WWE TLC (Tables, Ladders & Chairs) 2016 Thoughts
I’m a bit later than usual with my thoughts on a PPV – especially this one where in my predictions piece I stated it looked like a really solid card. I wasn’t wrong as this was one of the best WWE PPVs of the year! Looking after a sick toddler was the priority and gave me brain drain as well, so here’s my quick (but late) run down of the show.
Heath Slater & Rhino (Champs) vs. Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton –
WWE Smackdown Championship Match
This match wasn’t going to be special, and boy, it really wasn’t. The champs barely got any offense in and, in my mind, weren’t even given the chance to show why they have been the champs. The ending really didn’t do anything for Bray Wyatt, either, as he didn’t even get the pin on Rhino – Orton did. So while Wyatt is holding some gold for the first time in WWE, he still needed a veteran of the ring to do it.
Winners: Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton
Nikki Bella vs. Carmella – No DQ Match
I said that this match would have had more importance if they wouldn’t have given it away a few weeks ago. The match was actually decent, but I’m with a lot of the IWC and didn’t like the ending with the fire extinguisher. After the match ended, Carmella revealed that she knew who attacked Nikki before the Survivor Series match; and that person was Natalya. Big surprise. I guess we’ll see where it goes next tonight (Tuesday afternoon is when I’m writing this).
Winner: Nikki Bella
The Miz (Champ) vs. Dolph Ziggler –
WWE Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match
This match was really good and it really makes me shuffle my top three matches these two have had over the last few years (especially this year). The spots were great, but there were some times where Ziggler just oversold too much for my liking. I did enjoy the end where The Miz kicked Dolph Ziggler in the balls, causing Ziggler to collapse and The Miz to finish climbing the ladder to grab the belt and retain. With The Miz winning again by a cheap shot and arguing with Daniel Bryan on Talking Smack after, I still don’t think this is the last we’ve seen these two wrestle again for the belt (hell, just look at Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks and Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn on Raw).
Winner: The Miz
Baron Corbin vs. Kalisto – Chairs Match
Here’s a match that was my big surprise for the night. The chairs aspect really made it seem like either match could win and both men showed some excellent offense and defense. I think Kalisto showed that he was more than just a high flyer here, while Corbin showed that he could tell a story in the ring and actually sell well. If they had a rematch, I’d be all over it but I think Corbin really needs to move on to a more established name and new program to capitalize on a good match. I’d also see where Kalisto goes next as I gained more respect for him after this match.
Winner: Baron Corbin
Becky Lynch (Champ) vs. Alexa Bliss –
WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship Match
I have to hand it to Alexa Bliss as she did way better than I thought she would in this match and I applaud for Lynch for helping her over any of the bumps. That being said, I was entertained by the ladies throughout.
I think the near-falls were spaced out well, but I have to say that the ending caught me totally off guard – not just because it came fast, but because WWE actually gave Bliss the win and the belt (mind you, the picture of her with the belt, all done up, to promote her appearing on Talking Smack with others right after the match kinda took me out of the moment).
At least we now have a fan favourite chasing the heel to regain the belt in a non-gimmick, pure wrestling match and I think it will be a more engaging story line.
Winner: Alexa Bliss
AJ Styles (Champ) vs. Dean Ambrose –
TLC Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
This was one of the best matches of the year and probably one of my top three TLC matches now of all time. Yeah, yeah, the ending with Ellsworth interfering was a piss off for some people, but you KNEW that was coming in some capacity. Styles was about to win before he got off the ladder to deal with him so Styles fans (like myself) have that to hold on to.
Back to the match itself – we had just over 30 minutes of in-ring action. THIRTY MINUTES! This wasn’t just holds or BSing around the ring. This was two men leaving everything they had in the ring to prove they are the best around and entertain the crowd. Styles is currently my favourite wrestler in WWE (and one of my faves for years in other organizations) and I’ve enjoyed Dean Ambrose’s work when he’s not a comedy character. Styles proved again he’s currently the best WWE has and Ambrose just had the match of his WWE run so far.
I have to say one of the best parts of this match was the part where AJ Styles jumped onto the top rope and did a 360 front flip onto Dean Ambrose who was laid out on a table outside the ring.
Winner: AJ Styles
I don’t know how these two can top this match and with that being said, I think Ambrose should deal with Ellsworth and Ellsworth disappear for a bit and come back with someone on his side to battle Ambrose next month. Styles, well, he can almost feud well with anyone, but I just have a weird feeling we’ll be seeing the Undertaker sooner than later.
My applause to all the wrestlers for their performances on the card and WWE Creative for delivering one of my favourite PPVs of the year with one of the best (if not THE best) match of the year for me.