Hello AW Universe,
Yes, it’s time for yet another WWE PPV. Survivor Series isn’t even a month old, and already we have another PPV to dedicate our Sunday night to. That being said, the matches on this card have a tonne of potential, and they’ve done a remarkable job of making (nearly) every match have some juice to it.
WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs is live from the Target Center in Minneapolis this Sunday. Here is a breakdown and preview of all the matches on the card.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship
The New Day Vs. The Revival
The Revival have suddenly formed an unofficial “court” with King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, and the (as Michael Cole put it on the latest episode of Friday Night SmackDown) “injured” Robert Roode. It seems that the booking for Friday nights is setting up to feature this “King’s Court” quite heavily, and I feel as though it takes another step tow . This spot was almost certainly pencilled in for Ziggler and the “injured” Roode, but the history of pages of pro wrestling history is rife with competitors rising to the occasion after filling in for somebody else. The New Day are fantastic, and the crowds still seem to be fully behind Kofi Kingston, but t feels like this new faction needs some clout behind them.
Winners: The Revival
Bray Wyatt Vs. The Miz
This match is booked and promoted as The Miz versus Bray Wyatt, and not “The Fiend,” which will mark the first time that Wyatt will wrestle without the demonic gimmick since this latest reboot. The last package they had on SmackDown, where Renee Young interviewed The Miz about the match and his relationship to Daniel Bryan, only to have the interview cut short after Miz and his wife Maryse see some creepy shit on the baby monitoring screen and run up to their daughter’s crib and find a creepy doll placed in it. Quite frankly, the whole thing was pretty fucked up. It was weird, disturbing, and compelling; all the things that fans have (rightfully) complained that the PG Era of WWE television has sorely missed. This is a non-title match, but even then there’s little-to-no doubt that Bray’s going over here. The only question is, what factor with Daniel Bryan play? The Miz has been waxing poetic about Bryan’s importance to SmackDown, while Wyatt has talked about his lost “family,” and showing a quick cut of said “family” that featured Daniel Bryan in his (albeit brief) turn as a Wyatt Family member, and both have talked about how every wrestler who faces “The Fiend” is changed afterward because of it.
Bray also telling The Miz that he can teach him how not to feel pain, but also not to feel love, while tormenting his family is just another level of chilling. This is some of the best writing WWE’s had in years. I hope it never stops.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
Aleister Black Vs. Buddy Murphy
This is the closest the card is going to get to having a cooler match; it’ll barely get any time, but these are two of the better workers on the Monday Night Raw roster, so they’ll get their stuff in. That being said, these seem to be two wrestlers heading in reverse trajectories, with Black’s star rising, while Murphy’s might be heading to a nadir. Black wins with all the kicks and a wicked Black Mass.
Winner: Aleister Black
Rusev Vs. Bobby Lashley (w/Lana)
Hey, say what you want about this storyline, but Rusev is over AF. It’s booked Rusev as the underdog, but not in a way that’s left him looking pathetic. There is a tonne of heat around this feud, likely generating initially from the stupidity of the angle and the feeling of disservice to Rusev. But now, the crowd is forcibly behind the Bulgarian Brute, and he and Lashley will have a good brawl, Lana will screech and berate Rusev throughout it, and then he’ll get his revenge. And the crowd will erupt in “Rusev Day” chants, and the Paul Heyman and his writers will pat themselves on the back for a story well-written. Then I’ll ready for it to be over. Please.
Raw Tag Team Championship
The Viking Raiders Vs. TBD
This has to be Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, right? I think it actually would’ve been a bigger pop if The Street Profits came out for this match, rather than the one on the latest episode of Raw, but they’ve also built a decent angle with The OC. It would be nice to see The Good Brothers pick up the win, and begin to establish the The OC as a dominate faction. But, the Viking Raiders are likely going to keep their winning streak going, regardless who challenges them, as they’re likely headed for a feud with The Authors of Pain. There’s also a chance that this just a squash, and the cooler match in the card.
Winners: The Viking Raiders
Roman Reigns Vs. King Corbin
Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match
This is going to sound messed up, but getting handcuffed and smothered in dog food might’ve been the best thing that’s happened to Roman Reigns in his career. He was humiliated, he looked vulnerable, and beaten down. There has been a slew of reasons for by WWE (television) crowds have resisted and pushed back on the near-half decade Reigns push is that he’s always looked strong, invulnerable, super human. Reigns looking embarrassed and pitiful doesn’t make him look weak, something that, for whatever reason, WWE bookers always seemed to fear would be the case. I mentioned it earlier, but it does seem King Corbin’s Court is going to be the central storyline on SmackDown heading towards Royal Rumble, and Corbin has been a massive heat magnet lately. The King winning here would burn him with the heat, and it’s what I wish they would do, even having Roman lose because of a Ziggler interference would accomplish so much: 1) establishing Corbin as the top heel of the show and 2) giving the fans even more of an emotional investment in Reigns finally going over Corbin. That being said, they may have been willing to allow Reigns to look beaten at the end of an episode of SmackDown, but losing a high-profile PPV match? I’m not quite convinced they’re there yet. I’m more than happy to be wrong here.
Also, is this a pin-fall? What’s hanging from the ceiling if it isn’t?
Winner: Roman Reigns
Women’s Tag Team Championship
Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match
The Kabuki Warriors Vs. Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair
Most likely the main event, with the hottest wrestler, Becky, participating in it. This has been a pretty well-built feud, with Kairi Sane and Asuka pulling every shit-heel tactic in the book. There will be high expectations on this match, with many undoubtedly predicting it to be the match of the night, and these are the women who can meet that high-bar. Becky– and Charlotte for that it’s worth– don’t particularly need this win, but not every finish has to, nor should be, determined by who necessarily needs it, but what the most entertaining finish would be. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair winning the tag titles and reluctantly going on run with them would be awesome, and the visual of them holding the belts after winning will similar to when Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit won TLC III,* once bitter rivals then reluctant champions together. Not to mention it’ll be the perfect visual for the show to end on.
* remember when this match was so rare, they could be titled like that… those were the days…
Winners: Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair
WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs is live this Sunday 15 December at 7pm EST available on the WWE Network or Pay-Per-View!