WWE TLC represents the last PPV stop on the road to Royal Rumble for Smackdown. With all the brands Championships on the line, there was certainly a lot at play throughout the evening. The question is, did any of the challengers rise to the task?
Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt def. Heath Slater and Rhyno (WWE Smackdown Tag-Team Championship)
Nikki Bella def. Carmella
The Miz def. Dolph Ziggler (WWE Intercontinental Championship)
Baron Corbin def. Kalisto
Alexa Bliss def. Becky Lynch (WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship)
AJ Styles def. Dean Ambrose (WWE World Championship)
Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt vs. Heath Slater and Rhyno
A solid match that did more to showcase how untouchable the Wyatt’s are than anything else. The use of Luke Harper was clever, allowing the team to take command of the Champions and never look in danger of losing. Slater and Rhyno had a good run, but their story is told and for the pair – it’s probably best they split before fans get too jaded. Here Rhyno was showcased as the powerhouse, but neutralised by the end. Good opening match, solid action throughout, probably not going to remember this one come the end of the week though,
Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
I wouldn’t say this was a dull match, more one that never got out of second gear. There were some nice spots (Nikki’s kick from the barrier outside the ring springs to mind) but there wasn’t much of a flow between the pair. Their No Mercy match was better in terms of showcasing what the pair can do. That being said, Nikki did a good job of anchoring proceedings; she took a number of bumps (The steps outside) and organised things into a more coherent structure. That being said, I don’t think Carmella is ready for the top of the women’s card yet. At least it seems to be over, with Nikki finding out it was Natalya who attacked her.
The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler
These guys went out there and put on a clinic. The match was filled with numerous spots and high points, where both guys could have walked out as Champion. It was super fun to watch and even better for the live crowd, who got into proceedings as they unfolded. The big shocker was Maryse stayed out of proceedings, instead it all came down to the two guys in the ring. Miz won by kicking Dolph in the no-no area on the top of the ladder – granting himself victory. The Miz’s post match promo also teases yet more potential for a Daniel Bryan match. I do hope that’s where this is going.
Baron Corbin vs. Kalisto
Biggest surprise of the night was this shocker – which actually managed to be half decent. I’ll admit, I had no interest in this match and for the first four minutes; it resembled something of a slow moving car crash. But once they found their sweet spots, Corbin and Kalisto really made it work. Corbin looked better here than he’s done in the six months on the main roster – a sign perhaps that Creative have finally tapped into what makes his character tick. The commentators really played up Kalisto’s role, so he didn’t suffer too much from this defeat.
Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss
The pair put on a solid showing – with the women putting in a lot of interesting spots to help extend the match. It was a well fought match for sure, with creative use of tables throughout. The ending of the match in particular leaves the door open for Becky to remain a legitimate contender – so I suspect this isn’t the last we’ve heard of this.
AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose
Brilliant match. It went for almost 40 minutes but at no point did it feel overblown. Heck, it’ll probably feature in the end of year discussion for match of the year. One thing that spoiled it slightly for me was the way that some of the bigger spots seemed to bounce off both competitors. Going through tables, falling off ladders and some incredibly bizarre comebacks that seemed to be plucked from the depths of implausibility (Styles should have been beaten when he was DDT’d on the steel steps outside). Regardless of all this, the match was huge fun and had a great sense of pace and action. I am slightly hopeful this is the end of the road for these two in terms title feuding.
solid until the end. When will WWE realize that the depth of its rosters warrant this outcome. Ruined what was a good night
— DM719907 (@DM719907) December 5, 2016
Fun matches which struggled to get past a crowd on valium.
— Adam Allcroft (@Adam_Allcroft) December 5, 2016