WWE DVD Review: TLC (Tables, Ladders, Chairs) 2012
WWE's TLC pay-per-view event is one that has a tendency to deliver greatly with its match quality and results. Even the lack of blood can't affect the violence that many of the wrestlers bring to the ring when foreign objects such as tables, ladders and steel chairs become legal weapons. This year we were also treated to a few new faces, which helped create new feuds and elevate some often neglected mid-card talent. With CM Punk injured there was some re-jigging behind the scenes match wise, but perhaps it was for the best. WWE need his fresh and ready for his upcoming scrap with The Rock.
It was also nice to see the legendary Jerry 'The King' Lawler return to his commentary duties. Lawler seems to have recovered well after his near fatal heart attack (which occurred during a live raw show).
TLC kicked off with a very reasonable tables match for the number one contender spot for the WWE tag team belts. The duo of Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara battled Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes in a fun battle. Cara is looking so much better in the ring now he is teamed up with fellow high flyer Mysterio. Rhodes Scholars on the other hand are a wonderfully fresh addition to the diminishing tag ranks. Rhodes and Sandow picked up the win after Cody caused Cara to plough through a table.
Your reviewer is not a hug fan of US Title holder Anonio Cesaro, but he can put together a pretty decent match with the right (talented) performer. The match however didn't really sizzle as much as we had hoped it would. Cesaro was able to overcome a few nice looking pin attempts by Truth and nailed a 'Neutralizer' to retain his gold. Uk wrestler Wade Barrett has been making real strides in recent months to get one more big push for his WWE career. His match with Kofi Kingston here highlighted the fact that Barrett does have potential. Putting Kofi's Intercontinental Title on the line helped as well of course. Wade is a very good big man and has an aura about him, perhaps he will be William Regal's successor to the role of sterotypical British bad guy. Kofi did manage to fend off his European influenced assault and retained the belt. Whether they are associated with Champion CM Punk The Shield were (and are) a welcome addition to the WWE roster. Their sneak attacks and N.W.O. Inspired storyline is something that may just inject some much needed adrenaline into the WWE product.
The match here was a TLC one and The Shield (Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose) faced off against the formidable trio of WWE Tag Team Champs Kane/Daniel Bryan and the fastest rising star of the year Ryback. This match was a brutal, tough and well-paced affair. Working with such talented opponents The Shield team were on perfect form. What was nice was that amidst the weapons based fun and games, we saw some new faces get their hands raised (over some more established acts). This angle by WWE may just work out very well for all concerned. The Shield pulled off a rather good win, to continue their progression. The Divas were up next, with Eve defending her title against (pre-show match winner) Naomi. Naomi did show some impressive in-ring ability here. It was of course always going to be Eve's night and here she did not disappoint. Eve retained her glamorous belt as predicted. As explained before a TLC PPV should really feature some blood. But you know what sometimes the spilling of claret is not necessary. The World Heavyweight Title match between champion Big Show and challenger Sheamus was a real barn-stormer. Sheamus seems to bring something out in show that we have not seen in a while and perhaps Show himself has grabbed this opportunity to highlight how valuable he is to the company. The match was violent, hard-hitting and worked to both men's advantage. Shows win maintains his grasp of the belt and Sheamus' loss does little more than make him a man we will root for next time. Next up we saw an interesting battle. This was Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre taking on Alberto Del Rio, The Miz and Brooklyn Brawler. This was a nostalgic match for veteran fans, as longtime jobber the Brawler (Steve Lombardi) returned to the ring. Lombardi is a familiar face to anyone whoo who watches WWE biographical or special edition DVDs. He often pops us as a talking head on such releases. Lombardi never won a major title, but he did elevate many superstars to the next level and his simple style made him a minor league star. Brawler got his chance to shine on PPV in Brooklyn (of course) and even picked up a rare win.
Love him or hate him John Cena is one of the few real stars the WWE have available to perform at present. His act may need polished and a break from his main event appearances would help things. But
with no one else ready to fill his spot or shift as much merchandise this is a picture we will have to expect for a while, the one of Cena in the main event.
The storyline featuring Cena/AJ/Vickie Guerro has been fun (even if it does echo a recent ill-fated TNA one). This match between Dolph Ziggler and Cena was a curious entry too. Ziggler could have as easily cashed in his 'Money in the Bank' title shot, but instead he offered it up in a match with Cena. This was a ladder match to remember. Cena took some stiff shots, Ziggler was a bump-machine (in the style of Shawn Michaels) and the outside interference proved to be beneficial to the pair. Cena in a rare moment for his character stared at the lights for the ever-exciting Ziggler. AJ did prove to be the thorn in Cena's side, but this was really all about raising Dolph to the next level. After all if he can beat Cena, this man may just be able to win the big one.
On the Extras front the DVD has an interview with Dolph Ziggler only, Blu-ray owners will be able to witness an episode of Monday Night Raw, Slammy award presentations and some very nice matches.
RRP £17.99 (DVD), £19.99 (Blu-ray).
TLC 2012 is available now from all good retailers.