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December 14, 2015

2015 WWE TLC review: Roman Reigns completely snaps

Wrestling WWE
121415_WWETLC_WWE WWE/Twitter

After losing once again on Sunday night, Roman Reigns let all of his anger out.

The TD Garden in Boston hosted the last WWE pay-per-view event of the year on Sunday night, as TLC invaded Beantown and went off the WWE Network air leaving more questions than answers.

As I said in my TLC preview, I imagined this show would be highlighted by very good matches despite the subpar storytelling leading up to the event. The storylines left a lot to be desired, but the matches were fantastic and I’m not sure anyone felt cheated by any of them.

The ending of the main event could have been telegraphed by a newborn baby, but it still made sense. Roman Reigns then showed some character growth and actually ended the night with some big cheers from the notoriously heel-crazy Boston crowd. Raw tonight in Philly won’t be any different, and I’m sure I’ll have some first-hand stories to share in tomorrow’s Raw roundup as I’ll be at the Wells Fargo Center tonight taking it all in.

But, before that, let’s go over what happened Sunday night in Boston and what it means for not only Monday Night Raw, but for future angles as well.

Kickoff Preshow

Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch

Well, I hope this got people into the preshow. The one thing WWE should do is make the preshow worth watching, but they’re so stuck in their habits that the preshows really don’t do much for anyone.

Hopefully, Sunday night’s match between Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch during the preshow sold some people on actually tuning in for it. The match was good, and it may not have been for any title, but it was a good match. Anything with Banks and Lynch is worth watching, and I was pleasantly surprised to see Banks get the submission win with the Bank Statement.

Lynch heel turn coming? Stay tuned.

Your winner: Sasha Banks

WWE announced this match hours before the show began, so I did not predict the outcome in my preview. We won’t count it, especially because I probably would’ve picked Becky Lynch for some reason.

Triple Threat Ladder Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship

The New Day (c) vs. Lucha Dragons vs. The Usos

Big E and Kofi Kingston would be the night’s Tag Team champions, but the highlight of the match would not include either of them, or Xavier Woods for that matter.

During a segment of the match where the champions were resting, something Woods on commentary compared to playing WWE 2K16 and regaining their endurance. That was a fantastic line.

The action was fast and furious, as it per usual in these types of matches. At one point, it looked like the match could possibly be stopped because of this insane spot, which is basically the best Salida del Sol ever!

Ridiculous. Both men actually got up from that. I don’t know what those ladders are made out of, but I know it isn’t foam. Later in the match, Jimmy Uso jumped off the top rope to the outside onto a ladder than was prone across Big E. That just doesn’t make sense. But, hey, big spots!

Once Kalisto was by his lonesome and ready to climb the ladder and capture the Tag Team titles, Woods left commentary, hopped on the ring apron and threw his trombone at him and Kingston was able to climb the ladder and retain the gold for the champions.

Your winners and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions: The New Day

Predictions: 1/1

Ryback vs. Rusev

This could win the Slammy Award for being the worst feud of 2015. In fact, I hope there is a category for next week’s Slammy Awards edition of Monday Night Raw for Worst Feud of 2015, because I would be voting for this for sure.

Here’s the inherent problem: Nobody can take Ryback as a threat. WWE creative neutered Rusev so bad earlier this year in his feud with John Cena, that nobody can take him seriously as a threat, either. Putting him back with Lana was good for his character, sure, but it doesn’t take away any of the painstaking decisions they made with him during his feud with Cena.

Because of that, this feud has completely fallen flat, especially with the addition of Lana as a main figure of pretty much each outcome of this series of matches. She’s always getting involved, and Sunday night was no different. Rusev pushed Ryback into Lana, who faked an injury, again, and then was able to counter a Shell Shocked attempt with a kick to the head. He then locked in The Accolade, and Ryback passed out.

Your winner: Rusev

This could have been a good WrestleMania-type match with the right build. But, it was built poorly and hopefully this is the end of this lackluster feud.

Predictions: 1/2

Chairs Match for the WWE United States Championship

Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Jack Swagger

This had the potential to be a really good match and fell very flat for me. The story going into the match could have been better, but with Del Rio already leaving Zeb Colter, what good is a match like this? Swagger’s the Real American American, but what else does he have? He’s been back on television for two weeks, and we’re supposed to care about this match why? I just don’t get it.

Though, there’s a chance we could see Swagger and Colter reunite. Before the match, Michael Cole mentioned this Tweet from Colter.

While that would be cool, I think that whole partnership has run its course. They’ve been heels together and babyfaces together, so Swagger needs to find something new. But, the sad part is, the best he could probably do right now is reunite with Colter.

The end of the match came when Del Rio did the Tree of Woe stomp onto Swagger onto a pile of chairs. Yeah, that’ll do the trick. OK match with a good ending.

Your winner and STILL WWE United States Champion: Alberto Del Rio

Predictions: 2/3

Tag Team Elimination Tables Match

The Wyatt Family vs. The Dudley Boyz/Tommy Dreamer/Rhyno

There were a lot of “ECW!” chants in this one, but the return of extreme will have to wait a little bit longer. Braun Strowman dominated this match early, but one of the members of the Wyatt Family was eliminated as Erick Rowan took a 3D through a table early on, eliminating him. The 3D never gets old, does it?

Later on in the match, Luke Harper would kick Rhyno through a table and eliminate him as the sides evened, 3-3.

Do you think we’ll see The Rock vs. Bray Wyatt any time soon? It wouldn’t surprise me considering Wyatt used The Rock’s finisher, the Rock Bottom, through a table to eliminate D-Von Dudley. I have to admit, it was pretty impressive.

Harper would then dive into Dreamer through a table, eliminating him. Bubba Ray would eventually find lighter fluid and a lighter and tease setting a table in the ring on fire, but before he could, Harper would nail him with a kick to the face and Strowman chokeslammed him through a table, netting the win for the Wyatts.

Your winners: The Wyatt Family

Predictions: 3/4

WWE Intercontinental Championship

Kevin Owens (c) vs. Dean Ambrose

Here’s one of those dream matches we were clamoring for back in the late spring and early summer. I have to admit, I was still excited heading into this match, but the storyline was absolutely atrocious. Both of these guys deserve better, and they’re not getting it.

Owens gave a pretty awesome promo on the Boston sports fans, making fun of them for saying “we” when talking about their sports teams. I know, I know, everyone usually does it, but it’s funny when Boston fans are being made fun of, and that’s what this was.

During the match, Ambrose nailed Owens with Dirty Deeds and went for the cover, but Owens was able to get one finger on the rope, much to the dismay of Jerry Lawler, who apparently doesn’t care about rules. “One finger is gonna stop that count? You’re kidding me! One finger!? Come on, ref! One finger, come on, big deal!” And that’s what I always used to say growing up.

Owens would then go for the Pop-Up Powerbomb, but Ambrose countered with an old school Rey Mysterio-like maneuver and pin the champion to win the title.

Your winner and NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion: Dean Ambrose

I was quite surprised they pulled the trigger on the title switch, but I’m not complaining. Either of those guys make a great champion, and I certainly hope this isn’t the end of the feud between the two. Could the storylines be better? Absolutely. I’d like to see Owens get back the title soon and have the two trade it a couple of times. That’d be cool and a bit different than what we see today.

Then again, maybe WWE read my preview and after seeing me write, “I don’t think they have the guts to put the title on Ambrose,” and they just wanted to teach me a lesson.

Predictions: 3/5

WWE Divas Championship

Charlotte (c) vs. Paige

We’re officially seeing the heel turn of Charlotte in perhaps one of the worst-timed turns in wrestling history. Just a few short weeks ago, Paige was invoking Charlotte’s real-life dead brother, Reid, into a promo, and now we’re supposed to cheer for her? The crowd has absolutely no idea what to do, or what to think. They haven’t been hot for this angle at all, and now with Charlotte cheating to win and taking after her father’s footsteps, they don’t want to cheer for either of them.

With Flair’s help by loosening the middle turnbuckle, Charlotte was able to hotshot Paige into the metal, knocking her out and getting the pin.

Your winner and STILL WWE Divas Champion: Charlotte

After the match, Ric and Charlotte were backstage and ran into Becky Lynch, who they invited out for a night on the town with them. Just stay away from Storyville, please.

Predictions: 4/6

TLC Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Sheamus (c) vs. Roman Reigns

This was a really good hard-hitting brawl, like it should have been. Sheamus’ body had some nasty marks all over it, and I’m sure Reigns’ body wasn’t that much better. You wouldn’t be able to notice, though, because his ring attire covers up practically his entire body. Note to WWE: Get Reigns new ring attire as soon as possible. He looks ridiculous.

It looked like Reigns was set to climb the ladder to retrieve the gold after overcoming Sheamus, but the League of Nations came out, sans King Barrett, who didn’t have a match on the card. One would think maybe he’d be down there since he was in the building and everyone knew that he was, but only Rusev and Del Rio came out to help the champion.

Sheamus was able to nail Reigns with the Brogue Kick that knocked him out of the ring, and he would climb the ladder slowly. Reigns tried coming into the ring and climbing the ladder, but Sheamus grabbed the title before Reigns could do anything.

Your winner and STILL WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Sheamus

Predictions: 5/7

After the match, Reigns snapped. As Del Rio and Rusev held Sheamus up on their shoulders, Reigns speared them and Sheamus went tumbling to the mat. The fans were actually booing Reigns during this, as it probably looked like it was Reigns being a sore loser. That’s exactly how it looked, actually. Reigns grabbed a chair and started swinging like there was no tomorrow. He would take out Del Rio and Rusev before turning his attention to Sheamus and was relentless in his chair shots to the champion.

This confused the crowd. There wasn’t loud cheering, but the booing also quieted down. Triple H along with Stephanie and other WWE officials made their way to the ring to try to calm Reigns down. Reigns would eventually drop the chair and have a look of anger and then an eerie calmness. He would then hit Triple H with a Superman punch before attacking him with that same steel chair he took out the League of Nations with.

The main thing I didn’t agree with was Michael Cole trying to paint Triple H as the one man who has kept screwing Reigns, when it was clear he had no part in the ending of the main event on Sunday night. The entire barrage of chair shots and then powerbombing him onto the announce table and then dropping an elbow on him through the table made Reigns look more like an outlaw, which was good after the sore loser look he had minutes before. Reigns screaming, “I know I’m gonna be fired!” at least lets us know that this is something he absolutely meant to do. He then speared Triple H when he was being helped backstage, and the announce team put Reigns over like he was a wild man. The crowd then chanted, “Thank you, Roman!” as Stephanie screamed at ringside.

Is this the beginning of a new Reigns character?

Once Reigns put Triple H through the table, he was cheered. He was cheered as the badass of The Shield, and once WWE decided they wanted him pegged as their next top superstar to take them into the future, the fans rebelled. They changed Reigns’ character to the good ol’ superhero, which doesn’t work in 2015 anymore. Triple H was stretchered out of the arena, so if we see him at all tonight, this angle will be all for naught.

This will work one of two ways: the fans will now finally buy Reigns as a top dog with the new attitude, or WWE will continue to push him as a character the fans don’t want to cheer, ala, Cena-like. After Sunday night, I can’t fathom they go back to the good ol’ superhero character for Reigns. I’m interested to see where this heads.

Monday Night Raw comes to Philly tonight and yours truly will be there taking in all the action at ringside. Make sure you tune into PhillyVoice Tuesday morning to see in-depth analysis of what the outcome of TLC holds for WWE in the future.