The final pay-per-view of the 2018 calendar was a hype for WWE with an epic main event that certainly set the scene for WrestleMania 35 in April. There were two title changes on the show, but WWE rescued the last time as a long-lasting contestant finally picked up his first championship on the main list. Overall, WWE closed 2018 with a blow – at least from a PPV position – after a month of hard tv. Elsewhere on the map were classic matches, custom rivalries and some new ones started a few weeks left in the year. How are they going to reason as Road to WrestleMania begins in January 201 9? It's sure to be seen. For now, let's see what went down Sunday at WWE TLC from San Jose, California. 2018 WWE TLC Recap, Ratings Cruiserweight Championship – Buddy Murphy (c) Def. Cedric Alexander via pin drop to keep the title (Kickoff Show): For all the potential these two artists have to put on a five-star classic because they only get 10:35 felt like a cruel tease. Murphy and Alexander are the division's class and among the most exciting wrestlers in the world. The duo did his best at the given time, including an exciting close autumn late when Alexander linked to the lumbar spine. Just check for Murphy to extend his foot to the bottom rope to avoid a pin. Murphy followed a running knee to his face before landing Murphy's team for the win. Here's to…
The final pay-per-view of the 2018 calendar was a hype for WWE with an epic main event that certainly set the scene for WrestleMania 35 in April. There were two title changes on the show, but WWE rescued the last time as a long-lasting contestant finally picked up his first championship on the main list. Overall, WWE closed 2018 with a blow – at least from a PPV position – after a month of hard tv.
Elsewhere on the map were classic matches, custom rivalries and some new ones started a few weeks left in the year. How are they going to reason as Road to WrestleMania begins in January 201
9? It’s sure to be seen. For now, let’s see what went down Sunday at WWE TLC from San Jose, California.
Cruiserweight Championship – Buddy Murphy (c) Def. Cedric Alexander via pin drop to keep the title (Kickoff Show): For all the potential these two artists have to put on a five-star classic because they only get 10:35 felt like a cruel tease. Murphy and Alexander are the division’s class and among the most exciting wrestlers in the world. The duo did his best at the given time, including an exciting close autumn late when Alexander linked to the lumbar spine. Just check for Murphy to extend his foot to the bottom rope to avoid a pin. Murphy followed a running knee to his face before landing Murphy’s team for the win. Here’s to hope that these two get 25 minutes on WrestleMania to find out how big their chemistry and athleticism can be. Rating: B +
Elias def. Bobby Lashley (Kickoff Show Ladder Match): Unlike what was announced about Raw earlier this week, the provision of this was shown to be the first wrestler to climb the ladder and claim that a guitar hung over the ring to win. Lame rules aside, the best thing about this match turned out to be how short and meltable it was. Both men participated in a big place where they hit a ladder. But the finish came when Elias climbed up to prevent Lio Rush from picking up the guitar by throwing him. After Elijah took it down to win the match, Rush pulled up from behind to prevent him from using the guitar as a weapon. Lashley landed a uranium and Rush followed a fiery splash from the top rope before Lashley broke the guitar across Elijah’s back. Rating: C-
R-Truth & Carmella def. Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox by Submission to win the Mixed Match Challenge: In retrospect, this one heard at the kickoff show. Still, the game just presented enough fun and corny hyinks to prevent a straight car break. R-Truth and Carmella will now be the 30th participants in their respective Royal Rumble matches next month. They also caught “an expense-paid vacation to anywhere in the world”, as we all know is kayfabe, considering Vince McMahon’s aversion to take free time. The latter was used as a post-matched shit with R-Truth disclosure, to Carmela’s horror, that he predicted a trip to the WWE headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, as their award. The match was the standard comedy fare with a fun dance breakdown halfway through the Singh Brothers going along until R-Truth turned them over and sent both over the top rope. Carmella dropped out Alicia Fox via the Code of Silence for the victory. One thing this season achieved gave it always entertaining R-Sanningen a new platform to shine, while allowing newborn chemistry with Carmella. Rating: C-
SmackDown Tag Team Championship – Bars (c) final. New Day (via pinfalls) and The Usos to keep the titles: Talk about a fun way to boost the intensity early in the show. There was not much that was achieved here with regard to storyline, but once upon a time it’s only good. The place of the match may have come when Cesaro’s suplex attempt at Kofi Kingston was interrupted by Jey Uso stopping Kingston from the top. The other half of the game contained a beautiful catastrophe of a dramatically close autumn after the other. But the only complaint (if there is one) came in the end. Sheamus caught Xavier Woods with a Brogue Kick as he chopped through the ropes to get the foundation. Rating: B +
Braun Strowman def. Baron Corbin via pinfall (TLC Match): With victory, Strowman will get a universal title shot against Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble, while Corbin will be removed from power as head of Raw. Despite the fact that he could not compete while his surgically repaired elbow was left in a loop, Strowman attacked the help of all Corbin had recently been guilty of. Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode, Chad Gable, Finn Balor, Judge Heath Slater and even Kurt Angle showed up with chairs they used on Corbin due to disqualification rules. By angle, Corbin prevented from escaping with his surprise trip, each man landed his finishing touches at Corbin before Strowman stood at Corbin with Slater who counted the pin. A schmoz finish seemed like a predictable result in view of Strowman’s injury. Nevertheless, the outcome still felt a little bit odd, even though every babyface practitioner had a story for his actions. Rating: C +
Natalya def. Ruby Riott (Table Match): What a surprisingly good deal. From intensity and great patches to a legitimate story for Natalya to honor his late father, this was fun. Liv Morgan took a hard bump off her apron and through a table early when she rescued Riott by pushing her out of the way. Soon after, Natalya struck Sarah Logan through a separate table. The match seemed to retard PG-13 levels later when Natalya exclaimed: “You want to touch my family, tap?!” before you hit Riott outside the ring. Riott resisted by pushing Natalya’s face in a table with his father’s picture on it while shouting: “He is ashamed of you!” Last in the match, Natalya drew a table with Riot’s picture on it and put on the late Jim “The Anvil” Neidharts jacket. She continued to throw Riott through the table via powerbomb before taking on Dad’s sunglasses – the reason why this sweep was originally started – to celebrate the victory. It starts to sweep this pathetic and pay off this well. Rating: B +
Find Balor def. Drew McIntyre via pinfall: In what was announced by the message team as an uprising, Balor used help from a late arriving Dolph Ziggler to get one over McIntyre. After McIntyre, Balor waved a headbutt outside the ring and mocked his “too sweet” hand gesture, Ziggler came out of the audience to land a super kick. Although his follow-up attempt with a chair instead was met with a Claymore kick, the distraction opened the door to Balor. McIntyre threw Ziggler in to call and Balor hit his opponent with a missile dropkick before signing his Coup de Grace finish for the victory. The physical match saw McIntyre lose by pinpoint for the second time in three weeks, but both losses included Balor and Ziggler who helped each other. Finally, it was just nice to see Balor not having to work for another star. After the match, Balor burst at Ziggler’s back-up stage, so Ziggler took him out and threw him in a set of road bags. Rating: B
Rey Mysterio def. Randy Orton via Stool Match: Creative stains were superfluous in this that has turned into a fun sweat. Mysterio used a chair as a provisional boogie board to slide on the stomach under the bottom rope and at Orton outside. The final was as fun as Orton put four chairs next to each other in the ring for a RKO until Mysterio broke off. After he spun the Orton face first in the chairs, Mysterio climbed them to the leaderboard in a 1-2-3 winch of the hurricane. This match may have been used as a filler on this already deep card but this was between two legends. Rating: B +
Mature Women’s Championship – Ronda Rousey (c) def. Nia Jax via submission to retain the title: Let’s forget, Rousey’s PPV matches continue a beauty. As flat as this sweep had become raw in recent weeks, especially during the double cringeworthy moments on the microphone, both women deserve credit for how physically and exciting the payout proved to be. This was superfluous with rigid movements, especially those delivered by Jax, including a sit-out power bomb, after turning around an armrest attempt by standing up. Rousey continued to show off her highest athleticism with a beautiful crossbreed from the top rope on the floor. She later packed a step-up knee to her face and a spectacularly stacked Superman punch for two bills on Jax. Her cross attempt was then intercepted by Jax in a Samoan drop for a dramatically close fall.
Rouseys physical tour de force also saw that she lifted Jax of the second rope into a power bomb for another close fall. The final was as fun after a distraction from Tamina Snuka, when Rousey blocked a knockout punch and hit a step-up judo throwing into an armbar for a creative trigger. After the game, Jax refused an interview back and was attacked by Becky Lynch who said: “Remember when you broke my face? Keep my name out of your mouth.” Of course the crowd went wild. ” Rating: A-
WWE Championship – Daniel Bryan (c) Def. AJ Styles by pin drop to retain the title: Map of one more creative finish, Bryan and Styles were almost combined to throw a perfect game, and they did the old-fashioned way. A slow and intentional construction with the tender ribs of Styles and the broken leg of Bryan as a storyline fuel gave way to a cool second half. Underneath the road, both switches held high intensity due to severe crime. Bryan debuted his dark-colored health equipment and a tribute to his Ring of Honor days with dragons and flames. Even more important was that he found the perfect dance partner to probably produce his best match since returning from a three-year retirement (only weeks removed from a mini-classics on his own against Brock Lesnar on the Survivor Series).
Bryan continued to develop his movement set, with a cravat lock to land stiff knees before striking a unique suplex for a dramatic close fall. Styles matched him by almost winning on a springboard 450 knocking on his sore ribs. Submission attempt from both, including Bryan who pulled his Yes Lock to again call it Lebell Lock, abounded drama. Styles hit a phenomenal forearm late in the match outside the barrier wall outside the ring, but his attempt to follow up with one inside the squared circle missed. The final came immediately after Bryan turned Styles missionary attempts at a nice pen. Rating: A
A challenge is posted: The back party celebrates with Natalya, Rousey was pulled aside and asked if she planned to come back to Charlotte Flair for her extreme attack on the Survivor Series. “There is an old saying:” Payback is a bitch. “And I’m the poorest on earth,” she replied.
Intercontinental Championship – Dean Ambrose def. Seth Rollins (c) by pindown to win the title: With a tough position on the card between the two most wanted matches, this was a lot much better than the audience seemed to realize. Despite “this is sad,” the brothers broke out, telling former Shield members a physical and compelling story about what was largely a fight – mainly because it was necessary to contempt between them. It was a story even better told by Ambroses real wife, Mrs Renee Young, on comments, as Corey Graves repeatedly tricked her in arguments about Ambro’s mindset. Not only Michael Cole has to jump in and judge, Young did a strong job that stood up for her husband in history by justifying his actions in what could become a quasi-healing war.
While the game was a little too long considering the length and depth of the card, the feeling and intensity were strong. Rollins sold a damaged left knee all the time and recalled how he initially injured it in 2015 by celebrating a trial burial with the same exact location. An important story development then saw Rollins pulling up at a super park when Ambrose put out his fist to remind his Shield days. When the crowd broke them up, Rollins thought about it before attacking Ambrose attackingly. The final came shortly after Rollins spoke the trash to Ambrose, who was injured on his knees. But Ambrose played possum and became alive at the right moment to beat Dirty Deeds for the star. Rating: B +
SmackDown Women’s Championship – Asuka def. Becky Lynch (c) and Charlotte Flair vs Asuka to win the title (TLC Match): Recap and ratings are coming soon.
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