The WWE capped off its PPV year on Sunday night with TLC 2012. The event will be remembered for two late candidates for Match of the Year and one of the most memorable in-ring WWE debuts in recent memory.
The Shield won a fantastic Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match over Kane, Daniel Bryan, and Ryback. Ambrose, Reigns, and Rollins are certainly off to the right start. These guys came across like the real deal and should be taken seriously immediately by the fans. Unlike Nexus which was really just a one-man show in Wade Barrett, I think all three of these guys will settle into their own spots as upper-mid card guys immediately.
The match was just non-stop action for over 20 minutes. You won’t find many matches this year in the WWE (or even last) that matched the action here. The finish came when Reigns (who was much better than I remember seeing on the NXT videos) speared Kane into the barricade. The Shield proceeded to bury him under a ton of debris for the win. This was just all around great!
Arguably the bigger news on the show was the turn of A.J. Lee. Dolph Ziggler defeated John Cena to win the Money in the Bank briefcase thanks to help from A.J. The finish came when Vickie Guerrero came out with a chair. A.J. cut her off and laid her out with Cena’s moves. Cena started climbing the ladder and A.J. wound up tipping him over, allowing Dolph to climb the ladder and win the match. The reaction to this was tremendous!
The match was great and depending upon who you’d ask would give the Shield vs. Team Hell No and Ryback a run for the money for match of the night. The A.J. turn was something very predictable, although I don’t think anyone thought it was coming this soon. They had planted seeds the last few weeks on it. One thing I do wonder is if it was sped up after TMZ.com posted a story about John Cena dating one of the Bella twins in “real life.” Regardless, I think Ziggler and Lee have tremendous potential together as a heel duo.
I certainly am no Cena fan but the booking of Cena in this feud is questionable at best. Quite frankly the man looks like an idiot. Looking at this from a storyline perspective, he trusted a girl that has screwed over multiple wrestlers in months. Ziggler planted subtle hints that something was up. It is real hard to expect Cena to garner any sympathy for this one.
One other thing I’d like to comment on. I read a lot of tweets on Twitter from people complaining that Cena and not The Shield were in the main-event. Ironically those same critics missed the fact that Dolph Ziggler was promoted to the headliner slot vs. Cena. That was huge for Ziggler and his perception among fans. In my opinion this match took him from upper midcarder to the top of the cards. Putting The Shield here over Ziggler would have been short sighted since Ziggler will be headlining PPVs as world champion soon, not The Shield.
In other news, Alberto Del Rio officially jumped the fence and is now a babyface. 3MB were picking on Ricardo and Del Rio made the save. Del Rio wound up teaming with The Miz (funny if you remember back to the things that ADR said about Miz several months ago in an interview) and the Brooklyn Brawler. In other words, ADR has been demoted.
I’ll give the WWE a ton of credit. They took a show that they knew would likely be the least ordered event of the year and turned it into arguably their best non-WrestleMania show of 2012. If the intention was to book a solid show in hopes that a massive number of people would order the replay, I say brilliant. Regardless, this was a tremendous show, a lot of fun, and one I’d highly recommend getting if you were one of the doubters that passed on the live airing.
Naomi defeated Layla, Kaitlyn, Alicia Fox, Natalya, Tamina Snuka, Aksana, Rosa Mendes and Cameron to win the”Santa’s Little Helpers” battle royal for the #1 contendership to the Divas Championship
Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow) defeated Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara in a Tables match for the #1 contendership to the Tag Team Championship
Antonio Cesaro defeated R-Truth to retain the United States Championship
Kofi Kingston defeated Wade Barrett to retain the Intercontinental Championship
The Shield (Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns) defeated Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) and Ryback in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match
Eve Torres defeated Naomi to retain the Divas Championship
Big Show defeated Sheamus in a Chairs match for the World Heavyweight Championship
The Miz, Alberto Del Rio and The Brooklyn Brawler defeated 3MB (Drew McIntyre, Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal) in a Six-man tag team match
Dolph Ziggler defeated John Cena to win aLadder match for Ziggler’s World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank contract