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CALDWELL'S WWE TLC PPV REPORT 12/18: Complete "virtual time" coverage of live PPV - TLC, Table, Ladder, Chair matches

Dec 18, 2011 - 9:49:52 PM
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WWE TLC PPV Results
December 18, 2011
Live from Baltimore, Md.
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor


WWE's final PPV of the year opened with a WWE version of "Twas The Night Before Christmas." John Cena, who is not on the card, was referenced in the opening. The focus then shifted to the wrestlers on the card.

Arena: Pyro shot off inside the arena as they showed the TLC stage complete with a row of tables, ladders, and chairs hanging from the set, like last year. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler introduced the show from ringside.

Suddenly, Vickie Guerrero's voice interrupted, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. She then gave a long introduction for U.S. champion Dolph Ziggler, who came out first for the opening match of the show. After an intro from the Spanish announcers ringside, Zack Ryder's music played to bring out the challenger.

1 -- U.S. champion DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. ZACK RYDER -- U.S. title match

Ziggler started with some early offense and "showed off" about his successes. Ryder then blocked a leap frog and catapulted Ziggler into the top turnbuckle. Ryder followed with a clothesline sending Ziggler to the outside, then scored with a flip dive. Fist pump and "Whoo Whoo Whoo" kept the crowd involved. Before the match could return to the ring, Ziggler caught Ryder with a neckbreaker across the ring apron to take control of the action. In the ring, Ziggler landed elbow drop after elbow drop to "show off" again. Meanwhile, Cole and Lawler bantered unintelligently about Ryder's social media movement.

Ryder came back with a dropkick, then multiple clotheslines. Ryder followed with the Broski Boot and connected. Ryder had a pin, but Vickie put Ziggler's foot on the bottom rope. The ref saw it, so he gave Vickie the boot from ringside, much to the crowd's delight. Back in the ring, Ryder rolled up Ziggler from behind, but Ziggler escaped. Ryder then walked into a top-rope neckbreaker and Ziggler tried a quick Zig-Zag, but Ryder avoided. Ziggler came back with a Fameasser, but Ryder kicked out in time.

The action reset with the crowd rallying behind Ryder, who blocked another Zig-Zag, but Ryder walked into a dropkick. Ziggler couldn't put Ryder away, then decided to go up top, but Ryder crotched him. Ryder then set up for and delivered a huracanrana. Cover, but Ziggler kicked out in time. Ryder tried to follow up with the Rough Ryder, but Ziggler blocked, then rolled up Ryder from behind, but Ryder kicked out again.

At 10:00, the crowd rallied behind Ryder again. Ryder delivered double knees to the gut, then dropped Ziggler with the Rough Ryder. Ziggler bumped like crazy for the finish and Ryder made the cover for the pin and the win. Post-match: They cut to a shot of Ryder's Dad and the Big O going nuts ringside. Cole was speechless as Ryder celebrated with the U.S. Title belt. They cut to a shot of Cole with a boo-boo face as Lawler tried to get him to enjoy the moment. Ryder then hit ringside to celebrate with Zack's Dad and the Big O. Ryder stood on the announce table and fist-pumped with the crowd before leaving ringside with the title. Another big reaction for Ryder on the way out before he dropped down on the stage and celebrated the title victory. After a replay of the finish, they went back to Ryder celebrating the win.

WINNER: Ryder at 10:23 to capture the U.S. Title. Excellent opening match. A nice, feel-good moment for Ryder, and the crowd was hot to support the decision to advance Ryder up the ladder. For Ziggler, it could lead to a split from Vickie for a standalone singles run. (**3/4)

Backstage: Booker T and Alicia Fox warmed up for Booker's match. Suddenly, Cody Rhodes jumped Booker mid-conversation. Cody got the best of Booker, who then collected himself and vowed to get Rhodes during their match.

2 -- WWE tag champions AIR BOOM (EVAN BOURNE & KOFI KINGSTON) vs. EPICO & PRIMO (w/Rosa Mendes)

Before the match, Cole and Lawler recapped Epico & Primo's solid week of victories to earn the title shot tonight. The heel challengers took control of the match after Bourne missed with a high-risk move. Rosa, who continues to get more camera time than Epico & Primo, taunted Bourne as the heels continued to wear him down. Cole, in-between Twitter plugs, predicted a title change, which gave away that the titles are not changing hands.

Bourne finally made a tag to Kofi, who went high-flying on the heels. Kofi delivered the Boom Drop on Primo, then wanted Trouble in Paradise, but Epico ran interference. The action broke down before Kofi caught Primo off the ropes with TIP. It was good for the pin and the win.

WINNERS: Air Boom at 7:32 to retain the Tag Titles. Basic tag match presented as filler after Ryder's match. (*1/2)

Announcers: Cole sold dejection after another loss for his "team." Cole and Lawler talked about Rhodes's attack on Booker earlier in the night.

Backstage: Josh Mathews, standing outside the Trainer Room, reported that Booker's match against Rhodes might be off after the attack.

Office: Teddy Long's music was playing and Santa Long was putting ornaments on the Christmas tree. Hornswoggle walked in and Long tried to talk down to him. Hornswoggle noted he's not a "little boy," as he has a beard. Long and Swoggle got down to business on Long bringing Swoggle to his office after Swoggle's failed attempt to talk jive on Raw. Long then handed Swoggle's present: a book on Ebonics. Swoggle said he liked the present, but then stomped on Long's foot.

In-ring: Lilian Garcia's voice was heard introducing Smackdown's first of three big matches, starting with the Orton-Barrett Tables match. Randy Orton was out first to a solid reaction. Wade Barrett was out next and he took his time walking past a row of tables positioned on the aisleway.

3 -- RANDY ORTON vs. WADE BARRETT

Orton tried to retrieve a table early on, but Barrett kicked the table into Orton's face. Orton turned the tables, then the match moved to the floor. Referee Jack Doane retrieved gloves from his pocket, so someone was apparently bleeding. The fight moved up the rampway to the stage area as the camera picked up on Barrett having a cut over his right eye. Orton then chased Barrett down the entrance ramp to the ringside area, but Barrett rammed Orton face-first into the ringpost. Barrett followed with a big boot that decked Orton. Barrett then wiped away the blood over his eye before sliding a table into the ring. Barrett also set up a table ringside, then wanted a big splash through the table, but Orton crawled off.

Barrett continued the assault ringside as Orton sold various injuries. Back in the ring, Barrett choked Orton in the ropes and landed multiple knee strikes. Barrett then booted Orton off the ropes, but Orton held his ground on the apron to avoid falling through the table ringside. For his next move, Barrett wanted a running powerslam through a table in the corner, but Orton slipped out and went on the attack. Orton delivered signature offense, including a spike DDT off the second rope. Orton then went to That Place to set up for the RKO, but Barrett countered with the Black Hole Slam.

Barrett resumed the attack by slamming a table onto Orton's chest. Barrett followed up by placing Orton stomach-first on a table. Barrett then went up top and went for a big elbow splash, but Orton popped to his feet and delivered the RKO through the table all in one fluid motion. That came out of nowhere for an emphatic victory for Orton. Lawler suggested Orton was playing opossum to lure Barrett into his trap. Again, Cole was saddened by his "teams" continuing to lose.

WINNER: Orton at 10:16. Another highlight-reel mid-air RKO for Orton. It gives Orton a "win" without Barrett losing much since he wasn't pinned and he dominated most of the match. Overall, solid brawl playing off their well-developed feud. (**)

Office: The Bella Twins were sitting on Teddy Santa's lap arguing over who should receive a present. Their argument led to Teddy handing over two cards with the number to his direct phone line. They slapped him and called that a waste of time. Teddy collected himself, then Jack Swagger interrupted to call Long the worst GM ever. Swagger asked Teddy what he's going to do about Mark Henry hitting him with a chair on Smackdown. Long said he's not doing anything about it. Swagger rattled off his resume before Sheamus jumped into the shot. Sheamus then told a story about his family back in Ireland. Essentially, Swagger will get his head shoved up his arse if they wrestle. Long told them this isn't the time or place. He then booked Swagger vs. Sheamus for tonight. Swagger stomped off, then Sheamus smiled and wished him Merry Christmas.

In-ring: Divas champion Beth Phoenix came out for an unadvertised Divas Title match. No Natalya tonight. They recapped Beth's run-in with Kelly Kelly during the Slammys Raw, then Kelly came out for her latest title challenge.

4 -- Divas champion BETH PHOENIX vs. KELLY KELLY -- Divas Title match

With the addition of three unadvertised matches on the card (Tag Title, Divas Title, and Swagger-Sheamus), this PPV is starting to feel like an episode of Raw. Kelly used her elusiveness to her advantage early on before Beth overpowered Kelly. She couldn't score a pin, though, allowing Kelly to make a comeback. They exchanged nearfalls before Beth countered a handstand into an emphatic overhead facebuster. It was good for the win.

WINNER: Phoenix at 5:17 to retain the Divas Title.

Backstage: Alberto Del Rio screamed at Ricardo Rodriguez for not having his food or car ready. He sent him away, then turned into The Miz. Stare down. Miz said their working relationship to weaken C.M. Punk ends during the title match. Del Rio cut him off and said there was no alliance in the first place because he was just using Miz. Miz said that's funny because Del Rio's title run was as uneventful as the Ravens's Super Bowl reign. Cheap heat reference that doesn't even make sense. Miz and Del Rio stared each other down, then exchanged insults in Spanish. Ricardo emerged with Del Rio's food, which Miz shoved in Ricardo's face. Del Rio then shoved down Ricardo.

Royal Rumble preview video: Santino "predicted the future" on the Rumble winner. It's being billed as the "most unpredictable WWE event of the year."

In-ring: Booker T came out for his match against Rhodes, but Rhodes jumped Booker again. Rhodes pounded away on Booker ringside before referees pulled Rhodes away from Booker. Agents came down to ringside to pull Rhodes away before medics checked on Booker, who was selling a neck/head injury. The medics pulled Booker away from ringside, needing to check on Booker before clearing him to wrestle.

Announcers: Cole said they're going to switch gears to another feud that has become personal between Triple H and Kevin Nash. Cole fed to a video package recapping the Hunter-Nash feud over the past few months.

In-ring: Back live, a camera focused on a sledgehammer hanging above the ring. Justin Roberts said once the sledgehammer is retrieved, it can be used to defeat the opponent. So, no falls are allowed until the hammer is retrieved. Out first was Kevin Nash to the NWO theme music. In the ring, Nash threw up the Wolfpack hand signal and smirked toward the crowd. Pause. Triple H's music played to bring out Hunter as Cole noted Hunter is still the COO, which they haven't focused on in weeks. In a line obviously fed to the announcers, Lawler said Hunter has never looked better when he's still showing a lot of weight around his midsection.

5 -- TRIPLE H vs. KEVIN NASH -- Sledgehammer ladder match

Once the bell sounded, Nash landed a knee to the gut. The two men traded blows, with Hunter sporting taped fists to make it look like a street fight. Hunter delivered a blow to the gut that knocked Nash to the outside. On the outside, Nash used a ladder to ram Hunter over the guardrail to the outside. Hunter quickly recovered and clotheslined Nash into the front row on the opposite side of the ringside area. Nash came back with an elbow smash, but Hunter reversed a whip and Nash ate the ringpost. Back-and-forth early on.

Hunter sustained an attack with multiple ladder strikes to the lower body, targeting Nash's left knee. Hunter followed with a figure-four inside the ladder, drawing Ric Flair "Whoos" from the crowd. Nash screamed in agony before Hunter dropped the hold. Moments later, Nash mustered an Irish Whip that sent Hunter flying into a ladder propped up in the corner, then over the top rope to the outside. Back in the ring, Nash dropped Hunter back-first across a ladder with a sidewalk slam. Hunter eventually rolled to the outside for a breather.

On the outside, Nash cleared the announce table, then wanted a Jackknife Powerbomb, but Hunter back-dropped Nash onto the table. In the ring, Hunter tried climbing a ladder for the hammer, but Nash recovered, re-entered the ring, and yanked him down. Nash followed with a chokeslam center ring before going to the outside again. This time, Nash retrieved a table. Nash slid the table into the ring as Cole name-dropped Shawn Michaels and what he must be thinking right now. Nash dropped a strap, then wanted a Powerbomb through the table, but Hunter shoved him away into a ladder. Hunter then shoved Nash to the outside and set up a ladder to retrieve the hammer. Nash recovered, though, and met Hunter on top of the ladder. Hunter grabbed the hammer and bashed it into Nash's head twice, causing Nash to fall off the ladder through the table. Hunter then retrieved the hammer and realized it was now his to use.

Hunter climbed down the ladder, waited for Nash to get up, and delivered multiple hammer strikes to the body. Hunter tossed aside the ladder, then stalked Nash for a decisive blow. Hunter tossed the hammer away, though, and tried the Pedigree, but Nash's legs collapsed. Hunter tried again and connected this time. Hunter wasn't done, though. The crowd wanted one more Pedigree, but Hunter said "no" before measuring Nash for a decisive hammer blow. Before that, Nash flashed the Kliq/Wolfpack signal. Hunter shook his head, then shot Nash a crotch chop before delivering a hammer shot. Hunter made the cover and it was good for the win.

Post-match: After replays of the high points from the match, they showed Nash being placed on a backboard by medics. Nash was then placed on a stretcher and wheeled away from ringside. Hunter screamed at the medics to take Nash away.

WINNER: Hunter at 18:13. Considering their physical limitations and age, this was a solid brawl to conclude the Hunter-Nash feud. A bit slow at times, but they effectively told the story of Hunter conquering Nash. (**1/4)

Backstage: Matt Striker brought in WWE champion C.M. Punk for a preview of the WWE Title match tonight. Punk downplayed Del Rio and Miz's attack on Raw, then evaluated Miz and Del Rio's heel mannerisms, cutting off any threat they might pose. Punk turned his attention to John Laurinaitis and cut a promo on Laurinaitis. Then, Laurinaitis walked in and said he mailed Punk his Slammy award. He told Punk to be more worried about his title match than his Slammy award. They traded insults before Punk told Laurinaitis that luck is for losers. Laurinaitis pulled out his phone to send off a text.

6 -- SHEAMUS vs. JACK SWAGGER (w/Vickie Guerrero)

Cole noted Swagger won his first WWE Title match at TLC two years ago when he sent John Cena through a table. Sheamus dominated early on as the announcers traded light barbs. Vickie then provided a distraction that allowed Sheamus to take control on the outside. Back in the ring, Swagger tried to taunt Sheamus, which only angered Sheamus. Sheamus blasted away with big forearm blows and strikes, but took his eye off Swagger, who knocked Sheamus off the apron to the outside.

Back in the ring, Sheamus recovered and went up top for a flying shoulder tackle that connected. Sheamus made a cover, but Swagger kicked out, which excited Vickie. Sheamus then called for the end, but Swagger ducked a Brogue Kick and clipped Sheamus's left knee. Swagger began focusing on Sheamus's leg, but missed with a corner Swaggerbomb. Swagger then missed with another clip attempt, leading to a Brogue Kick. It was good for the win.

WINNER: Sheamus at 5:57. Another solid win for Sheamus. WWE at least seems to have some interest in re-focusing on Swagger since he lasted more than five minutes and was given a lot of offense in a match similar to Swagger vs. Big Show on Smackdown. (*1/4)

Backstage: Mathews brought in Big Show to discuss his World Title challenge against Mark Henry tonight. Show, in an Army singlet, smiled and said he feels like he has Henry beat tonight. Show said he has a feeling that Henry's reign is going to end in a giant way tonight.

In-ring: Big Show came out first for the World Title match as multiple chairs were shown assembled ringside. Cole said Show is looking for his first World Title in nine years. That's accurate since Show's last major title reign ended in December 2002. World champ Mark Henry came out next and kicked a chair out of his way on the way to the ring since it was in his way. Henry slowly made his way into the ring, then Lilian Garcia handled formal ring introductions.

7 -- World Hvt. champion MARK HENRY vs. BIG SHOW -- World Hvt. Title match

The bell sounded and Show immediately slipped to the outside to slowly walk around the ring throwing chairs into the ring. Henry swatted a few chairs away, then Show re-entered the ring to start fighting. Henry had other ideas and slipped out of the ring, telling Show he's out of his mind. Henry retrieved his title belt and said this isn't happening. Henry started to leave, but Show caught up with him on the outside. Show ducked a belt shot, then bashed a chair over Henry's back three or four times. Henry absorbed the blows, though, and delivered a chair shot to the back. Henry then smashed Show's injured hand into the ring steps before jabbing him in the gut with a chair.

Back in the ring, the two men crashed chairs together a la a swordfight. Show sold the effects, though, with his hand injury. Henry followed with a chair shot to the back before talking trash. Henry went for a big chair shot, but Show side-stepped it and delivered the KO Punch. Show sold a hand injury and couldn't make an immediate cover. He then rolled Henry over and scored a pinfall to capture the World Title. The crowd didn't immediately react since the sequence seemed to come out of nowhere.

WINNER: Show at 5:31 to capture the World Title. That was an abrupt and surprising end to Henry's title reign, even after Show's pre-match promo vowing victory. The post-match angle/match took precedent, though.

Post-match: Henry clipped Show from behind with a chair, then DDT'ed Big Show into a chair. Henry pounded the mat in frustration as a few fans in the arena chanted for Daniel Bryan. Suddenly, Bryan's music played and Bryan stormed the ring with referee Scott Armstrong.

8 -- World Hvt. champion BIG SHOW vs. DANIEL BRYAN -- World Hvt. Title match

Bryan rolled over Big Show and scored a three count to capture the World Title. Bryan accepted the title and began celebrating as Show sat up on one knee selling that he was stunned. Bryan celebrated, then flashed the title belt in Cole's face. Cole sat stunned as Bryan celebrated with the crowd. The camera focused on Show again as he flashed a wink and a smile toward no one in particular. Bryan then stopped to look at the title belt in his possession after locking eyes with Show. They replayed Bryan's cash-in as Cole noted Show was supportive of Bryan's career for the past few months. Back live, they showed Bryan continuing to celebrate the win as Show disappeared to the back. On the stage, Bryan held up his title belt for the crowd to see.

WINNER: Bryan at 0:07 to capture the World Title. Well, that certainly shakes things up. A lot to digest here with Show, Henry, Orton, and Sheamus in the title picture. I doubt Bryan's title reign will last long, but it eliminates Bryan's World Title cash-in situation at WrestleMania and opens up the Royal Rumble winner to receive a title shot at WM28. It seemed like this was more of a maintenance move before the Rumble next month.

Video: A plug for WWE Network aired.

Backstage: Josh Mathews brought in Booker T, who said he's still planning to compete against Cody Rhodes tonight. Mathews tried to play coach, telling Booker he doesn't have anything to prove and he'll be in the Hall of Fame one day. Booker cut him off and said he's going to finish his business with Rhodes tonight.

In-ring: This time, Cody Rhodes's music played first to bring out the IC champion. Cody had a big smile on his face after taking out Booker earlier in the show. The announcers played it up like Booker hasn't had a "real match" in two years, but he had that throwaway singles match on Raw against Jack Swagger a few months ago. Booker then came out with a determined look on his face as Cole broke down Booker's resume.

9 -- IC champion CODY RHODES vs. BOOKER T -- Intercontinental Title match

Booker teed off on Rhodes to begin the match, taking out his anger on the champ. Booker followed with a side kick and scored a close nearfall. Cole said nothing would shock him tonight at this point. Booker then dumped Rhodes to the outside and taunted Booker in-between strikes. Back in the ring, Rhodes attacked Booker's left leg before the two men collided mid-ring. After a pause, they reset with an exchange of right hand bombs. Booker got the best of the exchange before delivering a Harlem Heat spinebuster. Rhodes rolled to the apron, then Booker made eye contact with the crowd and did a Spin-a-rooni. It took a lot out of Booker, though, and he came to his feet selling dizziness. Booker tried a variety of trademark kicks that Rhodes ducked, then Cody hit his step-up enziguiri for a believable nearfall. Cody followed with another kick to the head, and it was good for the win.

WINNER: Rhodes at 7:18 to retain the IC Title. Good heel win for Rhodes after the multiple pre-match attacks and Booker looked good in the ring. Booker said before the PPV this was probably his last match, but they could get another match out of this feud.

Video plug: Stone Cold DVD.

Announcers: Cole and Lawler recapped a wild night, starting with Zack Ryder capturing the U.S. Title. The announcers then recapped Big Show's World Title win that lasted only a few minutes before Daniel Bryan cashed in MITB to become new World champ. Back live, Cole dogged Bryan and Lawler told Cole he's going to have to call him World champion. Cole said he'll probably have one of the shortest reigns in WWE history.

In-ring: Cole and Lawler transitioned to the WWE Title match main event. Justin Roberts announced that the first person to grab the WWE Title belt hanging above the ring will be the champion. So, it's traditional TLC rules, unlike the rules the announcers botched on Raw. Ricardo Rodriguez, covered in food sauce, introduced Del Rio, who was missing his vehicle. Cole noted Del Rio started the year winning the Royal Rumble, leading to a plug for the 2012 Rumble in St. Louis next month. The Miz came out next and stared down Del Rio. Pause. "C-M-Punk" chant. Cult of Personality then played to bring out the champion.

10 -- WWE champion C.M. PUNK vs. THE MIZ vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO -- three-way WWE Title match -- TLC match

Punk led a loud "C-M-Punk" chant before the bell officially sounded. The heels then double-teamed Punk and continued an early assault. The announcers continued to botch the rules, like on Raw, until Cole corrected Lawler. Del Rio and Miz then went to the outside to retrieve weapons and they began arguing with each other. Punk used the argument to deliver a suicide dive to Del Rio, who sold a wrist injury after the move.

Back in the ring, Miz and Punk battled. Miz got the best of the exchange and Punk's back bent a chair in half. On the floor, Del Rio back-dropped Miz onto a ladder, then Punk delivered a kick that sent the ladder into Del Rio's face. Punk picked up a chair for his next attack and bashed Miz across the back multiple times. Punk followed with a running knee that sent Miz over the guardrail into the front row.

Back in the ring, Punk tried to climb a ladder to retrieve the WWE Title belt, but Ricardo stormed the ring and managed to handcuff Punk to the ladder. Del Rio capitalized with an attack on Punk as the announcers sold jeopardy for Punk. Del Rio tried to climb the ladder, but Punk kicked the ladder and broke free of the ladder. He still had the handcuff around his wrist, though. Punk then cleared Del Rio to the outside, but took ladder blows from a re-emerging Miz. Miz then scampered up the ladder and got his hand on the title belt, but Punk cut him off. Punk and Miz then set up a top-rope spot, but Del Rio came out of nowhere for an enziguiri that sent Punk off the top through a table on the floor below. The crowd ooh'ed and aah'ed as Punk landed with a thud on the ground.

At 10:00, Del Rio turned his attention to Miz and forced him to tap out with a cross arm-breaker inside a ladder. Miz cried out in pain, then Del Rio released the hold and retrieved chairs. Del Rio used the chairs to bash Punk as Punk remained on the table scraps. Del Rio followed with a cross arm-breaker that caused Punk to scream in pain. Del Rio, satisfied, slowly re-entered the ring to climb the ladder. Del Rio took forever and Lawler said Del Rio was pulling this off, which meant, of course, he wasn't. Miz and Punk then re-entered the ring and tipped Del Rio off the ladder into a crotch-first fall onto the top rope. On the floor, Del Rio sold massive pain.

Back in the ring, Miz and Punk traded bombs before they collided mid-ring. So, everyone was down. Well, except for Ricardo, who climbed the ladder. Punk and Miz then slowly tipped over the ladder and Ricardo took a scary-looking fall off the ladder through a table on the floor. After Ricardo's hard fall through the table, refs immediately checked on Ricardo to ensure he was just selling the fall.

After a pause, Miz managed to handcuff Punk to the corner turnbuckle. Miz taunted Punk instead of trying to grab the title, so Punk used his educated feet to deliver a swift kick to the head that floored Miz like a tree tipping over in the woods. Punk couldn't move, though, as Del Rio re-entered the ring. The crowd tried to rally behind Punk, who watched as Miz and Del Rio started climbing ladders.

Punk then loosened the middle turnbuckle to escape and all three men found themselves on top of ladders for a final sequence. They traded blows before Punk kicked both heels off the ladders. Miz yanked Punk down, though, only to take a GTS from Punk. Miz was cleared to the floor, leaving Punk and Del Rio in the ring. Punk quickly climbed the ladder and grabbed the title belt before Del Rio could put up a fight. Punk retains the WWE Title. Cole said it's only fitting the Superstar of the Year retains the WWE Title. They went to wide shots of the arena to capture massive chaos and bodies everywhere as Punk stood alone on the ladder. They replayed high points from the match before going back to a final shot of Punk. Cole noted Ryder is the new U.S. champion, Bryan is the new World Hvt. champion, and Punk is still WWE champion. Punk kissed the title belt as they signed off 11 minutes before the top of the hour.

WINNER: Punk at 18:25 to retain the WWE Title. A predictable, yet satisfying conclusion to the PPV. It's difficult to make the TLC PPV main event seem fresh or new after matches full of weapons, but they pulled it off. Fortunately, WWE toned down the dangerous spots in this match compared to past editions, but Ricardo's fall was too close for comfort. (***1/2)

OVERALL THOUGHTS: A good way to close the PPV year for WWE. Potentially replay-worthy, even removing the surprise of Bryan's MITB cash-in removed. There was enough good wrestling, and, if you're into weapons and gimmick matches, this might be worth an order if you have the funds.

***

Follow along with PWTorch columnists Greg Parks (@GregMParks) and Sean Radican (@SeanRadican) with live PPV tweets tonight.

Join PWTorch assistant editor James Caldwell & Greg Parks for a post-TLC PWTorch Livecast at 11:30 p.m. EST on BlogTalkRadio.com taking your phone calls on the event.

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "WWE PPV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on the PPV, click here or email us at pwtorch@gmail.com.


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MILLIONS OF PWTORCH NEWSLETTERS SOLD
PWTORCH STAFF

EDITORS:
Wade Keller, editor
(kellerwade@gmail.com)

James Caldwell, assistant editor
(pwtorch@gmail.com)

STAFF COLUMNISTS:
Bruce Mitchell (since 1990)
Pat McNeill (since 2001)
Greg Parks (since 2007)
Sean Radican (since 2003)

We also have a great team of
TV Reporters
and Specialists and Artists.

PWTORCH VIP MEMBERSHIP

PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.

Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.

The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...

-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars.


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