Given all of the last-minute shuffling that has taken place behind the scenes in WWE the last couple of days, it was almost fitting that the 2017 edition of Tables, Ladders and Chairs felt chaotic at times.
In the midst of all of that chaos was actually a rather fun pay-per-view from WWE, which featured a crazy main event, a borderline classic wrestling match and a pair of very good women's bouts.
Before I dig into my full analysis, here are the full match results from the Target Center in Minneapolis:
- Kickoff match – Sasha Banks def. Alicia Fox
- Asuka def. Emma
- Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann def. Jack Gallagher & The Brian Kendrick
- WWE Raw Women's championship – Alexa Bliss def. Mickie James
- WWE Cruiserweight championship – Enzo Amore def. Kalisto
- Finn Balor def. AJ Styles
- Jason Jordan def. Elias
- Tables, Ladders and Chairs – Kurt Angle, Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins def. The Miz, Cesaro, Sheamus, Braun Strowman & Kane
Main event was quite chaotic
Most of the chaos that occurred during this show took place during the main event, which went from a much-ballyhooed Shield reunion to the even more ballyhooed in-ring return of Angle, who joined Ambrose and Rollins in place of Roman Reigns, who has apparently fallen victim to the viral infection that has plagued the WWE locker room recently.
Instead of wearing his traditional singlet, Angle became an honorary member of The Shield, as he donned the trio's tactical gear and even walked through the crowd for their entrance.
Angle mixed it up with his opponents right off the bat, but you could tell there was a bit of ring rust in the beginning, which was to be expected. After all, Angle has not wrestled a match in about a year and learned he was taking part in this match only a few days ago.
With that said, he did get to perform a trio of German suplexes on The Miz before Strowman got a hold of him and power slammed him through a table.
Medical personnel ran to ringside to check on Angle and helped him out of the arena, which left Rollins and Ambrose to fend for themselves against five men.
This is where things got a little strange.
For whatever reason, Kane turned on Strowman. Unless I missed something, this was just a random on Kane's part. To the surprise of no one, Strowman didn't take kindly to Kane's transgression and attempted to decimate him.
However, Kane managed to get the better of him and choke slammed him through what I believe was supposed to be the stage, but it clearly wasn't.
Regardless, Kane followed that up by dropping an avalanche of chairs that were hanging from the ceiling onto Strowman, which seemingly put him out of commission.
But this is Strowman we're talking about and the big man somehow made his way back to his feet and began beating up not only Kane but the other members of his team when they tried to stop him from tearing Kane a part.
Then Strowman's entire team began beating him up and tossed him into the back of a garbage truck. Oh, I forgot to mention that The Miz apparently hired someone to back a garbage truck into the arena. The driver was even wearing a Miz shirt.
Once in the truck, The Miz instructed the drive to squash Strowman like he was a pile of trash … and he did, which meant that Strowman should have died, right?
That didn't matter to the rest of his team, as they went right back to the fighting Rollins and Ambrose despite being accessories to murder.
Some semblance of normalcy returned when Angle mustered up the energy to jump back into the fray, but did so in the most awesome way possible
Angle walked down to the ring and Angle slammed everyone in sight before putting one final Angle slam on The Miz.
Angle then joined Ambrose and Rollins in triple power bombing The Miz to pick up the win and end this crazy affair.
I'm not really surprised by the outcome or that the match devolved into craziness. What got me was that Kane turned on Strowman for seemingly no reason.
Instead of punishing Kane for doing such a thing, the rest of the bad guys helped him murder Strowman. I'm still so confused by this.
We all know how this will end, which is with Strowman, who may be a babyface now, power-slamming Kane back to the campaign trail.
My main issue is that I suspend my disbelief enough with professional wrestling, but when it comes to possibly killing someone, that is where I draw the line of believability.
Other than that, this match was a lot of fun.
Balor, Styles stole the show
The best pure wrestling match on the show was definitely Balor's impromptu contest against Smackdown Live's AJ Styles.
The same viral infection that kept Reigns off the show also kept Bray Wyatt from dressing up like his dead sister to face the demonic alter ego of Balor.
To rectify this, WWE called upon Styles, who had to fly from South America, which was where Smackdown was touring, to have a match against Balor.
Although the Bullet Club connection between the two men was obvious, this was a truly unique match, as the two men had never faced each other before.
For anyone else, these would have been less-than-ideal circumstances loaded with potential excuses for not delivering a good outing.
But Styles is no ordinary person, and despite the unique circumstances, he showed once again that he is incapable of having a poor performance. It didn't hurt that he was in the ring with Balor.
What they did Sunday night was nothing short of amazing, in my eyes. Balor and Styles took a bad situation and made it even better than what was originally planned.
Balor may have won, but Styles not at all damaged in defeat. He took the match on short notice and lost to the demonic side of Balor, which has only seen defeat once.
Even in defeat, Styles still won, as I'm sure his performance in this wacky situation improved his stick within the company.
After the match, the two former leaders of Bullet Club did the "Too Sweet" hand gesture together as a sign of respect for each other.
I think more fans were talking about that than the match itself.
Emma was not ready for Asuka
As expected, Asuka won in her main-roster debut when she forced Emma to submit to the Asuka lock.
But like us wrestling fans are known to do, we had to find something wrong with Asuka's successful debut.
In this case, it was the fact that Emma got in a lot of offense on Asuka. For whatever reason, fans were expecting Asuka to defeat Emma in mere seconds.
I never expected Emma to come out on top, but I certainly didn't think she was going to lose in a minute or two.
It was almost like people forgot that Asuka had competitive matches in NXT all the time, especially at the Takeover specials.
In theory, Raw and Smackdown Live are a step up in competition from NXT, which means that it should be a little harder for Asuka to win.
It's not like WWE hurt Asuka's credibility by having her have a competitive match. Michael Cole spent Asuka's entire entrance running down her list of accomplishments. Among them is the fact that she has not lost during her two-year tenure in WWE/NXT.
By the way, she held the NXT Women's title for more than 500 days. If people unfamiliar with her don't understand that she is a force to be reckoned with after learning all of that then they are beyond saving at this point.
And finally, how much could Asuka's credibility suffer if all she does nothing by win, win, win, no matter what? She barely squeaked by Ember Moon on multiple occasions in NXT and I don't think she lost anything as a result.
She even cheated to win one of those matches with Moon.
James fell short vs. Bliss
I didn't go into TLC with super high expectations for James versus Bliss, but it turned out be a very good match that I believed helped both women.
Bliss was obviously helped by defeating a legend such as James, but I believe James' increased her stock by putting forth such a valiant effort, which she got across in her post-match promo.
I don't think we're going to see Bliss and James go one-on-one again any time soon, but I'd be down to see it whenever it does happen again.