Naomi wins the pre-show battle royal: I wasn’t expecting it, but now it just looks like WWE is offering up a random number one contender to challenge Eve. It was an interesting decision, but I’m not sure many will care. My hope for Naomi winning is that she will become a regular wrestling diva that helps transform the division into something that people look forward to seeing.
Team Rhodes Scholars defeats the team in Masks to become number one contenders for the tag team championship: The match was quick, but fairly entertaining. Cody looked like he was afraid to take a backdrop to the outside at one point, and Sandow botched a landing from a Rey Mysterio arm-drag faceplant and drilled his arms awkwardly into the match. It was somewhat sloppy, but the finish with Rhodes pushing Sin Cara off the rope to the outside table was awesome! Good opening match.
Antonio Cesaro defeats R-Truth to retain the US Title: Truth looked awesome in this match, and it was actually pretty competitive until the finish. I liked the match, but it was cut short much like their contest at Survivor Series. It’s time for a new challenger for Cesaro.
MizTV hosts the 3MB and sets up a six man tag later in the night: 3MB goes after the Spanish announcers(are they always at ringside for these minor pay per views?) and Ricardo Rodriguez comes to their defense, followed by Alberto Del Rio. Miz and Del Rio have to find a partner for later on. Great segment to setup an impromptu match! I like the Del Rio face turn, and I like the potential rivalries for him once he’s a full fledge fan favorite!
Kofi Kingston defeats Wade Barrett to retain the IC Title: These two had another match tonight, and no one left disappointed. They went back and forth for a good chunk of time, and Kofi caught Barrett with trouble in paradise when he went for the bullhammer. I enjoyed this one, and I’m actually glad Kofi’s reign with the gold will continue. What better way to set Kofi up for a run with the World Title than to have him carry the IC Belt for a lengthy and meaningful reign? As for Barrett, the guy is going to be a top star regardless of whether or not he wins another IC Championship.
The Shield defeats Team Hell No in a three on three TLC match: This match was outstanding! It had the setup of a tornado tag with only one pinfall to end it, and it was GREAT! The stunts were all over the place and the action was nonstop. I can’t complain one bit as the future of WWE was showcased brilliantly in this one! Daniel Bryan took the pinfall like most were expecting, and Ryback was still standing when it was finished. I can’t wait to see what happens next for the Shield(regular matches on Raw and Smackdown would be a good start)!
Eve defeats Naomi to retain the Divas Championship: This match was short, and basically no one cared about it. What happened to a competitive challenge? I’m not going to say a lot about it because obviously WWE doesn’t care a whole lot about it.
Big Show defeats Sheamus in a chairs match: Show used a massive chair across Sheamus’ back to put the nail in the coffin. The match was worked at a fairly slow pace, but it told a nice story. I hope this is the last of these two for this rivalry, but I appreciate the quality of the series of three matches that we’ve seen since October. I’m also happy that Big Show’s title reign is continuing and might actually mean something for once in his career. Sheamus has a lot more time to win championships, but Big Show is getting up there in age and this may be his final major run at anything.
The Brooklyn Brawler, Alberto Del Rio, and the Miz defeat the 3MB: Brawler got the pin in his hometown of Brooklyn. I loved the match, and it was a good bit of comedic relief in a show loaded with gimmicked brutality. The 3MB will continue to be entertaining, and it will be interesting to see what Del Rio and Miz do next as they continue to mold into faces. It was also great to see how much WWE cares about their history and respects what Steve Lombardi has done for them over the years as both a wrestler and an agent.
Dolph Ziggler defeats John Cena to retain his MITB Briefcase: AJ Lee stopped Vickie from interfering and then pushed the ladder over when Cena was about to reach for the briefcase. I don’t know if this is an AJ heel turn, or if this AJ’s way of getting back at Cena for not responding enough to her advances. Putting the AJ/Vickie crap aside, Cena and Ziggler delivered a fantastic main event. Cena even botched a standing hurricanrana at one point in the match but still managed to put Ziggler through a corner standing table! The match was innovating and impressive, and the Cena/Ziggler chemistry proved to be a winning combination for this ladder match!
Outside of the divas, there wasn’t a dud match on this card. TLC shined as a way to close out 2012 for WWE, and I’m very impressed. I’ll be back with the Raw Analysis early Tuesday and a Smackdown Analysis early Wednesday after the live show. I’m not sure what I’m doing for an end of the year summary, but I’ll think of something in the next couple weeks. Thanks for reading!
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