Running Time: 273 Minutes
Number Of Discs: 2
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: February 4 2019
(Thanks to Fetch Publicity for arranging this review.)
WWE’s final supercard of 2018 came at a time when fans were becoming frustrated with many aspects of the product from a creative standpoint. However, due to the amount of talent on board these days, almost every PPV delivers in the ring, and TLC was no exception.
The opening doubles bout (R-Truth & Carmella vs. Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox) brought the second Mixed Match Challenge to an end, with the general point being lost on people that not every match has to be super-serious (it is sports entertainment, after all). Next up, we had a fun three-way tag clash between The Bar, The New Day and The Usos, though it’s a match that won’t live long in the memory (mainly cause combinations of these three have battled so many times).
Baron Corbin vs. Braun Strowman under TLC rules is more of an angle than a match due to Braun’s injuries at the time, and it did remove the unpopular Baron from his General Manager duties on Raw, though Braun having his promised Royal Rumble opportunity at the Universal Championship taken away from him reduces the importance of this bout in hindsight. Next, Natalya finally gets revenge on Ruby Riott in a Tables match for desecrating the name of her late father Jim Neidhart; whether this crossed the line of good taste is down to personal opinion.
Finn Balor vs. Drew McIntyre is filler, but both men graft to ensure that their bout leaves a lasting impression. Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton is a forgettable yet decent Chairs match, with Rey getting a slightly surprising pinfall victory, and Ronda Rousey again makes fools of those suggesting she doesn’t belong in WWE by having a really good battle against the much-maligned Nia Jax.
Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles is the match of the night: it’s an excellent bout that has the crowd gripped throughout. The same cannot be said for Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose, which is worked too slow and lasts too long. The good work put forth is offset by the boring nature of the contest, with fans eventually losing interest prior to the finish. It’s a rare supercard blemish for Rollins, who otherwise enjoyed a spectacular year from a performance standpoint.
In the main event, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Asuka put on a very good TLC match, with the expected yet welcome finish of Ronda Rousey getting revenge for previous attacks by costing Becky and Charlotte the victory. This was the logical next step in an organically-progressing storyline that, if all goes to plan, will result in females main eventing WrestleMania for the very first time.
With several matches of a high standard, others being average or respectable, an entertaining angle replacing another contest, and only one true dud, TLC 2018 is an enjoyable and underrated show. It won’t win any awards, but it does provide a reasonable end to WWE’s year on PPV, and is worth a second look on DVD.
Overall Rating: 7/10 – Respectable