Sunday, December 13, 2009

TLC 2009

The creepy lady they have do voice overs for certain PPVs always makes me laugh... I'm sorry, no matter how scary your voice is, you can't make the phrase "splintered wood" sound intimidating.

Shelton Benjamin vs. Christian for the ECW Title starts us off, definitely the best choice for an opening contest. In all honesty, I have to say I was a little disappointed with this match; nothing against either man and they definitely busted their asses out there, but as I was watching, I couldn't help but wonder if the Ladder Match was a dying concept. Are there many things to do with a ladder in the ring that we haven't seen before or that wouldn't be terribly contrived? It's gotten to the point where a ladder match either has to be heavily plotted out or you put the competitors in extreme danger, and neither of those are ideal options. TLC matches allow for people to get a little more creative since tables can be used to break falls, but I wonder if there's anything left for the straight-up ladder match? Go back and watch HBK vs. Razor Ramon from WrestleMania 10, the match is downright tame by today's standards and we've just been upping the ante ever since, how much further can the human body go?

The other big story to come out of the match was that Christian was busted open early on and medical officials stopped the match to glue his face together. Two things about this bothered me, one was the crowd chanting "WE WANT BLOOD!", uh guys, he's literally bleeding INTO HIS EYE and you want to see more? Way to perpetuate that wrestling fan stereotype, this isn't the Roman Coliseum, fellas. But on the flipside of that, perhaps a bit of an overreaction on WWE's part? Unless they were planning on going into the audience, did the match need to be stopped entirely? It completely threw off the rhythm of the contest and I'm sure Christian could've taken care of himself. I hate to side with the vampire fans, but this is the one aspect of TV-PG I can't wrap my head around. It's just blood, it's been a part of wrestling since I've been watching (Hogan used to bleed all the time), unless the health of the wrestler is in jeopardy, why go so far as to stop an entire match for several minutes? This wasn't a controlled blading, so I guess I can see the logic behind it, but I think WWE's playing it way too conservatively on this issue.
Sorry to get off on a rant (just prepping for Dennis Miller on Raw tomorrow night), and I don't mean to make the match sound bad, because it was anything but, it just wasn't the show-stealer that I was anticipating.
Predictions: 1 for 1

John Morrison vs. Drew McIntyre in a non-T, L, C or TLC match up next with the Intercontinental Title on the line. Solid showing for both men, I think the most memorable moment in the match being McIntyre landing right on the top of his head after Morrison's floatover DDT, but I think I enjoyed their match on Smackdown a couple weeks ago more than this one. Nothing wrong with the match at all and I've been coming around on McIntyre lately, so I'm not upset that he won, just surprised it happened so quickly. I think McIntyre winning the IC Title on his first try officially solidifies Dolph Ziggler as a choke artist; seriously, Nelson from The Simpsons should just show up in Ziggler's locker room with a "HA-HAH" after this match. Lots of Simpsons references whenever I talk about McIntyre, why is that? Anyway, my predictions downward spiral begins with this match.
Predictions: 1 for 2

Michelle McCool vs. Mickie James for the Women's Title... ugh. Just remember kids, if you're a bully that cheats, fights dirty and calls other people names, you too can be a WWE champion! Oh and also remember to be repulsively skinny. Skeletor McCoulter picks up the win here with help from Layla, but Mickie James isn't the only loser here, we the fans have to continue watching McCool with a title.
Predictions: 1 for 3

Sheamus vs. John Cena in a Tables Match for the WWE Championship and all I can think to say is - ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?! I am absolutely stunned, floored, flabbergasted and at a complete loss for words after this one. Sheamus is the WWE Champion! I'm going to repeat that:

Sheamus... is... the... WWE Champion?!

Yes, a mere 166 days after his on-screen debut, Sheamus has captured the biggest prize in the industry, I believe the only rookie to do it faster was Brock Lesnar. I honestly don't even remember much of the match because I was so shocked with the finish, which was mired in controversy, but it doesn't change the fact that on December 13, 2009, Sheamus won the WWE Championship from John Cena. I've seen a lot of reactions on this one: anti-Cena fans acting like this is the first time Cena's lost the belt after a 10-year title reign, anti-Cena fans who would've rather seen Cena keep the belt than Sheamus, Cena fans who are heartbroken, Cena fans that are excited, and people who think this is "too soon" for Sheamus, etc.

What do I think? I think it's pretty cool, actually. It would've been easy to just have Cena put Sheamus through a table and say "thanks for playing, Sheamus," and no one would've batted an eye, in fact I think most people expected that to happen. Sheamus winning is a huge surprise and whether it lasts a day, a month or a year, it's something WWE hasn't done in a long time, and that's put the belt on someone you'd never expect... and he didn't even need MITB to do it. I've seen a lot of people talking about the controversial finish, which looked like Cena fell into the table, rather than Sheamus putting him through it and that they'll reverse the decision on Raw tomorrow night. The only way that's going to happen is if Jesse Ventura's "conspiracy theory" is true and they're going for a storyline where the people in charge are trying to keep Cena as champ. And the only way that's going to happen is if Cena's turning heel and I'll believe that when I see it. I wouldn't be shocked if Cena just wins the belt back in a straight-up match tomorrow night or at the Rumble though. As for this business about Sheamus not being ready, I have plenty of thoughts on that, but will save them for a more in-depth editorial. I will say this, I'd rather someone win a title too early as opposed to too late.
Predictions: 1 for 4

The Undertaker vs. Batista in a Chairs Match for the World Heavyweight Title just didn't do it for me, and I'm not surprised. These two have been in every match type imaginable and something as simple as "chairs are legal" just doesn't stack up. While the match itself wasn't horrible, it's unquestionably the worst match between these two to date. The ol' Dusty Finish didn't help either, don't even joke about something like Batista winning the World Title, WWE... my heart can't handle it.
Predictions: 1 for 5

Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston goes on way late in the card, but it was worth the wait. That's right kids, I just said a Randy Orton match was worth the wait, and not just any Orton match, a match that he wins! Orton didn't need the win here, he's always going to be over, but I understand why they did it since Kofi has kicked his ass up and down Monday Night Raw for two months now. This really was a great match though and proof that Orton can be interesting when you give him something to do besides chase the WWE Title, which has been his entire character for over two years now. A fresh feud with a fresh face is all he needed and it paid off big in this match. Orton winning is hardly surprising, but Kofi is definitely a top-tier player now and I'm not sure how many of us saw that coming at the beginning of 2009.
Predictions: 1 for 6

Main Event time! Shawn Michaels & Triple H vs. Chris Jericho & Big Show in a TLC Match for the Unified Tag Team Titles and I might have to take back what I said earlier about the ladder match. The ladders were the primary weapon in this match and these four guys came up with some pretty innovative spots, especially the ending where HHH held up half a ladder for Shawn Michaels to grab the titles! Bummer to see JeriShow lose the gold, but DX have never held the tag belts and since I'm sensing a split, now's probably the best time to give them a run. If there is a DX break-up on the horizon, I'm sensing this one will finally be permanent. Match of the Night here, loads of fun and a prime example of what the WWE main event scene is all about.
Predictions: 1 for 7 (ouch)

Okay, so my predictions really, really sucked. Somehow, I managed to do worse than I did at WrestleMania with my whopping TWO correct answers. Pitiful. As for the show, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either, it was decent, which has been a rarity for PPVs this year, they've usually been hit or miss. Things do feel like they're changing though and with the rise of Kofi Kingston and Sheamus as WWE Champion, I think that's definitely a possibility. My favorite PPV of the year (besides Mania) is next month with The Royal Rumble and since that always starts the Road to WrestleMania, I think that show will be a good indicator of whether or not WWE's heading into a new direction.

8 comments:

  1. I should say, I read that it looked like Sheamus got caught on the ropes or something and that he and Cena were supposed to fall through the tables at the same time.

    I wouldn't know, I didn't get to see it but I suppose I'll have to watch it later and see for myself.

    Uhm... Personally I'm a little miffed about this PPV but hey... Hopefully things go up. And I see you've put Smackdown thoughts up so I'm gonna head over there since I can't say much more here...

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  2. When I saw Cena go through the table it took me about 2 seconds to really let it all sink in. Personally, I like Cena. He may not be the best wrestler, but he is definitely entertaining, he works his ass off, he's good on the mic, and tonight he showed that he's a class act by being willing to drop the title to a fairly new player. Despite the fact that I like Cena, though, I was cheering for Sheamus. It was almost like a breath of fresh air to see someone new win the WWE Championship.

    Although this is highly unlikely, it's something I wouldn't mind seeing: Sheamus finds a way to retain in his rematch with Cena. Kofi goes on to win the Royal Rumble (king of the multi-man match, as you put it), and then we see two talented and fresh Superstars headline for Raw at Wrestlemania. That's a main event I would definitely like to see. What do you think?

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  3. I don't think Kofi vs. Sheamus is a Mania main event, at least not yet. I'm always a fan of "New Top Star vs. Established Top Star" as the WM Main Event. Stuff like Eddie vs. Angle, Batista vs. Triple H, etc. But who knows what the landscape will look like in March? It may work.

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  4. I totally see where you're coming from. I guess it's just "new talent hopes." But if SmackDown can pull a high-caliber World Title match featuring two established Superstars as the Mania main event, Raw can easily feature guys like Kofi and Sheamus.

    I'm curious as to your thoughts regarding why WWE would put the title on Sheamus.

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  5. I honestly think they put the belt on Sheamus for the WTF-factor. Just one of those things to get people talking, and judging by the reaction, it's worked.

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  6. Yeah, that was my first guess. Then I thought maybe WWE will push some new talent for a while. I'm still leaning towards my first reaction, though. I can imagine Vince telling the writers, "It's time to shake things up again!" Haha

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  7. To address something from your twitter feed... John Cena did say he would exercise his rematch clause at TLC, but if I remember correctly, he was saying that while he was trying to get Sheamus to fight for the title on Raw before TLC, and if he had lost on RAW, he would have sought a rematch at TLC.

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  8. "I should say, I read that it looked like Sheamus got caught on the ropes or something and that he and Cena were supposed to fall through the tables at the same time."

    Rubbish! If that were the case, the instant replay would've been used immediately and the match continued.

    The WWE have near put the title on a clear midcarder (for now) and for that I think it's awesome. You don't need Attitude or whatever to create a shocking, must see product. And in the context of what's happened, it makes sense. Yes, Sheamus getting the title is maybe a bit too fast considering he's been on Raw for six weeks and hardly anyone watches ECW, but still... I'm extremely happy.

    Cena must get the title back pretty quickly, however. Wrestlemania is too near and too valuable to give Sheamus a long run for now.

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