Planet Kayfabe: TLC Fallout, The Good/The Bad Submitted by Kayfabe Candyass on 10/25/2017 at 02:09 AM
Planet Kayfabe: Tables, Ladders & Chairs Fallout; The Good/The Bad and TV Thoughts
By: 'KCA' Paul Matthews | @PlanetKayfabe
Hello and thank you once again for visiting NoDQ and reading Planet Kayfabe. This past Sunday was WWE's 2017 Tables, Ladders and Chairs PPV. Here I run down the good, the bad and a little bit of the fallout on Raw the next night.
Tables, Ladders and Chairs was a fine worthwhile event. I echo the feelings the NoDQ post-TLC review panel of Aaron, ViRTUE and Jexy in saying it was probably 'B' if I were to give it a grade even though Vir'ch liked it a bit more than I did, but still it was a fine show that was much better than I anticipated going in, which was just an average forgettable show.
Here I run down the good and the bad this TLC and post post-TLC Raw and Smackdown shows kicking off the angles for Survivor Series, so let's hit you with the good news first.
* AJ Styles vs Finn Balor
Some people say this match was overrated before it started. Some say it is WWE's match of the year. Look... It was a very good maybe even great 18 minute match. If you're pissed at Dave Meltzer for not giving it 5 stars, I'm not sure what to tell you. I doubt any non-main event match that goes less than 25 minutes would get that high of a rating since you need that time to build drama and tell a good enough story.
AJ and Finn had one job. Just make the fans happy. They did that just by standing there and proceeded to put on a great pro-wrestling match. If you told me ahead of time that this match was going 18 minutes, I'd say "it should be no less than 3 and a half stars" and that's about what I'd rate it personally. If it went 30 minutes then maybe it would have been bumped up a star or even up to 5 since both workers are perfectly capable of doing so.
Instead, it was a match between two guys thrown together 2 days before the show and the story was simple. Just compete hard and their role in the show was to make the fans forget that they're missing out on the "debut" of Sister Abigail which was the advertised match and quite honestly, it all worked out for the better. This feud with Balor and Bray is dead and I hope they just abort the whole thing. It hasn't been a great year for Finn and it's been a pretty bad year for Bray. Perhaps the worse since this gimmick debuted. The act is completely stale and the magic tricks and weird imagery has come off as dull and drawn out as that first warm fart you cut in the morning. Balor deserves better and Bray needs some serious revamping. This original match being cancelled is the best thing that could have happened because not one single fan in that crowd gave one flying Buzzard's cloaca cocktail about this f***ing mess.
Oh and get well soon, Bray.
* Enzo Amore regains the Cruiserweight Championship
Like I said in my preview, if you hate hot potato runs, you're going to hate the outcome of this match. I hate hot potato title changes too, but the thing is, Enzo should have never lost the title. WWE tried shoehorning in a feel-good moment by having Kalisto dedicate his match to Eddie Guerrero on Eddie's birthday, but it came off so forced and no one cared. It would be one thing if Rey Mysterio did it because the fans know that they were close and had a long history together. Kalisto dedicating his match to Eddie is no different than you or I doing so and I'm sure most fans rolled their eyes because mentioning Eddie like that when you have nothing to do with Eddie just comes off as a cheap pop at Eddie's expense.
Enzo is the closest thing the 205'ers have to an actual star whether they or the fans like it or not. Like Enzo in this role or not, you can't deny that the c'weights have been talked about more this past month since the Cruiserweight Classic and the new title belt was introduced. They went from getting a couple minutes on a 3 hour Raw program to getting main event spots and promo time. It may not be how everyone imagined it, but its something. I'm sure for months all those talented workers wanted out of that division since it has a low ceiling to begin with, but if Enzo's act stays over, it benefits all of them and anyone in the division who works with him. Enzo's heel run is just getting rolling and has plenty of juice. Taking the title off him so soon was ridiculous and at TLC they righted that wrong.
* The Main Event and Kurt Angle's involvement
Going in to the match many fans were worried about Kurt wrestling on such short notice. I know it's been 11 years since his last WWE match, but people seemed less worried about the older Goldberg wrestling Brock Lesnar after not wrestling at all since 2004 around this time last year and seem to forget or just not know that Kurt wrestled a cage match this year about a month before his WWE Hall of Fame induction. I know Kurt is beat up and in his late 40's, but he's still in ring shape.
That being said, he was booked the way he should have been. He worked almost entirely with Kane, who he knows the best out of his opponents. He didn't take any big risks and for the most part stayed away from Sheamus who probably wouldn't have thought twice about kicking Kurt right in the forehead.
I said in my TLC preview that if you thought Kurt's insertion into this match ruined the drawing power of his eventual big singles match that you shouldn't worry. After watching this match, be honest. You'd still get just as excited to see Kurt at WrestleMania come out to his own theme, wearing his usual patriotic singlet and taking on someone one-on-one for 25 minutes. Yes, it was a little silly seeing him out there in Shield attire, but they did what they felt they had to given the circumstances. You didn't get a reunited Shield, but you did get to see Kurt Angle hit a few Angle Slams and snap in a few ankle locks. Again, like I said last time... Think of it like a teaser trailer. You didn't get 100% of Kurt Angle in a last minute match with 8 guys in it. You got just a little bit to hold you over. Also, this is good news because before he was even booked as Roman's replacement, none of us knew if he was even cleared by WWE to wrestle. Now that they put him in a match, they know there will be expectations to see Kurt at least one more time on a big stage put on a classic Kurt Angle style match.
* Asuka's debut and booking
First off, let me be clear, her match with Emma in a vacuum was a good match. However, like I said in my preview column, this debut should have been a glorified squash and gone no longer than 3 minutes. When Emma was booked to be Asuka's first match on the main roster people were tweeting things like "RIP Emma". Asuka was booked like an unbeatable killer on NXT. She NXT's Women's Champion for over 500 days (510 or 523 depending on how you look at it). Emma has never been a featured woman on their roster. She's always had hokey joke roles and even as a heel she has barely been on television and rarely wins.
The match begins to kick off the main TLC card and what do we get? A 10 minute back and forth match. People were anticipating a Goldberg style match. We know Asuka is one of the best workers in the company, but now wasn't the time and Emma wasn't the right opponent to have a scientific 10 minute match with. Do that with Sasha Banks or even Bayley or someone who at one time was at the top of the women's division. Not Emma.
Fans just wanted to see Asuka show off a few of her moves and win in dominant fashion instead they booked this match where the only thing they got right was the winner. The next night on Raw there was a rematch that featured us again having to was Asuka sell for Emma and I swear the longer that match went, the more I thought, "oh no... Emma is going to beat her with a surprise roll-up" but thankfully that didn't happen.
* Jason Jordan
This guy has too much talent to be stuck in such a lame role. Jordan spent the night throwing produce at Elias and not one fan had one shit to give back in return. Their impromptu match was put in the death slot right before the main event and this entire story about him being Kurt Angle's illegitimate son has not clicked at all. There's plenty of talent in Jordan, but the bell rings and not one fan cares. The best thing for him would be to find a way to drop this hokey illegitimate son angle and get him back on Smackdown and hopefully in the future they can hit the reset button on his singles push because this guy is dying a f***ing death out there.
* Braun Strowman seemingly getting killed
During the main event the 'Monster Among Men' Braun Strowman was thrown in a garbage truck and then crushed by the compactor. Miz sold it with his facial expressions like he just killed a man. The problem is we know Braun is fine and when we see him he is going to be fine so, why do that spot? Why not just throw him in the truck and have the truck drive off? Instead they go overboard by having him get "crushed". It's like Big Bossman being hanged or The Giant falling off a building. Wrestling storylines are full of fun nonsense, but that's the kind of nonsense that never works when you try and sell that someone on TV just died when we all know its fake.
The post PPV editions of Raw and Smackdown were decent shows. On Raw in Green Bay in front of a crowd of like 40 people in a building that holds like 100 or whatever (sarcasm, if it didn't translate well) we had to watch Finn Balor get squashed by Kane. That's funny. When AJ Styles replaced Bray Wyatt I said this could potentially save Balor's weak 2017.
and for one night it did.
However, 50/50 booking strikes again. They could have fed ANYONE to Kane, but they chose Balor who in one night restored much needed credibility and in one match it was taken all away.
Paul Heyman's promo on Jinder was interesting. He buried the guy so hard that I became fearful that Jinder will actually beat Brock. Personally, I think Brock should just throw Jinder around for 10 minutes of German Suplexes and call it a day. You may think that buries the WWE title, but Jinder holding it buries the title already. If Jinder can hold that belt, anyone can. The only way to save that title is to have another unification, which probably isn't that far off since the brand split has already been watered down after one year.
The closing angle with Smackdown invading Raw was well done. Not much else to say. It's weird to see Smackdown faces and heels working together on Raw and then back to fighting each other on Smackdown the next day. It is what it is, though. Whatever.
Over on the Smackdown side, for the second week in a row we've had to see the newly crowned United States Champion, Baron Corbin job to Sin Cara. I know these haven't been pinfall or submission loses, but still. He shouldn't be losing at all. Not by count out, or one of my bigest WWE pet peeves outside of the surprise roll up in a non-title match finish -- the "disqualified for beating too much ass" finish.
I hate that finish. Basically Corbin gets Sin Cara down and punches him for 20 seconds and the referee calls for the bell. Why? Go back and watch it. Corbin takes Sin Cara to the corner and stomps a mudhole in him until the count of 4. Breaks the attack. Pulls him away from the ropes and mounts him to deliver a series of punches and the referee bitches for a bit and calls for the bell.
Corbin exits the ring satisfied with his work until the announcement is made, "here is your winner by disqualification: Sin Cara" which prompts him to continue his attack on Sin Cara outside the ring delivering the 'End of Days'.
I get it. They want to put over that he's a bad ass with little regard for the rules. The problem is, he showed regard for the rules. Pulled his opponent away from the ropes and was DQ'ed anyway. If they are going to do that finish where they call for the bell because one guy blitzed his opponent into a ground attack they can't escape from, they should give the guy on offense the win. Is that so hard? They can still put over Corbin's toughness by having the match end by referee's decision rewarding the victory to Corbin to spare Sin Cara further punishment. Instead we have to see the champion technically lose again. So stupid.
There's my final thoughts on TLC and some quick takes on the aftermath on this week's television. Thanks again for reading Planet Kayfabe.
If you have a question, comment or idea for a future column leave a comment below or follow me on Twitter @PlanetKayfabe
Until next time, enjoy your Halloween. I'm Paul Matthews for NoDQ.com see you here next time.