A red-hot post main event beat down and tremendous opening tag title match highlighted last night’s TLC extravaganza from Boston. Let’s run down the results.
TLC Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Sheamus defeated Roman Reigns with the help of the League of Nations
Despite the frustrating viewing experience of the live crowd trying to crap all over a main event they paid to see live with pointless chants, I really enjoyed this match. What worked best about this is it followed a recent trend in WWE ladder and TLC matches I really dig: beating the hell out of each other, then go get the belt. I always hated the silly race up the ladder dynamics that some ladder matches would have in the past and Reigns and Sheamus did a good job using the plunder at their disposal to incapacitate their opponent before even attempting to grab the belt.
Late in the match after knocking Sheamus off the Ladder with a Superman punch, Reigns seemed poised to win when Rusev & Del Rio stormed the ring giving Sheamus a second opportunity. Reigns was able to escape but ultimately fell to a Brogue Kick that sent him to the outside and Sheamus up the ladder to victory.
After the match… Roman Reigns snapped. Spearing the League of Nations duo, with Sheamus on their shoulders, and then decimating the three with vicious chair shots. An army of referees and the Authority unsuccessfully tried to rescue the WWE Champion, which further enraged the defeated challenger, nailing the Celtic Warrior again with the chair before turning his attention to the Game. With Superman punches, chair shots, a powerbomb, and a final goodbye spear, Roman Reigns unleashed the frustration of being screwed out of the WWE Championship twice in two months and had the snarky Boston crowd screaming “Thank You Roman” to close the show.
While I’m sure tonight’s RAW crowd in Philly will still crap all over Reigns this was a perfect scenario to get him way over with the majority of the fanbase. People have been clamoring for the intense, no-nonsense, short on words Reigns from the Shield days and finally, the evolution of that guy may be emerging. He can handle himself in the ring, I’m done with those who can’t see that, so the next piece that has to be finalized is locking down his persona. Reigns doesn’t need to be good on the mic, cracking jokes like the Rock or grinning like John Cena vowing to try his hardest next time when he can be the silent ass kicker. Reigns was a powder keg waiting to explode after the events of 2015, from WrestleMania to Survivor Series, this outburst was building. Tonight was the perfect example of the version of Roman Reigns we need.
An added layer to the Reigns-HHH beatdown: you now have a storyline excuse for the Authority to possibly bar Reigns from the Royal Rumble. With a “sure thing” removed, combined with Sheamus as champion, it adds a layer of unpredictability to who may emerge with the WrestleMania title match AND avoid the crowd reaction problems of the last two Rumbles.
WWE Divas Championship: Charlotte defeated Paige
Charlotte rammed Paige into the exposed turnbuckle for the win. Charlotte works well as the “dirtiest diva in the game,” but the dynamics in this match were all weird. You had Charlotte working heel, a month after working firey babyface, against Paige, also a heel, who recently referenced Charlotte’s deceased brother in a promo. Who exactly am I supposed to cheer for here? Heel vs. Heel can work but when it comes to the Divas it’s a jumbled mess. Add in Team BAD (heels) on the monitor mocking both Paige and Charlotte (heels) and I’m confused. As one reader pointed out last night, the entire division are heels, except for Becky Lynch and maybe Nattie if they remember to include her? Sasha Banks is WAY over but she’s best as a heel as well. Maybe the lack of lady heroes is because Bayley’s coming up but I fear we’re in for a returning super babyface Nikki Bella. I really hope I’m wrong on that one.
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Dean Ambrose defeated Kevin Owens to win his first IC Title
Surprising result here as Ambrose reversed the pop-up power bomb into a huracanrana roll-up for the pin. Very cool to see Dean Ambrose, who’s always way over no matter where WWE goes, get some shine. I wonder if this is the catalyst for Owens joining the League of Nations against Roman Reigns and “The Family” on Raw? I dig both guys so I could have stood to see them go at it for a little bit longer, but I’m sure we’ll get a rematch as punishment to Ambrose for what Reigns pepetrated after the main event.
Tables Elimination Match: The Wyatt Family defeated the Dudley Boyz, Tommy Dreamer, & Rhyno
- Rowan via 3D
- Rhyno via a Luke Harper Big Boot
- D-Von via Bray Wyatt uranage
- Dreamer via Harper Dive
- Bubba via Strowman chokeslam
The Wyatt Family wins the match 4-1 with Erick Rowan being the only Wyatt eliminated. Bubba teased putting Wyatt through a flaming table before eating a Strowman chokeslam to close the proceedings, but I think we all knew that wouldn’t really happen. While it’s great to see the Family win and essentially dominate (which is all I ask for every month the Wyatts are on PPV) the structure of this match was frustrating.
Almost the exact same match could have been accomplished with the Wyatts winning in a 4-0 sweep. I’d argue also that it would be more compelling if Bubba battled the Family 4 on 1 for a bit since he’s clearly the most marketable member of Team ECW as evidenced by his TNA singles run. There were also some messy moments with tables breaking early and not resulting in eliminations. Still, a fun match but slightly frustrating in its delivery. If you truly want the Wyatt Family to be an imposing force, all 4 surviving in dominant fashion would have been the way to go.
Chair Match for the United States Championship: Alberto Del Rio defeated Jack Swagger
Del Rio put Swagger away with a stomp from the top rope onto a pile of chairs for the pin. Outside of some vicious chair shots, this match was hard to get into because no one gave Swagger an iota of a chance to win and the match suffered for it, IMO. Weirdly no Zeb Colter/Real American reunion.
Rusev defeated Ryback
Standard Hoss fight matchup. After teasing Rusev & Lana walking out of the match, “The Big Guy” fell for Lana’s injury shtick for the umpteenth time allowing Rusev to take control and eventually force Ryback to pass out in the Accolade. On a side note, Rusev is one of the most underrated hilarious wrestlers on the roster, his facial expressions are wonderful.
Triple Threat Ladder Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship: The New Day defeated The Lucha Dragons & The Usos
Excellent “demolition derby” match that set a very high standard that much of the rest of the card failed to reach. Lots of amazing spots in this one including the best one: Kalisto performing a Salida del Sol on an Uso off one ladder through a second ladder. The spotfest came to a close when Kalisto was climbing the ladder alone and Xavier Woods pelted him with a trombone, distracting the luchador long enough for Kofi Kingston to pull him off and claim victory for the New Day.
Kickoff Match: Sasha Banks defeated Becky Lynch with the Banks Statement
After Lynch went for her armbar finish, Tamina was able to distract the referee allowing Naomi to kick Becky off of Sasha. This allowed “The Boss” to hit the backstabber into the Banks Statement for the win. Solid match.