Planet Kayfabe: 2017 TLC Thoughts and Predictions Submitted by Kayfabe Candyass on 10/18/2017 at 09:54 PM
Planet Kayfabe: TLC 2017 Predictions (Take: 2)
(Original column below. Updated edits after closing thoughts.)
By: 'KCA' Paul Matthews | @PlanetKayfabe
Really? A predictions column? Well, it's been kind of a slow week minus the constant threat of superstars exiting WWE so this is what you get. Ahh, well. Let's get this over with. Another prediction piece isn't going to hurt anyone. I might even do more of these if this shit happens to serendipitously stick to the wall, so let's go.
Welcome to Planet Kayfabe. Thanks for coming once again here on NoDQ. This Sunday at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota is WWE: Tables, Ladders & Chairs. The ninth PPV of its kind and will feature a main-roster debuting Asuka and a reunited Shield. Here you will get my thoughts on each of the announced matches as of this writing.
Alicia Fox vs. Sasha Banks (Singles Match)
A pre-show women's match between two ladies who are hardly that well protected even though Sasha Banks should be in a better spot. I'm picking Alicia to win with a surprise roll-up. I'd rather Sasha win and be the heel 'Boss' of old, but this is how I see it going down.
The Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher vs. Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann (Tag-Team Match)
I guess I'll go Kendrick and Gallagher since the heels lost on TV. Or one of them did... I'm confused since I thought it was a singles match, but the babyface team were announced as the winners. The heels win the rebound here.
Asuka vs. Emma (Singles match)
Obviously my pick is Asuka. Not only should she win, this should simply be a squash and showcase of some of her fancy moves en route to a clean win. It shouldn't go any longer than 3 minutes. I know it's on pay-per-view, but I don't need to see Emma go 51/49 and hang with Asuka in a close match-up. This match should just be booked to introduce Asuka to the main roster and establish her as a dominant force. Simple.
"The Demon" (Finn Bálor) vs. "Sister Abigail" (Bray Wyatt) (Singles Match)
Holy hell has this feud been the drizzling shits. My pick is "The Demon" since that gimmick should be kept strong and shouldn't lose to something as ridiculous as 'Sister Abigail'. One can only imagine where Finn's career would be now if he didn't get injured after becoming the first Universal Champion. This feud has been dragged out a bit. Finn already busted out 'The Demon' vs. Bray Wyatt and now because Bray wants to dress like a woman Finn has to put on orange makeup to beat him this time? So lame. I like both guys, but f*** this match. Hopefully Balor goes over and he doesn't have to hard sell all the latest Wyatt cheesiness with a serious face while the thousands in attendance snicker and roll their eyes at how stupid it is.
Kalisto (c) vs. Enzo Amore (Singles match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship)
If you hate hot-potato runs, hate to tell ya but Enzo is winning this title back. Kalisto is just a guy with a belt and Enzo is the closest thing they have to a star in that division and he's also the most over wrestler not just on 205 Live but one of the most over on the roster, so it should go back to him. No one cared when Kalisto was signed to Raw and no one cared when he won the C'weight title. WWE went for some weird forced "feel-good" moment by having Kalisto, last minute, dedicate his title match to Eddie Guerrero on Eddie's birthday and then also mention Rey Mysterio because he's another guy of Mexican decent who wore I mask... I guess? I don't know. Who cares. Enzo wins. The match will suck ass and Kalisto will not retain to become the "new" Cruiserweight champion like he promised. There's my prediction.
Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Mickie James (Singles match for the WWE Raw Women's Championship)
Alexa Bliss has had a good run both as a champion and the top heel of the ladies' division. This feud with Mickie James hasn't been great and their attempts at getting Mickie sympathy by pointing out her age hasn't helped. WWE rarely used to mention age, now they frequently do. I'm not sure why the change in philosophy. It makes no sense to call Mickie James old. If you call her an old lady and she beats you, then you were just beaten by an old lady past her prime. If you beat her then all you did was beat an old wrestler who can't hang anymore. That's why I think this match is lacking heat. Rather than playing to the strengths of both they are pointing out a perceived weakness in one and one that makes very little sense since Mickie isn't that old. She doesn't look old. She is also younger than the Universal Champion and younger than most of the wrestlers who have had a top featured match on WrestleMania cards the last 6 or so years. This whole thing feels very "Piggy James" to me for that reason. Anyway my pick is Alexa to retain.
The Shield vs. Braun Strowman, The Miz, Kane, Cesaro, and Sheamus (5-on-3 handicap Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match)
The 5-on-3 handicap match is either designed to make the Shield look strong or to protect them in a loss. I think it doesn't make much sense for The Shield to lose their first match since reuniting. A loss can also allow WWE to milk this reunion further, but I can do without the image of The Shield losing.
My pick is The Shield winning even though this event mostly feels like a set-up for Survivor Series next month. Is the big reunion just to take on The Miz and a few other guys once? I doubt it, but they really need to dress this loss in a fancy bow if they are indeed going down in this, their first match back as a stable. The return of Kane was well done on Raw and the finish of that show further leads me to lean more towards a Shield win while the babyfaces celebrate to end the show. The match should be good. I'm not that excited about it personally, but there's no reason for this match to fall below a 3 star expectation.
There's my predictions for this year's TLC PPV. A gimmick PPV with only one match, the main event, being a gimmick match just because they have to because that's the name of the PPV. So stupid. A column on these themed PPV's is probably going to come your way some day because what's the point? On one hand I'm glad WWE isn't over booking this with gimmicking out the ass by having shit like a "chairs" match or a "stairs match" or whatever. Couldn't the Kalisto vs Enzo match been a Ladder match? I guess they don't trust Enzo with a ladder and for that I don't blame them, but come on. If it weren't for the main event I'd completely forget this PPV was Tables, Ladders and Chairs. I'm not sure why the company books themselves in a corner by having these themed PPV's. This main event could have just been a normal No DQ match or falls count anywhere but OH! It's TLC! Gotta shoehorn in a TLC match. I like it better when matches like this and Hell in a Cell were special rare occurrences not just slapped together because they have to do one.
**BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE!!!**
(Updated thoughts as of Saturday, 10-21-2017)
Yeah, turns out this PPV that I thought would come and go with little fanfare despite being the in-ring return of The Shield has turned on its head a bit. Yesterday, as I'm sure you've all heard and read on NoDQ by now, Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns will not make the show due to illness. In their place is Smackdown's AJ Styles (yeah, tell me again how the brand split isn't already bullshit, people) taking on Finn Balor and replacing Roman Reigns is Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle in his WWE in-ring return after 11 years.
With those major changes, of course I have to change my predictions (not really, I'm still picking Balor and The Shield to win) and give my thoughts on this Sunday's updated card.
If you think I'm usually too negative towards WWE, then read this next part nice and slow and as many times as you need to. I give WWE plenty of credit here. With Bray gone, they decided just to give the fans an entertaining match and all reports right now indicate that Styles and Balor will get at least 25-30 minutes. Not a single fan will complain about that and in all honesty, I bet Finn Balor himself is thankful knowing that all he has to do on Sunday is wrestle a great match instead of going out there and trying to get a shitty angle over that the fans simply aren't buying into.
WWE also busted out the big guns by bringing back Kurt Angle. While it's not how any of us imagined Kurt would return to a WWE ring, the WWE knew that since the fans weren't going to get a reunited Shield as advertised, they had to do something huge. I get there's something to be said about Kurt's return being hot-shotted last minute to save a B-PPV and being part of a 3 on 5 handicap TLC match. It's not how I would have done it, but with their back's against the wall WWE delivered a card that not only will fans not be disappointed, but they're actually looking forward to this PPV more than they previously were. So despite Kurt's big return being a mere announcement on Twitter the Friday before a PPV, you can't deny that it was every bit as effective as a month long build. It's all everyone in the wrestling world is talking about. I'm not saying it works every time, but since Kurt Angle hasn't wrestled in a WWE ring in 11 years, this TLC event went from a throw away set up for Survivor Series, to a must-see event.
Kurt's big spotlight WrestleMania match can still come next year and be every bit as big as it would have been had he not been booked as Roman's replacement. If you think this return ruined that, think of this like a teaser trailer. You're going to see Kurt be one of 8 men in a match. You're going to see flashes of Kurt and some of his signature spots. I'm sure by the time WrestleMania season is in full force, everyone will be itching to see Kurt in one-on-one competition and not already feel the bloom is off the rose simply because he was part of one team based match.
So, trust your ol' pal KCA. Kurt's return to the ring isn't going to ruin anything. If anything, this return will help him shake off some of the rust he may have after not wrestling for a while which will only make his eventual singles match even better. In this match he doesn't have to carry the load. Everyone in the match are perfectly capable workers and veterans of the ring. Other than Strowman who isn't what you'd call a vet, but he's still good in his role and capable of not losing his mind and hurting someone by doing something stupid. As long as Kurt pops the crowd with some of his signature spots, the fans will be happy and be eager to see more. My only concern and hope is that Kurt doesn't do something too crazy spot wise in this, his first match since March earlier this year against Cody Rhodes in a salad steel cage.
There you have it, my updated thoughts on the 2017 WWE Tables, Ladders and Chairs PPV. I guess I'm a little more enthusiastic than I was a few days ago when I originally posted this preview piece.
Thank you once again for reading Planet Kayfabe. If you have a comment, question or idea for a future column follow me on Twitter @PlanetKayfabe or leave a comment below.
Until next time, I'm Paul Matthews for NoDQ.com enjoy the show this Sunday and I'll see you again soon.