The final PPV of the decade! The end of the road before the Road to Wrestlemania! WWE’s second most straightforward gimmick show! Overall, TLC delivered a very fun send off to WWE’s 2019. Let’s review all the clown hammering, KFC eating, bloody good time.
Humberto Carrillo vs Andrade (Kickoff)
Handsome hours have arrived. This was a repeat of their match on Monday, but I’m a simple cruiserweight fan and I will always pop for two incredibly athletic men flipping around each other. Andrade, in beautiful silver space pants, came right out of the gate charging at Humberto. He had the upper hand for much of the match, but somewhere in the first half of the match got split open just above his eye, leaving blood all over Humberto’s beautiful arms and the mat. We almost saw a repeat when he nearly ran into Zelina on the apron once again, but managed to stop just in time. This let Humberto take over, and hit an awesome hurricanrana from the second rope, followed by a moonsault to win. Post match, Andrade blamed Zelina for the loss and walked off without her. Friendship dies right in front of our eyes.
Verdict: Really fun time, good boost for Carrillo and some development for Andrade/Zelina. Also, everyone pulled out an incredible fit.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The New Day (c) vs The Revival (Ladder Match)
It’s crazy to me that people call intergender wrestling unrealistic when ladder matches exist. It’s a great display of grown men trying to climb at a literal sloth pace, pretending they’ve forgotten how to use their legs entirely. Don’t get me wrong, they’re incredibly fun, I’ll always pop for wrestlers being unable to extend their arms. And this one featured Kofi Kingston so of course we got some wild bumps. The ladders were used really well too; The Revival catching Kofi in a dive by slamming the ladder on his back, Kofi landing a double stomp through the ladders to both Wilder and Dawson, a big splash from Dawson onto Big E on the ladder. The finish came when Kofi and Dawson were both on the ladder, and Kofi hit him with the titles to knock him off and grab them.
Verdict: I almost wish I was tired of seeing these two teams fight, but they’re just so good together. Great tag team match up that played well with the stipulation.
Aleister Black vs Buddy Murphy
Aleister Black finally left his dark room to hang out with Big Bud tonight. Buddy was a cocky little boy throughout the match, mocking Black’s criss cross applesauce and later snatching his entrance jacket from ringside. This made Aleister even madder, coming in hot with several hard kicks, and busting up his nose, possibly from landing on the apron. Much of the match was both men just kicking the crap out of each other, literally with their feet and knees, and it was awesome. Buddy went for a jumping knee, Black blocked it. Black tried for Black Mass, Murphy saw it coming. Really good back and forth between two evenly matched guys. Towards the end Murphy was on a roll with strikes and a close near fall, when Black suddenly landed Black Mass for the win. Another victory for vloggers!
Verdict: Slapped! Possibly my favorite match of the night. Let me keep seeing these two dudes try to take each other’s heads off.
Raw Tag Team Championship: Viking Raiders (c) vs The OC
This match was preceded by an ad for KFC, where four lucky fans are allowed to sit ringside at a special KFC table with the $20 KFC fill up buckets and large KFC smiles on their faces. The Viking Raiders and Erik’s long blonde Barbie wig issued an open challenge to any tag team in the locker room. The OC brought out their trophy to answer, claiming they were the only team to ever beat the Viking Raiders. This turned into a lot of big dude spots, like Ivar diving through the ropes and Erik being shoved off the turnbuckle. After a few near falls, all four men ended up on the outside of the ring brawling. The OC attempted the Magic Killer through the KFC table, but the Viking Raiders turned it around and powerbombed Karl Anderson into some mashed potatoes. Then the match just ended, I think because of a count out but possibly because of a secret stipulation about ruining fans $20 fill up buckets.
Verdict: This match made me want KFC, so I think it fulfilled its purpose.
King Corbin vs Roman Reigns (TLC Match)
Corbin wasn’t taking any chances getting his dog training license, as he brought out his whole entourage to keep Roman down. First it was the sexy security squad who carried him out, then Dolph Ziggler made a surprise appearance preventing Corbin from getting speared through the barricade. They teased going back to the dog food bit, but Reigns knows that food should be donated to shelters, and fought them off with a kendo stick. He took out all of Corbin’s lackey, until The Revival showed up to join the party. It took three extra wrestlers, several chair shots from Ziggler, and an End of Days onto a chair to keep Roman down. I did keep waiting for literally anyone to stick up for Reigns (Shorty G where you at?) but I guess the monitors weren’t working in catering.
Verdict: Will someone please be Roman’s friend?
Bray Wyatt vs The Miz (Non-title Match)
I can see people being very split on this match, but as a theatre person, I really liked it. This wasn’t a match so much as a display of Wyatt as a character, and what makes him distinct from The Fiend. Wyatt came out in his funhouse attire smiling and playing to the crowd. He tried to pacify a fired up Miz from the start, and refused to fight back, even laughing as Miz popped his shoulder out of place. Not to be outdone, Wyatt rammed himself into the barricade to pop it back in. Wyatt then hit a surprising Sister Abigail on the outside, but Miz still beat the count. Bray apologized to Miz, then hit another for the win. The Fiend appeared on the tron, apparently urging Bray to grab the giant clown mallet under the ring (incredible visual: Dolph curled up beside the hammer clutching cans of dog food.) Wyatt went to take a swing at Miz but the lights started to go out, and a mysterious hooded figure emerged, hitting Wyatt with a running knee. He unzipped the hoodie and- oh man, it’s 2008 Bryan Danielson! A buzzcut somehow made this man look like a college kid and also a middle aged father of 2 at the same time. He tried to use the hammer on Wyatt, but the lights went down completely, and when they came back up the kooky uncle was gone.
Verdict: I was here for all of this, honestly. Wyatt as the showboating TV host, deathly serious Miz avenging his toddler getting a new toy, D Bry rocking the American Dragon. Entertaining stuff.
Rusev vs Bobby Lashley (Tables match)
You know when you can’t wait to get divorced, but first you need to put your ex wife’s hot boyfriend through a table? I imagine this is how most marriages end these days. Rusev dominated for most of the match, but Lana proved to be the deciding factor as she interfered repeatedly on Bob’s behalf. After Rusev used a kendo stick on Lashley, she hopped on Rusev’s back, an action her outfit definitely wasn’t designed for, and restrained him to allow Lashley to take over. He first attempted to spear Rusev through a table, but the table went into business for itself and refused to break. He then tossed the Bulgarian through a second one, and entered a new life of marital bliss. The biggest downside to this match is the terror I feel knowing that this story is somehow still not over.
Verdict: Big men, big tables, and big screaming from Lana.
Women’s Tag Team Championship: Kabuki Warriors (c) vs Charlotte and Becky (TLC Match)
This match was a little over the place, but for the most part I still really enjoyed it. There was a grittiness to a lot of it that felt different from anything else we saw tonight. That may have come from the fact that it looked like Kairi Sane was unfortunately badly injured a little over halfway through, and seemed to be fumbling her way through the rest of the match. Prior to a possible concussion, we were treated to Kairi and Asuka gleefully giggling while tying Becky Lynch to a ladder with some sick pirate knots. Despite the Kabuki Warriors attempts to isolate them, Becky and Charlotte managed to work well as a team, with the Queen freeing her partner and turning the tables as they beat down both Asuka and Sane. There was a great moment when Becky was on the ladder reaching for the titles, and Asuka pulled the rope still tied to the side to knock her off. She climbed the ladders and grabbed the titles, ending TLC on a high note for the second year in a row.
Actually, all the men on the roster brawling in the arena ended the show, but there wasn’t much point to that and it didn’t really matter.
Verdict: The right ending and some fun moments, even if it got a little bogged down. Also, made me wonder why every ladder match doesn’t include tying your opponent up to prevent them from climbing the ladder. Every Money in the Bank looks very silly right now.
WWE TLC 2019
I really do feel like I received some loving care from this PPV.
- It was over by 10:30!!!
- Big drama for Andrade and Zelina
- Tag team ladder match was a really fun opener
- Great showing for Black and Murphy
- Funhouse Wyatt is just as fun to watch as The Fiend
- Old Daniel Bryan is back, baby!
- Asuka got another big TLC victory, which is exactly what she deserves
- One women's match on the entire card
- Rusev/Lashley story is still not over yet
- Why did the show end with everyone randomly fighting for 90 seconds?
- I ordered KFC today