The WWE Universe saw the last pay-per-view of 2012 on Sunday as the WWE Superstars and Divas faced off at Tables, Ladders and Chairs (TLC).
While WWE fans are familiar with the expensive price tag on pay-per-view events, WWE Champion CM Punk's absence from TLC due to a knee injury might have made it even more difficult for fans to click the buy button on their remote.
While TLC had its exciting moments and matches, was it really worth the money?
Read on to find out.
WWE continued using their three-headed announcing squad with Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and JBL. The announcers were solid for the most part, as they usually are.
While most of the announcing was good, the amusing threesome did stumble during a few matches.
We once again heard them get off on a tangent that took over the whole match. This happened the most during the Divas Championship match and a few times during the US and Intercontinental Championship matches.
The back-and-forth between these three is usually pretty hilarious, but during a pay-per-view, it should be about the match and the competitors, not about how many wives Jerry had.
Aside from their few rough spots, the announcing was pretty decent.
We'll start with the bad.
The "Santa's Helper" No. 1 Contender battle royal YouTube pre-show wasn't a great way to start the night. The match certainly wasn't anything special, but it at least surprised the WWE Universe as Naomi got the victory and the right to take on Eve later in the night.
Speaking of the Divas Championship, it also wasn't very good. They at least showed that Naomi had a fair amount of raw athletic talent, which is more that fans get during most Divas matches.
Other rough matches of the evening were: the six-man tag match that pit 3MB against the Miz, Alberto Del Rio and the Brooklyn Brawler, Big Show vs Sheamus and, the most disappointing match of the night, Antonio Cesaro vs R-Truth.
The six-man match felt rushed and random. The Miz, Del Rio and the Brooklyn Brawler? What...Why? The whole thing felt strange and looked way too much like Slater's job-streak to legends on the road to Raw 1000.
The World Heavyweight Championship match was another disappointment at TLC. The feud is getting a little old, as they fought for the belt for the third consecutive time at a pay-per-view, and they seem to simply be running out of things to do.
Even with the added chairs stipulation, this match felt stale and got plain silly when Big Show pulled out a ludicrously large chair and anti-climatically defeated Sheamus with it—rough.
Cesaro vs. Truth had the potential for a great match but fell on its face. While both Superstars are very talented in-ring performers, they didn't show it at TLC. The match was sloppy and didn't do any favors to either competitor.
The other three matches on the TLC card were above average. Kofi Kingston and Wade Barrett put on a great match to intensify their feud over the Intercontinental Championship, Ryback with Team Hell No vs. The Shield was one of the best matches of the year and Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena delivered.
WWE can move into 2013 knowing that a majority of their young talent has what it takes, especially The Shield who lived up to the hype at TLC.
Overall Grade: B-
TLC, unlike many other WWE pay-per-views, didn't have many backstage segments and promos. The only major promos and segments that weren't wrestling-related were the Miz TV spot and the CM Punk promo from the luxury box.
The Miz TV segment wasn't anything special. We had the Miz continuing his kind of awkward face turn, while 3MB continued, well, being 3MB. The whole segment was kind of confusing but was the only way to make the strange six-man tag match make any remote sense.
The CM Punk promo, on the other hand, was great. Punk got cheap heat with the crowd, talking trash about Brooklyn and got a decent crowd response. Even more important, Punk made an appearance even though he was injured, which was good for the die-hard Punk crowd.
While there were only a couple major non-wrestling segments, they were hit and miss. The Punk segment was a hit and the Miz segment was a miss due to the randomness of the whole situation.
Now we come to one of the best parts of pay-per-views, the unpredictable twists and turns that have the potential to change the landscape of WWE.
TLC certainly wasn't chockful of twists and turns, but it had one major one—the finish.
I think it's safe to say that a majority of the WWE Universe wasn't sure what to make of the whole A.J.-Cena situation, but I can't imagine that many people called this one.
A.J. once again screwed over an apparent love interest as she pushed Cena's ladder over and ruined his chance at winning the Money in the Bank briefcase hanging above the ring.
While fans love to see a bevy of twists and turns at any given pay-per-view, the one big unpredictable twist at TLC was a pretty major one.
(Also, I realize that the Brooklyn Brawler showing up was unpredictable, but it didn't really have any bearing on current storylines or feuds in WWE)
Grade: More unpredictability would've been better, but the big twist was great. B
Overall, TLC was an average pay-per-view. The fact that the WWE Champion CM Punk was out of action makes the show more impressive, but it wasn't a consistent event. Elements were either great or bad.
The announcers were decent, but had a few off-the-wall tangents.
About half of the matches were good, while matches like the tag-team tables match, the Intercontinental Championship match, Cena vs. Ziggler and Team Hell No with Ryback vs. The Shield were great.
There weren't many backstage segments or promos, certainly not as many as usual and the show was a little predictable, except for the A.J. swerve at the end.
Overall, considering the absence of the WWE Champion, TLC was a solid pay-per-view. It wasn't the greatest of the year, but it wasn't the worst. It had a few head-scratching moments (the Miz and Del Rio on a team) and a few amazing spots that are going to be huge for the WWE in 2013 (The Shield).
Overall PPV Grade: B-
So was TLC worth the money? Yes, but if you decided to wait for the DVD, you won't be too hurt.
While all of the matches weren't pay-per-view quality, the six-man, TLC match and the ladder match between Ziggler and Cena were worth the pay-per-view price tag.