WWE TLC was an exciting advertising considering a lukewarm buildup, which is far too often the case for a perennially crowded pay-per-view schedule.
The pay-per-view did not miss a beat despite John Cena missing his first pay-per-view show of the year, as the show was carried by strong matches that had fans emotionally invested from bell to bell.
As always, TLC was not without its flaws, but I was a fan of this pay-per-view overall, as even the low spots were atoned for. Although it may be inadvertent, the WWE has set up nicely for what should be a wide open Royal Rumble come January.
This has nothing to do with any reverence I have for Internet Wrestling (reverence which I never had to begin with) and everything to do with telling a story of one man's journey towards a coveted title.
The way the crowd was behind Ryder to win that match, you would have thought he was going for a world championship as opposed to a secondary title.
Due to Ryder's habitual chasing and eventual capturing of the United States Championship, the title is as valuable as it has ever been, as it came off as a big deal that Ryder had finally won it.
Ryder's father in the crowd was a great touch as well. Expect to see him involved in subsequent WWE storylines and perhaps even a match, as the former body builder remains in great shape.
WWE TLC aired three unadvertised matches, which is a testament to their lack of forethought and organization. With so much weekly television, you mean to tell me that the WWE couldn't take the extra segment or two to book one of the backstage segments we saw tonight and announce a match for the pay-per-view?
At times, TLC played out like an episode of RAW, as multiple matches took place that had not been previously built or advertised. All this seemed to do was slow down the pay-per-view, as the fans weren't nearly as into these matches as the rest of the card.
Cody Rhodes did a great job of getting heat on himself with multiple attacks on Booker T leading up to their match at TLC. Booker T was used perfectly as a veteran whose best days are behind him, though, he looked to be in great shape and hasn't lost much in terms of his in-ring work.
Rhodes' victory was a much-needed Intercontinental Championship defense off of a nice build that once again placed emphasis on the once-prestigious secondary title.
There seemed to be an above-average amount of filler on this pay-per-view, including backstage segments that were not necessary and borderline insulting to the paying customer.
I actually enjoyed the politically incorrect Hornswoggle segment, as Hornswoggle is actually bearable now that he's playing a human.
What I didn't enjoy was the variety-houresque rapid fire of non-wrestling segments that made the show come off as more of a TV product than something you had to pay to see.
I have already established my displeasure with the unadvertised matches, but a positive to take from this pay-per-view is that the WWE still seems invested in the tag team division.
Evan Bourne's recent suspension caused the tag team division to take a hit, as the champions were down a man, but they wasted no time getting Air Boom back into the ring to defend the titles, as they scored a pinfall victory over Epico and Hunico.
While Epico and Hunico are a rather generic tag team, it's good to see the WWE take time to build coordinated tag teams as opposed to mixing and matching mid-carders.
Randy Orton and Wade Barrett engaged in a very slow-moving tables match that, had it not been for a cool finish, would have been a borderline abomination.
As some of my followers on Twitter echoed, the match seemed to slow the pay-per-view down for where it was placed, as the two did not do the greatest job of selling the danger of falling through a table.
Alberto Del Rio's intensity stood out on this pay-per-view, as he was selling frustration as a heel. And why not? Del Rio seems to lose the WWE Championship just when it appears his reign is about to get good.
It appears as if we may be headed towards what would be an unfortunate split between Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez, as Del Rio continues to take his frustrations out on his ring announcer.
For such an overachieving feud, the brief chair match between the Big Show and Mark Henry sure was a disappointing finish.
The two have worked hard to put together a strong string of matches that have seen Big Show attempt a flying elbow and a match so huge it caused the ring to collapse.
To have it end with a short match with all brawling and very little psychology was disappointing, but it set up nicely for what was to come.
Internet Wrestling Community be damned, the element of surprise that saw Daniel Bryan cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase should, if nothing else, encourage WWE fans to watch WWE on pay-per-view.
On a night that was heavy on babyface victories, one of the more memorable victories came when Daniel Bryan finally cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase with just over three months left until the WrestleMania date that he had originally set to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase.
There's no telling where the WWE will go from here with Daniel Bryan as the World Champion, but he'll literally have some big shoes to fill following a hot run by Mark Henry that restored value to the championship.
CM Punk, the Miz and Alberto Del Rio worked extremely hard in the main event. The multiple table bumps from the ropes and ladders was reminiscent of the Attitude-era TLC matches, as each man was featured at some point in the match.
The CM Punk handcuff angle of the match was a very nice touch, as Punk was able to fight out of the handcuffs on two occasions to eventually retain the WWE Championship.