The John Report: WWE TLC 2015 Review

wwe tlc 2015 recap reigns sheamus

WWE Tables, Ladders & Chairs
Boston, Massachusetts
December 13, 2015

It's the final WWE pay-per-view of the year: Tables, Ladders & Chairs in Boston. Here's a recap of the Kickoff Match that had no build and was only announced a few hours before the show. The PPV portion of the show follows.

Kickoff Match: Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks (w/Tamina & Naomi)

There's a nice dynamic surrounding this match with Banks in her hometown of Boston. She received a nice ovation, but once the match started it wasn't like the fans were against Lynch. They've had many matches together in NXT. Lynch was in control early on with some armbars followed by an armdrag to take down Banks. Interesting hair dynamic with Sasha's red hair against Lynch's orange hair. After a Naomi distraction, Banks avoided a corner charge and did a double knee attack to the ribs of Lynch while she was up against the turnbuckle.

(Commercial aired for events coming soon to WWE Network: Royal Rumble, a Stone Cold Podcast with Ric Flair and after TLC it's Austin's podcast with Shawn Michaels. They also plugged the Ride Along show featuring superstars in the car. Also Breaking Ground continues. Then there's the Edge & Christian show that will "Totally Reek of Awesomeness" although they don't offer specifics.)

Back from break, Banks was still in control as Tamina got in a cheap shot on Lynch that the ref didn't see. They did a few pinfalls each with both women kicking out at two. Lynch tripped up Banks by the turnbuckle. Lynch with clotheslines, a jumping heel kick, a legdrop and then Banks moved out of the way of another legdrop. Neckbreaker by Banks gets two. Lynch came back with an exploder suplex for two. Both women have great offensive moves. Lynch took her down by the arm and went for the Disarmer armbar. Banks fought out of it. Lynch had it locked in, the ref was distracted by Tamina, Naomi kicked Lynch and Banks capitalized with the Banks Statement submission. Lynch tapped out, which gave Banks the win after 12 minutes.

Winner by submission: Sasha Banks

Analysis: **1/2 A good match for the time given although they had better matches when they were in NXT. I think most people watching this show could have predicted that finish because they do it all the time. Babyfaces are stupid, heels are smart and the numbers game almost always wins. It's repetitive and boring. The crowd got into it by the end, so that's good. Banks could be in position for a Divas Title match at Royal Rumble, but they might wait it out. I think WWE wants to turn her face in the new year, so maybe she'll have a falling out with her team, then turn face and then go after Charlotte or Paige at WrestleMania. That makes the most sense to me.

That was the only match on the pre-show. Let's get to the PPV portion of the broadcast.

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TLC PPV Broadcast

The opening video package focused on guess who? Roman Reigns of course. It showed his WWE Title win at Survivor Series only to have Sheamus to cash in the briefcase to become WWE Champion. At least they didn't include the awful "tater tots" part of the Raw promo in the video package. There was no mention of other matches.

It looks like a sold out show in Boston. Some pyro went off by the stage. There wasn't much of a set other than some ladders, tables and chairs by the entrance. The tag titles were above the ring for the ladder match set to open the show.

The New Day made their entrance. They were cheered by some fans because they are so good it's hard not to like them. Kofi Kingston wondered why Xavier Woods didn't fix his hair for this special occasion and Woods said he can't waste a good hair day on Boston. Cheap heat running wild. Kingston said they'll cement themselves as the faces of the tag team division. Big E fell to the mat when he mentioned "The Usowwwwws" after talking about the "Lucha Booties." They mocked the Usos name as well. Kingston said they don't hide behind masks or face paint because "we are stars." Then they did a preview of the next Wheaties box cover. They did a pose in the ring and ended the fun with the "New Day rocks" chants.

Analysis: As usual, a really fun promo from three guys who are as entertaining as anybody in WWE this year. They crack me up consistently.

The announce team of Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield and Jerry Lawler welcomed us to the show. The Spanish announce team is also there. Good luck to their table in surviving the night.

Tag Team Title Ladder Match: The New Day's Big E & Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) vs. Lucha Dragons vs. The Usos

Big E cleaned house early on. Woods was on commentary for this match. Kingston brought a ladder into the ring. They did a double springboard spot with Kingston and Kalisto jumping onto the ladder at the same time. The Lucha Dragons sent both New Day guys outside the ring and then hit moonsaults onto each New Day member. The Usos were alone with the ladder, tossed it onto the other four guys and hit dives over the top to take them out. JBL did a good job of wondering why Usos didn't try to climb earlier. The Usos set up the ladder in the ring, Kingston went into the ring and they tossed Kingston out. Big E took down both Usos although the camera missed it. Kingston nailed Jimmy with a ladder outside the ring. New Day trapped Jey behind a ladder, so Woods got off commentary and played some trombone as Kingston nailed a kick and Big E gave Jimmy a belly to belly onto a ladder. Great spot. Kalisto hit a seated senton attack on Big E of the top rope. Sin Cara slammed Kingston's head into the ladder, then Sin Cara fell on top of Kingston with the ladder for a big spot. Sin Cara hit a swanton bomb over the top to take out both Usos outside the ring when they were trapped under a ladder. Kalisto climbed u up the ladder when Big E was trapped under it and E was able to shove the ladder off him. The Usos came back to take out Kalisto as well as a double superkick on Big E. Double dropkick by the Usos on a ladder that was in front of Big E in the corner.

Kingston prevented an attack by knocking Jey off the top rope. Kingston was trapped against a turnbuckle, Jey rammed a ladder into his chest and Jimmy hit a running butt splash against the ladder that was in front of Kingston. With a ladder set up in the ring, the four faces had a staredown. Double team into a slam by the Dragons. Kalisto flipped out of the corner (with Sin Cara's help) into a splash onto one of the Usos that was under a ladder. They set up a ladder as a bridge against the ropes, which led to Kalisto doing a headscissors that sent Kingston into the side of the ladder. Jey climbed up with Kalisto as they fought on top of ladders. Kalisto did the Salida Del Sol off the top of a ladder that sent Jey through the ladder! Holy shit! What a spot. The second ladder was bridged from the ropes to a vertical ladder in the ring. That's a spot we've never seen before, which shows how creative it is because ladder matches have been popular for over 20 years. Then Sin Cara hit a Swanton Bomb on Jey, who was out on the ladder. Huge crowd reaction for all that as expected. Fans chanted "this is awesome" for it too.

Kalisto climbed up on one side with Jimmy Uso going up the other side. Jimmy knocked him off, but Bi E yanked him down. Woods was talking about "stamina recharge" like a video game. He's awesome. Big E nailed a forearm smash on Jimmy, but then Jimmy dropkicked a ladder into his face. With Big E out on the floor with a ladder on top of him, Jimmy jumped off the top and splashed Big E under the ladder. Kalisto was climbing up, Cole said it was Sin Cara, Woods yelled at him that it was Kalisto and to get it right, so Cole corrected himself. With Kalisto alone in the ring, Woods got up from commentary, said it's No DQ, then he grabbed his trombone and threw it into the back of Kalisto. Kingston knocked a stunned Kalisto off the ladder. Kingston climbed up all alone with the other guys down around the ringside area and Kingston pulled down the tag titles to give The New Day to win after 18 minutes.

Winners: The New Day

Post match, Woods celebrated on the ladder with Kingston while Big E danced along with them. Replays showed the key moments of the match.

Analysis: ****1/4 That was an awesome ladder match with some really innovative spots and that big move by Kalisto stealing the show. It's not easy doing new things in ladder matches because we've seen so many of them in the last 20 years, but these six athletes found a way and came up with some really unique spots. The advantage of tag team ladder matches is they could do team moves that really differentiate it from a singles match and that's what I liked about it. They were very creative from start to finish. It was a nearly 20 minute ladder match that was never boring. As for the result, it's not surprise that New Day won and that Woods would interfere. As he said it's no DQ so there's nothing that could be done to stop it. It gives the heel champions a win that isn't clean and will lead to more matches against these teams, which is perfectly fine with me. The New Day should be the champs for the long term, so I'm glad they are still holding the gold. A four star match to open a PPV is always a strong way to start the show. Great job guys.

A commercial aired for WWE NXT Takeover London this Wednesday in England. It starts at 3pmET, 12pmPT and 8pm in England. Good thing about WWE Network is it's On Demand any time you want to see it.

There was a video package about the Ryback/Rusev match as if this is some interesting feud even though it's really not.

Rusev (w/Lana) vs. Ryback

They went out to the floor with Ryback hitting a shoulder tackle into the barricade. In the ring, Gorilla Press by Ryback followed by a splash gets two. Rusev took control by dropping Ryback throat first on the top rope. Then Rusev took control with a submission chin lock move that doesn't look painful at all. Just use a regular chin lock instead of whatever he was doing. They each tried a suplex, but Ryback was successful with it. Shoulder tackle by Ryback. Dropkick off the middle ropes by Ryback gets two. Ryback went up top and hit a crossbody block for two. Give him credit for trying some different stuff. Rusev bailed to the floor. Ryback went after him. Rusev shoved Ryback, Lana was behind Ryback and Lana fell to the floor as if she was hurt by it. She started screaming. It was a very obvious fake kind of fall. When Ryback looked at her, Rusev capitalized with a Superkick on the floor. Lana celebrated it. Rusev rolled Ryback in and got a two count. Ryback fought to avoid the Accolade, Ryback wanted Shellshock, but Rusev was able to avoid it and kick him in the head. Rusev applied The Accolade submission. Ryback passed out, so he didn't submit and the ref rang the bell after eight minutes.

Winner by submission: Rusev

There were replays shown of Lana's bump where she didn't actually get hit. The noise was from her hitting Ryback's back. Ryback got a congratulatory kiss from Lana after the match.

Analysis: ** A solid match where they both tried hard, but it's hard for them to have a really good match just based on their styles. It's just not that entertaining. The difference between Rusev now compared to last year is they are involving Lana in his matches a lot more. He used to win matches without her. Now he's winning match thanks to her interference. No surprise by the outcome. Ryback doesn't win feuds that often. He's just there to put over heels.

Commercial for the Steve Austin podcast with Shawn Michaels that is now on WWE Network on demand. My two favorite wrestlers ever. I'll see it soon. Not sure if I'll write about it.

Dean Ambrose was in the locker room getting ready for his match. Roman Reigns showed up to talk about how he's ready for his match. He said win, lose or draw tonight is about making a statement. Ambrose said at the end of the night, it's about them standing in the ring with titles - Ambrose with the IC Title and Reigns with the WWE Title. Reigns said it's a hell of a way to end the year.

United States Championship Chairs Match: Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger

The ring was surrounded by chairs all around the ring in this match where chairs are legal. They each had chairs in their hand as they had a bit of a duel with Swagger winning it and nailing a clothesline. Outside the ring, Swagger sent Del Rio into chairs outside the ring. In the ring, Del Rio jabbed a chair into Swagger's throat and got a clothesline for two. Del Rio jabbed Swagger with a chair to the ribs followed by a hard chair shot to the back. Backstabber by Del Rio for two. Del Rio hit two chair shots to the back. With Del Rio going for a superkick, Swagger tossed a chair at him. Swagger nailed a few clotheslines and tried to fire up the crowd, but they aren't that into this match. Del Rio with tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two. Del Rio tossed Swagger outside the ring and then tossed chairs at him so that Swagger was lying in a pool of chairs so to speak. Back in the ring, Swagger sent Del Rio into the steel post and then got a rollup for two. Swagger hit Del Rio in the back two times in a row. Swagger grabbed a chair, wrapped it around the ankle and applied the Ankle Lock. Del Rio grabbed the rope, but there's no rope break in a match like this. Del Rio crawled to the side of the ring and fell to the floor. Swagger came back with a slam followed by a Swagger Bomb off the ropes for two. Swagger brought a bunch of chairs into the ring. He wanted a suplex onto the chairs, but Del Rio applied the Cross Armbreaker against the ropes. With Swagger seated against the turnbuckle, Del Rio nailed him with multiple chair shots to the back. Del Rio placed chairs under Swagger. Swagger was seated on the middle turnbuckle and Del Rio jumped down with a double foot stomp that sent Swagger crashing onto the chairs.

Winner by pinfall: Alberto Del Rio

Post match, Del Rio celebrated with the US Title while also selling the injured ankle. I like seeing selling like that. Even after a win, you have to sell something like that because it was important.

Analysis: **3/4 A good effort by both guys in delivering an entertaining match. It's not an easy stipulation because there aren't a lot of chair matches, but they made it work. I liked some of the spots they did. At other times, it was boring because if a chair is so deadly why not use them even more than they did? They should have had Swagger use the chair to weaken the ankle of Del Rio to set up for his finish. I know it's nitpcking, but they can use the chairs for more than just attacks to the ribs and the back. It was another obvious outcome since Swagger has barely been on television for most of 2015 and was just used in this feud to put Del Rio over. No sign of Zeb Colter either.

A commercial aired for some Create A WWE Superstar toys.

A video package aired for the 8 Man Tag Team Elimination Tables Match. All eight guys made their entrance.

8 Man Tag Team Elimination Tables Match: The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, Erick Rowan & Braun Strowman) vs. Team ECW (Bubba Ray Dudley, D-Von Dudley, Rhyno & Tommy Dreamer)

Fans chanted "ECW" as the match began. It was hyped by Cole that Team ECW has 85 years of combined experience. Yep, they're old. As the match began, Dreamer bought in trash cans and kendo sticks. There was brawling all around the ring. Strowman punched a trash can into Bubba, took down Dreamer, took down Rhyno and took down D-Von as well. After Bubba set up a table against the turnbuckle, Strowman drove his foot through a table after Bubba moved, but that didn't count as an elimination. The idea is you have to be put through it, so the boot through the table is meaningless. Rowan set up D-Von on a table, but Rhyno shoved Rowan off the top and D-Von's table broke, but it's not an elimination. The Dudleys hit 3D on Rowan through a table to eliminate him.

Erick Rowan eliminated by The Dudley Boyz

Wyatt and Harper dumped D-Von out of the ring while Strowman was working over Dreamer on the floor. Harper hit a sitout slam on Rhyno. Bubba Ray went after Strowman on the floor. Wyatt and Harper set up a table against the turnbuckle as they focused on Rhyno, but Rhyno fought back with belly to belly suplexes on Harper and Wyatt - the one on Wyatt looked a bit sloppy. Wyatt nailed Rhyno with forearm smash. Harper nailed a big boot to Rhyno, who went crashing through the table against the turnbuckle.

Rhyno eliminated by Luke Harper

D-Von worked over Harper in the ring. Bubba saved his partner and the Dudleys hit the Doomsday Device clothesline that Legion of Doom used to do. D-Von set up a table while Wyatt was down. Bray did his unique sit up, picked up D-Von and gave him a one armed slam through the table.

D-Von Dudley eliminated by Bray Wyatt

It's 3 on 2 for the Wyatt Family now. The faces cleared the ring by using kendo sticks on the heels. Bubba and Tommy sent Strowman into the steps. Dreamer hit Strowman in the groin with a cheese grater. They dumped five tables onto Strowman. Back in the ring, Harper nailed a spinning slam on Dreamer. Suicide Dive by Harper sent Dreamer through a table that was against the barricade outside the ring.

Tommy Dreamer eliminated by Luke Harper

Bubba was alone against three guys as he took down Harper and then a big boot knocked down Wyatt. Bubba grabbed some lighter fluid from under the ring and sprayed it all over the table that was set up in the ring. He was going to light it, but Harper kicked him in the face. Strowman went into the ring, hit a Chokeslam on Bubba and drove him through the table. It went 13 minutes.

Bubba Ray Dudley eliminated by Braun Strowman

Winners: Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman & Luke Harper

Analysis: **1/4 That was the most predictable match on the show. The veterans were just there to put over the younger guys and there wasn't any question of it. The only question was how many members of The Wyatt Family would survive? It ended up being three Wyatt guys. I thought it might be just Wyatt and Strowman, but good for Harper surviving as well. It was a way to re-establish the Wyatt Family as a dominant group after they lost to Undertaker and Kane at Survivor Series last month. Give Bray and crew momentum for the Royal Rumble when they are in the ring at the same time.

The TLC Kickoff Panel of Renee Young, Booker T, Byron Saxton and Corey Graves talked about things that have happened.

A commercial aired for the Royal Rumble on January 24. I don't know why WWE scheduled it against the AFC/NFC Championship games in the NFL. Those games will get 40 million viewers or so. Most years, WWE schedules it the week between the NFC Title games and the Super Bowl, but not Royal Rumble 2016. I'm not sure why. Anyway, it's six weeks away.

Kevin Owens did a promo on his way to the ring. Owens said every time he comes to Boston, people talk about their sports teams and he tells the fans that they had nothing to do with it. He said you watched it, but didn't do anything. Owens turned to talking about Dean Ambrose and he said that he eats popcorn and drinks soda every day of his life in reference to Ambrose doing that last week on Raw. Owens mentioned his loss to Ambrose at Survivor Series. He said that this is the Kevin Owens Show.

Analysis: I wonder if the popcorn/soda line was written by the company or if it was an Owens line. They love to take shots at his weight. Also Owens has talked about not being a sports fan in the past, so he must have loved that promo.

Intercontinental Title: Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose

Fast pace early on with Owens slowing it down after a clothesline to the back of the head. Owens applied a chinlock, Ambrose fought out and Owens hit a belly to belly suplex for two. Owens yelled: "And that's why I'm the champ!" JBL did a good job of comparing Owens to bigger guys like Bam Bam Bigelow and Vader as men that could do things people didn't expect them to do. Back suplex by Ambrose. Ambrose started his comeback with a clothesline that sent Owens to the floor and then Ambrose hit a suicide dive to take him out outside the ring. Owens caught Ambrose outside the ring, did a fallaway slam into the barricade and hit a running senton on the floor. Ambrose got back in the ring just before the count of ten. Back in the ring, Ambrose got his knees up to counter a running senton. Ambrose unloaded with punches and jabs followed by the bounce off the ropes clothesline. Ambrose went off the top with an elbow drop, but Owens caught him and hit a German Suplex. Ambrose moved out of the way of the cannonball and then Ambrose nailed his flying elbow attack off the top for two. Owens put Ambrose on his shoulders while on the turnbuckle and hit a Rolling Senton off the middle ropes for two. Great nearfall right there. He went for the Popup Powerbomb, Ambrose jumped over, kick to the gut and Ambrose hit the Dirty Deeds DDT for two. Owens got one finger on the ropes to break up the pin. Excellent nearfall. Owens nailed a superkick for two. Another Popup Powerbomb by Owens, but Ambrose turned it into a hurricanrana into a pinfall and it's enough for the win. The match went about 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall and New Intercontinental Champion: Dean Ambrose

Post match, Ambrose celebrated with the IC Title by jumping into the crowd. JBL was complaining about how Christmas was ruined because Ambrose is insane. Then Ambrose celebrated in the ring to a big ovation. The crowd loved it.

Analysis: *** Another very good match from these two just like they did at Survivor Series. I'm not sure if the crowd was ready for the title change. A longer match would have helped although it's fair to say they made the most of the ten minutes they were given. Using a different move to win a title is good because that surprise element helps. I'm surprised by the title change just because they really didn't build it up that well and I was hoping Owens would have a really long title win. That's nothing against Ambrose because I like him a lot too. I just think they could have built it up to mean a lot more. Owens only had a two month title reign, so it's a shame that it was so short. Ambrose is the only babyface to win a match so far, so maybe they did the change just to give a good guy the win. They put it over as a big moment too, which is great.

A commercial aired for shows coming to WWE Network that I mentioned earlier.

A video package aired for the Charlotte vs. Paige match featuring multiple heel turns and a lot of confusion.

Divas Title: Charlotte (w/Ric Flair) vs. Paige

Charlotte wanted a hand shake, so Paige just slapped it and Charlotte nailed a kick to the ribs. Paige took control with a standing side kick with Charlotte doing a bump like her dad Ric where she fell face first. Charlotte went to the floor, Flair distracted Paige and Charlotte hit a running knee attack. Nice neckbreaker by Charlotte off the ropes. After a chinlock, Charlotte yanked down Paige by her hair as if she was a student in Heel 101 class. Charlotte hit a Flair like knee drop and Ric danced in celebration. Paige slapped on a chinlock of her own. Charlotte broke free and attacked the back of the knee of Paige. Team BAD were watching backstage with wigs making them look like Team PCB. Paige sent Charlotte into the ring post. Flair unclipped part of the middle turnbuckle and the ref saw it, but just made him stop. Paige hit a running knee. Is she the face or the heel? Who knows? She was a heel. Paige applied the Figure Four Leglock in the ring with the crowd reacting to it in a big way. Charlotte reversed it, so Paige got to the ropes. Huge boot to the face by Charlotte. Charlotte hit a cross body block off the top that didn't connect that well. Paige hit a Perfectplex for two - I know it's called a Fisherman's Suplex, but that's what I will always call it. Snap DDT by Charlotte for two. Paige nailed Charlotte with a knee. Paige hit the Rampaige DDT by the ropes, but Ric pulled Charlotte under the ropes. She hit the move right by the ropes. Paige went to yell at Flair, so Charlotte unclipped the turnbuckle off the middle rope. Charlotte sent Paige face first into the exposed steel on the middle turnbuckle and covered Paige for the win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Charlotte

Post match, Flair celebrated with Charlotte and I think he called somebody "fat boy" in the crowd.

Analysis: **1/4 A good match, but a weird dynamic since neither woman is really a face. It was hard for the crowd to really get into it. A cheap win for the champion that was a face and is in the midst of a heel turn. They wanted her to be this fighting, noble babyface champion and now she cheats all the time because the crowd didn't really care about Charlotte as a face. This will probably be best for Charlotte long term. I just think they should have done a better job of telling this transformation she has gone through. It looks like WWE is going to use Ric Flair as a heel manager for his daughter, which might be best for her. I just think WWE has to do a good job of building up divas as babyfaces because right now they don't have too many of them.

There was some video from Kay Jewelers where a dude bought an engagement ring with Jimmy Uso and Naomi at his side. Then he proposed to his lady during a VIP tour prior to Raw recently. Congrats to Coleco and Lily on their engagement.

Backstage, Charlotte and Ric were celebrating. Becky Lynch was there with Charlotte wondering what was wrong. Becky wondered what Charlotte was doing. Charlotte was like "would you rather have Paige win?" Becky didn't know what to say.

Analysis: They'll probably have Charlotte really turn heel possibly on Monday or soon after. Then they can do Charlotte vs. Becky at the Royal Rumble, have Charlotte retain there and hopefully have face Sasha Banks against Charlotte at WrestleMania.

A long video package aired to set up Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns. Sheamus entered first even though champs - especially the WWE Champion - should enter last. The ring was surrounded by tables, ladders and chairs while the WWE Title was hanging above the ring. The first man to grab the WWE Title is the champion.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match: Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns

There was a huge punch by Reigns to start the match with the announcers putting it over as a big deal. The Boston crowd was doing a duel chant for hometown hero John Cena while the announcers didn't mention the chant. Reigns gave Sheamus a back body drop over the barricade at ringside. Reigns set up a ladder as bridge from the announce table to the side of the ring. Sheamus nailed Reigns in the back with a chair as Cole mentioned Sheamus lost about six months of his career with a torn labrum a few years ago. Spinning powerslam by Sheamus. I'm not sure why referee Mike Chioda is even in the ring. Reigns nailed Sheamus with a clothesline that sent both guys over the top rope to the floor. Reigns tossed Sheamus onto a table by the entrance that had chairs on it. Then he tossed Sheamus into more chairs set up by the entrance. Reigns set up a table in the aisle and Sheamus gave him a back drop through the table. That was close to going wrong. Sheamus picked up Reigns and slammed him through another table. Sheamus had a cut on his left triceps.

Sheamus brought a ladder into the ring. Reigns went back in the ring to prevent a climb. Sheamus tossed a ladder into Reigns outside the ring and then missed with a chair shot, so Reigns tossed Sheamus into the stairs at ringside. Sheamus nailed Reigns with a clothesline when Reigns was going for his Drive By kick. Chair to the back by Sheamus. Sheamus picked up Reigns on the stairs outside the ring and drove him though a table with his White Noise move. Cool spot there. Back in the ring, Sheamus slammed a ladder into Roman's back. Good job of selling by Reigns. Then Reigns did his move where he does a rollup counter (even though there's no pinfalls) and a one armed slam onto a ladder that was in the ring. Reigns made a comeback with a flying chair shot outside the ring. They banned chair shots to the head, but that looked like that and very painful even with Sheamus blocking it a bit. In the ring, Sheamus hit the Irish Curse Backbreaker. Fans were chanting "NXT" randomly. Reigns was on the apron, he picked up Sheamus and gave him a Samoan Drop off the apron onto the ladder that was bridged from the announce table to the ring earlier. Wow! That was brutal. Damn good spot. Big pop from the crowd. Refs checked on both guys. JBL pointed out that neither man has gotten close to getting that WWE Title.

Reigns was the first guy in the ring as he set up a ladder. It looked like he was going to win as he climbed up when Sheamus stopped him. With Reigns climbing, Sheamus wanted a Powerbomb, but Reigns slipped out of it and nailed a Superman Punch. Reigns climbed up, but Sheamus yanked the ladder away and Reigns went crashing down with his leg hitting the ropes. Reigns is lucky he didn't hurt his leg on that bump. Sheamus climbed up, grabbed a piece of the title and Reigns went up with a Superman Punch that sent Sheamus crashing through a table at ringside! Wow. Huge spot. The crowd was going wild as Reigns climbed up...and there's Rusev and Del Rio. Where's Barrett? No idea. The heels brought Reigns down. Del Rio nailed a superkick while Reigns was punching Rusev. Del Rio picked Sheamus up while Rusev tried to apply the Accolade to Reigns. Reigns fought back with a Superman Punch to Rusev and a Superman Punch to Del Rio. Sheamus climbed up, reached up and Reigns pulled him down. Sheamus nailed a Brogue Kick to send Reigns outside the ring. Sheamus climbed up, grabbed the WWE Title and that won the match after 24 minutes.

Winner: Sheamus

Post match, Sheamus celebrated with the WWE Title along with his League of Nations allies Alberto Del Rio and Rusev. Once again, no King Barrett in sight. Replays aired of the finish. Del Rio and Rusev put Sheamus on their shoulders.

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a very entertaining WWE Title match by two guys that busted their ass to put on a show. I give them credit for working hard and coming up with some creative spots as well. That Samaon Drop through a ladder on the floor was pretty awesome. I think it went a little long because if they shaved off 7-10 minutes it would have helped a bit more. I understand wanting to go over 20 minutes for a main event, though. They told the story where they wanted to beat the other guy down to the point where they were too weak to climb. My biggest gripe is that the heels interfering was so obvious, yet Roman's allies were nowhere to be seen. I guess Ambrose was celebrating while the Usos were hurt, but it makes the last three weeks pointless if his buddies aren't there to help him when he actually needs the help. I didn't expect Reigns to win the match and I didn't expect him to lose clean, so it was predictable in that sense. I'll remember it as a good match that was better than I expected it to be.

Reigns nailed a Spear on Del Rio and Rusev while Sheamus was on their shoulders. Reigns nailed Rusev and Del Rio with chair shots to the back. Then he nailed Sheamus with chair shots to the back and chest.

Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and referees came down to the ring to stop Reigns from continuing the attack. The crowd was chanting in support of Reigns. Hunter was on the apron in a suit trying to tell Reigns to stop. Reigns dropped the chair, Hunter went in the ring to check on Sheamus and officials helped Sheamus out of the ring. When Hunter turned back around, Reigns nailed him with a Superman Punch. Reigns hit Triple H in the ribs as well as back with a chair. The crowd was cheering for this. Stephanie was hysterical at ringside with the overacting while Reigns continued with the chair attack to the back.

Reigns cleared off the Spanish announce table. He slammed Triple H into the English announce table. The announcers were saying somebody has to try to stop this. Reigns picked up Triple H and gave him a Powerbomb on the table, but the table didn't break. The crowd chanted "one more time" so that the table could break. Stephanie begged Reigns to stop. Reigns got on the English announce table, jumped off and hit an elbow drop to put Triple H through a table. Reigns said he knows he's going to be fired. Stephanie checked on Triple H while doctors also checked on him. Fans were chanting "Thank You Roman" for it as well. Hunter was helped to his feet by referees. Reigns was walking to the back. Reigns turned back around, saw Triple H on his feet and crushed him with a huge Spear! That was impressive. Cole was yelling that Reigns is a wildman and that nobody is safe. Another "Thank You Roman" chant. Stephanie went into overacting mode again as she screamed about what happened to her husband. Reigns celebrated as the show ended right around the three hour mark.

Analysis: Finally! That's how you book Roman Reigns. They finally figured it out. It's the "Stone Cold" kind of booking where he doesn't care about people and just wants to wreak havoc. He kept getting screwed out of wins, so he's had enough and wants to make people pay for it. Listen to that ovation. It took Triple H getting his ass kicked to make people genuinely care about Reigns, but it worked in this instance and perhaps can work going forward.

The last ten minutes of the show with Reigns attacking Triple H was the best booking of Reigns in the last year. No question about it. Part of it is because Triple H is arguably the biggest heel in WWE, so seeing him get his ass kicked after all this time is something that is easy for the crowd to support. Did you hear those chants? Present the guy in a likable manner and people will cheer him. It's that simple.

That ending also sets things up well for Raw. People will want to see what happens next. It also sets the stage for a huge Reigns vs. Triple H match down the road. I don't know if it will be at the Royal Rumble or even WrestleMania. They will probably do it at some point soon, though.

 

Five Stars of the Show

  1. Roman Reigns
  2. Sheamus
  3. Kalisto
  4. Dean Ambrose
  5. Kevin Owens

 

Final Thoughts

It gets a 7 out of 10 from me.

- What this show proved is that WWE's roster is full of great talent even with all the injuries they are dealing with right now. There were some really good matches on this show. People complain about the storylines like I do all the time, but the in-ring action is pretty good.

- As I mentioned in writing about the main event, that was the best booking of Reigns this year. All you have to do is make him look like a badass that isn't out there making jokes or saying nursery rhymes. Just have him destroy people. The fans will cheer for that as they did here when he beat up Triple H. It was easy to sympathize with him because he was screwed out of the WWE Title.

- It was a predictable show where I got every match right except the IC Title match. Ambrose was the only babyface that won a match since I don't consider Charlotte to be a face anymore. I'm still not sure if that was the best booking move because of how much I enjoyed Owens as IC Champ, but I guess they needed to have a babyface win something.

- I loved that tag title ladder match and thought it was the best match on the show. There were a lot of great spots, some believable near win moments that sometimes don't happen in ladder matches and all three teams looked awesome after it was over. Kalisto's spot on Jey Uso was the highlight of the show. I hope everybody is okay.

- This wasn't the most memorable PPV event in terms of great matches or moments because it was very predictable. However, the WWE roster deserves credit for putting on entertaining matches. I wasn't bored during the show like I am with some other PPVs, so that's a positive in my eyes.

 

2015 PPV Rankings (Scores out of 10)

WrestleMania – 8

Hell in a Cell - 7.5

Elimination Chamber 7.5

SummerSlam – 7

TLC - 7

Battleground – 7

Night of Champions - 7

Payback – 7

Money in the Bank – 6.5

Survivor Series - 6

Extreme Rules – 6

Fastlane – 5

Royal Rumble - 4

That's it for 2015 PPV events. That's an average score of 6.58 out of 10 for the 13 events. Pretty good year I'd say.

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Check out the Raw Deal posted on Tuesday. Have a great week.

John Canton – mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

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