Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Sunday, December 14, 2014

WWE TLC 2014 Live Blog

No idea if Phil or Eric are watching this but we've got a streak going on big shows, so screw it. I'll have to put the baby to sleep at some point so I'll be lagging behind, but here goes:

Star and Gold Dust vs Kofi/Big E

MD: I am kind of a sucker for Big Guy/Little guy Hart Foundation style tag teams. I liked the Stardust/Big E segment actually. It seems somehow like Big E is working a freakish strong man gimmick more than before. Kofi's a fine enough hot tag and Big E can sell well enough so the first half of the double FIP worked fine. I liked the Kofi half of the FIP less though the set up was good. Stardust's stupid paint (I liked the blue last month) rubbing of on everyone was a highlight. The second hot tag was timed really well and Big E as a world-destroyer house of fire is pretty great. I know this is a terrible gimmick but I think it's a good in ring role for him. This was perfectly fine but I really wish Goldust would use a hold other than a chinlock more. That was one of the big problems with his heel run in 95-96 too. He's one of the best guys on the roster on working from underneath so he might not get that most of the other guys just can't make it compelling.

Harper vs Ziggler (Ladder):

MD: It felt like there was a decent amount of setting ladders up here but Harper's good with little touches, for instance, the haphazard way he just dropped the ladder on Ziggler after the big toss-him-in spot, or the way they drew out the power bomb on the ladder to make it mean more (and the pivotal reversal spot later on even more). I feel like most ladder matches are pretty even between workrate-y guys, so to have a monster vs an underdog in one felt sort of fresh. When you add in that the monster is also a machine who's willing to kill himself dead on a chair-blocked tope and it was a fun spectacle. Vince had to blow a gasket with all the lacerations, but it felt like a war. This was the sort of candy with substance that would have worked great on a PPV where it could stand out. It's unfortunate it was on TLC where it's so much harder not to make everything just blend in.


Usos vs Miz/Mizdow:

MD: This was the Mizdow show. I loved watching Aaron the Idol Stevens in Chaotic Wrestling in MA back in 2000 during my freshman year in college. He would do a toned down version of this where he was the junior comedy relief third man in the One Night Stand goomba jock frat freebirds team. There's not much of that online, just one promo with his Britney Spears cut out, but he'd sell on the outside to whatever was happening in the ring and it was the best part of a show where the second best part was generally a near-rookie Hurricane John Walters, which might tell you something about the show. I'm glad he's getting some spotlight for that now. I don't get the physics behind this though. During a backslide, Mizdow has to mimic it. During the pin that followed a minute later, he was able to break it up. What gives? The Tequila Sunrise is a perfectly fine Usos submission move, and obviously they have way more storyline stuff to do with Naomi so it makes sense for a BS finish here. Perfectly fine Sports Entertainment.

Rowan vs Big Show (Stairs):

MD: I like that the Stairs got a Tale of the Tape. Coming in I thought that Rowan was going to work his ass off because this is basically the biggest chance he's going to get. Show's really good at imaginative layout so the idea of doing a new match is the sort of thing that he'd probably put a lot of thought into. Ultimately, there was a lot of set up here and while they worked hard, the payoff didn't always live up to it. I think Rowan ended up looking at least as good as he came in but not necessarily better in the loss.

Cena vs Rollins (Table):

MD: Well, the good news about this is that they're giving Ambrose another main event, which is funny since Punk wasn't even getting them when he was champion. Cena was wearing Stardust's shoes. Noble makes a great Jerry Brisco since his kayfabe character could totally have an auto shop with Nidia as receptionist. They add so much to Rollins' act. Cena should do that uppercut more. This is going to be a weird compliment but on a PPV full of sameness, the best thing about this match is that it felt different, with less set up, the interference and WWE storytelling feel. Of course next year we're going to have to have a Guardrail Match. I thought, coming in, that the point of this was to have Cena foiled by interference repeatedly until Orton ran out to counteract it, but they went out of their way to make Rollins look like a threat with the briefcase and the great jumping over the table spot and the tope splash through the ropes, etc, so that was something. There's nothing worse than ref bumps in table and first blood matches though. The refs all conferring was sort of bullshit since at least one of them would have logically mentioned Rollins going through earlier. It was kind of worth it for the Michael Cole bump. Ah, the point was Reigns, not Orton. I guess it was kind of Cena to share his showcase this way. That all got pretty silly at the end though. It'd do Reigns a world of good if they keep letting him come in through the crowd.

Bella vs AJ:

MD: It does sort of bug me that they're not explaining Stockholm Syndrome Bella well. I hate to think what that says about me. I liked Nikka's spinebuster. The spine-on-the-post yank looked sick. The way AJ got up for Nikki's offense sort of made me disappointed that we didn't get Monster Steph vs AJ at SummerSlam instead, but only for a few seconds. This would have been better if Nikki stayed on the back more. It probably needed another minute or two after Brie got tossed. They manage to almost always work in a few good looking spots in these but the throughline is rarely there. Just imagine that Phil said something funny here.

Ryback vs Kane (Chairs):

MD: I needed more dueling chair fights. The top rope splash/chair counter transition was pretty goofy. We know Ryback IS that stupid, but come on. I have to admit that by this point, I'm pretty burnt out on weapon shots and hoss fighting. Considering the amount of WWE Main Event Bullshit we've gotten too, I'm a little worried about recharging for the main event, which was a match I was kind of looking forward to. Hopefully Swagger vs Rusev works for a recharge. Kane actually looks pretty good here. He's working hard and I doubt he'll get much credit for it. I wonder if it's just that he doesn't have a ton of physical charisma or what? Maybe he has the most when he's passive aggressively impatient with life and all the insanity he's encountering and the corporate character allows for that. This match is giving me too much time to think. You know, it has to be terrifying to be in a chairs match with Ryback. You know, I liked the finishing stretch. The projectile chair was a good moment when I thought the match was basically over. They had teased the chokeslam enough and that made he need for the Tombstone escalation worked within the match, and then they went right to the finish without anymore silliness. Still, I'm not itching to re-see that anytime soon.

Rusev vs Swagger:

MD: I thought I'd have the time of a feud recap to get the toddler laying down and switch over to my tablet to wait out her going to sleep. We were away for two days over the weekend though and the cat totally gnawed upon my headphone wire, killing them. Long story short, I only saw the last minute or so of this. I'm guessing this wasn't a repeat of their match with the killer Rusev selling.

Wyatt vs Ambrose (TLC):

MD: This I caught without sound. For an Attitude Era style around the arena match with lots of weapons and what have you, I thought this was about as good as you could get. Dean needs to keep his tongue in his mouth more. I did like his selling like the ring was lava though. The escalating ladder dives were aces and Ambrose pretty seamlessly worked the weapons into his offense like a good CZW  alum. I wish they had played up the eye injury on the kendo stick more but I guess that'd be too cutesy given the ending. I don't think Ambrose loses any heat for not winning this but if they were going to go this route, playing up the eye injury more and then finishing with a Wyatt fireball would have been a million times better. Even a japanese photographer using a trick flash would have been about sixteen times better. Ah well. All in all, I think this was a better show than most people were expecting coming in.

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