WWE TLC 2015 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterDecember 14, 2015

WWE TLC 2015 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Roman Reigns failed to win the world title at WWE TLC 2015, but he came away with an invaluable prize regardless. The No. 1 contender went on a rampage that saw him become more compelling than ever.

    Losing to Sheamus brought out a fascinating, enraged beast in him—and it clearly set up a WrestleMania clash with Triple H.

    The highly entertaining night also saw Dean Ambrose come away the new intercontinental champion, The Wyatt Family and Alberto Del Rio score decisive wins and the tag team division put on a stunner.

    Great effort, big risks and mostly smart decisions in terms of the victors made for a pay-per-view that was better than expected. WWE did well to churn up some momentum as it heads toward the end of the year and the beginning of the WrestleMania-hyping season.

    Read on for results, highlights and grades from TLC.

Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch (Pre-Show)

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    Sasha Banks joined her Team B.A.D. teammates in an off-key, altered rendition of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" before the bout.

    Once it began, Banks and Becky Lynch traded counters on the mat. Naomi interrupted what had been a fair fight to that point, providing an opening for The Boss. Banks dominated, punishing a resilient Lynch.

    A cheap shot from Naomi aided Banks, allowing her to clamp on the Bank Statement for the win.

    Result

    Banks wins via submission.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Banks garners a huge reaction during her entrance.
    • Lynch performs a sliding bridge to escape from a pin attempt.

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    Banks and Lynch nailed their opportunity. An excellent performance by both women made a throw-in bout feel significant. Imagine if WWE had built to this in the weeks beforehand.

    The pre-match promo brings the grade down a touch. Team B.A.D. is getting more grating. It looks as if WWE is trying to turn it into The New Day 2.0.

    Unlike with that trio, these women's antics feel forced.

The New Day vs. The Usos vs. The Lucha Dragons (Ladder Match for Tag Titles)

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    The New Day insulted Boston and mocked its opponents before entering the battle. Xavier Woods sat at the commentary table as Big E and Kofi Kingston started off the ladder match strongly.

    Every team took major risks, leaping onto ladders and clanging against steel.

    Jimmy and Jey Uso took out The New Day. In turn, The Lucha Dragons took out The Usos. No team held the advantage for long, though.

    Kalisto looked like he was going to win it, but Woods hurled his trombone at him.

    Result

    The New Day wins via retrieving the tag team titles.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Woods: "I'm not going to waste a good hair day on Boston."
    • The New Day poses for a mock Wheaties box photo.
    • Jimmy delivers a running hip attack onto a ladder to crush Kingston.
    • Sin Cara monkey-flips Kalisto onto a ladder.
    • Kalisto hurls Kingston into a ladder with a leg-scissors takedown.
    • Kalisto hits a Salida del Sol off the top of a ladder onto another ladder.
    • John "Bradshaw" Layfield: "Somebody call the sheriff. These boys just stole the show."

    Grade

    A+

    Analysis

    Hats off to everyone involved. This was a tremendous showing bolstered by an insane level of risk-taking. Every team was impressively creative, working to make this not just feel like every other ladder match.

    Sometimes the wrestlers took chances that didn't make sense from a strategic standpoint. The announcers did a great job of pointing that out, trying to explain what the Superstars' reasoning might be.

    The New Day emerged looking like even worthier champions after surviving a chaotic, dangerous bout. 

Rusev vs. Ryback

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    Ryback charged at Rusev from the get-go, barreling into him outside the ring and flinging him around inside the ropes.

    As the two powerhouses continued to collide, The Big Guy continued to one-up Rusev. It took Lana feigning an injury to turn things around. Rusev super-kicked a distracted Ryback to take control.

    The Bulgarian Brute clamped on The Accolade until his foe passed out.

    Result

    Rusev wins via submission.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Ryback hits a military press slam on Rusev.
    • JBL on if Ryback would attend Rusev's wedding: "Won't be enough catering."
    • Ryback hits a flying crossbody.

    Grade

    C

    Analysis

    Frustrating booking hurt the good work the two wrestlers put on early.

    Lana faking an injury is far from the best way to use her presence. WWE has gone to this well a number of times already. It's getting repetitive.

    The angle puts the focus on Lana rather than Rusev, getting her the heat instead of him.

Jack Swagger vs. Alberto Del Rio (Chairs Match for United States Championship)

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    Alberto Del Rio overwhelmed Jack Swagger after the opening bell. He whacked him with chairs and stayed on the attack.

    A chair shot to the kisser shifted things in the babyface's favor. That didn't last, though. Del Rio was soon piling chairs onto Swagger's prone body.

    Momentum swung both ways as both men swung chairs, leaving each other woozy. Del Rio emerged the winner, smashing Swagger's back into a mountain of chairs.

    Result

    Del Rio wins via pinfall.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • JBL on Del Rio: "He's not used to fighting with chairs. He's used to having his butler get his chair for him."
    • Swagger throws a chair at Del Rio's face to counter an attempted cross armbreaker.
    • Del Rio hurls chair after chair at Swagger's back.
    • Swagger applies a Patriot Lock with a chair around Del Rio's ankle to worsen the pain.
    • Del Rio hits his double foot stomp onto Swagger with a pile of chairs underneath the fan favorite.

    Grade

    B

    Analysis

    This was the best WWE could have hoped for here. The wrestlers had a tepid story and an underwhelming stipulation to work with. The result was an intense clash that made Del Rio look like a fearsome predator.

    It's strange that WWE didn't work in Zeb Colter here, perhaps reuniting him with Swagger.

    It certainly feels like Del Rio is now moving on from this feud. He handled Swagger in decisive fashion. There's really nothing left to accomplish with this narrative.

The Wyatt Family vs. ECW Originals (Elimination Tag Team Match)

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    The action started off marked by chaos with each man brawling outside the ring.

    The elimination came in a hurry. A Dudley Death Drop ousted Erick Rowan. Luke Harper kicked Rhyno through a table to take him out. Bray Wyatt slammed D-Von Dudley through a table to give his team a three-on-two advantage.

    That worsened when Harper eliminated Tommy Dreamer, leaving Bubba Ray Dudley by his lonesome. He tried to set a table on fire, but Strowman prevented that with a slam through a table.

    Result

    The Wyatt Family wins by last eliminating Bubba Ray.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Dreamer: "We fight together, we fall together."
    • D-Von rolls off a table, which breaks minus any impact.
    • The Dudley Boyz hit a Doomsday Device a la The Road Warriors.
    • Dreamer and Bubba Ray bury Strowman under several tables.

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis

    WWE wisely turned this into more of an Extreme Rules match, but it wasn't nearly as electric as the previous bouts. The elimination hurried along with little impact. The clash felt like a watered-down, Disneyland version of the old ECW.

    The Wyatt Family winning was the right move, but it's baffling that Wyatt himself was not featured more. WWE booked this to showcase Strowman more than anybody for some reason.

Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose (Intercontinental Championship)

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    Kevin Owens took shots at the Boston crowd before entering the ring, calling the fans "delusional."

    Dean Ambrose took his shots in the ring. He peppered the champ with right hands to begin the match with a flurry.

    Both champion and challenger landed hard shots in an even bout that spilled to the outside often. They both avoided their opponent's finishers until Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds.

    That wasn't enough to win, but The Lunatic Fringe rolled up Owens to snatch away the Intercontinental Championship.

    Result

    Ambrose wins via pinfall.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • JBL says that if Ambrose was on a poster, his face would scare children.
    • Owens to Ambrose: "Not so crazy now!"
    • Owens hits a fallaway slam that sends Ambrose crashing into the guardrail.
    • Owens hits a rolling senton off the top rope.
    • Owens puts a fingertip on the bottom rope to avoid getting pinned after Dirty Deeds.

    Grade

    B-

    Analysis

    This match wasn't great by any stretch, but this feud has the potential to grow into something special. WWE needs to add to the animosity the two have built so far and allow them to show off their chemistry.

    It's surprising that WWE chose to have Owens' reign end so quickly. Switching champs so often hurts the title's chances of gaining momentum.

    On a side note, the announcers spent an inordinate amount of time talking about Ambrose's looks.

Charlotte vs. Paige (Divas Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Charlotte pounced on Paige right away but soon found herself taking boots to the chest. Ric Flair interfered to allow the champ to rebound, though.

    The bout boasted a grinding pace. Charlotte wore Paige down, setting up the Figure Eight by working her leg.

    Paige and Charlotte traded the advantage. The champion stunned Paige with a nasty DDT. Paige cracked her with a knee to the face. Flair saved his daughter by putting her feet under the ropes, opening the door for her to use an unprotected turnbuckle to get the win.

    Result

    Charlotte wins via pinfall.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Charlotte does the trademark Flair flop.
    • Paige slams Charlotte's head into the ring post.
    • Paige tries to beat Charlotte with a figure-four leglock.

    Grade

    D

    Analysis

    Charlotte worked the heel role against a heel. That's a recipe for fans finding it hard to invest in the match.

    WWE has rushed what could have been a compelling shift in character.

    And this match, like the feud overall, was too much about The Nature Boy rather than the folks actually wrestling. It featured a Flair strut, Paige using Flair's finisher, Charlotte flopping a la Flair, both women saying "Wooo!" and the man himself interfering.

    The audience is losing sense of who Charlotte is because of that focus on her father.

Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns (TLC Match for WWE World Heavyweight Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    From the opening bell, Roman Reigns and Sheamus were two bulls charging at each other. They slugged it out in the ring and bashed each other all around it.

    Up on the entrance ramp, they left tables splintered. The fight remained intense, with each man using every weapon available to him.

    After breaking several ladders, the two foes fought at the top of the ladder. Reigns looked ready to close in on victory. The League of Nations arrived to prevent that.

    Reigns fought it off but couldn't beat The Celtic Warrior to the title. He did get to spear The League of Nations afterward as a consolation prize.

    The Authority came out to stop Reigns' rampage, leading to The Big Dog clocking Triple H, smashing him with a chair as Stephanie McMahon screamed at ringside.

    Result

    Sheamus wins after retrieving the championship.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Fans chant, "We want Cena!" and "Cena sucks!"
    • JBL: "Do Irishmen have a granite jaw or what?"
    • Reigns throws Sheamus into a stack of tables and chairs.
    • Sheamus hits White Noise through a table. 
    • Reigns power-bombs Sheamus onto a ladder.
    • Reigns snaps a ladder in half with a Samoan Drop.
    • Reigns knocks Sheamus off a ladder with a Superman Punch.
    • Michael Cole: "How much more can Roman Reigns take?"
    • Reigns power-bombs Triple H onto a table and follows up with an elbow drop.

    Grade

    A-

    Analysis

    The aftermath outshone the match itself.

    Despite Sheamus and Reigns' great effort and aggression, the match lagged. Fans were busy chanting for other wrestlers and twiddling their thumbs no matter what the wrestlers did to each other.

    However, when Reigns went berserk and beat the hell out of his boss, the audience lit up. The energy shifted, becoming more frenzied. WWE has found what works with Reigns—making him a snarling, take-no-prisoners warrior.

    This set up a huge Reigns-Triple H showdown for the future and, more importantly, found a direction for Reigns that maximizes his gifts.