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Csonka’s WWE TLC 2018 Review

December 16, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
Daniel Bryan WWE TLC

Csonka’s WWE TLC 2018 Review

OFFICIAL RESULTS
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Champion Buddy Murphy defeated Cedric Alexander @ 10:33 via pin [****]
Ladder Match: Elias defeated Lashley @ 6:20 [**]
Mixed Match Challenge Season 2 Finals: R-Truth & Carmella defeated Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox @ 5:55 via submission []
Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: Champions The Bar defeated The Usos & The New Day @ 12:20 via pin [***½]
TLC Match: Braun Strowman defeated Baron Corbin @ 2:50 via pin [NR]
Tables Match: Natalya defeated Ruby Riott @ 12:36 [**¼]
– Finn Balor defeated Drew McIntyre @ 12:20 via pin [***]
Chairs Match: Rey Mysterio defeated Randy Orton @ 11:25 via pin [**]
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Champion Ronda Rousey defeated Nia Jax @ 10:50 via submission [***½]
WWE Championship Match: Champion Daniel Bryan defeated AJ Styles @ 23:43 via pin [****½]
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Dean Ambrose defeated Champion Seth Rollins @ 22:58 via pin [**½]
Smackdown Women’s Championship TLC Match: Asuka defeated Champion Becky Lynch & Charlotte @ 22:50 [****½]


WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Champion Buddy Murphy vs. Cedric Alexander: They lock up, working into some smooth back and forth, and ending in a standoff. Alexander with a head scissors, and follows with a dropkick for 2. He follows with strikes, but Buddy cuts off the slingshot flatliner with a knee strike and heads up top and hits meteora. Buddy grounds the action, lays in elbows, but Alexander fires back with chops and runs into a boot. Buddy follows with a hanging sleeper in the corner, but flies off into a superkick. Alexander fires up and hits an enziguri, knee strike, and slingshot flatliner. The springboard clothesline connects for 2. They work into counters and Buddy gets a cradle and the tights for 2. Michinoku driver by Alexander and that gets 2. Alexander follows with forearms, but Buddy fires back, but eats a back elbow but hits Cheeky Nandos and a sitout powerbomb for a good near fall. They work to the apron, but Alexander hits an apron DVD, rolls him back in and covers for 2. Alexander hits the lumbar check, but Buddy makes the ropes. They spill to the floor, Alexander rolls him back in and Buddy trips him into the buckles, hits a knee strike and Murphy’s law for the win. Champion Buddy Murphy defeated Cedric Alexander @ 10:33 via pin [****] As expected, this was a great opener, with both guys delivering as they have for all of 2018. They delivered another banger, and while it sucks that they were stuck on the kickoff show, they killed it and got the crowd into it as well.

– Elias plays a tune.

Ladder Match: Elias vs. Lashley: Lio Rush is at ringside. Lashley overpowers Elias right away, takes him down and grabs a ladder. Elias dropkicks it into his face, beats on him on the floor, and slides ladders in the ring. He looks to climb, Rush tries to stop him ad Elias runs him off. Lashley back in, eats a knee strike, and Elias props a ladder in the corner. Lashley whips him into it, hits a suplex, and slams a ladder onto him. Lashley sets up the ladder, but Elias cuts him off and attacks with ladder shots but Lashley suplexes Elias overhead onto a ladder in the corner. Lashley climbs, Elias stops him, and powerbombs him onto a ladder. Elias & Rush climb, Elias knocks him off and gets the guitar and wins. Elias defeated Lashley @ 6:20 [**] This was ok, but I absolutely hate that the result didn’t matter, since Elias got his ass beat anyway.

– Post match, Lashley beats down Elias and Lio hits a frog splash. Lashley then lays out Elias with a guitar shot.

Mixed Match Challenge Season 2 Finals: Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox vs. R-Truth & Carmella: The winners get an all expenses paid vacation as well as the #30 spot in their Royal Rumble match. The men begin, as Mahal takes Truth down right away. Truth fights to his feet, and hits a running cross body for 2. The backslide follows for 2. The ladies tag in and Truth and Carmella dump them and we get the dance break. The Singhs then join in and Truth tosses them. That allows Fox to attack Carmella, and sort of hit a neck breaker. Fox grounds things, but Carmella hits a head scissors and lays in ground and pound. Fox cuts her off with the northern lights suplex for 2. They work into a double down, and the men tag in. Truth runs wild on Mahal, the Singhs distract him and Fox tags herself in and she yells at Truth. Truth steals her hat, Superkick by Carmella and Mahal makes the save. Truth dumps him and Carmella locks on the code of silence for the win. R-Truth & Carmella defeated Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox @ 5:55 via submission [*½] Like most of MMC, it wasn’t really good, but Truth & Carmella are a ton of fun and I’m glad they won.

– Truth and Carmella are going to WWE HQ for their vacation. Carmella is not amused since Truth was the one that picked the destination ahead of the finals.

Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: Champions The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) vs. The Usos vs. The New Day (Kofi & Woods): Byron is sick, so Otunga is on commentary. Sheamus and Kofi to begin, they lock up and Sheamus starts working the power game, taking control. Kofi picks up the pace, hits a dropkick, and tags in Woods and New Day work double teams and cover for 2. The Usos join in and we get a brawl as Cesaro cuts off the tope with an uppercut. Back in and Sheamus hits the back breaker on Woods, and Cesaro tags in. Woods tries to fire back, but Sheamus tags in and the champions work double teams and keep Woods grounded. The champions keep Woods grounded and isolated with quick tags and double teams, Sheamus tags in, takes out the Usos and sets Woods up top. Woods fights him off and Sheamus gets crotched. Tag to Cesaro and Kofi. Kofi picks up the pace right away, runs wild, hits the boom drop and Cesaro counters trouble in paradise, Jimmy tags himself in and he and Cesaro end up hitting a powerplex on Kofi. The Usos start lighting fools up with superkicks, pop up Samoan drop on Kofi and that gets 2. Cesaro tags him self in, Jimmy hits the top rope splash, but Cesaro dumps him and steals the cover on Kofi for 2. Cesaro follows with the big swing, and sharpshooter. Kofi fights and Woods hits a slingshot DDT to make the save. Sheamus tags in, dumps Woods, and Kofi hits a double stomp. Woods up top, hits the ropewalk elbow after Kofi hit trouble in paradise, but Jey & Cesaro make the save. It breaks down, Kofi clears the ring and wipes out the pile with the big trust fall. Enziguri by Woods on Sheamus, but Sheamus catches him with the brogue kick and the champions retain. Champions The Bar defeated The Usos & The New Day @ 12:20 via pin [***½] This was very good and fun, and any combination of these three teams continue to deliver each and every time out.

TLC Match: Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin: Heath Slater is the ref. Corbin yaps, the ring the bell, and Slater starts his count. Strowman’s music hits and he’s here in a sling. Strowman reminds Corbin that there are no rules and no DQs in a TLC match, so if someone wanted to help him, they could. Apollo Crews arrives with a chair. Roode and Gable also arrive. Corbin looks to run, but Balor appears. Slater takes off his ref shirt and he joins the group. Strowman watches on as they all beat the shit out of Corbin. Corbin tries to escape, but Kurt Angle is here to stop that. Angle attacks with chair shots, and back in the babyfaces hit a finisher buffet on Corbin like Jimmy King being almost killed off in Ready to Rumble. Slater puts the ref shirt back on and Strowman covers Corbin with one foot and wins. Braun Strowman defeated Baron Corbin @ 2:50 via pin [NR] Not so much a match as it was an angle, but it was a really good one with wronged babyfaces finally reuniting and Corbin getting the ass beating he deserved. It was really nice to get a satisfying payoff for once.

– Corbin is out of power, and Braun gets his title shot at the Rumble.

Tables Match: Natalya vs. Ruby Riott: Logan & Morgan are out with the Jim Neidhart decorated table. Natalya takes her down, lays in ground and pound, and Liv distracts Natalya, allowing Ruby to take control. Natalya fights back, hits a German and they brawl to the floor. They work to the apron, they tease a table spot, Liv saves Ruby and Natalya sends her off the apron and through the table. Back in and Natalya hits a German, takes out Logan, and she and Ruby brawl on the floor as Natalya calls her a bitch. Ruby fights off a powerbomb through the table, Natalya takes out Logan and slams her through the table. This allows Ruby to cut her off, takes her to the Jim Neidhart table and says Jim is ashamed of her. Ruby slams her to the steps, slides the Jim table in the ring and props it up in the corner. Natalya back in, they tease the table spot, and the table now falls over as Natalya hits an electric chair drop. They work to the floor, Natalya rolls Ruby back in and gets a table with Ruby on it. She then puts on her dad’s jacket, and back in and kicks Ruby in the face, She sets up the Ruby table, but Ruby fires back with a superkick. She lays Natalya on the Ruby table, heads up top and Natalya cuts her off and slam her repeatedly off the table. Natalya heads up top, she gets cut off, and Ruby looks for a RANA, Natalya stops that and powerbombs her through the table to win. Natalya defeated Ruby Riott @ 12:36 [**¼] This was solid, if a bit long and lethargic. Natalya got her feel good moment, but I have no idea what you do with the Riott Squad from here. They are far from a dominant team, and just got their asses handed to them by Natalya. Also, how can you try and build a blood feud around sun glasses, and decals/fat heads?

Finn Balor vs. Drew McIntyre: They lock up and McIntyre immediately takes control, going to his power game. Balor fights back, attacking the knee, but this just angers McIntyre who lays in chops and takes him up top. Balor slips out, lays in kicks and heads up top. McIntyre cuts that off and just fucking throws him all the way across the ring. Balor tries to go back to the knee, but McIntyre continues to attack and talks shit to him. McIntyre hits another overhead toss and grounds the action. McIntyre follows with a delayed suplex, and covers for 2. McIntyre keeps things grounded, talking more shit on Balor, but Balor slowly fires back with running forearms. The standing double stomp follows, and then chops and a tornado DDT. Balor follows with the tope. Back in and he hits sling blade, but then runs into a McIntyre back breaker for 2. McIntyre follows with chops, but Balor gets a cradle for 2. The enziguri follows and Balor heads up top, McIntyre cuts him off with chops, and follows him up. The second rope air raid crash connects, but Balor kicks out at 2. McIntyre dumps Balor, follows but Balor traps him in the ring skirt and stomps the hell out of him. McIntyre manages to cut off the PK, and drops Balor with a head butt. Dolph Ziggler arrives, superkicks McIntyre, but McIntyre then kicks a chair into his face. McIntyre rolls him in the ring and grabs the chair. Balor John WOOOOOOOOOOOS the chair into McIntyre’s face and hits the double stomp to win. Finn Balor defeated Drew McIntyre @ 12:20 via pin [***] This was a good match that I was enjoying, but I wasn’t a fan of the ending and Ziggler’s involvement, and felt the ending took away from the match, but at least it protected McIntyre, who they reportedly have big plans for. The real positive is that the faces are showing some unity tonight.

Chairs Match: Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio: They immediately brawl to the floor, Rey lays in chair shots and chases Orton into the ring and keeps attacking. Orton cuts him off and he lays in some chair shots. To the apron they go, Rey counters and knocks Orton to the floor. He then follows with the chair assisted sliding splash. That was cool. Rey follows with more chair shots, Rey misses a seated senton and breaks his ass on a chair as Orton moved. Orton dismantles the announce table, lays a chair on it, and slams Rey face first onto it. Orton slides chairs into the ring, and back in Orton covers for 2. He wedges a chair in the corner, lays the boots to Rey, but Rey head scissors Orton into the chair. Orton quickly cuts him off with a snap slam. He lays down a chair and looks for the draping DDT. Rey fights it off, hits an enziguri and flies in but Orton throws a chair at him and covers for 2. Orton wedges another chair in the corner, but Rey battles back with kicks, a chair shot and 619. Rey up top and gets cut off. Orton slams Rey into the chair in the corner, gets more chairs, and sets them up with bad intentions in mind. Orton looks for an RKO on the chairs, but Rey escapes and trips Orton onto the chairs and cradles him for the win. Rey Mysterio defeated Randy Orton @ 11:25 via pin [**] This was ok at best, and it was nice to see Rey get some revenge, but it felt really lethargic at times and longer than it really was. The stipulation added nothing to this.

– Balor is interviewed backstage, and he has no idea what Dolph was doing. Dolph arrives and attacks Balor. Ok then.

Raw Women’s Championship Match: Champion Ronda Rousey vs. Nia Jax: Tamina is at ringside. They lock up and Jax tosses her away. Rousey picks up the pace, lays in strikes, and Rousey follows with kicks and rolls for an arm bar but Jax powers up and powerbombs Rousey for 2. Jax follows with a corner splash and tosses her across the ring and hits an elbow drop for 2. Jax now posts Rousey and hits an ass attack against the post. Jax hits a head butt, but misses a leg drop. Rousey now counters into a sleeper, rolls for an arm bar, but Jax is in the ropes and they spill to the floor and Jax slams her to the barricade. Back in and Jax grounds the action. Rousey counters the powerbomb into a RANA. Jax charges and posts herself. Rousey heads up top and hits the high cross to the floor. Back in and Rousey covers for 2. Rousey lays in strikes and a knee strike, the superman punch follows for 2. Rousey heads back up top and hits a high cross, but Jax rolls through and hits a Samoan drop for 2. Head butt by Jax, and follows with a corner splash. She carries Rousey up top, Rousey fights out and hits a sunset bomb for a good near fall. Rousey looks for an arm bar, Tamina distracts her, allowing Jax to cut her off. Rousey blocks the KO shot, arm bar applied, and Jax taps. Champion Ronda Rousey defeated Nia Jax @ 10:50 via submission [***½] This ended up being a very good match, with a good layout, some good drama, and Rousey retaining. Rousey delivered again, and Jax more than held up her end of the deal here.

– Nia refuses to be interviewed, and runs into Becky Lynch, who kicks her ass. “Keep my name out yo mouth!”

WWE Championship Match: Champion Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles: Bryan drops to the floor for some stalling, frustrating Styles. Back in and they finally lock up, Styles lays in chops and starts working over Bryan around the ring. Styles hits a head scissors, and works over Bryan in the corner. Styles follows with rights, but Bryan firs back, and avoids the dropkick one, but eats it the second time as Bryan retreats to the floor. Styles looks for a plancha, but eats a kick to the ribs. Bryan shoots him to the barricade, back in and Bryan lays in kicks in the corner. Knee strikes follow as Bryan focuses on the ribs. He grounds things, and lays in repeated knee strikes and follows with a bow and arrow. Styles makes the ropes, so Bryan lays in chops. Styles fires back, but Bryan goes back to the ribs and cuts him off. Bryan hangs him in the tree of WHOA, continuing to focus on the ribs. He follows with kicks, and Styles rolls to the floor. Styles back in, fires up with strikes, they work into counters and both get cradles for 2. Bryan sends Styles to the buckles and follows with the dropkick. He hits another and Styles cuts off the third with a vicious lariat. He tries to fire up with strikes, lays the boots to Styles and the ref has to pull him off. Spinning back fist by Styles connects and that gets 2. Styles follows with ground and pound, as well as stomps. Bryan rolls to the floor to avoid the clash. Styles follows and posts Bryan a few times. Back in and Bryan begs off, but runs into an ushigoroshi for 2. Bran counters a suplex with a knee strike, counters the asai DDT and lays in knee strikes and a suplex for 2. Bryan now lays in kicks, lighting up Styles and the cover gets 2. Bryan hits a head butt, but Styles fire back with an enziguri. Styles now follows with a dragon screw and leg kicks. He then posts Bryan’s knee repeatedly, and then hits a chop block. Bryan hits a desperation enziguri, and goes back to the ribs. They work up top now, Styles rolls through on the RANA, Bryan fights off the clash, but Styles gets a half crab. Bryan fights, and transitions into he LeBell lock. He adds in elbows to the ribs. Cranks back on the hold, but Styles counters out and eats a head kick, but fire back with the PELE. They trade strikes, Bryan attacks the ribs, but hen runs into a dropkick. Styles looks to springboard in and the 450 connects; the cover gets a good near fall. Styles is slow to follow up, but rolls into the calf crusher. Styles cranks back, Bryan fights, and just barely makes the ropes. Bryan rolls to the floor, Styles follows and rolls him back in, but Bryan rolls back to the floor. Styles follows and hits the forearm off of the barricade. Back in and Styles goes springboard forearm, almost hits the ref, and cradles Bryan but Bryan gets the small package and picks up the win. Champion Daniel Bryan defeated AJ Styles @ 23:43 via pin [****½] This was an absolutely fantastic match, that played extremely well off of their Smackdown matches, had some tremendous call backs, and was just a case of two excellent wrestlers delivering. Styles is an amazing fiery babyface, while Bryan is channeling the best of his ROH/FIP heel personas, with the ground work, ruthlessness, and of course bringing back Mr. Small Package. This was excellent pro wrestling, slowly and smartly built from the start, with everything having a point and purpose. This was one of the best WWE main roster matches of 2018.

– Rousey & Natalya talk and Charly interviews Ronda. Ronda teases payback against Charlotte.

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Champion Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose: They talk shit and work to the ropes. Rollins hits a running back elbow, follows with rights, and then beats down Ambrose in the corner. Ambrose fires back, but Rollins hits a springboard clothesline. He follows with forearms and Ambrose powders. Rollins follows as Ambrose slams him onto the announce table. Back in and Ambrose hits an elbow drop for 2. Ambrose follows with strikes and a suplex for 2. Ambrose follows with a knee strike and elbow, covering for 2. Ambrose grounds things, Rollins fires back and Ambrose levels him with a clothesline for 2. Ambrose hits another elbow off the ropes, covering for 2. Ambrose up top and leaps into a kick but still cuts off Rollins and hits a neck breaker for 2. These two hate each other so much that a clean professional wrestling match has broken out. Rollins gets a cradle for 2, hits a flatliner to the buckles, but Ambrose attacks the knee and locks on a cloverleaf. Rollins fights and makes the ropes and pills to the floor. To the apron, Rollins stuns Ambrose off the ropes and follow with the old Jerry Lynn leg drop in the ropes. Ambrose punches him to cut off the dive, but back in and Rollins hits sling blade, and then a blockbuster. Rollins dumps Ambrose, limps around and hits a suicide dive, and then a second. Back in, they work up top, and Rollins looks for a sunset bomb, but his knee gives out. But he pops up and hits a running buckle bomb anyway. Rollins fires up, but Ambrose cuts of the blackout and they trade strikes and work into a double down. They trade again, go crazy fists, head butt by Rollins, but Ambrose cuts him off with a dodon and covers for 2. Ambrose heads up top, Rollins runs up and Ambrose crotches him and follows with a clothesline and covers for 2. Rollins fights off dirty deeds as we get “this is boring” chants. Ambrose mocks Rollins, but Rollins hits an enziguri and ripcord knee for 2. Rollins up top, the high fly flow eats knees and Ambrose cradles him for 2. Rollins fights off dirty deeds, Ambrose up top and Rollins pops up, superplex, does the deal and hits the falcon arrow for 2. Ambrose begs off, wants to do the Shield fist bump, but Rollins hits him with a superkick and says fuck that. They brawl to the floor, Rollins hits a barricade bomb, and rolls back in. Ambrose follows and counters black out into dirty deeds and wee have a new champion. Dean Ambrose defeated Champion Seth Rollins @ 22:58 via pin [**½] I was not a fan of this. They spent weeks making this personal, Ambrose blew up the Shield, did so on the night Reigns announced his leukemia diagnosis, and they even used that for heat. They simply worked the wrong match here, fans wanted a brawl, they wanted to feel the hate, they wanted those feeling they set heading into the match to spillover into this match. Instead, an ordinary wrestling match broke out and not only was it not what anyone wanted, the live fans were quiet for a large portion of it and then even chanted that it was boring. It wasn’t bad, they worked hard, but it came off as bland and heatless.

Smackdown Women’s Championship TLC Match: Champion Becky Lynch vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte: Here we go. After some trash talk, Asuka attacks and lays in kicks on both. Lynch cuts her off and lays in knee strikes. She follows with kick and forearms, and then an XPLODER but Charlotte cuts her off. Lynch takes out Asuka on the floor, Charlotte sets a table up in the corner, and then slams Asuka into it. Lynch has a ladder, but Charlotte kicks it into her face. Charlotte cuts off Asuka and looks for a spear but eats a code breaker. She and Lynch battle, working up top, and Asuka slams Lynch off the ropes and onto the ladder. Asuka looks to climb, but Charlotte fights her off and she climbs, but Asuka stops her and powerbombs her through the table in the corner, rough landing there. Asuka climbs, but Lynch flies in with a dropkick to stop that. Lynch climbs. But Asuka pulls her off and knocks Lynch to the floor. Charlotte attacks with a chair shot and splits the uprights on the moonsault to the floor, wiping put both. She gets a table, but Lynch attacks both with chair shots. Charlotte manages to whip her to the barricade, dismantles the announce table, but Lynch is back with more chair shots. Asuka is down on the announce table, Lynch sets up a ladder and also lays Charlotte on the table. Lynch climbs and puts Charlotte through the table with a leg drop as Asuka rolled off. Asuka slides into the ring, climbs, but Lynch is in and climbs with her. They trade strikes, but Charlotte is back with kendo shots to knock them off. She dumps Asuka, Charlotte climbs, but drops down for more kendo shots on Asuka. Lynch hits an XPLODER into a table and Asuka lights Lynch up with kendo shots until Charlotte spears her through the barricade. Lynch climbs, Charlotte pulls her off and they brawl. Chops by Charlotte, rights by Lynch, and Lynch whips Charlotte into the ladder. Lynch follows with ground and pound. They battle to the floor, Charlotte takes control and lays Lynch on a table. She heads up top and hits a senton, putting Lynch through the table. Charlotte back in and looks to climb, but Asuka is back and climbs with her. They trade strikes, v slams Asuka’s face into the ladder, but Lynch is back with another ladder. Askua is knocked off, Lynch and Charlotte battle, and Rousey arrives. She topples over the ladder and leaves. Lynch and Charlotte are down on the floor, Asuka climbs, and grabs the title for the win. Asuka defeated Champion Becky Lynch & Charlotte @ 22:50 [****½] I’m not always a fan of the run in, but it made perfect sense considering Ronda’s issues with Becky & Charlotte. The match itself was awesome, crazy and brutal in all the right ways, with everyone playing their roles extremely well and a really tremendous performance from Charlotte. The match and story progressed everyone along, the Ronda/Charlotte/Becky dynamic is more interesting, and Asuka is now the champion, opening things up on the Smackdown side. They kept a good pace, laid out the big spots well, had good teases of who could win, and they kept the crowd the entire time. I felt going in that the ladies main eventing was the right call and they most certainly delivered here.

– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.

 photo fe36ffd0-0da4-4e3b-a2d3-b026b341dd87_zps41ef5d61.jpg
“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

7.5
The final score: review Good
The 411
The WWE TLC 2018 PPV delivered three great matches, and two of the main roster’s best efforts of the year, but was a very uneven and bloated card. The cruiseweights delivered, as did the Smackdown tag and raw women’s title match the Braun angle also came off very well. But then there were things like the Ladder, tables, and chair matches that all felt flat. I also feel that Ambrose and Rollins really under delivered here. But even with those faults, this was an overall good show, with Alexander vs. Murphy. Styles vs. Bryan, and the main event all well worth your time.
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