Tables, Ladders and Scares – WWE “TLC” Review (15/12/2019)

WWE’s final PPV of the year has been and gone with all the carnage you can expect from the “controlled violence” of a Tables, Ladders and Chairs Pay-Per-View. Take a look at what went down as some developing stories had the element of legal weapons introduced into the fray. Welcome to the most must-see VultureHound review in history; welcome to… The ‘TLC’ Review.

Results:

– (Kick-Off Show) Humberto Carrillo defeated Andrade.

– (Ladder match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships) The New Day (c) defeated The Revival.

– Aleister Black defeated Buddy Murphy.

– (Open Challenge for the Raw Tag Team Championship) The Viking Raiders (c) vs The OC ended in a double count-out.

– (Tables, Ladders and Chairs match) King Corbin defeated Roman Reigns.

– (Universal Championship match) Bray Wyatt (c) defeated The Miz.

– (Tables match) Bobby Lashley defeated Rusev.

– (Tables, Ladders and Chairs match for the Women’s Tag Team Championship) The Kabuki Warriors defeated Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair.

Bradley’s Best Bits:

Humberto getting the win over Andrade was a great way to get fans warmed up for the main show. An exciting match, which either man could have won, saw the young Carrillo take the spoils with a moonsault to claim his second victory over El Idolo in a week.

The defeat has now seemingly left Andrade managerless as he chose to walk away from Zelina Vega following the match. Considering this partnership saw a change in his fortunes in NXT to ultimately become NXT Champion, this might not be his smartest decision.

The first match of the main card picked up where the Kick-Off Show match left off. All the excitement and energy was transferred to The New Day and The Revival as they clashed for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship in a Ladder Match.

Kingston was his usual innovative self, at one point rebounding off the ropes from a ladder to hit a springboard crossbody. This was matched by Big E completely throwing caution to the wind and taking some hard-hitting bumps as he looked to take the Revival out of the equation, which included going through a ladder after a splash from Dash Wilder.

Out of nowhere, Kofi was able to launch onto a ladder set up in the middle of the ring and fight with Scott Dawson whilst Big E sent Wilder flying off another ladder with a Big Ending. Slamming the titles into Dawson’s face, the former WWE Champion reached up and grabbed the gold for his team to see The New Day retain their SmackDown Tag Team Championships. An excellent win for The New Day but a huge blow for The Revival who vowed to restore the tag team division to an “old school” style of wrestling.

The incredible work rate continued as Buddy Murphy was the one to “pick a fight” with Aleister Black. Black’s nose had been bloodied early on courtesy of some stiff knee strikes from The Best Kept Secret and this did well to sew the seed of doubt as to if Black could come back from this.

Murphy continued to dominate Black with hit after heavy hit, a powerbomb and a brainbuster, but the Australian was left in disbelief as he was met with near fall after near fall. The Dutchman began to mount his comeback with trademark hard strikes of his own until the pair exchanged a barrage that was eventually met with a Black Mass to hand Aleister Black the win.

This was arguably the best match of the night for a stand-alone wrestling contest and I’m not sure what either of them has to do next in order to get the push they deserve. Zelina’s separation from Andrade could see her partner up with her real-life husband Black but, given Vince McMahon’s penchant for cuckoldry, I hope they stay clear of that.

The Universal Championship Match between Bray Wyatt and The Miz wasn’t spectacular and neither were we expecting it to be. We were never going to get a competitive contest unlike the night’s previous matches and that was what helped this stand out. This one was all about the multifaceted story and the return of Daniel Bryan.

Whilst Miz looked to dominate the match, his assaults did nothing to harm the deranged Wyatt who was looking to prove that he is somehow now impervious to pain, even going as far as throwing himself at the barricades to showcase his invincibility. As Miz grew angrier, Wyatt grew stronger and launched his only assault of the night by hitting Miz with a Sister Abigail outside of the ring. Narrowly avoiding the 10-count, the A-Lister ran straight into another Sister Abigail for Wyatt to retain the Universal Championship.

The Fiend then appeared on the Titantron to which Wyatt seemed mesmerised to “do it”. He then retrieved the giant mallet we last saw at Hell in a Cell and just as he was about to hit The Miz, the lights started to dim as though The Fiend wanted to take charge himself. Instead, it was a hooded Daniel Bryan who launched a series of running knees and dropkicks to Wyatt which was met with loud “YES” chants from the crowd.

The leader of the Yes Movement then took his hood down to reveal his “new” look which is actually a return to the shaved head and trimmed beard Daniel Bryan we saw at the start of the decade. Just as Bryan was about to use the mallet on Wyatt, the lights went out and the host of The Firefly Fun House disappeared. Sadly, that was as good as it would get for the rest of the night.

Everyone that has now lost to The Fiend has returned to a former version of themself as the demonic character begins to cleanse his peers of the things that are holding them back. This supervillain can only be stopped by a superhero. Will that be John Cena or will it Roman Reigns? This is exciting.

Tables, Ladders and Scares:

After facing jobbers for weeks on end, The RAW Tag Team Champions were out to issue an open challenge to anyone in the locker room who fancied their chances against the Vikings. As the official “best tag team in the world”, The OC would answer the call and take part in an average match that would end in a double count-out.

You would expect for an open challenge on a PPV that the opponents might be a bit of a surprise return yet we were given a match that could not follow the energy that had been on show already tonight. What’s worse, this all just seemed as though it was taking place just to promote KFC as there was a sponsored table at ringside with guests eating fried chicken. Of course, Karl Anderson was sent through it after the teams had finished brawling outside the ring.

The story between 2 locker room leaders in King Corbin and Roman Reigns looks as though it will continue well into the new year as the pair went to war in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match. It did end with a decisive winner, albeit with Reigns being dominated by Corbin and his entourage where the numbers proved to be too much against The Big Dog.

This was then undone by a brawl that continued throughout the rest of the PPV. This culminated with it taking the spotlight at the end of the show as it spilt back into the arena following the main event between the Kabuki Warriors vs Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. This story has been dragging on for months now and every time Corbin starts to look like the biggest and most detestable heel on the SmackDown roster, they go and undo the momentum with 50/50 booking for Reigns. We all know The Big Dog is the resident superhero. A loss here would not have damaged his stock. Regrouping and teaming up with The Usos could be the way forward for him to level out the numbers.

Rusev took on Bobby Lashley in a tables match which was the stark contrast in terms of storytelling to the Bray Wyatt match that happened just before this. The duo did do well to sell their part of the story within the context of a wrestling ring, in that Lashley is now sleeping with Rusev’s wife so you’d think there would be some anger to unleash on each other.

Yet, as Lashley botched a spear to Rusev for the ending and had to put Rusev through a table at the opposite side of the ring, this one reminded us all that we can’t always have nuanced storytelling. Sometimes we have to endure the bad to truly appreciate the good. Do we really think they’re done with humiliating Rusev? A divorce paper on a pole match says not.

The night’s main event promised so much, with 4 of the best female talent in the company in the ring together for one hell of a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match for the Women’s Tag Team Championships. Unfortunately, this was a nail-biting encounter for the wrong reasons.

Despite the incredible talent in this match, this did have a real element of danger when it became apparent something was not quite right with Kairi Sane. Knowing that the former Pirate Princess was hurt made it hard to watch at times, but the result, in the end, was the right one with Asuka reclaiming the belts to once again get one over on Becky Lynch. As mentioned earlier, this was then overshadowed by the brawl that took place between Reigns and Corbin.

All pics and videos courtesy of WWE

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