Sunday, December 16th, the WWE presents TLC from the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York. There's been issues going into this PPV, specifically Punk's surgery, but the WWE has worked hard to give us a solid card. I will admit that I'd been contemplating possibly trying to get WrestleMania tickets since the location was announced. While TLC is just as close, I never even thought of going. Is that because of the hype behind WrestleMania? Possibly, but I have to admit that much of this card would have me driving six plus hours to get there.
I know many of you have been complaining about the bitterness of our write ups. I have defended that by saying that WWE hasn’t given us a reason to be positive. I will say though these last few weeks have given me more than enough to be excited about. Raw has been getting better. There has been good build to this ppv even with the sudden derail with punk. Yes there is been questionable booking but I am remaining optimistic. As you all know I am a fan of fantasy booking so a few matches here I will be putting my thoughts of if I were booking this ppv this is what I’d do.
Ken Predicts - Pre-PPV Match – 'Santa's Little Helpers' Divas # 1 Contender Battle Royal – Layla vs Kaitlyn vs Alicia Fox vs Natalya vs Tamina Snuka vs Aksana vs Rosa Mendez vs Cameron vs Naomi
It's really sad to see how the Divas have fallen since Trish left. Few of them seem to actually work the ring on a regular basis! Cameron and Naomi are dancers who run with Funkasaurus. Rosa is a manager running with the Colons being wooed by ADR. Aksana had been running with Long, then Cesaro, and finally seems to be showing some advancement in the ring, but not enough to push for a Divas Title Match. Fox only seems to be in matches, but I can't say her ring work is anything worth our time. And then poor Natalya's been running with Khali and Hornswoggle! That leaves Layla, Kaitlyn and Tamina. Of the three, Tamina is the force to be reckoned with, but she's not at all done with AJ, and Eve is a heel, so there's no way they'd put them fighting for the Title. That leaves Layla and Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn keeps getting screwed out of her Title Match and possible win over Eve, so I have to go with her to win this. I know it's obvious, but everything in the Divas Division has been obvious lately. In all reality, after the match they had on Smackdown, I'd rather see Kidd and Gabriel in a pre-PPV match, but that's just my feelings behind it.
Ken's Predicted Winner – Kaitlyn
Stacy's Predicted Winner – Fox
Alex Predicts - Pre-PPV Match – 'Santa's Little Helpers' Divas # 1 Contedender Battle Royal – Layla vs Kaitlyn vs Alicia Fox vs Natalya vs Tamina Snuka vs Aksana vs Rosa Mendez vs Cameron vs Naomi
I have no idea where the diva division is at right now. I don't know anyone's win-loss record. I did see a video of Tamina on Smackdown...either last week or this past week. I know WWE is pushing her as she did Vickie's dirty work a couple weeks ago. I see her getting a great push.
Alex's Predicted Winner – Tamina
Gesus Predicts - Pre-PPV Match – 'Santa's Little Helpers' Divas # 1 Contedender Battle Royal – Layla vs Kaitlyn vs Alicia Fox vs Natalya vs Tamina Snuka vs Aksana vs Rosa Mendez vs Cameron vs Naomi
Lets hope Kaitlyn can botch the finish again! Seriously though I think this is a weak pre show match to have at this point. I would rather have them on pre show though than killing the actual ppv. My money is on Layla to win since the only one really getting a push that is face is her. Fingers Crossed for a diva to roll out of the ring!
Gesus' Predicted Winner – Layla
Ken Predicts - United States Title Match – Antonio Cesaro (c) vs R-Truth
They've done a really solid job of pushing Cesaro along and building this feud. It hasn't been top priority, but along with the IC Title, the WWE has done a decent job. I've really been enjoying Cesaro's matches more and more as he comes into his own in the WWE, but it's obvious that we've only seen a tiny bit of his full potential. Cesaro is one seriously strong man who, if some character develops, could be a top guy in the WWE. That the biggest focus hasn't always been on the physically biggest guys, Cesaro could do quite well as he is a fairly good sized guy, and his ring work is great; with his strength he could really lead the top. But he's not there yet. Honestly, early on, I was worried about him holding this Title, but he's come into his own – him and his man-purse. Because of how he's pushing that no American can beat him for the US Title, I don't see R-Truth as beating him here. R-Truth is a solid work horse for the WWE, and he's proven himself to be a team player. I don't see him attaining more than the US or IC Titles again in his career, but he's always reliable for a good match or vignette, and for that he's a great person to help elevate Cesaro and get him past this tough point he's been stuck in.
Ken's Predicted Winner – Cesaro
Stacy's Predicted Winner – Cesaro
Alex Predicts - United States Title Match – Antonio Cesaro (c) vs R-Truth
There is no chance I am going against Cesaro. He is on a roll. I like him and WWE likes him. I expect him to retain....come on, he speaks 5 different languages!
Alex's Predicted Winner – Cesaro
Gesus Predicts - United States Title Match – Antonio Cesaro (c) vs R-Truth
I love love LOVE Cesaro. A huge mark for the man. He also has what it takes. It’s now or never time for him and he is flourishing greatly. Hear me out on this one, it’s like watching Rocky Miavia. He came out and you just knew he was going to be a star. Watching him get a gimmick that may not be the best conceived and have him take the ball and run! Cesaro is just a great talent. Before you get angry, I know he wont be the next rock, but I don’t think I have seen such a talent that gets it like he does since. Correct my if I’m wrong please.
Anyways back to this match. R-truth is a joke. It’s real it’s real. I don’t like the guy never have. Him and Kofi were perfect for each other. There is no reason or believability that Cesaro will lose the title. Cesaro needs to get into a credible feud. **Which is where my fantasy booking comes in. I would love to see Cesaro and Barrett team up and dominate the titles. A Little stable perhaps if they can find the right manager. They could be two foreigners holding the domestic and foreign titles perhaps? There are many possibilities. **
Gesus' Predicted Winner – Cesaro
Ken Predicts - Tables Match for #1 Contendership for Tag Team Championship – Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow)
I don't think there's any question who will win this match. It seems as though Rey and Sin Cara have turned into Saturday Morning Slam guys who help enhance other talent, but play up wonderfully for the kids. They're strong competitors, but they're not climbing to the top the way Rhodes and Sandow are right now. Other than that thing on Rhodes' upper lip, this two are stars who are growing exponentially. The sky is the limit for these two, but first they will be Tag Team Champs. Honestly, I think they would have won the TTC at TLC if not for Punk's emergency surgery. This will be a good match for them to get back in the groove as a team in front of a solid crowd. It should be a really solid match before Sin Cara goes through a table. Hopefully he makes it though this match without another injury.
Ken's Predicted Winner – Team Rhode Scholars
Stacy's Predicted Winner – Team Rhode Scholars
Alex Predicts - Tables Match for #1 Contendership for Tag Team Championship – Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow)
I read that this match was going on through Richard's final line-up article and I was surprised. I didn't think we would see a Tables Match on the PPV. We are though. Just like the United States Title Match, I see Damien Sandow on a huge roll. He is going to continue this roll. He is going to pick up the win, with Cody, and they will go on to face Team Hell No. I like it.
Alex's Predicted Winner – Rhodes & Sandow
Gesus Predicts - Tables Match for #1 Contendership for Tag Team Championship – Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow)
I have asked around and no one knows where this really came from. It could be quite the treat and potential show stealer if ReyCara are on their game. I am not a fan of tables matches because they seem to be really hit or miss. Though one of the fewer match stipulations used in wrestling which will make bit bearable to watch. I don’t see how Rhodes Scholars can lose this. It’s a shame this didn’t have any build because it could have been some more great television. I hope to see a lot of innovation in this match and like I said, steal the show.
Gesus' Predicted Winner – Rhodes Scholars
Ken Predicts - Intercontinental Championship Match – Kofi Kingston (c) vs Wade Barrett
While I don't see the US Title changing hands at TLC, I'm not so sure about the IC Title! Kofi has really done a strong job with this title reign. Actually I'm quite impressed with how well he's done without Orton holding him back. His ring work has grown and matured with his time as a partner, and singles competitor, something I'd worried about early on. I think Kofi has continued to be bolstered by R-Truth and his feud with Cesaro. All that being said, it might be time for Kofi to be fighting back against Barrett, trying to get the IC Title back from him. I don't think any other titles will be changing hands at TLC – unless they throw in the Divas Title Match, then maybe – but this one very could. Barrett is a rising star in the WWE and the IC Title would be a solid next step for him. This could set up a really solid feud between the two, something they've both been proving that they can flourish with. So, with all that, I'm going with Barrett to win this after a solid and gimmick free match.
Ken's Predicted Winner – Barrett
Stacy's Predicted Winner – Barrett
Alex Predicts - Intercontinental Championship Match – Kofi Kingston (c) vs Wade Barrett
I actually sense a title change right here. Kofi is a good champion but I see WWE pushing Wade. He came back from injury and really hasn't done anything. Now is his chance to really push forward and show why I was a fan of his. Wade will win the title.
Alex's Predicted Winner – Wade
Gesus Predicts - Intercontinental Championship Match – Kofi Kingston (c) vs Wade Barrett
As most of you should know I am not a fan of Kofi. I never saw him as main event talent. He has good talent and think it was terrible for Orton to bury him. I would love to see what he could do, but I really just don’t like it. I would love to see Barrett win this match and carry the title. Going onto the Road to Mania it is important he doesn’t get lost in the fray. He has some real potential and is a rising star in this business but needs to coast until post mania.
Gesus' Predicted Winner – Barrett
Ken Predicts - Ladder Match for Ziggler's WHC MITB contract – Dolph Ziggler vs John Cena
I'm going to state this simply. It would be a travesty for Ziggler to lose his MITB to anyone, but especially Cena. Even though this goes against all that the WWE works for, I'm going with Ziggler to win this one and retain his MITB – because he's worked for it and deserves it! Honestly, Cena doesn't need this to get over, or move his way up, but this is the third match for Ziggler to gain or retain this bloody case – that's just bull! And then there's the biggest question – why would they put him in a feud with Cena if not to elevate him? My biggest worry, beyond the WWE screwing Ziggler, is Ziggler taking too many risks in this match. Hopefully he will work hard, and not stupid, to retain his MITB. Anyone think AJ will cost Cena the match somehow?
Ken's Predicted Winner – Ziggler!
Stacy's Predicted Winner – Cena
Alex Predicts - Ladder Match for Ziggler's WHC MITB contract – Dolph Ziggler vs John Cena
I have never really understood why these two are fighting again. I mean we seen them a lot before and I know we will see them in the future too, but WWE keeps booking this. I do like how Ziggler is going against a huge and credible star. Him going over Cena is a huge boost in momentum as well as his career. I do see Ziggler winning this match as I doubt he will lose the briefcase. I actually think (I don't know but it just popped into my head) that Cena will go for the case, and grab it, but the referee will be knocked down or distracted. Ziggler will be able to grab the case for the referee to see it and win. Who knows, but I do see Ziggler keeping the briefcase....no matter what weird finish WWE does.
Alex's Predicted Winner – Ziggler
Gesus Predicts - Ladder Match for Ziggler's WHC MITB contract – Dolph Ziggler vs John Cena
That would lead to this match being a traditional TLC match! I think not having a real one hurts this ppv more than just being a standard gimmick ppv is. This would create a lot of excitement for this match. I think many people would be excited to see this match then. I think Ziggler losing the briefcase would be the wrong choice and direction for WWE to go. Ziggler needs the rub and this late into the year I think his window is closing. I want to see him get a good run. Heck, I would also pop to see Ziggler lose and see his second reign last longer than his first of 11 minutes to maybe 20? However much time is allowed for this match. I also think changing the straps that much would be terrible to the credibility of it, though would get a lot of people excited to see what happens. I know some of you are going to complain and say the briefcase will be suspended above the ring before the show and such. They have done it before where they lower the rope and put the title up and such and such.
Gesus' Predicted Winner – Either way, Ziggler wins
Ken Predicts - Chairs Match for WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Big Show (c) vs Sheamus
I really don't see Big Show dropping the WHC to Sheamus, even though Sheamus has been getting the upper chair over Big Show. Even thought Sheamus' is a very strong competitor, a very strong character, and has Trip's backing, I don't see him winning, at least not right now. I don't think it will be Sheamus who it will be to knock the gold off Big Show, and I wonder about Mark Henry's return.
Beyond all that, I see these two men beating the heck out of each other in this match before Big Show wins. One thing I found interesting on Smackdown this week is the continuing friendship between Sheamus and Regal. Everyone knows I'm a huge Regal fan, and have been since his WCW days. His friendship with Sheamus seems a bit odd as Regal usually doesn't run as a face for very long. Regal is a fantastic heel, and I'm wondering if he might turn on his friend and cost him the match. I might be grasping at straws, but I'd love to see Regal have one last run on TV, and a feud with Sheamus could be fun. I know, pipe dreams are nothing like pipe bombs.
Ken's Predicted Winner – Big Show
Stacy's Predicted Winner – Big Show
Alex Predicts - Chairs Match for WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Big Show (c) vs Sheamus
I could see both of these stars going over in this match. WWE really don't like Show carrying the title long (as I can tell in history) and HHH is still trying to make Sheamus the face of Smackdown, but I see Sheamus winding down. He isn't what he used to be. I would much rather have him heel. In any case, I do see Show going over. It is common sense on account that Show can hit Sheamus with chairs and vise versa....but you have to take the size of the stars into account. WWE doesn't like doing common sense things, but I still say Show goes over.
Alex's Predicted Winner - Show
Gesus Predicts - Chairs Match for WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Big Show (c) vs Sheamus
Despite what people are saying these guys are putting on some good matches pretty consistently. Despite their size and Big Show's increasing inability to go in the ring, I have been enjoying it. I have said for a while now for Show to hang them up, but he is proving me wrong. Sheamus slowly on his way down the roster. I think it’s some good humbling and keep him putting out consistently good matches that have been a bit lacking until he lost his top spot. I hope to see something good again from these guys. I approve of no chair shots to the head, and in this day and age there is no real reason not to. I think back to Foley in his I Quit Match, it is one of the matches I wont watch. It gets me emotional and worked up. That be said, they really need to do something creative with the chair shots to the back. It just looks weak. ***This is what I would like to see post match. Maybe Big show cheat to win and Sheamus get mad and brogue kick him with a chair to the head. Then have Ziggler cash in his MITB contract to become the new WH Champ.***
Gesus' Predicted Winner – Ziggler
Ken Predicts - Tables & Ladders & Chairs Match – decided by pinfall of submission – Ryback & Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan & Kane) vs The Shield (Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns)
I have to admit that this is the match I'm waiting for. There's a lot of other really great wrestlers on the card (and I'm thrilled that ADR isn't scheduled to be wrestling), but there's so many wild cards in this match and I find that exciting. Kane is the veteran wrestler of this match and will hold his own, and I'm sure he will help bring some maturity to the match. Bryan is just fantastic, and has really blossomed in the WWE, and even more so with Kane, so I'm expecting a lot from these two. I was a huge fan of Rollins (Tyler Black) when he was in ROH, and I'm expecting more and better from him. Ambrose made quite a name for himself in indy promotions and Dragon's Gate USA, and I've heard really great things about him. Rather than hunting some of his matches online, I'm going to sit back and wait for TLC to see what he pulls out. Same for Reigns who is really the dark horse in this match, in more ways than one. Then there's Ryback. Ryback hasn't been proven in a big PPV match, even though he was in the past two main events. With Ryback I have gone back and watched older matches of his and have been pretty impressed with his ring skills. I only worry that with the added muscle bulk (and VKM not really caring about ring skills) that he won't bring his full arsenal to this match. Then again, this is a TLC Match, so I imagine we will see a lot more high spots than the actual wrestling that made me fall in love with Bryan in ROH.
I feel that Ryback has to win this match because, if he doesn't, then he'll have lost three PPVs in a row and would look like nothing more than a PPV failure – no matter what the circumstances behind the losses. If it was an elimination match, The Shield could look wonderfully strong, but in the end Ryback could come out on top. How they're going to handle this without either Ryback or The Shield looking totally weak is something I haven't figured out. Team Hell No can get past a loss, but I'm not sure Ryback can, and I think it would be shooting out The Shield's knees out from under them, but would it kill their push? Screw it, I think something is going to happen, something screwy, possibly Maddox? Possibly someone we haven't even thought of (Brock) (doubt it) comes out and somehow makes sure The Shield wins this one to continue their push.
Ken's Predicted Winner – The Shield
Stacy's Predicted Winner – Team Hell No & Ryback
Alex Predicts - Tables & Ladders & Chairs Match – decided by pinfall of submission – Ryback & Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan & Kane) vs The Shield (Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns)
This is an easy call. I am sure everyone is going to pick the same team. The Shield goes over. Ryback won't be involved in the pin or submission (hopefully not) but Shield will go over as it will only make them look stronger. Now if this doesn't happen, I seriously have to question the people who are writing and booking this stuff.
Alex's Predicted Winner – The Shield
Gesus Predicts - Tables & Ladders & Chairs Match – decided by pinfall of submission – Ryback & Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan & Kane) vs The Shield (Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns)
I have a few questions about this match before I really get into it. I am under the impression that this will be a Tornado Tag match? I couldn’t see them really defy logic by not having it so. Secondly are The Shield going to wrestle in those vests? I sure hope not. This match has been seemingly thrown together as well as a last ditch for Punks injury. Like many people have said this is a great way to blow off booking into the corner. That being said there are many ways the could get out of this corner. I am coming around to Ryback as a Smackdown talent. I don’t buy him as Raw talent, but would like to see him run on Smack down. I will say one thing, This man's promos suck! Watching Main Event Wednesday was just brutal. Come on guy, yeah I get it you’re intense, but take a breath and stop making terrible eating puns. This match I don’t see having great wrestling, but am excited to see a lot of action and carnage. I am sort of hoping there is a surprise 4th person for the shield and have that be Kassius Ohno. I think it’d be a great way to gang up on Team Friendship/Hell No and Ryback to get the upper hand only for Ryback to come back and get a win. I don’t think a lose for The Shield in this ppv would hurt them much. Maybe have them run out of the match and have the ref throw it out as a no contest. Either way sadly I just don’t see The Shield winning this match. Can’t really put a finger on why.
Gesus' Predicted Winner – Team Hell No & Ryback
Brooks Predicts -
Divas Battle Royal – Kaitlyn, but Eve will retain if they face off at TLC
US Title Match – Antonio Cesaro
Tables Match – Team Rhode Scholars
IC Title Match – Kofi Kingston
MITB Ladder Match – Dolph Ziggler
Chairs Match – Sheamus
TLC Match – Ryback & Team Hell No
It is a shame Punk wont be in a match this ppv. I am hoping like the last time he was injured with his elbow, that he brings out the Sports Jacket and does some commentary. Maybe Heyman as well? Maybe have them just take over commentary. Not really sure and don’t really see the latter happening, but a boy can dream. For those who don’t remember last year, my wife went undefeated on this PPV and she won’t let me forget it. Let’s hope she doesn’t do it again this year. Again I regret to inform you that I will not be in the Live Blog, but at a PPV party again this month. For those interested in my thoughts you can follow me on twitter @gesusoliver I love to interact. Otherwise it’s just me and Alex arguing. This has the potential to be a hot ppv and a great way to start the fire for the Road to Wrestlemania. Let’s see what WWE can do.
I normally arrange the matches in the order I think would make sense happening on the PPV. Honestly, the last thing I want to see ending the show is Cena. As much as I love Ziggler, and as great as I think he is, Cena shouldn't be ending every PPV, no matter what's going on. I don't see the WHC Match being a big enough match to end the show. In my opinion, I think the actual TLC Match should end the PPV. One of the men who was supposed to be in the main event is in it, so that further pushes my thoughts that the TLC Match will end TLC. What do you think?
Make sure you join us in the WNW WWE TLC Live Blog to hang out with WNW writers and talk wrestling with other fans. It's always a very fascinating time, so make sure you stop by and have your say on TLC, the WWE, or the industry as a whole. Never a dull moment!
KB, Alex, Gesus & Brooks