WWE Royal Rumble 2020: Every Match Ranked

The Road to Wrestlemania is officially underway and if it’s going to be anything like this show last night, it’s a road I’m very excited to be going down!

Everyone who’s ever used the internet has said it at some point over the past week, but Royal Rumbles are always so much fun to watch and this year was no exceptions, with two Rumble matches that were among the better ones as far as I’m concerned. Even better than that is that the Rumbles weren’t the only thing to write home about, as many of the other matches on the show were quality watches too.

Let’s not waste any more time getting into it and breakdown Royal Rumble 2020 match-by-match!

8 – Roman Reigns def. King Corbin
(Falls Count Anywhere)

No prizes for guessing this one would be last.

Quite simply, this match had everything that I hate about Falls Count Anywhere matches all rolled into one. The action was extremely samey the whole way through (the portaloo spot notwithstanding) as almost the whole thing consisted of Reigns & Corbin wandering around, occasionally hitting each other and throwing each other into the nearest, vaguely solid object.

Even when Roode, Ziggler & The Usos showed up, I still didn’t find myself getting excited, the spot where one of The Usos launched themselves from one of the stands was cool looking, but given that none of the four men involved in that spot were actually a part of the match, I just couldn’t find a reason to care. Also, the camerawork was just plain awful, I don’t know whether the cameramen were being told to shake the camera vigorously throughout all the action, or whether they were just bad at their jobs, but I almost got motion sickness from watching the action at one point.

It certainly wasn’t the most boring match ever and I’d rank it above the match that these two had at TLC, but that’s not exactly saying much. At least the right man won

7 – Sheamus def. Shorty G
(Kickoff Show)

Not much to say on this one, other than it was a lot more competitive than I was expecting it to be. I have no idea where creative are going with this storyline for Sheamus, but I’m happy to wait and see where it goes and that included not having much worth saying about this match. It’s nice that Shorty G wasn’t just annihilated like I thought he would be, but I honestly think watching him get slaughtered by Sheamus might’ve been a bit more fun to watch.

Like almost any pre-show match, it was perfectly acceptable, but not something I’m going to be talking about for very long after the fact.

6 – Andrade(c) def. Humberto Carrillo
(United States Championship)
(Kickoff Show)

Much like Sheamus vs Shorty G, this match was perfectly fine and the only reason this one goes above that match in my rankings is because it lasted slightly longer.

The dynamic between the two was quite different to Sheamus & Shorty G’s though, as these two men have very similar in-ring styles and it felt much more like the new kid on the block trying to get a feel for one of the older fighters, in order to find a weakness. Unfortunately for Carrillo, that weakness never presented itself and while I wouldn’t say Andrade dominated him in this match, he certainly seemed to get a lot more offence in than Carrillo did.

This match wasn’t as exciting as the match these two had at TLC last month, but I still thought it was a decent showing for a pre-show match where, ultimately, everyone knew the outcome going in.

5 –  Bayley(c) def. Lacey Evans
(Smackdown Women’s Championship)

I think this is the match that I was the most pleasantly surprised by because, if I’m being honest, I wasn’t expecting much going in.

Bayley’s Pay-Per-View matches this past year have, for the most part, been rather underwhelming and I’m still not much of a Lacey Evans fan, but I think the two did a great job at putting on a well-paced and enjoyable match. For one thing, Lacey’s daughter is ADORABLE and her smile just seemed to instantly brighten my mood, but I also thought there was a lot of good action between the two.

I wouldn’t have thought Lacey could work that well as a face, but I found myself getting behind her as the match went on, thanks in large part to Bayley’s great ability to work as a heel. Watching this match it’s clear just how much Evans has come on as a wrestler, especially when you compare it to something like her matches against Becky Lynch from last May.

Admittedly, this wasn’t some super exciting match to set the world on fire, but I think these two women did an admirable job and made me finally see the potential in Lacey Evans’ new character direction, and more generally as a performer, so I’d rate that a success.

4 – Charlotte Flair won the 30 Woman Royal Rumble Match

With each year that goes by, I think the women’s Royal Rumble match keeps getting better and better. As WWE hires more and more credible female competitors, it no longer feels like the match is relying on the nostalgia pops and thread-bare action in order to get the crowd interested, finally putting it on par with the booking philosophies of the men’s incarnation of the match.

For the past two years, the downfall of the women’s Royal Rumble has been the first half but that wasn’t a problem here because I thought the first half of this match was the best portion of the whole thing. I wouldn’t have thought that Bianca Belair would be the one to get the rub of dominating the early portions but I absolutely loved how it played out. There was a good mix of everything in there, from the serious to the comical and it kept the action flowing at a good pace.

From when Charlotte entered through until Shayna Baszler showed up wasn’t all that interesting, but I still had a good time seeing people like Beth Pheonix & Shotzi Blackheart showing up and briefly kicking arse, even if blood somehow started POURING out of the back of Beth’s head.

While I’m a bit disappointed Shayna Baszler didn’t win the match, I’m not mad about it. While she is absolutely a ready-made star, I can understand why people think it might be a bit too early to give her a rub like winning the Royal Rumble and, let’s be honest, Charlotte was always going to have to win one of these eventually. Not to mention that sequence towards the end where Baszler just decided she’d had enough of this shit and eliminated EVERYONE still in the ring in space of about a minute was great to watch.

While it wasn’t perfect, it was undoubtedly the best of the women’s Royal Rumble matches we’ve had so far and I can honestly say I’d happily watch it again and have a good time doing so.

3 – Becky Lynch(c) def. Asuka
(Raw Women’s Championship)

This is one of those situations where I think a disinterested crowd took away from a match that was a lot better than the reactions it was getting. I don’t blame the crowd, however, if I had already gone through 3 hours of action and knew there was a Royal Rumble match immediately after this one, I’d try and conserve my energy too, but it doesn’t stop it taking away from the match somewhat.

Still, there was a lot of solid wrestling to this match and I don’t think we should let a muted crowd take away too much from that fact. These two have clear chemistry in the ring together and if I’m being entirely honest, I wouldn’t mind seeing another clash between them in front of a more lively crowd. Asuka did a good job of striking a balance between heelishly slowing down the action but keeping things relatively exciting and tense as she worked her magic.

Meanwhile, Becky did was Becky does and it was as much fun to watch as it always is. She’s so good at making herself look just about beatable, before striking out with the comebacks and sneaking away with the win. I especially liked the finishing sequence where both women were escaping each other’s submission manoeuvres and I’m happy that Becky finally got her win back.

2 – The Fiend Bray Wyatt(c) def. Daniel Bryan
(Universal Championship)
(Strap Match)

Told you they’d make it work.

If I’m being honest, I was starting to lose faith that we’d ever see a really great Fiend match, his character didn’t seem to leave much room for competitive matches, however, I was thankfully proved wrong last night as I thought this was a great way to go about it.

Strap matches usually tend to restrict the performers in the ring, but that wasn’t the case here as they were able to get some really impressive action in and still feature the strap heavily in most of their spots. Throughout the match, I really got the feeling that Daniel Bryan was finally able to get a feel of The Fiend and had plenty of counters prepared for the erratic offence The Fiend threw his way.

It was a little slow to start, but that was necessary to get the damage in on Bryan and lend a lot more drama to his comeback, which definitely worked. Every now and then Bryan would get a little advantage over The Fiend and each time he managed it, he kept the momentum going for just a little bit longer. Unfortunately, the fact that it was extremely obvious going in that Bryan wasn’t going to win sapped a bit of the drama out of the final LeBell Lock, but I still came away from the match having had a great time watching some great wrestling, so I can’t complain.

 1 – Drew McIntyre won the 30 Man Royal Rumble Match

Well, I sure didn’t see that one coming.

This was very clearly a Rumble of two halves and I think that both halves were as entertaining as each other, but in different ways. The first half where Brock was eliminating everyone was so fun to watch, it could’ve lost its novelty pretty quickly, but there was enough variation in both the entrants and the method by which they fought that kept it entertaining and it was clear from his face that Brock was having a great time, which helps LOADS.

My personal favourite moment in that first half was when Shelton Benjamin came out and Brock greeted him as an old friend because we knew that turn was coming, but Brock was so uncharacteristically cheery that I couldn’t help but chuckle. The drama was there too, with Kofi, Big E and Rey did their best to take on the Beast, it’s a bit disappointing that Kofi didn’t get his moment, but when the three of them prepared an attack on the outside, I felt the drama of it. Also, honourable mention to Brock bopping to MVP’s music.

Eventually, Drew came out at 17 and things went off the chain. Ricochet giving Brock the low-blow was a nice bit of poetry and the Claymore Drew hit to eliminate Brock was brilliant and Brock sold it like death to boot. As the ring filled up with people we got the more standard Rumble action and thanks to the calibre of the guys involved it was all great stuff.

Edge’s return was brilliant, even if a lot of us sort of knew it was probably going to happen. I became a wrestling fan not too long after Edge retired, but I’ve seen so much of his stuff since then and that look on his face as he walked out – pumped and ready to fight, but also on the brink of crying tears of joy – that hit me right in the feels and it was a wonderful moment. On top of that, he got a great showing, Spearing everyone in sight and giving us a cheeky little Rated RKO reunion for our troubles.

As I mentioned in my predictions, while Roman wasn’t the person I necessarily wanted to win, I would’ve been happy if he did and I’d come to accept the fact that it was just how it was going to happen. So when Drew threw Roman over the top and won I was genuinely shocked and overjoyed. I never would’ve picked Drew to win, but now the prospect of Drew vs Brock is in front of me I am GAGGING for it, make that man the first-ever UK-Born WWE Champion, I need that in my life.

As far as a Royal Rumble match goes, this was a resounding success on all fronts and it easily up there with many of the better Rumble matches to ever take place.

And that’s it! Those are my thoughts of Royal Rumble 2020! Thank you very much for taking the time to read this, let me know what you thought of the show, either in the comments below or on Twitter @10ryawoo. Finally, make sure to come back on Saturday where I’ll be running down Doctor Who Series 5!

 

WWE Royal Rumble 2020: Predictions & Analysis

Rejoice one and all! It’s Royal Rumble time again!

I don’t think it would be surprising for me to say that the Royal Rumble is perhaps my favourite Pay-Per-View of the year. The nature of the stipulation means that it’s always a really fun match to watch, even when it’s not actually all that good in terms of quality. It also means we’re going to finally start to get an idea of where the company is headed for Wrestlemania this year, as it seems management is leaving their decisions a lot later than usual this year.

As it stands, I’ve not been following the world of wrestling as closely as I normally do this past month; and that goes double for Raw & Smackdown. I don’t know whether it’s just the hecticness that comes with restarting everything following the holiday season, but either way, I’ve done my best to catch myself up so I can get predicting!

Shorty G vs Sheamus

It’s been a little while since his return now and I still can’t work out if I’m excited to see Sheamus or not.

I thought he was absolutely fantastic with Cesaro as one half of The Bar and absence does make the heart grow fonder, but I’ve never really cared for him as a singles star, especially when he’s running through guys I enjoy watching more, which is unfortunately where I think this one is going.

I think this match has the potential to be a fun one though, Gable tends to have great chemistry with bigger guys and as long as he’s not booked to be totally annihilated by Sheamus here, he should look pretty impressive in defeat. I think I’ve made it pretty clear already, but I’m picking Sheamus to win here. Sheamus has just returned and looks to be starting out a tear, it’s possible that Shorty G could sneak a rollup win and enrage Sheamus, but that just seems like taking the long way round to the same destination.

Andrade(c) vs Humberto Carrillo
(United States Championship)

As was expected when Lesnar moved over to Raw, the United States title has suddenly become a much more heavily featured title on the red brand, however, I can’t say I’m thrilled by this being the match that makes it onto Pay-Per-View.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Humberto Carrillo, but we saw him unsuccessfully fight Styles for the title so recently that I don’t feel like he’s built up enough credibility in order to be challenging for the title again and I highly doubt he’ll be winning it. I’m confident it’ll be a fairly enjoyable watch, since these are two guys that have similar styles, unfortunately, I think it’s probably going to land on the pre-show, meaning it likely won’t get the time it needs to be properly special.

Either way, Andrade is leaving with the title in tow, he just had a big (but rather condensed) feud for it with Mysterio and I think doing a quick switch over to Carrillo would squander this new-found credibility Andrade has built up for himself; and ultimately, I value Andrade’s credibility more than I do Carrillo’s at this point.

Roman Reigns vs King Corbin
(Falls Count Anywhere)

Oh yeah, this feud.

After TLC gave us exactly the crap we expected, I can’t say I’m all that optimistic about this match’s prospects. With The Usos recent return and Reigns & Corbin’s entries in the Royal Rumble match later in the night, I would’ve preferred to see some sort of 6-man tag match instead of another one on one affair. That said, if TV this month is anything to go by, it’s likely this will devolve into another clusterfuck anyway.

After Corbin got the win last month, I’d like to say picking Reigns to win here was an easy decision, but given that Reigns is one of the top contenders to win the Rumble this year, WWE might want to cast doubt on his ability to compete before appearing in the match; not to mention, if anyone’s going to inexplicably win for no real reason, it’s King Corbin. I’m sticking to my guns though and saying Roman Reigns picks up the win here, perhaps with a post-match beatdown in order to cast that doubt I was talking about.

Bayley(c) vs Lacey Evans
(Smackdown Women’s Championship)

Wait really? A heel vs heel ma- wait, what do you mean Lacey Evans is a face now, that can’t be right…*furiously checks notes* Well I’ll be…

Having watched a lot of Lacey’s efforts as a face, I can’t say I’m all that convinced and neither are the crowds. Bayley & Sasha have done as good a job as they can to get heat by going after Lacey’s daughter, but I just don’t have any motivation to care about Lacey after spending most of the year as a heel who always loses and turning face without anyone even realising it for a couple of weeks.

Lacey’s definitely improved as a performer since her matches with Becky earlier in the year, but I’m still not overly confident this match is going to be all that great. Bayley’s title matches always tend to be the ones that get cut short and on a PPV like the Rumble, where we’ve got to squeeze in two separate hour-long matches, I don’t think this one is going to get the time it really needs to be more than mediocre.

As for a winner, it’s gonna be Bayley, I’d say this was an easy pick regardless because I don’t see Lacey Evans picking up a title this close to Wrestlemania. Additionally, there’s the fact to consider that Lacey beat Bayley clean on Smackdown in a non-title match and wrestling logic dictates there’s absolutely no way she’s winning on Sunday.

Becky Lynch(c) vs Asuka
(Raw Women’s Championship)

Ok, so apparently Royal Rumble 2020, just copied Royal Rumble 2019’s homework.

Not that I’m complaining though, this match was brilliant last year and I expect it to be brilliant this year too. I also think there’s a much better story going into the match this year, the whole thread of Asuka being the one person Becky’s never beat is something I wasn’t expecting to come up but they’ve used it to good effect and manages to make Becky seem like an underdog, which is something I haven’t felt about her since this time last year.

Unfortunately, the outcome of this match is a lot more predictable than last year, since it’s pretty clear that whatever the planned match is for Wrestlemania, it involved Becky Lynch going in as champion. As I said, I’m sure this match will be great and give us that reminder of why we all route so hard for Asuka to succeed, but I would be very surprised if Lynch didn’t get her win back in this one.

The Fiend Bray Wyatt(c) vs Daniel Bryan
(Universal Championship)
(Strap Match)

Oh, so Royal Rumble 2020 also copied Royal Rumble 2014’s homework? I guess there are worse events to copy.

While I enjoyed the storytelling aspect of their Survivor Series match, I found the action itself to be a bit disappointing. I know now that it was necessary to tell this story to its full potential, but it felt quite one-sided and boring until The Fiend suddenly won out of nowhere. However, now that the story has been told, I’m confident this match will be different from the previous one.

In the past month, Daniel Bryan has once again been able to evolve his character even further than he did in 2018 and despite being the underdog babyface again, he feels like a very different person to the one that faced off against Wyatt before, both in 2014 and from a couple of months ago. As such, I’m hoping that this match will be a lot more competitive, creating a feeling of two equals competing, instead of one man kicking ass until he suddenly gets murdered.

A strap match is a bit of a weird wrinkle to add to the feud. I get why thematically it makes sense, but it still feels a bit out of nowhere and I can’t help but feel like it will hamper both men’s ability to person at their best. I know there’s plenty that can still be done with the formula, but it’s one of those matches where pretty much every spot needs to involve the strap in some way because WWE thinks we’re idiots.

That said, I don’t think the outcome is going to be any different from the previous two times we saw this match. The Fiend is still easily the most popular male wrestler in WWE right now and for him to be defeated here would feel like a huge anti-climax to its story. The match might be a lot closer than last time, but the outcome will be the same, with The Fiend Bray Wyatt holding the Universal Championship aloft.

Women’s Royal Rumble

This is the first women’s Rumble without a clear cut story going into it. With Asuka’s win, it was pretty obvious to most people that she was going to win and last year, although we weren’t sure whether it would actually BE Becky, we knew that story would be a huge factor in the winner of the match. This year though, there’s no such speculation to be found and it’s a bit of an open field in regards to who could win.

Since it would be a waste of everyone’s time for me to rundown all 30 entrants, I’m going to cover the 4 or 5 names that are currently being thrown around the IWC as potential winners and comment on what I think of their chances.

Sasha Banks – One of the longest standing rumours for Wrestlemania matches this year has been a 4-way match between all of the 4 horsewomen, which is something I definitely want to soo and Sasha winning the Rumble would certainly get us on that road. However, given how Sasha has been booked since her return, I’m not sure it would work, Sasha could easily go after Becky, with Bayley backing her up, but given that Charlotte is currently a face, I can’t see how she’d force her way into the match, so I’m saying no to Sasha winning.

Ronda Rousey – This one is pretty unlikely, but more unlikely things have happened in Royal Rumbles before. Ever since she left last April, people have been trying to anticipate when Rousey will return to get her rematch with Becky and this seems as good of a place as any. Given what Rousey has been saying in recent interviews about trying to organise a work/family balance it seems like she’s still in a stage of working out what she wants to do, so I think it’s going to be at least another 6 months or so before we see her back in WWE, but you never know…

Becky Lynch OR Bayley – Ok, this one is actually just me throwing my own theory out there, but hey, why not? Becky has all the motivation in the world to want to go after Bayley’s Smackdown women’s title, since Becky never got her rematch when Charlotte took the title from her in May, not to mention Bayley attacked Becky a few months ago when she officially turned heel. As for Bayley, it makes all the sense in the world for her to try and go for the double gold in order to prove she’s just as good of a champion as Becky, that was the whole theme of their Survivor Series feud.

Out of all of the candidates I’m discussing, this is the one I think is the least likely, but I’d certainly be excited if it happened.

Shayna Baszler – This is the most popular theory currently going around and if we’re speaking purely in terms of what I want to happen, I’m fully behind it. Baszler proved that she’s a big deal at Survivor Series and it’s clear that she and Becky still have unfinished business from that match. In addition to this, Baszler is a ready-made star from her run in NXT and this would launch her right into the main event scene.

Charlotte Flair –It’s going to be this one isn’t it? I don’t think many people will disagree with me that Charlotte Flair is bound to win a Royal Rumble at some point in her career, so why not this year? If the horsewomen 4 way is going to be the Mania match, then I think Charlotte winning the Rumble is the best way to go about setting it up. Have Charlotte go after Becky, only for Bayley and Sasha to heelishly get themselves involved, or something along those lines.

I really hope that Shayna is the one to win, but I don’t have the confidence to pick her, so I’m choosing the safe option and picking Charlotte Flair to win her first Royal Rumble.

Men’s Royal Rumble

My view on this match is much the opposite to the women’s Rumble because as much as there are a couple of people with an outside chance, I honestly think there’s only one real candidate to win this match, still, let’s discuss some others anyway.

Kevin Owens – While I think the chances of Owens winning this match are basically zero, I think it would be the most interesting person to win. Lesnar vs Owens is a money match and you’ve already got a match with Rollins lined up so that he doesn’t have to sit around a twiddle his thumbs because Lesnar refuses to do the February Pay-Per-View. It’s a massive shot in the dark, but if I had to pick who I wanted to win, Owens is my guy.

Seth Rollins – Pretty much just the flipside of the Owens argument, things going into Mania would look pretty similar, only with Rollins coming out victorious instead of Owens. I know we’ve already seen Lesnar vs Rollins twice, with Rollins winning both times, but if the dirt sheets are to be believed, WWE still doesn’t have much of an idea as who Lesnar’s opponent is going to be, so it’s all still up in the air as far as I’m concerned.

Cain Velasquez – Unfortunately, I think his match against Lesnar at Crown Jewel did some irreversible damage to Velasquez, at least in the short term, because I honestly don’t see him as any kind of threat. However, this is WWE and it wouldn’t surprise me if a full-length Lesnar vs Velasquez match ended up being the Wrestlemania plan and having a cross-over star, like Velasquez winning the Royal Rumble, would certainly make some headlines.

Brock Lesnar – Yeah, like Lesnar’s going to work a full hour. As he’s the WWE Champion, it would be just a tad counterproductive for him to win the Rumble, unless of course Lesnar vs The Fiend is what they have in mind, which I don’t think would be all that good of an idea. The general consensus from the IWC is that Lesnar is just in this match to set up a potential Mania match via whoever eliminates him from the match, which is a consensus that I agree with, there’s just no rationale for him winning.

Roman Reigns – It’s gotta be Reigns, right? What else is there for him to at Mania? The Fiend vs Reigns is a match that’s been rumoured since about September and it makes the most sense from a story perspective. Reigns is really the only face on Smackdown that’s higher up the totem pole that Daniel Bryan, so having The Fiend face anyone else would seem like an anti-climax. Not to mention, Reigns hasn’t even sniffed the world title scene since his triumphant return from his leukaemia in February, so I think it would be a great story to tell.

As for how the fans will react, it’s honestly hard to tell. Personally, I’ll be cheering if he wins, but the wrestling fan-base is a fickle one, so even if they’ve been pretty consistently cheering Roman Reigns since his return, they may suddenly turn on him if he’s going for a world title. I hope that doesn’t happen though because I think Reigns winning is the right move in the long-term.

So there you have it, those are my predictions for WWE’s Royal Rumble 2020! Thank you very much for taking the time to read this, please feel free to let me know what you think is going to happen on Sunday, either in the comments below or on Twitter @10ryawoo. Finally, make sure to come back this time next week, where I’ll be running down my rankings of Doctor Who Series 5! (For real this time, I promise).

WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2019: Every Match Ranked

And with that, the last WWE Pay-Per-View is in the books and…meh.

I just felt a bit deflated watching this show, there were some highlights and I’ll get to those, but at least 75% of this show was just a bit dull. I’ll elaborate as I break down each of the matches, but this is absolutely going to be a show that is well and truly forgotten by the time the new year rolls around.

Let’s take a look at the match then, shall we?

8 – King Corbin def. Roman Reigns
(Tables, Ladders & Chairs)

BORED.

I honestly have nothing to say about this match. It wasn’t even bad in some weird or interesting way, it was just a completely and boringly average match from start to finish. The action was predictable WWE affair and as I mentioned in my predictions, Corbin is not the kind of wrestler that Reigns gels well with.

On top of that, there’s the fact that The Revival have gone back to being Corbin’s lackeys which is fine I guess but given the number of times we’ve seen it this year, I can’t help but not care. Looking back at how Roman Reigns has been booked since his return, it makes me wonder if WWE think that if they have Roman lose basically every feud he’s in all year, we won’t all be mad when he wins the Royal Rumble, because that’s pretty much the only explanation I can come up with to justify Corbin winning this close to Wrestlemania season.

7 – Bobby Lashley def. Rusev
(Tables Match)

BOOOOOREEEED.

Once again, it’s another bog-standard and extremely boring WWE weapons match, that was arguably even further hampered by having to force a bunch of “almost” table spots every 2 minutes. The reason I’m ranking it above Roman & Corbin is that I thought that in the opening few minutes before the weapons came out, these two actually had some pretty good chemistry as two hosses that were trying to destroy each other. Unfortunately it mostly just made me wish we could’ve had a normal match instead of these tacked on gimmicks.

I highly doubt this is the end of the feud though and I think that might be to its benefit since I’d actually quite like to see a regular match between these two as it’s clear they’ve got some heat behind this story. WWE do have a New Year’s episode to stack after all.

6 – The Kabuki Warriors(c) def. Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair
(Women’s Tag Team Championships)
(Tables, Ladders & Chairs)

I REALLY wanted to like this match, I even watched it back this morning to make sure it wasn’t my tiredness that was ruining it for me, but it just wasn’t good.

It opened really strong, there were some quick spots with the weapons and a nice amount of actions that gave the match a big-fight feel. I especially liked the large amounts of tandem offence on both teams, it made a big deal out of Becky & Charlotte teaming together, which I don’t think had been done nearly enough on TV in the build to this match.

Unfortunately, around-about the half-way point of the match, it just STOPPED. The competitors would take over a minute to set up almost every spot and the resulting spot was never worth it, they stopped literally everything at one point so Asuka & Kairi could have a whole conversation and then fumble around with a ladder for what felt like an eternity. That whole segment completely lost me and the match did nothing to win me back from that point onwards which is such a disappointment, especially when you consider how good the triple threat TLC between Asuka, Becky & Charlotte was last year.

I’m overjoyed that Asuka & Kairi got a clean win and the performance made Kairi feel like a big deal for the first time since coming to Raw & Smackdown, but I didn’t have fun watching this match at all, so it’s got to get a low ranking.

5 – The Viking Raiders(c) vs The OC ended in a double countout
(Raw Tag Team Championships)

Oh. They went for the extremely obvious yet extremely underwhelming options then…FIINE.

Admittedly predicting The Usos to show up here was a bit of wishful thinking, but given what match we ended up getting I feel justified in wanting it. As I’ve gotten used to in recent years with WWE, this match was just fine. I don’t have any problems with it, but I also don’t have even the slightest shred of interest in it.

…At least that’s what I thought until the match ended in a double countout, meaning we’re going to be getting this on the Royal Rumble pre-show next month. So I guess I’ll see you next month when I cover this match again!

4 – Bray Wyatt def. The Miz

So here we have an absolutely fantastic bout of story-telling that we very rarely see from WWE and a match that didn’t quite click for me.

I liked the idea of Bray just letting Miz beat the life out of him, but I don’t think they went about it in quite the right way. The way Bray kept trying to break through but got countered made it seem like Bray was actually trying to get offence in, but Miz was outmanoeuvring him, I would’ve instead preferred it if Bray was voluntarily offering himself up to be beaten up by The Miz. That said, the main story beats still landed as intended and I’d love to see Bray wrestle as the funhouse character more often just to see more of this.

What happened after the match was great too, we finally got the idea that The Fiend really is a separate entity to Bray and things got genuinely creepy when Bray looked up at The Fiend and laughed “Ok, I’ll do it”. I’m not entirely sure why Michael Cole was so shocked by the mallet when it was at least the third time he’s seen it, but that’s beside the point. The return of Daniel Bryan is something I’ll always be in favour of and this feud now feels like it’s got some real heat behind it, so I’m looking forward to the coming month of TV between these two.

Like I said, the match itself was nothing special, but the story was definitely the main focus and that absolutely worked.

3 – The New Day(c) def. The Revival
(Smackdown Tag Team Championships)
(Ladder)

Oh…to be honest, this was one of the few matches I was optimistic about going into the show.

I have no idea why, but this match just didn’t click with me. It ended up similarly to the main event in that it started out well, (very well, in fact, that’s why I’ve ranked it so much higher) but around the mid-point, it just totally lost me. Things started to slow down and I was ok with it, but then there were a solid 2 minutes of Big E wandering around the ring doing pretty much nothing and the whole match just fell apart from that point onwards.

There were flickers of excitement, almost all of which were thanks to Kofi but the finish felt extremely awkward, with Scott Dawson just kind of standing there on the ladder, he wasn’t being hit by anyone and he wasn’t selling, he could’ve easily just climbed the ladder, but instead, he was just stood there doing absolutely nothing. All of this wasn’t helped by the fact that Kofi had to awkwardly manoeuvre himself out of the position he was stuck in on the ladder before he could grab the titles.

This was a match that started off as good as you’d expect between these two teams but the longer it went on the more it dragged to the point where I came away from it feeling glad it was over.

2 – Humberto Carrillo def. Andrade
(Kickoff Show)

How come the cruiserweight title could never get this much time on the pre-show?

With how last-minute and throwaway this match seemed I was not expecting much from it at all, I was expecting about 7 minutes of good, but not great action that served pretty much no purpose whatsoever. What we instead got was a 13-minute match between two guys with great chemistry who made the most of the opportunity that was before them by putting on a really fun match.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s nothing that’s going to set the world on fire, but in a show like this with so much dull crap, I was overjoyed that a match I initially thought nothing of turned into something very enjoyable. I’m not sure what kind of story they’re looking to tell with Andrade & Vega, but I imagine it’ll amount to nothing, much like this mini push they’ve decided to give Humberto, maybe he’ll get to do something cool in the Rumble match.

Still, whether this is the start of something great for Humberto or just a flash in the pan, I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.

1 – Aleister Black def. Buddy Murphey

So it turns out when you take two really good wrestlers and just let them wrestle instead of forcing pointless gimmicks upon them, it’s actually really good, who knew?

As I think most of us expected, these two gelled really well in the ring. Black’s style of offence has always been very strike-based which was something Murphey was able to bounce off of very well. This match had a bit of everything, from fast-paced action that looked incredibly impressive, to slow and hard-hitting strikes that genuinely caused me to exclaim at a couple of points.

There is the issue that this match had no build to it at all, especially since we hadn’t seen Black wrestle in any noteworthy spot since June, however, I’d be ok with him having a bunch of matches like this if there was any kind of consistency to it. Every time we get a little taste of Aleister Black like this it reminds me how much I love him as a wrestler and I want to see so much more of him; the same goes for Buddy Murphey too if I’m being honest.

So in short, great match, but give me MORE!

And there you have it! Those were my thoughts on WWE TLC 2019, thank you very much for taking the time to read this review, please let me know what you thought of the show either in the comments below or on Twitter @10ryawoo. Finally, make sure to come back on Saturday, where I’ll be running down the best “old” games that I played for the first time in 2019!

WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs: Predictions & Analysis

Wow, I’m glad Survivor Series had lots of longterm consequences that weren’t forgotten after a week of programming.

I don’t know if it’s just because it’s the end of the year and I’m tired, or if WWE programming has really just been this bad over the past month, but I’m not looking forward to TLC at all. Looking through the card, there are a few matches that I’m hopeful would be good, but when looking at the storylines building up to them, I can’t help but feel apathetic towards all of them, none of the stories have been interesting and I just don’t care about the outcome for most of these matches.

Still, that doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions on them, so let’s get predicting.

The Viking Raiders(c) vs TBD
(Raw Tag Team Championships)

So let me get this straight, WWE decided to do a segment on Raw where The Viking Raiders issued an open challenge…in order to build to segment on Sunday where The Viking Raiders issue an open challenge. *sigh* fine.

There’s a couple of possibilities here, firstly is that this lands on the pre-show, in which case it’ll probably The Street Profits again and they’ll lose again in a slightly more competitive match than we saw on Monday. If it’s not on the pre-show, then I think it’ll be one of two teams. Either it’ll be the boring option in The OC, since The OC beat The Viking Raiders at Crown Jewel, in a decision that has only become more baffling given how The Viking Raiders have been treated since then.

The much more exciting option is that we see a return for The Usos, which is something I’ve been wanting for a while now because they’re just what the Raw Tag Division needs to spice things up because Viking Raiders have been spinning their wheels for a while now. If it’s The OC, then I’m expecting The Viking Raiders to retain, however, my official prediction is that it will be The Usos to answer the call and they’ll win the titles to boot.

Aleister Black vs Buddy Murphey

So are they actually planning to do something with Aleister Black now? Or is this just like it was in June when he had a pointless match so we didn’t all forget he existed?

I love both of these competitors and Black especially, but given how much build Black has had behind him this year, I can’t help but feel like a match like this with no build behind it is an absolute waste. If you want people to react to the guy, then I’d say keeping him off of TV until there’s something meaningful for him to do is the best idea. The audience aren’t idiots, we’re not going to suddenly forget who he is, he had a Wrestlemania match this year for Christ’s sake. If he was just saved until they were ready to put him in a program with someone like Orton or Styles then the reaction to him finally showing up and kicking ass would be huge.

That aside, this match will be great. Both Black and Murphey can go a mile-a-minute when they want to and I’m sure that both of them will be eager to get a big reaction here. I’m pretty confident Aleister Black is going to get the win though, because quite frankly if he doesn’t, they may as well just release the guy now and stop wasting everyone’s time.

The New Day(c) vs The Revival
(Smackdown Tag Team Championships)
(Ladder)

I think it says a lot that this match, a match between two of the best tag teams in the world, is one that I just don’t care about.

Putting aside the fact that we’ve already seen it a bunch of times this quarter, this whole thing has had basically no build and The Revival, along with WWE’s Tag Division as a whole, has been treated like a joke and an afterthought for so long, that I just don’t have any reason to care. Even with The New Day, although I absolutely love them and think they’re amazing wrestlers, they’ve been the “default” setting for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships for so long now that I don’t think there’s anything more they can do in the division that isn’t retreading old ground. So I’m left in a situation where either The Revival win and the tag titles go back to being treated like they’re nothing, or The New Day win and the boring status quo remains.

Like I said, as far as tag team wrestlers go, there are few that can equal these two teams, so I’m sure the match will be a great watch provided they get enough time and who knows, maybe this will be where tag team wrestling in WWE starts to turn around and I’ll be proven wrong, I doubt it though.

Oh, and The New Day are going to win.

Rusev vs Bobby Lashley
(Tables)

Well…this storyline has been a bit all over the place.

First of all, this feels a lot like McMahon is trying his damndest to get revenge for 2015 when they originally tried to do a storyline where Rusev & Lana broke up, but they ruined it by having the audacity to get married in real life.

As a whole, this storyline hasn’t been great. There were a couple of weeks in the middle where things were ok, as the focal point was on the physicality between Rusev & Lashley, but pretty much any segment that relied on Lana’s talking ability was just plain awful and, for a married couple, she has surprisingly little acting chemistry with Rusev. In addition to this, Lashley has felt entirely unimportant to the story outside of giving Rusev someone to beat up, because he can’t beat up Lana.

Unfortunately, I don’t think this storyline is over just yet, Tables matches are prime contenders for screwy finishes and I’m fully expecting Lana to get involved and somehow contribute to sending Rusev through a table, handing Bobby Lashley the win and we can keep this whole stupid thing going into the Royal Rumble next month.

Roman Reigns vs King Corbin
(Tables, Ladders & Chairs)

So there have undoubtedly been a lot of bad storylines this month, but I’ve got to say that this is the worst of the lot.

For one thing, it involves a King gimmick, which have been done to death and quite frankly it’s just a half-assed excuse to give Corbin an extra shread of credibility. The thing with Corbin is that he’s been doing the same stuff for so long that I honestly just don’t care about anything he has to say or do, I don’t hate him, the stuff he says doesn’t generate any heat with me, it’s just pure apathy.

On top of this, Corbin’s style is one that Reigns doesn’t typically mesh well with as it generally makes for a pretty generic affair where Corbin “wears him down” with 10 solid minutes of rest-holds until Reigns suddenly comes flying out with a burst of exciting offence for a win. Unfortunately, this match was the one that got the TLC stipulation, so it’s going to be way too long, very slow and probably quite boring outside of one or two big spots.

If this were any other time of year, I’d be tempted to say that WWE were going to hand Corbin the win for shits and giggles, but we’re coming up to the Royal Rumble and in my mind, Roman Reigns is the main contender to win it right now, so he needs a solid and decisive win here.

Bray Wyatt vs The Miz

After Bryan lost clean to Wyatt at Survivor Series I was interested to see how they’d justify continuing the whole story, but I’ve got to say, this whole build has been great.

Removing Daniel Bryan in the way they did made the whole thing feel incredibly creepy and the way Miz has stepped in to stand up to Bray has finally helped legitimize The Miz as a face. I don’t think it’s any measure of a surprise when you consider how great these two guys are on the mic, but I’ve found each of their segments on Smackdown throughout this month to be really compelling, with the segment on last night’s episode, in particular, being fantastic.

I think having regular Bray Wyatt facing off against The Miz is an interesting twist and it opens up a world of possibilities for things that could happen, both in this match and with The Fiend in general going forward. I think it could be interesting if Daniel Bryan showed up in some capacity during this match, maybe The Fiend could appear on the screen, torturing Bryan backstage, causing The Miz to abandon the match and get beat-up.

I’m really interested to see what’s going to happen with this one, but I don’t have any doubt that Bray Wyatt is going to be the winner, he’s the Universal Champion after all, even if this isn’t a title match.

The Kabuki Warriors(c) vs Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair
(Women’s Tag Team Championships)
(Tables, Ladders & Chairs)

Apparently, TLC is the one time of year when Asuka gets treated like a real wrestler.

This is one match that I have no doubt will be great to watch, as it’s essentially just the match we had between Becky, Charlotte & Asuka last year, only with Kairi Sane involved, thus making it ten times better. I’m sure the tag team format will allow for a huge variety of spots and action to take place and hopefully, there’ll be a nice bit of drama to spice things up too.

The interesting part comes from the fact that this whole thing feels like it’s leading to some sort of twist. I don’t know what that twist could possibly be, but I’ve just got this gut feeling that there’s no way this can just be a straight forward match for the titles. In terms of what I want it to be, I want it to be Shayna Baszler, although I’m not sure how likely that is given that her title match with Rhea Ripley is less than a week away. Maybe it will be as simple as Charlotte turning on Becky, hell, maybe Becky will turn on Charlotte, although that will probably lead to a repeat of Summerslam 2018.

Either way, I highly doubt Becky & Charlotte are walking away with the tag titles. Mostly because it would just make the titles worthless props in a more important singles feud, much like the Raw tag titles were with Seth & Braun earlier in the year. I don’t know what kind of shenanigans are going to happen in this match, but the result is going to be The Kabuki Warriors walking away with their championships in tow.

And those are my predictions! Thank you very much fort aking the time to read this post, let me know what you think is going to happen, either in the comments below or on Twitter @10ryawoo. Finally, make sure you check back here on Monday for my review of the show!

WWE TLC Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2018: Every Match Ranked

The final WWE Pay-Per-View for 2018 is finally in the bag, and we’ve had this crazy year topped off with a show that was really…..ok.

While there wasn’t a match on this show that I can say I hated, but I didn’t feel the show was as good as I thought it would be when I read the card. The amount of matches really made the show drag a little, especially towards the end. However the focus of the show seemed to be in the right place, so it made for a decent night.

Now let’s talk about the matches themselves, as I rank them from worst to best.

12 – Carmella & R-Truth def. Jinder Mahal &      Alicia Fox
(Mixed Match Challenge Season 2 Final)

Not a whole lot to say about this one really…

I haven’t watched any of the Mixed Match Challenge this year, so I don’t really have any investment in what happened here. I prefer Truth and Carmella to Jinder and Alicia, but that’s mostly just by default. More to the point, there wasn’t anything noteworthy about the match either.

There were a couple of minor slip ups, but aside from that it was a pretty standard match that wouldn’t feel out of place on Raw or Smackdown. I know most people are digging the “Dance Break” thing, but I hate it with all my being, and of course the Singh Brothers were around so they had to go ahead and make it even stupider.

I’m glad Mella & Truth won, but I’m not looking forward to Truth being #30 in the Royal Rumble, or the “comedy” sketch on Tuesday about their trip to WWE’s head offices.

11 – Elias def. Bobby Lashley
(Ladder Match)

Gimmick matches on the pre-show now? A bit weird, but alright.

I’m not sure that the guitar thing was really necessary for this match, it could’ve quite easily have just ended in a pinfall and I don’t think it would’ve made much difference. I know it was unlikely Elias was ever going to pin Bobby, but if you were just going to have Bobby lay Elias out immediately after the match anyway then what’s the point in even having Elias win?

It’s not like either of these men are about to compete for a title, and they’re certainly not in the running for Royal Rumble winner, so this whole thing was ultimately pointless. The match was at least somewhat entertaining, with some nice versions of spots we’ve seen in every other ladder match since the dawn of time.

These two men don’t really have the greatest about of chemistry together, so I really hope this feud doesn’t continue any longer.

10 – Natalya def. Ruby Riott
(Tables Match)

Who knew “tables with pictures on them” would be one of the major stories on this show.

I feel bad putting this match this low, because there was actually some stuff to like about it, but the overall story didn’t really draw me in at all. I liked all the stuff with the Riott Squad taking the bullet for Ruby in a couple of spots to make sure she didn’t lose, it was a nice way to make their present felt without having them directly hinder Natalya.

The main problem I had here was how slowly these two would set up every single spot. It wasn’t just the table spots either, even Natalya locking in the Sharpshooter felt like it took forever. It was a little bit annoying that the tables were so obviously pre-cut, but I guess you didn’t want a situation like Hell in a Cell 2016, where the women are too light to break the table when they fall on it.

It was a perfectly serviceable match, with nothing amazing to draw me in, and buckle up, because I’m going to be saying words to that effect a lot in this review.

9 – Rey Mysterio def. Randy Orton
(Chairs Match)

Please, no more chair matches.

I think that this was the only match on the show that was actively hindered by the stipulation, chairs matches just don’t really seem to work as a concept. For one, all it really is, is a no DQ match where the ring is surrounded by chairs, but more importantly it means that every single major spot has to involve chairs in some way.

There’s only so much you can do with a steel chair and while they’re good in small doses, basing a whole match around them gets old fast. While there were a couple of fun spots, including a rather nasty looking one where Rey went arse first into a chair, but nothing particularly outstanding, and although I didn’t hate this match, I can’t help but feel it would’ve been better without this stipulation.

8 – Dean Ambrose def. Seth Rollins(c)
(Intercontinetal Championship)

Oh….well ok then.

I really don’t understand what it was about this match, but it just didn’t click. The placement on the show probably didn’t help, being the second to last match on a show this long pretty much guarantees a worn out crowd, and they were almost dead silent the whole time.

The match also didn’t really feel like it was a fight between two men with the history that these two have. Dean needed to be a lot more vicious, and Seth needed to have a lot more energy and fire underneath him for it to really click like it should’ve. At the end of the day, you could replace Dean and Seth with pretty much any other heel and face on the roster and the match wouldn’t have felt any different, which really isn’t a good thing.

While they did touch on the story in the closing minutes, given how badly the story’s been built over the past month and how underwhelming the match had been up until that point, it didn’t really feel earned. Part of me wants to see them try this again, but another part of me really just want them both to move on.

It sucks that, in a year where Seth Rollins put on the match of the night on almost every show, he’s down this low on the final show of the year. Let’s just hope he moves on to blow the roof of Wrestlemania against Lesnar next year and we can all forget this ever happened.

7 – Braun Strowman def. Baron Corbin
(TLC Match)

How heroic of these good guys to all team up and beat the ever-loving piss out of their boss.

When I think about how all of this went down, I feel like I should hate it, but I just can’t for some reason. Sure, Strowman probably could’ve still beaten Baron with a broken arm, but this solution make Braun seem quite smart too. It was also a pretty clever way to get them out of this spot they ended up in, where Baron needed to be out of power, but Braun was injured.

Given how crap Raw has been these past few weeks, it was kind of cathartic to see one of the main culprits put to rest, although I’m not all in on WWE using him as a scapegoat for the whole mess. Corbin’s probably going to end up fading into the background a bit more now, and Braun can move on to lose to Brock Lesnar again at the Royal Rumble, but let’s just enjoy this while it lasts.

6 – Finn Balor def. Drew Mcintyre

I never thought WWE could make me feel simultaneously disappointed and pleasantly surprised, but here we are.

I really don’t understand the rationale behind Balor winning here. As much as I’m glad to see that WWE aren’t continuing to hand him loss after loss, I really felt like this was a match Drew needed to win, especially as it seemed like they were trying to build him up. You could argue it was a protected loss since Dolph Ziggler got involved, but this is the same Drew Mcintyre who damn near killed Kurt Angle, two small dudes attacking him shouldn’t really be a problem.

The match itself did feel more like an above average Raw match than a decent PPV match, but everything in it was solid, and Dolph’s interference does at least make sense from the character’s perspective. I really feel like Drew needs to be a much more vicious heel however, he shouldn’t be using rest holds and shouting at his opponent, he needs to be trying throwing them around the ring like they’re nothing.

I really hope this isn’t the start of a decline for Drew, because it seemed like things were going so well for him up until now.

5 – Buddy Murphy(c) def. Cedric Alexander
(Cruiserweight Championship)

Well that was fun while it lasted.

It’s a real shame that the cruiserweights got bumped to the pre-show once again, after putting on two fantastic main card performances in a row, but there was a lot of matches on this show, and I can’t really say that anything else could’ve been bumped to make room for this one.

Regardless, these guys don’t care what part of the show they’re on, they’ll still put on a great match if they can. While it did feel like they toned things down a bit due to being on the pre-show, it was still an entertaining match, with lots of fun action.

One thing the cruiserweights seem to be really good at, is winning over a crowd that usually doesn’t seem to care. The crowd started out dead silent at the start of this match, and by the end they were loving it. It goes to show that even if a good portion of that crowd probably have no idea who these guys are, they’ll still invest in a match if they like what they see. If only they’d go home and watch 205 Live afterwards.

4 – Ronda Rousey(c) def. NIa Jax
(Raw Women’s Championship)

I know I’ve said this pretty much every time she’s wrestled this year, but Ronda Rousey is really good at wrestling.

Clearly Natalya trained her well or something like that, because she just seems to get it, case in point: this match right here. There really aren’t very many people on the roster who could have a match that good with Nia Jax, maybe Becky & Charlotte, but there isn’t anyone else that good.

This match really was all Ronda, pretty much the whole time, Nia seemed somehow more immobile than usual, but Ronda was still able to make it work. She sold her ass of on basically every move to make sure it felt like it had impact, and was flying all about the place when she was on offence to really get the best out of Nia.

This is probably the last time Nia will have a major role on Raw for a very long time, considering Ronda didn’t seem to struggle too much in putting her away, and then Becky laid her the fuck out after the match.

3 – The Bar(c) def. The New Day & The Usos
(Smackdown Tag Team Championships)

Please, never move these teams to Raw, never.

While this was a very good match, it did feel a bit like it was one of the victims of the over stuffed show, but, these teams could pull a great match out even if they only had 30 seconds to work it. Everyone got plenty of time to shine in this match. I’m not sure I like the whole “only two teams in the ring at once” stipulation to Triple Threat tag matches, but they generally still seem to work and I’m ok with that.

My only real worry is where on Earth do these tag titles go next? This is the problem with only focusing on these three (admittedly brilliant) tag teams, is now you need The Bar to fight someone else and there really isn’t anyone build up enough. The Club have lost so many tag title opportunities, they’re basically a joke, and Sanity kept losing their matches and have been absent for months, with the exception of one underwhelming appearance at Survivor Series. Maybe we’ll get a NXT call up, but it’s not like Heavy Machinery ever stand a chance of taking out The Bar.

I have a lot more faith in the Smackdown writers than I do the Raw writers though, so maybe we’ll get something great in time for the Rumble. Maybe.

2 – Daniel Bryan(c) def. AJ Styles
(WWE Championship)

Who knew this one would be good?…..What? Everyone?! Oh alright.

I had to rewatch this one before I wrote about it, because I didn’t really enjoy it that much watching it live. Maybe it was down to how tired it was, but I just didn’t really get it the first time around, however everyone on Twitter really liked it, so I watched it a second time the next day, and it turns out that past me was very wrong about not liking this one, because this match was great.

Sure, it wasn’t anywhere close to the Styles/Bryan match I had in my head, but this was the match we needed, not the one we wanted. For one, Bryan showing up as The American Dragon was unexpected, and I didn’t even realise it at first, but this dude really is something else. After his return I was starting to doubt if he really was as good as we all remembered him being, but this match reminded me exactly why Daniel Bryan is the best wrestler in the world.

He’s able to blend his fast paced crowd popping babyface style so well with his slow and methodic heel pace that he can wrestle just about any style he wants and it still feels true to his character. More importantly he’s clearly done his homework on AJ Styles, with an answer to pretty much everything he’s got, and when he does get caught, it’s not long before he gets back on top.

The perfect example of this is the finish, winning with a small package after a match like that is brilliant, it feels heelish and cheap, but really he just straight up out thought AJ Styles and won because he was the better wrestler. We’ve got so used to heel champions cheating to win, that it’s really refreshing to see a heel win, because he’s just the better wrestler and that’s all there is to it.

I’d love to see just one more match between these two to really kick things into that final gear and get that truly awesome match we all know they can put on.

1 – Asuka def. Becky Lynch(c) & Charlotte Flair
(Smackdown Women’s Championship)
(TLC Match)

Hey! Smackdown finally main-evented a cross-brand PPV! Only took 8 sodding months.

What a match this was, everything about it was just great. It started just how it needed to, they didn’t rush to get to all of the weapons spots, they started out just wrestling each other like normal and built to all of the crazy weapon spots, it allows the crowd to get a feel for the match, instead of getting worn out with all the high spots early on.

Every single spot felt like it built on the last, and they were able to set them up without slowing the pace of the match down, in many instances they made the setting up of a spot a key part of the match, so it all flowed perfectly. It’s hard to talk about the rest of this match without just listing all of the awesome stuff that happened during it, so here goes:

  • Asuka flipping Becky back first onto a ladder looked so damn brutal and rebuilt Asuka to her former glory in about 5 seconds.
  • Becky’s ladder dive was great, even if she did almost crush Charlotte’s ribcage.
  • There was a really nice catharsis in watching the women wail on each other with chairs and it made the whole thing feel so much more intense.
  • Charlotte spearing Asuka into the time keeper’s area looked amazing, and the fact that the barrier didn’t break properly actually made it seem even more brutal.
  • Then there’s the finish…

First of all, these women did a really good job of making it look like they were about to win when they weren’t. Usually in a ladder match it’s pretty obvious when someone’s not about to win, but there were a couple of moments in the last 5 minutes where I thought Charlotte had it in the bag.

However, the main article here is Ronda Rousey, who came out, pushed both Charlotte and Becky off the ladder, leaving Asuka to climb the ladder and win. Before I talk about the interference, I just want to mention how awesome a moment it was when the crowd realised Asuka was about to win, they exploded in cheers and it was beautiful to see Asuka finally get what many thought she should’ve got in April.

Does Ronda’s interference cheapen Asuka’s win? Well yes, it’s hard to argue that it doesn’t. Does this make me mad? Not really. I know a lot of people are quite upset about the finish to this match, and I feel like I should be too, but I’m just not. The match itself was so good that I don’t really mind and Ronda’s actions make perfect sense in the context of what’s been happening over the past month or so.

I’m not quite sure where all this is leading, personally I still hope it’s Becky vs Ronda and Charlotte vs Asuka II, either way it’s going to be an interesting time in the women’s division moving forward.

So there you have it! That was TLC 2018, overall it was a fairly average show, full of ok wrestling and a fantastic main event, not the greatest thing to end the year on, but certainly not the worst either.

Make sure to share this post around on social media, and follow me on Twitter @10ryawoo for more opinions on wrestling and the like. Stick around for the next few weeks as I will be starting to cover my end of year awards for both wrestling and gaming!