WWE TLC: Tables Ladders & Chairs 2013 | DVD/BluRay Review

I’m a fan of the WWE.  I tend to think that there’s far too much moaning that goes on about storylines and the like by people who simply like moaning.  2013 wasn’t the best year the company has ever had but it was far from the worst and it contained some thrilling moments and matches.

Try as I might though, I cannot come up with anything good about the WWE throwing away a Unification match for the WWE and World Heavyweight Titles at a month’s notice like they did here at TLC 2013.  Arguably worse was the fact that that match pitted John Cena and Randy Orton against each other.  Now I’m not the biggest fan of either, but neither do I hate them.  Fact is they both put on some great matches.  The problem was that there was little build up to the Unification and without a concerted effort to have that there was little anticipation for YET ANOTHER Cena/Orton match.  They were getting boring years ago and few wanted to see them go at it again (as the buy-rate eventually confirmed). The match itself was passable but the fans weren’t really into it on the level they should have been given what was at stake.  I was pleasantly surprised Orton won, but that was about it.  It’s shocking that the unification of the titles could be booked in such a way that it merely came off as desperation from a company who couldn’t be bothered to have built up to something new that might have drawn a buy-rate.

The main bouts on the undercard were a pair of three-on-one handicap matches where CM Punk took on The Shield and Daniel Bryan took on the Wyatt Family.  It is of course interesting to view Punk’s last PPV singles match in light of his subsequent walkout.  It’s a good effort given the handicap stipulation and Punk fans could hardly complain that defeating The Shield  in such a manner was a negative.  The problem from a Punk point of view is that this match seemed to exist purely to highlight the ongoing issues internally with The Shield.  At least Bryan/Wyatt’s seemed more about the ongoing issue between the opponents and it was another decent effort.  Here the “three” won, which was the right result all things considered, but Bryan is so good that he came out of it better as well.

The highlight of the undercard was the Four Way for the Tag Team Titles.  Champions Cody Rhodes and Goldust defended against Ryback & Curtis Axel, Big Show & Rey Misterio and The Real Americans in a fast-paced, entertaining elimination match.  Simply allowing tag teams to put on matches like this would go a long way to continuing a tag team renaissance in 2014.  It’s a bug bear of mine that the WWE can’t’ seem to “write” feuds for a lot of mid-carders when simply taking a title and making it a prize that a number of wrestlers are fighting for is a very simple way of generating interest.  You wouldn’t want that simple approach for all the titles but it could surely work for one.

The rest of the card would barely have made for mildly diverting action on Raw or Smackdown. AJ and Natalya made the effort but were hampered by the lack of time allocated to them, whilst Big E Langston against Damien Sandow was perhaps the very definition of a predictable outcome.  The Miz against Kofi Kingston was set-up by an angle on the Kickoff show, which was more effort than was put into the unannounced Brodus Clay/R-Truth match.  When a company of the size and stature of the WWE, with a packed talent roster to boot, can’t even book seven matches for a PPV in advance you have to ponder on something going wrong somewhere. Both matches were nothing worth watching a second time.

There was some good action on the show, but the fact that it had a thrown together feel and wasted what could have been a money-making Unification match (if some time and effort had been put into booking it) meant that it was a very disappointing way to end the year on PPV for the company. So little seemed to mean anything and when even the things that should have mattered fell so flat, it’s very difficult to have much positivity about this show.

The DVD adds the kickoff match between Fandango and Dolph Ziggler along with some pretty perfunctory promos/segments with The Shield, John Cena and Randy Orton and the likes of Wade Barrett, Booker T, Mark Henry and Mick Foley talking about the title unification.   The blu-ray also adds some matches from Smackdown and some Raw angles.

– By Matthew Roberts | @IWFICON

Thank you to our partners, WWEDVD.co.uk and Fetch.fm for providing our copy of WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2013. WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2013 is available on DVD and Blu-Ray from March 31st. You can pre-order your copy from WWEDVD.co.uk now by clicking here.


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