What up wrestling fans, I'm the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at WWE TLC 2011. With this being the final PPV of the year, how will the WWE close out 2011? Well, let's find out and start the review.
Match #1: Dolph Ziggler vs Zack Ryder for the US Championship
After a Clement Clarke Moore rip off, we finally begin the PPV. The audience was electric for this match. At first, I was a little puzzled by having this match open up the PPV since I felt it should've been around the second or third match, but I get why they did it. Part of getting the people interested in this PPV at home is about how the audience can get them up on their feet. With the audience being this excited for the match, it can make the audience watching it at home very interested. This was a good wrestling match to get people interested. Dolph and Ryder work very well together. If Ryder ever evolves beyond mid card status (at the moment, I don't see that happening), I think it would be kinda cool for Dolph and Ryder to rekindle their rivalry. Vickie Guerrero was tossed out of this match when she interfered. The two would duke it out for a while and it ended when Zack hit the Rough Ryder and the Broski is now the new US Champion. It doesn't really come as a surprise since WWE has set up a series of events for Ryder to get crowned. They tested him early to find out how well his fanbase stacked up, but the guy still managed to go out there and prove he's worthy of the mid card championship. As for Dolph, I think he will slowly make his run towards the main event. I don't think it will happen right away, but I think after WM 28 is when we can really see some serious s*** from Dolph. And we don't even have to go 88 MPH.
Winner via pinfall and NEW US Champion: Zack Ryder
There was a backstage scene. I'm gonna do something different. I am going to re-enact this scene….
Booker T: Cody Rhodes, we coming for you….*smash*. Yo dawg, what the hell?
As you would've guessed, Cody attacked Booker from behind as Booker was talking to one of the divas. Officials arrive to break it up, but the damage might already be done. There's a lot more with this scene later in the show, but I will save that for when it's time to address it.
Match #2: Air Boom vs Primo and Epico for the WWE Tag Team Championships
So, do these guys have a tag team name? I'm just gonna call them the Puerto Rican Express. I think it has a nice ring to it. The match was okay, but the lack of story didn't really make it the most engaging match. In fact, the audience was kinda quite for this match. This was clearly one of those matches they put on the card to eat up the time. Still, it was okay in terms of filler matches. The finish comes when Kofi Kingston hits Trouble in Paradise for the clean victory. By the way, isn't Hunico supposed to be with these guys? In fact, he has been in the Witness Wrestling Protection Program ever since Survivor Series. I think Hunico is really missing Sin Cara right about now. It made sense to not do a title change since we don't know a whole lot about the Puerto Rican tag team. Maybe with a few more weeks of build up between these two, I can maybe see a tag title change. At the same time, I think WWE is kinda committed to Air Boom. Hell, Evan Bourne got a 30 day suspension and still kept the titles on them. That should at least mean something.
Winner via pinfall and still Tag Team Champs: Air Boom
Backstage where Teddy Long is dressed up as Santa and decorating a Christmas tree. Hornswoggle arrives dressed up as a elf and feels this is really stupid. Not only did they give him the ability to talk, they gave him a personality while they were at it. Teddy gives him the gift of Rosetta Stone Ebonics. Hornswoggle throws it on the ground and leaves. Some people might liked this comedy segment. I have seen worse, but it wasn't that great. I think the line that saved this scene was where they talked about getting kicked in the ornaments.
Match #3: Randy Orton vs Wade Barrett in a Tables Match
The King talked about how in this type of match, you have to play more defense. Well, I guess that means I LOVE DEFENSE….AND BASTIODON TOO!!! Anyway, this match up was exactly what I expected. It wasn't great since I felt the story being told between the two lost it's flavor along the way, which is why my interest for this match kinda disappeared. Still, the two worked a pretty fair match, but nothing to brag home about. The finish was pretty cool. Wade is going for a top rope move while Orton is on the table, but Orton props back up and hits RKO while Wade was in mid-air. That finish probably makes the match worthwhile. This was the blow off feud and the face usually wins the blowoff feud. I still think WWE will keep Wade's stock high as they are heading towards WM, but who really knows.
Winner: Randy Orton
Backstage where Teddy Claus is talking to the Bellas. Teddy decides to give them a gift, his phone number. Teddy talks about the idea of reindeer games with the Bellas, but they leave him. Teddy was pretty funny tonight. Sorry Teddy, but you need the trust fund of Scrooge McDuck to get these ladies. Once they leave, Jack Swagger talks about getting some unfair treatment. Sheamus arrives into the scene and tells a story about a relative of his having their head up their arse and that will be Swagger's fate. Teddy makes it Sheamus vs Swagger tonight. Another filler match for the evening? Well, stranger things have happened, especially if you watched this PPV.
Match #4: Beth Phoenix vs Kelly Kelly for the Divas Championship
Well, this was put on the show to eat up the clock. There really was no other reason to have this match. Do you hear that silence? it's the life pulse of the Diva Division (It really doesn't look very good). Now, I'll be fair here and say the match was tolerable. It seems the only good diva matches you get are the ones on PPV. What's up with that? The finish comes when Beth hits a modified electric chair and wins the match. There really isn't a whole lot to say about this match, but it shouldn't have happened. Hell, the audience barely gave two s***s about this match since they were quite. Oh yeah, I can totally see everyone lining up to watch the next diva match...
Winner via pinfall and still Divas Champ: Beth Phoenix
Backstage where Alberto Del Rio is yelling at Ricardo Rodriguez for not getting him a car for tonight. I guess the Baltimore rental car place was closed. Either that or WWE is not paying for those cars anymore. Hey, at least Eddie Guerrero was interesting enough for his rental cars. As Del Rio tells Ricardo to go get some food, Miz shows up as Ricardo leaves. Both guys talk about how they want to take out CM Punk, but are only thinking about winning the title. As Ricardo arrives with some food, Miz smashes it in the face of Ricardo. As Miz leaves, Del Rio continues to yell at Ricardo. Man, that guy's a douche!!!
It seemed like we were ready for the Rhodes/Booker matchup, but Cody ONCE AGAIN attacks Booker from behind. Medics arrive to break it up and they tell Booker that they need to reevaluate him. Booker's not having a good night.
Match #5: Kevin Nash vs Triple H; Sledgehammer Ladder match
While I mentioned in previous articles that Nash/Trips told a good story and that would get people interested in this match, I wasn't so sure about the match quality. Well, they somehow made this worked. It's pretty clear that Nash is really seasoned in the ring, but they did make it work. Then again, if Nash has anything left in his knee caps prior to this match, that is no longer the case. Still, I think we should give Nash and Trips some credit for making this match work. I felt the match had some pretty cool moments. The Figure Four through the ladder was awesome. The finish comes when both guys are on top of the ladder and trying to get the sledgehammer. Trips smashes the sledgehammer in Nash's face. With Nash on the ground, Trips is able to get the sledgehammer. He starts to use it like a mad man and it seems he has this match. He even hits the Pedigree, but doesn't end the match. As Trips is about to use the sledgehammer on Nash's skull, Nash holds up the Kliq sign. Trips does the "Suck It" crotch chop and uses the sledgehammer to KO Nash, thus Trips is the victor. It made the most sense for Trips to get this victory. He was the good guy and there wasn't a whole lot of reason to give it to Nash and make this continue. This will most likely end things between the two since both guys need to step aside and let the younger talent have their moment.
Winner: Triple H
Backstage with CM Punk. He talks about the most painful thing that happened at the Slammys was John Laurinaitis accepting his Slammy on his behalf. Punk is angry that he hasn't received his Slammy yet. Roboinaitis arrives and talks about how he mailed the Slammy to Punk's house. Punk and Laurinaitis continue to show their workplace friction. Laurinaitis tells Punk good luck while Punk says luck is for losers. As I said in the TLC Rundown, Laurinaitis only seems to be interesting when Punk is involved. It's an odd pairing, but it seems to work since Punk usually comes up with something witty to say.
Match #6: Sheamus vs Jack Swagger
Somebody is going to get their arse kicked. The audience didn't seem too invested in this match, but they were supporting Sheamus. The match was not too bad, but if you have seen one Sheamus/Swagger match, you kinda have seen them all at this point. The finish comes when Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick for the clean victory. Man, Sheamus really needs a new rival. It just seems like he hasn't had a ton going for him ever since Christian got injured. Which is a shame because I think Sheamus can be big for this company. All he needs is the right storyline to really make him huge….like a world title.
Winner via pinfall: Sheamus
Match #7: Mark Henry vs Big Show; Chairs Match for the WHC
Okay, so I found some reports for this match. I thought this match dragged quite a bit and I felt it was rushed, but there would be a good reason for this. It turns out that Henry is actually injured with a groin pull. Man, I don't wish that on anybody. That would explain why this match went the way it did. In terms of male competition, this was probably the worst match of the night. The finish comes when Show hits the KO punch and wins the WHC. Well, it appears we have a new champion. After the match, Henry attacks Show with a chair. He hits a DDT on Show through the chair. Well, we would have another turn of events for this evening….
Winner via pinfall and NEW WHC: Big Show
Match #8: Big Show vs Daniel Bryan for the WHC; MITB cash-in
Well, it appears we have a new champion. Do you ever feel Deja Vu? Anyway, it's true, Daniel Bryan is the new WHC. I have to admit, I didn't see it coming. Mainly because it didn't seem like they were building up for Bryan to cash in MITB at this point in time, but maybe that's a good thing. It felt like they were setting it up down the road, but not for tonight. Now, you can say the big reason for Bryan getting the world title is a couple of reasons. The obvious one is because of Henry's injury, but I think the bigger reason for doing something like this is to do away with the MITB cash-in. I know the IWC is going to jump down my throat when I say this, but Daniel Bryan is no where near ready for a world title match at WM. That's the biggest event of the year and did you really think they would give Daniel Bryan a world title match on that night? No, and it would've been silly, stupid, and a mistake. Now, I like Daniel Bryan. I like what he brings to the table. His character might not be the most interesting at times, but I think he finds a way to make it work from time to time. He might not be the best promo cutter out there, but the guy knows how to talk. Even with that said, I stand by what I said a few seconds ago in Bryan not being ready for a big main event match at WM. Compared to other talent on this show, there's a lot more guys that are more capable of getting this type of slot. Maybe a few years down the road, Bryan can be the guy to get a world title match at Mania, but it isn't now. I kinda feel Bryan will have a short title reign. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see it end before the end of this year or at the Royal Rumble in which Show and/or Henry (If he's healthy by then) will destroy him. If that's what happens, I don't want to see Bryan just fade away and for his championship reign to end up like a Jack Swagger world title reign. I don't think the WWE would do that to him since they are trying something with Bryan, but I also wouldn't put it past them. Plus, if you have Bryan get killed immediately, it would make the cash-in and Bryan look bad. MITB is usually used to build a star, so it would be the total opposite if Bryan gets killed right away (unless it lead to a series of events that makes Bryan rise higher on the card). If you watch Bryan's celebration, you see that Big Show is somewhat conflicted and maybe a little angry. Possible Big Show heel turn? Well, they've planted the seeds for that possibility. This definitely makes things interesting for SD, but you know a certain commentator is only going to start bitching now more than ever. All I can tell you is this….
Winner via pinfall and NEW WHC: Daniel Bryan (#1 in the Booker T Fave Five!!!)
Match #9: Cody Rhodes vs Booker T for the IC Championship
Well, it appears we are going to do this match after all. Booker was definitely holding his own in the ring. He did cut a promo in the back. Josh Matthews said that Booker has nothing left to prove, but Book says this is all about his pride and respect since Cody has been so disrespectful towards him. This was not a bad match. Booker can still go in that ring, no doubt about it. The finish comes when Booker is in control and does a spin-a-roonie, but Booker seemed to be shaken up when he did it. Cody hit Beautiful Disaster on Booker, but Booker was able to kick out. Booker is up and once again seems to be a little woozy. As Booker seems to feel lightheaded, Cody hits Beautiful Disaster for a second time and pins Booker. Interesting series of events between these two. Cody got the victory, but you can tell that Booker was selling a head injury towards the end of the match. This was done to sell the previous attacks Cody did throughout the night. It makes Cody look like a strong heel since he used some dirty tactics to win the match, but it doesn't make Booker look too bad since the previous attacks caught up to him. With the way things ended, it would seem Booker/Cody isn't quite over yet. That could be interesting, but it also depends on what they decide to do with this storyline. Booker is REALLY not having a good night.
Winner via pinfall and still IC Champion: Cody Rhodes
Match #10. CM Punk vs Miz vs Alberto Del Rio; TLC match for the WWE Championship
Who would've thought we would get 10 matches tonight? That's just crazy. Did Michael Cole just pitch the idea of having a tie between Del Rio and Miz for Superstar of the year? I think Cole has been watching too much TNA. Anyway, this was hands down the match of the night. The opening match for the US title was good, and the Sledgehammer match had a moment or two, but this one takes the cake. Great match between all three guys. I felt they all worked well together and produced a fun match. It appeared Punk has this match won early, but Ricardo would get involved and handcuff Punk to the bottom of the ladder. It appears Punk is trapped, but he kicks the bottom of the ladder to free himself. Punk still has the handcuff on his hand, but was no longer attached to anything. Punk would work with this handcuff for the rest of this match. That't not really fair. There was a couple of cool moments during this match. I liked the enzugri Del Rio delivered to Punk, which sent him through a table on the outside of the ring. I highly recommend watching this match. I really liked the finish of this match too, but I can see how some people will say it was stupid. I didn't see it like that since I saw it as Punk having to outsmart everyone in order to retain his championship, The finish comes when Miz and Punk send Ricardo through the table from the top of the ladder (Well, he's dead). Miz sees the second part of Punk's handcuffs are open, so he handcuffs him to the steel part of the turnbuckle. As Punk is trying to break free, Del Rio and Miz are in the ring and…..propping up two ladders side-by-side? Hmm….me thinks wrestling logic is coming into play here since they didn't even use the second ladder? As Del Rio and Miz are working on that, Punk has taken off the padding and is now trying to unscrew the bolts to the ring with his hands. Oh no, Del Rio and Miz are on the top of the ladder and fighting over the championship while Punk has finally taken off the bolt and makes his way towards the ladders….
Punk manages to take down Del Rio and eventually gets Miz off the ladder. He hits GTS on Miz, thus taking him out of this match. Punk climbs back up the ladder and pulls down his title, thus retaining his championship. I like how Punk had to be smart and think of a way to get himself out of that situation. It shows that our champion has some smarts and can take any challenge and find a way to make sure he wins at the end of the day. What I see coming out of this is a match between Punk and Miz, while Del Lamo will do something else. Of course, I have another theory regarding the WWE title picture, but I will save that discussion for another day.
Winner and still WWE Champion: CM Punk
I know some people are going to disagree with me when I say this, but I thought this PPV was better than Survivor Series. This PPV didn't have the Rock or John Cena, but I honestly forgot about that tonight and I think the WWE managed to put together a pretty fun evening. I do admit some of the last minute filler matches were nothing to rave about, but there were fair matches to watch. I felt they didn't quite take you out of the evening and still managed to keep part of your interest in the PPV. Kinda amazing how Cena didn't make ONE appearance tonight. It's funny how the IWC always talks about how they don't want Cena to be in every PPV and needs to go away, but I wouldn't be surprised if the IWC is bitching about how Cena wasn't involved with this PPV and how that's a fail. IWC, are you ever satisfied? Regardless of that, tonight showed that WWE can make for a fun and interesting PPV without having the face of the company (minus the times he couldn't compete due to injury). The PPV got off to a really great start with that US title match. The Daniel Bryan WHC victory was something I didn't see coming. Maybe it would be considered luck since Henry went down with an injury, but an injury often opens the door for somebody else to step it up and take the brass ring. I never imagined two beloved Indy wrestlers would be the world champions at the same time in WWE, but Punk and Bryan have made it a reality. They both have a different way of doing things, but both busted their ass for years to get to where they belong and I think it's pretty cool to see two indy wrestlers make it to the top. I realize Bryan's title win might be a short one, but let's focus on tonight as opposed to down the road. On a scale of 1-10 and 5 considered average on my show, I give WWE TLC a 7 out of 10. Generally anything above a 7 on my show is considered a PPV that I recommend watching and maybe one to add to the DVD collection when it becomes available. This really felt like a genuine PPV. We had some great matches, title changes, and a few surprises. I think WWE ended 2011 on a high note. I wouldn't rank TLC as one of WWE's best PPVs of the year, but if you look back on this year, there was some pretty stiff competition for that title. Still, I found TLC to be a lot of fun and a worthwhile show to check out. Definitely some interesting things to look forward to after tonight. Punk and Miz will probably continue their build up for a one-on-one feud while DBry will get his first world title run. Hey, if it's a short reign, try to enjoy it. Booker and Cody will probably keep things going as Booker is now selling a possible head injury. So, there is a few things to look forward to as WWE moves into 2012. So, they put forth a damn good PPV and kept you invested for future storylines? Sounds like a pretty productive evening if you ask me. That's going to do it for the review and I hope you enjoy it. As always, tell me what you thought of my review or tonight's show. I am working on the nomination/category list for the 2nd Annual WrestlingNerd award show, which is my little version of the Slammys. Hopefully, I can have that out before Christmas. I will explain more on this matter once I have released it. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time.
WrestlingNerd's Official Score of WWE TLC 2011: 7 out of 10