Welcome to The Wrestling Kennection's LIVE TLC 2016 PPV Coverage!!!
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Smackdown Tag Team Championship Heath Slater & Rhyno (c) vs. Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton w/Luke Harper
RESULT: NEW CHAMPIONS Bray & Randy win via pinfall; Orton pinned Rhyno following an RKO.
THOUGHTS: This was a good choice to kick off TLC, and the crowd right away took an active interest in this match, as did the commentary team, who did a good job of noting Slater & Rhyno's renewed focus and lack of usual humor, as well as the change in team dynamic by having Rhyno start the match, exemplifying just how much of a threat Orton & Wyatt are to their tag titles.
The crowd was clearly anticipating a title change, as the crowd was hot for Randy & Bray, where as the reactions for the typically-popular Slater & Rhyno were lukewarm at best. This was pretty much an extended squash; given the comparitive starpower between the two teams, and the intrigue concerning the Orton-Wyatt storyline, it doesn't come as much of a surprise.
It'll be interesting to see if the Wyatts go the way of New Day and the Freebirds and cycle tag partners, or if Bray will simply relegate his share of the tag titles to Harper, which would open up the vitriolic aspect between Harper and Orton, as while Harper took the bullet for Orton in the match, he's clearly still wary of "The Viper."
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 1/7 Greg - 0/7 Nick - 0/7
NO Disqualification Match Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
RESULT: Nikki Bella wins via pinfall; Nikki pinned Carmella after a Rack Attack 2.0.
THOUGHTS: The match itself was fine, with the usually bric-a-brac you find in a no-DQ "lite" match. What I don't get is the post-match promo with Carmella "revealing" Natalya was Nikki's assailant. I could understand maybe it's Carmella trying to get the last word in on her rivalry with Nikki, but why not just have Natalya reveal the fact herself by costing Nikki the match? I feel like that would have made a far better impact than Carmella revealing it out of being a sore loser.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 1/7 Greg - 1/7 Nick - 1/7
Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match The Miz (c) w/Maryse vs. Dolph Ziggler
RESULT: The Miz won; Miz took down the championship after delivering two low blows to Ziggler on the ladder.
THOUGHTS: A quality "final chapter" to Miz and Ziggler's feud that took up the latter half of 2016. Contrary to how I thought Maryse and the Spirit Squad would factor early into this match, Maryse remained relegated to ringside and Kenny & Mikey were nowhere to be found. In hindsight, I found that to be best; if this is truly the final encounter for Miz and Ziggler, the audience needed no doubt as to who the better man was.
It was a litte clunky to start, but things really picked up around the 10-minute mark, with Ziggler and Miz trading brutal ladder spots back and forth, from tornado DDTs to slingshot powerbombs to a ladder-assisted Figure Four, which looked nasty and probably felt worst for Ziggler. It was tooth-and-nail all the way to the final stretch, where Miz reminded Ziggler about the No-DQ aspect of ladder matches with a pair of brutal low blows to Ziggler standing between two ladders.
Miz's post-match promo did a very fine job of reaffirming his animosity with Daniel Bryan, even "thanking" him for inspiring him to rise to the occasion by constantly backing Ziggler with opportunities for the IC Title. That's been the overarcing feud on Smackdown, and this is merely the end of the first chapter.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 2/7 Greg - 3/7 (LOCK) Nick - 1/7
Chairs Match Kalisto vs. Baron Corbin
RESULT: Baron Corbin wins via pinfall; Corbin pinned Kalisto after delivering End of Days onto a pile of chairs.
THOUGHTS: Despite this coming right after the emotional roller coaster of Miz and Ziggler's ladder match, the crowd really enjoyed this match as the pace picked up. Plenty of creative spots with and without the chairs, really showing the excellent big man-little man dynamic Corbin and Kalisto have. Sentons through chairs, a mid-air catch into a sick Deep Six, and then Kalisto going ballistic on Corbin with chairs until the "Lone Wolf" swatted him out of the air and then polished off Kalisto with a End of Days into a pile of steel chairs.
This and Corbin's post-match ranting rage, I feel, have really put Corbin on the map as a big threat to the rest of the SD Live roster. Now it's up to the writing staff to keep that ball rolling into the 2017 Royal Rumble.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 3/7 Greg - 3/7 Nick - 1/7
Smackdown Women's Championship Tables Match Becky Lynch (c) vs. Alexa Bliss
RESULT: NEW CHAMPION Alexa Bliss wins the match; Bliss won after powerbombing Lynch off the apron through a table.
THOUGHTS: Another solid, aggressive match from the Smackdown lineup with Becky and Alexa. Usually table matches are the least creativey flexible among the three instruments of destruction, but, despite looking lost for a few moments throughout the match, Becky and Alexa worked their way around that. Becky even used the legs of a table for a modified Dis-Arm-Her, which I liked.
While I did pull for Becky for the win, as I felt it was a bit too soon into her maiden voyage to lose the title, I'm perfectly fine with Alexa winning; stipulations like tables always leave things open for a rematch down the line, and Becky has just as much value as a dogged challenger as she does a fighting champion. Good for Alexa.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 3/7 Greg - 3/7 Nick - 1/7
(MAIN EVENT) WWE World Championship Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match AJ Styles (c) vs. Dean Ambrose
RESULT: AJ Styles wins the match; Styles took down the title after Ellsworth tipped Ambrose off a ladder through two tables.
THOUGHTS: A fantastic main event to cap off what I thought was a very well-rounded PPV effort from Smackdown in their final showing of 2016. From the undercard matches to the IC ladder match and even cool down spots like the chairs and tables matches, everything got a great rise from the Dallas audience.
The main event had so many great, eye-popping spots from both Ambrose and Styles: Elbow drops off a ladder...on an announce table...THROUGH another announce table, a suplex bomb through a row of standing steel chairs, and an unbelievable springboard 450 from Styles to Ambrose through a table at ringside. Much like Miz and Ziggler, if this was the last encounter between Ambrose and Styles for the time being, you knew they were going to pull out everything in their repertoires for tonight.
The ending took me somewhat by surprise; we all knew Ellsworth would factor into the match, that was inevitable, but what was unexpected was that he purposefully cost Ambrose rather than by accident. I would've preferred seeing Ambrose have a mental breakdown and go berserk on a helpless Elllsworth to make the heel turn and change in character some fans have felt he's overdue for.
That being said, I'm equally curious about this delusional "chosen one" motif Ellsworth has going for him now after watching the post-show "Talking Smack"; it'll be interesting to see where they go with this. Few fans, including myself, remember way back when another hapless rookie named Colin Delaney turned heel on his supportive mentor Tommy Dreamer and never truly went anywhere afterwards. While the Dallas crowd really seemed all for it, it'll come down to how fans react going onwards that determines if this was the right call by the Smackdown writers.
STAY KENNECTED, EVERYBODY!!!
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 5/7 (LOCK) Greg - 4/7 Nick - 1/7