WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2020: Reactions & Review

Here are my final thoughts on Raw and SmackDown Live’s TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2020!

Big E, Daniel Bryan, Chad Gable and Otis vs. King Corbin, Sami Zayn, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura (Eight Man Tag Team Match)

Reactions: God, I love Otis. Man’s came out dripped in some Big Van Vader tribute gear. Props to him for that nice bit of retro cosplay. Considering the individuals that took part in this Kickoff Match (yes, even Baron Corbin), I had a feeling this whole setup would be a good time. And that’s exactly what we got here.

This was a fast-paced multi-man matchup that showcased SmackDown’s quality midcard division. It’s clear that the focus of this bout is building the beef between Big E and Sami Zayn that will inevitably lead to a future Intercontinental Championship match. The ending perfectly played into that ongoing beef and the action that proceeded it was solid. This was a pretty decent sprint.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Drew McIntyre (c) vs. AJ Styles (with Omos) (Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match for the WWE Championship)

Reactions: While this match started out slow and featured a lot of generic TLC spots, it eventually morphed into a worthwhile WWE Championship encounter. AJ Styles’ targeting of Drew McIntyre’s leg was done well and it played into the champ’s struggles later on down the line. The ladder-assisted Single Leg Boston Crab was cool, plus the big table spots added some extra excitement to the match proceedings.

The hype truly kicked up a notch once The Miz ran out to cash in his MITB briefcase. I’m not even gonna front – I actually thought WWE was going to shock the world and cut McIntyre’s title reign a lot shorter than it should have been (again, I might add). Even Omos got some time to shine, as he ran down John Morrison after some chaotic interactions with him and The Miz. The final moments were the most intriguing as all three men fought long and hard in an effort to retrieve the belt. In the end though, McIntyre prevailed by shoving both men off of the ladder onto the ropes and finishing The Miz with a final Claymore Kick. This PPV opener went from decent to a bit better than expected by the time it finally came to a close.

Rating: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars

Sasha Banks (c) vs. Carmella (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)

Reactions: Man, hold on…when did Carmella get this good? Back when she first won the SmackDown Women’s Championship, she had some pretty lackluster matches against Asuka. Fast forward to her newly rebooted self and now she’s out here putting on watchable bouts with Sasha Banks? You love to see it.

This was a great coming out party for Carmella’s new gimmick since she kept up with Sasha Banks every step of the way and didn’t screw up anything the entire time. Banks was her usual awesome self, plus Carmella’s suited sidekick gave even more to this match due to his outside interference. I came into this title match with incredibly low expectations and I came away pleasantly surprised with how good of a bout it turned out to be. Fine work from both ladies here.

Rating: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars

The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) (c) vs. The Hurt Business (Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin) with MVP (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship)

Reactions: Cedric Alexander got the ass whipping of a lifetime as soon as the bell rang for this one. Good lord…props to MVP for giving that man a swig of water cause he definitely needed it. So what we got here was yet another quality matchup on this PPV.

And what made it even more of a highlight is the fact that we got a title change that made a whole lot of sense during it. Both teams competed at a breakneck pace where everyone got their time to shine. Kofi seemed to be on hyperactive mode more than usual tonight as he was bumping all over the ring like a bat out of hell. Kingston, Xavier Woods, Shelton Benjamin, and especially Alexander looked extra crisp out there and put on quite the exciting tag team championship match.

Rating: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars

Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Asuka and Charlotte Flair (WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship)

Reactions: So Charlotte Flair is back…yay, I guess? Can’t say I really missed her, so whatever. As for the match she made her big return in, I felt the exact same way – whatever. It just didn’t do anything for me. The action was merely passable and there weren’t any standout moments to mention here. This is the type of match that’s more fit for a current day episode of Raw instead of a full-fledged PPV. The end result was never in question as soon as Ms. Flair made her way out, which took away all the intrigue from this tag team affair. It basically resulted in a finish even Stevie Wonder could see coming from a mile away. Yeah…wasn’t feeling this one.

Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

Roman Reigns (c) (with Paul Heyman & Jey Uso) vs. Kevin Owens (Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match for the WWE Universal Championship)

Reactions: I enjoyed every minute of Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens battering each other to death during their Royal Rumble 2017 match. And I certainly felt the same way about this intense TLC match between the two. The change in character dynamic between both men lent itself well to this “foreign objects” filled encounter quite well – the “Tribal Chief” went out of his way to incapacitate Owens with plenty of “TLC,” while Owens did his best to stay in the fight via heroic comebacks and some big maneuvers of his own.

Jey Uso popped up here and there to raise the odds against Owens, who responded in kind with some brutal offense of his own. After Reigns missed a huge Spear and ran right through the ringside area, this match really got kicked up a few notches. Owens fought tooth and nail to secure the belt hanging above the ring, but the combined efforts of Reigns and Uso cut him off at every turn. This was a good showing from all three men involved and was yet another example of Reigns & Owens’ strong in-ring chemistry.

Rating: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars

“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (with Alexa Bliss) vs. Randy Orton (Firefly Inferno Match)

Reactions: So “The Fiend” is like…dead now? C’mon, bruh. This was one of those overly choreographed gimmick matches that was honestly a bore. Is it just me or is this new version of Bray Wyatt incapable of putting on a good match nowadays? His SummerSlam 2019 massacre of Finn Bálor was his best performance thus far and that was his first match coming back under the guise of “The Fiend.” Since then, he’s put on some in-ring/cinematic stinkers.

This was another sad example of Wyatt’s alter-ego putting on a disappointing bout. The Inferno theatrics and horror movie approach to this whole ordeal had no business being slotted into the main event slot for this show. And the less said about the cornball ending, the better. This was just…meh. This feud is most likely going to continue, which is something I’m very much not looking forward to.

Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

Match of the Night

Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens!

Final Verdict

This year’s serving of some good old TLC featured a satisfying array of good matches, but was hampered by two super mediocre bouts. Both TLC title matches told great stories and featured your expected mix of high octane action. The Raw Tag Team Championship match moved at a speed of fast forward, yet it was easy to keep up with and definitely worth a watch. To my surprise, Carmella shockingly held up her end of the bargain during her better than expected women’s title match with Sasha Banks. Even the Kickoff Match was a pleasure to watch.

But what keeps this show from getting rated a bit higher are two matches that were just incredibly unremarkable. Charlotte’s return was the worst kept secret of the entire evening and the match she won the Women’s Tag Team Championship in was a snoozefest. As for the main event, it was your usual Wyatt gimmick match that tried to be a horror movie spectacle. But in the end, it was nothing more than an over the top bout that failed to deliver. Simply put, TLC 2020 was a good show that was on the verge of being great.

Final Score: 3 & a Half out of 5 Stars

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