WWE TLC 2017 – A Raw Brand PPV – Recap and Reactions – October 22, 2017

The Target Center in Minneapolis plays host to the 2017 TLC PPV.  While the Raw roster has been shaken up by “viral outbreak” which has caused some pretty big changes in the card, we’ve still got a decent lineup for tonight.  Let’s not waste any time, let’s do this -ish.

TLC 2017 Kickoff Broadcast

Renee, Rosenberg and Otunga kickoff our evening with commentary about each match.  I miss Booker T on the kickoff panel, because now I don’t get my Shucky Ducky Quack Quack prediction anymore.  Also, I don’t like Rosenberg, but you knew that already.

Cut for time.  🙁

Drew Gulak interrupted the kickoff panel in their discussion about the Cruiserweight Championship match because he was apparently “cut for time”.  I was desperately looking forward to all of you who don’t watch 205 Live to get to see Gulak shine, but I’m assuming they couldn’t get Tozawa cleared to be part of the segment (since I think he really did take a wicked shot to the throat a few weeks back).  Super disappointed.  #Sadness

Kickoff Match – Alicia Fox vs Sasha Banks

For those of you without a paid subscription to the WWE Network (and seriously, why wouldn’t you spend $10 a month on this?  The back catalog alone is worth $10 a month) this is your free match-up this evening.  I’m going to get this out here up front, I’ve always thought that Alicia was sort of under appreciated in the ring.  I’m kind of glad she’s being given a little attention, and getting a little attention somewhere other than 205 Live.  Also, she may be the best actor on the roster, unless of course she is absolutely psychotic, which is very much possible.

I’ve also never really been big on Sasha Banks, but you knew that already as well if you’ve followed us for any length of time.

The match was alright.  If you saw the two as part of that mixed tag match on 205 Live a couple months ago, you have basically seen this already.  It is basically a cat fight where they add in drop kicks occasionally so you remember you’re watching wrestling instead of Real Housewives.  Lots of hair pulling, more trash talking than actual fighting, etc.

Alicia did end up with a busted lip, and she worked it as part of her crazy character.  She also attempted a pin on the outside, because she’s crazy.  Booker appreciated it.

They did get a lot of screen time, even though there was a commercial break midway through to advertise Total Bellas (only on the E! Network and Hulu), but in the end, as expected, Sasha Banks picked up the win with the Banks Statement.

Other Kickoff Show Stuff

  • Mickie James was in the Social Media Lounge.  I don’t think it was cool that they specifically chose questions from Twitter about her age.  She’s in great shape and has looked good in the ring.  Quit with this shit.  Like she said, half the men on the roster are older than her, so why are we making her out to be Betty White when she’s holding her own?
  • Seth and Dean are not necessarily thrilled about Kurt Angle deciding to shake off the dust after 11 year hiatus from WWE competition to try to balance their already unbalanced affair in the TLC match.
  • Miz doesn’t care.  He’s going to brutally beat his boss because you only get so many opportunities to do that.

WWE TLC 2017

We’re kicking off the official broadcast with a Kurt Angle vignette.  I’m still amazed they went this route with it, but damn if it hasn’t been major news for the two or three days it has been since the announcement.  Hopefully it helps get viewership up.  They’ve already lost Neville, and the rumors of “cost cutting efforts” beyond that are starting to scare me a little bit.

Asuka’s Debut & Asuka vs Emma

Emma looked great in this match, and was on top for a good bit of it actually, but there was absolutely no way that she was going to win and we all knew that going in.  Her entrance music is still garbage too.  Asuka is one hell of an entertainer.  Not to generalize or seem like I’m putting them in the same breath for their regions of origin, but she’s got that entertainer vibe that Shinsuke has, and there are so many superstars that could benefit from watching either of them.

Emma looked really, really good in this match, but inevitably a spin kick to the head and an Asuka Lock for the submission victory in her debut match.  

Walking With Elias – Minnesota Edition

During his guitar intro, Elias started being pelted with produce.  Turns out it was Jason Jordan.  This Jason Jordan stuff is stupid.  His promo work sucks, his story is getting worse and worse, just make it stop.  I wanted to walk with Elias.

Cruiserweight Division Tag Team Match – Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann vs The Brian Kendrick & Gentleman Jack Gallagher

This is the best I’ve seen Cedric Alexander since the Cruiserweight Classic, and a reminder of why the audience at Full Sail rallied for H to sign him to a contract.  Rich Swann is always entertaining, and both of their opponents have shown how good they can be.  That being said, all four of these guys stepped it up for the PPV opportunity.

There is still no one that is on the Neville Level.  He’ll never see this, but Neville, I miss you dearly.

Lumbar Check on Brian Kendrick as Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann pick up the win.

Raw Women’s Championship – Alexa Bliss (C) vs Mickie James

I really wish that the entire conversation here wasn’t about Mickie James’s age.  It’s ridiculous.  She’s 38.  She’s 38 and she’s a mom and she looks like that.  Why in the hell is that the conversation?  Like she said in the Social Media Lounge, half the guys in the locker room are older than her but nobody is asking them if age is catching up with them.

Alexa looked better than usual here.  She was quite methodical, putting all of her efforts on the left arm of Mickie James.  Mickie ran the offensive side of the match for the vast majority of their contest, but in the end Alexa Bliss retains.

Post match, Mickie is interviewed in ring and gave a great promo thanking the Universe for their support.  Between that and the social media lounge responses, I have become quite a Mickie James supporter tonight.

Walking With Elias – Take 2

The crowd is so loud that Elias keeps having to start over.  Jason Jordan wheels his grocery cart back out to throw more produce at Samson.  This is a waste of my time.  Where is my Drew Gulak powerpoint presentation?

Cruiserweight Championship – Kalisto (C) vs Enzo Amore

Don’t take this to mean that either match wasn’t decent, but both Championship matches were overshadowed by the other matches from both divisions that came before on the card.  Enzo continues to impress me more and more each time he has a cruiserweight match, which is a testament to the competition he’s getting to work with because he’s working up to them, not them down to him and it shows.  This match went about as you’d expect, and with a distracted referee Enzo would gouge the eyes and then land the Jaw-Done-Zo as Enzo Amore becomes a two time Cruiserweight Champion.  He’ll lose it on Tuesday night.

This Is Awesome – Finn Balor vs AJ Styles

I know I was down on the idea of getting this with no build, but damn, we’re getting this.  And good on commentary both during the match and during the kickoff show for mentioning that both of these men were the leaders of The Club.  They won’t outright say Bullet Club, but they came damn close.

This crowd was insane for this one, and I’m damn glad.  If it had been Chicago they’d have undoubtedly started a CM Punk chant through half this match and not appreciated just how unreal this is.

For two guys who’ve never had an actual match, they’ve clearly spent a ton of time together, and they worked incredibly well together in this one.


Demon Finn Balor wins via Coup De Grace.  The pair shares a moment of sportsmanship, and a Too Sweet.

Walking With Elias – Third Time’s a Charm

So, while there are starving people all over the world, Jason Jordan gets a PPV match for wasting produce.  I’m over it.  I’ll tell you who wins, but I don’t care.  Sorry, I should be more objective, I am just a big fan of Elias Samson.  I tweeted this when he was asking Kurt Angle for an opportunity to sing for the Minnesota crowd tonight.

Anyway, #VagabundoForever, even if Jason Jordan wins via roll up.  That was not a 3 count, but whatever.

Tables, Ladders and Chairs Handicapped Match (3 on 5) – Kurt Angle, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose vs Braun Strowman, Kane, Cesaro, Sheamus & The Miz

Kurt Angle came out in full Shield gear, so you knew this was going to be great already.  Then he went ham with the German Suplexes, which was fantastic to see.  Then he locked Kane into the Ankle Lock…..then he took a running powerslam from Strowman through a table.

The Shield had a strong start, but when Angle took the powerslam through the table, he was being helped to the back my medical staff as the five men opposing them picked apart Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose.

For about 10 minutes, team Miz just beat the living crap out of the two members of The Shield.

Miz, prior to the match, made a point to say they would take The Shield out like the garbage they are, so he had a garbage truck back into the arena and they tossed them in, only to have them rally from there, diving off the top of the truck to take out the four men who aren’t Miz.  Now it was 2-on-1 against the A-Lister, because a Twist of Fate gets a one count on Strowman but apparently a diving elbow split between two men renders him nearly dead for a while.

Kane, having previously hit Strowman with a chair but Miz talking Strowman down, Kane hit a chokeslam through the stage area.  This actually became more about Kane and Strowman in a Boss Fight, and as Team Miz tried to keep it from happening, they were in Strowman’s way, so he went after them, and his four teammates turned on him.  Eventually, they threw him into the garbage truck and told the operator to pull the lever and crush him.  The crowd, echoing my sentiments, launched into a “that was murder” chant.  What the hell just happened?

The other four took The Shield back to the ring to beat them down, but as Kane was gearing up to end it with the Tombstone, Kurt Angle’s music hits and he comes down the ramp to wreck shit.  Angle hits an Angle Slam on the ramp to Sheamus, then an Angle Slam through a table on Cesaro.  The Shield + Angle would then isolate Miz, hitting him with an array of finishing moves, then throwing one to The Shield hitting a Triple Powerbomb on Miz to get the pinfall and the victory.  That match was sort of a chaotic mess, but it was damned entertaining.  There’s not a person involved here that isn’t going to be in a shitload of pain in the morning.

Final Thoughts

Well, No Mercy was pretty much crap, and this one had the potential to be a nightmare for WWE with all the sickness and changes, but damn, this was an entertaining freaking show.  AJ vs Balor better come back around again, because that wasn’t enough of it for me.  I’m going to give it a B.  Might have been an A- if they hadn’t forced so much f***ing Jason Jordan on me.