TLC 2017

|Date: October 22, 2017
|Venue: Target Center |City: Minneapolis, Minnesota
|Attendance: 13,381
|Brand: Raw

|tweet me: @BastionBlogger

The show kicks off with breaking news that Roman Reigns will not be able to participate in the main event tonight and will be replaced by Kurt Angle. The video package then focuses on Alexa Bliss and Mickie James, the main roster debut of Asuka and then Kurt Angle.

Michael Cole welcomes us to TLC!

Asuka vs. Emma

Background: It was announced a few weeks ago that Asuka will be joining Raw. The ladies of the Raw women’s division all wanted to be the girl to welcome Asuka to Raw with a match at TLC. A fatal five way match was setup between Sasha Banks, Bayley, Alicia Fox, Emma and Dana Brooke, a match that was won by Emma. The two girls do have a little history in NXT, a brand where Asuka was completely undefeated.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time main roster PPV match between these two girls.

TLC PPV Record: This is a TLC debut for both girls.

Match: There’s some nice wrestling between the two in the early going. Emma doesn’t seem to phase Asuka who hits a big running butt bump to take the advantage. Emma steps it up, kicking Asuka out of the ring. Emma is more vicious than usual in this match, she ties Asuka up in the corner and hits her with kicks, pulls her hair and then hits a move that she used to call the Emmamite sandwich. Basically a running low splash in the corner. Emma locks a full nelson on as the crowd cheer for Asuka. The girls exchange kicks and Emma has had the advantage for most of the match. Asuka applies an ankle lock and then hits a German suplex. Asuka hits a big kick to the face and then locks on the Asuka lock which is enough for the win.

Result: Asuka wins by submission.

Review: This match was ok, it didn’t feel like a great introduction for Asuka as Emma dominated for most of the match. Asuka only really got four or five shots in so I would like to see more of Asuka. Emma was a good opponent for Asuka’s first match as she’s decent enough and it doesn’t waste a big match against the likes of Bayley or Sasha Banks that I don’t doubt we’ll see in the future.

Rating: 5/10

There’s an ad next for Susan J Komen.

The Miz is backstage with Sheamus and Cesaro. Sheamus has always wanted to brogue kick an olympic gold medalist. They don’t seem happy that Kurt Angle is in the main event. Braun Strowman then shows up and he wants to trash Kurt, Seth and Dean so long as everyone else stays out of his way. Kane then shows up and says that he does what he wants.

Elias is in the ring next with his guitar. He tells everyone to shut their mouths so he can sing his song. Someone comes out and throws something at him, I can’t see who it is though. More vegetables fly at Elias and it’s Jason Jordan! Jordan leaves the the veg and that’s the end of that.

There’s the awesome Snoop ad for WWE 2k18 next.

Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness are on commentary for the upcoming Cruiserweight division match.

Rich Swann & Cedric Alexander vs. Brian Kendrick & Jack Gallagher

Background: Following a heated rivalry between Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher, Gallagher decided to join the side of Kendrick, attacking Cedric Alexander. Rich Swann has since come to the aid of his friend Cedric Alexander and took on Jack Gallagher in a match that ended in a double disqualification when Kendrick and Alexander got involved.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time tag team match between these four men, it’s actually a PPV debut for Cedric Alexander.

TLC PPV Record: This is a TLC debut for all four of these men.

Match: Rich Swann and Brian Kendrick start off the match. It was Swann that beat Kendrick for the Cruiserweight Championship about a year ago. Kendrick takes the early advantage and tags out to Gallagher who is looking for his first PPV victory tonight. Alexander tags in, making his PPV debut and picks up the pace. All hell soon breaks loose with all four men going at it and Cedric diving out at both opponents (I think he missed them). There’s a bit of double teaming form Swann and Alexander and with a good run I think they would make quite the tag team. Gallagher is dressed in a three piece suit (minus the jacket). There are quick tags between Gentleman Jack and Kendrick and they keep Rich Swann from tagging out. Swann finally makes the hot tag and once again Alexander quickens the pace. He hits a nice roundhouse kick on Gallagher for a near fall and then a springboard clothesline.

Kendrick counters a DDT from Swann on the outside and hits a northern lights suplex. Kendrick tags in, hits a superkick on Alexander and then locks on the captain’s hook but Rich Swann breaks it up with a phoenix splash! Alexander then hits the lumbar check and that’s enough for the three!

Result: Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann win by pinfall.

Review: This was a fun match. It was a really solid tag team match to be fair. Alexander and Swann are a lot of fun whilst Kendrick and Gallagher are classic heels. Kendrick bossed the match but it resulted in a really nice match between the four.

Rating: 6.5/10

There’s a video package next for Alexa Bliss and Mickie James.

Charly Caruso interviews Alexa backstage where she mocks Mickie and her age again.

Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Mickie James – Raw Women’s Championship match

Background: Mickie James returned to WWE last year by the side of Alexa Bliss. Since then they’ve grown apart and Alexa has gone on to say Mickie James is an old lady. Mickie wasn’t involved in the fatal five way match at No Mercy and she wants her shot. Alexa has mocked James ever since, saying she is old and passed it. Mickie did pin Alexa in a tag team match on Raw last week.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two old friends.

TLC PPV Record: Alexa Bliss is 1-0 at TLC events, Mickie James is 0-1, having wrestled on the very first TLC PPV back in 2009.

Match: Mickie frustrates Bliss in the early going. Mickie is really agile with cartwheels and nip ups. Alexa takes the advantage, dropping James’ arm on the top rope. Alexa then works the left arm of Mickie James. James hits a hurricanrana but sells the arm. The two girls then exchange slaps and both girls connect with kicks and knock each other down. Mickie fires up and hits lots of clotheslines and kicks. Alexa counters a DDT and hits a sunset bomb for a near fall. Mickie knocks Alexa down and heads to the top but Alexa swipes her down on her injured arm and then looks for Twisted Bliss but Mickie moves. James hits a dropkick off the top for a near fall. A “we want tables” chant breaks out as the two girls go back and forth. Alexa forces Mickie into the corner shoulder-first and then hits a DDT for the three!

Result: Alexa Bliss wins by pinfall.

Review: This was a good back and forth match between these two girls. Alexa wins and continues her second Raw Women’s Championship run. Mickie definitely proved that she’s still got it and can be a player in the women’s division.

Rating: 6/10

charly interviews Mickie after the match and says that she hopes she’s proven that she’s still got it. She thanks the WWE Universe for all of their love and support.

There’s an ad next for Survivor Series. Brock Lesnar is in the ad.

Kurt Angle, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins are backstage. Angle promises to give 100% tonight. Rollins then hands Kurt and Shield chest protector vest.

Elias is back. He starts singing to boo’s from the crowd. Jason Jordan throws vegetables at him again. Elias runs to the back.

There’s a video package showing the recent history between Enzo Amore and Kalisto.

Kalisto (c) vs. Enzo Amore – Cruiserweight Championship match

Background: Enzo won the Cruiserweight Championship at No Mercy and instantly made enemies out of the Cruiserweight division. Kalisto would join the Cruiserweight division and attack Enzo whilst the rest of the division are not allowed to touch Amore. Kalisto would get a Cruiserweight title shot for TLC but the match instead happened on Raw in a lumberjack match that Kalisto won. Enzo would then align with Drew Gulak, Tony Nese, Noam Dar and Ariya Daivari.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.

TLC PPV Record: Kalisto is 0-2 at TLC, Enzo makes his TLC PPV debut tonight.

Match: Enzo cuts a promo pre-match but his voice has gone. You can guarantee that’ll be because of a night out. Enzo gets the first shot in but Kalisto gets into the match with a head scissors and enzeguri. Kalisto hits a suicide dive as Amore looks to re-group. Enzo gets back into it with a cheap shot and then hits an interesting variation of a sidewalk slam that I’ve never seen before. Enzo dominates for a while, it’s slow and mostly chinlocks. Kalisto picks up the pace, hitting a seated senton. Enzo hits a schoolboy into the bottom turnbuckle and then a “DDG” for a near fall. Enzo then pulls up the apron which distracts the referee and allows Enzo to poke Kalisto in the eye! Enzo hits his version of eat defeat and gets the three!

Result: Enzo Amore wins by pinfall.

Review: This match was ok, not the best. Kalisto is capable of putting much better matches on but you can only do so much with Enzo. Amore is one of the best in the company on the mic though and I like his as Cruiserweight Champion. He does actually bring some prestige to the title. I look froward to his reign going forward, he’s a great heel. I’m not sure what the point of Kalisto’s reign though. It just makes him look weak for having such a short reign, similar to when Akira Tozawa won it.

Rating: 3.75/10

Michael Cole tells us about Bray Wyatt not being able to compete tonight and being replaced by AJ Styles. Booker T doesn’t realise he’s on camera and is looking through some scripts until he’s told through his headset and he turns towards the camera and takes off his glasses.

“The Demon” Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles

Background: Finn Balor was supposed to be taking on Bray Wyatt tonight but due to a viral infection, Wyatt can’t compete. AJ Styles steps in, two former Bullet Club leaders going one on one for the very first time.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.

TLC PPV Record: AJ Styles is 1-0 at TLC, Finn Balor wrestles at TLC for the first time tonight.

Match: The crowd, much like myself, are excited for this match. It’s back and forth in the early going as both men prove why they are two of the best in the world today. Neither man has the advantage for long, there’ some really nice wrestling between the two. Balor hits a nice plancha over the top, picking the pace up. Balor hits a slingblade and then measures AJ for a dropkick into the corner but Styles counters with an ushigoroshi. Finn becomes more aggressive, hitting stomps and a running dropkick. AJ locks on a calf crusher but Finn bangs Styles head off the mat to break the hold. Balor counters a phenomenal forearm, pushing AJ to the outside before kicking him and hitting a running dropkick into the barricade. The two men scrap over the announce desk and then back into the ring where Finn hits 1916 for a near fall.

Finn hits a running dropkick, driving AJ into the corner. Balor then heads to the top but AJ hits him with a Pele kick! AJ hits a hurricanrana off the top for a near fall. Balor avoids a springboard 450 splash and then hits a clothesline and another running dropkick. Finn heads to the top and hits the coup de gras for the three!

Result: Finn Balor wins by pinfall.

Review: This was a great match. Given more build I think this match could have been even better. But this was great, it delivered as you’d hope it would. The loss doesn’t hurt AJ too much as he’ll go back to Smackdown and this match will probably never be mentioned. It’s a good win for Balor who will hopefully be in the main event scene sooner rather than later.

Rating: 8.25/10

After the match there’s a too sweet from the two former Bullet Club leaders.

Elias is back and starts singing a song about Jason Jordan. Jordan doesn’t let him good underway, we have a match!

Jason Jordan vs. Elias

Background: This match was made after Jason Jordan interrupted Elias’ singing twice tonight. Not much more history to comment on really, it’s a bonus match!

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men, it’s actually a pay per view debut for Elias.

TLC PPV Record: Both men make their TLC debut tonight.

Match: Jason Jordan out-wrestles Elias in the early going and really shows off his power as he flings Elias around the ring. Elias soon gets back into the match and after a couple of shots it’s armbar city. Elias drives his knee into the back of Jordan, sending him into the middle turnbuckle. Back to the armbar for Elias. And then an abdominal stretch. I don’t think the crowd are feeling this one. Jordan starts to pick up the pace, driving Elias into the corners and then hits what looks like an Angle slam but it’s called a suplex and gets a near fall. Booker T gives Jason Jordan a really hard time. Elias hits a knee and then powerslams Jordan into the bottom rope. Elias attempts a suplex but Jordan counters and rolls Elias up for the three! Jordan looked like he broke the inside cradle before the three count but it’s a win for Jason Jordan nonetheless.

Result: Jason Jordan wins by pinfall.

Review: This match wasn’t great. Not a lot of chemistry between the two. It felt like filler, probably because it was filler. Jason Jordan isn’t polished yet and neither is Elias. It was ok but not one of these guys best matches.

Rating: 3.25/10

There’s a VT next for the main event.

The Miz is backstage with his team and says that he has a surprise. At the end of this match he says that they will drive the garbage to the dump.

Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose & Kurt Angle vs. The Miz, Sheamus, Cesaro, Braun Strowman & Kane – TLC match

Background: This match was originally announced as a six man tag team match between The Shield and The Miz, Sheamus and Cesaro. Dean Ambrose would run his mouth and say that The Shield could take on 3 men or 4 men which would lead to The Miz adding Braun Strowman to his team. A match would then be made between Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns, if Reigns won then Strowman would be off the team but if Strowman win then The Miz could add another man to his team. Strowman would win the cage match with help from a returning Kane who would then be announced as as part of team Miz. In breaking news this week it was revealed that Roman Reigns could not compete due to medical reasons and so Raw General Manager Kurt Angle added himself to the team.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time 5 on 3 TLC match.

TLC PPV Record: Seth Rollins is 1-2. Dean Ambrose is 2-3, The Miz is 3-3, Sheamus is 3-2, Cesaro is 1-1, Braun Strowman is 1-0, Kane is 0-3 and Kurt Angle wrestles at TLC for the first time.

Match: Kurt Angle joins Ambrose and Rollins in Shield gear as they come out to the old Shield music through the crowd. Team Shield take the early advantage using chairs. Rollins and Ambrose lay Kane down on an announce table but Braun Strowman saves Kane before he gets triple teamed and laid down on the other announce desk. Rollins and Ambrose then climb ladders before diving off with a frog splash and elbow drop, putting the big men through tables. It then turns into a six man tag team match with The Bar and Miz looking for a Shield powerbomb on Kurt Angle but Seth and Dean make the save. Kurt then hits consecutive German suplexes on Miz before The Bar get theres. Strowman hits a running powerslam on Angle through a table. Referee’s and trainers see to Kurt who is down and out. It’s then a 5 on 2 as The Miz’s team dominate.

Kurt Angle gets carried to the back as Booker T says Angle had an ego putting himself in this match. Kane accidentally smashes Strowman with a chair at one point and Braun shoves Kane across the ring. Miz, Sheamus and Cesaro try to diffuse the situation. Everyone gets back on the same page and The Bar attempt a double crucifix on Ambrose through a table but the table doesn’t give! Strowman then launches Ambrose through the table setup in the corner. The Miz calls for his team to head towards the stage and then calls for something from the back, it’s a garbage truck! Ambrose and Rollins get thrown into the garbage truck but then fight back and fly off the truck onto their opponents. Strowman saves Kane from getting suplex’d through some tables and then bizarrely Kane turns on Braun and chokeslams him through the stage! Kane then drops a load of hanging chairs down on Strowman too! Has Kane turned babyface on his team? Maybe not, he then goes back to work on Ambrose.

Kane double chokeslams both Ambrose and Rollins through tables. Braun rises up from the ashes and lays into his team. He fights off Miz and Cesaro and then goes after Kane! Kane, Miz, Sheamus and Cesaro quadruple team Strowman and throws him into the garbage truck! It’s a 4 on 2 match now as the garbage truck leaves the arena. Kane looks to finish off Ambrose and Rollins but Kurt Angle’s music hits and Kurt re-emerges from the back! Kurt hits Angle slams on Cesaro and Sheamus but Miz catches him with skull-crushing finale but angle kicks out of the pin attempt. Miz gets hit with a knee to the face, dirty deeds and an Angle slam! The “Shield” then hit a triple powerbomb which is enough for the three.

Result: Kurt Angle, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins win by pinfall.

Review: This match was good fun. It told a good story from beginning to end and the chaotic nature of having 8 guys in the match made it even better. Kurt Angle gets a big win on his return to the ring. He wasn’t the Kurt Angle of old but he still has a bit of life in him yet. It’ll be interesting to see the consequences of Braun Strowman getting thrown in the trash.

Rating: 7.75/10

And that was TLC 2017. There was a real mix of match quality on this show from some bad to average, good and great. The opener between Asuka and Emma was bang average but gave Asuka the debut win she needed. The cruiserweight tag team match that followed was good with Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann picking up the big win. I’ve no doubt Cedric will be in the Cruiserweight title picture before long. Alexa Bliss retained her Raw Women’s Championship against Mickie James in a decent match and then Enzo Amore became a two time Cruiserweight Champion when he beat Kalisto in a not-so-good match. Not terrible but just not good. Finn Balor beat AJ Styles in a really good match. AJ Styles filled in for Bray Wyatt which gave us this dream match between former Bullet Club leaders. Finn Balor won the match on his home turf. Jason Jordan beat Elias in a pretty bad match and then in the main event the team of Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Kurt Angle beat The Miz, Kane, Braun Strowman and The Bar. This was a good match to end the show. Kurt angle back in action was good on one hand but he’s not the Kurt Angle of old. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to Braun Strowman now. No world title match but a fun way to end the show. A pretty average show overall, the bad out-weighs the good but there are a couple of gems with AJ Styles/Finn Balor and the main event.

Overall Rating: 57.85/100 (ranked joint 191st out of 352)

Match Of The Night: Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles
Worst Match Of The Night: Jason Jordan vs. Elias
Surprise Of The Night: Enzo Amore wins back the Cruiserweight Championship
Worst Booking Of The Night: N/A
Superstar Of The Night: Kurt Angle
TLC 2017 Will Be Remembered For: The 3 vs. 5 TLC main event

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