After delivering three terrific shows in Toronto, and coming off one of the biggest pay-per-view of the year in WWE Survivor Series, things shifted back to normal with brand specific shows as the superstars of Smackdown Live brought us WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs. So without wasting anytime let’s take a look at the highs and lows coming out of WWE TLC.
TLC Match: AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Title: Since making his debut at the Royal Rumble last year, Styles has consistently delivered high quality matches. Once again Styles pulled out all the stops by bumping like crazy for Dean Ambrose, and delivered a jaw dropping springboard 450 splash on to Ambrose to the outside. Ambrose did his part in the match by delivering some unique offence and getting the crowd into the match. Ambrose nailed Styles with the “Dirty Deeds” on the steel steps and also set up a ladder on one of the announce tables to drop a flying elbow through Styles. In the end it was James Ellsworth who cost Ambrose the title by pushing him off the ladder as Dean went crashing through two tables on the outside as Styles retained the title. No surprise Styles and Ambrose stole the show and told a great story.
Ladder Match: The Miz vs Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental title:Without question the second best match of the night belonged to the Miz and Ziggler. Not surprisingly Ziggler once again put on a show by bumping like crazy for the Miz from taking a “Skull Crushing Finale” onto the ladder, and got hit with a slingshot powerbomb onto the ladder. Miz also did his part by applying a figure-four by wrapping Ziggler’s leg in the ladder and also mocked Daniel Bryan’s ‘Yes’ chant by delivering running drop kicks into the corner to Ziggler. In the end Miz kicked Ziggler low twice and grabbed the Intercontinental title.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Heath Slater and Rhyno vs. Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton. Was quite surprised that the tag team championship match opened the show, guessing because there was no stipulation added on the match. But to give WWE credit, the booking of the match was perfect as Wyatt and Orton just destroyed Slater and Rhyno. An interesting tidbit like Orton took the spear from Roman Reigns at Survivor Series, Harper took to the Gore on the outside to protect Orton. In the end Orton got the blind tag and nailed Rhyno with an RKO and captured the WWE tag team championship. It’s been three-and-a-half years since Wyatt’s debut and this is his first taste of championship gold. It’s about time. Interested to see how long Orton sticks in the Wyatt family, but would like to see the focus on Wyatt which could lead to a huge push and maybe one day WWE championship push?
Tables Match: Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss for the WWE Women’s title.To give credit where it’s due both Lynch and Bliss tried their best, took some rough bumps and worked hard. Unfortunately the match didn’t live up to expectations because the tables stipulation didn’t help matters and hurt the match because the story revolved around setting up a table then having a compelling match. In the end, Bliss powerbombed Lynch from the apron through the table and got the win. To be fair Bliss has been terrific since joining the Smackdown Live roster and is now the WWE Women’s champion.
No Disqualification Match: Nikki Bella vs Carmella: Just like Lynch and Bliss in the tables match, both Nikki and Carmela took some bumps, and tried hard to deliver a good match. But something was missing in the match as the only weapons that were used was a kendo stick and a fire extinguisher. In the after spraying Carmella with a fire extinguisher, Nikki nailed the Rack Attack and got the win. Unfortunately, this match is coming off the Charlotte and Sasha Banks match on Monday Night Raw which was not only the main event but the stole the show. So comparing all three matches, Smackdown has more depth in the Women’s roster, but the roster is pail in talent compared to Raw.
Chairs Match: Kalisto vs. Baron Corbin. Not surprisingly, Kalisto bumped liked a true pro for Corbin. Highlights included a springboards off a chair and followed up with a crossbody to the floor and then followed it up with a seated senton. But in the end Corbin nailed the ‘End of Days’ on Kalisto on top of a pile of stacked chairs for the win. Question now is where does Kalisto go from here and now who does Corbin feud with next?
Styles and Ambrose stole the show in the TLC match and Miz and Ziggler put on a great ladder match. Just like Backlash and No Mercy in the previous months, WWE and the Smackdown Live roster put on another good show and gets a pass in my books.
WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs: 7 out 10.