WWE TLC 2017 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterOctober 22, 2017

WWE TLC 2017 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: WWE.com

    A virus spreading through the locker room transformed the WWE TLC 2017 card.

    Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt missed Sunday's pay-per-view, meaning that The Shield's return and Wyatt's Sister Abigail alter-ego's debut will have to wait. Instead, SmackDown's AJ Styles stepped in to create a surprise dream match and Kurt Angle wrestled his first WWE match in over a decade as he replaces The Big Dog. 

    The forced rethinking of the event turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Balor and Styles tore down the house. Angle storming into battle was a wild sight.

    And we didn't have to see a second of Sister Abigail.

    What didn't look like a strong PPV on paper delivered several times over. The women's division excelled in its three times in the spotlight. Throw in Balor vs. Styles and a TLC main event brimming with action and there was plenty to praise from Sunday in Minneapolis.

    Read on for a full breakdown of TLC, from its biggest misses to its bull's-eyes. 

Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox (Pre-Show)

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    Sasha Banks and Alicia Fox talked trash before getting down to business. They traded hard shots before the heel took control.

    Fox wore down The Boss, keeping her grounded.

    She remained on top when the fight moved to the outside. Fox was able to rough up her foe, taunting her between attacks.  

    Banks held on and was eventually able to clamp on the Bank Statement to get the victory.

           

    Result

    Banks wins via submission.

             

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Fox pleads for mercy from her knees.
    • Fox shoves Banks to the floor from the top rope.
    • "Sasha Banks is finding out, you can't fight crazy."—Corey Graves.
    • "Now, do your job!"—Fox to the referee.

             

    Grade

    B-

            

    Analysis

    Fox and Banks put on some solid pre-show action. Their intensity shone through. And their chemistry with each other continues to be excellent.

    Fox's antics were fun, too. 

    This looks to be a stepping-stone rivalry for The Boss, who is likely headed back into title contention before long. If that's the case, hopefully, WWE finds something meaningful for Fox to do. She's been entertaining during this story.

Asuka vs. Emma

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    Asuka pounced on Emma moments after the bell rang. She outwrestled the Aussie early on, but Emma managed to leave her reeling as she yanked on her hair and slapped the former NXT champ around.

    After taking a good amount of punishment, Asuka charged back.

    The Empress of Tomorrow overwhelmed Emma with strikes and suplexes. Asuka brought her foe to the mat with an Asuka Lock, and Emma couldn't escape.

          

    Result

    Asuka wins by submission.

           

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "Enough about you!"—Emma.
    • Emma kicks Asuka into the security barricade. 
    • Asuka traps Emma's leg while hitting her with a German suplex.
    • Emma flips Asuka off the ring apron by her hair.

          

    Grade

    B

              

    Analysis

    The atmosphere and the announcing served this debut extremely well. The commentary team excelled at making her feel special and dangerous.

    In the ring, this wasn't the steamrolling many expected. Emma was in control quite a bit. In the end, it was a solid showcase for Asuka but not nearly as good as we've seen from her in the past.

    She needs to start mowing over people a la Goldberg soon.

Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander vs. Jack Gallagher and Brian Kendrick

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    Rich Swann escaped Jack Gallagher's early onslaught as he and Rich Swann knocked around the heel team with high-flying offense. Gallagher, though, was able to ground Swann. He and Kendrick kept the former cruiserweight champ in their corner.

    Cedric Alexander changed the dynamic of the bout once he entered, kicking Gallagher into a stupor. He was able to soon get the win courtesy of a Lumbar Check.

           

    Result

    Alexander and Swann win via pinfall.

            

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Swann flips onto Gallagher from the ring apron.
    • Kendrick hits Swann with a Northern Lights Suplex out on the floor.
    • Swann breaks up the Captain's Hook with a Phoenix Splash.

           

    Grade

    C

            

    Analysis

    The cruiserweights brought some high-energy offense in the opening and closing chapters of this clash. Swann and Alexander were fun to watch. 

    But this story never had any teeth, and the stakes felt minimal here. Swann's quest for revenge didn't come through.

    This was a solid outing, but it will be overshadowed by the night's bigger bouts. 

Alexa Bliss vs. Mickie James (Raw Women's Championship)

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    An angry Alexa Bliss aggressively went after the challenger. Mickie James shot back and went toe to toe with Little Miss Bliss.

    The champ zeroed in on James' arm, wrenching it and leaving James writhing.

    The two rivals slugged it out until they were both flat on their backs on the mat. James issued a flurry, dodged Twisted Bliss and seemed to close in on victory.

    Bliss, though, distracted James long enough to hit her with a snap DDT.

            

    Result

    Bliss wins via pinfall to retain the Raw women's title.

            

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • James slaps Bliss on the butt.
    • "Nice try, Mickie!"—Bliss.
    • Both women kick at the same time and knock each other down.
    • Bliss fakes an injury to set up an attack.

           

    Grade

    B

             

    Analysis

    An intense encounter between Bliss and James featured quality strikes and ring psychology. Bliss nailed it as the nasty heel, picking apart her foe's weak point. James did well to generate pathos as she proved she belonged in the title hunt.

    Both women emerged with more momentum. That's always a sign of a successful match. 

Kalisto vs. Enzo Amore (Cruiserweight Championship)

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    A hoarse Enzo Amore mocked the fans before the bout began.

    Amore managed to avoid Kalisto's speedy offense at first but soon felt the sting of the champ's boots several times over. The King of Flight dominated.

    The trash-talking challenger slowed the action down and taunted Kalisto as he battered his foe.

    Amore poked Kalisto in the eye. He quickly rolled up the titleholder to put him away.

          

    Result

    Amore wins via pinfall to claim the Cruiserweight Championship.

           

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "My voice is the only thing I'm losing."—Amore.
    • Kalisto bowls over Amore with a suicide dive to the outside.
    • Amore yanks Kalisto out of the corner and catches him in midair with a sidewalk slam.
    • Amore mocks Kalisto's "lucha" gesture.

          

    Grade

    D

          

    Analysis

    The cruiserweights couldn't keep up the PPV's momentum.

    This clash featured sluggish action, something you just don't see in a Kalisto showdown. It had sloppy moments and a lack of electricity.

    WWE is clearly still all in on with Amore. That's going to keep the cruiserweight title picture delivering strong promos and poor matches. 

Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles

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    Balor emerged dressed as The Demon before staring down Styles.

    The two men locked up, and neither could gain the advantage at first. Styles eventually took down the Irishman, leaving him clutching his back. Balor fired back with high-octane offense.

    Showing more aggression than usual, The Demon smashed on a hurting Styles. The Phenomenal One, though, left Balor limping thanks to submission holds.

    The two opponents left each other wobbly and weary.

    Balor eventually outlasted Styles. It took a series of dropkicks and the Coup de Grace to finally end things. 

           

    Result

    Balor wins via pinfall.

           

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Fans chant "This is awesome!" before the match begins.
    • Balor kicks out of the Phenomenal Forearm.
    • Balor kicks Styles off the top turnbuckle out onto the floor.
    • Styles spills to the outside after a Phenomenal Forearm counter sent him flying.
    • Styles slams Balor on to the announce table.
    • Styles hits a hurricanrana from the top rope.
    • Both men give each other the "Too Sweet" salute.

            

    Grade

    A

          

    Analysis

    Circumstance created a dream match, and Balor and Styles came through in a big way.

    Their styles meshed perfectly. A big-fight feel elevated the action. While it had minimal build and zero pre-bout narrative, this exhibition of two of WWE's best clicked.

    They could have gone an hour and kept entertaining. 

Jason Jordan vs. Elias

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    Elias tried three times to sing to the crowd. But Jason Jordan interrupted each time. The rising star threw vegetables at Elias in protest.

    Once the match began, Jordan flung the heel around. He overpowered his foe for a good while.

    Elias nabbed the advantage as he slowed the bout down, punishing Jordan with a methodical offense. 

    JJ charged back. Elias hurt his foe's knee but fell victim to a roll-up. 

          

    Result

    Jordan wins via pinfall.

           

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "At least I'm on the PPV."—Elias
    • Elias quotes Prince's "This Thing Called Life."
    • Elias knees Jordan in the back, driving the babyface's head into the turnbuckles.

          

    Grade

    D+

           

    Analysis

    WWE tried to fast-track a build within the PPV, and it didn't work. Jordan looked silly tossing veggies. Elias was the only one who benefited from the segments.

    The action was fine with some good hard-hitting exchanges, but the ending was awkward. It wasn't clear if Elias kicked out or if there was a mistake with the three-count.

Seth Rollins, Kurt Angle, Dean Ambrose vs. Kane, The Bar, Miz, Braun Strowman

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The TLC match main event began with Angle, Ambrose and Rollins smashing their opponents with chairs. In the chaos that followed, the babyfaces isolated their opponents and kept them on the defensive.

    The Miz, Cesaro and Sheamus later ganged up on Angle as Ambrose and Rollins recovered. Strowman flattened Angle.

    The heels dominated as the Raw general manager headed to the locker room for medical assistance. The Bar, The Miz, Kane and Strowman left everyone lying. The A-Lister called out a garbage truck to come take away his foes.

    The fight moved to the entrance ramp where Kane attacked Strowman in a damaging bit of infighting. 

    The Monster Among Men went on a rampage as a result. He battled his own teammates before they stuffed him in the garbage truck.

    The Miz and what was left of his squad looked to finish off Rollins and Ambrose, but Angle arrived to save the day. After cornering The Miz, Angle, Ambrose and Rollins knocked around the braggart, teaming up to pin him.

            

    Result

    Angle, Ambrose and Rollins win via pinfall.

          

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "Tables! Ladders! Chairs! War!"—Ambrose.
    • "It's going to take a miracle."—Booker T on the babyfaces' chances.
    • Angle dons trademark Shield gear.
    • Ambrose and Rollins simultaneously hit diving elbows off ladders and through two announce tables.
    • Strowman smashes Angle through a table with a running powerslam.
    • Kane inadvertently smacks Strowman with a chair.
    • It takes two tries to send Ambrose through a table.
    • Ambrose and Rollins dive on their foes from off the garbage truck.
    • Kane chokeslams Strowman through the stage and drops a number of chairs on him.
    • Angle hits the Olympic Slam on both members of The Bar on the entrance ramp.
    • Angle, Ambrose and Rollins hit a triple powerbomb on The Miz.

          

    Grade

    A

               

    Analysis

    Chaos and big spots ruled the day in a match that was as absurd as it was fun. The wild main event lacked in logic at times, and WWE seemed to revel in that. Booker T yelling "Kane has his own agenda and we don't know what it is" is a perfect example of that.

    The action had enough adrenaline to make up for that.

    The event saved all the table, ladder and chair-centric action for this bout. And the contest kept hitting the audience with big moment after big moment.

    Who knows what this would have looked like had Reigns been healthy, but this version was a hell of a thrill ride.