'WWE TLC' live blog: John Cena or Randy Orton - Who will be WWE World Heavyweight Champion?
WWE is ending the pay per view year with a bang, unifying the WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship, assuring only one man will stand tall as the face of the company. The main event will feature John Cena and Randy Orton battling it out in a tables, ladders and chairs match with both titles hung high above the ring.
Whether either man should continue as "the face of WWE" is a matter of opinion, but this will be the big match to end 2013. It's also the exact same thing that happened at "Vengeance," the final pay per view in 2001, with Chris Jericho emerging as the undisputed champion. Don't tell WWE though, they forgot.
The announced "TLC" card so far:
- John Cena vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship
- Daniel Bryan vs. The Wyatt Family
- CM Punk vs. The Shield
- AJ Lee vs. Natalya for the Divas Championship
- Big E. Langston vs. Damien Sandow for the Intercontinental Championship
- Goldust & Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio & Big Show vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel vs. The Real Americans for the Tag Team Championships
- Dolph Ziggler vs Fandango (pre-show)
Follow along with Zap2it as we live blog WWE's final pay per view of the calendar year. The pre-show kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET with "WWE TLC" starting at 8 p.m. ET
The "TLC" all-star panel if Mick Foley, Booker T and The Miz, who recently spoke to Zap2it about his WWE career. The Miz recently turned heel and should be somewhere on the card.
WWE is heavily pushing the title "Champion of Champions," which isn't unlike Triple H's "King of Kings" moniker. Perhaps foreshadowing that he's going to somehow walk out with both titles tonight? Crazier things have happened on pay per views.
The crowd sounds versus pro-Daniel Bryan with quite a few "Yes!" chants breaking out before the show starts. The Shield cuts a promo backstage, they're going to beat up CM Punk and beat him up good. There's three of them against one guy. They don't really need to taunt him, the odds are already in their favor.
Finally something happens on the pre-show. Kofi Kingston appears and slaps Miz across the face, which is a long time coming since Miz has been hassling him for a while. Cue up the kickoff match!
Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango
Fandango takes his time, dancing and insulting the audience, before Ziggler makes his entrance. He's another case of how the mighty have fallen. Ziggler was poised to be the next big thing at one point and has all the talent in the world. Hopefully he's allowed to rise again.
Moments into the match, WWE cuts to a commercial.
It doesn't take long for Summer Rae to get involved, allowing Fandango to hit a leg drop for the surprise win. Poor Dolph.
As the pre-show comes to an end, the camera goes to a limousine arriving backstage. Out step Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and the CEO of WWE, Vince McMahon. It's Vince's first appearance on WWE programming since shortly after "SummerSlam," so that should get people talking about possible main event outcomes. When Vince is around, people tend to get screwed.
The show is starting with yet another Triple and Stephanie promo. Money well spent, fellow viewers. Triple H is talking about the history of the two titles, again leaving out that they've been unified before. It's a shame. Revisionist history is something professional wrestling is best at, though.
CM Punk vs. The Shield
This is a fun way to kick off the show. It's worth noting Punk was tweeting about hockey two minutes before he walked through the curtain, which is pretty cool. Punk starts things off against Dean Ambrose, who simply wants to take the fight to The Shield's corner so they can use the three-person advantage. It doesn't work, so Seth Rollins tags in while Punk takes a powder outside of the ring.
WWE is scrolling tweets from wrestlers who are talking about the unified titles along the bottom of the screen. Luckily one from Chris Jericho sneaks through, in which he mentions that they're just doing what he did over a decade though. It's the little things that make it fun.
Roman Reigns goes for a spear on Punk, but he ends up injuring his eye outside of the ring, giving Punk something to focus on. That is, until the Shield's's enforcer throws him out of the ring and tags Rollins back in.
Punk ends up sending Ambrose off the apron and kicking Rollins in the head for a two-count. Punk is rolling with a knee to the face, a heel kick and a flying crossbody. When he goes for the Anaconda Vise on Rollins though, Ambrose wakes up and kicks him off before tagging in.
Punk keeps the offense going with a Macho Man elbow drop on Ambrose. He hits Rollins with a GTS and goes for one on Dean, but bucks away from a spear just in time for Reigns to nail Ambrose. Punk grabs the pin and the win.
Looks like the end of The Shield can't be too far away.
Winner: CM Punk
Backstage, AJ Lee says she's going to retain her title against Natalya, etc. She always wins, no matter what.
AJ Lee vs. Natalya for the Divas Championship
Early on, nearly all of the offense was care of Natalya, who just threw AJ around like a rag doll. AJ eventually answers back and gets Natalya in a mean-looking submission hold. It doesn't last, though.
Natty gets AJ in a sharpshooter and it almost looks like it's over, but Tamina gives the distraction and AJ locks in the Black Widow, which Natalya gets out of and delivers a vicious clothesline. She goes for the sharpshooter again and AJ rolls her up for the win.
Winner: AJ Lee
Big E. Langston vs. Damien Sandow for the Intercontinental Championship
The crowd is absolutely bubbling with indifference.
How much did WWE have to pay to get all these non-contracted talents to tweet about "TLC"?
Slowly, but surely, Big E. and Damien are waking up the crowd and all it takes is some decent wrestling. At this rate, this is going to be three solid matches in a row to open the show. Langston and Sandow trade hits and throws, with Damien getting in more offense than you might expect.
Big E. has the strength to turn things around, but Damien isn't below cheating, if that's what it takes. It's just not enough though when Langston hits the Big Ending to retain the title.
Winner: Big E. Langston
That's the third pretty good match of the show, WWE is on a roll tonight. Backstage Vince McMahon meets up with Randy Orton and the two have a conversation, but the audio is dropped out. They were either plotting or discussing the best place to get pizza in town.
The pre-show panel, sans Miz, is back to talk about Kofi Kingston's earlier attack. The two will not have a No DQ match on the show.
Goldust & Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio & Big Show vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel vs. The Real Americans for the Tag Team Championships
It's great WWE spent months building up Big Show ... again ... just to put him in a throwaway tag team with Rey Mysterio.
Curtis Axel and Ryback want to be called Rybaxel. They should be called Paul Heyman's castoffs.
Cody Rhodes starts out against Ryback. Cody takes Ryback down before tagging in Goldust. Ryback tags in Axel, which works out well for Goldie. Big Show gets tagged in and he spends some time nailing Axel with those huge chest slaps. Next in is Mysterio.
Eventually Axel tags Ryback in once again. He knocks around Rey for a bit before Goldust is back in. Somehow Goldust eliminated Rybaxel and the Real Americans are quick to enter the ring and beat him down for it.
Goldust gets worked over by the Real Americans and is doing anything he can to get a tag, but it's just hot happening. Finally he tags in Big Show, who knocks out Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro, eliminating them from the match.
Show waits for Goldust to catch his breath before the final two teams go at it. Still, Big Show has no problem dominating Goldie. In a weirdly timed spot, Big Show just stands there while Goldust climbs to the top rope and jumps on him. He then counters a chokeslam into a DDT for a two-count. Cody tags in.
For some reason, Show tags Rey in, but the luchadore hasn't done much so far and has plenty of energy for running and jumping purposes. He still gets kicked in the face.
Big Show snags Goldust out of the ring and hurls him into the barricade, because that's the king of thing good guys do. Cody goes for a springboard frankensteiner, but Mysterio reverses into a powerbomb. They trade moves back and forth until Cody hits the Crossrhodes to get the win. Big Show and Goldust shake hands and hug after, while the announcers call the giant a "good sport." All good sports throw people into walls when they're not the legal man, right?
Winners: Goldust and Cody Rhodes
Backstage the Prime Time Player and The Great Khali are all in their wrestling gear and playing with stuffed toys. Oh look, so are Los Matadores and El Torito. Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox are there too. This is a scary commercial. Kane's music plays and he shows up to look at them all with shame before playing with the toys himself.
Hey look, another unadvertised match!
Brodus Clay vs. R-Truth
Brodus has a new attitude because he really doesn't like Truth's buddy, Xavier Woods. This doesn't bode well for Tons of Funk Tensai and the Funkadactyls are telling Clay to end it, but he's having too much fun inflicting damage. After so long with dancing, happy Brodus ... This version just isn't entertaining. This heel turn feels weird. It would be like seeing evil Santino Marella.
Clay gets in Tensai's face, telling him to get out of the way and let him win how he chooses. Brodus keeps yelling at Tensai about being better and saying he's the main event player. Tensai and the Funkadactyls walk out on him and R-Truth rolls Clay up for the win. Bad times for the Funkasaurus. The great matches streak ends.
Backstage, Vinnie Mac finds John Cena to talk to him with no audio.
Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz
Who is the heel? Perhaps neither of them is really the heel, the're just fed up with each other. Miz is playing up the classic bad-guy characteristics: exposing the turnbuckle, attacking an injured leg, etc. It must be him, but it's not the in-your-face heel he's been before. The crowd is chanting "We want tables." Since this is a No DQ match it would make sense, but no such luck. Miz gets thrown into the turnbuckle, then Kofi nails the S.O.S. kick for the win.
Why was this match no disqualification?
Winner: Kofi Kingston
Daniel Bryan vs. The Wyatt Family
The amount of facial hair in this match is uncomfortable. Surprise, surprise: The crowd is still hot for Bryan, the "Yes!" chants are palpable. Bray Wyatt is starting the match out, where else, in a rocking chair. He's letting his cronies do the dirty work.
It doesn't take long for the numbers game to catch up to Daniel, especially since those are two pretty big numbers he's facing. The men beat Bryan down until Wyatt is ready to tag in. Wyatt hits a throwing suplex before doing the crab walk once again, with more success than he did the first time. Remember the first time?
The crowd chants "That was creepy," because, well, it was creepy.
Wyatt tells Bryan to take his hand and it'll all end. He wants Daniel in the family. Bryan slaps him away though, and gets in momentary offense. It's put to and end by Wyatt, who then tags in Luke Harper. He hits a sit-out powerbomb for two.
Harper's leg gets hung up on the top rope and Daniel hits a super backdrop. He's ready to kick his way out of problems.
Bryan clears the ring, but Wyatt gets tagged in. He dives to the outside, taking out Harper. He then sends Erick Rowan into the steps and tries to put the Yes lock on Wyatt. It doesn't quite work out, though. Wyatt hits SIster Abigail for the win. Bray hugs Daniel close after the match.
Winners: The Wyatt Family
One match left. Let's ditch one of these titles and call it a night.
John Cena vs. Randy Orton to determine the WWE World Heavyweight Champion
They've got more than 45 minutes to fill if WWE wants to use up their entire pay-per-view slot, so expect shenanigans.
As for predictions, Mick Foley is going with Cena, while Booker T says Orton. Who do you think will win?
Instead of Cena yelling at the top of the stage, he simply tells the camera, "Tonight is history." There are less boos for him than normal, but they're still there. The crowd seems mostly split on both guys.
Cena is the first to go for a weapon, but Orton gets a ladder in the ring before he can. Cena wants a table. He sets it up in the corner, but Orton grabs a chair on the outside and takes him down. Outside the ring, Orton over swings huge and hits nothing but the stairs. Cena sells it like a hit, though. He does it again, but it's way less obvious. Orton takes one last swing, but Cena ducks and grabs the chair, putting it to work on Randy.
John tries to powerbomb Randy through a table, but Orton wiggles out of it and sends him into the stairs, before setting up the ladder and going for the belts. Cena quickly recovers and pulls him off the ladder, but Orton gives him a dropkick. Then, because he's a crazy person, Orton throws the ladder out of the ring.
The men trade shots with Cena getting the upper hand. He goes for the titles, but Orton pulls him down and hits a back drop. He tries to hit Cena with the ladder but throws it out of the ring again. Randy doesn't want this match to end. Ever.
He follows that up by swinging a chair at Cena and wedging it in the corner.
Tables, ladders and chairs are no match for Cena's Five Moves of Doom, though. He's only able to hit four of the five, though, as Orton kicks him in the head and hurls him into the chair in the corner. Randy grabs yet another ladder to throw into the ring. Twenty bucks says he tosses it out again within two minutes.
Orton has his hands on the titles, but Cena climbs up behind him and knocks him down. He's in a perfect position to win the match, but who needs that? Instead he hits a fist drop.
Cena sends Orton through a table and goes for the belts. As if he's John Cena himself, Randy quickly recovers and pushes over the ladder. One RKO later and both men are down.
Outside the ring, Cena goes on the attack with a chair, which causes Orton to bleed quite a bit. Cena goes into the ring and the camera follows, giving Randy some time to clean up and get the cut closed.
Orton then hits Cena with a live microphone. He should yell into it or something, but no dice. Randy tries to punk Cena in the head, but John ducks the kick and hits an Attitude Adjustment through the Spanish announce table, which has absolutely no one sitting at it for some reason.
Cena climbs the ladder and gets his hands on the belts, but Orton takes the ladder out from under him, leaving him there hanging. Then Cena gets the pinata treatment, as Randy takes a whack at him with a chair. Cena falls and Orton keeps hitting, but then Cena tackles him through a table.
Orton rolls out of the ring and finds a pair of handcuffs he's hidden. He cuffs Cena to the bottom rope and throws the key into the audience. Orton then bails out of the ring to find a really big ladder. Cena tries to use another ladder to break the chain, but has no luck.
Cena starts taking apart the ring to free himself and climbs the ladder, turnbuckle in hand. He knocks Orton down with the turnbuckle, but Orton uses the bottom ring rope to pull him down into a table. Cena looks out of it as Randy starts to climb again. He takes his sweet time retrieving the belts to win the match. Not a bad main event at all.
Winner and new WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Randy Orton
It's not over yet. "No Chance" hits as Vince McMahon walks to the ring with The Authority. Show us that swagger, Vince. Nothing crazy happens once they hit the ring.
The show ends with Randy being congratulated by the extended McMahon family and hoisting his titles to the sky.
It was a pretty good show to close out 2013. Only two matches (Miz vs. Kofi and Brodus Clay vs R-Truth) missed the mark and the TLC main event was better than most probably expected. Now the countdown to the "Royal Rumble" begins.
Photo/Video credit: WWE
Zap2it Elite Sheet Must Reads from the Web's In-Crowd