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Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE Tables, Ladders, & Chairs (TLC) 2017 Pay Per View Review with Match Ratings & Show Grade
By Mr. Tito
Oct 22, 2017 - 11:03:44 PM

Follow Mr. Tito on Twitter.com: @titowrestling

Bookmark Mr. Tito's Column Archive to read the current and past columns.

Welcome to the WWE Tables, Ladders, and Chairs (TLC) 2017 Pay Per View review by Mr. Tito exclusively here LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com. This review was also constructed during the show and posted immediately thereafter for an instant review. Because the Pay Per View just happens to be called "TLC", that means wrestlers suddenly get the craving to wrestle in matches involving Tables, Ladders, and Chairs. Ditto with earlier this month's Hell in a Cell Pay Per View which created sudden cravings for bigger cage matches.

As I keep saying, whatever...

Expectations for this show were extremely LOW for me... Before the card was rebooked, it was basically a 1 match show. The Shield versus 5 wrestlers car crash was about the only thing worth tuning into... Then, a viral infection hits Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt, and the card is revamped to now feature AJ Styles vs. Finn Balor and then Kurt Angle substitutes for Roman Reigns to tag with the Shield.

Thank you, WWE, for that fan service... Pretty nice of them to give us both AJ Styles and the returning Kurt Angle. As I argued in my previous column, RAW's roster, DESPITE the "superstar shake-up" helping them, is too thin to elevate anyone up the card. Angle and Styles are serving as a piece of tape for an otherwise cracking dam.

The Women's Division and Cruiserweight Division fills the midcard thanks to both the Intercontinental Title and Tag Title divisions being featured in the main event... And that's the problem. No DEPTH of quality superstars in those divisions, the part of the midcard that matters. I like Enzo Amore on the microphone but once he starts that match... Yikes. Women's Division on RAW since the "shake-up" has been "meh". Bayley and Sasha are underachieving and nobody complements Alexa Bliss's talents as they did on Smackdown. That, and everyone is just keeping the seat warm for when Nia Jax eventually returns. Maybe Asuka, but Vince McMahon remains the top creative guy for the WWE main roster.

Heading into this show, I made a BOLD call that Kurt Angle teaming with the Shield was a bit suspicious to me. What the Shield lacks is a heel force to challenge them as a team. Besides Strowman, who gets his share of babyface pops, the RAW roster really doesn't have any heel threat. Miz is a midcarder and Samoa Joe has been gone for a while.. It needs a leader who can effectively communicate against the wishes of the Shield. But that's just my opinion and Angle being injected into this match was suspicious to me in my Predictions Column.

Onto the review.


OPENING MATCH was Emma versus the debuting Asuka. I miss the Emma from NXT during 2015-2016. That was a potential superstar... What you see now is a product of WWE's awful Creative Team who has ruined many of the NXT call-ups lately. Asuka retains her NXT music and the Titantron had a big mask on the screen. The match? You know how most expected an Asuka squash? Nope. Emma dominated a good bit of the early match with restholds and other forms of offense (I really liked when Emma attacked Asuka in the corner). Then, Michael Cole says "some times it takes time to adjust to being in the WWE". That's the story... That would be JUST FINE if the WWE RAW roster didn't book Emma to be a FREAKIN' JOKE for the past year. After a while of Emma dominating Asuka, Asuka starts to get in some offense THEN Emma gets the advantage back by tossing Asuka off the ring apron (looked nice). Emma can't continue the momentum and eats a kick in the ring and then Asuka Lock. That was actually a decent match and I'm happy that Emma got a good spot to look good... BUT the psychology was WAY OFF with the HYPE of Asuka coming in and how Emma has been booked as a jobber for the past few months. [ ** 1/2 ] Now, had WWE booked Emma as well as NXT did over a year ago, things could have been different. Indifferent crowd reaction for much of the match validates what I say. Good move-for-move match but poor presentation and psychology based on how WWE booked both characters, notably Emma as a jobber.

Backstage, Miz and Sheamus/Cesaro said that Mick Foley would "never this let this kind of match happen". Silly that the WWE is making Cesaro slur with a mouthpiece in... That's about as ridiculous as making a nearly 7 foot tall guy stutter.

Elias in the ring to play a song... And Jason Jordan tosses fruits and vegetables at him. That actually happened.

Second match is Cedric Alexander/Rich Swann vs. Brian Kendrick/Jack Gallagher. Some really nice spots hit, but there's not much heat... I do like how how Gallagher wrestles in a suit. That's hysterical but a nice touch to stand out as a wrestler. The heels go to town on Cedric Alexander and damn they worked him over. Fast paced match with all spots hit well throughout. I really enjoyed that. Possibly the best WWE televised Cruiserweight match yet. That's how you do it... It's like a lightweight boxer who happens to throw more punches than a heavyweight boxer and yet they have more energy because the punches received don't hurt as much either. Therefore, let the Cruiserweight matches have non-stop action and well executed spots if you can't execute psychology correctly. [ *** 3/4 ] Both tag teams worked really well together and I'd like to see more...

Backstage, Alexa Bliss is interviewed... By the way, I'm SHOCKED that WWE let Mickie James acknowledge that she was a mother on a WWE show. Someone reading my columns, eh? "The Fighting Mom" would be a great gimmick and is truly untested by the WWE. Lots of moms out there that would love to see a mom still working hard in the wrestling ring.

Up next, it was Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Mickie James for the RAW Women's Title. Mickie has a badass look tonight with the Denim look with a hot top on. Of course, that plays into Alexa's earlier comment of "Mom Jeans". Ouch. But I think Mickie found her new WWE look and she should retain this look. The energy at Mickie's age of 38 is impressive, as those repeat kip-ups that James did were awesome. Mickie dominated to start and then Alexa injures her arm and now it's Bliss attacking that arm repeatedly. You know, because Alexa Bliss has an armbar submission hold to build up... Oh wait, she doesn't?!? Now, if it was sold that Mickie James couldn't kick out of a pin due to that left arm injury, OK... Later, when Mickie is hooking the leg with that bad arm, the announcers SAY NOTHING as to how Alexa can kick out of pins. Mickie had a decent flurry of offense near the end but Bliss hits her DDT for the win. The story of the injured arm somewhat told with that ending when Mickie was shoved into the turnbuckle to transition into that DDT. OK, much better... [ *** ] Nice in-ring promo at that end for Mickie... Add to that to the fact that she's a MOTHER, then the fans will connect..

Backstage Kurt Angle said he didn't want to see "2 on 5" and that's why he joined the match... Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose arrive and give him a bulletproof vest to look like the other members of the Shield. How about that?

Elias returns to the ring for another musical performance. Fans are booing heavily and it interrupts his performance... This gimmick is working, folks! Guy is a good talker, decent wrestler, and he's a good musician to boot. Jason Jordan returns to throw more fruits and vegetables at Elias. I'd love for Elias to bash someone's head in with that guitar but 2017 WWE won't let that happen. Of course, Jeff Jarrett hurt many people during 1999 with his guitar.

Up next is Enzo Amore vs. Kalisto. Would we care about the Cruiserweight Title if Enzo Amore didn't join this division? His speaking ability, alone, has elevated it... WWE just has to mix in stronger personalities with good in-ring work. Exactly what we saw from Alexander/Swann vs. Kendrick/Gallagher earlier tonight combined with Enzo's promo ability... There's still time to salvage 205 Live. Maybe if you didn't let it follow Smackdown Live, that would help too... May I be brutally honest here? I DON'T CARE about the many foreign announcing teams attending the show. They are there for all WWE shows but I won't hear them. Why do I care to see them each and every show? Give more praise to the 205 Live announcers who are doing a great job tonight! I liked what Enzo was doing in this match by utilizing his height advantage over Kalisto by applying extensive headlocks/chinlocks on Kalisto and kept the pressure on his back. Kalisto wants to fly and keeping him on the ground makes sense. Nice work by Kalisto to sell Enzo's top rope DDT. Enzo starts to show fear and tries to run out of the ring... Kalisto drags him from the apron and Enzo pulls the apron up. As the referee tries to fix it, Enzo sneaks in a thumb to the eye and hits his finisher to win his 2nd Cruiserweight Title. Perfectly acceptable match. [ *** ]

AJ Styles vs. Finn Balor is up next... What a bonus! AJ Styles is wearing all blue to represent the Smackdown brand (I think he's been wearing red lately on shows). For Finn Balor, he's dressed as a the DEMON tonight and the bodypaint is so wild that it would cause Jeff Hardy to ask "what's wrong with you today?". Match hasn't even started and we get the "THIS IS AWESOME" chant already. Then, a "Too Sweet" chant breaks out. Oh my... AJ and Finn start the match off like blind men at an orgy... They were going to have to feel things out. Personally, the WWE should have sold that AJ Styles was worn out from the South America trip and was coming off a stomach illness. Ya know, psychology to allow for AJ Styles to lose tonight. Instead, Styles is dominating the match-up to start. However, Finn fought back and hit a nice flipping dive onto AJ on the outside. Now, it's more back and forth they way it should be with these two and this match got REALLY good. Loved AJ picking up Balor and driving him over the announcer's table. Lots of counters, lots of double clothesline like moves, and crisp moves hit by two veterans. Styles hitting the Pele Kick as Balor was on the top rope was absurd! Then the top rope Frankensteiner! Styles misses the 450 and Balor capitalizes by kicking Styles into the corner and then hitting the Coup de Grace top rope stomp finisher. WOW, they lived up to the hype! [ **** 1/2 ] This was the best one-on-one singles match that the WWE had this year. Afterward, the two embrace with the NWO hand signal to make the Internet Wrestling Community's heads explode! But this match was JUST TOO SWEET! I'd laugh if that wasn't scripted and both Styles & Balor get in hot water for that. If it was scripted, why on earth is the WWE even alluding to the Bullet Club on their WWE shows?

Elias in the ring and he announces that he'll be wrestling Jason Jordan... My WWE Network connection was bombing out so I have no idea what he was trying to sing. Can I be honest here? I was totally wrong on my assessment on Elias when he was at NXT. He's pretty good and WWE Creative is using him well. Great upside with him as a balanced WWE superstar with both in-ring ability and personality. I just hope that he isn't announced to be anyone's son because I heard that doesn't work out well... This match has no heat because of the bad Jordan storyline and well, they had to follow Styles vs. Balor. Finish looked good with Jordan reversing a suplex over the ropes into a roll-up. However, the actual referee count was controversial... So we get more of these matches? Oh great. [ *1/2 ] Jordan is an amazing athlete and very talented in that ring... But his character just isn't working and is draining heat away from him.

Backstage, the Miz insists that they treat the other team like "garbage and what do you do with garbage? You take it to the dump!".

MAIN EVENT was Miz/Kane/Braun Strowman/Cesaro/Sheamus vs. Kurt Angle/Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins in a TLC Match. Dean and Seth arrive through the crowd and then Kurt Angle, with his bulletproof vest on, joins them. Nice touch... One would think that Miz and company would be PISSED that the General Manager is joining the match. Crowd chants "YOU SUCK" during the Shield theme at Kurt Angle. Ha! WWE might have saved a "true" Angle in-ring return for later because Angle is out-of-character here without his ring attire and theme music. Shield + Angle unloads on the chairshots as the crowd approves. Funny thing is that Kurt Angle looks SO HAPPY to be in this match! Big smile on his face! For anyone reading this, check out Angle's old matches with Kane. Quite the surprisingly good matches... Poor Braun is just eating those chairshots! Ambrose and Rollins both do splashes off the ladder onto Braun and Kane through announcer tables. Seeing Kurt Angle hitting rolling German Suplexes on the Miz and then additional ones on Sheamus and Cesaro FELT SO GOOD! But then Kane sits up... They fight and Angle soon locks in the Anklelock. Braun breaks that up and makes him pay with a Powerslam through a table! Wow! Good day to be the Shield and let those vests absorb the chairshots. Angle sells the injury and is being walked to the back by WWE medical officials and then collapses to further sell it. 5 on 2 devastation in the ring now as the heels could score some easy pins right now, but nope... They're evil and thus they are enjoying the beatdown of the babyfaces. Kane accidentally hits Braun Strowman with a chair and that prompts shoving... Yep, I called that one, as Kane vs. Braun is coming to an arena near you! Ooops! That "Solid Oak Table" wouldn't break for Cesaro/Sheamus but don't worry, Braun Strowman will toss you throw it. Miz signals a Garbage Truck to back into the arena, making good on taking the Shield "to the dump". Ha, how about that? Both Ambrose & Rollins get tossed into the truck but they fight back. Eventually, they jump off the truck and onto everyone but the Miz. They chase Miz and he runs! Before they could truly punish the Miz through some tables, Kane gets back up to attack. Then Braun... BUT THEN, Kane attacks Braun Strowman! Kane then Chokeslams Braun through a table off the stage! I so called that one... HOSS matches coming soon! HOLY COW, Kane then rips the Chair decorations down and a bunch of chairs slam on Braun. OH MY GOD! Ambrose and Rollins try to fight off Kane but thanks to Miz's distraction, Kane is able to overcome them and hit a double chokeslam onto Ambrose & Rollins through tables! The heels are dragging Ambrose & Rollins to the dumptruck (because why not?) and Braun Strowman HULKS UP! Miz pleads Braun to calm down and Strowman tosses Miz aside. Ditto for the other team members and Braun goes right after Kane. Face turn? 4 on 1 beatdown on Strowman and they toss him on the Garbage Truck! Miz orders the guy to compact the gargabe with Strowman in it! What? That's crazy... Truck drives away... Shouldn't the Cops be arresting the Miz and the driver for that? LOL... Now, we have 4 on 1 with Seth Rollins taking a beating in the ring... When Rollins is about to get pinned, Ambrose makes the save. As Ambrose is about to get his, Kurt Angle's theme music hits and here he comes back! Angle Slams for Sheamus/Cesaro on the outside! Kane fights back and tries Tombstone but steel chairs by the Shield counter that! Then, the Shield ram Kane through the barricade. That leaves Kurt Angle vs. Miz. As Angle looks on at that the outside carnage, Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale but we have a 2 Count only! Miz tries a Skull Crusher but Angle counters that into an Anklelock. Uh oh, Ambrose and Rollins are back and now it's 3 on 1. All three finishers are hit on poor Miz. Angle wants to do the Shield Powerbomb spot and they hit it for the 1, 2, 3. Shield + Angle win a total car crash of a match. Disorganized at times, but damn it was fun and that's what matters. [ **** ] Angle looked good, all things considered. We didn't see Angle turning heel as I thought his addition was curious... But that's OK. Match was fun!

LAST WORD: Last week, many called this the "worst Pay Per View card on paper" ever for the WWE. Then, a couple of booking revisions to add AJ Styles and Kurt Angle... Combine that with GOOD Cruiserweight action FOR A CHANGE tonight and this show actually turned out to become one of the better Pay Per Views of the year. How about that? That's what being a wrestling fan provides you. On any given night, a great show can somehow appear despite what appears to be resource issues in the way. Great matches all night long and it made some of the bad midcard matches forgivable. [ A ] What a pleasant surprise!


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