A few days ago, I wrote my predictions for the TLC PPV and in that article, I said that WWE would have to really mess this event up for it not to be PPV of the year.
WWE did not mess it up by any means, in fact it was better than I thought it would be. It is very rare that when you have high expectations for something, that they get exceeded, but that happened Sunday night at a truly excellent TLC event. Why do I praise so highly? Well, let me tell you...
I am going to be honest here, even though the PPV in general exceeded expectations, this match did not. It was by no means a bad match, but it didn't quite reach the level I though it would. However, it set the night off well.
I enjoyed the match and the highlight has to be when Vickie Guerrero tried to climb the ladder for Dolph and was almost tipped off by Kofi, which of course resulted in mass screaming.
The finish to the match was great as well, with Ziggler snatching the title when it fell to the floor out of the hands of his opponents, which I believe is the first time we have ever seen that particular finish to a ladder match. It also happened to be the only prediction I got wrong for the night, as I had predicted a Swagger victory.
Tag Team Tables Match: Beth Phoenix and Natalya def. LayCool
WWE ended what has been a pretty dismal year for the divas on a massive high. I said in my predictions that if WWE gave the match 10 minutes, it would deliver. Well, they did and it did.
In my estimation this is the joint-top divas match of the year, tying with the Beth Phoenix vs. McCool match from Extreme Rules. There were some nice moments in the match and Beth Phoenix took one hell of a beating, most notably when it looked as though she may have broken her neck on a fall when thrown out of the ring by McCool.
There have been people on the site who have criticised LayCool for the table not breaking, well it turns out that that was actually the planned finish, as the table was never meant to break and was in fact tested before the event to ensure it wouldn't. To be honest, the finish of Natalya jumping off the top rope on LayCool through the table was the right way to end it.
WWE Tag Team Championship: Santino and Kozlov Vs. Nexus (Slater and Gabriel)
If there was anything major to criticise about this event, the making of this match at the last minute would be it. I just do not understand why WWE adds these matches last minute rather than give them a chance to build up. These days, the tag titles are hardly ever advertised for a PPV but always generally appear, hence why they have no prestige.
However, the match itself was not bad, it was entertaining enough to keep you watching and it acted as more of an angle to promote the Cena vs. Barrett chairs match later in the evening. So, Santino and Kozlov retain by DQ and Barrett gets to practice swinging a chair.
No. 1 contender match: Sheamus Vs. John Morrison
I think we all knew the result going in, but that did not stop this being a terrific ladder match. I was impressed with the brutality shown by Sheamus when attacking Morrison's knee with the ladder, and with Morrison's kick that finished the match. The spot of the match was of course Sheamus falling through a ladder after being thrown off a ladder in the ring (which must have hurt).
We now know that we are going to be seeing a revival of the Miz vs. Morrison feud in the main event, which is good to keep the product fresh. I doubt this will be a permanent main event switch for Morrison as he is more than likely jobbing to Miz at the Rumble, but it gets him some good experience.
WWE Championship tables match: The Miz (c) Def. Randy Orton
Again, I think the winner was clear from the outset but I was intrigued to see how WWE booked the Miz to win. In my predictions, I stated that Miz should not be booked as a strong champion, he should scrape to victories by cheating and using his head.
Some people are critical of this, but you must remember that the greatest heel world champions of all time have done this. When HHH was part of Evolution he won pretty much every match in under-handed fashion, and I don't need to go into detail on how Edge retained the belt as champion. He was even called the ultimate opportunist. Ric Flair anyone?
WWE delivered what I wanted to see in this match and then some. The match itself was a great tables match that saw plenty of offense from both parties, but the finish of the match gained the most marks here. It was a stroke of genius to have Miz drag Orton onto the table that Orton had just used to take out Alex Riley, and the crowd reaction was magnificent when the Miz dragged the referee up and he called for the bell.
Then the referee restarts the match after seeing the replay and Miz puts Orton through a table by throwing Riley onto Orton, knocking him off the ring apron through the table.
Miz gets more heat than ever, Orton didn't look weak, what more could you ask for?
World Heavyweight Championship: Edge def. Del Rio, Mysterio and Kane (c)
This match was terrific from start to finish, and featured a number of brutal spots. Every wrestler in the match was on top form and we saw things in this match we haven't seen for years. We saw Edge jumping off a ladder putting Kane through a table, some awesome ladder use in general and Alberto Del Rio being sent from inside the ring to outside through a table via a ladder. He was supposed to go through both tables, but the impact on one table was astonishing and I bet Del Rio is still sore as he didn't get cushioned as much as he should have.
Another moment was Kane breaking the leg off of the table he was setting up. He looked quite worried for a minute and decided to prop it up on the announce table. He must've known that by doing this he was in store for some pain at the end of the match as he had to go through the table in parallel fasion in the planned finish instead of the normal perpendicular manner. This causes more pain as you land on the parts supported by the metal legs which of course have far less give than the wood.
To cap it all off, a historic moment was made as Edge won his 10th world title after 18 months with no gold and you could see how much it meant to him.
This is my pick as match of the night, even though it is a close run thing with the earlier ladder match between Sheamus and Morrison.
When I wrote my predictions, I said that I thought this match would be terrible and that I had no interest in it. Well, I surprise myself sometimes. This match was many times better than I thought it would be and to be quite honest I am even more surprised WWE were willing to get this brutal on PPV.
The notable points of the match were Barrett wrapping a chair around Cena's neck and throwing him into the ring-post, Cena sending Barrett on a death ride down the ramp into the steel stairs (ouch!) and Barrett sitting on a chair whilst crushing Cena's throat.
Of course, if I am to talk of big moments in the match I have to talk about the finish. Cena delivered an FU on Barrett through what can only be described as a metal table consisting of 6 chairs (again ouch!), and then proceeded to crush Barrett under some sort of lift and drop about 20 chairs on top.
We all knew Cena would win, but WWE did a good job here making it entertaining. It just makes me wonder why they failed so dismally with the rest of the feud.
These are just match reviews, there were plenty of good segments and promos throughout the night as well. We saw a great promo between Edge and Del Rio, an attack on the Nexus locker room and an entertaining segment with Cody Rhodes and the Big Show who are both fairly good when it comes to comedy and their contrasting personalities made this segment decent.
So then, overall this is by far the best PPV of the year.
Overall Rating: 8.5/10
The reasons I don't rate it any higher are:
i) The tag match that was added last minute was unnecessary and the time could have been given to the Intercontinental Title match
ii) This being the TLC PPV, it would have made more sense to close the event with the TLC match which was also better than the main event we actually got
iii) It may be a bit petty, but when CM Punk came out to announce the main event it got me excited. I thought that maybe he would cost Cena the match or get involved in some way or form. But he didn't which did disappoint me slightly.
Anyway, to end on a positive note I will say that I feel that this is not just the PPV of 2010 but also the best one we have seen since Summerslam 2009. No other PPV this year has gotten higher than a 7.5/10 rating from me (which was Extreme Rules).
So WWE, take the momentum from this event and use it as benchmark in 2011.
WWE has ended 2010 in style.