Over the past couple years, the WWE brain trust has made a habit of waiting until the last minute to announce pay-per-view matches, which has severely hurt the overall build. The writers appear to have taken a slightly different approach with Tables, Ladders & Chairs as five big matches are already in place, but there is still room for more.
Most of the major stars on the roster are already locked in; however, there is plenty of upper-midcard talent and even lower-card stars who deserve to participate in the TLC pay-per-view. Whether or not the WWE will actually use all of its assets to its advantage remains to be seen, but it would be silly not to.
The company currently has quite a few capable grapplers sitting on the bench, but TLC can be used to either further storylines or create new ones for some of them. There are inevitably going to be a handful of guys left out in the cold because only so many people can wrestle over the course of three hours, but the goal should be to use as many superstars as is feasible.
Since there are five matches in place currently, there probably won't be more than three or four added, including a pre-show contest, but in the interest of featuring a somewhat round number, here are five bouts that should be considered for the TLC card as soon as possible.
Two of the biggest stars who currently have little going on are The Miz and Alberto Del Rio. The Miz recently completed his face turn and is awaiting his first major feud as the good guy, while Del Rio has been in no man's land since ending his feud with Randy Orton. Seeing as neither of them are engaged in a rivalry currently, it makes a ton of sense to start one.
Both The Miz and Del Rio have been main-eventers and WWE Champions in the past, so putting them against each other would generate some interest. Generally speaking, fans are tired of Del Rio's act, but having Miz go over him would be big for The Miz's character transformation. Having them face each other would seem to be a blatantly obvious decision.
They haven't technically had a feud yet, so it would seem fresh to the fans, but they did face CM Punk in a triple-threat match at TLC a year ago, which means they have some history. Also, Del Rio has voiced his legitimate dislike for The Miz in the past and there is no reason why the WWE can't take that real heat and turn into something storyline related.
Based on the way Miz interrupted Damien Sandow on SmackDown, I suppose they be facing each other at TLC, so Miz vs. Del Rio probably won't happen. It's clearly the right decision, though, because both Miz and Sandow need a win. Del Rio has nothing on the horizon, so he can afford a loss to The Miz, however. Hopefully the writers call an audible in the coming days and go in this direction.
Another upper-tier star who shockingly hasn't been put in a TLC match yet is Randy Orton. Truth be told, Orton has been toiling in the upper mid-card for the past year and hasn't really even been in the world title picture since Hell in a Cell 2011. It doesn't look like that is going to change any time soon, but there is no way that Orton should ever be left off a pay-per-view card.
I understood the reasoning behind Orton not competing at SummerSlam since he had just come back from a wellness policy violation, but there's no excuse this time. If nothing else, Orton could be used to put over any number of up-and-coming, mid-card heels. The ideal candidate among them is Damien Sandow as he has been thrust into singles competition due to the injury suffered by his former tag-team partner, Cody Rhodes.
Sandow has been entertaining since branching off on his own as his mic skills are impeccable and his search for an apprentice has been amusing, but he won't truly get over until he has a legitimate feud and a legitimate win. Facing Orton would be great for him because The Viper is forever established as a top guy and it wouldn't be any skin off his back if Sandow defeated him through underhanded tactics.
As previously mentioned, however, Sandow may be facing The Miz instead. That would be a perplexing decision to say the least as both Sandow and The Miz would benefit from pay-per-view victories. Having Sandow go against Miz would be a certain loss for Sandow and it would either necessitate another boring Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio match, or it would result in both them being left off the card. Neither situation makes any sense.
Most WWE fans would probably prefer if there was no divas match at all on the TLC card, but the divas put in plenty of hard work and deserve to be featured in some capacity. There are a couple possible options, but the best way to go about things would be to have A.J. Lee and Kaitlyn team up against the pairing of Divas Champion Eve and Tamina Snuka in a match where the person who scores the winning fall wins the title.
That may seem a bit convoluted, but it would be the best way to go about things. The Divas Championship should be defended, but Kaitlyn hasn't done anything to earn another one-on-one shot and Eve isn't really even in a feud right now. A.J. and Tamina are involved in the only true divas storyline right now, so their involvement would make sense. Having them go one-on-one would be lame due to the fact that they just fought on Raw and the title wouldn't be on the line, though.
By having A.J. and Kaitlyn face Eve and Tamina with the title hanging in the balance, though, it opens up a ton of possibilities. If the goal is to have Eve retain, then she can simply pin Kaitlyn again. If the creative team wants her to drop it without actually losing, though, have Tamina get pinned by Kaitlyn or A.J., or perhaps even have Tamina win it. Also, the fact that A.J. and Kaitlyn used to be best friends but now have a tumultuous relationship could come into play.
Ideally, A.J. would pin Tamina to win the title and then go on to feud with Eve. Eve is a good champion, but the WWE hasn't been investing any time in her lately. Everything divas-related has to do with A.J. at the moment, so she might as well have the title as well. The divas division needs some type of spark and putting the belt on A.J. could provide it.
For the past few months, Ricardo Rodriguez has been competing at WWE house shows and on Saturday Morning Slam as a masked luchador known as El Local. This hasn't been addressed on regular WWE programming and it's likely that only a small percentage of the viewing audience is aware of it. With that said, TLC, would mark the perfect opportunity to have El Local make his WWE debut to a large viewing audience.
Currently, Alberto Del Rio is totally lost and has absolutely nothing going on. Since he has been involved with Rosa Mendes to some degree, it seems as though Del Rio is likely to dump Ricardo as his manager at some point in the near future. At that point, he'll begin competing as El Local and will eventually feud with Del Rio as a face. Until that happens, though, it would be wise to introduce El Local to the fans so that they don't suspect that Ricardo is under the mask.
Having Del Rio banish him and then having a masked wrestler randomly appear would be suspicious. Integrating El Local into the product before Del Rio fires Ricardo will help maintain the mystery to some degree, however. El Local has faced Sin Cara on the house show scene many times already, and he would be the perfect opponent for El Local in his first pay-per-view bout.
Sin Cara is technically part of a tag team with Rey Mysterio, but Mysterio has been pulled from WWE live events recently and nobody is quite sure why. Whatever the case, Sin Cara is on his own for the time being, and since he has been wrestling Del Rio quite a bit lately, it would make sense for him to face Del Rio's ring announcer in disguise. Even if El Local doesn't win, at least the seed will be planted for Ricardo's eventual transformation.
While it may not technically be a part of the pay-per-view itself, the pre-show has been a good way for superstars to get involved on the card when they otherwise wouldn't have been. The perfect pre-show match for TLC would be The Prime Time Players vs. The Usos. Many of the pre-show matches have been tag-team affairs, so it makes sense in that regard, plus there are no real tag matches on the main card.
It initially looked like Team Hell No would defend its Tag Team Championships against The Prime Time Players and the team of Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara, but an injury to WWE Champion CM Punk prompted the creative team to move Kane and Daniel Bryan into the main event. That leaves Titus O'Neil and Darren Young without a match, so they might as well be put on the pre-show.
The Usos haven't been on a pay-per-view in recent memory, but they have been getting some SmackDown and Raw matches as of late, so they would be solid opponents for The Prime Time Players. PTP would obviously come out on top since they're much higher on the tag-team totem pole than The Usos at this point, but simply being on the TLC card would be considered a win for them.
Even though Team Hell No will be in the main event as part of a six-man tag match, it's important not to leave the actual tag-team division out in the cold. The Prime Time Players figure to be an integral part of the tag scene for a long time to come, so every pay-per-view win they can get is a positive.