Low expectations ended up making this pay-per-view surprisingly enjoyable. Read my recap below!
Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch (Kickoff Match)
I didn’t write much about this because I was enjoying myself watching it so much, but know the two put on a brilliant show, hyping up the audience.
Sasha is a QUEEN.
The New Day vs. The Usos vs. The Lucha Dragons (ladder match for Tag Team Championship)
After a particularly delightful introduction, and Xavier Woods going to deliver commentary, the match started out fast, with Kingston and Kallisto jumping from the ropes to the ladder together in a fun spot. The Usos then wiped themselves out with their own ladder, almost getting to climb, before New Day came back to control, suplexing an Uso into a ladder on top of the other Uso…yes, that happened.
The Lucha Dragons fought back, with Sin Cara crushing Kofi with a ladder and then sending the Usos out of the ring. Big E got buried under the ladder, with the Luchas climbing it, but the big guy bench-pressed out of it, with the Usos saving the Lucha’s skins.
Said Samoans crushed poor Kofi in the corner with a ladder in time for the Luchas to recover. The duo started a brilliant offense, much to Boston’s delight, with Kallisto pulling what must be the most impressive spot of the match, breaking a ladder. The Usos fought back, but were foiled by Big E.
At this point, I gave up trying to document all of the thrilling spots in this match. The Usos, the Lucha Dragons, New Day…they all sacrified their bodies and put on an AMAZING match.
After blasting Michael Cole for confusing Sin Cara and Kalisto YET AGAIN, Xavier Woods interfered so that Kofi could climb the ladder for the win.
Ryback vs. Rusev
With what was perhaps the worst buildup humanly possible, the two strongmen had a lot to do.
This was a filler match, plain and simple. With impressive shows of strength, Ryback took early control, but Rusev soon powered back. Lana provided a distraction, and Rusev took Ryback out with the Accolade.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger (chairs match for United States Championship)
Ah yes, Jack Swagger fighting for the glorious idea of xenophobia.
The match started out like a chair lightsaber duel, but quickly descended into madness. And by madness, I mean a streetfight-style battle outside the ring before an infuriated Swagger threw Del Rio back into the ring only to be struck in the throat by a chair.
Del Rio took control from there, positively dissecting the Constitution fanboy. Swagger fought back with a chair-reversal of sorts, but Del Rio, looking much like his old self, wasn’t down for long. He piled chairs on the Murican hero, but the fight didn’t end there.
Swagger got Del Rio int he Patriot Lock with a chair, but Del Rio outlasted him, rolling out of the ring. Swagger got Del Rio in the Swagger Bomb for the near-fall, but once again, Del Rio just managed to kick out, powering back for the victory.
The Wyatt Family vs. Rhyno, Tommy Dreamer and The Dudley Boyz (elimination tables match)
There was only ever one way for this match to end.
Old names must, and I mean MUST put new talent over.
The match was a brawl from the first second, with Tommy Dreamer bringing out the kendo sticks and garbage cans right away. Strowman was in full force, clobbering the ECW originals despite his admittedly limited moveset. Even all four at once couldn’t take him out before Rowan came back into the fray.
After two tables just…broke, the commentary team brushed it aside because it clearly wasn’t supposed to happen. Rowan was eliminated, with Rhyno going next.
DeVon was eliminated next by Bray, while Dreamer was napping, it seems. Bubba fought back with a kendo stick, but Dreamer was eliminated next, and Bubba was left alone against the Wyatts. Bubba looked to literally ignite a table, but he couldn’t power against them all, and the Wyatts FINALLY took the win!
Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose (Intercontinental Championship)
Owens entered with a mic, cheerfully getting some easy heat by insulting Boston’s love of its sports teams and SLAMMING Ambrose in classic Owens fashion before Ambrose entered.
This match was as fast-paced and fun as everyone figured it would be, with Owens providing stellar heel-storytelling throughout. And it was Owens who took early control, beating down on Ambrose before the latter built momentum, sending the IC champ over the top rope.
The two beat down on each other outside the ring, sending each other into and over the barricade. Ambrose was nearly counted out, but returned to the ring with a fury, jabbing Owens like crazy and hitting him with a flying elbow. Owens suplexed Ambrose off the top rope, but even that insane move couldn’t get him the three-count. Ambrose hit Owens with Dirty Deeds, but a single finger on the ropes saved him. But with a reversal of the Pop-up Powerbomb, Ambrose got the win.
Charlotte vs. Paige (Divas Championship)
Charlotte took control early, mocking Paige, but her confidence helped Paige get some momentum back.
The two put on a heel-show, fighting in a physical style I haven’t seen them do together yet. Charlotte leaped off the top rope, Paige locked in the Figure Four, suplexed the champ.
Flair cheered his daughter on throughout as she echoed him in the ring with her mocking style. Paige almost got the pinfall with the Rampaige, but Flair took his daughter’s leg and got it on the ropes.
Charlotte sent Paige into the turnbuckle, and got the cover to retain. Backstage, she tried to get Becky to celebrate, but the Irishwoman wasn’t in a celebrating mood.
Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns (TLC match for WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
The first thing of note in this match was the thunderous “WE WANT CENA” chants.
The match quickly escalated outside the ring, with Roman tossing Sheamus into the timekeeper’s area. Reigns looked to be getting a ladder into the ring, but Sheamus hit him with a chair for a distraction. He powered back in the ring with a tilt-a-whirl slam, but once again, Roman fought back as the fight returned to the entrance ramp.
Tables, ladders, and chairs abound. Merry Christmas.
At this point, “WE WANT ROLLINS” chants started.
Sheamus returned to the ring, getting a ladder inside. He looked ready to climb, but Reigns returned. This time, though, Sheamus fought back. The carnage once again returned outside the ring, with Sheamus bloodied up. Not PG.
Sending Reigns through a table with White Noise, hurting himself in the process. Sheamus went back to the ring, dropping a ladder on Reigns when he tried crawling back inside. Reigns, of course, made a comeback, powerbombing the Celtic warrior into a ladder and clotheslining him. Oh, and a Superman punch with a chair.
Here, the NXT chants happened.
Roman then sent both himself and Sheamus through a ladder, snapping it in two.
When they came to, the races up the ladder began, but Reigns Superman punched Sheamus off the top of the ladder. However, with help fromt he League of Nations, Sheamus retained.
A furious Reigns unloaded on the victorious stable, beating them down viciously, and then absolutely destroying Triple H.
And with that character overhaul, Roman Reigns might actually have left a pay-per-view more over than ever before.