Only one PPV means there will be brutally mad bumps, crazy spots-a-plenty, and perhaps the odd sneaky joke about someone “getting wood”. IT’S TLC TIME BABY!! What better way to countdown to Christmas than watching carnage unfold before your very eyes? And with 4 HUGE title matches, you can bet there WILL be carnage. Join me and take a look, won’t you?
So we all know TLC is great as a match, right? But does the concept of using tables, ladders and chairs lend itself to a whole PPV? Well…I’m not so sure. I mean a CHAIRS match? Really? Really? Really? Really? Re…sorry, got stuck in Miz loop, normal service is now resumed.
Where was I? Oh yeah, so as ridiculous an idea as a Chairs match sounds, it could be worse. It could be…oh…I dunno…a ladder match where you climb to grab a sledgehammer. How funny would that be? Can you even imagin…wait, what? They’re actually doing one of those?
Let’s just make some predictions shall we…
Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett
I like Wade Barrett. I’m not even particularly sure why? I think it’s because he’s just an old school “rough ‘em up” kinda wrestler. Or possibly because he’s been particularly good on the mic recently. Whatever the reason, I’m high on Barrett right now and it thankfully seems like he’s finally managing to erase the horror of the ending of the Nexus/Corre/whateverthefudge from our memories.
Who better to help Wade back towards a higher spot than the man who seems determined to single-handedly put everyone ever this year, Randy Orton. Seriously, look back at 2011, and look at all the people who seem so much better after tangling with Orton. Christian (okay debatable, but I believe he came off better from working with Orton), Cody Rhodes, Mark Henry, CM Punk, all of these guys have had a series of matches with Orton, and all of them have come out the other side looking like a million bucks.
The guy has legitimised and reinvigorated Cody Rhodes, and sold Mark Henry as the monster he should always of been when dropping the strap. He and Punk had probably my favourite match from this year’s WrestleMania, Orton has just had a fantastic year. The guy has consistently pulled fantastic performances not only from himself but also from his opponents, and he’s doing the same thing for Wade Barrett.
Just because of Orton’s willingness to help out his opponent, this should be a great match. Let’s see what we think about some results…
Who I want to win: Barrett. He needs it more than Orton.
Who I think will win: Wade Barrett, through some kind of feud prolonging shenanigans. Barrett needs to be able to brag about the “Barrett Barrage”, and a loss wouldn’t hurt Orton in the slightest. If anything it’d just make him angry. And you don’t want to make Randy angry…
Intercontinental Championship Match
Cody Rhodes © vs. Booker T
Well Shucky Ducky Quack Quack, Booker’s getting back in the ring and down to BUSINESS!! HE GON’ DO IT…HE GON’ DO IT!! Sorry, but Booker T’s commentary is the best. I’m actually a little angry that he’s in this match, because I know that means Michael Cole is gonna be frickin’ insufferable all night.
That said, I don’t actually mind the idea of Booker getting back in the ring. At least he can still go, which is more than can be said for some people on the card (stand up Kevin Nash…actually on second thoughts don’t bother, you might hurt your knee again), and at least Booker understands the job at hand. Which is to continue to make Cody Rhodes look like an outstanding Intercontinental Champion.
And boy is Rhodes an outstanding Champion right now. Everything about him at the moment just oozes greatness…okay, everything but the silly scary movie laugh, but that’s fine in small doses. The important thing here is that he isn’t bothering with paper bags anymore, he’s actually putting in consistently great performances, and backing up by carrying himself like a star.
There’s only ever likely to be one outcome to this match, but this isn’t about the result, this is all about the story they tell throughout the match. It’s the classic “seasoned veteran vs. young brash upstart” story, and I for one am looking forward to it.
Who I want to win: Cody Rhodes, but not without a few scares from Booker to show him the old dawg still has fight in him…dawg.
Who I think will win: Cody Rhodes. Can you seriously see it going any other way?
United States Championship Match
Dolph Ziggler © vs. Zack Ryder
This is it folks, what no doubt has to be the culmination of months of perseverance for Ryder fans. If you haven’t been watching Z! True Long Island Stories then you, my friend, have missed most of this angle.
It’s actually been pretty cool to follow the parts of this that weren’t on WWE TV. On Z! True Long Island Story we’ve seen the birth of the #HEEL, the Broski of the Week, and a star in Scott Stanford. I wholeheartedly recommend you go back and watch some of these in the time you have left before the PPV.
My favourite thing has been that this has played out at a perfect pace. Nothing has really been rushed about this angle, and it’s been better for it. At a time when WWE seem to plow through 6 months of material in 3 shows it’s been refreshing to see this slowly build steam over the last couple of months. And guess what? A helluva lot of fans have bought into it (as well as the Broski T-Shirt, the Broski Headband, and all this other great Zack Ryder merchandise). Take notice WWE, you don’t have to spaff your storylines away in next to no time. People will wait for a resolution, as long as the story is interesting!
I said earlier this has to be the culmination of this angle, and it really does. Dolph Ziggler is itching to get his push up the higher card, and Zack Ryder is in a perfect place right now to take on a lengthy US Title run. After all this is makes sense for them to do the title handover now. For how much I’ve just advocated the slower pace this has played out at, to hold back on the title switch now would be detrimental to both guys.
Who I want to win: Woo Woo Woo, you already know it. The Long Island Iced Z is finally taking home the gold!
Who I think will win: Ryder. All the way. Ziggler’s going main event, Ryder’s getting the title he’s busted his a*s for, and I’m happy with that.
Sledgehammer Ladder Match
Triple H vs. Kevin Nash
*drops to knees, and in a Darth Vader voice yells* NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!
Who thought of this match? A ladder match with Kevin Nash in it? Come on now, that’s surely just asking for trouble? I mean both these guys pop their quads after a particularly harsh sneezing fit, so I can’t help but think it’s a more than a little dumb to put both Trippers and Nash in a ladder match?
I know this is supposed to be some kind of blood feud because former best buddies are now mortal enemies, yadda, yadda, yadda, but I honestly couldn’t care less. This is 2011 isn’t it? How is Triple H vs. Kevin Nash relevant? Do people out there seriously watching them go at it? It kinda smacks to me of the pair of them thinking their feud is more important than it actually is. They should take a page out of Booker’s book (of bookity books) and maybe think on expending bit of this energy and effort on putting some of the new guys over? Perhaps?
I’ll just cut my loses and skip to the predictions.
Who I want to win: Is it wrong of me to say I don’t actually care that much?
Who I think will win: From my perspective there are no winners from this match. Now Nash and Hunter may prove me wrong and put on a great match, but it’s just not something I particularly want to see right now. Do I want to see an up and coming talent get a rub from going over them in a decently booked feud? Sure, I don’t want them completely off my telly, I just want to watch two guys indulge their own egos either. In summation Triple H is going to win because he’s Triple H, but the win means nothing of any consequence whatsoever.
World Heavyweight Championship Chairs Match
Mark Henry © vs. Big Show
*rubs temples* A Chair match. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on Big Show and Mark Henry here, I’d be having the same reaction to ANYONE involved in a chair match. At least this one makes sense in that it was Mark Henry and a chair that started it all? But that’s little solace when the idea of this match is al based around being able to use…chairs. You know chairs, right? That weapon that gets dragged out in normal matches frequently. That weapon that is so frequently used, that to base a whole match around the use of it is frankly laughable.
Why call it a chair match? Why not just call it a no DQ and be done with it? They can’t even throw headshots either now without incurring a hefty fine, which removes your main “HOLY SH*T” pop. Hitting the back may be a lot safer, but visually it’s just not the same, damn it.
But still, we get a continuation of 2011’s “CLASH OF THE TITANS”, the Immovable Object of Mark Henry vs. the Irresistible Force of Big Show. I’ll hold my hands up and admit that when Show and Henry first looked like locking horns I immediately thought it was gonna be a complete borefest. How wrong was I? I’ve said it before, but these guys bumping around for each other has been pretty damn awesome to watch.
I can only see it continuing too. Who else is ready to step up for a title shot against either of these men yet? Cody’s busy being an awesome IC Champ, Bryan’s holding his briefcase until Mania (fingers crossed), Barrett isn’t quite there yet. I can’t think of anyone other than Orton taking another crack at Henry, and I can only imagine they’re gonna hold off on that until the Rumble? I’d be happy with another few weeks of Henry vs. Show though.
Who I want to win: Mark Henry. You keep that belt warm until WrestleMania buddy. The Daniel Bryan dream is alive and well.
Who I think will win: Mark Henry, but probably through some underhanded tactics. They could more legs out of this feud by playing the angle that Show just can’t get the job done, he can lay Henry out, but he can’t get that decisive win to take the title. That’d work for me.
WWE Championship Triple Threat TLC Match
CM Punk © vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. The Miz
Another Main Event appearance for CM Punk, in his pursuit of making the WWE Title “interesting” again. And so far I think he’s doing a decent job, even though this isn’t particularly the best angle for him to begin a title reign under. Anyone who prowls the forums over at TWO would have probably noticed that I’ve been down on ADR lately, and feel he’s lost the spark that made him something special on Smackdown. I’m waiting for something to happen for him to catch fire again, but it seems to be a retread of the same old schtick with him over and over.
And as for Miz, well, they killed him when he held the title by making him look weak, so any attempts for him to appear as a bada*s now just aren’t going to hold any water. In my opinion Miz needs to be in a tag team. He worked well with Morrison, he was a great straight man to Truth’s bat-cr*p=craziness, but his single run only shows that he needs someone around him to play off to really do anything within the company. Some people are built to work in a team, and Miz is just one of those guys.
I’m hoping this match is just to bide time for Punk, WWE using it to set a challenge for the champion and prove that he can persevere over insurmountable odds. They’ve already used the last couple of weeks to show that Punk can take a beating, and that he’s perfectly capable of taking down Miz and ADR. I’m hoping this is where the latest round of short term title switches comes to an end, and we can get some stability back to the strap heading into the start of the Road to Wrestlemania (which is closer than you’d think).
Who I want to win: I’ll give you three guesses, but you only ever need one. CM PUNK!! CM PUNK!! CM PUNK!!
Who I think will win: Punk. I can’t see them switching the belt again this soon, and they need to give Punk time to settle into being the champion. Give him a lengthy reign, stabilise the title, and give Punk room to do his thing. That’s all I ask.
So there we go. That’s my round up, but what do you guys think? There’s a little comment box down there if there’s anything you’ve got to say, or you pop by Talk Wrestling Online and drop your opinions on the forums there.
Until next time, enjoy the PPV, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!