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TLC Recap and Analysis
HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
TLC Recap & Analysis
Our resident philosopher looks at the finishes and fall-out of TLC.

As a favor to my good friend and fellow OWWer, Arnie Katz, I present the recap of the newest “gimmick” PPV. Like Arnie does, I will give my original prediction, the Finish and the grade for the matches. Enjoy.

Christian v Shelton Benjamin
Ladder Match for the ECW Championship

My original Prediction: Zack Ryder or William Regal will get involved and help Christian retain the belt so they could go after him.

Predicted Grade: A-

The Finish:Christian and Shelton fought on the ladder. Shelton tried for a Sunset Flip Powerbomb from the ladder but Christian blocked it. Christian then took down Shelton with a Hurancanrana…off the ladder! The two fought near the ropes. On the outside, there was a huge ladder between the ring and the announce table. Shelton tried to German Suplex Christian onto the ladder. Shelton actually ended up on the ladder, following a Pendulum Kick. Christian went up to the top rope and Splashed Shelton, driving him into the ladder. Shelton is out and Christian forced himself up the ladder to grab the belt and retain his ECW Title.

Actual Grade: A+

Michelle McCool v Mickie James
Women’s Championship

My Original Prediction: McCool will use some underhanded tricks to keep her strap. McCool goes on to battle Beth Phoenix and Mickie becomes the next Tanya Tucker.

Predicted Grade: B-

The Finish: Michelle insulted Mickie after knees to the back. The insults fired up Mickie, who went to town on Michelle with Fore-arm Shots. Michelle came back with a Backbreaker that nearly won her the match. Mickie surprised Michelle with an Inside Cradle for a two-plus count. Michelle ran MIckie into the ring post. The challenger then tumbled to the arena floor. Mickie dodged a charge from Michelle, who struck the ring barrier. Mickie surprised Michelle with a Flying Headscissors and Thesz Press, on the floor! Layla teased that she would get involved but it didn’t happen. Michelle and Mickie got back in the irng and Mickie hit a second Thesz Press. Mickie ducked a Clothesline and hit a pair of her own. She also used another Fore-arm. Mickie was sent to the apron and then she went up the turnbuckles. Layla knocked Mickie off the ropes while the ref was distracted. Mickie and Michelle both attacked Layla, individually. Michelle ended things with a Big Boot. Michelle retains.

Actual Grade: B-

Kofi Kingston v Randy Orton

My Original Prediction: This is your "Who the heck cares?" match of the night. This feud is already stale. There is nothing to be gained by a win on either side. Expect Orton to take this one after a somewhat decent battle.

Predicted Grade: B

The Finish:Kofi pulled Orton into the ring. Orton caught Kofi with a Rope-assisted DDT. Orton went for his Field Goal kick but Kofi blocked it. Orton worked over Kofi's arm and set for the R-K-O. Kofi missed with Trouble in Paradise and Orton caught the Piranha from Ghana with the R-K-O to take the win.

Actual Grade: B-

John Morrison v Drew McIntyre
Intercontinental Championship Match

My Original Prediction: I really don't see Morrison losing to Drew, at least on the first try. Morrison will get pretty banged up by Drew but will slide by and keep his strap. Expect several rematches in the upcoming weeks and months

Predicted Grade: B+

The Finish: McIntyre and Morrison were fighting on the floor. McIntyre crashed into the barrier. Morrison came off the apron with a Flying Spin Kick. Both men struggled to get back in the ring. McIntyre charged Morrison but ended up slamming into the ring post. Morrison nailed Starship Pain but McIntyre had his foot under the bottom rope. McIntyre went to Morrison's eyes. McIntyre then hit the Double Underhook DDT to take out Morrison and claim the Intercontinental title.

Actual Grade: A-

Jeri-Show v D-X
TLC match for the Unified Tag Team titles

My Original Predictions: I originally expected Jeri-Show to hold the tag belts until Edge returned and teamed with either Christian or Randy Orton to go after the belts. I don't think the WWE is willing to wait that long. Jericho is already being pushed for upcoming title shots against Undertaker. I think the "Bad Boys of Wrestling" just might surprise everyone and take the belts. Since Shawn is winding down his career, this would be a good way to go out. Of course, there is a possibility that they could lose and a feud might start building. Nah, give D-X the straps.

Predicted Grade: B+

The Finish: HHH started up the ladder but Big Show Chokeslammed him to the canvas. Show then broke the ladder and threw it out of the ring. Show punched and Headbutted HHH. Show hit a Scoop Slam while Jericho brought a fresh ladder into the ring. Show went out and got Shawn, Hip Tossing him back into the ring. Jericho wedged both HHH and Shawn inside the ladder and blasts it with a chair. Show hit both of his opponents with the ladder before breaking that ladder in half. Show put both Shawn and HHH through a table on the floor. Jericho climbs onto Show's shoulders to try and get the belt. Shawn hit Sweet Chin Music on Show and Jericho tumbled to the arena floor. Shawn nailed a second Sweet Chin Music and used the broken ladder to knock Show out of the ring. HHH braced the ladder so Shawn could climb it and take down the belts. D-X are finally tag team champs!

Actual Grade: A

John Cena v Sheamus
Tables Match for the WWE title

My Original Prediction: I have a funny feeling that this is going to turn into a two part match. Sheamus will take the belt from Cena in their first battle. Cena will cash in his rematch clause after a break to catch his breath. In the second match, Cena will win back his belt.

Predicted Grade: A-

The Finish: Cena slapped on the STF but Sheamus got free. Cena hit the Double Flying Shoulders into the Proto-Bomb. He stunned Sheamus with the Five Knuckle Shuffle and an Attitude Adjustment. Cena went out to the floor to get a table. Cena took way too long setting up the table. He placed Sheamus on the top turnbuckle and started to go for a Super-Attitude Adjustment. Sheamus Elbowed his way free. Sheamus shoved Cena off the turnbucles. Cena rushed back up and tried to Superplex the Irishman through the table. Instead, Sheamus shoved Cena, who crashed throught the table. Sheamus wins the title.

Actual Grade:

Undertaker v Batista
Chairs match for the World Title

My Original Prediction: This is the onlyone that I've had trouble predicting. Undertaker can really only work short programs, due to mounting injuries. Batista would be a decent choice to take the belt. He could take out Taker and then feud with Taker's "brother", Kane. He would also have Rey Mysterio waiting to battle him. Taker could take several months off to be at 100% for Wrestlemania 26. I'm going to give a hard-fought victory to Batista. The options for future storylines are just too good to pass on the title switch.

Predicted Grade: A

The Finish: Batista tried to Spear Undertaker in the corner but Taker moved and Batista struck the chair that was wedged in the corner. Taker hit the Chokeslam. Batista kicked out at two. Taker tried for the Tombstone but Batista escaped. Batista hit a Low Blow and blasted Taker with a chair to take the cheap win. Teddy Long rushed out and said he would not let this title change on such a cheap way. He restarted the match. Taker sat straight up and glared at Batista. Batista charged Taker and ate a Big Boot. Taker waffled Batista with the chair and finished him off with the Tombstone to retain (or regain, depending how you look at it).

Actual Grade: A

Predicted Final Grade: B-

Actual Final Grade: A-

Final Thoughts: This show turned out to be a lot better than I expected. Sheamus' win was not all that surprising but the fact that Cena didn't get a rematch was. D-X winning was the highlight of the evening. This is a great lead-in to Royal Rumble, next month. Maybe WWE will have the good sense to leave a little time to build the feuds. By the way, where the heck were Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, Jr.?

--Jay Shannon
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