With no WWE Championship match on the card, Sunday’s TLC pay-per-view more than made up for it. WWE’s first trip to Brooklyn was a memorable one that could potentially usher in a new era in the company. At the TLC pay-per-view, both Dolph Ziggler and the trio of Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns picked up huge wins in absolutely fantastic matches that showed the future might be now.
The trios match that saw The Shield face Team Hell No and Ryback preceding the evening’s main event, which saw Dolph Ziggler battle John Cena in a ladder match with Ziggler’s Money in the Bank briefcase on the line in front of a raucous crowd at Barclays Center.
The first pay-per-view main event for Ziggler starts off with both men circling and Cena hitting a shoulder tackle. Crowd with a loud “Let’s go Ziggler” chant. Cena with some basic chain wrestling to start. Now a loud “You can’t wrestle!” chant. Cena with some more basic wrestling, apparently adding to his repertoire. He hits a monkey flip and then throws Ziggler out of the ring to a chorus of boos.
Cena goes to follow up but Ziggler jams a chair into his gut. Another “Let’s go Ziggler!” chant as he sets a chair up between the second and third turnbuckle. Cena drops Ziggler and then goes to the outside and under the ring, bringing a ladder into the play. As he tries to throw it into the ring, Ziggler dropkicks it into him. Ziggler tries to set it up, but Cena jumps back into the ring, grabs it and hits Ziggler in the face with it. Cena’s cut around the eye. Cena grabs the steps and drills Ziggler with them.
Back in the ring, Cena sets up a table but Ziggler snaps Cena’s neck on the top rope. Now we get some “boo/yay” punches and strikes until Ziggler jumps on Cena’s back with the sleeper. Cena down to a knee, but then he starts climbing the ladder with Ziggler on him like a backpack. They’re at the top and Cena is fading and goes out and falls with both men crashing through the nearby table. Ziggler’s leg is cut.
Ziggler is the first man up and starts climbing but Cena cuts him off, collapses the ladder and presses it above his head with Ziggler on top, but Ziggler slides off before Cena can dump them over the rope. Cena gets rolling. Shoulder tackles, strikes and the like. But before he can hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle, Ziggler jumps up and hits the Fameasser. Ziggler goes to the outside but can’t find what he’s looking for. He comes back into the ring and Cena applies the STF. Ziggler gets to the ropes and taps, but Cena obviously doesn’t have to break the hold. Ziggler is out.
Cena grabs the ladder but can’t complete it as Ziggler rises, gets out of the Attitude Adjustment and hits the Zig Zag. Ziggler again goes outside and grabs a table. He sets it up in the corner but can’t capitalize as Cena drops him and hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Ziggler, though, slips out of an AA and hits a DDT.
Now Ziggler goes up the entrance and grabs another ladder. He gets it in the ring and climbs. He gets near the top and has a hand on it, but Cena with a punch. They slug it out at the top of the ladder and Cena headbutts Ziggler off the ladder. Ziggler down and Cena climbs further, but Ziggler is able to recover in time and cut him off.
They get off the ladder and Ziggler runs Cena head-first into the ladder. Ziggler charges and Cena, of all things, pulls out a ‘rana and whips Ziggler into the table in the corner. Both men down.
Ziggler first up but Cena fires up with strikes. He puts Ziggler up on the top turnbuckle but Ziggler knocks Cena down. Ziggler rises and goes for a crossbody but Cena rolls through and puts Ziggler on his shoulders but Ziggler grabs the propped chair and hits Cena with it before he can lift for the AA.
Ziggler clears the ring of all the plunder. Cena goes for the AA and hits it and Ziggler goes out of the ring. Now here’s Vickie Guerrero and she has a chair. She’s threatening Cena with it but AJ comes out and hits Vickie with two shoulder tackles, a back suplex and then hits her with the Five Knuckle Shuffle.
Cena grabs a ladder as AJ is jumping up and down. She skips around the ring as Cena climbs only to tip the ladder over, sending Cena right into a Ziggler super kick. Crowd going bonkers. AJ skips off and Ziggler climbs the ladder, grabs the briefcase and retains it.
Ziggler celebrates up the entrance way while Cena looks on in shock.
The next WWE pay-per-view is Royal Rumble on Jan. 27.
Following a video package, Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John “Bradshaw” Layfield welcome us to tonight’s show, an eight-match affair from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Match #1 – Tables Match – Rey Mysterio (San Diego, Calif.) & Sin Cara (Mexico City) vs. Cody Rhodes (Marietta, Ga.) & Damien Sandow (Palo Alta, Calif.)
The winner of this match will become the No. 1 contender for the WWE Tag Team Championship.
Quick start here for the high-fliers, but as they have Sandow on a table, Rhodes cuts them off and Rhodes Scholars takes over. This is a little chaotic as it’s under tornado rules. Rhodes with a big kick on Sin Cara then Sandow sends Mysterio into the post.
The action spills to the outside and Rhodes and Sandow maintain their control. They use a table to run it into the steel steps with Sin Cara’s leg trapped behind it. They set up two tables outside the ring and put both Mysterio and Sin Cara on it. Before they can make their move, Mysterio cuts them off and goes to work. Mysterio sends Rhodes to the outside and hits a seated senton.
Sin Cara in the ring with Sandow. He throws Sandow to the outside and goes out with a corkscrew plancha. Mysterio and Rhodes back in the ring. Rhodes wants to hit the Alabama Slam through the table but Mysterio counters, hits a drop toe hold and hits the 619. He puts Rhodes on the table and goes to the top, but Sandow comes from out of nowhere to crotch him.
They use the table to bash Mysterio off the top rope to the floor. Sin Cara back in now and he sends Rhodes to the outside. He kicks Sandow and then goes to springboard into the ring, but as he does, Rhodes comes flying in and shoves Sin Cara as he begins his leap and Sin Cara goes crashing through one of the tables on the floor.
Winners: Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow
Match Rating: 7/10
Match #2 – WWE United States Championship – ( c ) Antonio Cesaro (Lucerne, Switzerland) vs. R-Truth (Charlotte, NC)
Cesaro in control with a modified headlock. This might be the longest headlock I’ve ever seen in a pro-wrestling match. It’s like they’re going 60 minutes and trying to kill off some time. Finally it breaks and Cesaro goes and bashes Truth’s head into each turnbuckle but Truth just no sells them all and fires up.
Truth hits the Lie Detector and then a kick that doubles Cesaro over. He follows with the scissors kick for a two count. Cesaro runs right into a jumping side kick for another two count. Cesaro with a counter and Truth has to really put on the brakes to avoid hitting the referee. Cesaro hops up and uppercuts Truth in the back of the head and follows up with the Neutralizer and that ends it.
Winner via pinfall and STILL WWE United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro
Match Rating: 6/10
And apparently it’s time for Miz TV. Great. His guests are 3MB. Both sides trade some barbs when Heath Slater makes the big announcement that they will perform live tomorrow night. Miz makes a crack and then for some reason, 3MB looks to take their frustrations out on the Spanish announce team. Slater say they speak American in this country.
They bully the Spanish team until Ricardo Rodriguez comes out. Now 3MB is about to beat up Ricardo. And now here comes Alberto Del Rio and he takes out 3 MB but the numbers game catches up and they start going to town on him. They throw Del Rio in the ring and continue pounding until Miz gets involved. He takes out Slater and Mahal and Del Rio clotheslines McIntyre out.
Slater throws down a challenge for Del Rio and Miz to find a partner to take on 3MB later tonight. They accept.
Match #3 – WWE Intercontinental Championship – ( c ) Kofi Kingston (Ghana, West Africa) vs. Wade Barrett (Preston, England)
Mule kick lands for Barrett and he goes into a pump-handle slam for two. He stretches Kingston a little bit and then with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Barrett to the second rope and he hits an elbow drop for two. Chinlock for Barrett. Kingston back to a vertical base and he hits a side Russian leg sweep.
Kingston gets going now. He hits the Boom Drop as JBL is talking about Nobel Prize winners and Kingston calls for the Trouble in Paradise but Barrett ducks it. He wants the Boss Man Slam but Kingston counters and ends up hitting the SOS for two.
Kingston goes up and lands 10 mounted punches but Barrett clobbers him with a big boot and then a big slam for two. Kingston into the corner and Barrett charges, but Kingston ducks out and hits the pendulum kick and then goes up top for the crossbody but Barrett rolls it through and Kingston barely kicks out in the nick of time.
Kingston now charges Barrett after a roll-up attempt but eats a Boss Man Slam for his troubles. Barrett calling for the Bull Hammer. He pulls Kingston up, but Kingston separates and quickly hits Trouble in Paradise and that does it.
Winner via pinfall and STILL WWE Intercontinental Champion: Kofi Kingston
Match Rating: 7/10
CM Punk is up in his own skybox and refuses to give an update on his knee. This is a basic promo on the fans, calling them names and the like. He talks about Ryback being dumb and clumsy. He says no one will take the WWE Championship away from him and nobody can. He says he is just getting started.
Match #4 – Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match – Kane (Hell, Fire & Brimstone), Daniel Bryan (Aberdeen, Wash.) & Ryback (Sin City) vs. Seth Rollins (Davenport, Iowa), Dean Ambrose (Cincinnati, Ohio) & Roman Reigns (Pensacola, Fla.)
The Shield comes in from the crowd and Ryback and Team Hell No meet them as they come over the rail. It breaks down early. Ryback and Ambrose in the ring, but Rollins and Reigns come in after taking out Hell No on the outside. They send Ryback to the outside and then dropkick a ladder onto Kane. Then they send Bryan into that ladder.
Ryback back in and he uses the ladder on Ambrose and Rollins, but Reigns comes in with a chair and drills Ryback. Kane back in and he goes to work on Reigns. Now Bryan with kicks in the corner on Reigns. Kane and Bryan combine to thrown Reigns into a ladder set up in the corner and then Bryan dropkicks Reigns into the ladder.
Rollins to the top, getting some serious air, but comes right down into an uppercut from Kane. Ambrose going to work on Bryan on the outside. In the ring, Kane smashes a ladder on Rollins, then hits the ladder with a chair until Ambrose makes the save, drilling Kane in the knee with a chair and then DDTing him onto it.
Ryback back in and he drives Rollins and Ambrose into the corner but the 2-on-1 catches up and Rollins drives a ladder into Ryback’s mid-section. Ryback, though, comes back and puts both Ambrose and Rollins in the corner on the ladder and hits an avalanche. He then grabs them both and hits a double suplex onto the ladder.
Ryback grabs them both and wants to go for Shell Shock but Reigns comes back to put a stop to that. The Shield all over Ryback now with a chair and the ladder. Reigns goes to the outside and yells at the Spanish announcers, “Get up fools! This is my table now!” They quickly vacate the area and it looks like it’s power bomb time. They load Ryback up and drive him through the announce table. But as they celebrate, Bryan comes through the ropes with a suicide dive onto all three.
They team up on Bryan, but Kane makes the save. But again, the numbers catch up and The Shield takes back over. They slam Bryan repeatedly on a chair. Now they prop a table up on the top rope and throw Bryan face-first into the side of it. Now Ambrose and Rollins go up on the table with Bryan and hit a superplex off the top. Reigns in for the cover but Kane breaks it up.
Ambrose and Rollins double team Kane and go to give him the double suplex. Kane shoves Rollins to the outside, shoves Ambrose to the mat and then hits the flying clothesline. Reigns comes in and eats a sidewalk slam but Ambrose breaks up the fall.
Ambrose sets a chair up, but Kane counters him and choke slams him through the steel chair, breaking it in the process. He covers but Reigns breaks it up. Reigns and Kane spill to the outside and Reigns spears Kane through the barricade near the timekeeper’s spot.
The Shield throws a bunch of plunder on top of Kane as the crowd chants “this is awesome!” As Rollins and Reigns admire their handiwork, Bryan has the No Lock on Ambrose in the ring. Rollins in and he gets the No Lock. Reigns breaks it up and goes toe-to-toe with Bryan and ends up in the No Lock but Ambrose makes the save right as Reigns is about to tap.
Ryback is still down with both his partners out of it. Ambrose and Rollins go to send Bryan through the chair but Bryan responds with a bunch of kicks until they curb stomp him right onto the chair. They go for the cover but Ryback makes the save and goes to work.
He presses Rollins and throws him onto Ambrose on the outside. Spinebuster for Reigns and Ryback sets a chair up in the ring, but Ambrose is on him before he can go anything. But Ambrose gets a spear for his trouble. Ryback heads back, loads up and hits the big Meathook clothesline on Ambrose. He lifts Ambrose and hits Shell Shock but both Rollins and Reigns break it up.
Ryback sends Rollins to the outside and follows up. He battles with Reigns until Ambrose drops him with a chair, but Ryback just bull rushes Reigns right into some chairs and ladders in the entrance. Ryback battling with Rollins and Reigns near the entrance. It’s a 3-on-1 out there. They are wailing away on him with chairs and a ladder. They set up a table and put Ryback on it and look up at the tallest ladder in the joint.
Rollins climbs the ladder as Bryan crawls in the ring. Ryback stirs with Rollins on the ladder and now Rollins is caught. Now Ryback crawls after him. Rollins tries to move to another ladder and Ryback pulls him off it and through a stack of tables.
Ambrose and Reigns are in the ring on Bryan. They set up a table and power bomb Bryan through it. Reigns with the cover and that does it before Ryback can make the save.
Winners via pinfall: Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins
Match Rating: 10/10
Match #5 – WWE Divas Championship – ( c ) Eve Torres (Denver, Colo.) vs. Naomi (Orlando, Fla.)
Naomi sold me on this match right off the bat when she dropped Eve with a jumping butt to the face. Eve takes a walk for a minute to regroup after that, but comes back and works a headlock. But Naomi gets up and uses her athleticism but she goes for a crossbody but Eve moves. Eve hits the neckbreaker and that does it.
Winner via pinfall and STILL WWE Divas Champion: Eve Torres
Match Rating: 5/10
Match #6 – Chairs Match for the World Heavyweight Championship – ( c ) The Big Show (Tampa, Fla.) vs. Sheamus (Dublin, Ireland)
This is a brawl right from the get-go. But Sheamus gets a chair and Show runs, but Sheamus gets him in the ring and hits him three times with the chair and hits a body slam for two. Sheamus goes to the top and hits the battering ram with the chair. He goes back to the top again with the chair but Show launches himself into Sheamus and that was a big collision.
Now Show has the chair and he just plasters Sheamus with it on the outside. And again. Crowd with some soccer chants, presumably for Sheamus. Not sure if there’s a Tampa FC. Show dominating now. He hits a big avalanche that crumples Sheamus.
Sheamus, though, gets going, only to run right into a choke slam for two. Show goes under the ring and gets a gaggle of chairs and starts tossing them into the ring. Sheamus gets his hand on one as Show re-enters the ring but Show puts an end to that. He hits Sheamus with the chair and then puts it on him and hits a Vader Bomb, but Sheamus kicks out at two.
Show wants a choke slam through two chairs but Sheamus slips out, loads Show up and hits White Noise through the chairs. He covers, but Show kicks out at the last second. Sheamus is getting really, really angry now. He’s shaking. He calls for the Brogue Kick but Show moves and Sheamus gets hung up on the top rope. Show reels back and hits the KO punch. He covers, sort of nonchalantly, and Sheamus kicks out at two.
Now Show goes back under the ring and grabs the biggest steel chair I’ve ever seen. Show grabs it and plasters Sheamus on the back with it. He covers and that’s it.
Winner via pinfall and STILL World Heavyweight Champion: The Big Show
Match Rating: 6/10
Match #7 – Heath Slater (Pineville, W.Va.), Drew McIntyre (Ayr, Scotland) & Jinder Mahal (Pubjab, India) vs. Alberto Del Rio (San Luis Potosi, Mexico), The Miz (Cleveland, Ohio) & The Brooklyn Brawler (Brooklyn, NY)
Del Rio starts but Brawler gets in and goes to work, but 3MB overtakes him. He gets the tag to Miz, who comes in. Del Rio in and he hits a backstabber and then goes through the ropes onto McIntyre. Miz hits the Skull-Crushing Finale on Mahal and then tags in the Brawler, who applies the Brooklyn Crab and Mahal taps.
Winners via submission: Brooklyn Brawler, The Miz & Alberto Del Rio
Match Rating: 4/10
Match #8 – Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Dolph Ziggler (Hollywood, Fla.) vs. John Cena (West Newbury, Mass.)
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Match Rating: 10/10
Event Rating: 10/10