Episode 226: The Good, Bad and the “Huh” of WWE’s TLC (2017)


I usually put a review of the WWE’s most recent pay-per-view event a few days after it takes place. I was all set to do so again but it turns out this week’s “I’ll Review Anything” is reserved for Thor: Ragnarok. Well, that’s just fine because I was struggling to think of a topic to write about this week so I might as well use my slot to give you my thoughts on WWE’s TLC event which happened over the weekend.

Since this isn’t a straight review, I thought that I’ll do something a little different. Instead of putting a score/grade on each match, I will be segregating each match and segments into three categories: good, bad and the meh. Oh, and if you’re wondering why there’s an “huh” section, that’s because… well, I couldn’t say I liked or hated it. But they did make me say “Huh? What the heck is going on?”.

The Good

“The Demon” Finn Balor vs. “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles was phenomenal!

There was totally no build up for this match as AJ Styles was just replacing Bray Wyatt. However, this was a brilliant move by the WWE as both Balor and Styles were both leaders of the NJPW stable, Bullet Club. I’m not sure if they already fought while they were in Japan but I was sure that this was going to be a hell of a slobberknocker! I was not disappointed!

It did take a few moments for the match to really amp up but it was worth the wait as Balor and Styles put on a really great match. While they didn’t really do anything particularly unique (maybe except for Styles’ Pele kick while Balor was perched on the corner turnbuckle), it was more on how both of these WWE Superstars’ overall performance. The two definitely have some in-ring chemistry and really elevated the match to phenomenal levels. And to think Balor and Styles was just an impromptu match!

Mickey James still got it!

I have to feel a little sorry for Mickey James as, ever since she returned to the main roster, it looks like the WWE can’t really find a use for her. However, she definitely got her chance to (re)shine as she tried to take the RAW Women’s Championship from my gal, Alexa Bliss. And you know what? She still got some moves on her despite getting up there in age. Hey, I’m just repeating what Alexa Bliss said about Mickey’s age! Don’t blame me!

Although I’m a huge Alexa Bliss fan, I will be the first to say that her in-ring ability is still lacking. However, it wasn’t all that obvious because I guess Mickey James is just that great of a ring veteran. It was a good looking match that fully utilized Little Miss Bliss’ limited wrestling repertoire and in-ring storytelling. It was definitely an entertaining match. It would’ve been better off if they didn’t have Mickey James that really sappy interview at the end after she lost about how she appreciate the fans, though. It just made her look lame.

The partial SHIELD reunion was great… mostly

This match had all the potential to be a fantastic match. The heels have the babyfaces outnumbered and one of the SHIELD members is out. But they do have backup as the legendary Olympic wrestler who won a gold medal with a broken neck, Kurt Angle, is back! Oh, it’s true! It’s damn true!

As expected, this was mostly carnage from the get go. It’s a match where the use of tables, ladders and chairs are legal and they made full use of the stipulation. The SHIELD basically started the match walloping their foes with all the weaponry possible. And it was loads of fun to watch!

Of course, it was only a matter of time for the numbers game to take their toll on the remaining SHIELD members and Kurt Angle. I will give mad props to Kurt Angle as he did stand toe-to-toe against most of the bad guys… until he got powerslammed by Braun Strowman through a table. I fully expected him to get sent back almost immediately but, hey! He got a run in, at least! The middle of the match where the heels took over became rather meandering for me as it was just them taking turns beating up on Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. It made sense but… it’s a TLC match! Use the weapons littered around the ring a little bit more creatively, guys!

The match would’ve been much better if Roman Reigns was part of it as a proper SHIELD reunion would’ve made their win all the more sweeter for the fans. But Kurt Angle was an okay substitute, I guess. Then again, I don’t think we would’ve gotten that huge pop when Kurt Angle returned. I’ll bet the fans would still boo the roof off the place if it was Roman Reigns.

The Bad

Jason Jordan wastes my time… and good produce

Oh, Jason Jordan. I knew the WWE making you Kurt Angle’s son was a dead end angle. And this is proof of that!

I do think Jason Jordan has the ability to be a great WWE Superstar in the long rung. He’s got the physique and the wrestling acumen to be, at the very least, a respectable midcard wrestler. But having him throw various vegetables at Elias as he tries to perform a song isn’t the way to do it! It just felt forced and of no consequence in the grand scheme of things! This also makes me feel sad for Elias as I actually like the character but this didn’t do him any favors as well.

Even the match wasn’t all that good as it didn’t showcase what either Jason Jordan nor Elias can do. There were even some really bad spots where Elias just flopped on the ground for no apparent reason. But it looks like they’re gonna continue this feud as there was some debate to whether or not Jordan got the win because of his “father” is the General Manager of RAW. Sigh.

The Cruiserweight Championship has gone to the dogs

You guys made Neville leave for this?

I like Kalisto and I think he’s a great addition to the Cruiserweight division. I also think he would’ve made an admirable champion as he’s got the ability to pull of some stunning moves and has the chops to carry the division. Sadly, they had to give Enzo Amore the belt because… I’m sorry. Why are they giving him the championship again?

Enzo Amore was never the greatest wrestler in the WWE. He was, however, one of the most entertaining wrestlers. He was goofy and had a loudmouth but had a good heart. Now that he’s lost that good heart, he just comes off like a jerk. Even his schtick comes off as old hat now. I get that he’s probably the biggest name in the Cruiserweight division but he sticks out like a sore thumb because everyone in that division are extremely talented in the ring. Enzo’s claim to fame is a big mouth and selling how hurt he is. That’s doesn’t mix well with the fast pace of the Cruiserweight division! I guess that’s why Neville got so upset when he learned that Enzo was going to be the top guy of “his” division that he stormed off!

Right now, the Cruiserweight division looks like it’s going to suffer under Enzo Amore’s “rule” and I hope the WWE comes to its senses and gives the title back to Kalisto or someone who, you know, actually can wrestle?

The “Huh?”

Why would Asuka have trouble with Emma?

I know Emma is a former NXT Women’s Champion and a capable wrestler. But she definitely isn’t as good as someone with a winning streak like Asuka! So why would The Princess of Tomorrow have a seesaw match against her? It’s obvious that the WWE wants to make the match a little exciting by having Emma put in some offense. I get that. But they should’ve just made Emma get a short burst of offense before Asuka just plain dominates her.

Instead, they tried to have both of them take over the offense at various moments and it hurt Asuka’s debut. One of the main ways to hype up a WWE Superstar’s debut is to show how great they are in the ring and how they can just beat down on their opponents when necessary. Asuka didn’t look like the dominant force she was in NXT in her debut match. Instead, she just looked like someone making her debut in a routinary match that would’ve been welcome on RAW but not on a pay-per-view event. Such a shame!

How the heck can you wrestle in a vest and slacks?

While not the worst match on the card, the Cruiserweight tag match was far from being the best. There were a lot of high flying spots, particularly from the good guys, Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann. It was a good and peppy match, to be sure. However, I just wasn’t invested in it but it’s no fault of the wrestlers.

I was actually more interested in Jack Gallagher’s wrestling attire! I kept on wondering how he was able to jump and run around with those formal shoes on! Were they specially made shoes that just looks like leather shoes? Were they actually real leather shoes? I actually spent most of the match analyzing Gallagher’s footwear than paying attention to the match!

Why was there only one TLC match?

The entire pay-per-view event is called TLC, right? So why was there only one match that actually involved tables, ladders and chairs? Previous entries had one match that involved chairs, another that involves tables, one ladder match and match that involves all three implements of destruction. This year, we only got one. That’s a little more than just a “meh” but it wasn’t disastrous for the event.

Overall, this year’s WWE TLC event was just a “meh.” It was fun but lacked any real intensity. The AJ Styles vs Finn Balor was something I was glad to have watched and it was great to see Alexa Bliss not seem like a lame duck in the squared circle. But the rest of the card was just ho-hum.

What did you think of this year’s TLC pay-per-view event? Let me know in the comments section below!

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