The highs and lows of TLC 2020
TLC marks the last PPV show for WWE in the 2020 calendar year. This year has been significant and challenging for the wrestling business as a whole, and I'm sure every WWE superstar on the card is ready to wrap up 2020. Following will be a breakdown of each match from the show and my own personal rating based on build-up, overall performance, and how entertaining it was.
Preshow 8-Man Tag Team Match
Daniel Bryan, Otis & Chad Gable, and Big E vs. King Corbin with Knights of the Lonewolf(Cuttler & Blake), Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura, and Intercontinental champion Sami Zayne. This match has many storylines running it, but the main focus is the Intercontinental champion. Throughout the match, the rivalry of E and Zayne was played upon, with each playing chase to one another. The Otis and Gable storyline was played with quite a bit as well. The end of the match came with the Big Ending delivered on Sami to pick up Big E's team the victory and building more momentum to the eventual matchup of Big E vs. Sami Zayne for the Intercontinental championship. RATING 3 stars This match seems like a weird mashup to get more people on the show in one match. Still, the delivery of multiple storylines and the action was worthwhile.
WWE Championship TLC Match
AJ Styles with Almos vs. WWE Champion Drew McIntyre. No one has had a more challenging 2020 in WWE than Mcintyre. Winning the title for the first time at an empty arena Wrestlminia at the start of the pandemic. He is now a two-time champion losing it to Randy Orton Shortly. Still, now he faces another credible challenger in AJ. Styles has had multiple TLC WWE Championship matches where he has been successful. This time, he has the monstrous Almos ringside and looming cash by The Miz and Morrison. The bell rings, and the match immediately takes a fast pace. Early on, Mcintyre begins favoring his left leg, which AJ works throughout the match. However, Mcintyre seems to have overcome the odds by climbing the ladder to retrieve the belt, only for The miz to cash in and make the match a triple threat. Almos stops the Miz from winning, but Morrison lures the big man away by making him chase him. Ultimately though, Drew prevails and retains his WWE championship. RATING 5 stars With the addition of the Miz's cash into this already phenomenal match, this match with highly entertaining.
Smackdown Women's Championship Match
Carmella with Reginold vs. Champion Sasha Banks. Mella recently returned to start this heated program with The Boss. The challenger begins mocking the champ as soon as the champion enters the arena. This rivalry has become very heated in the short build-up. Mella does an excellent job of dictating the pace and using her ringside advantage to her benefit wisely. Banks has a great moment in the match where she pays homage to her hero Eddie Guerrero by delivering three amigos and a frog splash. This matchup is a very classic heel vs. face match with a clear villain and hero. I would not mind this program going far into 2021. Banks ends up winning the match via submission as Carmella tapped to the Bank Statement. RATING 4 stars. This was a classic match between two well-rounded performers, but I think given more time, these two women could provide an instant 5-star classic.
Raw Tag Team Championship
The Hurt Bussines vs. The New Day. Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamen have gained a lot of momentum against Kofi and Woods, leading to this match. The New Day proclaims the outcome will be the same as before, with them walking out STILL as tag team champions. With that said, the champs continuously try to get the win early and quick, but The Hurt Bussiness doesn't allow it. Tag team wrestling excellence is displayed throughout this title match. It will go down in history as the official rise of The Hurt Bussiness as they picked up the win to become The New Raw Tag Team Champions. Rating 5 star The new champs established their group in a crazy year but have been standouts since forming and, in my opinion, deserve this moment.
Women's Tag Team Championship Match
Champions Shayna Bazler & Nia Jax vs. Raw Women's Champion Auska &? Originally it was supposed to be Lanna with The Empress, but due to injury at the hands of Jax, she can not compete. The mystery partner was none other than Charlotte Flair. The Queen has been out for months marking this as her surprise return, competing for gold with no time to lose. Many fans assumed Flair would be replacing Lanna once the mystery partner gimmick was announced. In my opinion, it would have been kinda special to see Lana win the titles after the month-long build-up and going through about ten tables week after week. However, it's nice to see Flair back as she is needed in the women's division. Given the amazing athletes Bazler, Flair, and Auska are, this match was full of extraordinary moments. However, nothing was more extraordinary than when Charlotte hit the natural selection and unexpectedly gained the titles for herself and Auska. RATING 4 star This match was surprising and unexpected. It was undoubtedly competitive, but with almost no build-up, I can not give it 5 stars. Still, with the superstars involved, I will not rate it below a 3 either.
Universal Championship TLC Match
Champion Roman Reigns with special council Paul Hayman vs. Kevin Owens. This is the match I am more invested in, being a massive fan of all of KO's work. He always delivers top-notch material regardless of who, what, when, where, and why. The build-up for this title match has been something special to watch. This match starts off no different as KO comes out of nowhere and instantly begins brutalizing The Head of the Table. Of course, Jay Uso comes out to try to help his cousin. KO, however, is ready, seemingly injuring Uso's foot leading him to be escorted out by doctors. The distraction ables Reigns to recover, coming back with equal brutality to match Owens'. Just as KO makes a comeback and climbs the ladder, Jay returns to stop him. Even though KO took Uso out of the equation, putting him through the announce table and burying him, Reigns put a beating on him that left him barely able to stand. Owens outsmarted Roman bating him to go for a spear, which he moved out of, causing the champ to go through a barricade. Reigns got back up, though, before Owens could reach the title, but then Kevin power bombed him through a table. Jay stopped him yet again from getting the title to where KO delivered a stunner from off the ladder. However, Roman was once again able to regroup thanks to his cousin. He gave a low blow to Ownes and then grabbed his title to retain it. RATING 5 stars Although I would have loved to see Kevin come out on top, these men delivered a hell of a TLC match.
Firefly Inferno Match
The Fiend vs. Randy Orton. I have no idea what to expect out of this match other than complete insanity. Everything involving The Fiend and Bray Wyat has been remarkable, and this latest program with Orton has been interesting. The rules of this match are just a (traditional?) Inferno match where the winner is whoever can put the other on fire first. The match starts with Randy perplexed as to what to do to The Fiend as the strange entity laughs off everything he delivers. Ortons fear is heightened as The Fiend summons the entire arena ablaze. The sister Abigal rocking chair also appears, and Randy is almost set on fire while laid out in it. Randy goes for an RKO, but it is countered into The Fiend's claw. The Fiend tries to push Orton into the flame, but Orton turns it setting The Fiend on fire instead. The Fiend freaked out, running after Orton, who, though scared out of his mind, still hits an RKO in the ring. He then gets gasoline pouring it all over the lifeless Fiend, then throwing a lit match on the body to presumingly win. (I guess?) RATING 3 stars Though bizarre and unique, this (match?) was pointless with no real payoff. However, it was entertaining, so I won't hate on it too much.
I rate the overall PPV 4 stars. The last PPV of 2020 for WWE delivered some great matches and set up the New Year's direction and into Wrestlemania season with the Royal Rumble as the next PPV coming.