WWE TLC 2017 Review
What we can expect from TLC is that there’s going to be a lot of carnage. Even though there was only one tables, ladders and chairs match on the card, we certainly got a whole lot of carnage.
The main event saw Braun Strowman, Kane, The Bar and The Miz take on Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Kurt freaking Angle! The Hall of Famer replaced the ill Roman Reigns at the last hour and rolled back the years to deliver an absolutely incredible performance. Angle even donned the famous Shield gear for his first match back in WWE for over a decade.
The action was fast and furious throughout, with Ambrose, Rollins and Angle using divide and conquer tactics to isolate and destroy their five opponents. They all made great use of the weapons on hand, and the Tag Team Champions threw caution to the wind on a number of occasions, especially when they dove off a pair of ladders to put Kane and Strowman through a set of announce tables. Thankfully Angle didn’t take any such risks.
He was taken out of the contest temporarily after Strowman Powerslammed him through a table at
ringside. Strowman soon found himself wiped out when his own partner Kane Chokeslammed him through the stage before dumping him in a rubbish truck and presumably crushing him to death. PG indeed.
The numbers were still in Team Miz’s favour even when Angle returned to the fray. Angle soon wiped out that advantage by Angle Slamming both members of The Bar on the ramp and through a table. Ambrose and Rollins speared The Big Red Machine through the barricade.
The three then surrounded the ring before hitting their finishing moves on a cowering Miz and finishing him with a Triple Powerbomb in a tribute to Reigns. Angle was showered with “you’ve still got it” chants from the sell-out crowd in Minnesota, and he certainly does.
The only scary part to come out of the match was a Tweet by Daniel Bryan, who seemed to hint that if Angle can be cleared to wrestle then so can he. Bryan needs to prioritize his wife and baby daughter, and put wrestling in the past no matter how hard that might be.
Elsewhere on the card, Finn Balor and AJ Styles put on an absolute classic. Styles flew hundreds of miles from the overseas Smackdown tour to answer Raw’s call to replace Bray Wyatt, but still delivered a performance most could only dream of.
These two really do have great chemistry. They could’ve wrestled all night and no one would’ve complained. It was outstanding. The result wasn’t a surprise considering Balor is a Raw superstar, and was donned in his Demon getup. Hopefully Styles will be rewarded for this with another run as WWE Champion.
Jason Jordan and Elias had a match, and that’s about it. Jordan had interrupted Elias earlier in the night by throwing veg at him to set up this contest. Yep, it really was as lame as it sounds. Jordan won it if you’re wondering.
Alexa Bliss saw off Mickie James to keep hold of the Raw Women’s Championship in a decent encounter. Bliss was never in any danger of losing the title, so it was hard for them to take the WWE Universe on a rollercoaster ride. They did well enough.
Enzo Amore dethroned Kalisto of the Cruiserweight Championship in the worst match of the night. It was sloppy and badly put together. Not something you usually associate with a Kalisto match. This is what you get with Amore – great promos, awful in-ring work. He’s destined to become a manager. The Cruiserweight division also had their usual multi-person tag match. Nothing of note happened whatsoever.
Asuka made her main roster debut to kick off the event, but her match with Emma was a lot more even than anyone expected. I felt this hurt Asuka’s aura slightly. She wasn’t in there with a Sasha Banks or a Bayley, yet she struggled. At least she got the win and remained unbeaten. I can’t see her going undefeated for much longer, though.
Overall, TLC was a fun night. A widespread virus may have robbed us of seeing a proper Shield reunion and Bray Wyatt in drag, but the night still delivered in a big way. AJ Styles and Finn Balor was a dream match for many fans and they did not disappoint. The battle was immense. If you can get the fans to chant “this is awesome” before you even lock up, you know you’re doing something right.
Kurt Angle returned to in-ring competition for WWE for the first time in eleven years and didn’t look like he had been away. He truly is a machine. The night felt like a house show. I don’t mean that in a bad way. House shows are always fun, but nothing of note ever really happens. That was the case here. It was just a fun night of sports entertainment. A night I’m definitely going to rewatch.