WWE presented their final pay-per-view of 2019 live from Minneapolis, Minnesota last night and once again made the controversial decision to allow the women of WWE to main event the show. This meant that Becky Lynch made history as the first female in history to main event four WWE pay-per-views in one calendar year.
Even though there were a number of Championships on the line, there were no title changes and many fans noticed that the likes of Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, United States Champion Rey Mysterio and, SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley were all missing.
TLC had so much potential as Fun House Bray Wyatt made his in-ring debut and the women competed in the first-ever Women’s Tag Team TLC match, but as you will read below, not everything on the card lived up to the hype.
Here’s how the PPV went down, with our grades and analysis for the final PPV of the decade.
Pre-show: Andrade vs. Humberto Carrillo
Following their match on Raw last week, where Humberto Carrillo was able to pick up a shock win over Andrade, WWE made the decision to add a late match to the card that saw the former NXT Champion given a chance at redemption.
Andrade was once again accompanied to the ring by Zelina Vega even though the duo had been going through a rocky patch. This was one of the matches of the night, neither man put a foot wrong even though Andrade was busted open at the side of the head in a botched move.
Vega was once again involved in the ending of the match and Carrillo was able to turn it into his favor to pick up his second win over Andrade in a week. This left the former Champion seething and when Vega approached him after the match, he walked away without her.
Result: Humberto Carrillo defeated Andrade
Analysis: WWE is obviously continuing their push for Humberto Carrillo following his move over to Raw in the WWE Draft back in October. This match definitely didn’t belong on the kickoff show, but it was obviously only used to further the storyline between Andrade and Vega, which will seemingly now continue tonight on Raw.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Ladder Match: The New Day (c) vs. The Revival
The New Day defended their Tag Team Championships against a team that they have become very familiar with over the past few months. Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder looked to reclaim their Championships in what was interestingly turned into a ladder match this past week ahead of SmackDown.
Kofi Kingston has more experience than anyone in ladder matches and he shone for The New Day throughout, while Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder took some shocking ladder bumps.
Result: The New Day defeated The Revival
Analysis: Not many fans expected this to be the opener for the show, but it was able to set the tone for the night despite a number of botches from Big E and Scott Dawson. A title change wasn’t expected, but the way the match was structured meant that it was easy to predict that The New Day were about to win minutes before they did. Hopefully, this now means that The New Day gain some new challengers heading into 2020.
Aleister Black vs. Buddy Murphy
Buddy Murphy picked a fight with Aleister Black when he took it upon himself to knock on his door a few weeks ago on Raw. The duo has since brawled a number of times ahead of their hotly anticipated match last night at TLC.
Murphy started the matchup brightly, even managing to throw Black’s jacket squarely at Jerry Lawler, who wasn’t best impressed, but a botched spot on the apron led to Black breaking his nose and the wheels then came off. Black did well to continue and hit The Black Mass out of nowhere to pick up the win, but there was blood dripping profusely from him throughout the match and it made it hard for many fans to concentrate on the action.
Result: Aleister Black defeated Buddy Murphy
Analysis: This was one of the matches that could have stolen the show, of course, the botch wasn’t anyone’s fault but the match did go downhill following the injury and it was obvious that Murphy was trying to protect Black throughout. Hopefully, these two stars are allowed to go at it again in the future and have the match that they deserved to showcase last night.
Raw Tag Team Championships: The Viking Raiders vs. The OC
The Raw Tag Team Championships were defended at a TLC pay-per-view for the first time last night when Erik and Ivar sent out an open challenge to any tag team who wanted to test their mettle. Despite rumors throughout the day suggesting that it could be John Cena and a partner of his choosing or The Usos making their return, it was slightly disappointing to learn that it was The OC.
The OC are the only team to have ever defeated The Viking Raiders in WWE since they pinned the stars at WWE Crown Jewel to win the inaugural Tag Team Best In The World tournament. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows took the fight to the former NXT Tag Team Champions, so much so that the match ended via double countout after none of the four stars were able to return to the ring and answer the ten count.
Result: Double Countout
Analysis: These two teams work well together, but the storyline should have been visited just after Crown Jewel so that it made sense. The KFC table at ringside made the whole thing a joke so it was hard to take the four stars seriously. It’s worth questioning whether this was the match that was added when Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens was axed.
Tables Ladders and Chairs Match: Baron Corbin vs. Roman Reigns
After weeks of being humiliated, being covered in dog food and being beaten down by the likes of King Corbin, Robert Rodde, and Dolph Ziggler, this was Roman Reigns‘ chance at some revenge since a TLC match meant that there was no disqualification, but sadly it actually worked in Baron Corbin’s favor.
The Revival and Dolph Ziggler all decided to involve themselves in this match to help The King pick up the win over Roman Reigns, who suffered a shocking defeat last night, and no one in the SmackDown locker room felt the need to come out and help him even out the numbers.
Result: Baron Corbin defeated Roman Reigns
Analysis: Despite the fact that WWE went about this match the wrong way, there were a number of incredible spots. Dolph Ziggler’s superkick was right on the target and the End of Days on the chair was a fantastic finish. WWE was successful in further pushing Baron Corbin as the company’s biggest heel at present and given the way last night’s match ended, it’s becoming quite clear that this is the way The Usos will be re-introduced to WWE.
Fun House Bray Wyatt vs. The Miz
Fun House Bray Wyatt made his in-ring debut last night after playing some personal mind games with The Miz in the buildup to the show. Wyatt was absolutely fantastic as the differences between Wyatt and The Fiend were made apparent. Wyatt then made it clear that he loved pain and allowed The Miz to take the fight to him without even fighting back.
Wyatt used Sister Abigail to pick up the victory before The Fiend appeared on the screen and told him to destroy The Miz in the same way he destroyed Ramblin’ Rabbit. Luckily, Daniel Bryan returned with a new look (or rather an old one) to stop the attack and looked to destroy Wyatt before The Fiend turned off the lights and took Wyatt away.
Result: Fun House Bray Wyatt defeated The Miz
Analysis: This was the shortest match of the night but it was easily the most entertaining. Wyatt’s character work was incredible, the return of Daniel Bryan and the fact that WWE is now establishing The Fiend and Bray Wyatt as two different people is incredible. Hopefully, Bray Wyatt is given more chances to wrestle since he’s the best thing about WWE right now.
Tables Match: Bobby Lashley vs. Rusev
Finally, the controversial storyline between Lana, Rusev and Bobby Lashley came to an end last night at TLC when the two men collided in a Tables match, that Rusev seemingly asked for. The two men were put in the dead spot of the night, between the two main event style matches and given the way the match turned out, it was probably deserved.
Lana had to involve herself to help Lashley pick up the win, but the finish of the match was botched when The Almighty was unable to break the table with a spear so had to think on his feet.
Result: Bobby Lashley defeated Rusev
Analysis: It was a match that didn’t need to happen, the ending spot summed up the whole match, the only real positive from the match is that hopefully this is the end of the storyline and now Rusev can go back to storylines where he’s treated seriously.
Women’s Tag Team Championship TLC Match: The Kabuki Warriors (c) vs. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair
The women were given the chance to main event another pay-per-view last night at TLC, despite the controversy surrounding the Survivor Series main event. The match was going well until Charlotte managed to hit Kairi Sane in the back of the head with a monitor and the Women’s Tag Team Champion looked to struggle for the rest of the match.
It was a botchy match following Sane’s injury since Asuka was doing everything she could to protect her. In the end, the right women probably won since Becky Lynch and Charlotte have been enemies for much of their main roster careers so it wouldn’t have made much sense for them to become Champions.
Result: The Kabuki Warriors defeated Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair
Analysis: Taking the injury into account, many of the botchy moments in the match made sense, but it’s another women’s main event that has failed to live up to the hype. Sane’s injury was a complete accident, but it caused a lot of problems throughout the match and it’s meant that today the WWE Universe is talking about the Women’s Division for all the wrong reasons.