Welcome to the TJR review of WWE Tables, Ladders & Chairs (TLC). I did not see it live. Most of this review was written on Monday morning.
Here’s the Kickoff Show match.
Andrade (w/Zelina Vega) vs. Humberto Carrillo
This was a rematch from Raw where Carrillo got a win over Andrade last week. Andrade avoided a dropkick and hit a dropkick. Andrade with a running knee to the face of Carrillo for a two count. Andrade with a back body drop. Carrillo came back with a springboard armbar takedown, Andrade to the floor and Carrillo went up top, which led to Andrade shoving him to the floor. A split screen commercial aired promoting the TLC PPV. Andrade took his time and brought Carrillo back into the ring. Andrade slapped on an armbar against the ropes followed by a kick to the face. Andrade grounded Carrillo with an armbar, then Carrillo connected with a jawbreaker and Andrade avoided the enziguri kick. Carrillo with a hurricanrana, Andrade’s running knee attempt missed when Carrillo moved and Andrade went over the top to the floor. A split screen commercial aired again as Andrade rolled back into the ring.
Andrade and Carrillo exchanged punches, Carrillo hit a springboard cross body block and a jumping roundhouse kick to the head. Andrade avoided a standing moonsault, which led to Andrade sending Carrillo back first into the turnbuckle. Andrade had a cut above his left eye. I think that happened when Carrillo’s elbow hit him in the face during the cross body block move. Andrade wanted to do a corner charge, but Carrillo hit a running dropkick against the turnbuckle. Carrillo with a twisting cross body block over the top onto Andrade on the floor. Back in the ring, Carrillo got a two count. Andrade went for a kick, Carrillo moved and Carrillo hit a missile dropkick for a two count. Carrillo did a slow climb to the top, Andrade tripped him up and hit a double foot stomp to the chest of Carrillo. It looked impressive, but also too fake because Carrillo had to hold the ropes for like five seconds to be in the right spot. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Each guy countered moves, Carrillo with a kick and Andrade hit a clothesline leading to a flip bump to knock both guys down. Carrillo with a springboard kick to the face while Andrade was on the top rope. Andrade with a back body drop that sent Carrillo into the turnbuckle. Andrade charged with the double knee attack against the turnbuckle for two. Vega was on the apron, Carrillo avoided going into her, Andrade stopped himself and Carrillo got a rollup for two. Andrade with a suplex. Andrade to the ropes, Carrillo stopped him and Carrillo hit an inverted hurricanrana off the top. Carrillo went up top with a perfect looking moonsault for the pinfall win. It went 12:43.
Winner by pinfall: Humberto Carrillo
Analysis: ***1/4 Good match with Andrade controlling most of it and Carrillo making the big comeback to find a way to win. I thought the last five minutes were excellent. It was a little slow early, but ended up being a good match as you would expect from them. The fans got into it by the end too, so that’s a good sign for both guys.
Post match, Zelina Vega tried to talk to Andrade, but he didn’t want to hear it and left on his own.
That was it for the Kickoff Show matches.
WWE Tables, Ladders & Chairs (TLC)
From Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota
December 15, 2019
The opening video package featured clips of the key people on the show and some Bray Wyatt thrown in there too.
The pyro went off in the arena. There were tables, ladders and chairs all around the stage, the ramp and so on because that’s the name of the show.
Big E and Kofi Kingston of The New Day made their entrance for their Smackdown Tag Team Titles defense in a Ladder Match. The two titles were hanging above the ring. The Revival entered as the opponents. The announcers were Michael Cole and Corey Graves since this is a Smackdown match. The Spanish and German announce teams were at ringside as well hoping their tables won’t be broken.
Ladder Match for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Big E) vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder)
Kingston knocked down Wilder with a kick while Big E knocked Dawson out of the ring. Kingston with a leaping attack over Big E leading to a leg drop on Wilder. New Day wanted to get a ladder, but The Revival stopped them. When Dawson and Wilder grabbed ladders, New Day came back with Big E sending Dawson into the ring post while Kingston sent Wilder into a ladder. Big E sent Dawson over the top of an announce table at ringside. Dawson came back by sending Big E shoulder first into the steel steps. Wilder and Dawson sent Kingston ribs first into the LED board on the side of the ring. Kingston avoided a whip into the ladder, but then they managed to hit Kingston with the ladder after Kofi tried a leaping attack. Well played. Kingston came back with a leap off the apron onto a ladder that was held by both Revival guys. Big E drove the bottom of a ladder onto both Revival guys. Big E put Wilder on a ladder by the apron and Big E went for a running splash, but Dawson saved Wilder and Big E hit the splash onto the steel ladder. Ouch. Dawson and Wilder sent Kingston face first into the ladder on the apron. The Revival set up a big ladder right under the titles in the ring. Big E prevented a successful climb by taking down both guys. Big E climbed up the ladder, Dawson hit a missile dropkick and it was a rough landing for Big E. It looked bad for Big E’s left knee, but he managed to avoid serious injury and kept going. Dawson and Wilder hit a dropkick into a ladder that was driven right into the groin of Big E. Dawson and Wilder slammed Big E face first onto a ladder that was against the top rope. Kingston got back into it by using the ladder as a slingshot that he drove into the face of both Revival guys. Big E got back into it with a Stretch Muffler submission on the knee of Dawson, Wilder broke that up and Kingston sent Wilder out of the ring. Big E held Dawson in the submission again and Kingston hit Dawson in the ribs with the ladder. Kingston did a slow climb, Wilder sent Big E out of the ring, Kingston was pushed off the ladder, he landed on the top rope and jumped back off with a DDT! Kingston with a DDT on Dawson that was an incredible spot. Kingston hit the Trouble in Paradise kick on Wilder. The fans got really into the match after that. Kingston went up the ladder, but Dawson brought him down into the double team Shatter Machine to take out Kofi briefly.
The ladder was set up again as Dawson and Wilder did a slow climb. Big E sent Dawson into the ring post and Big E did a running Spear onto Wilder on the apron to take out Wilder on the floor. That always looks impressive. Big E used a ladder as a weapon by driving it into the ribs of Dawson. Big E set up a ladder beside the other ladder that was already set up. Big E whipped Dawson into the side of a ladder. Big E brought a third ladder in the ring that he used it as a bridge from the ladder to the turnbuckle. Big E put Dawson on a ladder, Big E climbed to the top rope, Wilder was there and he crotched Big E on the top. Dawson gave Big E a suplex onto the bridged ladder and Big E looked like he didn’t even get some of the ladder because it was Dawson taking the bump. That led to Wilder going up top and hitting a splash onto Big E onto a ladder that looked like it broke in half. That was a rough one. Dawson climbed up the ladder, he got his hand on it, but Kingston jumped off the top onto the side of the ladder. Wilder sent Kingston’s face into the ladder repeatedly. Big E got back into it as Wilder got his hand on one of the titles. Big E had Wilder on his shoulders and he gave Wilder the Big Ending off the ladder. That was a cool spot. Dawson got his hands on both titles, but Kingston used the titles to hit Dawson in the head and Dawson went crashing into a broken ladder in the ring. Kingston was at the top of the ladder alone and he unclipped the titles from above the ring. New Day retained their titles at 19:18.
Winners: The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Big E)
Analysis: ***3/4 That was a very good ladder match with a lot of clever spots in the match. The Revival are not known as high flyers obviously, but they fared well in this ladder match. There were a lot of exciting moments with Kingston showing off his aerial skills, Big E had some good power moves and I liked a lot of the double team spots by both sides. They all took some huge bumps along the way too. That splash by Wilder onto Big E to break a ladder looked rough, but they got through it just fine. It was a very entertaining match. The champs retaining makes sense although there are a lack of great heel teams on Smackdown right now.
The New Day celebrated with their titles while on a ladder. The fans were happy to see it.
King Corbin was interviewed by Kayla Braxton, who is so short she makes Corbin looks like a giant. That’s why they hire short interviewers. Corbin said he has Reigns right where he wants him and tonight he’s going to show the Big Dog who his master really is. Corbin claimed that Reigns will bend his knee to the king.
A commercial aired for the two title matches on NXT this Wednesday. That will be great. They also had a commercial for the WWE Supercard game. I’ve never had an interest in playing that.
The Raw announce team of Vic Joseph, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Samoa Joe took over commentary for the next match. They showed highlights of the Kickoff Show match with Humberto Carrillo beating Andrade just like he did on Raw. Andrade had some blood on his face around the eye. Post match, Andrade wasn’t happy with Zelina Vega.
Buddy Murphy made his entrance for his singles match. Aleister Black made his entrance as the opponent and it remains one of the coolest entrances in the company. They had a dueling “sit in the ring and stare at eachother” moment before the match.
Aleister Black vs. Buddy Murphy
Murphy bailed to the floor to avoid the Black Mass kick. It was a bit of a stalemate early on with Black doing his sit in the ring to taunt Murphy. Black grounded Murphy with an armbar. Murphy with a knee to the face to stun Black, but Black came back with an armdrag. Murphy with an elbow, Black with three kicks to the chest and that knocked Murphy down. Murphy to the apron, Black with a legsweep to trip him up. Black tried an attack, but Murphy sent Black into the ring post and into the steel steps. That led to a bloody nose for Black, which meant the referee had to put on the dreaded blue gloves. Murphy grounded Black with an armbar. When Black got back up, Murphy gave him a back body drop over the top to the floor. Murphy grabbed part of Black’s entrance gear and tried to put it on, so Black got back into it with punches. Murphy with a boot to the face, then he jumped off the turnbuckle and Black kicked him right in the face. The announcers kept talking about Black having trouble breathing due to the potentially broken nose. Black with a sweep kick followed by a running knee. Black connected with a roundhouse kick to the head, a knee to the jaw and a springboard moonsault onto a standing Murphy for a two count. Black with a back elbow that sent Murphy to the apron. Murphy with a pump kick to the jaw while they were on the apron, Black shoved Murphy into the ring post and then Black hit a moonsault off the turnbuckle to the floor. Back in the ring, Black hit a rising knee to the face for a two count. Black set up Murphy on the top rope followed by a jumping kick to the head. Murphy came back by sending Black’s face against the turnbuckle, so Murphy hit four superkicks in a row followed by a Powerbomb for a two count. Great nearfall right there. Murphy went for a knockout knee to the face, Black blocked it and hit a back elbow. Murphy with a kick, a knee, another knee and Murphy hit a brainbuster for a two count. Both guys were sitting against opposite turnbuckles leading to a bit of a staredown. Black with a back elbow, Murphy blocked some kick attempts, Murphy went for a rising knee, Black moved and Black hit the spinning Black Mass kick for the pinfall win at 13:45.
Winner by pinfall: Aleister Black
Analysis: ***1/2 Great showing by two guys that had a lot to prove as rising stars in the company and it was the biggest match for both on Raw. This was a physical, hard hitting match as expected by two guys with a lot of striking offensive moves. The hard knees from Murphy throughout the match always look great while Black’s striking with his kicks really separates him from everybody else on the roster. I wish the crowd was into it more because it was an exciting match, but the fans are still getting used to these guys. Black getting the win was the obvious move and the right choice. I liked that it was a match where it was about who could connect with a knockout strike first and it was Black, so that’s why he won.
If the show ended right there then it’s a huge success. Sadly, it did not end there.
Rusev was interviewed by Charly Caruso. Rusev said he was elated because when Lana re-marries he won’t have to pay alimony. Rusev said he has a Tables Match with Bobby Lashley and Lana is going to be picking splinters out of him. Rusev ended it saying every day is Rusev Day and he smiled.
A commercial aired for the Royal Rumble on WWE Network on January 26. I predict the winner of the Rumble matches will point at the WrestleMania sign. Just a hunch on my part there.
They showed highlights from Raw that saw Kevin Owens getting attacked by the AOP tag team along with their new buddy, Seth Rollins.
There were four fans at ringside at a table where they got to eat some KFC food because KFC presented this match. They were likely plants because WWE didn't even bother to make up names for them.
The Viking Raiders made their entrance with the Raw Tag Team Titles for their open challenge title defense. They did a quick promo saying “let the raid begin” and the fans chanted “SKOL” that is the chant for the Minnesota Vikings football team since the Viking Raiders are also vikings.
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson answered the challenge with the World Cup trophy they won at Crown Jewel. They said that open challenges are lame just like Minneapolis, which drew boos. They mentioned that they are the only tag team in the world that have beaten the Viking Raiders and they’ve got a trophy to prove it. Anderson said this is about them challenging the titles while the Viking Raiders can try to avenge their loss and G&A can prove again why they are the best tag team in the world.
Analysis: This was the expected match for the open challenge. It’s not a big surprise that one of the heel tag teams on Raw was put in this match.
Raw Tag Team Championships: The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) vs. The OC (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson)
Erik grabbed Anderson in a waistlock and slammed him down. Ivar tagged in with an armbar on Anderson. Erik tagged back in and he gave Ivar a body slam on Anderson. Gallows with a distraction, so Anderson hit Erik with a forearm to knock him out of the ring. Gallows with a superkick on Erik on the floor. Anderson grounded Erik with a chinlock, Gallows tagged in and hit a suplex followed by an elbow drop for two. Gallows slapped on a chinlock, Erik got back up and Gallows decked him with a roundhouse kick to the head. Anderson back in, Erik broke free and Ivar tagged in with an overhead suplex on Anderson. Ivar punched Gallows off the apron, sidewalk slam and a running cross body block by Ivar. Gallows sent Ivar into the corner, Ivar flipped over the top to the apron like Ric Flair and Anderson shoved Ivar off the top rope. Gallows back in leading to a double team neckbreaker on Ivar for two. Ivar did a cartwheel off the ropes leading to a double kick. Erik launched Anderson in the air and they hit the Viking Experience powerslam for two as Gallows made the save. Gallows with a spinebuster on Erik and a boot to the face of Ivar. Erik hit Anderson with a forearm while they were on the floor. Gallows and Anderson tossed Erik over the barricade. Ivar hit a suicide dive to knock down Gallows and Anderson bumped to the floor too. The referee was counting to ten during all of this, so it was a double countout finish. The fans booed that. It went about 8:30.Match Result: Double Countout
Analysis: *3/4 The match was just decent with a finish that was hated by the fans. The fans barely reacted to anything and then when it ended with a double countout, they booed that ending. Those kinds of finishes are never going to be well received by the fans, but it’s a way to build up a rivalry between the teams. I like both teams, so I’m fine with the rivalry continuing.
The four guys were outside the ring, the referee talked to all of them to tell them some timing cue and that led to the post match angle. Anderson dumped some stuff off the KFC table and teased putting Erik through the table, but Ivar saved Erik. The Viking Raiders picked up Anderson and gave him a double spinebuster through the table.
Analysis: It was a way to have the faces stand tall to end it. The fans really didn’t seem to care about it, though.
The Miz was interviewed backstage by Kayla Braxton, who asked how his daughter is. Miz said Monroe is fine and she is safe. Miz said he’s decided to move his family to an undisclosed location until all of this is over. Miz said Bray Wyatt is a monster almost as much as The Fiend is. Miz said that Wyatt violated the sanctity of his home, the place where his family lives and the place where his daughter sleeps. Miz said this is the most important match and most personal match of his entire life. Miz said he’s not fighting as The Miz or as a WWE Superstar, he’s fighting as a man protecting his family. Miz said he’s ready to face anyone or anything.
Analysis: Good intensity shown by Miz there. I guess those acting lessons have paid off. The line about this being the most important match of his life is silly since he’s a former WWE Champion that main evented WrestleMania (in a bad match), but I get that he’s trying to get this storyline over.
A commercial aired for Raw hyping up Seth Rollins and the AOP dominating Raw.
There’s a new edition of Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions interview on WWE Network. It premiered after TLC, so check it out on demand on WWE Network now.
The video package aired for the Roman Reigns vs. Baron Corbin TLC match. I thought this might be the main event, but here it is in the middle of the show. It is the feud that has been pushed the most on Smackdown over the last two months.
The ring was surrounded by tables, ladders and chairs. The only way to win this match is by pinfall or submission.
King Corbin made his entrance on his sedan that was carried out to the ring six security guys (local indy wrestlers). Corbin was wearing his usual gear including the cape, black crown and scepter. Corbin did a promo saying that is no way to welcome your king. The fans booed as Corbin said you all need to learn respect. Corbin said that Roman Reigns doesn’t have respect, but he’ll show us what he does to people that don’t have respect and he claimed Reigns will bend the knee to your king.
Roman Reigns made his entrance. The security guys ran at Reigns one by one, Reigns beat them up easily including putting a through a table and that ended the security guys attacking Reigns. Corbin ran at Reigns to begin the match.
TLC Match: Roman Reigns vs. Baron Corbin
Reigns whipped Corbin into the LED boards by the entrance. Reigns tossed Corbin off the side of the stage and they went for a walk in the crowd. Corbin punched Reigns a few times and sent him into a barricade. They made their way back to ringside with Reigns tossing Corbin over the barricade at ringside. Reigns sent Corbin face first into the steel steps at ringside. Reigns rolled Corbin into the ring for the first time, he charged, but Corbin hit a Deep Six slam for a two count. They left the ring where Corbin drove Reigns kidney first into the barricade at ringside. Corbin did his favorite “run out of the ring and slide back in” spot leading to a clothesline. They left the ring again with Reigns whipping Corbin side first into the barricade. When Reigns walked back into the ring, Corbin kicked the ropes, which led to a low blow sell by Reigns. Corbin whipped Reigns into the top half of the steel steps. Corbin grabbed a table, the fans cheered and Corbin put it down to piss them off. Corbin grabbed a ladder and hit Reigns in the ribs with it followed by Corbin very gently hitting Reigns in the back with the ladder, which got a two count for Corbin in the ring. Corbin brought a chair into the ring and hit Reigns in the back with it. Corbin wedged the chair against the turnbuckle, Reigns fought back with a clothesline, a leaping clothesline and ten corner clotheslines. Reigns with a running boot to the face. They each went for moves, there were counters and then Corbin connected with a Chokeslam backbreaker. Corbin mocked the Reigns big yell, Reigns with a boot to the face and he whipped Corbin into the chair. Reigns hit a Superman Punch for a two count. The fans chanted “we want tables” as Reigns grabbed the first table in this match 13 minutes after it began.
Reigns brought the table into the ring, so Corbin rolled out of the ring on the other side. Corbin punched Reigns in the face with a can of dog food that he had under the ring. Corbin gave Reigns a Chokeslam through the table in the ring for a two count. Corbin cleared off the English and German announce tables at ringside. Corbin teased a move on Reigns on the announce table, but Reigns picked up Corbin and gave him a Samoan Drop through the German announce table. Reigns had a bit of a cut on his right elbow, but it wasn’t too bad. Both guys were down selling for about a minute. Reigns ran around the ring to go after Corbin, but Dolph Ziggler popped out from under the ring and hit Reigns with a superkick. Corbin tossed a random guy at ringside and Ziggler punched him. They yelled at the guy for not listening to Corbin. Ziggler and Corbin retrieved dog food and handcuffs from under the ring. Reigns got back into it with a Drive By dropkick on Corbin and Ziggler. Reigns grabbed a kendo stick from under the ring, which led to several security guys running at Reigns one by one and Reigns beat them all up with a kendo stick. The Revival showed up to attack Reigns as well. Dawson hit Reigns in the back with a kendo stick. Reigns came back with Superman Punches for Dawson and Wilder. Reigns with a clothesline on Corbin to send him out of the ring. Reigns ran the ropes leading to a dive over the top onto all the heels and security on the floor. That’s always a cool looking spot. Reigns set up in the corner to finish off Corbin, but Ziggler was back with a superkick into a chair in the face of Reigns. I think that’s what it was. You aren’t allowed chair shots to the face in WWE, but you can do that apparently. Cole complained that this was like 12 on 1 and how it’s not fair. Ziggler connected with a Zig Zag. The Revival went back into the ring where they hit the Shatter Machine on Reigns. Dawson and Wilder had their ribs taped up to sell the ladder match from earlier. Corbin picked up Reigns and gave him the End of Days into a steel chair for the pinfall win at 22:20. Cole: “Disgusting.” I think a lot of fans would agree with that when it comes to the never-ending push of Corbin.
Winner by pinfall: King Corbin
Analysis: ** This was a below average brawl that didn’t need the TLC stipulation, but that’s the name of the show. They didn’t even use a ladder. Reigns and Corbin worked hard. I just don’t like how the match was structured. It wasn’t that interesting. The story remains that the heel Corbin has allies that are willing to help him while the babyface Reigns has no friends…or at least it appears that way. This might be the spot to bring back Roman’s cousins The Usos. The numbers game being the reason that a face loses a match is a common booking pattern in WWE. I’m not really clamoring for more Reigns vs. Corbin matches, but we’ll be getting more of them as we head into the new year. Corbin is okay as a heel. I just don't think he's that great or that interesting as a top heel. He bored when he feuded with Rollins on Raw and now he's not that interesting with the stupid King look either.
The heel group of Corbin, Ziggler, Dawson and Wilder celebrated the victory. Reigns was down in the ring while no babyface wrestlers felt like checking on him. The announcers bickered about it with Cole whining about how it wasn’t fair while Graves said Reigns agreed to have a TLC, so that’s what happens.
There were commercials for NXT on Wednesday and WrestleMania in April in Tampa Bay, Florida.
The video package aired for Bray Wyatt’s match against The Miz.
The Miz made his entrance with a serious look on his face. The international announce teams were shown in the arena: Portuguese, Russian, Japanese (hey Funaki), Hindi, French and the Mandarin team was last. That led to Corey Graves doing his usual joke about partying with the announcers.
Bray Wyatt made his entrance to the Firefly Fun House theme song. Wyatt was dressed in a sweater and jeans like he wears on the Firefly Fun House set. Wyatt was wearing the blue Universal Title even though this is not a title match. Wyatt told the announcers he was really excited about this. The fans liked him.
Bray Wyatt vs. The Miz
This is not for Wyatt’s Universal Title as previously mentioned. The referee showed the title to Miz even though it’s non-title, so maybe that’s a force of habit by the referee.
The fans chanted “Yowie Wowie” for Wyatt to start the match. Miz went after Wyatt with a kick to the face followed by repeated knees to the face. Miz kicked Wyatt repeatedly in the ribs. Miz took off the Wyatt sweater leaving Bray in a tank top. Miz worked over Wyatt with kicks to the chest, then running double knees two times and a Miz clothesline. Wyatt came out of the corner, he went for Sister Abigail, Miz avoided it and Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale. Miz didn’t go for a cover because he was still making angry faces while Wyatt was laughing about it. Miz pulled back on the left arm of Wyatt going for an armbar like move and he pulled back on Wyatt’s fingers with Wyatt saying “do it” so Miz pulled back on the left arm. Wyatt bailed to the floor and drove his left shoulder into the barricade repeatedly. The fans chanted “let him in” for Wyatt. Miz with a dropkick and Miz sent Wyatt into the announce table and into the steel steps. Miz charged at ringside, Wyatt avoided him and sent him over the barricade. Wyatt grabbed a hold of Miz on the floor and he hit the Sister Abigail neckbreaker on Miz on the floor. Wyatt was laughing about it. Miz got back in the ring before the slow ten count and Wyatt hit the Sister Abigail neckbreaker for the pinfall win at 6:40.
Winner by pinfall: Bray Wyatt
Analysis: * This was pretty bad as a match. It was more of a showcase to get over this persona of Wyatt, so this is where I like to say it's more of an angle than a match. Miz was on offense for most of it, Wyatt laughed about it and then Wyatt finished him off easily. This match didn’t do Miz any favors.
Post match, Wyatt celebrated with the Universal Title in his hands. There was an image of The Fiend on the Titantron with fans chanting “let him in.” Wyatt said: “Okay, I’ll do it.” Wyatt grabbed a giant mallet from under the ring and he brought it into the ring. The lights went out in the arena and Wyatt laughed about it while saying, “He’s Here.” However, the lights came back on.
Wyatt turned around and somebody in a running red hooded sweatshirt charged at him and hit a running knee to the face! It was Daniel Bryan, who was greeted with “YES” chants from the crowd. Bryan took off the hood to reveal his new shorter haircut and a much smaller beard on his face. The fans loved seeing Bryan again. There were “Daniel Bryan” chants. Bryan worked over Wyatt with repeated kicks to the chest. Bryan hit two running missile dropkicks followed by another running knee to the face. Bryan stomped on Wyatt’s face repeatedly. Bryan grabbed the giant mallet in the ring, the fans chanted “yes” and that’s when the lights in the arena went out again. When the lights came back on, Wyatt was gone while Bryan was left alone in the ring with the giant mallet. Bryan hit the mallet against the mat. Bryan celebrated by leading the crowd in “YES” chants to show that he is back to being himself. Bryan also had a long look at the Universal Title and rubbed his shorter hair.
Analysis: Bryan had the long hair and the full beard look for most of the last six years, so it’s back to the “old” Daniel Bryan look for him. That’s cool with me. This is what Bryan looked like in 2011 when he got his first push in WWE. I don’t mind that The Fiend’s attack led to Bryan going back to this. It’s fine for wrestlers to change up their look. This was how Bryan looked during most of his adult life, so I’m sure he enjoys going back to it. The shorter hair is probably weird for his young daughter at home, but she’ll get used to it too. The expectation is that Wyatt/The Fiend will defend the Universal Title against Bryan again at Royal Rumble, so they have over one month to set that up. I thought this angle worked for the most part. Bryan’s an awesome performer, so it’s always great to see him back.
The video package aired for the Tables Match between Rusev and Bobby Lashley with Lana. This story goes back over two months, so this is finally a match between them. The video was like a “TMZ” format video.
Bobby Lashley made his entrance with the ravishing Russian Lana. That’s a very short dress she is wearing. Good for her...and the fans at ringside. Rusev got a nice ovation for his entrance. Joseph mentioned there’s no restraining order, cops or security tonight. It’s a match.
Tables Match: Rusev vs. Bobby Lashley (w/Lana)
The first man to put his opponent through a table is the winner of the match. The bell rang, Lashley left the ring and Rusev went after him with punches as well as a clothesline. Rusev brought a table in the ring, but Lana pulled it out of the ring and Lashley attacked Rusev from behind. Lashley with a clothesline. Lashley picked up Rusev and slammed him off the shoulders. Lashley set up a table outside the ring. They left the ring with Rusev hitting a suplex while on the ramp. They went near the table at ringside where Lashley flipped the table over. Lashley whipped Rusev into the steel steps. Lashley drove Rusev back first into the ring post. Lashley threw a table at Rusev, who moved and the table broke when it hit the ring post. Back in the ring, Lashley whipped Rusev into the turnbuckle. Lashley set up a table against the turnbuckle. Each guy avoided being sent into that table and Lashley came back with a spinebuster. Lashley charged at Rusev with a running shoulder tackle. Lashley brought another table into the ring. Lashley teased a suplex through the table, but that was obviously never going to happen and Rusev sent Lashley into the turnbuckle. Lashley held onto the ropes to avoid being slammed into a table. Lashley was on the apron, he teased a suplex through a table, but Rusev blocked that. Rusev punched Lashley off the apron and Lashley jumped over a table that was there and landed on the floor. That was a good spot to tease a finish. Rusev got the top half of the steel steps and he hit Lashley in the head with the steps. Rusev grabbed a part of the guard rail, he brought it to the ringside area and hit Lashley with it. Rusev set up the guard rail across the side of the ring and Lashley gave Rusev a spinebuster onto the guard rail, so it broke the guard rail in half.
Lashley grabbed a kendo stick from under the ring. Rusev worked over Lashley with the kendo stick with shots to the back. They went into the ring where Lashley hit Rusev in the back with the kendo stick several more times. Lashley set up another table against the ropes. Rusev started a comeback with the kendo stick and he hit Lashley repeatedly in the ribs and back. Rusev broke the kendo stick over his knee. Rusev with the Machka Kick. Lana went into the ring and jumped on Rusev’s back while also gouging his eyes. Lana jumped off, so Lashley tried a Spear on Rusev through the table, but the table was not set up well and did not break. Lashley gave Rusev an overhead belly to belly suplex through a table on the other side of the ring. That table broke, so Lashley won the match at 13:30.
Winner: Bobby Lashley
Analysis: *1/2 This was below average and mostly a boring match. The pacing of the match was so slow. You could tell the crowd was bored because they were quiet for most of the match. I don’t blame the fans for that. They could have had a better match if they shaved off five minutes. My prediction was a Lashley win because I felt like it would be the first match in a series between them. I thought the finish would see Lana go through a table, Rusev would get distracted by that and Lashley would capitalize to win. Instead, they went with Lana distracting Rusev and Lashley capitalizing to win. It was not a great finish. They even messed that up. I don’t need to see more of these two, but it will continue with Rusev getting the win at some point soon.
The Street Profits duo of Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins were backstage talking about the show. Dawkins said he had three words for Lashley: “Get a vasectomy.” Good advice. Ford said you can’t say that. The cameras panned over where Roman Reigns and King Corbin were brawling in the backstage area along with The New Day, Revival, Shorty G was there and others.
A commercial aired promoting AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton on Raw tonight. Another commercial aired for the Royal Rumble on January 26th in Houston.
The video package aired for the Women’s Tag Team Championship match with The Kabuki Warriors vs. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. It’s not like there has been a good storyline here, but they still get a video package.
Becky Lynch made her entrance with the Raw Women’s Championship. I don’t think she’s had a title match on TV in about two months or so. Good pop for Lynch, who probably isn’t thrilled by the lack of interesting feuds for her this year. Charlotte Flair entered as the partner of Lynch even though they don’t get along. The Kabuki Warriors duo of Asuka and Kairi Sane entered last. Their Women’s Tag Team Titles were hanging above the ring.
Analysis: I thought this match might main event because I figured one of the two TLC matches would go on last. It makes sense for a show called TLC.
TLC Match for the Women’s Tag Team Championships: The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) vs. Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch
To win the match, you have to climb a ladder and pull the titles down. There were tables, ladders and chairs surrounding the ring.
Lynch brought Asuka out of the ring and tossed her through some chairs that were on a table. Lynch sent Asuka into the barricade. Flair had also sent Sane out of the ring. Sane tried an attack off the apron, but Flair decked her with a boot to the face. Flair cleared off the English announce table. When Lynch was cleaning off the Spanish table, one of the monitors she tossed hit Sane in the head. That’s not good. Sane was all alone on the table against her opponents. Lynch tossed Sane off the English table onto the Spanish table and Flair sent Sane back over to the English table. Asuka got back into it by tossing a chair at Flair and Lynch up, who used their hands to block. Asuka sent Lynch off the apron to a ladder. Sane hit Flair in the back with a chair and Sane hit a dropkick into the chair into the face of Flair. Asuka brought Lynch into the ring where Lynch hit a drop toe hold into a chair and a bulldog by Lynch on Asuka on a ladder. Flair sent Sane twice into a ladder. Flair wanted to Powerbomb Asuka out of the ring, but Sane saved her partner. Flair drove Sane back first into the ring post. Flair and Lynch worked together to launch Asuka face first into the ring post. Sane tried tossing a chair into the ring, but it bounced off the ropes two times. Flair and Lynch went after Sane on the floor, so Sane tried to go under the ring. Flair and Lynch brought Sane out, so Sane sprayed a fire extinguisher into the faces of Lynch and Flair. Asuka attacked the challengers with a rope. Sane hit a neckbreaker on Lynch onto steel chairs. Asuka grabbed a leather chair from ringside, Sane got a kendo stick because that was a popular weapon on this show. Asuka worked over Flair with kicks while on the leather chair. Sane and Asuka tied the rope to the side of the ladder. Asuka gave Lynch a body slam on the ladder. Sane and Asuka used the rope to tie Lynch to the ladder at ringside. That was a unique way to take somebody out of a match.
Asuka with a running kick on Flair while on the apron. Asuka whipped Flair into the barricade at ringside and then they tossed Flair over the barricade. Asuka and Sane slowly went back into the ring for a very slow climb up a ladder. The titles look like they were higher up than they were during the men’s ladder match earlier in the show. Flair got back into it with kendo stick shots to Asuka and Sane to knock them out of the ring. Flair used a ladder to knock Asuka down on the floor. Flair whipped Asuka into steel chairs that were on a table. Flair gave Sane an overhead suplex into the barricade. That looked like a rough bump for Sane on her head because the cement floor was right there. That may have been where she got a concussion. Flair tried to save Lynch from the ropes, but Asuka hit Flair with a chair and they sent Flair into the steel steps. Sane went onto the announce table, she jumped off with the Insane Elbow, but Lynch got her boot up. Lynch knocked Asuka down. Lynch broke free from the rope. Lynch with two steel chair shots to the back of Sane. Flair worked over Asuka with chops at ringside. Back in the ring, Flair and Lynch set up the champs on chairs and knocked them down with a forearm/kick combo. Lynch went up to the middle turnbuckle and jumped off with a splash on Asuka through the table. Flair and Lynch drove Sane back first into the ring post and they slammed Sane on the floor. Sane countered a double team suplex move into a double DDT on the floor. Sane set up both women on a table at ringside. Sane jumped off the apron, Flair moved and Sane landed on Lynch…sort of. That was messed up. Whatever they tried there didn’t really work. Sane may have knocked herself out with and that was evident based on what was next. Flair gave Sane a Spear on the floor, but Sane was out of it and just collapsed without selling it properly. Flair slapped Sane in the face, which is not what you want to do to somebody that might be concussed. Flair picked up Sane, she wanted to put her through a table, but Sane wasn’t moving easily and it looked bad. Flair managed to power her up to put Sane through the table with a Powerbomb. That was probably not a good thing for Sane either.
Asuka went up to Flair and gave her a German Suplex on the floor. Flair grabbed chairs and a ladder that she put on Flair to keeper her down. Asuka checked on Sane, who was talking to her, but Sane looked like she may have been knocked out. Asuka helped her friend back up and they brought a ladder into the ring. It was a huge ladder that went right up to the titles. Asuka climbed the ladder, then Flair and Lynch went into the ring with weak looking chair shots. The fans were booing. I don’t know if they were booing Flair and Lynch or just the match itself. Flair kicked a chair into the face of Asuka to knock her out of the ring. Lynch was very gentle while hitting Sane and you could see Lynch talking to Sane to instruct Sane to avoid a move and then they both kind of collapsed. It was getting really sloppy. Flair and Asuka battled by the apron and Asuka gave Flair a Powerbomb off the apron through a table on the floor. That looked rough. Lynch gave Asuka two suplexes into the ladders on the floor. Sane was just laying on the floor at this point because she was out of it. Lynch tried to climb the ladder, but Asuka pulled on the rope that was still on the ladder and pulled it so that Lynch bumped into the ropes. It was only Lynch’s arm that hit the ropes, but Lynch still sold it as if she got hit in the throat. I think one of the referees told Asuka something, so that led to the finish. Asuka set up the ladder, she climbed up and retrieved the Women’s Tag Team Titles to win the match. It went 26:02.
Winners: The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane)
Analysis: **1/4 The match did not live up to the hype. It was okay at times, but not nearly as good as you might expect. I don’t know if it was the match structure or simply because they went way too long. Going nearly 30 minutes for this match seemed unnecessary, but they tried to make it feel special and it just wasn’t that kind of match. The last few minutes were also tough to watch because it was obvious that Sane was knocked out and probably had a concussion, but they tried to keep using Sane to get through the match. I think what hurt the match is that they barely had any moments where they were going for the titles. It was more of a brawl where they broke tables and used other weapons, but that took away from the concept of the match. Going into the match, I don’t think anybody really cared if Lynch and Flair were going to win because they barely told us they wanted to win. Having Asuka beat Lynch in the end to keep the title does set up a Lynch/Asuka title feud if that’s what they want to do. I appreciate the effort of the four women in the match, but this was not the great match that I thought they were capable of.
Asuka celebrated with the Women’s Tag Team Titles by herself. Sane was still out of it on the floor. I really hope Kairi is okay. After the match, Lynch put over Sane's toughness.
.@KairiSaneWWE You truly are a warrior.
— The Man (@BeckyLynchWWE) December 16, 2019
There was a brawl in the arena with Roman Reigns, Baron Corbin and other midcard wrestlers. They were all brawling around there. Reigns and Corbin went onto a platform, Reigns gave Corbin a Spear off the platform. They landed on top of the other wrestlers brawling and that was the end of the show.
Analysis: It was a way to end the show on a high note with a big spot and by featuring Reigns. It teases the idea that the Reigns/Corbin feud will continue, which is not a surprise.
This event had a run time of 3:11:59 on WWE Network. I’m a big fan of a PPV running just over three hours. That’s fine with me.
Five Stars of the Show
- The New Day
- The Revival
- Aleister Black
- Buddy Murphy
- Daniel Bryan
It gets a 4.5 out of 10 from me.
I thought this was a disappointing show. I think there were some bad match finishes, some matches just dragged on too long and there just weren't enough exciting moments. The first two matches on the PPV were both very good and then everything else after that didn’t live up to expectations. The lack of title matches also hurt because it just felt like a meaningless show that took place since it’s on the schedule. The women's Tag Team Title match main event went too long and Kairi Sane getting hurt during the match with a likely concussion didn't help matters at all. I hope Sane is okay.
This was not a good night for babyfaces getting payback on the heels. Flair and Lynch failed in the main event after getting beat up repeatedly for weeks. I think if Reigns beat Corbin and Rusev beat Lashley it would have been a better show. Obviously, WWE felt differently. I should have seen it coming since Rusev and Reigns had the advantage in their rivalries on the last TV shows before TLC, so the “look strong on TV, lose on PPV” theory applied there. At least Daniel Bryan returned, so that made me happy.
I think this is one of the worst WWE PPVs of the year. It’s a bad way to end the year of PPVs. I have Hell in a Cell and Super Showdown with lower scores, but overall this was definitely a show that will be easy to forget.
Here are my rankings of 2019 WWE PPVs with a score out of 10:
WrestleMania 35 – 7.5
Elimination Chamber – 7.5
Fastlane – 7.5
Survivor Series – 7.25
Royal Rumble – 7
SummerSlam – 7
Extreme Rules – 7
Stomping Grounds – 6.5
Crown Jewel – 6
Money in the Bank – 6
Clash of Champions – 5.5
TLC – 4.5
Hell in a Cell – 3.5
Super Showdown – 3