R- Truth and Carmella def. Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox – Mixed Match Challenge Finals
At first, I was confused because I thought this was still the pre-show. Apparently, the Cruiserweight Championship was good enough to be on a Big 4 PPV, but not good enough to be on the main card of TLC, especially with this being the opening match. Not gonna overly analyze this one. It was bad. Neither R-Truth or Carmella have a shot at winning the Rumble. All pointless in the end. *
Cesaro (C) and Sheamus (C) def. The Usos and The New Day – Smackdown Tag Team Championship
These three teams are the top of the class when it comes to WWE’s tag team division, and they showed it here. I would have liked for this match to have gone first, but we don’t always get what we want. Overall, this was an extremely solid match with some great action from all three tag teams involved.
Unfortunately, these three teams have been featured heavily in a condensed period of time. So there was nothing they could do in this match that would make me hop out of my seat. But, all three teams did what they do and gave a great effort regardless. ***1/4
Braun Strowman def. Baron Corbin – Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match
I don’t mind a bait and switch, and to be honest, I wasn’t even looking forward to a match between the two if they had one. However, I’m just awestruck at how dumb some of this was.
First, there wasn’t a face and a heel in this match. There were 8 heels in total. I get that faces were getting retribution, but good guys ganging up on one guy with chairs can’t be justified as something just unless you’re Stone Cold Steve Austin. Second, look at who they have out there. Apollo Crews? How has Corbin screwed him over? He hasn’t even been important enough to be on television to get screwed.
Then you have the new RAW Tag Team Champions who recently became champions in a match where they didn’t have to beat the former champs to win. If any tag team deserves any chance to deliver comeuppance, it’s The Revival for being booked in BS handicap matches for no reason week after week.
It was also cringeworthy to hear this still be announced as a TLC match. This was just a segment that had a pinfall to end this. I understand Bobby competed in a match on the pre-show, but didn’t he end the match standing tall? Did he decide that helping Corbin wasn’t worth the trouble? No Drew? What’s going on here.
This was an angle more than it was a match, but since it technically was a match, I will rate it as such. I enjoyed none of this. -***
Natalya def. Ruby Riot – Tables Match
This match illustrated a lot of my beefs with WWE. First of all, there’s no logic. A Tables Match is No DQ. So the Riot Squad should have just jumped Natalya from the start, but they don’t for some reason. Next, the faces are cowards. Bayley and Sasha have faced The Riot Squad all year and not once did they decide to come out and help her.
But as we saw, Nattie didn’t need their help because The Riot Squad are an incompetent bunch. If they can’t put away one woman in what is essentially a 3 on 1 No DQ Handicap situation, why should we take them seriously? Also, there was no reason to have Nattie go over here. None.
The match was also dull and sloppy. They also had visible trouble setting up the tables. The problem with Tables Matches is that they are the easiest match to overbook. There’s only so much creativity you have to work with. You have lots of possibilities with Ladder matches and other special types. What can you do with tables? Clearly, Natalya and Ruby showed…not much. *1/2
Boy, these matches have had a crappy pace to them, haven’t they?
Finn Balor def. Drew McIntyre
The match is technically fine, but it’s RAW quality. Also, I don’t get what the deal is with Ziggler. He beat Drew and Drew got his win back. Why do we need to introduce Dolph into anything Drew related any further? I’m okay with Drew losing due to interference, but this felt wildly unnecessary. Once again, the pacing of this match was pretty bland. Something must be in the air. **1/4
Rey Mysterio def. Randy Orton – Chairs Match
Chairs matches are another form of match that is hard to get me interested in because you are sort of limited in what you can do. You have to have an incredibly creative mind to make a Chairs Match interesting. Fortunately, Mysterio and Orton worked hard here and there was some creative spots.
This match was only marginally better than the matches that preceded it, but there was a concerted effort here, so I’ll give some points for effort here. **3/4
Ronda Rousey (C) def. Nia Jax – RAW Women’s Championship
Nia Jax is generally a terrible worker, and maybe even a dangerous one depending on who you ask. But if there’s one woman that always seems to get the best out of her, it’s Rousey. Ronda is a natural in the ring. I enjoyed these two when they faced off at Money In The Bank and I loved the rematch here.
This match had a far better pace than what came before and the crowd was into this more than anything else tonight, and rightfully so. I specifically liked the antithesis of Nia’s right hand going up against Ronda’s submission prowess. This was a very good outing that I enjoyed, and I actually didn’t partly fall asleep though it. ***1/2
Daniel Bryan (C) def. AJ Styles – WWE Championship
Daniel and AJ never fail to have a solid outing, and this was another one of those. I felt like this match took a bit longer than it should have to get to the point, but nonetheless, this was a fantastic wrestling match, and probably the best championship match in the trilogy between these two.
Bryan works with a particular edge about him when he’s a heel, and it’s great to see. AJ is also the perfect face to compliment his style. While this match has the unfortunate reality of being so far down the card after about 3 hours of the show being done with, this match was well done. The bottom line is Bryan won this match because he was smarter and a better wrestler. I dig the return of Mr. Small Package. This was great pro wrestling. ****1/4
Dean Ambrose def. Seth Rollins (C) – Intercontinental Championship
Something is seriously wrong with the format of the show when a match featuring Seth Rollins gets “THIS IS BORING” chants, but the Mixed Match Challenge got away Scott-free. Bottom line is, unfortunately, this match was indeed boring by Seth Rollins’ standard. I should mention that if you stuck around to watch the pre-show, TLC has gone on for about 3 and a half hours.