|Image Source: Amazon|
Written By: Mark Armstrong
Running Time: 174 Minutes
Number Of Discs: 1
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: February 6 2017
(Thanks to Fetch Publicity for arranging this review.)
TLC 2016 rounded off the Pay-Per-View year on the SmackDown side, a year where the blue brand has completed a remarkable comeback from being an almost ignored show to WWE’s most entertaining and logical weekly programme. TLC also served to culminate several lengthy rivalries, all of which combined with some high-quality action to deliver a really good event for WWE fans.
The show opens with a basic, television-esque battle for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles between Heath Slater & Rhyno and the team of Randy Orton & Bray Wyatt, which existed more to further the Orton-in-the-Wyatt-Family storyline. Next up, we have a No Disqualification bout between Nikki Bella and Carmella which, whilst fairly short, draws a line under their feud which began in August, whilst also setting up the subsequent Nikki-Natalya rivalry.
The Miz and Dolph Ziggler then deliver a strong match in a re-run of an old feud which ended up succeeding beyond anyone’s expectations; their Ladder match isn’t quite as spectacular as their Intercontinental Title vs. Career match at No Mercy, but it’s still well worth watching, and marks another highlight in a year of career resurgence for Miz. Baron Corbin and Kalisto meet in the fourth match in what is arguably the best Chairs match to date, featuring more innovative spots than we have seen in previous Chairs bouts. Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss under Tables rules is reasonable, but is slightly let down by a less-than-enthusiastic crowd.
Finally, AJ Styles provides more weight to support his candidacy for Wrestler Of The Year as he and Dean Ambrose put on an excellent TLC match for the WWE Championship. The finish is slightly predictable and some may say that it brings the match down a notch, but this high-risk battle is as good as anyone could have expected, and still ends the show on a strong note. The pre-show 10-man tag team match is included as a DVD extra, and features an brief reunion between the old tandem of Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins, albeit as opponents.
It’s interesting that, usually, the TLC show is one of WWE’s strongest of the year, since the addition of tables, ladders and chairs generally make for more exciting matches. However, the SmackDown crew is talented enough, and can deliver such strong matches purely using their basic wrestling skills, that the TLC stipulations perhaps would have been better suited for the Raw roster, which tends to place a greater emphasis on gimmicks and weapon-based brawls. Nevertheless, TLC 2016 is undoubtedly a fun show to watch and has several thrilling encounters which you should enjoy reliving here. It’s further evidence as to why SmackDown has been WWE’s most exciting show since the second Brand Extension in July.
Overall Rating: 7.5/10 – Good