The WWE held their final pay-per-view of 2018 with WWE TLC. With a number of big title matches and one of the most anticipated women’s matches in a long time, here is a look at the WWE TLC 2018 recap and results.
WWE TLC 2018 Results
- Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy (c) beat Cedric Alexander (***)
- Ladder Match: Elias beat Bobby Lashley (*)
- Mixed Match Challenge Finals: R-Truth and Carmela beat Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox (*)
- SmackDown Tag Championship: The Bar (c) beat Usos and New Day (***)
- TLC Match: Braun Strowman beat Baron Corbin (**)
- Tables Match: Natalya beat Ruby Riott (**)
- Finn Balor beat Drew McIntyre (*** 1/2)
- Rey Mysterio beat Randy Orton (**)
- Raw Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey (c) beat Nia Jax (**)
- WWE Championship: Daniel Bryan (c) beat AJ Styles (****)
- Intercontinental Championship: Dean Ambrose beat Seth Rollins (c) (** 1/2)
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Asuka beat Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair (**** 1/2)
WWE TLC Recap
There were two matches on the pre-show — a title match and a ladder match.
Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy vs. Cedric Alexander
In what has to be no shock, one of the best matches on WWE TLC is on the preshow as the WWE is still not giving the 205 Live guys a lot of credit.
This match saw the champion, Buddy Murphy, trying to continue his streak of great matches and he had one of the top stars on 205 Live to play off of in this match.
Impressively, the two men got 10 minutes to fight and it was a great cruiserweight battle that ended with Murphy retaining his Cruiserweight title by hitting Murphy’s Law for the pinfall win.
Ladder Match: Elias vs. Bobby Lashley w/Lio Rush
The match has Elias’ guitar hanging above the ring and whoever gets the guitar gets to use it.
Things started with Elias wanting to sing a song but Lashley and Lio Rush interrupted the match. Rush was there to interfere and he did it everytime that Elias climbed the ladder.
The match saw both Elias and Bobby Lashley use the ladders to great effect in the match. However, the match ended in a lackluster way after just six minutes.
— BeyondThe3Count (@BeyondThe3Count) December 16, 2018
Elias threw Rush off the ladder and grabbed the guitar while Lashley sat on the mat and watched him.
Give Lio Rush credit for a HUGE frog splash after the match and then Lashley smashed Elias with the guitar. Elias won but it was Lashley standing tall at the end.
Mixed Match Challenge Finals: Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox vs. R-Truth and Carmela
This is a surprising final but these two teams were surprisingly entertaining all season long. However, with that said, the winners get the No. 30 entries at the Royal Rumble and no one wanted any of these four to be the final entries in those matches. They also get an all expense paid vacation anywhere in the world.
Got to admit, the fans still get into R-Truth and he actually has fans cheering for Carmela. While Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox were entertaining on the Mixed Match Challenge, no one cares about either of them.
So, there was a dance break in the middle of the match and the Singh Brothers came in to outdance R-Truth and Carmela. That is what this match is really all about.
Three was also a point where R-Truth put on Alicia Fox’s hat to distract her. The end came when Alicia Fox tried to pin Carmela, but she slowly rolled into the Code of Silence to get Fox to tap out.
This was a terrible match but was just there to help the fans in attendance have some fun. After the match, R-Truth told her that he chose where their all expenses paid vacation would be. He chose the WWE headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, much to Carmela’s dismay.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Bar vs. New Day vs. The Usos
It seems like New Day and The Usos have been in the SmackDown tag title scene forever and they are here in the final WWE PPY of the year as well.
For New Day, it is Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods in the match. They also have Christmas designed tights.
— WWE (@WWE) December 17, 2018
The match was really good, as expected as these are three of the best teams in the WWE. By the end, it was The Bar who retained their titles when Sheamus pinned Xavier Woods for the win.
One has to wonder where SmackDown Live goes from here since these three teams always put on great matches but they are getting repetitive.
— WWE (@WWE) December 17, 2018
TLC Match: Baron Corbin vs. Braun Strowman
Surprisingly, this match is taking place much earlier at WWE TLC than expected. if Baron Corbin loses, he is stripped of his general manager powers on Monday Night Raw and Braun Strowman gets a Universal title shot at Brock Lesnar.
If Corbin wins, he is the permanent general manager on Monday Night Raw. At first, the match seemed certain that Braun would win. However, the announcers reminded fans that Vince McMahon will return tomorrow night and could fire Corbin regardless.
Heath Slater is the referee in this TLC match as Baron Corbin has used his power to force him into the role.
Corbin has Heath Slater ring the bell and begin the count out to help him pick up the win over Braun Strowman since he figures that Strowman won’t show up.
Strowman shows up with a sling on his surgically repaired elbow. Braun gets a microphone and heads into the ring. He said that there are no disqualifications in a TLC match and if someone wanted to help him, there was nothing could be done about it and it would be perfectly legal.
— Justin Wrestling (@WWENXTGuy) December 17, 2018
Apollo Crews showed up with a steel chair. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable are there with chairs as well. Finn Balor is there with a chair. Corbin tells Heath to get them out so he takes off his referee shirt and lays out Corbin with a punch.
Everyone starts taking chair shots at Corbin. He tries to run and leave the match. He gets halfway up the ramp when Kurt Angle comes out and grabs a chair. They beat the hell out of Corbin and then Strowman pins him.
Baron Corbin is fired as the general manager of Monday Night Raw. Braun Strowman now gets a Universal Championship match against Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble.
Tables Match: Natalya vs. Ruby Riott
This match got really personal when Ruby Riott crushed Jim Neidhart’s sunglasses and then she brought out a table last week with Neidhart’s image on it to use in this tables match.
While some think that this is wrong, Natalya herself said that it is almost therapeutic to help her get past the death of her father, so it is what it is.
The Riott Squad brought out the table with Neidhart on it. Natalya fought hard and took out both of Riott’s Riott Squad teammates by putting both of them through tables.
ruby riott and natalya share the same leg pic.twitter.com/gqcM7DuJOW
— big coochie bompensiero (@TeeHaitchGee) December 17, 2018
She then brought out a table with Ruby on it and then pulled out her father’s jacket and put it on, pointing to heaven.
She then kicked Ruby in the face, set up the Ruby table. She put Ruby on the table and climbed the buckles. Ruby almost reversed it but when she went for a hurricanrana but Natalya blocked it and put Ruby through with a powerbomb.
Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Balor
Finn Balor had already been out earlier to help Braun Strowman beat Baron Corbin. The announcers are now calling him the rebel of Monday Night Raw.
This will be interesting with Finn Balor becoming a leader of the faces but Drew McIntyre looking to be one of the biggest stars for 2018 in the WWE.
This was an amazing match. Drew Mcintyre used his strength advantage to beat the hell out of Finn Balor but also sold a leg injury from early in the match that Balor took advantage of to take control.
Why Finn Balor is still not WWE Champion? pic.twitter.com/oZveLSH9gp
— Anto (@Anto20_619) December 17, 2018
Just when it looked like Drew was taking the advantage again, Dolph Ziggler showed up and super-kicked McIntyre. He tried to use a chair but McIntyre kicked it into Ziggler’s face and then came in with a chair.
Balor dropkicked the chair into McIntyre’s face and then hit the Coup-de-grace for the three-count and the surprising win for Balor.
Chairs Match: Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio
Randy Orton is trying to eliminate everyone’s heroes in the WWE and has targeted both Rey Mysterio and his mask in recent weeks.
This is nice because these two did not rely on basic wrestling before bringing in the chairs and they went out and grabbed the chairs and started using them immediately in the match.
— WWE Critic (@WWECritics) December 17, 2018
The match was fun when Mysterio was on the offensive, including a brilliant running slide on the chair to the outside of the ring onto Orton. However, when Orton was on the offense, it was his normal slow and methodical work.
The chairs were used well and the end came when Mysterio won with a roll-up after leaping over a batch of chairs and locking up Orton.
Raw Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey vs. Nia Jax
Crazily, no matter how bad Nia Jax is — and she is not very good — Ronda Rousey has come a long way and actually made this a pretty entertaining match. Rousey kicked out of the Samoan Drop and then reversed one from the buckle into a powerbomb on Nia.
— ~Angie~ (@DAmbroseAsylum_) December 17, 2018
They even tried to pay off the Face Breaker punch and when Nia tried to throw it, Ronda caught the arm and then locked in her armbar for a tap out by Jax.
After the match, Nia Jax was walking backstage holding her arm when she saw Becky Lynch. Then, with little warning, Becky knocked the piss out of Jax and slammed her head off a metal crate.
WWE Championship: Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles
Daniel Bryan won the WWE Championship from AJ Styles when he turned heel and hit a low blow. Bryan then went to Survivor Series and gave Brock Lesnar the best match he had this entire year. Now, he gives Styles his rematch.
Bryan is really fitting into his role as a hell perfectly, which is proven to anyone who said that no one would ever boo Bryan again.
This match is AWESOME.
AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan closing out 2018 sounds great to me. #WWETLC
— Golden Maharaja ™ (@KingNj90) December 17, 2018
As expected, Styles and Bryan turned in a masterful match with Bryan being a perfect heel, but also delivering his fair share of strikes and blows. Meanwhile, Styles was his normal explosive self, trying to maintain his composure while still turning in a great match.
It comes as no surprise that this was one of the best matches on the entire show. Bryan picked up the win by rolling through a Styles pinfall attempt and getting the win cleanly.
Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
It makes no sense that Ambrose and Rollins didn’t get one of the TLC-themed hardcore matches.
This should have been a huge match, with the two members of The Shield preparing to take their spot at the top of Monday Night Raw heading into 2019. Sadly, they worked a slow and methodical match and the fans actually started chanting “this is boring.”
And your NEW Intercontinental champion… DEAN AMBROSE
— GiveMeSport WWE & Wrestling (@GMS_WWE) December 17, 2018
It was clear this bothered Rollins and Ambrose seemed to stop caring for a while. This match should have seen them beating the hell out of each other but they just wrestled and it made no sense.
The end finally came when Seth Rollins snapped. He told Ambrose he was doing this for Roman Reigns but then took too long to hit the Curb Stomp and Ambrose reversed it into a Dirty Deeds to win the title.
Choosing not to make this the main event was the smart choice. Plus, the match was too long considering that they didn’t seem to be bloodthirsty enough.
SmackDown Live Women’s Championship TLC Match: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka
This was the perfect choice for the main event of WWE TLC.
As a matter of fact, there was a point where Becky Lynch launched herself off the top of a ladder through Charlotte Flair and the announcer’s table and the fans chanted “holy sh*t” — which was a sharp contrast to the “this is boring” chant from Rollins vs. Ambrose.
These women destroyed each other with tables, ladders and chairs (and kendo sticks) and turned in the perfect TLC match — blowing away every match the men were involved in at WWE TLC 2018.
This was the best WWE TLC match in many years … but then Ronda Rousey came down and knocked Lynch and Flair off the ladders and left, allowing Asuka to climb the ladder to win.
Asuka deserved this win and a title, but Ronda Rousey causing it hurts Asuka’s credibility. With that said, this will lead to Rousey fighting Charlotte (Royal Rumble) and Lynch (WrestleMania) down the line.