TLC 2012: Latest News and Rumors Surrounding WWE's Big PPV
With WWE’s Table, Ladders and Chairs (TLC) pay-per-view scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 16, the excitement over one of the company’s wildest gimmick PPVs is through the roof.
WWE champion CM Punk’s knee surgery has thrown a wrench in the works (h/t WWE.com), but the company was prepared and has an amazing backup plan—The Shield.
There are so many interesting ways the next four months of programming could turn out, and this is the PPV where the madness will begin.
The storylines that will continue all the way to WrestleMania 29 will start at this show, and the build to January’s Royal Rumble will begin to take form Sunday.
If you love wrestling, keep checking back here for daily updates as they come!
CM Punk's Role Sunday
While WWE champion CM Punk may not officially be on the Tables, Ladders and Chairs card (knee surgery), that doesn’t mean the ever-entertaining star won’t be at the event having fun or causing trouble.
Long-time announcer Jim Ross took to his blog to share what kind of impact he thinks Punk will have on Sunday’s show:
Will @WWE Champion @CMPunk's presence at #TLC Sunday be significant? My assumption is yes but how is anyone's guess. The WWE Title is the ultimate prize in WWE and it will be on display in some shape, form or fashion.
While it is uncertain what Punk will do Sunday at TLC, there is little doubt that the WWE champion will make a serious impact. Along with Paul Heyman, expect Punk to play a huge role in the outcome of the PPV.
Which Match Will Be the Main Event?
According to F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc., the WWE is currently planning for the six-man tag match featuring The Shield versus Team Hell No and Ryback to be the main event of Sunday’s TLC pay-per-view:
At last word, the TLC match with Ryback, Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns is set to main event Sunday's WWE TLC pay-per-view.
They could end the show with John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler, if Cena was winning the briefcase, but at last word, Ziggler was scheduled to retain.
While the six-man tag match is what replaced the WWE Championship match, the real main event should be the ladder match between Dolph Ziggler and John Cena.
If the WWE wanted to put Ziggler over as a legitimate top star, allowing him to beat the biggest superstar on the TLC card in the main event would be the ideal way to do so.
Mark Henry Returning Soon?
UPDATE: Saturday, Dec. 15, 9:10 a.m. ET by Donald Wood
While there was already talk of Mark Henry returning to the WWE sooner rather than later, local media outlets are reporting (via Wrestling Inc.) that Henry is being advertised for this Sunday’s TLC pay-per-view.
It is uncertain if he will be used or not, but the World’s Strongest Man will be in attendance at the PPV and ready if they do need him. Don’t be surprised if you see Henry appear Sunday.
---End of Update---
WWE Diva A.J. Lee may have spoiled the potential return of former world heavyweight champion Mark Henry (h/t Wrestling Inc.) by posting pictures of Henry on the road with the company once again.
Henry has missed the last several months after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Donny’s Take: While there have been reports that Henry was physically ready to return, he had yet to be confirmed on the road with the company. WWE knows what the world’s strongest man can do, and if he is on the road, WWE will be using him soon enough.
TLC would be a nice spot for a newly face, All-American Mark Henry to attack Antonio Cesaro.
Heat on Wade Barrett?
Wade Barrett will take on Kofi Kingston in an Intercontinental Championship match at TLC. Barrett returned in September after a lengthy injury absence and now it appears Vince McMahon has an issue with the direction of his character.
Raj Giri of WrestlingInc.com reports McMahon hasn't been happy with the changes to the English superstar's attire in recent months. He believes Barrett has to stick closer in line with his gimmick in order to succeed.
On the surface, it appears to be a minor situation that doesn't fall completely on Barrett's shoulders. That said, any report like this a couple days before a major event isn't a positive. It will be interesting to see what happens at TLC.
Dean Ambrose in Line for Big Push?
Even though The Shield faction is just getting started, there is already talk about who will be the star of the group.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dean Ambrose could be the immediate beneficiary of that push, if/when it happens.
Right now, Dean Ambrose is the guy WWE officials want to build into a headliner once the angle with The Shield has run its course. At the same time, there are some in the company who think Roman Reigns has the most potential of the three. There's also a feeling that Reigns isn't ready as far as in-ring skills go but Ambrose and Seth Rollins are.
What does that have to do with TLC? Well, if WWE is serious about giving Ambrose a push, he could be the one going over in the six-man tag match between The Shield and Team Hell No & Ryback.
In that group, the most likely wrestler on the face team to get pinned is Daniel Bryan, just because he can lose matches and not really suffer since he is so good in the ring and WWE shows no interest in elevating him past a certain level.
Of course, WWE could try to push Ambrose sky high right away, by having him pin Ryback. It is tough to imagine a scenario where that happens, as Ryback still seems to be high on WWE's radar, and having him lose to a new star would push him down the totem pole.
Randy Orton Injured?
After reports surfaced that WWE star Randy Orton had injured his wrist during a match for the filming of Tribute to the Troops (h/t Wrestling Inc.), that was confirmed Tuesday, as Orton was written out of the script going forward after being ‘injured’ by The Shield during the SmackDown tapings (h/t Wrestling Inc.).
While many fans had though the WWE would be adding Orton to the already stacked TLC card, allowing him to rest for this event and likely during the six-week layoff until the Royal Rumble is the wisest choice.
The best way to handle it would be to not even mention Orton’s name until the actual Rumble match at the PPV and have RKO be a surprise late entrant in the event.
Post-Raw TLC Card
John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler (Ladder Match for the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank contract).
Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. Team Rhodes Scholars.
World Heavyweight Champion Big Show vs. Sheamus (Chairs Match).
Team Hell No & Ryback vs. The Shield (Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match).
Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett.
U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro vs. R-Truth.
YouTube PreShow: “Santa’s Helper” No. 1 Contender’s Diva Battle Royal.
Donny’s Take: Despite being a throwaway PPV that is building towards the Royal Rumble, the WWE has done an amazing job making the casual fans and the hardcore fans care about this show.
With an amazing main event scene in spite of the injury to CM Punk’s knee and a midcard that was built to perfection over the last three weeks, the TLC PPV has all the earmarks of being one of the company’s top shows of 2012.
This TLC PPV will be worth the price.
No Title Changes at TLC?
If my word wasn’t enough to prove that TLC was a holdover PPV, the current plan from the WWE (h/t F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc.) is to have no title changes at the event:
This could always change but at last word, there are no title changes planned for WWE's TLC pay-per-view. Right now champions scheduled to defend include United States Champion Antonio Cesaro, Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston and World Heavyweight Champion Big Show.
Donny’s Take: The WWE’s big kickoff to the road to WrestleMania 29 is the Royal Rumble, so all TLC is doing is setting up to make the following PPV even more epic. Even if CM Punk were defending his title, that would have made for five title matches that saw the champion retain.
At least without Punk on the card, there will be two matches toward the top of the card—Ziggler vs. Cena and the six-man tag match—that do not have a title on the line.
Dolph Ziggler Expected to Win?
According to F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc., the plan as of this weekend is for Dolph Ziggler to retain his Money in the Bank briefcase against John Cena. While the match placement is unconfirmed, WWE.com has the match listed as the main event.
Donny’s Take: While many fans couldn’t handle the losses from Ziggler on Raw, that’s what a star must do against the top draw in the company. Instead of being angry, the fans should have appreciated the fact that it meant Ziggler was going over at the PPV.
That’s what we remember anyway.
If this ladder match is in fact the main event, Ziggler would be going over Cena in the main event of the PPV; how much more of a push can the company give the star before the fans see he is doing just fine?
TLC Card (Pre-12/10 Raw)
John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler (Ladder Match for the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank contract)
World Heavyweight Champion Big Show vs. Sheamus (Chairs Match)
Team Hell No & Ryback vs. The Shield (Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match)
Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett
U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro vs. R-Truth
Donny’s Take: Despite the fact that this is the ultimate holdover PPV, the WWE has done a nice job building to each match and has even started to allow the midcard to blossom. Add in the fact that the loss of CM Punk has been handled so fluently by the company, and TLC is setting up for serious success.
All it’s missing is a Khali and Hornswoggle vs. Epico and Primo match…
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