TLC: Randy Orton crowned new WWE World Heavyweight Champion
By NOLAN HOWELL - SLAM Wrestling
Out with the old and in with the new. Tonight, that often-used phrase describes a pivotal event in WWE history as the inaugural WWE World Heavyweight Champion will be crowned in a most dangerous environment involving tables, ladders, and chairs. Tonight on WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders, & Chairs, WWE Champion Randy Orton and World Heavyweight Champion John Cena unify the belts in the namesake match. Plus, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan face three men each in handicap matches. All that and more on this year's edition of WWE TLC!
Preshow is LIVE from Houston, Texas. Josh Mathews, Mick Foley, Booker T, and The Miz have the preshow call.
The TLC card is run down by the panel.
The Shield prepared to take on CM Punk tonight. They plan to divide and conquer tonight. The group labels Punk a man of conviction and belief. However, they plan on Punk believing in The Shield tonight.
Kofi Kingston interrupts the preshow and confronts The Miz about his trash-talk. Kingston and The Miz brawl and are separated by Booker T and Mick Foley.
Prior to his match, Fandango discusses the lack of merit of the Texas Line Dance, dismissing it as only for hillbillies and rednecks.
Match One: Fandango (w/Summer Rae) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Lockup sees Fandango get Dolph Ziggler down to the mat. Ziggler with a dropkick, but Fandango soon counters with a back bodydrop that sends Ziggler tumbling to the floor. Ziggler down and out outside as we break.
Rear chinlock in for Fandango. Ziggler struggles back to his feet and hits a Saito Suplex to break the hold. Both men down and Fandango heads to the corner. Ziggler mounts him in the corner and unloads a barrage of punches. Neckbreaker and a clothesline get Ziggler a nearfall. Famouser attempt is countered into a rollup with a handful of tights by Fandango for a nearfall. Famouser actually connects and Ziggler only gets a nearfall.
Sleeper attempt from Ziggler is shucked off. Sitout suplex driver from Fandango connects for a nearfall. Fandango going up top to finish the match, but Ziggler meets him. Summer Rae up on the apron and Fandango with a rake of the eyes and some cheap shots to send Ziggler down. Top-rope leg drop connects.
Winner by pinfall: Fandango
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Preshow panel back to preview the card.
The preshow closes with WWE COO Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon entering the arena.
The TLC pay-per-view is LIVE! Michael Cole, Jerry "The King" Lawler, and John Bradshaw Layfield have the call for tonight.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon make their way out. Stephanie McMahon calls this one of the most historic nights in professional wrestling history. Triple H details the history of the WWE Championship and WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Video package reviews history and previews the unification main event.
Handicap Match Two: The Shield vs. CM Punk
WWE United States Champion Dean Ambrose starts off with CM Punk. Lockup leads to a stalemate. Ambrose gets the back and Punk counters out for another reset. Punk with some chain grappling and he hits Ambrose with a snapmare.
Seth Rollins tags in after Ambrose gets frustrated. CM Punk moves outside and goes back in when Rollins goes out. Punk handling a double-team attack and working Rollins over with shoulder rams in the corner. Elbows from Punk followed up by a neckbreaker. Another neckbreaker connects for a nearfall.
Front facelock by Punk. Rollins working over for a tag, but Punk holding him back. Punk relinquishes the hold and Roman Reigns in. Punk with forearms, but Reigns choke bombs him into The Shield's corner. Punk fights off both men on the ropes, but Reigns drops him and stomps him down. Rollins returns and a double-team wishbone tears Punk. Rollins working Punk and hits a neckbreaker.
Ambrose inside and now methodically working Punk on the mat. Reigns now in and stomping Punk down. Punk pulled right into a lariat from Reigns. Again, Punk trying to brawl back, but another Reigns clothesline connects as the action moves ringside. Punk heading to his feet on the announce table and Reigns looking for a Spear. Reigns on wobbly legs as he barely makes the count.
Back inside, Punk working Reigns over. Gouge of the eye and mounted forearms from Punk. Punk working the damaged left eye of Reigns. Attempting to pick Reigns up, Punk is hip-tossed to the outside. Reigns brings in Rollins and he immediately takes control. Both now exchanging strikes and Punk picks Rollins up for the GTS. Rollins out and Ambrose with a distraction to allow Rollins to land an enzuigiri for a nearfall.
Reigns down and out at ringside with a doctor checking on him. Punk pushes Rollins into Ambrose and Punk levels him with a head kick. Nearfall as both members of The Shield look on from the floor. Clotheslines and a neckbreaker from Punk corner Rollins. Running knee followed by a clothesline and a crossbody for a nearfall. Anaconda Vise locked in for Punk, but Ambrose stomps him down.
Ambrose tags himself in and works a dazed Punk over in the corner. Butterfly suplex from the top is countered by a pair of headbutts from Punk that sends Ambrose down. Flying elbow connects. Rollins on the apron and Punk forearms him down, allowing Ambrose to only suffer a nearfall. Punk now calling for the GTS. Ambrose wiggles out and Rollins receives a GTS. Ambrose now up on the shoulders of Punk and Reigns sneaks in. Ambrose out and Punk sidesteps Reigns, who spears Ambrose. Punk tosses Reigns out and hooks the leg.
Winner by pinfall: CM Punk
Rating: 3.25 out of 5 stars.
Renee Young with WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka. Lee says that she always wins when it counts and no one has her number. Lee chastises the WWE Universe for not voting her WWE Diva of the Year and calls the Divas division a joke, declaring that she will be the one laughing tonight.
Match Three for the WWE Divas Championship: AJ Lee (c) (w/Tamina Snuka) vs. Natalya
Natalya opening up with a quick nearfall and a side headlock takeover. AJ Lee with a legscissors choke. Lee working the arm wrench, but Natalya counters into a Northern Lights Suplex for a quick nearfall. Fireman's carry into an armbar from Natalya. Arm drag followed by a snapmare and a dropkick to the back of the head.
Action moves outside. Tamina Snuka stops Natalya from walking AJ down, but AJ's sneak attack misses and she is sent into the barricade hard. Snuka again making her presence felt, allowing AJ to kick the leg and send Natalya face-first into the apron. Nearfall back inside for AJ.
Sleeper locked in for AJ and she nails Natalya with a spinning wheel kick for a nearfall before returning to submissions with a front facelock. Natalya counters by ramming Lee into the corner, but a follow-up sees Lee mule kick her away. Corner work from AJ followed up by a missed splash. Natalya looking for a scoop slam, but AJ locks in the Black Widow. Struggling, Natalya presses out of it and AJ attempts a sunset flip for a nearfall. Dropkick from Natalya followed by clotheslines and a pair of suplexes. Sitout scoop slam from Natalya sees her lock in the Sharpshooter. AJ fighting to the ropes before she is able to get a reversal.
Snuka up on the ropes and Natalya goes to attack. AJ uses it to lock in the Black Widow. Natalya struggling in the submission and close to tapping. Powerslam counter gets Natalya out of it and she clotheslines Lee after the fight gets back to the feet. Sharpshooter attempt is countered by a schoolboy rollup with a handful of hair to drag her to the mat.
Winner by pinfall and still WWE Divas Champion: AJ Lee
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Video package reviews history and previews the unification main event.
Prior to his match, Damien Sandow has a public service announcement. He takes a shot at the Texas vocabulary and his opponent.
Match Four for the WWE Intercontinental Champion: Big E Langston (c) vs. Damien Sandow
Both men exchange finishing maneuver attempts to start. Big E Langston works Damien Sandow into the corner, who fights dirty off the break. Langston now working him over and hits him with a big splash and back bodydrop combo.
Action moves outside and Sandow with a dropkick through the corner to knock Langston down outside. Inside, a nearfall for Sandow. Sandow with constant attacks and locking in the sleeper. Langston fights out and Sandow transitions into a front headlock. Counters from Langston see a monster clothesline from Sandow for a nearfall.
Headbutts are followed by the Elbow of Disdain for a brief nearfall. Rear chinlock in for Sandow. Langston fights up to his feet and backs Sandow into the corner. Big spear in the corner and Langston off the ropes for more, but he runs into a well-timed dropkick for a nearfall by Sandow.
Sandow continuing to grind the bigger man down and grabbing nearfalls frequently, despite some resurgent offense from the champion. Langston looks for the Big Ending again, but Sandow rolls through to get a nearfall. Sandow in the corner and he sends Langston away, but Langston with a huge clothesline. Big Ending connects.
Winner and still WWE Intercontinental Champion: Big E Langston
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Preshow panel recaps and previews some of the action from tonight. The Miz and Kofi Kingston will wrestle in a no disqualification match later tonight as a result of their preshow brawl.
Fatal Four Way Match Five for the WWE Tag Team Championships: Goldust & Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show & Rey Mysterio vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel vs. The Real Americans (w/Zeb Colter)
Cody Rhodes starts with Ryback. Battle of size and speed between the two. Rhodes gets the upper hand with a dropkick to the knee and Goldust brought in. Double-team maneuver connects and Ryback is able to tag out to Curtis Axel. Dropkick connects with force by Axel. Goldust counters with one of his own. Goldust with an arm wrench and he is sent off the ropes.
Big Show with a sneak tag and he works Axel with big strikes. Huge hip toss and a cracking chop across the chest of Axel. Show with one more for good measure. Fans ask for one more and they get it. Rey Mysterio in with a kick to the ribs and some strikes. Axel outsizing Mysterio now and gets a scoop slam. Second-slam elbow drop and Ryback in with a second-rope splash for a nearfall.
Ryback pummeling Mysterio with strikes and Axel in as they control him in their corner. Axel muscling Mysterio about, but Mysterio sneaks under the arms and they collide on crossbody attempts. Ryback in and he clubs Mysterio about, but Goldust with a sneak tag. Punches and a drop-down slap followed up by an atomic drop. Ryback looking for a powerbomb after some failed Goldust offense, but Goldust rolls through.
Ryback and Curtis Axel have been eliminated.
Ryback beats down Goldust as the two leave and Jack Swagger steps in to take advantage. Clubbing blows and Swagger torqueing a front facelock on Goldust. Goldust worked back into the corner and Antonio Cesaro in. Cesaro with strikes and Goldust tumbles outside. Swagger now legal and he takes Goldust out with a clothesline. Nearfall back inside.
Swagger again holding Goldust back from a tag and Cesaro tags back in. Front facelock from Cesaro is followed by a Goldust scramble. Cesaro with a gut-wrench bomb and now working the arm of Goldust. Swagger back in after Cesaro headbutts the abdomen of Goldust. Bearhug squeezing the life out of Goldust. Right hands breaking the hold. Swagger holding Goldust back from a tag, but it turns into a sunset flip for a nearfall. Springboard back elbow from Goldust takes Swagger out.
Cesaro tags in and prevents another tag. Big Swing on Goldust connects. Swagger in and Cesaro slingshots Goldust into a powerslam. Swagger Bomb connects for Swagger and Cesaro back in with a flying stomp for a nearfall. Cesaro working a rear chinlock on Goldust and chaos now ensuing. Goldust looking for a tag, but Swagger takes Rhodes out. Headscissors takeover from the top by Goldust on Cesaro and he is looking for a tag to Mysterio. Mysterio kicked down by Cesaro and Goldust hits him with a powerslam.
Big Show finally gets the tag and he ragdolls Cesaro around. Huge corner splash and a shoulder block turns Cesaro inside out. Chokeslam attempt from Show is turned around as Swagger comes in. Swagger KO'd by a punch from Big Show. Cesaro up top and he dives into a KO Punch.
The Real Americans have been eliminated.
Big Show helps Goldust to his feet as a show of sportsmanship. Goldust being tossed around by Big Show and worked in the corner. Goldust now finding a second wind and gets a crossbody from the top to get Show down for a nearfall. Tag attempt sees Goldust caught by Big Show, but he counters with a tornado DDT.
Cody Rhodes in and a double-team suplex connects for a nearfall. Disaster Kick is swatted away by a chop to the chest from Big Show. Mysterio in and using his speed to land a headscissors takeover. Sunset flip attempt is countered by a kick to the head from Mysterio. Disaster Kick connects from Rhodes and he almost gets the pin. Cross Rhodes attempt misses as Mysterio knees out. Chaos ensues on the outside and both Goldust and Big Show taken out.
Back inside, Mysterio with a headscissors takeover to set up the 619. Rhodes catches it and has Mysterio up for an Alabama Slam. Cross Rhodes connects on Mysterio.
Winners by pinfall and still WWE Tag Team Champions: Cody Rhodes & Goldust
Match Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Backstage, The Prime Time Players, Great Khali, and Los Matadors all play with WWE Brawlin' Buddies. WWE GMs Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox interrupt and ruin the fun before WWE Director of Operations Kane breaks up the party.
Match Six: Brodus Clay (w/Tensai & The Funkadactyls) vs. R-Truth (w/Xavier Woods)
Brodus Clay using some power offense, but R-Truth countering in each corner with strikes. Truth with a nearfall and Clay sent outside. Truth dives over the top on Clay to take him out and works him over a bit outside before getting a nearfall inside.
Clay inside and he works Truth over in the corner. Banzai drop from the second rope squashes Truth and Clay drags him in the middle of the ring for a nearfall. Clay putting a beating on Truth and not covering. Huge leg drop to the chest connects. Sheeee-Plex connects and Truth cornered. Huge splash is followed up by yet another splash.
Action again trickles outside. Tensai pleading with Clay to bring it back inside and the two face-to-face. Xavier Woods puts his partner back inside. Clay puts Truth in the tree of woe and continually splashes him. Tensai up on the apron and pleading for Clay to go for the pin. Clay tells him he is better than him and Tensai storm off. The Funkadactyls soon follow. Clay turns into a heel kick and Truth with a rollup.
Winner by pinfall: R-Truth
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars.
Vince McMahon shakes the hand of WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena before the main event, repeating the same process he did with WWE Champion Randy Orton earlier in the night.
No Disqualification Match Seven: Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz
Kofi Kingston with a double-leg and immediately striking The Miz. Kick sends Miz into the corner, but Miz fighting back with right hands of his own. Kingston now back in control and the action spills outside. Clothesline from Kingston connects and he pummels The Miz down. Action moves back inside, only for Kingston to toss Miz out again. Suicide dive right into the forearm shiver of Miz by Kofi. Both men fighting outside and Kingston spears Miz into the barricade before continually punting his torso. Kingston again clotheslining Miz. Miz placed against the steel post by Kingston and he connects with Trouble in Paradise across the steel post with his shin. Miz DDTs the right ankle of Kingston and gets a nearfall inside.
Miz working on the right ankle and he hits a legbreaker. Miz looking for another and Kingston rolls him up for a nearfall. Miz back in control with some corner work and he punts the right leg before laying it across the bottom rope and driving all his weight on it. Miz is sent out and Kingston follows, but he limps there. Legbreaker on the barricade and a running punt to the ankle gets a nearfall back inside.
Miz exposes a turnbuckle in the corner and trips Kingston up in the middle of the ring. Miz looking for the Skull-Crushing Finale, but Kingston ducks into a legsweep rollup for a nearfall. Miz with a clothesline to knock Kingston down and Miz with a corner clothesline. Up top, Miz comes down onto a dropkick. The leg of Kingston gives out off an SOS attempt and Miz looking to capitalize with a Figure Four Leglock, but Kingston kicks him into the exposed turnbuckle. Trouble in Paradise connects.
Winner by pinfall: Kofi Kingston
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.
Recap of the feud between The Wyatt Family and Daniel Bryan.
Handicap Match Eight: Daniel Bryan vs. The Wyatt Family
Daniel Bryan tries to open up quickly with Erick Rowan. Rowan muscling Bryan around. Bryan able to matador him into the corner and punt the turnbuckle into the face of Rowan. Rowan counters with a back elbow and Luke Harper now in. Uppercut and Harper raking the face of Bryan. Leg kicks and strikes followed up by a dragon screw from Bryan. Bryan standing on the knees of Harper and fishhooking the nose. Roundhouse kicks from Bryan coming in numbers, but it only takes one slap from Harper to drop Bryan.
Rowan back inside and he works Bryan in the corner with his boot. Bryan tossed to the mat by Rowan. Scoop slam puts Bryan down and splashes on top of Bryan before locking in a bearhug. Huge press into the air from Rowan sends Bryan crashing down to the canvas for a nearfall.
Harper returns and gets an uppercut in the corner. Bryan working a backflip to get out and off the ropes, but he runs into a sitout scoop slam from Harper. Bray Wyatt outside in his rocking chair and he comes in with a splash in the corner before unloading knees. Wyatt brawling Bryan down to the floor. Wyatt with a suplex throw and doing his signature crab walk.
Harper in and he works a rear chinlock before clubbing Bryan down. Rowan now in with a fallaway slam. Rowan pummeling Bryan in the corner. Harper returns and whips Rowan into Bryan in the corner. Bryan whipped into a huge boot from Harper. Wyatt in again and he preaches to Bryan some more about what could have been. Wyatt gives him one last chance to take his hand. Bryan kicks it away and the two brawling out in the middle of the ring. Huge running elbow drops Bryan and Wyatt in a rage.
Harper in and Wyatt instructs Harper to finish Bryan. Huge powerbomb from Harper plants Bryan in the mat for a nearfall. Harper goes for a big boot in the corner and Bryan slips under. Bryan dropkicks both Rowan and Wyatt out of the corner. Dropkick to the back of the head of Harper and he takes him up for a super Saito Suplex. Harper crashes and Bryan gets a nearfall.
Bryan now with a series of roundhouse kicks to the chest. One to the head drops Harper for a flying headbutt for a nearfall. Rowan comes in and he gets a head kick that tangles him in between the bottom two ropes. Bryan dropkicks Wyatt off the apron and sends Rowan outside with a dropkick. Harper soon follows. Wyatt and Bryan going at it in the middle and Bryan counters with a suicide dive on Harper outside. Harper tumbles over the announce table. Rowan eats a drop toehold into the steel steps.
Action returns inside and Bryan gets a missile dropkick on Wyatt. Yes Lock in on Bryan. Wyatt sits up and plants Bryan with Sister Abigail.
Winners by pinfall: The Wyatt Family
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars.
Preshow panel previews the TLC main event.
Video package draws parallels between WWE Champion Randy Orton and WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena.
Michael Cole informs us the new title will be christened the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match Nine for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton vs. John Cena
Lockup and the two wrestle to a stalemate in the corner. Side headlock takeover from John Cena. Cena holding the submission on Randy Orton. Shoulder tackle from Cena and he looks to get a table outside. Orton with a cheap shot from behind and he takes the ladder inside. Cena comes in and rams the ladder right into Orton.
Cena back out and he comes in with a table. Table propped in the corner and Cena looking for an Attitude Adjustment early. Orton fights back, but he is sent outside. Orton back in with a chair in hand. Ladder is pushed out by Orton. Cena catches the chair shot from Orton, but Orton with a kick to the midsection. Cracking chair shots across the back of Cena from Orton.
We move back outside and Orton cracking the back of Cena with the chair once again. Proper against the post, Orton swings for the fences and comes up short. Cena now with the chair and he lands a bevy of body blows. Table set up ringside, parallel to the ring. Powerbomb from Cena is barely flipped out of by Orton and Cena is tossed into the steel steps by Orton.
Back inside, Orton with a ladder. Orton with hands on the belts, but Cena drags him down by his leg. Right hands landing and Cena off the ropes into an Orton dropkick. Orton with headbutts and throwing every conceivable strike to keep Cena down. Knees and elbows being driven into Cena. Both men trading in the middle of the ring, but Orton gets a powerslam. Orton grinding Cena into the mat.
Ladder is brought back in by Orton, but Cena turns the tables by using it as a battering ram into the ribs of Orton. Cena climbing the ladder, but Orton clubbing the back and he lands a side slam. Ladder in hand, Orton misses. Orton using every weapon but the kitchen sink as he cracks the chair across the back of Cena. Chair wedged into the corner, but Cena with a series of shoulder tackles and a side slam. Five Knuckle Shuffle is met by a kick from Orton and Cena is tossed into the wedge chair.
Orton bringing another ladder into play. Both men fighting up the ladder, but Orton is brought down. Cena climbs and hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle on Orton. Moving to the apron, Orton is knocked down by the ladder and he falls through the table. Cena headed to the top and he gets there, but he is unable to unhook the belts. Orton shoves the ladder down and RKOs Cena as he lands on his feet.
Headbutt after headbutt from Orton. Cena now with right hands. Action moves outside as Orton is clotheslined out. Cena with the steel steps in hand and he bounces them off the head of Orton with brute force. Once more for good measure and Orton falls limp to the floor. Cena brings a table inside that he props in the opposite corner. As Orton is brought to his feet by Cena, Orton clocks him with a microphone. Cena's head stomped into the steel steps and the microphone pummeled into the head of Cena. Spanish announce table is now uncovered by Orton. Punt attempt from Orton misses as Cena ducks under. Cena at the legs and an Attitude Adjustment connects through the table.
Ladder is set up in the middle of the ring. Cena up and he has the belt in his clutches. Orton kicks the ladder out from under him and Cena hanging. Swift chair shot across the back brings Cena down to the floor. Orton looking to crack the chair across the back of Cena once more. Cena up and he spears Orton through the table.
Both men down. Orton crawls to the floor and he brandishes a pair of handcuff and keys from under the ring mat. Cena fighting for the key and Orton taunting him. Keys tossed to the audience. Orton with a giant ladder in hand and Cena has his ladder swatted away. Orton up top and Cena looking to break the cuffs. Cena unscrews the bottom rope and meets Orton up top. Right hand connects and Orton wobbled. Shot with the turnbuckle and Cena knocks Orton down.
The belts are all for Cena. Cena looking to rip the belts down, but Orton crawls his way to the bottom rope and tugs on it for dear life. Tug of war for the belts and neither is budging. A final tug from Orton pulls Cena down and he lands on his head on the edge of a propped table in the corner. Orton going up and he retrieves the belts.
Winner and NEW WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
The Authority make their way out as Orton has both belts draped over his shoulder. WWE COO Triple H and Stephanie McMahon hug the winner. WWE Chairman Vince McMahon shakes the hand of Orton and the show closes with Orton holding the belts triumphantly in hand.
Overall Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars.
Nolan Howell can be reached at email@example.com for any questions or comments. Click here to follow Nolan on Twitter.