Tables. Ladders. Chairs. For most normal people, these are just everyday objects and nothing to be excited about. But to fans of the WWE, these three words mean that we’re about to get one hell of a show. And last Sunday, we were treated to the WWE’s annual TLC pay-per-view event featuring these mundane instruments of destruction!
Was is any good? Let’s go see!
Match #1: Heath Slater and Rhyno vs Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton (with Luke Harper) for the Smackdown Tag Team Titles
I initially didn’t like the whole Randy Orton is part of the Wyatt Family… but it did grow on me. So, I’m glad that he’s going after the Tag Team Titles?
The match itself was nothing really special. There was a good amount of action all throughout and followed a really good pace. However, while the overall in-ring performances were good, it did feel like both teams played it safe. No one actually tried to pull off any over-the-top moves. Even so, it was pretty good.
While the rest of the match was just good, the finish was really well done. Although Luke Harper was at ringside for the Wyatt Family, he didn’t interfere during the match until the very end. Randy Orton tagged himself him by shoving Bray Wyatt out of an incoming gore from Rhyno. Rhyno then sent Orton to the ringside area before The Viper could get it. Rhyno followed and tried a gore on Orton but Luke Harper shoved his new fellow Wyatt member out of the way, saving the Legend Killer.Rhyno slid into the ring but got distracted by Wyatt’s spider walk. This enabled Orton to slither into the ring, nail an RKO on Rhyno for the pinfall victory and to take the Tag Team Titles. As a thank you, both Wyatt and Orton gave the belts to Luke Harper to carry.
Like I said, this was a decent match with a really well-written finish. While I feel sorry that Heath Slater and Rhyno had to drop the belts, it did feel like they were losing steam. It was time to give the belt to another team and The Wyatts were in the right place at the right time.
Rating: 7.0 of 10.0 Wyatt Family shoves
Match #2: Nikki Bella vs Carmella in a No DQ match
A match featuring the incredibly plastic Nikki Bella and the outrageously uninteresting Carmella to close out a long drawn out, pointless feud? Oh joy. And, yes, that is sarcasm.
Although I really didn’t give a crap about the match, I will say it was, at best, okay. The no DQ stipulation wasn’t really used to its fullest potential because, well, apparently both Nikki Bella and Carmella don’t have any allies that can interfere on behalf of any of them! They did use the no DQ rules so they can use weapons like kendo sticks, fire extinguishers and… that’s it? And how can it be a no DQ match yet there are still count outs? Lots of missed opportunities and it really looked like they were afraid of hurting each other but they did put on an okay show overall.
The finish was pretty lame. Carmella (gently) tossed Nikki to the outside. When the Princess of Staten Island tried to drag her opponent into the ring, Mrs. John Cena grabs a fire extinguisher from underneath the ring and sprays it all over Carmella. Nikki climbs into the ring, sprays her opponent more for what seems like an eternity! After the fire extinguisher is empty, Nikki finally connects with Rack Attack 2.0 for the pinfall victory.
After the match, Carmella makes the “shocking” reveal that it wasn’t her that attacked Nikki from behind and prevented her from participating in Survivor Series. It was Natalya. Well, duh! I mean, who was fooled into thinking that it wasn’t anyone but Natalya. I mean, you’d be an idiot to but we’re talking about Nikki Bella here so… yeah, it’s possible.
Pretty tame for a match with a no DQ stipulation. Both Carmella and Nikki looked they were going easy on the kendo stick strikes but there was still some solid ring action. It flowed pretty good for a Nikki Bella match, actually. But that’s not really saying much as she’s that kind of wrestler that would stop and pause between moves, which usually kills the flow of the match. She wasn’t like this all that much.
Rating: 5.0 of 10.0 “shocking” reveals
Match #3: Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz (with Maryse) for the Intercontinental Title in a Ladders match
It’s been three straight pay-per-views. I still have no idea what Maryse is supposed to be when she goes out dressed like that. Sure it’s hot. But what is it? Lingerie model wrestler?
I do have to give it to The Miz. He was one of those WWE Superstars everyone felt wouldn’t amount to anything. But bringing in Maryse into the fold, he seems to have stepped up his game! And Dolph Ziggler is… well, he’s still one of the hardest working wrestlers in the WWE! Both of these guys put on a show! Ladder matches are usually thought of being brutal affairs. But it should be more than that. Ladder matches are more of being creative with the spots and how to use the ladders in unconventional ways. This one was both brutal and creative! Both Ziggler and The Miz used the ladders in new and fun ways to attack each other. I love it.
This ladder match was also a highlight of The Miz’s career as of late because of one thing: he didn’t need interference to win. I’ve always hated it when the champion uses outside interference to win on a constant basis as it makes him look weak. This was one of the main reason I didn’t care for The A-Lister as he would usually have Maryse or the Spirit Squad to a run in so he can sneak in a victory. Okay, The Miz used an underhanded tactic, kicking Ziggler in the crotch not once, but twice, knocking Ziggler off the ladder and incapacitating The Show Off. But at least it was legal in this case!
Overall, very fun match with some really great highlights. There were some really tricky spots and both Ziggler and The Miz came off looking really strong. However, I do feel it’s time to move on and have Miz feud with someone else. Maybe Smackdown General Manager Daniel Bryan, perhaps?
Rating: 8.5 of 10.0 kicks to Dolph Ziggler’s junk
Match #4: Kalisto vs Baron Corbin in a Chairs match.
There’s a reason why chairs is the last thing mentioned in tables, ladders and chairs. No, it’s not so you can make it sound like the “other” TLC, which is “tender loving care.” It’s actually because, among the trio of special stipulations for the pay-per-view, no one really cares about the chairs match.
But at least Kalisto and Baron Corbin tries to make things interesting. Like all gimmick matches, we may be looking for the brutality but we’re actually craving for creative spots. This chairs match did have some rather unique moments, like Corbin chasing Kalisto around the ring with a chair and Kalisto doing a seated senton to Corbin onto a bed of chairs. That was really good!
They also worked the little guy facing off the big guy really well as it did look like both competitors had an even shot of winning. Alas, the David in this match couldn’t match the Goliath in this tale. As Kalisto tried to take out Corbin by dropkicking Corbin into a bed of chairs, The Lone Wolf countered by slamming a chair into the face of the Lucha Dragon. Corbin then nailed End of Days on the chairs for the pinfall victory.
This was actually much better than I expected. Both Kalisto and Corbin put a lot of effort into making this an exciting match, even though it is the black sheep of the TLC gimmick matches. I was especially impressed with Corbin. I normally don’t care for him but this match made it look like he could be entertaining in the ring. It just wasn’t really spectacular and it really hurt that it was coming off a slobber knocker of a ladder match. Good effort by the two.
Rating: 7.0 of 10.0 chair matches that are actually good?
Match #5: Becky Lynch vs Alexa Bliss for the Smackdown Women’s Title in a Tables match.
Are you sure you wanna put women in a tables match? Don’t you guys remember what happened in Hell in a Cell and Sasha Banks couldn’t break the table?
Anyway, this was a solid match and both Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss did try to utilize the tables element. They actually used the aforementioned gimmick in some unique ways as well as did a good job at teasing when the final smash through the table was going to occur. I still don’t really get Alexa Bliss’ wrestling style though. She doesn’t really have that much in the form of actual wrestling maneuvers as, most of the time, she’s just content in raining clubbing blows on her opponent. I do wish she eventually develops an in-ring style because her lack of wrestling finesse did lower my overall excitement with what was going on in the ring. And, no, biting is not a wrestling move.
The finish was rather anticlimactic but it was for the best to ensure full table breakage. Both Alexa and Becky fought on the ring apron, trading blows. Alexa Bliss then just went to the floor, tripped Becky a bit then powerbombed the Irish Lass Kicker to the pair of tables that were set up. There was very little drama to the ending, which was disappointing as there was very little build up to what could’ve been a fantastic and mind blowing finish. But at least the table broke!
Like I said, this was a good match but nothing really spectacular. There were a lot of fun spots, like Becky performing a drop toe hold on Alexa, which caused the Wicked Witch of the WWE to slam her face into a table (but it didn’t broke so the match continued). I do like Alexa Bliss because of her mic work but she really needs to work on her wrestling moves. Still, I’m looking forward to the rematch between the two.
Rating: 7.0 of 10.0 Becky Lynchs getting powerbombed through a table
Match #6: Dean Ambrose vs AJ Styles for the WWE Championship in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match
Do wrestlers go in the ring sans underwear? Because I just kept staring at that hole that got ripped in AJ Styles tights trying to see if he had any. Was I the only one doing this?
Despite this massive distraction, this was a very energetic and excellent match between Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles. However, between the two, it was AJ was the highlight. He worked his butt off… almost literally! I promise that’s my last “hole” joke now!
This match was very fun to watch with Dean doing a lot of crazy things like putting a trash can over AJ’s head, reversing a suplex attempt and flipping AJ over into a bed of chairs and stacking a ladder on top of the announcer tables, climbed it and drove an elbow through AJ Styles and another table!
However, this was AJ Styles match as his athleticism was in full display in this TLC match. He did a phenomenal Phenomenal Forearm while Ambrose was climbing the ladder, performing a sidewalk slam to Ambrose on a chair and that amazing 450 splash to the outside on a prone Dean Ambrose who was lying on a table! Both performers pulled out all the stops but AJ Styles just looked better.
The finish was… well, kinda lame and poorly written in my opinion. AJ Styles was on his way to get the WWE Championship just after he destroyed Ambrose with the aforementioned 450 splash when James Ellworth showed up. AJ Styles beat up on Ellsworth and teased another hellacious Styles Crash on the ringside steps before Ambrose interfered and hit Dirty Deeds on AJ on the steps! AJ managed to recover in time and both he and Ambrose reached the top of the ladder at the same time but The Lunatic Fringe beat The Face That Runs The Place off the ladder, leaving him all alone. But James Ellsworth tipped the ladder, dropping Ambrose to the outside and through some tables! Styles took advantage and climbed the ladder to retain the WWE Championship.
Now, I like a good backstabbing in wrestling as much as the next guy. Buy, if Ellsworth wanted Styles to win, why go out at all when AJ was already going to get it? It doesn’t make sense! Okay, he did explain his actions in Talking Smack. But there was no need for him to go to ringside. It just distracted Styles and nearly ruining Ellsworth’s plan!
While the finish did mar an otherwise fantastic match, it was still a great match overall. Sure, I can forgive the WWE for bringing out Ellsworth and pulling a fast one on us because it made for good drama. But it would’ve made much more sense for Ellsworth to come out as Dean Ambrose was almost reaching for the belt then have AJ beat up on Ellsworth, forcing Dean to make the save. That would’ve made sense!
Oh, and is AJ Styles wearing underwear? I still can’t see.
Rating: 8.0 of 10.0 AJ Styles butt holes (That’s my last one! I promise!)
Overall Rating for WWE’s TLC (2016):
This was a very good TLC event. Even the bad matches (the Nikki Bella vs Carmella match) were okay and the good matches really shined. However, I do want to comment on the directing of the match. During replays, they would also so crowd reactions. No! No! No! I do not want to watch people reacting to what just happened because it doesn’t matter how they reacted! What matters is how I reacted to what happened! Who cares if Joe Schmoe was stunned by AJ Styles’ 450 splash? Who cares if Plain Mary Jane loved Alexa Bliss powerbombing Becky Lynch through the table? We don’t need to see that during the replay! Show it when it happens, not in the replay!
With that being said, excellent show overall.
Rating: 7.5 of 10.0… stop showing the audience during replays!
What did you think of this year’s WWE’s TLC pay-per-view event? Let me know in the comments section below!