The final WWE pay-per-view event of 2013 was the December event known as Tables, Ladders & Chairs.
In the main event of TLC 2013, the brand split was forgotten at least for a few years since WWE decided to merge their two major “World” Titles. That meant that Randy Orton would put the WWE Title on the line against the World Heavyweight Title held by John Cena and they would do it in a TLC Match.
This was written the day after the show and the review remains unchanged from the original version. I’ve added some updated 2021 thoughts in blue font as well.
This was the original banner I had on this review.
Here’s what the DVD looked like.
WWE Tables, Ladders & Chairs
Toyota Center in Houston, Texas
December 15, 2013
The show began with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon welcoming us to TLC. They were standing by the entrance. They spoke about the history of the two major titles that are on the line. Hunter mentioned names of past champions. The biggest ovation was for Steve Austin. Tonight, we’re going to witness history as they said that “Champion of Champions” line again. Stephanie said that tonight we’ll crown the “WWE World Heavyweight Champion.” That’s the official name they’re going with.
The opening video focused on the idea on the idea that there will be only one champion in WWE after tonight. Hello, pyro display. The first thing Michael Cole said was that it might be the most important night in WWE history. No, it’s not, but good effort anyway.
(It was a big stretch to call it the most important night in WWE history. You’re trying to tell the audience that this show is bigger than WrestleMania just because you decided to go with one World Champion instead of two? I thought it was a bit silly for them to say it like that.)
CM Punk made his entrance for the first match. The announcers for the show are Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield and Jerry Lawler. The Spanish announce table was also there with Ricardo Rodriguez joining them. Will it break? The table hopes so.
CM Punk vs. The Shield (Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins)
It’s a 1 on 3 handicap match, so members of The Shield had to stand on the apron to wait to be tagged in. Punk hit three neckbreakers on Rollins in the corner of the ring where the others weren’t, so it was a different kind of isolation than what we’re used to. After a couple of minutes of Punk on offense, The Shield was able to control the action. Reigns got a louder reaction than the others, so his slow push is working. Reigns went for an attack outside the ring, but Punk moved and Reigns went flying over the announce table. He got back into the ring before being counted out. Reigns was selling an eye injury that Punk went right after. As soon as I saw that I figured they might use that leading to him spearing somebody on his team. Rollins tagged in for his team and destroyed Punk with a kick to the head. Punk shoved Ambrose off the apron and hit a roundhouse kick on Rollins for a two count. Punk was alone with Rollins as he hit the running knee, clothesline and cross body off the top (I guess save the elbow for later?). Punk applied the Anaconda Vice, but Ambrose made the save.
Ambrose tagged in while Reigns was outside the ring being looked at by the doctor for his eye injury. They fought on the top rope with Punk knocking Ambrose down with a headbutt and there’s the Flying Elbow off the top. Lawler marveled at Ambrose surviving the top rope elbow. He rarely beats people with it. Rollins tried to interfere, so Punk hit him with a GTS. Punk went after Ambrose. He avoided the GTS. Reigns ran in with a Spear attempt, Punk moved and Reigns hit the Spear on Ambrose. Punk threw Reigns out of the ring and covered Ambrose for the win. The match went 13:42.
Winner by pinfall: CM Punk
Analysis: *** That was about as good as you can expect for a 3 on 1 match with the underdog going over. I thought Punk was tremendous in this match. He was really on his game. The finish was what I expected. In fact, this was in my preview: “Reigns gets in the ring, he goes for a Spear on Punk that Punk avoids and Reigns hits Ambrose with it. Punk dumps Reigns outside the ring, hits the GTS on Ambrose and gets the win.” Allow me to pat myself on the back Barry Horowitz style for nailing that. The only thing I got wrong was that Punk didn’t hit the GTS on Ambrose after the Spear. He just pinned him after. This is all being done to set up the breakup of The Shield. It’s not going to be a sudden build. There will be a slow build to it, which is what I prefer.
(I actually didn’t remember that Punk beat The Shield 1 on 3, but that’s what happened. The rumors of The Shield breaking up were going strong at this point because WWE wanted them to be singles wrestlers. The split would happen in about six months after this. As for Punk, he quit WWE the night after the Royal Rumble just over one month after this show.)
The lovely Renee Young was backstage to interview Divas Champion AJ Lee with Tamina. AJ called the WWE Universe a joke for not voting for her for the Slammy for Diva of the Year. She said the divas division was a joke and so was Natalya. After tonight, she (AJ) will be the only one laughing.
Divas Championship: AJ Lee (w/Tamina Snuka) vs. Natalya
They went back and forth for the first few minutes until AJ Lee hit a nice standing side kick. Natalya used her power to drive her back in the corner, but AJ came back with her feet to the face. AJ missed a corner charge. Natalya tried to power her down, but AJ grabbed a submission. Natalya fought back with a dropkick followed by some clotheslines and two suplexes in a row. Sitout slam by Natalya. Natalya applied the Sharpshooter in the center of the ring. AJ rolled through to get out of it. Tamina jumped on the apron. Natalya knocked her down. AJ capitalized by applying the Black Widow submission. Natalya fought out of it by rolling through. Nattie by Nature clothesline by Natalya. She went for a Sharpshooter. AJ Lee rolled her up with an inside cradle and that was enough for the pinfall win. The replay showed that AJ grabbed Natalya’s hair to pull her down. The match went 6:35.
Winner by pinfall: AJ Lee
Analysis: ** That was a well-constructed match with a good finish. I wish they got another five minutes or so, but it was good for the time given. I liked how each woman went for their submission move and each was able to fight out of it. The finish was predictable in the sense that they used Tamina to distract Natalya leading to the finish. I liked that AJ pulled her heel too. That’s an awesome heel move to give her the cheap win. I picked AJ to win because in the build to the match Natalya was the one winning all the time, so that meant the PPV loss. That’s just how WWE books these things.
(That match time was about the usual in this era prior to the summer of 2015 when the “Women’s Revolution” began.)
The announcers read a tweet from Bruno Sammartino about the WWE Title match later in the show. There was the “Champion of Champions” video that aired on TV this past week that featured past championship wins.
Damien Sandow did a promo before his match. I guess that’s an attempt to add heat to a match that needs it.
Intercontinental Championship: Big E Langston vs. Damien Sandow
Sandow used his craftiness to drive Langston face first into the steel post. That earned him a two count when they went back into the ring. The crowd wasn’t into this match very much. Sandow kicked Langston in the leg followed by a nice clothesline and all of that led to the Elbow of Disdain. Langston came back with a shoulderblock in the corner, but Sandow was able to slow him down with a perfectly timed dropkick. Langston made the comeback with some clotheslines as well as a belly to belly suplex. Langston hit the big splash to the back of Sandow. Remember when Kamala would do that and try to pin a guy even though they were on their chest? Good memories. Sandow was able to get a couple of nearfalls. Langston hit a running body attack to knock down Sandow. He took down the straps and the crowd cheered. Langston hit The Big Ending for the win at 6:28.
Winner by pinfall: Big E Langston
Analysis: ** That was the most predictable match on the card. I’m sure everybody reading this probably picked Langston too. A clean win for Langston, who will likely have a lengthy reign as Intercontinental Champion.
(It was a simple win for Big E to establish him as a credible Intercontinental Champion. It didn’t go to long. Just an average match here.)
In the backstage area, Randy Orton was getting ready for the main event. WWE Chairman Vince McMahon showed up to shake his hand. He wished him well. There’s the return of Vince McMahon that we expected. Tis the season for more McMahons on television.
The announcers mentioned a tweet by Steve Austin about the WWE TLC main event. Throughout the show, they have been showing tweets from former WWE stars that are talking about the PPV. I think that’s a good idea. I don’t mind it at all.
The TLC panel consisted of Mick Foley and Booker T. The Miz was part of the panel in the pre-show, but Kofi Kingston showed up to brawl with him. It was announced that The Miz is facing Kofi Kingston later in a No DQ match. The Kickoff Match saw Fandango beat Dolph Ziggler by the way. I didn’t see it.
Tag Team Championships Elimination Match: Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel vs. Big Show & Rey Mysterio vs. Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro (w/Zeb Colter)
They showed clips from TV with the champs losing non-title matches, which is basically WWE’s way of telling you the champs are retaining.
There were plenty of quick exchanges between the Brotherhood and Rybaxel. I’m trying to use some team names whether they are official or not. Cole said, “what a year it’s been for Big Show.” Some of the worst booking on WWE TV this year involved Big Show. He hit some big chops on Axel. Mysterio tagged in so Ryback/Axel isolated him in their corner. Goldust made a blind tag to get in there against Ryback and he hit a nice spinebuster. Ryback went for a Powerbomb, but Goldust slipped out of it and he rolled up Ryback for the pinfall win after 6 minutes. This is an elimination match? I don’t think they even mentioned it.
Ryback & Curtis Axel eliminated by Goldust.
Swagger and Cesaro finally entered the match as they worked over Goldust in their corner. Swagger knocked down Goldust with a clothesline outside the ring. Gutwrench Suplex by Cesaro. Swagger applied a bearhug on Goldust. Springboard back elbow by Goldust created some space, but Cesaro prevented the tag by applying the Cesaro Swing. Big pop for that and then Swagger hit a spinning slam. Cody broke up a pinfall attempt. Swagger Bomb followed by a double foot stomp by Cesaro. I really like their teamwork. Goldust hit a sweet sunset flip into a powerbomb, which led to the tag of his brother Cody…or not. Swagger pulled Cody off the apron. Hurricanrana by Goldust on Cesaro. Show threw Swagger over the barricade. Spinning powerslam by Goldust, which led to Big Show making the tag since Cody was off the apron. Show unleashed on Cesaro with a back splash in the corner, shoulderblock and when Swagger tried to interfere, Show nailed him with the KO Punch. Cesaro went to the middle rope, jumped off and huge KO Punch by Show. The crowd let out a big “ooohhh” for that as Show covered for the elimination after 14 minutes.
Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro eliminated by Big Show
Show started with Goldust and Goldy hit a cross body off the middle rope. Goldust countered a Chokeslam into a DDT. The brothers hit a double suplex on Show. Show countered the Disaster Kick with a hard chop to the chest. Mysterio faced off with Cody and used his speed to get the advantage after a seated Senton and then a hard kick to the head for two. Rhodes connected with the Disaster Kick on Mysterio. Rey hit the 619 on Goldy, who wasn’t legal. Show threw him into the barricade. Cody was still legal and he was able to shove Show into the steel post. Mysterio countered a springboard attack with a powerbomb on Cody. Mysterio went for the 619 on Rhodes, but Cody caught him and Mysterio rolled him up for two. This sequence has been really great with the final two. Mysterio wanted a headscissors, but Cody brought him down and hit the Cross Rhodes to pin him at 21:05.
Big Show & Rey Mysterio eliminated by Cody Rhodes
Winners by pinfall: Goldust & Cody Rhodes
Post match, Show shook hands with Cody & Goldust. Mysterio shook their hands too. JBL didn’t like the hand shaking.
Analysis: ***3/4 That was a really good match. The WWE tag division continues to be one of the bright spots in the company. I’m fine with the elimination format because it makes it better. One pinfall wouldn’t have been as exciting. It would have been nice if they announced it beforehand, but WWE has a bad habit of poorly announcing things. Sometimes they overdo it. Sometimes they never do it. Goldust is outstanding as the babyface getting worked over by the heels and fighting to make the hot tag. Wrestlers need to watch how great he is at building up to that spot. I expect the champs to retain until Royal Rumble or Elimination Chamber. Then the split will happen leading to a WrestleMania match likely with Cody as the babyface.
(I had completely forgotten about this match being this good or the fact that it went over 20 minutes. I loved Cody and Goldust teaming together. It made me so happy seeing Dusty with them on screen and I’m sure it meant a lot to all of them. There was no WrestleMania match for Goldust and Cody. It should have happened, but it did not.)
There was a Brawling Buddies segment in the locker room with the Prime Time Players, Great Khali, Los Matadores, Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox. Kane showed up so everybody stopped brawling with their buddies. Then Kane held up the Brodus Clay buddy and knocked down the Cena buddy. This was bad. Perhaps it’s symbolism for a Brodus Clay heel turn, though.
Brodus Clay (w/Tensai, Naomi & Cameron) vs. R-Truth (w/Xavier Woods)
This match wasn’t advertised. My interest in this match is very low, so I apologize for the lack of play-by-play. Truth got some early nearfalls. Clay tripped up Truth when he was on the top rope, so he took control. Clay’s plodding offense included an overhead suplex followed by a corner splash. Outside the ring, Tensai didn’t want Clay to throw Truth’s body into the steel steps. With Truth’s body hanging upside down, Clay ran into him. Tensai told him to stop. Clay said he was better than Tensai so Tensai left. The Funkadactyls also left. All of those distractions allowed Truth to hit a jumping side kick to the face and there’s the rollup for the win at 6:02.
Winner by pinfall: R-Truth
Analysis: * The Brodus Clay heel turn is on the way. I don’t know if many fans are clamoring for a push for Brodus, but it’s coming whether we like it or not. Personally, I hope it leads to Tensai turning heel as well so they can become a monster heel tag team because it’s better than their dancing fat guys act. Plus, I don’t need to see Brodus getting a singles push.
(This was a random addition to the card. I’m glad that Brodus and Tensai didn’t really get anywhere as a team because it was so goofy.)
John Cena was talking to somebody backstage. It was a writer named Ryan Ward. They won’t say his name on the show, but I’m letting ya know because I’m nice like that. That’s what I do. He left because Vince McMahon walked up to Cena. Vince shook Cena’s hand to wish him luck. What a sweet grandpa.
No Disqualification Match: Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz
I don’t know how many matches they’ve had of late, but this is the feud that never ends. Now they get an unannounced No DQ match. Kingston went for a dive outside the ring, but Miz crushed him with a forearm to the jaw. Kingston drove Miz into the barricade outside the ring. Kingston went for the Trouble in Paradise outside the ring, but Miz moved and Kofi hit the steel post with his right foot. Good spot. I don’t know what kind of haircut Miz got, but it looks like one of those mushroom cuts. Kingston got a nearfall to no heat. The crowd doesn’t care as Miz kicked the knee of Kingston. Miz was working on the knee, so Kingston used his left foot to kick Miz out of the ring. Miz dropped Kingston groin first on the barricade followed by a running boot to the face. Seriously, the crowd is so dead for this match. Miz exposed one of the turnbuckles and then he hit the corner clothesline after begging the crowd to react to anything. Kingston hit a dropkick as Miz jumped off the top rope. The crowd woke up with a “boring” chant. Or at least some of them did. Miz wanted the Figure Four, so Kingston kicked him and sent Miz into the exposed turnbuckle. The crowd was chanting “we want tables” during this because they didn’t care. Kingston hit Trouble in Paradise to win at 8:02.
Winner by pinfall: Kofi Kingston
Analysis: **1/4 It was a No DQ match with barely any weapons used. If I was in a match where I could use anything I would use weapons. But maybe that’s just me. I guess they didn’t want to take the spotlight away from the main event match. They used things like the barricade and ring post, but not much else. This feud needs to end. The crowd doesn’t care. I get that they’re trying to pair them together since they are not winning a whole lot, but it’s not working.
(I don’t remember the story that much, but I recall Kofi was having a tough time getting reactions from the crowd and then that would eventually lead to New Day becoming a thing that really helped his carer a lot.)
There was a commercial for Tribute to the Troops, which was taped on Wednesday and airs in two weeks.
They showed the Tale of the Tape between John Cena and Randy Orton. That’s coming up later.
The video package aired to set up the Daniel Bryan vs. Wyatt Family match.
Daniel Bryan vs. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper & Erick Rowan)
The crowd that was dead for the previous two matches woke up for this one. Wyatt was sitting in the rocking chair outside even though he’s in the match. The heels were in control early on as expected. Harper hit a nice sitout slam for two, which led to Wyatt entering the match. He told Bryan they could have been friends. He gave him a big splash in the corner. Wyatt slammed Bryan did and followed it up with the crab walk. That’s impressive. He must be fun at parties. The crowd chanted “that was creepy” for that. The announcers mention that, but not the “boring” chant earlier. They have selective hearing like that. Fallaway slam by Rowan. When Wyatt tagged in, he told Bryan he could have been with them. He told Bryan to take his hand and he’ll make this all go away. Bryan kicked his hand, but his comeback didn’t work because Wyatt crushed him with a running forearm. Harper tagged in and hit a sitout powerbomb for two. Harper missed a running kick in the corner as Bryan channeled the Ultimate Warrior to make the comeback by hitting dropkicks on all three members of the Wyatt Family. Bryan gave Harper a belly to back suplex off the top for two. That was impressive. Bryan hit a series of kicks on Harper including the roundhouse kick to the head. Headbutt off the top rope by Bryan got two as Rowan broke it up. Bryan took care of Rowan with some kicks including a dropkick that sent him over the top to the floor. Harper charged, but Bryan was able to send him outside the ring. The pace really picked up as Bryan got a rollup on Wyatt for two. Wyatt whipped Bryan into the ropes and Bryan hit a dive on Harper on the floor. He took down Rowan too. Bryan went to the top and hit a missile dropkick on Wyatt in the ring. Wyatt fought out of the Yes Lock with a series of forearms. That led to Sister Abigail for the Wyatt Family win at 12:24.
Winners by pinfall: The Wyatt Family
Post match, Wyatt cradled the head of Bryan. Wyatt had a sadistic smile on his face.
Analysis: **1/2 It was a good match, but I liked the other 3 on 1 match better. This one was at a slower pace. Bryan’s tremendous at selling and his comebacks are excellent with the crowd buying into everything he does. I thought they could have done the finish a bit better with Bryan taking more punishment before he lost the match. Perhaps a Harper clothesline before the Sister Abigail connected. It would have made Bryan look stronger in defeat if he took more punishment before losing. It’s not a big deal, though. I predicted the Wyatt Family win because the group is still fairly new and should be getting wins like this. If it was a singles match with Wyatt vs. Bryan it wouldn’t have been as easy. The 3 on 1 handicap match allows for more of a heel win.
(I think the Wyatt/Bryan story was good for Bryan in terms of helping him become more popular, but there were some flaws too since Bryan lost to Wyatt at Royal Rumble 2014 and then Bryan wasn’t even in the Rumble match. That was a big mistake. WWE eventually got things right although that was only after CM Punk quit the company, which benefited Bryan a lot.)
The expert panel of Mick Foley and Booker T hosted by Josh Mathews discussed what happened. Foley said that Bray Wyatt “has it.” Foley picked John Cena while Booker picked Randy Orton.
The video package aired for the main event.
The WWE Title and World Heavyweight Title were both hanging from the rafters on the same coat hanger-like contraption that we saw on TV this past week. They were up there all night. Randy Orton entered first. After the usual delay, John Cena entered last. Justin Roberts did the announcement of both men as they stood in the ring and the titles lowered down to eye level. The titles went up again as the bell rang to begin the match.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship TLC Match: WWE Champion Randy Orton vs. World Champion John Cena
There were tables, ladders and chairs all around the ring, so they had plenty of weapons to use. Cena used a ladder to hit Orton in the face early on. Cena propped up a table in the corner of the ring. Cena threw Orton outside the ring, so Orton grabbed a chair as he came back in and hit Cena a couple of times with the chair. Orton missed a chair shot outside the ring, so Cena hit him with a couple of chair shots to the back. Cena set up another table outside the ring. Orton avoided an attack to throw Cena into the steel steps. The usual “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks” chants started up. Orton made the first ladder climb, but Cena prevented it. The titles didn’t look to be hanging that high since Orton was about halfway up the ladder when he was able to reach the titles. I assume they put them lower because the hook is above both titles, so you have to reach above the titles. Powerslam by Orton. Another ladder was set up with Cena climbing, but Orton brought him down safely with a back suplex. Orton wedged a chair between top/bottom ropes, which allowed Cena to get his shoulderblocks on, then Orton kicked him in the face and threw Cena into the chair wedged in the corner. You can’t hit somebody in the head with a chair, but you can throw somebody’s head into a chair. I don’t make the rules.
Orton set up a ladder, Cena knocked him off and hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle off the ladder. I guess that counts as a big spot. Orton rolled towards the apron, he stood up, Cena hit him with a ladder and Orton went through a table outside the ring. Cena climbed up the ladder, Orton came back to shove him off and he hit an RKO. So much for that table spot being a big deal huh? Cena hit Orton with a clothesline over the top rope. Cena used the steel steps to hit Cena in the face two times. Cena set up another table in the corner of the ring because who needs turnbuckles anyway? That allowed Orton to recover by hitting Cena in the head with the microphone. Orton hit Cena in the head with microphone shots and then cleared off the Spanish Announce Table. There are lots of “guy gets hit with an object, then rest” kind of spots. I realize you can’t work too fast in a match like this, but this is why I enjoy TLC/Ladder Matches more when there are more than two people involved. Orton wanted a punt, so Cena moved and gave Orton the Attitude Adjustment through the Spanish announce table. That’s what you’re there for, Spanish announce table. Good work!
Back in the ring, Cena climbed up a ladder. He held onto both titles, but he didn’t reach up for the hook that has the latch on it. Cena was hanging off the titles. Orton threw the ladder out of the ring and beat on Cena with a chair. Orton wanted to do another chair shot, but as he wound up Cena charged at him and they went crashing through one of the tables propped up in the corner. Orton pulled up a mat outside the ring and pulled out some handcuffs. Cena was looking the other way as Orton cuffed Cena’s left hand to the bottom rope. Orton taunted Cena with the key and then he threw the key into the crowd. I hope somebody sues him for hitting them with the key. Cena tried to break free while Orton picked up a taller ladder that was by the entrance. Cena broke free by unhooking the bottom turnbuckle that held the bottom rope. Orton climbed up and Cena went up the other side with the turnbuckle hooked to his left hand. Cena punched Orton in the face a couple of times to knock him down. Cena could only use his right arm to reach up. Orton pulled on the bottom rope to pull Cena off and he sent him off the ladder so that Cena hit the table in the corner head first. That was the table that Cena set up a few minutes into the match. Cena was knocked out and selling it by not moving. Orton climbed up easily, he took his time as he made it to the top and he unhooked the contraption to become the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. The match went 24:36.
Winner and New WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Randy Orton
Analysis: ***3/4 It was a very good main event that featured a lot of innovative spots including a finish that I had never seen before. I think their Ironman match was the best one they had, but this was still solid. It didn’t reach the point where I would consider it must-see or truly special, but I liked it. There were a lot of slow spots. I think if they got 17-20 minutes it could have been better because they wasted so much time. I didn’t know how they were going to end it, so I applaud them for coming up with something unique like that. Orton went through more tables than Cena, so he was the one that took more punishment. Orton ended up outsmarting him by using the handcuffs to keep Cena grounded and won the match using underhanded tactics. It was clean, though. There was no interference. It was just two men in the match and Orton won. My pick for this match was Randy Orton. Cena looked so strong going into it that it felt obvious that he was going to lose. Did I expect Cena to lose without somebody helping Orton? No. I did not. I expected some kind of interference. I like that there wasn’t any interference. After all of the messed up main event finishes that WWE has done in the past few months they needed to have a clean ending. I’m glad they did it. Like I wrote in the preview, Cena doesn’t lose much, but losing in a match where there are no pinfalls or submissions makes it more likely that he will lose. Cena will do the usual “I’m sorry I let you down” speech he always does in December leading to his redemption in the new year. It’s time for sad, millionaire Johnny to emerge again.
(The usual match between them where it’s very good most of the way, but they never seemed to have an epic singles match together.)
Post match, Randy Orton held up the WWE and World Titles. A graphic appeared on screen saying “New WWE World Heavyweigh Champion Randy Orton” like that. They forget the “t” in there. Oops. I misspell things all the time. Just ask the haters. It happens.
The music of Vince McMahon started up as Vince walked down to the ring with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Orton put both championships on his shoulders. Vince McMahon shook his hand. The camera cut away to a frustrated John Cena at ringside. Orton held up both titles as the McMahon family pointed at him. The show ended like that.
Analysis: There’s the televised return of Vince McMahon. Like I said earlier, it’s McMahon season with WrestleMania coming around the corner. It’s expected that Vince will be the babyface owner that doesn’t really like the way Stephanie and Hunter are running things, so it will likely lead to some match at WrestleMania with the company on the line. Perhaps it will be Triple H vs. John Cena or something of that nature. It could be Punk or Bryan. I don’t really know.
(That story didn’t happen obviously. It was a rumor at the time, I believe.)
Here’s how things stand: WWE has a heel champion. A babyface will win the Royal Rumble and the Championship. Not a new concept. Simple but it works. I think if it’s not CM Punk or Daniel Bryan winning the Rumble and title then WWE is making a mistake. I don’t need to see Cena vs. Orton again. I’m leaning towards Punk as the choice. Part of it depends on who faces Orton at the Rumble too.
(They ended up doing Orton vs. Cena at Royal Rumble too. Of course, they did. As for the Rumble, it should have been Bryan as the winner. At this point, we had no idea Batista was coming back and that he would be the winner.)
I assume they are going with just the WWE Championship going forward since their website says the World Championship has joined the retired titles list. The WWE Title has the company logo right on it, it’s new and it should be the one they use to represent the “Champion of Champions” going forward. I don’t know if I’m going to be writing “WWE World Heavyweight Champion” every time. It can just be WWE Champion and that says it all there because that’s the champion of the company. Or I can just shorten it to the WWEWHC because acronyms are the thing in this company.
(The name WWE Championship has stuck. It’s cool with me.)
I’m giving it a 6.5 out of 10. It’s a slightly above-average show.
I really liked that the main event ended clean with no interference. I think WWE needed to do that after some awful finishes to PPVs the past few months or the flat main event at Survivor Series. It’s important to end shows this way.
It was a better show than the last four PPVs with three matches hitting the three-star level. None of them reached four stars (out of five), so that’s what prevents it from going up another level.
The story I’m most interested in going forward is how they book this angle with The Shield splitting up. I hope it continues to be a slow build with Reigns breaking out as a babyface. No point in rushing it. The Royal Rumble match will be a great time to further the storyline.
It was the second straight PPV where I got perfect in my predictions, if you don’t count the Kickoff Match this month. I’m not saying it to brag. I’m just saying it because it shows that the WWE product is very predictable right now. They rarely deviate from the “lose on TV/win on PPV” theory these days. If you watch the shows and know how WWE books things you can predict most of the matches right too.
Five Stars of the Show
1. CM Punk
2. Randy Orton
3. John Cena
5. Daniel Bryan
That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.
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