Review: WWE’s Tables, Ladders & Chairs

Zack Ryder defeats Dolph Ziggler to win the United States Championship


For months and months, Ryder’s popularity soared higher and faster than I can ever remember. How did he do it? Technology! The former tag-team jobber used the power of YouTube to create a character for himself, mimicking pop culture stars from the Jersey shore. The Long Island native was not a big crowd favorite early on, but as we soon found out, Mr. Ryder has a lot more talent than originally thought. Soon, he was using Twitter to increase his reputation to the point where sold out crowds in Madison Square Garden were chanting his name.

Racking up an impressive winning streak against United States Champion Dolph Ziggler, “Long Island Iced-Z” begged and pleaded for a title match. Unfortunately a few losses and WWE giving Mason Ryan a short push halted that dream. However, after a storyline where John Cena had to give up his place in the WWE Title match, Ryder was granted one shot to become U.S. Champion. Ziggler, racking up his own impressive winning streak over Randy Orton has a career that will continue to get brighter as his time in the spotlight is sure to increase. Aside from embarrassing losses to Ryder, the “Show Off” Dolph Ziggler has proven he has what it takes to be a consistent main eventer.

The match itself was fantastic. The action was back and forth, and for a long while Ryder had the upper hand. Every pinfall attempt teased a win and you could feel the agony of the crowd every time Ziggler kicked out. At one point Ryder has the win locked, but Vickie placed Ziggler’s foot on the ropes to stop the referee from counting three. However, she was caught by the ref, and promptly ejected from ringside. The match rages on with Ziggler crushing Ryder with signature moves, but Ryder continued to fight on. Top-rope Superplexes, neck-breaking drops, and back suplex slams everywhere, this match was easily second-best of the night. Dazed in the corner, Ryder countered Ziggler’s turnbuckle rush with a double high-knee, which dazed the U.S. Champion. Suddenly, Ryder rushed Ziggler and scored with the Rough Ryder, earning the three-count and this PPV was off to an explosive start as the arena crowd (and the people in my living room) erupted with cheer.

Air Boom successfully defends the Tag Team Titles against Primo and Epico
I was surprised as to how good this match went. Primo and Epico really complement each other well and even Kingston and Bourne impressed me with their unique mat abilities. If this were the 90’s, you could say this was High Energy vs. Los Guerreros. A fast paced match with some unique aerial maneuvers saw Air Boom retain the championships.

Randy Orton defeats Wade Barrett in a Tables Match
Another match that was better than expected. I do not expect much from Orton anymore. I think with every match, he forgets how to do another wrestling hold. In this match, punch-punch-kick-kick works quite well when trying to daze your opponent to get plowed through a table.

I love Wade Barrett. If this were 1996, he and Regal should be the New Blue Bloods. Barrett is so good in the ring, sells everything and really dishes it out. He comes across as a future world champion. Tonight, his quest was sent two steps back as Orton sent Barrett through a table with a top rope RKO.

Beth Phoenix retains the Divas Title against Kelly Kelly
Normally I brush over these matches because of my ongoing boycott of the Women’s division. Tonight, I lifted my ban as Beth Phoenix, the reigning champion made mincemeat from the WWE living Barbie-doll, Kelly Kelly. I still cannot figure out what they see in her. Her smile isn’t even that pretty. Anyway, Phoenix squashed her with a big Glam-Slam, making real women athletes everywhere proud.

Triple H defeats Kevin Nash in a sledgehammer on a pole ladder match

I like Triple H, and I like Kevin Nash. But this is not the ’90s or early-2000s anymore. While Triple H can still move around the ring and take quite a few bumps, every fall Nash took had me cringing that he might have broken something. Nash climbing the ladder was scary enough, falling off the ladder was downright terrifying. The brawl went in the ring, out of the ring, all over the ring, until Triple H grabbed the sledgehammer and went to town on Nash. The Game went for the pedigree, but either Nash bungled the move or he might have dislocated both knees and elbows simultaneously. A hammer to the head ended Nash’s night. I did not expect much from this match, and that is what we got. I can’t blame them though, Nash just does not have it anymore.

Sheamus defeats Jack Swagger
An impromptu match was made between the two after a confrontation in the office of Teddy “Santa Claus” Long. Do not ask about that, please. A short match where total domination by the Great White reigned, ending with Sheamus delivering a boot that sent the head of Swagger into the upper deck.

Big Show defeats Mark Henry in a chairs match to become World Champion

This match was big and slow. Both giants threw and beat each other with chairs relentlessly. It was pretty entertaining to see how many chair-shots each one could take. The match began with a grinning Show tossing in nearly all the ringside chairs ECW-style. Not a long match at all though. Henry was setting show up for a big blast to the head, but Show punched The World’s Strongest Man in the face with the WMD fist, knocking him completely out. Three strikes of the referee’s hand later and we had a new champion.

However, Mark Henry woke up, and he was mad. Attacking the new World Champion from behind, Henry blasted Show with a chair, then spiraled down with a DDT onto a pile of them. As Henry left the ring, some music hits the arena …

Bryan Danielson defeats Big Show to become World Champion

WHAT!? What did I just say? Daniel Bryan (Bryan Danielson for you Ring of Honor purists) ran down, Money in the Bank case in-hand, rushes down to ringside and cashes in! With the Big Show out cold, Danielson makes the pin, and wins the World Title. Big Show wakes up … and boy is he not happy. Danielson runs around the arena celebrating with fans, gets in the face of Michael Cole and wow, this was a big shock. I was surprised they would have Show lose the title so fast. Also, just a few weeks before, Danielson pinned an unconscious Mark Henry after Big Show knocked him out with the WMD Punch to win the World Title. However, they ruled it no-good since Henry couldn’t defend himself so the title went back and Danielson kept the briefcase to use another day. So … Big Show was unable to defend himself, but this time it was AOK for Danielson to cash in? This might be an interesting story which unfolds this week on SmackDown.

Cody Rhodes retain the Intercontinental Title against Booker T
I do not know how this match came about, and I honestly do not care. This was the third time the match was to take place. The first two, Rhodes beat up Booker either backstage or at ringside. I guess Booker, or Rhodes still has some ring rust and Booker’s attempt to win the Intercontinential Title was stopped by the Cross-Rhodes.

CM Punk survives the TLC Triple Threat versus Alberto del Rio and The Miz
This was a fantastic match. Miz, del Rio, and Punk but their bodies on the line to entertain us tonight, and I will say they outdid themselves. Very creatively too. At one point, Punk got handcuffed to a ladder, and then later cuffed to the ringpost. How did he escape? He called on his knowledge of long ago where he had to set up the ring to later perform that night. So yes, Punk dismantled the ring post, pretty much breaking the second rope. It was awesome. Aside from that, bodies flying, diving, splashing and falling through tables. These guys performed like their careers were on the line.

Del Rio might not have been the winner tonight, but I will say his status as a permanent main-eventer in WWE is locked in. Miz spent some time away from the spotlight of stardom during his team-up time with R-Truth. Now that is finished, the Miz is back where he belongs. I have criticisms that Miz can’t wrestle, so I suppose those same people have not watched Raw or any recent pay-per-view in a while. Miz can at least use holds, whereas Orton has to look at his fist to make sure it’s there before throwing a punch. Punk, as always is the master of his domain and in the ring, there is no one else better than he right now.

Miz and del Rio attempted to grab the WWE title while Punk fought off his attachment to the ringpost. As soon as he broke free, and the second rope, he scaled the ladder, throwing Miz to the floor and sent del Rio falling in time to grab his WWE Championship.

As promised by Raw General Manager John Laryngitis … uh, I mean, Laurinitis, there was NO sighting of John Cena. If there was, I missed it because I was playing WWE ’12. Which is a really good game. The new controls are not drastically different, but take some getting used to. So, we have a new World Champion in Daniel Bryan, a new United States Champion, Woo Woo Woo, You knew it was going to happen someday, and the end of the Kevin Nash needs a paycheck storyline. Will we see more tag teams in WWE? Will I permanently lift my ban on the Diva’s division? Will John Cena finally make his long-awaited heel-turn since losing the Superstar of the Year Slammy Award to CM Punk? Only one way to find out … You Know It.