WWE TLC 2013: Full Card Predictions After Survivor Series
Look to Survivor Series to answer who will be crashing through tables and bending ladders with their bodies at WWE TLC 2013.
Randy Orton and John Cena's staredown to end the pay-per-view, which had AJ Lee tapping out and a verbal clash between Cody Rhodes and Zeb Colter, pointed at what's next to come on the WWE calendar. With only three weeks until TLC, the company will be looking to book the card early and let it build.
Who is the next challenger for the Intercontinental Championship, and who has unenviable task of facing Mark Henry after he returned to WWE?
Piecing the booking puzzle together based on current story direction and what showdowns WWE has hinted at, here is a look at what to expect from TLC 2013.
The Shield vs. The Real Americans vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust (TLC Match)
Last year's event showed us how great The Shield can be in a TLC match. Expect them to get a chance to top that instant classic as they seek the tag team championships.
Cody Rhodes interrupted and mocked Zeb Colter before the traditional elimination tag team match at Survivor Series. Despite the inexplicable choice to have both men twerk, that was a tense moment, one that hints at The Real Americans and the tag champs continuing to clash.
The Shield forced themselves back into the title picture at Survivor Series.
Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins were the only members of their team left, forced to face all five babyfaces. Rollins knocked his foes around and Reigns went on a spearing rampage. There's now an argument that those two should challenge the Rhodes brothers once more.
This three-team battle would assure WWE a great match and would pack a number of Superstars into one bout.
AJ Lee vs. Natalya (Divas Championship)
The Divas elimination tag match at Survivor Series ended in a familiar sight—Natalya twisting AJ Lee into submission with the Sharpshooter.
Natalya recently had AJ beat in a match on Main Event, but Tamina Snuka saved the champ. Count on Natalya getting one more shot.
She's been booked to defeat or nearly defeat AJ several times now. With little competition in the Divas division, Natalya will easily slide into the No. 1 contender's spot.
AJ and Tamina's allegiance is almost certain to implode, but with TLC only three weeks away, that seems like too little time to tell that story.
CM Punk and Daniel Bryan vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan (Tables Match)
CM Punk and Daniel Bryan walked away from Survivor Series the victors, but that bout is sure to be the first round of many.
Bray Wyatt thought of taking on Bryan and Punk after that match, climbing onto the ring apron. He thought better of it, saving himself for a future collision.
There is more of a story to tell here. We have to discover who the devil is that sent Wyatt to first attack Bryan and Punk, for example.
At TLC, Erick Rowan and Luke Harper get a chance to make their series with Punk and Bryan even, possibly ending the night standing over a mess of splintered wood and unconscious men.
The Miz vs. Big E Langston (Intercontinental Championship)
Big E Langston stills wears the Intercontinental Championship.
He fended off Curtis Axel at Survivor Series and is now in need of a new challenger. Langston needs someone like The Miz to add to his resume.
Being a former champ himself makes Miz a solid threat. Miz's recent return to being a heel makes him one of the few viable candidates to take Langston on.
WWE's villainous ranks feature either Superstars too high on the card for this position like Alberto Del Rio or men too low on it like everyone from 3MB. Expect Miz to gain a few wins on the next few episodes of Raw in order to gain some momentum before looking to become champ again.
Big Show vs. Triple H
The Big Show and Randy Orton feud was always more about Triple H.
It was with the COO who Big Show had the most issues. Triple H fired him, took his house from him and embarrassed him on TV. Add distracting him at Survivor Series en route to a loss to the list.
Should Big Show blame Triple H for losing to Orton, he'll look to coax Triple H into stepping into the ring again. This is a matchup that many fans have been expecting and that WWE has seemingly been putting off.
It will be hard to hold off much longer; Big Show and Triple H's rivalry is set to escalate, leading to their inevitable clash.
Mark Henry vs. Alberto Del Rio
Mark Henry made a surprise return at Survivor Series, knocking off the smug Ryback. Alberto Del Rio failed to win back the World Heavyweight Championship from John Cena.
WWE is unlikely to repeat either of those matches at TLC.
Henry and Ryback have already feuded this year, and it didn't have the spark the company was expecting, leading to an uninspired match at WrestleMania. For Del Rio, there's no chance he gets another crack at Cena.
There has been little story with that feud and neither the narrative or fan response warrants a third go-around. Instead, Del Rio is likely to slip down to the upper-midcard, where Henry will be awaiting him.
This offers a fresh matchup and lets Henry go up against an elite worker to help make the most of his latest run.
Randy Orton vs. John Cena (Ladder Match for WWE Championship)
Survivor Series ended with John Cena holding up the World Heavyweight Championship while Randy Orton held up the WWE Championship.
That is more than a strong hint of a unification match in the making. WWE doesn't look to be waiting for WrestleMania for that to happen either. TLC is set to have the two past rivals meet once again, with the stakes much higher this time.
Cena stepped into The Authority storyline at the end of the night, angering Triple H and Vince McMahon after the show went off the air, per WrestleZone.com. That means Triple H-ordered beatdowns are coming as are a number of confrontations with Orton.
The ladder match stipulation allows for potential interference from The Authority and provides a memorable image of two championships hanging over the ring.
Though it will pain those with hopes of challenging for either title, the battle to decide the face of the company awaits.