Best Match: AJ Styles vs. Finn Balor
Worst Match: Enzo Amore vs. Kalisto
Overall I thought TLC was a good show. Banks vs. Fox was a reasonably good pre-show match and the fans seemed into it. The fans were pretty good for most of the show which helped things. Asuka vs. Emma was good, although maybe a little too much offense for Emma. Asuka obviously had to win. Hope they don’t book her like they book everyone else that has come up through NXT and that includes Shinsuke losing clean a bunch and Roode already losing to Dolph etc.
Alexander and Swann vs. Kendrick and Gallagher was a good tag match. Good action. They need to keep that up on 205. Alexa Bliss vs. Mickie James was a solid match and the women’s matches were more hard hitting then they have been on WWE. NXT usually allows for it more. Enzo vs. Kalisto was lame. Enzo having the title since he’s an obnoxious heel is okay, but he is lousy in the ring. He really should just be a manager for guys who need them like Corbin, Cass etc. Back of the line for you Kalisto, or so I hope. Time to move Cedric or Swann or someone more exciting to the front of the line.
Balor vs. Styles was a lot of fun. Very good match and Balor going over puts him in a good position. Hopefully these guys will be on opposite Survivor Series teams so we can see some more. Jordan vs. Elias was fine, but nothing great. That finish seemed like it wasn’t planned, but who knows. I’m sure they will meet again tomorrow night. Main event was wild, although certainly not the way I would have liked to see Angle return especially when he is wearing Shield gear. I guess Braun is a face now and he will destroy Kane in time for Glen’s election. But overall a solid show. War Games and Survivor Series here we come and the obliteration of Jinder by Brock.
– Robb Block
Best Match: AJ Styles vs. Finn Balor
Worst Match: Kalisto vs. Enzo Amore
It amused me to hear WWE’s announcers try to explain the history of Styles and Balor leading Bullet Club in New Japan without mentioning the faction or the promotion aside from just saying Japan, like “the New York territory” or “up north” by WCW wrestlers (and others) referencing WWF/WWE back in the day.
The main event was a car crash spot fest with tons of crazy stunts. Generally speaking, I’m not particularly fond of WWE weapon-heavy matches. But these guys worked very hard and it was a difficult choice for me for Best Match between the main event and Styles/Balor.
I still don’t think burning through Angle’s return to a WWE ring was worth it, though at least they tried to make the most of it, complete with saving the pop from Angle’s music for his mid-match return from nap time. Maybe they didn’t actually change the match layout all that much from what was planned for Roman?
They clearly tried to protect Angle, though the bump he took landing head-first on the apron late against Miz didn’t look good. It’s ridiculous to me that WWE will allow Angle to wrestle and take bumps but not Bryan Danielson, but WWE is a strange company that plays by its own rules — even when those rules make no sense.
If nothing else, there are all kinds of merchandising options for the Shield version of Kurt Angle, even if it was a one-time only thing. Perhaps something like the CM Punk action figure made by Mattel with the Macho Man tribute outfit Punk wore once on TV.
– Lou Pickney
Just wanted to give my thoughts on the TLC show from tonight. I gave the show a big thumbs up, I thought it was great considering the revamping they had to do, and as a result probably ended up with a better card than originally planned. I thought the best match of the night was the main event TLC match and worst match of the night being the Jordan / Elias match as it was just basically a long comedy segment.
Banks / Fox — Good match, surprised it was on the pre show segment of the night, but otherwise a good match. Banks is great and hope they are elevating Fox into the title picture eventually or just having more of an impact in the women’s division as they really haven’t don’t much with her. Good win for Banks, but would have elevated Fox if she had won.
Asuka / Emma — I thought it was a good match, good to see Asuka on the main roster finally. I thought it was a very physical match and Emma plays a great heel. I’ve seen better matches in NXT with Asuka, but it was still a good match and worked well. Good win and debut for Asuka on the main roster.
Kendrick / Gallagher vs. Cedric / Swann — Good tag match, good win for Cedric / Swann. Would like to see the cruiserweights featured more on Raw and given the time to have good matches. Raw definitely has the time available to showcase the cruiserweights in great matches but they often don’t. The 3 hrs for Raw is constant replays of segments all night. They should dedicate more time on PPV and Raw to this division as they have the talent.
Bliss / James — Was a good match. Good win for Bliss to retain the title, but was hoping Mickie would win and get another run with the title. But Bliss definitely has the “it” factor going and is good for being so young, she can really play to the crowd. Good match.
Kalisto / Enzo — A good win to put the title back on Enzo as he draws attention and hopefully this will spark more interest and more focus on the cruiserweight division. Enzo is by far not the best cruiserweight but can elevate interest in the division I think. Would rather see him stay face as clearly the crowd does not want to boo him. Good win for Enzo
Balor / Styles — A true dream match that would have been given more time if it happened in New Japan. This match could have gone 45 minutes to an hour as both men have the cardio for it and I would have loved to see a match go that long with these two. But I know that would never happen in WWE. So it was great for the time given and told a great story. Good win for Balor, AJ did not look weak in getting pinned as it was a strong match. Ended great with a “too sweet” in the ring and respect shown between both competitors. Would have been awesome if the Young Bucks did a run in, but one can only dream, lol. Almost had my vote for best match of the night and it was a very close match for match of the night if the main event had not been so entertaining. Hopefully we will get a rematch somewhere down the line and Styles gets the win and sets up best of 3 series. Maybe at Survivor Series since it’s a combined roster show?
Jordan / Elias — Comedy time filling match. And I’m sure to buffer the crowd between the Balor / Styles match and the TLC main event.
Angle, Ambrose, Rollins vs. Miz, Braun, Kane, Cesaro, Sheamus — Was a great main event and very entertaining. Was given plenty of time since the match was going to have limitations with 3 on 5 and Angle being limited to what he could do. This match was all over the place and everyone was very physical. Was hoping for a surprise teammate for the Shield crew since Angle is the GM and could have authorized someone to compete on their team such as a surprise return by Brock Lesnar or even Undertaker. But no complaints at all as I thought the main event was great and just had a fun time watching the match and how physical it was.
I don’t think Angle should do anything else other than tag matches on rare occasions as I don’t think he has a singles career match really left in him to have a great match but his limitations can be hidden in matches like this. Would have been a good career boost for Jason Jordan if they instead threw him into this match to protect Kurt, but could have also botched the match as well. It was great for what it was. An excellent and wild main event match. Told a good story. Was given the proper time. It was a fun match to watch and good to have Angle get the win.
– Jon Southerland
Best Match: Balor v Styles
Worst Match: TLC Match
There was a lot of choices on TV tonight (Super Bowl rematch, Walking Dead premiere) so flirted with watching later on demand but did go with watching live and was entertained by the card.
That main event though was something else in the vein of the doomsday cage match. Way too many aspects where you’d have to suspend disbelief too far for the nonsense. Don’t think Roman being in it would change it either the dynamic was always too weird. I Think folks will be talking about this spectacle for a while in the bad way.
Balor Styles was insane especially given the short notice and AJs schedule. Hope we get a rematch at Survivor Series if they are doing a number of interbrand matches.
Both main card women’s matches were good as were the cruiserweight matches. Elias Jordan didn’t need to be dragged out over all those segments; one to lead to a match would have been fine. I enjoy both more than others so end result was fine.
Do we still get a Miz led coalition against the Shield match when Roman is back? If so man I hope its a six man.
– Michael O’Brien
Thumbs up show
Best Match: Styles vs. Balor
Worst Match: Enzo vs. Kalisto
I thought this was the best WWE PPV in recent memory. The two last minute changes made the show way better than originally conceived. The show never dragged, the Enzo and Elias matches were lame, but they served to Pace the show well. I thought Mickey looked really sharp in her match and her promo was well received by the crowd. I would like to see her get a run with the title soon. The too sweet at the end of Styles match added to the match immensely, especially since the guy in the cease and desist shirt was on hard cam all night. This was a classic match that paid off huge smart-fans. I like seeing Angle again, he didn’t take dumb chances. The same can’t be said for Ambrose. He took some crazy bumps. His two botched table spots look painful. It was a nice brawl with good heat. It was the most fun I’ve had watching a WWE show in a long time.
– Adam Bogan
Thumbs in the middle.
Best Match: AJ v. Finn
Worst Match: Enzo v. Kalisto
Only thing keeping this from being a thumbs down is the AJ/Finn match and Angle during the last part of the main event. Asuka was fine as well, although I think she should’ve won more decisively.
– Michael Askounes
Best Match: AJ Styles vs. Finn Balor
Worst Match: Enzo vs. Kalisto
TLC Main Event was exactly as advertised (well, not the actual participants but the style of the TLC match itself). Aside from the obvious caution signs in booking high spot demolition derbies like this and the Summerslam main event when it comes to the “law of diminishing returns” and basic fan inoculation it sure as hell was entertaining for a total schmoz, even though they took it a bit too goofy/overboard with the dumpster stuff and had the fans chanting “This is Murder”, which was weird (I loved Cesaro’s response to the crowd’s chant). This wasn’t my personal flavor of match but I still enjoyed it.
AJ/Balor was really great and babyface vs. babyface matches are usually a harder story to tell and it reached that point of excitement, to where I didn’t mind which guy won and really didn’t want it to end yet and could’ve watched them go all night. One negative to the match (and it was a throughline for the entire show), was how detrimental Booker T is while on commentary and how silly and asinine his contributions are, to the point where it feels like he’s not really paying attention to the matches. That said, really impressive showings by both AJ and Balor.
Mickie/Alexa Bliss picked up as it went along but felt a bit rudderless and I’m not sure if Alexa got lost but it seemed a bit clunky in spots and the crowd seemed fairly quiet and disengaged. I get heels cheating to win, but I don’t like the WWE booking of referees interfering in the babyface’s aggressive comeback (Mickie and Kalisto), which leads to the heel getting the upper hand and win, since it doesn’t make sense that the referee lets so much go on in a match but then inserts themselves at that moment. It’s weird logic to me and almost makes the referee a heel by cutting off the babyfaces at selective moments of the match.
Enzo/Kalisto wasn’t very good, didn’t really have much flow and there was a spot where Enzo went for a version of the hiptoss/rockerdropper reversal spot and looked to land directly on his head. I thought the cruiser tag was much, much better technically, although the finish looked a bit awkward. I really enjoy both Swann and Alexander and think they have loads of potential to be an exciting babyface tag team to challenge for the RAW titles, since they’ve got fire and can sell from underneath and are also in purgatory in 205 Live, where there is no tag division.
Asuka/Emma: I enjoyed the opener and thought it was a really solid showing from Emma, although it was a bit of a head scratcher since I’m not sure tonight was the night for them to have a competitive match, since they’ve touted Asuka’s RAW debut as such a big deal and pushed her as this undefeated wrecking ball and by contrast, they haven’t really booked Emma as anything significant in years. As a result, it didn’t feel like the fans believed in any of Emma’s pinfalls as a real threat, so there wasn’t any heat to them and I think it might’ve been more beneficial to just give the fans a more dominant Asuka showcase here.
Overall, a better-than-average WWE PPV, which was likely saved by the AJ Styles replacement, that elevated the show from being a “one match card” with the main event, to having two really entertaining “PPV caliber” matches and an undercard of pretty bland, run of the mill filler that was solid but unspectacular.
– Jeff Parker
Best Match: AJ Styles vs Finn Balor
Worst Match: Jason Jordan vs Elias
One a first impression, AJ vs Finn is a strong contender for me personally in terms of WWE MOTY. I do wish they’d had another five minutes or so to build to the finish a little more.
TLC was ridiculous in a mostly fun way. Seemed obvious that they tried to protect Kurt, at times he looked rough, but I’m not sure how much was him selling vs actually struggling. It went longer than I would have liked; if Kurt feels ok, I’d be interested in seeing him have a few limited one on one or traditional tag matches.
I can’t tell if Elias gets good heat or go-away heat. In ring he’s one of the most boring guys on the main roster.
All in all, TLC was pretty underwhelming. Initially, I was excited for the changes, but WWE found a way to not capitalize on them (ex: not letting Kurt come out in his ring attire after he returned).
Thumbs up: AJ/Finn — Pretty good match, but it should’ve been given more time (shave 10 minutes off that main event).
Thumbs down: The rest of the card — Emma looked way too strong, Cruiserweight Division is dying, the main event was all over the place (seriously, they killed a guy).
– Jordan Kirkland
Best match of course AJ and Finn
Worst match The Main EVENT
I thought the main event was confusing and all over the place and a lot of other people did too I think it was a waste of a Kurt angle return and it reminded me of a WCW Vince Russo booked gimmick match terrible pay per view.
– Mathew Pritchard
– Thumbs Up
Best Match: AJ Styles vs Finn Balor
Worst Match: Elias Sampson vs Jason Jordan
So Kurt Angle had his first match back in WWE in 11 years and got cheered like crazy, got the W, even his “son” got a W, but the storyline made no sense.
Finn Balor got a W over AJ Styles and this will probably continue with a Survivor Series team matchup.
Enzo Amore won the Cruiserweight title back – and got cheered, even in his heel persona.
Two-match show that still delivered.
– Jeff Cohen
I give the show a Thumbs Down, I thought AJ Vs Finn Was amazing, best match without a doubt, and (it sucks that bray got sick but) it saved us from a pumpkin Finn vs Sister Abigail so that’s great!
The rest of the Card was forgettable, it felt like a long episode of main event, Enzo in my opinion is so annoying that I went to the kitchen to get a snack during his match, I know he is the heel and I’m supposed to hate him, but I cant stand to see him anymore.
Asuka vs Emma was ok, nothing special.
and the TLC main event was sooooooo damn stupid, made no sense, and I was so happy to see Kurt back, but It was a clusterf*ck of chair shots that made no damage, nobody sold injury and that garbage truck was the cherry on the shit sundae they gave us.
hope my opinion is useful, have a nice week!
– Fernando Leon