The SmarK Rant for WWE Tables Ladders & Chairs (and Kendo Sticks) 2019 – 12.15.19
Live from Minneapolis, MN
Your hosts are Michael Cole and Corey Graves and friends.
Smackdown tag team titles, ladder match: The New Day v. The Revival
New Day gets rid of Dawson and double-teams Dash, but they head to the floor and the Revival jumps them and grabs some ladders. Big E chucks Dawson into the announce table, but Dawson regroups and sends E into the railing and then Kofi into the LED board on the apron. Kofi springboards into the ring and tries to baseball slide the ladder, but the Revival traps him on the apron under the ladder and beats on him there for a bit. Good spot there. Kofi comes back with a springboard onto the ladder, however, knocking the Revival down and squishing them in turn. Cole notes that “some people have called TLC the WWE version of a demolition derby”. First up, no one ever calls it that. Ever. Second, they already had the WWE version of a demolition derby. It was called “Crush Hour” and it was a Twisted Metal ripoff and it SUCKED. Big E tries to splash Wilder on the ladder, but misses and splashes the ladder instead, and the Revival makes the first climb for the belts. Big E makes the save and climbs himself, but Dawson dropkicks the ladder to bring him down. Revival puts him in the corner and dropkicks the ladder right into the Big D, and that’s gotta hurt. Kofi fights back and see-saws the ladder into the heels. Big E makes the odd choice to follow with a stretch muffler on Dawson, and Kofi smashes a ladder into the knee for good measure. Kofi climbs for the belts, but the Revival pushes the ladder over, and Kofi lands on the top rope and bounces back with Trouble in Paradise to take them out. Kofi climbs again, but gets pulled into a Shatter Machine and he’s out on the floor. Revival makes the climb, but E saves and does the spear off the apron to take out Dash. So E sets up a couple of ladders and a ladder bridge to the corner, and that takes FOREVER. Finally he puts Dawson onto the bridge and goes up, but Dash saves. So Dawson suplexes E on the bridge and mostly misses it, and then Dash splashes E through the ladder to break it. Dawson makes the climb, but Kofi dives in to save. Revival beats on him, but Big E heads up and takes Dash out with a Big Ending off the ladder. Kofi fights off Dawson and sends him through the remains of the ladder bridge, and retains the title at 19:05. Good effort from both teams, but this really isn’t the Revival’s deal and there was too much dead space between the spots, as they didn’t really seem to have much idea of how to get from one crazy spot to the next. It was like “Well, we’re not sure what to do next, so let’s just hurl ourselves through a ladder and move on”. ***1/2
Meanwhile, King Corbin still wants Roman to bow.
Buddy Murphy v. Aleister Black
Black immediately tries Black Mass and Murphy runs away from it. Black taunts him with the sitdown, and Joe is like “I don’t see how he has much choice but to kick in the face immediately”. And indeed, Buddy tries that, but Black dodges him and works the arm. Black blasts him with high kicks, but they fight to the floor and Murphy runs him into the stairs and gets some forearms to take over. Back in, Murphy stomps him down in the corner and then works the arm while Black has seemingly busted his nose at some point here. Buddy tosses him and stops to grab Black’s ring jacket for some mocking, but Black makes the comeback and hits him with a high kick. Murphy escapes a suplex, but Black hits him with a shining wizard and a moonsault for two. Black puts him on the apron with a back elbow, but Murphy fights back and Black has to moonsault him again. Back in, Black with a nice knee strike for two. They fight to the top, but Murphy escapes and brings him down with a powerbomb for two. Murphy with a brainbuster for two. They trade more shots, and Black finishes him with Black Mass at 13:40. I dunno, I wasn’t feeling this one. Just kind of meandering with occasional stiff strikes for the most part, but it was mostly good, I guess. **1/2 Black having his nose busted up probably hurt it.
RAW tag team titles: The Viking Raiders v. The Good Brothers
I don’t know why they couldn’t just announce the match instead of doing an “open challenge” and then just having it be Gallows and Anderson. Also, there’s people at ringside eating KFC while this is going on. Sure. Why not? Hopefully they have a Port-a-Potty ready for when they have to run away and shit their pants. The Raiders double-team Anderson for a bit, but Erik gets thrown out and run into the apron, which I don’t need to remind you is the HARDEST PART OF THE RING. Hot Karl works a headlock and Gallows comes in and drops an elbow for two. And we go to the chinlock, as Erik fights out of it, but Karl puts him down again for two. Erik escapes and it’s hot tag Ivar, who tosses Karl around and slugs away on Gallows. He goes up and Karl shoves him off, and a double-team neckbreaker gets two for the OC. Ivar fights them off with a handspring and the Vikings hit their finisher on Karl, but Gallows saves. Everyone fights to the floor and they’re all counted out at 8:23. Well at least the Vikings didn’t job in Minnesota. And then Karl steals the KFC table and everyone boos them throwing away the food, and the Raiders put Karl through the table and this all sucked. * At least the people at ringside were spared the intestinal horror of eating KFC.
Meanwhile, tonight is the MOST IMPORTANT MATCH OF THE MIZ’S LIFE. Even more so than main eventing Wrestlemania? I’m skeptical of that. Do they realize how stupid they sound when they’re writing this stuff?
TLC match: Roman Reigns v. King Corbin
Corbin immediately starts sending his army of geeks at Reigns, but Roman sends Corbin into the LED screens at the entrance and throws him off the stage. So they fight into the crowd and brawl past a guy with a “Rick Martel HOF 2020” sign. Isn’t he in already? He probably should be. They head into the ring and Corbin gets a Deep Six for two and slugs away. Back to the floor, but Roman fights back in the ring before falling victim to a well timed Dine & Dash for two. Back to the floor and Roman runs him into the railing, but Corbin goes low to cut him off again. Corbin beats on him outside in dull fashion, working the back, but Roman fights back with corner clotheslines and then counters the Dine & Dash, but Corbin hits him with a chokeslam. Corbin stops to go AWWWWWOOOOOOOOOAH to mock Roman, and gets hit with a superman punch for two. So finally, 12:00 into this match, Roman brings in a table, but Corbin escapes to the floor and hits him with a can of dog food before chokeslamming Roman through the table for two. Back to the floor, and Corbin preps the announce table, but Roman gets a samoan drop through the table instead. And then Dolph Ziggler pops out from under the ring and superkicks Roman. And then they beat up the timekeeper as well, but are prevented from dumping dog food on him by Roman. So more security geeks run down and Roman beats on them with a kendo stick. And then the Revival come down, but Reigns fights them off with superman punches and dives onto the giant pile of people who are now involved in this match. Back in the ring, Roman tries another spear, but Ziggler hits him with a chair and follows with a Zig Zag. And then a Shatter Machine as Roman apparently has no friends. Corbin with the End of Days on a chair for the pin at 22:15. Hey, remember when we sat through the dog food angle on Smackdown and everyone was like “DERPA DERPA IT’S JUST AN OLD SCHOOL HEAT ANGLE AND ROMAN WILL GET HIS REVENGE AND SHOVE DOG FOOD IN HIS FACE DERPA DERPA”? Yeah. That worked out really well, didn’t it? This match can fuck right off for being a 20 minute troll job of the fans. -**
The Miz v. Bray Wyatt
So Bray is indeed wrestling in a sweater and slacks, drawing a huge babyface reaction after threatening Miz’s family with evil dolls. Miz attacks him in the corner to defend his family, and the crowd boos him for that as Bray takes the beating willingly and waits for Miz to “get it out of his system”. So Miz beats on him with knees and messes up Bray’s nice sweater, but then Bray tries Sister Abigail and Miz escapes with the Skull Crushing Finale. Miz apparently thinks he’s Pentagon now and does the armbreaker on Bray in a laughable attempt at being a badass, but Bray heads out and pops his arm back in again. So Miz follows him out and continues this hilariously awful “beating”, as the crowd is silently in awe of Miz’s shooting prowess. Finally even Bray can’t take anymore of Miz trying to be Steve Austin without laughing his ass off like I’m doing right now, and hits him with Sister Abigail on the floor. Luckily Miz beats the count back in, but another Abigail finishes him at 6:44. Oh, we’re on a roll now. Whatever possible thing they were trying to do with this match, it failed on every conceivable level. -*** I’d hate to see how bad this would have been if Bray HADN’T threatened Miz’s family! And then the Fiend appears on the screen, so Bray finds the giant mallet under the ring. And then bald Daniel Bryan reappears to make the save and beats on Bray with all the intensity and charisma that Stone Cold Miz Shamrock completely lacked in the match. But then the lights go out before he can deliver the killing blow with the giant cartoon mallet, and Bray disappears. I hate it when that happens. So all that stuff with the Fiend kidnapping Bryan and he just returns and goes back to being a babyface, I guess.
Tables match: Rusev v. Bobby Lashley
Rusev attacks Lashley on the floor to start and brings a table in, but Lana prevents that and Lashley chokes him out. Bobby hits the body vice slam, which I shall dub the MAYBELLINE LASH BLAST in absence of another name for it and then hopefully they can sell the sponsorship rights on the back end and make a few bucks. They head to the floor and Rusev suplexes him on the floor, but Lashley manages to flip the table to escape and then sends Rusev into the stairs. So the problem with this stipulation is that we’ve already seen guys going through a bunch of tables earlier in the show, and now we have to milk drama out of going through one of them. They should have had this earlier in the card for maximum effect. Back in the ring, Lashley works the back and the announcers are like “What if Lashley wins? What if Lashley loses?” Well, there’s no actual stakes to the match, so that’s not really a question anyone has actually explored. Lashley runs him into a table and spears him in the corner, then sets up a table and tries a superplex. Rusev escapes that and they slug it out on the apron, with a table waiting below, but it of course amounts to nothing. Like, they spent WEEKS having crazy brawls in the crowd and doing video packages pointing out all the wacky twists and turns, and now they’re just kind of having a match like a couple of fellas. THIS is where you do all the smoke and mirrors and fighting in the concession stand and such! Rusev finds a piece of railing, but Lashley slams him through it on the floor and retrieves a kendo stick. There’s a lot of kendo sticks on this Tables Ladders and Chairs show. Maybe they should rename it Tables Ladders Chairs and Kendo Sticks. Of course, that time they tried to make it Tables Ladders Chairs and Stairs was a complete bust, so perhaps that’s a bad idea. Lashley beats on him with the stick back in the ring, but Rusev comes back with the kendo stick and makes the comeback as the crowd dozes. This brings Lana in for the interference, and Lashley puts Rusev through the table at 13:30. This was a giant, GIANT, disappointment on many levels. And as usual, they suck at making babyfaces. *1/2
Meanwhile, The Street Profits are doing a wacky promo, but Corbin and Reigns and a bunch of people randomly brawl through the backstage area for no adequately explained reason.
WWE Women’s tag team title, TLC match: Asuka & Kairi Sane v. Charlotte & Becky Lynch
I don’t think there’s any saving the show at this point, but hopefully this will send it out on a high note at least. They immediately fight to the floor and the babyfaces prep the announce tables and throw poor Kairi back and forth on them, but the champs double-team Charlotte with a chair back in the ring and Kairi dropkicks it into her face. NOT IN THE FACE! You’ll undo all the surgery and it’ll be like when Moe became a soap opera star until the set fell on him. Becky saves and they fight on the floor again, where Asuka and Kairi both get run into the post. The faces bring the ladder in and Kairi tries to throw a chair into the ring but it goes awry and bounces back to hit her in the face. Kairi tries to run and hide under the ring, but they haul her out, and she emerges with a fire extinguisher while Asuka does rope tricks like an adorable cowboy. Kairi hits Becky with a neckbreaker onto a chair, but Charlotte fights back on them. So we get a clever spot where they put Charlotte on one of the office chairs and trap her with, you guessed it, A KENDO STICK, before delivering some punishment. Next up, Becky gets lashed to the ladder with Asuka’s magic lasso, and I bet there’s some fapping going on somewhere on Reddit AS WE SPEAK. Someone had to say it and might as well have been me. The Warriors run Charlotte into the railing and toss her into the crowd, and we get the first climb of the match. Luckily they climb really slow, and Charlotte saves with, yup, you guessed it, FRANK STALLONE. No, it’s the kendo stick, of course. Is there REALLY no other gimmicks available they could use tonight? Like, say, a table or a chair or a ladder? Charlotte throws them around outside and goes to untie Becky from the railroad tracks, but Asuka takes her out and calls for an Insane Elbow. Becky manages to fight back using only her feet and finally undoes the knots as they make the comeback. So they put the Warriors on chairs and clothesline them out of the ring and the crowd is just not reacting to much of anything here. Finally Becky puts Asuka through a table with a buttdrop to hopefully give this match some life. Sane manages to fight back on her own and puts both faces onto one table, but then tries something off the apron that the camera misses and that looks like it went horribly wrong. Needless to say, the table did not break and I have no idea what was supposed to be happening. Charlotte tries to spear Kairi and Kairi just kind of collapses, and Charlotte powerbombs her through a table awkwardly. This match is like the worst kind of car wreck so far, going nowhere and just randomly breaking tables and stuff. Asuka revives Kairi and buries the faces under some ladders and tables and stuff. But no kendo sticks. Back in the ring, Asuka tries to climb, but Lynch and Charlotte save with chairs and the crowd just boos the shit out of them for that. WHAT EVEN IS THIS MATCH? Charlotte puts Asuka on a table and tries a moonsault, but Asuka pops up and powerbombs her through the table, which of course the camera completely misses on the original angle. Becky tries to climb and Asuka stops her, so Becky WHIPS HER WITH THE ROPE, which Asuka then uses to pull the ladder over. I feel like I’m just broken down by this match now and going with the wackiness is the only way. And Asuka thankfully grabs the belts to end this disaster at 26:00. Well, it was different. It made no sense and had botched spots from start to finish and ridiculous nonsense and a dead crowd and almost no attempts to actually climb the ladder, but it was different. I will give it that much. ½*
Oh, and then the Roman Reigns-King Corbin brawl spills into the arena again to end the show, because THIS FEUD MUST CONTINUE. Lucky us.
Man, that Corbin/Reigns and Miz/Wyatt double-shot just put a bullet in this show like a hunter making a clean kill on a deer, and it never recovered. As if you even need to ask, on the scale of Burn It / Avoid It / Skim It / Watch It / Binge It, this one is solidly BURN IT and let’s all just move on with our lives and hopefully never watch it again.