WWE went rolling right on through the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, last night (Sun., Dec. 16, 2012) with TLC, its annual end of the year pay-per-view (PPV) extravaganza.
And it delivered in every way it could. Click here to check out the live blog.
Let's not waste time with pleasantries and get right to reactions to the show:
- The Shield really are here to save us all, not just from injustice but from bad wrestling. I still can't believe how unbelievably awesome Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and even Roman Reigns looked last night. All three came across like big stars, with Ambrose standing out for all the reasons we've always told you he would. He's a master of the art of professional wrestling and it shows. Rollins is a hard worker who will be underrated because he's under the shadow cast by Ambrose. Reigns, meanwhile, might surpass them both because not only does he have the look, we now know he's got the chops to hang with the big boys. He was excellent in there with Kane, Daniel Bryan, and Ryback, looking every bit as big a star.
- Not only did The Shield blow away all expectations for their first PPV main event as members of the main WWE roster as individuals, the match itself was loaded with exactly the kind of smart psychology I so long for. Methodically taking out Kane while weakening Ryback so they could later distract him long enough to get to Bryan to get the pin, all while subtly nodding at each other while going about said plan like complete badasses, was as good as it gets. I can't wait to watch these guys grow. It's going to be so much more fun than the old geezer tour we're about to embark on over the next few months.
- Anyone else hoping Undertaker hand-picked Ambrose to break the streak? Anyone?
- Was super underwhelmed by the CM Punk interview but they were right to put him on the show and continuing pushing the fact that he has no affiliation with The Shield when we all know that's a load of bullshit.
- I love that John Cena works as a babyface no matter the situation. Brooklyn doesn't give a shit that Cena is supposed to be the "good guy" and they were pro-Ziggler in a big, big way. And it was awesome, because he paid them back by bumping his ass off and having what would have been "Match of the Night" had The Shield not been so damn impressive.
- We all knew AJ Lee was going to turn on Cena and cost him the match, both because it was where the story (kind of) seemed to be headed and because it was the right move for business, but this was a textbook example of why being predictable isn't a terrible thing sometimes. Like giving away spoilers is proven not to affect enjoyment of a movie or television show, wrestling fans knowing where a story is going doesn't mean they won't ultimately enjoy the end game. And who didn't love AJ pushing that ladder and causing Cena to fall straight into a Ziggler superkick?
- Which reminds me, Brooklyn, you were awesome. Thanks! Really helped me enjoy the show that much more.
- So, um, Naomi is actually pretty good in the ring, you guys. Who would have known? And congrats to the one person in the Pay-Per-View Pick 'Em Game who actually picked her to win the Diva's battle royal.
- Big Show vs. Sheamus has run its course, both in story and in program and because I really don't want to sit through another match between the two. It's not that they're bad, because they certainly aren't, it's that they're just bland enough that I'm ready for something new. It feels like this feud has been going on forever and that's never a good thing. That gigantic chair was sweet, though.
- Remember when Wade Barrett was going to win the Money in the Bank briefcase and then go on to win the WWE or world heavyweight championship because he's the future of the company? Yeah, me neither. Dude is jobbing to the least credible Intercontinental champion of all time. It's awful.
- I was wrong about Alberto Del Rio's babyface turn. Who would have thought that the 3 Man Band would be the guys to make me see that? I thought it was a well done turn, although it was abrupt and kind of came out of nowhere as far as his character goes. Whatever, he wasn't doing anything else and he badly needed something fresh. Looking forward to seeing if he can get over as a babyface.
- The Miz is still the worst thing about WWE.
- Antonio Cesaro is winning me over because he's doing the small things right, like using his shoes to sweep dirt at his beaten opponent. He's got good enough chemistry with R-Truth that their match together was good but I'm not interested in seeing it again.
- There's a certain amount of Sin Cara that I'm willing to accept but his offense is so unbelievable, I genuinely feel insulted when he's the aggressor. His slap kicks are silly, his punches are comical, and he sells like a big man when he's small and twitchy. When the match is built around a fast pace with high flying offense, Cara and Rey Mysterio are fine but absent that, it's hard to get into anything they do together.
- If Cody Rhodes getting more over than he ever has in his life simply because he grew a mustache doesn't tell you all you need to know about today's WWE fan, I don't know what will. It's always been about the little things but it seems like it's now about the little and mostly obscure things. But damn, that mustache is glorious.
This was a pretty damn good show. Between The Shield vs. Team Hell-back and Cena vs. Ziggler, it was well worth the price of admission. Good booking too.
Did you Cagesiders enjoy TLC as much as did? Sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on the show!