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Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE Tables, Ladders, & Chairs (TLC) 2016 Review with Match Ratings and Show Grade
By Mr. Tito
Dec 4, 2016 - 10:43:44 PM

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Welcome to Mr. Tito's instantly posted WWE Smackdown Tables, Ladders, and Chairs (TLC) 2016 Pay Per View review exclusively here at / You cannot go anywhere else for my columns and that's the we it has been for 18 years. Where else are you going to get an instant review of the column AND also hear #LoPRadio immediately following the Pay Per View from @StevenFnBell here at as well? We've got you covered...

Heading into this Pay Per View, my thoughts are that Smackdown needs (a) more upper midcarders in the mix for the Intercontinental Title and (b) James Ellsworth OUT of the main event scene as a comedy act. Plus, I'm not too crazy on Rhyno/Slater as the Tag Champions BUT the overall tag team scene on Smackdown needs some development. HOWEVER, I really like the Women's Division on Smackdown, the Miz has greatly improved in my eyes, and I'm always excited for the CHAMP THAT RUNS THE CAMP and the FACE THAT RUNS THE PLACE AJ Styles wrestling in big matches.

Smackdown usually presents a good show but its thin roster can limit it at times and force the writers to rely on that old Vince McMahon comedy to fill in the gaps.

Onto the show...

Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE Tables, Ladders, and Chairs (TLC) 2016 Pay Per View Review

I was taking the garbage out when the multi-person tag match happened during the Pre-Game Show... Oh, there is Apollo Crews. Why WWE can't get that guy right, I'll never know... American Alpha scored the win with their finisher, [ ** ] I suppose. Some good spots with a lot of bodies involved in this tag match. By the way, it's REALLY convenient to have the WWE Network appear on your Smartphone!

OPENING MATCH makes me wonder why Smackdown even put the Tag Titles on Rhyno & Heath Slater. In an extended squash, Randy Orton & Bray Wyatt destroyed them to become Smackdown Tag Champions. I'm actually glad that result happened because (a) I like the Wyatt & Orton combo, as it really enhances Orton's character, and (b) the comedy act of Rhyno & Slater has worn out its welcome... Ya know, almost immediately after their emotional win for those titles. All downhill after that. [ 1/2 * ] Bad opener to start this Pay Per View. Who can beat this team other than themselves? I did like how Orton and Bray put the titles on Luke Harper after the match to act like they are including him but really, he's holding their belts.

Backstage, we have Dean Ambrose and then AJ Styles cutting promos.

Up next, we have a NO DQ match-up between Carmella vs. Nikki Bella. This has honestly been a great feud on the Smackdown roster and Nikki selling for Carmella has really helped establish Carmella as a WWE wrestler. The heel turn has been quite the awakening for Carmella but again, it's who is selling for you that helps during an early career. Plus, Carmella is actually allowed to mock Nikki for her relationship with John Cena. Nikki played up a knee injury during this match and to her credit, she was constantly clutching it in pain. Great moment when Carmella locked in her Code of Silence submission hold (great move!) and Nikki got out of by swinging a Kendo Stick behind her. Nice series of kicks by Nikko, once kicking Carmella HARD off the apron and then jumping and spinning off the barrier. More Kendo Sticks and then Nikki breaks out the Fire Extinguisher. Hosing her down! Nikki then hits her revised Rack Attack move for the 1, 2, 3. Well, didn't expect that finish as I was sure Carmella would get the nod this month. Good brawling match for what it's worth. [ **3/4 ]

After the match, Carmella reveals WHO attacked Nikki Bella at Survivor Series 2016... It was Natalya. OH MY GOD... You mean the one who replaced Nikki in that 5 on 5 match? No way... Ya don't say? We'll see if Carmella endures the old "snitches get stitches" phrase or not.

Backstage, we have the Miz and Daniel Bryan arguing backstage. Miz said "it should be you out there". Great heat working out between those two. Hopefully, Daniel Bryan can do 1 last match at Wrestlemania 33 against the Miz and it would be huge.

Next, we have Dolph Ziggler vs. Miz in a Ladder Match. Everyone on Twitter appears relieved that Nikki vs. Carmella is over as the "feud that never ended". Hello? Have you not watched this feud? Never ending and in my opinion, a poor title change at Smackdown 900. That should NOT have happened on free television and has reduced the effectiveness of this match. Maryse is about to burst out of that outfit tonight, good lord! Early on, Miz and Ziggler act like blind men at an orgy... They were going to have to feel their way through. Good brawling on the outside between the two and incorporating the ladders without going overboard on the high risk. You don't have to take a big bump in these matches to make them reasonable. Not sure where the logic of doing a Tornado DDT on a ladder is, Dolph! Some decent ladder spots and then Miz starts mocking Daniel Bryan's chant... 2 dropkicks into Dolph with a ladder on him and then the 3rd attempt results in the ladder hurled at Miz. Ziggler up the lader but Miz finds the strength to meet him up there. Love how both use the standing ladder as a weapon, with Miz's hands getting smashed and then Ziggler's legs getting rammed into the ladder and then twisted around it. Keeping it simple, I love it... Atomic Drop on the ladder by Miz, ouch! Oh God, Figure 4 through the ladder by Miz! Nicely done! Then, we have a nice spot where Miz climbed the ladder but it was pulled out from under him... He was hanging from the belt and then Ziggler pushed the ladder into his dangling legs to make him drop. Excellent spot! Then, Ziggler climbs the ladder and Miz recovers to grab Ziggler to powerbomb him onto the ladder placed on the ropes near the corner. Damn! 2 ladders set-up, side-by-side, near the title... Miz knocked down, Ziggler climbs but the Miz returns to the ladders with a hard kick to Ziggler's ribs to climb up to grab the title. DAMN good Ladder Match! As questionable as the booking of their feud has been, they are consistently producing great matches together. [ ****1/2 ] Nice psychological Ladder Match, loved it! Afterward, Miz taunts Daniel Bryan and suggests that Ziggler should get a "participation award" for his involvement in the feud. Taunts the fans, too, and then gives a big kiss to Maryse. Damn straight.

Kalisto vs. Baron Corbin was up next and Kalisto is throwing all of the chairs into the ring before Corbin arrives. Not a bad strategy... But, seems like both guys were missing with chairs to start the match. Really hard Jacknife like Powerbomb early on in the match, but 2 count only. Sorry, but this Heavyweight vs. Lightweight crap should have ended RIGHT THERE. Announcers keep selling "I can't believe Kalisto lasted this long". Huh? Who are we trying to set up as a long-term superstar here? The guy who has already had many chances and his name is Kalisto or the NXT call-up from 2016 who is a legitimate heavyweight wrestler? Whatever, idiot WWE. Corbin acts all clumsy in this match and just can't seem to hit Kalisto with a chair. But of course, Kalisto won't miss. Pretty impressive Senton hit by Kalisto on top of the upright standing chairs. OUCH. More clumsy stuff from Corbin... Sigh. Rare chairshot to the head as Corbin hits Kalisto in the head with a chair as Kalisto jumps off the ropes. Then, Corbin hits his finisher on a pile of chairs. At least the finish was strong. [ ** 1/4 ] And of course, the announcers are once again selling "I cannot believe Kalisto lasted that long". Hasn't the Cruiserweight Division FAILED recently? Last time I checked, wrestling's history has seen HEAVYWEIGHT WRESTLERS drawing.

Backstage, Natalya oddly praises Becky Lynch as Smackdown's representative and then denies Carmella's accusation that Natalya attacked Nikki at Survivor Series. Funny how WWE Executive Producer has problems with Becky Lynch's accent during her promos but he has no problem comprehending anything Natalya says. One of the worst promo cutters on the roster right now. Seriously.

The next match was Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch in a Tables Match for the Smackdown Women's Title. Everybody calls Alexa as "mini-Trish", but Trish Stratus wasn't a good wrestler this early like Alexa. Could get very interesting to see how good Alexa could get in 5 years when Trish peaked. Becky is really over as a babyface and it's nice to see because Charlotte/Sasha's shadows were really overbearing when the rosters were combined. The split benefits Becky Lynch the most out of anybody on the roster (well, besides Miz). Feels like the Table gimmick is really distracting from their match. They already had heat from their feud and neither lady are known for using tables in their careers. Never seen anyone flip the table over and take a DDT on it... Surprised more people don't use those legs on the table as a weapon like they are doing in this match... Becky slapped on her submission through those legs. Table set up on the outside and then Becky/Alexa brawl on the outside ring apron. Alexa drops to the floor and proceeds to powerbomb Becky through the table to become the NEW Smackdown Women's Champion! [ * 3/4 ] Tables gimmick was too distracting. HAPPY for Alexa winning and this Tables Match loss allows Becky to immediately challenge for a 3rd match, hopefully a straight-up wrestling match.

Here at 10:06 EST, we're ready for the MAIN EVENT TLC match between AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose. We're doing a good job tonight on the "champ comes out 2nd" tradition tonight... A massive ladder is at ringside that wasn't available for the other ladder match... Good lord, what on earth do you use a ladder that big for (besides TLC matches)? Lots of brawling on the outside to start, as this is a pattern seen tonight. OUCH at Ambrose throwing the ladder at AJ Styles to the outside. Styles quickly recovers and punishes Ambrose with a chair when "UNDERTAKER" chants break out. DANGEROUS spot where Dean Ambrose blocks AJ Styles attempting to suplex him into standing chairs and Ambrose flips his suplex into a powerbomb like move into the chairs. Wow... AJ Styles would get his revenge by suplexing Ambrose into a table and I'm guessing that a piece of the table caught AJ Styles's tights... It ripped him a new a**hole! Ripped in the wrong place to give the ol' brown eye to the fans for the rest of hte match. Ambrose gets back on the offensive and puts AJ on the announcer's table and jumps through it via a Ladder with an elbow. AJ Styles sells the injury on the outside as Ambrose sets up a ladder inside the ring to climb. AJ hits his Flying Forearm off the ropes to knock Ambrose off the ladder! Upperbody helicopter spin by Ambrose to ram AJ into the ladder. Some unique stuff tonight, which I appreciate for Ladder Matches. And then AJ Styles hits a Moonsault into a Reverse DDT off the ring apron. Wow, wow, wow... Table set-up on the outside and Dean is laying on it... AJ Styles jumps off the ropes for a 450 Splash onto Dean Ambrose! OH MY GOD! And just as AJ Styles is about to climb the ladder, James Ellsworth makes his appearance with a neckbrace. AJ is furious and attacks him and goes for the Styles Clash, again, off the steel steps. Dean Ambrose capitalizes on the distraction and blindsides AJ Styles. Ambrose is climbing the ladder now by AJ somehow comes back. AJ gets knocked off and just went it appears Dean Ambrose is going to win the WWE Title, James Ellsworth pushes over the Ladder for a HEEL TURN. Ha! AJ easily climbs the ladder and retains his WWE Title. That was an excellent match although Smackdown will continue to be about James Ellsworth for the next few weeks instead of its WWE Champion. [ **** 1/2 ]

LAST WORD: Match gimmicks don't always equal great matches... Obviously, the guys who have worked together for a while now can make it work but placing chairs with Kalisto/Corbin and tables with Alexa/Becky didn't work. Had this event been just straight-up wrestling matches and a gimmick when it was called for (Carmella vs. Nikki was OK to have a no-disqualification match, for example), this could have been a stronger event. Instead, it's a 2 trick pony with Miz/Ziggler and Styles/Ambrose delivering huge while the rest of the show was restrained by this STUPID "TLC" gimmick. Please, WWE, make this be the LAST Pay Per View event called "TLC". [ B ]


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