WWE TLC 2013
Thanks for checking out our review of WWE Tables, Ladders and Chairs here on The Real Mid Card. After all of the hype surrounding the historic main event, I was very excited to see how things went down. This most forgettable looking pay-per-view card had been so enhanced by amazing video packages and great segments like the Ascension Ceremony on Raw, that I had fooled myself into anticipation. Let’s see if the last show of the year could deliver.
– When Triple H and Stephanie open a show, it usually makes it feel like a glorified episode of Raw. In this instance, I felt it was a nice touch though, given how they are pulling out all the stops to make the unification match seem legitimately earth-shaking.
CM Punk v The Shield (3-on-1 Handicap Match): This was definitely a good choice of opening match. I smiled when I saw the huge Colt Cobana face in the ringside seats. Punk must have noticed it and I bet it made him smile inside too. I think Vince had been calling up all the old guys to tell them to tweet about the show. First during this match it was Terry Funk and Dusty Rhodes among others, and there were more shown on the screen later in the show. They really did go all the way to hype this up.
This particular match was captivating. It had great psychology and good execution, as expected. Punk got the win after dodging the spear of Roman Reigns, who followed through to take out his own man Ambrose. That mix up and the pinfall loss that went with it will surely create more friction within the group. To make matters worse, poor old Roman seemed to have a legit black eye from flying over the announce table straight into the barricade.
AJ Lee(c) v Natalya (for the Divas Championship): The champ cut a terrific promo before the match. The encounter itself was top class. Technical and brawling styles were both used very well by both competitors, in this great example to the division. AJ retained the title with a small package after pulling Natalya down by the hair. This was a truly great performance from both of these women – big respect!
– We got to see more legendary tweets from some guys who surely can’t be capable of even using a computer. WWE must have just got their approval to make accounts and post on their behalf.
Big E Langston(c) v Damien Sandow (for the Intercontinental Championship): This was a solid enough battle, and the current champ came out on top. No big fireworks or surprises here!
– It was cool to see Santa Foley and Booker T on the opinion panel with Josh Matthews. I actually think this is a nice touch for pay-per-views, and adds a bit of a legitimate sports feel to the presentation.
The Rhodes Brothers(c) v Ryback & Curtis Axel v The Real Americans v Big Show & Rey Mysterio (Fatal 4 Way Elimination Match for the Tag Team Championship): It’s a pretty sad relegation for The Usos to not be in this match. I feel they would have been a much better choice than Ryback and Axel. Oh well, at least the tag division has depth and quality at the moment. This was a good showcase of that. I finally had my prayer answered: a non-Survivor Series elimination match. Everything is better with elimination, and I don’t see why we only get it in November.
Goldust eliminated Ryback, and in turn Curtis Axel. It was down to three, and the “We the people” chants began to come out. Is there anywhere that these guys aren’t over? Big Show knocked out both Swagger and Cesaro and eliminated the team with the pin. I would have liked to have seen that step done the other way around. It was down to the two babyface teams. I guess this was kind of cool to see though, because the sportsmanship element is something you don’t often these days. Big Show helped Goldust to his feet to start what would be the final chapter of the match.
Those final moments were exhilarating: a true showdown between Cody Rhodes and Rey Mysterio. It was a great climax which finally ended with Crossroads and the pinfall to keep the titles in the Rhodes family. The four guys shook hands and stood together as good sporting heroes.
– We were then treated to a bizarre, surreal and hilarious backstage segment which featured the Prime Time Players initially playing with brawlin’ buddies together. Great Khali brought the Sheamus doll into the equation, before El Torito and his more to-scale friends got involved. Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox came in and shouted at them, before battling it out with the toys themselves. Then Kane walked into the locker room (with his theme music and lighting) to send them all away. When alone, the Big Red Machine played with John Cena and Brodus Clay dolls, as every smart fan on the internet cried into their 1998 Kane duvet covers. This was very entertaining!
R-Truth v Brodus Clay: Why on earth was this on pay-per-view? The announcers spent most of the match discussing Brodus’ dark choice of tights. Tensai had a falling out with his newly turned partner, and walked to the back with the girls. Truth pinned the lonely dinosaur.
The Miz v Kofi Kingston: The crowd were absolutely dead for this match and can you blame them? There were also some pretty clear “boring” chants emanating from the crowd – that was embarrassing. Kofi Kingston got the win.
Daniel Bryan v The Wyatt Family (3-on-1 Handicap Match): Bray spent half of the match sitting next to the steps outside the ring on his rocking chair, which was awesome. When Bryan was beaten down enough, the leader tagged in and hit a mean “Ho Train” (Godfather style) and a vertical suplex. He proceeded to pull off the legendary spider walk. The crowd chanted “That was creepy!”, indeed it was. Despite a valiant effort from Bryan, he understandably fell short of the mark and succumbed to Sister Abigail, and a nice little weird cuddle from Bray. The psychology in this match was perfect.
John Cena v Randy Orton (TLC Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship): Evidently and thankfully, they decided to not go with the “Unified Title” which would have sounded lame, and have settled on both names next to each other – I like it! I have to say that this match wasn’t an instant classic, but that doesn’t change the fact that both of these guys were on top form. Orton’s facials were a particular highlight. I forget how class an all round performer he is. They teased with the tables too much, but I guess it had the desired effect of keeping me on the edge of my seat. They did have a lot of time to work within too.
Orton eventually went through one, and Cena busted him open with the steel steps (so extreme), before The Viper responded with a vicious microphone beatdown. Just when the punt was incoming, Cena reversed and put his nemesis through the ever-unfortunate Spanish announce table with the AA. Just before he could capitalise, Orton pushed the ladder from under him and beat him with the steel chair as he hung on to one of the belts above the ring trying to defy gravity. Another spot wasn’t delayed as Cena speared Orton straight through a table in the corner shortly after.
After all of this back-and-forth, Orton drew inspiration from the past and sought to end things there, bringing out the handcuffs. With Cena attached to the bottom rope, he seemed to have the thing wrapped up. The superhero showed some smart by unhooking the turnbuckle and climbing the ladder while connected to the rope. He beat Orton off and looked set to do the expected and overcome the odds.
Then things took a rather unexpected twist, as The Viper pushed him off the ladder and head first straight into a table, before pulling down the belts himself and becoming the Champion of Champions. The Authority came down (including Vince) to show their respect and appreciation to the new champion, and the pay-per-view went off the air.
This wasn’t a classic pay-per-view, but it was a very good show. It was always going to be hard for the main event to live up to the ridiculous hype machine that had proceeded it, but it did a decent job. One thing for sure must have shocked a few people: Cena lost clean to Orton! That really gives the new champ the rub, and I guess it frees the franchise player up for a non-title, big name feud at Wrestlemania.
The last show of the year wasn’t too bad, but bring on the Royal Rumble. Before then though, bring on Raw tonight! What is going to happen with The Shield? How will John Cena react to his loss? I will be back tomorrow to discuss.
Thanks for reading, and hit subscribe to stay up to date.