Pruett's Pause: WWE TLC 2012 - The Shield steals the show, Dolph Ziggler retains with A.J.'s help, Big Show has a giant chair, and more!
By Will Pruett
- WWE did an immensely classy thing with the 26 bell salute to begin the show. It brought a tear to my eye. Kudos to WWE for taking a moment to remember.
- How is it that the video packages that open pay-per-views are usually so much better than the commercials for them? Do silly legal commercials featuring David Otunga really sell shows better than highlighting the action that will take place there?
- While Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler usually seem like less than the sum of their parts on commentary, throwing JBL into that equation always livens them up. The commentary for this show was really fun to listen to.
- Cutting the anti-hipster promo in Brooklyn was a thing of genius. Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow did a great job with it too. Wrestling fan hipsters would, of course, cheer a promo deriding them, but the promo itself was quite entertaining.
- Sin Cara no longer has the promo blast for his bounce off the ropes. His entrance is being continuously scaled down. He isn't quite getting the full Tensai treatment, but it is close.
- With a Tables Match, we always know what we're going to get. Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Damien Sandow, and Cody Rhodes worked the best version of the Tables formula. It was an exciting opener that demonstrated how good all four men are.
- Sin Cara took a wild bump to close the Tables Match and executed it really well. I didn't see the finish coming right then. Seeing Sandow and Rhodes as challengers again should be exciting as well.
- The Shield's video equipment seems to have a few issues. Their promos they film with the equipment are dynamic and unique. They are decidedly different than what we usually see from WWE. The one on this show did a lot to excite me for their TLC match later in the night.
- Antonio Cesaro and R-Truth had a match remarkably similar to their match last month. I'm hoping this feud ends here. Cesaro has done some great work in the ring with top tier opponents lately. He doesn't need to hang out with R-Truth and be brought down by him.
- Dolph Ziggler will change everything, by making sure that Money in the Bank doesn't change possession. That's change, right? All joking aside, the promo backstage was really well done.
- MizTV is usually bad enough on a regular episode of Raw or Smackdown. On a pay-per-view, it is usually the last thing I want to see. WWE is putting a lot of effort into making MizTV a major occurrence, but it is killing shows.
- Three Man Band is a one note joke. Sometimes it is funny, but most of the time it isn't.
- Alberto Del Rio might be turning babyface. As someone that hasn't been into Del Rio for well over a year, I believe this could actually freshen up the act. I have qualms about how a rich babyface works without giving away money or rides in his nice cars, but I could also see Del Rio being an exciting guy to get behind. If this sticks, it'll be fun to watch take shape.
- The Miz and Alberto Del Rio could be the most unlikable babyface duo ever.
- The TV ad for the Royal Rumble focussing on The Rock was only okay. I would have rather seen an ad focussing on the actual match Rock will be in, but that's a small criticism.
- The interview between Daniel Bryan and Kane could have been extended and placed on Raw. It probably would have done a little more to build the TLC match.
- What if Wade Barrett and Kofi Kingston formed a tag team and became the Wildcat Barrage? Would that be the most of least over name ever?
- Wade Barrett lent a ton of credibility to Kofi Kingston in Kingston's win. Barrett has been a main event championship challenger and could be again at any moment. Kingston needs to be built to that level and victories over wrestlers like Barrett can help get him there. The match was also really entertaining and fun to watch as well.
- C.M. Punk's promo from his own luxury box at the arena was fun. His t-shirt saying "Boots 2 Faces" was even better. His feud with The Rock is going to be very exciting to watch.
- I can understand why WWE closed the show with the Ladder Match instead of the TLC Match. The lack of a climbing stipulation in the TLC Match made it less visually stunning and the Ladder Match was good enough to close the show. Both matches were still positioned as extremely important on this show, and that's what mattered.
- Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns might want to find some new theme music rather quickly. This was almost TNA bad in how generic it was.
- That said, The Shield proved that they are anything but generic with this match. This was a star-making performance from these three gentlemen.
- Part of me wishes this match would have taken place in front of more of a traditional crowd. Ryback wasn't very over in Brooklyn and the crowd (which was fun for most of the night) decided to be obnoxious with the "Goldberg" chants. A crowd that was rabid for Ryback would have enhanced this match even more.
- This crowd did love them some Daniel Bryan, which was pretty fun to watch. Bryan's hope spots down the stretch in this match were all amazing. Kane's major moments were also great. This tag team is going further than I ever expected them to.
- The chaos that ended Raw was the perfect precursor for the TLC match. They made sure to give focus within the chaos, but it was truly chaotic. All six men put in brilliant performances and deserve to be commended.
- The tabling of Ryback and the burying of Kane were notable spots in the middle of the match. It was quite out of control and The Shield's onslaught was unrelenting.
- The final bump that Seth Rollins took was pretty crazy. He was falling at an odd angle and into a stack of four tables. Sadly, instead of breaking the second stack of tables, his head merely hit both as he went down. Hopefully Rollins is okay and didn't suffer a serious injury on such a major night in his career.
- Roman Reigns looked like an absolute beast during this match. There is no doubt in my mind as to his ability or whether he deserves his spot in The Shield now. He proved in this match that he does. Reigns offers the frightening aura that the group needs.
- If anyone in wrestling doesn't believe that stars can be made in one night, I would make them watch this match. The Shield became upper-tier WWE stars in this match and this match alone. I cannot think of a better debut match for anyone, anywhere.
- Naomi was impressive in her loss to Eve. While I'm not a fan of cliched butt-based offense in Diva's matches, Naomi's athleticism made up for it. I'd love to see her in a program with Eve as a plucky babyface. The Diva's division needs a counterpart to Eve.
- Eve taking pictures with her fallen opponents is awesome.
- Chair matches still make no sense to me. This was the fourth chairs match and probably the best, but I would still classify it as an awful concept.
- Big Show and Sheamus had a nice intense match going until they had to get into the chair silliness. The weapons had a nice effect, until the closing moments.
- Why did Big Show have a giant chair? Could WWE have used a more cartoony prop? I understood the Big Show custom ladder, since it had to support him, but a giant chair is too much.
- A.J. Lee was back to her crazy t-shirt wearing self backstage. John Cena probably should have been suspicious.
- The Brooklyn Brawler appearance was fun and the fans in the arena were into it. I don't see how this works in Del Rio's favor, but maybe I'm reading too much into a one night occurrence.
- Contrary to what Brooklyn believes, John Cena can actually wrestle and he wrestled a hell of a match with Dolph Ziggler to close out this show.
- Ladder Matches have certain contrived moments we all expect (and even enjoy), but rarely do they innovate anymore. Ziggler and Cena innovated with some very fun spots. I loved the ladder climbing sleeper hold (which wasn't the most logical, but was fun) and the attempted Attitude Adjustment with the ladder, to name a couple.
- JBL is right when he says no one in wrestling history has garnered the response that Cena has. It's truly amazing to watch crowds respond to him.
- This was more than a great Ladder Match, it was just a great match. My hat is off to John Cena and Dolph Ziggler for turning in what could be a match of the year with WWE's final pay-per-view match of 2012. John Cena almost killed himself to make Dolph Ziggler a star. Let's hope the WWE machine shows Ziggler the support that Cena did here.
- John Cena did a Hurricanrana. This should be a headline on every wrestling website.
- A.J.'s interpretation of John Cena's offense was fun. Vickie Guerrero (who is not a wrestler) took it as best she could and left me smiling at the end of it. This was a nice interlude to lead to the big turn in the match.
- While it was predictable to see A.J. turn on Cena, it was also the right move. WWE has moved this story beyond the non-affair affair to the true betrayal. A.J. is far more compelling when evil and this could set her up as evil for a long time.
- The end of this match focussed on A.J., then quickly and appropriately shifted to Dolph Ziggler. While I wouldn't have objected to the two of them embracing and possibly kissing in the middle of the ring, I don't mind that we didn't get it. I'd still love to see Ziggler and A.J. as a couple. She would add a very fun element to his act.
This show had two absolutely show-stopping matches. That alone is enough to recommend it. The other stuff is mostly good, but you'll get more than your money's worth out of The Shield vs. Ryback, Kane, and Daniel Bryan and Cena vs. Ziggler. This was an amazing night of wrestling that all fans should see.
I'm ethically obligated to give this show an A+, making it pretty close to the show of the year for WWE. This was a top-to-bottom great card. Just go watch it.
Let's do some good old fashioned talking about this show! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to follow me on twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
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