Well, the changes in WWE pay-Per-Views (PPVs) continue as Armageddon is no more and it has now been replaced with TLC. TLC of course doesn’t stand for “Tender Loving Care” like it does usually, but this time it’s for “Tables, Ladders, and Chairs.” Here is a really great idea because there is so much that can be done with a theme like this. The WWE actually did it partially right by having a TLC match and then splitting up everything and having a tables match, chairs match, and a ladder match. It keeps things fresh instead of letting all the big matches have everything thrown into it. What wasn’t done right though is that the theme was limited to only the big title matches leaving the three others to be just regular. If you’re going to have a theme, then run with it all the way.
The Toyota Center in Houston, Texas was home to all of the action for the first ever TLC on December 13, 2009 bringing together the stars of Raw, SmackDown, and ECW. First of all there were three matches which didn’t go with the theme of the night so let’s take a look at those first. Michelle McCool and Mickie James battled it out for the Women’s Title in a very forgettable match. I’ve just never been sold on McCool at all and it showed why here. Drew McIntyre winning the IC Title from John Morrison was a pretty good match and I see a lot of potential in McIntyre. I also like the storyline of him being Vince McMahon’s “chosen one,” so to speak. Lastly there was the grudge fight between Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston. This was a match that had tremendous build-up and should have very well been over a title but neither guy happened to have one. After all was said and done, the payoff was worth it because the two put on a fantastic battle.
Now onto the matches that fit in to the theme of the evening. Starting out the night was Christian and Shelton Benjamin battling it out in a ladder match for the ECW Title. These two really know how to work with a ladder and it shows here as they work well together and throw out some fantastic spots. One that stands out in particular is Christian doing a frog splash onto Benjamin who is laying on a ladder cracking it in two. Kind of hurts my back just talking about it but this was a great way to start out the first ever TLC. Might as well go onto the match that didn’t thrill me and that was Batista versus Undertaker for World Heavyweight Title in a chairs match. It was just underwhelming throughout its entire duration and then it had a screwy ending. A chair match with a screwy ending. Really?
John Cena took on newcomer Sheamus in a tables match that everyone in the world thought would end up being won by Cena, but sometimes the WWE does surprise us. This was a decent match that showcased strength versus strength with some agility by both guys thrown in while also including a number of tables. Seeing tables break is always a lot of fun anyway so that added a nice touch here. Finally the Unified Tag Team belts were up for grabs in a traditional TLC match between JeriShow and DX. This match is simply filled with a lot of great spots including Show getting the crap beat out of him near the end so I’m calling it a must see. Not a bad job all around by the WWE in this first-run of TLC, but I think they should truly spread out the theme to every single match on the card next year.
~ Ladder Match for the ECW Championship: Christian (c) Vs. Shelton Benjamin ~ WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: John Morrison (c) Vs. Drew McIntyre ~ WWE Women’s Championship Match: Michelle McCool (c) Vs. Mickie James ~ Tables Match for the WWE Championship: John Cena (c) Vs. Sheamus ~ Chair Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Undertaker (c) Vs. Batista ~ Randy Orton Vs. Kofi Kingston ~ TLC Match for the Unified Tag Team Championship: Chris Jericho & Big Show (c) Vs. DX
The event is shown in 1.33:1 Full Screen format and this is getting monotonous with each review I do, but seriously there are never any problems to be found. The WWE really has a great home video department and they never stray from perfection.
The event is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and all is well and good here too.
DX Celebrates After The Match – DX walks around the ring shaking hands and waves to the crowd from the stage. Seriously, that’s it. (2:58)
What a great way to finish out the year as TLC made its first appearance on the WWE’s list of PPVs and hopefully not its last. At least four great matches fill up this card with a few watchable ones thrown in as well. My advice is to just straight up skip over the Batista/Taker match because it really stunk up the joint. The special features suck but that has come to be expected of all WWE PPV releases. Still, I’d recommend picking this one up as a wrestling fan because it’s a great new theme and it comes across well for a fun and action-packed event. So have a chair…err, sit on a chair and enjoy the show. Don’t go wailing on your friends with folding chairs ok?
WWE Home Video presents TLC 2009. Featuring: Big Show, Triple H, Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels, Sheamus, Christian, Shelton Benjamin, and many more. Running time: 180 minutes. Rating: PG. Released on DVD: January 12, 2010. Available at Amazon.com