By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Prowrestling.net Live returns today at 3CT/4ET. Will Pruett and I will be taking your calls coming out of last night’s WWE TLC at PWAudio.net.
WWE TLC Hits
Big E and Kofi Kingston vs. The Revival in a ladder match for the Smackdown Tag Titles: This match received my vote for best of the night thanks to the strong work of all four men. Everyone worked hard and this was entertaining from bell to bell. That said, WWE has created a real problem with the secondary and tag titles. They have treated those titles as such a joke that they have largely lost their meaning. The Revival have had forgettable title reigns already and thus it was hard to care if they ended up with the titles again, and that’s coming from someone who loves their work. WWE has plenty of talented tag teams. The problem isn’t the depth of the division, it’s the person booking it.
Aleister Black vs. Buddy Murphy: A close second for my favorite match of the night vote. It was a pleasant surprise that this was such a good back and forth match rather than a straight up showcase for Black. Of course, Black and Cesaro had a really competitive pay-per-view match that was followed by a quicker win for Black on television, so we’ll see where this feud goes next. Either way, this was a physical battle, which Black’s broken nose is proof of.
Andrade vs. Humberto Carrillo: A very good Kickoff Show match with Carrillo scoring another pinfall win over Andrade. I enjoyed this match more than their Raw match, and I was very happy they didn’t repeat the same finish when they did the mirror image spot. The bickering between Andrade and Zelina Vega continued and it will be interesting to see where that goes on tonight’s Raw.
WWE TLC Misses
WWE Universal Champion Bray Wyatt vs. The Miz in a non-title match: Miz showed good fire in delivering his backstage promo in which he made it clear that this was the most important match of his career because he was fighting for his family. So why in the world was Miz scripted to stand there while Wyatt played around with the crowd and then lose in clean and decisive fashion? This wasn’t even The Fiend that destroyed Miz, it was the sweater wearing Wyatt. I’m sorry, but Miz taking Sister Abigail at ringside and crawling back into the ring to beat the referee’s count wasn’t nearly enough to protect him. On the bright side, it was interesting to see this version of the Wyatt persona work a match, and the return of Daniel Bryan with his old look was well received by the live crowd.
Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair in a TLC match for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles: A minor miss despite the hard work of the wrestlers. WWE is sabotaging their own theme shows by overloading them with gimmick matches. In this case, the fans had seen it all before the main event started. Heck, one could argue that they saw damn near everything in the opening ladder match. TLC would be a much better event if they built to one TLC match and featured traditional matches on the undercard. I was completely numb to everything about TLC before the women even made their entrances. Meanwhile, here’s hoping that the injury that kept Kairi Sane down during the closing minutes isn’t serious. The post match brawl spot took away from the Kabuki Warriors win. I suspect the idea was to close the show with a fan friendly moment, but it felt rushed and contrived.
Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin in a TLC match: The match dragged and the finish was absurd with Reigns fighting off Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, and security members until The Revival interfered and he was finally beaten. WWE has repeatedly told us that Reigns is the locker room leader and yet no one came out to help him. The worst part about the finish is that Corbin going over means this tired feud is going to drag on even longer.
Rusev vs. Bobby Lashley in a tables match: A predictable outcome with the heel going over to extend a feud that has already overstayed its welcome. The finish seemed botched with a table that didn’t break. If that’s the case, Lashley did a nice job of calling a quick audible by suplexing Rusev through another table.
The Viking Raiders vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson for the Raw Tag Titles: What was the point of this match beyond pleasing a corporate sponsor? The chicken shack table was corny, but not nearly as bad as the double count-out finish that left the fans rightfully chanting bullshit. The table spot afterward wasn’t enough to save this, particularly on a show with so many table spots. And the issue with the titles that I mentioned earlier was very much in play in this match. Gallows and Anderson had forgettable title reigns already, so why would anyone care if they won the titles again?