Hey, kids! It’s the Botching one with Sam covering the Tables, Ladders, & Chairs show that WWE put on this past Sunday evening. Apologies for the delay. Better late than never, right? Let’s get to it. Take it away, Sam!
AJ Styles vs Drew McIntyre (WWE Championship TLC Match)
This match was a ton of fun and AJ really put his body out there for Drew during this match. AJ did a great job in working Drew’s knee throughout this match so he could hamper his ability to climb the ladder. As I said, AJ bumped like a boss for Drew and really took some nice ones. He would take bumps on the ladder and was put through a table by Drew. Drew looked like a beast when he did it too because he really made it look easy when he threw him through the table on the outside. AJ had some creative spots by putting the Calf Crusher on Drew through a ladder and a chair at different points. The match was already fun and then it got a bit more fun from a storytelling perspective when the Miz would cash-in his opportunity and make it a triple threat.
The Miz seemed to have the title won but that would not be the case. He would end up being gently tossed through a table by Omos. Morrison would hit Omos with a chair and that chair would just be destroyed and I loved how Omos did not flinch one bit. Omos would chase away Morrison to the back and the three men would continue to fight over the title. Really good storytelling here with all three men fighting atop of ladders for the title but Drew would be the one to come out victorious and remain champion. Such a fun match to open TLC with and really set the stage for what was to come.
Carmella vs Sasha Banks (Smackdown Women’s Championship)
This very well may be Carmella’s best match that she has had in WWE. I really am tired of the argument that she cannot wrestle because she clearly can. She has come such a long way from her tenure in NXT and is one of the female wrestlers you can count on to put on a good effort in the ring. She really can rise to the occasion and continues to prove that she is not just a pretty face. We all know how great Sasha is and these two delivered quite a fun match. Even Carmella’s sommelier would get involved too and we found out that his name is Reginald. As I said, this was quite the fun match and both women have some great chemistry. Really good back and forth and I loved Sasha’s counter of Carmella’s top rope hurricanrana into a roll up for a two count. Sasha looked to have the match won when Reginald would pull out Carmella and Sasha would then take care of him with a meteora. Carmella tried to take advantage of that but Sasha would end up winning and retaining the title. Really fun match and both women came to play here.
The Hurt Business (Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin) vs The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) Raw Tag Team Titles
This was a fun tag team match and isn’t that fun to say about a WWE match. It is almost as though WWE will give us fun tag team wrestling despite what some may say. I know, I know, WWE doesn’t put a lot of emphasis on the tag division but it doesn’t stop them from putting on fun matches like this one. These two teams have had quite some battles over the last few months and this was another fun entry into their feud. Really fun back and forth and I loved how the New Day took it to Cedric early on in the match. He is cocky and thought he could take it to them early but they thought otherwise. Shelton would tag in and then would help to get the advantage for the Hurt Business. Cedric really shows a nice viciousness as a heel and he finds good ways to show it in each match. The Hurt Business would end up dethroning the New Day when Cedric would tag himself in to hit Kofi with the Lumbar Check for the win. I like that Shelton was puzzled by the tag because he had the match in hand but it does make sense because Cedric has been getting the wins for his team of late. The Hurt Business has all the gold, minus the WWE Championship, and they look good with it. I knocked the grade down a bit just because we have seen these two go at it a few times before but it does not detract from how fun the match was.
…and now to Botch!
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler vs. Asuka & Charlotte Flair
Women’s Tag Team Titles
Why didn’t I see it? I guess I didn’t see it because I wanted Lana to surprise us all and come back to pin Nia to win the titles for Asuka and her. Of course, with Charlotte coming back, they were going to win the titles. The team itself is rather awkward and I’m not a fan but it does get Charlotte a belt and it makes her important right away. Maybe they can restore some luster to the titles themselves. Shayna is such a beast in the ring and should be doing so much more. I love her as the merciless catch wrestling and we’re only getting a taste of it on the main roster. Maybe someday we’ll fly free like it did in NXT and on the indies. Nia is becoming just painful to watch. She’s so slow in there and little she does is believable at this point. At least we can be glad she isn’t injuring people anymore. I didn’t exactly love Shayna tapping to Charlotte; I’d much rather that it had been Nia. The match itself was decent for what it was and Asuka really does sell very well. Asuka and Charlotte are due to get into it again but I’d much rather see Shayna and Asuka myself. Can you imagine the brilliance?
Roman Reigns (w/ Jey Uso & Paul Heyman) vs. Kevin Owens
WWE Universal Championship Title
There is virtually nothing else you can ask of these two. Just an incredible match from beginning to end. Kevin gave us a really good crash test dummy who wouldn’t go down no matter what Roman and Jey did. Jey was so irritating and he irritated me gosh dang it…which mean she did his job extremely well. Jey just would not go away. Kevin took damage like an absolute champ and while we all knew Roman would win, there were still moments where I kinda wondered, “Is he gonna do it?” That’s how you tell a story. All the while, Paul Heyman was reacting to everything in the most brilliant Paul Heyman way. There is simply no better storyteller in wrestling right now than Paul Heyman. Word is he’s writing all of this and it really shows. Michael Hayes is said to be producing the matches and you can see that pretty clearly too. This is one of two matches that simply has to be seen to be believed. They made me feel exactly like I was supposed to and by the end, I was exhausted. What a shame, then, that there was still one match to go…and my word…
Randy Orton vs. The Fiend
Yeah, I did it…and I’m not sorry. We were sure nothing would be able to follow Roman/Kevin…and we were DEAD wrong. This match was just brilliant from beginning to end. Randy is as masterful as he will ever be and The Fiend is just a force unto himself. This match was pure entertainment. We really need to give it up to WWE’s crew. They showed us why they are quite simply the best in the business. The fire everywhere really sold the urgency of the match. This was equal parts wrestling and cinema. Watching Fiend go after Orton with that strap was just evil. He then took it up a notch by lightning the strap on fire and we all just cringed. Of course, the best part was seeing Randy light Fiend on fire. Was it realistic? No, but if you care, you simply hate fun. It looked incredibly good and the look on Randy’s face when he was preparing to do it and after Fiend caught fire was just visceral. They couldn’t have done this any better.
If you haven’t seen this show, you need to see it…like now! This was…like…TakeOver good! I’m completely serious. All us were going into this expecting a decent show. What we got was SOOOO much more. WWE really came through here and I enjoyed it from beginning to end. There’s no way this could have gone any better. Thank for waiting for this and we can’t wait for the next one now!