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TLC 2019 – The Good, the Bad and the Weird

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Welcome to WWE’s last PPV of the year. It’s the weirdest Christmas treat as WWE bring the show that specialises in furniture destruction. This was an odd one as WWE tried to leave it very last minute to plan the matches. It all felt cobbled together so we’d soon see whether this hurt or helped it in its cause. Did WWE leave the decade on a bang or a whimper? With matches involving Bray Wyatt, The Miz, The Kabuki Warriors, Becky Lynch, Charlotte and more, they certainly had the tools to succeed. Let’s get into the action and find out, shall we?

The Good

Strong Start

Anything involving Andrade automatically gets an up from me. It may have been a rematch from RAW but hey it gave us more Lucha infused action between Humberto Carrillo and Andrade. It also had an extra layer as there was a lot of tension between Zelina Vega and her client. There is not too much to say about this match. It wasn’t too short, sweet to watch and warmed the crowd up. Andrade got busted open at some point adding a nice bit of colour to the proceedings. Both men gave it their all and that’s all I could ask of the pre-show match. Carrillo got the win with a Moonsault leaving Andrade questioning his business relationship with Zelina. Though I hate having pre-show matches interrupted by adverts. You have an hour to shill the PPV, stop doing it during the one match you had. 

The Start of Positivity

Gotta love a good ladder match. That’s exactly what we got here. Two teams with excellent chemistry and the tools to do something very creative. It was going to be very interesting to see if the Revival could stick to their traditionalist roots when presented with ladders. It was a totally chaotic mess of wince inducing ladder spots, clever deception and reversals and a clear disdain for Big E’s balls. All four men had MVP moments with Kofi and Big E saving each other on multiple occasions and Dash and Dawson managed to do the same. We saw ladder contraptions built by Big E and hunks of broken steel caused by the impact of bodies hitting them. It was just a whole lot of fun to watch. The New Day managed to retain their titles with Big E killing Dash with a Big Ending off the middle of a ladder and using the titles to launch Dawson of a ladder into the broke husk of a corner mounted ladder. Kofi got the final shot and got to look victorious once again.   

Murphy Blacked Out

What happens when you put two high calibre singles stars in a match together? You get a high calibre match. Buddy Murphy and Aleister Black had a barnburner of a match, basically pummeling the shit out of each other for about 20 minutes. It was brutal, bloody and I’m pretty sure Buddy Murphy broke Aleister Black’s nose. Murphy was able to hold his own for most of this match, going strike for strike with Black and using a weakened jaw to keep advantage. Murphy hit Black with a whole host of vicious knees and strikes whilst Black retorted with strikes and lethal kicks of his own. This was stiff, violent and as I said, pretty bloody since Black’s nose would not stop bleeding. Seeing Buddy Murphy hit a proper BrainBuster in a WWE ring was an awesome sight. Black got the win with a surprise Black Mass whilst Murphy was hitting another flurry of offence. This was probably the best match of the night bar none.

American Dragon in the Firefly Funhouse

Okay so the Miz vs Bray Wyatt was a very odd little affair. It was a Miz kicking the crap out of Bray whilst Bray Wyatt enjoys it. Wyatt had said he could feel no pain and this was his twisted way of proving it. His kind disposition wore off quick though and he put Miz away quickly with two Sister Abigail’s as not to hurt his opponent too much. However, when the Fiend appeared on the tron silently willing Bray to hurt Miz further, he retrieved a giant mallet from under the ring. He was about to perform a Gallagher tribute act on Miz’s head when a hooded figure made the save. Daniel Bryan, with short hair and no beard was back to pay Bray back for what the Fiend did to him. The American Dragon is back and he is not done with Bray Wyatt. 

Creative Carnage

Unfortunate injury aside, this was one hell of a badass display of batshit insanity from the women of WWE. This match was brutal creativity using tables, ladders, chairs, fire extinguishers, a rope and more. There were so many spots I could fill the page listing them. Asuka looked like a monster, Charlotte looked like a monster, Becky looked like a monster and Kairi tried her damndest despite being knocked through a loop. Everyone took their fair share of lumps in this match, no one slouched. Not to mention it was great to see the Women’s Tag Titles treated as a main event, even if some of the participants didn’t really want to be there. What a way to end a PPV. Plus, Asuka got to end a show in the winner’s position again after an absolute war. Even if Corbin and Reigns stole the spotlight two-seconds later… typical. 

The Bad

War – Brought to you by KFC

I was torn on where to put this. I enjoyed the in-ring action but hated the finish and the very contrived KFC product placement. The Viking Raiders issued an open challenge for their RAW Tag Titles whilst four fans watched from ringside eating KFC. This challenge was answered by the OC. They had a decent match that was ruined by a count-out finish. This just screams sequel bait. After the match Karl Anderson went through the KFC table… yay.

That Cringey TLC Package

So, the Pre-match package for the Rusev/Lashley match was incredibly awful and deserves its own little spot in the bad section. No one wants to see TMZ parodies as feud recaps. I was already not looking forward to this match, this package just made it all the worse. This feud needed to end… fast. 

Let it Die

I am one of Rusev’s biggest fans but this feud needs to die. I am sick of seeing this love triangle play out and want Rusev to get on with his life, preferably fighting for a title. The table match wasn’t exciting and it had the expected outcome of Lana costing Rusev the match. It was drawn out and dull. Sorry but I don’t think many people had fun watching this one, even if Rusev looked like a badass for a lot of it. It did have nice guardrail spot though. I feel given how this match ended that they want to drag this feud out one more match. 

The Weird

Hail to the King?

Much like the match before, I was unsure where to put this. I both loved and hated this match. It was really slow at first and a chore at times to watch but ended up ramping up and becoming a clusterfuck of the stupidest nature. It didn’t feel much like a TLC match, more a plunder match happening to feature those elements. It was fought under pin/submission rules instead of a hanging object. Corbin had a security team, Ziggler and the Revival all help him overcome Roman Reigns. It was hard to watch due to the sheer amount of BS shenanigans but hey, that’s Corbin in a nutshell and I love Corbin. 

Build Up Blues

Please don’t do this again WWE. I get you wanted to have the element of surprise to drive ticket sales but we need things to build towards. A cobbled together card with matches announced last minute is no fun to get hyped around. It would have made the PPV feel like a bigger deal. It still was in terms of history but still, don’t treat the last PPV of the year as such a throwaway. Oh, and do better with the camera angles please, there were several missed spots due to cameras being in the wrong place or weird places. 

So, there you have it, TLC 2019 reviewed for your reading pleasure. It was a very mixed show that managed to burn itself out after the first couple of matches. I was positive towards latter matches but the same energy wasn’t quite there. The main even was a mess that I enjoyed but I imagine a lot more safety conscious people dreaded this bout. WWE tried to end their PPV year with a bang but I will award it the faulty firework award. It did explode but too close to the ground and probably injured some people. Next up is the Royal Rumble where WWE better build to it, especially since it’s a big 4 calibre PPV.

John is a UK based wrestling obsessive who still wants to believe the Bullet Club is fine. He is always tearing the business apart and first realised wrestling was for him when he saw Mankind fall from the top of the cell at King of the Ring 1998.

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