Welcome to WNW’s TLC 2016 Predictions! TLC will be emanating from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. This time around, we have myself, Brendan Wahl, Joshua Tucker and Big M providing predictions. (Going forward, this will primarily be the group of writers predicting SmackDown pay-per-views.) Let’s get to it!
Kalisto vs. Baron Corbin
WWE tried doing this feud before SummerSlam but plans were put on hold once Kalisto got injured. I'm glad they are continuing it. The booking has actually been pretty smart if you've been paying attention. Kalisto attacked Corbin before Survivor Series, taking The Lone Wolf off Team SmackDown. In return, Corbin surprisingly ruined Kalisto's chance of winning the Cruiserweight Title. This show needs a Chairs match of course, so why not use it here, right? It's basically just filler, but I'm actually interested in this kind of filler. WWE needs to use their time wisely in building up Corbin to be a top heel for the blue brand. Kalisto will be fine taking the loss, though I hope he continues to be booked as a strong midcarder.
CJ's Predicted Winner: Baron Corbin
This will surprise everyone, I think, and actually end up a pretty good big vs. little match. Corbin can be good with the right opponents and Kalisto brings out the best in a lot of guys (i.e. Ryback). Still, Corbin should win and then hopefully move on to a big-level feud.
Brendan's Predicted Winner: Baron Corbin
After this match is over please please please!!!!! Keep these two men away from each other for a minimal of 2 years. I’m so over this feud and I want Baron Corbin to become the monster heel he should ALREADY BE!!! He has been shoe-horned into 2 really bad feuds with Ziggler and Kalisto both of which went on for far too long. I really hope Corbin wins this match by just beating Kalisto down to the point they have to stop the match to rebuild his unstopableness. Because if Kalisto wins Corbin better start digging the hole because he’s not going to be seeing the sky again anytime soon.
Joshua's Predicted Winner: Baron Corbin
Big M's Predicted Winner: Kalisto
No Disqualification Match
Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
I totally thought I'd be sick of this feud by now, but these ladies still have my attention. This is very much a step in the right direction for Nikki, Carmella, and the brand/division as a whole. My only question is how do we book this? To keep storylines flowing, it would make sense to think that Natalya attacked Nikki at Survivor Series. If that's the case, then I would expect she interferes in this match on behalf of Carmella. This allows for Carmella to win and move on to hunt the Women's Championship while Nattie and Nikki begin feuding into the new year.
CJ's Predicted Winner: Carmella
It's the big blow-off and the baby usually prevails over the heel in the last match. It would be weird if Carmella were to win here. Since it's No DQ, I wonder what they will attempt in this one.
Brendan's Predicted Winner: Nikki Bella
This has been a pretty good feud between these two ladies. Carmella has brought her a game and she has gone toe-to-toe with one of the top stars in the women’s division regardless of your opinion of her in-ring ability Nikki Bella is a top star for the women. I believe this is when Natalya vs Nikki begins and I think Natalya costs Nikki this match to give Carmella a much need win before they move on in feuds.
Joshua's Predicted Winner: Carmella
Big M's Predicted Winner: Nikki Bella
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match
Rhyno & Heath Slater (c) vs. Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton
It seems that every time there's an opportunity for American Alpha to take hold of the SmackDown Tag Titles, another team comes along and ruins there chances. It happened with Rhyno & Slater, and now Orton & Wyatt have passed them up. It creates an interesting story for down the line. Regardless, this match doesn't have any real build, but it'll still be fun to watch. I totally expect Orton and Wyatt to establish their dominance by winning the titles here. Rhyno will go somewhere, while I suppose Slater could move towards the midcard title scene?
CJ's Predicted Winners: Wyatt & Orton
I think this is the end of the line for the tag champs and it looks like that slides the Usos down the ladder even
further. Although I could see Alpha finally getting their big win over the Usos and THEN challenging the Wyatt's and
finally winning the titles. Maybe at Mania?
Brendan's Predicted Winners: Wyatt & Orton
Heath Slater and Rhyno have been good champions but it’s time to move on from this partnership and give Heath Slater a singles push. I’d Like to see Bray finally get some sort of championship even if it is just the Smackdown Tag Team Championships. Bray deserves something and this would be a great fodder for turning Luke harper who was unable to bring Bray Gold while in the family as it took Orton do so.
Joshua's Predicted Winners: Wyatt & Orton
Big M's Predicted Winners: Rhyno & Slater
Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match
The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Now that the feud has fully played out, I'm glad to see there was a title change to keep things rolling. I'm torn because I want both to be the champion and take SmackDown by storm. I definitely think Miz will retain to keep his momentum going into WrestleMania season. He's a great heel and fitting champion. Perhaps he'll be chase the World Title again in 2017? I'm not sure where Dolph goes after this. These two will once again tear the house down and add more prestige back to the title.
CJ's Predicted Winner: The Miz
This is a tough one but why return the title to Ziggles at this point when Miz has been such a good champion? I can
see Miz winning via shenanigans from Maryse/Spirit Squad/etc. but there's also a chance he wins 100% cleanly, it's
hard to say. I am happy that this is the end of their series even though I have enjoyed their matches a lot.
Brendan's Predicted Winner: The Miz
Same thing I said about Kalisto and Baron Corbin never seeing each other again for 2 years applies here for 3. This has been a good feud but again it went on too long. Miz should have never lost the title to Ziggler only to win it back before the Survivor Series match. They really need to build on Miz/Bryan angle and bring someone in from NXT to be Bryan’s white knight here. Miz retains and this feud ends.
Joshua's Predicted Winner: The Miz
Big M's Predicted Winner: The Miz
SmackDown Women's Championship Tables Match
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Alexa Bliss
I'm definitely happy these two are getting another chance to tangle. Their title bout in November was pretty good and felt important, which is great for the rivals and title. While I really want to see Bliss as champ, I've booked all heels to win on this show, so something tells me she won't be one of them. Becky has earned the opportunity to have a lengthy reign as the first champ. I foresee a feud with Carmella coming between now and the Rumble. Adding a Tables stipulation was a fair call, considering there wasn't one booked for the show. These ladies will tear it up and leave it all the ring before Bliss unfortunately gets sent through a table to end this feud.
CJ's Predicted Winner: Becky Lynch
I say that Becky goes over clean this time and puts Bliss through a table solely because Becky took the table bump on
Tuesday. This will be only the 2nd (?) women's table match in the fed so it will be cool to see what kind of spots
they go for in this one.
Brendan's Predicted Winner: Becky Lynch
This has been another pretty good feud but it like the others needs to end here. Unfortunately that means that Becky has to retain her and Alexa doesn’t get what she deserves quite yet. I just hope they use better tables then the ones that were used at Hell-In-A-cell for the ladies this time around.
Joshua's Predicted Winner: Becky Lynch
Big M's Predicted Winner: Alexa Bliss
WWE World Championship TLC Match
AJ Styles (c) vs. Dean Ambrose
While I've enjoyed the build to most of these other matches, I'm certainly looking forward to seeing what these two will do with all the weapons. Expect some crazy bumps that will make us all cringe! Styles has had an incredible 2016, and I expect him to walk into the new year with the title intact. The golden question remains - where does Ambrose go afterwards? I really hope Ellsworth stays out of this and goes back to jobbing, but I fear a potential Ambrose/Ellsworth match is brewing. Expect Styles to climb the ladder and grab the gold! (My fingers are also crossed for a possible Undertaker appearance...)
CJ's Predicted Winner: AJ Styles
I don't see Styles losing the title yet and I also suspect a little interference from James Ellsworth. Maybe he goes
after Dean though for allowing the attack from AJ on Smackdown to go down.
Brendan's Predicted Winner: AJ Styles
The theme of the event seems to be please end this feud now. Ambrose vs AJ Styles have put on good match after good match but it’s time to see someone new against the Phenomenal One AJ Styles for the title. Perhaps it takes a Phenom to be someone who is Phenomenal? AJ Styles retains his title thanks to the help his new little buddy James Ellsworth.
Joshua's Predicted Winner: AJ Styles
Big M's Predicted Winner: AJ Styles
Thanks everyone for reading our predictions this round! Feel free to post yours in the comments below, and don’t forget to join us tonight at 7 PM EST for our live coverage and Open Thread Party for TLC!