Sunday night at TLC in Brooklyn, New York, the WWE successfully ended the 2012 pay-per-view calendar on a high note. The WWE Universe was treated to a collection of quality matches as tables, ladders and chairs set the theme for the evening.
Big Show and Sheamus III delivered a chairs match worthy of their two previous encounters earlier this year. The Celtic Warrior Sheamus delivered White Noise on Big Show through two steel chairs, before kicking out of both a choke slam and right hand from the Big Show. With the aid of a giant chair shot to the challenger’s spine, the Big Show managed to retain his title.
The evening’s main event was another solid match, a ladder match between John Cena and Dolph Ziggler. The back and forth action saw the duo fall off a ladder through a table, Cena thrusting steel steps onto Ziggler's head and even a hurricanrana from Cena to Ziggler through a table.
There were also chairs in the mix, and each competitor hit their finishing maneuver, as blood trickled from around Cena’s eye. Ziggler tapped out to Cena’s STF at one stage, but the end did not come until AJ and Vickie interfered. After AJ hit Cena’s “five-moves-of-doom” on Vickie Guerrero, she then betrayed Cena by pushing over the ladder he was climbing, allowing Ziggler to claim the victory with a nice twist.
However, it was neither the chairs match nor the ladder match that stole the show at TLC; it was the six-man tables, ladders and chairs match that pitted Ryback and Team Hell No against The Shield. Thanks to the Shield, the TLC match lived up to its rich history and delivered the match of the night.
As the Brooklyn crowd chanted “This is awesome,” the Shield managed to cement their place in the WWE in one match—while Ryback still struggles to earn his spot and overcome the “Goldberg” chants.
The well-paced, action-packed match was a fight that saw plenty of near falls and a wealth of excellent spots. The Shield yet again put Ryback through the Spanish announcer's table with an assisted powerbomb, which left the brawler lying outside of the ring for a significant portion of the match.
Dean Ambrose took a choke slam from Kane through a steel chair, Daniel Bryan received a superplex from Ambrose and Seth Rollins off of a table positioned on the top turnbuckle, and Kane suffered a spear through the barricade from Roman Reigns. Even with all of this action, the highlight of the match and the night came from Rollin’s hellacious fall though a stack of tables on the concrete floor, courtesy of Ryback.
The Shield’s method was to divide and conquer, and with Ryback struggling back to the ring while Kane was buried beneath the rubble outside the ring, Ambrose assisted Reigns in powerbombing Daniel Bryan through a table off the second turnbuckle—which picked up the three-count and the victory.
This year’s TLC match lived up to the standard set by last year’s encounter between The Miz, Alberto Del Rio and CM Punk or 2009’s classic between D-Generation X and Jeri-Show. TLC remains the one match that the WWE can constantly pull off, and this year it was thanks to The Shield.
Although, the WWE did once again make the mistake of putting Cena in the main event when the TLC bout more than deserved to end the night. The match ended with fans amazed, and to follow it up with a Divas title match was an blatant bring down. The night should have ended with The Shield’s show-stealing performance.
The Shield showed Sunday night that they have it all. Whether it’s selling their opponents' moves, executing their own or putting their bodies on the line for those memorable moments, Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns are experts. Add to that their solid promos, and The Shield is professional wrestling’s best stable today.
On Sunday night, The Shield proved not only that they are worthy, but that they truly are the stars of tomorrow. The future of the WWE is looking bright.
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