On paper, the card looks pretty good, but when you have a pay-per-view so heavily dependent on multiple variations of the same basic gimmick match, there's always the risk that none of them are allowed their full potential, for fear of upstaging one-another. Hopefully, that doesn't happen. Anyway, it's time for the WWE TLC ppv - way too many three-letter abbreviations there.
Opening the show is a promo set to "Carol of the Bells". We're all getting tables, ladders, and chairs under our Christmas trees.
Intercontinental Championship [Ladder Match]: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston
Lawler makes a comment about Cole being able to contain himself since it is a ladder match. Good to see they aren't forgetting that yet. Right off the bat, the story becomes Kofi vs Swagger, with Ziggler trying to capitalize while they're busy. That's as it should be, considering what their characters are. I don't get why there are some ladders that are about half the size of the others. Swagger, after being hit by Kofi with a ladder, gets his hand taped up by the trainer outside of the ring, but seems to be working fine. Kofi's able to springboard off the rope and use the ladder to swing-kick Swagger, which looked pretty cool. Vickie starts climbing the ladder and Kofi starts tipping it, but Swagger stops him. The "injured hand" prevents Swagger from being able to properly climb as well as unable to fully apply the ankle lock. Swagger puts Kofi in the ankle lock, but Kofi still tries climbing while in it. Ziggler jumps over them and tries for the belt. Kofi kicks Swagger down. Dolph puts the sleeper on Kofi at the top of the ladder. Kofi breaks out and knocks Ziggler off the ladder. Swagger then climbs up and both Kofi and Swagger pull the title down, but drop it. Ziggler runs over and grabs it and thus wins the match!
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler.
Not bad at all. If these guys were allowed to do everything they had the potential for, it would have been better, as you can tell they had to have been told "don't do anything crazy, we don't want the opening match to be the peak of the ppv". I like how the match ended, though I know a lot of people will be annoyed with it. All three guys look good in the process and Ziggler looks like a total prick of a heel to literally steal the win like that.
Backstage with Nexus
Barrett says Otunga isn't there tonight because of what Cena did to him on Raw. He says he needs to send the world a message of "if you're not Nexus, you're against us" with his match tonight against Cena.
Divas Table Match: Lay-Cool vs. Natalya & Beth Phoenix
They can't seem to decide how to write that name. It used to be Lay-Cool, now its LAYCOOL, sometimes LayCool...sorry, it just annoys me. "Michelle was a former school teacher, and as we know, school teachers are BRILLIANT" - Striker. After two quick bodyslams, they're already setting up the pink table. Beth holds both Michelle and Layla over her shoulders in a fireman's (firewoman's?) carry. If my ears aren't deceiving me, I think I'm hearing a Layla chant from the crowd. OUCH, Beth takes a spill to the outside and lands on her head. That looked like it could have really hurt. Robinson keeps checking on her but I assume she's fine as nobody is coming out. Beth comes back in and evens up the action. Natalya, not knowing the position of a table on the outside, almost cracks her head open on it. Beth and Natalya pick Layla up, but Michelle moves the table out of the way before they can throw her into it. Natalya sets BOTH of them up for a double-Sharpshooter! Beth sets the table up in the process. Submissions won't get you a win in this match. Layla sets the table up for Michelle and her to double superplex Natalya into it. Beth drags Layla away, but falls off the apron and bangs her head again. Jesus, Beth, stop doing that, it isn't good for you haha. Natalya pushes both Lay-Cool off the ropes and into the table, but it doesn't break! Naturally, she has to then jump on top of them to actually win the match.
WINNERS: Natalya & Beth Phoenix
Credit where credit is due, that wasn't as bad as I was expecting it to be.
Backstage with Kane
Kane's upset that he never got a proper Christmas when he was a kid, so he destroys a set of Christmas lights and other decorations. Aww. Somebody get this guy some gingerbread cookies.
Tag Team Championship: Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov (c) vs. The Nexus
"These guys are like Stalin and Mussolini, only nicer" - Striker. Santino says they'll retain against "The Lexus" because TLC stands for "Totally Lethal Cobra". Supposedly they were worried about not having enough time, which is one of the reasons they added Del Rio and Mysterio to the world title match...so why did they add another match? Kind of odd. Gabriel's weird new beard seems to be slowing him down if Santino can get the upper hand on him. Kelly likes that? Hm, whatever. Husky Harris interferes. You'd think the Raw GM would have enough sense to permanently ban other Nexus members from ringside. When Slater's in the ring, a part of the crowd starts chanting "Wendy's!" Its weird when Santino gets the hot tag. After setting up the cobra, McGillicutty runs into the ring, but the ref notices and disqualifies Nexus. They say the hell with it and all four of them attack Santino and Kozlov. Barrett comes out with a chair and uses it on Santinozlov.
WINNERS: Santino and Kozlov via disqualification.
Standard Raw type of match...not BAD, but not good enough for a pay-per-view, since it basically did nothing but continue to build the Cena/Wade match.
#1 Contenders Ladder Match: John Morrison vs. Sheamus
My God I want Morrison to win this, and I'll tell you ahead of time, I'll be pissed if he doesn't. Sheamus sets up a ladder between the ring apron and the announce table. Someone (most likely Morrison) will no doubt be thrown through there at some point. I'll call it the "bridge-ladder" when it happens later. Morrison does a pretty impressive jump/twist over the ladder from the top rope. Morrison gets his leg caught in the ladder and Sheamus flips it so he lands on his face. Now, Morrison's got an injured leg from it. Sheamus works on the leg, trying to prevent him from being able to climb the ladder. That's basically what has happened for minute after minute, in different ways. Sheamus starts climbing and Morrison throws a ladder into his back. Morrison does a drop toe hold, making Sheamus hit his head on a ladder. Dueling ladders comes out with Morrison on top. Sheamus gets to the top and literally just keeps swatting at the contract, making it obvious that he isn't supposed to win at that point. Sheamus and Morrison go through the bridge-ladder, but Sheamus gets the worst of it. Morrison starts climbing, but slowly. Sheamus comes back in the ring and starts tilting the ladder, but Morrison is able to push it back, then kick Sheamus, and get the contract!
WINNER (and #1 contender for the WWE title): John Morrison
Thank GOD! Hahaha. Very good match, made that much better by Morrison getting the win. It was a big one-sided for a little too long in the beginning and middle of the match, which got a little tiresome, but the end of the match kicked things into a higher gear. Best match of the night so far.
Legendary & Knucklehead Commercial
Desperate plea for people to buy the dvds for Christmas gifts. They claim they'll make good stocking stuffers. Yup, the equivalent of coal. No warning about making sure to keep the receipt so the person can return them.
Backstage with the Miz
Miz talks about how he wants everyone to get used to him being the new face of the WWE.
Backstage with the Nexus
Todd tries to get an interview but Barrett and Harris tell him to fuck off, in so many words. WWE management has basically done the same to Todd recently. Harris and Wade go into their locker room to find the rest of Nexus doing the typical "on the floor, coughing" fit, signaling that they've been attacked.
WWE Championship [Tables Match]: The Miz (c) vs. Randy Orton
Goddamn did Orton get a big pop! Alex Riley is still holding the briefcase, but now it is solid silver and doesn't say "Money in the Bank" on it...making it even more confusing as to why he's bringing it out. Cole incorrectly says that this is the Miz's first title defense, despite him defending it against Lawler. Early on, Riley is already helping the Miz.Orton sets Miz up for a running power slam, but Miz backs out of it and causes Orton to hit his head on the stairs, which he then picks up and hits Orton with. Miz puts Orton on top of a table and the one side falls down, but that doesn't count. Miz goes to the top rope, attempting to jump on top of him, but Orton rolls off the table before Miz even jumps. Miz sets up table #3 in the corner of the ring. Orton counters and the tables have turned [I had to say it]. Orton sets Miz up for a superplex, but as he does it, Riley is able to move the table out of the way. I sure hope that they give the Miz an actual clean win at least once during his title reign instead of keeping this up. Orton goes for a powerbomb, but Riley interrupts it. Miz goes for the Skull Crushing Finale, but Orton pushes him backward into the ref. Orton RKOs Riley. Orton then powerbombs Riley through the table. Miz gives Orton a SKF. Miz then moves Riley out of the way and places Orton in between the broken table. He gets the ref to notice and the ref assumes Miz put him through the table, so Miz retains.
WINNER: The Miz
The ref, after looking at the replay, says the match needs to continue. Since when do they use an instant replay in the WWE? Orton starts the attack and in the process, the Miz pushes Alex Riley into him, causing Orton to fall off the apron into a table. Miz officially DOES win the match now.
WINNER: The Miz...for real this time.
As I said above, I really hope that the Miz is able to get at least one clean win during this title reign. I don't know why they keep having this mentality of new champs being unable to defend their titles. They did it with Sheamus twice, Swagger, now the Miz. The first match wasn't bad. The second part was pretty pointless. If they use replays for that, then why can't they use it for anything else? That's the kind of thing Creative either doesn't care about or isn't smart enough to remember. At least Cole points out that it is stupid that they've never done it before but did it in this match.
Backstage with Alberto Del Rio
Rosa is backstage stroking Del Rio's....car. Edge jumps on it. Edge says that Del Rio and Mysterio should team up with him to fight Kane, but then says that that strategy never works in a TLC match. Del Rio brings up how he injured Christian. Edge says he's going to be a 10-time world champ tonight. Del Rio replies by mumbling a bunch of Spanish that I don't understand.
World Heavyweight Championship [TLC Match]: Kane (c) vs. Edge vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio
Both world title matches are before the Cena match? Come on, WWE. And what the FUCK is Rey wearing? He's dressed like he's a part of KISS. There's a good sign in the crowd that says "Del Rio, table for 1, Del Rio". Thumbs up to the person who brought that. Out comes the Rated R-SOOOOOOperstar, according to Chimel, to quite a big pop (but not as big as Orton's). Even if Mysterio climbs to the top of the ladder he probably is still too short to reach the belt. "Almost Spider-Man-like" - Cole, "Well he's wearing black, so he's Venom" - Striker haha. How can you not like Matt Striker? So far, nothing out of the ordinary, just the typical scenario where only 2 people are in the ring at one time while the other 2 milk whatever move knocked them out for as long as possible. Kane tries setting up a table, but rips off one of the legs. He places that half on the announcer's table to make up for it. We'll call that one the bridge-table for later, like we did earlier. Kane is placed on a table outside the ring and Edge climbs a ladder inside the ring, then jumps over the ropes, landing on top of Kane with a splash. Mysterio goes for a 619 on Del Rio, but Edge spears him. He then spears Del Rio as well. This match is all Edge, really. Edge climbs, but Kane pushes him off and Edge lands straddling the ropes. Kane throws Mysterio into the barricade pretty hard which makes a cool THUD that I always like hearing when it comes to Mysterio. Del Rio kicks Kane in the head and Edge follows it up with a spear on the stage. Mysterio climbs up a table that is a part of the stage and stumbles for his footing, then jumps on Kane. He runs to the ring, but the big ladder is like 8x his size, making it hard for him to set it up. 619 to Del Rio, followed by an attempt on a 619 to Edge but Edge blocks it with a steel chair. Del Rio, Edge, and Rey all end up falling off the ladder. Ricardo Rodriguez goes into the ring and we have Vickie Guerrero part 2. Rodriguez gets chokeslammed by Kane off the ladder. Then Del Rio gets chokeslammed. Then Edge, this time through a table. Rey drops Kane face-first onto a chair, then hits a 619, then hits him in the back with the chair. Rey starts climbing up and there are quite a bit of boos that are audible. Del Rio rips him off and puts him in the arm breaker. Del Rio climbs, but Mysterio tilts the ladder and Del Rio falls to the outside and through a table! Mysterio jumps off the ladder and tries to springboard-moonsault Kane, but Kane catches Rey and tombstones him. Kane's now bleeding from his head. Thankfully, they're not stopping the match. Kane climbs and Edge hits him with a chair. Edge then spears Kane through the bridge-table! Edge starts his (most likely victorious) climb to the top of the ladder aaaaand.......grabs the belt and wins the championship!
WINNER (and new world heavyweight champion): Edge
Not bad at all. Again, better than I expected. Glad to see Edge win the title, as well. Props to Del Rio for being a consistent major part of this match and holding his own. He wins quite a bit of brownie points in my book for taking that major bump at the end, too.
Dashing Cody Rhodes
Rhodes comes out to talk about his grooming tips. This is after the two world title matches? Rhodes says people in Houston have "irritable jowl syndrome" and they all have neck fat. "If it looks stupid on a rooster, it'll look stupid on you too". He points out that they're #1 on the list of fattest cities in America. Interrupting Cody, out comes Big Show dressed as Santa, along with the Bella twins, earning their paycheck from their usual "accompany someone to the ring" gimmick. Cole repeatedly calls him Big Show, ruining the surprise for the stupid people out there that couldn't notice ahead of time. Big Show must be throwing out Knucklehead dvds as that's the only way people will own them. Hey, Cole just confirmed he caught a dvd. Big Show tries to convince Cody to run around in his underwear. Remember when Big Show used to be the WWE champion? Big Show starts ripping off Cody's clothes...including his pants......he'd better not do anything with his tie or he might get fired!
Backstage with Nexus
Wade talks to Harris about how they're the only two left. Harris then gets hit with a chair from Cena, who says he'll see Barrett out there.
Out comes CM Punk to replace Matt Striker.
Chairs Match: John Cena vs. Wade Barrett
The lamest gimmick of the whole ppv is the main event of the night. Yeah, I don't get it either, but it's John Cena, so that's not surprising. Cena comes out to the normal response of "giant pop followed almost immediately with half the crowd booing and balancing it out". Barrett misses a couple chair shots. Cena one-ups him. Barrett uses the ref as shielding. Sign Guy is in the crowd tonight, but further back than usual. If, as Cole said, the match is no disqualifications and you can use other weapons instead of just chairs, then why the fuck is it a chairs match instead of a no-dq match? Seriously, I hate that so much. Barrett gets back-dropped onto the stage. Cena goes backstage and brings out an office chair. He puts Barrett in it, dumps water on him (which of course always immediately wakes people up out of being unconscious) and pushes him down the ramp into the stacked up stairs. This is all nullified immediately when Barrett hits him with a chair in the gut two seconds later.Wade puts Cena's head in the chair and shoves him into the ringpost. Back and forth, blah blah blah. Cena gets caught up in the ropes and Barrett hits him in the gut with the chair, then again in his back. I miss the head shots. Wade counters the Attitude Adjustment, then counters the STF. Cena hits his top rope leg drop but with a chair this time. Cena sets 6 chairs up and gives Wade an Attitude Adjustment onto them. Three-count, end of the match.
WINNER: John Cena via pinfall.
If this was the end of the feud, it wasn't good enough. If it isn't, well, it still shouldn't have been the main event of the night.
Post-match, Cena hits Barrett with a chair in the back again twice. He then takes the platform that they brought the chairs out on and places it over Barrett. The sound guy hits his music, which is stupid, as nothing happened, so Cena waves him off. Then, Cena pulls down the chairs that are hanging up on the set, which is supposed to look like it would hurt, but is stupid, because it naturally only hit the platform and not Wade, so that was worthless.
So let me get this straight. The WWE supposedly merges the Rey/Alberto match with Kane/Edge because they're afraid they don't have enough time on the card. Then after doing that, they add a tag title match. Then, they still have an hour for 2 matches, so they add some more filler with Big Show and Cody Rhodes. Really? And who decided to put Cena/Barrett at the end of the night instead of before the two world title matches? Whomever was responsible for scheduling the ppv either had some oblivious reason for doing these things or they are too stupid to use foresight. Anyway, the ppv wasn't bad, despite a few hiccups.