Review for WWE TLC 2016
Smackdown's final PPv of the year was TLC and I must say it was very apt that a brand with all the athletes and workhorses would have the PPV where this was what is needed. It is funny that once again I almost forgot that John Cena was not featured on this PPV and I think it really helped to show the new talent of the WWE.
Featuring seven matches (including the Kickoff Match) is not a bad PPv and in fact in some cases had some amazing matches. The only issue I have is that apart from the main event and the ladder match for Intercontinental Championship none of the others are very memorable.
The Kickoff match puts Apollo Crews, The Hype Bros and American Alpha against Curt Hawkins, The Vaudevillains and The Ascension. This was an average match, but fine to get the crowd started. I do wish it had been elimination or something as it just felt like 'too many cooks' and this was just an excuse to get most of the Smackdown roster on the show.
The Wyatt Family of Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt against Heath Slater and Rhino was simply too short to mean anything. When you consider how much time was given to the Kickoff match then this is just ridiculous. I don't quite understand why Randy Orton is part of the Wyatt Family and it is so obvious that the group will implode at some point that I'm not sure what is going on. The match itself was, as I say, just far too short and this seems to be an issue I have on every PPV. If it is less than ten minutes long, don't bother putting it on the PPV!
Nikki Bella against Carmella was a bizarre match which again was not given enough time to breathe. As a No DQ match it should have been given that time and the obvious revelation at the end was... well, obvious. It's great to see WWE try to develop storylines away from the title, but this wasn't as great as it could have been.
The Miz against Doph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship in a Ladder Match was simply perfect. This was one of the best examples of a ladder match in a very long time. Both worked well and in some way I am glad that they were able to have this match rather than any other type. It worked well and despite me still not liking the cheap ending it worked for the Miz character.
Baron Corbin against Kalisto in a Chairs match was such a miss-match mess that I'm not even sure what I'm meant to think of it. It had some good moments, but I just don't know what it was supposed to do. was it supposed to make Corbin look like a monster or show the skills of Kalisto? Really it didn't work.
The tables match between Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss for the Smackdown Women's belt was a good match, but I just don't think that WWE are booking the women the way they were last year. This just feels like they have lost their way somewhere. Both are great and have some great moments, but really this wasn't the match that I expected it to be.
Finally, we have a fantastic TLC match between AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Championship. It is a toss up about whether this or the other Ladder Match is match of the night for me. I enjoyed most of it and it really showed why AJ is 'The Champ who runs the camp!' and that he is a natural successor to John Cena. The whole thing with James Ellsworth took a bit away from the match and I'm not sure why he was there, other than to give everyone on the Indy scene hope they could make it. I enjoyed the whole match in general and both really showed why they were in the main event.
TLC 2016 should have been Smackdown's stamp on the wrestling world to show, without a shadow of doubt, that they are superior to the Raw brand. This PPV is not it. It is true, when they shined (The two ladder matches) it was some of the best I have seen, but when they fail (almost everything else) they fail badly. I do hope that Smackdown build on this for 2017 and show just why most people are watching the Blue brand over the Red and why this is the best place to watch wrestling in the world at the moment.