SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill is really disappointed with his Washington Redskins. So, business as usual.
We just got done watching a ten man tag that looks like every other ten man tag in the brief history of Smackdown Live. Chad Gable pinned a Vaudevillian. So there.
The video package explains that tonight’s main event is all about the biggest prize in WWE. And, it’s also about James Ellsworth.
Don’t forget to grab your bananaphone, call (515) 605-9345, and join us on PWTorchLivecast.com for the postgame show right after TLC. Greg Parks would really appreciate it.
By the way, if someone inside WWE would slip word to me how many votes Ellsworth gets in the “Superstar of the Year” balloting, I would sure as hell appreciate it too.
I would sure a prescription for whatever Mauro Ranallo takes to get excited for these shows. (Assuming I don’t already have one.)
Wyatts’ entrance for the tag title match. Waiting for Otunga to interrupt JBL by screaming “I’m trying to listen to the damn song!” (tm The Hansen Brothers)
Slater & Rhyno vs. Orton & Wyatt. This is fun so far. Until my Roku decides now would be a great time to jump back 30 minutes to the pregame show. By the time I recover, Orton is hitting the chinlock.
Luke Harper takes the bullet for Orton, and Randy catches Rhyno with the RKO to win the titles. Well, there we go.
JBL says Orton & Wyatt are the most dangerous team we’ve seen in WWE in some time. Clearly, he’s forgotten The Ascension.
Dean Ambrose does his version of the Hard Times promo. AJ Styles gets interviewed by Renee Young. AJ wins this round.
Nikki vs. Carmella in a no-DQ match. For the record, Carm got her black eye from Nikki, not from Big Cass.
“Carmella has made Nikki Bella’s life a complete hell.” Really? I thought “Total Bellas” did that.
Otunga describes this as a “schoolyard fight”. We didn’t have a schoolyard like that at St. Leo’s Elementary School in Fairfax.
Carmella gets the kendo stick and hits Nikki with shots to the, um, midsection.
We need Joey Styles to run in, scream “Cat-FIGHT” and sucker punch JBL (again).
Roundhouse kick by Nikki. Given where that landed, Carmella might come out of this looking like a raccoon.
Nikki sprays Carmella with a fire extinguisher and wins with the Rack Attack.
Pro Tip: “Rope-a-dope” is not the proper defense technique when being sprayed with a fire extinguisher.
Carmella takes the mic to assure us that the feud isn’t over. But she knows who attacked Nikki. It was Natalya!
On that note, guess which evil heel shows up to help WWE fan Anthony pick out an engagement ring at Kay Jewelers. (No, not Nia Jax.)
Forty minutes into the show, so it must be time for a ladder match!
Backstage, Dasha Fuentes asks Daniel Bryan if he hates The Miz. Well, duh!
Right now, let’s check in with our Bollywood announce team of Harv & Gurv Shira, who will be describing the action with an interpretive dance.
JBL: “What’s wrong with using your wife?” Otunga: “My wife’s agent won’t let her on the show.”
Yes, The Miz defends the Intercontinental Title in a ladder match against Dolph Ziggler. Let’s get creative.
Mauro: JBL, did you ever have to defend a title in a ladder match? JBL: Naw, kid, we had bookers back then.
Neither Miz nor Ziggler are taking stupid risks here. Clearly, they’ve been told to leave that for AJ Styles.
Second big network glitch for my Roku. We come back and they’re climbing the ladder again. Gotta say, Miz is gaining fans as the match continues.
Miz tries the Daniel Bryan series of running dropkicks. Ziggler catches him with a ladder the third time.
Seriously, if you’re Dolph, don’t you bring out a girlfriend to counter Maryse? Or at least a hired escort?
Pro Tip: Even a poorly executed figure-four leglock is more effective when you apply it around a ladder.
Dolph headbutts Miz off the ladder. What could possibly go wrong? Other than Miz running back up the ladder and hitting a low blow.
Yes, Miz has kept the title and knocked Ziggler out of the I/C Title picture. I recommend Dolph befriend Ambrose and go after Styles next. It worked for Ellsworth.
I told you Miz would gloat.
Ad for Tribute to the Troops. At what point do we make that a pay-per-view?
Next up is Kalisto vs. Baron Corbin. Did You Know? This is the 7th chairs match in TLC history. The other six weren’t that great either.
Kalisto is tearing it up here, and Corbin is…mostly remaining unlikable. But he IS selling, which is a key. JBL tells us how much chair shots hurt. It shouldn’t be a big deal, except I can’t remember the last time a WWE commentator said it.
Corbin hits End of Days on a pile of chairs for the win. He acts like a heel. So far, the heels are the best part of this show.
Backstage, Dasha Fuentes’ hoop earrings interview Natalya Kidd. Why would Carmella lie? Because she’s a liar. Oh, okay.
Hey, the Royal Rumble is next month! Yippee!
Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss. After Hell in A Cell, I hope somebody pre-cut those tables.
This feels like a semi main event. I have a feeling we’ll actually end at 10:30 Eastern this time. Otunga points out Bliss has to set up the table before she can put Lynch through it. He’s not the best commentator in the game for nothing.
Seriously, how much actual force would you need to put someone the size of Bliss through a table? I don’t know if Wrestling Physics helps here.
Sure enough, Bliss powerbombs Lynch off the apron and through the table. We have a new champion. I should have thought about that physics thing before doing projections for this show. Dasha interviews Becky, who says she doesn’t feel good. She should interview Alexa. I’ll bet the new champ is in a great mood.
Hey, if your girlfriend will let you propose to her inside a wrestling ring, you’ve probably made a good choice.
John Cena will host SNL this Saturday, but I’ll bet his Trump impression isn’t as good as Alec Baldwin’s.
“I’m tired of you making me out to be a joke”. Don’t look at Ambrose. Go talk to Ryan Ward.
AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Heavyweight Title in a Tables, Ladders & Chairs match. After the show, you can watch Talking Smack (or join us on PWTorchLivecast.com.)
Time for the walk ‘n brawl (‘n bump).
Mauro: Dean Ambrose is the workhorse of WWE. Styles: Dude. I’m standing RIGHT HERE. I can hear you.
AJ Styles’ chiropractor owes Dean Ambrose a Christmas card. Ambrose comes off a ladder and puts Styles through the announce table. Wow. Now Ambrose has to set up an entirely different ladder in the ring, and climb it, and…yeah. Phenomenal Forearm.
Moonsault into a reverse DDT by Styles. Instead of climbing the ladder, AJ gets another table. Apparently both wrestlers are being coached by Les Miles.
Styles hits a springboard 450 to put Ambrose through a table. Is THAT the finish? Nope. James Ellsworth is the finish! Ellsworth distracts Styles and Ambrose bounces the champ off the stairs.
Yes, Ellsworth tips over the ladder on Ambrose, sending him through two tables. You knew it was coming, because it made no sense. Styles climbs the ladder. Styles keeps the title.
That was fun, although I don’t know how Ellsworth is going to sell any T-shirts going forward. Join me and Greg Parks for the postgame show, then VIP members can catch the roundtable later. Good night!