WWE ended the year with a very good pay-per-view offering, a new gimmick-laden concept show called TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs. Highlighted by a shocking WWE Championship match that saw Sheamus defeat John Cena in a Tables Match. the show marked what could be an exciting new direction for the company in 2010, with a singles division dominated by new, younger stars.
Sheamus’ power game was his edge, and he started off the match using a series of moves to ground Cena. Only a couple of minutes in, Sheamus went underneath the ring to go get a table. Too early it turned out, as Cena caught him and sent him hard into the announce table and the ringside walls. Back in the ring, the two slugged it out, with Sheamus getting the advantage. The fight then headed to the outside, and they brawled up the entrance ramp and into the stands for some time. When the action returned to the ring, Sheamus kicked Cena right in the face, which in any normal match would have likely been the end. But here, it only served to get Cena’s adrenaline pumping, and soon he had Sheamus down, hitting him with the Five Knuckle Shuffle and the Attitude Adjustment. Cena set up the table in the centre of the ring, and then set Sheamus on the top rope to attempt a super Attitude Adjustment. When Sheamus foiled that, Cena changed tactics and climbed up to the top rope for a big superplex. The two fought on the top, and in the end, Sheamus gave Cena a big shove, sending him crashing through the table, and becoming the new champion.
While the tag team title match didn’t feature new blood, the San Antonio crowd wasn’t complaining, as their hometown favourite Shawn Michaels and his D-X partner Triple H beat Chris Jericho and the Big Show to win the Unified Tag Team Championship in a TLC match.
The match started off with Show and HHH fighting outside, while Jericho and HBK paired off in the ring. Michaels had Y2J down and went for his flying elbow smash, but Jericho got his knees up. The action spilled out and soon all four men made their way to the top of the entrance stage, where Jerishow took control, thanks to the power of the Big Show. HBK and Y2J duelled with chairs, with Michaels getting the best of the exchange, but then he walked into a Big Show fist. Back in the ring, Jerishow tried to introduce the ladders into the match, but got caught. DX double-suplexed a ladder onto Jericho, and then used it to smash down Show. As they each climbed up one side of the ladder, Show got into the ring, and, being so tall, merely had to reach up and pluck them off, tossing them down to the mat. The champs then proceeded to dissect both of their opponents, including a neat sequence where they hanged HHH up in a ladder of woe, and then whipped HBK into him. DX mustered up their strength and were able to stop the champions from winning on a few attempts. Again, the power of Show proved effective, and soon Jericho had his hands on the belts. Before he could unhook them, though, HHH powerbombed him off the ladder, only to get stopped by Show. Show then broke both of the available ladders as a pre-emptive way to prevent DX from using them to win. Using Show as a substitute for a ladder, Jericho stood atop his partner’s shoulders, and tried to reach the belts. They took too long, though, and were prone for attack. DX dispatched of Show, resulting in him dropping Y2J who fell over the top rope and onto a table. HHH then held up the ladder, which HBK climbed to unhook the belts and give DX their first tag team championship win to end the show.
WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs
From the AT&T Centre in Houston, Texas
Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and Matt Striker are the commentators for the night. Some interesting exchanges throughout, with Lawler and Striker taking opposite perspectives, supporting the face and heel respectively, during many of the matches.
Match 1: Christian (c) vs Shelton Benjamin
Ladder Match for the ECW Championship
Very good match with some creative use of the ladder throughout this match. Benjamin went for a ladder early, but got dive-bombed by Christian on the outside. Christian set up the ladder, and had his hands on it, but got stopped. Nice athleticism by Benjamin, landing on his feet after a monkey flip, and jumping onto the ladder. Christian planned on throwing a ladder onto Benjamin on the floor, but a trip from the outside had him eating the steel instead. The lameness of PG TV came to the forefront here, as the referees put a halt to the action so that they could seal up Christian’s bleeding head wound. Once that was done, Benjamin climbed the ladder, and hit a swanton dive onto a standing Christian – that could have been very ugly, as it looked like Benjamin hit the floor pretty hard. Back in the ring, the two exchanged ladder-based offensive moves, such as Christian hitting aninverted DDT off the ladder, and Benjamin using the ladder as a platform to hit a huge clothesline. The big move of the match came when Christian hit a frog splash on Benjamin through a ladder bridge that spanned across the apron and the announce table, ripping the ladder in two. With Benjamin down and out, Christian easily climbed the ladder to retrieve his championship.
Winner, and still ECW Champion: Christian
Match Rating: 9/10
Match 2: Drew McIntyre vs John Morrison (c)
For the Intercontinental Championship
Along with Sheamus, McIntyre is one of the new talents that is getting some big opportunities to prove himself – refreshing to see this, so hopefully they can prove themselves worthy of the spot. McIntyre has good in-ring skills, but could benefit from a more defined character. McIntyre used his power to keep Morrison down early, but then Morrison reversed a backbreaker attempt and hit a swinging tornado DDT to get some momentum. Nice move by McIntyre, hitting Morrison with a reverse Alabama Slam, sending Morrison’s face hard to the mat. Morrison hit the Starship Pain, but McIntyre’s leg was under the rope so the pinfall count was stopped. In a bit of a confusing finish, Morrison looked like he had a wardrobe malfunction of some kind, and removed his belt. When the referee turned his back to throw the belt outside, McIntyre gouged Morrison’s eyes, then hit an elevated DDT called the Scotch Drop to win the match and the Intercontinental Championship.
Winner and new Intercontinental Champion: Drew McIntyre
Match Rating: 8/10
Backstage, Vince McMahon congratulated the new I-C champ who he hand-picked for greatness. Josh Matthews interviewed McIntyre, when Sheamus came in, saying that Drew’s not the only newcomer who will win gold tonight.
Match 3: Mickie James vs Michelle McCool (c)
For the Womens Championship
This one started off intensely, with the two of them pulling each other’s hair and rolling around on the mat and the floor. McCool, and her corner-woman Layla, seemed scared of the intensity of James, who was looking for revenge for all of their recent “piggy” comments. On commentary, Jerry Lawler insulted Florida State University – somewhere, Ron Simmons is shaking his head saying “Damn!”. After a series of huracaranas to get things going her way. James dispatched Layla who tried to interfere. When James turned around, though, she ate a McCool kick to the face, and the pinfall was only academic after that.
Winner and still Womens Champion: Michelle McCool
Match Rating: 7/10
Match 4: John Cena (c) vs Sheamus
Tables Match for the WWE Championship
Winner and new WWE Champion: Sheamus
Match 5: The Undertaker (c) vs Batista
Chairs Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
A bit of confusion early on, as the ring announcer said the match could only finish on a pinfall or submission, which generally means that the match is no disqualification and no count-out, but then Michael Cole clarified, saying that countouts and disqualifications can occur as well, and that only using chairs would be allowed. This one quickly spilled to the floor, where there were a bunch of chairs set up, waiting to be used. Batista drew first blood with the chairs, using one to punishTaker who had got caught straddling the ringside wall. Taker powered his way to recovery, and hit his patented apron legdrop. Batista blocked Old School and hit a superplex for a 2-count. Taker came back and hit his big clothesline, and the Old School, before catching Batista in Hell’s Gate – luckily for Batista, he was close enough to the ropes to force the break. In desperation, a hurting Batista pushed Taker towards the referee, intending to flatten the official in the corner, but Taker had the presence of mind to stop himself. With Taker shielding the ref’s vision, Batista hit Taker with a low blow, walloped him in the head with a chair, and got the pinfall, seemingly winning the title. As Batista headed to the back, though, he was stopped by Smackdown General Manger Theodore Long who nullified the win as a result of the illegal low blow and ordered the match to continue. Immediately after the match was restarted, Taker hit Batista with a chair, then planted the Animal Tombstone for the pin and successful title defense.
Winner and still World Heavyweight Championship: The Undertaker
Match Rating: 6/10
As he was getting ready for his match, Kofi Kingston was approached by Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. Expecting an attack on behalf of their Legacy cohort Randy Orton, Kofi instead decided to confront Orton directly. He called Randy a coward and said he was going to beat him.
Match 6: Kofi Kingston vs Randy Orton
Orton started off with a very deliberate pace, slowing down Kofi’s high-flying arsenal, grounding him with his patented headlock. Kofi broke out of it and started to hit some of his flashy moves. Nice move, as Kofi tried for a flying body press off the top onto Orton on the floor, but Orton stopped him dead with a perfectly-timed dropkick. Orton continued the punishment to the ribs with a series of stomps and kicks. Gut check time for Kofi, and he mounted the comeback, including landing a beautiful near-vertical flying body press. The pattern continued for a while, with Kofi getting cut down every time it looked like he had Orton in jeopardy. Ultimately, Kofi blocked Orton’s head punt, and tried for the Trouble in Paradise. Orton ducked it, and quickly hit the RKO for the win.
Winner: Randy Orton
Match Rating: 7/10
Backstage, Batista yelled at a fearful Theodore Long, saying that he was robbed and telling Long that he’d better make it right.
Match 7: Chris Jericho and the Big Show (c) vs Degeneration X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels)
TLC match for the Unified Tag Team Championship
Winner and new Unified Tag Team Champions: Degeneration X
Match Rating: 8/10
Overall show rating: 8.5/10
Bob Kapur would like to wish all readers the best over the holiday season and a very happy new year. Email Bob at [email protected].