Randy Orton Sets The Fiend Ablaze

WWE: TLC 2020 Review

The storm that was WWE:TLC 2020 has passed, however, it has left a path of destruction in its wake. Thank you for joining me here at Sports Obsessive once again. My name’s James and this is my review.

Did you predict the show results? If so, were you accurate? You can check out our predictions here.

Without further ado, let’s get into WWE: TLC 2020.

We know that WWE lives by the phrase ‘go big or go home’. They certainly went ‘big’ with their opening match of the night as we saw AJ. Styles taking on Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship. Before the match itself, we were reminded of McIntyre’s 19-year journey to become the WWE Champion. Through his good times and bad, McIntyre has done whatever it took to sit atop the WWE mountain. However, A.J Styles didn’t see things that way. Styles, who is a former WWE Champion in his own right, begs the question: what took McIntyre so long?

Drew McIntyre (c) vs AJ Styles for the WWE Championship

McIntyre made his way to the ring for his Championship defence in his first TLC match. There was not a shred of visible intimidation of the Scotsman’s face. McIntyre was ready for a fight. The impressive thing, from the offset, was that usually, McIntyre gains control. The beginning of this match saw AJ Styles brutally gaining control of the current Champion.

AJ was running wild until McIntyre struck AJ where he stood with a spine-shuddering suplex. At this point, McIntyre was literally throwing Styles around like a rag-doll, followed up with a number of vicious strikes to the face. The story that was being told here was a really interesting one. Fans know McIntyre’s history. We know of his journey from the WWE (as Mr McMahon’s ‘chosen one’) to being fired from his dream job, then returning to ICW in 2014 and joining TNA Wrestling in 2015. Drew inevitably returned to WWE programming in 2017 when he made a shock appearance on NXT and soon became the NXT Champion. Needless to say, Drew McIntyre has been around the block a number of times, as has AJ Styles.

Styles’ arrogance really came across during this match. You could tell by his mannerisms that he feels that he is better than McIntyre because it didn’t take him 19 years to attain the WWE Championship. Styles pummelled McIntyre with a steel chair with a smile on his face. As nasty as Styles’ tactics were, he knows what it takes to win a TLC match; he has a track record and has actually defended the very Championship that he was challenging for in this match on a previous WWE: TLC pay-per-view event. The match continued and Styles has really positioned himself into a place where he was advantageous.

Drew McIntyre throws AJ Styles into a ladder in his Championship match

The Champ kept fighting back but Styles shut the Champ down each time. It was when Styles began using the ladder as a weapon that I myself began to question whether or not McIntyre was going to retain. It wasn’t looking good. I may have thought that prematurely, however, as McIntyre hit Styles with ‘future-shock’ DDT and then lifted a ladder above his head a slammed it down to Styles’ prone body. Somehow, Styles managed to lock a submission onto McIntyre, whilst the Champions foot was twisted inside the prongs of the ladder. Styles may have been edging closer and closer to a Championship victory.

AJ Styles is incredibly smart and here’s why; Styles once again worked McIntyre’s foot. Styles lodged McIntyre’s foot into a steel chair and locked in a ‘calf crusher’ submission move. This meant that with an injured foot, not only could McIntyre not hit his ‘claymore kick’ but he would not physically be capable of climbing the ladder to retrieve his Championship. Well played, AJ Styles.

As impressive as Styles was, McIntyre was that bit more impressive. Despite Styles looking like he was to become a 3-time WWE Champion, McIntyre lifted Styles over his head whilst standing in the ring and literally threw Styles out of the ring and through a table! Then The Miz showed up. Miz put McIntyre through a table and officially CASHED IN his Money In The Bank contract, making this now a triple-threat match for the WWE Championship. Miz climbed the ladder, only to be lifted down by AJ Styles’ associate, Omos, who then threw Miz through a table.

After all of this carnage subsided, both McIntyre and Styles, who could barely stand, both made their ways up the ladder. While the two were brawling with the title on the line, Miz propped up a ladder of his own and tried to take the Championship. McIntyre knocked Styles down from one ladder and hit Miz with the ‘Glasgow Kiss’ headbutt to knock him off the other ladder. Somehow, someway, Drew McIntyre defied all odd once again to retain his WWE Championship at WWE: TLC 2020.

Winner: Drew McIntyre

Sasha Banks (c) vs Carmella for the SmackDown Women’s Championship

Two Championship matches back to back? Aren’t we lucky? The Boss has been gearing up for this encounter with ‘The Untouchable’ Carmella. This new iteration of Carmella comes across as an attention-seeking, entitled human being, one who just so has a shot a the SmackDown Women’s Championship. I say this, but I actually like this version of Carmella. If she were to win the Championship at some point, I wouldn’t be mad. However, this current time period in which we’re living is Sasha Banks’ time. Banks’ Is going to hold the gold for a long, long time if you ask me.

Banks’ walked down the ramp looking as confident as ever, ready to defend her Championship. As the match began, there was a cat and mouse sequence for a moment until Banks took control of the narrative. The two soon found themselves on the apron, where Mella hit Banks with a neck breaker, giving herself the momentary advantage in the match. Sasha soon found herself back in control fairly swiftly, however, as she hit Carmella with the ‘Three-Amigo’s’ followed by the Frog Splash from the top rope!

Sasha Banks pays homage to Eddie Guerrero by hitting Carmella with the Frog-Splash

I love to see Eddie Guerrero being referenced in wrestling and Sasha Banks references Latino Heat in almost every match of hers. Despite the homage to E.G, that wasn’t enough to put the feisty, Mella away. Mella then pretty much spoiled the match for us through her actions; she became clearly frustrated that the match still hadn’t ended and started to have a temper tantrum, just like future WWE Hall of Famer Christian did back in the early ’00s.

The match continued on after numerous close call pinfall attempts until Mella locked in her signature ‘Code of Silence’ submission move. As much as I hate to say it, things were looking bad for The Boss, Sasha Banks. Then, Carmella’s associate, Reggie, got involved but thankfully was met with a vintage ‘Meteora’ from Banks. The Champion used this momentum to jump back into the ring and finally lock-in the ‘Bank Statement’ submission, forcing Mella to tap out.

The Legit Boss lives to fight another day.

Winner: Sasha Banks (c)

The New Day vs The Hurt Business for the Raw Tag Team Championships

I’ve got to be honest, this match was the only one on the card that I wouldn’t have minded missing. I was not invested in this match at all. I’m a fan of The New Day but I’m not a fan of The Hurt Business. I’m also not a fan of watching the same match over and over again. Regardless of my opinion on the matter, the match proceeded.

Alexander started things off with Kofi, who wasn’t afraid to risk his own safety from the get-go. There were many quick tags early on but we were soon left with Woods going at it with Benjamin inside the ring. The Hurt Business’ dirty tactics were soon employed as they took the fight to both Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods. As much as I’ve said that I wasn’t emotional invested in this match, they got me.

The Hurt Business' become the new Raw Tag Team Champions at WWE: TLC 2020

The New Day and The Hurt Business got me into this match. Kofi was turning it up, ready to knock off Alexander to retain the Championships, which was when ref lost control of the match. All men involved were in the ring at the same time and were brawling. Kofi and Benjamin wound up being the two legal men towards the closing moments of the match. Benjamin leapt up towards the turnbuckle where Kofi was sat. Benjamin hit Kofi with a superplex. Alexander then tagged himself in, to the dismay of Benjamin, and hit Kofi with the ‘Lumbar Check’ to pick up the three count, thus allowing The Hurt Business’ to become the new Raw Tag Team Champions.

Please, never have this match again.

Winners: The Hurt Business’

Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler vs Asuka and ??? for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships

The backstory here was that Jax and Baszler are bullies and Lana was originally meant to be Asuka’s partner. Jax and Baszler took out Lana to avoid having to defend their Championships. If you checked out our predictions last week, you will have seen that I wanted to see ‘The Queen’ Charlotte return to join Asuka in this match. Now, my cover as a WWE insider has blown! Charlotte did in fact join ‘The Empress’ to challenge for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Neither Jax nor Baszler was happy to see the return of WWE royalty, though, at WWE: TLC 2020. The reason being that they knew their time as WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions was up. How could they contend with ‘The Queen’ and ‘The Empress of Tomorrow’?

They couldn’t.

Asuka started things off with Baszler and even locked an arm-bar in quite early on. Soon enough, Charlotte subtly requested a tag from Asuka and the Raw Women’s Champion respectfully obliged. The virtual crowd went crazy as Charlotte was back in action for the first time in months and months. Baszler tagged Jax into the match and Charlotte brought the fight to the Champions. In typical WWE fashion, they give you what you want, then take it away from you. They did this perfectly as Charlotte tagged out of the match, leaving Asuka to fend for herself against the monstrous, Nia Jax. I’ve never wanted somebody to lose a Championship as much as these two.

WWE Photo

Charlotte looked just as good as she ever has inside of the WWE ring as she toppled both Jax and Baszler before hitting her picture-perfect moonsault. As this match was rolling, I couldn’t help but think to myself, If Asuka and Charlotte were to win the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship, how long would the union last? Asuka is the current WWE RAW Women’s Champion and Charlotte is known to have a wandering eye when it comes to World Championships. Regardless, that is an article to itself. If you want an article celebrating Charlotte, let me know.

Back inside the ring, Jax hit Charlotte with a Samoan Drop, not knowing that Asuka slipped the sly tag in to become the legal woman in the match. Asuka hit Jax with a missile dropkick from the top ropes, completely levelling  Nia Jax. The match ended with Charlotte vs Baszler in the middle of the ring. After dodging multiple submission attempts and hitting the ‘Natural Selection’, Charlotte picked up the pinfall victory and won the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships alongside Asuka!

Best Match of WWE: TLC 2020 so far? Yes, I certainly believe so.

Winners: Asuka and Charlotte 

Roman Reigns vs Kevin Owens for The Universal Championship

This may be the most storyline driven match of the night. Roman Reigns is the Universal Champion and he is the head of the table. Reigns’ new persona after returning to the WWE has been all about how he is The Tribal Chief and how he is the reason that his family has a roof over their heads and food on their plates. This theory also extends to his cousin, Jey Uso. Reigns believes he is the reason that Uso can afford to keep his family afloat. Reigns has recently lured Uso over to the dark side to join him, However, Reigns puts Uso in his place as he sees fit.

One man who doesn’t believe in all that Reigns says and does is Kevin Owens. KO recently said that Reigns thinks he fights for his family but what’s actually happening is that Reigns is using his family to fight his battles for him. Kevin Owens openly stated that he does not fear Roman Reigns. The Champion slowly made his way to the ring and once he did, he watched his Championship being raised above the ring, While doing this, KO ambushed the Champ for out of nowhere without making his traditional entrance. KO wasn’t here to play around—KO was here to fight.

Kevin Owens takes out Jey Uso who came to assist Roman Reigns at WWE: TLC 2020

The bell rang and the match was officially underway. KO had laid out Reigns, forced Heyman to flee the scene and this was all within mere minutes of the match beginning. Jey Uso even ran down to the ring but KO was more than ready and cleared house. KO may have broken Uso’s foot in the attack, as Uso was carried out to the back. This was when an embarrassed Roman Reigns re-emerged with the steel steps in hand and knocked Owens to the ground. You tell by the look on Reigns’ face that he was pissed off with the way the match started.

Reigns was now in control though, as he drove the brunt of a ladder onto KO’s chest. I watched ECW when I was growing up. This match was still hard to watch. Reigns’ use of the ladders and chairs was almost demonic; he seemed possessed as he was brutally attacking Kevin Owens, trying to prove a point.

Just when you think that this match is one-sided, KO got a second wind and took out Reigns long enough to climb the ladder, only to be stopped by a limping Jey Uso. This shows you how much of a trance that Reigns has Uso under. Uso was clearly in a lot of pain but he was fighting for his family. Whilst in the process of being double-teamed by Reigns and Uso, KO somehow saved himself. He super-kicked Uso and stunned Reigns. There were so many levels to this match, so much so that it was enthralling to watch.

Kevin Owens fights off the Champion, Roman Reigns at WWE: TLC 2020

KO was on his way to becoming Universal Champion. Reigns was down, Uso was down. KO was the last man standing and only needed to climb the ladder that was propped up in the middle of the ring. Roman Reigns came back strong as ever as he jolted up in the nick of time to put KO through a table on the outside (twice). Roman Reigns was annoyed and ready to end this match.

Reigns slowly climbed the ladder to retrieve his Championship but he looked down and even as I was watching this, I thought, “Was there a mistake or did something happen to wasn’t meant to”? No. The camera panned back out and we saw a limp lifeless Kevin Owens barely holding on to Reigns ankle. Reigns literally started laughing. Reigns then climbed down to the ring and speared KO through a table that was propped up in the corner of the ring. That was it. It had to be all over. Holy Shit. Owens shouted out ‘You’re going to have to kill me’ to the Champion, who then went to spear KO through the barricade. KO moved out of the way! Reigns was down! KO might’ve still been able to win this one and shock absolutely everyone.

Roman Reigns spears Kevin Owens through a table to retain his Championship at WWE: TLC 2020

KO dragged himself into the ring and began climbing as quick as his legs would carry him. Reigns calls himself ‘The Tribal Chief’ for a reason and appeared back in the ring. I thought that was it. I thought Reigns would hit the spear and climb the ladder. Here’s what happened: Reigns hit KO with a Superman Punch, but KO somehow hit Reigns with a Pop-Up Power Bomb through a table in the ring. I literally could not gauge who was going to win.

KO had his hands on the Championship but Jey Uso was back! KO knocked Uso off the ladder and was seconds away but Roman Reigns climbed the other side of the ladder and locked in a Guillotine submission atop the ladder after a low-blow. This match was finally over. Reigns retrieved his Championship and proved to everybody, why he is ‘The Tribal Chief’.

Winner: Roman Reigns

Randy Orton vs The Fiend in a Firefly Inferno Match

What is a Firefly Inferno Match, you ask? You might be sorry you asked, depending on what way you looked at it. We all know the history between Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt (before The Fiend entered our lives). There has been no love lost between these two but there have been a lot of mind games. In recent weeks, Randy Orton has tried to target The Fiends ‘weakness’ as he thought that was Alexa Bliss. This has all been an attempt to get into Wyatt’s head. Has Orton succeeded? I think not.

After the promo package played (which was a masterpiece), ring announcer Mike Rome, let us know that the only way to win this match was to ‘light any part of your opponent on fire’. There we go. Either Randy Orton or The Fiend will be set on fire by the end of this one, apparently.

Orton made his entrance and you could visibly see that he may have been having seconds thoughts about this; still, he was confident. The Fiend made his entrance and, as always, I was captivated. If Orton was a regular guy, he’d be intimidated. Randy Orton is not a regular guy. Randy Orton is a viper and was ready to strike.

Talk about a tense start to a match. Orton and Fiend were finally in the ring together, but the bell hadn’t sounded. The Fiend was glaring at Orton, who reciprocated. The bell eventually sounded but neither one made the first move for a few moments. Orton broke the standoff and was met with The Fiend just laughing at him. This was so incredibly eerie.

The match began and there was a back and forth as to who was going to be the first one to hit their finisher. After a semi-struggle, The Fiend hit Orton with ‘Sister Abigail’ and Orton rolled out of the ring. This was when The Fiend raised his intimidation meter. As Fiend lifted his arms, flames shot to the skies from every corner of the arena. For lack of a better word, Orton was s****ing it. Rightfully so.

The Fiend attempts to set Randy Orton on fire at WWE: TLC 2020

Then something happened that I did not expect. The two were fighting on the outside and The Fiend picked up a leather belt that was under the ring. Fiend lit the belt on fire and started swinging for Orton’s head. When that failed, Fiend picked up an axe and was out to commit a murder! Fiend then grabbed Wyatt’s old rocking chair from the swamp, soaked it in gasoline and poured a line of gasoline in front of it. Fiend threw Orton into the chair and dropped an open flame onto the line of gasoline. Orton moved just seconds before being lit on fire! I can’t believe I’m even writing this in 2020 but it really happened.

Both Orton and Fiend fought on the outside for quite some time with The Fiend getting the upper hand. In an unexpected turn, whilst locked in the ‘Mandible Claw’, Orton managed to push Fiend backwards into the flames at the barricades and light The Fiend on fire! The Fiend was alight but that didn’t stop him as he ran after Orton, into the ring, whilst on fire. Orton was taken aback and did what he felt he had to do; hit an ignited Fiend with the RKO in the middle of the ring!

Orton’s face said it all. He feared himself and feared what he had done. Orton gently kicked The Fiends body to simply check he was alive but there was no movement whatsoever.

The moment of vulnerability passed and Orton’s facial expression changed from concerned to murderous. Basically, Orton lit Fiend on fire one last time before closing the show.

‘Tis the season to murder your colleagues, fa la la la la, la la la la.

Winner: Randy Orton

Final Thoughts

What is there to say? Bray Wyatt was literally set on fire. Has the Fiend’s credibility been permanently destroyed? Who knows. Will The Fiend come back darker and more demented than ever? I think so.

Apart from the arson attacks, WWE: TLC 2020 was bloody fantastic. Drew McIntyre defended his pride and joy against AJ Styles. Roman Reigns may have killed Kevin Owens. The evil pairing of Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler has finally been dethroned by WWE Raw Women’s Champion Asuka and a returning (and, I’m assuming, baby-faced) Charlotte Flair, and Sasha Banks shut down ‘The Untouchable’ Carmella through basic thug-a-nomics to retain her SmackDown Women’s Championship.

Overall, this was a great show. Once again, I’m not sure where I stand with The Fiend losing (again). Where do you stand on the matter? What did you think of WWE: TLC 2020? Let me know what you think, I’d genuinely love to hear it. Drop a comment in our section below or drop me a tweet on the twitter machine @JamesSixtyThree.

Until next time, folks.

Written by James Corcoran

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