Survivor Series ended less than a week ago, but the WWE Universe is already looking forward to December's TLC pay-per-view. The feuds and storylines are already building for WWE's final PPV of 2012.
We can't get excited about a pay-per-view without knowing (or at least speculating about) the scheduled matches. To that end, I offer my predictions and/or suggestions for this year's card. I will try to keep my justifications short, since so much can happen between now and Dec. 16 in Brooklyn.
Note: I don't read SmackDown spoilers, so if anything was set for TLC on SmackDown, I am unaware of such events. If there are any relevant spoilers, for other readers' sake as well as my own, please keep the information to yourself.
Now that we have that out of the way, here's the card I've come up with, beginning with the undercard and building towards the main event.
David Otunga and Tensai vs. The Great Khali and R-Truth
The two matches I have booked for the YouTube pre-show definitely are not predictions. My suggestion would be to expand the pre-show to something like 45 minutes or an hour. The extra time can be filled with an extra match.
When scanning the WWE roster to fill this card, I came across all four men in the Teddy Long-looking tag match above. All four of these men are at a place where they could really use some pay-per-view exposure.
On top of that, this could be used to start two potential feuds, most likely to be played out on Superstars or Main Event, but it would at least give these guys something to do. After this match, I’d suggest plugging the second match below, then going through all of the TLC vignettes.
Once TLC has been properly promoted, the following match would serve as the end of the pre-show:
International Airstrike vs. The Usos vs. Epico and Primo vs. The Ascension
Sudden Death Four-Way Tag—WWE Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contenders Match
Initially, this match would be booked as a triple threat tag between the three regular WWE teams. At the pre-show, as these three teams are in the thing, NXT’s Ascension storm the ring and attack the other teams. That changes the match to a Sudden Death Four-Way Tag, with The Ascension taking the victory.
Ending the pre-show like this would build intrigue for the pay-per-view. Were these guys of the same agenda as Rollins, Ambrose and Reigns? Will more members of the NXT Invasion be revealed during the PPV?
Tables, Ladders and Chairs:
Antonio Cesaro vs. Christian vs. William Regal
Ladder Match for the United States Championship
I have already written an article explaining why I think this would be a good choice for a match and how it would get set up. Suffice to say, with three incredible workers like Cesaro, Christian and Regal, this match would set the appropriate tone for the evening.
With Cesaro’s unique offensive style, Christian’s proven track record in ladder matches and Regal’s veteran ability to tell a story in the ring, a match like this could potentially steal the show. I have no reason to believe this match will actually take place, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be an incredible match.
3MB vs. Brodus Clay and CoBro
Six-Man Tag Team Match
When we look back at 2012 a decade or so from now, I truly believe one of the biggest surprises of the year will be the success of 3MB. Three guys who had virtually nothing going for them form possibly the cheesiest stable in all of professional wrestling, and the WWE Universe is eating it up.
I think it’s time for 3MB to graduate from the free show to the real show, and I think WWE Creative recognizes this as well. Depending on how McIntyre is feeling and what sort of opponents they can find, I think we can assume they'll book a six-man tag or a tag team match with Drew in the corner of Mahal and Slater.
They aren’t going to get a clean victory over anyone of great significance, but I think Brodus and CoBro are as likely as anyone else to face off against 3MB at TLC and put them over. Brodus hasn’t been winning a lot of matches lately and CoBro will be over with their fans no matter how often they lose.
Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett
Tables Match for the Intercontinental Championship
I think it’s pretty clear that Barrett will be challenging Kingston at TLC, but which stipulation they use (if any) is still up in the air. I had a hard time choosing between tables and ladders for these two. On the one hand, Kofi has proven he can pull off some incredible moves in Ladder Matches, and he could even lose that match without looking bad.
On the other hand, the brutal nature of the Barrett barrage would play out very nicely in the environment of a Tables Match. If Kingston is willing to take a nasty bump, the finish to this match could be the highlight of the evening.
I have a bad feeling that WWE will book this match without any special stipulations. Let's hope my intuition is wrong.
Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. The Miz vs. Damien Sandow
Fatal Four-Way—World Heavyweight Championship No. 1 Contender Match
Which matches at this PPV should be TLC matches?
Again, going through WWE’s roster, I came across four guys that seem to be on good terms with WWE Creative. They’re all capable of a main event-level performance, so I needed to get all of them on the card in one way or another.
This match could serve to finally put an end to the Orton/ADR rivalry, could potentially begin a new Miz/Orton or Miz/Del Rio feud and would give Sandow something to do while Rhodes continues to heal. The connection they all have to the Survivor Series match is enough to be able to make a reasonable story about how this match comes about.
The Four-Way isn’t a prediction, but I have a feeling we’ll see Orton vs. Del Rio or Orton vs. Miz, if not a triple threat involving all three.
Team Hell No vs. SinSterio vs. Primetime Players
TLC Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
The matches featuring Edge and Christian, the Hardy Boyz and the Dudley Boyz are what put TLC Matches on the map. Without the success of those incredible matches, TLC wouldn’t have its own pay-per-view and concepts like Money in the Bank may never have come to fruition.
As Heyman pointed out on Raw, the WWE Universe is desperate for a return to the Attitude Era. So why not give the recently-revived tag division the chance to upstage their Attitude Era counterparts?
Bryan, Mysterio and Sin Cara would have the chance to perform some awe-inspiring acrobatics, while Kane and Titus O’Neal add a certain degree of strength and destruction. Living up to the TLC Matches of old may be difficult, but I think these three teams contain the talent to pull it off.
I think Team Hell No will be defending against one of these two teams, if not both. I would absolutely love to see a TLC Match, but I’m not holding my breath.
John Cena and AJ Lee vs. Dolph Ziggler, Vickie Guerrero and Tamina Snuka
Handicap Mixed Tag Match
Although I personally have not been incredibly entertained by the AJ/Cena fiasco, it seems to really have connected with the WWE Universe. On top of that, the current drama is making the Cenation hate Vickie even more than they already did.
A match like this would serve as a good way to get Cena involved in a meaningful way apart from the WWE Championship, gives Ziggler the rub of working a pay-per-view match with Cena and would provide a chance for Tamina to prove she can add something to the weak Divas division.
I do believe we’ll see Cena vs. Ziggler at TLC, and I think all three of these women will be involved to one extent or another. Whether they make it this three-on-two handicap match remains to be seen.
The Big Show vs. Sheamus
Chairs Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
There’s not a lot to say about this one. It’s all but confirmed that they’ll be competing in a Chairs Match at TLC. I really hope that this is the last match of their program together, as I’m already tired of Show vs. Sheamus. I’m hoping TBS retains and goes on to Royal Rumble to face someone new.
Unless, of course, Ziggler cashes in. The fact that no one has mentioned it on television yet makes me think it's more likely than it was at Survivor Series.
Eve Torres vs. Aksana vs. Kaitlyn vs. Paige
Fatal Four-Way for the Divas Championship
The Divas Championship Match at this year’s Survivor Series was surprisingly tolerable. That being the case, I would be happy to see both Eve and Kaitlyn on the December PPV.
As a set-up, Kaitlyn earns a rematch but says that she also wants Aksana in the match so that she can get her revenge on both Divas.
At TLC, Paige makes an appearance much like the Ascension from my pre-show. With Audrey Marie at her side, she charges the ring and attacks the three competitors. The referee adds Paige to the match, making it a Fatal Four-Way.
Paige wins the Divas Championship, giving the NXT Invasion more momentum headed into the main event. This is definitely a suggestion, not a prediction. In actuality, I assume Eve will defend against Kaitlyn, Layla and/or Natalya.
Ryback vs. CM Punk, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns
Gauntlet Tables Match for the WWE Championship
I think it's pretty clear that WWE plans on Ryback's revenge coming by way of a Tables Match, given that he's been put through the announce booth two nights in a row. I assume that the WWE Championship will be on the line and that the NXT Invasion crew will somehow be involved.
If it were up to me, I would book a Gauntlet Tables Match. On an episode of Raw, Vince or Vickie advises Punk that, in light of the NXT Invasion attacks on Ryback, Punk will have to defend the title against Ryback in a Tables Match.
Punk will obviously try to object, and as he's giving his pathetic explanation of why he thinks it's unfair, Ryback's music hits. Ryback interrupts Punk, saying that he agrees with Punk, he doesn't want Punk one-on-one in a Tables Match. He wants Rollins, Ambrose and Reigns involved as well.
This sets up a Gauntlet Tables Match. Ryback faces each of the NXT'ers individually in Tables Matches. If he gets through all three of them, he faces Punk and gets his third shot at the WWE Championship.
A match like this would allow for Punk to come up with another convoluted way to retain the belt, leave Ryback looking as strong as he currently does and it gives Ryback's fans some retribution as he destroys the new guys.
Additionally, it puts these three in a big-time match right away, potentially giving their stint in WWE a huge shortcut.
As I said, Tables, Ladders and Chairs is still a long ways off. I could be completely off by next week. Do you disagree with any of my predictions? Have some predictions of your own?
What suggestions do you have? If Dustin's Diamonds were given the opportunity to speak with WWE Creative, what would you tell them you wanted to see at TLC 2012?