By Graham "GSM" Matthews
SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch and Becky Lynch Signed the Contract For Their TLC Match
These two had a contract signing prior to their No Mercy match roughly two months ago, but I was glad they didn't rehash the same material here. Rather, this might have been an even better segment with both ladies bringing their A-game on the mic and Lynch especially shined. Bliss getting the upper hand heading into the pay-per-view was logical considering she'll be challenging for the title, and I could very well see her capturing the championship this time around. No woman on the roster has progressed more than she has this year and she should be rewarded for her efforts. That said, I wouldn't be distraught if Lynch retained since she really hasn't had much of a reign yet.
Dolph Ziggler and Kalisto def. Intercontinental Champion The Miz and Baron Corbin by Disqualification
Ziggler and Miz have done all they could do with their feud over the past three months, so I don't blame them for sticking with just a match the week ahead of their final face-off at TLC. Corbin and Kalisto are simply spinning their wheels at this point as well, so I enjoyed this tag team match for what it was worth even though I'm not any more excited for either of these matches at the event than I was before.
Nikki Bella Attacked Carmella
Similar to Bliss, Carmella has come a long way from where she was six months ago, especially on the mic. Taking shots at Nikki's chest and relationship with John Cena might be seen as low blows, and I'm not a fan of taking an old school approach of how the Divas of old would further their feuds, but it's helping her generate genuine heat for now, so that's an encouraging sign. The subsequent brawl between her and Nikki was well done and an effective way of leading into their No Disqualification match on Sunday.
WWE World Champion AJ Styles Interrupted Dean Ambrose and James Ellsworth on The Ambrose Asylum
This is the side of Styles we should have seen from the get-go in this rivalry, and I loved the attack on Ellsworth from Styles. That Styles Clash off the steel steps looked absolutely brutal. Here's hoping that writes him off TV for a while and he doesn't show up as soon as Sunday (which I'm afraid he will). It's a shame they've wasted so much time focusing this feud on Ellsworth and not the title or Styles and Ambrose, but their TLC match should deliver, regardless.
Kane def. Luke Harper
We saw this same match on the Survivor Series Kickoff show nine days ago, and while this was a bit better, it was still largely boring. Harper's offense is impressive for a guy his size, but it's difficult to get invested in a Kane match in 2016, and I definitely don't need to see him winning at this stage of his career, either. They're doing damage to his credibility by having him lose so often, and I don't have enough faith in them to assume that they have a long-term plan in place for him.
Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton def. American Alpha in a No. 1 Contender's Match For the SmackDown Tag Team Championship
It was cool for this tag match to get the main event slot over The Ambrose Asylum, especially since it was the only thing that was advertised a week out. They were given a ton of time to contest a solid match and they did just that. What made this match so entertaining was how American Alpha had yet to mix it up with either one of these guys, so it felt fresh, not to mention the finish was just fantastic. Orton and Wyatt would make an intriguing pair of tag team champions, so I hope they take the titles come TLC.
I didn't come out of this show looking forward to TLC more than I was a week ago, but with that being said, I was already anticipating the event given how stacked the show looks on paper. The main event was very well-wrestled and the rest of the two hours were filled out nicely, so I'm looking forward to SmackDown Live likely delivering yet another quality pay-per-view on Sunday night.