Powell's WWE TLC preview and predictions: Will someone leave with the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship? Will their be a punishment title change?
By Jason Powell
Check back tonight for Jason Powell and Chris Shore's live coverage of the WWE TLC pay-per-view. Dot Net Members can look forward to their 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.
John Cena vs. Randy Orton in a tables, ladders, and chairs match for the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship: I'm not a fan of WWE going with one world champion. Go back and look at past pay-per-view lineups. Take the World Heavyweight Championship away and most of those matches lack importance and any sense of pay-per-view appeal. I'm also not a fan of unifying the titles without a long term build and without long term champions.
Having said all of that, I am actually looking forward to seeing how this plays out. Cena is fresh off an impressive performance on Raw, and creatively they've done a good job of leaving some mystery as to where The Authority stands. I may hate the way this plays out, but I'm a lot more interested going into this match than I was for any WWE pay-per-view main event since SummerSlam. The December pay-per-view was once named Armageddon and I fear that the world will end if Triple H books himself to somehow walk away from this show as the unified champion. When in doubt, I always take Cena to win. Make peace with your maker just to be on the safe side. I could see a scenario where The Authority helps Cena win unbeknownst to him. I do not see a John Cena heel turn coming.
John Cena wins the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships.
C.M. Punk vs. The Shield in a handicap match: I may be guilty over overthinking this one, but the foreshadowing of the issues between The Shield members was so heavy and out of nowhere that it left me thinking it was a swerve. Granted, there were some issues teased a while back, but we went from everything being fine in the world of The Shield last week to suddenly having major issues between Dean Ambrose and the former tag champions. The Shield members will all make money individually, but I don't see any reason to split them up before WrestleMania. My guess is that Punk looks strong, yet takes a Roman Reigns spear out of nowhere. Will Paul Heyman show up afterward to show that he once again paid The Shield to do his bidding?
The Shield win.
Daniel Bryan vs. The Wyatt Family in a handicap match: I don't think both handicap matches result in the numbers winning out. I believe Punk or Bryan get a win. I already went with The Shield winning their match, so I'll go with Bryan taking a lot of punishment and scoring a somewhat flukey win. I also like Shore's idea that Bray Wyatt is more concerned with recruiting Bryan to join his cult than winning the match.
Daniel Bryan wins.
A.J. Lee vs. Natalya for the WWE Divas Championship: I didn't see a title change coming based on the booking, but Dave Meltzer's report on the Wrestling Observer website about Lee's meltdown backstage at the Tribute to the Troops taping could mean a punishment title change is in play. This is probably wishful thinking, but if there's going to be a punishment title change, then why not build up to it and do it on Raw or at the Royal Rumble? Call me A.J. Lee character crazy, but I'm sticking with her retaining here with the idea that WWE officials take the "nothing to see here" approach to the story getting out (and then have her drop the title in the near future anyway). Admittedly, though, I don't have a great deal of confidence in this pick.
AJ Lee retains the WWE Divas Championship.
Goldust and Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show and Rey Mysterio vs. The Real Americans vs. Curtis Axel and Ryback for the WWE Tag Team Championship: It's the "get more people on the show" match. Big Show and Mysterio teaming up is a nice addition rather than going with all of the usual tag team suspects. WWE spent a little time building up Axel and Ryback as a duo and that could set up a tag title change, but I hope not. Goldust and Cody are simply too good. They consistently deliver good matches on pay-per-view and free television, and I'd hate to see them lose to a team that was thrown together because creative didn't know what else to do with them.
Goldust and Cody Rhodes retain the WWE Tag Team Championship.
Big E Langston vs. Damien Sandow for the Intercontinental Title: As much as I like Sandow, I don't see a good reason to play hot potato with the title belt. Langston just won the strap and I wouldn't be surprised if they build up to a Langston vs. heel Dolph Ziggler match at WrestleMania.
Big E Langston retains the Intercontinental Championship.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango: I'm sticking with the usual formula of the babyface going over in the Kickoff match. 60 percent of the time it works every time! I am looking forward to this match more than most Kickoff matches. Here's hoping these two get a good amount of time (and no worthless commercial breaks) to deliver a good match.
Dolph Ziggler wins.
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