Hello everyone and welcome to my WWE TLC 2015 review! I would be lying if I said I was excited for this show, but my expectations aren’t too low. We have some pretty solid matches on paper, and multiple matches have the added crutch of plunder to make it more entertaining. While no storyline will be advanced well tonight, I do expect the match quality to be pretty solid. Hey, it can’t be worse than last month, right?
We start off the show with a pretty solid promo hyping our main event and showing some hardcore moments. I am almost excited. Almost. Our first match is a really fun looking match, which is…
The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) (w/ Xavier Woods) (c.) vs. The Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto) vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) – Triple Threat Tag Team Ladder Match – WWE Tag Team Championship Match
We start off with a great New Day promo where they get cheap heat, put themselves over, and bash all their opponents. It was pretty awesome. Watch that promo if nothing else.
This was a great demolition derby spotfest that was a very fun ride. When you see names like this you know just about what you’re going to get, a wild spotfest with insane spots. The best part is that they built with progressively more crazy spots so their biggest stuff didn’t burn the crowd out. Also, there were absolutely no botches, so every single spot looked absolutely incredible. Now, to give you a taste of what happened, there was Asai DDT off a ladder onto another ladder and a crazy superfly splash from the top rope onto a ladder on the floor. The only real issue I have is after the crazy Asai DDT, they should’ve gone to the finish because that was clearly the climax. Also, I am nervous about the crowd now, because this crazy match risks burning out the crowd. Otherwise, this is a fantastic spotfest and a hell of a lot of fun.
An ad for NXT Takeover: London plays, which I will be reviewing on this site. Then, a promo plays for our next match, which is…
Rusev (w/ Lana) vs. Ryback
This was a pretty nothing match, and did nothing to really advance the story. Early on Rusev did pretty well mauling Ryback with chokes and strikes, but a nerve hold, yes a nerve hold in 2015, slowed the pace and soured my pretty quickly. There was a lot of nothing for most of the match, where they just did spots to kill time until the moment that really mattered. Lana essentially feigned getting hit by Ryback, which they did on Raw, and Ryback fell for it, which happened on Raw. Then they went to a solid, if basic finish. This match had really nothing to hate, but it was just boring and average.
An ad plays of the Stone Cold podcast with Shawn Michaels, which looked pretty boring. Then, Reigns and Ambrose talk about their visions backstage, with Reigns seeing himself hurting Sheamus and Ambrose sees them both in the ring celebrating. It was pretty much exposition. Next up, a clip from Raw hypes our next match, which is…
Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger – Chairs Match – United States Championship Match
This was a surprisingly clever, shockingly brutal match. They went all out and delivered at a higher level than I think anyone expected them to. Del Rio showed a vicious mean streak and Swagger did a good job coming back from Del Rio’s punishment. When I say Del Rio was vicious, he was vicious. At one point, Del Rio threw no less than ten chairs at Swagger with complete disregard for how the chairs landed or whether the chairs were even closed on not! They also did some creative spots with chairs and their respective finishers. On top of that, the structure was very solid, with Del Rio being the heel and punishing Swagger throughout much of the match while Swagger did some very good comebacks that kind of got the crowd behind him. The real glaring issues were a lukewarm crowd and a weird heel face dynamic where the announcers made me think that Swagger was heel, but the match was worked like Swagger was face. Other than those issues, this was a solid match and a great effort from two pretty talented guys.
Post match, another ad plays and a promo hypes our next match. Then the ECW Originals cut a decent enough promo that put over the Wyatts as a dangerous threat, while also making it glaringly obvious that these four are HARDCORE!!! It was nothing special, but it wasn’t offensive. Our next match is…
The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, Erik Rowen, & Braun Strowman) vs. The ECW Originals (Rhyno, Tommy Dreamer, & The Dudley Boyz (Buh Buh Ray & D-Von Dudley)) – Elimination Table Match
This was a pretty basic ECW plunder match that succeeded at putting the Wyatt Family over. This was a plunder brawl in the purest sense of the term, with kendo sticks, trashcans, tables, cheese graters, and more. There was a lot of pointless brawling with guys hitting each other with hard objects and people going through tables. With that description, you know what you’re going to get. It was nice how they had some match structure, with The Wyatts getting the numbers advantage and maintaining it throughout most of the match. (Sidenote: Am I the only guy who thinks its hilarious Rowen was the only Wyatt to get put through a table? He is the Wyatt jobber pretty much.) Other than that, the action was mind-numbing fun and Buh Buh showed some fire. A big downer, though, is that they teased a fire spot, but didn’t go through with it. If you aren’t going to do it, why tease it? That killed the crowd for the finish. Otherwise, watching people do pretty stupid shit can be pretty cathartic and fun.
Post match, they go to the Pre Show Panel, which is my cue to hit mute on the show. Then, a hype video for the Royal Rumble plays. That reminds me, it’s almost my one-year anniversary. Thanks guys. I have something special planned. Then, it’s our next match…
Kevin Owens (c.) vs. Dean Ambrose – Intercontinental Championship Match
Kevin Owens gets cheap heat pre match by bashing Boston’s sports obsession. Perfect. He also calls Dean delusional and says that Dean Ambrose has accomplished nothing. This promo was a riot and I loved it. Watch this promo as well, because it’s gold.
This was one hell of a fun match that really got going when it got going. This was overall a pretty wild brawl, and both guys are quite adept at wild brawls. Other than a few short rest holds by Owens, they went 100% the whole match. While the match was pretty like on structure and psychology, the match was not short on drama, as they built very well to the finish. They hit so many cool spots and had a really fun match. This was pretty much a spotfest, but they did a great job keeping it going with both their personalities. Owens did a really good job showing loads of personality and mouthed off throughout. Around the finish this match got awesome, with some good nearfalls and one that legitimately shocked me. The finish, while climactic and clean, keeps both guys strong and made me want to see more. While the finishing stretch never really got to 4* level, this was a very fun match for the time it got.
An ad plays for some of the WWE Network shows, and the band that did the theme to the show is thanked. Then, a video package (which shows how stupid this feud is and makes both these girls look like heels) plays, which brings us to…
Charlotte (c.) (w/ Ric Flair) vs. Paige – WWE Divas Championship Match
This was a solid match with a solid structure, but it didn’t do too much for me. Apparently, Charlotte turned heel and Paige turned face, because Charlotte wrestled like a huge heel and got a good amount of offense in the match. She took most of the control and Paige had to make comebacks to stay alive. Paige, to her credit, did well with the comebacks and showed fire. On top of solid match structure, they played up the hatred between Charlotte and Paige, with both girls constantly mouthing off at each other and taunting each other. They did a decent enough job selling the emotion, but the story is a convoluted mess that confused the hell out of me. So, apparently Charlotte turned heel and is using Ric Flair’s tactics and strategy to win. That’s fine and good, but Paige is still a heel from what I got from the promo before the match. So, while the match was structured with Paige as a face, her mouthing off and mocking Charlotte was very heelish. This mess of a heel face dynamic muddied the very basic story this match tried to tell. Its simple, Charlotte is heel and cheats with Flair, so Paige has to overcome the odds to win. However, this stupid, confusing feud and Paige’s heel performance was jarring and confusing. While the structure is solid and the action was decent, this match falls to pieces because its story and performances are at odds with both each other and the match’s structure.
A video plays showing how WWE and Kay’s partnership allowed a couple to propose in a WWE ring. It was a sweet video and actually a decent watch. Ric and Charlotte Flair are backstage, and Becky says that she is not happy how Charlotte is cheating. This feud is so weird that I won’t even try to explain it. I guess there is tension between Becky and Charlotte or something. Who knows? A video package plays hyping our next match and now it is time for our MAIN EVENT!
Sheamus (c.) vs. Roman Reigns – Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match – WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
This match started with so much promise, but fell off a cliff mid way through and never really recovered. They started off hot with brawling everywhere and weapons spots galore. They broke tables, used ladders, and flew through chairs, which really brought me into it. Then, Sheamus hit a huge White Noise from the steel steps through a table, and the punishment set in. They proceeded to avoid weapons for a while, which really killed an already lukewarm crowd, and even the crazy bumps afterwards could not save the crowd. I will admit, I am so appreciative of the effort here, and the fact these two men went through so much is awesome, but the structure of the match really hurt any entertainment I could get out of this. During the finishing stretch they tried so hard with huge bumbs and big spots, but I was already taken out of the match and the crowd did not care. As I said, the effort is commendable, but effort does not always lead to greatness.
(Sidenote: I plan to re-review this for a RMR because I’m not positive I rated it fairly. Stay tuned.)
Post match Reigns spears Del Rio, Rusev and Sheamus all at once, but how can you care when all he does is lose? He beats up the League of Nations with a chair, but Triple H and Stephanie McMahon come out to try and stop Reigns. Triple H checks on Sheamus, but Reigns superman punches Triple H and hits him with a chair. Reigns then throws Triple H into an announcer table, and powerbombs Triple H onto the other. Reigns then jumps off one announcer table and elbow drops Triple H through another. Reigns then spears Triple H as well. Close curtain.
This is another WWE show with overall good wrestling crippled by horrid storylines. There were multiple 3*+ matches, a 4* match, and nothing that dropped below 2*. How WWE managed to make a show with that quality feel like a total failure is beyond me, but I don’t care anymore. I could get furious over the awful parts of this show, but thinking about how WWE squanders one of the best rosters on paper of all time is just depressing. I don’t want to be depressed, so lets focus on the good. New Day had a fun promo, the opener was awesome, there were some pretty fun matches throughout, like the ECW Originals vs. Wyatts match, and Owens is fun as always. While the show isn’t all that good, there were good parts. Also, there is still NJPW, PWG, NOAH, CMLL, ROH, BJW, and more pumping out good content. Watch the opener, then skip the rest of the show and watch some really good wrestling from elsewhere this year.
Rating: Watch Some Daisuke Sekimoto Matches Instead
So that was the WWE TLC 2015 review! If you enjoyed, leave a like, comment, and maybe even follow the blog to keep up with some exciting new content. As for that new content, I will review the NXT Special and have it out either Wednesday or Thursday. Also, I want to start my AJPW review series over winter break, so stay tuned for that as well. The complete list of matches I plan on reviewing is here. Also, I review for the site Free Pro Wrestling sometimes, so check out their great content. Other than that, if you want to contact me, my contacts are here or in the sidebar to the left. I hope you enjoyed and see you next time!