By Steve Ward
WWE’s new home for the Thunderdome, Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, Florida, was the site for this evening’s final Quarantine Era pay per view of 2020 - Tables, Ladders, and Chairs. One would have to wonder if WWE would step their game up amidst a continued decline in their RAW and Smackdown viewership, losses in the ratings by NXT for several Wednesdays to AEW Dynamite, and after AEW also unleashed a bombshell earlier this month in the signing of the legendary Sting. Nonetheless, this evening’s card featured six matches with five titles contested and featured two Tables, Ladders, and Chairs matches.
Carmella w/ Reginald vs. Sasha Banks (c)
Winner: Sasha Banks via submission
The Hurt Business (Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander) w/ MVP vs. The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods)
Winners: The Hurt Business via pinfall
MVP’s Hurt Business sought to add more gold to their ranks this evening as Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander challenged for the RAW Tag Team Championship. Following a frenetically paced match, Shelton Benjamin had Kofi squared up when Alexander blind-tagged his way into the match much to the displeasure of The Gold Standard. Alexander proceeded to execute the Lumbar Check on Kingston to earn the pinfall and crown new tag team champions. Another note of significance was this marked Benjamin’s first tag team title reign in 17 years since he last held the tag team gold with Charlie Haas as one half of The World’s Greatest Tag Team.
Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax vs. Asuka & Charlotte Flair
Winners: Asuka & Charlotte Flair via pinfall
Asuka was originally scheduled to tag with Lana until she was brutalized at the hands of the tag team champs on Monday Night RAW leaving the Empress of Tomorrow in search of a new partner. The virtual WWE Universe was stunned as Asuka’s mystery partner was revealed to be “The Queen” Charlotte Flair. A much leaner Flair showed no signs of any ring rust as her full arsenal was on display - most notably a beautifully executed moonsault she delivered from the top turnbuckle to the arena floor. In the closing moments, Flair hit the Natural Selection on Baszler allowing her to capture the pinfall victory and crown new tag team champions.
Roman Reigns (c) w/ Paul Heyman vs. Kevin Owens
Winner: Roman Reigns
Following an extended period of title picture irrelevancy, Kevin Owens was put in a prime spot this evening as he challenged Roman Reigns in a sadistic TLC match for the Universal Championship. KO was able to get the jump on Reigns early as he emerged out of nowhere while Roman watched his title hoisted to the rafters. Owens was then able to dispose of Jey Uso who came to his cousin’s aid allowing him to maintain some early momentum. Owens momentum was short-lived as Uso returned again later in the match to distract KO’s attention away from Reigns. This advantage was seized by Reigns as me maintained control until the closing moments of the match. Roman attempted to spear KO on the arena floor, however, Owens moved at that last moment as Reigns launched himself through the ringside barrier. Owens again seemed in a prime position to become the new champion as he scaled the ladder in the ring only to be met again by Jey Uso. After Owens disposed of Uso yet again, Roman recovered and made his way up the ladder where he unceremoniously delivered a low blow to KO which created the opportunity for him to cinch in a guillotine choke. Reigns did not release the hold until Owens body went limp and fell to the canvas. Reigns then slowly removed the title from it’s hook above the ring to complete his retention.
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton
Winner: Randy Orton
This match marked the rekindling (pun intended) of the previous rivalry between these two combatants that stemmed back to Bray’s time at the head of the Wyatt Family. One may ask, what’s a Firefly Inferno Match? It’s simply an Inferno Match involving Bray Wyatt so the winner would be declared when one man sets any part of the other’s body on fire. In the closing moments of this match, which received a very negative response from the virtual crowd, The Fiend attacked Orton with the Mandible Claw. Orton was able to push Wyatt into the flames at ringside while his fingers were still shoved down his throat and then rolled him into the ring where he delivered an RKO. Orton then decided to douse The Fiend in gasoline and dropped a lit match leaving Wyatt engulfed in flames to close the show (note it was rather evident that they swapped The Fiend out for a dummy).