Written by: Scrooge McSuck from DaWrestling.com
– Originally broadcasted on PPV from Brooklyn, New York. Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL are calling all the action, unless otherwise noted. This is a rare occasion where a substitution is way more enticing than the original booking decision. That being the Title Match between CM Punk and Ryback being canceled due to Punk’s knee surgery, and being subbed out with the in-ring debut of The Shield.
Tables Match: Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. The Rhodes Scholars:
Winner gets to be the #1 Contender’s for the Tag Team Titles, and only one person has to go through a table to end this. You’d think Sandow and Rhodes would be, but losing that match on Main Event in November sure did knock them off the ranks, I guess. Cara/Rhodes and Sandow/Rey pair up in opposite corners. No tags, so it’s going to be a mess, I bet. Rey with a hurricanrana on Rhodes, sending him to the floor. Sin Cara with a form of Poetry in Motion, then Sandow gets dumped. Duel baseball slide, and out comes a table. They ram it into Rhodes, then take Sandow down with a double basement dropkick. Sin Cara to the top rope, but Rhodes makes the save. Rey takes a slip-n-slide spill to the floor as Sin Cara takes a double-team beating in the corner. They go for a double front suplex, but Sin Cara escapes the situation and dumps Sandow. He lays into Rhodes and takes him down with a springboard arm drag. Charge to the corner is countered with a one man flapjack, and Rhodes connects with the Disaster Kick.
The action spills to the floor, with the heels in control. Sandow throws Rey into the security walls, while Rhodes sandwiches the left leg on Sin Cara between the post and steps, and rams a table into the steps. Meanwhile, Sandow continues tagging Rey into the security wall. Crowd with a chant of “Cody’s Mustache”… that’s just odd. Two tables get set up at the top of the entrance ramp, so you know we’re getting a highspot to end it. They lay Rey and Sin Cara across both of them, but Rey comes to life to interrupt things. He heads to the top, coming off with a seated senton, followed by a hurricarana on Sandow. Rey takes Rhodes to the floor with a head scissors and follows with another senton. Sin Cara with a springboard body press on Sandow, followed by a hurricanrana. He hobbles over and hits a twisting body press to the floor. Rhodes and Rey trade reversals in the ring until Rey hits the 6-1-9. He lays Rhodes across the table and goes back to the top rope, but Sandow crotches him before putting the final nail in the coffin. The table gets rammed into Mysterio, knocking him to the floor. Sin Cara with an enziguri on Sandow. Whip to the ropes, Cara sends Rhodes to the apron, and connects with a boot to the face. He goes for a springboard whatever, Rhodes runs back in to shove him off, through the tables at ringside, for the victory at 9:31. Started off slow-ish, but picked up nicely and had some nice high spots and sequences throughout. I guess that leg spot done earlier on Sin Cara was helpful in explaining why Sin Cara needed time off for knee surgery.
WWE United States Championship Match:
Antonio Cesaro © vs. R Truth:
I don’t think anyone really cares about this match or why it’s come to take place. I just know Truth has won a few non-title matches, and that’s good enough for me. Lockup into the corner, and we get a clean break. Truth plays to the crowd, no doubt annoying the champion. Cesaro with blows across the back, followed by a shoulder tackle for a two count. He grabs a side headlock, and a criss-cross sequence ends with Truth countering a hip toss with a roll up for two. Truth blocks a kick and rolls him up again for another near fall. Truth with a side headlock and a takeover. Cesaro counters with a back suplex, then lays into Truth with some vicious blows. Truth offers a comeback, but takes a knee to the midsection. He covers for two, then slaps on a modified chinlock/cobra clutch. You can tell this is filler: We talk about sachels (man purse) and Switzerland being a neutral nation when it comes to world affairs. This resthold is just dragging, and it’s only been 5-minutes into the match. Cesaro sends Truth to the buckle, but he does the Koko B. Ware no-selling and rams Cesaro into it, too. Truth with a pair of clotheslines. Whip to the ropes, and a twisting forearm connects. He comes off the ropes with the Scissors Kick, but it only gets a two count. Whip to the corner, Cesaro greets Truth with an elbow, but walks into a jumping heel kick. Truth sets up for that lame Stunner move, but Cesaro counters, hits an uppercut to the back of the head, and the Neutralizer finishes things off at 6:39. Suitable for a Superstars main event, but on a PPV, just decent filler. Nothing to complain about, not much to really highlight as anything worth checking out.
– Live Pay-Per-View edition of MizTV. He brings out the 3MB. That’s Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre, and Jinder Mahal for the unfamiliar. This somehow turns into 3MB picking on the Spanish Announcers, then RICARDO RODRIGUEZ, and then Alberto Del Rio. Yes, this is meant to turn Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez face, and they’re going to team later on in a 6-Man Tag to settle this. That might possibly be the worst face-team ever. Del Rio and Miz? FACES?!?!
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match:
Kofi Kingston © vs. Wade Barrett:
Another program that just kind of started without much depth for reasons why. Barrett wants the title, that’s all, I guess. Barrett boots Kofi to start and slams him down for no count. He grabs a front facelock, but Kingston counters with a waistlock. Barrett to the corner with elbows and a snapmare for barely a one count. He slams Kofi back down for another early pin attempt. Whip to the ropes, Barrett with a shoulder block. Criss-cross ends with Kofi connecting with an elbow, followed by a jumping heel kick for a two count. Kingston with kicks, but Barrett hits Kofi near the ropes with a clothesline, knocking him to the floor. Kofi avoids being sent into the ring apron by diving back in through the ropes, then comes back out with a sucide dive. Barrett avoids a springboard into the ring, and plants a boot to the midsection. Pumphandle slam for a two count. He connects with a slingshot back breaker for another two count, then hooks a modified surfboard. Kingston fights free, but runs into a tilt-o-whirl back breaker. Barrett to the second rope, anbd an elbow drop actually connects. It’s only good for a two, though. Kofi counters another slingshot move, and takes Barrett down with a russian leg sweep. Kingston with a dropkick, followed by the jumping clothesline. He connects with the Boom Drop, setting up for the Trouble in Paradise, but Barrett ducks under. He rolls through a pin attempt, and Kingston with the S.O.S. for a two count. Kofi with mounted punches in the corner. Barrett with a boot to the face, followed by a full-nelson slam for a two count. Kingston with a boot to the face to counter a charge. He heads to the top, and a body press is countered for a two count. Kingston with a cradle from out of nowhere for two. Barrett with a Super-Duper Sidewalk Slam for a two count. Barrett sets up for the Bullhammer, but Kofi counters with Trouble in Paradise, and that’s enough for the three count at 8:14. As good of a match as you could get out of 8-minutes. I would really love to see this again, but with an extra 10-minutes or so to really get going.
– In the only promo/interview I’m willing to remark on, CM Punk shows up on crutches. Punk with cheap heat tactics, making fun of people from Brooklyn.
TLC Match: Ryback & Team Hell No vs. The Shield:
Only pinfalls and submissions here. and its the match I’ve been really looking forward to. For those unfamiliar, The Shield consists of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns. I’m sure for NXT fans, they already know what these men can do, but this is my first exposure to all of them, in terms of an “official” match. The Shield make their way to the ring via the crowd, and are met on the floor by Ryback, Kane and Bryan to kick the match off. Bryan lays into Rollins with kicks, but gets rammed into the security wall. Ambrose hammers on Ryback in the ring. He hits him with chops, but Ryback no-sells. Ryback returns the favor, with better results. Whip to the ropes, Ambrose counters a slam and kicks at the knee. Ryback with a Thesz Press, then rams Abrose head back into the canvas. Rollins and Reigns come in to help out for a 3-on-1, but Ryback shrugs all three off, then clotheslines Rollins to the floor. Ambrose with a dropkick, knocking Ryback off the apron. Kane pulls out a ladder, and takes it in the face courtesy of a baseball slide from Rollins. Bryan comes in the ring for a 3-on-1 disadvantage and gets choked down by Reigns. He throws Bryan into the ladder introduced in the match by Kane. Ryback comes back in and lays out Ambrose and Rollins, then repeatedly bashes the ladder into them. Reigns with a chair to the midsection, followed by a shot across the back. Kane intercepts the chair and starts pounding away on Reigns. Bryan with the No! Kicks. They set a ladder up in the corner, and whip Reigns into it. Bryan follows in with a running dropkick for a two count. Meanwhile, Rollins and Ambrose are working on Ryback on the floor. Rollins jumps into an uppercut for Kane for a two count. Ambrose with chair shos to Bryan, and Kane with chair-shots to Rollins, who happens to be sandwiched between a ladder. Ambrose with a chair shot on Kane, followed by a DDT onto said chair.
Ryback grabs Ambrose and rams him back into the corner. Rollins tries his luck, with the same result. Ambrose sneaks up on Ryback and holds him in place to be rammed with the ladder. Ryback blocks a hip toss, slamming both men face-first into the canvas. He plows through Rollins with a body splash, then sends them both into the ladder. He follows in with an avalanche. He sets the ladder across the canvas, and takes them both down with a double-suplex across it. Ambrose’s over-selling facial expression is priceless. Nice of him to mug the camera with it. Ryback goes for a Double-Shell Shock, but Reigns comes in and stomps a mudhole in him. Ambrose slams the chair across Ryback, and Reigns adds the ladder to the proceedings. They take it to the floor, and Ryback is killed off with the Triple-Team Powerbomb through the Spanish Announcers Table. Bryan surprises everyone with a suicide dive, but the 3-on-1 is too much on him, as they pound him down. Kane interrupts things to try and help out. Bryan with chair shots to Rollins, but Ambrose from behind to cut off the momentum. He sandwiches Bryan against a chair for a slam, and Rollins adds a chair shot across the back. Reigns takes Kane out, allowing a steady beating on Bryan in the ring. They set up a table in the corner as a platform, it seems. They throw Bryan chin first into the table side as we see Ryback is still outcold on the floor. They set up on the top of the table for a super-sized double suplex. Somehow Kane comes to life to interrupt the pin attempt. Kane sends Reigns to the floor.
Double team from Ambrose and Rollins on Kane, much like they have been doing Bryan over the past few minutes. They go for the suplex on Kane, but he shoves them off, and comes off the table with the best flying clothesline he’s done in years, complete with a spectacular sell-job from Ambrose. Kane with a clothesline into the corner on Reigns, followed by the side suplex for two. Ambrose sets up a chair for a DDT, but Kane counters and chokeslams Ambrose through the CHAIR (complete with broken chair legs). Reigns breaks the pin attempt and gets sent to the floor for it. Rollins clips the knee, allowing Reigns to spear Kane THROUGH the security wall! They pule a whole bunch of crap from ringside onto Kane, basically taking him out of the rest of the match. “This is Awesome” chant, and I can’t disagree. Bryan with the No! Lock on Ambrose in the ring. Rollins runs in, and gets trapped in it, too. Reigns interrupts that one, and he falls victim, too. Ambrose breaks this one up and pounds away on Bryan. They set up a good chair for a double suplex, but he escapes and No! Kicks them into oblivion. Ambrose still has it in him to drive a knee to the midsection, and Rollins with a jumping boot to the back of the head, ramming Bryan into the chair.
Ryback comes back to the life, booting the chair into Reigns face and planting Rollins with a powerslam. He press slams Rollins over the top, into the waiting arms of Ambrose. He sets up a chair for a powerbomb on Reigns, but Ambrose interrupts. Ryback pays him back with a vicious sp–tackle, then follows withh the Meat Hook, turning Ambrose inside-out. He connects with the Shell-Shock on Ambrose, but Rollins breaks the cover. Ryback takes it to the floor, but it becomes a numbers game again, with someone sneaking up on Ryback as he”s pounding on someone. He has enough in him to tackle Reigns into a pile of chairs and a ladder. They continue heading up to the entrance, when suddenly Ambrose throws a chair against the back of the head of Ryback. They set up Ryback across a table, with Rollins climbing a super-sized ladder. He takes it into his own hands, allowing Ambrose and Reigns to return to the ring. Unfortunately for Rollins, Ryback is back on his feet, chases him up the ladder, and throws him off, through a giant stack of ladders nearby. Unfortunately for Ryback, he’s too hurt to make the long treck back to the ring, where Ambrose and Reigns finish off Bryan, putting him through a table with a powerbomb, and picking up the three count at 22:47. That was fan-friggin-tastic. Not one moment of dull action, with everyone taking a beating to sell what an incredible match this was. It kind of reminds me of two words: War Games. With the constant advantage it seemed for the heels, the comebacks of the babyfaces, and the balls out action from start to finish, It was just a spectacular fight until someone had to lose, with none of the losing wrestlers looking bad, while making the winners look like a force to be reckoned with. Everyone should give this match a look. Just amazing.
WWE Divas Championship Match:
Eve Torres © vs. Naomi:
Naomi won a lame Battle Royale on the Pre-Show to earn this title shot. Has she wrestled ever in the last few months, having spent the entire time as one of Brodus Clay’s Funkadactyls. Eve with some nice dance moves to mock her opponents credibility. Backstage, Brodus and Cameron are watching, rather than watching from ringside. Naomi with a bunch of counters before finally hitting a leg drop and a butt-butt… really, her entire arsenal so far is showing off her athleticism. Eve hangs the arm across the top rope to turn the tide, then hooks a hammerlock. Naomi fights free and takes Eve down with a hurricanrana. Naomi with a shitty spot that isn’t worth attempting to understand what it was supposed to be. She misses a blind body press, and Eve finishes it with a neck breaker at around the 3-minute mark. Filler, but a waste of time in terms of quality.
World Heavyweight Championship, Chairs Match:
Big Show © vs. Sheamus:
This is Match #3 for them on PPV, and I have a feeling we’re going to get another one. I don’t understand just making it a “Chairs” Match. What if they want to use a 2×4 or pocket watch… is that a DQ, or isn’t it? To set this match up, we rehashed the “no contact contract” I’m most famliar with from the Austin/HHH build to No Way Out 2001. Sheamus attacks at the bell, punching and kicking. He goes to the knee and clubs Show across the chest until being thrown away. Sheamus with a tackle to the knee, followed by more punishment. Sheamus wips out a chair, but Show kicks it out of his hand, then takes a walk. Sheamus with the chair, but Show kicks it into his face. Show with the bitch slaps across the chest before taking it back into the ring. Sheamus quickly heads back out, diving off the apron with a shoulder tackle. Whip to the ropes is countered with a short arm clothesline. We take it to the floor again, with Sheamus pulling out another chair. Show runs away, but Sheamus catches up to him and bashes him all over the body with it. Sheamus with a slam, but it only gets two. Sheamus appears to have a busted lip. Sheamus to the top, and he tackles Show with the chair. He goes to the top once more, and this won’t end well for him… surprise surprise, Show throws himself into Sheamus, wiping him out in the process. Show stalks Sheamus on the floor, bashing him with the chair.
Back in the ring, Show prevents Sheamus from grabbing the chair, and continues to lay into him with the weapon. Sheamus offers a comeback, but a knee to the face ends it pretty fast. Show with an avalanche in the corner. Sheamus crotches Show across the top rope in desperation. They trade blows from their knees until Sheamus takes it to the corner. He charges in with shoulders to the midsection, followed by a running knee lift. Show with the chokeslam from out of nowhere for two. Show peaks under the ring for more chairs. He’s got two (cue scene from Jingle All The Way, featuring Arnold Shwartzenegger). Then two more. Show climbs the ropes and splashes Sheamus Vader-Style, with chair across the chest. It only gets two. Sheamus counters a chokeslam and hits White Noise through the chairs, but only for two. Chairs have been taking a beating in this last hour. Sheamus signals for the end, but the Brogue Kick misses and the Giant Punch doesn’t. Show covers, but only gets two. Show with an industrial sized chair, and that spells trouble for Sheamus. Here’s the swing, and it’s a Home Run. Show covers, and it’s over at 14:17. Better than what we got at the Survivor Series, but still felt like it was dragging a lot. There was the occasional cool spots and interesting sequences, but with Big Show, you can only do so much to cover his weaknesses, mainly due to his size and making him look good by keeping that to his advantage.
Alberto Del Rio, The Miz, MYSTERY PARTNER (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. 3MB:
Yes, it’s the All-Century “Worst Idea for Babyfaces” team. Incase you just ordered the PPV, we get a helpful “earlier tonight” recap, because people don’t watch PPV’s until halfway through or something. I like Ricardo Rodriguez no matter what, but ADR as a face?! The mystery partner for Miz-Rio turns out to be… the Brooklyn Brawler. Ugh. He’s wearing Brooklyn Nets gear… about time he has proper attire on. Even Lawler makes fun of the “Bronx” Brawler. Del Rio lays into Slater with boots as we get a Red Rooster reference. Brawler in and quickly grabs a headlock. Slater with a heel kick to knock Brawler on his ass. McIntyre tags in and pounds away. He takes Brawler over with a suplex for a two count. Slater misses a knee from the second rope, and in comes the Miz. Brawler jokes continue, with references of KimChee, Doink, and Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz. Back to the match, Miz with a DDT on Mahal for two. Del Rio with the Back-Stabber on Mahal, and a beautiful suicide dive on McIntyre. Rodriguez trips up Slater and pulls him to the floor. Skull-Crushing Finale on Mahal, and Brawler tags in to slap on a AWFUL Boston Crab for the tap out at 3:26. That was terrible. The commentary was hilarious, but this match stank, thanks to it being all about the Brawler. Honest to God, what has Steve Lombardi ever done to deserve this kind of treatment?
Money In The Bank Ladder Match:
Dolph Ziggler (Briefcase Holder) vs. John Cena:
Wow, John Cena goes on last, what a surprise. I say this a lot now, but now I know how smart fans from the Hogan era felt when he wouldn’t go away after years upon years of headlining the show, even when he wasn’t a Champion. Crowd with an overwhelmingly negative response to the face of WWE… I’m sorry, that seems a bit like a contradiction. Cena quickly grabs a headlock and comes off the ropes with a shoulder, to a chorus of boos. Go away, Cena. Or turn heel. Something to freshen up your shitty character. Ziggler with a headlock, followed by some strutting to cheese everyone off. “Let’s Go Ziggler” chants… I love New York crowds. Criss-cross sequence ends with Cena taking Ziggler over with a hip toss, then grabbing another headlock. “You Can’t Wrestle” chant breaks out, and I admit, that’s a little bit mean spirited. Ziggler counters, but Cena counters out as well and takes Ziggler over with a crappy suplex. Cena with a monkey flip from out of the corner, then tosses Ziggler to the floor. Ziggler pulls out a chair and whacks Cena with it before taking it back into the ring. Cena surprises Ziggler with a one-man flapjack, then heads to the floor to pull out a ladder. Ziggler baseball slides the ladder into Cena, but a climb attempt is quickly interrupted. Cena with the ladder to the face of Ziggler. We take it to the floor again. Cena with the steps, looking like a derranged roid-monkey, right into the face of Ziggler.
Cena throws a table into the ring, because a Ladder Match mysteriously turns into a TLC Match, I guess. Ziggler hangs up Cena across the top rope then goes for the briefcase, but Cena pulls him down. They slug it out, with the crowd solidly behind Ziggler’s strikes. He hops on the back of Cena with a sleeper hold for the checkmate, but Cena finds something deep inside of him to climb the ladder, with Ziggler on his back, and we take a spill off the ladder, through the table. That seemed a bit obvious. Ziggler makes a scramble for the ladder, but Cena wakes up to press slam the ladder AND Ziggler, but Ziggler slides off before being thrown over the top rope. Cena with shoulder tackles and a back suplex. Ziggler counters the Five-Knuckle Shuffle and plants him with the Rocker Dropper. Ziggler pulls out yet another ladder, but it allows Cena to recover and slaps on the STF. Ziggler grabs the rope, but there’s no breaks. He taps, but there’s no submission. Ziggler escapes the AA and takes Cena down with the Zig-Zag. Ziggler brings another table into the ring and sets it up in the corner. Cena ducks under a clothesline, drops Ziggler with a back suplex, and completes the Five-Knuckle Shuffle. The AA is countered, again, and Ziggler connects with a DDT.
Ziggler heads up the ramp for one of the bigger ladders. He does the somewhat slow climb, but surprise, surprise, Cena climbs up to interrupt things. They slug it out until Cena knocks him off with headbutts. Cena takes his sweet time going for the briefcase, allowing Ziggler to climb up the side along with him and taking things back to the canvas. Ziggler rams Cena face-first into the ladder as we’re informed that Ziggler is trending on Twitter. Thank you, Michael Cole. Cena with a low-level hurricanrana, sending Ziggler into the table. That was all Ziggler to make that spot look good. It was almost as ugly as Naomi’s whatever-the-fuck from earlier in the night. Cena grabs a ladder, but Ziggler dropkicks Cena into the ropes, knocking the ladder to the floor in the process. Ziggler tries to throw Cena into the chair that was set up in the corner a while back, but Cena fights off the attempt and slugs it out in the corner. Ziggler to the top rope, and we do the rolled through body press spot, leading into the AA, but Ziggler uses the chair on the knee before the move could be completed, and whacks him across the back. Ziggler misses the Super-Kick, and Cena finally hits the AA, sending Ziggler to the floor on the impact. Suddenly Vicki Guerrero shows up, chair in hand. Suddenly part two, A.J. comes to the ring for some patheticly choreographed spots. She rips off Cena’s spots to bigger pops than Cena’s gotten in years. Cena climbs the ladder, and surprise, surprise (I say it a lot, sorry), A.J. turns on Cena, pushing over the ladder to the biggest pop of the night. Ziggler with the Super-Kick, and Ziggler retains his MITB Briefcase at 23:16. It’s really hard to screw up a match like this… and they didn’t. It was pretty good with some neat spots and big bumps, but at the same time, my total didain for Cena and A.J. and this whole stupid program really doesn’t make for entertainment for my own sake. I still think it was good, but I won’t be watching it again any time soon.
Final Thoughts: Who would think the typical throw-away december PPV would turn out to be so good? The TLC 6-Man Tag is the definite match of the night and a potential MOTYC, but beyond that, we had a satisfactory main event, depending on your stance on certain participants, a solid outing for the World Heavyweight Title, a fun opener, and two decent undercard title matches, with one begging for more time to really get going. Honestly, other than the 3-minute Diva’s match, the 4-minute Brooklyn Brawler lovefest, and “MizTV”, this is one of the best PPV’s I’ve seen in some time. Give it a look when it comes out on DVD. The $15-20 price-tag is far more justifiable than $45/55 for PPV/HD.