JC's Take: WWE TLC Review
Hello everyone. As usual the Monday after a PPV I review that instead of the week that was in the WWE. So lets get right to it.
Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston and Jack Swagger in a Triple Threat Ladder Match to retain the Intercontinental Championship: (**3/4)
This was probably the best choice to open the show, and it did its job well of getting the crowd into the show early. There were some nice spots in this match. You could tell, however, that they did not want to overdue it with the big spots. There were still two ladder matches to go, and they wanted to keep the big spots in this one to a minimum. I wasn't a fan of Vickie Guerrero getting involved in the match. There seemed to be no point for her involvement, as nothing really resulted from it. I did like the finish, however. Apparently Dolph was suppose to be under the ladder to catch the belt when it fell. But he screwed up his timing, and instead had to crawl to it from the corner. I think it worked out better anyways. Dolph's reign as IC Champ continues, and now Swagger and Kingston are left to continue their chase to the title. Like I said, it was a fine opening match that served its purpose.
Beth Phoenix & Natalya defeated Laycool in a Tables Match (*3/4)
This was actually a better match than I expected it to be. Sure there were some slow and awkward spots, but that is expected in a women's match. I'm assuming the match was suppose to end with Natalya pushing Laycool through the table from the ropes, but the table did not break. Are McCool and Layla really that light that they couldn't break the table? But I liked this finish better. The crowd actually got into it when Natalya jumped off of the ropes onto Laycool. Does that show how much the crowd actually hates Laycool and wanted to see them get what they deserved? Probably. I thought Beth was actually going to turn on Natalya after the match. The way they kept showing shots of both of them after the match made me think it was going to happen. I thought Natalya kept lifting the Divas Title up so much that Beth would just snap, but that didn't happen. I really don't know what is next for Laycool, other than a potential break-up. Sooner or later that will happen, as will Natalya vs Beth. But this was a better than average women's match, so it gets a plus in my book.
Santino & Kozlov defeated Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater by Disqualification to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship (*1/4)
This wasn't so much of a match as it was an angle. The point of this was to make Nexus look strong heading into Wade Barrett's match with John Cena. Of course in the process, it made the tag team division look terrible by having the champions beatdown. But the tag division is already a mess as it is, so that doesn't really make a difference. When this beatdown happened, I just knew in the back of my head that it meant Cena was winning later. There was barely any action here to make note of. I'm sure Santino and Kozlov will just be back to their normal goofy selfs tonight on RAW.
John Morrison defeated Sheamus in a Ladder Match to become the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship (***3/4)
This was definitely the match of the night. These two have a great chemistry together in the ring, and it showed in this match. Sheamus adapted to the ladder match quite well, and it just shows once again that he belongs in the spot he is in. Seeing him in that crown and cape still is a bit weird, but there is no doubt that the guy deserves his top spot in the company. I really liked some of the spots thay they used with the ladder. Seeing Morrison hung upside down in the ladder like that, then having Sheamus work on Morrison's leg/ankle the rest of the match was good. It's always nice to see some nice in-ring psychology in a match. Morrison also sold the injury to his leg really well, limping and having a hard time climbing the ladder. The spot to the outside with Sheamus falling through the ladder was nice. I thought for sure that the match was over at that point. But Sheamus got back in the ring and attempted to push the ladder Morrison was climbing over. Morrison was able to use the rope as leverage, and catapult himself and the ladder back to deliver a kick to the face of Sheamus. Morrison was able to climb the ladder and grab the contract to get the win. This was easily the Match of the Night. Now the WWE has just over a month to build John Morrison up as a credible threat to capture the WWE Championship.
The Miz defeated Randy Orton in a Tables Match to retain the WWE Championship (**1/4)
I was not a fan of this match and was very disappointed by the outcome. I understand that they want to make The Miz look vulnerable as champion, but the extent they went to in this match was just ridiculous. With the referee knocked out, Randy Orton put Alex Riley through a table set up in the ring. The Miz then came in and delivered a Skull Crushing Finale to Orton. Miz then removed Riley, and put Orton where the broken table was. He revived the ref and showed Orton by the broken table. The ref was convinced enough, and called for the bell. The ref saw the replay and called for a restart to the match. As Orton was trying to get back into the ring, Miz shoved Riley into him, and Orton went through a table set up on the outside. I know they want to protect Randy Orton, but the lengths they went to in this match were just unreal. The Miz needs to be made to look strong at some point. He can't continue to have Alex Riley get involved in all of his matches. At least Michael Cole didn't interfere. You would think Orton has a right to a rematch, and I'm assuming they'll have one either tonight or next week on RAW. The match was just ok. I know The Miz is a heel and heels use cheap tactics to win at any costs, but sometimes they have to look strong. Hopefully he gets a couple good TV wins in the coming weeks.
Edge defeated Kane, Rey Mysterio, and Alberto del Rio in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match to win the World Heavyweight Championship (***1/4)
Another quality match. The only problem? It was the third ladder match of the night. By this point, the crowd seemed almost numb to all of the normal ladder spots. That's why these gimmick PPVs are stupid. Not to say that there weren't good spots in here, because there were. Edge's jump onto Kane from the ladder to the table outside was good. Rey's jump off the stage was nice. And while it was dangerous, seeing del Rio fall off of the ladder through the tables set up on the outside was nice. After Kane pulled Rey off the ladder and gave him the Tombstone, he attempted to climb the ladder himself to get the win. Edge returned, however, and hit Kane with a chair, knocking him off of the ladder. He then speared Kane, with Kane landing on the outside through a table. Edge then climbed the ladder and grabbed the World Title, making him the winner and a Ten Time World Champion. That number just shows how much both world titles have been passed around in recent years. Edge won his first title in 2006. That means in five years, he's held a world title ten times. That is just nuts. Had this match been the only Ladder Match on the show, I think it could have been even better and been a great main event. Instead, it was the third one of the night, and that is just overkill. The four men put on a good match, but because of the PPV structure, their match lost a little heat and wasn't as over as it could have been. It also hurt that it wasn't the main event. But when you're on the secondary brand and not named The Undertaker, it's very hard for you to get the last match on a PPV.
John Cena defeated Wade Barrett in a Chairs Match (**1/4)
I had a bad feeling for Wade Barrett once I found out this match was going on last. The WWE usually likes to send the fans home happy, and that's bad news. It was weird seeing a chair match without any shots to the forehead. The rest of the Nexus was taken out earlier in the night by an unknown person or persons, which meant Barrett had to go this match alone. Cena dominated almost the entire match. The match ended with Cena giving Barrett an Attitude Adjustment into a row of chairs set up in the ring. As Barrett tried crawling up the ramp to the back, Cena continued to attack him. Some role model Cena is. Where is Jesse Ventura to tell us that? I loved watching old wrestling tapes and hearing Ventura call out Hogan for beating up defenseless managers, or guys after the match was over. Barrett was eventually put under a wooden cart by Cena, and Cena yanked down some chairs from the set, and they fell on Barrett. I take it this is the end of the Cena/Nexus angle. It just seems like in the last month they rushed through everything. I also don't like the fact that this match ended the show. It makes one man seem more important than the titles. I understand Cena is your top guy, but you need to make your World Titles seem important. Just a bad ending to a once great angle. It'll be interesting to see where both Cena and the Nexus go from here. I think they'll still go at it on TV for another month, but this just had the feeling of a blowoff match. Ok ending to an ok PPV.
This PPV was just an ok show. It is a prime example of gimmick overkill. I cannot say that enough. Had Morrison/Sheamus or the Smackdown World Title TLC Match been the only ladder matches on the card, they probably would have been looked upon better than they already were. They were still good matches, but if one of them were only on the show, they would have been better and could have expanded the arsenal of moves used. The WWE Title Match was a let down as was Cena/Barrett, especially because it was in the main event slot. The two opening matches were ok, with the Divas Match being slightly better than expected. Overall, I would probably give this show a 5. Just an ok ending to a less than spectacular year of WWE PPVS.
3 STARS OF THE NIGHT
1. John Morrison: He delivered in his match. He sold his leg injury quite well and showed in ring wise he can deliver a decent match. Now he has a month to show WWE management that he belongs on the main event stage and can be a future star for them in 2011 and beyond.
2. Edge: The ladder match is his specialty, and he used it to his advantage to capture the World Title. Edge now becomes the face of a Smackdown brand that has been in need of a shake-up for a while. It'll be interesting to see if the WWE has enough faith in him to carry the Smackdown brand by himself, especially as a face.
3. The Divas: They were out of their element in a Tables match but performed very well. They showed that if given more than 5 minutes, they can do a good job in the ring. It's always nice to see them given some extra time in the ring when you know the ones in there can put on an ok match.
WHERE WE GO FROM HERE
The RAW brand already has their next WWE Title program set up with The Miz and John Morrison. Assuming they are fighting at the Royal Rumble, the WWE has six weeks to make the fans interested in their program. There is history between the two, so there is no reason they can't. Unfortunately for them, I highly doubt Miz/Morrison will be the showcase feud on RAW. I'm sure John Cena will continue to be the focal point of the show, along with Randy Orton and Sheamus as we make our way to the Royal Rumble. The big question is what becomes of Nexus. It seems almost impossible for them to get any of their heat back now that Cena has taken out every one of them at some point. My guess is a trip to Smackdown in the very near future. It wouldn't be a bad thing for Smackdown. but it would again make them look weak. We couldn't get the job done on RAW, so now we're going to try on the B show.
Edge is the new World Champion. We can only hope that the Edge/Kane feud is over. Give Kane a couple weeks off, then have him come back and look dominant heading into the Royal Rumble match. My guess is that Edge starts a program with Alberto del Rio, but I think that may be rushing it. That should be something saved down the line. Since the Rumble can sell itself, I like to see upper mid card guys get elevated into the main event spot. I think a short program with Dolph Ziggler heading into the Royal Rumble would be a nice change-up on Smackdown. That way, you can have even more added power for Smackdown in the Rumble with Alberto del Rio, Rey Mysterio, and Kane all participating in the Rumble match.
So if I were booking the Royal Rumble, my card would look like this:
Divas Title: Natalya vs Beth Phoenix
John Cena vs Wade Barrett: Winner gets #30 spot in the Rumble match
World Heavyweight Title: Edge vs Dolph Ziggler
WWE Title: The Miz vs John Morrison
Royal Rumble Match
That's all for today. NFL Review tomorrow.
Until next time,