Wrestling Review: WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs (2020)

Tables, Ladders and Chairs – oh my. As WWE presents the 2020 edition of its Tables, Ladders & Chairs event, two of the sinister match types will take place. In the main event, Randy Orton and “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt will finally put their animosity to rest, as they face off in a Firefly Inferno match, where the only way to win is to set your opponent on fire. For SmackDown, The Tribal Chief and Universal Champion, Roman Reigns will be forced to try and make Kevin Owens kneel before him and proclaim Reigns the Head of the Table, while Owens is instead looking to reclaim the Universal Championship he last held over four years ago. Meanwhile, the WWE Champion on Monday Night Raw, Drew McIntyre, will have to defend his title against a man he has never faced, the Phenomenal AJ Styles. McIntyre, however, will also have to deal with Styles’ enormous bodyguard, Omos, and the looming threat of The Miz, and his Money in the Bank contract. Also on the show, Sasha Banks defends her SmackDown Women’s Championship against Carmella, while Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler defends the Women’s Tag Team titles against Asuka, and a mystery partner of Asuka’s choosing. Also, The New Day team of Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods will once against defend their Raw Tag Team Championships against Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander of the Hurt Business.

+ Randy Orton vs “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (Firefly Inferno Match): I know this match was getting some flack as it was airing, and even moreso now, a few days after the fact – but I loved it. I truly believe Bray Wyatt is one of the best wrestling character workers in all of wrestling, and I particularly love this hokey stuff in my wrestling (I am a Kane fan, after all). I had no problems with this at all, and anybody taking the ending literally in the world of wrestling is taking both it and themselves too seriously
+ Roman Reigns (c) (w/ Paul Heyman) vs Kevin Owens (TLC Match for the Universal Championship): I am so entirely on board with this “Tribal Chief” version of Roman Reigns, and well-known family man Kevin Owens is the perfect opponent for him, following Reigns’ defeat and recruitment of Jey Uso. The constant two-on-one from Reigns/Uso against Owens was somewhat confusing, particularly as Owens has been shown to have friends of his own backstage that could have come to help, but Owens also has that “fight to the end” aura about him that made this work. I enjoyed this match, and I enjoy this Reigns character
+ Shaya Baszler & Nia Jax (c) vs Asuka & ??? (Women’s Tag Team Championships): Asuka’s original partner was scheduled to be Lana, so literally anybody else was most definitely going to be an improvement, and this surprise partner was. Though perhaps not really a “surprise” partner, Asuka and her teammate had good chemistry against the bullies. Nia Jax is still a horrendous as ever, and Shayna can’t literally carry that team on her own. Shayna and Asuka were both such huge deals at one point, and to see them contesting over these meaningless tag belts is so sad
+ Drew McIntyre (c) vs AJ Styles (w/ Omos) (TLC Match for the WWE Championship): holy smokes, Styles got destroyed for almost this entire match. McIntyre looked like a monster, Omos has a real presence about him and I really enjoyed the physicality of the action in this match, though the “bigger moments” might fall flat for some – I thought it was fine

The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) (c) vs The Hurt Business (Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander) (w/ MVP) (Raw Tag Team Championships): despite, as always, good action inside the ring, this was essentially a repeat of something I think we’ve seen literally a thousand times in the last month or so. If this was going to be something different why did they drill into our heads that this feud was meaningless? And if it was to be more of the same, though who the heck even wants to see that? I’m getting close to anything Hurt Business/New Day related getting a double negative mark
Sasha Banks (c) vs Carmella (SmackDown Women’s Championship): this was probably the best you could hope for with these two, but I really did not care for it at all. Sasha is horrid as the likeable champion, and Carmella was the “cheating bad guy” who sort of didn’t really do much wrong. Carmella looked great after being away so long, but overall I did not enjoy this

Should you watch this event: Overall, this was actually a pretty good event. Looking past my personal dislike of Sasha Banks, and the storytelling of New Day/Hurt Business, there was no bad in-ring action. McIntyre, Styles, Reigns, Asuka, Shayna Baszler, Sasha Banks, Owens and Orton have had good years, in my opinion, and that continued here.


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