Let’s start off with the craziest moment of the night, something that you could see coming a mile away…if you’re a sadistic freak. I expected for the cable to pull, that much was obvious, but I didn’t think the monitor would actually explode like a firework on the Fourth Of July. I’m not a fan of this ending at all and think it would have been that much better, were Dean Ambrose able to continue fighting after having this happen; what would have been the drawback of having the match go on for another couple of minutes, have Ambrose kick out of Sister Abigail here and still ultimately lose, due to his inability to see? It would have made Ambrose look even tougher and it would have shown he’s a greater challenge to Bray Wyatt than he originally thought. If Ambrose can take an exploded monitor to the face, a second Sister Abigail finisher and still kick out? What does it take to stop this man? That would have been an incredible little moment for Ambrose, especially with this being so early on in his career…but no, they had this happen, he fumbled around like an idiot after the monitor blew up, finally managed to get to his feet, took a few steps and then was met with Wyatt’s Sister Abigail finisher for the pinfall. It felt rushed, which is odd considering the flow of this match throughout; but when you have a slow pace throughout, with big spots thrown in all over the place –like three elbows off a ladder and through a table from Ambrose to Wyatt,– it seems odd you’d have this happen and the match suddenly be over. I don’t know who keeps deciding these strange “Ambrose got screwed” finales, but eventually they have to stop, right?
As for the rest of the PPV, well…we all held our breath after seeing this scene:
After all, it looked like Luke Harper had snapped his arm after landing awkwardly on that ladder. When you skin automatically starts to bruise, you can see a cut and blown blood vessels, you know you’ve screwed up and that’s exactly what happened to Harper’s left bicep. The fact this match opened the show, was a complete shocker to me, although I understand the move after seeing the rest of the show. It was good they threw these two at the audience first, giving them exactly what they want in seeing their Hometown boy win back the Intercontinental Championship…plus, who doesn’t want to see Dolph Ziggler in a ladders match? I said in my predictions article that these two had the opportunity to put on a legendary ladder match, one that could get close to Shawn Michaels vs Razor Romon; sadly, that didn’t even remotely happen, but it was still a great match and provided enough excitement to carry us through most of the night.
I do still question the move to have Ziggler take the belt back, because he doesn’t really need it anymore, he’s above the IC title at this point and is destined to rejoin the upper echelon of competitors; plus, Harper needs the belt, he needs to keep earning his spot on the roster as someone to pay attention to moving forward, but maybe they’ll just have another title swap happen between the two on Raw tonight.
The only other positive moments of the night were the most obvious:
Mizdow is always a highlight and last night was no exception. I was wrong about who won the match, but due to it being a DQ, Miz and Mizdow retained the titles. I’m hoping they don’t decide to drive that wedge between these two anytime soon and part of me is honestly worried that may happen at the Royal Rumble, where Miz will get eliminated and rather than Mizdow continuing to mimic Miz, he’ll act like he gets thrown out of the ring, only to hop back in. It’s one thing to hop to the outside when there’s nothing on the line, but that’s a shot at the main event of WrestleMania, I mean come on.
The only other positive?
He’s finally back, Roman Reigns is back. I know, he royally screwed up during his promo backstage, stumbling over his words and forgetting his line for a moment. When you say “deglare” instead of “declare”, it’s obvious you’re nervous as all hell and even more so when you blankly stare after forgetting what you’re supposed to say:
Here’s the thing though, I don’t care, I love Reigns and even though he started to grow old on me when Ambrose and Seth Rollins were both doing so much better than him in terms of matches and feuds, he still remained my favorite former Shield member. I know a lot of people are pissed he has a rocket attached to his back and is destined for main event of WrestleMania, where he’s going to be the one to defeat Brock Lesnar; but I’m not one of them. He’s the only guy out there right now who could beat Lesnar and it make any ounce of sense and you know what, if Reigns isn’t genuinely ready to hold the championship, to be the “face of the company”, you’ve got a trump card up your sleeve that easily rectifies the situation: the Money In The Bank briefcase.
It’s simple, Reigns beats Lesnar, attempts to celebrate, but is exhausted from the battle it took to defeat the Beast Incarnate and then Rollins music hits, he runs down and cashes in, becomes the new champion and we’ve got a feud that carries over until SummerSlam, where Reigns can continue to work towards being completely ready for the spotlight. Who knows, ‘Mania is over 4 months out and Reigns is back on TV, which means he’s got to get better and get better now; so maybe, just maybe, he’ll be as polished as he needs to be, by ‘Mania.
I’m a little saddened by it not being Randy Orton –words I never thought I’d say,– because I really want to see Rollins/Orton go at it for a month or so; I just think that feud could be really good. I’m still okay with it being Reigns, but I don’t think he should feud with Rollins just yet, it’s just too soon to do that story line. These two had such a bitter separation and while Ambrose got his shot at Rollins, Reigns hasn’t yet; that’s by design, because Ambrose/Rollins can go on and on for years if they really want –and in all fairness, Rollins/Reigns is something we’ll see for a long time to come as well,– but Rollins/Reigns is something that needs to be done on a bigger stage, not just on Raw and random PPV’s.
Anyway, the rest of the show was a throwaway PPV and it was obvious they all felt that way as well. I’m not here to take a crap all over the product, I’m just saying that there’s nothing else to write home about.
I enjoyed the John Cena vs Rollins match, even with all the interference; I know a lot of people just wanted that match to end, but it was fun for the most part. When Cena put Rollins through that first table and the ref was unconscious and on the outside of the ring, I started to wonder whether or not Cena was actually going to win. I do have one complaint with that though: why didn’t J&J Security just pull Rollins off the broken table, put Cena on it and then toss the ref inside the ring, instead of pulling Rollins off and tossing the table remnants to the outside, like nothing happened? If the would have done the former, Rollins would have won and all of them would have looked like geniuses, instead of getting destroyed by Reigns and Cena.
Rusev vs Swagger proved to be a useless match, that did nothing more than to prove that Rusev is as unstoppable as we thought he was. It was cool to see Rusev lock in the Acolyte on Swagger, only for Swagger to stand up with Rusev on his back and break the hold; we’re so used to the hold being locked in and the match being over with, so it was nice to see someone figure out that sheer strength can at least keep you in the mix. I questioned the matchup going into the PPV and I still do now, it was just senseless; unless the entire point was to make sure Rusev had a match on the PPV, in which case that makes more than enough sense and I’m okay with that.
Erick Rowan vs Big Show was just a boring affair with a few bright spots, but a silly finish, with Big Show “pinning” Rowan with the stairs. The stairs have an open center, so they’re not pressing down on you and you’d have more than enough room to kick out of a pin if you really wanted to; but let’s just act like common sense doesn’t exist here.
Kane vs Ryback got more boo’s and “boring” chants than any other on the card, which is a shame considering they were trying to build Ryback up to being a main event guy again, but this one was destined to be a ho-hum match from the start.
Lastly, the pre-show between The New Day vs Gold and Stardust was about as interesting as you would think and the Diva’s match better not have been AJ Lee‘s final, because that wasn’t evidence enough of the talent that woman possesses.
If you were expecting for this one to be anywhere near as good as NXT Takeover REvolution, you were sorely disappointed, as TLC didn’t even remotely come close. The main roster just isn’t as hungry as the NXT roster and that was proven last night. As for the TLC PPV, I give it a:
(Forgive the Raw logo, I wasn’t able to get a TLC logo made)
+ Roman Reigns‘ return
+ Dean Ambrose vs Bray Wyatt was a good match
+ Dolph Ziggler vs Luke Harper was a great match
– The rest of the matches were either middle of the road or worse
– There was no sense of purpose behind most of the choices made in booking
– Yet another finale that was controversial, rather than conclusive
That’s The Lowdown on the TLC PPV, thanks for reading and remember to watch more wrestling!
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The future is bright and full of suplexes!
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