WWE TLC 2020 capped off a very interesting year of pay-per-views for the company.
Despite a global pandemic and performing in front of no physical fans, the promotion has overcome questionable creative decisions to put out a long line of quality major shows. WWE performers have consistently delivered exceptional matches every month.
With the TLC stipulation on the two main title matches of the evening and three more championships up for the grabs, this show had all the makings for a noteworthy one that did not disappoint. The contests across WWE TLC 2020 either met or exceeded all expectations set forth for them.
There were seven matches on the card for the night with considerable stakes for every one of them. In this article, let's take a look at the star ratings for every match at WWE TLC 2020.
Daniel Bryan, Big E, Chad Gable & Otis vs. Sami Zayn, King Corbin, Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro - WWE TLC 2020 Kickoff Show
The unannounced eight-man tag team match on the WWE TLC 2020 kickoff show was harmless fun. With eight upper to mid-card stars involved, this was a great showcase of just how much talent that SmackDown has right now. It also highlighted just how underutilized some of that same talent is at the moment.
The match focused on the budding rivalry between WWE Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn and Big E. These two men have been interacting over the past few weeks, with Zayn owning a count-out win over his adversary two weeks ago.
This felt like a house show-type contest to get the fans excited for what was to come on the rest of the night. The highlights were the brief sequence between Chad Gable and Cesaro, as well as Big E getting the pinfall on the Intercontinental Champion. Some skillful performers put on a decent multi-man match to kick off WWE TLC 2020.
Star rating: **3/4
Drew McIntyre vs. AJ Styles (vs. The Miz) in a TLC match for the WWE Championship - WWE TLC 2020
The official WWE TLC 2020 pay-per-view began with Drew McIntyre defending the WWE Championship against AJ Styles in a TLC match. These two men displayed solid chemistry from the offset. It became a more psychology-based bout with Styles focusing on the left knee of his larger opponent. McIntyre's selling was tremendous here.
Styles' use of the steel chairs and ladders to inflict damage on the leg of McIntyre was very effective. There were awesome spots, with AJ putting on the Calf Crusher in the chair and ladder to really incapacitate his opponent. McIntyre's gorilla press of Styles into a table on the floor was another fabulous spot in this one.
The introduction of The Miz cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase added plenty of drama to the closing stretch. John Morrison and Omos also provided some moving parts that added to the frenetic finish.
All the performers involved produced a fun encounter that really kept fans on the edge of their seats to close things out in this WWE TLC 2020 opener.
Star ratings: ****
Sasha Banks vs. Carmella for the SmackDown Women's Championship - WWE TLC 2020
Sasha Banks and Carmella did a pretty good job of building up to this SmackDown Women's Championship match at WWE TLC 2020. However, some fans doubted whether the two ladies could produce a quality contest in-ring.
Despite interference from the newly-christened Sommelier of Carmella, Reginald, Sasha, and her challenger more than delivered an enjoyable encounter.
Carmella more than stepped up in this title match with her reversals of Banks' arsenal leading to quite a few cool moments, including a tilt twirl into a facebuster for a close near fall.
The SmackDown Women's Champion once again proved herself to be among the elite when it comes to in-ring work. Her selling and facial expressions greatly elevated her challenger in this bout.
These two ladies gave the WWE Universe a compelling contest that made them both look good. Carmella had one of her best matches of her career, while Sasha added to what has been an excellent 2020 of entertaining pay-per-view performances for "The Boss".
This was just what any fans could have asked for coming into this SmackDown Women's Championship Match at WWE TLC 2020.
Star rating: ***1/2
The New Day vs. The Hurt Business for the RAW Tag Team Championships - WWE TLC 2020
This led to a feeling that the four men could not give us something new at the pay-per-view. Fortunately, that turned out to be very untrue.
The New Day came out hot during this contest. The energetic offense of the RAW Tag Team Champions set the tone for what turned out to be an all-action sprint of a tag team bout.
To their credit, The Hurt Business kept the pace with Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods. Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin showed both their athleticism, as well as cunningness in this match.
The four Superstars made sure this bout never let up with constant movement. This made for quite the pleasing sequences, such as Shelton reversing a Kofi's Boom Drop into a forceful powerbomb.
In the end, it was Cedric Alexander who tagged himself in to hit the Lumbar Check for the victory and we now have new RAW Tag Team Champions at WWE TLC 2020.
Star rating: ***1/2
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler vs. Asuka & Charlotte Flair for the WWE Women's Tag Team Champions - WWE TLC 2020
The story surrounding the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships match at WWE TLC 2020 may have been the weakest, but it also provided plenty of intrigue with a mystery partner to be announced.
RAW Women's Champion Asuka chose the former 12-time Women's Champion Charlotte Flair to be her partner against Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler.
With six months having passed since Jax took out The Queen, Flair came in with a surplus of pent up energy and animosity, looking for vengeance. This became a contest that really focused on putting the shine back on Charlotte.
Asuka took the bulk of the offense from the WWE Women's Tag Team Champions. The daughter of Ric Flair then came in off the hot tag to show that she had not missed a step in her absence.
The conclusion to this bout came when Charlotte reversed the Kirifuda Clutch into the Natural Selection for the win and crown new WWE Women's Tag Team Champions at WWE TLC 2020.
Asuka and Flair make a formidable duo to end the dominance of Baszler and Jax, but the match left a little to desire in terms of time and action.
Star rating: **1/2
Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens in a TLC match for the WWE Universal Championship - WWE TLC 2020
Roman Reigns has been the best character in all of WWE and possibly the entire business since his return at Summerslam. His "Tribal Chief" character has provided consistent superb character work on promos, as well as in the ring. At WWE TLC 2020, he faced his fiercest competition yet in the form of Kevin Owens.
The former Universal Champion attacked "The Head of the Table" before the bell of this WWE TLC 2020 matchup and came out with a boatload of babyface fire.
His level of intensity brought so much to this battle, proving to be resilient throughout. The Prize Fighter proved his never say die attitude with this valiant effort. This had to be considered his most spectacular babyface performance of his time in WWE.
The interjection of Jey Uso gave Owens more insurmountable odds to overcome. Uso was relentless in his attempts to assist his cousin at every turn of this encounter.
Roman Reigns was absolutely fantastic in this one as well. From his facial expressions, body language, hard-hitting offense, and vulnerability in his selling, Reigns brought something that we have not seen in his heel character yet.
This made for a simply spellbinding WWE Universal Championship bout at WWE TLC 2020. It was a tremendous performance all-round from everyone involved, including Paul Heyman at ringside with his enticing facial expressions. This was the Match of the Night and delivered another top-notch contest.
Star rating: ****1/2
"The Fiend" Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton in a Firefly Inferno Match - WWE TLC 2020
With two TLC matches for the top titles on the night, not many fans believed that the Firefly Inferno Match would be the main event of WWE TLC 2020. However, with the reports stating that the contest was pre-recorded, the WWE Universe thought that this would be a cinematic encounter. What we did get was a fiery spectacle with an outrageous finish.
Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton brawled all around the WWE ThunderDome with the flames brought up by The Fiend in the opening moments of this battle. Fans witnessed straps, axes, and rocking chairs ablaze throughout this bout. With the Mandible Claw on, Orton reversed The Fiend into the flames and set his jacket on fire.
The Legend Killer then connected with an RKO on The Fiend inside of the ring. After winning the battle, Orton proceeded to put gasoline all over the body of Wyatt and then lit a match to set his opponent on fire. This crazy visual has to be considered one of the most shocking endings to a pay-per-view at WWE TLC 2020.
Although this was not meant to be a typical wrestling match, the lack of engaging action is what really held this contest back. The main event of WWE TLC 2020 was definitely memorable, but it has led to divisive views from the WWE Universe at large.
Star rating: **