Tuesday, 20 December 2011
WWE TLC 2011 Review
The final WWE PPV of the year took place at the 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, home of the Ravens (and The Wire). Did the WWE end the year in style? Let’s take a look
Woo Woo Woo! Zack Ryder finally gets another opportunity to challenge Dolph Ziggler for the United States Championship. I’m not really a big fan of opening PPVs with a title match but these two are guaranteed to get the crowd pumped up. The fans in the arena were cheering for Ryder and he got the early momentum before Ziggler took control for a while with ten consecutive elbow drops. There was a good Scott Steiner-inspired move by Ziggler when he decided to do sit ups using Ryder’s body to keep his feet down. Total dick move by Ziggler. After Ryder hits Ziggler with a Broski Boot and covers him, Vickie Guerrero puts Ziggler’s leg on the rope. However, like Survivor Series, the referee figured it out and ejected Vickie. In the end, Ziggler got hit with the RoughRyder and Zack Ryder becomes the new United States Champion. There was a great shot of Ryder’s dad and best friend celebrating the win. Michael Cole wasn’t happy (tho I don’t really get why) and the crowd were loving it. It is exactly what Zack Ryder deserved. Ryder took it upon himself to get a push, the WWE noticed and he has been eventually rewarded with a title reign. I hope he holds on to it for a while and not lose it in his first defence. As for Ziggler, hopefully he can go onto the main event scene as I can see him being a future WWE Champion. However, it’s time for Ryder to now introduce himself as the US Champion. Congratulations Zack. Woo Woo Woo! You did it!
Winner: Zack Ryder Predictions: 1for 1 (good start!)
After a backstage segment in which Booker T is attacked by Cody Rhodes, Air Boom make their return after Evan Bourne’s suspension to defend their tag team titles against Epico and Primo. I wish that WWE made these matches earlier in the week so I can make a prediction. I don’t know much about Epico and Primo but I can see this being a high-flying match. Epico and Primo get the advantage focusing on Bourne. Eventually, Kingston gets the tag, destroys his opponents and hits Trouble in Paradise on Primo to get the win.
Winners: Air Boom Predictions: N/A
After we go backstage to see Hornswoggle gets a Christmas present from Teddy "Santa" Long (with some casual racism thrown in), we have a tables match between Wade Barrett and Randy Orton. Barrett, in the early going, tried to put Orton through a table with a pumphandle slam but it was reversed. Orton then tried to suplex Barrett through a table from the steel steps but it was blocked. Barrett almost won it when he tried to kick Orton off the ring apron through a table but unfortunately, Orton just fell where he was. Barrett then tried to hit Orton with a Wasteland through the table but Orton managed to fight out of it. In the end, Barrett laid Orton out on a table and attempted to splash him through the table from the top turnbuckle. However, Orton got up and hit Barrett with a RKO in mid air to send Barrett through the table and get the victory.
Winner: Randy Orton Predictions: 2 for 2
Backstage, Teddy “Santa” Long decides to make a match between Jack Swagger and Sheamus. Ok then, don’t quite get why but hey, no argument from me.
Next is another match that WWE didn’t announce until after I made my predictions, Kelly Kelly taking on Beth Phoenix for the Divas Championship. I don’t know what Kelly had done to become the No. 1 contender but hopefully Beth can destroy her and go on to someone else. It had an interesting beginning with Beth daring Kelly to slap her in the face (Kelly slapped Beth at the Slammys when she tried to steal Kelly’s award), which Kelly did, giving her the early advantage. Beth gets some momentum and, despite a brief fightback, gets the win after face planting Kelly Kelly.
Winner: Beth Phoenix Predictions: N/A
After Alberto Del Rio and The Miz get into a slagging match, we have Booker T versus Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship. Er...wait, no we don’t because Rhodes attacks Booker during his entrance and is stopped by the referees. It looks like Rhodes really doesn’t want this match and it seems that he succeeded.
Next is the sledgehammer ladder match between Kevin Nash and Triple H. There was some early back and forth between the two and Triple H got some momentum when he started using a ladder to attack Nash’s legs and then did a figure-four leglock with Nash’s legs through the ladder, which was a cool moment. Nash then decided to use the (mumerous) ladders to his advantage, hitting Triple H into them at every opportunity. After Nash tried (and failed) to powerbomb Triple H through the English announce table, Triple H tries to get the sledgehammer but is foiled. Nash brings out a table (it’s not a table match, Kevin) and they both go up the ladder to get the sledgehammer. Nash’s idea to bring out a table comes back to haunt him as Triple H uses the sledgehammer to knock Nash off the ladder and through the table. Triple H gets the sledgehammer and beats the crap out of Nash with it, does the Pedigree and, despite Nash’s attempt to make peace, hits him in the face with the sledgehammer and gets the win.
Winner: Triple H Predictions: 3 for 3
After an interview with CM Punk, which was interrupted by John Laurinaitis (did you know that he’s the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and the interim RAW GM?), we had another filler match with Jack Swagger taking on Sheamus. The match was enjoyable, just not really special. Swagger had Sheamus in the ankle lock at one point, which Sheamus countered and then he hit the Brogue Kick to get the pinfall.
Winner: Sheamus Predictions: N/A
Next is a chairs match with Mark Henry vs Big Show III for the World Heavyweight Championship. After the last two matches between these two hopefully, we can get a clean finish for once. The start of the match had Show go out and throw a ton of chairs into the ring (almost hitting the referee a couple of times). Henry decided that he didn’t want to take part in a chairs match after all and attempted to leave. Show thought differently and hit Henry with a chair. Henry managed to get some momentum later on and proceeded to injure Show’s right hand. However, Show managed to hit Henry with the WMD out of nowhere and get the win. Ok, I wasn’t expecting a long match but that was what, about 5, 10 minutes? I guess my wish to see Henry stay champion until Wrestlemania isn’t going to happen. Anyway, congratulations to the Big Show for becoming World Champion for the first time since losing the WWE Championship to Kurt Angle in December 2002.
Winner: Big Show Predictions: 3 for 4
Unfortunately for the Big Show, Mark Henry didn’t take losing the World Heavyweight Championship too well and proceeds to destroy Show with chair shots and a DDT, driving his head into a chair. Then Daniel Bryan, after reading Edge’s manual: “How to be the Ultimate Opportunist”, takes advantage, cashes in his Money in the Bank briefcase, pins the Big Show, and becomes the new World Heavyweight Champion. Wow! Even though Bryan has had plenty of opportunities to cash it in, I thought that he would do it at Wrestlemania as he promised. Now this could go in so many different directions; Bryan could turn heel or he could have a match with Show to prove that he deserves to be the Champion. I’m looking forward to see where this will go. Congratulations to Daniel Bryan on becoming the new World Heavyweight Champion and I did enjoy him rubbing it in Michael Cole’s face afterwards.
You know that I wrote earlier that the match between Booker T and Cody Rhodes was off. it turned out that it was postponed as Booker is going to have another go at it. Booker goes flying out the blocks and goes after Rhodes and it turned out to be a decent match. Despite Booker getting a lot of offence in, the earlier attacks by Rhodes took their toll on him and Rhodes kicked him in the head twice to get the pinfall.
Winner: Cody Rhodes Predictions: 4 for 5
It's now time for the main event, a TLC match between The Miz, Alberto Del Rio and CM Punk for the WWE Championship. Quite a lot of stuff happens in this match, so I'll go through it the best I can. After Punk goes through a table, Del Rio puts him in a cross armbreaker through a chair. Later on, Punk tries to go up the ladder but Ricardo Rodriguez attempts to stop him and ends up handcuffing Punk to the ladder. That's an unique way to prevent someone from collecting the title. However, it only slows Punk down as he manages to break the ladder. Rodriguez decides to grab the title on Del Rio's behalf. However, he is stopped by Miz and Punk, sending him crashing to the tables below. After a little bit of back and forth, Miz handcuffs Punk again, this time to the middle rope. That should stop Punk. But that doesn't stop Punk as he dismantles the middle rope, breaking the ring in the process. Punk fucking rules!!! In the end ,they were all up on ladders, Miz and Del Rio get thrown off but Miz pulls Punk off the ladder. Punk responds by giving him a GTS and Punk goes on to win and retain the WWE Championship. This was a really fun match and I really liked the way that, despite being handcuffed twice, Punk just wouldn't give up.
Winner: CM Punk Predictions: 5 for 6
TLC had some good wrestling matches with a great opening match and a really fun main event, although it was weird not having John Cena there at all. However, there were too many backstage segments for me, although I know why they did (to prepare the equipment for some of the matches). Overall, I enjoyed this PPV and it was a good way for WWE to end the year. And the best bit is, since I only got one prediction wrong, I ended the year being over 50% in my Average Prediction Rate. Yay me!