The last WWE PPV of the year is WWE TLC. Where does it fall on the Good, Bad or Ugly scale? Bobby will break it down and let you know.
Tables, Ladders and Chairs. So much going on in the WWE right now. They have to get the asses in the seats, literally. We have some major Championship Matches, and opportunities for change. This show is by far one of the most important we have had in a long time. Vince McMahon himself will return to Raw tomorrow, showing TLC’s significance. Can WWE TLC deliver, will it succeed?
WWE Cruiserweight Championship – Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Cedric Alexander
This was action packed as always. They have such talent, and the ability to stun the audience every spot. WWE TLC was no different. The match went back and forth in the beginning, Alexander and Murphy switched control often creating many close falls. Alexander looked to have the victory many times, and in return Murphy wore down the much faster Alexander to gain control and change momentum. This was a fantastic wrestling match, and had the crowd hot for “205.” Alexander got aggravated not being able to seal the deal, and Murphy capitalized. Murphy after getting devastated slammed Alexander into the corner and kneed him in the face to retain. Murphy Wins!
SmackDown Tag Team Championship – The Bar (c) vs. The Usos vs. New Day
Surprisingly off the bat, New Day didn’t utilize Big E. The Bar brought the pain, destroying their opponents, and maintaining control. Xavier Woods was beaten down, with frequent tags between Sheamus and Cesaro. The match had a slow pace at first. Uso’s come in and fire it up with Kofi Kingston, waking up the Uso’s “Home-team”crowd. Cesaro changed everything and dominated again. Cesaro had a picture perfect Sharpshooter on Kingston that Woods saved with a stiff DDT. However Sheamus comes in missing a “Brogue Kick”, and hit with a double stomp, followed by a “trouble in paradise. Woods then hit an elbow drop on the money. After some back and forth, Sheamus hits the“Brogue Kick” on Woods for the victory and retains the Tag Team Championships for his team at WWE TLC.
Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin (TLC match) w/ Referee Heath Slater
Everyone was wondering what was going to happen here. Corbin getting on the mic for cheap heat did its job. Everyone hates him so much. Strowman came down to the ring and of course cannot compete, however brought up a good point, that No DQ means he can legally get some help, leading to everyone that was done wrong by Corbin to circle the ring with chairs. Apollo Crews, Finn Balor, Gable and Roode all got their piece but not before Heath Slater got in a shot after taking his ref shirt off. Corbin got hit with some good chair shots before retreating. Kurt Angle wasn’t having it and interrupted his escape, hitting him repeatedly with a chair. The gang then picked Corbin clean hitting Corbin each with their respective finishers. Strowman pins him with his foot, for the victory. Strowman Wins! Corbin is no longer GM, and Strowman is on his way to face Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble for the Universal Championship. This could have been Ugly, but it was entertaining and unexpected, which is Good for everyone in these hard times at WWE TLC.
Finn Balor vs. Drew McIntyre
This is set up to be a very important match overall. Whoever wins, could be pushed into the title scene any moment. McIntyre was just brutal. He really had this unstoppable presence early on, countering every bit of offense from Balor. Balor got some offense aggressively working the knee, however got belly to belly suplexed clear across the ring. Every time Balor got too much offense, McIntyre would destroy him. There is just so much talent here. It was such a clean match. Balor hit a standing double stomp and got some momentum hitting some big moves. Balor looked for the finish but got slammed with a tilt-a-whirl back-breaker. McIntyre hit a disgusting move off of the middle rope but only for a two count.
The fans appreciated the effort and enjoyed this match. Balor out of desperation caught McIntyre in the ring apron but again was countered. McIntyre hit a Glasgow Kiss Head-butt. Then Ziggler came out of no-where hitting a superkick. McIntyre however came back quickly against “The Showoff” leading to Balor smashing McIntyre with a missile dropkick finishing with the Coup de Grace off the top for the hard fought victory. Balor Wins! Dolph Ziggler then attacked Balor backstage during an interview, leading to match on Raw this Monday.
WWE Championship – Daniel Bryan (c) vs. AJ Styles
Good technical match overall. Daniel Bryan taking it slow making AJ wait to get started is a classic heel move. Both guys doing some unique moves and keeping the pace going. This felt like a true Championship Match, which WWE TLC needed, and showed the competitors’ expertise. Bryan kept working the ribs, and hit some very hard kicks to Styles keeping him down. Styles hit a huge closeline to buy some time. Styles got some revenge and beat Bryan down inside and out of the ring. Styles got his move reversed, and Bryan destroyed him with knees and a devastating neck breaker.
Bryan followed up with “Yes Kicks” on that were on the money. Styles got another counter with a huge kick to the head. He worked Bryan’s knee doing major damage to the Champion. AJ teased a “Styles Clash” but ended up rolling up and getting Bryan into a half crab. Bryan worked out of it, and got Styles into the “Yes Lock.” Styles hit a “450” off the ropes, but didn’t get the pin, the two went back and forth and ended up with Bryan in the “calf-crusher.” Daniel Bryan escaped, but got right back into the action. After some back and forth, Styles hit a small package that Daniel Bryan reversed for the 1-2-3. Daniel Bryan retains!
SmackDown Women’s Championship – Becky Lynch (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka (TLC match)
The “Main Event” of WWE TLC–this already had so much going for it. The competitor’s, “The Man,” the crowd, the lights and sounds. It has it all going into it. A true historical match. Full speed right away, this match wasn’t slow and boring. Everyone brought their Agame in this one. We saw constant exchange between the three headliners. Asuka destroyed Becky Lynch by tossing her onto a ladder, and power-bombed Charlotte through a table. Charlotte was stunned but managed to return hitting Asuka with a chair and a huge moonsault off the top to the outside. Becky continued this insanity crushing Charlotte of the top of the ladder through the announce table. Asuka nearly had the win, until Becky cut her off fighting up the ladder. Charlotte punished both of them coming in hot with a kendo stick.
Charlotte went psycho, until Lynch destroyed her sambo suplexing her into the barrier. Asuka then went ballistic on Lynch with the kendo stick getting followed up by a spear from Charlotte through the barrier. This led to Lynch getting close to the belt and a hateful face-off with Lynch and Flair. Charlotte got the better of it, and set up Lynch on a table on the outside, slapping the hell out of her before front flipping through her and the table. Just when Charlotte had it locked, Asuka ran up the ladder to put up a fight. Becky Lynch came back in, and set up right next to Asuka and Charlotte ultimately fighting Flair who went over on Asuka. Ronda Rousey then got involved unexpectedly, and threw Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch off the ladder. Asuka then had the belt to herself, climbing the ladder and winning the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship! This match including the ending was just awesome!!! It saved the show. Congrats Asuka, whatever is coming next will be fantastic!
Elias vs. Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush (Ladder Match w/ Guitar)
As always, while everyone was excited to “Walk With Elias” we did not get to as he was interrupted. This is expected by now, but hearing Lio Rush doesn’t do the crowd any favors. He gets a lot of heat though, and anyone working with Elias will get a reaction. There was some decent action, and Lio Rush showed how impressive he is as well. The physicality that these two powerhouses bring was on point, and it was a shame that this was on the pre-show. Elias essentially fighting two guys at once, caused him to get over even more. Elias is so hot with everyone right now, it will be great to see what will come next. Even with Lio Rush almost getting to the guitar ahead of Elias, “The Drifter” gets it! Elias Wins, but gets completely destroyed by Lashley and Rush following the match. The highlight was that this was short and sweet and although this match wasn’t Ugly, it wasn’t Good either.
Natalya vs. Ruby Riott (Tables Match)
This feud is rough, and has attributed quite a bit to the low ratings that Raw has seen lately. Ruby Riott and The Riott Squad is money, but Natalya really brings it down a notch. Liv Morgan out of nowhere took a major fall through a table, most likely breaking her ribs. It was a nasty bump. Natalya is so corny, even when she cussed and slapped Riott, it wasn’t believable. Natalya beat on Riott nearly winning the match but took out Sarah Logan instead. Riott continued to mock Jim Neidhart’s death making no sense. Natalya after a few awkward miscues gets Riott into a “sharpshooter’, however Riott wiggled the Jim Neidhart table onto Natalya’s head breaking the hold.
Natalya later hit a hard Electric Chair but moved the table first so that it couldn’t be used. Natalya pulled out a Ruby Riott table, and her father’s jacket and set it up in the ring which took forever. Ruby Riott countered but Natalya took back control. Natalya climbed the ropes but waited too long again. Riott kicked her in the face, climbed to the top, went for a hurricanrana but then got power-bombed by Nattie through the table. Natalya Wins! This really was a waste of time, but not taking anything away from Ruby Riott, she could only do so much here.
Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio (Chairs Match)
Rey Mysterio beat the living hell out of Orton throughout the whole beginning, beating him senseless until missing a huge spot landing onto a chair. Orton of course came back with a vengeance. Orton took his time picking Mysterio apart. The pace was very slow as Orton likes to play that role. However it doesn’t suit Rey Mysterio well in these type of matches. This was borderline boring. Rey Mysterio came back hitting a “619” only to be cut off again by Orton. Orton setup Rey Mysterio for an RKO onto a row of chairs, however Mysterio countered into a roll-up pin for the victory. With the level of talent, this certainly could and should have been a lot better. This really wasn’t Good and didn’t hold its weight on such a big night.
Raw Women’s Championship – Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Nia Jax
The opening lockup into the air by Jax was nice, but was ruined with a series of horrendous strikes back and forth. Rousey hit a fantastic roll up into an arm bar, but was quickly overpowered into a sit down powerbomb by Nia Jax. There was a decent series of counters but Nia smashed Rousey into the barricade stopping all momentum. Rousey came back flying strikes but again was ruined by some slow moving awkward offense by Jax.
Jax went over the top by going for a Samoan Drop from the second buckle however was countered by a predictable powerbomb by Rousey. Tamina had very little to do in this match but interfered briefly delaying an inevitable arm bar by Rousey for the victory. Rousey retains! Although there were some decent moments, overall this really was Bad. Miscues, awkwardness and a horrible pace made this another Bad one. Becky Lynch added a little flavor backstage attacking Nia Jax and reminding her she is “the man.”
Intercontinental Championship – Seth Rollins (c) vs. Dean Ambrose
It is very surprising that this isn’t an actual TLC stipulated match. Aside from that, there has been a lot of buildup between these two talents. It had some Good moments, mostly by Rollins. Rollins was getting beat on by Ambrose quite a bit, as Ambrose worked the knee. The psychology was really strange in this match. Rollins’ knee was hurt one minute then completely unfazed a second later.
The two top guys worked until exhaustion, however sometimes, it was just too slow. The high-spots were huge though, but we have seen them all before. Nothing special here, which is beyond logic. The Ambrose Shield Spot was just purely horrendous but Rollins followed it up with a sick kick to the face. Ambrose retaliated by hitting a deep Dirty Deeds for the non-climatic victory. We have a new Intercontinental Champion but this match was one of the biggest disappointments in recent history, and that is saying something.
WWE Mixed Match Challenge Final – R-Truth & Carmella vs. Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox
Legitimately, the fact that this wasn’t on the pre-show is criminal. A match nearly no fan cares about, with lower echelon talent was perfect bait for the pre-show slot. Carmella and R-Truth got the crowd going, and Mahal being a former Champion recently showed some potential for something Good, however Alicia Fox, the Singh Brothers and the fact that there is little interest, made this an Ugly Match. A few botches, a lot of miscues, and complete waste of time, this really was a horrible match. Thankfully, Carmella locked up Fox in the Code of Silence rather quickly, R-Truth and Carmella Win!
- Good: 6
- Bad: 5
- Ugly: 1
Overall: Good (The Main Event pushed it over the edge in many ways)
Don’t forget, this show had some pretty bad moments. The Good outweighed the Bad, but it really had some very tough things to get past. The Main Event however, as expected was special. It really killed it and had it’s rightful place as the Main Event and in history. Asuka winning the Title is huge, and wherever this story is going, will be money! Please continue to follow, comment, like and share. TLC is now in the books. Vince McMahon is back tomorrow, which will make for an interesting Monday Night Raw.