WWE TLC 2013: Matches That Would Excite Frustrated Fans
The second half of 2013 has been a frustrating time for fans of World Wrestling Entertainment.
We have seen the main-event push of the great Daniel Bryan disintegrate. We have seen The Big Show ascend to the top of the card, a place he really has no business being in unless he is involved in a hot tag team feud. Worst of all, fans have seen their hard-earned money wasted in a series of lackluster pay-per-view offerings.
With the year coming to an end, WWE has one more shot at pleasing its loyal audience by delivering an above-average TLC show.
We already know that the show will be headlined by a match between WWE champion Randy Orton and World Heavyweight champion John Cena in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match, but what other matches will fill out the December 15 card?
More importantly, will those matches convince apprehensive fans to order the show just 10 days before Christmas?
Here is a look at five matches that would excite fans who have been repeatedly disappointed by recent WWE pay-per-view offerings.
Ladder Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
The tag team division has been one of the few strengths of an otherwise inconsistent product as of late.
Champions Cody Rhodes and Goldust, The Shield's Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, The Usos and The Real Americans have stolen nearly every show they have been on for the better part of the last three months. Reigns and Rollins have been doing so as far back as last December.
After competing in Triple Threat, Fatal 4-Way, and six-, eight-, 10- and 12-man tag matches, it is only fitting that the team would take their rivalry to the next level.
A ladder match would allow the champions and their challengers to channel their energetic, fast-paced matches into the chaotic match type.
Six of the eight Superstars have competed in ladder matches before, while the remaining two, The Usos, are high-impact wrestlers with a propensity for high-flying. Their style would suit the popular gimmick match and would present The Usos with the biggest match of their careers.
A four-team ladder match, featuring eight of the most talented Superstars in the company who are responsible for some of the best matches the promotion has produced all year, would be an outstanding way to reward the WWE Universe for their loyalty.
And the best part?
Who wins and loses would not matter because the match would likely be a Match of the Year candidate given the talent involved.
Chairs Match: CM Punk vs. Dean Ambrose
The ultimate clash between Internet favorites would further Punk's new-found conflict with The Shield and provide fans with a fresh matchup between one of professional wrestling's truly great workers and one of its brightest young stars.
On this past week's SmackDown, Punk hit the ring armed with a chair and leveled members of The Shield with chair shots. That interaction can be used to set up the chairs match at December 15's TLC pay-per-view, and subsequent assaults between the two on the Raw and SmackDown broadcasts that follow will keep the program simmering until then.
It is highly unlikely that the match would fail to deliver given the talent involved. Instead, it will, in all likelihood, be the first in a series of matches between the two in the months and years to come.
Much like the Steve Austin-Bret Hart clash at Survivor Series 1996 was the first of many matches in a critically acclaimed feud between the two, a Punk-Ambrose match at TLC could be the same.
Tables Match: Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow
During the last two weeks on Monday Night Raw, Dolph Ziggler and Damien Sandow have engaged in hardcore matches that have seen them use everything from drum sets to golf clubs on one another.
Though the matches have had no reason to occur and fans still are not sure why Ziggler and Sandow should dislike each other, the bouts have gotten over because of the immense talent of the wrestlers involved. They have been entertaining, and the original match in Nashville two weeks ago was a very good match for being largely improvised.
With the upcoming TLC pay-per-view focusing largely on gimmick matches and Ziggler and Sandow not competing on the Survivor Series broadcast, a tables match between the two would serve as a definitive conclusion to their rivalry and get the deserving Superstars a spot on the show.
A basic match would be a rather uneventful way to settle the score, considering the chaos of the first two hardcore matches. A tables match, however, suits the feud and would allow one man to be declared better, without question.
Considering the chemistry Ziggler and Sandow are developing, the match would also have an outside shot at stealing the show, something the former is all too familiar doing.
Rey Mysterio and the Usos vs. the Wyatt Family
The Usos have taken WWE by storm throughout the summer and fall of 2013 and seem poised to break out as 2014 approaches.
Along the way, they have become the young version of the legendary Rey Mysterio in that they are a fast, energetic babyface act that can take flight and excite audiences all at the same time.
The Wyatt Family, on the other hand, is the most unique act to come out of WWE creative in years. Thus far in their main roster careers, Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan's best work has come when squaring off against smaller, more athletic and agile wrestlers.
After Mysterio and The Usos came to the aid of Cody Rhodes, Goldust and CM Punk by attacking the Wyatt Family on the November 29 episode of SmackDown, the groundwork was laid for a major six-man tag match.
Imagine the strong promos Wyatt could cut involving the babyfaces' need to hide behind masks and face paint.
The matches would be nothing short of spectacular, thanks to a formula WWE's performers seemingly perfected in 2013.
Most importantly, the match would give the Wyatt Family a chance to win on pay-per-view without doing any damage to their opponents, who have lost more than they have won in the past, yet remaining over with the audience thanks to their frenetic pace and crowd-pleasing style.
It feels too early in the Daniel Bryan abduction angle to simply have him escape the custody of the Wyatt Family and wrestle them on December 15. While that option certainly seems like the one creative will opt to use, a Royal Rumble match between the two would be more prestigious than a throwaway bout on one of the traditionally least-purchased events of the year.
The six-man tag will get six talented individuals on the show without having to hotshot an angle for the sake of getting the match onto pay-per-view.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Big E Langston vs. Ryback
While matches between two hulking Superstars may not be favorites of Internet wrestling fans, audiences have always been captivated by the sight of two larger-than-life Superstars clashing in the center of the ring.
Intercontinental champion Big E Langston and Ryback have changed the perception of what a big man can do between the ropes, however, and an Intercontinental title match between the two would be a battle between two physical specimens guaranteed to capture the attention of the WWE Universe.
Unlike matches between similar individuals in the past, however, this title bout would exceed expectations.
Ryback, for all his faults, has demonstrated the ability to deliver a solid match with a number of different types of Superstars. Langston is an above-average worker who has the rare combination of speed, agility and strength.
In a tag match that aired on the November 25 episode of Raw, Langston and Ryback's brief interactions indicated that there may be potential for a solid match between the two, if kept short enough not to expose their weaknesses.
Whether he deserves it or not, Ryback is still considered one of the most marketable stars within the WWE. As a result, he is treated as such and protected to a certain extent.
Fans believe Ryback is a top star, and a win for Langston over him would give Langston that first big, notable victory over a former top contender to the WWE Championship in a hard-hitting bout.
Another step in the evolution and elevation of Langston.