As we predicted earlier, the 2016 TLC is set to be a spectacle. This is one of the premiere events of the year and the fact that it is a Smackdown Live exclusive has us excited that perhaps it will be a really powerful pay-per-view for WWE. Without further ado, let’s get into the show with our live play-by-play, match results and instant feedback.
The pre-show gave us some tag team action to get things going. American Alpha, Hype Bros and Apollo Crews took on The Vaudevillians, The Ascension and Curt Hawkins. Whole lot of silliness and antics throughout this one. Too many goofy personalities crammed into one match. As a general rule, I’m not a fan of massive tag team matches. Ten competitors outside of a Royal Rumble or a battle royale is far too many. The Alphas did pretty solid and the match wasn’t flat by any stretch of the term. All ten guys put on a great show for the crowd, who were lively and behind the match. In the end Gable and Jordan pick up the pinfall for their team. Okay match with the correct ending.
The first match as the show begins is for the Smackdown Live tag team titles. The Wyatt Family (featuring Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt) challenging Heath Slater and Rhyno. This match was a little short in my opinion. Solid action. The finish was Wyatt distracting Rhyno and Orton hit him with an RKO out of nowhere. After the match, Orton and Bray put the titles on Harper’s shoulders and then posed for the crowd. Very interesting booking here. This is the first time heels have held these titles. It will be fun to see what they do with it. Give it up for Smackdown always pushing the unexpected into our laps. With the pre-show victory, one has to assume American Alpha will be coming down the line to challenge The Wyatt Family for their new shiny belts.
Next up is a No Disqualification match between Nikki Bella and Carmella. As feuds go, this one is ice cold. It doesn’t really do anything in the grander scheme for either woman or the viewing audience. But, a No DQ match is usually a good way to keep me interested. There’s always the possibility of serious injury or death, two things I have often wished on Nikki Bella (and her boyfriend). Carmella dominates to start and eventually ties Nikki upside down in the corner. She gets a kendo stick out and hits Nikki in the stomach. Nikki turns the table when she sprays Carmella in the face with a fire extinguisher. Rack Attack 2.0 lays Carmella out and Nikki picks up the pinfall win. After the match, Carmella gets on the mic and says she didn’t attack Nikki at Survivor Series. She tells her it was Natalya. Duh, we all knew that the moment it happened.
It’s not even 9:00PM yet and the third match is about to start. That seems odd. Half their matches in the first hour? Maybe WWE is starting to end PPV’s earlier. The next bout is Dolph Ziggler challenging The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship in none other than a ladder match. Ziggler the aggressor to start the match. The fight spills out of the ring and Miz plants Ziggler on the ramp with a super kick. They stay outside the ring for quite awhile using ladders as weapons against one another. Ziggler hits an outstanding satellite DDT on a ladder and both men are down. Ziggler finally gets a large ladder into the ring. He attempts to set it up but Miz dropkicks him from behind.
The Miz mocks Daniel Bryan at one point with a YES! gesture right before dropkicking a ladder into Ziggler. Both men climb a ladder and trade blows right below the title. Ziggler knocks Miz off but before he can recover, Miz yanks him down. Miz goes to work on Ziggler’s leg, slamming it into a ladder over and over. Miz wraps Ziggler’s leg through a ladder wrung and then locks in a Figure Four leglock. Ouch. Miz then hits a Skull Crushing Finale into a ladder. Miz sets up a ladder and tries to grab the belt. Ziggler knocks the ladder away and Miz is hanging from the belt! Ziggler slams the ladder into his knee and Miz falls to the mat and rolls out of the ring. Ziggler climbs up the ladder on one leg, but before he gets to the top, Miz runs in and powerbombs him into a ladder. The pair are at the top of a ladder again and then Ziggler starts hitting Miz with headbutts. Miz falls down. Miz pops up and kicks Ziggler in the junk. Twice. Ziggler crumples to the mat as Miz climbs up and retains his IC title.
As ladder matches go, nothing groundbreaking happens. It’s hard to top some of the epic matches we’ve seen in the past. But it is entertaining throughout. Both men bring their a-game. The crowd was really behind Ziggler so the finish was booed, but it was actually really great. I enjoyed that bout. Best match so far tonight. After the match, The Miz gets on the mic and dedicates his victory to Daniel Bryan.
Next match is a chairs match between Baron Corbin and Kalisto. As you might expect, Corbin dominates to start this match, spilling the action out around the ring. He manhandles Kalisto like a paper doll. Kalisto rallies with some nice offense and the two manage to get some oh’s and ah’s from the crowd with some pretty devastating moves, ie: violence. Kalisto dives out of the ring towards Corbin, but he catches the tiny Lucha and hits a Deep Six on the floor. In the ring, Corbin covers but Kalisto kicks out. Corbin hits End of Days on a pile of chairs and that’s the ballgame. A breakout out match for both guys, really. Very nice to watch. The arena crowd was flat, but make no mistake that this was a really great match to watch.
Natalya is interviewed and asked about attacking Nikki. Instead she wishes Becky Lynch luck in her title defense. Then she calls the comments Carmella made absurd and calls her a liar. Natalya versus Nikki or Carmella is not a very promising feud. Let’s hope they skip that and move on to something else. This interview did segue nicely into the next match. Alexa Bliss challenging Becky Lynch for the Smackdown Women’s Championship in a tables match. Both ladies aggressive to start. Becky is the first to set a table up outside the ring, but Alexa stops her from utilizing it. The crowd is shit throughout this one, chanting for other things unrelated to the match. Charlotte and Sasha spoiled us on Raw this past week, but Becky and Alexa are putting on a good show. Outside the ring, Alexa powerbombs Becky through a table for the win! What!? That’s exciting! Alexa Bliss is my favorite female on both rosters so this is really great. Yes!
The main event of the night is Dean Ambrose challenging AJ Styles in a traditional TLC match for the WWE World Championship. The championship hangs high above the ring. Ambrose going right after the champ as soon as the bell rings. Ambrose clotheslines Styles outside the ring. He follows the champ out and they fight up the ramp. This spills out into the crowd. Ambrose is all over the map. He puts a trash can on Styles and hits him near the announce table with a chair. He gets in the ring and sets up a ladder, but Styles recovers enough to stop him, planting him on the mat. Styles takes control as the crowd rallies behind him, chanting his name.
Ambrose pounds Styles into a group of chairs, garnering a “Holy Shit!” chant from the crowd. Ambrose throws Styles through the metal legs of a table. Styles bounces back and suplexes Ambrose through a table. Wow, a really terrific few minutes of action. Goodness. Dirty Deeds and Phenomenal Forearm both countered, respectively, and then Ambrose throws Styles out of the ring. Ambrose puts Styles on one announce table and sets a ladder up on a second table. Ambrose off the ladder, dropping an elbow into Styles, crashing through the announce table. Mauro Ranallo screams, “Oh my god!” and then the announce team falls silent as the crowd chants, “This is awesome!”
Ambrose leaves Styles in the wreckage and gets a ladder into the ring. He climbs towards the belt. Styles gets on the apron and leaps off the top rope to hit a Phenomenal Forearm, knocking Ambrose off the ladder. They both recover and crawl up either side of the ladder. They knock each other off the ladder and then Ambrose spins Styles into the ladder. Styles sets Ambrose on a table outside the ring and does a 450 splash off the top rope, driving Ambrose through the table. Styles sets a ladder up in the ring as James Ellsworth comes down. Styles foregoes the ladder and goes after Ellsworth. Ambrose hops up and hits Dirty Deeds on the steel steps.
Ambrose scrambles into the ring and sets up a ladder under the title. Ambrose gets up two rungs before Styles joins him on the ladder. Ambrose knocks him off the ladder and out of the ring. Just as Ambrose is reaching for the title Ellsworth tips the ladder over and Ambrose goes through two tables! Ellsworth cheers on Styles has he sets up a ladder and slowly works his way to the top. Styles grabs his title and retains. What a fantastic match. Easily the best match of the night. Bravo. Once again, Smackdown Live has outdone themselves, continuing to stand out within the WWE brand split.
What did you think of tonight’s pay-per-view? Let us know in the comments below! See you all tomorrow for Monday Night Raw!
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
Writer’s Note: As you have noticed, Face To Heel has been on a hiatus of sorts over the past several weeks. While we are still keeping up on wrestling throughout the week, we have been neglecting the website and our Twitter account. Thanks to some health issues that I am still attempting to get a handle on, and my husband’s efforts to keep our family going, there hasn’t been much time or enthusiasm for getting in front of a computer and discussing the PPVs or the weekly shows.
Thankfully, I am well enough to be back at work on a part time basis and will once again be churning out as many articles as I can possibly handle. Thank you to everyone who has stuck with us; I promise we have not abandoned our readers or our love of wrestling. Please follow us on Twitter at @FaceToHeel for updates, live coverage, and contests; and follow our writers, @MrNotWell and @OhhhTweener.
The eighth annual Tables, Ladders, & Chairs pay-per-view goes live tonight and will be exclusively under the Smackdown Live brand this time around. It will be held in the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. As or right now, we have six verified matches on the card, but we’ll likely see some last minute additions thrown into the pre-show. This event always ends the year on an exciting note and typically has a few jaw-dropping moments that will be talking about as we head towards the Royal Rumble. Let’s take a look at the TLC match card and make some F2H predictions!
Nikki Bella vs Carmella – No Disqualifications Singles Match
It’s nice to see the women getting a No Disqualification match, though I have my doubts about the quality we’re going to receive. Carmella is great, but is still pretty green. Nikki Bella, in my opinion, is incredibly overrated and will probably have too many concerns about re-injury to take a No DQ match seriously. I hope I’m wrong, but I suspect the only No DQ action we get is a lot of outside ring work and a few throws into the barricade.
F2H Prediction – Nikki Bella
Kalisto vs. Baron Corbin – Chairs Singles Match
I’ve forgotten why the giant Baron Corbin is picking on teensy tiny Kalisto, but I am glad to see Corbin on the main card of a PPV. I expected him to get a bigger push after winning the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, but I guess that doesn’t have much meaning after the first couple weeks have passed by. This seems like an obvious squash match for Kalisto considering that there are chairs involved, but he has quickness on his side and could surprise us. The real question here is whether we’ll see a run-in from a frustrated Sami Zayn.
F2H Prediction – Baron Corbin
The Miz (c) vs Dolph Ziggler – Ladder Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
I love The Miz as IC champ! That said, I also love Dolph Ziggler, so it’s difficult for me to just pick one competitor to cheer for. We assume Ziggler is going to fight clean, and Miz is going to use whatever he can, including his wife, to trip Ziggler up and keep his title. The hairspray nonsense, the Spirit Squad; he has a lot of ridiculous ideas, but they keep working. Having this be a ladder match may work in Dolph’s favor if he can be smart about it and be quicker than Miz. Don’t get your hopes up about Maryse being banned from ringside though. This will definitely be two on one.
F2H Prediction – The Miz
Becky Lynch (c) vs Alexa Bliss – Tables Match for the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship
This is awesome. This is so awesome. I love this. Alexa Bliss is probably my favorite female on the Smackdown roster, and I’m very curious to see this tiny athlete lugging around giant tables. I love that WWE is taking more chances with their women; first dropping the “Diva” name, and then putting them into more risky and exciting matches. I’ve seen women go through tables before, but on WWE? That’s not exactly commonplace. This should be one hell of a match.
F2H Prediction – Alexa Bliss
Heath Slater & Rhyno (c) vs The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton – Tag Match for the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship
2016 has been a strange year, so it only makes sense that Heath Slater would have a title and be one of the top guys on Smackdown. Keeping with the strange, Randy Orton is now part of the Wyatt Family, because why not? This match is filled with a lot of What The Hell Is Going On? This will be a straight tag match with no stipulations, but will no doubt still be an exciting one to watch. I hope Slater and Rhyno pull out a victory so Slater can hold on to that double wide. And yes, Face To Heel is continuing its refusal of calling them Beauty and the Man Beast. That’s a terrible name. Terrible, terrible name.
F2H Prediction – Heath Slater & Rhyno
AJ Styles (c) vs Dean Ambrose – Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match for the WWE World Championship
Our main event will be a traditional TLC match between Styles and Ambrose, two guys who aren’t afraid to put it all on the line. I have to wonder how James Ellsworth is going to fit into this match. I definitely want to see him ringside supporting Ambrose, and while I do not want him to affect the outcome of the match, it would be good to see him take a chair shot, push Styles off a ladder, or get slammed through a table. I love that chinless wonder. Eventually Ambrose has to turn on Ellsworth so maybe tonight will be the night when he slips up and costs Dean his shot at winning the belt by accident.
F2H Prediction – Dean Ambrose
The pre-show will begin live on the WWE Network at 7:00PM EST, with the main show beginning at 8:00PM EST. Hopefully we don’t get an early ending the way we did with Survivor Series and the booking will be strong throughout. Be sure to Tweet along with us at @FaceToHeel during the show, and keep your eye out for our next giveaway contest! Let us know in the comments below your own predictions and what you are most looking forward to on tonight’s card.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
I’ve skipped the predictions for the last two PPVs due to the lack of buildup and interesting matches, so I’m very happy that WWE has given me something to look forward to in TLC. Every title will be on the line and we have three matches involving tables, ladders, and/or chairs. John Cena is absent, which is either a major letdown or a reason to celebrate depending on which side of the line you stand on. The Brothers of Destruction are also off the schedule for this event, which is a shame, but their story was rushed to the conclusion before it even got legs. Let’s take a look at the TLC match card and make some predictions.
Charlotte (c) vs Paige – Divas Title Match
This should be a stipulated match. Having the title above the ring, Charlotte and Paige fighting to climb a ladder and retrieve it before their competitor. Making one put the other through a table to secure their victory. Instead, we’re getting the same lackluster match we’ve seen on Raw over the past few weeks. Charlotte will be forced to stay in the shadow of her father while Paige enjoys yet another shot at the title. I want to see someone other than Paige in the title picture as a serious contender. I want Charlotte to be someone other than Ric Flair’s daughter. And I want the Divas division to quit playing it safe and give us something worth watching.
The ECW Originals vs The Wyatt Family – 8 Man Tag Team Elimination Tables Match
The Dudley Boyz returning was exciting, and adding Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno made it even better. Putting them against the Wyatts is a match made in wrestling heaven. Since the Usos are back, the Dudleys are no longer involved in the tag title picture, which is fine if we’re going to get a serious rivalry going with the Wyatt Family. I’m happy to see these eight men in a tables match; there is no doubt in my mind that this will be one of the highlights of the evening.
WINNERS: The Wyatt Family
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs Jack Swagger – US Championship Match
The whole MexAmerica gimmick is over, to the relief of everybody, but it lasted long enough for Jack Swagger and Alberto Del Rio to get into it. With Del Rio part of the League Of Nations, he had to separate himself from Zeb Colter. I’m not sure if this means we’ll see Swagger and Colter together or not, but at least Swagger is back on TV. I’m assuming Zeb will be ringside for this match, but I’m not sure if he’ll be back on Swagger’s side or not. This should have been a stipulated match; a ladder match at the very least. It’s difficult for me to get excited about this one, but I’m hoping they surprise me.
WINNER: Alberto Del Rio
Ryback vs Rusev – Singles Match
Lana is back with Rusev, since WWE Creative couldn’t manage to ignore TMZ and felt forced to work their engagement into the storyline. She is transitioning away from her Russian accent and back in full heel mode. I’m not a fan of the damsel in distress act, even if it’s just for show, so I haven’t been enjoying what has been going on with Ryback “injuring” Lana. This last minute match is also free of tables, ladders, and/or chairs, which is a waste. When you have two competitors of this size, you have to involve one (or all) of the objects that makes TLC such a great PPV.
The New Day (c) vs The Usos vs The Lucha Dragons – Tag Team Title Match
The New Day took a garbage gimmick and turned it to gold. They have made the tag division interesting again and made the titles meaningful. I’m a bit disappointed that the Dudleys were pushed out of the title picture to make room for the Usos, but they seem to be just fine where they are, so hopefully we get to see them fight for the title next year. There are fantastic athletes competing for these titles, and I’m excited to see who comes out on top this time around.
WINNERS: The Usos
Kevin Owens (c) vs Dean Ambrose – IC Title Match
Owens and Ambrose are two of my favorites, but it’s such a waste to not have any stipulations here. Even without any, these are two strong personalities, two fantastic wrestlers, and two very popular athletes that will make this one of the better matches of the evening. Owens has been on fire since debuting on Raw and has no intention of slowing down his momentum. Ambrose is completely over with the fans, but creative seems to be at a loss about what to do with him. Perhaps the involvement in the IC title picture will give him some direction and allow him to be something other than Reigns’ right hand man.
WINNER: Dean Ambrose
Sheamus (c) vs Roman Reigns – TLC World Heavyweight Title Match
I was beyond angry when Reigns won the title, and then couldn’t stop laughing when Sheamus kicked his head off and took the title away from him after a little over five minutes of him winning. Sheamus isn’t my top pick for WWE Heavyweight Champ, but he isn’t Reigns and that makes me happy. I want this to be the last time we see Reigns fight for the title for a while. He isn’t ready by a long shot to be “the guy.” He’s horrible on the mic and too cartoonish in the ring. Sheamus, on the other hand, is a seasoned wrestler, and is now part of a faction that could be very dominant. I’m happy to see him hold the title while Seth Rollins heals and can eventually come back and take what is his.
Article by Mrs. Jamie Baker
The time has come. The showcase of the immortals is upon us once again. Vince McMahon’s dream that started thirty-one years ago comes a little early this year, dropping in March instead of the usual April. But that won’t stop it from being another memorable night of big moments and jaw-dropping matches. Face To Heel’s editor and head writer, Jamie Curtis Baker, will be with you every step up the way with a rapid reaction of every moment, every match, recapping and reviewing each superstar and match outcome.
5:00 PM – The kick off show started right on time. Renee Young, Booker T, Byron Saxton, and Corey Graves recap first Rusev vs Cena. Rusev is shown backstage with the ever intoxicating Lana. She swears to never show compassion again. Rusev says, “Crush John Cena and America dies!” A bit extreme, but it should be a pretty good match regardless. Cut to a video segment of Cena on Jimmy Kimmel this week really milking the American angle. It’s over the top, it’s a badly scripted promo that comes off very forced. Cena stands up and salutes the crowd after. If that sort of thing gets you fired up, well okay then.
5:18 PM – Eden is backstage knocking on Triple H’s door trying to get a comment about his match with Sting. Kane tells her to leave because it’s off limits. This is followed by a HHH/Sting video package which, to be honest, is pretty damn awesome. This match has amazing written all over it. Can’t wait.
5:26 PM – J&J Security shown backstage, getting coffee. Brisco and Patterson are shown, passing the torch from one set of stooges to another. This is really for the more hardcore fans who will get this segment. The casual fan won’t understand. Kid Ink and Skylar Grey revealed to be performing live tonight. WWE hits us with that Seth Rollins and Randy Orton video package, the actually covers Rollins all the way back to The Shield. Very cool. If Roman Reigns is the next John Cena, then Seth Rollins is clearly the next Randy Orton. This match will be epic.
5:38 PM – After a video package showing various news outlets with WWE superstars stopping by all week and some behind the scene looks at fans at WWE Axxess, the Divas tag match is recapped. This will feature the Bella Twins vs Paige and AJ Lee. This was all punctuated with flashbacks of Raw and Smackdown footage. No video montage for this match.
5:43 PM – Bray Wyatt vs Undertaker video package set to Johnny Cash. If you aren’t excited for this one, you might want to dig a hole and just live underground in a cave. I personally predicted that this match would steal the show tonight. On one side you have the mysterious Undertaker, shrouded in shadow after being crushed by Brock Lesnar last year. We don’t know his status. We don’t know how he will look or perform. We only know he is in the building. In the opposite corner you have the self-proclaimed “New Face of Fear” Bray Wyatt who is looking to not only solidify himself as the new creepy, dark enigma of the WWE but establish himself right here and now, building the foundation of his future in professional wrestling.
5:50 PM – The main event is previewed, with Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. The interview with Lesnar on ESPN is shown of him revealing he is remaining with the WWE, having signed a new three year deal. Barring outside influence, Brock Lesnar will win this match. The key factors in this match aren’t even Lesnar and Reigns. The two people to consider during this bout is Paul Heyman and Seth Rollins. Heyman has a history of betraying Lesnar. And Rollins has the MITB briefcase. Cue video package of BABYface Reigns and Lesnar. Chances are good tonight, if both stars bring their a-game, we get a double turn by the time the bell rings and Lesnar continues running rampant through the summer.
6:02 PM – Hour two of the kickoff show begins. The crowd is still filing in as JBL, Jerry Lawler, and Michael Cole are shown right before The Usos come to the ring with Naomi. Los Matadores and El Torito come out next. A New Day comes out to a chorus of boos. This gimmick is so terrible. Please disband it and let Big E be a solo act. He is too good for this. The tag team champions, Cesaro and Tyson Kidd come out to a pretty decent pop. Cesaro and Kofi Kingston start the match. The sun is out super bright and it has to be hard for the competitors. Jay Uso gets taken out with an injury, leaving the match. Cesaro and Kidd pretty much in control for most of the start of this match. Nattie puts the Sharpshooter on El Torito. That’s what this has devolved to. Then Nattie and Naomi get into it outside the ring. This match is pretty fast paced and is honestly not too shabby for a preshow in broad daylight. The match gets punctuated with a six man double suplex off the top rope. Cesaro pins Big E and retains the titles.
6:19 PM – #AskLita segment with none other than WWE Hall of Famer Lita. She answers questions via Twitter. Nothing too enthralling here so we’ll just leave it at that.
6:27 PM – Jon Gruden shown reviewing film for the upcoming Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The match begins with so many sweaty bodies in the ring. Curtis Axel rips his shirt open and then everybody picks him up and throws him out of the ring. First eliminated. Axelmania has died. Hideo Itami of NXT takes some vicious chops from Big Show. I predicted Sheamus would be in this match, but he’s not even there so look for him to ruin the IC Title match later on. Itami takes a hard punch from Show and gets eliminated. Sort of a crappy moment for a guy who earned a shot to be here on NXT. Ryback eliminates both members of The Ascension, then quickly throws out Darren Young, Heath Slater, and Titus O’Neal. Kane hits a double chokeslam on Mix and Mizdow. Cesaro lifts Kane and throws him out. Wow. Five competitors left. Big Show picks up Cesaro and tosses him out. Ryback, Show, Miz, and Mizdow are the final four. Big Show eliminates Ryback. Big Show is clearly exhausted. He has really done a lot in this match, looking extremely tough. Miz tries to get Mizdow to help, Mizdow shakes his head. The crowd starts a YES! chant. Miz: “It’s always been us! I need you! This is for us! We take him out for us!” Mizdow grabs Miz and tosses him out, crowd goes wild! Mizdow and Big Show are the final two. Mizdow gives his all, but Big Show is too, well, big. Big Show wins second annual Andre the Giant Battle Royal.
6:50 PM – That about does it for the preshow. More panel yapping. The big event is right around the corner!
7:00 PM – WRESTLEMANIA!!!!!!!!!!! Aloe Blacc comes out and sings America the Beautiful, a really smooth rendition. Pyrotechnics go off, crowd goes wild. LL Cool J has a video package introducing everyone to WrestleMania. Unnecessary, but still cool. Ladders surround the ring, the IC Belt is hanging above the center and the first music to pop is Daniel Bryan. Crowd goes ape shit, of course. YES! chant starts immediately. The champ, BNB, enters second donning a cape. Dolph Ziggler, Stardust, Luke Harper, R-Truth, and Dean Ambrose round out the competitors. R-Truth is the first to set a ladder up in the ring, but his fear of heights keeps him from climbing towards the belt. The ladder immediately becomes a weapon and painful antics ensue. Stardust takes over, knocking everyone down. Crowd starts a CODY! chant. He then proceeds to pull a bedazzled ladder out from under the ring! HaHa!Ambrose and Harper go at it in the ring. Ziggler takes a a hard punch from Harper, then gets smashed into a ladder. Ladder matches are never pretty. Wrestling is not all fake, folks. Barrett suplexes Stardust from the top of the tallest ladder. Wow. Gets a HOLY SHIT! chant from the crowd. Ambrose, Ziggler, and Bryan battle on a ladder. Luke Harper just powerbombed Ambrose THROUGH a ladder! Ziggler and Bryan go to war at the top of a ladder, pawing at the title. They trade headbutts. Ziggler falls, Bryan reaches up and collects the IC Title!
7:32 PM – Seth Rollins comes to the ring with J&J Security. The Viper, Randy Orton comes out to a big pop. The Future of the Company vs The Face of the Company. Orton sports red trucks, Rollins wearing a rejected outfit prop from the X-Men movies. Orton hits a clothes from hell and then outside the ring Rollins smashes Orton into the table. J&J Security receive a double DDT off the ring apron. It should be noted at this point I’ve had three cocktails and a beer, things might get sloppy in an hour or so. Orton gets taken out by a very clean moonsault from Rollins. So far, though, this match isn’t all that great considering who is in it. Orton hits an RKO, Rollins kicks out at two. Orton teases the punt, but J&J interferes. Rollins hits a Curb Stomp, a very sloppy Curb Stomp. Orton kicks out at two. Oh my god, Rollins goes for a Curb Stomp and Orton turns it into an RkO! Randy Orton wins! So far, a fantastic WrestleMania.
7:56 PM – A drum band performs for Sting. It’s weird but sort of cool. The sun still hasn’t gone down and it’s very strange to watch WrestleMania without the spotlights and bright lights. Stinger comes out. There is a Terminator vignette and then the stage fills with actual terminators! Triple H comes out dressed in a terminator skull outfit. Arnold: “WrestleMania is here. It’s time to play the game.” That was such a great entrance that would have been better in the dark. Sting dominates to start the match. YOU STILL GOT IT! chant from the crowd. Sting throws Triple H over the top rope. HHH can’t seem to gain much ground and the amped up Sting. HHH whips Sting into the corner, then hits him with a SUCK IT gesture. Sting gets HHH in a figure four and DX comes out! Road Dogg, Billy Gunn and XPAC come out to save HHH. Sting takes them out. Triple H hits Pedigree, Sting kicks out at two. Triple H takes a Sledgehammer out. NWO’s music hits! NWO takes out DX. Sting hits Scorpion Deathdrop and HHH kicks out! Sting locks in Scorpion Deathlock. HHH crawls to his sledgehammer, but Hollywood Hogan takes it away! Sting keeps the lock in. XPAC takes out Hogan, Nash takes out XPAC, all hell breaks loose. Shawn Michaels hits Sting with Sweet Chin Music! Triple H goes for the pin and Sting barely kicks out at two and a half! Scott Hall gives Sting his bat. Triple H has his sledgehammer. Triple H’s sledgehammer is broken in half with a baseball bat hit. Sting goes to work. This is epic. TRIPLE H WINS!
8:30 PM – Daniel Bryan backstage gets nods from Bret Hart, Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, Ron Simmons, Patterson, and they all start a YES! chant. Travis Barker is on stage playing drums, Skyler Gray sings the WrestleMania theme song.
8:40 PM – Paige’s music hits. The beautiful AJ Lee comes out, skipping to the ring. The Bellas enter. The sun still hasn’t set, so I hope Paige doesn’t get a sunburn. Nikki immediately takes control of this match, throwing Paige around the ring and delivering a cheap shot to AJ. Both Nikki and Brie try to pin Paige, but she is able to consistently kick out at two while AJ lays comatose outside of the ring. AJ continues to try to get into this match, but the Bellas won’t allow her to get close. Nikki delivers the Rack Attack, which Paige also narrowly escapes. Paige quickly takes control of this match, taking out both Bella twins while AJ finally gets back on the apron. Finally we see our Geek Goddess enter this match. She takes down Nikki, and with the assist from Paige, gets a pin on Nikki, who kicks out at two. AJ gets Nikki locked in the Black Widow, but Brie breaks it up. AJ manages to lock it in again and makes Nikki tap out! Next up is highlights from the Hall of Fame ceremony.
9:00 PM – Cena/Rusev video package. Lana comes out carrying the US title. Rusev comes out…in a tank. LOL! Cena gets an All American white bread video package. This is some Hacksaw Jim Duggan shit. Crowd boos Cena very loudly and sings JOHN CENA SUUUUUUUUUUCKS. Rusev forces Eden to introduce him first. Cena hits a clothesline and goes for a pin. Rusev kicks out at one. The sun still hasn’t set, but has gone down enough that most of the stadium is in shadows. Crowd is very anti-Cena. Crowd starts a LET’S GO LANA chant. Cena hits an STF. Lana throws her shoe at the ref. Michael Cole sells it as the most bizarre thing he’s ever seen. And WWE had a guy called Boogeyman that ate worms in the ring. BUT OKAY. Rusev hits a flying headbutt, Cena kicks out at two. Rusev tries to lock in Accolade, but Cena counters before it gets locked in. Rusev kicks out at two. Cena hits AA, Rusev kicks out and lands a super kick. Rusev locks in the Accolade. Super Cena picks him up and slams him into the corner. Then Cena locks in the STF. Rusev takes out Lana by accident, Cena hits the AA and gets a pinfall. The preshow panels recaps most of the show.
9:36 PM – Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in the ring. They inform the crowd they set a new attendance record. Triple H destroys Sting on the mic. Says he owns Sting and the superstars and all the WWE Universe. “The Authority always wins.” The Rock’s music hits! 76,000 chant ROCKY! Rock calls out HHH. Triple H takes his jacket off. Steph and Rock trade barbs, Steph slaps Rock. The Rock exits the ring. The Rock finds Ronda Rousey ringside! The Rock attacks Triple H! Ronda Rousey slams him down! Steph grabs her. Big mistake! Ronda grabs Steph by the arm and throws her out of the ring. The Rock: “That is called being owned.”
10:01 PM – Bray Wyatt enters the arena surrounded by a bunch of creepy ass scarecrows that all stutter around behind him. The sun is still up so Undertaker’s entrance is going to fall a little flat. BONG. Fog hits, music hits, the deadman comes around. Just in the face, Taker looks years younger than he did last year. This is his 23rd WrestleMania appearance. Still, by far, the best entrance in the business. I don’t know how he looks ten years younger, but somehow he does. Taker starts the match with a huge boot and gets Bray in the corner. This is what Sting should have looked like. Taker hits Old School and crowd goes nuts. Start a YOU STILL GOT IT! chant. Bray Wyatt takes control for a little while, keeping Taker down on his back. Taker locks in Hell’s Gate submission! Wyatt fights out. Wyatt goes for Sister Abigail and Taker reverses it into a chokeslam. Taker hits a tombstone pile driver! Wyatt kicks out at two! Taker runs a thumb across his neck….goes for a second tombstone pile driver. Bray counters, hits Sister Abigail. Taker barely kicks out! Wyatt mocks Taker. Taker reverse a Sister Abigail into a tombstone piledriver. ONE TWO THREE! UNDERTAKER WINS!!!
10:34 PM – Roman Reigns comes out, going through the crowd which has to be absolutely frightening. Lesnar comes out, looking like an absolute animal. Lillian introduces Reigns. Heyman takes the mic and introduces Brock Lesnar which makes him all the more intimidating. This turns into a quick brawl. Lesnar hits a suplex and an F5! Doesn’t even go for a pin, just wipes the blood from his face. Lesnar appears genuinely pissed off at having his face busted open. Hits a couple more suplexes. “Suplex city, bitch!” – Brock Lesnar. Another suplex by Lesnar. Lesnar hits an eighth suplex. This is just an ass whooping at this point. Reigns kicks out of an F5 and Lesnar takes his gloves off, literally. He slaps Reigns with a bare open palm over and over. Nine suplexes. Ten. A third F5. Reigns kicks out at two. Lesnar gets busted open on the ring post, takes two Superman punches but doesn’t go down. After a third punch Lesnar goes down but hops up. Reigns hits a spear and Lesnar gets up. HE TAKES A SECOND SPEAR AND KICKS OUT AT TWO!!! Lesnar hits an F5 and both men are down! Seth Rollins comes out! He has the ref cash in! IT IS NOW A TRIPLE THREAT MATCH!!!!!!! Rollins hits a curb stomp on Reigns, goes to Lesnar for a curb stomp and gets it blocked, Reigns hits a spear, Rollins hits Reigns with a curb stomp and pins him for the title!!!
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
Before I get into what TNA did last night, I have to comment on this week’s Monday Night Raw. I didn’t write a review about Raw and I don’t plan to. It was a mediocre, piss poor excuse for an episode. Especially the last Raw before the Night of Champions pay-per-view. Brock Lesnar gets limited appearances every year and is barely at Raw. So what does WWE do? They main event Raw with Mark Henry butting heads with Rusev. Unbelievable. And now we get to see Vince and Company scramble as they for some reason have decided 2014 was the year they would openly try to challenge Monday Night Football. Just stop. Worry about a better product, not competing for ratings. Speaking of a better product, let’s review No Surrender.
TNA has really turned up the volume on their business lately. It’s exciting to tune in every week to see what they come up with next. The best part is they haven’t really copied off WWE for awhile which is a nice, new trend. The free pay-per-view started off with a Knockouts Battleroyal to crown the #1 Contender to Gail Kim’s Knockouts Title. This match had seven competitors–Taryn Terrell, Madison Rayne, The Beautiful People (Angelina Love and Velvet Sky), Rebel, Brittany, and newcomer Havoc. This match was slow and somewhat boring, but was still better than any Divas bullcrap WWE puts out. Havoc is quickly becoming my favorite and she was pretty destructive throughout the match. She is a fierce competitor.
Madison Rayne went out first, continuing her miniature downward spiral as of late. Then Taryn Terrell got eliminated, followed by Brittany. Angelina Love and Rebel went next, respectively, leaving just Velvet Sky versus Havoc. I had honestly thought Velvet Sky was going to win in order to add tension to The Beautiful Peoples and lead to a possible breakup. Instead, Havoc dumped Velvet Sky out of the ring to get the win. Next week we will see Havoc versus Gail Kim. Oh Yeah!
Quick promo backstage of Samuel Shaw and Gunner talking. Gunner suggesting Shaw goes and sees his doctor for a checkup and mentioning taking Brittany on a date. Shaw reminds Gunner he’s obsessed with Christie Hemme.
Then MVP and Kenny King come out to the ring. They called out Chris Melendez. Sarge came to the ring amidst “U-S-A!” chants. Kenny King asked him to join Lashley, MVP, and himself so that he can carry their luggage. Melendez refuses and King demands a match and calls for a ref. The match is just about to start and….COMMERCIAL BREAK! Nothing annoys me more than a commercial during a match. Especially when these past few weeks of TNA shows have already been recorded. Edit your shit so that it flows with commercials instead of being interrupted by them.
This match was okay. I thought Kenny King was too aggressive and was wrestling sloppy. If he had been cleaner, it would have been a great match to garner some heel heat. The biggest drag for the match was it was too focused on King. Melendez spent most of the match on his back and we didn’t really get to see his skill set. He got a quick roll up pinfall victory but was quickly assaulted by King. Mr. Anderson came out to help Sarge.
After the break, we come back to see Homicide entering the ring. Last week he claimed the #1 Contender rights to Samoa Joe’s X-Division Championship. This match was sort of weird to watch. I normally like Samoa Joe. He is one of the toughest guys on the TNA roster. But he just looked really bad at No Surrender. He looked winded, maybe hungover, maybe even in desperate need of a long nap. Homicide was very quick and looked sharp. I was pretty impressed with his ring work. I actually thought he might pull out a victory, but Joe made him tap to a submission. This match was Meh City for me. But it turned around at the end when The Cowboy, James Storm, came out with Sanada and attacked everyone. Then Manik came out in new gear with a new mask. And then there were three… Is James Storm starting a new stable?
Another great match followed for the Tag Team Titles. The Wolves, The Hardys, and Team 3D. Devon and Bully won the first match and The Hardy’s won last week, picking a ladders stipulation for the No Surrender match. This match was great. Jeff Hardy hit his usual insanity flying around the ring, crashing off ladders, and just throwing caution to the wind as he destroyed his body. When he got a bit of momentum, he grabbed a ladder and then TNA cut to a commercial! (Seriously, PLEASE stop doing this.) After the break, tables were introduced, chairs were introduced, pain was introduced. All six men put on quite a spectacle. It was another amazing outing in this series. In the end, The Wolves reclaimed their belts after an exhaustive battle. Now the series is all tied at one and the next match is for all the marbles. The Wolves will get to choose the stipulation. I could watch these three times go at it every single week.
Bram versus Gunner was next. This match was fast and brutal. Bram dominated throughout until Samuel Shaw came out to interfere. He tried to attack Bram, missed, and knocked Gunner out instead. Bram picked up the pinfall victory and the strife between Shaw and Gunner continues to grow. I’m sure this will come to a head in the coming weeks.
Lastly, we have Bobby Lashley defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Bobby Roode. This match was pretty good, as main events go. It certainly outperformed Rusev and Mark Henry on Raw. MVP and Kenny King were ringside, of course. They both interfered at various points, with MVP getting thrown out by the ref and then later Eric Young came down to get rid of Kenny King. The match between Roode and Lashley was one of the best I’ve seen from TNA this year in terms of just one-on-one straight up wrestling. Roode had a slow ground game for awhile, trying to keep the champ winded. I’ve been a fan for Roode for awhile and he held his own against the MMA fighter. He got a lot of close two-and-a-half counts, but Lashley kept kicking out. This match had a lot of big-time moments and I was pretty thoroughly entertained. Roode went for his big finisher, but his leg was “injured” and he dropped Lashley who then hit a spear for the win. I was surprised with the outcome, as I’ve been waiting for Lashley to drop the title due to his commitment with the Belator stuff. We will see who the new #1 Contender is next week on Impact.
As “pay-per-views” go it was fairly decent. As FREE pay-per-views go, it was entertaining as hell. It’s a shame Spike won’t pick up TNA’s contract because they really do have a viable product and a great wrestling roster. No Surrender lulled in a few spots, but for the most part it was firing on all cylinders. It definitely blew Raw out of the water. Thanks for reading. Please be sure to subscribe to our feed and follow us on Twitter @facetoheel for more updates. Also, don’t forget TNA’s One Night Only: World Cup is available now on pay-per-view.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker