It’s December and that means TLC is on deck. Which means…..not a whole lot really. TLC is almost always a nothing happening show because December is pretty much a nothing happening month for the WWE. Survivor Series is where the big end of year plot twists usually take place and the Royal Rumble is a month away in January, so December is usually a month they just try to get through. The matches at TLC are often a revisit of what happened at Survivor Series, and don’t result in anything being undone from that event. And even before TLC was an event, the December show wasn’t very eventful (see the In Your House shows from 1996 to 1998 for reference). You throw that in a decided down period for the company (which started earlier this year but has been exacerbated the last few weeks) and you have a show that is ripe for the pickings in terms of negative press. And to be honest I don’t think there’s a whole lot they can do to get a good post-show report from anyone who matters. But can we at least get some good in-ring action? I think so. Here’s what’s on deck:
Ryback vs Rusev
The first of three matches involving the League of Nations (Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Rusev, Wade Barrett). I don’t expect this one to go very long given who’s involved, but it has the potential to be a good big man match. I got Rusev going over here; one point of this show is to try and get the League of Nations over as a heel faction so they’ve got to win big across the board.
U.S. Title Chairs Match: Alberto Del Rio (c) vs Jack Swagger
This might be the forgone conclusion match of the night. No way Swagger wins the title here. The chairs should make for some nice spots in the time that they have to work. But that’s it.
The ECW Originals (The Dudleys, Rhyno, and Tommy Dreamer) vs The Wyatt Family – Eight Man Tables Elimination Match
This has a chance to be a fun encounter, as all the former ECW guys are familiar with the tables. Expect someone to catch a 3D through a table to get eliminated, and a gore from Rhyno as well. But beyond that I don’t see the Wyatts losing. I figure Bray and Braun Strowman will survive to win the match for their team. I hope they let these guys cut loose; this is a good chance to give the people watching something exciting to take away from the show.
Diva’s Title Match: Charlotte (c) vs Paige
Charlotte seems to be doing a heelish turn of sorts and slowly adopting her dad’s cheating ways. It appears we may get a double turn here with Paige coming out of the match as a face (three months after she went heel, but whatever). Match should be ok. I think we’re really all hoping that all roads lead to Charlotte vs Sasha Banks at WrestleMania.
Triple Threat WWE Tag Team Title Ladder Match: The New Day (c) vs The Lucha Dragons vs The Usos
This could be match of the night. Expect plenty of high flying stuff from the Dragons and Usos, and Big E is going to slam somebody through a table really hard at some point. I can see this going one of two ways – New Day gets help from their third member to win dirty and retain the titles or the Usos pull off the upset. The faces got to win something here and this may be it.
Intercontinental Title Match: Kevin Owens (c) vs Dean Ambrose
Not expecting much here. There’s a good chance this might get cut short for time, and I’m not expecting a title change here. It should be a good back and forth effort for what time they get; they had a good match in the WWE Title Tournament last month so no reason why they can’t do that again here. I got Ambrose winning by DQ and Owens keeping the title.
Main Event: WWE World Title TLC Match – Sheamus (c) vs Roman Reigns
OK so this is the rematch from last month’s Money in the Bank cash-in by Sheamus after the WWE Title Tournament ended. I think this will be a much better match than you think. Roman has done a good job in these kind of matches this year, and should get in a good table spot or two. Sheamus isn’t a bad worker, either. The real question is whether or not Vince and the guys in charge have panicked enough for the title switch to happen now or if they’re willing to wait it out until the Royal Rumble. Wrestling booking 101 says you do the latter but I’m not the one counting the money so I have no idea how bad it’s looking right now. I’ll say it for the millionth time – Reigns is going to get a legit chance with the belt soon. And it could start here – there’s enough suspense to tune in and see. My official pick is Sheamus getting some assistance to win the match and hold on to the title for a little longer.
So yeah, this one could be not very good, but we can always be surprised.