It sure is odd how every year as WWE TLC approaches, tables, ladders and/or chairs seem to “randomly” and suddenly play a big part in feuds and matches.
Of course, this isn’t really random and, rather, is all part of the creative team’s booking. They think to themselves, “Oh crap, we’ve got a PPV coming that has to revolve around pieces of furniture. Perhaps we should start using them.”
That’s exactly why Sheamus attacked Big Show with a steel chair after their World Heavyweight Championship match at Hell in a Cell, which naturally has led to us to the inevitable Chairs Match between Sheamus and Big Show being set for TLC.
It’s also why we know exactly what else is going to happen at the pay-per-view: CM Punk defending the WWE Championship against Ryback in a Tables Match.
Not that this is a particularly bad thing, but it has been very obviously foreshadowed by what happened between Ryback and Punk at both Survivor Series and on Raw last week, when the trio of debuting NXT stars ended each show by powerbombing “Big Hungry” through the announce table.
It’s an absolute lock that the outcome of the Survivor Series main event is going to lead to Ryback getting a rematch for the WWE Championship and that it will come with the tables stipulation after a table has played such a key role in why Ryback hasn’t won the title up to this point.
Logic says that since the WWE has pigeonholed itself into having stipulations in its major matches at WWE TLC, it makes sense for one of the company’s biggest ongoing rivalries to feature a match that centers around the “T” in TLC.
I have no problem with that whatsoever. The problem I do have, though, is that the stipulation isn’t the only thing about Ryback vs. Cena that will be predictable—the outcome will be, too.
The WWE has, not surprisingly, backed itself into a corner once again by continuing the feud between Ryback and Punk when it probably should have never taken place to begin with. This feud was unbookable—well, at least not properly bookable—from the get-go because Ryback was never going to win and Punk was never going to lose.
That was the case at Hell in a Cell and Survivor Series and will be the case once again at WWE TLC.
Even though Ryback is fresh off of two huge losses, which have absolutely killed a lot of his momentum, there’s not a chance in hell that he leaves WWE TLC as the WWE Champion. He will not win that title because of the multitude of problems it would create for the creative team as we draw closer to the road to WrestleMania.
We all know, and have known for quite some time now, that it is going to be Punk vs. The Rock for the WWE Championship at the 2013 Royal Rumble. That hasn’t changed, certainly not because of Ryback.
Even though the WWE is absolutely committed to establishing Ryback as a top star, even he is not worth throwing a major wrench into your WrestleMania plans for, and that’s exactly what Ryback winning at WWE TLC would do.
The WWE wants The Rock vs. Punk at the Royal Rumble, and it wants that match to take place with Punk having held the WWE Championship for more than 400 days. That’s what will happen, and in order for that to take place, it means that creative is going to have to book Ryback to lose at WWE TLC. Again.
How will it do that? By protecting Ryback at all costs.
Much like the WWE’s other top stars, Ryback isn’t going to lose in clean fashion. He’s going to lose through some sort of shenanigans or in some type of fluke fashion.
A table stipulation in his WWE title match with Punk gives the WWE countless ways to ensure that that happens.
You could have Ryback slip off the ring apron or turnbuckle and inadvertently break the table (similar to the Rhodes/Show finish at Extreme Rules), you could have both men fall through the table at once or you could even have Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns help Punk out one more time by giving him a huge assist as he puts Ryback through the table himself.
The common denominator in each of those scenarios, however, is this: Ryback will lose.
And oh yeah, it will be after he crashes through a table. Again.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!