Thursday, January 26, 2017

WWE TLC 2016

And so here we are. A little later than usual, but for good reason.

See, last month, I decided to forgo watching the minor WWE ppvs on offer in December (Smackdown's TLC show and Raw's Roadblock show) since a lot of the stuff was either going to be retread territory (another AJ Styles vs Dean Ambrose match, yet ANOTHER Baby Flair vs. Sasha Banks match) or stuff that didn't interest me in the slightest (Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens... most of that RAW card to be honest.) However, I PVR'ed the shows and ended up watching them during the couple days I had off. So today, you're not only getting the Smackdown effort (what you're reading now), but also the RAW effort in a follow-up post.

Anyway, let's get to it.

Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton defeated Smackdown tag champs Rhyno and Heath Slater to win the titles in a pretty straightforward match. Nice bit where Luke Harper eats a gore for Randy and Bray distracts Rhyno enough for an RKO out of somewhere. I guess Heath Slater can't feed his kids no more, but in any event, I suppose this was the right move at the time. A couple days later, the former tag champs would go their separate ways.

Nikki Bella defeated Carmella in a typical Nikki Bella match that featured a kendo stick and a fire extinguisher. Despite my usual misgivings toward any match featuring a Bella of any kind, this was quite watchable. I'm not sure if this match could be improved upon by tossing both girls in a Cell, but somehow I doubt it.

Carmella then tells Nikki that she wasn't the one that attacked her at Survivor Series, but rather Nattie... which makes sense and earns a hearty "Thank you, Captain Obvious" from me... but I suspect this will drag for a while. (Not that long, actually, as Nattie admitted to the evil deed a week or so later... or something)

And then we get a commercial featuring Nattie trying to pick out a ring for some guy to propose to his girlfriend. Yeah, that wasn't awkward at all.

Intercontinental champ Miz defeats Dolph Ziggler in a ladder match to retain the title and earn a Talking Smack segment with Daniel Bryan Danielson, who mouths off at Miz by calling him a hack. Well, I can't add anything here. The match was fine - actually a far better match than I was expecting and almost on par with some of the better ladder matches I've seen, but I'm getting sick and tired of watching Miz and Ziggler together. I don't know what the point of this Miz/Bryan thing if it isn't going to lead to a Bryan comeback. It just feels like a big waste of time designed to get peoples hopes up. Hasn't the past couple years be indications that you probably shouldn't do that?

Baron Corbin squashes Kalisto in a Chairs match... sure, whatever. I don't care.

Alexa Bliss defeated Smackdown Women's champ Becky Lynch in a tables match to retain the title... who will no doubt serve as fodder for Nikki Bella because we can't have an INTERESTING Women's division, now can we? WWE talks about a so-called Women's Revolution, but all they're doing is running in circles; booking Sasha vs Charlotte for the title on RAW repeatedly until it became as stale as Triple H... and on Smackdown, we're trying to get the division built around Nikki Bella because she's such a dynamic and exciting talent... The sad thing is that the women here are actually talented and can pull off good shit if given a shot, and they deserve MUCH BETTER than this.

WWE World champ AJ Styles defeats Dean Ambrose in a ladder match (with a timely push assist from James "No Chin" Elsworth) to retain the title. This was a good match and Elsworth turning on Dean (so he could get a WWE title shot some time later that would last less than a minute in a losing effort) was a twist that I guess needed to happen since people were getting sick of him. Thankfully, the long-running feud between Styles and Ambrose would come to an end, as AJ would eventually get back into a feud with John Cena, while Ambrose would win the IC title from Miz over their women... joy.

And that was TLC. It was a show that happened. Highlights for the show were the two title matches, which were highly enjoyable enough to end those feuds and have both guys do something else for once. As far as the rest of the show goes... meh. Take it or leave it.

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