It's time to turn our attention to WWE TLC (Tables, Ladders and Chairs) from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. We'll have our usual coverage of providing live bullet point updates as the event unfolds. The show starts at 8 p.m. ET so be sure to join us then. The night's card looks like this, per the WWE website:
WWE Champion The Miz def. Randy Orton (Tables Match)
Edge def. Kane and Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio to become Heavyweight Champion (Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match)
John Cena def. Wade Barrett (Chairs Match)
Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler def. Kofi Kingston and Jack Swagger (Triple Threat Ladder Match)
John Morrison def. Sheamus (Ladder Match)
Divas Champion Natalya & Beth Phoenix def. Team Lay-Cool (Divas Tag Team Tables Match)
WWE Tag Team Champions Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov def. Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel
Late getting in here. We're already underway with the triple threat match for the intercontinental title.
- Crowd sounds hot for this match. I predicted on Twitter that it would steal the show. Interesting decision to open with it. Although, it is Ziggler.
- Wow. These three are really getting after it. They set up a ladder in the corner and Swagger lifted Ziggler right up through it. Kingston then knocks Swagger down and acts like he's going to go up for the title but of course, stall time. Kofi uses the ladder to attack Swagger and Ziggler comes in with a big spot and it's rest time.
- While Ziggler, Kofi and Swagger are getting rest, Vickie walks up to get the title. She blows a kiss to Kingston as she reaches for the belt. Kofi starts lifting the ladder like he's going to send her out but Ziggler makes the save. Swagger comes in and chucks a ladder at Ziggler and this match is as much fun as I hoped it would be.
- Swagger was holding up Kofi and Ziggler climbed them both up the ladder to reach for the title. Nice suspense spot. Swagger gets knocked out and now Kofi and Ziggler are going at it on top of the ladder. Dolph even locks on the sleeper. Kofi gets out and now they do a test of strength. Ziggler gets knocked off and the crowd explodes but Swagger climbs in at near record speed. Kingston and Swagger both take the title down at the same time but it falls to the mat and Ziggler snatches it. Striker is quick to explain that after unhooking the belt, you have to grab it too. So Ziggler retains after he snatched it up off the mat. Even though he didn't unhook it. Yeah. Awesome match though.
- Cut to the back and it's Nexus trying to convince us they are still a group. Barrett giving the usual speech about the group staying united to take out John Cena. A total of 6 people actually believed him. Time for the Diva's Tag Team Tables Match. You know the drill. Take your breaks now, ladies and gentlemen.
- Okay, so I have to admit, Natalya actually put LayCool in a double sharpshooter. That's both ladies at the same time. Pretty slick. Actually wasn't the worst match in the world, not bad for the Divas. Natalya reversed a suplex off the top rope and sent LayCool into a table but it didn't break like it looked like it was supposed to. So Natalya, after the crowd went insane knowing what the finish would be, jumped off and won the match. Pretty good. This Houston crowd is outstanding.
- Kane promo in the back and he's talking about Christmas and how it was horrible for him in his childhood. Good god, I'm tired of this Kane storyline. No way is he champ past the Rumble. Somebody is taking the belt off him tonight. Kane ends the promo by embarrassing himself repeatedly saying "MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!" and smashing everything around him, including presents and a tree. Can't make this shit up folks.
- Santino is out cutting a promo and cementing his spot as the most entertaining character on the entire pay-per-view. Time for the tag team title match.
- Nexus around the ring steadily getting involved in the match. The way they are setting it up makes it look like Santino and Kozlov will retain, despite the odds. Which would make sense with the way they've been booking Nexus. Slater in the ring and the crowd starts chanting Wendy. I endorse said chant. They're smashing Kozlov while he tries his best to get to Santino for the hot tag. Which is as backwards as it gets considering Santino's skills in the ring. Finally, Santino gets the tag but it's not very hot. Marella is still cleaning house. McGillicutty comes in and takes down Santino as he's getting ready to end it and it's a DQ win for Santino and Kozlov. Out comes Barrett with a chair and he's working on them now. I guess this is how they're getting over the match going down later tonight. Which would make sense, except everyone watching the match ALREADY BOUGHT THE PAY-PER-VIEW. This is the kind of shit that annoys even half way intelligent wrestling fans. They just sacrificed a good match for that. Ugh.
- Now it's time for the ladder match to determine the number one contender to the WWE title between Sheamus and Morrison. Curious to see how they do here.
- Cole calls Morrison's offensive style "hardcore." No, Cole. It's not. Sheamus is the first to grab a ladder and he sets it up between the ring and the announce table. Sheamus tries to throw him into it but Morrison ducks underneath and acts tough after. Uh, you're not dude. The announcers even start putting over the slide. Come on Lawler, you're better than that.
- Morrison sets the ladder up and starts climbing for the title. The bane of all ladder matches is the inexplicable slow climb to give the other guy time to make the save. Morrison makes up for it with a big spot off the top rope leapfrogging the ladder and landing on Sheamus. Another slow climb though and Sheamus stops selling at all to make the save. Another issue with the slow climb. If I sound jaded, it's because I am.
- Sheamus works some good psychology into the match, working on the knee that Morrison hurt earlier in the match. He's also working the ladder into it and making himself look ruthless. I'm impressed with Sheamus here.
- Now it's Sheamus turn for the slow climb and of course Morrison makes the save, bad knee and all. Let's see if Morrison sells the knee the rest of the match. So far, so good. Morrison working a comeback and Sheamus shuts it down with a backbreaker. Is there any move that looks more impressive than a swinging backbreaker. It's so solid because it looks like it actually would hurt like hell. Morrison climbs the ladder slow (at least now he has a reason) and Sheamus knocks him off, attacking the knee. Now they're both up on the ladder exchanging blows. Off they go and Sheamus tries a powerbomb to the outside but Morrison reverses and sends him out. Time to climb back up the ladder and he's hopping pretty fast. He grabs the contract but Sheamus pushes the ladder down. These guys are doing very well.
- Holy shit. Big spot off the ladder in the ring. Morrison sent Sheamus down onto the ladder that was previously set up from the ring to the announce table. That was brutal. Sheamus is down and Morrison is heading to the ladder in the ring. Morrison is right there with the contract and Sheamus actually climbs back in but Morrison nails a sweet kick and there it is. He unhooks it to become number one contender to the title. Still selling the knee. Hell of a match.
- Miz cuts a promo in the back. Not his best work. Cut to the back again and they find Nexus laid out, save for Barrett and Chad Dukes, I mean Husky Harris. God, could they make them look any worse? Time for Miz vs Orton for the WWE Championship. Huge pop for Orton.
- Pretty slow match so far here. The crowd is noticeably more quiet but Orton is setting up a table now. Wow. He picked it up like he was going to toss it into the ring and Miz slid and kicked it right into him. Nice spot that got absolutely no love from the live crowd. This doesn't bode well for Miz.
- Miz sets up Orton on the outside on the table and goes to the top rope to jump off on him but Orton gets up. Still a lot of time left in the pay-per-view. Miz gets his own table out and into the ring it goes.
- Orton sets it up for a suplex off the top rope on to a table but Riley moves the table at the last minute. Nice tease of an ender. Orton getting a lot of offense in now. DDT off the middle rope. Orton back to the outside to put a table in the ring and Riley attacks him but Orton easily does away with him. That was sad. Orton hits a backbreaker on Miz in the ring and Orton is setting up the RKO on the table. But Riley makes the save again and they do a ref bump spot. Riley comes in again after Miz got tossed out and eats an RKO. Randy powerbombs the shit out of Riley on the table and Miz comes in right after to hit the skullcrushing finale. He moves Riley off the broken table and puts Orton on it. Then he wakes up the ref and the ref calls for the bell and the Miz retains the title. That was beautiful. Shades of the Lie, Cheat and Steal character played by the late Eddie Guerrero.
- Whoa. The ref watched the replay on the megatron and restarted the match to a big pop from the crowd. Orton is smashing Miz now. Riley comes in and Orton ends up going off the apron onto a table and Miz retains the title. Officially. Cole is putting over the fact that Miz beat Orton twice in one night to retain the title. I would have rather they ended it with the first gimmick finish but this was okay too.
- Promo for the Royal Rumble and good god, I'm pumped for that. You should be too. We'll be here live blogging it as always. Should be fun.
- Cut to the back and it's promo time with Del Rio and Edge. Unusual for Edge to need to get cheap heat by shouting out the name of the city but he did. As a babyface. Ugly. Time for the Fatal 4-way World Heavyweight Championship match. Which means Cena is in the main event. Ugh.
- Match gets underway and some awkward offense before a big spot with Mysterio on the outside into Kane and Edge. Always interesting to see how well four guys can work against each other at the same time. Believe it or not we're only about four minutes in and we've already had no less than two slow climbs.
- Fairly slow rolling match. Looks like they just wanted a spotfest, which is fine but the spots haven't been very good and there is too much down time in between. Mysterio holds Kane down on a table outside the ring while Edge climbs up a ladder in the ring. Edge goes flying out and puts Kane through. Nice spot. It also sets up ADR and Mysterio to have their time in the ring. Switch to Edge and Kane again where Edge cllimbs up and gets dumped off onto the rope. Looked like he botched the landing. Instead of landing on his crotch, his leg got caught up for a second. Could have been ugly but he's okay.
- Everyone is on the top of the entrance ramp battling and Mysterio sees an opening and tries to run in and set up a ladder but ADR gets to him quick. Edge also comes in and both ADR and Edge are set up for the 619. Del Rio gets one and Rey goes for Edge too but gets blocked by a steel chair. That was rough. Now he's gotta sell a toe injury. Ugh. Edge taking entirely too long to set up the ladder. Del Rio follows him up. Mysterio sets up a ladder next to them although it's a lot smaller. Man. ADR goes off, then Mysterio and Edge take a big bump off the ladder. Everybody is down now.
- ADR's ring announcer climbs up the ladder and Kane makes his way back in and chokeslams him off the ladder. Del Rio comes in and he gets a chokeslam too. Edge gets on the apron and gets chokeslammed off the table. Rey drops Kane on the chair and hits the 619. He knocks Kane out of the ring and Mysterio is by himself setting up the ladder. Up he goes and it's another slow climb. Damn it. Del Rio comes out of nowhere and drags him down. What a surprise. Flying armbar from ADR. Holy shit. Del Rio climbed the ladder, the big one, before Rey showed up and pushed him off the top of it out onto the table on the outside. The one table. That was a huge spot. ADR has to be hurting like hell. Mysterio climbs up but Kane gets back in. Mysterio off the top rope and Kane reverses into a tombstone. Now it's Kane's turn to head up the ladder. Slowest climb of them all. Edge hits him in the back with a chair.
- Kane on the apron gets speared off by Edge onto a table and now it's Edge headed up the ladder. He goes all the way up and Edge is the new heavyweight champion. Not a bad match at all. Not as good as earlier matches on the card but not bad at all. They replayed the ADR bump and he has to be hurt. That shit was sickening.
- Only one match left. Time for that one guy.
- Cody Rhodes comes out cutting a promo and slamming the city of Houston for being ugly. Santa Claus comes out with two elves and their throwing presents out to the crowd. Oh, Santa is Big Show. Looks like it's time to set up a feud between the two. Show is a veteran worker and it could be a good thing for Rhodes to get over on him. Show embarrasses Rhodes by ripping all his clothes off after Rhodes bashed him for a bit. That was filler. Time for the main event.
- They show Husky Harris and Wade Barrett walking in the back and Cena nails Harris with a chair, taking him out. Striker conveniently reminds us that Cena said he wouldn't stop until he took every member of Nexus out, which he has done now -- except for Wade Barrett. Time to totally bury this group I guess. But wait.... CM Punk's music hits and he's going to join the broadcast booth to do commentary for the main event. That means we're in for a smoz finish.
- I didn't live blog the match because I knew what it would be. Cena completely buried Barrett and they let him give Barrett the Attitude Adjustment on 6 chairs set up in the ring. Now Cena is attacking Barrett as he's trying to crawl out. This is what makes wrestling fans not like wrestling. It makes no sense to do this to a good young act like Barrett. What's to gain from this? Keep Cena a babyface longer for what? So they can continue to boo him everywhere except for the 8 year olds that actually enjoy his tired and lame act? Ugh. Cena is still going at Barrett and I'm done with it. See you guys.