At the last Smackdown-exclusive Pay Per View of 2016, there were a lot of factors working against a memorable show. December PPVs are traditionally the least-watched shows of the year, they’re usually a prelude to weeks of filler shows on TV while we wait for the holidays to end so the build to the Royal Rumble can get underway, and the matches that take place often get ignored in year-end awards due to voting deadlines. And while this year’s edition of TLC may not have been a blow-away show from top to bottom, from what we saw, the good outweighed the bad, and the really good stuff was pretty darned awesome. Here’s some thoughts we had after watching the latest PPV offering from the blue brand.
Storylines Have To End So Others Can Begin
Here’s the thing about Heath Slater and Rhyno. They had a great story about Slater trying to earn a contract and prove he belonged on the roster, providing for his slightly weird redneck family and generally living the American Dream. He and his unlikely friend Rhyno climbed to the top of the mountain and won the Smackdown Tag Team Championships, Slater got his contract, and the fans got an emotional payoff to an engaging storyline. But they were never going to be champions forever, and a new story needed focus, so it was absolutely the right decision to have them lose the titles to the totally united and absolutely not only a few weeks (a couple of months, tops) away from Randy Orton RKOing everyone Wyatt Family. A large problem with WWE over the years is dragging out storylines to squeeze out extra PPV matches, until nobody cares about what’s going on. Not so in this case, as Slater and Rhyno got their moment, even got a sizeable reigns as champions, and now step aside so new wrestlers can have their time. Isn’t that whole idea of constantly creating new stories supposed to be what this whole thing is about, after all?