|Date: December 4, 2016
|Venue: American Airlines Center |City: Dallas, Texas
|tweet me: @BastionBlogger
A video package kicks us off, plenty of focus on AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose as well as The Miz, Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt, Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch, all of which are in title matches.
Mauro Ranallo welcomes ut to TLC!
Heath Slater & Rhyno (c) vs. Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton – Smackdown Tag Team Championship match
Background: A tag team turmoil match would decide number one contenders to the Smackdown tag team championships, a match that was won by American Alpha. Randy Orton has recently decided to give in and join the Wyatt Family which led to Randy and Bray challenging American Alpha for the number one contendership. Wyatt and Orton won and take on the first ever Smackdown Tag Team Champions tonight.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time match between these two teams.
TLC Record: Randy Orton is 3-1 at TLC events, Bray Wyatt is 3-0, Heath Slater is 0-2 and Rhyno is 0-1.
Match: Randy Orton has new music with the opening beat of his old music. Bray Wyatt and Rhyno kick off the match which is surprising from both teams. Luke Harper is present and it isn’t long before he distracts the referee which allows Wyatt and Orton to get some double teaming in. Wyatt and Orton dominate for much of the match and you wonder how Heath Slater will make any kind of comeback. Rhyno is the man to make the hot tag and gets the momentum back for the champions. Bray Wyatt and Rhyno were on opposite teams at last years TLC event too. Rhyno looks for a gore on the outside but Luke Harper pushes Orton out of the way and takes the bullet! Orton then tags in, Wyatt does his spider walk which distracts Rhyno and Orton hits the RKO for the three!
Result: Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton win by pinfall.
Review: This match was ok. It was nothing spectacular but it means we crown new Smackdown tag team champions with this new tag team. Interestingly Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton present Luke Harper with the titles after the match, will they Freebird the belts like New Day? It’s a very strong set of champion though and should create some good matches.
There’s an ad for the WWE Network. I’m sure it’ll be the first of many.
Dasha Fuentes is backstage with Dean Ambrose. Dasha asks Dean about James Ellsworth and Ambrose says that Ellsworth is keeping his chin up at home. Ambrose intends to use his temper to beat AJ Styles tonight.
Nikki Bella vs. Carmella – No Disqualification match
Background: Carmella turned heel on Nikki not long after the brand split, attacking her from behind after feeling upstaged. This feud has continued and last month at Survivor Series somebody attacked Nikki before the match leaving her unable to compete. We still don’t know who it was but Nikki is convinced it was Carmella.
Previous PPV matches: Nikki beat Carmella in their only previous PPV match at No Mercy.
TLC Record: Nikki Bella is 1-0 at TLC events, Carmella makes her debut at the event tonight.
Match: Straight away the fight goes to the outside where Carmella takes the advantage. That is until Nikki hits a spear. Carmella hits a hurricanrana on Nikki into the ring steps and then shoves her into the barricade. Interesting that there are count outs in this match but not disqualifications. Carmella works the left leg of Nikki Bella, suplexing her into the ring ropes. Carmella is looking for her first PPV victory tonight. See grabs a kendo stick and swings it into the ribs of Nikki. She also makes a few John Cena references. Carmella locks on the code of silence but Nikki uses the kendo stick to get out of it. Nikki hits a springboard shining wizard off the barricade and then lays into Carmella with the kendo stick. Nikki uses a fire extinguisher excessively and then hits the rack attack 2.0 for the victory!
Result: Nikki Bella wins by pinfall.
Review: Yeah this was what it was. Not a memorable match but it gave Nikki Bella a big win. Carmella arguably needed it more but Nikki needs to be built back up if she wants to be the star that she was before. I assume this will be the end of this rivalry.
After the match Carmella gets on the microphone and denies being the person to attack Nikki Bella at Survivor Series. Carmella then reveals that it was Natalya that attacked Nikki!
There’s a couple of adverts for WWE Supercard and for Kay Jewellers.
There’s a video package next showing the history of the Intercontinental Championship and what led to the match between The Miz and Dolph Ziggler.
Daniel Bryan is backstage and makes it clear that he wants Dolph Ziggler to win tonight. The Miz shows up and can’t wait to prove Bryan wrong.
The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler – Ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship
Background: This rivalry has been going on for the past four months. The Intercontinental Championship has gone back and forth between Miz and ziggler but this is the very last time they will go head to head and Daniel Bryan has made it a ladder match.
Previous PPV matches: This is the fifth PPV match between these two men, they have both previously won 2 matches.
TLC Record: Dolph Ziggler is 3-1 at TLC, The Miz is 2-3.
Match: It’s a quick start to the match with the two men going back and forth but Ziggler reaches for a ladder under the ring which seems pointless considering there’s a dozen of them set up around the ring. The two men take it in turns to use the ladders with neither man keeping the advantage for long. I hate to say this but I feel like I’ve seen too many ladder matches and too many Miz/Ziggler matches. It’s really hard for these guys to make this different from any match we’ve seen before. The crowd are behind Ziggler though and seem interested. I like Maryse being back in the WWE, she’s always been a great character. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of false finishes in this one, much like there is with every Dolph Ziggler match. Miz hits a skull-crushing finale off a ladder which looked pretty good. Miz then climbs to the top of the ladder but Ziggler pushes over the ladder, instead of taking the belt down Miz hangs on to the frame holding the belt. Dolph looks to have the match won but Miz kicks him in the balls twice to kick him down to the mat and win the match.
Result: The Miz wins the match, retaining the Intercontinental Championship.
Review: This match was ok. I just feel like I’ve seen this match a hundred times before. They put a lot of effort in and they put together a decent enough match, I just wasn’t it. I’ll be glad to see these two guys move on to different feuds.
The Miz devotes the match to Daniel Bryan and then says that Dolph Ziggler deserves a participation award.
There’s an ad for Tribute To The Troops.
There’s a video package showing the recent history between Kalisto and Baron Corbin.
Kalisto vs. Baron Corbin – Chairs match
Background: This feud began when Baron Corbin attacked Kalisto and put him out of action. Kalisto returned with more of a vicious side and intent on getting revenge on Corbin and injured him which put Corbin out of Survivor Series. During a tag team match on Smackdown Corbin would attack Kalisto with a chair which led to Daniel Bryan making a chair match between the two for TLC.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.
TLC Record: Kalisto is 0-1 at TLC, Baron Corbin makes his debut at the event tonight.
Match: Kalisto starts the match by throwing a load of chairs in the ring before Corbin even makes his entrance. It’s then a quick start to the match with Kalisto attempting to use chairs and Corbin swatting them away. Kalisto then uses a chair to dive on Corbin who is stood on the outside. Corbin tosses Kalisto around. The crowd have gone pretty quiet since the pace has slowed down in this one. Kalisto hits a seated senton onto a pile of chairs for a near fall. Kalisto looks for a suicide dive but Corbin nicely counters it into a deep six. Kalisto hits a hurricanrana off the barricade and then throws a chair at Corbin. Kalisto looks for something off the middle rope but Corbin leathers him with a chair before hitting end of days for the victory.
Result: Baron Corbin wins by pinfall.
Review: The crowd were pretty dead for this one. The match went on a bit too long to be honest. It wasn’t terrible, it was two styles that meshed quite well, it just wasn’t great. A big win for Baron Corbin though who wins more than he loses.
Dasha is back with with Natalya and asks her if she attacked Nikki Bella at Survivor Series. Natalya doesn’t comment and instead wishes Becky Lynch luck tonight. Natalya then says that Carmella’s accusation is absurd.
There’s a video package next for Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss.
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Alexa Bliss – Smackdown Women’s Championship match
Background: Becky Lynch previously beat Alexa Bliss to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship but the referee didn’t see Alexa’s foot on the bottom rope. Daniel Bryan granted Alexa a rematch at TLC and made it a tables match.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two girls.
TLC Record: Both girls make their TLC debut tonight.
Match: Becky gets the first few shots in and is the first to pull a table out from under the ring but Alexa kicks Becky out of the way and pushes the table back under the ring. Lynch sets up a table on the outside slowly and then looks to suplex Bliss through it but Alexa counters. Bliss launches Lynch into the ringpost and then slides a table into the ring. Alexa sets up a table in the ring and then beats down the champion with right hands. Alexa then lays Becky down on a table and heads to the top but Becky crotches her on the top rope. Lynch sets up for a superplex but Alexa fights her off. Alexa sets the table up in the corner but Becky hits her with clotheslines. Neither girl has had the advantage for long in this one, it’s been very back and forth. Alexa hits a DDT to the underside of the table. The two girls fight to the apron where Alexa nips down and then powerbombs Becky through the table on the outside to win the match!
Result: Alexa Bliss wins the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
Review: This match was decent. Something is a bit flat with this show, I think it might be the crowd. This wasn’t a bad match, it was slow in parts but it wasn’t terrible. I like Alexa Bliss as champion, she’s been a real surprise star since being drafted to Smackdown.
Dasha tries to get a word with Becky after the match but Becky doesn’t want to talk.
There’s more Kay Jewellery rubbish and then an ad for 205 Live.
There’s a video package next for AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Dean Ambrose – TLC match for the WWE Championship
Background: AJ Styles was the man to beat Dean Ambrose for the WWE Championship and Ambrose has made it his mission ever since to get it back. James Ellsworth has also got involved as Dean Ambrose has taken him under his wing. Ambrose has helped Ellsworth beat Styles in non-title matches which has gotten under the WWE Champions skin even more. Ambrose even helped Ellsworth get a WWE contract, beating AJ Styles in a ladder match which also earned the underdog a future shot at the WWE Championship.
Previous PPV matches: This is the second singles PPV match between these two men, AJ Styles previously beat Dean Ambrose at Backlash.
TLC Record: Dean Ambrose is 2-2 at TLC events, AJ Styles makes his debut at the event tonight.
Match: AJ Styles definitely gets the bigger pop out of the two men. Dean Ambrose takes the early advantage and brings a chair and ladder into play but Styles is the man to use the chair. The fight goes into the crowd where Ambrose puts a bin over Styles and lays him out. AJ has a really nice, unique, kneedrop. An Undertaker chant breaks out at one point for some reason. Styles hits a brutal sidewalk slam on a set up chair. AJ suplexes Ambrose through a table setup in the corner. There’s a good spot with Ambrose laying Styles on an announce desk and then setting up a ladder on the other desk and diving off with an elbow drop putting Styles through the table. Dean then sets up a ladder in the middle of the ring and climbs it but AJ manages to save the match with a phenomenal forearm! AJ lays Ambrose on a table outside the ring and then hits a springboard 450 from inside the ring ti put Ambrose through the table. That was immense. AJ Styles is on another level.
James Ellsworth walks out from the back to boo’s from the crowd. AJ Styles greets him with a beatdown until Ambrose makes the save. Ambrose hits a DDT on the ring steps to Styles and then sets up a ladder in the ring. Ambrose climbs the ladder but AJ manages to get into the ring and climb the other side of the ladder. Ambrose hammers AJ who falls off the ladder and to the outside. James Ellsworth then tips over the ladder! Ambrose falls to the outside through some tables! Ellsworth waves AJ back into the ring and Styles slowly gets up to his feet, climbs the ladder and retrieves the WWE Championship!
Result: AJ Styles retains the WWE Championship.
Review: This was a good match, mostly down to the big ladder off the announce desk spot and the springboard 450. James Ellsworth makes a shocking heel turn to help Styles retain the WWE Championship. I have no idea if this feud will continue, I feel like there’s another match in this. But what is the deal with James Ellsworth? A good main event.
And that was TLC 2016. It was a weak show that picked up for the last two matches. The first few matches varied from weak to average but the last two matches were good. There were a couple of title changes with Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt winning the Smackdown Tag Team Championships and Alexa Bliss winning the Smackdown Women’s Championship. I like both of these title changes actually, Alexa in particular has been a real stand out star since the brand split. AJ Styles retained his WWE Championship in the TLC match with a lot of help from James Ellsworth. It was the heel turn that everybody feared and sadly it finally happened. But I do like Styles as WWE Champion so him retaining is good news. Overall a pretty weak show, if you haven’t seen it then don’t bother going out of your way to watch it.
Overall Rating: 54.16/100 (ranked 250th out of 337)
Match Of The Night: AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose
Worst Match Of The Night: Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
Surprise Of The Night: James Ellsworth turns heel and costs Dean Ambrose the match
Worst Booking Of The Night: N/A
Superstar Of The Night: AJ Styles
TLC 2016 Will Be Remembered For: AJ Styles beating Dean Ambrose with help from James Ellsworth