With WWE TLC 2018 concluded, it’s time to look back on what happened and assess the damage, praise the positives and talk about what went down.
Per usual, at the end of this post, you’ll see my regular Smack Talk Pay-Per-Viewpoint post-show podcast, which reviews the event in more detail, but for those who want a more condensed version of my thoughts, I present to you my “quicker than a hiccup” reaction to the different parts of the evening:
[Cruiserweight Championship Match] Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Cedric Alexander: These two can do so much better, and have done so much better in all of their matches this year not just against each other, but against other people. This wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as good as it should have been, and that’s a shame.
[Ladder Match] Elias vs. Bobby Lashley: These types of matches are stupid. Elias grabs the guitar and Lashley hits him with it because that way, you can have your cake and eat it, too. It ultimately doesn’t matter and it was just a few minutes long, but it’s just so much “blah” and nothing to really get invested in.
[Mixed Match Challenge Tournament Finals] MahAlicia (Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox) vs. Fabulous Truth (R-Truth and Carmella): Admittedly, I think the WWE Headquarters vacation thing is funny, but part of me really hates how this series is just a total joke and there’s no real reason to watch it, and how the #30 Royal Rumble spots will be tainted because of it.
[SmackDown Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match] The Bar (c) vs. The Usos vs. The New Day: These three teams are great and the match was good, but why did the referee and everyone else immediately forget that Kofi Kingston wasn’t the legal guy and then just go with the wrong flow? Forgettable, sadly.
[TLC Match] Baron Corbin vs. Braun Strowman: I loved this. This was a rare instance of WWE letting things play out in a logical fashion. They accomplished everything they needed to accomplish and managed to avoid having Strowman do anything physical, too. Fantastic.
[Tables Match] Natalya vs. Ruby Riott: Much better than I had anticipated. Liv Morgan’s table spot was the highlight. Glad to see the right conclusion to this and I’m okay with moving on from here and not doing anything more between The Riott Squad and Nattie.
Finn Balor vs. Drew McIntyre: So why wasn’t that a disqualification? Looking forward to a Triple Threat between these two and Dolph Ziggler, but I don’t want WWE to think that they can do pairings of those three for the next 4 months and get away with it not being a drag. This three-way feud should end around Royal Rumble.
[Chairs Match] Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio: This was fun! I loved the sled move in particular. As much as I hate the idea of a “chairs match”, Mysterio and Orton pulled off a good segment and I won’t complain about that, at least. Now, let’s push Rey into the United States title scene.
[Raw Women’s Championship Match] Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Nia Jax: Rousey just keeps getting better and I enjoyed this match quite a bit. They should end on this high note and not try to do a third match between Rousey and Jax.
[WWE Championship Match] Daniel Bryan (c) vs. AJ Styles: Very good, which isn’t surprising given the participants. I enjoyed that they had a clean match without any weaponry, which was refreshing. It was also very much a wrestling match, so that helped it stand out. I’m still not digging heel Bryan, but I’ll see where they’re going.
[Intercontinental Championship Match] Seth Rollins (c) vs. Dean Ambrose: Underwhelming. This should have been a hardcore match. There wasn’t anything at all that stood out as something worth talking about here except how the finish was dull and uninteresting. I think Ambrose’s reign is going to be a rough one, too.
[SmackDown Women’s Championship TLC Match] Becky Lynch (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka: I’m glad Asuka finally won the title she should have won months ago, and this match was good, but I’m nervous. I think it’s safe to say Lynch and Flair co-win the Royal Rumble and fight Rousey in a Triple Threat at WrestleMania, which leaves Asuka with nobody worthwhile to fight. I really feel like the SmackDown Women’s Championship is going to be a complete bust of a match at WrestleMania and that WWE has no plans in mind of what to do and they think they can figure it out over the course of the next 3 months, but I don’t have faith they’ll come up with a good solution.
For more opinions on the show as a whole, check out the latest edition of the Smark Out Moment wrestling podcast SMACK TALK as the panel reviews TLC with our immediate reactions following the event before the dust has fully settled.
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