Best: Chekhov’s Tiny Ladder
As soon as the main event three-way TLC match for the WWE Championship spilled out onto the floor, my eye was immediately drawn to the tiny ladder that was inexplicably set up in the aisle near the ring. “They better use that tiny ladder” was my immediate reaction. They did use it, notably when Alberto Del Rio put it around The Miz’s arm and put his armbreaker finisher on. Good reminder for everyone: don’t put a tiny ladder somewhere without intending to use it.
Best: Chairing A Mudhole, Chairing It Dry
At one point, CM Punk put the Miz up against the barricade and just went to town on his back with chair shots. Later, after Punk had been put through a table, Del Rio put a chair on Punk’s body and just peppered him with chair shots before applying the armbreaker while Punk’s arm was through another chair. This was a really, really great TLC match, mostly because they got all the brutality right without going nuts or really risking too much. I watched Kevin Steen and El Generico literally try to kill one another in Reseda in a ladder match, and this match was arguably just as effective. Another great little touch: when Del Rio was giving the other two combatants his finishing submission hold assisted by a weapon, The Miz immediately tapped. CM Punk just screamed. Brilliant.
Best: Ricardo Rodriguez’s Ridiculous Throwback Bump
TLC matches basically exist because the Hardy Boyz, Edge & Christian, and the Dudley Boys were willing to take a ton of really stupid risks (in hindsight) in order to get the crowd to go crazy. I’m really thankful for that. So when Ricardo took a bump off the top of a ladder through a table on the outside (that was supposed to be through two tables), nearly missing said table altogether and winding up in the crowd, it was crazy, and exciting, and unbelievable, and great. Thankfully, there will always be wrestlers willing to take stupid risks.
Worst: Handcuffing Someone To A Ladder Is Not A Strategy
I was groaning when Ricardo handcuffed CM Punk to a ladder, because that is really dumb. Thankfully, Punk just broke the ladder apart and escaped. But when he opted to hold onto the open handcuff instead of putting it around the same wrist, thus preventing it from being used against him again, that is what we like to refer to as “a tell.”
Best: Just Kick Him, Nitwit. There You Go!
Best: You Idiots, CM Punk Has Worked Ring Crew Duty Before
CM Punk using his knowledge of being a scrub to win a world title match is pretty great. This spot was a fun, creative, and exciting way to take it home in a main event. The whole match was great and basically everything on the card went better than expected.
I had a grand old time watching TLC and I hope you all did too.
Stay tuned tomorrow for Best and Worst of Raw with Justin. Thanks to Brandon for letting me fill in, and I’ll see you all in the comments.