WWE TLC PPV Review: Daniel Bryan – New World Champion
(I start this column saying WOW!)
This was a top notch Pay-Per-View for a 2011 show. In a time when story lines are lost and wrestling is forgotten, WWE’s TLC showed that there is a glimmer of hope for the old school fans of wrestling. No, it’s not as good as when the Rock fought Austin or when Chris Jericho fought Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero. Still, TLC was excellent. I read the dirt sheets before writing this to see the opinions of other writers (much better than myself), and I am extremely disappointed in their opinions. I loved the whole show, from head to toe, and I highly suggest that you watch it if you haven’t.
Zack Ryder defeated Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero) to win the U.S. Title
I came home late and missed the majority of this match, so I can only comment on what I think of the outcome. Zack Ryder deserved this win. Not because the fans wanted it to happen, but because Ryder worked so hard to get to the level of deserving a Championship. While Ryder could have rested on his Internet popularity, he, instead, worked toward becoming more confident in the ring every week; his hard work paid off on this night. Dolph Ziggler losing was a step in the right direction of the main event. For the same reason as Ryder, Ziggler has fought the very best in the business, showing that he can hang with the best and that he can be the best. This was an excellent match result, and I can’t wait to actually watch it.
Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston defeated Primo and Epico (w/Rosa Mendes) to retain the WWE Tag Titles
The Tag Team division is back in full swing. Both teams looked like they were in great shape. The cousin’s Colon showed that they can hang with two of the best high flyers in the WWE. Primo and Epico showed that they are not just a cookie cutter team but, in my opinion, a really interesting duo that adds interest to the entire WWE. Carlito should make a return as their leader. Air Boom looked great after a month long hiatus for Evan Bourne. I would like to see Air Boom own the WWE tag titles for a long time. They are two guys who need to keep working toward a single’s identity for futures sake.
Randy Orton defeated Wade Barrett in a tables
This was a cool tables match with a bad ending. Wade Barrett has stepped up once again (as he seems to do every time he steps through the curtain). Barrett came off as a beast and showed that he can run with the big dogs. Randy Orton mailed in this match creatively. I liked the spots in the match, but for a talent that should be right behind John Cena, Orton didn’t seem like he was going to kick it up another notch. His “surprise” RKO wasn’t much of a surprise. When Randy laid half way on a table, as Barrett was going to the top rope to finish the match, the RKO just seemed so obvious to me. Orton needs a reboot or an injection of life. Orton has done so much for the young talent and stale veterans that it’s time for him to re-calibrate and go on a killing streak like no other can. I even expected Orton to give Barrett one more RKO after the match for good measure. But none of that occurred.
Beth Phoenix pinned Kelly Kelly for the WWE Diva Championship
The Divas suck on free TV; the Divas on PPV, however, are totally different. Phoenix has put on a clinic over the last several pay-per-views, and her opponents have shown solid talent past their usual Raw and Smackdown thirty second matches. This match was solid and showed how Kelly Kelly can go. But, K2 needs to stop all that stupid screaming throughout the entire match. Phoenix continues to show why she is the top women’s wrestler in the business.
Triple H defeated Kevin Nash in a sledgehammer ladder match
Where in the hell did this gem come from?! This was a great fight. This is a
must see fight for the attitude era fan; it was some great spots by some old geezers (in wrestling years). Nash and Triple H showed why they are still worth paying to see. This battle should have included the storyline of the two guys who started their eras. The story should have been the General of DX versus the General of the NWO. There weren’t any points of who sparked the new era of attitude wrestling in the main stream. Everyone knows it was ECW who really started the attitude era, but the NWO and DX brought that story to more TV’s than ECW. Triple H and Nash should have talked about who was better overall, not about hurt feelings or about losing Nash and not being offered a job by the COO. This could have been a battle of the egos, but it ended up being about hurt feelings; it was the same BS Triple H accused the roster of feeling during the Raw walk out. Awesome match, indeed, but the story could have been legendary.
Sheamus beat Jack Swagger (w/Vickie Guerrero)
Sheamus needs no commentary, because he is just plain awesome. Sheamus is the true warrior of the WWE. Jack Swagger has been slowly on the rise. The Swagg man has been inching away from the ridiculousness since aligning himself with Dolph Ziggler and Vickie. Swagger took a huge step in the right direction with his confrontation with Mark Henry before his match with The Big Show on Smackdown, telling Mark Henry that he has beaten the Big Show and that he [Henry] hasn’t. Swagger still has that champion mentality inside of him. Swagger fighting Sheamus looked strong, but he fell short to the red hot Sheamus. WWE showed the audience a future main event match. I can see the attitudes switched in the future of Swagger being the white hat and Sheamus being the black hat.
Big Show beat Mark Henry in a chairs match to win the World Hvt. Championship
A quick match and nothing special. Mark Henry was really injured, and the WWE had to get the belt off of him. Mark Henry takes out Big Show during his celebration. The next part is special!!
Daniel Bryan pinned Big Show to win the World Hvt. Championship
When Big Show was knocked out, the crowd started cheering “Dan-iel Bry-an! Dan-iel Bry-an!” I thought the segment was over, but then Daniel Bryan’s music hits, that Phillie pop! Daniel Bryan brings his Money in the Bank briefcase, and a ref slides into the ring, jumps onto Big Show, and gets the 1-2-3 victory!! The crowd goes wild, Daniel Bryan goes wild, I GO WILD!! Daniel Bryan represents the independent wrestler’s dream. Bryan’s win, more so than CM Punk being champion, will help open the flood gates for a Dean Ambrose or Seth Rollins or Johnny Gargano.
Cody Rhodes defeated Booker T to retain the Intercontinental Title
Besides Cody Rhodes looking ready for the main event, this match was uneventful. It was not Booker T’s fault. I feel like he was selling the beatings that Cody had been laying on him, and the commentary dropped the ball on highlighting that. Michael Cole may have highlighted that Booker T deserved it, but at least sell the audience on why his Spinarooni looked awful or why Booker T slowed down at the end for a reason. I hope Booker T gets another chance at showing he can still go.
C.M. Punk defeated The Miz and Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) in a Triple Threat TLC match to retain the WWE Championship
The Miz showed grit, and Del Rio exhibited that he is a very smart and dirty heel by introducing the hand cuffs and going crazy on Miz with the chairs. But, CM Punk gave us a great story of a wrestler who, against all odds, retained his WWE Championship. CM Punk didn’t need to use Cena-like Superman strength. CM Punk used his Batman like brains to get out of trouble. I enjoyed seeing CM Punk overcome the two vicious heels and their dastardly tricks to retain the title. I will not go into anymore detail because you, the reader, need to see this match.
Final Thought: The Triple Threat TLC match was an example of what a main event should be: action, suspense, drama, and a chance that the hero may lose. CM Punk, Miz, and Del Rio put on a real show (and if it’s any consolation, Ricardo Rodriguez getting thrown off the top of a ladder in the middle of the ring to the outside falling through a table). The whole pay-per-view was a really good event. Triple H versus Nash was a very pleasant surprise, and seeing Zack Ryder and Daniel Bryan walk out with their respective championships will make you jump out of your seat! I don’t usually rate these kinds of things, but this was a 9.5/10. I’ve read from wrestling bloggers that it’s B- or B+, but I feel a lot of writers are too hard on the product. Watch the show and judge for yourself!