Good Morning to all you wrestling fans! I’m Sean and I am back once again with Flashback Friday, a weekly series here on WrestlingNewsSource.com which always hits you right in the bread basket and is jammed packed to the rafters with nostalgia. Anyways, we are edging ever closer to Smackdown Live’s TLC pay per view and what better way to get you ready for another TLC pay per view than reviewing an old TLC pay per view? The pay per view I am looking back on this week in WWE’s TLC 2012, Dolph Ziggler was battling John Cena in the main event, a trio known as The Shield were having their pay per view debut match and we even had Brooklyn Brawler. Who does not love Brooklyn Brawler? So, sit back and enjoy your Friday morning coffee, this is WWE’s TLC 2012!
We are treated to a montage of various wrestlers being battered with table, ladders and chairs. Simple yet effective as the rest of the promo package highlights the main matches on the card. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler welcome us to the action which is emanating from Brookyln, New York. Stage design is the same as the previous year with no changes, the downside of WWE’s pay per views nowadays.
(Tables Match to decide No. 1 Contenders for Tag Team Titles) Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs Team Rhodes Scholars
Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio, the tag team that many people wished had a match against one another at Wrestlemania vs one of my favourite randomly thrown together teams of the last number of years: Damien Sandow and a moustached Cody Rhodes. Sandow & Rhodes make fun of hipsters before stepping into the ring. Both teams begin brawling with Rey busting out hurricanranas to wipe out Sandow and Rhodes. Double baseball slide to the face of Sandow, Rhodes is smashed with a table as is Sandow. Rhodes saves Sandow by taking out Rey and crotching Sin Cara on the top rope. Rey is rag-dolled to the floor and Team Rhodes Scholars put the boots to Sin Cara. Sin Cara avoids a double suplex through the table, springboard arm drag by Sin Cara on Rhodes but Rhodes fires back with a Beautiful Disaster kick.
Sandow rams Rey’s head into the ringpost, double team on Sin Cara who is hurled to the floor. Sandow hurls Rey into two separate barricades while Sin Cara is trapped by Team Rhodes Scholars. Sandow grabs a table and drives the table into the leg of Sin Cara. Sandow dominates Rey by throwing the master of The 619 into another barricade. Team Rhodes Scholars set up two tables on the floor beside one another. Sandow and Rhodes are thwarted by Rey in their attempts to win the match. Mysterio plants Sandow with a DDT.
Sin Cara springboards onto Sandow, frankensteiner on Sandow and Sandow powders but Sin Cara planchas onto Sandow. Rey and Rhodes battle in the ring, Rey counters The Alabama Slam, Rey nails The 619 and Rhodes is on the table. Rey plans on a Frog Splash but Sandow sweeps Rey’s legs. Team Rhodes Scholars smack Rey in the face with a table, Rey falls to the floor. Sin Cara nails Sandow with an enzuigiri, Rhodes is elevated to the floor by Sin Cara. Sin Cara nails Sandow with an enzuigiri and plans for a springboard but out of nowhere, Cody pushes Sin Cara off the top rope and Sin Cara falls through the tables on the floor. Good opening match, tables always excite the fans and when you see the various replays of Sin Cara’s table crash, the bump looks more impressive. As I was saying, Team Rhodes Scholars were so much fun and I wish they had a better run before going up against one another after Sandow won The Money in The Bank.
Winners: Team Rhodes Scholars over Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara via Table Elimination!
On a camcorder backstage, The Shield cut a promo before their first match. Ambrose is the star of this promo, Rollins has come a long way since then and Roman is effective in small soundbites and bursts (Shame WWE still do not understand that).
(WWE United States Championship Match) Antonio Cesaro © vs R-Truth
Cesaro won the championship on the pre-show of Summerslam and R-Truth is essentially a lamb to the slaughter. Lock up and a clean break by Truth, Cesaro is not happy with the antics of Truth so Cesaro locks in a side headlock. Shoulder block and slaps to the head of R-Truth, Truth catches Cesaro with a victory roll for a two count. Roll-up by Truth for a two count, the challenger grabs a side headlock. Cesaro counters with a back suplex, Cesaro beats down Truth with forearms. Sleeper hold by Cesaro, Cesaro sits on this hold for a long time, so long in fact that the fans start booing passionately. Cesaro rams Truth’s head into all four corners before Truth hulks up and tees off on Cesaro. Huge clothesline by Truth, lie detector and Truth aims for The Axe Kick. Truth scores but Cesaro powers out at two.
Beautiful calf kick by Truth for a two count, Truth looks for a suplex but Cesaro shoves Truth into the referee. Truth stops himself but Cesaro clobbers Truth with an elbow and one Neutralizer later, that’s all she wrote. Extended squash is what you can call that, Truth had a knack for always wondering into a feud or two during the year. Truth’s significant run had ended after Survivor Series 2011 as the WWE blamed Miz and Truth for the pay per view’s poor buy-rate. Cesaro’s stock continued to rise in WWE but it seems whenever Cesaro was close to being one of the major players, the rug was swept from underneath him and it was back to square one. Cesaro’s interview after the match is the typical “I am a foreign guy, America is bad because you are disgusting and fat blah, blah, blah”.
Winner: Cesaro over R-Truth via Neutralizer!
Tribute to The Troops Promo
Oh, do you remember Tout? Yeah this was when WWE was big on Tout. Josh Matthews interviews Dolph Ziggler about his main event match against none other than John Cena. Ziggler says Cena will lose everything as Ziggler will rise to the very top of the WWE. Good promo by Ziggler who shows a lot of poise and intensity in the promo.
(WWE Intercontinental Championship Match) Wade Barrett vs Kofi Kingston ©
Wade Barrett comes to the ring with quite frankly a fantastic beard. What feels strange about this match is the amount of times I feel I have seen it as in these two have been stuck in that same position in the company for so long, I swear it is like Ziggler vs The Miz at this stage. Barrett and Kofi lock up with both men trading wrestling holds, Kofi drills Barrett with a reverse elbow and a dropkick for a two count. Stiff kick to the face by Kofi and Barrett fires back with a clothesline to the floor. Kofi nails Barrett with a suicide dive after outsmarting The Bareknuckle Brawler. Kofi misses a springboard dive and Barrett takes control with a body kick and a pumphandle slam. Barrett unloads a barrage of fists and a backbreaker for a near-fall. Barrett delivers a second rope elbow for a two count, Barrett stays on Kofi with a reverse chinlock. Kofi counters a back suplex by sliding out, side Russian legsweep. Series of clotheslines by Kofi.
Boom Drop by the champion, Barrett dodges Trouble in Paradise. SOS by Kofi but the champion only gets a two count. Kofi mounts Barrett in the corner and rains down on Barrett. Barrett blocks with the boot, full-nelson slam for a two count. Kofi drills Barrett in the face, high crossbody but Barrett rolls through for a two count. Small package by Kofi and the champion gets two count. Winds of Change by Barrett for a two count, Barrett motions for The Bullhammer. Kofi catches Barrett with The Trouble in Paradise and Kofi retains the championship. That was a good match, best match so far but I am sure that will be topped. Anyways, I enjoy both men’s work and it makes me sad seeing that neither men were able to climb higher than the Intercontinental Championship. I believe Kofi’s time was 2009 against Orton while Barrett’s Bad News gimmick was money.
Winner: Kofi Kingston over Barrett via Trouble in Paradise!
CM Punk Interview
From Punk’s private skybox, Punk tells the fans that he hates them and Chicago is the best place on Earth. Punk calls the fans dumb, and losers because they can relate to Ryback who is also dumb and a loser. Mr. Punk was firing on all cylinders on this night as no one is safe from Punk’s wrath and venom which he spouts from his mouth.
(TLC Match) Ryback/Team Hell No! vs The Shield
Debuting at Survivor Series, three NXT stars took the wrestling world by storm. Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose had arrived and had arrived with a bang. Attack after attack led to the team of Ryback and Team Hell No! joining forces in an attempt to defeat these three men who were claiming they were The Hounds of Justice. Ryback was trying to recover from The Hell in a Cell debacle as Ryback was still one of the most over superstars on the roster despite WWE’s poor booking. The Shield’s music hits and they come to the ring from the stands. The Shield’s first ever match and it feels a big deal.
We kick it off with everyone brawling on the floor, Bryan goes after Rollins and Kane has Reigns. Ryback has Ambrose in the ring, Ambrose chops Ryback but Ryback takes everything that Ambrose can dish out. Huge chops by Ryback, Ambrose goes for the legs of Ryback but Ryback slams Ambrose into the mat after a Lou Thesz Press. Ryback fends off all three members of The Shield but Ambrose kicks Ryback to the floor. Kane grabs a ladder but Rollins baseball slides Kane and the ladder smashes Kane in the face. Reigns chokes Bryan with his foot before Bryan meets a ladder with his face. Ryback is on his feet and Ryback boots the ladder into Ambrose and Rollins. Reigns saves his team with vicious chair shots to Ryback. Bryan starts kicking Roman into oblivion, double Irish whip by Team Hell No! and Reigns is smashed into the ladder. Ambrose attacks Bryan and sends Bryan into the ringpost.
Kane takes out Rollins with a right hand, Kane grabs a chair. Rollins is placed inside a ladder and Kane batters the ladder with a chair. Ambrose has a chair though, DDT on the chair by Ambrose to Kane. Ryback smashes up Rollins and Ambrose in the corner but Ambrose fires back. Ladder to the ribs of Ryback, The Big Guy is isolated and in trouble. Rollins kicks Ryback all over and Ambrose preps a ladder in the corner. Ryback clubs Rollins and Ambrose before Irish whipping Ambrose into Rollins and a ladder and crushes both Shield members. Ryback grabs Ambrose and Rollins for a double suplex on a ladder. Ryback prepares for a Double Shellshock but Reigns makes the save. Triple beat-down on Ryback with chairs and ladders, Roman clears the Spanish table, Triple Powerbomb to Ryback through the table. Bryan takes out all The Shield with a tope suicida, The Shield use their numbers to quiet down Bryan. Kane helps Bryan, Bryan smacks Rollins with the chair but Ambrose saves Rollins. Scoop slam by Ambrose on Bryan, chair shot to Bryan by Rollins.
Ambrose places a chair on Bryan and stomps on Bryan’s chest. Ambrose and Rollins place a table across the top rope, Bryan is rammed into the table. Rollins and Ambrose place Bryan on the table on the top rope and plant Bryan with a double superplex, Kane saves Bryan from being pinned. Reigns is lowbridged by Kane but Ambrose and Rollins are on Kane. Kane is rammed into the table now, Ambrose and Rollins plan to superplex Kane. Kane fights off Rollins and drills Ambrose with his flying clothesline. Corner clothesline and sidewalk slam to Roman Reigns, Ambrose saves Reigns. Kane Chokeslams Ambrose through a chair, cover and Reigns saves Ambrose from being pinned. Rollins chop blocks Kane and Reigns Spears Kane through a barricade. The Shield bury Kane under all the rubble. Bryan applies The Yes Lock on Ambrose and then Rollins but Reigns is there to rough up Bryan. Bryan counters Reigns and locks in The Yes Lock but Ambrose and Rollins batter Bryan. Ambrose and Rollins eat knees and kicks from Daniel Bryan, the crowd is going nuts but Rollins cuts off Bryan with A Curb Stomp through a chair. Ryback makes the save though.
Ryback lays out Rollins and Reigns, military press slam by Ryback on Rollins. Rollins is thrown onto Dean. Ryback was looking for a powerbomb but Ambrose saves Reigns. Meat-hook Clothesline on Ambrose, Shellshock on Ambrose. Cover and Reigns makes the save. Reigns and Rollins have Ryback on the outside, the three begin brawling up the rampway. Ambrose joins his partners in decimating Ryback on the rampway. Ryback is placed on a table as Rollins climbs a huge twenty-foot ladder. Ryback begins stirring and goes after Seth Rollins on the ladder, Ryback catches Rollins and hurls Seth Rollins off the ladder through several tables. Reigns and Ambrose have Bryan in the ring. Reigns powerbombs Bryan through the table from the second rope and that’s all folks!
Incredible match I cannot say enough good things about this match. The excitement and drama was constant throughout the match. Every time you thought it was over, another man would pop up and make the save. It was executed to perfection throughout the match. The Shield looked like animals during this match, I love their beat-downs and I love their isolation tactics. The way they the match was told was also great. Ryback and Team Hell No! are all great performers but they were not as cohesive and as on the same page as The Shield. Ryback could not dominate, Bryan could not kick people’ heads off and Kane could not Chokeslam anyone because there was always a Shield member lying in wait to stop the party for the babyfaces. The easiest way to sum up my feelings for this match is you have to see it, it was that good.
Winners: The Shield over Ryback/Team Hell No! via Powerbomb!
(WWE Diva’s Championship Match) Eve © vs Naomi
Naomi won the match thanks to Eve who slapped Kaityln in a battle royal on the pre-show. Eve mocks Naomi’s dancing before the two lock up, Eve slaps and forearms Naomi. Naomi turns the tide on Eve, huge leg drop and rear-view by Naomi. Dropkick by Naomi to Eve who looks on disgusted by the challenger. Eve hotshots Naomi’s arm before applying a hammerlock, Naomi battles back hurricanrana by Naomi. Calf kick in the corner and Naomi misses a crossbody. Neckbreaker by Eve and Eve retains. Brief and just a calm down match for the crowd. Naomi looked good even though it is brief although at the end, Eve calls in her own photographer to take photos of her and her beaten opponent. That could be a good gimmick and yeah, that’s all I can say here.
Winner: Eve over Naomi via Neckbreaker!
(WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match) Big Show © vs Sheamus
At last month’s Survivor Series, Sheamus unleashed a flurry of chair shots onto Big Show, 31 to be exact. So, this is a chair match which means chairs are legal. Similar to Mark Henry’s run with the championship last year, WWE discovered they has a big badass in The Big Show and booked Show to match his strength and height. Sheamus goes right after Show, kicks in the corner by The Great White. Show shakes off Sheamus before Sheamus goes low on Show, targeting the knee of the champion. Show overpowers Sheamus but Sheamus grabs a chair. Show kicks away the chair to save himself before powdering. Show thrust kicks the chair into Sheamus’ face. Show leans Sheamus against the barricade and chops the challenger. While Show is looking for a weapon, Sheamus climbs the apron and dives onto Show with a shoulder block. Back in the ring, Show clotheslines Sheamus into next week. Show steps on Sheamus who is bleeding from the mouth.
Show looks for a weapon again but Sheamus baseball slides Show. Sheamus has a chair and Sheamus wears out the chair on Show. Four chair shots and Sheamus nails a scoop slam for a two count. Sheamus nails a diving shoulder block with the chair on Show, Sheamus tries the move once more but Show spears Sheamus and Sheamus rolls to the floor. Show wallops Sheamus with the chair, two shots have Sheamus screaming out in pain. Show steps on Sheamus in the ring while holding a chair, third shot to the spine. Show chokes Sheamus on the ropes, corner splash by Show. Sheamus buys himself some time by knocking the ropes into Show’s balls. Both men slug it out on their knees, shoulder thrusts by Sheamus and a high knee on Show. Show plants Sheamus with a Chokeslam out of nowhere, two count for the champion. Show goes hunting for chairs, Show looks for a second rope splash on Sheamus and Show scores. Sheamus kicks out at two and a half, Show measures Sheamus for a Chokeslam through two chairs but Sheamus reverses Show for White Noise through the two chairs. 1…2.. Big Show kicks out!
Sheamus is fired up (No pun intended). Show dodges The Brogue Kick and nails The WMD and Shemus kicks out of The WMD. Show’s best shot could not take down Sheamus, Show grabs a massive steel chair from under the ring. This thing is as big as Sheamus’ chest. Show unleashes a massive shot with the massive chair and Sheamus is finally put away. Another good match ladies and gentlemen, it starts out slow and the crowd was not responding but once Show began dominating Sheamus, the crowd was feeling for Sheamus. Sheamus sold well in this match, Sheamus sold like his life depended on it and in the process, made Show look like a beast. Sheamus came out looking great too by surviving almost everything Show had in his arsenal.
Winner: Show over Sheamus via Huge Chair Shot!
3MB vs The Miz/Brooklyn Brawler/ Alberto Del Rio W/ Ricardo Rodriguez
This match was setup on Miz TV earlier in the night. Miz introduces their secret partner who is none other than The Brooklyn Brawler. Del Rio beats down on Slater, enzuigiri on the arm of Slater. Tag to Brawler who roughs up all of 3MB. Slater Superkicks Brawler and the heels get the heat on Brawler. Suplex on Brawler by Drew, two count for Drew. Tag to Slater, Slater misses a knee drop from the second rope. Tag to Miz, clothesline on Jinder. Corner clothesline by Miz on Slater, DDT on Jinder. Del Rio takes down Drew, suicide dive to Drew. Miz Skull Crushing Finales Jinder and tags to Brawler. Boston Crab by Brawler and Jinder taps out. It was a nothing match just to rest the fans for the main event.
Winners: Del Rio/Miz/Brawler over 3MB via Boston Crab!
(Ladder Match for MITB Contract) Dolph Ziggler vs John Cena
AJ had to resign as manager of Monday Night Raw, Vickie Guerrero believed AJ had an affair with John Cena. There was footage of John and AJ texting and going into one another’s hotel rooms. John would later kiss AJ, Vickie was not happy about this so Dolph got involved in their business. Vickie’s eagerness to get rid of AJ and annoy John Cena backfired as Ziggler would be announced to face Cena in a ladder match with Ziggler’s contract hanging in the balance. WWE never fails to deliver on their hype packages for matches and this one delivers like all the others. Cena shoulder blocks Ziggler to begin the match, lock up and a side headlock by Ziggler. Cena pushes off and Ziggler holds onto the ropes and struts. Lock up with Cena applying the side headlock, big hiptoss by Cena.
Ziggler wriggles free but Cena powers out, monkey flip by Cena. Ziggler is hurled to the floor, Cena smiles at the hard camera and the crowd after busting out the move. Ziggler catches Cena with a chair to the ribs, Ziggler places the chair in between the ropes but Cena catches Dolph with a flapjack. Cena pulls out a ladder and Ziggler baseball slides the ladder into Cena’s face. Cena prevents Ziggler from setting up the ladder and smashes The Show-Off with the ladder. Cena lifts the steel steps and aims for the head of Ziggler. Bullseye for Cena as Ziggler is flattened. Ziggler hotshots Cena and begins to climb the ladder towards the contract. Cena pulls down Dolph with both men exchanging fists. Ziggler applies his sleeper hold after Cena misses a punch, Cena begins fading as he takes a knee. Cena like a beast begins climbing the ladder with Ziggler on his back. Cena is inches from grabbing the contract when the pain is too much and both men fall off the ladder through a table. Both men are down and hurting.
Ziggler is on his feet and climbing towards the briefcase, Cena closes the ladder with Dolph on it and aims to AA Dolph to the floor. Dolph slides out but Cena begins his comeback with shoulderblocks. Dolph counters the Five Knuckle Shuffle with a kick to the head and drills Cena with a FameAsser.
Ziggler places a ladder in the ring but Cena roll-ups Ziggler into an STF. Ziggler taps and taps until Cena relinquishes the hold. Ziggler plants Cena with a Zig-Zag out of nowhere. Ziggler places a table in the corner but Cena scores with The Five Knuckle Shuffle, Ziggler counters The AA with a huge DDT. Ziggler goes wondering up the rampway until Ziggler finds himself with the biggest ladder in his hands. Ziggler is inches away from victory but Cena climbs the ladder to meet Ziggler. Slugfest on the top of the ladder, Cena headbutts Ziggler to the floor. Cena has the match won when Ziggler somehow springs back to the top of the ladder. Cena rams Ziggler into the corner but Ziggler fires back by smacking Cena into the ladder.
Ziggler measures Cena but Cena nails a hurricanrana to Dolph through the table. Cena edges his way toward a ladder, Ziggler with what seems like the last of his strength dropkicks the ladder out of Cena’s hands. Cena fires up on Dolph, Cena looks for a superplex but Dolph fights off Cena. Cena catches Dolph out of a crossbody and tries for an AA. Ziggler grabs a chair and wears out Cena, Ziggler clears the ring of all wreckage. Cena dodges the superkick and Cena plants Ziggler with an AA. Vickie Guerrero has a chair ready to nail Cena but here comes AJ Lee to stop Vickie by nailing Cena’s comeback and The Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena watches on and decides it is time to win the match, AJ skips and skips around the ring before tipping over the ladder. Superkick by Ziggler to Cena and the crowd erupts as they realize Cena has been screwed by AJ. Ziggler climbs to the top and grabs his briefcase to win the match.
Tremendous match from these two, Cena always draws a lot of criticism for his performances and his character but if given the right partner in the ring, Cena can have a great match. Ziggler was great in this match two, it just shows that the guy had all the talent to make it to the very top of the business. The AJ twist was also a great little moment of the match, AJ had been by far the most entertaining Diva on the roster in years. AJ was like a breath of fresh air and with her turning on John, you had an angle that you could explain and build on the next night on Raw. It had bumps, it was entertaining and it had a tonne of drama and excitement. What disappoints me when watching this back is that WWE did not do a whole lot to capitalize on the momentum they had with this story. Granted Cena vs The Rock was a lock for the championship at Wrestlemania but what about after Wrestlemania? Would it not have been interesting to see Dolph and AJ stick it to Cena after winning the championship at Wrestlemania by cashing in on Cena the next night on Raw? Based on this performance, you can bet the fans would have loved to seen more matches in the main event between these two.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler over Cena via retrieval of the contract!
So, my final thoughts on WWE’s TLC 2012 are it was a great show. I can’t think of any low points on the show, it was well-paced with the audience being allowed to recover for the big matches. You had a great six-man TLC with The Shield stealing the show along with Kane, Bryan and Ryback. You had solid title matches scattered in between the high-profile matches, Show vs Sheamus had a good story with Sheamus looking tough as he survived a majority of Show’s punishment and you had Big Show as a credible champion who was believable in his role as an unbeatable giant. The main event was also great with Cena and Ziggler putting on a great back and forth contest and an AJ heel turn to be the icing on the cake in that dramatic and tension-filled match. What did you think of WWE’s TLC 2012? Was it an enjoyable show? Were you blown away by The Shield’s first match? Was WWE in better shape in 2012? What match are you looking forward to at this year’s TLC? Thanks for joining me this week and hopefully, I can entertain you all next week with another Flashback Friday.