WWE went rolling right on through the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, last night (Sun., Dec. 15, 2013) with TLC, featuring Randy Orton unifying the WWE and world heavyweight championship titles by defeating John Cena in the main event of the evening.
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Let's not waste any more time with pleasantries and get right to reactions to the show:
- WWE is all about promotion. Promoting is happening on a show that has already been promoting during other promotions for promotions. I'm already tired of PPV shows opening with Triple H coming out to say a whole lot of nothing that hasn't been said already before we actually get what we paid for, which is wrestling. Save that nonsense for the App and the Kickoff show, not the main offering I shelled out my hard earned money for.
- Really liked the psychology in the CM Punk vs. The Shield match, especially considering there isn't much to work with in a 3-on-1 handicap. No matter what way you slice it, someone is going to come out of it looking bad or stupid. So instead of focusing on the fact that The Shield is a three-man unit who couldn't defeat a single guy, the focus has shifted to furthering the idea that the trio is headed for a break up in the near future. It had to happen sooner or later. What better place than here? What better time than now? I have this idea in my head that the three will work towards a triple threat match at WrestleMania. Roman Reigns, of course, will go over with the spear.
- AJ Lee retained the Divas championship and one can only assume that means WWE caught on to all the reports that she had heat on her for the confrontation with Michelle Beadle at Tribute to the Troops and everyone expected her to lose her belts because of it. So her retaining was really a swerve, right? Assuming, of course, we're not all being worked through all this, which is entirely possible. I'm still shocked the Divas title hasn't been a huge focal point of a story on Total Divas yet. We'll see if it ever happens.
- Big E. Langston is a good pro wrestler. I enjoyed his victory over Damien Sandow, who is also a good pro wrestler but not as good as Langston.
- Why does Big Show seem incredibly happy to be a part of a four-way tag team title match with the most unlikely of partners, Rey Mysterio? He got jobbed out of his one title shot that he went through hell to get, was concussed, then came back and just forgot all about all of it and moved on to a tag team with Rey, smiling like a big oaf the whole way. I really and truly don't get it.
- While I can't help but dump on the storyline issues at play here, I will say the match itself was phenomenal, as expected. Getting Rybaxel out first was the right call, having Show destory the Real Americans turned out to be far more fun than I would have expected, and the show of sportsmanship before the two babyfaces duos went at it was a breath of fresh air. I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much fun it has been to watch Goldust do work in 2013. That guy is definitely the "Comeback of the Year" winner. Strong pacing, solid work, great finish. Really well done all around.
- Couldn't bring myself to care about R-Truth vs. Brodus Clay, though I think it's definitely time the latter went a new direction with his character. He's a big old nasty bastard when he wants to be, so let him be that. Now that he's broken away from Tensai, Cameron, and Naomi, though, how long will he last on the main roster?
- I liked the idea behind the angle they shot for The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston on the pre-show but I wasn't unlike any of the paying audience members in Houston who couldn't have cared any less about the ensuing match. This wasn't even a cool down, this was nap time.
- Pleasantly surprised by the quality of the two 3-on-1 handicap matches. Daniel Bryan did well against The Wyatt Family but the tone of the match and the way it was laid out absolutely made me want a Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt singles match. Maybe that was always the point and it just took me this long to get to it, but get Luke Harper and Erick Rowan out of my face and give me a singles showdown between Bray and Bryan and I'll be happy about it. And, for those wondering, no, I don't have a problem with Bryan losing here.
- By the time the bell rang, yes, I was way too excited for John Cena vs. Randy Orton. WWE did a good job with its various video packages and promotional material to make this feel like a big money match. Plus, I always wanted the titles to be unified.
- There wasn't much to expect from the match itself as far as psychology goes. It was a TLC match, after all. That means they just beat the shit out of each other using weaponry with a high spot here and there and hope no one dies. But as far as that goes, Orton took ALL the hard bumps. He went through no less than three tables. Cena, meanwhile, jumped off the ladder at one point. I understand protecting the top guy, especially considering his recent injury history, but if we're giving credit for this match, it all goes to Orton. He put his body out there to get it over. From a pure work standpoint, that man deserved to win this match.
- The finish was great, though it won't do much to change the narrative in regards to Cena, who was handcuffed to the rope and literally took the turnbuckle off and nearly won the match with a rope attached to his body. He even held his ground in a tug of war he had no business being involved in! Still, it was a nice little set up for the eventual payoff.
This was a good show.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's big event. How did you like it?