Thursday, December 10, 2015

WWE TLC 2015 Predictions

Welcome to another edition of PPV Predictions!

It's December, and that means another phoned-in effort from WWE in the form of Tables, Ladders & Chairs.  The tagline of this show should be "TLC: Where Gimmick Matches Make Up for How Bad RAW Sucks."  Anyone who's been following WWE knows that RAW is in shambles right now - most of the top stars are injured and WWE is now feeling the effects of their terrible long-term booking, as no one is over and the ratings are hitting 20-year lows.  This is what happens when you continually condition fans to view the full-time roster as beneath the part-time stars of yesteryear.  It's also what happens when you give wrestlers poorly scripted promos to recite rather than letting them ad lib, and when you book everyone to win exactly half the time.  No one gains momentum and therefore the audience doesn't care.

This month we have a special treat for you, as our usual picks will be followed tomorrow by B-Cuddy of NFL Pick 'em fame.  It should be noted that Brandon has basically zero knowledge (and a general disdain) of pro wrestling and is making his picks in the dark.  Therefore he'll probably do better than Dan or I.  Stay tuned for B-Cuddy's Uninformed Wrestling Picks tomorrow!

Anyway, onto the predictions.  I'm thinking we'll see a match or two added to the show at the last minute, since apparently not knowing the entire show ahead of time = buyrates.

***Currently Dan and I are still tied for the year, at 52/75***

WWE Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Ladder Match: The New Day vs. The Usos vs. Lucha Dragons

This is one of the few matches I'm actually interested in.  The New Day are easily the best (only) good thing on the show right now, and amazingly are actually connecting with the crowd.  See what happens when you let talent get over on their own?  I'm glad to see The Usos back in action, and the Luchas are still a promising up-and-coming team.  This should be a fun spotfest.

Justin's Pick: New Day should retain, as their shtick is still great.  No reason to mess with the one thing that's working.
Dan's Pick: Yup, gotta assume the Terrible Trio retains here.

US Championship Chairs Match: Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger

Really guys?  Swagger?  Sorry, who's he beaten in the last two years to earn a US Title match?  Am I wrong in thinking Del Rio has looked very unmotivated since coming back?  I feel like his heart really isn't in WWE anymore and he just took the new deal as a money grab (WWE is reportedly paying him seven figures).  That said, he's the only member of the League of Nations with any credibility, probably because he was gone for a year and the company hasn't booked him like a chump.  It's a sad thing when being absent is preferable to being featured on RAW.

Justin's Pick: Del Rio obviously
Dan's Pick: Swagger’s been MIA forever and we’re supposed to believe he’s a credible threat? Come on.

Divas Championship: Charlotte vs. Paige

The Divas division is still a mess overall, but at least they're being given the chance to steal the show (as Charlotte & Paige did at Survivor Series IMO).  Charlotte sadly wasn't getting over as a babyface so they're gradually turning her heel.  Long-term this is a good thing; she's much more comfortable in that role.  But sadly for this feud it leaves us with no one to root for.  Still this should be one of the better matches on the show.  I'm hoping the plan is a Charlotte-Sasha Banks match at WrestleMania.  We'll see.

Justin's Pick: Charlotte retains

8-Man Elimination Tables Match: The Wyatt Family vs. The Dudley Boyz/Rhyno/Tommy Dreamer

Hey Dan, you excited Rhyno's back?

This at least has the possibility of being a wild, violent affair.  I'm glad it's elimination rules so there will be a little drama to it.  The ECW contingent is clearly only there to repair some of the extensive damage done to Bray Wyatt in 2015.  Losses to Undertaker and Roman Reigns have reduced this once potentially great heel to just another midcard guy.  WWE's attention span is like that of a flea.  "This guy's gonna be a huge star....Oh look a bicycle!"

Justin's Pick: Wyatts

But they’re gonna lose. Also, how hilarious is it that a month after SURVIVOR SERIES they give us a Survivor match involving the team everyone assumed would be in a Survivor match. Brilliant.

Intercontinental Championship: Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose

This is the other big match I'm excited about.  I'm a big fan of both these guys and Owens has been a strong I-C Champ.  Of course both of these guys are way more over than either of the World Title participants.  Whatever, this match'll blow that one outta the water.

Justin's Pick: Owens retains, probably by crook
Dan's Pick: I think Owens wins as well. We’re really going crazy here with our picks, huh?

WWE World Title TLC Match: Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns

Aaaaand here we are.  The WWE Champion, who after winning Money in the Bank was booked into oblivion, losing most of his televised matches and damn near becoming a comedy character before a "surprise" cash-in at Survivor Series vs. Vince's chosen one who can't cut a (scripted) promo or close the deal when it counts.  I used to complain Reigns seemed above it all when he got screwed over.  Now apparently his thing is that he cries when he loses.  Yeah, that's something you want in your top babyface.  Shoehorning Reigns into the Daniel Bryan "sympathetic underdog" role is a recipe for disaster.  That's not who Reigns is at all.  I said it before, Reigns needs to be booked like Goldberg if you want your audience to find him cool.  He should absolutely destroy everything in sight and level opponents with a devastating new finisher.  Get rid of the Spear.  It's overused and tired.  Anyway, this match should be decent, I just don't care about it whatsoever.  Like not at all.  The League of Nations idea would've been cool if any of its members (Del Rio excluded) had been booked with an iota of credibility.  But aside from Alberto none of them is even vaguely threatening.  WWE is in real trouble.

Justin's Pick: This is the hardest match to predict actually.  One on hand Sheamus is a terrible choice as Champion right now, but on the other, how do you just have him drop the thing after three weeks?  Traditionally you'd want him to keep the belt till 'Mania to build him and the Title back up.  But fans aren't responding to him either.  Of course the same could be said of Reigns.  If you really want him over, he can't afford to lose yet another Title shot.  But having him win here is also pretty anticlimactic and would undermine this newly created heel stable.  WWE has done what they do best - paint themselves into a corner.  Vince sure loves no-win scenarios, doesn't he?  Eh fuck, I'll go with Reigns to finally win the gold.
Dan's Pick: Sheamus just won…I think he keeps it at least a month, right? RIGHT???!??!?

There ya go.  Take it for what it is.  TLC's gonna be one of those PPVs where you wanna hold your nose the whole time.  Christ.  At least New Japan's biggest PPV of the year is right around the corner.....

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