WWE TLC 2016: SmackDown Live ended their 2016 with another phenomenal PPV
Another WWE PPV is in the books, this time a SmackDown Live exclusive. Once again, the blue brand delivers in a huge way. WWE TLC provided fans with great storytelling, excellent matches and surprising outcomes. All the matches meant something and everything seemed to have changed for the better. That has been the SmackDown way for months now.
Let’s get right to it, shall we?
We had two title changes during the PPV and both of them changed the entire landscape of Tuesday nights.
Heath Slater and Rhyno became the first SmackDown Tag Team Champions a few months ago. The “Heath Slater redemption story” was one of the best storylines on WWE TV for quite some time. Unfortunately, the “One Man Band” and the “Man Beast” Rhyno needed to eventually fail. Last night they did, as the Wyatt Family finally won a major title in WWE. With Randy Orton joining Bray Wyatt’s family, it was inevitable that they were either going to win big, or Randy would turn on Bray. The former happened, but the latter still has a chance to happen down the road.
Bray Wyatt deserved that title win. For years, he has been one of the most consistent entertainers in WWE, only to be buried on the spot. SmackDown truly is the land of opportunity, as Bray finally won some gold. Maybe a World Title opportunity will be next for the cult leader.
The tables match for the SmackDown Women’s Title between Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss was well done. Becky was the first champion for the blue brand, and she did a phenomenal job. However, Alexa Bliss has been on (to steal a line from Becky) straight fire. She’s a natural heel and has slowly become a fan favorite. The “small but fierce” Bliss finally won a title, giving another member of the “Triple H NXT squad” some hardware.
Dolph Ziggler and The Miz fought “one last time” for the Intercontinental Title, this time in a ladder match. Say what you will about The Miz, but there is no doubt that he is one of the best performers in WWE today. Whether its a promo or just taunting his opponent, the former Real World star just knows how to captivate an audience. That ladder match was brutal to watch in the best way possible. Ziggler lost the big one (again), and I’m curious to see whats next for his character after being given so many chances to succeed. The Miz will most likely continue to be a thorn in the side of GM Daniel Bryan, which is always fun to watch (especially on Talking Smack, only on the WWE Network for $9.99).
The two matches without titles on the line delivered in their own little way. Nikki Bella has become a mentor to the younger wrestlers since coming back from surgery, which is a refreshing sight. Her feud with Carmella has been pretty good, and both put on a passionate, violent match against one another to compliment Raw’s style of competition. While the storyline these two are in may seem ordinary, they help enhance it with their actions. Baron Corbin had one of his best matches since joining the main roster against Kalisto. When chairs are involved, Corbin delivers (that’s not a thing, but it should definitely be a thing). This mini feud has been great for SmackDown’s midcard, which is rich with talent.
Once again, A.J. Styles delivered in a big title match, this time against Dean Ambrose in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match. Even with ripped pants (very distracting), Styles managed to put on a clinic with Dean in a stiff match that was full of some crazy bumps. One in particular seemed to make this match feel epic:
In the end, James Ellsworth cost Dean Ambrose the match and A.J. Styles reclaimed the title. Yes, the man who has been beat up by A.J. many times helped him win. Why? On the TLC post-show, Ellsworth claimed he could beat A.J. for the title this Tuesday on SmackDown. While it was unnecessary for him to interfere in the match, it was a surprising move, and it provides fans a reason to watch SmackDown this Tuesday (maybe to see the last of Ellsworth?). A.J. Styles as champion (the true WWE Champion) has been a great story for WWE. His game has stepped up since joining the company in January, and the fans have taken notice.
Last night proved again why SmackDown is the superior brand. Everything feels fresh right now and its all thanks to the talent and the writers involved. I highly recommend you watch this show again and see greatness unfold. Another win for SmackDown Live = another win for the fans!
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