Crowds will make or break a wrestling event, and that fact can be no better demonstrated during a pay-per-view event. WWE Tables, Ladders & Chairs will be at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York—the first-ever wrestling event at the new home of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets and future home of the current New York Islanders.
Any time the WWE comes to New York City, the audience is always amazing, and TLC shouldn't be any different. This will be an excellent night with an even better crowd and should serve to close out WWE's calendar year well.
Last year, The Rock wrestled his first match in over half a decade in the same arena that hosted his previous match, Madison Square Garden. Any other crowd would have already been exhausted from watching The Big Show drop an elbow from the top rope on Mark Henry, welcoming home Zack Ryder and celebrating CM Punk's WWE Championship victory.
Instead, they saved their energy and showered The Rock with the loudest chants of the night.
In the United States, Chicago and New York regularly fight back and forth for the title of "Best in the country" when it comes to wrestling crowds. Chicago already made its case this year with Extreme Rules and an episode of Raw that first revealed Paul Heyman to be CM Punk's ally.
You would think that would be tough to follow, but this is TLC. There are going to be some massive risks taken, not the least of which will be in the main event of the evening.
Ryback, Kane and Daniel Bryan will be facing the debuting Shield. Both Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose made a name for themselves on the independent scene and have shed pints of blood across dirty rings all over the country to make it to where they are. The fact that this TLC match must end by pinfall or submission provides no limit to how many brutal scenarios the six men can envision.
There's going to be a lot of bent steel, broken wood and at least one chant involving angelic feces.
While CM Punk undoubtedly wanted to wrestle at TLC, his knee surgery will be sidelining him. This may be a blessing in disguise for both him and Ryback.
New York is not known for going with popular opinion when it comes to cheering and booing wrestlers; despite the usual split crowd that always follows John Cena, you can expect Dolph Ziggler to be a favorite in the Barclays Center. If it were CM Punk vs. Ryback one on one, the crowd would likely turn on Ryback very quickly and that in turn would not be good if the wrong people in management interpreted it as Ryback not doing a good job in the ring.
This will make the dynamic all the more interesting during the main event.
Now that Ryback is teamed with Daniel Bryan, will that be enough to keep the people from cheering for The Shield? Ambrose and Rollins, who many still remember respectively as Jon Moxley and Tyler Black, wrestled some absolute wars throughout the New York area for years. Many local fans could be attending TLC simply to see these two finally make their big-time debut, and who wouldn't be excited for that?
Wade Barrett and Antonio Cesaro might also expect to hear an unusual amount of praise. Kofi Kingston and R-Truth are not bad wrestlers by any stretch of the imagination, but in the case of Barrett and the United States Champion, it may be just a little bit more fun in both cases to cheer for the bad guy.
I can't say I disagree with that.
TLC will be the first chance for the New York audience to cement a new home for WWE. I imagine Raw will be appearing at the same arena some time in the future, or possibly SmackDown when Raw is being broadcast from Madison Square Garden the previous night.
It may never match the history and spectacle of the "World's Most Famous Arena" but the atmosphere of New York always lends itself to an incredible WWE show. TLC will be one to remember.