Finished watching TLC yesterday, I also watched it in parts. The main event was definitely the best match on the show, it's a pleasant surprise to see how well AJ's fitting in at WWE and he's solidified himself as legitimate star now. His promo work has come on leaps & bounds too. Only downside of the match was Ellsworth interference, but when you think about it it made sense. James helped AJ win the match so he gets his title shot. They should go with Ambrose/Ellsworth now, not sure whether a one night only title win for James Ellsworth would be beneficial now, if he was still a babyface then maybe a Mikey Whipwreck-esque world title win would be have been cool. But again is he really no longer as a 'face as Deano was getting little to no crowd reaction, AJ was getting more of a babyface reaction. I like AJ's heel schtick so I wouldn't turn him, Ambrose I think with his 'crazy' gimmick works better as a heel. Have him do his Loose Cannon 2.0 and push the PG envelope boundaries. Get him to work shoot beat the hell out of James and then have AJ make the save (if you're doing a Demolition/Power of Pain double turn type scenario). I'd have actually put Ambrose with the Wyatt's ahead of Orton, but I think he fits in well with them too.
Nikki/Carmella was OK, Becky vs Alexa would have been better without the table stipulation. I'd keep Bliss as a heel for sure, Becky's better as a 'face. Miz/Dolph was very good. The Miz is arguably the best heel on the SmackDown! roster & his character isn't stale IMO, adding Maryse has been a really good choice. I think she could get more involved in his matches and I don't know if she's still an active wrestler but if they do plan on turning Alexa Bliss babyface, I'd have Maryse win the women's title and the Miz beat AJ (if they turn AJ babyface too) for the world title. I think Miz's heel schtick is very old school and I definitely like the idea of him having his own stable. As he one got the approval of the Nature Boy, maybe create a Horsemen-esque stable. I'd bring in Bobby Roode from NXT in the Tully role, Scott Dawson as Arn & Samoa Joe in the Barry/Sid role. Maybe interchange a few pieces of the puzzle but I think that would be a strong stable.
Back to TLC, tag team was good. I like Orton in the Wyatt family, I'd have him dress more like a Wyatt family member though, maybe wrestle in a t-shirt/jeans combo ala Dean Ambrose so he fits in more. Kalisto v Baron was good too. I think Kalisto destroying himself for little to no reaction wasn't so good. That's a big thing I noticed. You've got the guy & girls really busting their asses out there and only on the big spots do they get a reaction. I'd re-educate the audience more and lessen up the amount of big bumps they take because you're not going to see the likes of Dolph, Ambrose et al have 20-25+ year careers because of the amount of bumps they take. I have a renewed respect for the talent who go all out to entertain us all & I'd like to see the non-fan audience be more receptive to the fact that they put themselves on the line every time they step into the ring. I really dislike the 'fake' stigma attached to pro-wrestling/sports entertainment. It's pre-determined yes, but nothing about it is fake. I think the Strong style-lite aspect of the product has a detrimental as it's almost a game of one upmanship, even Sasha, Charlotte et al are working a similar style now and I think down the line you are in a danger of shortening careers. I'd have them ease up on the hard shots, do more mat work, less emphasis on high flying big spots & powerful impact moves.
As when you see that in every match like Dolph, Kalisto et al bumping all over the place it's like a case of 'Seen it' and it lessens the impact. One big OMG! spot per show is fine, even then it can be overkill. I think they went too far with chairshots in the Attitude Era which is why they cut them down and the Hardcore matches aren't really a factor because they were overkill too. For the TLC PPV I'd just have the main be the showstopping match, Bliss/Lynch didn't need the tables gimmick, Corbin beating Kalisto minus the chairs would have just been as impactful, because of the David v Goliath aspect. So you're cutting injury risk(s) by not doing too much. That would nullify the action some what, but a forgotten aspect of pro-wrestling is the storytelling aspect. Back in the day wrestlers didn't need to throw themselves around the ring, or jump off ladders etc. In hindsight some of the old school matches might be antiquated but Steamboat/Savage still stands up with any match of today. Granted there was high spots, but aspects of the match are mat based too. Same with Liger/Pillman which I watched today on the network. That match would fit in on today's WWE programming and doesn't look a bit out of place. Again, yeah there were high spots, but no one was risking themselves too much and the big bumps did get a big crowd reaction because they told a story. So really it's just re-educating the fans and working a more safer/smarter style. Today's WWE is more influenced by Ring of Honor & the Strong Style than it's more traditional origins. There used to be talk of the WWF(WWE) & WCW style, but now I think there isn't a WWE style that needs to be learned since it's evolved into a hybrid of Strong Style-lite Puroresu and Ring of Honor with the false finishes spots, they work much more stiff than ever before. Bret said the art of wrestling is to look like it really hurts when it doesn't. They need to bring that aspect back to prolong careers and cut down the injury list. But to conclude, a thumbs up for TLC, but I think some matches didn't need the additional stips.