Monday, December 17, 2012

12/16/12 TLC

Divas Battle Royal (pre-show match): 1/2*

Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow vs. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara (Tables): **3/4

Antonio Cesaro vs. R-Truth (U.S. Title): **

Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett (IC Title): ***

Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan, Kane, & Ryback (TLC): ****1/2

Eve Torres vs. Naomi (Divas Title): 1/2*

Big Show vs. Sheamus (Chairs; World Heavyweight Title): ***1/4

Alberto Del Rio, Miz, & Brooklyn Brawler vs. Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, & Drew McIntyre: *1/2

John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler (Ladder; MITB Briefcase): ****1/4

Decided to rate the pre-show match for whatever reason. Scott Stanford and Matt Striker announcing. And of course, the pre-show match has to be a divas battle royal. Winner challenges Eve for the title later in the night. FML.

We see some of the Slammy Award winners already:

Best Dancer: Brodus Clay
Top Social Media Ambassador: Charlie Sheen Exclusive Video of the Year: Jerry Lawler's return from heart attack
Crowd Chant of the Year: "Feed Me More!" (Ryback)
Upset of the Year: Daniel Bryan retaining World Title against Big Show and Mark Henry
Diva of the Year: AJ Lee
Insult of the Year: John Cena ("one enjoys eating a lot of nuts (Vickie) and the other is still looking to find his (Ziggler))
Tweet of the Year: Daniel Bryan (hates Goat Face, wants to be called Beautiful Bryan)
YouTube Show of the Year: Z! True Long Island Story
Facial Hair of the Year: Daniel Bryan
Feat of Strength of the Year: Sheamus hitting White Noise on Big Show
Betrayal of the Year: Big Show (KOs Cena while Cena attempts AA on John Laurinaitis)

The rest will be revealed on Monday night.

OK, divas battle royal. Divas all in the Christmas spirit. Eve at ringside. Natalya wears pink and everyone else wears red. Funkdactyls probably stole the show on the battle royal with the double-team splits. Aksana with the bonehead move to do her pose in the ropes and then easily gets eliminated. Glad to see Kaitlyn and Naomi (NXT season three finalists) in the last two. Eve with the cheap shot to Kaitlyn and Naomi gets the win. Well, at least we can finally see Naomi do something other than dance.

26-bell salute to Sandy Hook Elementary School victims. Classy move there. Announce team for main show is Cole, Lawler, and JBL.

Opening match is a tables match to determine #1 contenders for the tag titles. Only one person of the opposing team must be put through a table. Table makes its appearance a minute in. Cara's leg sandwiched between the steps and the post, ow. "Cody's Mustache" chants again. Fun match here. Great ending with Sin Cara going for a springboard move, but Cody pushes him off the top through a table.

Shield with another promo. Ambrose looks great again.

U.S. Title match next. Cesaro walks everywhere? So he walks to Europe and Asia for those tours as well? Standard match with several near falls for Truth. "Little Jimmy" chants. Euro uppercut and Neutralizer gets Cesaro the win. Cesaro heel promo afterward. Truth later tweeted that he suffered a nasty gash on his knee during the match.

Great Ziggler promo. Rightfully pissed that he has to put his briefcase on the line. It's not like Cena doesn't get enough chances at the title anyway.

Miz doesn't have a match, so we have Miz TV on the PPV. Guests are 3MB. McIntyre says 3MB is better than Jay-Z. HA. Well, I love the confidence. 3MB performs live on RAW tomorrow. Miz with the quick one-liners. So 3MB talks trash to the Spanish announce team. Ricardo Rodriguez?! Guess he's helping his fellow Mexicans. 3MB bullies Ricardo. Del Rio comes in for the save?! 3MB works on ADR. Miz gets shoved, so he takes 3MB out of the ring. Six-man tag later tonight. 3MB vs. Miz, ADR, and another partner. Why not Ricardo? He's more than capable of wrestling.

Daniel Bryan hates it when people repeat themselves. Ha.

Barrett says Kofi is a cat without nine lives. Nice. IC Title match next. Another awesome match with several counters and near-falls. All the signature moves came out to play here. Bullhammer signaled, but Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise for three. Solid.

Punk promo while sitting in the skybox. "Knees 2 Faces" shirt as a parody to the "Boots 2 Asses" shirt Rock wears. Obviously ready to take on Rock at Royal Rumble. Ryback deemed dumb and lucky.

Six-man TLC tag next. Just found out a buddy of mine knows Seth Rollins from childhood, awesome. Shield comes through the crowd with generic entrance music. First TLC match where it must end by pinfall or submission. Fast start! Woohoo! "GOLDBERG" chants to Ryback. Crowd going bonkers with the "YES" chants as DB kicks Reigns. Crowd wants tables. Ryback with a double suplex to Rollins and Ambrose on the ladder. Ambrose face is priceless. Reigns takes the Spanish table apart. Triple powerbomb on Ryback through the Spanish table. Shield doing a great job of attacking in packs. Table propped on the top rope in the corner. Superplex on DB from the top; Kane breaks the pin up at the last moment. No superplex to Kane. Rollins takes a big spill to the floor. Kane with a bunch of offense. Chokeslam to Ambrose on the chair. Chair snaps in a few pieces. Reigns breaks up that pin. Reigns spears Kane through the barricade at ringside. Shield burying Kane in a lot of stuff, and that's the last we see of him tonight. "This is awesome" chants. NO lock to Ambrose in the ring, then to Reigns. Shield back to the pack mentality on DB. DB fights back, but Blackout to DB on the chair. HI RYBACK! Taking out all Shield members. Meathook and Shellshocked to Ambrose. Rollins and Reigns break it up. This is freakin' awesome. Ryback awkward spear on Reigns into a ladder in the entranceway. Shield with multiple chair shots to Ryback. Ryback on a table. Rollins looks at HUGE ladder. Crowd goes NUTS as Rollins starts to climb. Ryback comes to and Rollins is trapped. Rollins keeps climbing?! Ryback pulls Rollins off and Rollins with a SICK bump through a table. Rollins' head hit one of the unbroken tables. Ryback slowly getting back to the ring. Reigns and Ambrose powerbomb DB through a table in the ring and get three. The right people won and a war of a match. Hell freakin' YES.

Divas title match now so the crowd can recover from the TLC match. Naomi having some fun and she can jump. Unfortunately, Naomi didn't look good at the end and didn't take Eve's finisher cleanly. Eve retains. Random time for a photo shoot.

World Title chairs match. It's time for another war. Scott Armstrong has been pumping major iron in the gym. Look at that, Ed Hochuli! Sheamus chases after Show with a chair but Show kicks the chair back in his face. Sheamus with two chair shots and a slam to Show for two. Battering Ram with the chair. Sheamus tries it again, and Show spears him. "OLE OLE OLE OLE" chants from the crowd. Nice. Chokeslam only gets two. It's raining chairs in the ring now. Chair placed on Sheamus, then Show with the Vader Bomb for two. Sheamus with White Noise to Show on two chairs! Only two! Sheamus calling for Brogue Kick. Big Show moves and KOs Sheamus...TWO! Show pulls out a GIANT chair! One shot to Sheamus with that, and Show retains. Love the giant chair spot for the finish. Thought it added a bit of comedy to the execution-like finish. Obviously not the most technically sound match, but the crowd loved it.

Six-man tag next. So who's Miz's and Del Rio's partner? BROOKLYN BRAWLER FTW! Aw, he's wearing a Brooklyn Nets jersey. JBL: "He's still around?!" AHAHAHA.

So it turns out ADR can fly and Ricardo can get a pop from the crowd when interfering. SCF to Jinder. Brawler tagged in. Brooklyn Crab wins it! Pigs are flying and hell has frozen over. Brooklyn Brawler wins at TLC should be trending on Twitter.

Promos already promoting Rock for Royal Rumble.

Cena and Ziggler get the main event slot. Cena with the split crowd as usual. Crowd with LOUD chants for Ziggler. Cena with a monkey flip, woohoo. Hey, Ziggler uses a chair in a ladder match! Yay! Cena with the steel steps to Ziggler. Sick thud there. Trading blows leads to Ziggler sleeper. Cena still climbs the ladder with Ziggler on his back. Cena's right eye looks cut. Cena passes out and both go through a table. Ziggler with a small cut on his left leg. Ziggler to his feet first. Cena lifts Ziggler AND the ladder?!?! Damn. Ziggler hops off, but now the Cena comeback moves. Ziggler with a kick and a Rocker Dropper. More split chants. STF to Ziggler. Tapping out won't work. Ropes won't save Ziggler. Ziggler passes out. Cena sets up ladder. AA countered into Zigzag. Ziggler sets up a table in the corner. Cena has AA countered again and a jumping DDT. Ziggler with a bigger ladder now. Cena stops Ziggler again. Trading blows on the ladder. Cena close to winning, but Ziggler gets Cena off the ladder. WTF CENA WITH A HURRICANRANA SENDING ZIGGLER THROUGH A TABLE?!?! Ziggler dropkick to Cena and the ladder flies to the outside. Cena counters for the AA again, but Ziggler uses a chair (propped in the corner) to get out again. Ziggler clears the ring of the broken tables. Ziggler superkick misses, and Cena hits the AA. Vickie Guerrero to the ring with a chair. AJ Lee comes down -- and uses all the Cena moves on Vickie?! Um, wow. AJ's skipping as Cena climbs the ladder. AJ SHOVES THE LADDER! AHAHAHAHA! THE CRAZY CHICK DOES IT AGAIN. Ziggler climbs the ladder and gets the briefcase. WIN.

Kudos to WWE for having the right people win their matches, namely Ziggler and Shield. Rollins took an extremely sick bump at the end of the match. WWE finally let many of their fans know what the company knew for a long time: these are three blue-chip talents. WWE, as usual, also made sure to make Ryback look strong without having him actually take the pinfall in defeat.

The Del Rio face turn was not entirely out of left field because WWE wants a big-time Mexican babyface on the roster for the long term. Mysterio's career is winding down and Sin Cara isn't as over as WWE had hoped (not to mention the injuries and suspensions the two masked stars have). Ricardo is expected to stick with Alberto through the face turn.

I was happy to see Naomi get a chance to wrestle. She has the athleticism but unfortunately is green in the ring on taking proper bumps. Just being a Brodus dancer over the past few months hasn't helped.

Lastly, I loved seeing Ziggler retain his briefcase. AJ turning on Cena isn't surprising because, hell, she's a crazy chick. Cena doesn't need a damn briefcase, and he'd probably be booked to lose the title match again even if he had it anyway. The fans loved it, too. Will Ziggler cash the briefcase with Show as the champ? It wouldn't be unprecedented (see Daniel Bryan).

Royal Rumble means Rock vs. Punk finally happens. Punk should be good to go for the match. By that time, Punk will be well over 400 days as champ. I'd rather have Punk retain at the Rumble (by cheating) and then have a rematch at Mania. Cena might be a good fit for an Undertaker opponent.

But WWE could also have Rock become champ and then face Cena at Mania, leaving Punk and Taker to square off (where Taker would of course win). This latter scenario seems likely if WWE wants to have Cena try to avenge his loss this past year. Might also be a final passing of the torch from Rock to Cena.

Before I watched the replay, Meltzer commented that it was an outstanding PPV. I didn't think it was necessarily "outstanding" (better without the divas match), but it was very good. ***3/4

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