Tim Fiorvanti recaps every match on Sunday's WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view card, which takes place from The American Airlines Center in Dallas. Senior stats analyst Sean Coyle offers ratings worth a maximum of five points. Criteria for ratings is based on storytelling, in-ring execution, match psychology, timing and innovation -- worth up to one point each.
The following is updated in real time.
WWE SmackDown tag team championship: The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton) def. Heath Slater & Rhyno (c) by pinfall (5:53)
In the three-and-a-half years since the debut of The Wyatt Family in WWE, Bray Wyatt -- both solo, and as a member of the group -- has been involved in one high-profile rivalry after another; but until Sunday night, Wyatt was the only one who never held a title in the WWE.
That changed in a hurry at TLC, though, as Wyatt and Randy Orton predictably decimated Heath Slater and Rhyno to become the second team to hold the SmackDown tag team championships.
Slater and Rhyno received some great reactions from fans in the lead-up to their tag-title win but Sunday's match provided them a quick dose of reality about where they stand in the pecking order during their entrance. Despite being the "bad guys" in this rivalry, Orton and Wyatt got a hero's welcome, while Slater and Rhyno came in to relative silence.
As WWE announcer Mauro Ranallo pointed out, Rhyno began the match for the tag team champions for the first time since they began tagging with each other, and once Slater was tagged in ring it was clear why that was --- he appeared overmatched in almost every way against Wyatt and Orton. Slater took a beating for a good chunk of the match, but Rhyno seemed to do what he had done best for their entire reign as he cleaned house upon re-entering.
The most interesting wrinkle of all happened in the closing moments of the match, when Luke Harper emulated Orton's sacrifice from Survivor Series and ate a gore from Rhyno to save Orton outside of the ring. Orton then grabbed the blind tag, hit an RKO on Rhyno and sealed the victory to tremendous applause.
There might be dissension among the ranks of The Wyatts down the line, but for now -- as was clear as both Wyatt and Orton draped their new titles over Harper's shoulders -- it appears they are as well-aligned as they've been since Orton joined.
No disqualification match: Nikki Bella def. Carmella by pinfall (7:39)
This match took far too long to happen during their feud, but once Bella and Carmella got down to it, this no-DQ match was as advertised -- a violent sendoff to a long-brewing conflict.
Carmella wore the wounds of the beating she suffered Tuesday on SmackDown after running down Bella on the microphone, and in the early stages she got her measure of revenge by channeling her inner Sasha Banks with some vicious kendo stick shots.
Bella took control by kicking Carmella in the back and then throwing her into the video board on the ring apron. She then climbed onto the ring barricade and hit a well-executed spinning kick to Carmella's chin, but the finale came when Bella used a fire extinguisher to great effect and then hit the Rack Attack 2.0 to get the pinfall victory.
Both of these women are now clear to move on and put this rivalry behind them, as evidenced by Carmella pointing to Natalya as Bella's secret attacker at Survivor Series. While this match wasn't a technical classic, it accomplished what it set out to do by getting Bella a sorely needed victory.
Ladder match for WWE Intercontinental championship: The Miz (c) def. Dolph Ziggler (25:10)
It would be incredibly difficult to match the intensity and natural energy of their previous matches, but in this final showdown, The Miz and Ziggler closed the last chapter of their feud with an appropriately vicious sendoff.
This match started in a similar manner to their last couple of contests, with each guy swinging for the fences early and missing due to the familiarity of their opponent's offense.
The pace was slow and methodical for that reason, and even as ladders were put into play, most of the biggest swings early on missed their targets. Counter-offense proved to define this match, as Ziggler ate a face-full of ladder on multiple occasions before ultimately using a ladder to pull the The Miz into the ringpost using his momentum. It was clear that these guys were going to get enough time to tell a fitting conclusion to this lengthy story.
A spinning DDT from Ziggler on The Miz was the first sign of a definitive advantage for either man, but even as he walked past Maryse on the outside he took far too long to take advantage. The Miz responded by dropkicking the ladder into Ziggler's face and then shoving it into a prone Ziggler in the corner multiple times. Yet again, though, neither man had a chance to settle down for long, with Ziggler neutralizing The Miz and springboarding off a ladder bridge to hit a Shawn Michaels-esque flying elbow drop.
The Miz took over this match completely by working over Ziggler's knee for a solid five-minute stretch, including a figure-four leglock with Ziggler's leg looped through a ladder. Even as Ziggler tried to superkick The Miz, his injury didn't allow him to do it and he ate a Skull-Crushing Finale face-first onto the ladder.
There were a few other truly creative spots, but The Miz hanging from the loop holding the title belt and Ziggler shaking him free and then using the ladder as a weapon was another big moment. The Miz, who proudly proclaimed "I never get injured" in the lead-up to this match, landed awkwardly on his knee and continued to sell that throughout the rest of the match.
The Miz bounced Ziggler off the top rope and then powerbombed him into a corner ladder, and the match continued to build until both hobbled men climbed two ladders next to each other in the center of the ring. The Miz took advantage against Ziggler, who climbed both ladders at the same time, and hit him with two low-blow kicks to send Ziggler falling for the final time.
One rivalry is undeniably over, and Ziggler's future is uncertain, but the ongoing conflict between The Miz and SmackDown general manager Daniel Bryan took center-stage in a promo just before the match and immediately afterward.
"I want to dedicate this win to the SmackDown general manager Daniel Bryan," The Miz said immediately after the match. "Without your motivation, always hating me, and denying me, and giving Dolph Ziggler chance after chance after chance, it motivated me to be the greatest Intercontinental champion ever."
While it's hard to figure out exactly how this conflict will continue with Bryan's physical condition, The Miz has clearly not seen the end of the wrath of his GM.
Chairs match: Baron Corbin def. Kalisto by pinfall (12:51)
Much was said about how the element of chairs in this match placed things on more of a level footing in terms of the storyline between the 6-foot-8 Corbin and the 5-foot-6 Kalisto. But very few pointed out how ugly and one-sided it could also get with the chairs in play.
The early minutes of this match leaned far more heavily toward the latter, but a drop toe-hold into a chair wedged into the corner by Kalisto and a leap onto Corbin that put his back through six chairs set up in the middle of the ring changed that tune in a hurry. Corbin regain the momentum with a perfect little-guy versus big-guy spot; as Kalisto dove through the middle rope with a tope suicida, Corbin caught him in mid-air and spun him around several times before landing a Deep Six onto the floor.
Say what you want about this match, but both men did a great job conveying just how much they were supposed to hate each other. Corbin missed chair shots as Kalisto did everything to stay one step ahead of the crash, and Kalisto sacrificed his body with an incredible moonsault into double-knees onto a prone Corbin with a chair laying on his chest.
Kalisto connected with a great number of chair shots of his own, and set up a pile of chairs for a Salida Del Sol, but a chair smash to the face of a flying Kalisto and an End of Days from Corbin onto said pile of chairs brought the match to a swift end. Both superstars put their all into this match, and while the crowd was still coming down from the ladder match, there was a fair bit to like about this conflict between two under-utilized talents.
Tables match for WWE SmackDown women's championship: Alexa Bliss def. Becky Lynch (c) (15:16)
Just as the "chairs match" element seemingly leveled the playing field in the previous match, making this a tables match created one of the hardest outcomes of the night to predict. Sure, Lynch was already pushed from the top rope through a table in the build-up, but having a certain element of luck in play always gives the underdog an advantage they wouldn't otherwise enjoy.
Both women really laid the punches and kicks in on their opponents, and both Lynch and Bliss really lived on the edge early in this match as they each teetered on the ring apron and teased falling through the table below. The pace of this match was somewhat off throughout, unfortunately, and while there were moments of excitement and some cool spots, both Lynch and Bliss took a little too long setting up tables on several occasions.
Bliss had the lengthier advantage after doing her signature continuous stomps to the back of the head, forcing Bliss' face into the mat. At some point the teases of running into or through the table, though well done, started to become a little bit much; there was one particular moment, however, when Bliss DDT'd Lynch onto the metal edge of an upside down table, where the challenger looked positioned to take control and brought a somewhat quiet crowd back into the match.
The pace of this title match certainly picked up in the latter stages and, after an eye rake, Bliss powerbombed Lynch from the apron through the table that lingered on the outside of the ring the entire match. Bliss became the second new champion of the night and, while she isn't quite the in-ring technician Lynch is, she provides a great top heel for the talented women's roster to chase in the coming weeks and months.
TLC match for WWE world championship: AJ Styles (c) def. Dean Ambrose (31:03)
For full match recap and ratings, click here.