Kickoff Show: Humberto Carrillo def. Andrade
These two had a really fun match this past week on Raw and this was even better. They worked a fast pace and Carrillo looked like he belonged. Unfortunately, Carrillo beating Andrade doesn't feel like the "major upset" that the commentators are painting it as. Yes, Andrade went undefeated on Raw before losing to Carrillo the first time, but he's largely been directionless since debuting on the main roster and doesn't hold many important victories over main event players. I'm glad he won, but I hope it doesn't come at the expense of Andrade's momentum. I also hate the idea of Andrade and Zelina Vega, assuming that's where their dissension is headed as has been teased.
SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day def. The Revival in a Ladder Match
I can understand why people may not have been looking forward to this prior to the pay-per-view because of how many matches these teams have had against each other in recent months, but this was awesome stuff. It was perfectly positioned as the opener and featured plenty of memorable moments. The outcome was never in doubt for me, but that didn't hinder my enjoyment of it at all. We've seen so many Ladder matches this year in WWE that this may blend in with the rest for some, but props to New Day and The Revival for doing their best to be as innovative as possible.
Aleister Black def. Buddy Murphy
This match had the potential to steal the show and they did just that. I'm so happy they received as much time as they did and the crowd was hyped from the get-go. I believe they wrestled each other during dark matches before SmackDown earlier this year, so it should come as no surprise that their chemistry was so strong. This turned into a hell of a sprint with both guys giving fantastic performances. Now it's up to WWE to actually feature them on Raw more consistently moving forward (especially Black).
Raw Tag Team Champions the Viking Raiders vs. The O.C. Ended in a Double Count-Out
I assumed all along that The O.C. would be answering the open challenge, so I wasn't underwhelmed when their music hit. Yes, The Usos would have had a way more exciting encounter with Viking Raiders, but as Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson said in the pre-match promo, they own a victory over Viking Raiders from Crown Jewel. What followed was a flat match with an even flatter finish. It couldn't have been more apparent from what happened afterward that this solely existed to promote KFC, a sponsor for this show.
King Corbin def. Roman Reigns in a TLC Match
I wasn't looking forward to this match coming into the show because of how terrible the feud has been so far and I didn't think they'd have a barn burner of a match, either. Sure enough, this wound up being a total dud. They never made good use of the TLC stipulation, further proving my point that this had no business being a TLC matchup in the first place. The interference from Dolph Ziggler and The Revival watered down it that much more and sent the message that Reigns has no friends in the back (despite helping out New Day on Friday's SmackDown). Worst of all, the rivalry will continue. Ugh.
Universal Champion Bray Wyatt def. The Miz (Non-Title)
To his credit, Wyatt's facial expressions were masterful. He did a tremendous job of switching from friendly and fun-loving to aggressive and psychotic whenever Miz was on his offense. Other than that, this was a fairly dull match. If nothing else, it didn't overstay its welcome, but it felt more like an angle to set up what happened with Daniel Bryan reemerging with his new shaved look and standing tall over Wyatt. He looks exactly how he did back in 2011 when he won the World Heavyweight Championship for the first time.
Lashley def. Rusev in a Tables Match
As unbearable as this storyline has been at times, there was a chance of this being somewhat decent, and of course, it wasn't. Tables matches tend to be hit or miss most of the time anyway, but the crowd sat on their hands for this and I don't blame them one bit. They tried, but I was bored out my mind watching this. Lashley winning sadly means the feud/angle isn't over and we'll have to suffer through it a little longer.
WWE Women's Tag Team Champions The Kabuki Warriors def. Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair in a TLC Match
On one hand, I thought this was the correct choice to main event the show, but on the other hand, I felt they failed to deliver. I'm honestly surprised it was as lethargic as it was considering Flair vs. Lynch vs. Asuka at last year's TLC was so terrific. They relied too heavily on spots outside of the ring and thus there weren't many dramatic moments when it came to which team would retrieve the titles. It also didn't help that there was already so much "hardcore wrestling" earlier on in the show that anything they did here wasn't as impactful. Again, I appreciated that they were given the chance to end the event, but similar to Survivor Series, it didn't feel main event worthy at all.
Although TLC had a bad build, I had hope that it would exceed expectations because of how strong it looked on paper. Unfortunately, this show took a turn for the worse after Black vs. Murphy. Those first two matches (and even Andrade vs. Carrillo) were great, but everything that followed was total throwaway. I guess Bryan's return was newsworthy, but I can't recommend checking out anything else. What a weak overall effort to close out the year.