OK so the one I am looking at first is TLC 2011 now bearing in mind that according to the back of my blue ray its 4 hours long (not sure if this is just the event or all the extras as well) I am going to span this over a few posts so this will be part 1.
The Pay Per view started with one of the don't try this at home promos and I could only think two things one of them being that as a kid I used to do back breakers on everyone at school and get them done on me to so I wonder if this actually puts anyone off, that and the fact that Rey Mysterios voice sounds like a kids, why not get someone like Brock Lesner who might actually intermediate little kiddy winkles tell them that if they do this kind of stuff to each other then he will come and F5 them through a table.
The commentators were Michael Cole and Jerry the King Lawler. The thing hasn't even started and Vickie Guerrero comes on giving a big speech introducing Dolph Ziggler the United States Champion, shes totally not convincing the only thing shes does is make me wish some one would shut her up, you could say that in itself is heat but its not earned heat. As Zack Ryder comes to the ring and his music plays there is a notice in the bottom corner of the screen telling you that you can buy it on I-tunes, its a decent enough song but I really don't want them trying to flog stuff to me this soon. They announce some of the Counties who will be watching this starting with the UK. This flogging stuff thing is not new though, I remember old WWE/WWF events trying to sell upcoming events and other bits and pieces but it still feels a bit in your face for my taste.
Cole is obviously a heel commenter and is trying to be all current with hash tags and the like. The King doesn't seem as good as I remember having heard him be in the past, he is very much on the faces side and a bit immature at times but I am sure I remember him being a lot cruder and having a much more laser like wit, maybe he has been intentionally neuterd? The match starts slowly with a lot of circling but they then start to show off some pretty decent ring work. Both of the guys are working pretty well but Vickie seriously needs to watch some old tapes of Bobbie the Brain and Corenette, heck id even rather have her watch some of the jive soul bro Slick than act the way she is here, she is an absolute void of charisma. There is a headlock section which I know some people would argue is a rest spot but wow are the crowd eating it up, there is soon another one but it works for the story Zack Rider is clearly being shown as an underdog with a lot of heart. A lovely missile drop kick from the top rope looks like a charm and results in a sort of 2 and a half count. Then there is another pin soon after and Vickie Guerrero puts Zigglers foot on the rope causing the ref to have her removed from ring side. Latter on there is a Hurricarana from Rider from off the top rope which I really enjoyed. Eventually after a very even feeling match Zack Ryder gets the 3 count and becomes the new United States Champion and clearly the fans love it, in all honesty with the work he had put into this match I was glad to see him win. It also needs to be say that Ziggler took bumps and sold like a boss. Of course now as an adult I know this is all sports entertainment but I think if I had been a kid when I had seen this I would have absolutely marked out. It is pointed out that one of the guys covered in merch is actually Zack Ryders dad which I thought was pretty darn cool. All in all I really liked this match and both competitors get a standing ovation from me. This match set me up to think that you know what maybe I am going to really enjoy this pay per view.
After this the show cuts to Booker T talking with Alicia Fox backstage. He’s quickly interrupted by Cody Rhodes laying a pearl harbor on him as some of the old announcers would say. Cody gives him an absolute kicking ending this by shouting“Merry Christmas!” on his way out while Booker tries to sell being really hurt. I think Booker is great I have always been a fan of him but I must say WOW did this make Cody look like one hell of an awesome son of a bitch, I bet his Dad the Common Man, the American Dream Dusty Rhodes was so proud of his son. (RIP Dusty).
I found it really weird to move straight from a contest involving a belt to another belt related one. Straight after the United states Championship match we have a Tag Team championship match. Yeah we had a bit of filler between but no matches.
So the next match is a WWE Tag Team Title Match between Air Boom (Kofi Kingston/Evan Bourne) and Primo & Epico. Epico and Bourne start us off, trading a few cradle and arm lock attempts. Bourne delivers a hurricanrana on Epico and then tags Kofi. Primo tags in and he and Kofi wind up trading huge monkey-flips. We get to a point where Epico and Primo isolate Bourne in their corner and work him over, they give him a devastating tilt-a-whirl back-breaker and this gets them a two count. I have to admit that I had no idea who anyone in this match was except for Kofi Kingston, this made me naturally kind of side for his team which I worked out from the commentary was the face team of the match.
Primo hits a back suplex, rolls through into another one, and then rolls through into a third suplex, this time a German, but it only nets him a two count, maybe its the love I have for Kurt Angle but I always like to see this sort of thing where you get suplex after suplex. There is really an element of story here that fans of old school wrestling will like Bourne is clearly being kept in the ring and being punished and your just waiting for him to get a chance to reach Kofi so when he gets the hot tag to Kofi you just want to jump up and scream ''YES''.
Kingston hops in the ring and becomes a dropkick delivery service absolutely cleaning house. Epico hops in but Bourne hits him with a soaring cross-body off the top rope. Primo turns around and gets nailed with a move I have learned is called Trouble in Paradise from Kofi and well thats all she wrote, the champs win and retain there belt. This match was really good but I felt like it could have used a little bit of extra time, but then again maybe it was short and sweet as it was.
We take a moment to check backstage with Josh Matthews for an update on Booker T, Josh Matthews might as well be made from card board, sure some people in the old days like Sean Mooney or however its spelt didnt exactly drip with personality but Matthews could be replaced by a cardboard cut out. Apparently Booker is being checked over to see if he is fit to compete and Josh tells us that Cody was walking around with a big grin on his face, so the match might be off tonight. More than likely this is just so that Booker can get a hopefully bigger pop when he comes out later.
Elsewhere backstage Teddy Long is dressed up as Santa Claus, alongside Hornswoggle who is in a elf suit. Teddy starts saying how if Horn has been a good little boy he will get presents to which horn replies that he is not a kid he has a beard and dropped testicles the works and asks Teddy Long when Santa Claus became black. Long responds by saying that living in the neighborhood he did no white jolly men ever came down his chimney. Long gives Hornswoggle a Rosetta Stone book on how to learn Ebonics stage 1 as a Christmas present. Horn asks Teddy to hug it out but instead it looks like he clips him one straight in the balls and then runs.I have to admit yes sometimes WWE is very unpolitically correct but I see it a lot like that charming old uncle who happens to be very funny but only because he is basically so backwards and out of date that he is the joke not the things that he says, still it gave me a good little chuckle.
So next we have a tables Match between Randy Orton and Wade Barrett. This is the point when I need to say that I have never ever liked Orton he feels like a cookie cutter wrestler, I don't think he has any real substance or personality he is like the default avatar from a wrestling game with some tattoos stamped on him quickly in a cheap attempt to add a touch of character. This very simply fact makes me instantly root for Wade Barrett even though I essentially have no knowledge of who he is. I think is was Winston Churchill that said he would give a favorable reference to the Devil himself if he helped him fight the Nazi menace, this is a bit like how I feel here anyone slamming Orton is OK in my books.
Orton quickly hits his signature backbreaker on Wade and once Wade is down the first thing he does is to exit the ring and grab a table, only to have Wade kick it right back into his face. Randy returns the favor by smashing Wade’s face into the steel steps at ringside. There are tables set up just about everywhere they are all the way down the aisle and rampway, its pretty much at the stage where they wouldn't have been able to turn around without seeing a table. I cant help but think that I would have found it so damn funny if one or both of them had fallen over and gone through a table by accident and finished the match.
Wade tries for a pump-handle slam through a table, but Randy counters and the table is knocked aside and this is basically how the match goes from here, one of them tries to put the other through the table but the other gets out of the way or reverses the situation and the match carries on. They end up setting up tables in the corner of the ring and outside the ring and this leads to the point where it is teased that Orton is going to get booted from the apron through a table, but he hangs onto the ropes to save himself. I really really couldn't keep my attention during this match I just didn't care about it and that might be due to my dislike of Randy Orton. I cant really pin down why I dislike him so much maybe its because I just find him bland and boring but get the impression that he sees himself as gods gift to the world of wrestling. Maybe this is a gimmick heat thing but if it is its not having the desired effect of me wanting to see him beat its just making me want to go to sleep. I saw Orton put Barret through the table and all I felt was a great sense of relief that the match was over and this is the point where I decided to turn the blue-ray off. I had up until this point really been enjoying this show but this match just killed all of that dead for me and I felt that I needed to take a break so this is where I will end this review for now...