Sunday, December 19, 2010

WWE TLC 2010 Review

It's the final PPV of 2010, did WWE end the year with a solid PPV outing?

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger in a ladder match for the Intercontinental Title kicked things off, and what a fun opener. Ya know, it's gotta be hard for these guys to come up with innovative stuff to keep ladder matches interesting, so I'm sure it's relieving when they have Kofi Kingston to work with. I don't know what it is about him, but Kofi + Ladder = fun. Some folks were annoyed by the ending, with Swagger and Kofi dropping the IC Title and Ziggler scooping it off the mat for the win, but it was a great dick move for Ziggler, so why not? It's not like it was a WrestleMania main event and it worked in the context of this match, the characters involved and the story that got us to this point. Excellent opener.
Predictions: 1 for 1

Natalya & Beth Phoenix vs. LayCool was the best women's match I've seen in WWE since Trish Stratus retired. I was convinced Beth Phoenix would turn though since there are no other heel Divas in WWE for Natalya to work with and they had the rule that only one opponent had to go through the table, but I'm glad they didn't go with it. Natalya and Beth are awesome together, I'd like to see them challenge for the Tag Titles... and I'm only half joking. Very cool ending with Natalya improvising after the table didn't break and hitting LayCool with a big splash off the top rope for the win. Women actually wrestling, what a novel concept.
Predictions: 1 for 2

Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov vs. Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel was an impromptu match for the WWE Tag Team Titles, but it was really just an excuse to get heat on the Nexus. Champs win by DQ, but Nexus destroyed them with chairs after the match. At least we got a "WENDY!" chant for Heath Slater, but he did not hit anyone with The Baconator.
Predictions: N/A

John Morrison vs. Sheamus in a ladder match to determine the #1 contender for the WWE Championship is a long sentence. Also, it was my pick for sleeper hit of the night and these guys did not fail to deliver on that expectation. Without question, this match was Match of the Night, and will very likely wind up as Match of the Month when that feature returns in January. If you did not order this PPV, get some people together and you can all chip in on the replay, because it's at least worth $20 and 15 minutes of your time.

One could argue that the match started off a bit slow, but that was all tension-building and storytelling. Sheamus was brutal in his role, acting as the Jason Voorhees to Morrison's attractive camp counselor; he was vicious, unforgiving and unstoppable, but Morrison refused to quit and somehow managed to pull it out. Loads of drama in this one, so many near finishes, crowd was engaged the whole way through, Sheamus and Morrison have excellent chemistry and worked their asses off to provide one of the best matches of 2010. And after several false starts, it looks like John Morrison has finally arrived and will be coming full circle to challenge The Miz for the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble. Love it. I can't say enough good things about this match, so I'm just going to leave it at that. If you missed it, SEE IT!
Predictions: 2 for 3

Much like the opener, The Miz vs. Randy Orton in a tables match for the WWE Title was a lot of fun. Commentary brought it down a little bit because I refuse to buy into the "Miz cheats" line to get people to cheer for Randy Orton, who has done nothing but cheat throughout his entire WWE career. Granted, it's wrestling and we're supposed to just let certain things slide when people turn face, but Orton's portraying the exact same character, he just doesn't have Legacy with him anymore.

But enough about Orton, how AWESOME was The Miz tonight? The guy is playing this "Must-See WWE Champion" role perfectly and you can't discount A-Ri, who has also been fantastic as of late. Riley getting put through the table while the ref was out and Miz trying to play it off like he had put Orton through the table was genius, but I'm glad the ref restarted the match since we already had a wonky ending like that in the opener. Miz using A-Ri, Fastball Special style, to officially win the match (and beat Orton twice) was beautiful. "RKOH NO I'M FALLING THROUGH A TABLE!"
Predictions: 3 for 4

Thought it was weird that Edge vs. Kane vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio wasn't the final match on the card, but considering the abomination of a storyline that led to this match, I shouldn't be too surprised. Had Sheamus and Morrison not stolen the show, this match would've been the match of the night because it was really good, but they didn't exactly reinvent the wheel. Also, I find it hard to care about Edge's tenth title reign in five years, especially after the feud that got him to this point, but at least the belt is off Kane, who has no one believable to feud with since The Undertaker is hurt. Edge vs. Christian at WrestleMania 27 for the World Title? Please? Pretty please?
Predictions: 4 for 5

Surprised to see so much hate for Santa Show clowning around with "DASHING" Cody Rhodes. Relax... at least it wasn't Xanta Claus!

John Cena vs. Wade Barrett in a chairs match was our main event, the crowd was electric for this one, the match was extremely good, loaded with drama, but at the end of the night, I just found myself saying "so that's it?" I applaud WWE for sticking with a storyline for more than six months, but what an anticlimactic finish to the most shocking thing they've done in years. I suppose they could keep Nexus going, but after Cena single-handedly took them all out, why should we care? I guess there's still the "bigger picture," but since WWE's distanced themselves from that phrase in the last couple months, I think it's safe to say Nexus is dead.
Predictions: 5 for 6

So Cena emerges victorious after a "horrible year," as Michael Cole described it, ya know, where he won the WWE Title twice, won Superstar of the Year, starred in a movie and got a three week vacation. There's so much more they could've done with Cena vs. Nexus and while I like the guy, it's stuff like this that gets people so riled up about Cena. He never looks vulnerable, even Hulk Hogan looked vulnerable back in the day, but Cena is always stronger, better, and one step ahead. Why should I care about him getting fired when he's back 24 hours later? Why should I care about him being in Nexus when he doesn't have to do anything that bad? Why should I care about Nexus beating him up when he's going to take them all out individually and dump 20 chairs on their leader?

And that leads us to the next problem, now that he's plowed through Nexus, what's next for John Cena? Sure, all you're gonna hear on "those" wrestling websites is how Cena "buried" Barrett, but Barrett's gonna be just fine, he's got nowhere to go but up. But what about Cena? He just overcame his biggest challenge to date. He got his job back after being fired. He ended The Nexus... for some reason, feuding with The Miz doesn't really seem like a big challenge for a guy like that. This is why there's not a Star Wars: Episode 7... anything after the fall of the Empire, Vader's demise, the Emperor defeated and freedom being restored to the galaxy just isn't going to feel as big.

But gripes in the main event aside, I have to do something unexpected, I'm taking the PPV of the Year Kick-Outie away from WrestleMania 26 and awarding it to TLC, the best WWE PPV of 2010. Not a bad match on the card (except the Tag Title match, which doesn't really count), and most matches even exceeded expectations, including Cena vs. Barrett. The big shame here is the greatness of this PPV will not be reflected in the buyrate because it's not WrestleMania, The Rumble or SummerSlam, but if you're a WWE fan, treat yourself and buy the replay, it's well worth the $50.

WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders And Chairs 2009WWE - The Ladder MatchWWE: The Best Pay Per View Matches of the Year, 2009-2010

4 comments:

  1. "Riley getting put through the table while the ref was out and THE MIZ trying to play it off like he had put Orton through the table was genius"

    Just wanted to point that out to you. =)

    Otherwise, thanks, and I'll keep enjoying my PPV. Love your reviews and read them religiously.

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  2. For clarity**, in your review you have it as "Orton" trying to play it off like he had put Orton through the table when it should be "The Miz". Sorry if it didn't make sense the first time.

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  3. Thanks for the catch. Sometimes I type faster than I think.

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  4. Incredible PPV, brilliant write-up x

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