WWE TLC Review - December 16, 2012
AJ pushes John Cena off the ladder, costing him the MITB briefcase.
Decent Santa's Little Helper pre-show battle royal that saw Naomi emerge victorious as the number one contender to the Divas Championship. The eliminations were quick and the action was harmless, so it was pretty standard. Divas Champion Eve did well on commentary and Naomi winning the bout was a pleasant surprise.
Very fun Tables tag team match to kick off the show with Team Rhodes Scholars defeating Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara to become the new number one contenders to the WWE Tag Team Championships. This bout received hardly any hype going into it, so the placement of this match was perfect. The action was very enjoyable and the numerous table teases created great suspense. Incredibly insane spot with Rhodes tossing Cara off the apron and sending him spiraling through the table at ringside. The ending result was never in doubt, but it was the most logical move since Rhodes still has beef with Kane for injuring him last month. If there's anyone I want to see as the next WWE Tag Team Champions, it's Team Rhodes Scholars.
Good match with Antonio Cesaro defeating R-Truth to successfully retain his United States Championship. It's safe to say this hasn't been the most exciting feud, but I will admit they provide some nice matches. The contest accomplished what it needed to in keeping the star-spangled prize on Cesaro. The red-hot Brooklyn loved Cesaro (which would be a common theme for most heels throughout the night), so I'm not exactly sure how Matt Striker thought he received a "negative reaction". I was hoping for a return (preferably from Christian) during Cesaro's post-match promo, but no such luck.
Solid match with Kofi Kingston defeating Wade Barrett to successfully retain his Intercontinental Championship. The action seemed flow very well and the fact-paced near-falls towards the end were intriguing and nicely done. Cool finish with Kingston reversing Barrett's finisher into a Trouble in Paradise. I'm fine with Barrett losing here, as long as the feud continues and he captures the strap at some point during the course of the rivalry.
Extremely awesome TLC match with The Shield defeating Ryback and Team Hell No. It start off as anything special, but the action intensified down the stretch. The numerous spots involving the tables, ladders and chairs were hard-hitting and made the live crowd to react accordingly. Each competitor had their shining moment and contributed into making this an incredibly entertaining outing. I'm very happy with the finish, as it protects Ryback since he wasn't the one to be pinned. It's reassuring to see WWE not make the same mistake they made with Nexus back at SummerSlam 2010 by making them lose. The Shield has a ton of potential and having them win their first official WWE match is a step in the right direction.
Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose lay a beating to Ryback.
Nice match with Eve defeating Naomi to successfully retain her Divas Championship. Seeing how this is Naomi first singles match on WWE TV since losing NXT Season 3 over two years ago, I thought Naomi did quite well for herself and looked impressive in the ring. This was the first-ever meeting between the two Divas, so it felt fresh. Eve maintaing possession of her title was the right move, as she's made for a great champ over the last three months.
Great Chairs match with Big Show defeating Sheamus to successfully retain his World Heavyweight Championship. If the history of this event has taught us anything, it's that the Chairs match is one of the worst stipulations in wrestling, so I thought this specific bout exceeded my original expectations. These guys have worked well together since their feud started, so it should've came as no surprise. Show smacking Sheamus over the back with a humongous chair was innovative and it allowed Sheamus to lose somewhat cleanly. I hope to see Show hold the title until WrestleMania 29 and I'm interested as to where Sheamus goes from here.
Fine filler match with The Miz, Alberto Del Rio and the Brooklyn Brawler defeating 3MB. The Miz TV segment earlier in the night was okay for what it was, but we already saw it on Raw and SmackDown this past week, so it felt like overkill. As for the match, it served its purpose in getting all guys involved on the card and providing a nice buffer in between the two top matches. Honestly, I never pictured Del Rio as a babyface, but I'm excited for this turn as his character has been stale for the longest time now. That being said, he's a top star and this came off as a bit anticlimactic. Also, the inclusion of the Brooklyn Brawler was fitting and the live crowd seemed to have liked it.
Strong main event Ladder Match with Dolph Ziggler defeating John Cena to successfully retain his SmackDown Money in the Bank briefcase. As I've said time and time again, the chemistry that Cena and Ziggler obtain is off the charts, and adding the weapons into the mix only helped enhance that. Essentially, this was a TLC match with the inclusion of the tables and chairs, so that made this match even more exciting. The various reversals were well done and the crowd was hot throughout. Brilliant booking by having AJ Lee turn heel, as makes all those terrible segments involving her and Cena in the last two months seem worth it in retrospect in my opinion. I was afraid they'd give the briefcase to Cena here, but I'm glad their refrained themselves and kept Ziggler's momentum going strong. With this victory, Ziggler has undoubtedly solidified himself as one of WWE's top dogs in defeating the face of the company. Here's hoping Ziggler is continued to be pushed accordingly heading into the new year while Cena undergoes some much-needed character development.
Overall, an absolutely amazing show that delivered all fronts of being an action-packed, extremely exciting, and brilliantly booked pay-per-view. Every match on the card was well wrestled with some being top candidates for Match of the Year. Additionally, the Brooklyn crowd made for an electric environment and helped enhance the event as a whole. WWE has had a strong streak of excellent events this year, but this was certainly in the top three for this viewer. It's great to see WWE end the year on a high note with much more to look forward to as we quickly approach 2013.