Written By: Alexander Settee
Tables Ladders & Chairs 2010, December 19, 2010, Toyota Center, Houston, TX
Announcers: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, & Matt Striker
Here we are at the final PPV of the year, TLC. The lineup here actually has some potential, and I’m probably looking more forward to this show than any PPV since Wrestlemania. Hopefully they can come through.
Opening Match, Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger
The Setup: They’ve had a three way feud on Smackdown over the past few weeks, leading to this ladder match for the Title.
The Action: This was very toned down by the usual ladder match standards, although considering that there are two more to come tonight, both with bigger stars in them, I would guess that they were basically told not to try and steal the show. Someone obviously loved that deal from Money in the Bank where Maryse climbed the ladder, because we get that again here with everyone being laid out and Vickie climbing. A big bump for her is teased, but she makes it down safely. The finish comes out of nowhere, as we have Swagger and Kofi fighting over the belt at the top of the ladder, but it comes loose and falls to the mat where Dolph grabs it and is declared the winner at 8:57.
The Verdict: In spite of winning, Dolph comes across as a guy who shouldn’t be champion, which just makes you wonder why he is champion. Winning and losing aren’t everything in wrestling, but how you win and lose are. Dolph has a perfect example of that this week as he picked up a win here that does absolutely nothing for him, but one night later he loses to John Cena in a match that probably did more for him than a million fluke wins ever could. As for the match itself, it was fine, except for the lame finish, but completely unmemorable. **
Tables Match: Michelle McCool & Layla vs. Beth Phoenix & Natalya
The Setup: After Beth returned at Survivor Series to side with Natalya in this feud, we now get a tag match here tonight.
The Action: Beth and Natalya bring in the pink custom table right off the bat, but can’t use it yet. Beth ends up getting tossed to the floor, but must have gotten hooked in the ropes or something because she takes a nasty fall to the floor, landing right on the back of her head. Thankfully she appears to be okay. Laycool works over Natalya for a bit, but Beth returns for the save as they go for the table. Natalya then gets them both down and applies a double Sharpshooter, which looks really cool, and they tap to it, but that doesn’t count here. Laycool eventually regains control and sets Natalya up for a superplex through the custom table, but she shoves them off on to it. The table bends, but doesn’t break, so she then follows with a splash to finish them off at 9:24.
The Verdict: The got more time then a women’s match usually would and this ended up being pretty good all things considered. **
WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov vs. Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater (w/Husky Harris & Michael McGillicutty)
The Setup: Santino and Kozlov won the Titles on Raw, so Nexus gets a rematch here tonight.
The Action: Santino takes it to them with wackiness early on and then tags out. Kozlov comes in, but gets clipped by Harris and worked over for a bit. Eventually he gets away and makes the hot tag to Santino, who briefly runs wild before he sets up for the Cobra and then gets attacked by McGillicutty for the DQ at 6:28. The Nexus beatdown is on, and then Wade Barrett joins them with a chair to get in a few shots and set the stage for his match with Cena later on.
The Verdict: This was just a throwaway deal to get Barrett some heat for later on, so they kept it short and didn’t do very much. ½*
#1 Contenders Ladder Match: Sheamus vs. John Morrison
The Setup: Morrison beat him at Survivor Series while Sheamus evened the score in the King of the Ring, so now we get the rubber match with a shot at the WWE Title on the line.
The Action: Sheamus sets a ladder up between the announce table and the apron early on, but Morrison slides under to avoid hitting it. They go back and forth for quite awhile, with both guys having chance after chance, only to have them all broken up. They don’t really do anything that spectacular throughout the match, but what they do is great. Sheamus works the knee over for the better part of the match, and Morrison sells it great, even making a point of hopping up the ladder on one leg. Late in the match, Sheamus finally gets knocked through the ladder bridge that was setup earlier, and that would seem to give Morrison enough time to get the contract, but the knee forces him to climb too slowly and Sheamus makes it back in. But when Sheamus goes to tip him over, he blocks it with his foot on the rope, and then springs back with a kick to put Sheamus down. This time he gets to start his climb from halfway up, and this time he makes it, grabbing the contract to become #1 contender, presumably for Royal Rumble, at 19:09.
The Verdict: I really liked this one as they didn’t try and throw out a bunch of highlight reel spots, but rather they built it around trying to, you know, win the match, and it was all great. ****1/4 I guess that Morrison gets the “weak challenger” role at Royal Rumble so that they can have as many of the top guys as possible in the Rumble match itself.
Meanwhile, Wade Barrett and Husky Harris return to the locker room to find the rest of Nexus laid out.
WWE Championship Tables Match: The Miz (w/Alex Riley) vs. Randy Orton
The Setup: Miz cashed in his MITB contract on Raw and won the Title, so Orton gets a rematch here on this show.
The Action: Orton takes it to him early, but Riley keeps proving his worth by distracting Orton at the right times or moving tables out of the way, or just doing what he can to help Miz out. I don’t know if he’ll make it big, but if nothing else he makes a fine lackey. Orton gets the hanging DDT, followed by the backbreaker, but Riley gets involved again and the ref ends up getting bumped as a result. Riley takes the RKO and gets powerbombed through a table, but then Miz comes from behind and hits the Skull Crushing Finale. He moves Riley out of the way and puts Orton in the wreckage of the table, then revives the ref who calls for the bell upon seeing Orton. We go to the usual post match replay, but the ref sees it too and orders the match restarted. Orton attacks Miz on the floor and rolls him back in, but again Riley is there as Miz shoves him into Orton, who falls off the apron through a table for the win at 15:16.
The Verdict: I like The Miz, and I’m glad he’s getting a shot here, but much like Dolph Ziggler earlier on, he gets a win that really doesn’t do much for him. I guess I understand not wanting to have Orton lose to him, but if that’s the case, maybe they should have just found a different match. That aside, the match was okay, but nothing special. **
World Heavyweight Championship TLC Match: Kane vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Edge
The Setup: This was originally two singles matches, but they were merged together this week on Smackdown because someone obviously woke up and realized that Kane and Edge in a TLC match had bad idea written all over it.
The Action: So unlike Morrison/Sheamus, this was more of the spotfest style ladder match. Everyone takes their turns climbing and getting stopped. Edge does a splash onto Kane through a table on the floor from a ladder in the ring in the biggest early highspot. Again, someone must have really loved the deal where Maryse climbed the ladder at MITB, because we get it for the second time tonight as everyone is down and Ricardo Rodriguez goes for the belt. He gets chokeslammed off by Kane though. Del Rio climbs, but gets tipped over by Rey and goes through a table on the floor to finish him off. Rey then gets caught with the Tombstone and laid out. Edge stops Kane from climbing and ends up spearing him off the apron through a table to leave himself as the only one alive so he climbs up and gets his tenth World Title at 22:44.
The Verdict: This was more good stuff, and I’ll say that it was easily better then Kane and Edge in a singles match. The didn’t do anything that was super dangerous, with the worst thing probably being Del Rio’s fall at the end, but it still came across as suitably violent and I really enjoyed it. ****
Next we get Dashing Cody Rhodes out to offer the people of Houston some grooming tips, but of course this involves insulting them more than anything else. Santa Big Show then arrives, handing out plenty of copies of “Knucklehead” to the crowd, which tells you how well that’s selling. Rhodes says that Show appearing in his underwear for that move was disgraceful, so Show responds by laying Rhodes out and ripping his suit off to leave him in his underwear. There’ve been worse segments.
Then, as Barrett and Harris make their way out, Cena cracks Harris with a chair, eliminating the last backup that Barrett had and forcing him to go it alone. Also, CM Punk comes out to replace Matt Striker on the commentary team for the last match.
Main Event, Chairs Match: Wade Barrett vs. John Cena
The Setup: After Cena was fired last month, he continually harassed Nexus until Barrett rehired him for a match here.
The Action: So chairs are legal here, and there’s roughly one million of them at ringside to reinforce that, but would you be DQ’d if you tried using a table or something. The never address things like that. So, without his backup, Barrett immediately goes for the chairs, but Cena keeps cutting him off. Eventually they both get chairs an duel. They go to the floor, where Barrett takes over. He beats Cena up the ramp, and then takes the time to set up the steps at the bottom. Cena recovers and lays Barrett out, then grabs an office chair from backstage so he can wheel him down the ramp and into the steps in the goofiest spot of the match. They make it back to the ring where Cena gets tied in the ropes and nailed with a chair. He comes back though after Barrett misses an elbow off the 2nd rope and connects with the top rope legdrop using the chair. He then sets up a series of chairs and delivers an Attitude Adjustment through them for the 3 count at 19:10. After the match, he takes Barrett up to the set where there’s several large strings of chairs hanging from the ceiling, and after putting a platform over him, he pulls one down and about twenty chairs fall down onto Barrett.
The Verdict: That was about as definitive a blowoff of the Cena/Nexus feud as you’re gonna get. I don’t know if that means Nexus is done, or if they’ll go in another direction, but clearly Cena’s going another way. Regardless, the thing has run it’s course, so moving on from here is a good thing. The match was good, although still below two of the ladder matches from earlier. With some more seasoning, Barrett may become a top level guy, but I don’t think he’s there quite yet. ***
Overall Thoughts: This was a really good show, and definitely one of the better WWE PPV’s of the year. Considering I only gave **** or higher to six PPV matches all year, having another two here on one show is a pretty big accomplishment, and the rest of the show holds its own with nothing sucking except for the Tag Title match, but at least that served a purpose. Thumbs Up for TLC 2010, and if you didn’t catch it, it’s worth seeking out.