WWE TLC 2019 Results: Reviewing Top Highlights and Low Points
It seems WWE doesn't want to work too hard during the holiday season, and the lineup heading into TLC 2019 felt indicative of that problem.
Even the fights with the most potential to them, such as The Kabuki Warriors vs. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, seemed like placeholder feuds designed to stretch things out for a month before Royal Rumble.
Whether the holiday season got in the way or these issues were from creative burnout or just bad decisions, more focus was put on the overacting involved in Lana's divorce than on making sure Sunday's pay-per-view was packed with promise.
But even the shows that look bleak have a chance to exceed expectations. Is that what happened here?
Now that TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs has concluded, let's look back on the best and the worst aspects of the PPV.
Presented in order of appearance, here are the highlights and low points of the final PPV of the decade.
Full Match Results
WWE TLC 2019 results
- Humberto Carrillo defeated Andrade by pinfall.
- Ladder match: The New Day defeated The Revival to retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championship.
- Aleister Black defeated Buddy Murphy by pinfall.
- The Viking Raiders vs. The O.C. ended in a double count-out.
- King Corbin defeated Roman Reigns by pinfall.
- Bray Wyatt defeated The Miz by pinfall.
- Tables match: Bobby Lashley defeated Rusev.
- TLC match: The Kabuki Warriors defeated Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair to retain the Women's Tag Team Championship.
Low Point: Andrade vs. Humberto Carrillo Booked on the Kickoff
There were many gaps in this card: Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens, Bayley vs. Lacey Evans, the Intercontinental Championship, the United States Championship, AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton and more.
Despite all those options being available, WWE chose to have a rematch between Andrade and Humberto Carrillo, which we all saw last Monday night on Raw.
Andrade and Carrillo are talented and the stomp off the turnbuckle spot was neat, but this booking on the Kickoff show was a mistake.
The pre-show is meant to whet everyone's appetite for the main card and convince casual viewers to stick around. But this wasn't an enticing match on paper, and it's doubtful anyone bothered to tune at all.
It would have made more sense for this match to take place on Raw when more eyes would have been on it.
Highlight: SmackDown Tag Team Championship Ladder Match
Given how talented The New Day and The Revival are, it was no surprise that this was a fun match to start the show.
Even though Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder have an affinity for the old-school style, they've proved themselves great in ladder matches. And The New Day are always dependable, too.
Putting both teams together and mixing in some ladders was a recipe for success and lots of bruises. It seemed like a legitimate injury was narrowly avoided on several occasions.
Considering how this was likely a replacement for the intended Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode setup, WWE lucked out with an even better match.
Low Point: Aleister Black vs. Buddy Murphy
Commentators Vic Joseph and Jerry Lawler regularly referenced how slow this match was. Whether under the veil of dictating the pace or Aleister Black suffering from a possible broken nose, it remained the theme of this fight.
Black and Buddy Murphy are fantastic in the ring. Both have had some amazing matches this year that were overlooked because they weren't treated like bigger deals.
Even with all their potential, though, this match was underwhelming. It took too long to get rolling, and by the time the energy picked up, half the segment was already gone.
Structuring this match in that way was a mistake, as was Black's hideous ring gear and the setup to the match.
The Dutch Destroyer asked for someone to pick a fight with him. When Murphy did, WWE opted to wait several weeks for them to lock horns.
To avoid undercutting their bravado, they needed to deliver something special. Sadly, they didn't, which meant the wait was ultimately disappointing.
Low Point: The Viking Raiders vs. The OC
Whoever was responsible for booking this doesn't understand how to properly set up and pay off a mystery. Open challenges should result in something exciting, not a repeat of a match we've seen plenty of times this year.
Worse still, The O.C. said on Raw that they were coming for the Raw Tag Team Championships, which defeated the purpose of having The Viking Raiders against mystery opponents.
If WWE thought The O.C. vs. The Viking Raiders would draw viewers, it should have been advertised in advance. If the writers knew it would be risky and might not garner interest, then it wasn't good enough to book in the first place.
It's poor practice to set fans up with speculation in the hopes something different would happen just to get them to tune in and be let down.
But the disappointments didn't stop there. This match was nothing more than a glorified commercial for KFC. It was bookended with a table of people eating KFC, and Jerry Lawler and Vic Joseph kept advertising the product throughout the match.
To cap it all off, it ended in a double count-out—something that will always leave the fans booing and annoyed about.
This is exactly the type of nonsense that has been turning people away from WWE.
Low Point: Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin
After the annoying KFC match, this PPV needed a pick-me-up. Naturally, WWE decided to defy that logic with a slow mess between Roman Reigns and King Corbin that went nowhere.
It took far too long for the weapons to come into play, especially since this bout is already fundamentally flawed as a concept.
TLC matches aren't a thing. When they can be won by climbing and retrieving something, they are just ladder matches. In a match like this with pinfalls and submissions, they are just No Disqualification matches.
WWE likes to say TLC is its demolition derby. Nobody watches that for the cars driving around peacefully. Fans want to see the crashes.
Did they even use a ladder or a table? If so, it was instantly forgettable.
Reigns and Corbin mostly fought with one chair until Dolph Ziggler and The Revival came out to beat down The Big Dog. This then devolved into less than the action we've already seen on SmackDown leading up to it.
There were no big spots, just a boring few minutes of one guy being taken out by the numbers game.
Low Point: Bray Wyatt vs. The Miz
It seems WWE only has one speed and strategy for Bray Wyatt matches anymore. Whether he's wearing The Fiend mask or not, every bout just consists of him taking a load of punishment until he wins.
The only thing that mattered here was Daniel Bryan's return, which could have happened on SmackDown the week after he was attacked so that all of this could have been skipped entirely.
It's as if WWE considers these events filler for the television episodes, which are supposed to be building up to the events, so nothing actually goes anywhere.
Why was this non-title? The Miz didn't win, so there was no reason not to have the belt on the line.
Why did Michael Cole act as if he's never seen the giant mallet before or ask if people saw what was on the TitanTron despite how much time the cameras lingered on it?
The only thing WWE is consistent about these days is doing the bare minimum to stretch everything out.
Middle of the Road: Rusev vs. Bobby Lashley Tables Match
On a better night, the tables match between Rusev and Bobby Lashley likely would have been a low point, if only down to how horrible this feud has been from the start.
In comparison to the low quality of content leading up to the match, though, this ended up being a slight upgrade.
At least there was one table spot, which is more than can be said for the TLC match between Corbin and Reigns.
Still, there wasn't much to this and it definitely wasn't worthy of being called a highlight.
The biggest highlight will be if we can look back on this as the end of a terrible storyline, and we'll just have to wait and see if that's the case.
Highlight: The Kabuki Warriors vs. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair
After several hours of uninspired programming, the main event was a solid match.
The objects were used often and well. Sometimes, it was even more funny than brutal, like when Kairi Sane started throwing chairs around or when Asuka was swinging the rope like a cowgirl learning to lasso.
Be it Becky Lynch tied to a ladder or Asuka using the rope to pull her away from retrieving the belts, this match had the creativity that everything else on this card lacked.
Charlotte Flair's one fall through the tables was single-handedly better than most other matches on this card.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.