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The Bottom Rope Report: TLC 2016

Written by Jeff Moss on Monday, December 05 2016 and posted in Columns

The Bottom Rope Report: TLC 2016

WWE SmackDown Live presents: TLC 2016 and The Bottom Rope Report has the details!

Source: WWE

The crowd was live and rowdy for Smackdown Live's final PPV outing of the year. They were very excited to witness what TLC had for them until they learned that "TLC" stood for "Tables, Ladders and Chairs" and there would be no little people, people with strange addictions or Honey Boo-Boos of any kind.

(Also, a note to WWE, an event where people hit each other with mouthy 8-year-olds would be ratings GOLD.)

But nevertheless, the show must go on, so we dove into TLC 2016!

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1. Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: Heath Slater and Rhyno (c) vs. Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton

Things didn't look good as the show kicked off with a power failure OUTTA NOWHERE. Fortunately, Bray Wyatt arrived with a kerosene lamp and was able to make his way to the ring, lighting the path for standby hobo Luke Harper and Dazed & Confused's Randy Orton. The lights came back on OUTTA NOWHERE just in time for the reigning Smackdown Live Tag Team Champions to hit the ring. One-man trailer park Heath Slater and unsuccessful House Representative Candidate, Rhyno are the longest running Smackdown Live Tag Champs, so anticipation of a successful defence OUTTA NOWHERE was high.

The Match kicked off with Rhyno and Bray Wyatt being unable to lock up due to the excessive greasiness of both men. From there the fight progressed until, in a rare feat of selflessness, Randy Orton took a spear from Rhyno OUTTA NOWHERE meant for Bray Wyatt. Not to be outdone, Luke Harper, remembering that he was still there, pushed Randy out of the way to take a shot for him. The Wyatts were firing on all cylinders, until a back issue OUTTA NOWHERE caused Bray Wyatt to spasm like he'd just had a swig of anti-freeze. This distracted Rhyno allowing Randy Orton to hit an RKO OUTTA NOWHERE and pin Rhyno for the win and the Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships!

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Post-Match, Jealousy was brewing between Luke Harper and Randy Orton as they passed the belts back and forth OUTTA NOWHERE. The new hardware added weight, leaving the team unsure where to stand in the post-match pose-down. Fortunately, they figured it out before the start of the next match.

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2. No Disqualification Match: Carmella vs. Nikki Bella

Entering first, Nikki Bella, who's socks contain more material than her pants, arrived to a bombastic cheer, followed up by noted spelling enthusiast, Carmella, who moon-walked her way across the stage, prompting the crowd to murmur "HOW IS SHE DOING THAT? HER FEET ARE WALKING FORWARD, BUT SHE'S MOVING BACKWARDS!!??!"

The match got underway and utilizing the no DQ stipulation, Carmella put Nikki in the dreaded tree of woe hold! So shocked that Carmella did this was Nikki that she remained frozen in place while Carmella retrieved the dreaded kendo stick from under the ring!

When asked why such a thing would be under the ring, noted WWE Ring Technician Matt Bradley shrugged and said "You'd be amazed what's under there. Old Undertaker caskets, a bunch of Mick Foley's socks. Hell, I found a Raw General Manager under there once. He'd just been living under there, assembling kendo sticks and really thin tables."

Topside, the match continued, with Nikki gaining the upper hand by retrieving a fire extinguisher from under the ring! Focusing her attack on Carmella's known weakness, her butt, Nikki unleashed the fury of fire safety and froze Carmella out! Having just received an upgrade, Nikki was then able to employ her finisher, the Rack attack 2.0 and win the match!

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Post-match, Carmella grabbed the mic and claimed she wasn't the one that attacked Nikki at Survivor Series, a callback to last month's event. According to Carmella it was Natalya who attacked Nikki preventing her from competing in their Survivor Series match. The crowd, having blissfully forgotten Survivor Series, feigned shock and awe at this revelation, though in reality, no one knew what she was talking about.

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3. Ladder Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship: The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler

Up next, the first match to feature one of the titular weapons of TLC; A ladder match! For those not in the know, a ladder match features two combatants who must climb a ladder and retrieve the championship which is suspended above the ring. They also get points for style and adherence to safety protocols.

A recap package played, to remind the audience that, in case they had forgotten, the feud between Dolph Ziggler and the Mia has been going on for months. Based on the musical choice for this package, the theme of this match is "We don't want to have to do this again."

The match got underway with Miz resorting to every dirty trick in the book, including marrying a woman from Quebec. Ziggler retaliated with some truly horrific pants, but neither man was able to get the upper hand as the match went back and forth, both fighters putting themselves through a hellacious battle—

— That was sudden interrupted as my 2-year-old sat on the remote and I watched Lou Diamond Phillips sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with The Wiggles. On a personal note, nice to see Lou getting work again.


The song ended and the channel was restored just in time to see the Miz retain his Intercontinental Championship via multiple kicks to the crotch.

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Finally, this storied feud was retired to the history books though, as we were assured multiple times by the 17-person announce crew that this pairing would NEVER happen again. EVER.

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4. Chairs Match: Kalisto vs. Baron Corbin

Up next, after a brief video package to remind the audience who Kalisto and Baron Corbin were, their blood-feud escalated into a deadly Chairs Match! For newcomers, a chairs match is a match in which the participants can hit each other with chairs. That's why they call it a chairs match.

Kalisto entered first, bringing his trademark trampoline and high-flying style to his entrance. Noted vest collector Baron Corbin entered next, his hairline joining him a few minutes later. Both men entered the ring and the match was underway! WWE has provided us with this actual footage from the match:

Baron Corbin, being two and a half people bigger than Kalisto wins the hard-fought battle with an End of Days on a pile of steel chairs. Upon seeing a much-larger white man destroy a Mexican Luchador, President Elect Trump was heard muttering "Good.... Good..." while tenting his fingers.

Corbin then descended from the ring to live out the fantasy of any long-time WWE viewer and yell at the announce team. His reasons are his own.

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5. Tables Match for the Smackdown Women's Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Alexa Bliss

Our second title match of the night features the best Superstar on the Smackdown Roster and Becky Lynch. This is a rare Women's Table Match, meaning in order to win, one woman must put their opponent through an unrelatedly thin table! This can be accomplished any number of ways including slamming, throwing, or lightly pushing the other superstar onto the table, causing it to shatter into a million pieces. Extra points for explosions.

Blameless, holy creature, Alexa Bliss arrives for her Women's Championship match to cheers and support from the crowd who'd forgotten they were at a wrestling show. Following that up, current champion and renewable resource waster (steam) Becky Lynch entered the arena and made her way to the ring. The greatest women's wrestler on Smackdown, and Becky, were sure to deliver an A+ match.

We won't bore you with the details of it though, because all you need to know is Alexa wins with a power bomb through a table to become the newest and greatest Women's Champion in Smackdown history!

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While the globe celebrated in unison, a post-match interview with Becky confirms: Becky does not feel good.

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6. Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match for the WWE World Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Dean Ambrose

In this Main Event match, believe it or not, Tables, Ladders and Chairs are all legal. The winner is the wrestler who can climb a ladder and retrieve the title belt, suspended above the ring just like in a ladder match. In fact, since TLC matches are no DQ, use of chairs and tables is also legal. So really, this match is just a ladder match with some decent branding.

The match began when challenger Dean Ambrose decided to take of his jacket and stay for a while. Champion AJ styles, tired of unsuccessfully trying to make his catchphrase "The Champ Who Runs The Camp" a thing, accepted Ambrose's invitation and the fight was on!

The two fought outside the ring, moving into the stunned crowd until Ambrose decided to take out the trash. By that, I mean he removed a trash bag from a trash can, neatly put the bag on the ground, tied it with a twist-tie and then hit AJ Styles with the empty can.

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At this moment, as the battle moved back towards the ring, the crowd, very confused and agitated attempted to summon WWE Legend The Undertaker by chanting his name. However, he was not in the building, nor was he called forth by their witchcraft.

Back in the ring, Ambrose reverses a duplex and puts Styles through, not one, not two, not three, but FOUR steel chairs!

When asked why the WWE insists on using STEEL chairs instead of wood, or aluminum, Chief Chair Wrangler and noted potato salad fan Jed Reverson said "'...cause shut up, that's why."

Meanwhile, Dean sets up a ladder, on top of the Spanish announcer's table, and lays out Styles on the Smackdown Live announce table, which had been extended by 3 feet to accommodate the 7 extra Smackdown announcers. Ambrose then drops an elbow from the top of the ladder, effectively murdering Aj Styles and himself in the process.

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The battle continues with high spots on ladders, double punch-outs and the tearing of AJ Styles pants.

Just as Ambrose is about to shut the lid on Styles with a wicked hey-you-ripped-your-pants burn, out stumbled human bowl of rubber bands and sure to be loyal member of Team Ambrose, James Ellsworth.

The appearance of Ellsworth sends Styles into a rage and he attempts to hit him with the mildly inconvenient Styles Clash on the steel stairs that have a density of a dying sun. But, thinking quickly, Ambrose reverses it into a Dirty Deeds!

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Ambrose takes the opportunity to make a run for the ladder and the championship, but is unceremoniously upended by the sudden and shocking betrayal of loyal Ambrose pet, James Ellsworth!

Styles uses this distraction to climb the ladder and retain the title!

The show went off the air with Styles and the true champion, James Mcgillicuddy Ellsworth, Celebrating in the ring.

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How will this betrayal affect the Smackdown Live Roster? Will AJ get new pants? Possibly from Dolph Ziggler? And will Becky ever get back to not feeling not so good? 

All this and more in our next Bottom Rope Report!


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About the Author - Jeff Moss

While most kids spend their days dreaming of being firemen or astronauts, Jeff Moss was firmly holed up in his room with a stack of comic books and wrestling magazines, shying away from natural light. Jeff works as an editor at Blind Ferret and manages the subscription box service, Comic Bento Jeff lives with his Transformers, girlfriend and daughter who both don't get wrestling. He attended Wrestlemania 18, just ask him. He'll tell you all about it.
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