Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the newly matrimonied Cewsh Reviews! At long last, children, Mr. and Ms. Cewsh have tied the knot and made you all legitimate, and in doing so have been woefully absent from Cewsh Reviews Headquarters of late. Well that all stops now as we make our grand return as husband and wife to review WWE’s last PPV of the year, WWE TLC 2010! But if you think we’re any more likely to agree or be good tempered should this happen to be a bad or controversial show, then think again, because WWE has seen turbulent waters lately. From the extremely controversial non departure of John Cena, to the rise of the Miz to the main event, to the continuance of Kofi Kingston to have a job, there is more than enough to raise ire here. So let’s not keep you any longer from those rich shores and let’s get on with it!
Cewsh: There was an opening video. It discussed tables, ladders, and frankly, chairs were mentioned as well.
Cewsh: The backstory to this match goes like this.
Dolph Ziggler has the Intercontinental Championship.
Jack Swagger and Kofi Kingston would like the Intercontinental Championship.
Okay, moving on.
All three guys are young, athletic, and have stolen the show when given the opportunity. Unfortunately, that is not what they do here. Basically what they do here is NOT steal the show, spending most of their time with the ladders just kind of hitting each other with them. I have to imagine they were told not to overshadow matches later in the night, and that makes perfect sense, but as Mrs. Cewsh said often during the match, this had no reason to be a ladder match at all. These guys could have done the exact same stuff in a regular triple threat match, aside from Kofi’s jump through the ladder thing (which was cool), and the ending, which I’ll get to in a second. This was a ladder match for ladder’s match sake, and while it was a fine match to watch, it just sort of made me scratch my head. Why risk performer injury in a semi dangerous match with no potential gain?
Now on to the finish, which I loved the shit out of. All through the match Matt Striker goes on and on about how the way to win the ladder match is for it to be detatched from the hook, and then gaining sole possession of it. So at the end, when Kofi and Jack are at the top of the ladder and get the belt down and DROP it, Dolph Ziggler slides across the ring, grabs the belt and hightails with it, winning fair and square and prompting these reactions.
71 out of 100.
Mrs.Cewsh: I really want to like this match, and frankly the show. I loved last year’s outing, and I’ve always been a fan of the high flying style. Sadly, I’m just feeling down about the product as a whole this year, and nothing’s getting me fired up. Even the set only serves to remind of better days.
The match is short and the only stand out if Vicki. She’s fantastic. The end is silly. Interesting way to keep the belt on Dolph, but I don’t know if it works. The rules were YOU have to unhook the belt and hold it in your hands. It was cheap, but it didn’t make Dolph look heely, so did it work?
The other big problem is, there’s not a lot of story. It’s a triple threat match with ladders, instead of a three man ladder match. No one tells a lot of story, there are not career defining spots. It never aspires to be more than the opener.
63 out of 100
Cewsh: Nexus are backstage talking about how David Otunga got beat up and…wait. What the fuck is James Storm doing here?
Cewsh: The feud between Laycool and Natalya has reached epic proportions. Lives have been changed, the world has been altered, and once it was even implied that one of the ladies had a beard, which is probably wicked awful for her feelings that day. However this is the blowoff as Natalya and her new bestie Beth Phoenix take on the annoying antagonists one more time, and this time with tables involved, because why not?
The deal behind these matches up until now has pretty much stayed the same. Natalya and Beth can totally manhandle (pardon the pun) Laycool, but they can never seem to get both of them under control at the same time. Thus resulting in losses, or at least in a great deal of frustration, in most of their conflicts. However that isn’t really the story here as Laycool basically just takes the beating that people have been clamoring for them to take for months now, and damn is it satisfying. Talk all I want about how they aren’t huge successes as heels, clearly there was something to them, because watching Beth and Nattie throw them around like rag dolls was immensely amusing and cheer worthy.
That’s not to say that Laycool didn’t mount some offense, of course, as they (well, maybe just Michelle) take the lead on multiple occasions, even nearly putting Nattie through a table with the goddamn Styles Clash off the second rope at one point.
But ultimately sweet justice was served, and after throwing Laycool off the top rope onto a table and it FAILING TO BREAK (because they weigh as much as plastic bag), Nattie soared through the winter night and crushed them with a huge crossbody, snuffing this feud out once and for all. And then there was much rejoicing.
This match isn’t going to be lauded as the greatest women’s match of all time or anything, but I think it could probably quite easily be WWE’s women’s match of the year. Strong characters, simple storytelling, satisfying ending, all the basics are here. And fuck is it refreshing to see them give the Divas a match they can do something with.
74 out of 100.
Mrs.Cewsh: Awww, Nattie gave Beth a kiss after. It was really cute! ❤
It was a surprisingly good match. Nattie and Beth do most of the heavy lifting, in all senses, but Laycool do their parts well. Michelle’s wrestling can be hit or miss, but she seemed pretty on point. The double Sharpshooter was a cool spot that both women sold well in them moment, although all was forgotten after a few seconds.
My only real complaint was it was pretty short after the entrances.
72 out of 100
Cewsh: We’re backstage with Kane and he appears to be in the holiday spirit as he says some stuff about Christmas and then promptly destroys a bunch of Christmas decorations. We’re apparently not mentioning things like how Kane killed his own dad about a week ago, or about how he’ll meet the guy who talked him into it in a match later tonight. We’re in full on Area 511 cover up mode, and frankly, its for the best. I’m not sure there’s anyone anywhere who thought that Edge (a face people see as a heel) kidnapping Kane(a heel people historically cheer for)’s dad would be a great idea. This is the best way to make everyone not look terrible, and at least here Kane looks suitably scary.
Though I will say that for such a scary dude, he has an incredible amount of trouble ripping up Christmas lights that are literally scotch taped onto the wall.
Mrs.Cewsh: Nope. Comedy characters getting assaulted for entirely too long.
43 out of 100
Cewsh: Hey, look over there! It’s a duck! Rare to see them when its this cold out!
Okay now look back. This match is already over and Nexus and Wade Barrett especially are beating the fuck out of Santino and Kozlov with chairs.
See, this is called a “transition match” boys and girls. A transition match is a match where the action in ring serves no purpose but to get over a different storyline later on in the show. Which is fine, if this were Raw, but WWE and TNA have gotten way, way too carried away with doing this stuff on PPV in recent years. With Santino and Kozlov among the most over acts on the roster right now, its not inconceivable that people bought this show to see them. To then deliver a 5 minute beatdown and head for the showers is a little bit of a slap in the face of those people, even though I understand that they just wanted to get some more heat on Barrett before the main event.
Heat is good. So is giving people what they paid to see. You can have both.
64 out of 100.
Cewsh: A lot of the time, people make wrestling too complicated.
See, there are a lot of ways to tell a story in professional wrestling. You could have some guy come along and call one of the wrestling pimp’s valets “sluts” instead of their proper name of “hoes” and that could touch off a year long feud, or you could have a guy dressed as a turkey hatch from an egg and dance with Gene Okerlund until a boxer punches him in the face, for example. These are both great, but the stories that really stick with you and get over with the fans are the truly simple ones, both in ring and out. Hogan vs. Andre was just a charismatic underdog taking on a man who could not be beaten. Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage was just a guy who was out for revenge and wanted to outwrestle the asshole who injured him. Austin vs. Rock was just two icons who respected each other, who nonetheless would crawl over each others corpses to get the WWE Title. These things resonate because they are immediately identifiable and relatable, and its why we remember them so vividly.
Similarly, the best matches often follow a very simple to follow psychology. This match can be broken down in one sentence. Sheamus is a bully, but Morrison refuses to quit. That accurately sums up all of the dickish beating that Sheamus unleashes on Morrison, and the plucky resolve and selling show by John in the face of his ass kicking. Morrison sells, sells, sells, sells, sells, and then when it comes time he shocks Sheamus and wins out of nowhere, earning enormous cheers from the crowd and the newfound respect of one, Mr. Cewsh. Does this story sound familiar? It should, because you’ve seen it, and you’ve seen it work a billion times before, and you’ll see it work a billion more, because its just so perfectly simple. Morrison is sympathetic, Sheamus is hated, and the crowd immediately bought into this, making it something special that I could have never really expected it to be.
So now John Morrison is our number one contender, coming off of a string of the best performances of his career. How will it pan out? I don’t know. But as long as WWE lets him keep it simple, and allows the fans to buy in, I think he’ll be just fine.
Well, at least until he has to talk.
87 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Mrs.Cewsh: Another ladder match?
Actually, it’s worlds better than the first ladder match and makes me wish that the opener had just been a straight up triple threat.
Morrison plays a really sympathetic face, completely outmatched by Sheamus. Sheamus plays a cocky monster, underestimating Morrison.
Tale as old as time. Song as old as rhyme. Beauty and the Beast. It’s no technical marvel, but it’s fun, works a story, and has some utterly brutal spots.
I can’t ask for much more.
85 out of 100
Cewsh: The Miz is informed that John Morrison has now become the number one contender to his title should he happen to retain it against Orton. This is his reaction.
Cewsh: So Wade Barrett and James Storm are hurrying back to their dressing room to get some tacos before that shit gets cold when they stumble upon everybody totally on the ground all beat up and passed out. They immediately suspect John Cena, which is, I guess, more likely than a freak Pokemon accident.
Cewsh: Oh Randy. Poor Randy.
The backstory here is that Randy, beleaguered and injured by his feud with Nexus was unable to stave off the Miz after he cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase, and now the Miz is walking around with his WWE Heavyweight Championship. This would be infuriating enough if anyone had done it, but as you might imagine, the Miz has special ways of making you sorry you ever stepped into the same room as him, and now Randy is really very much looking forward to demolishing that smug bastard right through a table.
Then…hmm. Look, I’d like to go into detail about the match, but honestly I don’t have the heart. Nothing happened here of note until the ending, which was very MUCH of note, so let’s skip to that. A table is set up in the ring and the ref is knocked out outside the ring. Orton is about to powerbomb the Miz straight to hell and etcetera when Alex Riley gets involved and gets himself powerbombed through the table for his troubles. Then, while Randy is basking in the post Viper glow, Miz sneaks up and hits him with the Skull Crushing Finale. But now there’s no table to win with, right? Ah, not for the cunning champion. He pushes Riley out of the ring. Rolls the unconscious Orton into the wreckage, revives the ref and tells the ref that Orton got put through the table. The ref buys it, Miz wins.
Then comes the best part, as they show the replay of what went down as Miz celebrates while watching it on the big screen. However the ref is ALSO watching the big screen (for the first time in wrestling history) and restarts the match, overturning his own decision.
Which is fine, because about 2 minutes later, Miz cheats AGAIN to win AGAIN and then scampers off to somewhere where nobody can find him.
Aside from getting a kick out of the ref actually seeing something for once, this match really just left me depressed for Randy Orton. If you had to make a list of wrestlers whose PPV matches have had the most overbooked nonsense finishes in the past two years, he might actually double whoever was in second place. Every month he puts on a perfectly good performance, and every month his matches get bad scores for totally perplexing finishes that hurt him and his momentum, and don’t help anybody.
60 out of 100.
Mrs.Cewsh: And another tables match? I know there’s only 4 combinations we can really do here, but didn’t we solve that by not making every match a T, L, or C match last year?
It’s not a terrible match, until the end. What the fuck is with the ends of matches tonight? No.
69 out of 100
Cewsh: Alberto Del Rio is backstage and he conducts an interview where he says that despite his lack of experience in TLC matches, he’s going to win the title because, you guessed it, he’s Alberto Del Rio and he says so. Unfortunately for Alberto he then looks over to see Edge jumping up and down in his backseat commenting of the hydraulics.
They have a confrontation where Edge offers to team up and then immediately takes it back. Meaning that Edge basically came all the way over to Del Rio’s car and mocked him just to be a dick and for no strategic purpose.
Man, Edge is the biggest heel on Smackdown. And he is getting cheered like CRAZY. Odd.
Segment 12 – WWE World Heavyweight Championship – TLC Match – Kane © vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Edge.
Mrs.Cewsh: I was worried about the last minute addition of Mysterio and Del Rio, and I’m still not sure why they got title shots. Luckily, it doesn’t matter, because this is what a TLC match should look like. Mysterio looks fantastic. No, no, don’t run away. I am not a robot.
Rey gets to play the plucky babyface highflyer in a way he hasn’t in a long time. Sure the man’s knees are held together with bubblegum and dreams, but for once I didn’t see that. When he scaled the table that was HANGING FROM THE SET? Jesus.
Really, everyone did a really good, unique part in the match. Kane was kind of just around and big, but nothing more was really required. Edge played the vet, Del Rio played the heel. It was just good, simple, and best of all, entertaining.
88 out of 100
Cewsh: Yeah, what she said.
This was really the match they were obviously savings their spots and time for, and I cannot possibly express how much better it was by including Mysterio and Del Rio instead of keeping this between Kane and Edge. Having the four guys in there kept things moving and exciting, and didn’t force us to stop and dwell on the endless feuds that brought the four men to this point. As a result the match was entertaining, the performers all looked great, and Edge was able to win the World Heavyweight Championship (for the 10th time, fuckers) without the cloud of the Kane feud hanging ugly over the proceedings.
I don’t know where Kane, or in fact any of these guys, goes from here. I assume they’ll limp their way to Wrestlemania and wait for the draft to shake up the main event scene, and I can’t help but feel like they were really gambling heavy on Jack Swagger and Drew McIntyre at least being main eventers by now to share the load. We’ll see how things go, but for now this was a great, fun match where the right man became champion. Works for me.
84 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Cewsh: Cody Rhodes comes out and tells us that he’s going to stuff our stockings with his dashing grooming tips. The crowd doesn’t seem hugely interested in having said stockings stuffed. He then informs them that they all have Irritable Jowel Syndrome (almost as good as Attitude Era Syndrome). He goes on in this manner for some time before the Bella Twins show up with Santa throwing presents to people. Santa is roughly 7 feet tall, and is quite jolly indeed, and Cody is none too pleased to see him, having been a bad boy this year.
Cody quite meanly calls Showta Claus a “Vanilla Shrek”, one tells him not to touch his suit. So Showta Claus promptly rips the suit right off of him and laughs uproariously at Rhodes in his underwear, which is actually identical to his ring gear.
Then we go backstage and see Harris and Barrett walking backstage when Harris walks through a doorway and is wasted via chair. Then as Barrett is standing there in shock, out steps John Cena with the chair and says, and I quote “Hey! Missed you! See you out there!” Which causes me to break out in a huge grin, because goofy John Cena is so fucking likable it defies human psychics.
Cewsh: Firstly, before the match gets started, CM Punk comes down and replaces Matt Striker at the announce desk for some reason. This has raised my anticipation of the next 20 minutes by about 8 billion percent.
Now then, unless you’ve been living under not just one rock, but an entire multitude of them, you may be aware that John Cena and the Nexus have been having some issues this year. They attacked him out of nowhere to make a name for themselves, he fought back, Wade Barrett won a match turning Cena into an indentured servant, Cena got fired for not letting Barrett turn him heel, Cena made life hell for Barrett so Wade brought him back, and now here they are at last, 8 months later, ready to settle things once and for all. Now as you ALSO may recall, every other member of Nexus has been totally wiped out by Cena tonight, so its just going to be a one on one fight, and chairs are not just legal, but eagerly encouraged.
So these guys enter the ring, stand across from each other and wait for the bell that will signal the beginning of the end of their feud. It tolls, and suddenly the ring is full of action, John Cena and Wade Barrett trying to tear each other apart through revenge and frustration respectively. The fight spills outside the ring almost immediately and the crowd is already going batshit insane with the dual chants “Let’s Go Cena “ and “Cena sucks”. Barrett immediately goes to grab a chair but Cena blocks him, wanting to keep this a normal fight for now. They brawl all around ringside and Barrett gets his hands on a chair, but he can’t seem to hit Cena with it, as he is a weasely sort. They duel with chairs (not as cool as with toy lightsabres) and finally the action gets taken up the ramp to the stage. At this point much has been made of some ineffective chair usage, and Barrett has spent some time setting the stairs up at the base of the ramp for some reason, but nothing truly notable has happened until John Cena runs into the back and produces and office chair. He seats Barrett in it, and shoves his big ass down the ramp at top speed, resulting in this.
After that, they start coming up with all sorts of inventive ways to hurt each other. From Barrett tying Cena up in the ropes and hitting Cena so hard with a chair that he actually sold it for a minute, to Cena doing a fucking Arabian Facebuster (?!?!?!?!), to Barrett horse collaring Cena and trying to cripple him, they go back and forth and back and forth. Finally, though, Barrett makes one mistake too many and gives Cena time to set up 6 chairs facing each other. Then, with one final significant look, he deposits Wade Barrett onto the chairs with a mighty Attitude Adjustment and pins him, winning the feud and ridding himself of Nexus once and for all.
Of course, it’s not over yet. As Wade crawls away trying to get to the back, Cena wastes him with two more chairshots to the back, and then dumps a pallet on him, and in a trying symbolic moment (possibly) he grabs a row of the chairs hanging from the set and yanks on it, dumping a dozen chairs onto Barrett, burying him, and this feud for good.
Now its not going to surprise you that I liked this match, because I don’t think I’ve ever given a John Cena gimmick match brawl a bad score. He’s phenomenal at them, and they always hide his weaknesses very well. But this was just simply a very good match to end this feud definitively, and it made both Cena and Barrett look terrific. Wade for almost getting the job done without any help, and Cena for actually selling for 8 seconds in a row. Best of both worlds. The whole bit after the match really didn’t come off very well. It seemed excessive and wasn’t really necessary. But the match was damn good and that’s all there really is to it.
84 out of 100
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Mrs.Cewsh: Love him or hate him, every person in attendance was chanting about Cena.
Another shockingly good match. Cena is always in his element in a big fuck off brawl and it seems Barrett is as well. There’s not usually a lot you can do with chairs, except hit someone really hard, but I thought they did some pretty unique moves as well. Cena’s rolling chair was pretty interesting, but how did he get to an office and back so fast? Cewsh marked out for the Arabian something drop whatever. Looked like a leg drop with a chair to me.
The finish was the one needed, and I think the AA through the bank of chairs was an excellent feud killer. It was a great visual. I didn’t really like Barrett crawling away, seemed more like a move that should have put him out until black, and I’m not sure what I feel about the post match. John Cena does not always act in a very faceish manner. Previously, it’s been limited to being too aggressive behavior in the ring, but hitting Barrett after the bell and pulling the set down on top of him? I think it went too far, even for the feud blowoff, and I hope he’s called on it.
89 out of 100
Cewsh: Man, what a weird show.
There were some legitimately great matches here, ones that I would be disappointed in you for not watching to see for yourself. As a result, the score of this show is astronomical and rightly so. But the overall tone of the show, and the continuation of some of the more stale aspects of WWE right now just drives home that, well, WWE is stale right now. I hope the Road to Wrestlemania causes WWE to launch some great and exciting ideas that freshen things up, because as things stand now, this is not a company worth your money. It kills me to say that, so please WWE, prove me wrong.
Mrs. Cewsh: It’s funny. This show’s matches got some of the best scores of the year. Only the tag was really a clunker for me, and even that was just middle of the road bad.
I hated this show. Maybe it’s the general bad feeling I have about the product right now. Maybe it’s wrestling burn out. Maybe it’s the fact that all of the matches felt shoehorned around the gimmick. I don’t know. Everyone went out, wrestled their asses off, put on good work, and I’m just like, eh. That’s a problem.
Well that’ll do it for us this time, boys and girls. We hope you enjoyed are excellent and dreary, depressing and exhilarating journey through the bowels of modern day WWE. Be sure to tune in next week as we explore the bowels of a very different wrestling company altogether. Which one? You’ll have to wait and see, but believe me when I tell you. I Have An Opinion. So until then, as always, keep reading, and be good to one another.