Tables, and ladders, and chairs! Oh my! Also…stairs? That’s right! It is full metal mayhem in WWE this December as they get ready to hold their TLC (and S) PPV. I’m joined by Steve Schoen and the two of us will be giving our predictions on what we think will happen on Sunday’s PPV.
I’ll be honest, WWE has made it very difficult for me to care about this PPV. Rather than say bad things about the company or Sunday’s PPV before it happens, I’m going to be optimistic and predict my ideal outcomes as opposed to my cynical thoughts.
The New Day vs. Gold and Stardust – Tag Team Match
It is funny how the moment that The New Day debuted, everyone online has been anticipating their heel turn. I’m actually okay with this over-the-top face faction for the time being. I would like to see them have moderate success going in to Wrestlemania challenging for the Tag Team Championship. Miz and Mizdow hold the titles until WrestleMania XXXI and defend against The New Day. Miz abandons Mizdow and The New Day beat Mizdow down causing a heel turn for The New Day and starting the feud we all know is coming between Miz and Mizdow.
In order for that to happen, The New Day first must start with some momentum. I see them taking their first PPV victory here.
Winners – The New Day
After losing the titles at the last pay-per-view event, it’s somewhat odd that Goldust and Stardust would not have a rematch at the next pay-per-view. This goes to show how little WWE knows about booking its talent, as I’m sure this match was set up to give The New Day a push. Once more, people we want to see in the ring will job to those we have no interest in, and history repeats itself.
Winners – The New Day
Ryback vs. Kane – Chairs Match
Kane hasn’t been relevant or interesting since he was a part of Team Hell No. At this point, it feels like he is just collecting a paycheck until he stops wrestling and goes into his insurance business full-time. There is no reason for Ryback to lose here.
Winner – Ryback
With the Authority gone, Kane lacks a true purpose. It seems a natural move for him to don the Mask of the Demon once again, and make the transition back into singles competition. Whether he does this at TLCS or soon after is unknown to me, but it will happen, and this match will provide the impetus for it. With crowds screaming “Feed me more!” and Ryback operating with a full head of steam, Kane will once again tap into those dark, baleful energies that made him the Devil’s favorite demon in the first place. Seeing that he does not need the Authority any longer, he’ll give us a chokeslam to remember and go on to win.
Winner – Kane
Rusev (C) vs. Jack Swagger – Singles Match for the WWE United States Championship
The cynic in me says that if they didn’t give Swagger the win when he was red-hot this past summer, they won’t give it to him here. Another part of me thinks deeper about why they would put Swagger in another match with Rusev. I am quite over the trend of keeping new wrestlers undefeated for as long as possible. Is there one wrestler besides Goldberg that method has actually worked for? Rusev needs a loss and needs to be able to stay relevant without an undefeated streak. The longer this goes on, the less likely Rusev will be able to recover from the inevitable loss. Why not take the fall against his ultimate, American rival, Jack Swagger?
Winner and NEW WWE United States Champion – Jack Swagger
I’ve been sick and tired of Rusev and his four-move-groove running roughshod over WWE for some time now. This is a great opportunity to bring Swagger and Rusev’s feud full circle with a win for Jack here. Who else but the Real American is deserving to wear the Old Glory belt anyway? Rusev has made many enemies, and the Authority is no longer present, so the odds of Rusev garnering outside help are long indeed. Additionally, Jack Swagger will come back with a newfound vigor and annihilate Rusev with untold fury. Patriot Lock for the win. RUSEV WILL TAP.
Winner and NEW WWE United States Champion – Jack Swagger
The Miz and Damien Mizdow (C) vs. The Usos – Singles Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Rarely ever do a heel and a face make for a good tag team. I’m trying to think of one that lasted longer than two weeks and I’m struggling. Miz and Mizdow are a unique combination. Miz is a talented former top star that everyone loves to hate. Mizdow is a man that can hold the crowd’s attention without even being involved in a match. Yes, some dissension has been teased between the two, but I see them holding it together long enough to last until Mania. At the very least, we need to see the moment in the Royal Rumble where Miz gets eliminated and Mizdow eliminates himself in true “Stunt Double” fashion.
As for the match itself, the outcome will likely come down to Miz’s flirting with that one Uso’s wife (I can’t tell the difference between the two twins). She will play a role in accidentally costing the Usos the match.
Winners and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions – The Miz!!!!…. Oh, and Damien Mizdow
The stunt double gimmick has been remarkable for Damien Sandow’s popularity, but as we know, all good things must come to an end. The stew of “Mizdow’s” discontent has been brewing for some time. It’s difficult to tell which insult is greater: being forced to carry two prop title belts instead of one of the real ones, or having his Slammy award stolen and accepted by The Miz. With his usual smug sense of self-satisfaction, Miz will do his best to win by himself, but ultimately fail. Then, as the Usos dance off into the sunset to celebrate their victory, he’ll try to hold Sandow somehow accountable and the confrontation will turn physical. Finally having enough of Miz, Sandow will give Miz his own Skull-crushing Finale, much to the delight of the WWE Universe.
Winner and NEW WWE Tag Team Champions – The Usos
Erick Rowen vs. The Big Show – Steel Stairs Match
Welcome to the Twilight Zone. I had no idea that after the Wyatt Family split Erick Rowen would be my favorite over Luke Harper. I like the somewhat savant aspect to his new character. His new music is odd, yet catchy as well. It would be nice to see Rowen get the victory, however, I feel that he will be lost in the madness that is the Road to Wrestlemania coming up here quick. Here’s hoping Rowen doesn’t get completely forgotten and can become a big player by this time next year.
Winner – Erick Rowen
I’m not sure how I feel about Erick Rowan being played up as a sort of “back woods genius,” but it is nice to see him out from under Bray Wyatt’s thumb. With that in mind, it would be easy to predict that Big Show is going to do a job here in order to give Rowan a push. However, it is nearly the one-year anniversary of Royal Rumble 2014, when Big Show took a major pounding from Brock Lesnar with a fusillade of chair shots. It would be nice to see Show go over here and unleash those chair nightmares on Erick Rowan’s hide.
Winner – Big Show
Luke Harper (C) vs. Dolph Ziggler – Ladder Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Following up from that last match, I’m surprised how little I currently care about Luke Harper since he left the Wyatt Family. I certainly like Harper over Rowen for the past year, but WWE has a strange way of making me not care about Harper at all right now. On the other side of the ring, there is Dolph Ziggler. As much as I like Dolph, I’m not sure that I want him anywhere near the IC title again. The belt is meaningless and pretty much a curse to whoever has held it for the past 5+ years. With that said, I have no idea where Dolph would go from here. Anywhere but the IC title. Have someone interfere (Rusev, BIg Show, Kane, Tyson Kidd, anyone) and cost Ziggler the match.
Winner and STILL WWE Intercontinental Champion – Luke Harper
The fact that they gave the I/C title to a greasy jobber with no mic skills who barely has a gimmick—and even less of one since parting ways with Wyatt—is nothing short of stupid. It goes to show you once again how WWE treats their real talents and what WWE really thinks of their title belts. Ziggler has to regain the title here to maintain any sort of facade of deserving to work on top. Winning the Survivor Series match gave him a great pop, but if he can do that and then show that he can’t handle Harper 1-on-1, he’s going to lose people.
Winner and NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion – Dolph Ziggler
Niiki Bella (C) vs. AJ Lee – Singles Match for the WWE Divas Championship
It felt like AJ was saying goodbye at her Slammy award acceptance speech on Monday. I may be just imagining things, but her husband is now signed on with UFC after a bitter break up with WWE. Even if she doesn’t leave, I just don’t see her picking up the win in this match. Brie is inexplicably back on Nikki’s side after their terrible sisters’ feud over the summer, and I see interference playing a factor yet again like last month.
Winner and STILL WWE DIvas Champion – Nikki Bella
With her sister now back in her corner, Nikki is well-positioned for a successful title defense. With Paige and Alicia Fox noticeably absent from the card, however, who knows what manner of run-in may occur? For her part, AJ has shown herself to be a tireless and fierce competitor, and never lets the odds get her down. After all, I’ve never seen someone resist the Black Widow for more than a few seconds before either managing to break out (rare) or tapping (much more common). Her submission maneuver is fast and lethal, much like the black widow spider itself, so interference on Nikki’s behalf may not matter, as it very well may arrive too late. That being said, AJ needs a win here to continue the feud.
Winner and NEW WWE Divas Champion – AJ Lee
Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt – TLC Match
I’m still waiting for the Bray Wyatt possession storyline. I was convinced it was going to happen this past Wrestlemania when Wyatt was facing John Cena. This idea of mine stems from the fact that before Wyatt sang “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”, he used to sing “Time is On My Side”. Anyone who has seen Denzel Washington’s “Fallen” knows that is the song that those who are possessed by the demon, Azazel, sing. On top of that, when Wyatt was asked on Twitter about what happened to Husky Harris, Wyatt replied with “He needed me, and I needed a vessel”. Since I pieced these things together, I’ve been waiting for Wyatt to possess one of his opponents mid-match and take out Husky Harris. Consecutive weeks would consist of the new vessel growing a beard and coming out to Wyatt’s entrance while the now-free Husky Harris would be pursuing him with the intent of getting re-possessed because “He was never good without the demon.:. If only WWE were brave enough to do this storyline…
As for the match itself, someone is going to get hurt. There is a lot of metal involved here and we have two crazy guys in the ring who have shown not to care much for their own bodies. Ambrose has lost some momentum since October, but the crowd is still behind him. Wyatt has slowly evolved since he first appeared and is now starting to show some cracks in his facade. Wyatt has never been hurt by a loss in the past before, so I see no trouble with him taking one now.
Winner – Dean Ambrose
This kind of match was tailor-made for a person like Dean Ambrose. You have two different types of crazy entering the ring, but it’s Ambrose’s brand of crazy that both wins these matches, and makes these matches worth watching. Psychological warfare is fine and dandy, but unless you can use it to erect force barriers, it won’t protect you from being superplexed off the top of a ladder through a stack of tables into a pile of steel chairs. Additionally, after a DQ loss at Survivor Series, Ambrose needs a (relatively) clean win here to keep the rivalry alive.
Winner – Dean Ambrose
John Cena vs. Seth Rollins – Tables Match. If John Cena loses, he is no longer the Number One Contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Winner – John Cena…
But seriously, does anyone see this realistically playing out any other way? I could see one way of it working out in a different way for the better. Brock Lesnar makes a surprise appearance! Lesnar knocks out the ref and throws Cena through a table. Roman Reigns makes his return with a run out as well and stares down Lesnar. Reigns puts Rollins through a table. The ref wakes up to find both Rollins and Cena put through tables and calls an end to the match. Cena ends up facing Lesnar again in a losing effort at the Rumble, while Reigns wins the Rumble match itself. Rollins enters the title picture because he is Mr. Money in the Bank and we end up with a Fatal 4-Way at Wrestlemania between all of them for the title.
Winner – No Contest/Dirty Finish
Seth Rollins, for whatever reason, is slowly becoming the favorite son of heels in WWE. John Cena, for his part, won a #1 Contender match against Randy Orton to compete for a belt held by a champion who only fights when he wants to. WWE will prove what we’ve known for some time–that their title belts are largely meaningless. Cena will job to Rollins, because let’s face it–who knows when Lesnar will compete again. The Royal Rumble is a “big” pay-per-view, so one might argue that he’ll definitely be there, but again, nothing is guaranteed. Having Cena lose here will put the #1 Contender spot in limbo, and allow the WWE to have a #1 Contender tournament anytime once they have a firm match date for Lesnar set up. And of course, they can just book John to win the tournament again, if they want to.
Winner: Seth Rollins
So there you have it. The show seems non-consequential heading in, but WWE has shown us that “anything can happen.” Here’s hoping for a good show.
You can watch TLCS on the WWE Network and some PPV providers on Sunday, December 14 at 8e/5p.
*All photos belong to the official wwe.com website