Friday, 7 October 2016

TLC 2015

Image Source: Amazon
Written By: Mark Armstrong

Running Time: 183 Minutes
Certificate: 15
Number Of Discs: 1
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: February 22 2016

(To read a full event review of WWE TLC 2015, click here.)

TLC 2015 occurred at a time when the WWE product was at a pretty low level. A combination of absences for top talent, poor casting in main event situations and generally dull writing meant that TLC was predicted to be a catastrophe of an event. Fortunately, though, the wrestlers delivered on the night, and the show closed with a memorable angle that temporarily reduced the fan hatred towards Roman Reigns, all of which makes this a pretty entertaining wrestling DVD to watch.

The opening three-way tag Ladder match between The New Day, The Lucha Dragons and The Usos widely surpasses expectations, and features an incredible Salida Del Sol by Kalisto which was arguably the most memorable spot of the entire year in WWE. The subsequent Ryback vs. Rusev bout suffers from an uninteresting plot whereby Ryback looks like an idiot for repeatedly falling for Lana's attempts to make out that The Big Guy had injured her. As for Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger: their Chairs match was as good as you could expect, and given the staleness of both men's characters at this point (even though ADR had only returned to WWE two months prior), it's a pleasant surprise, even if the "CM Punk!" chants put a dampener on it.

The eight-man tag team elimination Tables match between Team ECW (The Dudleyz, Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno) and The Wyatt Family is a fun, hardcore brawl that evokes memories of the original ECW as much as one could have given the PG climate (although we're given a flaming table tease just before the finish). Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose is a really good match that would have been better, had they been given a few more minutes to play with. Charlotte vs. Paige is better than their overly long Survivor Series battle, but as this was during Charlotte's slow-burn heel turn, and at a time when Paige was definitely still a heel, fans seem unsure who to cheer for, resulting in a weak atmosphere.

The main event between Sheamus and Roman Reigns under TLC rules was a match that the die-hards simply didn't want to see, and the chants early on are disrespectful since they occur so early that the two combatants aren't given a chance to put on a show, regardless of whether it was a must-see match or not. That being said, both men put in a great effort, and near the end, the crowd is definitely drawn in by the sheer graft shown by Sheamus and Reigns. And the post-match angle, as alluded to earlier, finally reversed anti-Reigns fan sentiment, which led to his WWE Title win the next night on Raw to a very popular crowd response, in Philadelphia no less (and drawing a high rating in the process). It's just a shame that it couldn't be maintained, eh?

The only DVD extra is a Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch match from the Kick-Off Show. I use the word "only" because it's the solitary extra, as Banks and Lynch put on a decent match (though time restrictions prevent them from reaching the heights of their NXT Unstoppable match the previous May). By the way, this is the one instance where I am happy that WWE omitted the wrestler entrances, as Sasha's included her and Team B.A.D. members Naomi and Tamina performing a Christmas rhyme that was so poorly written that it was one of the most embarrassing moments of the entire year. Fortunately, that abomination on one's hearing is not on this DVD.

Normally, a DVD like this would only get an above-average rating from me. But given how badly the WWE landscape seemed at the time, the fact that this show featured several big positives and plenty of enjoyable action makes this one of WWE's better shows to own. And for Roman Reigns fans, it's evidence that under the right circumstances, The Big Dog could and would be expected as the Main Man in WWE.

Overall Rating: 7/10 - Respectable

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