By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE TLC 2019 Kickoff Show
Minneapolis, Minnesota at Target Center
Aired live on December 15, 2019 on WWE Network and social media
-Jonathan Coachman hosted the show and was joined by the panel of Charly Caruso, Booker T, and David Otunga at the usual set on the arena floor.
-The hosts ran through the pay-per-view lineup. Caruso questioned what would happened when The Miz runs into “The Fiend Bray Wyatt.” When it comes to the Viking Raiders’ open challenge, she wondered “which team or teams” would step up.
-Caruso said the WWE Women’s Tag Title match will kick off the main show.
-A video package recapped the Rusev, Lana, and Bobby Lashley drama. The tone of the video was light and played into the campiness of the storyline.
-Bobby Lashley and Lana were interviewed from backstage by Coachman and the panel. Coachman asked if it’s all been worth it. They agreed that it has. Otunga asked if Lana is worried about legal repercussions for trying to manipulate the system. She asked if he wanted to talk about his own relationship. Otunga said he’s somewhat of an expert.
Lashley disputed the belief that Lana is holding him back. He said he’s never had an ally in the business before. Lana barked at the panel that she and Lashley are the victims. She said Caruso wouldn’t be welcomed in the locker room if she kept coming at her. Lashley said he would get a very easy win over Rusev. Lana continued to rant until Coachman told the truck to take Lana and Lashley off the screen.
-The panel recapped Seth Rollins and AOP uniting and attacking Kevin Owens on Monday’s Raw.
-The Revival showed up at the desk and took issue with something Booker said about them. They said they would beat New Day in a ladder match to win the Smackdown Tag Titles. Scott Dawson said that when they win the tag titles again, Booker should get his “better half” Stevie Ray and step up. Dash Wilder gave his mic to Coachman and patted him on the head before walking away.
-Coachman said the Smackdown Tag Title match will kick off the TLC pay-per-view.
Powell’s POV: I guess Caruso meant that the women’s match would be the first TLC match of the night?
-Booker said he had to set an example and that’s why he didn’t go after The Revival.
1. Andrade (w/Zelina Vega) vs. Humberto Carrillo. The Raw broadcast team of Vic Joseph, Jerry Lawler, and Samoa Joe were on commentary for the match. The trio played up the friction between Andrade and Zelina that was exhibited on Monday’s Raw. An ad aired during the match. Andrade was on the offensive until Carrillo dumped him to ringside, which led to a split screen commercial.
Carrillo performed a nice dropkick in the corner. Andrade rolled to ringside. Carrillo performed a flip dive onto him, then rolled him inside the ring and covered him for a two count. A short time later, Carrillo went to the ropes, but Andrade cut him off. They fought for position and Andrade knocked him into a tree of woe hanging over the apron, then double stomped him from the ropes. Andrade rolled him back inside and covered him for a two count.
The crowd chanted “this is awesome.” Andrade had a cut above his left eye. Carrillo came back with a kick, but Andrade fired right back with a clothesline that turned him inside out. “They’re firing live rounds tonight,” Joe said. Carrillo caught Andrade on the ropes and delivered a kick to the head. A bloody Andrade performed double knees into the corner for a two count.
They recreated the spot with Andrade nearly running into Vega on the apron and stopping short, which led to a Carrillo near fall. Andrade went to the ropes. Carrillo followed him up and performed an inverted huracanrana. Carrillo went up top and stuck a moonsault for the win.
Humberto Carrillo defeated Andrade in 12:45.
After the match, Vega tried to help up Andrade, who blew her off and left the ring without her…
Powell’s POV: That was a fun way to open the show. I didn’t catch what opened the Andrade cut, but it was nasty. Both guys worked hard and the crowd was receptive. I continue to hope that they won’t break up Andrade and Vega. Raw should be interesting for when it comes to their storyline.
-A video package focused on the Bray Wyatt, Miz, and Daniel Bryan drama. The panel discussed the Wyatt and Miz match briefly.
-Aleister Black delivered a promo from his usual space. He said one Black Mass kick will cause Buddy Murphy to Fade to Black and it’s all because Murphy chose to pick a fight with him.
-A video package spotlighted the Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin feud.
-The panel closed out the pre-show while a shot aired of Big E and Kofi Kingston walking backstage.
Join me for my live review of the WWE TLC main card in a separate post on the main page.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...