Crystal Ball: TLC 2013
Jay Shannon draws upon all his predictive skills to try and pick the winners and losers of an upcoming major wrestling event.
Time to ring down the curtain on 2013. What better way than with a good wrestling Pay-per-view? I’m not all that convinced that this will end up being a “good” PPV, but we’ll see. The main event is the unification of the WWE and World titles. That seems so odd to me. Why wouldn’t the WWE wait and do that at one of the bigger PPVs, like next month’s Royal Rumble. I have some thoughts on that, which I will spell out when I get to the John Cena vs Randy Orton match. So, who is going to win…Tables, Ladders and Chairs?
Dolph Ziggler vs Fandango
This one should be pretty entertaining. Fandango (the former Johnny Curtis) has really come into his own, ever since Wrestlemania. Dolph, on the other hand, has been on a bit of a slump. This one is a definite Coin Flip kind of match. There are good reasons to see both guys going over. I have to don my “Booker’s Cap” (a dark green baseball cap that occasionally subs for my Yankees baseball cap). The best way to get a crowd going is to have a Face go over in the opening match. Not always, mind you, but most of the time. Both men do have their fan bases but Dolph’s is a bit stronger, I think. I’m giving the nod to “The Show Off” to take this one. I have a funny feeling that these two just might steal the show, before it officially gets started.
Predicted Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Predicted Grade: 4.0 out of a possible 5
Goldust and Cody Rhodes vs Rey Mysterio and Big Show vs Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger (The Real Americans) vs Ryback and Curtis Axel (Rybaxle)
World Tag Team Title
Fatal Four Way Match
My first thought is: “Where are the Usos?” They are getting the serious shaft on this PPV. Maybe they are going to show up in an extra added match. Same could be said for Tons of Funk and Xavier Woods and R-Truth. Speaking of Truth and Woods, I think that since Woods is going for his doctorate, the team name should be Rx.
Back to this match, the first rule in something like this is usually “Go with the champs”. I’m kind of doubting that logic in this one. The Rhodes Brothers have had their run as champs and it has been a good one. To keep the division fresh, there should be a change in title holders. I’m going to go out of a limb with this one. Paul Heyman has been in the shadows, since Money in the Bank. He’s had a nice little vacation and it’s time to get back to work. I have a weird feeling that he is going to come out to support Axel and Ryback. It’s going to come down to Rybaxle vs the Rhodes Brothers. I’m so hesitant to stick my neck out, but what the heck?.
Predicted Winners (and New tag team champs): Ryback and Curtis Axel w/Paul Heyman
C.M. Punk vs Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns (The Shield
3-on-1 Handicap Match
Punk is certain that he is going to lose this match but he just wants to take down as many Shield members, as possible. The Shield has been having some minor problems, lately. I think it’s a better-than-average chance that the end of The Shield starts at TLC. Dean is trying to be the “Hot Shot” lately and has paid for it. Seth and Roman are going to lose it when Punk pins Dean and beat down on their comrade. I see this leading to a major meltdown at Royal Rumble and Seth going after Dean’s US Title at Elimination Chamber. Meanwhile, Punk moves on to his next target.
Predicted Winner: C.M. Punk
Predicted Grade: 3.25
Big E Langston vs Damien Sandow
Intercontinental Title Match
The WWE is trying to build Langston up into the next superstar. To really bring Langston up, he needs to overcome Sandow. Damien has rebounded nicely from his loss to John Cena, when Damien cashed in his Money in the Bank. I feel Damien is going to come so very close but, in the end, Sandow is going to fall to the Big Ending…You’re Welcome.
Predicted Winner: Big E Langston
Predicted Grade: 2.5
Daniel Bryan vs Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan (The Wyatt Family)
3-on-1 Handicap Match
Ok, so The Wyatts want Daniel to join them. Daniel, so far, has said he wouldn’t go there. I have a feeling that this match is going to have the “Crowd Upsetter” moment. The match is going to be going really hard and heavy when Bray suddenly looks at one of his boys and tells him to lie down and let Daniel pin him. Bray may even get on the microphone and cut a promo where he says that they don’t want to hurt Daniel, they only want to help him. To show him how sincere they are with wanting to make Daniel one of their own, one of the Wyatts will take a dive for Bryan. The crowd will get so ticked off when (probably Rowan) just lies down and lets Daniel cover him. After the match, Bray will offer a place for Daniel in the Wyatts. When Daniel refuses, yet again, Bray will orchestrate a brutal beat down to teach Daniel the difference of being with them or against them.
Predicted Winner: Daniel Bryan
Predicted Grade: 3.5
A.J. Lee vs Natalya
Divas Championship Match
Lee’s had the belt long enough. Get it off her. Nattie is a key player in Total Divas and her win could lead to several good segments on that show. Honestly, Nattie is 100 times the wrestler that Lee will even be. Lee did get some excellent training from Jay Lethal but Nattie had the entire Hart/Neidhart/Smith families to draw upon for knowledge of the business. The only monkey wrench in this whole thing might be Tamina Snuka. She has gotten involved, more than once, in Lee’s matches. I have a feeling Snuka may try to get involved, only to have it backfire. Nattie locks in the Sharpshooter and finally gets the Divas title. On a side note, Nattie, when you win this one, PLEASE change the name back to the Women’s title and get a better belt. That Butterfly thing is almost as annoying at the Jeff Hardy Power Rangers World Title Belt.
Predicted Winner (and New Divas Champion): Natalya
John Cena (World Champion) vs Randy Orton (WWE Champion)
Title Unification Match held under Tables, Ladders and Chairs Rules
My first feeling is that something is going to go squirrelly with this match and the titles won’t be unified. I’ve even felt that Randy would end up with the World title and Cena with the WWE strap. If the WWE actually does unify the titles, they need to put the new strap on the guy who could really carry the company. Randy Orton is a decent wrestler that has been quite successful. He just isn’t quite to John Cena’s level. Cena is this generation’s Bruno or Hogan. Just like Hogan, Cena has a somewhat minimal move set but he can work a crowd like few others. Like Bruno, Cena has his extremely loyal followers (mostly kids). If WWE is smart, then Cena needs to win this one. John Cena vs Daniel Bryan could be the highlight of Royal Rumble. Randy could go into the Rumble, itself. If Randy takes the new combined title, the options are much more limited.
Predicted Winner (and New Unified Champion): John Cena
Predicted Grade: 4.75
I appreciate that the WWE (and TNA, also) are trying to shake things up. While it makes my predictions a bit more difficult, it does keep the fans (myself included) on the edge of their seats. We will be bringing you all the action, on Sunday. I’ll then be back with you on Monday for the fallout of this final PPV of 2013.