Welcome to WNW’s TLC Predictions! TLC will be emanating from the Toyota Center in the hometown of WWE Hall of Famer Booker T, Houston, TX. This month, we have a great lineup of writers giving their predictions! Kendra Bunyon, Chris Surrancy, and Ed Smith are giving full predictions, Justin Mayo and Alex Barie are doing quick picks, and I, Jesse Sherwood, am doing something in the middle. But before we get into the predictions themselves, let’s hear what the writers thought of the build to this new PPV.
It really feels as though the WWE needs to rethink how they build for PPVs. They spend too much time flailing around, not clearly focused on their objectives, and because of that RAW ends up being rewritten ten minutes before the show starts. Other than this most recent episode of RAW, the Slammy episode, RAW has looked like a hot mess thrown together by a couple of great writers, a couple of terrible writers, and an old man who seems to have lost touch the industry. Don't get me wrong, Vince McMahon is a genius, but lately it's been obvious that he no longer truly has his finger on the pulse of the fans and what we really want – though I'm not sure who is truly behind Bryan being held back when he's more over than anyone else on the roster. Fingers seem to point to Trip, and that honestly wouldn't surprise me, but no matter who it is, it might be showing that there are too many spoons in the pot. McMahon might have the final say on the product that goes out, but Trip and Steph are very much in his ear. All that being said, I'm planning on going for crazy predicts this month. The WWE PPVs have just been so blah that I needed something to cheer me up this weekend, besides we are supposed to to get a monster snowstorm Sunday, hopefully I will be able to see the PPV, never mind hanging out the live Blog with everyone!
Well, the good news is that this PPV might actually be good. I'll be ordering this one just like ordered the last two and I'm likely to get my money's worth out of this one. Let's get to this, shall we?
Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango
Pretty bad to see how low Ziggler's been busted. Yes, I know Fandango debuted at Wrestlemania last year against the likes of Chris Jericho, but since that feud ended, he's been in mid-card purgatory. I'm not saying I expected Fandango to be any place but the mid-card, but I didn't expect to see him facing Ziggler opening up pay-per-view. I know I am one of the few who really likes, and enjoys watching Fandango in the ring and see more to him than just Fandango-ing to his entrance music, but I see Ziggler carrying much of this match. Being that this is TLC, they really need to make this match a gimmick match, a great way to kick off TLC! Since McMahon has tried to avoid everything tables, ladders, and chairs, other than in the main event, why would he start by making the opening match something to make sense? So why not have a match where any weapons can be used, other than tables, ladders, and chairs? After some of the matches we've seen Ziggler it was Sandow, we know he can pull off a fantastic gimmick match, if only Fandango can keep up. Sadly, I see Fandango pining for home, and the snowstorm or we are reported to be getting. Texas, on the other hand is not well known for their icy, stormy weather, until recently, so Fandango's brain will be at home, dreaming of all the white, and not paying attention to the match these should be wrestling. Fandango will lose his bearings, tragic dances way out of it, but in the end be taken down by an errant cow bell to the family jewels. More cow bell for Fandango, and Ziggler wins the match.
Kendra's Predicted Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Sam's Predicted Winner: Fandango
Really, the winner of this is anyone's guess. Ziggler's mouth has held him back more times than I care to count and Fandango seems to have peaked some time ago. As Ziggler seems to have done fewer “jobs” lately, I'll say he's probably got the best chance. There's good news either way. No matter who wins, we'll likely get a very well-worked match as both can absolutely go and, since this is a PPV, Ziggler will go the extra mile – even though it's pre-show.
Ed Envisions: Ziggly-puff
Kickoff match, it'll give Ziggler and Fandango a chance to show out a bit since their job is to warm up the live crowd. I honestly don't see how Fandango can win this without being a bit of death nail to Ziggler ever being a main event player again. Summer Rae will try to interfere but it'll backfire on Fandango, he goes under to Ziggler after he hits a Zig-Zag for the win.
Chris' Predicted Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Jesse's Predicted Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Alex's Predicted Winner: Doplh Ziggler
Justin's Predicted Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Diva's Championship Match:
AJ Lee (c) vs. Natalya
Sad to say, but AJ has lost some of her spunk, and I think having to chase the Divas Championship would be good for her at this point. If anyone is deserving of, the Divas Championship, it's Nattie. She's put in a lot of hard work, and only seems to be helping everyone else, rather than getting the glory herself. Nattie is one of the strongest and most skilled Divas on the roster, and it would be nice to see her with the gold right now. The Authority tries to screw her over during this match, by playing some of the messages that Nattie left on Steph's phone the night she drunk dialed her, and this throws Nattie a bit off kilter, but she regains control, knocks Tamina off the apron, and locks the sharpshooter on AJ. AJ has to tap out.
Kendra's Predicted Winner: Natalya
Sam's Predicted Winner: AJ Lee
It appears we may actually get a well-worked Divas match! Both of these ladies can do it and they'll both do really well here. AJ Lee is simply the best Diva on the roster in terms of both charisma and ring work. Natalya's ring work is stellar too so this is going to be one to watch rather than the bathroom break. Who wins? On one hand, AJ has been really compelling to watch. On the other, Natalya's on “Total Divas.” I'm thinking Natalya just might get her due here.
Ed Envisions: Natalya as your NEW Divas Champion
This could be one hell of a match, but I get a feeling it'll be rushed in order to keep the focus on the Unification match. My cousin and I spoke about the Divas division earlier this week with him making the comparison that this is the Shawn Michaels versus Bret Hart of the Divas division. AJ is the charismatic worker who may not be an amazing technician, but busts her ass in the ring and can work a crowd, Nattie is the gifted technician who can work with anyone on the planet and have a great match, but doesn't have the mic skills of her antagonist. If done right, this will be match of the night. Unfortunately, I fear it won't, at least not tonight. AJ wins off a distraction/interference by Tamina.
Chris' Predicted Winner: AJ Lee
Jesse's Predicted Winner: Natalya via DQ, AJ Retains
Alex's Predicted Winner: Natalya
Justin's Predicted Winner: AJ Lee
Intercontinental Title Match:
Big E. Langston (c) vs. Damien Sandow
I have to admit I'm really looking forward to this match. I am becoming, very quickly, a Big E fan. I have liked him from the start, but now that the WWE has done the smart thing, and turned him face, he is really starting to glow. The same can be said for Sandow, he is really growing in the ring, which is nice because he was a bit formulaic and boring before cashing and again Cena. Because of all of this, I'm expecting these two to give us a splendid match. Honestly, I'm having a hard time writing crazy predicts for this match, because I'm really, really looking forward to seeing what these two do. I have a feeling that with the booking of Royal Rumble, and Wrestlemania being looked at in a serious way, these two are going to pull out all the stops, and give us something great - their way to prove that they deserve big matches at RR and WM. In some ways, I wish that this was a Tables Match, but in other ways, I'm excited to see their pure styles and power in the ring. This should be the start of something great, a lovely feud between these two men, but too early for Big E to drop the strap.
Kendra's Predicted Winner: Big E. Langston
Sam's Predicted Winner: Big E. Langston
I'm a huge fan of Big E. He's got tremendous support backstage and he's absolutely hilarious and sharp-witted when he's allowed to be. Damien Sandow is absolutely no slouch when it comes to charisma and ring work too. His series of matches with Dolph Ziggler show that can really go. He seems to be in a bit of a holding pattern since losing MITB and Big E. absolutely isn't. Do they keep the title on Big E. for a little bit longer? Do they give it to Sandow and solidify Sandow's standing in the mid-card? I like Big E. with that title for right now and I don't think he'll drop it yet.
Ed Envisions: Big E. Langston
Langston has been on the rise in the company, and Sandow is a hell of a talent to help put him over. While I hope Sandow continues to climb to ladder in the company, Langston is on the move as well and deserves the push. I'm going to go ahead and give this match to Big E, not to punish Sandow but because it leads to an idea that I think we could see happening within the next month. Big E wins, clean, and keeps the IC title.
Chris' Predicted Winner: Big E. Langston
Jesse's Predicted Winner: Big E. Langston
Alex's Predicted Winner: Big E. Langston
Justin's Predicted Winner: Big E. Langston
3-on-1 Handicap Match:
CM Punk vs. The Shield
After what we saw from Punk this past episode of RAW, I think he might even have a fighting chance. Well I said that Cody and Goldy might start having issues, I think that The Shield is going to show their severe issues in this match. It will start off with Reigns, Rollins, and Ambrose all up and Punk's business, but before long Ambrose will let his ego gain control, and he will lose the rest of his team. We have all seen that Punk, riled up as he is right now, can take out Ambrose on his own. Sadly the abuse wrought by Reigns and Rollins earlier in the match was too much, and Punk just doesn't have what it takes, Ambrose's gonna win! But no, Rollins and Reigns have had enough of Ambrose and his ego, they return and make sure Punk pulls out the win.
Kendra's Predicted Winner: CM Punk
Sam's Predicted Winner: The Shield
This is going to be interesting. Of course, it doesn't even need to be said that all of these men can work incredibly well and we're likely to get a pretty amazing story out of this. On WWE, they've been teasing a breakup of The Shield for a little bit now. There is absolutely no way CM Punk can outright win this without making Ambrose, Rollins, & Reigns look incredibly weak. Punk can take the loss but an outright loss wouldn't have a point as no story would be furthered by it. For my part, I'm against breaking up The Shield just yet. Still, this match has to have an odd outcome for everyone to come out of unscathed. The office wants to do break them up and make something of Reigns so I'm going rogue.
Ed Envisions: CM Punk wins with quickie win and, either definitive dissention between Shield members is created or the Shield disintegrates in front of our very eyes!
We've already seen some splintering in The Shield and I think we'll see it get even worse in this match. Punk will get beat on, but he'll keep coming, as is his style. During the match, we'll see a moment where Reigns and Ambrose come to odds once again and Roman will start to walk away from the match. As he's leaving Seth Rollins will go up the ramp and talk him back to the ring. During this Punk will get an advantage on Ambrose and much like we've seen already he'll reverse Ambrose's finish and get him up for the GTS. The difference will be that he'll get Ambrose up and Reigns will spear Punk to make the save, and Ambrose will fall on top for the pinfall. I predict the dissention will grow with Reigns squaring off with Langston for Intercontinental Championship at the Royal Rumble and an eventual US and IC unification match between Ambrose and Reigns at either Elimination Chamber or WrestleMania.
Chris' Predicted Winner: The Shield, with a wedge driven deeper between Ambrose and Reigns
Jesse's Predicted Winner: CM Punk via rollup after Reigns inadvertantly Spears both Rollins and Ambrose
Alex's Predicted Winner: The Shield
Justin's Predicted Winner: The Shield
3-on-1 Handicap Match:
Daniel Bryan vs. The Wyatt Family
I am not exactly sure what they were trying to get at by booking this match, but other than the main event, this could be the screwiest match of the night. There's so many questions, but I'm wondering which ones will be answered. Bray wants Bryan to embrace the monster inside of him. This is a story line we have seen before, but it is working so much better than when Kane was trying to get Cena to embrace his inner monster. I am expecting we will see swerve, but not just any swerve! I think we're going to see a double swerve. Just when things are looking bad for our intrepid hero, intelligence will prevail and Bryan will play the player. When it looks like Bryan is down for the count, the three count, he will make a deal with the devil – Bray, that is. Bryan will embrace the light, follow the buzzards, understand Sister Abigail. All will seem right with the world for The Wyatt Family, until Bryan takes Harper down hard for the three and flees.
Kendra's Predicted Winner: Daniel Bryan
Sam's Predicted Winner: The Wyatt Family
Daniel Bryan is, without question, the most “over” Superstar on WWE's roster. He is loved by absolutely everyone. I am no exception. I think he's absolutely WWE's best worker if not the best worker in the world. The Wyatts (Rowan and Harper specifically) have shown themselves to be pretty decent workers as well given their recent run of tag matches together. Bray Wyatt's genius is all about what he does on the mic. Still, there are some pretty compelling things he does while he's in the ring and I look forward to seeing those Bray-isms during this match. As with the last match, some swerve is definitely needed. It'd be fun, too, to do something totally swervalicious with Bryan's character.
Ed Envisions: The Wyatt Family, with Bryan joining the Wyatts
While this, as well as the other three on one handicap match, could be very ugly, I actually see one hell of a match coming from these men. Daniel is the best in the business today and the Wyatt Family has been on the rise for quite a while now. I'm going to call for a fairly wonky finish to this match, while everyone expects the swerve finishes in the Unification match; I think these matches will see the strange moments come. I actually see Daniel Bryan getting the win in this match, although he'll take heavy damage, he'll pull off the victory with a little help from his friend.
Chris' Predicted Winner: Daniel Bryan, with help from Kane
Jesse's Predicted Winner: Daniel Bryan via DQ, Punk saves Bryan after the match.
Alex's Predicted Winner: Daniel Bryan
Justin's Predicted Winner: The Wyatt Family
Fatal 4-Way for the Tag Team Championships:
Cody Rhodes and Goldust (c) vs. Big Show and Rey Mysterio vs. The Real Americans vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel
They're really doing this? This could be an absolute comedy of errors, and it's Cody and Goldust I feel the worst for. The Rhodes brothers have done so much for the Tag Division recently, but this is a huge step back. Nothing against any of the other teams, as Ryback and Axel have proven to be so much better together than with Heyman, Swagger and Cesaro are a decent strong team – even though Swagger involved - and I have always loved Big Show working with Rey – they are such a creative dichotomy. I do not expect the TTC to change hands here, but in such a big match, we might see the start of possible issues between Cody and Goldy. Not saying there to break up, but when Cody does not save Goldy from Cesaro's giant swing, Rey's 619, the Swagger bomb, shell shocked, the perfect-plex, a KO punch, and somehow a stray disaster kick, the issues start form. Luckily Cody is able to take down Swagger in a big way, so that they can retain the TTC.
Kendra's Predicted Winner: Cody Rhodes and Goldust
Sam's Predicted Winner: Cody Rhodes and Goldust
This is going to be good. How can it not be? One of these teams is pretty “thrown together (Big Show & Mysterio? How did that happen?) Goldust and Rhodes can absolutely work with Goldust being the real standout here. They've shown us that in their myriad matches with The Shield and the Real Americans can too – though Cesaro is definitely the one to watch here. Mysterio's abilities have yet to be fully tested since he came back but there's no doubt he can put on a show when the need arises. Big Show has been in enough of these situations so, of course, he'll be just fine. Curtis Axel has about as much charisma as a bottle of maple syrup but there's no question that he can work. The only real issue in this match might be Ryback. Still, there'll be enough going on with everyone else that it might not even be an issue. It's not like Ryback can't work at all; he just isn't that compelling to watch yet. I actually like the idea of teaming Ryback with Axel and having them in the mid-card. Both could stand to improve and this is a good way to do it. I'm optimistic about them. As for this match, I can't imagine any other outcome than...
Ed Envisions: Cody Rhodes and Goldust
First off, why the HELL are Show and Mysterio in this instead of say PTP, The Usos, any two members of 3MB, Ryder and Gabriel? Hell I would have even settled for Los Matadores. Anyway, I'm done with that particular gripe. I'll make this short and sweet; the Rhodes Legacy wins the match and retains the Tag Titles, keeping their amazing run going just a bit longer.
Chris' Predicted Winner: Cody Rhodes and Goldust
Jesse's Predicted Winner: Cody Rhodes and Goldust
Alex's Predicted Winner: Cody Rhodes and Goldust
Justin's Predicted Winner: Cody Rhodes and Goldust
Title Unification Match under TLC rules:
WWE Champion Randy Orton vs. World Heavyweight Champion John Cena
I think it's almost guaranteed that this match is going to end in some absurdly screwy way, they've been very obviously booking it to happen that way, but honestly, if the majority of the matches are strong, and this match is as hard hitting as these men are capable of, I'm okay with all the screwiness that could come from it. The big question is, which swerve are they going with? Are they going to have Cena grab the WWE Championship, and Orton grab the WHC? Or, maybe they're both completely knocked out somehow, and no one can grab a strap? There are so many different ways that the WWE could book this match, but I have to go with The Authority screwing over Orton and a huge way. Trip was quite vague on Smackdown, and Orton did not look quite sure he believed Trip accepted his apology. What I see happening, is Steph getting involved in the match, pushing Orton's ladder over, sending him through Spanish announce in a splintering explosion of wires and wood. That leaves only one man to climb the ladder and win the match. But no, that would be too easy! There has to be someone else to take the Title and run, but who? The obvious choice is Trip, but that's just too obvious. Trip will be down there but so will Kane. Kane is going to pick up the win and be the Champion.
Kendra's Predicted Winner: Kane
Sam's Predicted Winner: John Cena
Cena's and Orton's promo work for this match has been just amazing. We know Cena's mic work can be somewhat cheesy at times but his work in this feud has been perfection. He's been edgy and he's kept it real. Orton, too, has been phenomenal. He's lost the “robotic” thing and found edge we weren't sure he had. Despite what many thing, Orton and Cena can work so this will be one to watch. Add in the gimmick and it could be a lot of fun. The finish? There are so many ways both could win that it's almost head-spinning. LOL! Like most, I don't actually see an actual unification happening. We are likely doomed to get "The Great Unfinish." Do I care? Not at all if they put on a great match.
Ed Envisions: Both win and the titles switch
I see this actually going one way, because I could easily see a bigger setup for WrestleMania coming from this match. While there will be interference, and even teases that Triple H might take the title, even a potential moment where it looks like both men will just swap titles, I think they restart it with both belts being hung back up above the ring. In the end, we'll get SuperCena as the new Undisputed WWE Champion. This sets up for the rematch with Bryan at Royal Rumble.
Chris' Predicted Winner: John Cena
Jesse's Predicted Winner: After a false finish of both men grabbing the titles, the match is restarted and Triple H grabs both titles.
Alex's Predicted Winner: None
Justin's Predicted Winner: John Cena
Thanks everyone for reading, and don't forget to join us in the Live Blog tonight, and for our Live Coverage! Post your Predicts below!
Jesse, Kendra, Ed, Chris, Justin, and Alex