Shore's WWE TLC preview and predictions: Will John Cena or Randy Orton unify the championships or will it be someone else? Can CM Punk and Daniel Bryan win their handicap matches?
By Chris Shore
The following predictions are made with no prior knowledge of the planned finishes. Join Jason Powell and I for live coverage of the WWE TLC PPV tonight and for the Member's Exclusive WWE TLC audio review after the show. If you're not a Dot Net Member, sign 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 will give WWE credit for one thing: there is a lot of intrigue around this match. I'm not sure it's the good kind of intrigue, but there is intrigue nonetheless. Will it be John Cena or Randy Orton? Will it be Triple H? Will it be some other wrestler? Will it be that surprise title holder abeyance again? Like I said, intrigue. But a unification match shouldn't be built on the slightest idea of shenanigans. If this is the biggest match in WWE history, as all the marketing says, then WWE should have made it clear this would be a clean match and the winner would be THE champion for the company. Sadly, they have gone in another direction.
Triple H's closing statement on Smackdown that he "knows where [their] faith lies" made me think for the first time that it might actually be him that leaves as champion tonight. I still push back against that because I honestly think Triple H knows he can't be champion again and it make sense, but that statement has me worried. Ultimately I am picking John Cena because Randy Orton is as cold as a witch's titty in a brass bra doing push-ups in the snow on the north side of an igloo and as solid as a run as abeyance had, I don't think they go there again. But look for a ton of shenanigans and overbooking before this one is done.
John Cena wins and unifies the championships.
Daniel Bryan vs. The Wyatt Family in a handicap match: Bryan went over the Wyatts on Smackdown and Booking 101 says he loses here, but that doesn't make a lot of sense ultimately. Of course, there's a lot about this feud that doesn't make sense ultimately. Bray Wyatt's promos have lost their creepy edge because WWE doesn't have him follow up in a way that creates an impact, and Bryan, while still very much over, is a little boring right now. He shows up, screams "Yes," wrestles, and leaves. Hopefully we get a little more tonight. My best guess is Bray sacrifices one of his guys to prove Bryan is a monster, but that might just be me wishing to see something of interest in this feud and we actually end up with Bryan taking out all three guys and getting the pin on one of the lackeys to protect Bray. Either way, Bryan wins.
Daniel Bryan wins.
C.M. Punk vs. The Shield in a handicap match: Speaking of boring, CM Punk appears to be plain bored. His promos of late have been lifeless, and this feud is basically carried on the backs of the Shield teasing splitting up. I think that's just a red herring and that becomes clear tonight after Roman Reigns spears the best in the world to get the rub.
The Shield win.
A.J. Lee vs. Natalya for the WWE Divas Championship: My only real hope here is a good match. AJ is the sole Diva on the roster with an actual character, though really she is still cursing off the work she did a year ago. While that's not entirely the other Divas' fault, it does leave us with no reason to want to see a title change here (and really leaves us with wanting to see AJ retain). Perhaps if we get a good match WWE, will see some value and actually give AJ a challenger with a story that we can sink our teeth into. No, I'm not doing drugs.
AJ Lee retains the Divas Championship.
Big E Langston vs. Damien Sandow for the Intercontinental Title: This has the potential to be a sleeper match as far as in ring work, but no surprises on the finish. Langston is still establishing his character and Sandow doesn't need the title.
Big E Langston retains the Intercontinental 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: What a mess of a match! It's bad enough WWE doesn't take the division serious, but these multi-team matches are brutal to watch more times than not. The Real Americans have no chance here. The fans are starting to turn Cesaro and the titles would just muddy that water. Rybaxel has a chance because I think WWE likes the team, or maybe that's just me. Cody and Goldust are going to feud at WrestleMania is my guess, and this seems as good a place as any to start that slow burn, so I pick Rey and Show to win the titles. That's not a pick I like, but WWE loves to put the tag titles on guys they don't know what else to do with and with Mysterio limited in the ring, what else are you going to do with them?
Big Show and Rey Mysterio win the Tag Team Championships.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango: This is the kick-off match and WWE should let these two go out and tear the house down. I realize that you don't want to shoot your wad on the first match, but with the break after the match before the actual start of the PPV there is plenty of time for the crowd to cool down, and a great match here, since both these guys are more than capable, would go a long way to selling some PPVs. As far as who wins, the formula says the babyface wins, but a great match makes that unnecessary and Fandango is a psuedo-babyface anyway.
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