The WWE closed out their 2013 pay per view calendar with a historic championship unification match at Tables, Ladders, and Chairs. It doesn’t get much bigger in 2013 than a title vs. title bout for the two big ones. A new unified champion was guaranteed and the WWE delivered on its promise. Where the WWE goes from here is the bigger question.
Was this a surprise finish? All signs pointed to Orton getting the title but I don’t think anyone thought Cena was losing. The other prediction which grew over the last week was someone else, most noticeably Triple H winning the belts. There were reports in recent weeks that the original plan was not to unify the titles in the finish. However, after screwing fans so much recently on pay per view finishes it was decided to give fans a clean finish. That is why Triple H was adamant about guaranteeing fans would say a winner at TLC.
Vince McMahon made his return during the show wishing both wrestlers luck. Vince joined Stephanie and Triple H after the match to congratulate Orton. Vince did not look happy. It appears that the differences are behind the McMahon family and Orton as Stephanie and Triple H proudly celebrated Orton’s win in the ring with the new champion. I was expecting some kind of angle here. It was kind of odd for this to be Vince’s big television return. Cena just sat on the outside floor and watched with a disappointed look on his face.
I am not sure where the storylines go from here. I would suspect that Punk will be up next for Orton at the Rumble. I can’t think of any reason Punk beat three men tonight (see below). Punk and Orton makes sense other than the fact we have seen it twice before. Not only have we seen it twice, I didn’t think any of their matches were all that great. There is always the chance that Punk could get the title and go to Mania with it but I’d highly doubt it.
I will give WWE a lot of credit here for giving this a big match feel. This probably had the best promotion of any WWE title match outside of a WrestleMania in years. I really felt that it was something special by the time the guys got to the ring. The WWE showed video montages of past champions and featured legends tweeting about the match. They can’t do it often but it would be nice to see them do more of this a few times a year.
The psychology of this match was enough to make old school wrestlers throw away their television set. There were points in the match where the guys would follow each other outside of the ring, completely ignoring the opportunity to climb up the ladder and win. I could understand it if there was a personal issue here but the psychology of this match made absolutely no sense. I may be nitpicky here but I can’t be the only one who thought that.
In other news, CM Punk defeated The Shield in a 2 on 3 handicapped match. Roman Reigns speared Dean Ambrose by mistake after Punk moved which allowed Punk to score the pin. This is just another step along the path to turn Reigns babyface. I would suspect that this angle probably peaks at the Royal Rumble with Reigns taking Ambrose and Rollins out of the match or the other way around. I know it is an angle but the idea of Punk scoring a pin in a match against all three is about as ridiculous as it gets. Especially when Bryan couldn’t pull off the win against his three opponents.
Overall I’d say it was a pretty average pay per view. It certainly wasn’t a bad show. That said, it didn’t seem like anything special. There are nothing particularly bad on the card but there were only a couple of decent matches, specifically Bryan vs. the Wyatts and Cody vs. Rey in the elimination match. I don’t think anyone came into this expecting anything special but it was hardly the dud some predicted it could be.
Randy Orton defeated John Cena in the WWE title unification TLC Match to become the new unified champion
The Wyatt Family defeated Daniel Bryan
Kofi Kingston defeated The Miz
CM Punk defeated The Shield
R-Truth defeated Brodus Clay
AJ Lee defeated Natalya to retain the WWE Divas Championship Match
Cody Rhodes & Goldust defeated. Big Show & Rey Mysterio, Real Americans, Rybaxel to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Big E Langston defeated Damien Sandow to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
Fandango defeated Dolph Ziggler WWE TLC 2013