THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne
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It was the final wrestling pay-per-view of the year, and gimmick match overload time as WWE presented TLC, shown live on Sky Box Office in the early hours of this past Monday morning here in Britain.
The show began with three way action as Kofi Kingston and Jack Swagger challenged Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental title in a ladder match.
This proved to be a good way of opening the show. There were plenty of interesting spots, and once again Kingston came up with a couple of interesting moments. Thankfully Vickie Guerrero’s attempt to grab the title for her man never came to fruition.
The champion emerged victorious here with a huge slice of luck. As Swagger and Kingston tried to grab the belt it fell to the mat, with an eager Ziggler grabbing the belt and claiming it as his own. Interesting ending.
The Divas were up next as Laycool faced Beth Phoenix and Divas Champion Natalya in a tables match.
The girls were far from filler material in this very entertaining encounter which saw Phoenix take a nasty bump when Michelle threw her out of the ring.
Both sides put in good performances in a match with an improvised ending. Natalya countered Laycool’s attempt to superplex her through the specially painted table by pushing them both off the ropes. However, the table didn’t quite break, so Natalya came down with a big splash to break the table and win the match for her team.
More title action followed as Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov defended their Tag Team titles against Nexus boys Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel.
Wait a minute! Santino and Vlad are on pay-per-view again? Have I just slipped into a parallel universe?
Well, we got to see it again. Despite being portrayed as a clown most of the time Marella once again showed that his wrestling ability isn’t too bad, and that his team with the big Russian is actually quite good.
This was a very entertaining match. The Nexus boys did a good job, while their comrades outside did their part.
It was outside interference that ended the match. As Marella was about to unleash the cobra Michael McGillicutty attacked him from behind, earning Slater and Gabriel the immediate disqualification.
Then, the attack began. As the Nexus boys went after the champions Wade Barratt came down to the ring, chair in hand. I think you guys can guess what happened next.
The second ladder match saw John Morrison and King Sheamus fighting it out for a shot at the WWE title.
This was certainly a more than the show opener. These two put on a hell of a match, with neither man afraid to take a few big bumps for the cause.
The biggest bump of the match came from Sheamus, when Morrison threw him over the top rope from a ladder in the ring onto a ladder perched between the ring apron and the announcers table.
Morrison came out on top, fighting off a final desperate attempt from the Irishman to climb the ladder on one leg to claim the contract and claim the title shot.
The first big title match of the evening saw Randy Orton challenging the Miz for the WWE title in a tables match.
Another highly entertaining encounter with a great ending. As Alex Riley looked on both combatants put on great performances, with Riley making cameo appearances every so often.
The end, so we thought, came while the referee was taking a snooze at ringside. Orton, having had enough of Riley’s interference, power bombed him through a table. Miz then came into the ring and took Orton down with the skull crushing finale.
Then, the light bulb went off. Miz pulled Riley out of the table wreckage and put Orton in his place. He then revived the referee, who declared the Miz the winner.
But after the replay was shown on the big screen the referee reversed his decision. Orton went to work again, but after throwing the Miz back into the ring the champion threw the groggy Riley into Orton as he stood on the ring apron. The challenger crashed into a ringside table, and that was it. The Miz was still the champion. Boy was this good.
The second big title match saw Rey Mysterio, Alberto Del Rio and Edge challenging Kane for the World title in a TLC match.
Two rivalries rolled into one match as all four men put on an intense and enthralling encounter.
This was one of those matches that had you hooked throughout. Of course, there were plenty of big bumps and guys getting put through tables, but then again that’s what TLC is all about.
A new champion was crowned after Edge speared Kane into a table at ringside before grabbing the belt, becoming a ten time champion in the process.
That would have been a great way of ending the show, but after a the obligatory Christmas themed in-ring segment it was on to the main event, the big grudge match was Wade Barratt faced John Cena in a chairs match, with Cena having spent much of the evening taking out Barratt’s Nexus cohorts.
They certainly saved the most intense match until last here. With the crowd at it’s loudest Barratt and Cena kicked seven sorts of you know what out of each other.
I lost count of the number of chair shots in this one, but they certainly found a few interesting ways to use their weapon of choice.
In the end Cena set up a load of chairs in the ring before putting Barratt through them with the attitude adjuster. A three count later and he had the win.
But that wasn’t enough for him. As Barratt crawled around ringside on his hands and knees Cena attacked him again with a chair, following him up the aisle before slamming a wooden platform down on him. This set him up for the final move, as Cena tugged on the wires that held even more chairs above them as part of the set, bringing them crashing down on the Nexus leader.
In conclusion – the final wrestling pay-per-view of the year turned out to be a very good show, despite it’s over reliance on gimmick matches.
There were no disappointing encounters here, with the World title TLC and the Cena/Barratt chair match definitely the highlights of the night for me.
So in all TLC gets the big thumbs up from me, a great way to end the year on pay-per-view.