World Wrestling Entertainment Proudly Presents...
WWE TLC 2012
Welcome, cats and kittens to yet another installment of the reviews that steal the show AND sell it on the black market, Cewsh Reviews! We have a special treat for you tonight, as we return to the industry leader in wrestling entertainment for their 2012 close out spectacular, WWE Tables, Ladders and Chairs 2012. The December pay per view has always had a peculiar place in the WWE hierarchy, as it not only ends the calender year, but is the proverbial last stop before we begin WWE's premier attraction, the Road to Wrestlemania. Since new things are about to begin, TLC is about shuffling the necessary pieces into position for the big pushes to come, and about blowing off 2012 feuds that won't be continuing on into 2013. Of course, it's also about seeing people climb ladders, get hit with chairs and fall through tables, sometimes in that exact order. So with a show that is surprisingly stocked with meaningful matches, and on a night where multiple young stars get a chance to truly make a name for themselves, (more on that later,) we have ourselves what may be the most interesting show since Extreme Rules. But with the scourge of TNA's Bound For Glory fresh in the memory, the question must be asked. Can WWE actually capitalize on this opportunity, or will they blow it all to hell in a blaze of whatever the opposite of glory is? As always, there's only one way to find out.
So without any further ado, let's do a motherfucking review!
Segment 1 - OPENING VIDEO FEVER!
Cewsh: Actually, this opening video was completely unremarkable. Let's try this again.
Segment 1 - WITTY CONVERSATIONAL INTRO!
MichaelC: So, you know, last time I read one of these, I nearly died.
MichaelC: Yes. The night I read the WWA Inception 2001 review, there was a small incident in my block of flats. Our next door neighbor set his flat on fire, then announced to armed police he had a bomb. (This IS small scale by Glasgow standards, you know.) I was inches away from being burned to a crisp, and yet the World Wrestling All-Stars review was a far bigger danger to my life. Thankfully, I think that is behind us now. It’s not like those THINGS I cannot mention will show up in the TLC review.
Cewsh: Well we don't want you to hurt yourself or others. Luckily, there's no real reason why some dudes dressed in banana outfits would even be in a review about WWE TLC 2012, so...
"We're The Fruits In Suits/And We Just Don't Give Two Hoots."
Cewsh: Oh, god dammit. WHO LET THAT ONE BY THE EDITORS?
MichaelC: *screams, head explodes*
Cewsh: Easy buddy, easy. It's just a couple of guys who may or may not be Fruits in Suits. It's nothing worry about and...err...you seem to have become some kind of mechanical death robot. Are you feeling okay?
DalekC: I AM!
Cewsh: Um, alright. I only ask because the last time I invited a mechanical death robot to do a review, it was kind of a gigantic disaster and he tried to kill Arn Anderson.
DalekC: He should be EXTERMINATED! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!
Cewsh: Alright that's it. Where's my sonic screwdriver?
MichaelC: Wow, sorry, had something in my throat there.
Cewsh: I feel like other bloggers almost never get attacked by mechanical death robots. I'm almost positive of this. Sigh. Let's get on with the show.
Segment 2 - Number One Contendership For The WWE Tag Team Championships - The Mysterious Kings vs. Team Rhodes Scholars
Cewsh: For a long time I've been an advocate for WWE ignoring the tag division seeing as a) they had no real tag team talent to speak of and b)resuscitating a division from scratch is a costly and time consuming endeavor with no certainty of success. But I've been absolutely proven wrong, because one of the best things to happen in WWE in the past year has been a clear and intentional focus on tag team wrestling. One of the big reasons for the success of the whole thing has been the unlikely discovery of several surprisingly great tag teams all at the same time, whether it be the Primetime Players suddenly realizing that they could be good, Kane and Daniel Bryan discovering off the charts chemistry with each other, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara both giving the other exactly what they need to succeed or Rhodes Scholars becoming the heel tag team that any good tag division needs to prosper.
Despite the fact that these teams have met repeatedly now, it's a big credit to these four, and the division, that this match still feels so awesome and fresh. All four of them play off of each other fantastically well, and Mysterio especially deserves to be commended for how much he is highlighting Sin Cara as the star of their team. Here they put on a fun show with tables all over the place, and Sin Cara shows once again that he has no qualms whatsoever about taking whatever crazy bump the company asks of him. This time he goes for a springboard into the ring, and gets shoved hard in the chest by Rhodes and...well...
Oh Table, We Have To Stop Meeting Like This.
A great end to a good match by some great teams in a good division. There's nothing about this that doesn't make me happy, and if they can make a tag team believer out of me, then they're on to something really special here.
73 out of 100
MichaelC: I think I've mentioned how much I like the ring work of these four men in recent Cewsh Reviews. Certainly it is good to see Cody Rhodes back in this match, as he had been rested for a month, justly so, after a concussion. And the crowd are really into the Rhodes Scholars. Every OTT reaction, cartwheel or flip gets a big cheer. Even the reactions to their (vastly improving) mic work swiftly disappears once they get in the ring. They just seem too damn fun to be truly hated, like Edge and Christian once were.
Incidentally, I love Sandow on the mic. He’s brilliant.
When you get four good wrestlers, who mesh together well, you tend to have a good match. The tables stipulation tends to hurt such matches however, just look at my comments concerning Wade Barrett v Randy Orton from last year's event. That said, in the tag team environment, some of the issues prevalent in singles matches (why not just put him through the table right then and there?) are answered (by him having a tag partner who gets in your way). Which is a long way of saying, for tables matches, this was actually quite good.
I also like how the match finish is set up several minutes before hand, with the tables on the outside, but left there like Chekhov's Gun ready to fire. It felt more a natural case of this than the infamous moment where Sabu took out a table in the 2007 Royal Rumble only to be tossed through it. And what do you know? Sin Cara goes for a springboard kick, only to be shoved to the floor through both tables sitting at ringside. Ouch.
Team Rhodes Scholars Over The Mysterious King Following Cody Rhodes Putting Sin Cara Through A Table.
Segment 3 - WWE United States Championship - Antonio Cesaro (c) vs. R-Truth
Cewsh: Antonio Cesaro is currently embroiled in what I like to call, "Prestigeing". That's the part in the push of a new hot star where they have to beat a steady stream of people slightly higher up on the card than them until the fans buy them as being on the same level as the top guys. For some guys, like Brock Lesnar, this goes really quickly, and you go from Al Snow to the Undertaker in about 5 seconds. For Antonio Cesaro, this means that he's slumming it against R-Truth because Truth is expendable and still has some shred of momentum and credibility to his name after briefly main eventing last year and holding the tag titles recently. I'm mentioning this because there's no way that anyone saw "Cesaro vs. R-Truth" on this card listing and thought, "Oh shit, I have to have that show inside of me right this second." A lot of times wrestling companies have to give you things you have no interest in now, so that they can slowly build to things that will blow your mind later. It's an important part of wrestling booking, and often results in BORING FUCKING BOREFESTS like this one.
Basically, Truth does his best to beat up Cesaro, and then fails. Since you didn't come for this match, I won't waste both of our time. I'll just yell "NIIIIIIIIPOLAAAAAAAAS", remind you that Antonio Cesaro is the best thing going.
70 out of 100
MichaelC: Does ANYONE believe R-Truth had a chance here? Not even Little Jimmy did. The only thing that stopped this being a complete carbon copy of the Regal/Hardcore Holly feud, (as mentioned in the Survivor Series review,) is that we have a complete lack of Raven interfering.
Cesaro continues to look good, and he is getting more over with crowds, which is nice. His European uppercut is a thing of beauty, and the Neutraliser can look truly impressive when hit on the right person (such as when he hit on The Great Khali on RAW a few weeks ago).
Antonio Cesaro Over R-Truth Following The Neutralizer.
Segment 4 - QUIZ TIME!
Cewsh: Who is the most unlikely member of the roster to turn face in a random throwaway segment? Give up? Let's go to MichaelC for your answer.
MichaelC: Miz TV with 3MB is here. This was becoming best known for getting Drew McIntyre some PPV time, and Slater’s dig towards the Rolling Stones, (who I hate,) when suddenly the three men decide to kick off with the Spanish announcement guys. “In this country we speak American!” Ah, good old comedy racism. Ricardo comes out and gets roughed up, before, like a speeding bullet, out rushes Alberto Del Rio to take out the three men rock band. Kicks here, suplexes there, a clean house there, and suddenly, say hello to fan favorite Alberto Del Rio, who is mega over. Now that’s HOW to revitalize a career!
I like how they had the turn by showing that Del Rio actually cares for Ricardo as much as the crowds do. That was smart.
This whole set up creates 3MB vs The Miz, Alberto Del Rio and Not Zack Ryder later on in the night.
The Miz, incidentally, seems smugger now as a face than he ever was as a heel.
Segment 5 - Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match - The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) vs. Ryback, Kane and Daniel Bryan
Cewsh: The thing I am about to tell you completely conflicts with my very nature. The combination of these words together doesn't even want to escape my fingers, but in the interest of journalistic integrity, I have to be honest with you. Seth Rollins was in this match and IT WAS FUCKING AMAZING.
Alright, let's rewind. When we last left the WWE, things were in turmoil as a mysterious group of NXT rookies debuted and shockingly cost John Cena the WWE title. In the weeks to follow, they attacked the top babyfaces in WWE with no clear agenda, while declaring themselves revolutionaries and the bringers of justice to the wrestling world. In a very short time, they made themselves some very powerful enemies. So here these 3 wet behind the ears rookies find themselves squaring off against two former World champions, and the biggest powerhouse in wrestling. Those would be long odds for anyone not named John, but the magic, the MAGIC, of this match is that by the time we get to the conclusion, the rookies make this a more than fair fight, simply through teamwork.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. We get started on our epic adventure by having the babyfaces crash the ring and start tearing shit up, and the tempo really never lets up for a solid 20 minutes after that. The entire situation degenerates into a wild brawl almost immediately, with the faces swinging for the fences and the heels getting some exercise as human pinballs. But the match really steps up it's game when the Shield temporarily knocks Kane out and they're able to dog pile Ryback and Bryan. Bryan fights back as the plucky little guy, and Ryback absolutely destroys the Shield in some of the most satisfying ways imaginable, but there always seems to be one member of Sheild ready to pounce whenever the others are knocked down, so the good guys never get any traction in putting them away, even when Ryback hurts Dean Ambrose so badly that Ambrose goes into full on epileptic shock.
Do You Know How Easy It Would Have Been To Photoshop This Into Some Kind Of Sex Joke? SO EASY.
No matter what the good guys do to throw the Shield around like rag dolls, the Shield just keeps coming again and again, and one by one, they start to pick off individual members of the team. First, they make this a permanent handicap match, as Roman Reigns gives Kane the mother of all spears through the barricade.
Then they barricade Kane underneath the broken pieces of the barricade and whatever else they can find around the ring, effectively removing him from the match altogether and making Roman Reigns look like a monster. Then Reigns steals my heart by walking over to the Spanish Announce table and informing them that, "THIS IS MY TABLE!" before promptly powerbombing Ryback through it. This leaves the lucky but overmatched Bryan all alone against the 3 of them, and while he holds his own for as long as he can, it isn't long before they stomp the oblivion out of Captain Goat Face. Especially Rollins, with probably the coolest spot he will ever perform in wrestling.
It looks like the clock is running out on our heroes, until Ryback comes rising out of the wreckage of the table like some kind of nightmarish sea monster and starts beating eleven kinds of hell out of everyone. Finally, the Shield lure him to the entryway, where all sorts of tables and ladders are set up, and manage to beat Ryback severely enough to get him on a table, so that Rollins can jump off a ladder onto him. They get him on the table, check, the get Rollins up on the ladder, check, they make sure Ryback is unconscious first, no check. Uh oh. Ryback stands up and stares down Reigns and Ambrose, who make a beeline back to the ring, as a terrified Rollins weighs his options. Rollins chooses to climb the ladder HIGHER, which is regrettable, because about 10 seconds and one Ryback shove later, that results in him looking like this:
Note The Pristine Table That He Missed Landing On Just Mocking Him With It's Unbrokenness.
Having finally dispatched on of the Shield members and made this a fair fight, the worn out and hurt murderbeast starts making his way back towards the ring as fast as he can. But while Ryback was sending Seth Rollins on an all expenses paid flight to Dudleyville, Ambrose and Reigns were not idle. And before Ryback can even get close to the ring, the remaining Shield members set up poor Daniel Bryan for a top rope powerbomb through a table, and obliterate him with it. 1...2...3. The bad guys win, as a dismayed Ryback looks on, helpless to do anything about it.
The things that makes this match so special, is that it was conceived and executed so flawlessly, that 3 complete nobodies beat 3 of the biggest stars in the company CLEAN and not only did it make the Shield look strong, it even made the guys who lost look like even bigger bad asses. This match established the Shield so solidly as a team so strong and cohesive that it felt like 3 upper midcard babyfaces weren't even enough to come close to stopping them, and that's a feat I haven't seen accomplished since Hall and Nash invaded WCW. And even more than all of THAT, this match just left me buzzing with excitement about it. There were so many wildcards coming into this match between Ryback and the rookies that there was no way to know what we'd really get when the bell rang, and they only delivered on of the greatest multi-man tag matches in WWE history. How's that for overachieving?
I can't say enough about just how great this was. They made 3 stars in one match, and reaffirmed 3 others. You don't often see something some this close to perfection. Especially when it involves Seth Rollins.
Cewsh Note: I have now reviewed three Seth Rollins matches for Cewsh Reviews. They scored a 17, a 91 and a 94. I don't even know what to make of that.
94 out of 100
MichaelC: The Shield have been wrecking havoc since they showed up at Survivor Series, Kane and Daniel Bryan have been getting on a lot more since they had to take on other people, and Ryback is the lean, mean fighting machine that wont back down. Together they create a hell of a match.
We've seen this before though, haven’t we? Young punks come in, do the numbers game, and it works for ages, then they make the cocky error and the big name settles their bacon, for lack of a better term. A fine example would be the Hell in a Cell match between Priceless and DX, when Cody and Ted didn’t put Shawn Michaels away when they had the chance, and allowed Triple H to get back into the Cell and finish them off. So here we think we know the score. Ryback is put down by the Shield, who take turns thumping Daniel Bryan. Eventually Ryback rises, and Seth Rollins attempts to do something off a ladder wind up with him crashing off the ladder via Ryback through a few tables. Ryback then staggers down to ringside.
We know this trope.
What then happens is the Shield violently and swiftly just end the match then and there before Ryback can stagger to the ring. Now that’s a new development.
The Shield took on three of the most popular and top names in the entire WWE and utterly beat them convincingly. And they did it through being a superior team. That's how to make a PPV debut.
The Shield Over Team Ryback Following A Super Powerbomb From Reigns To Bryan.
Segment 6 - WWE Intercontinental Championship - Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Wade Barrett
Cewsh: It is 2013.
I just wanted to say that to make sure everyone was on the same page about the fact that it is 2013 and Wade Barrett is not a main eventer yet. In fact, it would be fair to say that he is even less close to those grandiose heights than he was when he first stepped out as the leader of Nexus in his main show debut some 3 years ago. This is frankly baffling to me, because to this day I still feel like he is the biggest slam dunk main event talent that they have seen come their way since Brock Lesnar. And yet here we are, with him in a half assed feud with Dr. Midcard himself. This is me waving an admonishing finger at you, WWE. I'm am waving it SO HARD.
But despite my unhappiness about the match's premise and build, don't think for a second that this is a bad match that isn't worth your time. Wade has always looked his best against smaller guys who he could bully around like the jerk that he is, and Kofi Kingston in the middle of a run of what may be the most consistent quality of any wrestler in the world. His matches never seem to reach the heights of the great wrestlers of today, (with the exception of the sublime Miz match from Main Event,) but the man just keeps turning in solid performances with exciting match endings every single time he walks through the curtain. And I think that at this point in his career, that's just what Kofi Kingston is as a performer. His promos and acting are never going to raise him to the top of the industry, but hot damn can he ever work a midcard match.
I'd Be Lying If I Said This Wasn't Completely Awesome.
There's a whoooooole lot of value of that in the wrestling world. And you can see why right here in this match. These guys have the kind of match that the Intercontinental Championship is meant for, and both come out smelling like roses because of it. Now if they could just have Wade WIN SOME FUCKING WRESTLING MATCHES, I might run out of things to complain about altogether.
76 out of 100
MichaelC: This comes from the Survivor Series, when in the latest example of INSTAFUED, Wade Barrett eliminated Kofi from the Survivor match. Wade Barrett is a strange beast, he still has residual main event level heat from the Nexus angle, which just goes to put an exclamation point on how badly executed that payoff was. However, despite looking every inch a World champion waiting to happen, he seems to possess the worst luck in the WWE. Be it booking quirks, or unfortunate injuries, he gets the rug pulled right out from under him every time he grabs hold of the brass ring.
Kofi Kingston is much the same character as he was in 2009. His in ring work has improved though, but his character is very stale.
Good match, then Kofi wins out of nowhere.
Kofi Kingston Over Wade Barrett Following The Trouble In Paradise.
Segment 7 - 3MB (Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal) vs. The Miz, Alberto Del Rio and The Brooklyn Brawler
MichaelC: Not Zack Ryder is today played by the Brooklyn Brawler.
Cewsh: Well that's just mean to Zack.
MichaelC: No, me being mean is saying this is an upgrade...
Cewsh: Good point. This was ill conceived on so many levels.
For a moment, let's put aside the concept of putting the newly turned Miz together with another huge heel who turned face earlier in this very show. That's poorly thought out, but it makes sense within the narrative, so we'll just gloss that over right now.
Even Ricardo Seems To Be Having Trouble Dealing With It.
By far the two greater sins were having this match some 30 minutes after the segment that spawned it, causing the fans to no longer care; and then taking two guys you need the fans to like very badly and making them both play second fiddle to the goddamn Brooklyn Brawler of all people.
I'm Famous For Not Getting Fired For A Really Long Time!
The former issue is just bad time management, and resulted in this match coming off flat and unnecessary but the second reflects a much deeper issue with modern wrestling that requires some thought. For as long as there has been wrestling, there has been a heavy regional or national element to it. Wrestler's who were widely known to be from a certain area could be near guaranteed to get a reaction from the hometown fans because of it, thanks to a general sense of regional loyalty. But while WWE still attempts to take advantage of this sort of loyalty, it flatly does not work for anyone on this roster not named CM Punk. Maybe it's because wrestler's don't seem to represent where they're from in any clear way anymore, maybe it's because wrestling has become much more global in general, or maybe people don't really believe in babyfaces like they used to. It's hard to pinpoint it exactly, but it's there.
Whatever the reason, the fact is that trotting out the Brooklyn Brawler just because you happen to be in Brooklyn and then having him beat actual active talent on a show people paid to see is lunacy. They took a house show concept and put it on PPV for 10 minutes spread across two segments, and it not only benefited no one, but actually served to kill the crowd as well. So, you know, not the greatest thing.
40 out of 100
Team Brooklyn Over 3MB Following A Brooklyn Crab From The Brooklyn Brawler To Heath Slater.
Segment 8 - WWE Divas Championship - Eve Torres (c) vs. Naomi
Cewsh: For those of you who may be wondering how exactly it is that one of Brodus Clay's dancers has a title match on pay per view right now, there are actually two answers to that question. The simple answer and the depressing answer. The simple answer is that Naomi was part of a battle royal on the pre show that she won after Eve screwed over Kaitlyn for the umptenth time. The depressing answer is because they needed to hold the Kaitlyn blow off match for a month to progress it, and there is literally no other woman on this roster any more qualified at this point to have a title shot than one of Brodus Clay's dancers.
This match actually wasn't too bad though, as Eve worked to make the most of Naomi's athleticism, (even though every single one of Naomis moves are a variation on her jumping and doing the splits.) Eve did some great heel work in mocking Naomi for having no chance and then selling that she might really be in danger before finally putting Naomi away. I would say that she made Naomi look good in this match but I really can't, since Naomi is essentially a non wrestler and this isn't going anywhere. So it looked and felt like the transition match that it was.
It was easy on the eyes, the Eve/Kaitlyn storyline keeps on trucking, and Naomi will go back to wishing Brodus Clay would get released. Just like the rest of us.
68 out of 100
MichaelC: I like Naomi. She looks like she has buckets of potential. Eve was beginning to improve, but since this happened she was left the company. :(
Eve Torres Over Naomi Following The Heart Breaker.
Segment 9 - CM Punk Cuts A Promo Live Via Luxury Box
Cewsh: He doesn't really have much to say, but the had to get his injured ass on this show somehow, because it would be unseemly for the WWE Champion to just be off playing Skee Ball or something during a major PPV, even if he totally is the best in the world at that too.
"The Secret Is To Aim For The 50s And Then Not Miss."
Segment 10 - WWE World Heavyweight Championship - Chairs Match - The Big Show (c) vs. Sheamus
Cewsh: No matter what else happened in this match or on this show, this match will always be known as the one with the REALLY BIG FUCKING CHAIR.
Like SO BIG, You Guys.
I feel bad that it seems like every time we do these reviews, I always end up shortchanging the Sheamus match and just telling you, "Hey, it was really good, but I don't have anything to say about it." That isn't just an example of me being a hacky writer, it's actually a compliment to Sheamus, who has quickly grown into one of the most ;consistent performers in all of wrestling over the past year. No matter who he has wrestled, and no matter how miserable his character has gotten, when he gets in the ring, the guy brings 8,000% every time and only Ziggler takes as much of a beating as he does. Here against the Big Show, in their rubber match, Sheamus takes one fuck of a beating from start to finish from the Big Show, letting Show look completely unstoppable, and making himself look like the toughest bastard this side of Mick Foley. Each of their three PPV matches has followed this basic template, and they've all been great successes because of it.
Here, the twist is the end of the match, where a frustrated Big Show, having exhausted every move in his arsenal trying to keep down his young bull of an opponent, goes under the ring and brings out the biggest fucking chair I've ever seen. I mean it. This thing was clearly custom built to fit your mom, (OOOOOOHHHHH.) He waffles Sheamus with it, and retains one last time against the stubborn Irishman, in memorable fashion. And just like so many matches this year for our favorite ginger, this is a match you need to watch, because no amount of me saying, "Sheamus is the best brawler in the past decade" really does it justice.
84 out of 100
The Big Show Over Sheamus Following A GIGANTIC FUCKING CHAIR SHOT.
Segment 11 - QUIZ TIME PART II!
Cewsh: Can anybody explain to me how the AJ/John Cena storyline makes sense at all?
No Rush, I Can Wait.
No? ME EITHER. But I am going to try in the most sporting way possible.
Segment 12 - Money In The Bank Ladder Match - Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena
Cewsh: Before we get started here, let's take a moment to reflect that Dolph Ziggler is main eventing a pay per view against John Cena. Let's all just enjoy the warm sensation that comes along with that kind of validation of our long held desires. Everybody feel warm and cozy now? Good.
Now, the way that this feud has come to light is sort of the same way that everything that revolves around AJ has gone this year. Vickie Guerrero got AJ stripped of her job as General Manager due to some evidence of AJ either having, or attempting to have, an affair with John Cena. Now we're not even going to get into how outrageously goddamn stupid that whole storyline was, and instead we'll just skip to the end result, where Cena and AJ became close friends. Unfortunately for Cena, AJ began to do her AJ thing and became more than a little obsessed with him as time went on, causing Cena to come to her rescue when Dolph Ziggler ran her down for being a train wreck. Brawling occurred, and the feud escalated until Vince McMahon forced Vickie to put Dolph in a match with his Money in the Bank briefcase on the line here tonight. The situation is volatile, but represents a great opportunity for both men. For Cena, it's an opportunity to get back into the title race that he's found himself on the outside of after failing to beat CM Punk at every opportunity. And for Ziggler, this represents a chance to finally show that he belongs in the company of the Cena's of the world. Two very different wrestlers, two very different goals. Only one winner.
They kick things off by, what else, having Dolph attempt to show up Cena by being his incredible, smooth, stretchable self.
He Makes It Look Entirely Too Easy.
Not one to turn down a challenge, Cena then turns to showing Ziggler up with some solid mat work, and some more of those wacky new moves he's been busting out lately. They swap the advantage back and forth until they decide to get the hardware involved, and that's where things get real, real fun. These two go all out in trying to grab the briefcase that represents a salvation of sorts for both. Everything from Cena trying to work through a nasty gash in his eye while climbing the ladder with Ziggler choking him out, (which winds up putting them both through a table,) to Cena digging into his Juan Cena luchador moveset and pulling out a fucking hurricanrana of all things.
Oh, and then there's the whole, "I'm going to give this ladder an Attitude Adjustment while you're on top of it, just to see what happens," thing, which I'm pretty sure would have wound up maiming someone if it had actually worked.
That Does Seem Like A Pretty Fun Ride Though.
But in the end, after all the brawling and the crazy spots, both men are on the ground, all but knocked out completely and Vickie Guerrero chooses this time to make her presence known. She runs down to the ring to help Dolph, but is followed quickly by AJ, who proceeds to hit the 5 Moves of Doom on Vickie in the most adorable way possible as Cena chucks Ziggler out of the ring. Finally free to claim his prize with his trusted friend watching his back, Cena climbs the ladder rung by rung, finally making it to the top and reaching up...
...only to fall straight into a Dolph Ziggler superkick when his trusted friend shoves the ladder over. And as the crowd goes absolutely ballistic, AJ conveys a heel turn with one simple change of expression.
And just like that, the side of AJ that once so appropriately dressed up as Harley Quinn reemerged, and watched on triumphantly as Dolph Ziggler ran up the ladder and grabbed the briefcase, claiming both his prize and his spot at the top all in one go.
And The View From Up There Is Pretty Damn Good.
This was a terrific match all in all. Ziggler and Cena had terrific chemistry, and this was one of those great matches that doesn't waste time pretending that Cena is the underdog, and instead just presents him with a heel that out-thinks and confuses him. As a coming of age moment for Ziggler, this was undeniably huge, and the reaction he got from the crowd upon winning makes it clear that he's almost ready for the real thing. So there you go. One last star made in a night of star making. And this one may well shine the brightest.
90 out of 100
MichaelC: You know, the TLC match as a concept has always tickled me. If you didn’t know, in kayfabe terms it was invented by Mick Foley, then Commissioner of the WWF, in August 2000 as a means of fecking with Edge and Christian. We even got the “Tender Loving Care? That sounds good!” quip by Jerry Lawler when Foley was announcing it. Point being, the Dudley boys had their tables, hence the tables. Edge and Christian had taken to hit people with the Conchairto, a two man steel chair hit to the head. And the Hardy Boys... were very proficient at losing ladder matches. So we had an amalgamation of one match type which had never happened, one which did, and one which the experts in it never seemed to win much of. I just find that funny.
Dolph Ziggler Over John Cena Following Retrieval Of The Briefcase.
Cewsh: Well I'll be damned, what a shocker this one turned out to be. I asked the question at the start of the review of whether WWE would be able to capitalize on the potential that this show had to deliver, and I have to say that they have a hit on their hands, but in a lot of ways they hit it straight out of the park. The match with Shield made a bigger star out of everyone that participated and gave that story room to grow further, the main event made a main eventer out of Dolph Ziggler and set up a storyline that WWE can run with for months if they want to, and the rest of the show was almost entirely solid from top to bottom, (almost.) All in all it has to be said that the people in charge seem to producing the best stuff at the best time for it, and I really couldn't be more excited for wrestling's 3 month bonanza to get started. So while TNA use their big opportunity to alienate me entirely, WWE took theirs, stuck it on a fishing line, and are going to drag me all the way to April. Presumably when I get there they might cook and eat me, but you know me. I'ts the journey, not the destination. And I taste delicious with a nice lemon pepper sauce.
Cewsh's Final Score: 75.63 out of 100
MichaelC: Well, there’s only one thing left now, Cewshter?
Cewsh: Bobby Lashley’s return?
MichaelC: No! The Rumble match!
Cewsh: The Royal Lashley?
MichaelC: Lashley isn't even returning...
Oh Sure, Just Break Little Cewshie's Heart After He Dressed Up As Karate Dog For You.
MichaelC: Anyhow, its time for the annual Cewsh Reviews Royal Rumble match BET!
Cewsh: I have no recollection of any such tradition.
MichaelC: I won last year, you know. And then I made you watch an Attitude Era show that you hated.
Cewsh: I HAVE NO RECOLLECTION OF ANY SUCH TRADITION.
MichaelC: Anyhow, since last time was my three guys vs your everyone else on the planet, I think its only fair this time we swap round.
Cewsh: I HAVE NO oh I can choose any three I want? Alright, this will be a piece of cake. I'm going Cena, Ryback, and let's just say Punk to be sporting. I like to live on the wild side.
MichaelC: Well, I pick everyone else in the entire universe. I can’t wait to see Vice win the Rumble.
Cewsh: Haha, or somebody even less likely, like the Fruits in Su...
DalekC: EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!
Cewsh: OH GOD DAMMIT. I'm going to turn this into a gardening blog. I swear to god.
Well that'll do it for us this time, boys and girls. We hope you enjoyed learning about how household items could be used to bring great physical harm to children's heroes. Next week we'll put on our journalism hats and produce a hard hitting investigative documentary on WWE Royal Rumble 2013. And this year, to cover the first stop on the Road to Wrestlemania, we're bringing in the entire Cewsh Reviews family for one big blow out Rumble party. It's going to be awesome, fun, and a nightmare to format for me. But that just means that I'm passing all the enjoyment on to you! So until then, be sure to keep reading and be good to one another.
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*Gifs courtesy of The Punchsport Pagoda.