Tonight WWE Tables, Ladders, and Chairs is live from the SAP Center in San Jose, CA. Will Braun Strowman be able to compete in his TLC Match against Baron Corbin? Can the New Daniel Bryan hold on to the WWE Championship? Will Becky Lynch continue to be “The Man” and the SmackDown Women’s Champion? All this and more will be answered at WWE TLC!
Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Kickoff Show
Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Cedric Alexander for the Cruiserweight Championship: The beginning of this match so both men matching each other strike for a strike until Murphy caught Cedric with a knee to the face. Murphy kept Alexander grounded until he gave Cedric too much of a breather coming off the second rope. Cedric catches Buddy with kick strikes ending with a Springboard Clothesline for two. Murphy tried a pin counter holding the tights for a count of two. An absolutely beautiful sequence ends with Murphy catching Cedric with a corner trap Superkick then a high impact Powerbomb for two. Cedric catches Murphy with a Death Valley Driver then a Lumber Check but Murphy was able to get his foot on the rope for two. In the ring, Murphy sends Alexander into the second corner buckle. Murphy hits a knee strike then Murphy’s Law for the win. Excellent match. Just what the 205 Live brand needs to keep them on the map.
Elias is out here to say he will retrieve the guitar is his Ladder Match against Bobby Lashley and he will play a tune Bobby will never forget. Before he could play his tune he is interrupted by Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush. We get the butt pointing pose. Excellent.
Elias vs. Bobby Lashley in a Ladder Match: Ladders are introduced and use pretty early in the match. Lio tried to get involved twice, the second time he gets swatted away by Elias. Lashley gets dropped in the corner across a ladder allowing Elias to climb the ladder and retrieve the guitar and win the match. Elias looked poised to attack Rush with the guitar but was hit from behind by Lashley. Lio Rush hits a frog splash then Lashley destroys the guitar across the back of Elias.
2018 Tables, Ladders, and Chairs
R-Truth & Carmella vs. Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox: Solid work from both teams. We did get a seven-second dance break which the Singh Brothers even got in on the fun but get dumped out after the fun. Carmella is able to lock on the Code of Silence submission to get the win. Carmella and R-Truth win the 2018 Mixed Match Challenge. They will each enter their respective Royal Rumble at #30 plus an all expenses paid vacation to wherever they choose. Where will they go you ask? Paris? Greece? The Bahamas? Carmella and R-Truth will be heading to WWE Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut! Wait…What?
The Bar (c) vs. The New Day vs. The Usos for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The New Day doing the smart thing and going with their Speedforce combination. In this match, you can tag any competitor no matter the team so long as they are on the apron. This comes into play many times with men using the blind tag to catch everyone off guard and get sneak pins. The Usos have the home field advantage and they get the crowd on their feet after a barrage of Superkicks. The Cesaro Swing spot was fun to see. Xavier Woods was reentering the ring when Sheamus hits him with a Brogue Kick out of nowhere. The Bar gets the three count and retains the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.
Braun Strowman vs. Raw General Manager Elect Baron Corbin in a TLC Match: The crowd does not like Corbin one bit. The bell rings and new WWE Referee Heath Slater begins the ten count. Halfway through the music of Braun Strowman hits and The Monster Among Men comes marching down the ramp with one arm in a sling. Strowman reminds Corbin that in a TLC Match there are no disqualifications which mean Strowman is allowed to have help. Apollo Crews, Roode & Gable, Finn Balor all appear at ringside with chairs. Corbin looks to Heath Slater for help who removes his referee shirt and decks Corbin. Each man takes their shot at Corbin before he high tails it up the ramp. Suddenly the music of former Raw GM Kurt Angle plays and the Olympic Gold Medalist appears with a chair. Angle blasts Corbin sending him back to the ring. Everyone hits their finishers laying out Corbin. Heath Slater puts the referee shirt back on and counts Corbin’s shoulders to the mat for three. Baron Corbin is no long the Raw GM and Braun Strowman will face Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble for the Universal Championship.
Natalya vs. Ruby Riott in a Tables Match: Early on Liv Morgan took a bullet for Ruby as she stepped in for a Spear off the apron through a table in a sick looking spot. Natalya super aggressive and pissed off with good reason. Ruby uses the table with the decal of her late father to play mind games, telling Natalya her father would be ashamed of her. In the ring, Ruby sets up the table in the corner. She brings Natalya back in the ring and both women try to put the other through the table. The struggle ends with Natalya locking Ruby in a Sharpshooter. Ruby grabs the tables and uses it to crack Natalya on the back of the head breaking the hold. Natalya goes under the ring and retrieves a table with a decal of Ruby Riott on it. She has the jacket of her father Jim Neidhart which she puts on giving her superpowers it seems. A battle in the corner leads to both women on top. Natalya blocks a hurricanrana and powerbombs Ruby through the table with her own decal for the win. A nice moment for Natalya.
Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Balor: The majority of this match is back and forth with McIntyre using his power to ground Balor while Balor has a smart strategy of attacking McIntyre’s leg. McIntyre still seemed to have the match in his favor until Balor turns on the quickness. Balor drops McIntyre with a Tornado DDT for two. McIntyre briefly halts Balor’s momentum but he still can’t keep up with his speed. McIntyre hits a middle rope Avalanche Air Raid Crash for two. Action spills outside with Finn trapping Drew in the ring skirt, beating him to a pulp. Drew trips Finn sending him face first into the apron. He hits Finn with a headbutt then rolls him into the ring. Drew gloats while Finn is back in the ring being looked at by the referee. Dolph Ziggler appears out of nowhere and Superkicks his former partner. Dolph gets a chair but when he goes to attack McIntyre hits him with a boot sending the chair into Dolph’s face. Drew brings the chair in the ring with him but Balor catches him with a Shotgun Dropkick sending the chair into Drew’s ribs. Balor hits the Coup de Grace and gets the win in a solid match.
Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton in a Chairs Match: Mysterio doing the smart thing and using one of the many chairs littered around ringside. Mysterio went to the corner which allowed Orton time to use the chair. Rey uses a chair like a boogie board to do his slide under the bottom rope in a really cool and innovative move. Mysterio really being the aggressor of the match but when he went for a seated senton, Orton moves and Mysterio hits nothing but a chair. Orton turns on the sick mode and drops Mysterio across the commentary table. Orton brings the action in the ring setting up a chair in the corner. Rey uses it to his advantage but Orton is the one who plants Mysterio with a power slam. Orton catches Mysterio with a chair shot to the gut and knees as Rey is coming off the ropes. Rey hits a 619 but Orton still maintains control of the match. Orton sets up chairs in a line square in the middle of the ring. Orton goes to grip up Mysterio but Mysterio whips Orton face first into the chairs. Orto is seated when Mysterio comes running in and rolls Orton up for the one, two, three. Decent match.
Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Nia Jax for the Raw Women’s Championship: Ronda starts the match with a stick and move offense frustrating Nia. Ronda almost catches her in an armbar but Jax is able to power it into a powerbomb. From here Nia takes control, the big move being Nia smashing Ronda’s arm into the post. This isn’t enough to stop Ronda from locking on multiple submissions. Nia once again uses her power to send Ronda flying into the barricade. Ronda counters a Jax powerbomb into a Rana then sends her to the outside where she drops her with a beautiful crossbody. onda hits Nia with some awesome strikes but when she goes for a second crossbody Jax rolls through it and hits a massive Samoan Drop for two. Nia looks to end things with a second rope Samoan Drop but Ronda counters it into a sunset powerbomb for two! Ronda looks to lock on an armbar but Tamina distracts her. Nia attacks Ronda from behind but a resilient Rousey is still able to mount Jax. Rousey looks to Tamina before kissing the fist of Jax. Nia taps out and Ronda retains the Raw Women’s Championship in another stellar performance.
After the match, Becky Lynch gets her receipt for Nia breaking her face by giving her a forearm to the face and sending her into metal equipment boxes.
Daniel Bryan (c) vs. AJ Styles for the WWE Championship: Because these men know each other so well much of the beginning of the match is back and forth with neither getting the early advantage. The action goes to the outside and that is where Bryan is able to take over. Bryan is methodical keeping Styles grounded with submissions mixed ground and pound offense. Bryan wakes AJ up with vicious chops but Bryan attacks the ribs killing the comeback of Styles. Daniel is one step ahead of Styles in everything they do. Bryan getting cocky while rocking Styles with corner kicks until Styles comes out with a stiff clothesline. Styles is pissed off but he’s taking control of the match. Styles looks to end things with a Styles Clash but Daniel ducks and runs. Bryan looks for mercy but it was a fail as Styles hits Daniel with an Ushigoroshi. AJ goes for his float over reverse DDT but Bryan reverses it into a sick Kravat throw. Daniel back in control of the match until Styles catches him with a jumping kick. Styles goes for the Phenomenal Forearm but catches Daniel before he could counter with a kick. Styles uses a Dragonscrew Legwhip to weaken the leg of Bryan. Styles pinpoints the leg until Daniel could catch him with an enziguiri. Bryan goes after the ribs. After submission attempts from both men, we are back to square one. Both men exchange strikes with AJ winning the exchange with a Dropkick when Bryan was running in. A springboard 450 isn’t enough to put Daniel Bryan away. Daniel goes in for an attack but AJ slaps on a Calf Crusher. Daniel gets to the ropes but the move does serious damage. The action goes to the outside where Bryan looks to send AJ into the barricade. AJ leaps over said barricade and hits Daniel with a Phenomenal Forearm on the outside. AJ rolls Daniel back in the ring and looks to hit him with a Phenomenal Forearm. Daniel ducks the move and looks to hit the Running Knee. AJ moves out of the way and rolls Daniel up for a pin. Before the referee counts three Daniel shifts his weight to pin AJ’s shoulder to the mat for the three. An absolute beauty of a match.
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins for the Intercontinental Championship: A very slow, methodical, mat-based match at the beginning mostly dominated by Ambrose. Corey Graves spent almost the entire match on commentary asking Renee Young how this all has affected her marriage to Dean Ambrose in hilarious sound bytes. Ambrose strikes the knee and begins using this to pinpoint his offense. Rollins finds an opening after leg dropping Ambrose over the second rope. Although he’s on top his knee is in bad shape. Rollins throws caution out the window hitting multiple dives to the outside, grimacing with each landing. A battle on the corner top rope leads to Rollins losing his footing going for a sunset flip powerbomb. Rollins does hit a buckle bomb but it isn’t enough to finish Ambrose. Things quickly break down into a back and forth slugfest. Dean keeps things slow and the crowd begins to grow restless. Fast forward to Rollins with the upper hand. When Rollins goes in for a Superkick Ambrose stops him by holding out his fist reminiscent of The Shield. This causes Rollins to snap and beat down Ambrose. Things move to the outside where Rollins hits Ambrose with a powerbomb on the barricade. Rollins rolls Ambrose back into the ring. Rollins gets the crowd hype with Burn It Down chats but when he goes in for the attack Ambrose catches him with Dirty Deeds. One…two…three! We have a new Intercontinental Champion. This match was okay, just a little too long which is what caused the crowd to turn on it.
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair in a TLC Match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship: Apologies, if you are looking for a move by move, break down of this match but that is nearly impossible in this setting. Asuka surprisingly is holding her own against both Charlotte and Becky. The crowd is 100% behind Lynch who really whips the crowd into a frenzy after bashing Charlotte and Asuka with a steel chair. Becky pulls what looks like a 25-foot ladder and sets it up in front of a commentary table. She lays out both Asuka and Charlotte across the table. Becky climbs the ladder and comes flying down with a leg drop. Asuka was able to bail before impact but poor Charlotte took all of the damage. Asuka rolls back in the ring and has a clear path to the title. Before she gets to the top, Charlotte stops her with a kendo stick. Charlotte goes off with the stick and heads to the outside. Asuka stops her and gets a hold of the stick to do her own damage to Becky. Asuka takes some time to admire her work when Charlotte hits her with a Spear crashing through the barricade. Charlotte turns her attention to Becky and places her on a table. She heads to the top corner and leaps off with a Flipping Senton through the table. Fast forward to the closing moments of the match. Asuka is once again heading up the ladder but is eventually met by Charlotte. Asuka and Charlotte battle at the top of the ladder when Becky reenters with a ladder of her own. Charlotte is able to dispose of Asuka and moves to the other ladder to take care of Becky when suddenly Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey comes down to the ring! Ronda goes to the ladder Becky and Charlotte are on and tips it over sending them crashing to the ground. Ronda exits and this allows Asuka to head to the top of the ladder. Asuka retrieves the title and becomes the NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion! What a match!
Overall, this was a pretty good PPV. The big matches, aside from the Intercontinental Championship, really did a good job of delivering. It’s really hard to choose what match stole the show. Ronda Rousey gets better and better with each match. Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles definitely showed why their storied history can really carry a show. Last but not least, the Women of SmackDown really deserve credit for leaving it all in the ring to live up to the hype. Grade: B-
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