Tables Ladders and Chairs 2013: Undisputed. Seriously.

Tables Ladders and Chairs 2013
Date: December 15, 2013
Location: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler

We’re at the final PPV of the year and the main story tonight is of course the TLC title unification match between Orton and Cena to give us one world champion. It didn’t make a ton of sense when they did this in December of 2001 and it doesn’t make the most sense in December of 2013. This could headline Wrestlemania, but I guess they wants a big buyrate for December, so why not shoot everything they have at it and forget the incredible money it could draw four months from now. Let’s get to it.

Pre-Show: Fandango vs. Dolph Ziggler

How was Ziggler world champion six months ago? Fandango puts him down with a shoulder block but walks into a nice dropkick. Ziggler is sent tot he floor and we take an early break. Back with Ziggler breaking out of a chinlock, only to get caught by a dropkick and rollup for two each. Dolph comes back with a quick Fameasser for two, causing Cole to say it’s shades of Billy Gunn, even though Ziggler has done more with that move than Gunn could ever dream of.

Ziggler pounds away in the corner and gets two off a clothesline. The Zig Zag is countered into a falcon’s arrow for two but he gets crotched going up top. Summer Rae distracts Ziggler though, allowing Fandango to hit the guillotine legdrop for the pin at 4:22. Too much was spent in the commercial to rate but the match was a glorified dark match with a surprise ending.

The pay per view opens with HHH and Stephanie coming to the arena. Vince was seen on the pre-show but is nowhere in sight here. Stephanie talks about what an important moment this is and acknowledges the crowd by saying YES, this is a huge moment. HHH says the World Championship dates back to Lou Thesz as champion (not true in the short version of a long story) and talks about how big tonight is.

The opening video talks about how the wrestling industry is defined by the champion and the future path of wrestling will be determined tonight. There will be only one if that wasn’t made clear.

Cole confirms that the winner will be the WWE World Heavyweight Champion which is the easiest layup possible.

CM Punk vs. Shield

Ambrose starts things up for Shield and feels Punk out a little bit. Punk wisely runs instead of being dragged into the Shield corner and shouts that he’s beaten Dean twice already so give someone else a shot. It’s off to Rollins so Punk bails to the floor to play some head games. Rollins chases him back into the ring and gets caught by some shoulders in the corner followed by three straight neckbreakers for two.

Seth fights up and brings in Reigns to throw Punk into the Shield corner. Rollins and Reigns make a wish on Punk’s legs before Seth hits a neckbreaker of his own. Back to Ambrose for some rib stomps before it’s off to Reigns for a hard clothesline. Shield is taking their time here instead of their usual fast tagging. Punk is thrown to the floor but still has enough in him to avoid Reigns’ spear over the announce table. Roman looks to have injured his eye when he went over the table.

Reigns is dazed but makes it back inside where Punk goes after his eyes. He rakes and punches away at it but Roman sends him outside again to get a breather. It’s off to Rollins as a doctor looks at Roman’s eye. A knee to Punk’s head is good for two but he shoves Rollins into Ambrose, knocking Dean to the floor. The high kick gets two on Seth and Punk speeds things up with ax handles to the face.

A great looking running knee in the corner sets up a high cross body for two and the Anaconda Vice is on. Ambrose makes a diving save and comes in off the tag. Dean loads up a superplex but gets headbutted down, setting up the Macho Elbow. The cover is delayed as Punk had to take out Rollins and Dean kicks out at two. Rollins charges in but gets caught in the GTS. Punk goes after Ambrose, only to sidestep a charging Reigns who spears Ambrose down by mistake. Punk sends him to the floor and gets the upset pin on Ambrose at 13:10.

Rating: C+. To clarify, Punk just beat the unbeatable Shield by pin with no outside interference. Let me guess: this is great, whereas if say Cena did this, it would be him playing Superman again. The match was fine but more storytelling than anything else. It should be interesting to see where Punk goes now, as he’s due for a return to the title picture after some time away.

AJ tells Renee that there’s only one Diva that matters around here. She isn’t on some silly reality show like Natalya and is going to be the one laughing after tonight. AJ is also counting days as champion now.

Divas Title: AJ Lee vs. Natalya

Natalya is challenging. AJ takes her down to start with a headscissors before Natalya reverses into an armbar. A low dropkick has Natalya in trouble so she heads outside, only to be distracted by Tamina, allowing AJ to send her face first into the apron. Off to a chinlock by AJ followed by a spinwheel kick to the jaw. Natalya comes back and sends AJ into the corner, only to get caught in a nice guillotine choke.

The blonde powers out and hits a basement dropkick to the face followed by some clotheslines. Some suplexes set up the Sharpshooter and Natalya brings her back to the middle of the ring, only to have AJ kick free. The Black Widow goes on but Natalya rolls out, breaking it for the first time. A clothesline puts AJ down again but another Sharpshooter attempt is countered into a small package for the pin at 6:42.

Rating: C. There were some nice false finishes in there but I’m over Natalya challenging for the title. AJ has completely cleaned out the division except for Tamina, setting up the showdown whenever they go that way. I’m sure we’ll hear about AJ vs. Total Divas again though, because just beating them about five PPVs in a row isn’t enough proof of who is better.

The announcers play up that AJ pulled hair to get the small package.

We get a video package on the world titles that we’ve seen on Raw and Smackdown with Flair and Rhodes and others talking about what winning the title means.

Intercontinental Title: Big E. Langston vs. Damien Sandow

Before the match, Sandow tells the Texas crowd some assorted phrases that are worthless: y’all, ye if followed by haw, and Big E. Langston: Intercontinental Champion. Nice touch. Langston throws the challenger into the corner to start and hits a corner splash to keep Damien in trouble. They head outside with Langston in trouble, only to miss a charge into the post to change momentum.

Back in and Damien pounds away at Big E.’s head before putting on a chinlock. The Wind-Up Elbow gets two for Sandow and we’re back to the chinlock again. Langston powers out of the hold and drops Damien with an electric chair. A belly to belly sets up the Warrior Splash for two but the Big Ending is countered into an Edge-O-Matic for two by Sandow. Another Big Ending attempt is countered into a small package for two but Langston is done messing around. He runs Sandow over with ease and the Big Ending is enough to retain the title at 6:25.

Rating: D+. The match was nothing you wouldn’t see on Smackdown. These two did virtually the same match with the same story earlier this year for Langston’s NXT Title so there was some practice coming in. Langston has a bright future and a title defense on PPV isn’t going to hurt him at all.

Vince is in the back and shakes Orton’s hand. They appeared to be talking but there was no sound.

We recap Kofi attacking Miz on the pre-show, setting up a No DQ match later tonight.

Tag Titles: Real Americans vs. Big Show/Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes/Goldust vs. Ryback/Curtis Axel

Rhodes and Goldust are defending and this is elimination rules. Ryback and Axel have both beaten the champions in the last few weeks while Big Show and Mysterio have teamed together I believe once. Ryback shoves Rhodes around to start but gets caught in a half crab, allowing Goldust to come in with an elbow to the back of Ryback’s head. Off to Axel for a nice dropkick, only to get caught in a wristlock.

Axel fights up but Goldust makes a tag off to Big Show who keeps up the arm work. There’s the skin ripping chop and the fans want it one more time. Show does it a third time and Axel sells it like he got shot. Mysterio comes in for some forearms but Axel sends him into the corner. Ryback gets the tag and pounds Mysterio down, only to bring Axel back in for something resembling stereo cross bodies to put both guys down.

Double tags bring in Ryback and Goldust with the champion scoring off the uppercut and a spinebuster. Ryback loads up a powerbomb but gets rolled up for the pin by Goldust, getting us down to three teams at 6:12. Cesaro comes in to pummel Goldust in the corner before it’s off to Swagger for a front facelock. The fans start chanting WE THE PEOPLE as Goldust is sent to the floor for a clothesline from Swagger.

Back inside and Cesaro gets two off the gutwrench suplex and we hit the chinlock. Off to Jack again for a bearhug as Big Show plays cheerleader for Goldust. Goldie fights back with right hands and a springboard elbow to the jaw. Cesaro easily takes him down and we get a short version Cesaro Swing. A Swagger belly to belly suplex puts Goldust down again and we get the Vader Bomb/double stomp sequence from the Real Americans for another two.

Antonio puts on another chinlock but this time Goldust escapes with a jawbreaker. Cesaro can’t break up the tag but Swagger runs around the ring and pulls Cody off the apron. Cody is holding his knee as Big Show throws Swagger into the barricade and Goldust catches Cesaro with a hurricanrana. A powerslam puts Cesaro down again and the hot tag brings in Big Show. Cesaro is thrown all over the ring and a shoulder block turns him inside out. Both Americans get punched in the jaw and Big Show pins Cesaro for the elimination at 14:42.

So we’re down to the two good guy teams but Big Show waits for the champions to get on their feet. A hard shoulder block puts Goldust on the floor and Cody gives him a somewhat angry pep talk. Goldust comes back in for a top rope cross body with Big Show waiting on the impact for about eight seconds. The chokeslam is countered into a DDT for two and it’s off to Cody for a double suplex on Big Show for two. The fans are rapidly losing interest.

Big Show swats a Disaster Kick out of the air and it’s off to Mysterio (remember him?) for a springboard seated senton to Cody. Now the Disaster Kick connects for two on Mysterio and Cody is getting frustrated. Cross Rhodes is countered into the 619 to both champions. Goldust is sent into the barricade by Big Show but Cody sends the giant into the post.

Cody tries a springboard dropkick but gets caught in a powerbomb by Rey (how often do you hear that?) for two. Cross Rhodes are countered again but the 619 is countered into an Alabama Slam which is countered into a sunset flip for a VERY close two. The third attempt at Cross Rhodes FINALLY connects for the pin to retain the titles at 21:06.

Rating: A-. This dragged a bit in the middle but man alive that ending was great. Cody and Goldust are just awesome right now and I’m so glad they didn’t give the titles to another thrown together team. I have no idea why the Usos weren’t in there somehow other than putting in two bigger names. Really good match here though.

A bunch of people play with Brawling Buddies in a head throbbing segment. The payoff is Kane scaring everyone off and having the Brodus Clay Buddy beat up the Cena Buddy. Cole: “…..Yep.”

Brodus Clay vs. R-Truth

Bonus match due to Brodus going nuts on Truth’s buddy Xavier Woods on Raw. Truth takes him into the corner to start and scores with a dropkick, sending Brodus to the floor. A nice dive takes Brodus out again but he comes right back with a Banzai Drop for no cover. He finally drags Truth back into the middle for two before throwing him corner to corner again.

A running splash in the corner crushes Truth but he still won’t go for the pin. They head outside with Tensai yelling at Clay to go for the win but instead Brodus puts Truth in the Tree of Woe. Tensai gets up on the apron for a shouting match before walking out. The Funkadactyls walk out as well and Truth hits a side kick into a rollup for the pin at 6:06.

Rating: D. This was much more of an angle than a match which is acceptable if they actually do something with Clay. The guy has a chance to be something interesting if he’s pushed properly, but given how they’ve pushed him twice before I can’t imagine it actually working. Good heel turn though.

Vince wishes Cena luck.

Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz

No DQ and set up by Miz attacking Kofi a few times recently in addition to the pre-show stuff earlier. Kofi goes nuts on Miz with right hands to start with Miz being sent to the floor. A Kofi dive is blocked by a right hand but Kingston drives him into the barricade. Miz is shoved up against the post but Kofi’s Trouble in Paradise hits the post, badly injuring his ankle in the process. Miz DDT’s the leg onto the floor and gets two back inside.

Kofi is in trouble but gets two off a quick rollup for a breather. Lawler talks about telegrams for some reason as Miz goes after the bad leg for some storytelling. Miz’s cannonball down onto the leg is countered with a kick to send him to the floor, only to have Kofi miss a dive, sending him into the barricade. Back in again and Miz unhooks a turnbuckle pad, setting up something big. The Skull Crushing Finale into the pad is countered into a rollup for two as we get a breather. Miz goes up but dives into a dropkick as a boring chant starts up. Back up and Kofi quickly sends Miz into the buckle to set up Trouble in Paradise for the pin at 8:03.

Rating: D+. This was longer than it needed to be and the ending didn’t do much for either guy. The leg stuff didn’t go anywhere at all which is one of the things that drives me crazy in matches. This feud isn’t going anywhere for either guy but they’re still feuding for no apparent reason.

Tribute to the Troops ad.

We recap Bryan vs. the Wyatts with Bray wanting Daniel to join the Family but getting kneed in the face instead.

Daniel Bryan vs. Wyatt Family

Bray of course sits in the rocking chair to start. Rowan gets us going for the team and takes Bryan’s head off with an elbow to the jaw. Daniel gets caught in the corner and it’s off to Harper for a lot of yeah yeah yeah. Bryan comes back with the surfboard knee stomps and some kicks but a shot to the ribs gives Luke control. Back to Rowan for some shots to the gut and a bearhug to slow the match down.

Harper slams Daniel down and Bray stands up. Wyatt himself comes in and shouts that he could have helped Daniel before splashing him in the corner. Bray goes nuts on Bryan before stopping for that evil look of his. A suplex/toss sends Daniel flying and Bray does the incredibly creepy Exorcist spider walk over to the corner for a tag to Harper. Fans: “THAT WAS CREEPY!”

Luke puts on a chinlock before Rowan throws Daniel back into the corner. A big boot from Harper puts Bryan down and it’s back to Bray who shouts about the fans. He offers Daniel his hand but Daniel kicks it away and pounds on Wyatt’s jaw. Bray will have none of that though and runs Daniel over before bringing Harper back in. Back up and Bryan avoids a charging Bray to send him into Rowan before avoiding a running big boot from Harper.

Daniel busts out an awesome belly to back superplex on Luke for two before firing off the kicks. The big one to the head sets up the swan dive but Daniel has to fire off the kicks to Rowan, tying him up in the ropes. A tag brings in Bray who gets rolled up for two but Wyatt runs him over again. Bryan is whipped into the ropes but he scores with the FLYING GOAT to Harper. Back in the missile dropkick drops Bray but he counters the YES Lock and pummels Bryan down. Sister Abigail ends Bryan at 12:25.

Rating: B-. I was digging this a lot by the end with Bryan giving it everything he had. The most interesting thing here though was Wyatt. He’s the kind of guy who you just have to watch when he’s on screen, which is a rare thing to find anymore. In a word, he’s mesmerizing. As for the result, there’s no way you can put both singles guys over in the handicap matches and it doesn’t hurt Bryan to lose here at all.

The expert panel (Booker and Foley) talk a bit.

We recap Orton vs. Cena which has been covered already. It’s to determine who is champion of champions and we get the video package of their parallel histories from Smackdown.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton vs. John Cena

TLC match, winner take all. They have a ton of time to used for this too. Naturally we get big match intros and we’re ready to go. They head into the corner to start and Cena grabs a headlock. The wrestling gets boring though and we get our first ladder and table with the wooden one being set up in the corner. Orton escapes an AA through the table and heads to the floor for a chair. Cena can’t avoid the shot to the back and Randy is in control.

They head outside again but Orton misses a chair shot and hits the post, allowing Cena to pick up the chair. A series of chair shots puts Orton down and John loads up another table on the floor. The distraction lets Orton send him into the steps to take over again as the dueling Cena chants begin. Orton tries to climb but Cena makes a fast save. The ladder is thrown to the floor and Orton headbutts him down. Some kicks to the ribs have Cena in trouble but he comes back with knees and right hands, only to walk into the powerslam.

Randy brings in another ladder but gets it rammed into his ribs, allowing Cena to climb. Orton quickly suplexes him down but misses a ladder shot, sending the ladder to the floor. That’s fine with Orton though as he cracks Cena in the back with a chair before wedging it into the corner. Cena blocks the shot into the chair and comes back with his finishing sequence, only to have Orton poke him in the eye and send him into the chair. Another ladder is brought in but Cena makes yet another save.

They both fight on the ladder until Cena throws Orton over the top and through the table. He can’t climb that fast though and Orton pulls him down for an RKO. Both guys are down again but it’s Cena up first with a clothesline to send him to the floor. Cena blasts Orton in the head with the steps and Randy might be busted a little bit. John brings in another table, giving us two tables in opposite corners. With all of the metal stuff at ringside, Orton hits Cena in the head with the microphone to take over again.

Orton loads up the announce table but instead clears out a path to Cena. John avoids the Punt though and catches Orton in an AA through the table to put both guys down again. Cena very slowly gets back in and grabs both belts without pulling them down. Instead it’s Orton shoving the ladder away to leave Cena hanging, allowing Orton a free shot with the chair. Cena comes right back with a spear through one of the tables and both guys are down again.

Randy heads outside again and starts peeling back the mats to find some hidden handcuffs. Cena gets tied to the bottom rope and Orton teases him with the key. This didn’t work at Breaking Point but call backs to old matches are usually fun. Cena tries to break the chain as Orton goes to pick up the big ladder for some shots to Cena’s ribs.

Randy goes back inside as Cena beats on the cuffs with a chair to no avail. Cena pulls hard enough to rip the bottom rope off and go up to knock Orton off the ladder but he only has one free arm due to the rope. Orton grabs the rope and uses the power of gravity to pull Cena down, sending him head first into the table which DOESN’T BREAK. That looked bad. Orton goes up again and pulls down both titles for the surprise win at 24:35.

Rating: B. I liked the match and the ropes idea was good, but that ending came out of nowhere. Given how badly Cena’s head went into that table, I wouldn’t be shocked if he had an actual injury. Orton winning makes more sense but I’m kind of shocked it was clean. Well as clean as you can get in a TLC match of course. Good stuff here but the ending leaves a lot of doors open.

Post match here’s the Authority and Vince to congratulate Orton with no drama to end the show.

Overall Rating: B. This show was about one match and the match delivered. The handicap matches both worked quite well too and the tag match ROCKED. It wasn’t a classic show or anything but it was much better overall than I expected. The ending sets up a lot of questions about where we’re going, but that makes things all the more interesting. Good show here and a solid ending to the year.

Results

CM Punk b. Shield – Punk pinned Ambrose after a spear from Reigns

AJ Lee b. Natalya – Small package

Big E. Langston b. Damien Sandow – Big Ending

Cody Rhodes/Goldust b. Real Americans, Big Show/Rey Mysterio and Ryback/Curtis Axel – Cross Rhodes to Mysterio

Kofi Kingston b. The Miz – Trouble in Paradise

Wyatt Family b. Daniel Bryan – Sister Abigail

Randy Orton b. John Cena – Orton pulled down the title belts

 

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9 comments

  1. Jay-bles, ladders and chairs says:

    HOLY COW! WWE begins the year with a bang with Rumble and ends on the highest of highs with tonight’s outstanding PPV! Looks like we’ll get more Cena vs Orton and how could you not want that? Orton as the champ is new and fresh and I can’t wait to see where they go with this…don’t forget, Hulk Hogan will return soon! How awesome would it be for him to be WWE champion again??!!!!!

    You know how they say on a bad PPV(TNA only, WWE’s are always great) that they robbed you of your money? Well tonight this PPV was so awesome, that we robbed the WWE!!! That’s how good it was….IS IT MONDAY YET?

  2. WWEFan2013 says:

    I don’t know really. I hate how WWE makes matches “epic” by just upping the false finishes way up. I mean the tag match was decent but it seems that WWE does this on every PPV and a lot of people fall for it.

  3. Jon Gill Bunny says:

    Great show, (and this might be nitpicking) BUT I felt like I paid $55 to watch Raw. Not match wise (although I could have done without Miz vs Kofi for the 431st time) but looks wise. Jesus Christ, every show looks the same these days. I can understand using the same set for Raw and SD, but come on. The same set for ppv’s? What happened to giving the big shows a distinct look? Even the ropes were the same lame ass white they use all the time. And what’s with lighting the crowd with the red lights? I miss the days of the grittyness of the shows. Ever since they went HD its just too damn slick and colorful.

    Rocko Reply:

    I have heard two reasons why they made it more uniform.

    1. It’s more superstar specific than show specific now.

    2. It is easier to carry around the sets (since they don’t have to carry around as many different parts).

    First one makes sense to me.

    Rocko Reply:

    Oh and the whole point of the titantron is for the crowd to be able to see when their view are obstructed.

    So that giant screen has to take up a lot of space.

  4. deanerandterry says:

    Orton won which was to be expected. With him winning clean I think that rules out Cena vs. Orton at WM30 which is the right call I think. Bryan didn’t get his win back so I think Bryan vs. Orton at WM30 is a strong possibility. Cena losing a few big matches might make him want to prove himself again which I’m thinking will lead to Cena vs. Taker headlining WM30.

    Maybe not but I think its a good way to go for WM30. Cena vs. Taker is one of the few must see matches left and realistically Taker is gonna fight Cena or Lesnar. Frankly both matches are wins in my eyes but I think Cena’s got the edge here.

    Steve Reply:

    Im not so sure right now about WM. We’re all seen that as soon as the Rumble comes around the WWE seems to derail all of their current stories and start new ones. My best guess for the WM card is

    Punk vs Cena for the title
    Taker vs Brock
    HHH vs Bryan.

    Not sure where Orton fits into the picture atm. I cant see them having Bryan in the main event due to the fact that they’re trying everything possible right now to sabotage him, and a match vs HHH seems likely with Trips winning of course. You would have to believe that Cena will be in the main event he always puts on a phenomenal match with Punk and they have a natural rivalry they also have been away from each other long enough for it to feel fresh again. Plus it almost feels right for Punk to win the Rumble. I can’t see Orton in the main event without Cena and it’s hard to believe they will have the same match less than 4 months apart or Either of the two win the Rumble. Taker and Brock also has a natural set up woth Brock being a monster and Taker being… well you know Taker at WM

    I can see all of these plans changing if (shutter) Hogan gets involved.

  5. Jay H. (the real one) says:

    Good PPV and the best one overall since Summerslam. Right now I don’t know if Orton makes it to Mania with the Titles but it does leave alot of stuff open like you said KB.

  6. Steve says:

    I think what made this event much better than it’s previous iterations is the fact that while there was a TLC match there wasn’t separate Tables matches, Ladder matches, and let’s not forget the amazingly entertaining, logical and always well set up chairs match