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Charles (Loss)

[2012-12-16-WWE-TLC] The Shield vs Daniel Bryan & Kane & Ryback (Tables, Ladders & Chairs)

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The Shield vs. Ryback & Team Hell No - WWE TLC 2012 TLC Match

 

Is this the greatest debut match in a promotion in the history of wrestling? Not only is it an excellent match, but it represented a total paradigm shift in how WWE presented six-man tags and a return to more chaotic matches. On commentary, Lawler stated that Rollins tweeted "Tonight, we change the world" Usually, that is a whole lot of carny bluster, but on this night The Shield completely changed the game. It was not the moves or the spots themselves that changed wrestling, it was the presentation and the strategy. The presentation was utter raucous mayhem, but not in the ECW garbage way or the Southern hate-filled brawl way. It was closer to wrestling's version of a gang beatdown. It was three men attempting to survive a ruthless assault from three thugs. There were no neat little segments laid out like a typical wrestling match, but just constant action for 20 minutes or so. That is when strategy was so critical in making this match so unique in the WWE history. The Shield wrestled as a unit. No one member felt like the standout star. They were all equals united by the goal to decimate and defeat their opponents. This meant constant isolation of the opposing team. They would lose the advantage momentarily only to have another member come flying out of nowhere to reestablish command of the match. While Team Hell No were the Tag Champs at the time they were primarily singles wrestlers, thus it made sense that Ryback & Team Hell No would not know how to combat The Shield except by brute force. The Shield is not an equation you can brute force.

 

Even though, Ryback was on the losing end of the match, I thought he was the standout star of the match. He wrestled huge in this match. Although, he was greeted by "Goldberg" chants early on, by the time he was mounting his comeback the Brooklyn crowd was chanting "Feed Me More". He was one man wrecking ball and the only one that could manage to really string together a combination of offense on The Shield. His heart in trying to battle The Shield essentially on his own and being the only one that was able to take a member of the Shield out (Rollins) made him look like a huge star in my eyes. With Cena, Rock, Undertaker and HHH all taking up spots at Wrestlemania, it is a shame because Ryback was really hosed that year.

 

They set the tone right away with a melee to start. Ryback gains the advantage on Ambrose, but eventually the numbers game overwhelms him (not before he busts out the 'ol burst out of the gang beatdown spot that looks awesome). The Shield is able to press their advantage on Kane & Bryan taking out each using the ladder. The Shield really excelled at using weapons to consolidate. Kane is able to get a pinfall attempt on Reigns so Ambrose immediately starts chopping him down with a chair and then DDT onto a chair. Ryback is able to gain the upper hand on Ambrose & Rollins long enough to try for Double Shellshock, but Reigns saves. I know it is a Cole cliche, but the pack of dogs mentality is such a great way to describe what is going on. Reigns to the Spanish Announce Table "Get up, fools, this my table now", I always knew he was going to be cash money. Triple powerbomb onto the Spanish Announce Table takes Ryback out of picture.

Bryan comes flying through the ropes onto all of The Shield. Team Hell No gamely try to battle The Shield, but without Ryback they fall prey to the numbers advantage. I love how as Ambrose & Rollins are dismantling the smaller Bryan they have Reigns patrolling to make sure that Kane and Ryback dont get up. However, when neither Ambrose nor Rollins can pin Bryan after a double superplex, Reigns rushes into pin Bryan allowing Kane to make the save. It is the details that make a classic. Kane is able to get a mini-comeback that climaxes with chokeslamming Ambrose through a chair. Of course just as Kane is starting to cook, Rollins chop blocks his knee and Reigns spears him through the barricade. Then they friggin' bury Kane in rubble. That is so bitchin! Back in the ring. little Daniel Bryan is able to apply the Yes-Lock on Ambrose, but here comes the Shield and gets it on each one of them, but he too falls prey to the numbers game. It looks like The Shield has the match won after Rollins curb stomps Bryan's head into a chair, but Ryback pulls Ambrose out. The Beast has risen! RYBACK SMASH~! Everyone goes flying. Scream for me, Brooklyn! "FEED ME MORE!" Ryback meat hook clothesline, SHELL SHOCK~! The Shield dive on Ryback. On the outside, Ryback just shoves Reigns into some chairs. It was the little spots like that. In wrestling, you expect an Irish Whip into chairs, but when a guy just kinda shoves a guy when he is not totally ready into chairs it just stands out as really cool. Ambrose then literally bounces a chair off of Ryback. It looked sick.

 

Ambrose and Reigns leave Rollins to dive off a very high ladder onto a prone Ryback on a chair, but Ryback will not be denied and Rollins tries to scale the ladder higher to escape, but ends off being thrown onto a bunch of tables. The back of his head clips a table, fuck that must have hurt. Back in the ring, Ambrose sets up Reigns to powerbomb Bryan through a table for the win while Ryback tries to crawl to ring to make the save, but it is too late. Ambrose and Reigns collect their fallen comrade, but can hold their heads high because they accomplished what they set out to do they changed the world. Everything was so well-timed. There was never a minute of downtime. There was no beatdown that ever dragged. Each babyface got their comeback climaxing with Ryback big one at the end and each babyface got taken out. The Shield came off as the most destructive force in WWE history because instead of relying on the power of one, they relied on the power of three. I have seen people only go as high as ****1/2, but someone needs to tell me where the flaws were in this, but given how this match pretty much changed the WWE landscape in one match I am going the full monty *****.

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Just saw this match the other day and I have to say that this write up is excellent. I think the 5* rating given is dependent on changes in WWE in 2013 as a result of this match and I haven't seen anything from 2013 so I cannot comment but the match was very good. There are so many things that wrestlers do in a match that just defies logic and drives me crazy, the psychology used by the Shield to dismantle the team of Ryback, Bryan, and Kane was so much fun to watch.

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Thanks, brutha. I have rewatched a good chunk of the Shield matches and they never really use the full court press/havoc defense as much they do in this match. They still come off as unique and badass. Granted, if they wrestled every match like that it could lose some its luster and they have done well to settle into six-man action, but still get over the idea of the unit. I will say they definitely still revolutionized how the WWE has presented the six-man and how an audience views a six-man tag.

 

What is really cool about this match in addition to the Shield strategy is how they shine up the babyfaces. Ryback gets over early, but then put through a table. Kane actually fires through his offense and chokeslams Ambrose through a chair, but then speared through the barricade and covered in rubble. Daniel Bryan puts the YESLOCK on everyone before having his head stomped through the chair by Rollins. Ryback fires up again and gets the Shell Shock, but the Shield saves. Ryback is able to take one member but too little too late. However, you never feel like you are watching neat, little segments even though it is actually segmented really well because how organic it is (so organic that I claimed there were no segments because I didnt notice them until I re-read my own post). I am a transition freak. Everybody has their thing that they can get hung up. For me it is transitions. This match has awesome transitions.

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Can someone explain the logic of Seth going through the table and thus not being there for the finish? If the goal was to get The Shield over as a three-man unit, why were only two of them involved in the finish? I thought this was an okay match, but Reigns looked pretty awkward even doing basic things like kicks and The Shield was wrestling too much like babyfaces for my tastes.

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Really? I thought the finish was genius. The entire match, actually.

 

I haven't watched it since it happened so I'm going on memory, but the key thing about the match was that The Shield wrestled just like they did run-ins. They would swarm someone three-on-one and use their numbers. So they finally have their first match here, and they use the same strategy in the ring: numbers. They would isolate one babyface at a time and go to work on them. When the faces all recovered and the numbers were even it became a fair fight and the faces came back. Then they'd be divided and conquered again. Even within the chaos of a six-man TLC brawl, this thread of logic was running through.

 

And so the finish. The Shield finally divide and conquer the faces once and for all: Kane was obliterated in the barricade, Ryback was tied up with Rollins on the stage, and Bryan was isolated with Reigns and Ambrose in the ring, which gave them enough time to swarm him and take him out. It wasn't the fact that Rollins wasn't there that was important as much as the fact that Ryback wasn't.

 

By the by, but you can see this in almost all Shield matches as they started wrestling regular matches, the same strategy was always at work. Divide and conquer. They'd isolate one guy and hit their double and triple team moves on them, work them over. The faces would make a big comeback, but in the end, at the crucial moment they would always have some sort of numbers advantage that allowed them to achieve the victory. They may not always have all three men available (like TLC), but they will have more men when it really counts.

 

And then finally in June when they suffer their first loss, it is because for the first time ever they are the ones who have been separated and picked off, leaving Rollins alone with the faces to be swarmed and defeated. And the whole story comes full circle.

 

I fucking love Shield matches. Don't even get me started.

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Can someone explain the logic of Seth going through the table and thus not being there for the finish? If the goal was to get The Shield over as a three-man unit, why were only two of them involved in the finish?

 

Rollins volunteered to take out Ryback so Ambrose/Reigns could take care of Bryan and win the match. If the argument is that they should have just powerbombed Ryback on the ramp, I get that, but that wasn't really what they thought served their purpose with pushing Ryback and the Ryback-Shield feud, and the visual of him running back to the ring but not getting there in time is great.

 

Plus, Rollins was already HHH's handpicked star so him getting the big spot served to get over his identity AND since it was the first pinfall TLC match, they did feel a need to book some kind of ladder spot.

 

They're flaws that exist because of how the match was meant to play into that bigger picture.

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Just watched this match for the first time and that's one of the rare times when a hyped matched exceeded my expectations. The pace was off the charts and pretty much everything that Marty laid out are things that I caught as I was watching it. So many fantastic little details. Absolutely loved the moment when they finish burying Kane under the rubble and are about to congratulate themselves when all of the sudden the camera swings into the ring where Bryan has the Yeslock on Rollins. Bryan's sell of that moment had me marking out, as he was DESPERATELY trying to get Rollins to tap while keeping his eyes on the other two, hoping the end would come before they could realize what was up. My adrenaline was cranking while watching this and I had been having a pretty mild night before that. And that all stemmed from the energy in the match, because I didn't really have any context going in outside of the fact that it was the Shield's first match. Everybody in this thing played their role to perfection. I was more or less out on the WWE from late '11 up until I got the Network in April '14, and this match makes me want to totally go back and watch the Shield's progression. Tremendous stuff.

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Hardcore Match

Team Hell No & Ryback vs. The Shield
Highly suggest everyone go back to rewatch this, not just for storyline reasons, but because wow Reigns was f***ing green here. This match also had some pacing issues, with the red-hot Brooklyn crowd sometimes becoming silent. HOWEVER, this match was absolutely chaotic and brought back memories of the TLC pioneer days during the Attitude Era. What this did was showcase what an unf***able unit that the Shield was, getting 3-1 on one advantages constantly and being so entertaining and violent in doing so. That bad bump Seth Rollins took through those tables sure seems like it was worth it in hindsight. This was a great choice to start my rewatch. ****

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This match had somehow slipped by me until now, but holy shit is it great.

 

One point - I thought the use of the shaky cam was really effective in this match to get across the chaotic feel. It can be really overused by WWE, but here it felt organic and complementary to the match.

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Geniusly laid out with The Shield just completely mugging the three babyfaces. They executed a logical and simple game plan to perfection: isolate each babyface and incapacitate them and they did it with fantastic impact and visual spectacle. The Triple Powerbomb through the table for Ryback, the Spear through the barricade for Kane, and the final top rope Powerbomb for Bryan. Everyone looked fantastic especially Bryan as the fiery babyface as he was getting more and more over with the crowd. But this was The Shield's match without question. They made a statement and there's a reason the three of them are some of the most over members of the roster today.

 

Also, can we mention how cool Roman Reigns is even at this time? "THIS TABLE IS MINE NOW" while clearing the announcer's desk. Just fantastic.

 

****3/4

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