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In quite possibly the last professional wrestling pay per view we'll ever see -- I'm going to keep using the "end of the world" references until I'm safely writing my first column after Friday -- WWE TLC and all involved delivered on so many levels. Maybe some of the outcomes weren't what you wanted, but it's perfectly acceptable to look past that on some events when the in-ring work is like it was last night.
There was something in the air at the brand new Barclays Center, and it was obvious from the opening match to the final bell. The Brooklyn crowd was a hot one and the superstars fed off of that energy all night long. It really demonstrated the value and importance of a good live audience.
Tune into both Voice of Wrestling shows tonight for full analysis and discussion on WWE TLC, but for now, here are some of the key points that did and did not bother me about the pay per view. Starting with...
What DID NOT Bother Me: The Shield Wins
I have been a strong critic of the recent stretch of Ryback losses, starting with his very first at the HIAC event, but you won't be hearing me argue so loudly this month. It's easy to forgive our differences in the finish of a match when the match is this incredible.
Aside from the constant entertainment this match provided, I also understand the need for The Shield to make a major statement early. The "win as a team" remark Ambrose made in the earlier promo put it all into perspective and you could see that very thing happening throughout the entire match. They made a point to show their collective dominance over each individual opponent and told a great story all the way.
All of the high praise this match is receiving is certainly justifiable, and I understand it being a "Match of the Year" candidate like plenty are already describing it as, but I'd like to open up conversation in the Comments section below and on my Twitter with this question:
Was this match so good solely due to the "Holy Sh*t" moments it included?
Don't get me wrong - I'm not wanting to take anything away from these six competitors. They all put their body on the line, and as a fan, it was an incredible spectacle to watch, but Seth Rollins could have killed himself with that ladder spot. The entire match was soaked with violence, weapons and very risky moves that were likely never practiced beforehand. I'm aware the overall theme and gimmick of the pay per view itself demands a little more risk than normal, but this match took that to another level.
Was it worth it? I'm sure most, including the superstars involved (assuming none are seriously injured), would say "absolutely, yes", but I'm not so sure.
The CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan matches we got earlier this year were MOTY candidates as well, but those are in danger of being completely overshadowed by this one. And why? It's certainly not because the "wrestling" moves were better. I'd argue it was more due to the amount of near-death experiences we got to witness.
Again, not taking anything away from the match - it was AMAZING. Just a friendly, debatable question I wanted to present...