The bell rings and The Angels hit the The Glamour Girls with dropkicks. Noriyo & Leilani are left in the ring, Noriyo missing another dropkick as Leilani hangs onto the ropes. Leilani tosses her across the ring by the hair and then drives her into Martin’s knee before she tags in. Martin with a slam, covering and Noriyo bridges out, grabbing a roll-up for 2. Itsuki tags, sends Martin into the ropes and hits a rolling headbutt, followed by a piledriver. Noriyo back in, she gets taken to the ground, but grabs a body scissors.
Martin fights out of it, Noriyo attempts a crossbody and gets caught, then dropped to the canvas. Martin misses an elbow drop, then quickly crawls over and tags Leilani. She enters and takes a knee out of the ropes, Itsuki back in with a flying forearm and a dropkick. The Angels strike back and forth in the corner, Itsuki covering a count of 2, then lock in an octopus stretch. Martin comes in the ring to try and break it, but kicks her own partner. Noriyo back in to deliver a dropkick to Martin, then we get synchronized figure four’s from The Angels. The legal participants are left in the ring, Itsuki breaks the hold and wishbones Leilani’s legs, then tags Noriyo. She comes in and cross the legs, grabbing a modified surfboard.
Itsuki back in, she continues to work the leg, Martin comes in to help her partner and they pull on Leilani by her hands and legs. Martin is dropped to the mat and rolls outside going back to the apron, Leilani crawls to try and tag, finally making it. Martin fires a kick to the midsection, whips Noriyo into the corner and she hops on the turnbuckle, putting the boots up to a charging Martin. Judy catches the feet, pulling Noriyo off the turnbuckle and slamming her to the mat. She delivers a shot to Itsuki on the apron, whips Noriyo into the ropes and Leilani with a cheap shot from the apron. Martin plants Itsuki with a reverse powerbomb, covers and gets the first fall.
First Fall: The Glamour Girls
Martin tosses Itsuki by the hair, putting her in the wrong part of town, then whips her into the ropes for a flying forearm and a count of 1. She slams Itsuki, attempts a splash and misses, allowing Noriyo to tag in and hit a dropkick. Into the ropes, Noriyo with a jumping clothesling, heads to the 2nd rope and connects with another for a near fall. She hits the ropes, landinga crossbody for another 2, then tags Itsuki for a double team suplex. Martin enters the ring to break it up, but gets caught and The Angels attempt to whips The Glamour Girls into one another. The Angels stop short, Glamour Girls charging with clotheslines and end up hitting one another. Order is restored and Leilani flattens Itsuki, lifts her to her shoulder, Itsuki rolls through into a pin and picks up a 3 count.
Second Fall: The Jumping Bomb Angels
The Angels rush Leilani and deliver double knees, then a double clothesline before the ring clears to a one on one situation. Itsuki with a running knee, but Leilani uses her size to force Itsuki into her corner and Martin makes a tag. Into the ropes, Martin catches a kick attempt, Itsuki countering with an enzuigiri and Noriyo enters. Noriyo attempts a fisherman suplex, Martin counters and drives a knee to the midsection, then whips Noriyo hard into the corner. Martin charges, Noriyo hops up and over, grabbing a backslide, but Martin rolls through. Judy grabs the legs, catapulting Noriyo into her corner and tagging out.
Leilani wrenches the neck, then stomps away at Noriyo and hangs her across the top rope by the hair. Double underhook suplex plants Noriyo and Leilani gets a count of 2. Leilani maintains the advantage, Martin in off the tag with a big boot that sends Noriyo into a tag. Itsuki comes in and is immediately tossed across the ring by the hair, then distracts the ref for Leilani to get in an illegal choke. Leilani makes a cover for multiple 1 counts, sends Itsuki in for a double axe handle and it’s blocked. She drops Leilani keyster first on the canvas a couple times and gets a 2 count. She tosses Leilani into her own corner, then brings Martin in the hard way and tags Noriyo.
She climbs upstairs, Itsuki with a slam and Noriyo follows off the top with a knee drop for 2. Noriyo hits a double underhook suplex into a bridge, gaining another 2 count, then brings Itsuki back in for a crossbody and another 2. Martin is slammed to the mat, Itsuki comes off the 2nd rope with a senton and misses, Martin covering and only getting 2. Itsuki with a leg takedown, Noriyo with the tag and a 2nd rope clothesline, but Leilani breaks up the pinfall. The ref’s tied up with Leilani, The Angels climb opposing turnbuckles and hit a tandem dropkick for the 1-2-3.
Winners and NEW WWF Women’s Tag Team Champions: The Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo/Tandem Top Rope Dropkick)
- EA’s Take: The crowd was quite into this contest and a lot of the style of The Angels is ahead of it’s time, however the pacing of the contest was a bit too hectic at times. Women’s wrestling isn’t quite as clean and smooth as the men at this point, it would take a number of years for it to get to that point. The WWF Women’s Tag Team Titles are a forgotten relic in the annals of WWE history and this is the last major appearance they’d ever see. The Glamour Girls would go on to regain the championships in June before the titles were dropped completely in early 1989.
Video: Footage from WrestleMania III is shown, when Andre The Giant took on Hulk Hogan for the WWF Heavyweight Championship. At one point, Hogan attempted to slam Andre, but The Giant’s weight came crashing down onto the champion for what some claim was a 3 count. ‘The Million Dollar Man’ has plans to buy the championship, but Hulk Hogan refused to sell it. DiBiase promises to get what he wants, no matter the cost. Andre would accept DiBiase’s offer, attacking the champion on Saturday Night’s Main Event. The Giant has agreed to hand the title over.
In The Ring: It’s time for the contract signing for the biggest rematch in history, as Andre The Giant along with ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase & Virgil make their way to the ring. ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund will oversee the proceedings and he introduces WWF Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan, then WWF President Jack Tunney.Tunney & Hogan sit down at the table, but Andre refuses as Gene urges him to sign the contract. DiBiase gives Andre a few words and he slowly makes his way to the table, staring down the champion. The Giant finally takes a seat, then DiBiase takes the mic and begs Hogan to sign. Hulk appears to be having doubts, but then signs after some more prodding by The Million Dollar Man. Andre reviews the contract and Hulk grows impatient. The Giant finally puts his name on the dotted line and DiBiase tells him to put his ‘stamp of approval on it’. Hogan lunges at DiBiase and Andre grabs the champion, slamming his head into the table.
- EA’s Take: This segment is a stark contrast to the one earlier tonight. Yes, it was also long, but that was supposed to be the effect and it worked perfectly. Even almost 30 years later, you could feel the tension as Hogan’s blood boiled at Andre toying around with him. DiBiase was the perfect foil to add a new layer to the Hulk/Andre rivalry, giving it new life with the ‘purchasing of the title’ story. This contract was signed for a match to come on Saturday Night’s Main Event and would lead to the biggest moment in the shows history.
Chairshot Classics: WWE TLC 2016 – Ambrose vs. Styles
As we approach this year’s TLC, we look back at one from the past!
As we get closer to closing the book on 2018, we’re approaching WWE’s December pay-per-view TLC, so today we’re looking back at one from the past with TLC 2016! The SmackDown Live brand finishes out the year with the annual TLC event, pitting Dean Ambrose against WWE Champion AJ Styles in a match of the show’s namesake, Becky Lynch defending the SmackDown Women’s Title in a Tables Match, plus SmackDown Tag Champs Heath Slater and Rhyno with the unenviable task of putting their titles on the line against the new look Wyatt Family! Let’s get into the action…
Kickoff Match: American Alpha (Jason Jordan & Chad Gable), The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley) & Apollo Crews vs. The Vaudevillains (Aiden English & Simon Gotch), The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) & Curt Hawkins
Hawkins & Crews to kickoff the action, Hawkins avoids a lock-up and goes to the midsection with a kick, takes him down with a side headlock, Apollo counters into a headscissors, but The Prince of Queens kips up to his feet. Apollo does the same behind him, hits the ropes for a shoulder knockdown, front-flips over Hawkins, then scores with a dropkick for a count of 1. Zack tags in and Hawkins instantly tags out, Viktor steps in, ducks under a tie-up and buries a knee to the breadbasket.
He scores with a big chop in the corner and shoots Ryder across, Viktor charges in and meets double knees to the jaw, Long Island Iced Z to the 2nd rope and he jumps over the top of him. He goes into the ropes and ducks a clothesline, Viktor catches him with a back elbow, mocks The Broski and hooks him for a vertical suplex, Ryder reversing into a hangman’s neckbreaker for 2. Mojo gets a tag and he whips Zack into a forearm in the corner, Rawley delivers a body slam, then hits Viktor with Hammer Time. Viktor squirms away to his corner and brings in Konnor, Mojo ducks a clothesline, goes into the 3 point stance and takes him out at the knee.
Konnor quickly drives him into his corner and Aiden tags in, targets the left arm and wrenches away at the shoulder, gets a little too confident and Rawley clocks him with a big fist. Jordan gets a tag and brings English down with a fireman’s carry, slaps on an armbar, Gable makes the tag and American Alpha with double team offense. They knock their opponents off the apron, hit a double hip toss to Aiden, Gotch steps in and takes a double dropkick for his troubles, Gable then sending Aiden to the outside with a headscissors takedown. One-by-one every starts filing in the ring and throwing each other to the outside, Apollo is the last man standing, everyone else slides back in and we have a melee on our hands, Crews’ squad clearing the ring as we go to break…
We return and order has been restored, Hawkins delivers a vertical suplex to Gable for a count of 2, then grounds him with a rear chinlock. Gable fights to his feet and hits the ropes, Hawkins follows him in, slides outside and sweeps the leg, rolls back in and tags out. Viktor comes in and stomps away, drops a fist to the face for a 2 count, sends Chad into the corner and tags in Konnor. He shoots Konnor into a corner clothesline, Konnor sends Gable into a high knee from Viktor, cover and another count of 2. He applies a rear chinlock to grind Gable down, Chad works to his feet, gets pushed into the ropes with a back body drop, counters with a sunset flip, but Viktor makes a blind tag and ambushes him.
The Drama King re-enters the match for a big right hand, quickly brings in Simon for Dukes Up, Gotch hooks the leg for a near fall, then tags out. Viktor buries a kick to the ribs and still can’t put it away, goes right back to the rear chinlock, Gable works to a standing position, gets sent to the ropes for a back body drop, but prevents it with a kick. He leaps towards his corner to make a tag, Viktor catches him on his shoulder, Chad gets close, but his partners get ripped off the apron at the last second. Viktor shoves Gable to the ropes, connects with a pop-up superkick, lateral press and Jordan slides in to make the save.
Viktor tags out and English hooks on a front facelock, Gable finds his way to a vertical base, rolls Aiden up for a near fall, but still doesn’t reach his corner. Aiden takes him down with a double leg, catapults him into the corner, Gable smashes Hawkins off the apron in the process. Gotch tags in and Viktor holds Chad in place, The Gentleman Brawler charges, Gable breaking free and Viktor gets knocked to the floor. Both guys crawl to tags, Jordan scores with multiple forearms to Konnor, follows with a dropkick, Gotch stepping and he walks right into a capture suplex. Aiden rolls back in to help out and gets tossed into a flapjack, Jordan’s feeling it now, plants Konnor with an olympic slap and makes the cover.
Konnor comes in to break it up at 2, The Hype Bros hit the ring now and batter him from behind, they connect with the Hype Ryder to English, but Mojo gets caught by The Fall Of Man. American Alpha’s back in to dispose of The Ascension, Hawkins hits the ring and misses an attempt to hit Jordan from behind, Crews surprises him on the apron and suplexes him to the outside on everyone. Back inside, Gotch tags himself in, Jordan tags Gable, American Alpha catch Simon with Grand Amplitude and put it away.
Winners: American Alpha, The Hype Bros & Apollo Crews (Gable/Grand Amplitude)
- EA’s Take: Decent Kickoff match tonight, nothing that really intrigued me much, however I liked that all these guys at least got a chance to perform. It’s funny, I had been wondering what happened to Apollo Crews and Curt Hawkins. There was so much build with Hawkins’ return promos and now…what? A big, fat nothing essentially. Apollo still has the same issues he’s always had and that’s finding a character, some way for fans to connect. Until that happens, he is destined to be on the sidelines no matter how talented in the ring he is.
Open: “Tables, ladders, chairs. Simple devices we weave into our lives, but sometimes the simple things are not what they seem because here, these are the obstacles that must be faced. They will test integrity, they will push limits. They can force one to thrive or they can lead them to defeat. Tonight, opportunity will present itself to those strong enough to withstand it and those wise enough to receive it. Tonight, these ordinary objects will make a select few…extraordinary. This is WWE TLC.”
Match #1 for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton) w/Luke Harper vs. SmackDown Tag Team Champions Heath Slater & Rhyno
Wyatt & Rhyno will begin, collar & elbow tie-up sees The Man Beast go to a side headlock, switches to a wristlock, Bray fights it off, shoots him to the ropes and gets leveled by a flying clothesline. The Eater Of Worlds quickly recovers and goes to the eyes, tags out, Orton steps in and scores with heavy shots, but Rhyno turns the tables and fires back. Irish whip to the ropes is reversed, The Man Beast avoids a clothesline, scores with a shoulder block, tag to Slater and he comes off the top with a double axe to the arm.
The Apex Predator absorbs some shots and goes to the knee with a kick, The One Man Band ducks a shot, floors him with a heel kick, Orton staggers to the corner and Heath charges in with a forearm. He builds a head of steam for another, Randy elevates him over the top, Slater lands on his feet, Harper climbs onto the apron to distract the ref and Bray takes Heath out at the legs. The One Man Band pulls himself back into the ring, The Viper drops him gut-first across the top rope, stomps away at every limb, then tags out. The New Face of Fear hammers Heath with heavy right hand covers for a 2 count, measures him in the corner and rushes in with a splash for another 2.
Wyatt dumps Slater to the outside and makes a tag, The One Man Band staggers back to the ring, The Apex Predator dragging him up to the apron and setting for the elevated DDT. Heath fights it off, delivers a shot to Bray, tries to slingshot back inside, but Orton catches him for a powerslam and a near fall. The Eater Of Worlds tags back in and grinds Slater down with a chinlock, The One Man Band battles to his feet, gets thrown to the ropes and counters a back body drop with a kick. He catches Wyatt with double boots to the chin, drops Orton to the floor, jumps toward his corner and makes a tag, Bray making him pay with a uranage.
Rhyno comes in with clotheslines for Bray, irish whip to the corner is reversed, Wyatt rushes into a back elbow and The Man Beast comes off the 2nd rope with a shoulder tackle. He measures The New Face of Fear in the corner and charges in, The Viper climbs back on the apron and pushes him out of harm’s way, the ref counts it as a tag and he gets knocked to the floor. Rhyno goes out after him, lines up for a Gore, Harper sacrifices himself for The Viper and gets nearly split on the floor. The Man Beast heads back into the ring and Wyatt pops up into the Spider Crawl, it stops Rhyno dead in his tracks, Orton slides in and hits him with an RKO for the 1-2-3.
Winners and NEW SmackDown Tag Team Champions: The Wyatt Family (Orton/RKO)
- After The Bell: Bray takes his title and drapes it over Harper’s shoulder. Orton looks at him perplexed, turns to Harper and then does the same.
- EA’s Take: This felt pretty standard to me, but I think that was kind of the point. Bray & Orton made pretty easy work out of Slater & Rhyno and that makes total sense to me. I never thought Bray’s first WWE title would be a tag title, but I’m really intrigued by what’s going on with Orton/Bray a lot more than I am Rhyno/Slater. They did a good job with the titles and it was a fun little story, but Heath & Rhyno have really run their course at this point. The biggest question now is, did Orton & Wyatt just gift Harper the titles? Perhaps we see more of a New Day/Freebird scenario where you could face and 2/3 of them at any time.
Backstage: Dasha Fuentes welcomes in Dean Ambrose, The Lunatic Fringe says James Ellsworth is hanging out at home recovering tonight, but he’ll be okay. He says that his temper is his gameplan tonight and every other night, claiming in a different world and different circumstances it would be an honor to be in the ring with AJ Styles, but not tonight. Ambrose talks about Styles always taking the easy way out, but with tables, ladders and chairs, there are no easy ways. Tonight, there’s only one way and that’s horrible pain equaling glory.
Backstage: Renee Young is joined by WWE World Champion AJ Styles, The Phenomenal One stating he’s been in these kinds of matches before and is fully aware of what he’s getting into. He believes Dean Ambrose’s biggest problem is that he doesn’t stay down, but tonight he’ll be getting up just in time to see him reach up and grab the championship.
Match #2 – No Disqualification: Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
The bell rings and Carmella immediately ducks to the outside to get away, she catches Nikki coming out with forearms, sends her back inside, steps in and gets tackled to the ground. They tussle out to the apron on the other side of the ring, Carmella gets her legs wrapped around Nikki, hits a headscissors and Nikki is sent knees-first into the steel steps. The Princess of Staten Island rams her legs into the barricade and rolls inside, Nikki finds her way back in at a count of 6, Carmella meeting her with a snap suplex for a count of 2.
She hooks her for another and Nikki counters into a small package for a quick 2, Carmella levels her with a clothesline, covers for a 2 count of her own, then suplexes Nikki legs-first into the ropes for another 2. She ties Nikki up in the tree of woe and goes to the outside, reaches under the ring for a kendo stick, then taunts her with it. The Princess of Staten Island cracks her with the cane to the bad knee, wails away with shots to the back, hooks the leg and gains 2. She quickly slaps on the Code Of Silence, Nikki gets ahold of the kendo stick, scores with a couple of shots and breaks free. She rolls to the apron and Carmella goes outside, picks up the kendo stick, Nikki kicks her from behind, grabs the cane, but gets driven backwards into the barricade.
She absorbs it and returns the favor, sends Carmella spine-first into the ring post, climbs on top of the barricade and comes off with a roundhouse kick. She throws The Princess of Staten Island back inside, smacks her in the back of the legs with the kendo stick, Carmella sneaking in a shot to the bad knee to stop the onslaught. She pulls Nikki out through the ropes with a handful of tights, staggers to her feet, reaches out to grab her and Nikki sprays her in the face with a fire extinguisher. She heads inside and torments Carmella by unloading the whole thing, powers her up with the Rack Attack 2.0 and gets the win.
Winner: Nikki Bella (Rack Attack 2.0)
- After The Bell: Nikki heads to the back after the win and Carmella grabs a mic, yelling for the music to be cut. She hopes Nikki is real proud of herself and feels like she got her revenge from Survivor Series, but she isn’t the one who attacked her, claiming that it was Natalya.
- EA’s Take: Boy, is it just me or was this a little underwhelming? I mean, I predicted Nikki to take this one and at long last get her revenge for everything. I was expecting more from the match, but maybe we’re saving some bigger spots for the Women’s Title Match later on. I do like how they seem to be spinning it off into Nikki’s next rivalry, but I don’t know that I’d call it a “revelation” that Nattie was the one who took her out at Survivor Series. Something tells me Nikki hasn’t seen the last of Carmella however, looks like she will continue to play a part.