On paper, this has potential to be the best pay-per-view of the year, which is surreal since the card is rematches from top to bottom, save for one title match. I, along with many others, have complained about RAW’s current love of booking rematch after rematch, but Smackdown is no saint as they’ve been just as guilty of it since the brand split. The diffence, however, is that Smackdown manages to progress their stories much better and do their rematches at the right time, as compared to RAW, who seems like they book rematches out of laziness just to kill time. Therefore, I highly anticipate this show, especially since so many of these rivalries have reached the boiling point at which the only logical solution to finally settle things is to let these grapplers go nuts on each other with tables, ladders, chairs, or all of the above. And thank God they left stairs out this time. But I honestly feel like this PPV may be a final chapter kind of show, wrapping up most of these long term storylines nicely heading into the new year. Or at least I hope that’s the case and they don’t drag too many of these out like RAW has done with Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte. I’m feeling optimistic today, so let’s see how that will affect my predictions for WWE TLC 2016.
Smackdown Tag Team Championship
Heath Slater & Rhyno (C) vs. Randy Orton & Bray Wyatt
What is Randy Orton
doing? The Viper isn’t really on the same page with Bray Wyatt
, is he? If so, I guess I have to hand it to Bray Wyatt; he’s proved that Randy Orton is just as gullible as John Cena. A different kind of gullible, mind. While Wyatt failed to bring Cena to the dark side
in 2014, he convinced Orton to stand by him rather easily. They pose a threat to being Smackdown’s most dangerous tag team. Or at least they would if Wyatt won more often. Knowing Wyatt’s awful luck, Heath Slater
could probably defeat him with the flick of the hair at TLC. Also, one more not about the state of the Wyatt Family: what about Luke Harper
? The bald-spotted one is a solid worker and he gets pushed aside, not even being able to compete for the Tag Team Championship with his daddy (or possibly grand-daddy
) Bray. Poor dude; I wouldn’t be surprised if he jumps Randy and they face off at WrestleMania for Bray’s affection.
Who I Want to Win: Orton & Wyatt. I think the novelty of Slater and Rhyno as a team might be wearing down and, and the fact that Slater now has his contract means he and Rhyno don’t technically have to stay together much longer. Sure, they’re funny, but they’re no Team Hell No or anything.
Who Will Win: Orton & Wyatt
. They’re already recieving a ton of screentime, so why not capitalize on this story they’re obviously putting a lot of work into than by adding the Tag Team Titles, possibly leading to a team like American Alpha chasing after them in a few months tiime?
Baron Corbin vs. Kalisto
The Baron Corbin
bandwagon has taken off on the freeway and I’m not even trying to catch up with it. Simply put: I do not like this guy even a little bit. Outside of his finisher
, he does nothing for me. This isn’t breaking news, but it does help me cheer for Kalisto
even more than I already was. The Lone Wolf has spent his entire time on Smackdown bullying both Kalisto and my poor last nerve. I will admit he’s better on the mic than Kalisto because Johnny proclaiming that he did not hit her
came out better than anything Kalisto has ever uttered on the mic
. But the luchador is way more exciting between the rope, and at half the size too, which seems to be the thing that pisses off Corbin, who stands 6’8″ to Kalisto’s 5’6″, the most. Bur now they get to take out their aggression on each other in a sanctioned PPV match with the stipulation being that they’re allowed to use chairs. They put one of their most boring guys (in my opinion) on the roster in one of the most boring stipulations of all time. Guess I should count my blessings; at least it’s not the Stairs Match.
Who I Want to Win: Kalisto. I’ve mentioned numerous times that I’m not a member of the Baron Corbin fan club; you didn’t actually expect me to say I wanted him to win, did you? Plus, he kind of has this punishment coming; he’s pushed around Kalisto enough and it’s time the Lucha Dragon got his revenge.
Who Will Win: Baron Corbin. You can call this the battle of David and Goliath, but in WWE, all that means is that David is probably gonna tossed like a salad all around the ring and end the match squashed like a tomato. Plus, as much as I don’t like him, I can see WWE trying to elevate him so they can have more heavyweight main eventers.
No Disqualification Match
Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
Like Baron Corbin
has not gained me as a member of her fan club. I don’t like her gimmick (and I’m especially not enjoying the diet version in NXT who calls herself Liv Morgan
), she’s on the lower end of the spectrum as far as in-ring talent, and I will be a happy man if I never have to hear her theme song
, which I’m effectively calling “Not Fancy
” ever again. However, she does deserve credit for holding up her end of the rivalry with Nikki Bella
. The Princess of Staten Island couldn’t fathom being upstaged by the former Divas Champion in her hometown, and grows frustrated at the very reminder of the success Nikki has earned. Or in the opinion of Carmella and a subset of Internet fans, the success that she cheated and politicked her way to
. Nikki has heard the criticisms and is tired of them herself. Such a boiling point they’ve reached that Carmella is walking into their No DQ brawl on Sunday with a shiner
, and may walk out with another one, courtesy of the Fearless One.
Who I Want to Win: Nikki Bella
. I somewhat sympathize with the Total Bellas
star because as hard as she works, people constantly try to downplay her success and paint her in the most negative light, kind of like another “Fearless”
beauty in show business. That, plus my aforementioned non-fandom of Carmella, have me wanting to see her win.
Who Will Win: Nikki Bella. I don’t know what the future of the women’s division on Smackdown entails, but I doubt it includes Nikki Bella losing to a woman who’s heat might disappear as soon as this storyline is over. Carmella may get a rub from being physical in this match, but make no mistake: Nikki’s winning.
Ladder Match • WWE Intercontinental Championship
The Miz (C) vs. Dolph Ziggler
is the cockroach of WWE’s mid-card. It’s impossible to vanquish him. He just keeps coming back, usually not with any significant improvement or advancement. The Miz
, who NEEDS to be nominated for the Superstar of the Year Slammy, is learning this the hard way in his feud with The Show-Off that may very well be Smackdown’s version of Sasha Banks
, minus the predictability and empty storytelling that saga has become infamous for. Last time these two met on PPV, Ziggler won in what many considered the Match of the Night
, a perfect example of a great story with a satisfying payoff. That was until Miz won the title back days before Survivor Series
just so Sami Zayn
can have a heel opponent to challenge for the Intercontinental Championship. But with no Sami in the way, this feud gets a new chapter. I’m kind of hoping it’s the last chapter because as good as their work has been, we don’t want this to get stale.
Who I Want to Win:
The Miz. I’m Team Miz in any battle between him and Dolpg Ziggler. Last Christmas, the most buzz The Miz had going for him was the fact that he was in Santa’s Little Helper
and the chick who played Naomi on 90210
. Now he’s one of the best things about WWE, and I want him to going into 2017 with the title.
Who Will Win:
Dolph Ziggler. I do honestly believe the Survivor Series match was the sole purpose of giving Miz the title bac; now it’s time for the refund. Plus, have you sen Ziggler in Ladder Matches? I may not like him, but he’s certainly not unlucky in these match types. Luke Harper
can certainly attest to that by way of this very PPV in 2014
Tables Match • WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship
Becky Lynch (C) vs. Alexa Bliss
With all due respect to everything Sasha Banks and Charlotte have done in their pursuit I make every spec of history possible for women in WWE, I think Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss have my favorite women’s feud in WWE in quite some time. Right off the bat, I knew the dynamic of Becky, the underdog who rarely has Lady Luck in her corner, going against the heartless bully who’s always talking down to those bigger than her in Alexa, would be an explosive combination, but I never anticipated this. What started as just one woman earning the right to face another one for the title has become a simply-booked, yet beautifully poetic good vs. evil battle, complete with Disney references (which I, as a Disney nerd who stans for Mulan, appreciate) and colorful baby face language. And the best part: they don’t keep doing the EXACT same thing in a cycle and expecting you to just accept it, hint hint. And both women have been outstanding in this, with Alexa Bliss particularly giving a star-making performances every time her lips are depended on to form words. This is the second TLC to see a women’s Tables Match sanctioned, and the last one was pretty damn good. I’m depending on these two to top it though.
Who I Want to Win: Honestly, I have no idea who I want to win this match more. I’m doing my Year-End Top 10 Female Wrestlers of 2016 this coming Tuesday, and spoilers: both of these ladies are in the Top 5. They’ve earned it; I’ve enjoyed their work that much. Really, either one coming out on top would sit well with me.
Who Will Win: Alexa Bliss. This is a VERY bold prediction seeing as Becky Lynch is undeniably the face of the Smackdown women’s brand. But a hell champion could shake things up huge, with Nikki Bella and Naomi potentially rising to the forefront, and WWE might see that too and want to captialize on that. But this is all just assumption.