I'm not sure how they think they're fitting 12 matches onto this show, but I'm assuming 2-3 of them will be bumped to the pre-show. That said, about half this lineup looks pretty great, and three of the matches are important enough to main event the show. There's definitely some filler as well, but if they don't screw it up this should be a good show with some potential main roster MOTYCs.
On to the predictions!
***Dan is back in the lead with a stellar 7/8 Survivor Series showing. He's at 68% (67/99), I'm behind by one pick with 67% (66/99), and Dave and Landon are tied for third with 65% (64/99). This race continues to be a nailbiter!***
Mixed Match Finals: R-Truth & Carmella vs. Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox
What a pointless tournament this was. Can you imagine a tournament that originally included AJ, Charlotte, Braun, Asuka, Miz, and Finn, that ends up with this as the Final? Why even include anyone of consequence in this tournament if they're just gonna be subbed out anyway? So the winners here get the #30 slot in their respective Royal Rumbles next month. Which means #30 isn't winning either Rumble match. Whoever draws that number in our house pool can go ahead and eat it, shit it out, and then pee on it. This match has to be on the pre-show, right?
Justin: I guess Truth and Carmella? Though I do love Jinder/Alicia's tag team name: Mahalicia!
Dan: Mahal has to win and then when he runs in at 30 be immediately eliminated from the Rumble. BOOK IT.
Landon: Fuck you all, Truth and Carmella
Dave: Truth & Carmella but does anyone care?
Tables Match: Natalya vs. Ruby Riott
Ah, the feud over sunglasses that needlessly exploited the death of Nattie's father. What a classy organization Vince runs. A carny to the end. The action should be decent but I don't care about this feud. Or tables matches really. Another pre-show candidate I'd say.
Justin: Nattie wins to put this to bed
Dan: RIOTT SQUAD FOR LIFE
Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy vs. Cedric Alexander
Murphy's a helluva hand, as is Cedric. This should be a fine match, even though, again, I don't care much about this division.
Justin: Murphy retains
Dan: Buddy Buddy Mitchell
Landon: Murphy retains
Dave: Heh, Buddy Murphy (winner)
Ladder Match with Guitar: Elias vs. Bobby Lashley
What a dumb, Vince Russo-esque gimmick match. It's essentially Guitar on a Pole. Elias may be over, but between the ropes he stinks. I'd love to see this get the pre-show bump but it probably won't.
Dan: I mean....what?? Both these guys STINK. Lashley I suppose.
Landon: Elias gets the guitar, hits Lio, and gets pinned by Lashley.
Dave: Has to be Lashley
Chairs Match: Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio
I don't care much for chairs matches either. Just make it a No DQ match. Why would ONLY chairs be legal? Orton and Mysterio have had excellent matches in the past though, so this should be solid. I imagine this feud will continue for a while so it makes sense for Orton to win here.
Landon: Who fucking cares? Randy! Orton.
Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Balor
Poor Finn. They need to move him to Smackdown ASAP. He's little more than a jobber to the stars on RAW and he deserves way better than that. Drew is clearly being groomed for the Big Push, so hopefully this match gets time and is booked competitively to make it a signature match for the guy. Drew's obviously winning.
Dan: He has to.
Smackdown Tag Team Championship: The Bar vs. The New Day vs. The Usos
This'll be a car wreck match in the best way possible. Nonstop action and kickass tandem offense. If this gets enough time it should be one of the better matches on the show.
Justin: The Bar retains
Dave: The Bar
TLC Match: Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin
Sooo, Vince actually acknowledged this week, through Seth Rollins, that RAW sucks now, Corbin's all over the show and no one wants to see him, guys like The Revival are being wasted, Drake Maverick peeing himself is a stupid gimmick, etc. Well Vince, if you're aware the show sucks, what are you gonna do to fix it? Getting rid of Corbin as the GM would be a good start. This match needs to be very short, if Strowman is even cleared to be there. Either it's a Strowman squash or it's a forfeit. Either way it's not gonna be good.
Justin: Strowman wins if he's cleared. If not, Corbin wins by forfeit and we're stuck with him as the GM forever.
Dan: Wait...what? They have a match that might not happen booked? STUPID. And I agree with the above.
Landon: Corbin wins, because fuck you all, you don't get to enjoy yourselves.
Dave: Jesus, what a dumb match. Strowman.
RAW Women's Championship: Ronda Rousey vs. Nia Jax
These two had a very good match over the summer and with Nia playing the heel this should be better. Nia has nuclear heat right now, so hopefully that will motivate the crowd to get behind Ronda again. I'm not sure why Ronda's become so hated by these live audiences. Anyway, this should be good.
Justin: Ronda retains
Dan: Come on.
Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
I gotta say I had higher hopes for this feud when it was first kicked off. These guys had incredible feuds in 2014 and 2015, but WWE this time decided to go with the cheap, offensive heat for Ambrose by having him constantly bring up Roman's leukemia. That shit never works in the long run (though maybe it means Roman is doing well). That said, this match should be quite good, as these two always work well together. Kinda odd this isn't a TLC match or something, but whatever.
Justin: Ambrose wins the belt so Seth can get prepped for his WrestleMania date with Brock
Dan: Ambrose has to win the belt.
Dave: I think it's Ambrose's time to shine
WWE Championship: Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles
FINALLY we're getting this match on PPV. It's about goddamn time. Bryan has been on FIRE with his new heel shtick, and it's clear he's having way more fun. Not sure who they have him slated to face at 'Mania, or if he'll even keep the belt that long, but I hope he does (obviously). I'm glad this isn't a gimmick match; as long as it doesn't end in a lame DQ like so many of AJ's matches have this year. Just give them 25 minutes and let 'em do their thing.
Justin: Bryan retains
Landon: Bryan retains
Dave: Bryan I guess (Booooo!)
Smackdown Women's Championship TLC Match: Becky Lynch vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte
This is gonna be great. Either this or the Bryan-AJ match needs to main event this show, and what with it being a TLC match it should probably be this. Becky's the hottest star in the company, against arguably the two best female workers, in the first women's match of this type. If this isn't one of the best main roster matches of the year I'll be shocked.
Justin: Seems counterproductive to take the belt off Becky right now, but they do need to position her and/or Charlotte to be able to face Ronda next spring. So I'll go with Asuka to be the spoiler.
Dan: Becky retains
Landon: Becky retains
There's the (bloated) lineup. As I said, the good matches on this show should be great . It's just a shame there are so many filler matches to wade through. Enjoy, mofos!
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