Powell’s WWE TLC live review: The Kabuki Warriors vs. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair vs Asuka in a TLC match for the Smackdown Tag Titles, Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin in a TLC match, Bray Wyatt vs. The Miz, Rusev vs. Bobby Lashley in a tables match

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE TLC 2019
Minneapolis, Minnesota at Target Center
Aired live December 15, 2019 on WWE Network and pay-per-view

Kickoff Show result: Humberto Carrillo defeated Andrade by pinfall.

A Firefly Funhouse themed video package opened the show. Bray Wyatt said hello and season’s greetings. He said it was the time of year to pause for a moment and reflect on the type of person you’ve been. Various clips of the TLC feuds were inserted between Wyatt’s comments. Wyatt said we’re all human and we all make mistakes and therefore we all need a little TLC…

Pyro shot off on the stage and then the broadcast team of Michael Cole checked in and welcomed viewers to the final WWE pay-per-view event of the decade…

1. “New Day” Big E and Kofi Kingston vs. “The Revival” Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson in a ladder match for the Smackdown Tag Titles. Cole and Corey Graves were on commentary for the match. The Spanish and German broadcast teams checked in (Tim Haber and his bowtie are still disturbing). Early in the match, both Revival members held a ladder. Kingston springboarded onto the ladder and took out both men.

Wilder was placed on ladder over the apron. Big E went for a splash, but Dawson pulled Wilder out of the way, causing E to crash onto the ladder and tumble to the floor. Wilder made a play for the title belts, but Big E recovered and pulled him down. E went for the belts, but Dawson performed a missile dropkick to the ladder out from under Big E, who clutched a knee after falling awkwardly. The Revival kicked the ladder into Big E’s balls.

Kingston was on a ladder that Revival tipped over, but he found his footing on the ropes and leapt off and performed a tornado DDT on Dawson. Kingston followed up with Trouble in Paradise on Wilder. Kingston climbed the ladder, but Dawson cut him off and launched him into the Shatter Machine. Moments later, Big E speared Wilder through the ropes and off the apron.

Big E set up two ladders side by side, then placed another ladder over a ladder and in between the turnbuckles. The Revival cut off Big E from doing whatever he had in mind for Dawson, who then suplexed him onto the ladder, but Big E fell to the mat. Dawson placed E back on top of the ladder, then Wilder performed a top rope splash that broke the ladder. Dawson made a play for the belts, but Kingston springboarded onto one of the ladders and fought him and Wilder, who climbed up behind him.

Big E climbed up one of the ladders and performed The Big Ending on Wilder from the ladder to the mat. Dawson got his hands on the tag titles while Kingston selling, but Kingston recovered and slammed the belts into Dawson’s head. Dawson fell from the ladder into a ladder in the corner. Kingston pulled the belts down to win the match…

Big E and Kofi Kingston defeated The Revival in a ladder match in 19:20 to retain the Smackdown Tag Titles.

Powell’s POV: A crazy ladder match with big bumps and good drama down the stretch. All four men deserve hazard pay bonuses after that outing.

Kayla Braxton interviewed King Corbin on the backstage interview set and asked if he’s concerned about the repercussions after provoking Roman Reigns. Corbin said he’s beaten Reigns mentally and physically, and Reigns will bend a knee to the king… An ad aired for NXT TV and the WWE Supercard game…

The Raw broadcast team of Vic Joseph, Jerry Lawler, and Samoa Joe recapped highlights of Humberto Carrillo defeating Andrade on the Kickoff Show. Joe said he thinks Andrade and Vega will get through their issues. Lawler said he sees another Rusev and Lana situation (what?)…

2. Aleister Black vs. Buddy Murphy. The Raw team was on the call. Prior to the match, both men sat crosslegged and faced one another for a moment. The bell rang and Black immediately went for his Black Mass finisher, but Murphy avoided it and ducked to ringside. There was a spot early on where Murphy caught Black with a knee to the face.

At 2:30, Black blasted Murphy with a kick. Lawler said Black has members of his family tattooed on his body. Black sent Murphy to ringside and then went for a running knee on the apron, but Murphy blocked it and slammed Black’s head into the ring steps. Black came up bleeding, presumably from the knee earlier. The broadcast team eventually stated that Black’s nose was broken. Black also flexed and held his jaw at different points.

A short time later, Black kicked Murphy into the corner and then placed him in a seated position on the top rope. Black went to the middle rope, but Murphy kicked him off. Black went right back up and delivered a kick. Murphy snuck out from under Black and kicked him. With Black hunched over on the ropes, Black kicked between his legs to kick him in the face multiple times, then powerbombed him and got a near fall.

Murphy held Black’s arms and asked him if he wanted to fight. Murphy threw a knee, but Black blocked it. Murphy came right back with knees and a kick, then performed a brainbuster for a near fall. Both men ended up in opposite corners and looked at one another. They raced together and traded a series of kicks that concluded with Black hitting the Black Mass and scoring the clean pin…

Aleister Black pinned Buddy Murphy in 13:45.

Powell’s POV: Wow. That was a hell of a match and as physical of a match as you’ll see in WWE. Black’s nose appeared to be legitimately broken and it’s possible that he wasn’t just selling a jaw injury.

Rusev was interviewed by Caruso on the backstage interview set. Caruso asked how he felt about Lashley planning to propose. Rusev said he’s elated because he won’t have to pay alimony if they get married. Rusev declared that he is back and said every day is Rusev Day…

A Royal Rumble pay-per-view ad aired for the January 26 event, then additional ads aired… Highlights aired of the Seth Rollins and AOP attack on Kevin Owens from Raw…

The Viking Raiders made their entrance for the open challenge. Four fans were shown seated at ringside eating food from the chicken shack after winning a contest. Erik and Ivar wore purpose face paint (Vikings country) and cut a promo about how they are prepared to destroy. “Let the raid begin,” they said together. A Skol chant broke out from the Vikings football loving fans.

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson made their entrance. Anderson put their stupid Best Tag Team in the World trophy on the stage and they delivered a brief promo. They said the open challenge is lame, just like Minneapolis. Anderson said the match wasn’t just about the tag titles, it was about Viking Raiders trying to avenge their only loss…

3. “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson for the Raw Tag Titles. The Raw broadcast team was on the call. Erik was isolated by the challengers. He eventually made the hot tag to Ivar, who roughed up Anderson and knocked Gallows off the apron. Moments later, Ivar went to the ropes, but Gallows pushed him off. Ivar rallied and tagged in Anderson, which led to a quick Viking Experience on Anderson. Erik had the pin, but Gallows broke it up. Anderson, Gallows, and Ivar ended up at ringside. Erik was tossed over the barricade. Ivar performed a suicide dive onto the challengers. The referee counted out both teams, which led to boos and bullshit chants.

The Viking Raiders fought Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson to a no-contest in 8:30.

After the match, Gallows and Anderson dragged the KFC table over and set up for a move on Erik, which Ivar broke up. The Viking Raiders slammed Anderson through the table…

Powell’s POV: A bad finish and the the post match nod to the corporate sponsor via the table spot wasn’t enough to save it.

The Miz was interviewed by Kayla Braxton on the interview set. Miz said he moved Maryse and his family to an undisclosed location until the situation with Bray Wyatt is all over with. She asked him about facing The Fiend rather than Wyatt. Miz asked if it really mattered, then got fired up while talking about Wyatt violating the sanctity of his home. Miz said this was his most important match, as he’s fighting as a husband, a father, and a man protecting his family. “I am willing to face anyone or anything,” Miz said…

An ad aired for the Broken Skull Sessions featuring the Steve Austin interview with Goldberg for after TLC on WWE Network… Michael Cole and Corey Graves set up a video package on the King Corbin and Roman Reigns feud…

4. Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin in a TLC match. Corbin was carried to the ring on his podium. Corbin cut a brief promo about making Reigns bend the knee. Corbin sent his security after Reigns, who knocked two of them off the ramp and put another through a table on the stage. Corbin ran after Reigns with a chair and was hit with a punch and run into the screen on the stage. The bell rang to start the match and the wrestlers eventually ended up in the ring.

A Roman chant broke out as he set up for a Superman Punch, but Corbin blocked it. Corbin did his slide out of the ring and raced back inside and performed a chokeslam. Reigns came right back with a Superman Punch for a two count. “Minneapolis knows something about hard nosed sports entertainment and they are getting it here tonight,” Cole said (the “sports entertainment” label ruins everything).

Corbin ended up at ringside and hit Reigns with a can of dog food from the floor. Corbin returned to the ring and chokeslammed Reigns through a table and covered him for a near fall. Corbin cleared off the English and German broadcast tables at ringside, then returned to the ring and tossed Reigns to the floor. Corbin stood on the table and played to the crowd. Corbin brought Reigns onto the table and set up for a powerbomb, but Reigns countered into a Samoan Drop that drove Corbin through the German broadcast table.

Reigns let out a war cry to the receptive crowd, then charged at Corbin only to have Dolph Ziggler show up and superkick him out of nowhere (no music, best Ziggler entrance ever). Cole assumed that Ziggler had been hiding under the ring. Corbin tossed a guy from the timekeepers area, then Ziggler threw repeated punches at him. Ziggler pulled the handcuffs and more dog food out from underneath the ring. For some reason, they were targeting the guy from the timekeepers area. Reigns ran into the picture and hit them both with a Drive By.

Reigns grabbed a kendo stick and worked over Corbin, Ziggler, and Corbin’s security team with it. The Revival ran out and attacked Reigns. They both hit him with a kendo stick. Both Revival members had their ribs taped to sell the effects of their ladder match. They rolled Reigns into the ring, but he quickly cleared them to ringside. Reigns did a leap over the top rope onto a group of wrestlers and Corbin security. Reigns had Corbin down in the corner of the ring and let out a war cry, then Ziggler threw a chair at his face.

Cole asked how any of this was fair. Graves said it’s not Corbin’s fault that Reigns doesn’t have any friends left. The Revival entered the ring and hit the Shatter Machine on Reigns. Corbin performed his End of Days finisher onto a chair and covered Reigns for the pin. Cole called it disgusting and complained about all the help that Reigns had…

King Corbin defeated Roman Reigns in 22:20 in a TLC match.

Powell’s POV: Wow, Roman Reigns really is a loser with no friends. Anyway, they worked hard and the crowd was definitely pro Reigns. I suspected Corbin was going over given the match placement. I just can’t wrap my mind around having to endure more of this feud that just won’t end.

A WrestleMania ad aired… Cole and Graves set up a video package on the Wyatt and Miz feud…

The Miz made his entrance and then the remainder of the international broadcast teams checked in. The Firefly Funhouse music played and the sweater version of Bray Wyatt made his entrance to a quiet crowd initially. Wyatt climbed onto the English broadcast table and played to the crowd. Wyatt thanked the fans off-mic and said he’s really excited about this. Wyatt took a lap around the ring and posed for a selfie. The ringside fans had fun with Wyatt when he played to them…

5. WWE Universal Champion Bray Wyatt vs. The Miz in a non-title match. A loud “yowie wowie” chant broke out and then the bell rang to start the match. Miz went right after Wyatt. Miz held Wyatt’s arm and Wyatt encouraged him to do it, the Miz wrenched on it. Wyatt rolled to ringside and went full Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon by slamming his shoulder into the barricade with the goal of putting his shoulder back in place.

Wyatt avoided a charging Miz, who crashed into the barricade. Wyatt performed Sister Abigail. Cole said Wyatt seemed to be doing back and forth into personalities by going from angry to fun loving. Miz raced back to the ring and beat the referee’s count. Wyatt made his mean face and hit Sister Abigail and scored the clean pin. Cole said it was one of the oddest matches he’s ever called.

Bray Wyatt beat The Miz in 6:40 in a non-title match.

After the match, The Fiend appeared on the big screen. Wyatt looked up on the screen and said, “Okay, I’ll do it.” Wyatt rolled to ringside and pulled out the giant toy mallet he’s used previously. “What the hell is that?” Cole asked as if he’d never seen the weapon. The Fiend lighting change occurred. “He’s here,” an excited Wyatt yelled.

Daniel Bryan appeared with his hoodie pulled over his head and hit Wyatt with a running knee. Bryan pulled the hoodie down to reveal a new look with shorter hair and shorter facial hair. The fans chanted “yes” and then “Daniel Bryan.” Bryan threw kicks at Wyatt in the corner, then got a running start and dropkicked him twice.

Bryan avoided a Wyatt clothesline attempt and hit him with a running knee. Bryan grabbed Wyatt’s arms and stomped his head repeatedly. Wyatt picked up the toy mallet and then the lights went out. When the lights turned on again, Wyatt was gone. Bryan slammed the mallet and then went to the ropes and played to the crowd while his music played…

Powell’s POV: The Miz is such a loser that he can’t even beat the sweater wearing version of Wyatt. Wow, these Smackdown babyfaces are something else. Well, at least they have Bryan on the blue brand. Wyatt is doing a good job of playing the two different characters and this could have gone a lot worse with the live crowd considering they were presumably hoping to see The Fiend. Are they trying to establish the sweater wearing version of Wyatt legitimately or will that character only appear to avoid having The Fiend take beatings?

The Raw broadcast team set up a video package on the Rusev, Lana, and Bobby Lashley drama…

6. Rusev vs. Bobby Lashley (w/Lana) in a tables match. The Raw broadcast team was on the call. Rusev jumped out to the early advantage and tried to bring a table into the ring, but Lana pulled the table away. Lashley et up a table on the floor. There was a “sloppy seconds” chant. Rusev suplexed Lashley onto the entrance ramp.

Later, Rusev took a guardrail and leaned it against the ring. Lashley picked up Rusev and slammed him onto the guardrail. Lashley grabbed a kendo stick from underneath the ring and hit Rusev with it several times, then worked him over with it inside the ring. Lashley set up a table in a corner of the ring and a second table was set up in the opposite corner.

Rusev blocked a kendo stick shot. Lashley kicked him, but Rusev ended up with the weapon and hit Lashley with it repeatedly. Lana climbed onto the back of Rusev and hopped off. Lashley speared Rusev, who didn’t go through the table, so Lashley suplexed him through the other table to win the match…

Bobby Lashley defeated Rusev in a tables match in 13:30.

Powell’s POV: Much like the Reigns vs. Corbin match, the heel went over to extend a feud that I am more than ready to see end. In this case, it’s no surprise, as tables matches never put feuds to rest.

The Street Profits were shown backstage. As they spoke, a brawl broke out involving King Corbin and Roman Reigns, New Day and The Revival, and others. The Street Profits joined in by putting the boots to someone…

A Raw ad hyped Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles for Monday’s show… A Royal Rumble ad aired… The Raw broadcast team spoke at ringside and mentioned for the 800th time that the windchill is below zero in Minneapolis… A video package set up the main event TLC match…

7. “The Kabuki Warriors” Kairi Sane and Asuka vs. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair in a TLC match for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles. Flair and Lynch jumped out to the quick start. They took turns tossing Sane onto the Spanish and English broadcast tables. Flair tried to bring a ladder into the ring, but Asuka threw a chair at her face. Asuka picked up the chair and tossed it at Lynch.

Lynch and Flair regrouped and tossed Asuka into the ring post. They dragged a ladder into the ring and set it up. Sane tossed chairs into the ring. Flair and Lynch threw them back, then went after Sane, who ducked under the ring. Sane was dragged out and sprayed them with a fire extinguisher. Asuka pulled out a rope from underneath the ring and whipped the heels with it. Lynch was slammed onto a ladder. The Kabuki Warriors used the rope to tie Lynch to the ladder.

Asuka and Sane entered the ring and climbed up opposite sides of the ladder. Flair returned with a kendo stick and knocked them both down and tipped over the ladder. Flair went to ringside and tossed Asuka onto a table that had chairs set up on top of it, then suplexed Sane into the barricade. Flair tried to untie Lynch, but Asuka ran over and slammed a chair over her back.

Lynch freed herself from the odd bondage scene. Lynch and Flair roughed up the champions and placed them on chairs in the ring. Lynch clotheslined Asuka while Flair simultaneously hit Sane with a big boot. Asuka ended up on a table at ringside and Lynch performed a leg drop from the ropes to put her through it. The challengers set up Sane for a double suplex, but she countered into a double DDT.

Sane put Lynch and Flair on a table at ringside, then went to the apron and dove. Flair rolled off the table, Sane landed on Lynch, and the table didn’t break. Flair performed a clunky looking spear on Sane, then powered her up and powerbombed her through a table. Asuka grabbed Flair and executed a German suplex. Asuka put a table on top of Lynch and several chairs and a ladder on Flair.

Asuka helped Sane to her feet. They pulled the ladder off of Flair and slid it inside the ring. Lynch and Flair returned to the ring and hit the heels with some soft chair shots that the crowd wasn’t impressed by. Asuka ended up powerbombing Flair from the apron through a table on the floor. Lynch gave Asuka a pair of exploder suplexes into some ladders that were set up on their sides. Lynch made a play for the titles, but Asuka grabbed the rope that Lynch was tied up with earlier and pulled the ladder over. Asuka climbed the ladder and pulled the belts down to win the match.

The Kabuki Warriors beat Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair in a TLC match in 26:00 to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Titles.

After the match, Roman Reigns, King Corbin, and a bunch of additional male wrestlers fought their way into the arena. Reigns and Corbin fought onto the first level of seating off the main floor. Reigns speared Corbin onto a pile of wrestlers below and then the show went off the air…

Powell’s POV: The main event was chaotic and I got a kick out of the use of the rope, but I’d also become numb to a lot of the hardcore elements. In fairness, I saw a lot of that on Friday during the ROH Final Battle pay-per-view too, so that may have had a lingering effect. The men’s brawl conveniently spilling into the arena right after the heels went over felt contrived and pointless. Overall, the effort was definitely there from the talent, but this show peaked early and paid the price for the lackluster creative build, especially on the Smackdown side. Jake Barnett and I will co-host an audio review of WWE TLC coming up later tonight for Dot Net Members. Let us know what you thought of the show by giving it a letter grade and voting for the best match in our post show polls that are available 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...


Readers Comments (3)

  1. (Not so) Good Charlotte December 16, 2019 @ 10:05 am

    Charlotte needs to go. In the midst of re-watching it and you can see she was sending a message all along. On her side of things she got her hand up on a chair spot from Sane and over-acted like her nose was broken. Then later after all the damage she inflicted wasn’t comfortable if Sane coming down with the Insane Elbow with her on the table was a wise move for her. Possible receipt? So she rolled off. Charlotte was reckless while taking head shots when she could such as a kendo stick shot which could have landed to Kairi’s back while on the ladder. Becky’s shot to her did. Kabuki Warriors were landing their shots to the backs given to them by Becky and Charlotte while Charlotte was not playing fair. This was bad.

    • In early 2020…for the women: Charlotte needs to “get injured” and not return until Summerslam at the earliest. And Becky needs to drop the belt. I don’t care if it’s a case of extended bad-booking…those 2 have completely choked off the women’s division. Also, Shayna Baszler and Rhea Ripley need to be fast-tracked to the main roster. They should both be in Wrestlemania story lines, because right now the women’s div is worthless.

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