My prediction: Next week's TLC pay-per-view will suffer greatly from the show's lack of emphasis on tables, ladders or chairs.
Why? Well, mainly because the show in Houston absolutely needs something to make it stand out if the company is to convince people it's worth ordering.
WWE's struggles on pay-per-view this year have been well-chronicled.
The heavily-hyped SummerSlam show did a disappointing number. Night of Champions a month later did a mediocre buyrate too. Battleground also performed absolutely dreadfully.
So, right now, the last thing WWE needs to do is close out the year on another throwaway B show that doesn't come off like a big deal. TLC used to be special because the company hyped the hardcore, hard-hitting nature of the show.
Now tables, ladders and chairs are a non-entity, something added as a mere afterthought, if at all. Indeed, most of the matches on Sunday's card involve no TLC stipulations whatsoever. How disappointing.
Of course, one could argue that the title unification match between Randy Orton and John Cena is the big attraction that makes TLC worth ordering and that there's no need to overload the show with gimmicks and stipulations.
But, really, the buzz for this program simply isn't there.
The abysmal rating for last week's Raw, built around Orton and Cena's rivalry, made that abundantly clear. (OK, the NFL competition didn't help, but if this storyline was taking off at all the number would have at least been up somewhat.)
Sure, you could point to the frenzied crowd reaction at the end of Monday’s Raw as a indication that the angle is getting over.
But, honestly, the whole thing seemed to offer more evidence of Daniel Bryan’s devoted fanbase than illustrate that the pay-per-view is gaining momentum.
It also remains to be seen how exactly Triple H pedigreeing Orton as Raw went off of the air—after he accidentally knocked into Stephanie—is supposed to build up an Orton vs. Cena bout.
With all this in mind, it's very easy to see TLC going the exact same way as Night of Champions, Battleground and Hell in a Cell and producing a bad buyrate number.
Can anyone imagine the event ultimately doing that well?
Of course, it's too late for WWE to turn things around.
The bookers simply don't have the time. But hopefully the company can learn from its mistakes this time next year—and book the Tables, Ladders and Chairs event to be full of those exact same things.
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