The WWE takes over Minnesota as it presents the annual TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per view event. The main event will feature the first ever women’s tag team TLC match, as the champions, The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka & Kairi Sane) seek to rid themselves of eternal thorn in their sides, Charlotte Flair & the Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch. Roman Reigns and Baron Corbin will also take part in a TLC match, following Corbin’s disgusting tactics in riling up The Big Dog on SmackDown over the past few weeks. SmackDown’s tag team champions, The New Day (excluding the still injured Xavier Woods) will defend their tag team titles in a ladder match against The Revival, while Raw’s tag team champions will hold an open challenge for their gold. Aleister Black and Buddy Murphy will finally come to blows in their first ever face off, and Rusev will look to get his revenge on Lashley in a tables match.
+ Roman Reigns vs Baron Corbin (TLC Match): I’m no Reigns fan by any stretch, and I am as indifferent to Corbin as you could be, but something about this match really clicked for me. Corbin looked like an absolute asshole, and Reigns finally looked to have that fire that a the top protagonist of the show should have
+ Buddy Murphy vs Aleister Black: this was really good, even if Murphy is just doing all he can to be a New Japan tribute act. Black got a badly busted face, but it really added to the intensity that these two were going for. I liked this, but I’d have to guess that Black’s nose injury did take some steam off what they had planned
+ The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) (c) vs The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) (Ladder Match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships): this was fine, but one really slow slog in the middle made me hate it before it was finished. Kofi and Wilder are the go-tos for their respective teams if you want a good match, but these are two of the best teams for a reason. This was good, but it should have been great
+ Andrade (w/ Zelina Vega) vs Huberto Carillo: holy cow, this was phenomenal, and of course that means it was stuck in pre-show hell. Andrade is sneaky as a shadow, and Carillo has the moves of a super ninja, which made the two mesh perfectly, as they have in the past. When this was over, I was all but certain nothing on the main show would top it
– The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka & Kairi Sane) (c) vs Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair (WWE Raw Women’s Tag Team Championships TLC Match): Kairi is such a natural underdog that I felt really uncomfortable as the much larger Charlotte and Becky were attacking her. This only got worse as it was clear that Kairi was knocked loopy at some point, and continued to be abused by Charlotte. Asuka and Becky need to have their singles match on a big scale sometime soon, and Charlotte needs to get some more training before she injuries someone permanently (Sasha too, but that’s a rant for another day)
– Bobby Lashley (w/ Lana) vs Rusev (Tables Match): this was not good. Both men were lumbering around setting up predictable and choreographed spots, with Rusev not being able to show any of his charisma. Something like this, but definitely not exactly this, should have just been the main event on Raw, and they could have that Last Man Standing match they teased a month ago
– Bray Wyatt vs The Miz: there were a lot of ways they could have gone with this match, what with Wyatt not being in his Fiend persona, and I can’t say I was thrilled with the choice they made. This felt more like a way to fill time before the inevitable Daniel Bryan return for Wyatt
– The Viking Raiders’ open challenge: this was predictable, and garbage, and made everyone involved look like absolute losers that we should not pay attention to. WWE, don’t waste my time with this crap on a PPV show
Should you watch this event: On paper, this didn’t look like much, but I Held out hope that it may have had a good thing or two. As it stands, it had exactly two good things: Andrade/Carillo on the pre-show, and Murphy/Black on the main. Avoid the rest.