Powell’s WWE TLC 2012 Preview and Predictions: Has Vince McMahon learned from history? Will Dolph Ziggler cash in his MITB contract prior to his match with John Cena? Which Diva wins the battle royal?!?
By Jason Powell
Check back tonight for Jason Powell's live coverage review of the WWE TLC pay-per-view. Dot Net Members can look forward to an exclusive audio review after the show. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up now via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
It's the last pro wrestling pay-per-view of 2012! Okay, so there's probably like six independent iPPV events on Christmas morning alone, but you know what I'm saying. There are some potentially newsworthy fantasy booking scenarios that could play out. Even if WWE goes with a straight forward approach, this should be a strong show from a match quality standpoint.
The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns) vs. Ryback, Daniel Bryan, and Kane in a TLC match: I've been having flashbacks to The Nexus inexplicably losing at SummerSlam ever since this match was announced as the replacement match for the original main event of C.M. Punk vs. Ryback. Vince McMahon had to learn from that moment, right? He knows he had a hot faction of younger wrestlers and they were never quite the same once he fed them to John Cena. I don't know whether Vince would be willing to admit that was a mistake, but I do believe he knows it would be damaging to The Shield to have them lose their first match.
Prediction: The Shield win with help from C.M. Punk.
Big Show vs. Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship in a chairs match: I've been saying for weeks that I believe Big Show will defend the World Hvt. Championship against Ryback at WrestleMania 29. Ryback vs. Sheamus could be a money match at some point, but WWE is better off sitting on that match for a year to make it mean more. I'm not sure how they get there, but I see Big Show retaining. The placement of this match is noteworthy. If it occurs before the MITB match then a Ziggler cash-in could be in play. Perhaps that explains why the six-man tag match was dubbed the main event rather than this match. Even if that does not occur, the winner of the MITB match could always cash in if the winner of this match is beaten down.
Prediction: Big Show retains the World Hvt. Championship.
Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match: I like the popular fantasy booking theory that Ziggler will cash in his contract before this match and I'll be on high alert if the Show vs. Sheamus match goes on early. The idea is that Ziggler would win the title, yet then be forced to defend it in a ladder match against Cena. I'm not big on the idea of Cena winning the World Hvt. Championship to set up an eventual unification match with The Rock. There's too much value in the World Championship. For instance, take it away from Big Show vs. Sheamus and it's just another match. I'd love to see Ziggler come out of the show as the World Champion, but I'll settle for him keeping the MITB contract.
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler retains the MITB contract.
Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett for the Intercontinental Championship: If there's going to be a title change on the show, I see it happening in this match. Barrett lost in short order to R-Truth on Monday. That's either a sign of idiotic booking or creative feeling as though Barrett could absorb the loss because he'd be winning the title. I'm all for a long feud between these two, but I think it would work better with Kingston chasing Barrett.
Prediction: Wade Barrett captures the Intercontinental Title.
Antonio Cesaro vs. R-Truth for the United States Championship: They've already dragged out this program longer than they needed to. Cesaro lost to Truth in a non-title match, now he beats him decisively and moves on.
Prediction: Antonio Cesaro pins R-Truth to retain the U.S. Title.
Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow in a Tables Match to become No. 1 contenders to the WWE Tag Team Championship: I'm still not sure why why Mysterio and Sin Cara were given a free pass into this match, whereas Rhodes Scholars had to win a four-way elimination match on Raw. It makes me wonder whether it's because they didn't have access to Mysterio and had to have them in the match because his team is going over. However, I believe in the power of The Creeper Mustache. You may not want to leave someone with a mustache like that alone in a room full of kids at your holiday party, but Cody (and Sandow) will once again become top contenders.
Prediction: A mustache sporting Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow become No. 1 contenders.
Santa's Helper Battle Royal: Why are you reading this? No, really, what the hell is wrong with you? There's football on television and Christmas shopping to be done, yet you are looking for a prediction on which Divas will go to the ring dressed in a Santa's Little Helper outfit and outlast the others to become No. 1 contender for a title that only Eve cares about. Let this be a turning point in your life. Fine, you've made it this far. You deserve a prediction.
Prediction: Jerry Lawler sits backstage wishing he could tell a "Ho Ho Ho" joke in the PG era. Scrooge Vickie has Tamina eliminate A.J., who throws another shit fit. Someone dressed in a Christmas themed outfit wins and then eventually loses to Eve. You will never have sexual relations again if you don't seek professional help.
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