Tables Ladders and Chairs 2016: The One With A Lot Of Crashes

Tables Ladders and Chairs 2016
Date: December 4, 2016
Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Commentators: John Bradshaw Layfield, Mauro Ranallo, Tom Phillips, David Otunga

It’s time for a big gimmick show with Smackdown Live presenting the show built around carnage. The main event will see AJ Styles defending the World Title against Dean Ambrose in the show’s namesake match. Other than that we’ll have a table match, a ladder match and a chairs match just to make sure all the bases are covered. Let’s get to it.

Pre-Show: Apollo Crews/Hype Bros/American Alpha vs. Vaudevillains/Ascension/Curt Hawkins

Bonus match. Hawkins’ intro is about how Captain Curt will lead his team where no team has gone before. Crews starts with Hawkins, whose tights look like an Icee machine. We start with some spot stealing as Crews does the AJ Styles drop down into a dropkick and it’s off to Viktor vs. Ryder. That goes nowhere so we get Mojo Rawley and the Hammer Time dance. Alpha comes in to clean house on all of the villains (even the Vaude contingent) until everyone throws everyone else out.

Crews is the last man standing and it’s a ten man staredown. The good guys clear the ring as we take a break. Back with Konnor grabbing a chinlock on Gable, followed by Viktor doing the same. Gable gets up for an attempt at a tag but Viktor’s partners pull everyone else off the apron and Chad is back where he started. That only lasts a few seconds before it’s off to Jordan as everything breaks down. Grand Amplitude ends Gotch at 12:03.

Rating: C. This was fine but I’m getting a little tired of watching American Alpha squash the Ascension and the Vaudevillains. We’ve covered that time and time again now but there’s no one else for them to beat up because the whole division is six teams and whoever else they can put together. That being said, this was how you should open a show: fast paced, energy and right before the show itself starts.

The opening video looks at various broken furniture before going into a regular hype video.

Tag Team Titles: Wyatt Family vs. Heath Slater/Rhyno

Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton are challenging after defeating American Alpha for the shot. Rhyno starts for the first time but his clothesline doesn’t have much effect on Bray. JBL goes on a pretty ridiculous rant about how the Wyatts are a dream team in the vein of Brody and Hansen or the Brothers of Destruction.

It’s off to Slater who is quickly dropped ribs first on the top rope. Slater tries to fight back with some right hands but a slingshot sends him into Orton’s snap powerslam. The hot tag brings in Rhyno a few seconds later and everything breaks down. Rhyno loads up a Gore on Bray but gets distracted by the spider walk, setting up the RKO for the pin and the titles at 5:53. The title change gets a BIG face pop.

Rating: C. Not a great match but the exactly right booking. This should have been a squash and that’s what we got as the monsters deflected everything Slater and Rhyno could throw at them to get Bray his first title. Of course the question now is how do you build on this as WWE has had a tendency to book Wyatt horribly over the years. This was the right idea though.

Dean Ambrose says AJ Styles is in for some hard times tonight because it’s going to be violent.

AJ says the problem is keeping Dean down but some chairs, tables and ladders should do the trick.

Carmella vs. Nikki Bella

No DQ and Carmella is sporting a big black eye. Nikki spears her down to start but gets hurricanranaed into the steps to bang up her knee. The referee starts counting even though the announcement before the match said this can only end by pin or submission. Back in and Carmella ties her into the Tree of Woe and fires off some kendo stick shots to the ribs.

The Cone of Silence is broken up with more stick shots because Nikki isn’t tapping to that yet. Or at all most likely. Nikki gets back up and hits the Disaster Kick off the barricade (What bad knee?) before spraying Carmella with the fire extinguisher. The Rack Attack 2.0 finishes Carmella clean at 7:39.

Rating: D. This was another rather annoying instances of “Nikki Bella is amazing and you should all like her”. Carmella did a bunch of stuff, had it all shrugged off, and lost clean to the reality star who isn’t interesting as a wrestler or a character because Carmella is exactly right: Nikki has had things handed to her and didn’t get over until the reality show started up. But now she’s “famous” and has a stupid catchphrase so she’s interesting right?

Carmella says this doesn’t even anything because it was Natalya who attacked Nikki at Survivor Series. That was ever in doubt?

IMMEDIATELY after that, here’s a video of Natalya helping someone pick out a ring. You knew you were doing this and you couldn’t have say, Becky do this vignette?

Video on the history of the Intercontinental Title to set up Dolph Ziggler vs. Miz in their final battle over the title.

Daniel Bryan puts Ziggler over when Miz comes up. They don’t like each other you see and Miz wants to shove Bryan off a ladder.

Intercontinental Title: The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler

Miz is defending in a ladder match. Ziggler, in American flag tights for some reason, takes him down to start but neither can hit a finisher early on. They take turns sending each other into and hitting each other with a ladder before Ziggler pulls Miz into the post. A tornado DDT sends Miz face first (very slowly of course) into the ladder and both guys are down.

Ziggler loads up the ladder in the ring but Miz is right back up to knock it down. Miz puts the ladder on the middle rope and goes up, only to get shoved off again. An elbow off the ladder (which didn’t change much here) has Miz in trouble but he brings Ziggler off the ladder again. Back up and Miz tries the running dropkick in the corner, only to have Ziggler throw the ladder at him again. Miz starts in on the knee by crushing it between the ladder.

To change things up a bit, Miz puts on the Figure Four with the leg in the ladder. Cool idea, even though it doesn’t change much. The Skull Crushing Finale onto the ladder lets Miz go for the belt but Ziggler shoves the ladder away, leaving Miz dangling in the air. That means a big crash and Miz comes up holding his knee.

Ziggler limps up the ladder but Miz, who is limping as well, pulls him down into a slingshot powerbomb onto the ladder in the corner. For some reason (likely a spot I’m guessing) Miz sets up another ladder and they slug it out on top. Ziggler knocks him down after some shots to the face but a low blow brings him down, allowing Miz to retain at 25:10.

Rating: C+. Ladder matches are all about the drama and that’s not what we had here. This was all about doing spot after spot and that has to be done properly or it makes for a pretty uninteresting match. That’s what we had here because most of this match was about going from one spot to another, which gets really tiresome. At least the right guy won though and he didn’t have a bunch of people interfering to help him get there.

Post match Miz dedicates the win to Bryan, who motivated him by saying Miz didn’t belong here. Ziggler can have a participation ribbon and like it. Ok, let’s assume this isn’t building to Bryan vs. Miz. WHAT THE HECK ARE THEY BUILDING TOWARDS THEN???

We recap Kalisto vs. Baron Corbin in your standard bully vs. small guy feud. Chairs are involved and that’s your gimmick here.

Kalisto vs. Baron Corbin

Kalisto, debuting new trunks here, brings in a bunch of chairs but gets knocked outside by the monster. Corbin sends him into the barricade and then into a pile of chairs for two back inside. More chairs are set up inside the ring with Corbin putting six of them together in the middle. He takes a bit too long setting them up though and it’s Kalisto coming off the top with a seated senton through the chairs for two.

Kalisto tries again with a suicide dive but Corbin whips him around with a great looking Deep Six on the floor. Back in and Corbin piles up a bunch of chairs but stops to swing at Kalisto instead. That goes badly as Kalisto hurricanranas him off the barricade for a breather, followed by a moonsault into double knees to the chest for two more. Kalisto tries going up again but this time Corbin is ready for a chair to the head, knocking Kalisto out of the air in a good looking crash. End of Days onto the pile of chairs gives Baron the pin at 12:51.

Rating: C+. Kalisto was game here but again this was the right call. Corbin could move up the ladder very quickly on Smackdown and this needs to be the final match against Kalisto. Baron has been kind of floating around aimlessly in recent months so hopefully he can go somewhere more defined from here.

Natalya denies attacking Nikki.

We recap Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss. Lynch beat her in Scotland but Bliss’ foot was on the ropes, meaning it’s time for a rematch. Bliss put her through a table on Smackdown and the gimmick was set.

Women’s Title: Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch

Lynch is defending and it’s a tables match. The champ starts fast and goes for a table under the ring but Bliss shoves it back under. Becky is back up and knocking Bliss away but takes a long time setting up a table at ringside. It doesn’t seem to matter much though as a springboard kick to the face almost knocks Bliss through.

Instead Alexa bites the fingers and chokes on the ropes for a bit. The bored fans start chanting for JBL but thankfully it doesn’t catch on. Bliss sets up another table in front of the corner and it’s time for a fight on the corner but the table is turned over. Becky puts the table up in the corner and fires off some uppercuts. That goes nowhere though as Bliss elbows her in the face and hits Insult to Injury.

Now the table is turned upside down and Alexa hits a DDT onto the back, which thankfully doesn’t bust Becky open. The Disarm-Her through the table legs has Bliss in trouble but Becky has to let it go because the hold means nothing. The table is set on the bottom rope but Becky kicks her to the floor, only to get powerbombed though the first table to give Bliss the title at 15:16.

Rating: C. The crowd really hurt this one but the wrestling actually wasn’t bad. Bliss lasted a lot longer than I was expecting and looked good throughout, which is a really positive sign for her going forward. What isn’t a positive sign is Nikki Bella, who is almost guaranteed to get the title in her first shot. Better than I was expecting here.

More of Natalya with the ring (as in engagement ring) stuff, this time with the proposal.

We recap the main event. Ambrose lost the title to Styles but before he could get his pay per view rematch, James Ellsworth got involved and basically took over the feud for a good while. Ambrose is finally getting his rematch (save for the one from like two months ago) and it’s the show’s namesake match.

Smackdown World Title: Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles

Ambrose is defending and it’s a TLC match. An early backdrop puts the champ down but it’s WAY too early to start climbing. They fight up to the set where there are a lot more toys available. Dean climbs a ladder but goes right back down after AJ gets off the table. Back in and Dean gets hit by a flying ladder, only to catapult AJ into one as well.

AJ crashes out to the floor and Dean throws the ladder onto him to make things even worse. It’s still too early to climb though as AJ blasts Dean in the back with a chair. More chairs are set up in the middle of the ring but Dean suplex drops Styles through them instead. The Rebound Lariat puts AJ down and it’s time to go back outside.

Dean’s suicide dive takes AJ down again and Ambrose loads up the announcers’ tables. The big elbow off the ladder drives AJ through the table and it’s time for the really slow climb. Styles comes back in (duh) and it’s the big crash to the mat with both guys down. Dean heads outside and takes the moonsault into the reverse DDT for a bad headache. With Dean mostly out, AJ opts for a springboard 450 through a table instead.

Now THAT wakes the crowd up but not as much as James Ellsworth, who comes down in a neckbrace as AJ starts climbing the ladder. Dean saves his buddy from a Styles Clash and gives AJ Dirty Deeds on the steps. We get the big climb and even a bonus shove off the ladder to send Styles to the floor….and Ellsworth turns on Dean by shoving the ladder over. Styles gets back in and pulls down the title to retain at 30:58.

Rating: B+. They had to do something like this with Ellsworth and it can make sense if it’s played right. Styles retaining is another good call and sets up something big at the Royal Rumble, especially if it’s Undertaker getting the show. The spots worked really well here and I liked it as well as I expected to. Strong main event, as it was always going to be.

Ellsworth is elated to end the show.

Overall Rating: B. I liked the show well enough but it felt like it was under a thick ceiling. There was a certain energy lacking from it and that held it back a bit. It also doesn’t help that a lot of the matches were predictable, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t entertaining. This was the kind of show you would expect and there’s nothing wrong with that, though it doesn’t matter much given the huge Rumble coming up.


Wyatt Family b. Heath Slater/Rhyno – RKO to Rhyno

Nikki Bella b. Carmella – Rack Attack 2.0

Miz b. Dolph Ziggler – Miz pulled down the title

Baron Corbin b. Kalisto – End of Days onto a pile of chairs

Alexa Bliss b. Becky Lynch – Powerbomb through a table

AJ Styles b. Dean Ambrose – Styles pulled down the title

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  1. Pickle says:

    I feel like when you rewatch this show down the line your Ziggler/Miz rating is going to go way up, and the main event rating will go down. I thought the IC title match had great drama and great performances by both guys, while the main was just standard Dean Ambrose mediocre.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    It’s certainly possible. It’s happened before.

    Jay H (the real one) Reply:

    i would disagree while I thought Miz/Dolph was good I thought AJ/Dean had a little more drama to it and i bought in for a second Ambrose could win the Title back.

    Anyway good PPV, surprised that Alexa won the SD Womens Title from Becky, Bray Wyatt has his 1st Title and im digging the Orton/Wyatt combo more.

    Should be interesting where Smackdown heads into the Royal Rumble and if they go with Undertaker challenging AJ Styles there.

  2. Your Eternal Reward says:

    See Dean that is why you don’t help scrawny local competitors. You get them a job and they will turn on you in a heart beat.

  3. Prophet says:

    I don’t know how long this Ellsworth’s thing is going to go but I can defo see it ending with Undertaker, flames and somebody screaming he’s sent the poor bastard to hell.

  4. Bloodbuzz Bunk says:

    I’d have graded Miz v Ziggler a B-, Corbin v Kalisto a B, Becky v Bliss a D+. But besides that we agree. I really liked the chair match as it was probably the best chair match they have ever done and Corbin/Kalisto took a crappy dead spot in the card and got the crowd invested when the crowd obviously didn’t want to be invested.

  5. Dmxfury says:

    Not bad but the lack of comments is a metaphor for the overall enthusiasm. DIMINISHING returns WWE

    however thanks to the Network and the new business model there is absolutely zero reason for them to care. Sigh