WWE TLC Review - December 18, 2011
CM Punk, still your rebellious WWE Champion.
Excellent match from Zack Ryder and Dolph Ziggler over the United States Championship. Vickie's expulsion from ring-side allowed an exciting, dramatic finish as Ryder connected with the Rough Ryder onto Ziggler to capture his first major singles title in WWE. The clip of Ryder's father in attendance was a nice tough to add even more emotion to the Long Island Iced Z's title win celebration. Now, Ryder finally gets his well-deserved spot in the mid-card while Ziggler is elevated to main event status. Everyone wins.
Fun WWE Tag Team Championship match between Air Boom and the team of Primo and Epico that was originally rumored going into the show, so it's confusing as to why it wasn't advertised in advance. Nonetheless, it was a great effort by all the Superstars involved, and helps build the heat Primo and Epico need in order to eventually capture the straps.
Solid Tables match between Randy Orton and Wade Barrett. These two always work well together, and made the most out of the stipulation in order to make it enjoyable. Although I would had preferred Barrett to go over here to continue his strong push, it was logical to give the Viper the victory in a very cool fashion for the finish.
Boring Divas Championship match that we've so many times in the past few months that the fans didn't really have any incentive to care. The final minute was a suspenseful exchange of maneuvers, but if WWE really expects us to take the Divas division seriously, they must look into building fresh feuds and advertising the subsequent blow-off on pay-per-view.
Daniel Bryan cashes in his MITB to win the World title.
Better than expected Ladder Match Triple H and Kevin Nash that was pretty good for what it was worth. Sure, it wasn't a five-star classic in any way, but the drama combined with the nice use of the environment around them didn't make this particular bout painful to watch as I originally thought it would. If anything else, this was the perfect way to write Nash off television permanently if that's the direction they're heading in.
Forgettable match with Sheamus dominating Jack Swagger, a bout that featured nothing that we haven't seen before. The Celtic Warrior was able to get the crowd behind him for a small portion of the match, but he has absolutely no motivation at the moment without a credible heel to work with. With WrestleMania 28 right around the corner, WWE Creative must focus on setting a direction for Sheamus before it's too late.
Decent match from Big Show and Mark Henry that made good use of the chairs involved, but it was too short to be considered anything special. Honestly, it was aggravating to see Henry drop the title to Show so easily in an uneventful fashion, basically ending his monster heel run in a way that could have instead been used for someone much more deserving. Nonetheless, Daniel Bryan's Money in the Bank cash-in served as a nice surprise, with Show's priceless reaction following his title loss furthering my hopes of a heel turn. As much as I love Bryan as World Heavyweight Champion, one must hope that this isn't only a temporary thing and will follow through with the American Dragon as champ going into WrestleMania 28.
Great match with Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes successfully defending his strap against Booker T. Seeing as this was Booker's return to the ring, it came off as an afterthought with everything else occurring on this show, which shouldn't be treated as a good thing. However, the five-time WCW Champion had a reason for losing due to the two previous attacks at the hands of Rhodes, so I'd like to see this rivalry continue up until at least the Royal Rumble pay-per-view next month.
Strong main event TLC Match with CM Punk retaining his WWE Championship against the devious duo of The Miz and Alberto Del Rio. All three Superstars involved provided awesome spots throughout the bout, and even Ricardo Rodriguez got thrown into the mix with the bump of the night through the table at ringside. It was predictable Punk would walk away with the strap from the start, but it didn't take away from the contest by any means and I'm certainly not complaining.
Overall, an extremely entertaining pay-per-view that without a doubt exceeded my expectations with the night's tremendous action and desirable results. Much like the Money in the Bank event back in July, this show succeeded in focusing more on the rising younger talent of the WWE and praising mainly to the internet fans. TLC was a solid way to close the year on a very high note, foreshadowing of what could be an intriguing 2012 at this point.
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