michael dworkis gets the tables…
Welcome to Brooklyn!
The first WWE pay-per-view to take place in the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York! Tonight we have a very interesting lineup, all titles except for the WWE Championship and Tag Team Titles are on the line as Punk is out with an injury, and the champs, Bryan and Kane team with Ryback to take on The Shield in the main event.
In the pre-show, Naomi of the Funkadactyls won the Diva battle royal. Yes, that means she gets a shot at the Diva title. Wow.
Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. Team Rhodes Scholars – Tables Match
Look, I get it, two masked guys. Wooooo, so cool… yeah… not. Rhodes and Sandow are magic in the ring. Sandow wears down Sin Cara, switches with Rhodes who keeps Rey at bay on the outside. All four men take some near-table crashing bumps, the last of which sees Rhodes nearly eat a splash through a table, but Sandow crotches Rey on the top turnbuckle to stop it. As Sin Cara leaps onto the second rope from the apron-side of the ring, Sandow stops him, pushing him backwards, crashing, I should say almost missed completely, but still made it through a table. Post match celebration sees Team Rhodes Scholars strutting away in victory while the ring crew tends to Sin Cara.
Winners: Team Rhodes Scholars
R-Truth vs. Antonio Cesaro – United States Championship
Truth and Cesaro have decent chemistry in the ring, but Cesaro really needs to move on. Truth has certainly improved, however this match was not as good as their other encounters. It was slower paced, and even the crowd was pretty silent. Match ended when Truth was irish-whipped into the corner, but stopped short of crushing the ref. Cesaro took advantage with the cheap-shot and flattened Truth with the Neutralizer for the win.
Winner and still United States Championship: Antonio Cesaro
Miz brings out the worst train wreck of a team in WWE history, 3MB – The Three Man Band consisting of Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre, and Heath Slater. Miz (and the crowd) tear into them. AS they have no recourse with The Miz, the trio go outside and start threatening the Spanish announcers. Yes, they go after the Spanish commentators. Out comes Ricardo Rodriguez, and the three start to attack him until the save is made by… Alberto del Rio. Yeah. This is how they turn him face. Come on WWE. Did you really run out of ideas for one of the best mat-based superstars you have? You did? So, in order to get a fresh restart, you turn the guy face. Alright, well… I like the Mexican Aristocrat, so I am willing to see this out, don’t disappoint. 3MB challenge Miz and Alberto to find a third man and take them on in six-man tag action. Alberto and Miz accept.
Wade Barrett challenges Kofi Kingston for the Intercontinental Championship
Barrett is good, he’s a big brawler and a great ring veteran. Sadly, this match really did not live up to the expectation. Kofi showed off his usual high-risk tactics, while Barrett resorted to wearing down the defending champion with wear down holds. After a number of counters and reversals, Kofi scored the win by blocking the Bull Hammer and knocking Barrett out with the Trouble in Paradise.
Winner and still Intercontinental Champion: Kofi Kingston
Well, it looks like my prediction was wrong on this one. I really thought this was time for Barrett to hold gold once again, but not now. They are really pushing Kofi. If this is the time to push him towards main event status, do it now and do not drag him back into mid-card hell.
Ryback, Daniel Bryan & Kane vs. The Shield
Well, this is a surprise. The substitute for CM Punk vs. Ryback is now on, and not the main event. However, the match was certainly no mid-show filler. Hell, its only after 9pm. Shield members Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns really worked very well in the ring and the match was fantastic. Controlling the match, the trio looked like a young nWo faction, singling out the big guy and keeping him on the outside. In the ring, Ambrose and Rollins trade holds with Bryan and Kane. The ring accessories come into play very early, as Bryan is thrown into a table and Kane clobbered with chairs. Ryback makes his way back in and starts mauling everyone, but once again, the big Roman Reigns takes out Ryback before he could demolish everyone. Ambrose and Rollins wind up taking out Kane, powerbombing him through a pile of chairs and tables. Ryback is then set up on a table up by the entrance way and Rollins climbs up a huge ladder right in front. Ryback gets up, climbs the ladder and hurls Rollins all the way down, crashing through the table hard. In the ring, Bryan fends for himself, locking each member, one after another in the Yes-No-Lock. Ambrose is first, then Reigns breaks it up, and he gets locked in. The numbers become too much, and Bryan is powerbombed and overwhelmed by The Shield and winds up overmatched and pinned.
Winners: The Shield
This was a great match. Very well paced. The Shield was great in the first WWE match and all six men worked very well. The match was great, and I see great things for The Shield in WWE.
Diva’s Title Match: Eve defends against Naomi
Not a bad match actually. Eve was very impressive, and Naomi definitely kept pace and showed off her talents as well. Not a long match, but for once… a good one.
Winner and still Diva Champion: Eve
Sheamus vs. The Big Show – World Heavyweight Championship Match
Well, I guess this means Cena vs. Ziggler will be the main event. This match was a freakin’ onslaught. Good lord. Chairs flying everywhere! Sheamus clobbered Big Show early one after another. Show came back and speared Sheamus down, then took control of the match, Show hit a chokeslam, but Sheamus kicks out of the pin attempt. Sheamus fires back, lifting Show over his shoulders and smashes him through a pair of chairs, but The Show manages to kick out of the pin! Sheamus gets fired up, goes for the Brough Kick and misses, catching his leg over the top rope! Stunned, Big Show winds up and bashes Sheamus in the face with the WMD Knockout Punch! Sheamus down, Show covers, one… two… NO! Sheamus kicks out! Show goes outside, and brings back a chair… a BIG SHOW SIZED CHAIR and CLOBBERS Sheamus with it. Cover, one… two… and three! It’s over! Big Show retains the title!
Winner and still World Champion: The Big Show
This was a great match. With the Royal Rumble a month away, this probably was the conclusion to their feud, unless it will be one more time to carry Show as titleholder into WrestleMania.
3MB vs. The Miz, Alberto del Rio, and…… The Brooklyn Brawler!
Yes! Yes! Yes! If you remembered that this show was taking place in Brooklyn, then you probably saw this one coming. The match was short and to the point. 3MB is a waste. Alberto scored with a diving plancha to the outside, while Ricardo tripped up another member, allowing The Miz to hit the Skull Crushing Finale. Not to be left out, the Brooklyn Brawler was tagged in by The Miz and he applies the Brooklyn Crab to gain the submission victory.
Winners by Submission: The Brooklyn Brawler, The Miz, and Alberto del Rio
In less than a month, two top tiered heels have turned face. An interesting move, but perhaps it is time to shuffle things up. Both Del Rio and Miz did not have much to do in their heel states, so perhaps by turning face, they will have new opponents and perhaps get a breath of new life.
Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena – Money in the Bank Ladder Match
This is it. Final match of the night and Ziggler’s MITB briefcase is on the line. Ziggler is awesome. This match showed, why, once again, how, who, whatever… Ziggler is the best WWE has right now, right up there with CM Punk. Like him or hate him, Cena actually upped his game here. Cena and Ziggler had a constant flow of back-and-forth action, one gaining the upper hand for a short period until the other turned the tide. Ziggler scored a picture-perfect jumping DDT on Cena, and also nailed the Cenation leader with a Famouser Facedrop. Ziggler locked on a sleeper hold, but Cena carried Ziggler on his back as he went up the ladder. Cena came close, but the sleeper was too much and they both tumbled down through a table in the ring. Later on, Cena came back with some of his usual moves, but surprised us with a hurricanrana that sent Ziggler through a table leaned in a corner. Soon, Vickie Guerrero made her presence known, chair in hand as Cena came to his feet. However, AJ Lee tore down into the ring and hit Vickie with Cena’s trademark shoulder-tackles and backdrop, all terribly done. After hitting Vickie with her version of the five-knuckle-shuffle, she skipped around the ring as Cena set up the ladder and made his way towards the briefcase. Over halfway there, something happened. AJ stopped skipping… and pushed the ladder down! Cena slingshots on the top rope, right into a Ziggler superkick! Shades of Shawn Michaels! Cena down, Ziggler and AJ stare each other, until AJ snaps her crazy smile and skips back to the locker room! Ziggler goes skyward and retains his Money in the Bank contract! Ziggler wins! Ziggler beats Cena!
Winner of the Main Event Ladder Match: Dolph Ziggler
While he did not really win it cleanly, thanks to interference from AJ, the “Show Off” Dolph Ziggler looked strong and on top of the WWE after this one. My prediction of Ziggles cashing in tonight was thwarted by the match order, but nonetheless, I remain true to my word, Dolph Ziggler will be World Champion in 2013.
TLC was certainly an interesting pay-per-view. None of the matches really stood out, but considering the top matches were all very entertaining, the pay-per-view came off very successful in my book. The mid-card title matches were disappointing, as I thought title changes were in order. Kingston and Cesaro had their ongoing feuds with Barrett and R-Truth, and I thought this would be the night where the feuds would culminate with changes. I do not mind Kingston and Cesaro retaining actually, it keeps them both a long title-holders and brings back some standing to titles once held by the comedy relief. Although Barrett and Truth came out losers again, they still looked good and will certainly continue to be formidable opponents in the future.
With the Royal Rumble a little over a month away, this will be the time WWE has to take to build up new feuds and establish ground for superstars with newly changed gimmicks. Alberto del Rio making a face turn caught me off guard. I like him as a heel, as he reminded me (and I often reminded you) that he is the modern-day Rick “The Model” Martel. Martel was never a face as “The Model” during his WWF/WWE run, so we will see how the Mexican Aristocrat will continue to be a snobbish antagonist going into the Rumble. The weeks building to the Rumble will be exciting, and we know the big match at that event may not be the Royal Rumble match, but the confrontation of The Rock, challenging CM Punk for the WWE Championship.