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[2013-12-15-WWE-TLC] Goldust & Cody Rhodes vs Antonio Cesaro & Damien Sandow vs Rey Mysterio & Big Show vs Ryback & Curtis Axel (Elimination)

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WWE World Tag Team Champions Goldust & Cody Rhodes vs Big Show & Rey Mysterio vs Real Americans vs Ryback & Curtis Axel - WWE TLC Fatal 4-Way

Much like Gaul, this match was divided into three neat parts: Rybaxel Phase, Real American Phase, Show&Mysterio Phase. The middle segment starring Goldust is really what carried the drama of the match with the other segments being serviceable, but not nearly as entertaining. As much as I love Ryback, his work in this was pretty blase and by the numbers. The only real highlight of the first segment was how over Big Show was. The crowd was going bonkers for his Shhhhh! Chop!. I think he was genuinely surprised and happy at how over he was. Goldust pins Ryback after floating over on a suplex attempt and rolling up The Big Guy. The Big Guy aint happy and blasts Goldust with a clothesline as a parting gift.

Swagger is right on Goldust to start. As much as I love Cesaro (and I like Swagger too actually), this segment was not about him. It was all about Goldust and his tremendous face in peril performance. He totally focused on making the hot tag to Cody. Every move he made was with the intention of getting to Cody. Honestly, the heel offense was pretty mundane, but Goldust's commitment to the tag made it one of the more compelling face in peril peril segments in recent history. It was just great high drama. Credit where credit is due, Cesaro did have some cool spots like when Goldust tried to dive between his legs to get to Cody he wrangled him into the gutwrench suplex. I also loved the Giant Swing cutoff which turned into a catapult into a Swagger slam. Also, I have always dug the Swaggerbomb -> Double Stomp combo. Goldust was timing his hope spots beautifully with moves like his sunset flip powerbomb and a hurricanrana. Also of note is how much better cheerleader Big Show is than Cody. C'mon Cody you are still working when on the apron. Endgame sees Swagger pull Cody off the apron, but Show tosses Swagger into barricade. Cesaro hits a Yakuza Kick on Rey Rey, but walks into a snap powerslam. Finally, Goldust makes the tag into extremely over Big Show, who levels Swagger and knocks Cesaro out in mid-air to eliminate the Real Americans. If the match ended right there, I would say it is a definite MOTYC with a great build to the hot tag and Show just cleaning house.

The next segment is not bad. It is good and fun, but it is not as satisfying once we get down to the two babyface teams. Goldust is clearly sapped of strength, but Big Show helps him up. Cole claims sportsmanship. JBL claims it is so Cody does not start the fall. JBL can be pretty good. Big Show shoulderblocks Goldust who tumbles to the outside and Cody checks on Goldust. Show palms Goldust's head and pulls him up to apron. Rey is friggin's amazed. His face made that spot. Goldust downs the Giant with a DDT and tags Cody. They double suplex Show for two. Show swats Cody out of the air and tags Rey. Rey runs through his standard offense and they tease hitting their finishes. Goldust takes 619. Cody is able to ram Show into the steel post to take him out. Cody looking for a springboard dropkick, but takes a powerbomb from little Rey. Cody catches Rey in 619 and goes for the Alabama Slamma, but nothing doing. Finally he wrangles Rey and hits the Cross-Rhodes. There is a lot of moves from Cody and Rey, but all the drama was with Goldust and Show so it just felt there. The middle portion of the match is a perfect showcase for why Goldust is a top 5 WWE worker right now. It is a tremendous face in peril performance that is dramatic because of his selling and his determination to get to Cody. The Big Show hot tag is such a satisfying payoff. The rest of the match is middling RAW level stuff. ***1/2

Having since seen the three tag at Hell In A Cell, I can see why this match gets a bit more praise because the middle segment hits a high that is higher than any point in the triple threat match, but I thought triple threat was more consistent in how great it was.

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