TLC is still a relatively young pay-per-view event, but it has solidified its place as one of the ones to watch every year for the dangerous array of weapons that it brings to the table. It’s also played host to some great matches, such as the merging of the two world titles into the WWE World Heavyweight championship, and CM Punk defending the belt against the Miz and Del Rio in a TLC match. It’s the kind of night that gets the wrestler’s blood boiling, and the fans cheering for more. This year’s entry into the series sees some upstart superstars fighting for their place in the limelight. Seth Rollins takes on the legendary John Cena to prove himself as the future face of the WWE. Erick Rowan goes toe to toe with the giant Big Show. Rusev continues his path of destruction, taking on Jack Swagger again. Dean Ambrose takes his feud with Bray Wyatt to the next level with a full TLC match.
2014 is the year the next generation of superstars got to really make their mark, so why not put an exclamation point on the end of a fantastic run with the final major outing of the year. Get ready for some high octane action as a card full of fan favourites, and newer, eager faces ready to make their mark go head-to-head, and they’re bringing all the dangerous toys, except maybe the kitchen sink.
Ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship – Luke Harper vs Dolph Ziggler
Kickstarting the night is Dolph Ziggler facing off against Luke Harper, and true to the show’s form they’re doing so with ladders. The two underrated performers put on an amazing bout to open the show. Ziggler’s quick offence combined with Harper’s explosive brutality basically guarantees an interesting match-up, but throw a pile of ladders into the mix and you know it’s going to be great. Both men really go the distance, and have the crowd chanting and screaming with excitement from the get-go. A classic match between two talented wrestlers with plenty of action and surprise.
Tag Team Championship match – The Miz & Damien Mizdow vs The Usos
Another jewel on Damien Mizdow’s rise to stardom as the Miz’ stunt double sees the Usos re-challenging the Moneymaker and his stunt double for the tag team titles that they lost at Survivor Series. This match really sets the foundation for the coming feud between Miz and Mizdow, and shows the fan support for the ever-humorous Mizdow character.
The Usos bring everything to the table, from high-flying offence, to comedic spots, and some brilliant tag-team capers. Add in Mizdow’s copycat-stunt-double antics, and you can be sure of entertainment from start to finish. Maybe not the most important match of the night, but one you want to see nonetheless, even if it’s just to get a bit Uso crazy.
Stairs match – The Big Show vs Erick Rowan
A curious addition the line-up was the stipulation of a stairs match, giving this year’s TLC a little extra added S. Big Show, representing the Authority, is looking to dish out some pain, but Erick Rowan won’t go down lightly. These two bald behemoths have clashed before, but never in an environment like this. Both men are easily capable of throwing the steel stair sets around like they were cardboard and make for an excellent choice to bring this gimmick match to fruition.
This match seemed to lack the heat of some of the other marquee match-ups of the night, but Rown and Show put on a fairly impressive fight. Big Show tosses Rowan around like his 300lb weight is nothing, and Erick Rowan pulls out some surprise offence as he tries to take out the Giant.
Tables match – John Cena vs Seth Rollins
One of the biggest matches of the night sees an arrogant challenger take on a legend. Seth Rollins steps up against one of the most popular WWE superstars of all time in a devastating tables match, with the added stipulation that if John Cena doesn’t beat the upstart challenger, then he will lose his #1 contender status for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and his match against current champion; Brock Lesnar.
Both men take a beating in this tables match, which has the makings of a match of the year candidate. Rollins proves again and again that he is ready for more main event spots with big stars such as John Cena with his talented in-ring ability, and John Cena puts on a stellar showing against the Money in the Bank contract holder.
Seth Rollins has shown lightning offence combined with high-flying, high-risk maneuvers, and powerful finishers, making for a deadly opponent in the ring. John Cena’s legacy of overcoming all odds is not to be taken lightly, especially when it’s all on the line. One man has everything to prove, whilst the other has everything to lose. Be sure of tension, and some amazing spots throughout.
Divas Championship match – Nikki Bella vs AJ Lee
Another rematch sees AJ Lee looking to take back the Divas Championship from Nikki Bella. The Bella Twins have been on a bit of a roll as of late, with Brie’s surprise heel turn helping Nikki capture and keep the Diva’s Championship over the last month. Brie watches Nikki from ringside, but you know that the devious sisters have a few tricks up their sleeves.
AJ is one of the best competitors in the divas division, and after her embarassment at Survivor Series, she wants revenge on the twins. Pulling out some brilliant offence to compliment Nikki’s mat-focused assault, AJ really shows off how talented and capable she is.
Chairs match – Ryback vs Kane
Rounding out the Authority’s feud against Ziggler, Rowan, and Ryback is the Big Guy’s confrontation with corporate Kane. Both lifelong and new fans of wrestling should be familiar with Kane’s streak of brutality over the WWE locker room, and Ryback’s reputation as the human Wrecking Ball bodes well for this match-up. Throwing chairs into the mix means we’re sure to see some devastating spots.
I expect to see a bit of violence at TLC every year, and this is the match-up that delivers. Ryback’s speed and strength pair well with Kane’s seemingly endless appetite for destruction. Slow at times, but sure and steady even when they both seem like they’ve got nothing left, these two men persevere to put on an exciting match.
United States Championship match – Rusev vs Jack Swagger
Rusev’s first pay-per-view title defence pits him against the Real American, Jack Swagger. Fighting not just for patriotism, but to take back the United States Championship from the tyrannical clutches of Rusev and Lana, Jack Swagger is set to once again face the Bulgarian Brute.
Rusev’s undefeated streak has become even more impressive since acquiring the United States Championship, and made it much more important that he remains undefeated. Swagger makes for a great challenger, after putting on some fantastic matches in their patriotic feud earlier in the year. Running roughshod over everyone else in the locker room, Rusev has certainly deterred his fair share of challengers as well as destroy them. The Accolade looks to claim another victim.
Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match – Bray Wyatt vs Dean Ambrose
I’m gonna admit, I was looking forward to this match the most. Dean Ambrose quickly built a following and became a fan favourite almost overnight after the Shield broke up. His insane antics proved entertaining week after week, and his berserker fury at Bray Wyatt could only end in the most fitting of ways; a TLC match. Best yet, it’s a chance for both men to prove that they’re worthy of main event status without their prior respective stables.
Both men had an electric entrance, from the eerie sea of ‘fireflies’ that accompany Bray, to the shrieks of support for Dean. The Lunatic Fringe breaks out some astonishing offence early on, and maintains an advantage over the maniacal Wyatt patriarch, but Bray has plenty of tricks up his sleeves (well, glove) and truly puts Ambrose to the test in this savage match.
The no disqualification nature of a TLC match means that both these crazed fanatics get a chance to annihilate one another in the cruelest of manners, and be sure that they do. The crowd watching were in awe, and you probably will be as well.
All in all, TLC was a good pay-per-view. It’s got ups and downs, but even at its worst, you’ll still be excited by the best it’s got to offer. Everything from brutal showdowns, to match of the year candidates made up for any slow parts of the night, and just about every match had something surprising that got the fans on their feet. The younger stars definitely impressed a lot of people, and this pay-per-view could go down in history as one of the stepping stones that leads to an entirely new generation of superstars. If nothing else, the main event alone should be exciting enough for any fan of wrestling or WWE.
Blu Ray Exclusives:
Monday Night Raw – November 24, 2014
Daniel Bryan returns
Monday Night Raw – December 1, 2014
The Anonymous General Manager sets the main event match for TLC
SmackDown – December 5, 2014
Wyatt and Ambrose’s feud escalates as Wyatt decimates the Lunatic Fringe
Monday Night Raw – December 8, 2014
Dean Ambrose returns with a vengeance, and Paul Heyman calls out Seth Rollins
DVD Special Features:
TLC 2014 Kickoff
The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) vs Gold & Stardust
Post Match Interview with Dolph Ziggler
Post Match Interview with The Bella Twins