WWE TLC is coming up on December 15 from Houston, Texas. The company's last big event of the year is still taking shape. As of right now, there is only one match officially booked on the card. But that will not stop fans from speculating as to what may happen, which really began the moment the Survivor Series came to and end on November 24.
Some situations are still unknown at this time, and it may be a bit too soon to predict what feuds will develop before TLC happens. Big E Langston did recently win the WWE Intercontinental Championship and now looks to have aligned himself with the returning Mark Henry.
Alberto Del Rio is currently without a rivalry, thanks to John Cena moving on to face Randy Orton. And even though The Miz did turn heel on Kofi Kingston, that is a feud that really has no real direction thus far.
But of the feuds that do currently exist, which ones will require stipulations at TLC? And what stipulations are the best ones to use for each match?
The Wyatt Family vs. CM Punk
CM Punk is no stranger to handicap matches, and I believe this is one that we could see at TLC. Punk's partnership with Daniel Bryan has been big for both men, as they are very over with the crowd. Fans are certainly buying into what Daniel and Punk are doing. As The Beard and The Best continue their war with Bray Wyatt, they will likely get over even more than right now.
So, why do I believe CM Punk will end up in a handicap match at TLC? Because his partner is now nowhere to be found.
Daniel Bryan was carried away by The Wyatts on the November 25 edition of Monday Night Raw. And while his whereabouts remain unknown, the fact is that this puts Punk in a very tough spot. The Best in the World endured more than one handicap match in his rivalry with Paul Heyman's clients, so physically he would be ready.
But mentally, Punk is already at a disadvantage. Bray inhabits his own little world, a world full of bizarre occurrences and wild riddles that only he seems to understand. And since he moved his family into position against CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, it's been one odd confrontation after another.
Bray smiles at his adversaries as his family viciously attacks and dismembers them. Bray Wyatt is certainly afraid of no man, and that much is showing every time he's on camera.
Add that to that the fact that Daniel has now disappeared and CM Punk has to be psychologically beaten down, and that puts him right where Bray wants him.
Of course, a three-on-one stipulation could very well not happen if Daniel Bryan just happens to pop right back up on this coming Raw. But even if he does, we could still see another three-on-two stipulation at TLC.
But if Bryan is kept off TV or is perhaps taken out the week before the match is made, then it could provide some real drama for Punk. CM Punk could use every weapon at his disposal in a TLC environment. That means that Bray and his followers would suddenly find themselves more evenly matched than they anticipated.
AJ Lee Defends the Divas Championship
As of this writing, a Divas match has not been announced for TLC. However, that will almost certainly change before the event gets here, in part due to the nature of traditional TLC matches themselves. Basically, a Divas match tends to be a filler bout between the more intense contests on the card, a way for the crowd to catch its breath.
While this is not meant to directly criticize any of the women in WWE who are simply just doing what is asked of them, the truth is that at this point, they have practically become interchangeable.
That is the primary reason I did not specify which Diva could be booked to face AJ Lee on the TLC card. The fact is that WWE could throw anyone in that spot, and it would likely look the same as any other night.
But I will speculate that the stipulation for this match could be Lumber-Jill rules.
Since the debut of Total Divas, WWE has consistently put as many of the program's stars face to face with the company's other Divas on the air as they possibly can. Adding the Lumber-Jill rules to a Divas Championship defense would do that once again.
All of WWE's Divas would be together on the pay-per-view stage, reinforcing the notion that the only way to strengthen the division is to display as much talent as possible. While I do not share that viewpoint, I can understand where WWE is coming from.
Lumber-Jill matches are fairly common. If one is booked at TLC, then it will very likely break no new ground whatsoever, but I don't believe that will stop WWE from doing it.
John Cena vs. Randy Orton WWE/World Title Unification Match
Life seemed to be perfect for The Authority and Randy Orton. Orton won the WWE Championship once again at Hell in a Cell, thanks to an assist from Shawn Michaels. He then retained the title against a very determined Big Show at Survivor Series. Randy continued to be the face of WWE, and this meant that Triple H was getting his way. Everything seemed to be going just fine.
But somewhere along the way, The Game began to lose faith in The Viper. All of the support that Hunter and Stephanie McMahon had given to Randy began to waver. Suddenly, The Apex Predator found himself doubting his true value to The Authority and wondering if he had any real allies at all.
Stripping Daniel Bryan of the WWE title after Night of Champions yet not handing it right back to Randy was the first sign that something was not quite right. Considering that Randy and Triple H were both heels and thick as thieves, protocol stated that Orton should have had the belt presented to him.
Then The Big Show began his rebellion against The Authority, and once again Randy found himself in a bad spot. Basically, Show did what he wanted, when he wanted, to Randy Orton. He knocked Orton out and put him through the announcer's table. And he did both with very little opposition whatsoever.
The Shield did not help Randy, and it was not allowed to help him at Survivor Series. That match stipulation was made by Triple H, who then had his helping hand slapped away on the following Monday Night Raw by Orton.
Hunter wanted to congratulate a victorious Randy Orton, but what he got was a very unhappy WWE champion that believed The Authority was trying to overshadow him. Orton was left to get it done on his own, but Triple H and Stephanie made their presence known at Survivor Series, opening the door for Randy's win over Big Show.
However, I believe that at TLC, Orton will be on his own once again. I think that the growing frustration between Randy and The Authority will only get worse, until Orton declares that he needs no help to beat John Cena.
This is a stipulation that Hunter will surely approve because at the end of the day, it's all about power for The Authority. It must let Randy know that he is under its control and that he is the face of WWE only because it says he is.
That's why I think that at TLC, Randy Orton will have to sink or swim. And this time, Triple H may only come out just to watch him drown.