The final pay-per-view of 2018 was an alright show. The action picked up a lot towards the end, but still doesn’t change the fact that TLC was okay for the most part. New champs were crowned, including the Asuka finally being coronated as champion. Who else got a healthy dose of tables, ladders, and chairs? Let’s find out with my review for WWE TLC 2018.
Prediction Score: 7-5
Preshow: Cruiserweight Championship Match: Buddy Murphy (c) def. Cedric Alexander to retain the Cruiserweight Championship
I knew this match was on the preshow. The match started out with some flips and leg hooks, but Cedric used his speed to avoid Buddy’s power, but Buddy dropped Alexander out of the ring with a stiff knee to the side of the head. Murphy held Alexander down with some rest holds, but Alexander picked up the pace to regain momentum. Buddy Murphy almost retained thanks to a handful of tights, but Cedric’s perseverance kept him in the match. Murphy hit a superkick/powerbomb combo from the corner, but it wasn’t enough to retain. Cedric dropped the champion on the apron and hit the Lumbar Check, but Murphy’s foot hit the rope. Murphy threw Cedric in to the turnbuckle, then hit Murphy’s Law to retain the title.
Guitar Ladder Match: Elias def. Bobby Lashley
So, instead of using it as a weapon, you just win the match when you grab the guitar. Lashley used his power to gain early control, before using a ladder to gain control over the “Almighty” Bobby Lashley. He may be big and strong, but he’s not a God Maggle. Lio Rush distracted Elias from climbing the ladder, then Lashley regained the upper hand. Lashley hit a move on a ladder, which hit Elias in what was a funny spot. Lashley climbed a ladder, but Elias knocked him down after he threw a ladder at Lashley. In one of my favorite spots of the night, Bobby hit a belly to belly throw onto one of the ladders, then proceeded to pummel Elias in the corner. Elias hit a powerbomb onto a ladder, while Maggle called it a spinebuster. Elias climbed the ladder and got his guitar, but Lio Rush interfered before Elias could use it. Lio hit a frog splash, then Lashley cracked the guitar over Elias’ back.
Mixed Match Finals where the winning team gains the #30 spot in their respective Royal Rumble Matches: The Fabulous Truth (R-Truth & Carmella) def. Alicia Fox & Jinder Mahal
Apparently they also got a free vacation along with their #30 spots. Truth and Jinder started out the match, and not a whole lot before a tag got made to Carmella, and then the dance break started. Carmella and Alicia Fox fought for a little bit, then Truth distracted Foxy, and Carmella hit a superkick to Alicia Fox and the Singhs. Foxy tried to roll up Carmella, but she countered with the Code of Silence to pick up the win. Truth is probably going to enter the Women’s Rumble, because he’s an idiot.
Triple Threat Tag Team Match for the Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships: The Bar (c) def. The Usos and The New Day to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championships
I think it’s weird that in a triple threat tag team match, only two people start out the match, completely isolating one of the teams. Kofi and Sheamus start the match out early. Kofi used his agility to get the upper hand on Sheamus, but the Usos came in and beat everyone up. Cesaro countered a Jey Uso suicide dive with an uppercut, and The Barr begin to dissect Xavier Woods with constant tags and power moves. Woods hits the Honor Roll, but Sheamus took out the Usos and prevented Xavier from making a tag. Woods hung Sheamus up on the top rope, and Xavier finally made the tag to Kofi, and he goes on a tear, and hit Cesaro with a new Day Boom Drop. Cesaro countered a Trouble in Paradise, and The Usos tagged themselves in. The legal men are Jimmy Uso and Kofi, and The Usos superkick everyone in the match. Cesaro managed to tag himself in the match, and locked the Sharpshooter in on Kofi, moving to the center of the ring. Kofi dodges a Brogue Kick, and Koi hits a Trouble in Paradise, then Xavier hit an elbow drop from the top, but the Usos and Cesaro broke up the pin. Kofi jumped off the top rope and took everyone out, but then Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick to retain the tag team titles.
TLC Match: If Baron Corbin wins, he becomes permanent General Manager of RAW. If Braun Strowman wins, he gets a Universal Championship Match at the Royal Rumble and Baron Corbin is stripped of his power: Braun Strowman def. Baron Corbin and will get a Universal Title Match, and Corbin is fired
Out comes GM Elect Baron Corbin, and he cuts a promo talking about how he listens to the fans complaints, then tells the fans to get used to it. Heath Slater begins the 10 count. Heath gets to a count of 7, then out comes Braun Strowman with his arm in a sling. Braun cuts a promo saying that he’s got a buddy to help him, and it’d be perfectly legal in a TLC match. Is it Bray Wyatt? No, it’s Apollo Crews, the Tag Team Champions Bobby Roode and Chad Gable, and Finn Bálor, all armed with chairs. Corbin orders Heath to ban them from ringside, but Slater lays out Corbin and everyone hits Baron with chairs. Corbin goes up the ramp, but Kurt Angle grabs a chair and pummels Baron Corbin back to the ring. Roode and Gable hit a moonsault neckbreaker, Crews hits a frog splash, and then Kurt Angle hits an Angle Slam. Finn hits the Coup de Grace, and Braun pins Baron Corbin to win the TLC Match.
Tables Match: Natalya def. Ruby Riott
The Riott Squad came out with a table that has Jim Neidhart’s fathead on it, and Natty starts off very aggressive, with the Riott Squad on the outside of the ring playing mind games with Natty. Natalya tried to hit a German Suplex off the apron, but Ruby countered. Natty tried to ram Ruby through the table, but Liv Morgan takes the bullet for Ruby, as she crashed through a table on the outside. Natalya continues her aggression, even calling Ruby Riott a bitch. Natalya tried to go for a powerbomb, but Ruby escaped, and Natty put Sarah Logan through a table, making it 1 v 1. Ruby uses the Jim Neidhart table to play mind games with Natalya, saying that The Anvil was ashamed of her. They both almost put each other through the table, then Natalya locked in the Sharpshooter, and Ruby made the table fall on Natalya in order to escape. Ruby set up the table, but Natalya put Ruby up on her shoulders, and hit an electric chair. Natalya grabs a table with a fathead of Ruby Riott on it, and grabbed her dad’s Hart Foundation jacket. Ruby superkicked Natalya, then propped Natalya on a table, but Natty reversed and put Ruby on the table. Before she could go off the top, Ruby tried to hit a head scissor, but Natalya countered with a powerbomb, and put Ruby through it Bubba Ray style.
Finn Bálor def. Drew McIntyre
Hey Finn, long time no see. Drew uses his power to ground Finn, but Bálor tried to chop the big guy down to size. Finn hits a chop block to Drew’s knee, but Drew continues to use brute kicks and chops, before Finn continues to stomp on Drew’s leg. Drew grams Finn once he went up top, and countered with a belly to belly throw, and hammered down punches. Finn tried to hit a sunset flip, but Drew counters and throws Finn across the ring again. Finn hits a forearm and uses his speed to get an advantage over the Scottish Terminator. Finn tried to hit the Shotgun Dropkick, but Drew caught him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Finn counters the Reverse Alabama Slam with a roll-up, and tried to go up top, but Drew prevents it thanks to some chops. Drew hits a mid-rope White Noise, but Finn kicked out. Finn trapped McIntyre in the apron, and rained down some stomps, but Drew slammed Finn on the apron, and hit the Glasgow Kiss Headbutt, dropping Bálor like a heap. Dolph Ziggler hit a superkick to McIntyre, but Drew kicked the chair in Dolph’s face and Finn hit a shotgun Dropkick, and Coup de Grace to pick up the win over Drew McIntyre.
Chairs Match: Rey Mysterio def. Randy Orton
Rey Mysterio was the first person to grab a chair, and Rey is pelting the Viper with the chair. Rey got caught up, and Randy Orton begins to tee off with a chair. Orton tried a suplex on the Apron, but Rey counters and kicks Randy’s feet out from under him. Rey hits a baseball slide while riding a chair like a sled to the outside, and continues to wear Randy down. Rey tried hit a seated senton from the apron, but missed and hit a chair instead. Randy clears off the Smackdown Live announce table, and gently places a chair on top of it, slamming Rey face first. Randy sets up a chair in the corner, and Rey sent him shoulder first thanks to a hurricanrana. Randy immediately counters with a quick powerslam. Rey almost hit a 619, but Randy countered. Rey tried to do a springboard move, but Randy countered by chucking a chair at him. Rey managed to hit a 619, but Randy took Rey’s leg out before he could fly. Randy slams Rey’s face into a chair he had propped up in the corner twice, then tried to hit an RKO onto a row of chairs, and Rey beat Randy Orton thanks to a roll-up, leaving a very irate Randy Orton in the ring.
RAW Women’s Championship Match: “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (c) def. Nia Jax to retain the RAW Women’s Championship
Ronda used her quickness early to get the better of Nia Jax, and used her kicks to chop her down. Ronda tried to lock in the armbar early, but Nia countered with a powerbomb, allowing Nia to take over with her power, and smashed Ronda Rousey’s shoulder into the ring post. Ronda locked in a guillotine, but Nia used her power to counter, and slam the champion into the ring post. Nia locks in a Cobra Clutch, and Ronda counters a powerbomb with a hurricanrana, and hit a crossbody to the outside of the ring. Ronda hit some rights and lefts, a step up knee and a step up elbow, but it wasn’t enough to keep Nia down. Nia counters a crossbody attempt with a Samoan Drop, but Ronda kicked out. Nia tried a midrope Samoan Drop, but got countered into an awesome Sunset Flip Powerbomb. Tamina distracts Rousey, and Nia tried to hit a right hand, but got countered into a twisting armbar to give Ronda the win, and a title retention.
WWE Championship Match: The New Daniel Bryan (c) def. AJ Styles to retain the WWE Championship
Bryan rolls outside the ring and jogs in place, and played mind games with the former champion. Styles starts to get aggressive with chops in the corner, and driving his shoulder into his ribs. Styles hit a dropkick and sent D-Bry to the outside. Styles went for a forearm smash, but got caught with a kick instead. Bryan sent AJ in to the barricade before dissecting AJ in the ring, hitting AJ with knees again and again to AJ’s spine before locking in a submission. Bryan hits AJ with chops in the corner, before Styles retaliates with chops of his own, then Bryan attacked the ribs. Bryan kicks AJ while he’s down, attacking AJ’s ribs with kicks, sending the Phenomenal One outside the ring. AJ pummels Bryan in the corner, but Bryan comes back with a drop toe hold into the corner, and hit his corner dropkicks, then AJ countered with a huge lariat. AJ throws Bryan into the ring post, and Bryan runs right into an Ushigaroshi. Bryan counters a Moonsault Reverse DDT with a bunch of knees to the face, then a suplex. Bryan hit the “YES” kicks, then tried to hit a suplex but AJ countered with a head kick. Bryan countered a Phenomenal Forearm with a kick, before AJ started to pick apart Bryan’s left leg with kicks and chop blocks. Bryan hit a hurricanrana, but AJ countered into the clash, but transitioned into a half Boston Crab. Right before Bryan was going to reach the rope, AJ dragged Bryan to the middle of the ring, and countered with the LeBell Lock. Bryan and Styles exchange strikes before AJ hit a springboard 450, but it wasn’t enough to take down the champ. Styles locked in the calf crusher in the middle of the ring while Bryan is writhing in pain, but Bryan wriggles to the bottom rope. Bryan threw AJ into the timekeeper’s area, but AJ caught himself and hit a Phenomenal Forearm on the outside. AJ tried to hit another Phenomenal Forearm, but D-Bry rolled out of the way, and tried to hit the knee. AJ rolled Bryan up, but Bryan reversed it and got the W over the phenomenal challenger.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Dean Ambrose def. Seth Rollins (c) to win the Intercontinental Championship
I like the siren that plays during Bane Ambrose’s entrance, and Dean wearing the snake pin on his jacket. Corey Graves keeps pushing Renee’s relationship with her husband, which is pretty awkward. Dean Ambrose Rollins shoves Ambrose, then takes Ambrose down, and begins to quicken the pace right out the gate. Ambrose takes control, throwing Seth Rollins into the announce table and clubbing Seth down with rest holds and near falls. Dean throw Rollins in the corner, and beat him down with lariats and an elbow. Rollins goes for a clothesline and Dean counters with a neckbreaker, and hit constant covers on Rollins. Dean plays mind games with Seth, and pummels him with rights and lefts. Dean locks in a cloverleaf, but Rollins gets to the rope. Rollins hits a legdrop across the back of the neck, but Ambrose counters a suicide dive with a straight right. Rollins tried to go for a buckle bomb, but his leg gave out. Rollins hits 2 rapid fire suicide dives. Seth tried to go for a sunset flip, but his knee gave out, but he managed to hit a bucklebomb anyway. Seth hit a kick to the gut, but Ambrose followed up with a kick of his own. The two former brothers exchanged a series of strikes, then took each other with a clothesline. Dean went up top, but Seth tried to meet him. Seth’s knee gave out again. Dean tried to go for Dirty Deeds, but Seth’s knee gave out again. In an act of resilience, Seth hit a ripcord knee, but Dean kicked out. Seth hit the Superplex/Falcon Arrow combo, but Dean still kicked out. Seth tried to hit a superkick, but Dean offered the shield fistbump, but that sent Seth Rollins in a rage, hitting a bucklebomb into the barricade. Seth slapped Ambrose, calling him a POS, then tried to hit the stomp and hit Dirty Deeds, allowing Dean to capture the Intercontinental Championship.
Triple Threat TLC Match for the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship: Asuka def. Becky Lynch (c) and Charlotte Flair to FINALLY become the new Smackdown Live Women’s Champion
Asuka goes ham on Charlotte and Becky, pummeling them with brutal strikes and kicks because Becky and Charlotte were bickering. Becky hits Asuka with knees to the back of her head, and begins to pummel the Empress of Tomorrow in the corner before Charlotte takes them both out. Charlotte and Asuka grab ladders while Becky grabs a table. Charlotte is choking Asuka, then Charlotte and Asuka start fighting. Asuka throws Becky onto a ladder. Asuka and Charlotte climb a ladder, with Asuka powerbombing Charlotte through a table. Asuka takes out Becky, then Charlotte hits Asuka with a chair and takes everyone out with a moonsault. Now it’s Becky’s turn to go ham with a chair, hitting Asuka 7 times before Charlotte kicks it out of her hands. Becky grabs a big ladder, and hits a legdrop onto Charlotte through the announce table. Asuka is all alone in the middle of the ring, and climbs the ladder, only for Becky to meet her there. Charlotte came from out of nowhere and went ham on everyone thanks to a Kendo Stick. Becky hits a Becksploder onto a table, then Asuka went ham with a kendo stick, only for Charlotte to hit a spear through a barricade. Meanwhile, Becky climbs the ladder and Charlotte brings her down. Then the two former best friends start fighting, with Becky throwing Charlotte into the ladder, and fighting on the outside. Charlotte hit a Swanton Bomb through a table, and Charlotte makes the climb, only for Asuka to come from out of nowhere and attack Charlotte on top of the ladder. Becky grabs another ladder on the other side, and Asuka falls. Charlotte and Becky fight on top of the ladders, only for Ronda Rousey to make her way to the ring, and push the ladder, turning heel in the process, hand delivering the Smackdown Women’s Championship to Asuka.
Match of the Night: Charlotte vs Becky vs Asuka
The Triple Threat TLC main event was one of the best matches of the year, and will go down as one of the best Tables, Ladders and Chairs matches of all time. The action was fantastic from start to finish. Ronda coming out to cost Becky the match was a good way to set up their WrestleMania feud, and ASUKA IS FINALLY CHAMPION. 8 months too late, but I’m excited that she’s champion.
The cruiserweight title match was a decent and quick match, even garnering a 205 Live chant. It was a very good match, and honestly should’ve been on the main show. Surprisingly, the Guitar Ladder Match was also on the preshow, and it was okay. Nothing great, just okay. It’s awesome that Elias won, but in the end he still was looking up at the lights because Lashley had to keep his heat. The MMC finals happened, and honestly you could’ve no watched this match and didn’t miss a thing. The Triple Threat Tag match was very entertaining, full of crisp action and great showings from all 3 teams. Braun Strowman vs Baron Corbin was basically a mugging, and with the help of Kurt Angle and some other people, Braun gets his title match against Brock Lesnar at the Rumble, and Corbin is fired. The tables match was okay, with lots of storytelling hinting on Jim Neidhart’s death, but it was a nice moment to see Natty wearing her dad’s jacket and shades picking up a very personal win. The Finn Bálor-McIntyre match was one of the better match of the night. What kinda ruined it for me, was Dolph Ziggler giving the win to Finn. The story telling in the match was Finn overcoming Drew’s power, and cutting the giant down to size. The whole thing with Dolph, was Dolph doing Finn a favor because Finn helped Dolph, but it looks like they’re gonna feud instead. The Chairs match between Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio was meh. I didn’t care for the match. The RAW Women’s title match was also good, with Ronda once again showing how great her selling is. Then, backstage Becky Lynch kicked the crap out of Nia Jax because she was collecting debts when The Man comes around. The action picked up with the last 3 matches of the night, starting with the WWE Championship. AJ and Bryan wrestled their best match of the year, and was one of the best matches of the night from a pure in-ring standpoint. The roll-up finish keeps this feud going, which honestly shouldn’t. Bryan needs a new opponent for the Royal Rumble. My favorite match of the night was the IC title match. It had great action, great storytelling, and Corey Graves being a douche on commentary. I mean, we all know Renee is married to Dean, but don’t be a douchebag about it. And Ambrose winning was the right call, I was afraid that Dean was gonna lose so the crowd can have a feel-good moment. The main event was fantastic. Everything was great, and everyone had a chance to shine. Charlotte especially got to show how truly vicious she can be. Ronda interfering was a good way to set up Becky winning the Rumble, and Asuka is finally the women’s champion. I hope she has a long reign killing everyone, making up for the horrible year she’s had. TLC started off to be a meh pay-per-view, but the last three matches really picked up the pace. I’m going to rate TLC at a 8.5 out of 10. It was much better than I expected it to be, but still wasn’t a great show. Let’s hope that 2019 will be a great year for WWE, because they need to step things up.