Here are my final thoughts on Raw and SmackDown Live’s WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2019!
Humberto Carrillo vs. Andrade (with Zelina Vega)
Reactions: Well damn! We got us a spirited Lucha Libre flavored Kickoff Match here that was given all the time in the world to produce a quality contest. It was miles better than their Raw matchup, plus the extra element of Andrade getting busted open gave it a harder edge. It may have started a bit slow, but it kicked up a notch the longer it went on. That blood must have forced Andrade to go a bit harder, which in turn caused Humberto Carillo to match his increased intensity. The middle to ending portions of this match was full of some hard-hitting offense and a smart callback to their previous bout. Pretty good match, but I’m not too keen on Andrade and Zelina Vega possibly breaking up in the near future.
Rating: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars
The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Big E) (c) vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) (Ladder Match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship)
Reactions: Now we all knew this was going to be worth its weight in championship silver. The New Day and The Revival have produced a number of great matches with each other, so seeing them make the most of a Ladder Match stipulation was to be expected. There were definitely some cool moments to speak of here, such as Kofi Kingston pulling off a sick Tornado DDT and The Revival’s dangerous usage of a ladder on Big E near the end. Kofi looked especially awesome during this bout and sent the crowd into “Kofimania” mode at one point. There was a lot to love here, folks. Props to The New Day and The Revival for giving us all a quality opener that was afforded the time it needed to produce greatness.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Aleister Black vs. Buddy Murphy
Reactions: Extra points have to go to that mirror staredown between both guys. That was dope as hell. Once again, we got another case of spilled blood kicking this match into a higher gear. Aleister Black got busted open at one point and tapped into that pain in order to step his game up. Buddy Murphy may have been defeated, but he looked awesome in defeat – he got in a ton of offense and even played some mind games from time to time. This was a competitive encounter that went long but didn’t overstay its welcome. The final strike exchange between both guys was pretty damned exciting and was the perfect way to bring this great match to a close.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) (c) vs. The O.C. (Luke Gallows and Ken Anderson) (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship)
Reactions: So the fans chowing down on KFC for this match was hilarious for all the wrong reasons. That was super cringe. This big hoss battle was somewhat decent. There were a few sloppy moments strewn throughout, but it came together once the hot tag moment kicked in. When it looked as if it was over, Gallows came in and broke up the pin to give us a bit more action. And I had no issue with that since this match was going well. Then…we got a double count-out. That was a downer that was super unnecessary. Even the post-table smash spot wasn’t enough to make up for that lame ending. This match was going somewhere good to great before its letdown of an ending kicked in.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin (Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match)
Reactions: This was fine. It wasn’t as horrendous as I figured it would be going in, but it also wasn’t all that amazing either. Roman Reigns and King Corban put on a perfectly solid matchup with your usual array of big weapon spots. While uninspired, those spots did enough to keep the crowd invested. Reigns’ comeback moments were actually pretty fun and hyped up the crowd since they loved to see Corbin finally get his comeuppance.
The inclusion of a million and one heels coming out to aid Corbin was complete overkill, though. It made little sense for Reigns to get demolished like that since he has allies like Shorty G and Ali in his corner, yet they weren’t even present to give the “Big Dog” a helping hand. There were parts of this match that I enjoyed, but Corbin and his army being the ones to defeat Reigns brought it down a few levels.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Bray Wyatt vs. The Miz
Reactions: Yeah…this was a complete waste of time. It tried to tell a story of The Miz getting redemption against Bray Wyatt’s “kinder” alter ego, but it moved a bit too slow for my tastes. It simply dragged until Bray finally got control and pretty much destroyed him to bring this slow-plodding bout to a close. The only highlight? Well, of course, that had to be Daniel Bryan wrecking shop on Bray while rocking a new haircut. It looks like we’re getting a rematch between the two at next year’s Royal Rumble. And if it’s half as good as their Royal Rumble 2014 match, then we have a lot to look forward to. The match sucked, but at least the post-match madness was a sign of good things to come.
Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars
Rusev vs. Bobby Lashley (with Lana) (Tables Match)
Reactions: Well, you have to give credit to Rusev and Bobby Lashley. They certainly tried to give us all a good match as an apology for their craptacular storyline, but they never really accomplished their goal here. There was just far too much table spot teases and slow action to follow throughout. Once the steel barricade and kendo stick came into play, we finally got two reasons to care about this grudge match. I was honestly pretty bored watching this unfold and was more than pleased when it was finally over. The botched ending and the unimpressive way Rusev got put through a table wrapped up this stinker of a match in a fittingly disappointing manner.
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) (c) vs. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair (Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Tag Team Match for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship)
Reactions: Something was super off about this main event. All four women were clearly not on the same page, which resulted in a bunch of spots that came off as extremely awkward. Weak chair shots, a botched table spot and a confusing portion of the match that saw Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair stair down Kairi Sane while she threw steel chairs at them made this whole match feel like a mess.
There were a few cool moments strewn in here and there, such as Asuka planting Charlotte with a powerbomb through a table on the outside. But every time all four ladies tried to go for something cool, it never truly came together like it should have. I expected something great here and got a match that looked better on paper, but failed to produce something worthy of its main event slot. I’m pretty shocked that WWE didn’t go for the easy strange tag partners as champions angle here. Good on The Kabuki Warriors for retaining, though.
Rating: 2 & a Half out of 5 Stars
Match of the Night
The New Day vs. The Revival!
WWE TLC 2019 gave me some hope near the start. The Kickoff Match was a clear highlight alongside the two opening bouts of the PPV. Even Roman Reigns vs. King Corban was a bit better than expected. But the rest of the card did this show no favors. The Raw tag team title match was solid, but it had a shitty finish and strange KFC advertising.
The Miz vs. Bray Wyatt was an eyesore that was only worth paying attention to once Daniel Bryan returned. The Tables Match was nothing to write home about, plus the ladies’ TLC main event felt and looked super awkward in several parts. The big PPV ending brawl wasn’t the savior this show needed, either. The final PPV of 2019 was nothing more than lackluster filler. Seek out the first three matches if you must.
Final Score: 2 & a Half out of 5 Stars