TABLES! LADDERS! CHAIRS! OH MY!
WWE’s last pay-per-view of 2015 will air live from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on Sunday. But really, is it a show worth getting excited for?
The “Make Roman Look Strong” movement gained more steam than ever in recent weeks with WWE’s future franchise player dominating current World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and his League of Nations faction, much to the dismay of many fans. Otherwise, it’s been 50-50 booking and less focus for most of WWE’s other rivalries.
Here are previews and predictions for the entire 2015 TLC card.
1. Ryback vs. Rusev (w/Lana)
Walking WWE shopzone catalog Ryback faces Rusev because reasons. Seriously, it seemed like creative spun a wheel of babyface wrestlers’ names to decide Rusev’s next opponent and landed on Ryback’s. This rivalry began two weeks ago when Ryback interrupted Rusev and Lana’s in-ring reunion on Miz TV, calling it “crap” and comparing it to “another episode of Teen Wolf.” So babyface. The rivalry took shape when Lana preyed upon the “Big Guy’s” innocence by faking an injury, which made good guy Ryback show compassion and guilt mid-match before being defeated by Rusev. So really, your standard heel couple vs. big gullible babyface feud.
Rusev has momentum heading into this match after reuniting with Lana and joining the League of Nations. Ryback, on the other hand, hasn’t done anything of relevance since dropping the Intercontinental Championship to Kevin Owens at Night of Champions. Plus, Lana needs to continue her to transition back into her role as Rusev’s heel valet, which should play a factor in the finish of Sunday’s match.
2. United States Championship: Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Jack Swagger
Alberto Del Rio joined the League of Nations several weeks ago, which led many to expect the end of his Mexamerica alliance with Zeb Colter. That breakup took place on Raw this past Monday as Del Rio told the scooter-bound senior citizen “stay out of my life.” So naturally, that would mean Colter is going to realign himself with Jack Swagger, his former protege, who has spent the past few weeks trying to solve the Del Rio-Colter alliance (just like the rest of us — right?).
Winner: Alberto Del Rio.
I just don’t see WWE suddenly promoting Swagger to United States champion. The title has been elevated so much over the past year that it seems unfathomable for a guy who spent most of 2015 competing on Superstars and Main Event to suddenly take it, especially from Del Rio who defeated John Cena clean to win it in the first place.
3. ECW Originals (Dudley Boyz, Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno) vs. The Wyatt Family
It’s hard to predict this match. You’d think it would be the perfect opportunity for Team ECW to put over young talent but that’s not a guarantee. The Wyatts have been the only team doing more jobbing than the Dudleys in recent months, especially to 90s nostalgia acts.
Winner: Wyatt Family
More 50-50 booking, ladies and gentlemen. The Wyatts should get the rub from the veteran ECW alums and finally earn some momentum entering their next rivalry or extending this one after a cheap heel victory.
4. Divas Championship: Charlotte (c) (w/Ric Flair) vs. Paige
Charlotte is in the middle of what seems like a heel turn, which should give her title reign new life. Paige is still a tweener but came off as the babyface of the feud during their Miz TV segment this past week. But Paige has made as many turns as Big Show so it’s hard to keep up with whether she’s a babyface at with at this point. Also, being that this match is in Boston, there’s an even greater chance it will be buried by “We Want Sasha” chants due to WWE leaving Beantown’s own Sasha Banks off of the card.
Paige has to have the record for most failed title shots in a single year. It seems like she’s in the Divas title match of every pay-per-view yet hasn’t held the championship since 2014. Charlotte remains the division’s most dominant competitor and doesn’t show signs of slowing down, especially with an added heel edge. Plus, there was no point in having her prey upon Becky Lynch’s naiveness and not build up to a potential rivalry, right?
5. Tag-Team Championship TLC match: The New Day (c) vs. The Usos vs. The Lucha Dragons
The tag-team titles will be on the line in one of TLC’s only two namesake matches. Tension between The Usos and New Day has built for weeks with the Usos getting the most of our “World Famous Two-Time Tag-Team Champions.” The Lucha Dragons are also involved for flippy ladder match spots.
Winner: New Day
The Usos have been on a roll since returning to action, especially since half of their matches have been alongside their cousin Roman Reigns who rarely loses. So surely New Day, who has been on the short end of this entire rivalry — aside from Big E’s savage tweet to Jimmy Uso — will win on Sunday.
6. Intercontinental Championship: Kevin Owens (c) vs. Dean Ambrose
It’s ridiculous that a rivalry for the Intercontinental Championship involving two of the best talkers in WWE has received such little buildup. There was a contract signing on SmackDown which involved a lawyer as a ploy for an attack by Owens, rather than a verbal back-and-forth. Still, this should be the internet’s favorite match involving two of its favorite superstars.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Owens has done an excellent job in elevating the Intercontinental title back to relevance and that needs to continue with another victory against WWE’s true top babyface. This rivalry has the potential to extend past TLC and into 2015, or at least until Sami Zayn makes his main roster return to continue one of wrestling’s longest running feuds.
7. World Heavyweight Championship TLC Match: Sheamus (c) vs. Roman Reigns
The Roman Reigns push is in full swing with seemingly every other main event superstar out of action. However, Sheamus still holds the World Heavyweight title and is taking over right where Seth Rollins left off as the cowardly heel champion. That means despite looking foolish on a weekly basis he’ll manage to retain his title when it counts.
The Roman Empire is approaching but won’t be wasted at TLC. Reigns’ coronation needs to take place at one of the Big Four pay-per-views — Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Summerslam or Survivor Series. Also, Sheamus has held the title for less than a month so it doesn’t seem likely that WWE is going to take it off of him just yet. Surely, the Celtic Warrior has a few tricks — or Trips — up his sleeve and will win in questionable fashion.