WWE Tables, Ladders, & Chairs
December 15, 2019
Target Center
Minneapolis, MN

Watch: WWE Network


Suit Williams: I dunno, man. Whatever. @SuitWilliams on Twitter, and listen to the Smark Sports podcast on Apple Podcasts and wherever you find your podcasts.

Steve Case: “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” Here’s hoping Andy Dufresne wasn’t wrong. Though If he had watched WWE over the last year, even he might waver. Follow @Coachcase44

TLC Kickoff Show: Humberto Carillo def. Andrade (w/ Zelina Vega)

Suit: This is my first time seeing Dimples Carillo, and his music certainly slaps. They take TWO commercials during this match. Putting aside the logic of promoting the show that you’re already watching, why two commercials? Are they afraid that some people missed the first one? Andrade gets cut on his cheek, but nothing really comes of it. Andrade gets the crowd into it with a Perro Aguayo double stomp that sends Carillo to the floor. They go back and forth before they repeat the miscommunication spot with Andrade and Zelina. Carillo capitalizes with a rewind rana off the second rope(!) and a big moonsault for the win. Good match here, but I don’t like the dissension between Andrade and Zelina. That act is money as a pair, and Zelina is too good to fall into the ether. ***1/2

Steve: Please tell me why a match already taking place on your own kickoff show needs not one, but TWO “commercial breaks” promoting said kickoff show. This company. 

Anyway, this match kind of rocked. After the second break especially, this really kicked into high gear. Andrade got a nasty gash around his left eye and seemed pretty irritated by it. The rest of this was Andrade being real stiff and snug with Humberto getting some high spots in as well. Andrade was it to be outdone with a double stomp onto Humberto as he hung outside the ring. Andrade also got some nasty bruises under his arm from either the ropes on this spot, or possibly the announce table earlier. They would reply the Zelina distraction spot in a nice little call back, this time with neither really getting the advantage. This lead to Andrade putting Humberto in the electric chair on the top rope, which Humberto reverses in a sick looking reverse rana. Humberto would get the win with a beautiful moonsault. Do a little more between the breaks and this would have been great. ***3/4

Ladder Match for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship
The New Day def. The Revival

Suit: I genuinely don’t remember why the New Day started throwing pancakes around. A pretty good ladder match. It suffered from the usual ladder match tropes of guys taking too long setting up the next spots for it to be natural, but that’s just the nature of the beast. The New Day went after the legs of the Revival to keep them from climbing too quickly, and the Revival tried to isolate Kofi and keep Big E out of the way. It built up well, with both members of the Revival trapping Kofi between the rungs of a ladder. Big E then came back and dropped Dash with a Big Ending off the top of a ladder. Kofi then dropped Dawson off the top of the ladder and got the belts. A good match with a hot crowd that was really behind Kofi getting the win. Good piece of business here. ***3/4

Steve: I truly wish this was a strait up tag match, but alas. This was still a very fun match. I really liked the stuff they did with the Revival trying to get the ladder all the way in the ring. Used a lot of tropes and changed them so slightly. From there it turned into your standard ladder tag match. Big E took some nasty bumps off the ladder and to his manhood, as well as hitting his beautiful spear through the ropes on Dash. In a funny bit. A ladder table was created for Dawson to suplex Big E onto, only for Big E to miss and Dawson take it full on, which he no sold completely. All 4 ended up going after the belts until Big E hit a huge Big Ending on Dash and Kofi hitting Dawson with the belts off the ladder, then grabbing the belts to retain. Strong stuff, I’m just over these matches. They are everywhere. ***¾

Aleister Black def. Buddy Murphy

Suit: Buddy Murphy’s new music is very generic. I preferred his dubstep music, as it was memorably annoying. Aleister Black is wearing olive green tights, which is…a choice. After Murphy drops Black onto the steps, Vic Joseph implores the viewers to “remember the jaw!” Not quite as catchy as Remember The Titans, but alas. That stair spot busts Black’s nose up, and we get more accidental blood. This match is full of tight strike exchanges, but the crowd isn’t getting behind Black despite the broken nose. Murphy gets a big flurry toward the end, but Black catches him with the Black Mass for the win. A good showcase for both men, and a spotlight win for Black. ***1/4

Steve: Loved Buddy sitting cross-legged waiting for Black in the ring, and Black entering and sitting looking eye to eye. These two have great chemistry. Early on it looked like Black might have broken his nose on the post or the steps, which might have kept this from being as high octane. Buddy might sell better than anyone since early Dolph, I just hope his career trajectory is different. The strike exchanges between these two were real great, with each putting together some great combinations and trades. The finish saw them both charge from opposite corners and have one last exchange leading to a Black Mass outta nowhere for the pin. This ruled. Push Black to the moon. Give Buddy a mid-card title run. ****

Raw Tag Team Championship
The Viking Raiders vs. The OC ends in a double countout

Suit: The Viking Raiders are over in Minneapolis, home of the NFL team of the same name. Well, the Vikings are in Minneapolis. The Raiders are in Oakland. Except they’re moving to Las Vegas next year. But all that is beside the point. There’s a KFC table and some fans on the floor. Keep it away from King, his heart can’t take it. The OC answer the challenge, and they don’t wanna be anything other than what they’ve been trying to be lately, which is the best tag team in the world. Wait, was that the song for The OC or One Tree Hill?

It’s a Gallows and Anderson tag match, which means it is aggressively forgettable. Ivar does a dive that sends both Anderson and Gallows all the way to California…right back where they started from. Double countout, crowd is unhappy. Chekhov’s Chicken Platter gets used, as the Raiders put Anderson through the table. Nothing to see here. **

Steve: The open challenge was answered by The OC. The Raiders are getting huge Skol chants from the Minnesota crowd. It’s cool, but as a Lions fan my hatred for the Vikings is multilayered. There’s also a group of folks at a table eating KFC. They better save that delicious gravy before someone goes through it. 

These two teams had a really good match on Raw a few months ago. The Raiders got over with that crowd with their unique powerful and athletic offense. So of course they work underneath here. ENOUGH WITH THE CHICKEN JOKES KING. Just as it was starting to pick up and become something, they all start brawling outside. Iver then hits a suicide dive on the OC leading to a count out. How you can’t have the foresight to put over a team named VIKING Raiders in MINNESOTA is beyond me.  They then brawl, leading to Anderson going through a table covered with the Colonel’s smiling face. This feud will surely continue. **¼

Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match
King Corbin def. Roman Reigns

Suit: Dogshit. DUD

Steve: This was horrid. An absolute abomination. Corbin is maybe the worst major league wrestler on the planet. He’s not good. He’s not interesting. He’s a non-entity. Roman is essentially dead in the water as well. Absolute garbage. DUD 

Universal Champion Bray Wyatt def. The Miz

Suit: Bray Wyatt is Malibu Stacy. The Fiend is Malibu Stacy with a new hat. He’s still the same bad wrestler who thinks his goofy bullshit is on the same level as Jake Roberts. He’s so over that the crowd was dead silent for the entirety of it. The Miz beat him up, then Bray hit the Sister Abigail a couple of times and won. Now the Fiend is on the screen, and Bray has his mallet. Daniel Bryan shows up with his new haircut. I guess he took a quick trip to Arena Mexico and did the job for Ultimo Guerrero. Bray vanishes, and Bryan yes chants. This was a bad Smackdown segment. This has the same rating as Reigns/Corbin, but it was bad in an entirely different way. Just…nonsensical garbage. DUD

Steve: Okay so that was Bray coming out as Bray. He got a ton of cheers as a murderous stalker would. Miz does his best to beat Bray down in the most Miz way possible. Bray side steps a barracked spot. Sister Abigail on the floor. Miz beats a ten count. Sister Abigail for the pin. This was weird and bad. Only reason it doesn’t get a DUD is due to the match before it. ½*

The Fiend shows up on the tron. Tells Bray to get his cartoon mallet. Daniel Bryan arrives with a new hair cut and sans beard. He runs wild on Bray. He grabs the cartoon hammer and the light goes out. Bray disappears. The crowd was happy to see Bryan, but overall confused and seemingly wanted it all to end. Seems we have our Royal Rumble main event. 

Tables Match
Bobby Lashley def. Rusev

Suit: Tables matches are only exciting when people are going through tables. Otherwise, they’re just matches with no nearfalls. And not everyone can pull that off like Tanahashi and Suzuki. This was just…nothing. Lana got involved and cost Rusev the match. I’m ready to be done here. **

Steve: Man. These last three matches are really eroding the hope aren’t they? This was boring. It didn’t make much sense. Rusev got a nasty gash on his back from a kendo stick. Lana got involved for a second jumping on Rusev’s back and I though we might actually get to see their comeuppance. Nope. Rusev gets speared into a table that doesn’t break, then duplexes through one that does. Sure. I guess. *1/2

Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match for the Smackdown Women’s Tag Team Championship
The Kabuki Warriors def. Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair

Suit: Asuka main eventing her second TLC show in a row. Good for her. It’s absolute mayhem on the outside, as all four women just brawl on the floor. Charlotte gets the hell knocked out of her with a kendo stick, while Becky gets rope tied to a ladder in a spot that will inspire at least 300 new fanfics. I was enjoying the brawling on the outside. Then it kept going. And going. And going. And going. And it was pretty much the entire match. Just plunder in front of the announce table. And a lot of it was really awkward. Charlotte killed Kairi with a powerbomb through a table, to the point where I don’t think Kairi took a bump for the rest of the match. Asuka powerbombed Charlotte off the top rope through a table, with Charlotte’s head smacking off the ground. There was no real throughline and no real semblance of a match. It was just 20 minutes of…stuff.  And to put the cherry on top, after these women killed each other for 20 minutes, they immediately cut to a brawl led by Reigns and Corbin which ended with a spear off of a balcony onto everyone else. A lot of effort, a lot of visible pain, and a lot of it was unfortunately wasted here on a bad match and another angle. ½*

Steve: A lot happened in this match and almost none of it made sense. It’s a TLC match where you win by climbing a ladder in the ring and grabbing the belts. So almost the entirety of the match took place on the outside. Multiple times either team had plenty of time to at least attempt to get the belts and they didn’t. Not in the suspend disbelief kind of way because yes, I know, I’ve seen these matches before. But in the we haven’t done all the necessary unnecessary unsafe dumb spots yet. It’s hard to describe this. Kairi dead weighted Charlotte on a power bomb through a table either because she’s hurt or she just had no desire to be there anymore. Becky got tied to a ladder for a good 5 mins. Charlotte took a powerbomb to the floor from the top rope and blasted her head on the floor. Asuka had the only sensible spot, pulling a rope tied to the ladder to knock Becky off the ladder. She then just climbed it and won. Not two seconds later we cut to all the men brawling into the arena. No explanation. Reigns speared Corbin off a ledge into a group of dorks and it went off the air. I’m as confused as you are. My hope is broken. *