TLC 2017 Review and Match Ratings

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Asuka def. Emma

And so it begins…

This was what it needed to be. I’m glad Asuka didn’t just come in and run through Emma in under 3 minutes or so. While it probably was an extended squash, I did appreciate that Emma got some offense in, but overall, this was a fine way to introduce Asuka to the main roster. She set the precedent for her matches based on her undefeated streak dating back to her debut, and it was 10 minutes of inoffensive action. There really isn’t a lot to dwell on since this match didn’t really have any build and it was just there to build for Asuka’s future, but overall, I had no beef with it. It was some nice, healthy, wholesome competition and I really couldn’t ask for much more. While I sort of failed to see the logic in having Asuka go 10 minutes with her dominance against a glorified jobber, they did need to burn time I guess. Now, it’s time to see if Asuka is just going to slowly run through the division or if she’s coming straight for the title. **1/4

Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann def. Jack Gallagher and The Brian Kendrick

They’re trying. No shame in that.

Just like the previous match, this was pretty RAW quality. There really wasn’t anything noteworthy about the match until the finish came. I would have probably been a little more invested in the match had I have any idea what the beef was between these four men, but I don’t watch 205 Live like that, so sadly I couldn’t get into it. Rich Swann breaking up the pinfall by Brian Kendrick with a Phoenix Splash and a lumbar check by Alexander were pretty neat moves that were executed greatly down the stretch, but overall the match wasn’t great, just kind of there. As far as Cruiserweights go, it isn’t that bad. But they did work hard, and I reward effort. **1/2


Alexa Bliss (C) def. Mickie James – RAW Women’s Championship


Some good stuff here.

Mickie James obviously isn’t the performer she once was, but she can bring out some of the best of her competitors every now and again even in 2017. I thought this was a hard-fought, back and forth match that brought a certain intensity to the RAW Women’s Championship. There was basic psychology integrated into the match, as Alexa spent time working over Mickie’s arm. And I LOVED Mickie taunting Alexa by giving her a little tap down south (boy what I’d give to be her at that time). There was some also neat back and forth sequences where both Mickie and Alexa dodged each other’s signature moves. I felt that there were more pinfall attempts down the stretch than I’d like and felt that they should have been saved for bigger sequences and sort of disrupted the flow of the match, but I suppose that’s a tiny thing in the grand scheme of thing. Good work all around and another good showing from Alexa. ***

Enzo Amore def. Kalisto (C) – Cruiserweight Championship

This match was like how I like my pancakes. Flat.

This is probably why Neville left in the first place. There’s just no pay off to storylines within the CW division these days. I don’t mind Enzo being CW champ, but giving it to him twice within one month sort of makes little sense to me. The match was just blah and embarrassingly short for a CW title match. It was like both men went out there fought each other for the first time. This lacked the heat behind their previous encounter and it felt rushed and just thrown together. Doesn’t make for a good combination. Oh, and that finish? Screw right off with that BS. *1/2


Finn Balor def. AJ Styles


Let’s hope a rematch is in the future.

Imagine some sort of CGI Bray Wyatt stuff happening in replacement of this. Finn Balor and AJ facing off in the same WWE ring is something that fans have been anticipating for the longest time. Both men are highly talented in their respective rights but their paths have never crossed until tonight. Both men have styles that can complement each other and I think they worked extremely well here tonight. The two went back and forth, and I think both men also had to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do, showing the desperation aspect of the match. Styles was down on the outside and when Finn was coming to grab him he just pulled him up and tackled him through the announce table, something we never see.

The strength of being in a match with AJ, is that no matter what your skill level, he’ll be sure to get the most out of you, no matter what you can provide, and fortunately for Styles, Finn was able to hold his end of the bargain in this match. Finn was swift and precise with his moves, albeit with the exception of a couple of notable botches. Meanwhile, Styles had to spend the majority of the match learning how to counteract Finn’s moves. I think that finish was kind of abrupt and thought the two were going for something special after Styles’ top rope hurricanrana. I thought either Styles should have kicked out or dodged it and then try to go for a Styles Clash and go for another five minutes. The match was heading into the match of the year territory, but I think it was cut off a tad short. Considering the sub-par matches we got prior to that match, I thought we earned a good 20-25 minutes out of them. While we didn’t get to that level, what we got out of these two men was something special, and there’s this part of me that is convinced this isn’t the final time that we will see these two again. I wonder if there’s a PPV coming up where can see them on the same show. Oh well. ****

Jason Jordan def. Elias

Whatever.

So, I didn’t really care for this match because we saw Jason Jordan and Elias before in a piss poor segment. What we got was another RAW-quality match, and it didn’t need the stupid finish to boot. This was given the death slot, showing that those backstage didn’t care much these two and this was simply there to burn up time, which it absolutely did not need to. Kind of pointless, match was just kind of there. Whatever. *1/4

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