12/20 WWE TLC KICKOFF SHOW REPORT: Bryan & Big E & Otis & Gable vs. Sami & Corbin & Nakamura & Cesaro, plus panel discusses main PPV matches with Jeff Jarrett, Booker T, MVP

By Mike Meyers, PWTorch contributor


DECEMBER 20, 2020

Kickoff Panel: Charly Caruso, Jeff Jarrett, Booker T, Peter Rosenberg

The panel gave a rundown of tonight’s matches, including the eight-man tag that will take place on the Kickoff show. Their rundown led into a Roman Reigns / Kevin Owens video package. The package was followed by a clip from the most recent edition of Talking Smack, where Owens spoke with Paul Heyman. Peter wasn’t sure how Owens stood a chance against Reigns tonight, given the beatings he’s sustained in recent weeks. Jarrett wondered if Owens would regret tonight’s match.

Moving onto the Banks vs. Carmella match, Charly said that it was going to be “literally a cat fight.” Booker was doubtful that Carmella would be able to walk the walk tonight. Similarly, Jarrett said that Carmella has at least two receipts coming to her tonight for her recent attacks on Banks.

MVP joined the panel via video. Charly asked what it would mean to add the tag titles to the Hurt Business. MVP said it would be “destiny fulfilled,” and praised the talents of Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander. He said the New Day “conduct themselves like clowns,” but admitted they are one of the best tag teams in the company’s history.

Charly threw to a Drew McIntyre / AJ Styles video package. Miz and Morrison interrupted the panel’s discussion. Miz placed his Money in the Bank briefcase on the table, front and center. Morrison listed the champions and indicated that there was a lot of opportunity tonight. When asked about Omos, Styles’s accomplice, Miz admitted that he was very tall and muscular. Morrison went with a cliché: The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Miz spoke confidently about winning a WWE championship by way of cash-in, but would not commit to a time or place.

The panel pivoted to a Lana vs. Nia Jax package. As of the Kickoff show, Asuka’s replacement tag partner remained a mystery. The panel began to speculate, but R-Truth appeared. Truth offered to be Asuka’s tag partner, and claimed to be able to speak Japanese. Booker looked down at the table, holding back laughter. Stealing Booker’s gimmick, Truth started to say he was the “45-time, 45-time, 45-time…” but was interrupted by Booker who said we didn’t have all night. Truth left with his 24/7 belt.

Announcer Team: Corey Graves, Michael Cole


An audio clip was played, “Courtesy of Kayla Braxton,” of an irate tirade by Sami Zayn, mimicking the recent pop culture leak of Tom Cruise behaving similarly on the set of his current film.

Big E wanted to start against Zayn, but Zayn was too cowardly for this challenge and quickly escaped the ring and tagged in Corbin. Big E leapfrogged Corbin, but Corbin leveled Big E with a clothesline. Big E came back with a belly-to-belly suplex. Gable and Cesaro both tagged in.

Gable and Cesaro had a maximum-velocity exchange in the ring – a proper singles match between these two would be a blast. Gable tagged in Bryan, who came down on Cesaro with a double axe handle. Bryan laid in some kicks but Cesaro lifted and carried Bryan toward his corner where Nakamura kicked Bryan in the back. Nakamura tagged in and covered for two.

Zayn was willing to tag in now that Bryan was compromised. He landed a series of right hands, occasionally taunting Bryan’s teammates. Corbin tagged in and continued the punishment of Bryan. The heels continued dominance with quick tags. Bryan blocked Corbin’s attempt at a superplex, then climbed to the top rope and hit a missile dropkick.

Some chaos erupted at ringside among Big E, Zayn, and Cesaro. Meanwhile, Otis was legal and had Nakamura on the mat. Taking instruction from Gable, Otis did the caterpillar, splashed Nakamura, and tagged in Gable. Nakamura managed to kick Otis and Gable, knocking them both down. Cesaro tagged in and powerbombed Gable. Cesaro covered, but Otis scrambled back to break up the pin.

Gable gave Cesaro a deadlift German suplex, then Zayn came out of hiding again to take advantage of an exhausted Gable. Big E had recovered, however, and Gable jumped to make the hot tag. Zayn rocked Big E with a big boot, but Big E still planted him with a uranage and followed up with the Big Ending. Big E covered Zayn for the three-count.

WINNER: Daniel Bryan& Big E & Otis & Chad Gable by pinfall in 8:30.

(Meyers’s Analysis: Your standard eight-man Kickoff-show match, with the vast majority of its participants being criminally underutilized. The story of the match was decent – Zayn playing the coward and spending most of the match hiding from Big E, only to ultimately lose the match for his team. Secondarily, trouble continues brewing between mentor Gable and his mentee Otis.)

Find Mike Meyers on Twitter: @themikeshow42

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