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CALDWELL'S WWE TLC PPV RESULTS 12/16: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of final 2012 PPV - Cena vs. Ziggler main event, Shield makes a statement

Dec 16, 2012 - 10:50:42 PM


December 16, 2012
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor


PPV Pre-Show

The half-hour pre-show airing on YouTube opened with Scott Stanford introducing the show along with Matt Striker. Stanford noted it's the first WWE show at the Barclays Center, then confirmed that the winner of the pre-show Divas battle royal will face Eve for the Divas Title on the actual PPV.

The announcers focused on the Big Show vs. Sheamus World Title feud, then sent it to the locker room, where Sheamus was angry about Show taking out William Regal on Friday's Smackdown. Smackdown GM Booker T walked in to clam down Sheamus, then told him to take out his anger on Big Show in the chairs match tonight. Booker handed him a chair to make feel better about things.

Video package: Ryback's path of destruction met The Shield's brand of injustice. Shield claims to not work for anyone, only themselves to take out people put on pedestals, like Ryback. The video transitioned to focus on the giant brawl that closed Monday's Raw involving Shield, Ryback, Cena, Bryan & Kane, Ziggler, and Show.

Backstage: Michael Cole and Josh Mathews were shown on-camera to promote the Slammys edition of Raw tomorrow night. Cole and Mathews then ran down some pre-show award winners: Brodus Clay as Dancer of the Year, Charlie Sheen as Social Media Ambassador of the Year, Jerry Lawler's return from heart attack as Exclusive of the Year, "Feed Me More!" as Crowd Chant of the Year, Daniel Bryan defending the World Title against Show and Mark Henry at the Royal Rumble as Upset of the Year, and A.J. Lee as Diva of the Year. Cole said the full awards will be announced tomorrow on Raw.

1 -- SANTA'S LITTLE HELPER DIVAS BATTLE ROYAL -- #1 contender's match for the Divas Title

Divas champion Eve, who was shocked that A.J. won Diva of the Year, was on commentary for the match. The Final Four was Tamina, Kaitlyn, Natalya, and Naomi. Kaitlyn eliminated Natalya, then eliminated Tamina. So, it's Kaitlyn vs. Naomi in an NXT Season 3 flashback. As Kaitlyn rested on the ring apron, Eve attacked her from behind. Naomi then eliminated Kaitlyn for the win.

WINNER: Naomi at 5:25 to earn a Divas Title shot against Eve at the PPV.

Backstage: Cole and Mathews plugged the Slammy Awards show tomorrow on Raw. Then, they announced some more pre-show awards: John Cena trash-talking Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero for Insult of the Year, Daniel Bryan with Tweet of the Year, Zack Ryder's show as YouTube Show of the Year, Daniel Bryan for Facial Hair of the Year, Sheamus giving Show the White Noise as Feat of Strength of the Year, and, finally, Big Show turning on Cena and WWE fans as Betrayal of the Year.

Announcers: Stanford and Striker broke down the TLC PPV line-up one more time, then introduced a long-form video on Cena vs. Ziggler to wrap up the pre-show. It sure feels like Cena vs. Ziggler will be the main event.

Live PPV Results

Before the PPV officially started, Lilian Garcia was shown in the ring. Lilian said they will toll the bell 26 times to recognize the victims of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. on Friday.

After the bell tolled, Lilian thanked the crowd, then WWE rolled an official PPV intro video package highlighting tables, ladders, and chairs used as destruction. The video also focused on Show delivering over 30 chair shots to Show at Survivor Series last month, then the Cena/A.J.-Ziggler/Vickie business, and Ryback being targeted by The Shield. Will "the sword" The Shield speaks of be Brock Lesnar?

Live inside the Barclays Center, full pyro shot off before WWE went to crowd shots. Cole claimed 15,748 fans in attendance for the final PPV of the year. In the ring, Justin Roberts introduced a tables match to begin the show. The winning team becomes #1 contenders to the Tag Titles.

In-ring: Rey Mysterio's music played first to bring out Rey dressed in Lakers colors. As Rey made his entrance, Cole introduced JBL and Jerry Lawler as his co-hosts tonight. Sin Cara then made his entrance to join Rey in the ring. Damien Sandow's music then played to bring out Sandow and Cody Rhodes, who was still sporting his '80s mustache. On-stage, Sandow paused to cut a promo on Brooklyn. Rhodes echoed Sandow, who then said they are all trying to be cool, but failing miserably, like Cara & Rey. "You're welcome," Sandow concluded.

1 -- REY MYSTERIO & SIN CARA vs. DAMIEN SANDOW & CODY RHODES -- #1 contender Tables match to the Tag Titles

"Cody's Mustache," chant before the bell sounded. All four men were in the ring to start the match. Rey and Cara then knocked Rhodes Scholars to the outside and retrieved a table from under the ring. ReyCara set up the table in the ring, but Rhodes prevented Sandow from eating the table. Cara then escaped a double-suplex through the table.

The match then moved to the outside, where Rhodes Scholars crunched Sin Cara inside the ring steps. Rhodes Scholars then set up two tables on the floor. Sandow placed Rey on one table, then Rhodes placed Cara on the other table. Sandow wanted to set up a deal where he launched Cody over the top rope through the tables, but Rey popped up and yanked down Sandow in-time.

The face duo made their comeback in the ring, then Cara knocked Sandow to the outside before delivering a corkscrew splash. Back in the ring, Rey kicked Rhodes before setting him up for and connecting with 619. Rhodes fell backward onto the original table, then Rey climbed to the top rope. But, Sandow yanked down Rey as he prepared to Drop the Dime for the win. Sandow smashed Rey to the outside, then Cara re-entered the ring and knocked Rhodes to the outside.

Cara wanted a springboard splash onto Sandow, but Rhodes came out of nowhere to shove Cara off the ring apron and through the double-stack of tables below on the floor. Cara crashed through, giving Rhodes Scholars the win. WWE replayed the finish several times, then showed Rhodes Scholars celebrating in the ring and Cara selling an ankle injury on the outside.

WINNERS: Rhodes Scholars at 9:29 to become #1 contenders. Step Two complete in the return to a Team Hell No vs. Rhodes Scholars feud over the Tag Titles. Overall, a pretty decent opener with some thrills and spills to start the show. (**1/4)

Earlier today: The Shield recorded another handheld video. Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns introduced themselves, then Ambrose called out Ryback as being reckless and dangerous. Ambrose vowed to give Ryback a taste of his own evidence, then Rollins said they will finish Ryback. Ambrose continued on to Kane and Daniel Bryan. He said they fight together and win together, unlike Bryan and Kane. Reigns noted on top of all that, they just don't like Bryan and Kane.

In-ring: Antonio Cesaro was introduced first for a U.S. Title defense. R-Truth was out next to challenge Cesaro on the second consecutive PPV.

2 -- U.S. champion ANTONIO CESARO vs. R-TRUTH -- United States Title match

Some good action early on as the announcers bantered back and forth about man-purses vs. satchels, money, Switzerland, training, and patriotism. Cesaro then slowed down the pace and applied a modified chicken-wing as he grounded Truth. Truth then started to Truth Up as Cesaro slammed him head-first into each of the four turnbuckles. Truth followed with the Lie Detector, then nailed an Axe Kick. Truth covered Cesaro, but Cesaro kicked out in-time.

Truth tried to follow with a suplex, but Cesaro escaped, then shoved Truth near the ref in the corner. In the confusion, Cesaro nailed an uppercut to the back, then nailed the Neutralizer for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Truth at 6:40. Better than last month's offering. It feels like WWE is buying time until Derrick Bateman is ready to return as Mr. USA to challenge Cesaro. (**)

Post-match, Matt Striker entered the ring to interview Cesaro about his win. Cesaro said that unlike America, he is a true international super-power and the greatest U.S. champion in history. Cesaro then said that the fans booing means they are actually booing their own country. Cesaro said it reflects Americans having no respect for themselves or their fellow citizens. Cesaro shouted toward the crowd as Cole said he doesn't buy that logic.

Video: WWE Week plug on USA Network starting Monday on Raw.

Announcers: Cole, JBL, and Lawler talked Tribute to the Troops, then fed to a video package previewing the Troops special airing this Wednesday on USA Network before re-airing in six days on NBC.

Backstage: Josh Mathews brought in Dolph Ziggler, whose name got a positive reaction live in the arena. Mathews asked Ziggler about putting his MITB briefcase on the line against John Cena tonight. Ziggler accused Cena and Mr. McMahon of thievery, then noted he doesn't win anything if he wins the match since he already owns the briefcase. Ziggler said he would like to see an added stipulation that if Ziggler loses, then Cena's career is over. Ziggler called himself the biggest star of 2013 and beyond, then said he's actually glad they have this match tonight. "Mark my words. Tonight, everything changes," Ziggler concluded.

Miz TV Segment

In-ring: The Miz was introduced for a talking segment. Miz, dressed in a suit, entered the ring for a Miz TV segment. In the ring, Miz felt out the crowd before introducing his talk show. Miz said his show is all about unpredictability, then hyped a trainwreck moment. He said that leads him to his guests, 3MB. Out came Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, and Drew McIntyre doing a synchronized ring entrance.

Once in the ring, 3MB kicked around the set before doing air-guitar dances. "What are you guys, five?" Miz asked before thanking them for ruining his suit. Before Miz could ask a question, Slater asked where he gets off calling them a trainwreck. Mahal added that 3MB is more than a band, but a movement. McIntyre said 3MB is much bigger, badder, and better than "that idiot," Jay-Z. Slater added that the Rolling Stones wishes they could rock out with 3MB. Slater said that tomorrow night on Slammys Raw, the band will perform live. "Uh-oh," Lawler said. Miz offered more sarcasm in response, then noted they have set the official bathroom break segment for Raw.

Mahal then randomly called out the Spanish announce table, which brought 3MB out of the ring to question whether the Spanish team is making fun of them. Slater told them that in this country, they speak "American." Suddenly, Ricardo Rodriguez showed up to defend the Spanish announcers. 3MB roughed him up, then Alberto Del Rio suddenly hit the ringside area to attack 3MB. Del Rio got the upperhand, but the numbers game caught up to Del Rio, who is apparently turning face. Suddenly, Miz helped out Del Rio. Del Rio then kicked McIntyre out of the ring. Alone in the ring were Del Rio, Miz, and Ricardo.

Ringside, Slater took the mic and said this is not how this is going to play out. Slater then told Miz and Del Rio to find a partner tonight to face them in a tag match. In the ring, Del Rio and Miz looked at each other to discuss this. Miz said the match won't be a problem, then Miz paused for a chant that sounded like, "We Want Fire." Miz then accepted the challenge and said they will reveal their partner tonight. What a crazy time when Miz and Del Rio have been positioned as faces.

Video package: The Rock is coming to the Royal Rumble.

Locker Room: Daniel Bryan walked up to Kane and said he has a problem with Ryback because he repeats himself over and over with "Feed Me More!" chants. Kane told Bryan he's crazy, then said if Ryback is hungry, they will feed him Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns, then burn The Shield down. "Yes!" Bryan repeated over and over.

Backstage: Matt Striker brought in Wade Barrett for an interview about challenging for the IC Title. Striker asked him how confident he is, and Barrett replied that he is supremely confident. Barrett said Kofi thinks the "wildcat" has been unleashed inside him, but he will be muted by the Barrett Barrage.

3 -- IC champion KOFI KINGSTON vs. WADE BARRETT -- Intercontinental Title match

Barrett clotheslined Kofi over the top rope to the outside early on, then lost control of the match on the floor. Kofi followed with a big suicide dive. But, back in the ring, Barrett kicked Kofi in the gut to resume control. Barrett came off the second rope with a big elbow smash, but Kofi escaped a pin attempt. Kofi then mounted comeback and nailed the Boom Drop. He wanted Trouble in Paradise, but Barrett easily ducked. Kofi came back with SOS, but Barrett kicked out of a pin attempt.

At 6:00, Kofi mounted Barrett in the corner for ten punches. Barrett then escaped the corner and nailed Winds of Change for a two count. Barrett followed with a second Winds of Change move, but Kofi kicked out again. Barrett called for the end by drawing attention to his elbow, then measured Kofi for the Bullhammer, but Kofi used Wade's momentum against him to spin into Trouble in Paradise. Kofi covered Barrett for the win.

WINNER: Kofi at 8:13 to retain the IC Title. Good PPV singles match. It won't mean anything if WWE doesn't follow up after the fact, but a good standalone match. (**1/2)

In-ring: Justin Roberts was shown in the ring to introduce WWE champion C.M. Punk, who was shown sitting in his personal skybox with Paul Heyman. Punk, with his hair growing out, said everyone wants a status report on his knee. Heyman said, "Fuhgetaboutit." Punk knocked Brooklyn for the 105th time on this show, then told the people to move away from the slums of Staten Island if they don't want to be called animals. Punk then said all of the people and Ryback have this in common: they are not champions and are dumb. Punk said Ryback is lucky because Ryback injured him and made him miss a title defense tonight. Punk called himself the most dangerous man in WWE and said he would have destroyed Ryback tonight with a table, ladder, or chair in his hand.

Punk continued that he will enjoy watching The Shield - who he is a fan of, but not affiliated with - dismantling Ryback. He said the scary thing about being the longest-reigning WWE champion in the last 25 years is that he is just getting started. Back on commentary, Lawler said he doesn't believe Punk about his Shield theory. JBL shot back that Lawler needs to drop his conspiracy theories.

In-ring: Justin Roberts announced a six-man TLC match with no count-outs, no DQs, and the only way to win being pinfall or submission. Kane's pyro shot off to bring out one-half of the tag champs, then Daniel Bryan came out second. Ryback was introduced third to a tepid reaction. Very interesting lack of a crowd reaction for WWE's future top star. The Shield then received an official theme music introduction. But, instead of coming out normally, Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns emerged through the crowd and hopped over the guardrail. The face trio met Shield on the floor and the bell sounded to begin the match.

4 -- THE SHIELD (DEAN AMBROSE & SETH ROLLINS & ROMAN REIGNS) vs. RYBACK & WWE tag champions DANIEL BRYAN & KANE -- six-man TLC match -- pinfall or submission only

A few "Feed Me More!" chants picked up once the bell sounded. Ryback then found himself alone in the ring with Ambrose, and the "Goldberg" chants returned after Ryback seemed to escape those several weeks ago. Shield then triple-teamed Ryback in the ring before Ambrose dropkicked Ryback to the outside. Shield then resumed their attack on Daniel Bryan, running a ladder into his face. But, Ryback re-entered the ring and kicked the ladder into their faces. Reigns attacked Ryback from behind, though, until Kane made the save. Bryan then re-entered the ring and delivered big "Yes!" kicks to Reign's mid-section. Bryan and Kane then double-teamed Reigns as the crowd engaged in their double-team offense. The crowd followed with a "We Want Tables" chant.

The action reset at 5:00 with Kane wielding a chair and smashing Rollins with it. But, Ambrose caught Kane from behind with a DDT into a chair. Ryback, trying to win over this crowd, followed with power offense to Shield members. But, the numbers caught up to Ryback, who accepted a ladder shot to the gut. The crowd again chanted for tables as Shield picked apart Ryback. But, Ryback came back with offense to Rollins and Ambrose before stacking them up in the corner for a big splash into a ladder. Ryback followed with a big double suplex into the ladder that wowed the crowd.

At 7:30, Ryback wanted to finish things with a double Shell-Shock, but Reigns re-entered and attacked Ryback. Reigns and Ambrose then began stomping away on Ryback. Suddenly, Reigns exited the ring and declared ownership of the Spanish announce table before sending the announcers scurrying. Rough night for them. Shield wanted another triple-powerbomb through the Spanish table, and they delivered it again. Shield admired their work, then found a Daniel Bryan missile coming at them. Loud "Yes!" chants followed, but Shield quieted the crowd by blasting Bryan.

Back in the ring, Bryan tried to build momentum, but Shield cut off Bryan to kill the face trio's momentum once again. Rollins then popped Bryan across the back with a chair. Yes, it's Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins sharing a ring together on WWE PPV. Shield then re-arranged the furniture in the ring to inflict punishment to Bryan. Meanwhile, Reigns walked around outside to make sure everything was under control. Ambrose & Reigns (A&R) then ran Bryan face-first into the edge of a table propped on the top turnbuckle. Next, A&R climbed onto the table and used it as a platform to execute a double super-superplex down to the middle of the ring. Ambrose covered, but Kane broke up the pin.

At 12:30, A&R double-teamed Kane, continuing to sell the idea of Shield using their excellent teamwork to cut off any momentum from the faces. A&R then placed Kane on the table set up as a platform to try to execute the double super-superplex again, but Kane fought them off. Kane then stood on top of the table platform and jumped down at Ambrose with a clothesline that wowed the crowd. Kane followed with a sidewalk slam to Reigns for a nearfall. Kane then scooped up Ambrose and chokeslammed him practically through the seat of a chair, but Reigns broke up a pin attempt.

At 15:00, the fight spilled to the outside, where Reigns speared Kane through the gimmicked barricade into the lap of the timekeeper. Meanwhile, Ryback continued to sell the effects of the Spanish table powerbomb. Shield then buried Kane under a pile of chairs, but Bryan suddenly yanked Ambrose down into the No! Lock in the ring. As the crowd popped for a potential Bryan victory, R&R broke it up scrambling back into the ring, then Bryan tried No! Locks on the other members, but they continued to break up the submission.

At 17:00, Rollins dropped Bryan with a boot to the head that sent Bryan face-first into the seat of a chair. Ambrose tried to pin Bryan, but Ryback woke up and yanked him out of the ring. Some boos were heard before Ryback silenced them with over-powering offense to Shield members. Ryback followed by press-slamming Rollins over the top rope onto Ambrose down below. Reigns was left alone in the ring. Ryback scooped him up for a move, but Ambrose made the save. But, Ryback exploded on Ambrose with a giant spear. "Goldberg" chants followed. Ryback then did the shoulder-shrugs to get a "Feed Me More!" chant going that led to the meat-hook clothesline on Ambrose. Ryback then wanted Shell-Shock on Ambrose and connected. JBL said it's over, but Reigns and Rollins broke it up to keep the match going. "Absolutely incredible," Cole declared.

At 19:00, the action spilled to the outside, then up the stage to the TLC prop area. Shield blasted Ryback with any weapons they could find as JBL noted that justice is not done yet. Shield then noticed a super-huge, Jeff Hardy-special ladder looming in the background. Rollins began climbing after Ryback was placed on a table below, but Ryback got up after Reigns and Ambrose walked off. Ryback then chased Rollins up the super-huge ladder and knocked him off the ladder through a table below. Very dangerous spot. Rollins clutched the back of his head as he sold on the floor.

Back in the ring, Reigns and Rollins placed Bryan on the top turnbuckle. Then, R&R took Bryan through a table with a double-powerbomb that popped the crowd. Reigns covered Bryan and it was good for the win. Post-match, Ryback entered the ring to check on Bryan before WWE cameras showed the carnage ringside. Ambrose and Reigns then jogged over to the stage to check on Rollins after his ladder fall. Ambrose and Reigns then scooped up Rollins and held him upright to celebrate. "That's what happens!" Ambrose screamed in his dry voice. WWE then focused on Ryback still standing after the match.

WINNER: Shield at 22:44. Wow. Let's note the criticism - a few too many dangerous spots, especially Rollins having to "pay his dues" taking that huge fall off the ladder through a table on the stage. Otherwise, amazing energy in the building for Shield's star-making performance in this match with a great story told of Shield being a united front constantly cutting off the face trio's offense. The crowd not getting behind Ryback was also a big story, but the performances from Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns was stand-up-take-notice. (****)

In-ring: Divas champion Eve was introduced first for the come-down Divas Title match. Naomi then came out to face Eve after winning the pre-show Battle Royal.

5 -- Divas champion EVE TORRES vs. NAOMI -- Divas Title match

Early on, they cut backstage to show Brodus Clay and Cameron cheering on Naomi while watching a monitor. After some back and forth, Eve finished off Naomi with her neckbreaker finisher for the win. Eve then brought in her official cameraman to snap photos of her posing after another disingenuously good, clean, professional victory.

WINNER: Eve at 2:58 to retain the Divas Title.

Backstage: Matt Striker brought in Big Show to discuss Sheamus's chances of regaining the World Title tonight. Show instead said Sheamus's best chances tonight were hitting him on Smackdown to void tonight's match. But, now, Sheamus has put a chair in his hands to do even more damage than a closed fist can do. Show said Sheamus's Irish eyes will not be smiling, but closed shut.

In-ring: Lilian Garcia said the use of chairs in the World Title match up next is legal. Sheamus was introduced first, then WWE replayed the end of the World Title match at Survivor Series when Show got himself DQ'ed, setting up an onslaught of chair blows from Sheamus. Back live, Show's music played to bring out the World champion with the title belt slung over his shoulder. After Show entered the ring, Lilian Garcia handled formal ring intros. No boos for Sheamus, but only light cheers. Show received light boos. They're going to have to wake up a crowd that feels exhausted from the TLC match.

6 -- World Hvt. champion BIG SHOW vs. SHEAMUS -- World Title match

Of note, Scott Armstrong is the ref. Armstrong ref'ed the Show-Sheamus title match last month at Survivor Series. Early on, Sheamus spilled to the outside and tried to retrieve a chair while he was outside the ring, but Show knocked the chair away from Sheamus. Show then left the ring to take a walk, Sheamus tried to chase him down with chair in-hand, and Show back-kicked the chair into Sheamus's mouth. Sheamus checked for his teeth, then Show slapped Sheamus across the chest. And again.

Back in the ring, Show ran over Sheamus with a big clothesline. The fight spilled to the outside again, though, and Sheamus retrieved another chair. Show ran away, but then walked into a chair jab to the gut. Sheamus followed with two chair shots to the back into a scoopslam for a close two count. Sheamus then hopped to the top turnbuckle and shoved a chair into Show's body to knock Show to the mat. Sheamus tried to follow with another top-rope, chair-aided move, but Show came to his feet and speared Sheamus (and the chair) in mid-air.

Sheamus rolled to the outside to recover, and Show followed him to the outside with chair in-hand. Show smashed Sheamus across the back once, then twice as some vocal males chanted, "Ole, Ole, Ole!" Back in the ring, Show delivered more chair shots to the back. "You suck," Show told Sheamus before big-body-splashing him in the corner. Show was slow to follow up, though, allowing Sheamus to knock him down to buy some time to recover. The two men traded blows from their knees, then worked their way to their feet to trade more blows. Sheamus followed with a knee-lift, then another, but walked into a chokeslam. Show quickly covered, but Sheamus kicked out.

For his next trick, Show went under the ring to retrieve a bunch of chairs that he proceeded to toss into the ring. Show then re-entered the ring and connected on a Vader Bomb with a chair on Sheamus's stomach, but Sheamus kicked out of a pin attempt. Sheamus coughed to sell the effects, then Show grabbed Sheamus around the throat, trash-talked him, and teased a super chokeslam, but Sheamus escaped. Sheamus then lifted up Show and dropped him through two tables with White Noise. But, Show kicked out of a pin.

At 12:00, the two men recovered to their feet. Sheamus began to Sheamus Up as JBL encouraged him to go ahead and lose it. Sheamus wanted the Brogue Kick, but Show moved and Sheamus ate the top rope. Show then KO Punched Sheamus in the face. After a pause, Show covered, Cole said it's over, and Sheamus kicked out just in-time.

Show then left the ring and decided to bring out The Monster. Show brought this giant chair into the ring, measured Sheamus, and cracked the giant chair across Sheamus's back. Sheamus crumbled to the mat, then Show covered Sheamus for the win. On commentary, Cole quickly covered for Sheamus, saying he showed so much toughness that Show had to bring out a giant chair to defeat Sheamus. Show then picked up his giant chair and title belt, and left the ring.

WINNER: Show at 14:17 to retain the World Title. Show continues to be built up for a big WrestleMania bout by - presumably - ending this feud with a clean victory over Sheamus. Overall, a pretty good match, but just a notch below their previous two matches. (**3/4)

Backstage: John Cena was shown warming up, then A.J. Lee walked up to Cena. A.J., dressed in a ripped-up Cena t-shirt, said she's sorry. A.J. noted she went a little...well, you know...and Cena was there for her. Cena told her to focus on what he does to Ziggler tonight when he takes away his identity. (Insignificant penis?) Cena said he'll take away his MITB briefcase and get revenge for A.J. on Vickie Guerrero. A.J. giggled, then skipped down the hallway.

In-ring: 3MB was introduced for a "bonus" six-man tag match. Ricardo Rodriguez was then introduced to introduce Alberto Del Rio, who rolled up near the TLC props in his car of the week. Del Rio slapped a few hangs ringside, then stood on-stage and pointed to the ring to call out 3MB. The Miz then joined Del Rio in the middle of the ring entrance. Miz said when they went looking for the toughest New Yorker for a tag partner, they found the biggest brawler. Out came Brooklyn Brawler (Steve Lombardi) dressed in a Nets jersey instead of his ragged Yankees shirt.


Tons of Brooklyn Brawler jokes and stories early on before Brawler tagged in. Brawler executed a move or two before 3MB unloaded on Brawler. The announcers went to some old WWF references by naming Harvey Whippleman, Kim Chee, Kamala, and Doink to play up Brawler's involvement. Miz then tagged in and the action broke down. Miz eventually subdued Mahal, then tagged in Brawler, who dragged Mahal around the ring before slapping on a Boston Crab. Mahal tapped out, giving the Nets a win. Afterward, Brawler celebrated in the corner as Del Rio and Ricardo stood in the background and Miz pointed to Brawl.

WINNERS: Team Brawler via submission at 3:23.

Royal Rumble plug: The Rock is coming in January.

Video package: The John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler feud that led to tonight's PPV main event with Ziggler's MITB briefcase on the line.

In-ring: Justin Roberts announced the main event up next. Roberts stressed that the World Title MITB contract is on the line (as opposed to just saying a MITB contract is on the line). Dolph Ziggler was introduced first, then John Cena's music played to a strong mix of boos and cheers. Cena walked out on-stage to more boos than cheers, looked around the arena, quietly noted he's in Brooklyn, then stormed the ring. As Cena entered the ring, Cole noted that Ziggler hates Cena for all of the advantages, attention, and adulation that he receives. But, Cole said that Cena has earned it all. JBL agreed, but said Cena has not earned the right to compete for Ziggler's MITB contract.

8 -- JOHN CENA vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER -- Ladder Match for Ziggler's World Title MITB contract

The bell sounded and the two men circled the ring before locking up. Cena delivered a big shoulder tackle that drew boos and caused Ziggler to collect himself and re-assess the situation. A loud "Cena Sucks" chant drowned out a "Let's Go Cena" chant before the two men locked up again. Ziggler then "showed off" by holding himself in the ropes and strutting. "Let's Go Ziggler" chant followed, which Cena and Ziggler paused to acknowledge. Cena then grabbed a headlock to control Ziggler and slow down the pace. "You Can't Wrestle" chant followed as Ziggler fought to his feet and reversed the headlock. But, Cena came back with a fisherman suplex into a monkey flip. Cena then chucked Ziggler through the ropes to the outside and smiled toward the crowd.

On the outside, Cena walked right into a chair jab to the gut. But, Cena regained control in the ring. So, Cena went under the ring for a ladder, but Ziggler dropkicked it into Cena's gut. Ziggler then picked up the ladder and placed it in the ring as the crowd chanted for Ziggler. Ziggler was too slow setting up the ladder, though, allowing Cena to jab Ziggler in the face with a corner of the ladder. Cena then dragged Ziggler to the outside as the camera focused on a cut over Cena's right eye. Big dueling chant as Cena picked up the ring steps before running them square into Ziggler's face.

Next, Cena went under the ring and retrieved a table that he set up inside the ring. Lawler noted it's a ladder match, not a table match as Ziggler recovered and knocked down Cena. Ziggler then set up a ladder center-ring, but Cena yanked him down. They traded right hand bombs before Ziggler hopped on Cena's back for a sleeperhold. Cena faded, then regained his strength and climbed up the ladder with Ziggler still on his back. Suddenly, Cena sold losing his strength and they fell off the ladder through the table below. Both men sold the effects of falling through the table for a few moments.

At 10:00, Ziggler came to his feet and tried climbing the ladder, but Cena blocked. Cena then offered a Feat of Strength power-lifting Ziggler and the ladder into the air, wowing the crowd. But, Ziggler fell off the ladder and recovered to his feet to deliver a Fameasser. Another loud dueling chant picked up as Ziggler went under the ring to retrieve another ladder. But, Cena grabbed Ziggler re-entering the ring and slapped on the STF. Ziggler tapped out, but it didn't mean anything. Also, it meant Cena did not have to release the hold. Cena maintained the hold for a few extra moments, then Cena and Ziggler reset with an Attitude Adjustment tease that Ziggler turned into Zig-Zag.

At 13:30, Ziggler went back under the ring to retrieve a table. In the ring, Ziggler set up the table in the corner, but Cena slammed him into the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena tried to follow with the AA, but Ziggler escaped and nailed a leaping DDT. With Cena KO'ed, Ziggler left the ring to retrieve a super-ladder. The announcers referenced Edge, prompting Cole to go back to Cena beating Edge in a similar match in Edge's hometown a few years ago.

In the ring, Ziggler climbed the ladder and got one hand on the MITB briefcase, but Cena recovered and blocked Ziggler. They traded bombs while standing on the ladder, then Cena knocked Ziggler off the ladder. Cole declared the match over and JBL declared Cena the next champion, which of course meant it wasn't over. Ziggler easily blocked Cena from going up one more step toward the briefcase, then the two men battled on their feet before Ziggler desperately shoved Cena into the ladder. Ziggler wobbled around the ring, then ran into Cena, who kind of executed a head-scissors that Ziggler covered for by basically throwing himself into a table propped up in the corner.

As Ziggler sold in the corner, Cena slowly recovered and grabbed the super-ladder, but Ziggler got up and knocked it out of the ring. Cena and Ziggler sold exhaustion on the mat before Cena bursted off the mat with rights and lefts. But, Ziggler absorbed the blows and came off the top with a cross-body, but Cena rolled through into a fireman's carry position. Only, Ziggler grabbed a chair hanging in the corner and spanked Cena with it to escape. Ziggler then cleared the ring of debris and stalked Cena, but Cena ducked a move and nailed AA. Ziggler fell to the floor, leaving Cena alone in the ring.

Suddenly, Vickie Guerrero came to the ring with chair in-hand. Vickie threatened to hit Cena, but A.J. came running to the ring. A.J. ducked a chair shot, then tackled Vickie. A.J. kind of delivered a sit-out slam, then did the You Can't See Me handwave into a Shuffle. A.J. skipped around the ring as Cena waited for A.J. to finish her moment. Cena then climbed a ladder as A.J. skipped around the ring. As Cena was half-way up the ladder, A.J. suddenly tipped over the ladder, popping the crowd huge. Ziggler superkicked Cena after he fell off the ladder, then A.J. did her crazy look as Ziggler sold shock. A.J. glared toward Ziggler, who continued to look on with disbelief. A.J. then shot Ziggler a big, crazy smile and left the ring. Ziggler took advantage by climbing the ladder, grabbing the briefcase, and pulling it off the hook to win the match.

Afterward, Cole said he doesn't get it after Cena stuck his neck out for A.J. and defended her. JBL said you can't figure out A.J.'s actions because she's crazy and irrational. JBL declared Ziggler a future World champion as Ziggler was shown celebrating on-stage. Back in the ring, the camera focused on Cena kneeling down selling disbelief. Cena then flashed a half-smile, selling that he realizes he was conned by A.J. and should have seen it coming. The PPV ended at 9:50 with Cena still selling in the ring.

WINNER: Ziggler at 23:16 to retain the MITB briefcase. WWE accomplished three things here - Ziggler gets a big PPV victory (albeit not clean), A.J.'s character is refreshed as the unpredictable "crazy chick," and Cena gets some motivation that should light a fire under his character heading into WrestleMania Season. Overall, a good-to-very-good PPV main event that was satisfying for non-Cena fans, while creating an "out" for Cena Fans to direct their anger toward A.J. and set up Cena's response on Raw. (***1/2)

REPLAY?: The Shield's six-man tag match is replay-worthy and the overall card had enough ups to counter the filler and downs to make this replay-recommended.

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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

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He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


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