It’s go home week for TLC. A PPV we know sweet FA about and probably still won’t until show day. This week saw WWE try to scramble together a card whilst also trying to make us care about the goings on in the ring as the year draws to a close. We got divorces, Kofi slapping Corbin and a new champion on NXT. Let’s get into it shall we?
– RAW started with a divorce. Yep I just said that. This went exactly as you would expect and ended with Bobby Lashley put through a table when the couple were through to set up a match for TLC. The pair now fight in a tables match.
– Drew McIntyre kills Matt Hardy. Drew gives Hardy a chance to flee but Matt brings the fight and hits an early Twist of Fate but Drew survives and puts down everyone’s favourite broken one.
– There was an excellent tag match between the Viking Raiders and The Street Profits. It’s a tad odd to see two face teams in action but the result was enjoyable enough. Viking Raiders won.
– Once again, we get another cool if slightly pointless match on the show as Aleister Black and Akira Tozawa lock horns. It’s a cool match but I don’t know what brought it together. Black wins with Black Mass. It’s good to see Black fighting more often on TV.
– Kevin Owens is given a steel pipe by Rey Mysterio to fight off AOP. He ends up using that pipe on Mojo Rawley and threatens to use it on Seth when KO tries to imply Seth is working with them. During this bit, Sami Zayn also appears on RAW as a manager. He is repping Mojo Rawley. It should also be stated that Seth unloads on the WWE universe in a promo and joins in with AOP beating the shit out of Owens later in the show. Surprisingly there’s no match between Owens and Seth at TLC. Though it has been reported that Seth is injured.
– Andrade defeats Humberto Carrillo in a Lucha filled match. It’s fast, fierce but on this occasion Zelina Vega costs Andrade the win instead of securing it. She’s knocked off the apron, distracting Andrade and allowing Carrillo to roll him up. The pair argue after the match.
– Buddy Murphy destroys Zack Ryder.
– Erick Rowan loses his cool when a local competitor tries to steal his cage. When the competitor runs it up the stage, Rowan is too concentrated on checking on his mysterious pet he is nearly counted out. Rowan makes it back in at 8 and kills the guy. The ref calls a KO and stops the match.
– Becky Lynch takes on both the Kabuki Warriors in a handicap match. She puts up a good fight against the pair but the numbers game proves too much. She wins via DQ because Asuka brings in a chair. The Kabuki Warriors set up a table and put Becky through it with an Insane Elbow. They also ambush Charlotte and gloat about it in an interview, challenging Becky and Charlotte to a tag title match on Sunday. Lynch and Charlotte add the Tables, Ladders and Chairs stipulation to the match.
– King Corbin bores the audience so the New Day come out. They sound off against Corbin and his hype man Dolph Ziggler with Kofi slapping the taste out of Corbin’s mouth. I love Kofi with an edge. He wants revenge on Roman’s behalf for the dog food bath they gave him last week. The pair have a match that ends in a no contest so a tag bout is made for the New Day and Ziggler/Corbin. That ends in DQ with Reigns making a save when Corbin tries to give Kofi a dog food bath too. It ends with Roman putting Ziggler through the announcer’s table.
– Following an ambush by Fire and Desire, a scheduled tag bout between them and Cross & Bliss has a chaotic start. Cross and Bliss overcome and win with Cross picking up the win with The Purge. At least I guess, the cameras weren’t focusing on Cross when she won the match…
– The Revival defeat Mustafa Ali and Chad Gable in a fun tag match where Gable and Ali were trying to avenge a loss earned last week. Instead they were defeated again by a surprise Shatter Machine from the Revival. They look like credible threats for their ladder match against the New Day at TLC.
– Dana Brooke puts on another amazing showing against Bayley. Brooke has come so far since the days of old and it’s great to see her get more TV time, even if it is in losing efforts. Not to mention the crowd seem to have naturally gotten behind her.
– The Firefly Fun house comes to the Miz’s family home. Wyatt terrorises the Mizanin family and ends up terrifying Monroe Sky. This all comes about during an interview section with Renee and The Miz at his family home. The Fiend’s friends and puppets appeared in the family home. Later on, Bray reveals a new friend in the Funhouse, a female Fiend doll. He also threatens Miz that snitches get stitches. He also reminds Miz that whilst he may be concentrating on Daniel Bryan, Bryan is with the Fiend and Miz should be worried about the fact he’s fighting Bray Wyatt. The Funhouse is taking on a new level of menace.
– Heavy Machinery battle Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro in tag action. Heavy Machinery get a strong showing but the Artists are the ones who control the match. Oh and it should be clarified that this match came about because Sami Zayn was offended by Otis offering him a holiday ham.
– NXT opened with an insanely good Cruiserweight Title match between Angel Garza and Lio Rush. Following the weeks of mind games and jabs, Garza go Rush where he wanted him and won the Title from Rush. The pair put on a clinic of high flying, fast paced offence but Garza won with a submission version of the Wing Clipper. Excellent opening for a show and one hell of a match to enjoy. Oh, and Garza broke everyone’s heart by proposing to his girlfriend in ring.
– Cameron Grimes was out for blood after he stole Raul Mendoza’s match against KUSHIDA then lost it. He had attacked KUSHIDA earlier in the week and wanted to murder Mendoza now. KUSHIDA came to the ring during the match, distracting Grimes and allowing Mendoza to win with a roll up. To add insult to injury, KUSHIDA steals Grime’s hat.
– NXT UK star Travis Banks was in action next against the muscle of the Forgotten Sons Jaxon Ryker. It’s a very short match that sees Banks get a surprise win with Slice of Heaven.
– After that was a grudge match between the head baddie in charge, Mia Yim and the new baddie on the block Dakota Kai. Yim looked to hurt Dakota for costing her a spot in the War Games match. It was as much of a scrap as you can expect with both women just wanting to hurt one another. Kai won with a blow into the exposed turnbuckle as Yim and the ref were distracted. Kai may have won but Yim got the last laugh, putting her through a table with a Saito Suplex.
– So Breezango are doctors now? Anyway, they took on the Singh Brothers in a match very few people cared about. Okay but insubstantial. I must admit though watching Breezango getting brutal was fun.
– Bianca Belair defeats Kayden Carter with the KOD. Nothing more to say except Carter still looks to have potential.
– Last up was the triple threat match to determine a number one contender to fight Adam Cole next week for the NXT Championship. It was Finn Balor vs Tomasso Ciampa vs Keith Lee in a hectic mess of flying bodies and pain. This was a messy, all-out war of strikes and power moves with some clever counters and smart decisions. In the end Balor won by attacking Lee as he was attacking Ciampa. It was a clever counter that won the war and now we get Balor/Cole on next week’s episode of NXT…