Oh boy one more PPV this year. A year of mediocre to very bad special events is being capped off with the 12, yes TWELVE match clusterfuch known as WWE Tables - Ladders - Chairs. This event takes place Sunday December 16 in San Jose, California at the SAP center. There's a lot to get into so enough yuletide cheer and peace to all mankind. Here's WWE's answer to the Christmas fruitcake, TLC.
Fabulous Truth (R-Truth and Carmella) vs. Mahalicia (Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox) Mixed Match Challenge finals
The stipulation here is that each member of the winning team will be the 30th entrant of their respective Royal Rumble matches at the Royal Rumble. I think that's pretty lame. I mean, its nice that they have something meaningful to fight for but does anyone want to see any of these people be the final entrant in the Royal Rumble? None of them have a serious chance to win anyway so why waste the surprise of the final entrant on one of them? My pick is R-Truth and Carmella.
Finn Bálor vs. Drew McIntyre (Singles match)
I'm sure it'll be a great match. I know I talk about how this company sucks at booking babyfaces a lot. Hell, I feel like I've written 3 different columns about it. However there's no reason for Finn to win here. The damage has been done. They're obviously building up Drew McIntyre as a serious player. Easy pick here; Drew wins.
Elias vs. Bobby Lashley Ladder match
(A guitar will be suspended above the ring and the first to retrieve it can use it as a weapon.)
So its a ladder match with a weapon hanging. They've done matches like this before where they put the weapon on a pole. It's stupid. Ladder matches are no disqualification anyway so why doesn't Elias just bring ten guitars to the ring? Why does he need to grab the one hanging... ahhhosagfn8he7rstyues8uitgnjs!!!!1
This is stupid. The match will probably suck too. Elias wins is my pick.
Natalya vs. Ruby Riott (Tables match)
For all you who are like "why are you complaining about them using The Anvil in this angle it adds realism" uhh do you hear that crowd? No? That's why. This exploitative shit never works. You get groans and OOOH's once in a while but no one gets over. No one becomes a bigger star. I mean really. How bad do you want to see this match? Do you really want to see Natalya win... again? Do you really care if Ruby Riott beats her? No. You don't. Neither do I. So, I'm picking Ruby to win.
Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Cedric Alexander ( Singles match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship)
They had a fun match before. I'm sure they will again. Not much else to say here. Picking Murphy to retain.
The Bar (c) vs. The New Day vs. The Usos (Triple threat tag team match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship)
The Bar have not had a good run. I feel they've lost a lot as champions and I wouldn't be shocked if they lost here too. However, WWE like to be shitty bookers where they have guys go on losing skids in non-title situations and then retain when the title is on the line. That's why today no one cares about the belts and just see them as props. I bet off the top of your head you don't even know who the Raw tag champions are do you? I'm leaning towards the Usos here. They have cooled down a little recently and they really are the best team so they might as well have the titles.
Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton (Chairs match)
The dumbest gimmick on this gimmick PPV. What's a "Chairs match"? In a ladder match you climb the ladder to obtain something signaling the end of the match. In a tables match the wrestler to be put through a table loses. In a chairs match... you just use chairs. Until one of them is pinned. Thrilling. Again... its basically a no disqualification match with the focus on chairs.
Even though there's the gimmick of weapons I still see the heel, Orton, winning.
Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Nia Jax (Singles match for the WWE Raw Women's Championship)
This feud has kinda sucked largely due so some terrible promos Nia has been cutting. Her delivery and facials are so unnatural and forced. She's like a terrible actor in a high school play trying to remember her lines. Lately her new favorite thing is to scream and peak the mic. Its not good heat. Its annoying. It makes me want to change the channel or go to the bathroom next time I see her come out with a mic in her hand.
Even though we already saw this feud this year, they are playing up that Ronda can't tap out a woman Nia's size EVEN-THOUGH-WE-ALREADY-f***ING-SAW-IT so what do I expect? The same thing. Ronda beats Nia.
Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin (Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match)
If Strowman wins, he will receive a Universal Championship match at the Royal Rumble and Corbin will no longer be GM of Raw. If Corbin wins, he remains GM. I don't have high expectations for this match but they'll likely pull out every gimmick in the book to make it worth while. Corbin as GM has sucked. He's all over this show. His promos are boring. His matches are boring. To make it even worse he's usually main eventing Raw. The ratings have hit historic lows. Not that I entirely blame Corbin for that, but, he doesn't help matters. I pick Braun to win.
Seth Rollins (c) vs. Dean Ambrose (Singles match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship)
This feud has been just alright but I'm sure this match will be very good. Possibly the match of the night. Seth Rollins has been a fine Intercontinental Champion but I think that comes to an end here. I see Ambrose going over. It will give his turn a little more meat. Rollins is rumored to be facing Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania and Seth is the closest thing WWE has to an over and protected babyface right now. Dean is playing the role of a sort of heel moralist in some ways, so it would be good heat for him to find a cheap way to victory and then act all high and mighty like Seth is paying for his sins or whatever nonsense the cook up in this angle.
The New Daniel Bryan (c) vs. AJ Styles (Singles match for the WWE Championship)
If the previous match I talked about isn't the best of the night, this could be. With all the matches on this card I doubt they will be given the time necessary to get into match-of-the-year territory but they could probably pull off the best 15 minute match you've seen in a while. The New Daniel Bryan has been an incredible heel. He's a smart guy and knows how to get heat and isn't afraid to play a hated character. We are in an age where wrestler all want to be cool (even though many are geeks in real life these days) and a creative staff who only knows how to write cheap heat. You can tell Daniel has some freedom here. You may not think his message in a vacuum is bad but what makes him a heel is the delivery. I'm sure you've heard the phrase "it's not what you say its how you say it". That's the core of this gimmick. Slapping a guy because he prefers the safety and comfort of an SUV for his family is a dick move and something a lot of us can relate to. We all know that elitist snob who crawls up your ass because you're drinking out of a plastic bottle or because you stepped on a spider instead of releasing it outside or how you "hate animals" even if you're a vegetarian who still wears leather boots and feeds their newborn milk. Its so simple yet so genius.
My pick here is The New Daniel Bryan. While Becky has been off TV a little bit recovering from Nia's sloppiness Daniel has risen up to possibly be WWE's hottest act. He's getting some good heat here and these two are going to give them a good show.
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka (Triple Threat Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship)
Another one that will probably be very good since all three of them are obviously great performers. The gimmick of this being a TLC match might actually even hold them back, but whatever. First time ever, I guess... Woo... yay. Whatever.
It's hard for me to pick this one. I find it odd that Becky is in a TLC match after suffering a pretty bad concussion. It reminds me of before Daniel Bryan's retirement he was in that ladder match as soon as he came back from an injury and there were more than 2 other people in that match to disguise him so its not like Becky will be able to hide out too much here. She's going to be involved.
At first I thought Asuka had a shot at winning this but considering she won (by DQ) and ended Smackdown standing tall I don't think its going to be her. I think Charlotte is going to get the title back here. This is WWE and Vince is going to go with his favorites so the tall blonde with huge tits will take the gold.
This could go many ways. Charlotte vs Ronda in a champion vs champion match at Wrestlemania. Maybe a rematch with Asuka instead and Becky gets her match with Ronda and perhaps even beats her for the Raw Women's Championship? Yeah, sorry if you just ruined your device by doing a spit take over it. I wouldn't be shocked if its just status quo here as always.
Not to sound like I'm burying Charlotte. She's obviously great and a worthy title holder but Becky is the hot hand. She should win this, but I just see Charlotte coming out on top and I think people are going to start booing her again since she has come off as a very artificial bootleg Becky (I said that first in a previous column before Becky said it on TV!!!) On Smackdown when she couldn't put away Asuka she snapped and got herself DQ'ed. WWE are such idiots. I think they think that if Charlotte acts like a heel she will get cheered, but they're going about it all wrong. No one is going to cheer someone who keeps getting themselves DQ'ed when a match gets too hard for them like she did against Ronda and Asuka. Yeah, she got cheered in LA against a very anti-Ronda/anti-Raw crowd. On Smackdown, not so much.
Thanks for reading this TLC preview edition of Planet Kayfabe. With so many matches, almost half as as if this writing are gimmick matches, this event could go a few ways. It will either be a well, fast paced enjoyable car crash or a total cluster f***. I don't know the match order before the event but if its anything like how I laid it out here the end half of the show should be strong. When that happens it usually helps the final overall opinion of the show. It seems like there's a lot of filler on this show, but it's a filler December PPV. It is what it is.
Assuming Corbin loses, I'd rather there be NO authority figure on Raw. At least do one like Regal or even a throwback to Tunney where you rarely saw him unless shit got serious. The heel authority figure in WWE is so stale and dated. No one can compare to Vince McMahon. He's one of the best heels in WWE history and his feud with Austin is perhaps the best story they ever told. They've tried to re-create that with other heel authority figures and have failed miserably. Maybe a babyface like Matt Hardy in the role. Keep Stephanie off TV, too. Yeah I know I'm asking for too much. This same stale heel shtick every time someone is in power is just lame and worn out.
Enjoy the show this Sunday. I'll be back with a review. Check the 'Special Features' section to vote in the NoDQ Year-End Awards. Enjoy your weekend and enjoy the show. Take a breather to enjoy the Christmas season, too. Don't stress out too much. God bless and see you next time.