By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE TLC Kickoff Show
Aired live December 20, 2020 on WWE Network and social media
Tampa, Florida at Tropicana Field
-Charly Caruso hosted the show from the usual desk on the main floor. She was joined by Jeff Jarrett, Booker T, and Peter Rosenberg.
-A video package aired on the Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens feud. Jarrett questioned whether Owens would regret this night.
-The Sasha Banks vs. Carmella feud was spotlighted in a video package.
-MVP stood backstage and was interviewed by the panel. MVP spoke about how Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin are phenomenal and needed to be reminded who they are. MVP put over Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods as one of the best tag teams in history, but he said every new day must end. Booker said he and MVP come from “the neighborhood” and added that he’s always felt that Alexander “needed some dirt on him.” MVP said it’s a new Alexander.
-A Drew McIntyre vs. AJ Styles video package aired.
-Jarrett spoke about Styles being stronger in ladder matches when he was interrupted. The Miz and John Morrison showed up. Miz said that if the opportunity presents itself, then he would cash in the Money in the Bank contract. Miz said people ask him why he hasn’t cashed in yet, and it’s because McIntyre is hard to pin.
-A video package aired on the Raw Women’s Tag Title feud and the angle that led to Lana being pulled from the match.
-WWE 24/7 Champion R-Truth showed up at the podium and boasted to Booker that he’s a 45-time champion, not just a five-time champion.
1. Big E, Daniel Bryan, Otis, and Chad Gable vs. Sami Zayn, King Corbin, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Cesaro in an eight-man tag match. The Smackdown broadcast team of Michael Cole and Corey Graves called the match. Zayn wore a t-shirt that read, “I”m The Intercontinental Champion” during the match. He teased starting the match for his team, but he tagged in Corbin to avoid facing Big E.
Later, Otis, who wore a singlet, performed a Caterpillar on Nakamura. Gable had Otis tag him into the match. Otis ran the ropes while Gable held Nakamura, but Nakamura broke free and threw kicks at both men. Nakamura tagged in Cesaro, who had Gable pinned, but Otis broke it up. There was a series of rapid fire big spots from several wrestlers. Gable performed a German suplex on Cesaro.
Zayn, who was hiding at ringside, returned to his team’s corner and took a tag from Cesaro. Big E tagged in seconds later. Zayn tried to tag out, but none of his teammates were in the corner. Big E worked over Zayn and finished him off with The Big Ending…
Big E, Daniel Bryan, Otis, and Chad Gable defeated Sami Zayn, King Corbin, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Cesaro in 8:35.
Powell’s POV: This was more fun than most of the Kickoff Show matches. Zayn continues to be a riot, and Big E chasing him has the potential to be a lot of fun if they don’t rush into a title change. The jury is still out on Otis and Gable, but this is definitely an upgrade over Shorty G. Oh, and Bryan was in the match. Hopefully they find something interesting for him to do.
-A video package spotlighted the Randy Orton and The Fiend feud.
-Caruso said The Fiend is supernatural and questioned how to beat him. Shockingly, Rosenberg had no idea what to do with The Fiend. Jarrett said 2020 is coming to a close and asked how appropriate this match was for 2020. Jarrett said you don’t want to miss the Firefly Inferno match. Caruso said McIntyre vs. Styles would kick off the main card.
Join me for my live review of the WWE TLC main show in a separate post on the main page.