WWE TLC RESULTS: History Made and Rivalries Thwarted (December, 4th 2016)

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Welcome All to this years WWE TLC report, the first TLC PPV since the returning brand split. Per this, the Blue Brand obtained the right to compete on the PPV with usually lethal stipulations, and in turn, many of the rosters best were highlighted. On top we not only got two women’s matches, but both with stipulations and one being a championship defense. Nikki Bella and Carmella looked to close their ongoing rivalry in a No Disqualification Match of which Nikki begged for, and Becky Lynch defended her Smackdown Women’s Championship she obtained at Backlash against her previously fallen contender, Alexa Bliss.

First women’s wise on the card is Carmella vs Nikki Bella. The Fearless former Divas Champion that is Nikki Bella enters first, followed by a bruised Carmella. Before either can bring their animosity to the ring, we get recaps of just how the feud between the two ladies came to be, per a recap of Carmella’s Heel Turn many months ago and the callous attack on Nikki that followed the same evening on Talking Smack. Both attacks had been a result of Carmella feeling animosity towards being taken out by Nikki Bella in a multi tag team match at Summerslam, plus targeting the Total Divas star in retaliation. However, going back to present day, Carmella is already avoiding the fight, dashing to ringside right before Nikki can even get her when the bell rings. Carmella shoves Nikki once she follows her outside, attacking her back afterwards before rolling her back to the ring to continue her assault, only to be floored by the sudden spear from Nikki. Nikki throws forearms at Carmella then drags her by her hair over to the apron, prizing her in a hold that Carmella eventually reverses into a hurricanrana, one that sends Nikki into the nearby steel steps. Carmella isn’t done there however as she finds just enough strength to launch Nikki into the nearby barricade.

Nikki rolls back to the ring just after a count of six, ambushed by Carmella once back in. Carmella shortly attacks the left leg of Nikki before going for the first pin attempt of the match, getting a one count on Nikki. Carmella takes Nikki away from the ropes and furthers her earlier assault by suplexing her into the nearby ropes. After gathering some heat from the audience via her taunting, Carmella attempts once more to cover Nikki, this time getting a near fall. Carmella teases going for a suplex again, but this time Nikki counters into a roll up to get her own near fall on the heel. Before she can gather any momentum, shes taken down by a big clothesline from Carmella. Carmella capitalizes with her next pin attempt, again a near fall. Frustrated with the result, Carmella returns to the earlier plot, suplexing Nikki’s legs back into the ropes, this time at another side of the ring. She tries to capitalize on the possible inflicted injury with again another pin attempt, with the Fearless One escaping at one.

Carmella resorts to her next strategy, hanging up Nikki against a corner and revealing in her palms a kendo stick she has seized from under the ring. Carmella even uses the traditional Cena “You Cant See Me” Taunt against his girlfriend before smacking her exposed body with the stick. Despite a quick comeback kick from Nikki, Carmella still continues to utilize her kendo stick as Nikki is left limping and struggling around the ring. However, despite all that work, Nikki manages to kick out of that follow up pin attempt at one. As a result, Nikki ends up in Carmella’s signature submission, the Code of Silence, and after struggling to reach over the ropes, Nikki finds another way to escape her foes clutches, with the rivals own Kendo Stick. Carmella takes back the stick as she prances on the outside, but before she can use it to full effect, shes kicked to the floor by Nikki, landing face first. Nikki looks to have a turn again with the stick but is shoulder tackled into the barricade by Carmella. Nikki mirrors this as she drives Carmella back first into the ring post. Even despite seeming injured, Nikki musters energy to poise herself upon the barricade, and once Carmella is back fully on her feet, she connects with an inziguiri off it to Carmella. Nikki rolls Carmella back in the ring, following behind with the kendo stick in hand, which she smacks Carmella with once back in. Carmella retaliates before she can do more, then sending her rolling to the outside. Carmella struggles to get back to her feet after the shots to the rear from the kendo stick, but manages to do so, but as she tries to seize Nikki on the outside, the nemesis sprays her with a fire extinguisher. She brings that to the ring, furthermore using it and once putting out the flame fully, Nikki hits her finisher to get her pinfall victory over Carmella. Nikki wins the match. However as the Former Divas Champion looks to leave, Carmella has something to speak on, and not celebrating her rivals win either, but attempting to convince Nikki that her real attacker at Survivor Series, the woman who pursued her and took her out of the Survivor Series elimination match was Natalya.

In Fact, Natalya is backstage like the rest of the Smackdown roster and had heard Carmella’s accusation as to address it in a backstage interview later in the show. The Queen of Harts had weighed in earlier on the show on who exactly would come out victorious in Becky’s title defense but is now more concerned about the accusation, after wishing Becky the best of luck of course. She labels the comments by Carmella as absurd, but while Dasha is aware of Carmella’s character and history with Nikki Bella, she wonders why she would lie about such things. Natalya simply puts it as being because Carmella is a Liar and she leaves within an instant with no further comments.

Jumping forward in time, we of course must cover the last women’s match of the night, the women’s championship match between the challenger Alexa Bliss and the courageous defending champion Becky Lynch. The Match comes after Bliss continuously belittled the authority of Smackdown over not having her clause evoked after Lynch’s controversial victory over her the past time in Glasgow. Regardless, Alexa earned her rematch at TLC, signing the contract days before and adding more stakes to a match of already high animosity by putting the champion through a table, thus lighting Becky’s confidence enough to step into a Tables Match with the vicious challenger. Per tradition, the contender, that being Alexa, enters first for the championship match, followed by the entrance of Becky Lynch. Introductions are done for both sides, title is flashed and the bell is rung, confirming this Tables Match for Becky’s Championship is underway.

Becky goes straight after the longtime nemesis Alexa, driving her back to her own corner back first to begin the match. Hard forearms follow, some of which Alexa tries to block, but shes overwhelmed by a number of kicks in the corner that follow. Alexa is then roped into a clothesline from Becky, and Becky isn’t waiting to deal her winning punishment to Alexa, looking to grab a table from under the ring. As she readies to set it up, only having just pulled it from under the ring, Alexa has recovered and delivers a dropkick to Becky. Alexa’s mean streak is very quickly on show as the heel rams Becky shoulder first against the barricade. Alexa quickly puts the table back under the ring, only to turn and be knocked to the floor by Becky, who has her own turn in delivering punishment to Alexa in the form of running her into a different barricade. Becky takes Alexa near to the commentary table, and after nailing a kick to the smaller opponents midsection, she elevates her up to set up for a powerbomb but it doesn’t go according to plan as Alexa grabs the ropes, also loosening herself to the point where she slips free of Becky. Alexa kicks Becky in the side of the head, but it doesn’t send her away for too long as Becky bounces back, taking Alexa’s foot and sweeping her onto the apron back first. Becky returns to the ring, countering the athleticism of Alexa in the middle of the ring and she resumes control with a snap suplex. While Alexa is back at a point of trying to recover, Becky takes herself back to ringside and eyes the table under the ring, prizing it once more. This time its fully exposed and fully set up by the champ, and as Becky climbs the apron, Alexa goes for a shoulder tackle between the ropes, which Becky luckily dodges, managing to kick Alexa in turn. Becky goes for a vertical suplex on the apron but Alexa blocks with all her might, then snapping the face of Becky against the ropes, though Becky doesn’t tumble backward luckily. Alexa tries to release her from the ropes but takes a forearm.

Becky returns to the ring, only to take a flurry of offense from Alexa, including a forearm in the corner. Alexa whips Becky into the same corner, unluckily missing her corner splash. Becky nails not one but two springboard sidekicks in retaliation, though the second that hits while Alexa is poised on the apron doesnt do its job in sending Alexa downward into the table as she hangs on. Becky has elevated herself to the second turnbuckle, grabbing Alexa though, in unsanitary fashion, Alexa bites her. Alexa storms back to the ring, hammering her with furious forearms, following up by choking her against the second rope. Alexa connects with double knees to the back of the champs neck before throwing her back to the center. Alexa continues the momentum with the foot stomps to the back of the neck before sneaking outside with ill intention, this time taking her own table. Becky tries to land on Alexa from the apron but misses, and Alexa drives Becky into the opposite ring post to shortly take her out. Alexa focuses on forcing the table into the ring before turning attention back to Becky, smacking her face against the apron before she can mount a comeback from ringside. She takes her into the ring, stomping away at her before again turning her focus to the table. With the table soon set up, Alexa pounds Becky in the corner, eating a forearm as she tries to charge back over to the corner to bring the next assault to Becky. Becky tries to retaliate with forearms, but Alexa overwhelms her, eventually bringing the champ down to the canvas.

Alexa utilizes the table for meager purposes, planting Becky’s face against it. Stakes begin to heighten for Becky as shes placed against it by the challenger, but Becky rolls off just as Alexa signals for Twisted Bliss. She attacks Alexa who is placed on the top turnbuckle, and the two go back and forth with Becky getting the upper hand, readying a possible suplex into the table, but again the contender is clever and breaks from Becky’s grip, pushing her down but only to the mat rather than to the table. Becky, however, takes a spill, knocking the table onto its side, and turns and takes a boot from Alexa who is maintaining her position on the top turnbuckle. After being near overcome by Becky again, Alexa avoids being sent into the table with another counter, and she has a turn at using the table herself, only hoisting it into the corner, set up diagonally for a possible terrific corner spot. Before Alexa can possibly execute this spot, Becky is back with her straight fire, connecting with uppercuts to Alexa. Clotheslines and kicks from Becky allow her to seize some momentum, and seeing Alexa near the corner, and near the table, she charges towards Alexa, who moves away. Becky maintains her footing, managing not to connect with the table, turning in time to superkick the challenger before she can make the comeback. Becky goes for the exploder suplex but Alexa counters into the standing flat-liner. Alexa goes for another corner spot, misses per Becky charging out of the way, but she stays clear of the table like Becky beforehand. Becky tries to roll up Alexa, taking a forearm to the face. Alexa connects with Insult to Injury then tipping the table out of the corner into the center of the table.

Alexa is back with forearms to Becky, setting up the table near the middle of the ring, but met with the resilience of Becky, who hits with offense before Alexa can even attempt the next spot. Becky seems to be signalling for a possible AA, but Alexa uses her fingers to tip the table again. Alexa slips off the shoulders of Becky but is sent back first into the table, which is tipped upside down on the mat therefore doesn’t break due to little impact, though both women are down. When Alexa recovers, shes back to messing with the table, but takes little notice of Becky, who climbs over and locks the Disarmer. She even bends the fingers of Alexa to add to the pain but is made to release, per the result only being made by one of the competitors going through a table. Becky lays out Alexa in the middle of the ring then sets up the table between the bottom rope and the turnbuckles. Becky lies Alexa against the table then starts ascending to the top turnbuckle, but along the way she takes a kick from Alexa, who drags her by her hair back to the mat. Alexa tries to make a comeback but is sent face first into the bottom corner turnbuckle by Becky. Alexa and Becky scrap on the apron back and forth, and Alexa soon takes herself to the floor, and a sudden powerbomb allows her to drive Becky through a table. To the shock of many, Alexa defeats Becky and captures her first main roster championship. The defeated now former champion walks off after airing much disappointment to Dasha.

(Carmella Segment)

(Carmella vs Nikki Bella; No Disqualification Match)

(Natalya Backstage Segment)

(Alexa Bliss vs Becky Lynch; Tables Match for the Smackdown Women’s Championship)

(Becky Lynch on TLC Fallout)

Thoughts On:
Nikki/Carmella: While the fire extinguisher usage was a good use of telling the story of putting out “The Fire” that has driven Carmella’s momentum and instinct to attack Nikki back and forth since the angle began, and while weapons, that and the kendo stick etc, were used, i cant stress enough how this match was only just amping up and getting going when the sudden finish came with Nikki’s finisher. The Crowd were chanting “We Want Tables” at one point and with the feud being that heated as it has been presented, i did expect it as Sasha and Charlotte would answer the call, but we didn’t get that, and i don’t know if thats because of the length of other matches on the card, or because of the management not wanting RAW being one upped by other women, but the small usage of weaponry in a match that has been begged for for so long, that could have made this match more memorable, makes it overall disappointing. While i can congratulate both for making history by sharing a PPV that featured two stipulated women’s matches for the first time ever, and for putting in much effort, the sudden finish and the way they revealed Natalya as Nikki’s “attacker” was underwhelming. Ok maybe we are getting Natalya acting innocent over the weeks because awkwardness and attention is now driven towards her, but many expected a behind attack or a swerve in regards to a different attacker, which could also be the case. As of right now, this and this weeks Smackdown antics have me believe Natalya is turning face soon, especially because theres no logic in Nikki believing her longtime rival Carmella unless it turns out true, and because smackdown maybe losing a babyface soon with a possible transformation coming for Becky.

Becky/Alexa: Congratulations go out to Becky and Alexa on being a part of the first singles tables match in wwe women’s history, and the strategizing of avoiding spots complete with the swerve ending and crowd reaction made this a match to remember. Even i didn’t expect Alexa to win the title while the Becky Heel Turn rumors were running rampant, but im mega proud for Alexa, considering how disappointed i was that she never held a title in NXT considering she was one of the characters down there who had a full package, ring work, mic work, charisma etc. Alexa now gets to hold an accolade she has long fought for, capitalizing on her status not only as a developing ongoing heel on the main roster, but on her status as wwe’s present equivalent to Trish Stratus. Its arguable that she may be a placeholder to Nikki, and that wouldn’t surprise me, but im expecting her to win her eventual rematch with Becky, and Becky’s inability to defeat Bliss will expectedly seep in and bring her her heel turn, rejuvenating her vicious character from NXT, which im excited for if it goes down, as Becky has hinted in a recent interview that she is awaiting to turn and at an unexpected time, most possibly when Nikki earns the next contenders spot so she can be revealed as Nikki’s true attacker. But back to Alexa as champion, im truly excited for the promos and everything else that comes from this, and one things for sure, with her comparisons to Trish and similarities, they cannot fail with how they book this particular character. Congratulations to Alexa and Becky on a Great Encounter.

– Catherine

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