I was not able to watch much of TLC live, but when I joined the Dignified Discussion most everyone stated that the show had been really good to that point. They said none of the matches were downers and that there was nothing I’d really rip apart here. Sadly I disagree and have a lot to complain about. Some of the matches were real sleepers. I expected so much more from certain matches and superstars, yet it felt as though they were not giving us all they had. This was a card I was so looking forward to, but for me it wasn’t anywhere near as good as I expected, in parts. Rather than just beating around the bush, let’s jump right in and get all of this worked out.
More Murphy and on a night when Mitch is nowhere to be found! This was a really strong match between the two of them. They were killing it in the ring, as they always do, but sadly in front of only a partially filled arena. I know that’s how they do these things, just feel bad for them working in front of a crowd only paying partial attention. I’m thrilled that Murphy retained here. Nothing against Alexander, I just think Murphy is the better person for the strap at the moment.
I know it wasn’t on a pole, but close enough! Honestly, this went down about as I expected it to. Elias did well but in the end he wasn’t any match for Lashley with Lio. Without Lio, Elias would run circles around Lashley, but Lio is the equalizer – even at his size. This was a decent match, but it was very much a Kick Off match. They could have done so much more with this, at least Elias and Lio could have, and put it on the actual PPV, but I’m not sure Lashley would have handled it. I was fine on Lashley when he was first in the WWE, other than being so boring, but I lost all respect in how he left and the work he did in TNA, so while I hoped he’d be better upon his return to the WWE, but he’s the same boring mess who is bringing down everyone he works with.
What a mess! I don’t know who was off, but I’m thinking it was both of them as Carmella and Foxy couldn’t seem to get their timing right. Carmella seemed to be a beat ahead of Foxy whenever they were in the ring together. It just wasn’t good between them, and it didn’t help that Foxy’s weave looked really horribly fake. She’s not a blonde and that hair is not good on her.
On the other hand, I’m floored by how R-Truth moves in the ring. He’s not a kid, but he works that ring as if he was half his age. In fact, compared to how tentative he was early on when he was running with Road Dogg, he looks so much better than he did then. I also have to mention, because it’s me, that R-Truth is in amazing shape and doesn’t have that loose skin look that older wrestlers get. His body looks as young as ever, but Mahal’s doesn’t. When he first tagged in I really noticed that his skin was starting to look loose and strange. Sorry about that rant, but this match was so bad that I was distracted by every little thing that had little to do with the actual ring work. Just so horrible, but made better by R-Truth’s tropical trip to Stamford, CT. I was about on the floor laughing at that, and laughing harder now as it’s been snowing all day here. So not tropical! Only for the post-match segment did I not fail this match in a huge way.
I really enjoyed this six-man tag match for the SD Tag Team Championship. These men worked really hard out there, gave us a lot of creativity, and were always working more than just the two legal guys in the ring. They were all strong, no one weak link. I’d been hoping that The Bar would retain as this would be a perfect time for Sanity to go after them for the straps. There has been so much work between these three teams while Sanity is sitting on their hands doing nothing. A storyline/feud between The Bar and Sanity would be an easy thing to do, and it would shake up the Tag Division in a great way. Nothing against The Bar, the Usos, and New Day, but Sanity is too good to be sitting backstage playing switch.
As I started watching this match I felt vindicated in my predictions for it, at least a bit. I wrote that Slater would be the ref and when he started to count Strowman out of the match he’d come to the ring. I thought there would be more false starts before he came out, but I was close, though I thought that was glaringly obvious. What I didn’t expect was Crews, Roode and Gable, as well as Balor. I love how they built to this match, especially Balor. I wasn’t expecting Slater too, but he was great! Lastly, Angle was the icing on the cake. Further, it was a great way to get some great superstars on TLC who were not scheduled to be on the show. PPV bonuses are not what they once were, but every little bit helps. I’m excited to see what the plan is for Corbin. I’m really excited to see Raw for that reason, and that, for me, means it was a great segment, even if it wasn’t great wrestling.
Overcoming The Squad
I loved how Nattie took out Morgan and Logan. Both women did such interesting and creative things in this match. The way Ruby, stuck in the sharpshooter was able to pull the Anvil table onto Nattie was great! I was very impressed with both of these women in this match and I loved the smack they yelled at each other through the whole thing. Then there was the Ruby table! That they put on a very unique Tables Match for us, which after all the gimmick matches we’ve seen, can be surprising. So many wonderful moments in this match, and while I really thought Ruby needed to win this, both of these women came out looking very strong and entertaining.
I was really excited about this match as both of these guys are fantastic and should be pushed to the stars, yet I really wasn’t enthralled. It didn’t give me the excitement or feels that I expected from them. Ziggler getting involved made sense for the storyline, and I was hoping Balor would win this, or it would go to DQ as both of these guys are main event superstars just not getting pushed, but this didn’t feel like a PPV match to me. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t at all special.
EDIT: I thought Ziggler was somewhat face these days as he and McIntyre split, but I guess not. I love that Ziggler expected thanks and didn’t get it from Balor. This was a smooth transition to Ziggler and Balor feuding and sending McIntyre to bigger and better things.
I am really surprised Orton didn’t win this match. It made sense for Rey to win, but the WWE hasn’t done many things that makes sense for Orton in years. As much as I love Rey, I wasn’t at all looking forward to this match. Orton is just so boring lately that I have no interest in watching him, at all. Hopefully this will be the end of these two feuding so that Rey can go do other things. Any more matches like this between these two could lull me into a deep sleep.
Not So Much Bad
Are they determined to keep Nia in the ugliest ring gear possible? They took something that was already horrible on her and made it so much worse! Further, I don’t know why anyone would wear ring gear that always rides up and distracts the wearer. Ronda has more troubles with her bottoms than I think they are worth. Speaking of troubles, Ronda shouldn’t wear blue eyeshadow especially not with red lipstick.
Now, to the match, I really liked the back and forth between them here. The worked together quite well and it looked better than I expected it would be from them. We all know Nia’s had some issues with her strength, and Ronda is still really green, but they made this look better than expected in a lot of ways. Ronda’s step-up knee wasn’t perfect, but I thought it looked like a solid new move from her. She’s growing by leaps and bounds. I’d have preferred that she learned this stuff not as the Raw Women’s Champion, but it is what it is. All in all this was better than I expected it would be.
EDIT: I loved Nia’s backstage segment with Becky! So much greatness from Becky, and such facial expressions from Nia and Tamina!
EDIT: I stated that Ronda came off as a real heel when Charly asked her questions backstage. It was only slightly different, but it was enough to make me wondering what might be coming next for her. Personally I want to see Ruby in the main event, but I worry that she will be pushed back for other storylines that might be coming our way.
Last time we saw these two together Bryan was rocking the neon green on his gear, but at TLC it was AJ who wore the color. I’m always trying to find correlations in ring gear and colors, but I got nothing for this one, other than AJ rocking the color better than Bryan did. I’m not sure about Bryan in all black, but this is the NEW Daniel Bryan!
These two looked great in the ring together and the fans were really behind them. The back and forth work between these consummate professionals was wonderful. Further, having Bryan go over AJ clean here basically seals the deal and ends their feud as much as it can be ended when the WWE Championship is on the line. I don’t know what they plan to do with AJ from here, but I hope they don’t mess up all the things they’ve built with him since he joined SD.
What a disappointment! I was one of the few who enjoyed Ambrose’s new heel character, but this match should have been a lot better. I’ve been standing behind Ambrose since I bounced back from his heel turn, but this was a mess. All the moves were there, the storyline was there, but it’s just not working. Yes, I finally admitted that this isn’t working the way it should. This match was a mess and hopefully the feud won’t continue to drag on. Ambrose got his strap, now he can move on and let Rollins do something different. No clue who either should feud with, but for right now it’s not each other.
Stealing The Night
There was so much discussion about whether Becky, Charlotte, and Asuka would be the main event, as they should be, as they proved they more than deserved, which was mostly worry that the WWE would lose their nerve and not follow through on. Luckily they held their ground and did the right thing by the superstars, by the fans.
What a great match. There wasn’t any color, but it wasn’t needed. I do wonder what Charlotte’s face will look like on SD as she looked like she had quite a welt on her right cheek, but otherwise they used their weapons full force but didn’t go out there to really hurt each other. It was so well executed.
I’m sure certain fans will say the only reason Asuka won the strap was because of Ronda and that she didn’t have a chance otherwise. That will be a travesty as we all know how great Asuka is, but she’s had such a rough year that she really was the dark horse coming into this match. I could go on and on about the work in this match, but the biggest thing I can say is that if you haven’t seen it, you need to see it now because it really was an excellent match.
I feel horrible that I cut down this show as much as I did, especially after being so excited with the card. It’s not that most of the show was bad, just that it wasn’t up to the potential of the superstars in the matches. Maybe I was expecting too much, but what we’ve seen from most of these superstars building up to this show was better than we got in many of these matches.