TLC 2012 CoverThe following review was written with the intention of not containing any spoilers however for those who have not seen the event please be warned that it does contain references that may spoil certain parts of the event’s matches.

First established in December 2009 and replacing the Armageddon pay-per-view, TLC (short for Tables, Ladders and Chairs) is the final event in the WWE’s pay-per-view schedule of the year and as such is used to wrap up storylines from the past 12 months, as well as setup new ones for the forthcoming year.

It is no surprise then that almost all of the WWE’s top stars are found on the card in a series of matches, some, if not all of which having some form of stipulation that is relevant to the pay-per-view’s name and last year’s event is no different.

The event took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and not only did it make for the first professional wrestling event to be held in the arena, but also WWE’s first ever event in the Brooklyn area.

The matches consisted of a mixture of tag team and single matches, some of which had implications for various WWE Championship titles and others were just to fill out the card and entertain the crowd in the meantime. There is however one notable absence and that is a WWE Championship match. This is due to the fact that the then WWE Champion CM Punk was injured and had to undergo knee surgery and was therefore not able to compete in the planned rematch against fellow WWE Superstar, Ryback.

Fans however need not have worried, as despite being legitimately injured, CM Punk still appeared at the show, even if he was delivering a promo from a luxury skybox in the arena. A promo which as usual was very well executed by Punk and proved that even though he wasn’t wrestling he could still be entertaining.

But back to the matches, and on the whole the first half of the event featured what are best described as matches that are designed to whet the viewers appetite for what is to come later on. As such you get to see some good moments from those involved meaning that the truly impressive ones are left for later on in the show.

This is a shame as the opening matches contain the likes of Cody Rhodes, Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Damian Sandow, Antonia Cesaro, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston and Wade Barrett, all of whom are very capable of producing show stealing moments but sadly on this night they do not.

With the exception of the just for fun six man tag team match featuring the return of the WWE Legend, The Brooklyn Brawler, and the WWE Divas title match, the second half of the event makes for the show’s big marquee matches. It is worth noting however that the aforementioned six man tag team match was also used as a plot device in the development of superstar Alberto Del Rio into a Face (A Good guy), a move which would allow the WWE to further develop him into a champion in time for the forthcoming Wrestlemania event some months later.

Image courtesy of WWE.com

Image courtesy of WWE.com

Back to the marquee matches and it is in these three matches that  you will find some of the event’s truly entertaining moments. They start with the first ever six man TLC match that features the rogue group of three known as The Shield squaring off against the team of Daniel Bryan, Kane and Ryback. What is interesting about this match is that it was only created to allow CM Punk time off to have his knee injury treated so that he would be fit in time for a big title defense at the next event. It does also feel like the WWE have chosen the participants because at least four of the men in the match (The Shield and Ryback) needed to gain experience from the veterans Kane and Daniel Bryan. A move which certainly pays off as the match, despite having very little of what you could call actual wrestling, is on the whole entertaining and features some great moves from not only the veterans but also the other participants. Moves that include a great double suplex onto a ladder by Ryback, a triple powerbomb through the ever ill-fated Spanish announce table and a great fall from a high ladder through several tables by Shield member Seth Rollins.

The next of the big matches is the chairs match between WWE Superstars The Big Show and Sheamus, a match which will also decide who will be the holder of the World Heavyweight Championship heading into the new year. It is worth noting at this point, that several years ago the WWE banned all attacks to the head using chairs in a bid to help the athletes avoid concussions and the subsequent damage they caused. So with this is mind you would be forgiven for thinking that this would limit the use of the chairs in the match; perhaps in the hands of more inexperienced performers you would be right, but not in this case. Both The Big Show and Sheamus are able to perform not only some brilliant offence involving chairs, but there is also a significant amount of actual wrestling done in this match and as such the two provide what can be best described as a thoroughly enjoyable match. The only downside in this match is the ending, in that despite being described as “unique”, it comes across as childish and gives the impression that those behind the scenes were running short on convincing ways for these to athletes to best each other.

This then leads us nicely on to the final big match for the event and it features the WWE’s golden boy John Cena and the WWE’s self proclaimed show off, Dolph Ziggler. The storyline behind this match aside, this is actually well put together and features both men giving it their all. You get an energetic and charismatic performance from the both of them, one that more than certainly solidifies their respective reputations as a result. What must be noted is that despite efforts to increase his repertoire, John Cena still only seems to be capable of a limited move set and so he does rely on his opponent to be able to rise to the occasion, a challenge which the very capable Ziggler meets with ease. The match also wraps up the storylines of the two superstars well enough that it is able to provide even the loser with a considerable amount of momentum going into the next wrestling year.

Staying with the aforementioned Dolph Ziggler, the DVD also contains a special made for DVD extra interview with the superstar. Whilst it is a nice touch and makes for a worthwhile watch, it does only serve to highlight the fact that the DVD is disappointingly lacking in the extras department. That said the Blu-Ray version does indeed make up for this with a fantastic set of extras that includes complete episodes of WWE Raw and Smackdown alongside single matches and highlights from the 2012 Slammy Awards.

In conclusion, WWE TLC is an average pay-per-view that does have some stand out moments and as such is certainly worth purchasing, but due to the lack of extras on the DVD, it is recommended that in order to get your value for money you should spend the extra £2 (approx) and get the extras laden Blu-Ray version.

WWE TLC is available from Monday 25th March, rated 12, and can be purchased here.


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