Can we stop the argument now?
Have we finally accepted the idea?
The mindless droning about how WWE's product is watered down by the lack of a TV-14 rating was emphatically silenced last night.
WWE TLC proved that blood, cursing and cleavage is completely unnecessary for a great wrestling product. The only bloodshed was accidental, and the worst things said about anyone were thinly veiled comments on the part of the announce team, which is always a trip with JBL and a live mic.
When Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns entered through the crowd instead of the regular entrance ramp, you knew something amazing was in store. The renegades had already delivered a strong video explaining every single action and justifying their reasons for attacking not only Ryback but the WWE Tag Team Champions, Kane and Daniel Bryan.
This fueled an absolute war that stood toe to toe with Dolph Ziggler and John Cena's Ladder match as the highlight of the night.
Every member of The Shield is beginning to show signs of individual personality, and they got their chance to exhibit their in-ring style last night for the first time in front of a WWE audience.
Roman Reigns was the man who could take the fight to Ryback and has remained the only person in WWE who has taken the monster off his feet and kept him down for a lengthy period of time.
Dean Ambrose is one of the most animated wrestlers in years, showcasing a sadistic enjoyment in not just dishing out pain but receiving it as well, taking a number of vicious shots to the back thanks to Ryback and a few well-placed chairs.
What will remain on highlight reels for years to come is the absolutely insane fall Seth Rollins took from a ladder that looked to be 20 feet tall. Originally planning to slam Ryback through a table himself, Rollins instead found himself in the sights of Ryback and sailed down through a total of four tables, breaking two of them and violently smacking his head on a third.
Cynics will point to the TLC matches that took place more than a decade ago, with moments like Edge spearing Jeff Hardy off a ladder in the middle of the ring while suspended 20 feet in the air. They will say that those matches can never be topped, or point to the level of bloodshed, making them feel more legitimate, real and otherwise brutal or hardcore. I feel sorry for them because they have no idea what a classic battle they missed right in front of their eyes last night.
This was not just a mess of sick bumps and spots; it was a systematic dissection of a seemingly unstoppable team.
On paper, having Kane and Ryback as a cohesive unit would be insurmountable odds. The Shield scoffed at them, with Roman Reigns spearing Kane through the security barricade and burying him under a pile of foreign objects. This all happened after Ryback was once again powerbombed through the Spanish announce table. Oddly enough, the man who put up the biggest and more energetic fight against the trio was Daniel Bryan, who refused to let The Shield win without letting each of them get a taste of the No Lock.
This was as violent and unforgiving a match as you will find in WWE, and all six men should be praised for giving us a match that will likely find itself on the next TLC compilation.
The Shield proved they are the newest force to be reckoned with in wrestling, and yes, it was done on a PG show. The sooner everyone stops clamoring about the need for things like barbed wire, thumbtacks and the Attitude Era, the sooner we can start establishing the next chapters in WWE history.
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