Going into the final WWE pay-per-view of the year the WWE has never been in a lower point that they are now. I did not have any expectations going into this pay-per-view and the company has given us a lot of reasons not to have high expectations. With that being said here are the results of TLC:
-Preshow: Buddy Murphy defeated Cedric Alexander to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
-Preshow: Elias defeated Bobby Lashley in a Ladder Match with a Guitar hanging above
-Mixed Match Challenge Finals: R-Truth and Carmella defeated Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox
-The Bar defeated New Day and The Uso’s to retain the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championships
-Braun Strowman defeated Baron Corbin
-Natalya defeated Ruby Riott in a Tables Match
-Finn Balor defeated Drew McIntyre
-Rey Mysterio defeated Randy Orton in a Chairs Match
-Ronda Rousey defeated Nia Jax to retain the WWE Raw Women’s Championship
-Daniel Bryan defeated AJ Styles to retain the WWE Championship
-Dean Ambrose defeated Seth Rollins to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship
-Asuka defeated Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair to win the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship
The opening match proved that the company really doesn’t know what they are doing sometimes. Are you seriously going to put the Mixed Match Challenge Finals over the Cruiserweight Championship? Buddy Murphy and Cedric Alexander have been the heartbeat of 205 Live along with Mustafa Ali. I thought they started going in the right direction when Ali fought Bryan this past week, but I guess I was wrong. I can almost guarentee you that the Mixed Match Challenge Finals were not originally Fabulous Truth and Mahalica. There were so many injuries in this years tournament, that they had to go with what they had left. I think R-Truth and Carmella will make the Royal Rumble intriguing and fun at number 30. One match that was intriguing to me was the triple threat match between The Bar, The Uso’s and The New Day. They have all faced each other at some point, but never all at the time. All three teams have good chemistry, psychology and in ring work. I was honestly surprise The Bar kept the titles with all three of them being tied at five title reigns a piece.
I wasn’t sure how they were going Braun Strowman with his injury still not being healed, but they made it work in such a great way. Some of the good guys along with a returning Kurt Angle gave Strowman the easy win against Corbin. With Corbin now out of power I will be very curious to see what direction Monday Raw goes in. Even though WWE has been at a very low point, the best overall story as of late has been Ruby Riott and Natalya. I love how personal the feud got and how Natalya played off her real life emotions. All of the people saying using Jim Neidhart was terrible really doesn’t understand the business. They would have not used it in a storyline if Nattie wasn’t okay with it. The Anvil loved this business and probably would have loved the taunting that Ruby was doing. I find out so funny that the same people who want the Attitude Era to come back get upset whenever WWE even attempts to cross a controversial line. I wish WWE would do more personal storylines like this one. It would honestly make for better television, which would lead to better ratings that they are struggling to get lately.
One of the matches that was being seriously under looked going into TLC was Finn Balor and Drew McIntyre. These two had an awesome match that had European pride written all over it. Both a tough and aggressive which made for a great match. Balor is now only the second person to pin McIntrye since he came back to the main roster. The other person is Dolph Ziggler who ended interfering in the match, which led to McIntyre’s demise. Another match that I felt was being under looked was Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio. These two always bring out the best in each other and it’s one of the few times you see Randy get creative with the things he does in the ring. Even though they have great matches together I’d like to see them move on to other opponents. I would love to see Orton work Styles or Bryan, and I would love to Mysterio work with Andrade “Cien” Almas, Shinsuke Nakamura and the 205 Live roster. Maybe in 2019 we will get to see those match-ups instead of the same old song and dance.
Ever since Money in the Bank, I was wondering when Ronda Rousey and Nia Jax were going to cross paths again and tonight was the night. I thought they had a solid match that really made Rousey look like the underdog and played off the heel heat the Nia has gotten over the last month. Despite Tamina being supporting Nia, it was Rousey’s night once again. After the match in the backstage area, Nia’s night got worse as she was confront by Becky Lynch. I can definitely tell they were setting things up for Nia and Becky as well as Ronda and Charlotte. My favorite match of the night was Daniel Bryan defending the WWE Championship against AJ Styles. These two put on an absolute clinic and had another masterpiece. You can’t go wrong with Styles and Bryan no matter how you spin it. I do think it’s time for Styles to start slowing down for a little bit and get himself ready for Wrestlemania season. Styles has been in a lot of high profile and very physical matches this year, so he needs to have a reset going into 2019. I am very curious to see where Daniel Bryan goes from here heading into 2019. The top faces on Smackdown include Jeff Hardy, Rusev, and Rey Mysterio. You could also have 205 Live stars continue to show up on Smackdown and have stellar performances.
A couple of months ago the WWE decided to revisit the Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins feud, but this time the roles are reversed. I personally liked when Rollins was heel and Ambrose was face. There some was something off about this match and the crowd didn’t help matters. They kept chanting negative reactions, which made the match very hard to get into. I will say that Renee Young’s commentary on the match made it as entertaining as it could be. She finally started playing into the emotions of it all and it was nice to see her showing anger and frustration. I had a feeling Dean was going to be Intercontinental Champion again with the way the story was headed. The question is will Rollins move on or continue the feud with his former Shield brother? I believe Rollins is the best overall performer on the roster right now and he deserves to carry the ball that Roman Reigns was going to carry. The Main Event was the Triple Threat TLC Match for the Smackdown Women’s Championship and it delivered as promise. All three women should be proud of what they did tonight. This match accomplished a lot with Asuka finally getting her glory, and Rousey continuing her feuds with Lynch and Flair. With the Royal Rumble just a month away it will be intriguing to see where the Women’s Division goes on both shows.
WWE TLC did have some surprising outcomes and had some very good matches, but I felt it lacked something. I felt like tonight would have been a perfect night to bring back Bray Wyatt during the Corbin-Strowman match. There were also some major names missing like Hardy, Rusev, Nakamura, Miz, and Samoa Joe. With 2018 coming to a close I will have to give TLC a 7 out of 10. The matches and stories were solid, but it’s still missing something. I can’t put my finger on it, but I feel like unless it’s a gimmick match you don’t stars taking risks with their move-sets and their stories. The stars today are playing it safe and I hope in 2019 that changes. With Smackdown moving to FOX late next year and NXT breathing down the main rosters neck, it’s time for Raw and Smackdown to think outside the box. Tonight, we experienced TLC. In 2019, I hope we experience much more than the current standard of how things are now.