WWE – TLC – Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2013 (Cert 15)
1 Disc Blu-ray / DVD (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 167 minutes approx
The annual WWE PPV calendar comes to a close as ever with the show dedicated to the ultimate stunt fest match known as TLC – Tables, Ladders and Chairs!
This year however there is a slight change in the format in that this gimmick has been reserved solely for the main event, due to the epoch making stipulation behind it. That’s how it’s being sold anyway.
The big attraction for this show is the long overdue unification of two of the top championship titles in the WWE – the World Title and the WWE Title (both beneath the all eclipsing “Being John Cena” title), currently held by John Cena and Randy Orton respectively. It was teased at the end of the Survivor Series then made official on RAW the next night that these two (who have faced each other ad nauseum – especially during 2009) will battle in a TLC match to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion (see what they did there?)
On to the show which took place on December 15th 2013 at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York in front of 14,120 fans and your commentators are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and JBL. As usual, no result spoiling in the match recaps but plenty of opinion.
3-On-1 Handicap Match – CM Punk vs. The Shield
The first of two handicap matches tonight, designed to keep the two most popular guys on the roster away from the main event. A solid, well laid out encounter sees Punk use his smarts to avoid being caught by his foes, trying to instigate some miscommunication between them in order so survive, but the numbers game will always overwhelm. Good opener.
WWE Divas Title Match – AJ Lee (c) vs. Natalya
Arguably the best workers in the Divas division, these two had a great match on the Main Event TV show taped here in the UK in November so this rematch was welcomed. Another very good encounter, which really could have done with some more time. If you can, seek out their 15 minute match from the March 11th 2014 edition of Main Event which was even better than the first two.
WWE IC Title Match – Big E. Langston (c) vs. Damien Sandow
While this match was designed to further showcase Big E, Sandow was given lots of offence here, arguably looking better than his opponent. Langston has stepped it up a notch in the ring since his babyface turn and title win but remains a little too rough around the edges to fully justify the push he is getting in this writer’s opinion.
WWE Tag Title Fatal Four-Way Elimination Match – Cody Rhodes & Goldust (c) vs. Big Show & Rey Mysterio vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel vs. Real Americans
During the later half of 2013 the tag team division has really been the cornerstone of the in-ring side of the WWE product, and despite two makeshift teams in Big Show & Mysterio and Rybaxel being thrown into the mix, the evidence is again on display in this match. Very good match that gave everyone a moment to shine, with the lesser skilled workers stepping up to fit in. Despite hitting his mid forties, Dustin “Goldust” Rhodes is once again a revelation with his exceptional work in this match.
R-Truth vs. Brodus Clay
A “bonus” match no-one asked for. The story is that Brodus is angry at newcomer Xavier Woods “borrowing” his music and the Funkadactyls for his RAW debut, upset that a “main eventer” like himself (his words) should be mocked by a rookie. Truth stepped up to face Clay here and here we are. Not much to it and the crowd didn’t care either. Brodus has barely been seen since either. Hurrah!
No DQ Match – Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz
Another bonus match born out of a bizarre feud. Miz turned on Kofi during a tag match then was shocked when Kofi got mad about it! Then during the PPV pre-show Kofi attacked Miz for mouthing off about him, which again shocked Miz! I can’t make this stuff up. The No DQ stip barely comes into play during this briefly diverting match.
3-On-1 Handicap Match – Daniel Bryan vs. The Wyatt Family
Apparently Vince McMahon doesn’t see money in the guy whose name and catchphrase is chanted even when he is not on screen and gets louder pops than everyone else on the roster combined, hence this second handicap match of the night. Another very good match in which Bryan is forced to fight for his survival unlike Punk whose match was more psychology based. Eric Rowan has really come along way since his debut while Bray Wyatt’s spider walk gets a “That was creepy” chant!
TLC Match to unify the WWE & World Titles – John Cena (c) vs. Randy Orton (c)
Yes in 2013 your final PPV main event of the year is Cena vs Orton for the Unified WWE World Heavyweight Title. One would think a match of this magnitude should have been saved for Wrestlemania, ideally between two fresh young stars; instead it was rushed though in three weeks on a throwaway PPV. One of the least dramatic and dull TLC matches in history, the only notable moment is Cena going face first into a table, which of course he barely sold. If you don’t want to know the result, don’t look at the DVD cover!
In all fairness they could have ended the year on a worse show with everyone phoning in their performances but the effort was definitely there from the wrestlers. While one can see why the two most dominant names of the past decade would vie for the top prize the rushing of this event hurt its supposed historical impact, resulting in a match most of us will forget. It also doesn’t bode well for a fresh future either but as they say, these things come back to bite you on the arse – and did they ever! But that is another story for another time…
Best match – Tag Team Fatal Four Way
German, French Subtitles
TLC Kick off Show Match – Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango
The Shield Reflect on TLC
WWE Superstars React to the Champions of Champions TLC Match
John Cena Discusses His TLC Match
Renee Young Interviews Randy Orton
Smackdown 29th November 2013
WWE Tag Title Match – Cody Rhodes & Goldust (c) vs. The Shield
6-Man Tag Match – Cody Rhodes, Goldust & CM Punk vs. The Shield
12-Man Tag Team Match – Cody Rhodes, Goldust, CM Punk, Rey Mysterio & The Usos vs. The Shield & The Wyatt Family
Monday Night Raw 2nd December 2013
John Cena vs. Randy Orton Contract Signing
Monday Night Raw 9th December 2013
Championship Ascension Ceremony
Rating – ***
Man In Black