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
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