Gutteridge’s WWE TLC 2012 Predictions: Man vs. Machine - Is the WWE '13 game simulator a better prognosticator? Will this be the last big shake-up before WrestleMania 29?
By Darren Gutteridge
Check back tonight for Jason Powell's live coverage review of the 2012 WWE TLC. Dot Net Members can look forward to the 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.
As far as gimmick PPVs go, this one is up there with the best of them. Instead of having a fixed selling point (Hell in a Cell, Elimination Chamber etc.), the TLC name lends itself to four separate match types, giving variety. This one also happens to feature a strong card up and down.
This may not be as newsworthy of a show as it has the potential to easily be, but I don’t think WWE has done a ‘newsworthy’ PPV (it terms of title changes or real game changers) in a while, outside of The Shield debut. With the amount of title matches and interesting scenarios, surely something has to give here. Right? Also, to give the prediction a sense of competition, I’ve simulated the matches on WWE ’13, to see if the WWE’s own product holds the secret to the booking plans. Okay, probably not, but what's the harm?
‘Santa’s Little Helper’ Divas Battle Royal: No one could possibly care. Even with a strong character at the top of the pile in Eve, the Divas division is still a shambles. It doesn’t help that the usual quota of matches is two a week, and the only storyline there ever seems to be is ‘who’s next in line for the title shot?’. And I don’t see the division being dragged out of the mire for a good while yet. I pick Kaitlyn. Because why not.
Prediction: Kaitlyn wins the Battle Royal
WWE ’13: Tamina wins
Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara vs. Rhodes Scholars in a #1 Contender Tables Match: I applaud WWE for keeping the two mid-card title matches gimmick free, however unintentional. Although this is a gimmick PPV, I’d rather see title changes happen under clear cut circumstances, and have the gimmick matches used to enhance less marquee matches such as this one. And who knows what hilarity could happen when you put Sin Cara around tables? I am expecting a good match between these two teams, and I am looking for a finish that sees Sandow and Rhodes outsmart their opponents with clever use of the tables.
Prediction: Rhodes Scholars defeat Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara
WWE ’13: Rhodes puts Sin Cara through a table
Antonio Cesaro vs. R-Truth for the United States Championship: This is the one blip on the main card for me. I am really digging Cesaro’s in-ring work, and while his jingoistic character isn’t fresh, he’s handling it fine. His hook that ‘no American can beat me’ has legs, but unfortunately he’s got to get past Truth first. Considering he has been in and out of title feuds this whole year, Truth’s as limited a worker as there is. He hasn’t updated his moveset since he came back to the WWE, and rivals Santino for in-ring repetition. Hopefully Cesaro wins clean here so we can move on.
Prediction: Antonio Cesaro defeats R-Truth to retain the US Championship
WWE ’13: Truth defeats Cesaro
Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett for the Intercontinental Championship: Kingston and Barrett are an example of a perfect mesh. While they work different styles, they compliment each other very well, and can have very flowing matches. Hopefully they both bring their A-game, as they face stiff competition to be remembered come Monday’s Raw. I am hopeful that both men receive main event pushes soon, but I don’t see that happening until after Mania. Therefore, I’ll go for Barrett to win, and the feud to continue for another month, before both men get turned onto bigger things.
Wade Barrett defeats Kofi Kingston to win the Intercontinental Championship
WWE ’13: Barrett defeats Kingston
Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena in a Ladder Match for Ziggler’s Money in the Bank Briefcase: I fully expect this match to be the in-ring highlight of the night. Ziggler is a bumping machine without a ladder to help, and Cena has been in enough ladder matches to be competent with one. I don’t expect too many insane bumps, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a great match. The tension will be high amongst hardcore fans, as a lot of people will be afraid that Cena may win the MITB case so WWE can make amends for him cashing in the Raw one and losing.
But I’ll stoke the fire by adding my two cents – may WWE rush into a Cena title run with Punk out of the picture, at least until the Rumble? It’s only going to be a few weeks, but if Punk doesn’t recover and a replacement to face The Rock is needed, or WWE wants to retain viewers over the Christmas period with a top guy as champion, they may give Cena the World Heavyweight Title tonight. However, I am really hoping that this whole PPV is Ziggler’s big night, so I’m picking him. Lets think positive people!
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler defeats John Cena and retains the MITB Briefcase
WWE ’13: Cena defeats Ziggler
Big Show vs. Sheamus in a Chairs match for the World Heavyweight Championship: A ‘chairs’ match is so horribly vague. If I didn’t know the rules, I would have thought WWE were stupid enough to make the victor be ‘the first guy to make his opponent sit down’. Sheamus and Show had a fantastic match at Hell in a Cell, which was basically the perfect Show match. I can see the gimmick hampering the potential, but hopefully they can still deliver. The only downside is that, regardless of it’s placement, and with the chance for history to repeat itself from last years TLC (wherein Show defeated Mark Henry in a Chairs match only to have Daniel Bryan cash in on him), all eyes will be on the entrance ramp the second the match finishes. To play along with the ‘Ziggler’s big night’ prediction, I’ll have Sheamus winning, only to have Ziggler cash in and have a title feud with Sheamus until Elimination Chamber.
Prediction: Sheamus defeats Big Show to win the World Heavyweight Title
WWE ’13: Sheamus defeats Show
Ryback and Team Hell No vs. The Shield in a TLC Match: A big reason I am buying this PPV is for the debut match of the Shield. I have seen exactly nothing of Dean Ambrose in the ring, so I look forward to my first glimpse, and I’m also interested to see what style one of my NXT guys Seth Rollins wrestles. Roman Reigns has yet to peak my interest, but he isn’t bad in the ring. The match will hinge on how Ryback is dealt with. I can’t see the benefit of The Shield losing, but Ryback would then be on a three PPV losing streak. He has to be taken out in a big way to allow Kane or Bryan to take the pin. I’m going to call a Brad Maddox blindside attack, followed by either a powerbomb from a ladder through a table, or a ‘dog pile’ scenario, were Ryback is buried under a tonne of metal and can’t escape in time. Either way, Shield wins.
The Shield defeat Ryback and Team Hell No
WWE ’13: Ambrose pins Bryan
Thanks for reading. If you had any comments or thoughts on the show or this review, add me on Twitter via @Dazatheg , where tonight I’ll be live tweeting the PPV
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