Mt. Killamanjaro: 2011 WWE TLC PPV Review

Mike Killam

(8) Daniel Bryan def. Big Show
to become the NEW World Heavyweight Champion

No. I've been a huge fan of Bryan for many years, all the way back to his 80-minute match with Austin Aires, but no. This is not the way Bryan wanted, and needed to win his first World Heavyweight title. He's a smaller guy that has been the underdog his entire career, and he fights for things like integrity and the honor of the sport. So why have him cash-in on the very face that has been trying to help him over, in the Big Show? Bryan needed that big WrestleMania victory after a long, grueling path to the top, similar to that of Benoit for most fans to take him seriously. He'll have his cult supporters, but I can't help but feel this reign is going to be very similar to any of Rey Mysterio's. Aside from that, you had to feel bad for Big Show after that display of emotion, and even worse for Henry as an afterthought. 

The worst thing? Michael Cole was right…the "face of wrestling integrity" is a hypocrite. [Rating: C]

(9) Cody Rhodes def. Booker T
to retain the Intercontinental title

Short match, but it got the job done. Cody Rhodes came off crafty and ultimately got the victory, after not one but two attacks on the challenger earlier in the night. It was probably best not to have Booker put on a long match, but this could have been given more focus if they didn't force Sheamus and Swagger to waste my time and money. All that aside, I did really enjoy Booker selling the effects of injury, seemingly a concussion. And the two kicks to the head to end the match were great! Proof that not every good contest needs to end with a finisher… [Rating: B-]

(10) CM Punk def. Miz & Alberto del Rio
to retain the WWE title

Fantastic main event. Each of the three competitors had equal offense and looked incredible strong. Even del Rio who has fallen off everyone's radar looked great with multiple submissions using foreign objects, not to mention the kick off the top rope, sending Punk through a table on the outside! The handcuff spots were used well, and added yet another object to this TLC match. Having him chained to the ropes teased a new champion the same way Cena lost at Hell in a Cell, but there was a legit pop when he broke free and came back. Great match, great offense, great finish. You had to feel bad for Ricardo tonight though… The guy was just trying to do his job, and in a two hour span had food shoved in his face, was pushed to the ground, and then launched off a ladder through a table on the outside… Poor guy! [Rating: A]

Final Thoughts: There was a lot of good on both ends of this PPV, with a lot of disappointment sandwiched in between. The opener was great, the tag match was a nice surprise, and Barrett/Orton was solid. But a lackluster Divas match, teasing putting off Booker/Rhodes, setting up Sheamus/Swagger, and too many comedy segments just exhausted me before the action got good. Triple H/Nash got me back into it, only to be taken right back out afterwards… Show and Henry was decent, and I'll admit I was happy for Daniel Bryan. I disagree completely with the booking, but I am legitimately happy that both CM Punk and D-Bry, two Ring of Honor legends and true wrestlers, are holding both World titles. That moment could have come across more special at WrestleMania though… (Eddie/Benoit style!). 

Take out the meaningless matches and focus on the things that matter, and you could have had a near-perfect PPV. I feel like this is something I'm constantly saying about the WWE product though… 

Final Rating: B

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