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
Tonight, I will be writing my first live review, and I’m excited to be able to do it for Tables, Ladders, Chairs & Stairs. The TLC kickoff featured Paul Heyman on commentary, with his typical “why am I here with these fools” expression. Our preshow match is a tag team battle between Gold and Stardust and Big E and Kofi Kingston of A New Day. To quote my 9-year-old, “What is this? I don’t get it.” I don’t have a good answer that properly explains what A New Day is doing, but I am enjoying Stardust’s new green hue. This is a better match than I imagined, but it’s a shame to see Kingston and Big E fail to expand their moveset in order to fit their new characters. Stardust is looking strong, not letting either New Day member really get off the ground. Big E eventually comes in like an angry bull, crushing both brothers and going for The Big Ending. Stardust breaks his run and nearly gets the pin but Kofi breaks it up. Cue Brock Lesnar guy sighting. Kofi tags himself in and, as expected, gets the pin to win the match. It’s a real shame to see Gold and Stardust reduced to jobbers, but this was a pretty decent 15 minute match and a good way to get ready for TLC.
Two minutes after 8pm and we’re ready to go with a video package reminding us once again that TLC is the WWE’s version of the Demolition Derby. Slightly cheesy but a good reminder of how violent and brutal this PPV can be. Could have done without the Lebron James reference from Michael Cole. We’re kicking things off with the Intercontinental Title Match between Luke Harper (c) and Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler is in rare form tonight; more hyped up than usual, and no doubt excited to be back in his hometown. Harper is looking like he just finished up a month long bender that involved a lot of sweat and no soap whatsoever. The match barely begins before ladders are brought into the ring. Harper makes a go for the title straight away, giving a kick to Ziggler’s face after he stops the run. Ten minutes in and I wonder how Ziggler is still standing. Harper knocks a ladder down, the top hits Ziggler right in the face; this is clearly a one-sided match so far as Ziggler is repeatedly beat with ladder after ladder. Harper flies out of the ring to attack Ziggler and falls on the ladder in such a way that makes me think he is seriously hurt. His arm is bruised and bloody in seconds. To Harper’s credit, he gets right back in the match and sends Ziggler for a ride off the ladder and into the ropes. Both men are bloodied and cut up at this point. Ziggler’s head and hands are busted open, his arm is cut and bruised, and Harper isn’t fairing much better with his sliced up arm. I have a whole new respect for both of these athletes. With two ladders raised, Ziggler hits Harper with a kick to the face and wins the IC Title once again!!! Man, this victory was seriously earned. Both men were fantastic and both deserved to win, but I’m glad Ziggler got the win in his hometown. Now, someone get the man some ice and band-aids.
We now immediately go into our Tag Team Title match, The Usos vs The Miz & Mizdow (c). I really like Miz and Mizdow’s new gear, and feel really bad for them having to follow that insanely bad ass ladder match. One Uso and Miz go back and forth trying to get quick pins, and everyone in the audience is focused on Mizdow. My kid is in hysterics watching Mizdow throw himself around the outside of the ring. The Usos go for a submission, and it’s nice to see something different out of them for once. Miz and Mizdow end up losing the match via disqualification so thankfully, they keep the titles. I’m just waiting for the moment when Mizdow breaks away from The Miz. He was the only part of this match I really paid attention to.
Big Show’s music hits and we get into a match I’m very curious about, the Steel Stairs match vs Erick Rowan. I’m quickly becoming a big fan of Rowan; he seems to be thriving in his new role as a singles competitor. It only takes a few minutes for Rowan to go for the stairs and get Show to the ground. This match is beginning to look like a dangerous game of Jenga. Or maybe hardcore Legos. Show throws stairs on the announce table and then throws Rowan into a completely different set. Cue “Big Show Sucks” chant by the Ohio crowd. Show gets the steps wedged between the ropes and slams Rowan’s head into them over and over. Rowan quickly counters by throwing Show onto the stairs, knocking him senseless. Rowan tries to slam the stairs on top of Show, but Show rolls out of the way and manages to only get a piece of his side pinched in between instead. It’s still enough to hurt the giant, who knocks Rowan into the Jenga creation Rowan made earlier. You can tell Show is struggling at this point; he’s sweating more than normal and limping quite a bit. Show ends up getting the pin by using the stairs to immobilize Rowan. Lackluster finish to a pretty great match.
Now I’m excited, because Cena vs Rollins is NOT the main event as I initially expected it to be. Kudos to the WWE powers that be for allowing someone besides the golden boy to headline this PPV. I want Cena to lose, so he is both out of the main event picture for a while, but also out of the WWE World Heavyweight Title picture for at least a few months. Paul Heyman makes his way to the ring to get a front row seat to the match that will decide the future for his client, Brock Lesnar. You know, the guy who didn’t even realize there was a PPV going on tonight. Ghetto Cena is back in full force tonight. Rollins is getting a lot of assists from his security team, which is legal since there are no disqualifications. I’m just ready for Cena to go through a table or ten. Shout out to the guy who screamed “CENA YOU SUUUUCK!” J&J Security is popping in and out of this match, assisting Rollins and making me worried that Cena is eventually going to kick out of a tsunami and win this thing. The “Lets Go Cena, Cena Sucks” chants are filling the arena. The “Lets Go Rollins” chant that follows is much deserved, as Cena goes into his tired Five Moves Of Doom. J&J thankfully interrupt before he can get to the AA. Cena grabs a barrier for some reason to use against the security guards, prompting the announce team to praise his creativity. Shout out to the guy who yelled “You Suck, Cena!” Rollins gets two tables set up, but of course Super Cena blocks the throw and gets himself back in the match. Mr. Money In The Bank decides to use his briefcase as a weapon in order to gain the upper hand. Rollins is nearly thrown through a table, but Rollins counters by flipping right over it. Amazing. Cena AAs Rollins through a table, but the referee is knocked out and misses the winning move. J&J security quickly remove all evidence of the win and attack Cena. My heart is happy. At least until Super Cena comes to with a miraculous recovery and double AAs J&J through a table. Not a fan of Cena, but I gotta say that was impressive. Out of nowhere, both men go through two tables simultaneously and the bell is rung. The refs are split on a winner, so the match is restarted! Rollins quickly takes control, tearing apart the announce table. Cena tries to put Rollins through the announce table, but the table wins. Big Show comes out to the ring, which can’t be a good sign for Cena. Punch after punch to the gut, and then Roman Reigns’s music hits!!! Out of the audience, Reigns is back!!! He immediately goes after Show, hitting the Knockout Punch and sending Show through a table. And then, Cena puts Rollins through a table and wins. I’m pissed. Does Cena really need another title shot? Do we really need Cena vs Lesnar AGAIN?!? This was such a waste of a great opportunity. WWE Creative needs to realize that there are other people on the roster other than Cena that can (and should) face Lesnar. Come on.
Shaking off that last match, we move into the Divas Championship Match; AJ Lee vs Nikki Bella. AJ is fantastic and I adore everything about her, so it should be quite obvious who I want to win this. Brie comes out looking like the product of a porn star fused with a Hot Topic cashier, accompanying her sister Nikki to the ring. Nikki is dressed like a Christmas tree ornament. If AJ doesn’t win, I don’t care about this match. Nikki quickly leaves the ring to do push-ups for some reason. AJ takes control briefly before Nikki uses her size to her advantage and gains the upper hand. Nikki gets AJ wrapped around the ring post in a very painful move, and then the Network decides to lag out. Apparently the Network also uses Divas matches for bathroom breaks. Brie’s words of encouragement are godawful and they don’t seem to be helping, as AJ keeps kicking out and nearly securing pinfalls. Out of nowhere, Nikki sprays hairspray or something in AJ’s face, which is bullshit. And Nikki retains the title. Yawn. This PPV went to shit for me really quick.
Now some good news; Ryback vs Kane is up next in a chairs match. Be right back while I mark out to Ryback’s entrance. The match begins with both men swinging chairs at each other as if they were swords. The Feed Me More chants are loud, and it’s hard for me to write while also trying to fangirl away to Ryback crushing Kane. I almost wish that these two had been given the stairs match. A “boring” match starts, which breaks my heart a bit, but I can’t blame the crowd for losing interest. Kane just isn’t the same without the mask and fire and all the demon talk. Irate librarian Kane throws a bunch of chairs in the ring to set up a choke slam, but Ryback counters and sends Kane into the chairs instead. Would have been better with a table. Giving these two chairs was a disservice. Ryback violently takes it to Kane with a chair, making everyone at home giggle at the “I’m dumb as fuck” podcast comment. Impressively, Ryback gets Kane up for the Shell Shocked and pins the former demon for the win. It was an okay match, but could have benefited from a different stipulation. Still, I can’t be let down with a Ryback win. The big guy!
Sidenote: Super Striker commercial plays and John Cena wins. Even in the world of commercials and toys, the damn guy wins. I hate the WWE sometimes.
Rusev Petri Dish. Rusev Match Car. I don’t know about you, but I’m happy to see Lana. The lady looks ravishing in red. Swagger interrupts Lana’s speech and the match for the United States title is underway. My hopes for something new didn’t pan out, as Rusev remains undefeated. To be honest, I didn’t pay much attention to this match since it was one we’ve seen time and time again.
Time for the main event! Dean Ambrose come to the ring first, ladder in hand, followed by Bray Wyatt and his creepy entrance. These two don’t waste any time getting into it; Bray barely sets the lantern down before Ambrose is all over him. 35 minutes are left in this PPV and I hope these two men use every second of it. Ambrose dives off of the preshow announce table into Wyatt, which is awesome and also sadly shows that Alex Riley has been sitting there alone this entire time. Ambrose gets the kendo sticks out, but Bray won’t back down. He almost invites the blows to the head. Somehow, the kendo stick ends up in Ambrose’s mouth, as Wyatt takes control of the match. Neither man seems to be 100% confident in this battle so far; ten minutes in and I still feel as if they are holding back. As I say this, Wyatt hits Ambrose will one hell of a clothesline. The men take it out of the ring, among the ladders and chairs and tables, and Ambrose puts Wyatt through a table with force, starting a “Holy Shit” chant that broke at least one fan’s brain. That table was beyond destroyed. Ambrose climbs a ladder to put Wyatt through another table, making the crowd go insane and leaving shards of table everywhere. A “one more time” chant starts. Back in the ring, Wyatt hits the Sister Abigail and nearly gets the pin. A second Sister Abigail is reversed, a Dirty Deeds is kicked out of, and there is too much going on to tally. Ambrose randomly throws a steel stair into the Spanish announce table and makes us remember why we love him so much. He pulls a TV out from under the ring, which the fans are eating up. Ambrose limps down the ramp and grabs the second biggest ladder out on display, while yelling “I can’t carry that one” about the giant ladder that was next to it. God bless Dean Ambrose. RIP Spanish Announce Table? Nope; Ambrose gets payback by ramming a chair into Wyatt’s windpipe, in the same fashion that Wyatt injured him days ago. He then climbs a ladder and jumps 25 feet onto Wyatt, crushing the man and the Spanish announce table. Holy shit indeed. The lunatic fringe is unhinged and then some. He grabs the TV and tries to smash it into Wyatt, but the thing explodes in his face! Was this planned??!? Wyatt quickly hits a Sister Abigail and picks up the win. I am still slightly in shock.
This was one hell of a match and an excellent PPV. Our main event was excellent, but I have to say that without a doubt, Ziggler vs Harper was the match of the evening. Please weigh in below with your thoughts, comments, and opinions on TLC. We’ll see you at the Royal Rumble.
Article by Mrs. Jamie Baker
There was less than a month in between Survivor Series and the upcoming TLC Pay Per View, which meant that a lot of pressure was put on WWE’s creative team to really bring out the big guns and ensure we have a successful TLC. Sadly, every Raw between the two PPVs has been lacking, and each Smackdown is filled with more recaps than they are matches and promos. The anonymous GM is back, although it hasn’t been too intrusive thanks to Daniel Bryan and Santino stepping in as interim managers, with Chris Jericho set to run the Raw following TLC. The Authority is still present in spirit as Mr. Money In The Bank has kept his momentum going with the assistance of his security team and Kane. Out of these lackluster few weeks, however, has come a pretty decent match card for TLC. Last year’s TLC featured ONE match with tables, ladders, and/or chairs. In comparison, WWE has seriously stepped it up this year with plenty of stipulated matches. Let’s take a look at the card and make some predictions.
A New Day vs Goldust and Stardust – Preshow Kickoff Tag Match
How far Gold and Stardust have fallen. The duo went from being on top of the tag division to being nothing more than quirky jobbers. As much as I miss Cody Rhodes, I have a great deal of appreciation and respect for what he has done with his new character. He and his brother bring a lot to the tag division and it’s a shame to see them pushed to the bottom of the ladder. If putting them against A New Day is a tactic to elevate the new trio, it’s being done the wrong way. I am glad that they are on the Kickoff, as it allows more big names to be part of the action and helps extend the show past its three hour limits. My worries with this match stem from what creative decided to do with Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, and Big E. They turned them into the most stereotypical characters they could think of while still being PG and not infringing on R-Truth’s rapping and dancing. A New Day has just arrived and many fans are already wishing for yesterday.
WINNERS: A New Day. I’m hoping this isn’t a squash match, but I fear it will be short, sweet, and wholly uninteresting.
Erick Rowan vs Big Show – Steel Stairs Match
This year’s TLC features a new stipulated match; a Steel Stairs Match. The terms are self explanatory and it will definitely add something fresh and new to the PPV. The steel stairs have been a staple in many matches and can be a serious weapon when wielded by the right person. Both Rowan and Show have the size and strength to turn this into an energetic and brutal fight. Seeing as this is the first time a match of this kind will be a part of TLC, a lot of pressure is put on these two athletes to set the bar high and give us something we’ll remember. The stairs can’t be ignored for too long, but they also shouldn’t be the first thing they go for. They need to go beyond simply throwing each other into them or slamming them into each other’s faces and find new ways to use them as a weapon. I’m excited to see what happens with this one and cautiously optimistic that it will be one of the better matches of the evening.
WINNER: Erick Rowan, possibly via knockout with many assists from the steel stairs.
Possible Addition: The Bunny
I hate that damn bunny with all my being, but that doesn’t stop creative from shoving it down our throats at every opportunity. Unless Zack Ryder is the one wearing that bunny suit, I do not care. But that stupid bunny won a Slammy and now we’re going to see the thing even more frequently. If we get an impromptu tag match with Adam Rose and The Bunny vs Slater Gator or Los Matadores, I’m storming WWE headquarters and demanding my $9.99 back.
The Miz & Damien Mizdow (c) vs The Usos – Tag Team Title Match
Mizdow is absolutely golden, and his performances on the Slammy edition of Raw were the highlights of the evening, hands down. He’s making toy belts more relevant than the actual Tag Titles, he’s upstaging Miz around every corner, and he is beyond over with the fans. I happen to like The Miz, which I’ve noticed puts me in the minority, but the guy entertains me. Miz and his stunt double are one of my favorite tag teams in recent history and I’m incredibly happy that they won the titles. And then we have The Usos. To voice another possibly unpopular opinion, I’m not a fan of the twins. I find them boring and one dimensional, and can’t help but be annoyed that they’re getting yet another title shot. If not for Total Divas, I wonder if they would be getting pushed at all right now. The whole Miz/Naomi storyline will probably help Naomi’s career, but it isn’t doing much for the Usos or this “feud.” This needs to be a one-off match and we need to move on. Miz and Mizdow became a tag team out of nowhere, and there are plenty of athletes on the roster that are better suited to be paired and pitted against our current champs. The Usos need to take a backseat for a while.
WINNERS: Miz and Mizdow. With Mizdow breaking character more often now to play to the crowd, I suspect he will be the one who gets the pin.
Ryback vs Kane – Chairs Match
Ryback Rules! I fangirl out every time his music hits and he walks out, arms swinging. I’ve been a fan from his debut, through the godawful Rybaxel, and through his surgery and recovery. I’m so glad he was able to come back into the main event picture as the guy we knew from the beginning, only now with mic skills and a much bigger move set in the ring. The Big Guy will face off against an angry shirtless version of my eighth grade science teacher in a chairs match, and I can’t wait to see it. I miss Kane’s mask and the dark personality, but the guy is a force to be reckoned with regardless of his wardrobe. Chairs have played a big role in the rise and fall of The Authority, so it makes sense that Authority lackey Kane will be in a chairs match against Ryback, who turned against Triple H by joining Team Cena at Survivor Series. I keep holding onto a sliver of hope that Kane will finally break away from his new role as a topless tax attorney and return to his roots, so I have to hope for that break at TLC. Regardless of what Kane does or doesn’t do, this is going to be a hell of a fight.
WINNER: I want to say Ryback, but with all the interference with those puny security guards, it may very well be Kane’s victory at the end
Nikki Bella (c) vs AJ Lee – Divas Title Match
I have a theory that Nikki is currently champion because Vince McMahon wanted to put a stop to the rumor that he wasn’t going to allow any Total Divas cast member to hold the title. Her victory was an easy one, thanks to her sister Brie, who apparently turned heel and forgot about all the bullshit Nikki had been putting her through. It makes me wonder what Brie’s role will be at TLC and if she will return to a role as a face, where she is now much better suited. Regardless of the way you spin it, Nikki does not make for a good champion. As much as Paige annoyed me, she at least acted like the title truly mattered to her. Nikki comes off as a spoiled child who simply asked daddy for the shiny butterfly belt and received it on a platter the next day. She is owned by AJ when it comes to verbal feuds; repeating “and you know what?” over and over does not make for a good rebuttal. She comes off as a rookie and doesn’t need to hold onto that title. I’m hoping Naomi ends up getting a push because I would love to see what that woman could do as champ.
WINNER: AJ Lee. Wishful thinking? Probably. But there is a reason she is a three time Divas champ, there is a reason her reign is the longest, and there is a reason she’s still around in a big way.
Luke Harper (c) vs Dolph Ziggler – Ladders Match for the Intercontinental Title
When Harper won the title from Ziggler, I can’t imagine that anyone saw it coming. It’s rough being a Ziggler fan; he’s never pushed the way he should be, his matches are constantly interrupted by commercial breaks, and he almost never catches a break. When he got the win for Team Cena at Survivor Series, I took it as a serious sign that things are changing for the Show Off. But with Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns set to return to action soon, it makes me wonder where that will leave Ziggler. Bryan has to remain a face right now; his battle with the Authority is far from over and he can’t simply let things go just because so much time has passed. Reigns also must remain a face due to the fallout with Seth Rollins and his upcoming battle to get back in the title picture. Ziggler, on the other hand, can easily turn heel and not alienate any of his fan base or change anything major about his persona. That way, he can fit into future main events without overcrowding it with babyfaces. I don’t know if a turn has a place at TLC, but it would definitely be interesting.
WINNER: With no heel turn, Luke Harper. With a heel turn, Dolph Ziggler.
Rusev (c) vs Jack Swagger – United States Championship Match
I don’t know when it happened, and I don’t know how it happened, but one day I found myself cheering for Jack Swagger. While sober. It has nothing to do with the USA vs Russia nonsense; I’m a big fan of Rusev and Lana and couldn’t care less about the insults they hurl at the states. Maybe it’s because of Zeb’s fabulous mustache, I can’t be sure. Apparently Zeb’s leg is broken because Rusev attacked him, so Swagger is livid and wants revenge. He put up a pretty good fight against the Bulgarian Brute on Monday and forced Titus O’Neal to tap out on Friday, but that may not mean much against a man that has yet to be pinned or submit. Rusev won the US Title on a post-match show after Raw on November 3rd 2014 by beating Sheamus. He breathed life back into the title and continued on undefeated (unless you count the Survivor Series count out elimination, which I tend to do). Since his debut at the Royal Rumble earlier this year, Rusev has been an unstoppable force. We’ve had nearly a year of an angry Russian attacking any country loving American on the roster, so perhaps it is time for a change. It’ll be interesting to see what Swagger is able to accomplish here.
WINNER: Jack Swagger. I feel like we’ve been seeing a whole other side of Swagger lately, and I’m honestly pulling for him to win the title
Dean Ambrose vs Bray Wyatt – TLC Match
This is the main event as far as I’m concerned. This match is Crazy vs Crazier, both men with a whole lot to prove, and no fear when it comes to putting themselves in harms way. After a few missteps with Jericho, Wyatt is back and better than ever. Making him the enemy of Ambrose was the perfect way to separate Ambrose from his battle with Seth Rollins and allow both men to take a break from that particular story. It’s hard to cheer one over the other when they’re both in the ring, especially when they both have a way of stealing the spotlight regardless of whether or not the score a win. There have been injuries and plenty of insults. Countless lines have been crossed and lots of furniture has been broken. Eventually, Ambrose is going to have to readdress his situation with Rollins, but for now, he has his hands full and then some with Bray Wyatt. As far as an end game here, your guess is likely better than mine. Neither man will bend to the other, neither will give up, and there’s no way in hell one of them simply gives up and moves on. Their TLC match will definitely not be the last time we see these two on opposite sides of the ring. It makes me wonder if there is a chance, however small, of the two reaching some sort of common goal and forming a temporary tag team. Farfetched? Of course, but they would be a force to be reckoned with for sure.
WINNER: Dean Ambrose, but the win won’t come easy and won’t come clean.
John Cena vs Seth Rollins – Tables Match with #1 Contendership on the line
I don’t think this should be the main event at all, but my husband pointed out that it would be worth it if Cena loses and is no longer #1 contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, currently held by some guy we see every so often. Whether you’re a fan of Cena or not, you can’t argue the fact that the guy gets more main events, more title shots, and more attention than anyone else on the roster. He’s not a phenomenal wrestler; he has a limited move set and can’t sell an injury worth a damn. He’s a money maker, plain and simple, which gets him countless opportunities over his colleagues. Cena needs to lose in order to open up the floor for someone else to take the title off of Brock Lesnar. We’ve done Cena vs Lesnar, we’ve done Cena vs Rollins, and now it’s time for Cena to take a back seat and allow Lesnar and Rollins to take on someone new. Roman Reigns will be back in action soon, and he seems to be the obvious and popular choice to step up. The outcome of this match will set the tone of the WWE from now until Wrestlemania. It needs to be a clean match without interference from the remnants of The Authority, as Rollins now has the perfect chance to show everyone that he can stand on his own. I’m keeping every finger crossed that this match does not disappoint.
WINNER: Seth Rollins. Bonus points if he finds a way to put Cena through two tables. And…. cue Brock Lesnar? I won’t hold my breath, but it would be a good time for him to (finally) come back.
Article by Mrs. Jamie C Baker
I didn’t do a review last week. Raw was terrible. I will give it a shot this week I suppose. It has to be better for the simple fact it is the Slammy Awards. The show starts with Seth Green, host of the night, coming out. He is interrupted by The Miz and Damien Mizdow. They present nominees for This is Awesome Moment of the Year. Then Dolph Ziggler comes out. Followed by Seth Rollins. Rollins when with some interference from J&J Security. Sting wins Awesome Moment but Seth Rollins takes it instead, accepting on his behalf.
A New Day comes out to the ring. I really have not been able to get on board with these guys. I like all three individually, but this new trio just adds to the list of terrible black characters Vince McMahon has created over the years. Kofi Kingston set to take on Stardust. Kofi gets the win. Actually a pretty weak match from two great competitors. Neither man on his game tonight.
John Laurinitis comes out. This is just terrible television. He shows nominees for Surprise Return of the Year. Ultimate Warrior wins. Paul Heyman cuts into Seth Rollins backstage. Speakings of surprises, here comes the NXT Women’s Champion, Charlotte. She is taking on Natalya. Tyson Kidd cheers on ringside as Nattie gets a pretty cheap roll-up pinfall. Don’t forget to watch NXT Takeover this Thursday. It might be the best thing WWE does all week.
Santino comes out to present the nominees for the OMG! Shocking Moment of the Year Slammy Award. Brock Lesnar breaking The Undertaker’s Streak wins. Paul Heyman accepts. Then Bray Wyatt comes out. He yammers on about something or other. This whole thing is just a ten minute recap of Wyatt’s/Ambrose’s greatest hits over the past week. Ambulance sirens are here. Dean Ambrose comes out wearing a neck brace. Oversold and predictable. At least their TLC match should be pretty epic. He pulls a table, ladder and meat tray out of the ambulance. Wait no, that’s a chair. He brings it all to the ring and starts assaulting Bray Wyatt. Tells him to get a good look at the ambulance because he’ll be leaving TLC in one.
Seth Green comes back out and introduces Jerry Lawler, who gives us the Diva of the Year Slammy Award. AJ clutches it, as she should. Ghetto Cena cuts a backstage promo ALL UP IN DAT ASS. I hate this guy. Erick Rowan vs Luke Harper up next. Match ends with Harper being disqualified using a ladder. Douchebag, Adam Rose comes out to present LOL Moment of the Year Slammy. Damien Mizdow wins, rightfully so.
Rusev and Lana come out. Jack Swagger interrupts and gets Rusev in a Patriot Lock. They have a match Sunday at TLC for the United States Championship. Kane, Miz, Mizdow vs The Usos and Ryback next. Not really feeling Raw at this point. Been a pretty deflated evening. And the upcoming main event doesn’t help much. Ryback and The Usos win in a match we’ve more or less seen a hundred times.
Ricky Steamboat comes out to present Match of the Year Slammy. Team Cena vs Team Authority wins. Dolph’s music hits, damn straight. He comes out to accept the Slammy. That’s what I am talking about! AJ Lee and Summer Rae already in the ring, ready to start a battle. AJ Lee wins with the Black Widow submission. She has a Divas title rematch at TLC.
Rob Van Dam comes out to present the Extreme Moment of the Year. Jericho vs Bray Wyatt wins this one. What? Terrible vote, WWE Universe. Main event time Big Show vs John Cena. The only way this match is good is if Brock Lesnar interferes and murders Cena. Booker T comes out to present Superstar of the Year Slammy. Dolph Ziggler isn’t even nominated, so what the shit? At least Cena didn’t win it. Roman Reigns gets the Slammy. And he makes his first physical appearance in a long time. He’s live in person leading me to further believe the voting is just for show and WWE picks the winners. Cena’s music hits. There is yellow and red every where. Reminds me of vomit. Luke Harper comes out. Erick Rowan comes out. You can see where this is going. Ryback and Kane come out. There are stairs and ladders and chairs and tables. Let’s just throw everyone from Survivor Series together to close out Raw because literally nothing else exciting is going on. Dolph kicks Big Show in the face twice but then Harper puts Dolph face first through a table. Cena hits Harper and then Rollins Curb Stomps Cena. Well, that was a fun twenty seconds. Kudos to Cena at least for selling that Stomp really well. J&J Security take Cena to the announce table. Rollins powerbombs Cena through the table. Raw ends with Rollins standing tall. Another terrible Raw, third week in a row. Riddled with a few good spots, but mostly just garbage television.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker