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The Cubed Circle Newsletter
This week was suppose to be the match of the year special issue with the top 100 matches of the year, but I was able to complete my TLC review early. So I thought that having the match of the year special, along with some other articles like year and review and ROH Final Battle, would make for two good issues. As for this weeks issue we have an in depth 7 page long TLC review, for you to sink your teeth into. As always you can find a full PDF above and if you haven’t downloaded it already, I urge you to do so.
WWE TLC 2011 Review
The show kicked off with a Dr. Seuss style, Christmas themed promo. It worked fine, although it felt a little goofy.
1. United States Championship Match
Dolf Ziggler vs. Zach Ryder
Vicky introduced Ziggler, she introduced him as the show off, the gimmick just really doesn’t work. He is supposed to be a heel, who doesn’t care about having the best matches, heels are supposed to only care about winning. Ryder came out, he was really over, Baltimore was definitely one of the best cities for Ryder, they chanted along with him. Then not even two minutes into the match, the commentators were already going crazy over twitter, saying that TLC was already trending, it just comes across as so attention seeking. Ziggler was thrown to the outside, where Ryder hit a big senton, as the crowd chanted “woo woo woo” along with him. But, Ziggler hit a DDT on the apron and began to work over Ryder. The twitter talk was still in full effect, Ziggler did sit ups in the ring, which just came across as so indie, that is something that should be left at a local indie, not in the WWE. Cole and Lawler bickered over whether or not Ryder deserved the championship opportunity, Cole was actually right, he hasn’t won many matches and if you were booking logically he wouldn’t deserve the championship match, but of course this isn’t logical booking at it’s finest. Ryder began to make his comeback, he hit a missile dropkick, a clothes line in the corner, and a face wash. Ryder made the cover, but Vicky placed Ziggler’s foot on the bottom rope, the referee saw and Vicky was sent to the back. Ziggler went for the fameasser, but Ryder ducked it, but Ziggler hit a neck breaker for two. Ziggler hit a dropkick and went to the top, but he was hung up by Ryder, who hit the frankensteiner for two. Ryder went for the rough Ryder, but he was snakeyesed on the turnbuckle by Ziggler. Ziggler ran at Ryder in the turnbuckle, but Ryder got the knees up and hit the Rough Ryder for the win. This was a really good choice of opener for the show, the crowd was really into it and Ziggler and Ryder put on a good little match. They were a few amateurish spots though, specifically the push up spot and some of the fist pumping in the middle of the match. That sought of thing really irritates me and it should really be left in the indies. Hopefully Ziggler can get a good push and hopefully Ryder stays over with the championship.
Booker T was shown backstage talking to Alicia Fox in full ring gear, he said that he was ready, he was then attacked backstage by Rhodes. He was thrown into containers backstage and Rhodes started to choke Booker with his foot, but he was pulled off, by backstage personnel.
2. WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Air Boom (Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne) vs. Primo & Epico
This match wasn’t announced, but I had a feeling it would be on the card, the strange part was that they didn’t take the titles off Bourne and Kingston which was expected, due to Bourne’s wellness policy violation. But, there hasn’t been a tag championship defense for a couple of months, so at least they were defended here. Epico and Primo got the heat on Bourne, while Cole and Lawler went on and on about twitter. Bourne got a roll up and he hit the take down with the knees. He then made a tag to Kingston who ran wild, he took out Primo and Epico, he then hit the boom drop and went for Trouble in Paradise. But Primo moved out of the way, Kingston then hit a cross body on Primo, Bourne hit a big cross body to the outside on Epico. Kingston then hit Trouble in Paradise on Primo for the win. This match really felt like a was watching it in fast forward, but not in a good way, since the heels never really had time to get the heat and therefore the hot tag to Kingston didn’t feel like much. But, both teams did a good job with only seven minutes.
Josh Mathews was backstage, outside of the medical room were Booker T was being treated. He said that for now they must assume that the match is over, an obvious swerve. Teddy Long and Hornswoggle were shown backstage, Long was dressed as Santa, Hornswoggle made crude jokes that probably made Vince very happy, but it wasn’t funny. Hornswoggle wanted to know why Teddy was able to be a black Santa, he said where he came from Santa wouldn’t come down the chimney. Long eventually revealed Hornswoggle’s gift, it was a book on Ebonics, Hornswoggle kicked Long in the shin and left. This was one really horrid segment, that may have seemed funny on paper, (although I doubt that.) but it should have never seen the light of day.
3. Tables Match
Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett
First of all there is no reason that this should have been a tables match, other than it’s December and it’s the TLC PPV. Orton seesawed the table into the face of Barrett, but Barrett gained control and went for the pump handle slam through a table on the ramp, but Orton slid off the back of Barrett. Barrett pushed Orton into the turnbuckle, at that point it seemed that Barrett had a small cut, probably from the table. Barrett worked on Orton on the outside, Orton was driven into the apron and thrown back into the ring were Barrett hit a elbow and set up a table in the corner. Orton began to make his comeback, hitting a powerslam and then went for a draping DDT. Barrett reversed the DDT, but Orton hung him up on the rope. Barrett went for the wasteland on the apron, but Orton countered it into the draping DDT. Orton went for the RKO, but Barrett countered it into a spinning side walk slam. Barrett set up the table underneath the top rope and placed Orton on the table and went to the top rope. He went for a splash on Orton, but Orton hit the RKO in midair for the win. This was another match that only went 10 minutes, it was fine for what it was and the finish was really good, but I don’t see how this does anything for Barrett.
We had another Teddy Long segment, this time with the Bella Twins, they were arguing over who had been the best that year. Long said that they were both bad and gave them his card they then slapped him and walked out. Swagger then came out and said that he makes the most ridiculous GM and Santa. He wanted to know what he was going to do about Big Show’s cheap shot, Sheamus came out. Sheamus then compared Swagger to a cousin that had unfortunate accident, involving a tree, cart wheels and a hill. Another bad segment.
4. WWE Diva’s Championship Match
Beth Phoenix vs. Kelly Kelly
I don’t even know how many times we have seen this match at this point, this match wasn’t really the worst match they have had, but it really wasn’t all that great. The match started off with Phoenix asking Kelly to slap her in the face, she hesitated so Beth went for the slap, Kelly moved and slapped Beth in the face. Kelly threw Phoenix to the outside and hit a dive to the outside. Kelly began to choke Phoenix in the handstand and then hit a hurricanrana. Beth started to lay into the sides of Kelly on the ground with elbows. Phoenix began to work on Kelly, she cried and screamed the whole way through, it wasn’t as high pitched as normal, but it was still pretty annoying. Kelly rolled up Phoenix for two, she then hit a bulldog and began to thrust Phoenix’s head into the mat while screaming, it was pretty annoying. Phoenix caught Kelly in the bear hug and slammed her to the mat for two. Phoenix then missed the leg drop, Kelly botched the transition into the glam slam, it was really sloppy. Kelly reversed the Glamslam and rolled Phoenix up for two. Phoenix then hit some kind of wacky electric chair or powerbomb looking maneuver for the win. I don’t know if the ending was botched, or an audible was called, or if that is just her new finisher, but it really didn’t come off well. Overall the match was pretty nonsensical at points, this match was just proof that the WWE needs an overhaul of the woman’s division.
Del Rio was shouting at Ricardo he said that Ricardo only had one job, and that was to get his car. Miz interrupted saying that their alliance was over, Del Rio said there was no alliance to begin with and that he was just using him. Miz insulted the Ravens to get cheap heat, Miz said that he won at Mania, but Del Rio couldn’t beat Edge who had an injured neck. Del Rio said that Miz couldn’t even take Ricardo and that he was pathetic, Ricardo then came with a dish of food, the Miz pie faced him. Del Rio then pushed Ricardo over, this was actually a pretty good heel segment. We then had a promo for the Royal Rumble it was fine. A video message was shown from the troops. Booker T came out for the match he wasn’t supposed to have, but he was attacked by Rhodes again, who was dragged off, at this point it was obvious that the match would take place.
5. Ladder Match
Triple H vs. Kevin Nash
No matter how hard I try, I cannot rap my head around this stipulation nor can I make sense of the build. There is a sledge hammer under the ring for god sakes, why do they need to suspend it above the ring? I don’t even understand the fact that they need to climb the ladder to use the sledgehammer without ramifications. I mean if that was the can why could Nash run around beating people over the head on RAW? Terrible stipulations aside the match itself
wasn’t as bad as I expected. Now, it wasn’t anywhere close to good and it went way to long, but it wasn’t the negative star match that everyone was expecting. The match started off with Nash grabbing a ladder and ramming it into the leg of Triple H. But, Triple H dived onto Nash from the announce table and unloaded on Nash. Triple H then started to work on the leg of Nash, this was obviously just smoke and mirrors to cover for Nash’s lack of mobility. Triple H locked in the figure four through the ladder, the crowd wooed. Triple H suplexed the ladder onto the leg of Nash, but Triple H was Irish whipped into a ladder and out of the ring. Nash then hit a really nasty looking side walk slam on the ladder, he exposed the announce table and at this point around ten minutes in and no one had attempted to grab the sledgehammer yet. Nash went for the jackknife on the table, but Triple H hit the back body drop on the table, it didn’t break. Triple H finally started to climb the ladder, but Nash pulled him down, Irish whipped him into the ladder and hit a chokeslam. Nash grabbed a table from under the ring, I wonder why he didn’t take the sledgehammer while he was there. He went for the jackknife, but he was pushed into the ladder. Triple H climbed the ladder once again, Nash also started to climb, but Triple H pushed the hammer into the face of Kevin Nash, causing him to fall of the ladder through the table. I didn’t really expect Nash to take a bump off the ladder, but it did peek the interest of the crowd who weren’t really interested in the match. Triple H finally grabbed the sledge hammer, he unloaded on Nash with body shots with the hammer. Triple H went for the pedigree, but Nash botched it, moving at the completely wrong time, luckily Cole actually covered it up pretty well. Triple H hit the pedigree, he then grabbed the sledgehammer, Nash was on his knees, he gave the Kliq sign, Triple H did the crotch chop and hit him with the sledgehammer for the win. Nash was then taken away on a stretcher. The match was better than expected, but it went way too long, plus the stipulation really didn’t work, there were no nearfalls, the sledgehammer wasn’t really teased all that much and what the match really was, Triple H and Kevin Nash in a ladder match with wacky stipulations, I don’t think you could have expected anything else.
Matt Striker interviewed Punk backstage, he said that he had an interesting encounter with Del Rio and Miz on Raw, they then showed the clip. Punk said that he had 6 days to watch that clip, he realized something even more painful then sitting through to hours of Cole commentary, or Del Rio’s butchering of the English language. He said that the problem was that Laurinaitis took his slammy. Laurinaitis came out and said that he mailed it to him, but the postal service is really busy at this time of year, it was actually a pretty funny line. Punk said that Laurinaitis will still have to contend with him since he will retain. Laurinaitis then said that he will be the bigger man since he is taller than Punk.
6. Jack Swagger vs. Sheamus
I actually have no idea why this match was added to the card, it didn’t add anything to this show, all it really did was eat up time that could have been filled by some of the other matches that went too short. Sheamus started off the match by clubbing the chest of Swagger, but Sheamus was distracted by Vicky and driven into the turnbuckle by Swagger. Sheamus was then kicked to the outside, Sheamus began to make his comeback, firing up and killing Swagger in the turnbuckle. Sheamus went to the top rope, but he was knocked to the outside by Swagger. But, Sheamus continued to dominate Swagger once he was back in the ring. Sheamus then went to the top rope, hitting a big clothesline. Sheamus went for the Brogue kick, but Swagger ducked the kick and hit a spear. Swagger locked in the ankle lock, but Sheamus escaped. Swagger ran at Sheamus, but Sheamus hit the Brogue kick for the win. The match really felt thrown together and it really was just a time waster that wasn’t needed.
Josh Matthews was backstage with the Big Show, he was wearing a new camouflage
singlet. He basically said that he feels that with the chairs, he can win the World Heavyweight championship.
7. Chairs Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Mark Henry vs. The Big Show
This match was at least built as a chairs match, if you look back both Big Show and Henry used chairs against each other after their matches, so out of all the stipulations on this show, this one made the most sense. I felt like I was watching an old ECW event or something at the start of the match, as Big Show threw almost all the chairs at ringside into the ring. Then like just about every other Henry title defense, Henry said he wasn’t doing this and attempted to leave with his championship, but Show went after him. Show worked on the back and stomach of Henry with the chair. Show started to unload with punches, but Henry started to dominate with the chair, working on the arms, legs, hands and sides of the Big Show. Henry went for the World Strongest Slam, but he couldn’t get Big Show up, Henry grabbed the chair, but Show landed a big right hand, which he sold, for the win. Henry attacked the leg of the Big Show and suplexed him on the chair, the crowd chanted for Bryan and with perfect timing out came Bryan who covered the Big Show for the win. The match was what it was, it wasn’t pretty, but it didn’t go very long. A big problem I had was the finish, it was just so jolting, it was actually a huge shock to the system that Henry never kicked out. The cash in was great, but couldn’t they have booked it so Henry lost the title to Bryan? Instead of going through the Big Show.
There was another commercial for the network that nearly caused me to have a fit, between the lighting affects and the dubstep. It was pretty much the same one that was shown on Raw. Rhodes’s attack on Booker was shown again, Booker said that he would compete.
8. Intercontinental Championship Match
Cody Rhodes vs. Booker T
I pretty much expected the match to take place, since they teased the thought of the match not taking place a bit to often, so naturally it was a swerve. Booker actually was in control in the beginning of the match, hitting chops on the outside, but Rhodes hung Booker up on the top rope and knocked him off with a forearm. Rhodes gained control, locking in a full nelson, but Booker powered out. Both men collided in the middle of the ring and began to trade strikes. Booker T hit the spine buster and did the spinaroonie, he went for the scissors kick, but Rhodes ducked it and landed a flying knee and another kick in the middle of the ring for the win. This was another jolting finish, but Booker did a good job, I wouldn’t want to see him back full time or anything, but once every now and again wouldn’t hurt. I just wish that they didn’t have so many backstage segments, so that Cody’s win would seem like a bigger deal.
They showed a commercial for the new Austin DVD, it looks pretty good, it’s a pity there are so many repeated matches on the set. A replay was shown of Ryder and Bryan winning their respective championships.
9. TLC Match for the WWE Championship
CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. The Miz
Punk was probably the most over person of the night, getting pretty much the biggest reaction, a reaction that was probably on rivaled by Ryder. The crowd was chanting what I can only assume was “we want ice-cream.”. The Miz and Del Rio worked together at the start of the match, double teaming Punk, up until Del Rio grabbed a chair and turned on the Miz. Punk hit a topé suicida on Del Rio, he then hit the knee on in the corner on Miz, but the Miz hit a backdrop on a chair. Miz then hit a back body drop on Del Rio, Punk and Del Rio teased a suplex through the table, but Punk landed up only hitting a neckbreaker on the floor. Punk used the chair on the back of Miz and then kneed him over the barricade. Punk began to climb the ladder, but Ricardo pulled on the leg of Punk and hand cuffed him to the ladder. Del Rio started to climb, but Punk kicked through the thin middle piece of the ladder, thereby freeing himself. Miz made it back up and hit Punk with the ladder, Miz began to climb the ladder, but Punk pulled him down and got him up for the GTS, but Miz slid off of the shoulders of Punk. Punk and Miz were on the top rope and Punk was about to hit the superplex, when Del Rio hit a kick straight to the head of Punk, Punk fell through a table and a holy s**** chant ensued. Del Rio then wanted after Miz on the entrance ramp and locked in an arm breaker through a ladder, on the entrance ramp. Del Rio placed a chair on Punk who was still lying on the remains of the table, and he used another chair to hit the chair that was on the chest of Punk. He then locked in the cross arm breaker through the chair, Del Rio began to climb the ladder, but Punk and Miz were able to get back in the ring, they pushed the ladder over and Del Rio was hung up on the top rope, he then began to sell the leg. Punk and Miz were exchanging strikes in the ring, when Ricardo started to climb the ladder, this really wasn’t the first time we’ve seen this. But, Ricardo took one hell of a bump off the ladder, when Miz and Punk pushed the ladder over and Ricardo fell through the table on the outside. Punk went for the GTS, but Miz countered it into the Skull Crushing Finale, but Punk pushed the Miz into the turnbuckle. But, the Miz finally hand cuffed Punk to the middle rope, Miz began to taunt Punk in a very heelish manner and he was coming off really strong, until he got too close and Punk high kicked him in the head. Del Rio then set up a ladder, the Miz also began to climb, but Punk undid the middle rope and climbed a smaller ladder that was next to the one that Miz and Del Rio were on. The Miz fell off and Punk got the high kick on Del Rio, he was then pulled down by the Miz, but he finally hit the GTS that was teased the entire match. Punk then climbed the ladder and unhooked the belt to retain the WWE championship. Overall a great mainevent, that was worked logically and a bit more safely than previous TLC matches, but it all made sense and the match didn’t need to be bloated with huge dangerous spots.
Overall Show Thoughts
The show started off really well, but there was just a huge drop in quality in the second half of the show. But, the mainevent really capped the show off on a high note, it was a great championship match and it really was the pinnacle of the show. The pacing of the show did make it much easier to sit through however. The crowd also added to the quality of the show, they weren’t as vocal as the crowd at Madison Square Garden, but they still made their voices heard. Overall definitely an improvement over the last few shows, it did have it’s problems, but the good made for an enjoyable show that I would recommend.
Next Weeks Issue
Next week’s issue will be the last issue of 2011, it will feature top matches of 2011, year in review, double ROH on SBG, a possible early Final Battle Review and more. For updates news and information head over to cubedcirclewrestling.blogspot.com
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