|Date: December 20, 2020
|Venue: Tropicana Field |City: Orlando, Florida
|tweet me: @BastionBlogger
A video package kicks us off focusing on Roman Reigns & Kevin Owens, AJ Styles & Drew McIntyre, Sasha Banks & Carmella, the women’s tag team championship match, and Randy Orton & Bray Wyatt.
Drew McIntyre (c) vs. AJ Styles – Tables, ladders and chairs match for the WWE Championship
Background: At Survivor Series, Team Raw defeated Team SmackDown in the men’s 5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination match without any member of their team eliminated. The following night on Raw, WWE official Adam Pearce said that one of Team Raw’s members would get a WWE Championship match against Drew McIntyre at TLC and allowed each to state their case. Last was Strowman, who became enraged over Pearce’s use of the phrase “last but not least” and attacked Pearce; Strowman was suspended indefinitely. Former WWE Champion Randy Orton, who wanted a rematch after losing the title to McIntyre on Raw the previous week, and United States Champion Bobby Lashley, who was the only Raw champion to win their Champion vs. Champion match at Survivor Series, each individually confronted Pearce backstage and also stated their cases. Pearce scheduled three singles matches for that night, with the winners of each facing off in a triple threat match the following week to determine the number one contender. Riddle, Lee, and Styles advanced to the triple threat match. Styles subsequently won the triple threat match to face McIntyre for the WWE Championship at TLC in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.
TLC PPV Record: Drew McIntyre is 1-2 at TLC, AJ Styles is also 1-2.
Match: AJ Styles is joined by his bodyguard Omos. It’s a contest of power vs. speed in the early going. Drew throws AJ from one side of the ring to the other. Drew lays into AJ on the outside but Styles manages to take the advantage using a chair. AJ targets the knee of the champion and uses the ladder to add insult to injury. Styles sets up for a Styles Clash but McIntyre counters and hits a futureshock DDT. AJ uses the ladder again and then applies a calf crushes which causes McIntyre to scream in agony. Styles knocks Drew out of the ring and then heads to the top but McIntyre just throws a chair at him to ground him. Styles then looks for a phenomenal forearm but Drew catches him and belly to belly suplexes him into a ladder. AJ hits the phenomenal forearm on the second attempt and Omos helps his man out by tossing another ladder into the ring. AJ climbs a ladder but McIntyre military press slams him through a table on the outside. Drew climbs the ladder but The Miz runs out from the back with John Morrison. The Miz then powerbombs McIntyre through a table! Morrison hands over the money in the back briefcase and tells the referee that The Miz is cashing in! The match is now a triple threat!
Drew McIntyre (c) vs. AJ Styles vs. The Miz – Tables, ladders and chairs match for the WWE Championship
Match: The Miz is 3-5 at TLC events.The Miz climbs the ladder but Omos pulls him down and dumps him out of the ring through a table! Omos then chases John Morrison to the back. Drew and AJ climb either sides of the ladder and they get to the top but Miz gets back in the ring and climbs another ladder. McIntyre manages to fight both men off the ladders but AJ stops Drew from winning. AJ and Miz then fight at the top of the ladder until McIntyre pushes it over. Drew hits a claymore on Miz and then climbs the ladder and retreives the title!
Result: Drew McIntyre retains the WWE Championship.
Review: This was a really fun match to kick off the show. I enjoyed it to be honest. It was hard hitting from Drew, whilst Styles would increase the pace and bring his unique style which is always entertaining to watch. The Miz interjecting himself was good too and he’s cashed in and lost tonight. Drew retains and will probably go on to Wrestlemania as champion.
Kayla Braxton is backstage with Paul Heyman. Heyman says he likes NASCAR because he likes the crashes. Heyman says that tonight will be like NASCAR but it will be Roman Reigns winning and that’s a spoiler.
There’s a video package next for Sasha Banks and Carmella.
Sasha Banks (c) vs. Carmella – Smackdown Women’s Championship match
Background: For several weeks, vignettes of a mystery woman claiming to be “untouchable” were shown on episodes of SmackDown. Following a five-month hiatus, Carmella was revealed as the mystery woman on the October 2 episode and reverted to being a heel. She did not have any physical confrontations until the November 6 episode when she appeared and attacked SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks after Banks had successfully defended her title. Over the next two weeks, Carmella continued her attacks on Banks, who returned the favor on the November 27 episode by attacking Carmella during her backstage vignette. The following week, a title match between the two was scheduled for TLC. Before the event, the two faced each other in an impromptu championship match on the December 11 episode of SmackDown where Banks was disqualified after continuously attacking Carmella in the corner past the referee’s five-count; although Carmella won, Banks retained as titles do not change hands by disqualification unless stipulated.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two girls.
TLC PPV Record: Carmella is 1-1, Sasha Banks wrestles at this event for the first time tonight.
Match: It’s a back and forth start to the match with the two girls fighting to the outside and then back into the ring where Sasha gets the first near fall of the night. Carmella’s sommerlier Reggie is at ringside to help her out which gives the challenger the advantage. Sasha fights back though and hits a meteora and then the three amigos. Banks hits a frog splash for a near fall. Carmella hits a facebuster for a near fall. Numerous near falls in fact. Carmella keeps control and gets another near fall of a superkick. Carmella looks for a top rope hurricanrana but Sasha rolls through for a near fall. Carmella locks on the code of silence but Sasha gets out of it. Carmella then locks on the ring of Saturn but Sasha gets out of it. Banks avoids a bronco buster and then locks on the Banks statement but Reggie pulls Carmella out of the ring! Sasha takes out Reggie with meteora. Sasha lockso n the Banks statement again and Carmella taps out.
Result: Sasha Banks retains the Smackdown Women’s Championship by submission.
Review: This was a good match. I’d go as far as to say the best match of Carmella’s career. Sasha wins though and continues her title reign. A really good go from Carmella and she showed that she can mix it up withthe top women on the roster. She’s really improved over the past few years.
Billie Kay is backstage giving Asuka her resume. Billie says that she is the perfect tag team partner for her tonight. Billie has even made a mask. Asuka says that her application has failed.
The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) (c) vs. The Hurt Business (Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander) – Raw Tag Team Championship match
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two teams.
TLC PPV Record: Kofi Kingston is 5-3, Xavier Woods is 0-1, Cedric Alexander is 1-0 and Shelton Benjamin is 0-1.
Match: Cedric Alexander comes out of the box quickly and tries to blindside Kofi but it works against him and New Day take the early advantage, makking quick tags. Benjamin tags in and takes control against Xavier Woods. Kofi tags in and hits a cross body on Benjamin as Woods takes it to Alexander on the outside. New Day looks great in this match as they take control against Benjamin. Shelton hits a big knee to Woods, smashes him into the bottom turnbuckle and then tags in Alexander. Kofi gets a hot tag but Benjamin counters a boom drop. Cedric tags in and Kofi hits him with SOS for a near fall. Alexander avoids trouble in paradise and hits a knee strike and a brainbuster for a near fall. All hell breaks loose with all four men but The Hurt Business dispose of Xavier Woods. Shelton hits a superplex on Kofi, Cedric tags himself in and hits Kofi with a lumbar check for the three!
Result: The Hurt Business win the Raw Tag Team Championships by pinfall.
Review: This was another solid match. It had a fast pace to it and showed off the athleticism of all four men. It was interesting that Cedric tagged himself in for the victory. I like Benjamin and Alexander as tag team champions, it’s fresh and they do feel like a proper tag team. The Hurt Business are hot right now.
Bobby Lashley comes out to celebrate with the rest of the Hurt Business after the match.
We’re shown some footage from Smackdown with Sami presenting the “Sami Awards”. Sami opens the envelope to reveal superstar of the year to be Big E. Big E comes out and accepts his award to the confusion of Sami Zayn. We then here some leaked audio of Sami Zayn shouting at Kayls Braxton about the mix-up.
Backstage Sami Zayn berates Kayla for leaking the audio on her instagram.
There’s a video package showing the lead up to the women’s tag team championship match. We were suposed to get Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler vs. Asuka & Lana.
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Asuka & Charlotte Flair – Women’s Tag Team Championship match
Background: On the September 14 episode of Raw, after the team of Lana and Natalya lost a tag team match, WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler appeared and Jax performed a Samoan drop on Lana through an announce table. Over the next nine weeks, Jax repeatedly put Lana through an announce table. Also during this time, Natalya ceased teaming with Lana. On the October 12 episode, Lana won a battle royal by last eliminating Natalya to earn a Raw Women’s Championship match against Asuka. The title match took place the following week, which Lana lost. Following the match, Jax put Lana through an announce table once more. On the October 26 episode, Lana won a fatal four-way match to win a spot on the women’s team for Team Raw at Survivor Series, where Lana emerged as the sole survivor after being ordered to not take part in the match by her teammates, which included Jax and Baszler. The following night on Raw, Lana was granted another Raw Women’s Championship match against Asuka, but the match ended in a no-contest after Jax and Baszler interfered. This resulted in an impromptu non-title tag team match where Lana and Asuka defeated Jax and Baszler. The following week, Lana and Asuka defeated the champions once more in another non-title match. Jax and Baszler were subsequently scheduled to defend the Women’s Tag Team Championship against Lana and Asuka at TLC. However, after Lana defeated Jax on the December 14 episode of Raw, an irate Jax and Baszler attacked the leg of Lana causing an injury, resulting in her removal from the championship match at TLC, requiring Asuka to find a new partner.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time match between these two teams.
TLC PPV Record: Asuka is 3-0, Charlotte is 1-2, Nia Jax is 1-0 and Shayna wrestles at this event for the first time tonight.
Match: Asuka and Shayna kick off the match and it isn’t long before the champions have the advantage. Nia and Shayna make quick tags, laying into Asuka. Asuka looks to make a hot tag to Charlotte but Shayna pulls Charlotte off the apron. Charlotte then lays out Baszler and Asuka tags her in as Ric Flair watches from backstage. Charlotte picks up the pace and takes out both opponents. Charlotte hits both Nia and Shayna with a moonsault on the outside and then looks for a figure four on Nia who counters. Both girls tag out but it’s not long before Charlotte tags back in. Charlotte locks the figure 8 on Shayna but Nia breaks it up. Asuka takes out Jax, Charlotte hits natural selection on Baszler for the three!
Result: Charlotte and Asuka win the Women’s Tag Team Championships by pinfall.
Review: This match was decent enough. I wasn’t expecting new champions but Charlotte and Asuka are two of the top women on the roster. Where does this leave Lana? It’s unusual to see Charlotte as a babyface and I don’t think it’ll last long. Decent enough match here but nothing spectacular.
There’s a stupid VT with a monster “2020” taking out Drew McIntyre and then a superhero “2021” taking out 2020.
Big E and R-Truth are laughing backstage about Sami Zayn when Zayn shows up. Zayn calls Big E a joke since he went solo.
There’s a video package next for Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens.
Roman Reigns (c) vs. Kevin Owens – Tables, Ladders and Chairs match for the Universal Championship
Background: Ever since making his return to WWE and winning the Universal Championship at Payback, Roman Reigns began referring to himself as the “Tribal Chief” and the “Head of The Table” of the Anoa’i family. Reigns’ cousin Jey Uso joined Reigns after Reigns defeated him at Hell in a Cell. Differences then grew between Jey and Kevin Owens, who had both earned a spot on the men’s team for Team SmackDown at Survivor Series; Team SmackDown ultimately lost. On the following SmackDown, Reigns lambasted Jey for the loss, stating that the other members of Team SmackDown did not respect Jey, and in turn, they did not respect Reigns or their family. This enraged Jey and during that episode’s main event match between himself and Owens, Jey intentionally disqualified himself by attacking Owens with a steel chair. Owens retaliated and performed multiple Stunners on Jey and then called out Reigns. The following week, Owens challenged Reigns to a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match for the Universal Championship at TLC, which Reigns accepted.
Previous PPV matches: Kevin Owens is 2-0 against Roman Reigns on PPV.
TLC PPV Record: Roman Reigns is 1-3, Kevin Owens is 0-1.
Match: Kevin Owens attacks Roman before the bell rings and goes right to work on him, taking the fight to the outside and throwing Reigns into the ring steps. Owens hits a from splash and gets in the ring but out comes Jey Uso who Owens takes out with a chair. Jey Uso get carried to the back as Roman Reigns lays into Owens with the ring steps. Reigns continues the assault with a ladder and then chairs. Roman climbs a ladder but Owens stops him from getting to the top. Owens then climbs the ladder but he is stopped by Jey Uso who has re-emerged. Reigns hits Owens with a superman punch and then brings tables into the ring. KO fights back and hits a stunner on Reigns before hitting a pop-up powerbomb on Jey Uso through the announce desk. Owens then climbs to the top of the ladder but Reigns joins him up there. They fight back down to the ground and Reigns powerbomb Owens onto a ladder twice.
Roman then hits a urunage on KO through a table on the outside before hitting a Samoan drop through a table. Reigns climbs the ladder but at the very last rung Kevin Owens emerges and just hangs on to his foot. Reigns laughs and climbs down and then spears his challenger through a table. Owens taunts Reigns on the outside and then avoids a spear and Reigns crashes through the barricade. Owens climbs the ladder in the ring but Reigns pulls him down. Owens hits superkicks and then a pop-up powerbomb through a table before climbing the ladder but Jey Uso stops him. Owens disposes of Uso and then climbs the ladder again but Reigns hits him with a low blow and then locks on the guillotine, KO passes out, falls down and Roman Reigns retreives the Universal Championship to win the match.
Result: Roman Reigns retains the Universal Championship.
Review: This was a fantastic match. It was chaotic, it was the strongest Kevin Owens has been booked in a long time but at the end of the day two men was too many for him. Roman Reigns is phenomenal as heel champion and he’ll hold the belt for a while. A great match tonight though and I wouldn’t be too surprised if we got another match between the two down the line.
There’s a really cool ad for the Royal Rumble event.
VT next for the Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt match.
Randy Orton vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt – Firefly Inferno Match
Background: After winning the WWE Championship from Drew McIntyre at Hell in a Cell on October 25, Randy Orton appeared on Alexa Bliss’ talk show “A Moment of Bliss” on the following night’s Raw—several weeks beforehand, Bliss aligned herself with Bray Wyatt and his alter-ego The Fiend. During the segment, Bliss referenced Orton’s past rivalry with Wyatt at WrestleMania 33 in 2017. McIntyre then came out and attacked Orton until the lights went out. When they returned, The Fiend was standing behind Orton on the entrance ramp while McIntyre stood in the ring. McIntyre continued to brawl with Orton while The Fiend departed. The Fiend would continue to threaten and attack Orton over the next few weeks; after Orton lost the WWE Championship back to McIntyre on the November 16 episode of Raw, The Fiend caused Orton to lose an opportunity to regain the title the following week. Orton then appeared once again on “A Moment of Bliss”, claiming to know The Fiend’s weakness as Bliss herself. Orton was subsequently scheduled to face The Fiend at TLC. Before the event on the December 14 episode of Raw, Orton challenged Wyatt’s cheery Firefly Fun House persona to a game of hide-and-seek that ended in a backstage brawl where Orton locked Wyatt inside of a wooden crate and set it ablaze. The Fiend then emerged from the flaming box and attacked Orton. Their match at TLC was then made a Firefly Inferno match.
Previous PPV matches: This is the third PPV match between these two men, they have both previously won one match each.
TLC PPV Record: Bray Wyatt is 5-0 at this event, Randy Orton is 4-2.
Match: Randy Orton is cautious in the early going and The Fiend sells nothing. Orton attempts an RKO which fires up Wyatt. Orton counters Sister Abigail but Wyatt countinues to no-sell. To win this match you have to set any part of your opponent on fire. Randy coiunters Sister Abigail again and hits a backbreaker. Wyatt is right back up and hits Sister Abigail on the third time of asking. The Fiend roars and rises his arms and fires comes up from everywhere. Wyatt lays into Orton around the ring, lights a strap on fire and looks to whip Orton with it but Randy moves. In a slightly ridiculous moment Wyatt swings a pickaxe at Orton who gets out of the way. Wyatt dowses his rocking chair in petrol and sits Orton in it. Orton then barely gets out of the way as Wyatt lights the chair on fire. Orton then fights back with the axe handle and ring steps but he can’t push The Fiend into the fire. Randy hits a hangmans DDT to the outside but Wyatt fights back with a mandible claw. Wyatt tries to push Orton into the fire but Randy counters and pushes Wyatt into the fire! Wyatts jacket lights up in flames, he chases Orton into the ring where he receives an RKO. I think Randy has won but there’s no bell. Orton checks on The Fiend who doesn’t move. Orton then covers The Fiend in petrol before lighting a match and dropping it on him. The deflated corpse of Bray Wyatt burns in the ring as Orton poses from the outside.
Result: Randy Orton wins.
Review: This was a good match. It’s been a night of good matches to be honest and this was no exception. I don’t think this match would have happened if there was a live crowd and the ending certainly wouldn’t have. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes now. Orton wins but this one is far from over.
And that was TLC 2020. It felt like a really good show, one of the more under-rated from this era. The opener was a lot of fun, Drew McIntyre and AJ Styles put on a really good match and then The Miz came out and cashed in his Money In The Bank contract only to lose. Still, this was a great way to open the show, Drew McIntyre is having a really good title reign and has become the biggest babyface on the roster. Sasha Banks then beat Carmella in what was one of Carmella’s best matches of all time. Sasha Banks retains the title, which was the right call. Carmella looked like she should be challenging for the title and hopefully she keeps the momentum going. The Hurt Business beat The New Day to win the Raw Tag Team Championships in a good match. Four fast-paced high flying athletes in this one and it’s nice to see a new tag team with the titles.
Charlotte and Asuka won the women’s tag team championships from Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler in an ok match. I’m not keen on the title switch, I like Nia and Shayna as champions. This just feels like a “how will they co-exist” title switch. I don’t buy Charlotte as a babyface either. Roman Reigns defeats Kevin Owens to win the Universal Championship. I really liked this match, both men put on it all on the line. Reigns is unstoppable as champion at the moment and I’m happy for his reign to continue. Randy Orton then beat Bray Wyatt in the firefly inferno match. This was interesting but it was a good match. Wyatt lit on fire and then Orton doused him in petrol and set him on fire again following the match. You could obviously see this was a dummy so it was a bit lame. Still, I look forward to seeing where it goes. Overall a fantastic show, there wasn’t a bad match on the whole card. The best show WWE have put on since Survivor Series 2018. Go check it out, it just misses out on my top 10 PPV’s of all time.
Overall Rating: 70.41/100 (ranked 11th out of 396)
Match Of The Night: Roman Reigns vs. Kurt Angle
Worst Match Of The Night: Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax vs. Charlotte & Asuka
Surprise Of The Night: Charlotte returns as Asuka’s partner
Worst Booking Of The Night: Charlotte & Asuka win the women’s tag team championships
Superstar Of The Night: Randy Orton
TLC 2020 Will Be Remembered For: Randy Orton setting The Fiend on fire