I’ll start with the score.
I’m giving this show a 5.5 on the Sideshow Scale.
I thought the first half was really solid, with some very good matches. Out of the three main events, only about ½ of one really connected with me. They could have been A LOT better, not necessarily the in-ring action, but the booking. It just felt pretty “meh.”
Another big factor for this PPV only scoring just over 50%: The concept. I’ve accepted the gimmick PPVs. They’re here for the foreseeable future. Cool. But I don’t like this one. It’s just too much. With EXTREME RULES and MONEY IN THE BANK, any combination of TLC has been severely watered down. I think those other two shows are fine to keep around, so long as they’re spaced far enough apart. But I vote that WWE get rid of the TLC PPV next year. Same goes for HELL IN A CELL and FATAL 4-WAY. I’m not a fan of entire PPVs based around those over-done themes. Turn KING OF THE RING and OLD SCHOOL into PPVs instead. They would be more entertaining and probably more successful.
But enough about that. On to the show!
Triple Threat Ladder Match
Dolph Ziggler (C) vs Kofi Kingston vs Jack Swagger
This was a fun opener. These guys all worked well together. I can’t help but feel bad for Swagger though. It’s clear that WWE has given up on him as a main eventer, at least for now. But at the same time, I think there are others more deserving anyway (Rhodes, Ziggler, Del Rio). Kofi, too, I feel is getting misused. I think he deserves to be higher on the card. If Rey Mysterio wasn’t around then Kofi would make a great main event babyface high flyer. There were some good spots in this match. It was a little short for a ladder match, but when there are 2 more to go in a night…
The ending, I thought, was great. It was the right way to keep the belt on Ziggler without hurting the other two characters. Kofi as the IC champ is over done. He’s ready to move up. Swagger with the belt wouldn’t have made any sort of positive impact. It looks like they have something planned for Ziggler. I dug it.
Divas Tag Team Table Match
Lay-Cool vs Natalya and Beth Phoenix
This one was far better than I think anyone could have imagined. Beth and Nattie are both great workers. Lay-Cool play their roles very well. I was actually into this match and really enjoyed it. The last time a I felt that way about a Divas match was Mickie James vs Trish Stratus at WM23. I have a feeling that image of Nattie diving onto the table at the end will be replayed for a long time to come.
Tag Team Championship
Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov (C) vs Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel
This match was booked to kill time…and it did. It was what it was.
#1 Contender Ladder Match
John Morrison vs Sheamus
This was the match of the night. I don’t think you’ll find too many people who will disagree with that statement. These guys put on a hell of a match. It had some incredible spots and a lot of drama. The finish, with the kick off the ladder, was great. I’m very happy that Morrison won. I think everyone knew going into the match that he would, setting up his inevitable feud with Miz. The guy is deserving of a bump to the top of the card, and as I’ve said in the past – WWE NEEDS new babyfaces in the main event. This is a huge step in the right direction.
WWE Championship Tables Match
The Miz (C) vs Randy Orton
I liked this match. I LOVED the finish. It was a perfect way to keep Orton looking strong while at the same time pushing Miz as the conniving, weasely heel champ….and then they scrapped the finish and did a stupid one. The false finish/2nd finish combo in this match totally ruined it for me. What was the point of it? It was ludicrous. It felt to me like a case of creative liking both finishes, not knowing which one to go with, and then just saying “fuck it!” It was a mess. The crowd was baffled after Orton went through the table. I don’t know why they did it, but it ruined an otherwise good enough match. Oh well. On to the Rumble.
World Heavyweight Championship Fatal 4-Way TLC Match
Kane (C) vs Edge vs Rey Mysterio vs Alberto Del Rio
A big part of me thought that Del Rio was going to get the belt in this match. That could have been interesting. Instead, it went to Edge. I’m a big Edge fan but…now what? I assume he’ll have a singles feud with Del Rio. We’ll see. SmackDown is a good show, but the main event scene on that brand does nothing for me.
John Cena vs Wade Barrett
So yeah. This was a case of awful booking as far as match placement goes. These guys did not deserve the main event. The match itself was fine. Cena beat Barrett in VERY convincing fashion. I suppose that means this feud is finally over. Where does Nexus go from here? The Royal Rumble is next so I imagine they’ll still harass Cena, just on a smaller scale.
And a quick note on the end of the show: John Cena burying Wade Barrett under the chairs was STUPID. In theory, yes it was a cool idea. However, in practice? Cena took the time to safely guard Wade with the wooden dolly, thus making sure that no chair would actually hit him. Essentially all Cena did was place Wade Barrett in a really loud room. It was an embarrassing display of insulting the intelligence of the audience. At the very least, WWE should have given the TLC set a stage. Have Cena FU Wade through the stage, then dump the chairs so that we get the ILLUSION of them all falling onto his body. Instead we got baby-safe crap. Go big or go home WWE. If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.