Aired live on pay-per-view
Brooklyn, N.Y. at the Barclays Center
Scott Stanford and a mustache-free Matt Striker introduced the show from ringside and hyped the Big Show vs. Sheamus match... Backstage, Booker T spoke with Sheamus, who said he can't get the image of Big Show smirking at him out of his head. Booker told him he has a chance to make up for all of that and handed him a chair...
A video recapped the six-man tag storyline...
Powell's POV: In a dark match held prior to the pay-per-view, JTG defeated David Otunga. Thanks to Dot Net Member Zim.
The announcers spoke more and then turned it over to Michael Cole and Josh Mathews, who hyped the Slammy Awards for Raw. They gave the award for Best Dancer of the Year to Brodus Clay. They also gave a WWE website exclusive video of the year to the footage of Jerry Lawler being interviewed after returning home following his heart attack. The crowd chant of the year is "Feed Me More." The upset of the year Slammy and the Diva of the Year were given out. A.J. was named Diva of the Year...
Powell's POV: Wow, how uneventful. I am surprised they didn't save Diva of the Year for Raw rather than just lumping it in with a bunch of random awards.
1. Santa's Helper Battle Royal to become No. 1 contender. The entrants included Tamina, Alicia Fox, Aksana, Layla, Cameron, Naomi, Natalya, Kaitlyn, and Layla. Eve sat in on commentary. Layla was eliminated first. After a series of forgettable between the rope eliminations, the match came down to Tamina, Kaitlyn, and Cameron. The latter pair eliminated Tamina. In a surprising finish, Naomi dropkicked Kaitlyn off the ring apron for the win.
Naomi won the Divas battle royal to earn a title shot later in the show.
The announcers ran through other meaningless Slammy Awards. Daniel Bryan won Tweet of the year. Zack Ryder won the best online show. Bryan also won for Facial Hair of the Year. Big Show won betrayal of the year.
Powell's POV: Congrats to WWE for coming up with the most meaningless awards of the year. These awards are a joke. They should be pushing the pay-per-view, not racing through awards that even they obviously don't care about.
A video recapped the John Cena, A.J., Dolph Ziggler, and Vickie Guerrero saga...
To enter our contest for a free copy of the WWE 13 video game, copy and paste the following onto your Twitter page right now (and specify which version of the game you want - Wii or PS3): Read @Prowrestlingnet's live coverage of WWE TLC at prowrestling.net #wwetlc #wwe13
WWE TLC Pay-Per-View
The show opened with Lilian Garcia asking fans to stand while they tolled the bell 26 times for the lives lost in Newtown, Connecticut. The fans remained silent and offered a polite round of applause afterward...
Powell's POV: A very classy move by WWE.
A TLC video aired... Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL were on commentary...
1. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow in a tables match to become No. 1 contenders to the tag titles. Sandow and Rhodes cut a promo on the stage. Most importantly, Cody has not shaved. He mocked the fans for having ridiculous looking facial hair. All four wrestlers were in the ring at the same time for the gimmick match. Only one wrestler has to go through the table to end it.
A loud "Cody's Mustache" chant started and Cole noted that it was trending on Twitter. How could it not be? Late in the match, Sin Cara tried to spingboard off the ropes onto Sandow, but Rhodes recovered and pushed him backwards through two tables on the floor. Crazy spot...
Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow defeated Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara in a tables match to become No. 1 contenders to the WWE Tag Titles in 9:20.
Powell's POV: Damn, that was a wild bump from Sin Cara. I'm surprised to see a bump that dangerous on a WWE show. He could have easily overshot the table.
A handheld camera promo from The Shield was shown...
Powell's POV: WWE is learning a lesson the hard way when it comes to handing out awards before the year ends. They gave out the best tweet earlier tonight, but clearly it belongs to @DUSTIN_RHODES1, who tweeted "Get up, mustache" during his brother's match.
2. Antonio Cesaro vs. R-Truth for the U.S. Title. Cesaro dominated the match and applied a hold that kept Truth on the mat for a bit. The crowd seemed to get restless as this dragged on. However, there was also a good pop when Cesaro hit the Neutralizer for the win.
After the match, Matt Striker entered the ring and asked Cesaro what his response is to the fans dislike of him. Cesaro said he's the best U.S. Champion ever, so the fans are booing their own country when they boo him. He said they have no respect for their country or themselves...
Antonio Cesaro pinned R-Truth to retain the U.S. Title in 6:40.
Powell's POV: I'm sure the veteran WWE officials love the long hold that Cesaro applies during his matches, but the live crowds don't feel the same. Can you recondition an audience to appreciate that in this instant gratification era?
A video promoted WWE Week on USA Network... The announcers set up a Tribute to the Troops video that featured soldiers wishing their friends and family well...
Backstage, Josh Mathews interviewed Dolph Ziggler, who received a mix of cheers and boos. Ziggler vented about being forced to defend his Money in the Bank contract. He said it doesn't make any sense. He said Cena's star will fall as his own career rises. "Mark my words, tonight everything changes," Ziggler said...
Powell's POV: I love the closing line. It could be an empty promise or some serious foreshadowing. It left me wondering if Dolph is aligned with The Shield after all.
The Miz came to the ring, where the Miz TV set was waiting. He introduced his guests Jinder Mahal, Heath Slater, and Drew McIntyre as his guests. The announcers mocked them. JBL said they don't have music and are "dreadful, horrible." He also pointed out that 3MB is on a winning streak in the ring. The trio entered the ring and played air guitar. Ugh.
3MB claimed to be better than Jay-Z, which drew some boos from his hometown fans. Slater announced that they will perform live during The Slammy Awards on Raw. Miz said they will set the all time bathroom break record for The Slammy's. They mocked the Spanish broadcast team for not speaking English. The trio went to ringside. Slater said they better not be talking bad about them in their "foreign, Mexican voices."
Ricardo Rodriguez ran out to help the announcers. 3MB backed Ricardo against the ring apron. Alberto Del Rio ran out and attacked the 3MB members, but he was eventually outnumbered. They took him inside the ring. Miz got up and attacked 3MB. Miz and Del Rio cleared 3MB from the ring. Slater challenged Del Rio and Miz to find a partner to face them in a match.
Miz said that's not a problem. The fans chanted for Zack Ryder. Miz stopped to listen to them for a moment. He said they will find a partner and the beating 3MB receives will be awesome...
Powell's POV: Alberto Del Rio turned babyface because of 3MB? I'm fine with WWE turning him, but I thought it would be for something better than an impromptu six-man tag match with 3MB. Honestly, I'm speechless.
An ad aired for the Royal Rumble and focussed on The Rock...
Backstage, Daniel Bryan spoke with Kane, who asked if they are all on the same page. Bryan said he doesn't like the Feed Me More chants because he hates when people repeat themselves. Kane told him that bodies will be broken in the TLC match and they will be the ones to do the breaking. He said if Ryback is hungry they will feed him The Shield. Bryan said Yes! repeatedly...
Backstage, Matt Striker interviewed Wade Barrett. He said Kofi Kingston has had nine lives, but the Wildcat will be neutered by the Barrett Barrage...
Powell's POV: WWE would be a better place if I never heard them force the Wildcat or Barrett's Barrage down the throats of viewers ever again.
3. Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett for the Intercontinental Title. Barrett jumped out to a fast start. Kingston came back with some of his signature moves, including an SOS for a two count at 6:00. Barrett came back with a swinging slam on Kingston for a two count of his own.
Kingston hit the high cross body block, but Barrett rolled through and had a good near fall. Barrett complained that he had a three count. Barrett performed his swinging slam again for another two count. Barrett set up for his finisher. Kingston hit Trouble in Paradise out of nowhere to get the win...
Kofi Kingston defeated Wade Barrett to retain the Intercontinental Title in 8:15.
Powell's POV: A good match with some back and forth near falls. The announcers were all over the place during that match. Rather than focus on Kingston's first wave of offense, they started talking about how many Slammy's they'd each won. The loss for Barrett isn't crippling by any means. It's all in the followup. I'm hopeful the feud will continue.
C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman were introduced. They were standing in a luxury box. Punk said he's a fan of The Shield even though he's not affiliated with them. He boasted that he started the year as WWE Champion and will finish the year that way... At ringside, Cole said today is day 392 of Punk's reign...
Powell's POV: Clearly, WWE is saving the more meaningful six-man tag match for later in the show. Okay, maybe not. I assume the placement of the TLC match here means The Shield will go over and we could get something newsworthy out of the World Hvt. Championship title picture. By the way, 71 percent of the Dot Net poll voters predicted that The Shield will go over, and only 29 percent expect Ryback, Kane, and Bryan to win.
4. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns vs. Ryback, Daniel Bryan, and Kane in a six-man TLC match. The Shield entered through the crowd and wore the same gear they have been wearing. The "Goldberg" chants started early. Ambrose stood out early by landing on his feet when he was flipped over and then when he hit a dropkicked Ryback.
Ryback had his time to shine when he double suplexed Rollins and Ambrose onto a ladder in the ring. Reigns came in and took a shot at Ryback to stop his momentum. The Shield took Ryback to ringside and performed their Triple Power Bomb on Ryback through the Spanish Broadcast Team. As they were celebrating, Bryan performed a suicide dive onto the trio. Byran had a brief flurry, but he lost out to the numbers game. Kane saved Bryan.
Bryan brawled with Rollins in the ring, but Ambrose entered the ring and helped cut off Bryan's offensive fun. Bryan was slammed onto a chair. Cole said The Shield "just have too many guys." JBL pointed out Cole's stupidity by noting that it was three-on-three. JBL praised the strategy of The Shield for double and triple teaming their opponents whenever possible.
JBL said this is a three-on-three fair fight and a battle. He said The Shield are "absolutely dominating." Cole noted that Reigns was at ringside making sure Kane and Ryback didn't recover while Amborse and Rollins worked over Bryan in the ring. They set up a talbe on the top rope and performed a double superplex on Bryan. Kane recovered and broke up a pin attempt.
At 14:00, Kane had his time to shine with a big clothesline off the top of the table set up over the ropes and then with a chokeslam on Ambrose onto a chair. Kane went for a cover, but the pin was broken up. Kane ended up at ringside. Reigns let out a primal scream and speared Kane through the timekeepers barricade. "This is awesome" chanted a group of fans.
Inside the ring, Bryan applied the Yes! Lock on Ambrose, but Rollins broke it up. Bryan put the hold on Rollins, but Reigns broke it up. Bryan put the move on Reigns, but Ambrose broke it up. Rollins and Ambrose roughed up Bryan and set up a chair. There was a great spot with Bryan's head being driven into a chair that was set up in the ring.
Ryback made his return to the ring at 17:15 and went on an offensive roll. He threw Rollins onto Ambrose at ringside and then focussed on Reigns. Ryback set up for a powerbomb a chair, but Ambrose ran in. Ryback speared Ambrose a short time later. Ryback hit the Meathook Clothesline on Ambrose while the crowd chanted "Feed Me More."
Ryback scooped up Ambrose and put him down with Shellshocked. Ryback went for the cover, but the other two Shield members broke it up. The announcers raved about the match and what a battle it was. "And it won't end," Lawler said. The Shield and Ryback fought to the stage, where there were tables, ladders, and chairs set up as part of the set along with the chairs that hung from the top.
Ambrose and Reigns placed Ryback onto a table. Rollins climbed halfway up a huge ladder. Reigns and Ambrose went back toward the ring. Ryback recovered and climbed up the ladder. Ryback threw Rollins off the ladder and through some tables below. Inside the ring, Reigns and Ambrose teamed up to powerbomb Byran through a table. Reigns pinned Bryan to win the match.
The replay showed Rollins hit his head hard on one of the tables when he took the bump off the ladder. The other two helped him up. Rollins appeared to be out of it, though it was hard to say how much of it was him selling Ryback's offense...
The Shield defeated Ryback, Daniel Bryan, and Kane in 22:45.
Powell's POV: Holy shit! I don't overuse that pro wrestling cliche. That was an amazing brawl. Ambrose really shined and that's the type of match one would expect him to thrive in. The great thing about him is that the manic and crazed persona he has on the mic was matched by his intensity in the ring. He certainly wasn't the only person to shine. This match actually exceeded the hype and the high expectations of the hardcore fans.
5. Eve vs. Naomi for the WWE Divas Championship. The camera showed Brodus Clay and Cameron watching backstage. Clay was dressed in purple gear and looked like Grimace. Eve won with her neckbreaker and then posed for the cameraman...
Eve defeated Naomi in 3:10.
Powell's POV: The match served its purpose in that it gave the fans a chance to come down from the insanity of TLC match. Honestly, it may not have gone on long enough. Some of us are still trying to catch their breath.
Backstage, Striker interviewed Show, who said Sheamus's Irish eyes won't be smiling. "They're going to be closed shut"...
Powell's POV: The placement of the World Championship match leaves me even more open to the possibility of a Dolph Ziggler cash in prior to his match with Cena, which could then likely become a title match.
6. Big Show vs. Sheamus in a chairs match for the World Hvt. Championship. Show had a prolonged run of offense. Sheamus came back with a flurry of punches, but Show chokeslammed him for a two count. Show remained in control and set up a pair of chairs in the ring. Sheamus came back and performed White Noise onto the two chairs and got a two count of his own.
Sheamus went for a Brogue Kick, but Show avoided it. Sheamus got caught up with his leg over the top rope. Show clocked him with the knockout punch. Show covered Sheamus, who kicked out at the last moment. Really good tease for the Brogue Kick and a great near fall. Big Show pulled out a giant chair and struck Sheamus over the back with it. Show made the cover for the win...
Big Show defeated Sheamus in 14:20 in a chairs match to retain the World Hvt. Championship.
Powell's POV: A giant chair? I wish they would have gone with the knockout punch while Sheamus was hung up in the ropes. That was a much better moment than Show using an oversized chair to get the win. Aside from the finish, these two continue to work well together. There was no sign of Ziggler, so it looks like we're just getting the
Backstage, A.J. approached John Cena dressed in his t-shirt. She apologized to him for everything that happened on Raw. She said she went a little "you know" after the "whole Vickie thing happened." Cena said she could thank him after the match when she takes the MITB contract from Dolph. She skipped away and he shook his head...
7. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez), The Miz, and The Brooklyn Brawler vs. Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre, and Jinder Mahal. Miz gave Brawler a big buildup before introducing him. The Miz was more excited than the live crowd. Brawler wore a Brooklyn Nets jersey. Brawler got a better reaction when Miz worked the crowd prior to tagging him in late. Brawler applied a "Brooklyn Crab" on Mahal and got the win...
The Brooklyn Brawler, Alberto Del Rio, and The Miz defeated 3MB in 3:20.
Powell's POV: Another buffer match. I don't even mind the Brawler showing up even though it really didn't do anything for me from a nostalgia standpoint. I do mind that they turned Del Rio and Ricardo for this.
A video set up the main event...
8. Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena for the Money in the Bank contract. Cena came up early on with a cut around his right eye. Cena blew off the ref a couple of times when he wanted to check on the eye. At 8:30, Ziggler applied a sleeper. Cena powered up and tried to climb up the ladder with Ziggler on his back. Cena went out and they both fell through a table that was set up in the ring.
Dolph came up with cut on his left thigh. He tried to climb a rickety ladder. Cena recovered and picked up the ladder and Ziggler in Attitude Adjustment position. When he flipped the ladder to ringside, Dolph slipped off and remained in the ring. There were dueling chants for and against Cena.
At 11:50, Cena applied the STF. Dolph reached the ropes and then tapped out. The announcers quickly pointed out that submissions don't count in a ladder match. At 14:00, Cena went for the Attitude Adjustment, but Ziggler slipped out and caught Cena with a really good DDT.
Ziggler set up a ladder and reached the briefcase with his fingertips, but Cena recovered and battled up the other side of the ladder. Later, Cena performed a head scissors and flipped Ziggler into a table that was set up in the corner of the ring.
At 19:00, they traded blows in a ring that had one broken table and another that was popped up in the corner, yet broken at the bottom. Cena hoisted up Ziggler on his shoulders, but Ziggler grabbed a chair and slammed it into Cena's leg a couple times. Dolph went for a superkick and missed. Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment, but Ziggler tumbled to the floor.
Vickie Guerrero came out and stood over Cena with a chair. A.J. ran out and beat up Vickie. A.J. stood over Vickie and did Cena's "You Can't See Me" and the Five Knuckle Shuffle routine. Cena set up the ladder as a smiling A.J. skipped around the ring. Cena climbed the ladder. A.J. suddenly pushed the ladder over. Cena ricocheted off the ropes and into Ziggler's superkick.
A.J. scowled at Cena. She looked at Ziggler with a crazy look and then turned it into a brief smile. Ziggler looked surprised. A.J. skipped to the back. Ziggler climbed the ladder and retrieved the briefcase to get the win. Ziggler celebrated his win. Cena got to his feet and was smirking as the show went off the air...
Dolph Ziggler defeated John Cena in 23:10.
Powell's POV: That beats the hell out of Cena and A.J. making out. I don't think all of the nonsense with those two and Vickie was worth it in retrospect, but at least they have A.J. set up as a heel again. Cena and Ziggler worked a good ladder match together, but nothing came close to being as good as the six-man TLC match.
Overall, it was a show that lived up to high expectations for match quality. It wasn't the most newsworthy show aside from the A.J. turn and I really don't think that turn was enough to warrant the placement of the ladder match over the TLC match in the main event slot. Nevertheless, WWE closed out their pay-per-view year on a positive note.
I sincerely apologize for the server issues we experienced during the show. The new server was supposed to be in place by now. Obviously, that's not the case, as it had to be pushed back. The good news is that everything will be addressed this week so we will be good to go for WrestleMania season.