TLC, WWE’s annual pay-per-view event, is supposed to stand for Tables, Ladders, and Chairs. Unfortunately, this year’s edition was Trite and Largely Crummy. Particularly disappointing was the fact that both of the show’s titular TLC matches failed to deliver the goods.
The main event saw Charlotte Flair and RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch challenge the Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship. This one was an interesting dynamic, since Charlotte and Becky are so much bigger physically than the champions. That was apparently early, with one of the first moves seeing Becky throw Asuka through a pyramid of chairs that were atop a table sitting at ringside. Soon thereafter, she and Charlotte threw Sane around easily, tossing from one announce table to another. Sane and Asuka fought back with chairs, but then were bullied some more, being bashed against the ring posts and ringside barriers. A fun sequence saw the teams throwing chairs at one another, with the champs on the floor and the challengers in the ring. Then, Sane went under the ring and when she was dragged out from under it, she blasted a fire extinguisher in the challengers’ faces. Then Asuka pulled out a bullrope and started whipping Becky and Charlotte. The rope would come into play later when the Warriors tied Becky to a ladder after they’d slammed her onto it. Even with a 2-on-1 advantage, the Warriors couldn’t get the win, as Charlotte foiled their ladder-scaling by bashing them both with a Singapore Cane, and then tried to untie Lynch – she was able to loosen the ropes before getting stopped. Which was good for Becky, because she was able to escape the ladder and avoid an Insane Elbow from the announce table. With Sane in pain after that, the challenges continued the pummelling, hitting the champs with stereo attacks in the ring. Becky hit Askua with a legdrop off the second turnbuckle through a table on the floor. They tried to put Sane through a table with a double suplex, but she reversed it into a double DDT. Sane then put both challengers on a table, and flew off the apron. But this was a mess of a move, as Charlotte moved, and it wasn’t clear if Lynch was supposed to or not, but either way the table didn’t break. At this point, the wheels kind of fell off the match. Charlotte hit Sane with a Spear on the floor, and powerbombed her through a table, which appeared to daze Sane. Asuka then came up from behind Charlotte and hit her with a German suplex, bouncing Charlotte’s head off the floor. The champs tried again for the belts, but got hit with chairs (these shots looked awful). Charlotte got powerbombed off the top through a table on the floor. Becky scaled the ladder. But Askua had tied the bullrope to one of its legs, so was able to pull it down from outside the ring. Asuka then set up the ladder again, and scrambled up to grab the belts. This one was full of spots, but there wasn’t really any smooth flow to the match. In some cases, it just seemed awkward – possibly due to injury, or just bad communication. Whatever the cause, this one has to be seen as a bit of a disappointment, and an unfortunate way to end a show that started off good, peaked early, and got worse and worse as the night went on.
TLC Full Results:
During the pre-show, they had an interview with Lana and Bobby Lashley. This was pretty funny, thanks to Lana mocking Charly Caruso – basically calling her a discount Renee Young – and threatening to snatch her bald, after Charly questioned her as to what would happen if Rusev defeated Lashley.
After a highlight reel of the attack by AoP on Kevin Owens at the behest of Seth Rollins, the Revival came to the panel’s table and trash-talked Booker T and Harlem Heat.
Pre-Show Match 1: Andrade (w/ Zelina Vega) vs. Humberto Carrillo
Early on, Andrade worked on Carrillo’s arm, and kept him grounded with kicks and stomps. Carrillo fired up and hit a nice enziguri to drop Andrade, and then took over with some high-flying moves, including a running kick in the corner that busted open Andrade’s face. A missile dropick nearly got Carrillo the win, but Andrade kicked out. Andrade got the better of a struggle on the top turnbuckle, and he hit a super stomp on Carrillo who was hanging on the ringpost on the outside of the ring – that looked pretty cool. Playing off the finish of their last match, Carrillo nearly got a rollup win after Andrade avoided hitting Zelina, but Andrade reversed for a near fall. They went back to the top, and Carrillo hit an inverted hurancarana off the top. He followed that up with a beautiful moonsault to get the win. After the match, Andrade berated Zelina, blaming her for the loss. This was a really good opener.
Winner: Andrade Match Rating:8/10
They recapped the feud between Bray Wyatt and The Miz. Then they played a brief statement from Aleister Black.
The opening video was a Bray Wyatt Funhouse segment, interspersed with clips of the buildups to tonight’s matches.
Match 1: The New Day vs. The Revival – Ladder match for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship
The New Day started off quickly, delivering the first taste of the ladders to the Revival. Big E tossed Dawson over the announce table, but eventually, the Revival were able to brawl their way into control. A cool spot saw Kofi try for a sliding dropkick that would put the ladder into the Revival, but they caught him on the apron and smashed his back repeatedly with the ladder. Later, Kofi sacrificed himself to hit a high cross body off the top to the floor, landing on the ladder that the Revival were holding, but taking them down in the process. Big E tried for an apron splash on the ladder, but Wilder moved and Big E crashed hard. Then Kofi got caught in a flying press, and he ate the steel as well. The Revival then used a strategically-placed ladder to squish Big E’s “little E”. Kofi hit a great move, where he leaped over the top rope and, on the way down, teeter-tottered a ladder that was leaning on the middle rope into the faces of the Revival. Kofi was climbing up the ladder, and when the Revival pushed it over, Kofi was able to block it, then step on the top rope, and use it to springboard himself into a flying body press. Big E then took over, spearing Dawson through the ropes to the floor. Big E set up two ladders in the ring, then used it to bridge another in the corner. But he paid for it, as Dawson superplexed him from the top rope onto the bridge. Wilder then hit a top rope splash onto E breaking him through the ladder. The Revival scaled the ladders, but were stopped by Kofi, who made a flying leap from the top turnbuckle to the ladder. He fought them but got caught up and tied in the ladder. Big E came up from underneath Wilder, and hit a super Big E Driver off the top. Dawson had his hands on the ladder, but Kofi hit him in the head with the other one, which sent Dawson crashing through the bridge. Kofi untangled himself from the rungs, and retrieved the titles to retain the championship.
Winners, and still Smackdown Tag Team Champions: The New Day
Match Rating: 8/10
Backstage, King Corbin vowed that he would make Roman Reigns bend a knee to the King.
Match 2: Aleister Black vs. Buddy Murphy
Buddy came out first, and mocked Black by sitting in the corner cross-legged. This led to a face-to-face encounter when Black entered, taking the same pose. After a couple of stalemates, Black took over with some huge kicks that levelled Murphy, sending him to the outside. Black stalked him, and tried for a boot off the apron, but Murphy caught him and yanked Black off the apron and face-first into the ring steps, bloodying up Black’s face. Murphy then got cocky, taking Black’s vest into the ring to try it on. This enraged Black, who punished Murphy with strikes for the transgression, and he nearly got the fall after an Asai moonsault. They fought on the apron, with Black getting the better of it, sending Murphy to the floor and then following it up with a short moonsault off the second turnbuckle. Back in the ring, Black continued his striking offense. But when trying a move off the tope, he got caught and, positioned helplessly, he ate a number of superkicks and a powerbomb. The ending saw a couple of exchanges of super-speed strikes, with the last one ending with the Black Mass that put Murphy down for good. This was a really good match – no gimmicks, just a hard smash-mouth fight.
Winner: Aleister Black
Match Rating: 9/10
Backstage Rusev (wearing a boss Andre the Giant t-shirt) said that he would like Lana to marry Lashley, so that he wouldn’t have to pay alimony anymore. He said that even though he’s single, he’s not alone, because he’s there with everyone celebrating Rusev Day. As much as people hate this feud, it’s gotten Rusev more popular than ever before.
They ran a video running down the AoP’s attack on Kevin Owens, orchestrated by Seth Rollins.
The Viking Raiders came out and challenged any team to step up for a title match. This brought out the O.C.
Match 3: The Viking Raiders (c) vs. The O.C. – for the RAW Tag Team Championships
The Viking Raiders wore purple makeup for this one, paying tribute to the Minnesota Vikings (the show took place in Minnesota). This match was basically a commercial for KFC, with a foursome of “contest winners” (obvious plants) sitting ringside at a KFC-themed table and gorging on free food. The commentators were apparently competing as to who could make the most KFC references – Jerry Lawler won. Sadly, nobody made a “Thighs, Legs, and Coleslaw” crack. The O.C. were in control, isolating Erik. Ivar eventually got tagged in,and things picked up a little. They hit the Viking Experience on Anderson, but Gallows barely made the save on the pinfall attempt. The fight spilled to the floor, and the teams brawled so long that both teams got counted out. This finally woke up the crowd, who had been sitting on their hands for the entire match, but only for them to boo the decision. They started a “KFC” chant so I guess the blatant whoring worked. The Raiders powerbombed Anderson through the KFC table after the match, but the fans still didn’t care. This was lame, and really should have been a TV match. Pure filler, just like those mysterious unknown pieces that come in a KFC bucket. But not nearly as tasty.
Winners: None. Double count-out. Viking Raiders are still RAW Tag Team Champions
Match Rating: 11 herbs and spices
Backstage, the Miz said that he had moved his entire family to an undisclosed location as they feared for their safety after Bray Wyatt entered their home. He said that Wyatt may actually be more fearsome and twisted than the Fiend. But he was still going to win.
Match 4: King Corbin vs. Roman Reigns – TLC match
This was simply a no-DQ match, as the match could only be won by pinfall or submission – not sure why they needed to call it a TLC match, which suggests something that someone has to retrieve. Corbin came out with his security team carrying him to the ring on the throne. As Reigns made his entrance, Corbin sent the team to attack Reigns, and they did, one at a time like in a bad 80s kung fu movie, and they got put down. Corbin then ran down and he and Reigns fought through the crowd. In the ring, Corbin hit a huge Deep Six, but Roman kicked out. Roman took it to the floor once again, where they exchanged the advantage. Corbin teased using a table, which the crowd had been clamouring for, but in a good heel move, he dismissed their wishes. He did hit Reigns with a ladder a few times, though. The pace sped up with the two exchanging blows, with Corbin hitting a hard chokeslam backbreaker. He mocked Reign’s war cry and went for a Spear, but Reigns woke up and hit him with a Superman Punch for a near fall. As Roman set up a table, Corbin rolled outside and pulled a can of dog food from under the ring, which he clocked Roman with, and he followed that up by chokeslamming Roman through the table that he’d just set up. Reigns was dazed by the can, so Corbin took this time to clear off the announcers’ tables. Corbin brought Reigns out to the announce table to end things, but Reigns powered up and put Corbin through one with a Samoan Drop. Reigns circled the ring for a huge Spear to end things, but as he ran in to do it, Dolph Ziggler appeared out of nowhere and Superkicked him. He and Corbin then brought out handcuffs and more dog food cans to humiliate Reigns, but he fought back and dropped them both. He then pulled out a Singapore Cane and bashed both of them. Corbin’s security team ran down – again, one at a time – and they got clocked as well. The Revival came down to join the party and got the same treatment. Reigns then hit a huge flying leap on all of them from the ring. He pulled Corbin back into the ring for a Spear – and holy cow! As he sent for the Spear, he got hit in the face with a chair thrown by Ziggler who was just off camera – that looked awesome. Corbin’s Court then punished Reigns. The Revival put him down with a Shatter Machine. Then Corbin hit End of Days simply as a formality before pinning a downed Reigns. The Ziggler spots looked great, and this was otherwise a decent match. Given the two competitors involved, it’s unlikely anyone expected anything too extreme or spectacular – and they didn’t get it.
Winner: King Corbin
Match Rating: 7/10
Match 5: The Miz vs. Bray Wyatt
Wyatt came out in his Funhouse persona, wearing a sweater and his hair up, with a huge smile and waving to the crowd, even taking selfies with fans at ringside. Miz just glared. At the bell, Miz immediately punched him and stomped him in the corner, while Wyatt begged him off. Wyatt was acting meek and mild, while Miz was just tearing into him. We saw a flash of temper on Wyatt, when he caught Miz in the corner and tried for Sister Abigail, but Miz blocked it. Miz continued to beat on Wyatt, but Wyatt – who has apparently trained himself to not feel pain – was laughing at the pain and daring Miz to bring on even more. Miz wrenched Wyatt’s arm, and in response to Wyatt’s goading him, pulled it all the way back. Wyatt laughed, and simply slammed his shoulder into the ringside barrier repeatedly as if trying to realign a separated shoulder. Wyatt snapped again, and his face revealed a darkness as he hit Miz with Sister Abigail on the floor. Miz ran into the ring to beat the count, but then got caught with another Sister Abigail and got pinned. After the match, Wyatt looked as if he was remorseful about the punishment he gave Miz. The Fiend appeared on the Titan Tron, and Wyatt looked at him and said “OK, I’ll do it.” He then went under the ring and pulled out a giant sledgehammer. He dragged it over to where Miz was laying unconscious. The Fiend’s music started, and Bray yelled “He’s here!” Then, out of nowhere, a crimson-hooded Daniel Bryan ran in and nailed Wyatt with a flying knee. He dropped the hood to reveal his new buzzcut hairdo and clean-shaven face, looking like the American Dragon of old. He assaulted Wyatt with a series of kicks and stomps, laying out Wyatt. He grabbed the sledgehammer to take Wyatt out for good, but then the lights went out, and when they turned back on, Wyatt was gone. Bryan led the crowd in “Yes!” chants to celebrate his return. The match itself was fun, but it was the post-match angle that really delivered.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
Match Rating: 7/10
Match 6: Rusev vs. Bobby Lashley (w/ Lana) – Tables match
This power battle started off going to the floor early. There, Rusev had Lashley up and was close to throwing him through a table, but Lashley was able to flip the table over from a prone position to thwart the attempt. Later, Lashley slammed Rusev’s face against the ring steps, and tried to throw a table through Lashely, splitting it in half around the ringpost when Rusev moved. Back in the ring, a table was propped up in the corner, but before Rusev could use it, Lashley hit a huge twisting backslam to slow down his momentum. A table was set up on the floor, and another in the ring. Rusev avoided a powerbomb attempt off the top. Then Lashley avoided being shoved off the apron through one, by leaping over the table on the floor. Rusev went to the entrance ramp and brought a section of the guardrail to ringside which he used to smash Lashley. He bridged it against the apron, but he was the one to go through it, courtesy of Lashley. Lashley then found another Singapore Cane and whacked Rusev repeatedly with it, both outside and inside the ring. But Rusev Hulked up and he took Lashley to Singapore. Lana got involved, jumping on Rusev’s back and clawing his eyes. A blinded Rusev didn’t see Lashley run at him with a Spear. The Spear didn’t put Rusev through the table, but an overhead suplex did.
Winner: Bobby Lashley
Match Rating: 6/10
Backstage, the Street Profits were commenting on the Lashely-Lana situation, but this was broken up by a backstage brawl between Roman and Corbin and the King’s Court. The Profits joined in the fray.
Match 7: Kabuki Warriors (c) vs. Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch – TLC match for the Women’s Tag Team Championship
Winners, and still Women’s Tag Team Champions: The Kabuki Warriors
Match Rating: 6/10
Overall Show Rating: 7/10
Before the ring announcement, the Reigns and Corbin brawl, followed by the O.C. and Street Profits and various others spilled back into the arena. Most fought in the crowd, while Reigns and Corbin battled it out in the lower bowl of seats. Reigns hit a big Spear on Corbin, sending them both flying through the air onto the rest of the brawlers, and the show ended with that big spot.
- Countdown to TLC
Bob Kapur wants to wish all SLAM! Wrestling readers the best over the holidays. E-mail him some presents at email@example.com.