The TLC PPV is named after one of the most innovative and exciting match types in WWE history, the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match. A match that can take years off a persons career, but at the same almost always delivers on a match of the year quality contest. Since it's incarnation in 2011, TLC has been one of the better PPV's of the year... will the tradition carry on in 2013?
1. The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose) vs CM Punk in a 3 on 1 handicap mach.
2. AJ Lee vs Natalya for the WWE Divas championship.
3. Big E Langston vs Damien Sandow for the WWE Intercontinental championship.
4. Cody Rhodes/Goldust vs Ryback/Curtis Axel vs Big Show/Rey Mysterio vs Antonio Cesaro/Jack Swagger in a Fatal four way elimination tag match for the WWE Tag Team championship.
5. R-Truth vs Brodus Clay.
6. Kofi Kingston vs The Miz in a No DQ match.
7. Daniel Bryan vs Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Erick Rowan in a 3 on 1 handicap match.
8. John Cena vs Randy Orton in a Tables, Ladders, and chairs match to unify the WWE and World Heavyweight championships.
The first of two 3 on 1 handicap matches kicks off the PPV as CM Punk goes up against the highly effective, Shield. This is pretty much as good as a 3 on 1 handicap match can get, the majority of the match is CM Punk trying to isolate The Shield members one on one so as not o get overwhelmed. Typical with CM Punk matches, it has some solid wrestling, great near falls, and a terrific buildup that pays off with an exciting finish to the match. 2.5 out of 5
Natalya challenges AJ Lee for the WWE Divas championship in a great matchup where both women get to show off why they're two of the best women's wrestlers in the business. Despite only getting roughly 6 minutes in ring, they're able to pull off a 2.5 star match.
Former money in the bank winner Damien Sandow takes on Big E Langston for the IC title. While I think it would benefit Damien Sandow holding the IC title over Big E, this was easily the most predictable match on the card due to Langston being red hot ever since branching off from Dolph Ziggler, and Sandow falling down the card ever since attempting to cash in on John Cena. The two put on an OK match for the time given (about 6 minutes) with Langston dominating the majority of the match and Sandow only getting a few nearfalls throughout. 2 out of 5 stars.
Easily the best match of the night is the fatal four way tag team title match where the Rhodes brothers defend the titles against 3 makeshift tag teams. The match is slightly predictable as the only team who even stood a chance of winning the gold was Cesaro/Swagger. The first five minutes or so with Ryback and Curtis Axel in ring tends to be a bit slow, but once they're eliminated the match kicks into high gear with the remaining teams delivering fantastic quick paced action that raises the energy of the match that never lets up until the match is over. In all honesty, this is pretty much the only reason to check this PPV out. 3.5 out of 5.
R-Truth vs Brodus Clay is up next in a match that I question why it even has a place on the main card? The two have sadly have no chemistry together, and the match is too slow paced to muster up any type of excitement from the audience and end up delivering a fairly bad match. No rating out of 5.
The Miz vs Kofi Kingston, just like R-Truth and Brodus Clay, is another filler/throwaway match, and despite the crowd not caring about it, The Mix and Kofi have always had solid chemistry together. The two deliver an OK match with the limited time they're given. 1.5 out of 5.
In the second 3 on 1 handicap match of the night, arguably the most popular superstar currently wrestling, Daniel Bryan, takes on the newly formed stable, the Wyatt family. The Wyatt's controlled the majority of the match and kept it at a pretty slow pace throughout which didn't quicken until Bryan made his semi comeback in the final few minutes. It was an OK match that was made to show off the Wyatt family... Wyatt, who dominates on the mic, is sadly very average in ring, Erick Rowan falls below average and is easily the weak link of the group, and lastly Luke Harper, who continues to impress me with his in ring skill. 2 out of 5.
Now we get to the main event where the 2 poster boys for WWE over the past 5+ years face off once again to unify the WWE and World Heavyweight championships together. Right off the bat, I don't like this match in concept alone for two reasons. 1. It's John Cena and Randy Orton, a match at this point no one cares to see again. 2. Why unify the titles? 2 main shows, 2 world titles. PLus the World title could be used to elevate talent that deserve a title run but that WWE won't put their faith in as the face of the company, like Christian, Dolph Ziggler, or even Damien Sandow. As for the match itself, it was OK, these two have always had good chemistry together, but for TLC match it was pretty underwhelming. It was too slow paced (for a TLC Match, which should be anything but slow paced), no "big" spots, unless you wnt to count a 5 knuckle shuffle off the middle of the ladder a big spot. There were waaaay too many rest/stalling spots. On the positive side, the match had a great and unique finish. 2.5 out of 5
Video and Audio:
The video transfer for TLC is standard for recent WWE releases. While nothing groundbreaking, it certainly gets the job done for this release.
For audio, The English 5.1 track was very clear. No noticeable distortions at all during the commentary or the fan chants.
- Dolph Ziggler vs Fandango in the TLC kickoff match. It was a short match that didn't even hit the five minute mark. The match is a bit back and forth with Fandango getting the win due to interference from Summer Rae. How the hell did Dolph Ziggler fall so low that he's jobbing on the preshow in four minutes??
- Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins reflect on TLC.
- WWE Superstars react to the champion of champions match at TLC.
- John Cena discusses his TLC match.
- Renee Young interviews Randy Orton.
TLC is nothing new and is overall pretty underwhelming. Only 1 match is even "good" while the rest of the card rangs from "bad" to "medicore." The main event is a match the WWE universe has seen 100 times (not exaggerating) over the last 5 years. The undercard had a few solid matches but nothing that stands out as even memorable. My recommendation is to skip it.