WWE TLC 2012: Creating a Card Through Logic and Wishful Thinking
In a little less than a month, the WWE will put on its fourth installment of the TLC pay-per-view. So what should we expect the card to look like on December 16 at the new Barclays Center?
Some feuds are clear, some are being drawn out and others need to be found. But with my help, let's try to book a great card.
With some logic and some wishful thinking, here is how I would book the 2012 edition of TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs.
WWE Championship: CM Punk vs. Ryback (TLC Match)
One of the more puzzling concepts in the WWE right now is the assumption that CM Punk will be defending his WWE Championship against The Rock at the Royal Rumble. Did we forget about this pay-per-view?
Unless he won't be showing up, Punk will be defending his title at TLC against somebody. Presumably, that man will be Ryback.
Although we've gotten Ryback in the last two pay-per-view main events, I believe the curiosity and appeal to watch him face Punk is still there. That appeal will get even greater when you add some tables, ladders and chairs to the mix.
I wish I could involve the stable of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns somehow. But it might be a better long-term idea if the WWE doesn't indulge themselves in rushing the development of three future stars.
I would, however, book them to interfere here. Driving Ryback through a table once again wouldn't make much sense and would be terribly boring. Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns can face some resistance from Ryback during their interference.
But it would be just enough to allow Punk to squeak by with yet another successful title defense.
John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler (Tables Match)
The WWE will show its true colors with the outcome of this match. They'll either tell us that they care about their future or tell us to shove it with yet another Cena win.
Creative has come far in building up Dolph Ziggler—given his recent momentum. So why stop now?
John Cena does not need this match and should only be working this feud to further Ziggler. After all, he is going to be the future World Heavyweight Champion.
Making this a Tables Match is a very strategic move since Cena is a heavy, heavy favorite in this matchup. As we've seen in the past, specifically the Cody Rhodes-Big Show match last year, the table stipulation can be a very sneaky way for an underdog to pull one out.
Since I wouldn't really believe Ziggler beating Cena clean right now, having him win a Tables Match should be the way to go. It's much easier to put Cena through a table than to keep him down for a three-count.
World Heavyweight Championship: Big Show vs. Sheamus (Chairs Match)
The Big Show-Sheamus feud has been solid, and it's time for that to come to a head with a Chairs Match.
These two have been putting on some great work in the ring and their final showdown should be no different. But who's going to win?
I'll have Sheamus picking up a win by virtue of a chair-infused Brogue Kick to Show's face. Show would then get up and throw Sheamus a good ol' post-match thrashing. Then...
Yes, you guessed it...it's time for Dolph Ziggler to cash-in. The WWE Universe has been itching for it for some time now. Can't you hear their constant "We Want Ziggler" chants during World Heavyweight Championship matches?
And what better time for Ziggler to successfully cash-in, as he would be coming off the heels of a victory against the golden child John Cena?
Tag Team Championship: Hell No vs. Prime Time Players vs. ReyCara (Ladder Match)
The tag division needs an affirmative moment to finally finish it's reestablishment. This could be it.
Triple Threat tag matches involving ladders never fail to entertain. Give us a few high-flying moves, some memorable spots and an exciting ending, and we'll have a heck of a division going.
Unfortunately, it's time for Team Hell No to split up. It's been fun, but I think it's run its course. Bryan and Kane have successfully spearheaded a resurrection of the Tag Team division and should be out for some main event work. And when I mean "main event work," I'm taking about Bryan.
Rey and Cara could win here for a really good curtain jerker. The tag scene should be in good hands with Mysterio/Cara and Team Rhodes Scholars at the helm.
Intercontinental Championship: Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett
If you've read the SmackDown spoilers for this Friday, then you already know the seed to this feud has been planted. Barrett did some commentary during Kofi's match against Damien Sandow, promising he would capture the Intercontinental Championship.
To be honest, I am looking forward to how this unfolds. This feud isn't new by any means but can help develop both guys.
I would look for Barrett to knock off Kingston but I'm not sure what an IC title run would do for him. Despite their efforts, the WWE has yet to really build back this particular strap into its past glory.I don't know if I would want to limit Barrett to Intercontinental Championship battles given the well-deserved push that's coming for him.
In that case, I'd booked a Kofi win by disqualification. Instead of vying for the belt as he stated on SmackDown, I'd have Barrett make a statement with a complete beat-down. Barrett can just ignore the referee's counts and take out Kofi like he was last week's trash.
At this point, the bare-knuckle brawler should be setting his sights on bigger things.
This would add some heel viability to Barrett and keep the current IC title where it belongs, smack in the middle of the mid-card with Mr. Mid-Card himself, Kofi Kingston.
Randy Orton and The Miz vs. Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez
Ok, stick with me here. It'll take some time to explain this one. It's all about an Orton heel turn.
So apparently, The Miz is gradually turning face. Whether you agree with it or not (I personally don't since he's tailor-made as a heel), it seems rather imminent at the moment. So that would explain the pairing here with Randy Orton.
As far as throwing Ricardo Rodriguez in this match, that order can come from SmackDown general manager Booker T. Seeing as though Ricardo and Alberto Del Rio have been sticking their noises in the wrong places, this be a punishment of sorts for both.
If Ricardo wants to get involved in Del Rio's matches, then he'll be really involved here.
But here's the other twist...Orton goes heel.
Miz and Orton would appear to be the heavy favorites given the partner of Del Rio. A 180 from Randy, however, could be in store.
Orton's character has been very strange and rather confusing. So it's really time for a change.
The Viper would RKO Miz at some point during the match, leaving him open for a pin from Del Rio or preferably Rodriguez. This would finally put an end to this feud and put Orton where he belongs as a character.
Until then, Miz would have to be much more over as a face for Orton's turn to be more effective.
Divas Championship: Eve vs. Kaitlyn
This isn't exactly a new idea and yes, Kaitlyn was involved in some legal hoopla. Despite that, these two deserve another match on a pay-per-view.
The feud between champion Eve and Kaitlyn hasn't been as useless and confusing as the Divas ones that have preceded it. There is a decent storyline and their match as Survivor Series was considerably solid.
I'd give the win to Kaitlyn here. It may not be a wise move to put the strap on an employee that just got arrested. But given the need for new blood and the admirable way Kaitlyn approached her particular situation, perhaps we could see a new Divas champion.
United States Championship: Antonio Cesaro vs. R-Truth
I was extremely disappointed in the Cesaro/Truth match at Survivor Series. Given the styles of each wrestler, I really thought their match had a chance to be a little gem of the pay-per-view.
Unfortunately, that did not happen. Neither really stepped it up and left the impression of a television match for those watching.
There's still hope, however.
This feud still has some legs and can be intensified within the upcoming weeks leading to TLC. We have two contrasting characters, the silly face and the uppity heel, that do have the chops to put together an exciting in-ring performance.
I'll give Cesaro the win to keep on the build of his credibility.
Pre-Show Match: Zack Ryder vs. Damien Sandow
With Cody Rhodes a bit banged up, Team Rhodes Scholars has been placed on hold. Until then, the WWE should work towards solidifying Sandow.
In my view, Sandow easily has one of the best gimmicks in the business today. And quite frankly, you couldn't get a better guy to fill out his role.
We'll have him snuff out Ryder here in a pre-show match that has more appeal to fans than the previous ones.
*Matches in descending order from main event to opener.
8) WWE Championship: CM Punk (c) vs. Ryback (TLC Match)
7) World Heavyweight Championship: Big Show (c) vs. Sheamus (Chairs Match)
6) Divas Championship: Eve (c) vs. Kaitlyn
5) John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler (Tables Match)
4) Randy Orton and The Miz vs. Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez
3) Intercontinental Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Wade Barrett
2) United States Championship: Antonio Cesaro (c) vs. R-Truth
1) Tag Team Championship: Team Hell No (c) vs. Prime Time Players vs. Mysterio and Cara
Pre-Show Match: Zack Ryder vs. Damien Sandow