WWE TLC 2012 Matches: Predicting Winners of Sunday's Marquee Showdowns

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIDecember 16, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEBRUARY 16: John Cena attends a press conference to announce that MetLife Stadium will host WWE Wrestlemania 29 in 2013 at MetLife Stadium on February 16, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images)
Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images

WWE Tables, Ladders and Chairs caps off the 2012 pay-per-view slate in style in The Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Plenty of marquee showdowns are on tap to keep pro wrestling fanatics glued to the TV, even amidst an extremely exciting day of pro football.

Several world championship belts are on the line, and the stipulations of the added weaponry will only make the matches that much more entertaining, even without the star power of CM Punk present.

Here is a look at the three most significant clashes—all of which could be main-event material—and a prediction of who will win each.


John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler

It's about time that Cena's reign should come to an end, as he has been a longtime babyface, and the hype surrounding Ziggler has him on the cusp of superstar status.

Ziggler is defending his Money in the Bank briefcase, which gives him a shot at a championship fight whenever he chooses to cash it in. The way to win this one will be to scale the ladder and retrieve the briefcase.

The World Heavyweight Championship will be on the line in this one, and it will likely set up a subsequent match with CM Punk to determine the undisputed champion of the world, whenever Punk is healthy again.

Since he's already had a chance with a briefcase at the WWE Championship against Punk and did not capitalize, it wouldn't make as much sense for Cena to win this matchup. The storyline of the intriguing, mysterious Ziggler is likely to be a bigger draw for the sport than a redemptive Cena saga.

An alleged relationship between AJ Lee and Cena that Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero have tried to expose serves as an X-factor here, and either woman could possibly provide interference. That makes predicting this showdown a little more difficult.

That said, this looks like Ziggler's time, and the gradual push he's enjoyed to the main-event stage will be bolstered by a victory here.


Big Show vs. Sheamus

These bitter rivals will square off again, as Sheamus hopes to take advantage of the opportunity to redeem himself from a loss to Big Show in the Hell in a Cell PPV event back in October.

Big Show also beat Sheamus at the Survivor Series PPV in November, although that outcome was highly controversial since Big Show threw the referee between he and Sheamus as his opponent was preparing his finishing move.

Sheamus has endured enough defeat in previous clashes, and allowing Big Show to retain his Heavyweight Championship belt would seem a little redundant.

Of course, since this is a Chairs match, all bets are off. It will still require Sheamus to submit or beat the massive Big Show by pinfall, but everything is working in the Irishman's favor. The no-contract clause that prevented these two from going after each other in any manner ahead of this matchup only heightens the excitement for this battle in Brooklyn.

Don't expect that finishing Brogue Kick of Sheamus' to be trifled this time around by Big Show, or the official.


Team Hell No vs. The Shield

Now onto the main event of the card, and the matchup that was originally meant to feature CM Punk and Ryback fighting for Punk's WWE Championship. 

With Punk undergoing emergency knee surgery on Dec. 4, Ryback and the WWE Tag Team Champions, Kane and Daniel Bryan, will face off against the formidable trio of Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose.

All the headline items—tables, ladders and chairs—will be at the disposal of the wrestlers, and it should make this an extremely physical encounter.

The only way for a victor to be determined is by pinfall or submission, so this could go on for quite some time.

The Shield have burst onto the scene this year in extraordinary fashion, as they're only in their second PPV event. They have been repeatedly attacking the Tag Team Champions of the WWE, but since they have yet to compete in an actual match, it will be interesting to see how this rapidly rising team will respond together.

With the potential associations between Punk and the mysterious Shield team, a shocking result could abruptly end the brawl. No one is more buzz-worthy than The Shield right now, and the WWE will likely capitalize on that to end the year with a bang and build tons of anticipation for the 2013 pay-per-view opener.