WWE's biggest stars invade the city of Baltimore, Maryland, to compete at
WWE: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2011, the year's final pay-per-view and
pro wrestling's only event where tables, ladders, and chairs are completely
legal. Both reputations and titles are on the line as Triple H faces Kevin Nash,
Randy Orton takes on Wade Barrett, and CM Punk squares off against The Miz and
Alberto del Rio. Here's the complete lineup:
• Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder in a United States Championship
This year's edition of WWE: TLC opens with a rather slow
start, with neither Ziggler nor Ryder offering fans anything out of the
ordinary. Both athletes do get around to delivering a few solid maneuvers, but
then again, other attempts at pulling off high-risk moves fail miserably.
Despite a decent finish after a 10-minute brawl, this opener lacks the energy
and focus to go down as a memorable PPV matchup.
• Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne vs. Primo & Epico in a
Tag Team Championship Match
Air Boom's tag team title match against
Primo and Epico boasts more entertainment value than the previous fight.
Kingston and Bourne put on a solid show, scoring some crazy moves and delivering
a couple of pretty impressive combo tricks. Assisted by their flexible
opponents, they also maintain overall momentum and do whatever is necessary to
boost the overall speed of the wrestling action during the matchup's short seven
minutes. Not a bad performance…
• Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett in a Tables Match
Tables! Finally! At least that's what you would expect from a battle between
superstar Orton and his less popular opponent. Alas, both athletes occasionally
struggle with bad coordination, visible mostly in some botched attempts to
deliver some powerful moves. Other than that, it definitely takes a while before
we finally get to see some table action. Kicks and punches dominate their
selection of maneuvers to please fans, and that's really all there is to say
about this match.
• Beth Phoenix vs. Kelly Kelly in a Divas Championship
Believe it or not, but the divas are actually a tad more active
inside the ring than Orton and Barrett in the previous matchup. That said,
despite a few good moves and a decent overall pace, it's ultimately Kelly
Kelly's obnoxious screaming that really ruins the potential fun for everyone.
• Kevin Nash vs. Triple H in a Sledgehammer Ladder
Without a doubt, this is the best battle of this event so far.
Nash and HHH both know what it takes to offer an amusing show, and they keep
fans on their toes by delivering a great variety of high-risk maneuvers,
exchanging momentum and making good use of the ladders. Despite a rather
disappointing finish, this is just the kind of compelling matchup people should
expect from an "extreme" WWE PPV.
• Jack Swagger vs. Sheamus
Clocking in at 5 minutes,
this is nothing short of a quickie to fill up the card and assure the show
reaches its three-hour running time. Although Swagger and Sheamus refrain from
slow submission holds and anything else that would considerably slow down the
pace of their brawl, they don't really offer spectators anything out of the
ordinary, either. They display clean performances many will appreciate, but the
match ends before anyone can really start caring.
• Mark Henry vs. Big Show in a Chairs Match for the World
This one delivers the goods, while it lasts.
It's pretty unusual for the WWE to sign off on 5-minute main events, but I
assume they're aiming for change. Change is good, though, and the Big Show and
Henry take full advantage of their right to use chairs. Great match indeed, even
though WWE writers decided to end it in a rather absurd, unnecessary
• Booker T vs. Cody Rhodes in an Intercontinental Championship
I certainly welcome the fact WWE: Tables, Ladders &
Chairs 2011 keeps improving as the event moves on, and Booker T's title
match against Rhodes certainly adds to the fun. Although I wouldn't go as far as
calling this one main event caliber, both wrestlers keep it interesting
throughout, using their experience and agility to pull off some impressive kicks
and other high-risk maneuvers. I always enjoyed watching Booker T tearing up the
ring, and he's still got what it takes to play around with the big boys.
• CM Punk vs. Alberto del Rio vs. The Miz in a Triple Threat
TLC Match for the WWE Championship
The main event is upon us. As it
turns out, it's by far the best WWE pay-per-view match I've seen in quite a
while. Tables, ladders, and chairs are all over the place in this epic battle,
and each contestant pulls off a superb contribution to the madness. The fact
that the belt is suspended high above the ring obviously adds a serious amount
of suspense to the whole thing, forcing everyone to stay sharp and focus on
timing. What a finish!
The DVD release of WWE: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2011 includes a
solid widescreen transfer and decent audio track. The bonus section includes a
short backstage interview.
Scheduling more matches while reducing their length could potentially pay
off for the WWE. Although WWE: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2011 won't go
down as a perfect pay-per-view, the variety of matches speeds up the overall
pace of the event and may make it more worthwhile for people to either attend or
order the show. Despite a rocky start, this edition of boasts plenty of
wrestling action fans should be excited about.