SmackDown Women's Champion Becky LYnch, Charlotte Flair and Asuka Signed the Contract for Their SmackDown Women's Championship TLC Match at WWE TLC
To me, this Triple Threat coming up at TLC is the undisputed main event of the pay-per-view. Nothing (even Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose) should be slotted above it, because I fully expect it to steal the show. At any rate, this was a solid segment with good mic work from everyone involved. Some of the material from Flair and Lynch was repetitive, which is why having Asuka in there was refreshing because she adds a new dimension to their program.
Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose def. Charlotte Flair and Asuka
Flair and Asuka played the "unlikely allies" card here, and despite doing their best to stay on the same page throughout, their partnership disintegrated toward the end and it cost them the victory. The actual match was well-wrestled and it was cool to see Deville and Rose win for a change. Hopefully this will help them with their credibility because SmackDown Live needs more women fans can take seriously. Plus, the tension teased between Flair and Asuka set up their WrestleMania rematch for next week's show.
Jey Uso def. SmackDown Tag Team Champion Cesaro and Xavier woods in a Triple Threat Match
It was announced that the SmackDown Tag Team Championship will be defended in a Triple Threat tag team match at TLC between The Bar, The Usos and The New Day. Similar to this bout, that can be an absolute barn-burner with enough time. Thus, this served as a warm-up for that and it was fun while it lasted. Granted, it hardly mattered who won, but I enjoyed it, anyway.
The Miz Hosted Miz TV with WWE Champion Daniel Bryan
I was excited for this segment because I knew there was a possibility Miz would bring up how he was right about Bryan all along. Sure enough, he shoved it in Bryan's face how he saw through him from the get-go and that Bryan should thank him for helping him see the light. Meanwhile, Bryan went off on the fans for not being eco-friendly, and although the material was random, his delivery was fantastic. AJ Styles going after Bryan and being laid out by Miz was what led to their main event match.
Randy Orton def. Jeff Hardy
As well as Hardy and Orton work together, I'm tired of seeing them face off, if only because they've had a handful of matches against each other since the summer. That said, this was another entertaining encounter between them with a logical finish that saw Samoa Joe distract Hardy from the Titantron. Joe taking shots (no pun intended) at Hardy's alcoholic past is fine by me as long as Joe is on the winning end of this feud. He desperately needs it.
AJ Styles def. The Miz
I hoped Styles vs. Miz would be the next WWE Championship program because of their excellent in-ring chemistry, but no such luck. I'd still love to a full-fledged feud between them at some point, though. Nevertheless, this was a great main event that proved Miz could hang with a competitor the caliber of Styles, and even in defeat, he looked strong. I was also happy Bryan's interference was saved until afterward, looking vicious as he took pleasure in punishing Styles.
Although Raw continues to underwhelm week after week, at least you can usually count on SmackDown for a quality show. Not only was the hype for TLC well done, there were a number of well-wrestled matches and the two hours flew by. Additionally, I appreciated how the "rap battle" and Flair vs. Asuka were advertised for next week's episode because it gives viewers something to look forward to. Here's hoping SmackDown can maintain this momentum in the final few weeks of 2018 and keep picking up the slack for Raw.
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