WWE TLC 2011 Preview: 13 Storylines That Need to Be Addressed
TLC is on the horizon. Merely two days from now, we will be witness to WWE's latest pay-per-view outing.
The night promises a lot of excitement in that we will see one of each gimmick match from the name of the PPV.
Going into the night, WWE has many great stories that are beginning, developing or coming to a head.
Of these stories, only a few promise to be truly resolved by Sunday's show.
This is a shame as a few things need answers in WWE right now sooner rather than later.
In fact, there are many stories that should be addressed at Sunday's show.
What are these stories?
Why do they need to be addressed?
I think many fans out there would answer that question differently; however, the following are 13 answers to that question.
1. Divas vs. Pin-Up Strong
You know who has no match scheduled for Sunday's event? The women's division.
Even if the majority of fans seem to give them no credit or care about them, the women's division still exists, and they are trying their hardest against wretched booking to get over.
They have been trying to build a full storyline for the whole division, yet when the opportunity arises for WWE to have an extreme women's wrestling match, they don't even get featured on the card.
Now, for those who have missed the reports, you may not understand why I would put Kaitlyn for the picture for the Divas slide; however, she is an integral part of this story failing to even get on the card.
I'm not saying it's her fault. I'm saying she is a prime example of WWE simply not knowing what to do with the women's division.
Katlyn was supposedly going to turn heel and join forces with the Divas of Doom. For some reason, that idea was scrapped even though it was an ideal fit to gain the mini-stable some more power and give Kaitlyn a push into the spotlight.
Now, we don't even know what is happening with the division other than the fact that Kelly Kelly is "Divalicious" according to the Slammy Award voters.
So, on Sunday, will we get any type of forward momentum for the women's division? Probably not, but there could have been.
2. Zack Ryder vs. The WWE Machine
The results of Sunday's United States title match will probably answer the question once and for all. Can WWE allow a star that they have not created to succeed?
It has been a long saga for Zack Ryder. He went from tag team mainstay to ECW rising star to jobber and then finally to Internet sensation.
How did he go from being a joke of a jobber to being a US Title contender? Entirely on his own.
His YouTube show Z! True Long Island Story was a surprise hit that would make Ryder one of the most popular stars in WWE without wrestling a match.
Now, WWE couldn't ignore the popularity and chances at making money forever, so they let Ryder succeed.
Soon enough, Ryder was on his way to the mid card with a wave of signs seemingly in every building.
Now, WWE must make the final leap. Can they allow this goofy character to be their WWE United States Champion?
Unless Ziggler vs. Ryder ends controversially, we will probably have our answer by night's end.
3. Kevin Nash vs. Ladders
It's tough getting older.
Sometimes, a guy gets better with age (i.e. Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker), but most of the time they just become slower and more fragile.
At one time, Kevin Nash was one of the biggest stars in professional wrestling, but he aged quickly.
Now at 52 years old with legs seemingly give out while he walks to the ring, the WWE has decide to have Nash fight to climb a ladder. How can he do that when he wasn't even physically able to compete a few months back?
The fight against the ladder may be one of Nash's most difficult matches of all time in sheer amount of work he will have to put in just to get up that first rung.
Sure, the main story has something to do with his rivalry with Triple H where both men can kill a man with a single sledgehammer shot (My heart still stops when the medic asked if Triple H still had a pulse).
But in the end, I think we all just wondering how this man who can barely walk will get up a ladder.
It's okay, though, if he can't beat the ladder because in Nash's own immortal words:
"I don't really wrestle, my opponent does most of the work, I stand around and try to follow up if I feel like it. In the end, I always get paid more no matter what."
What a guy!
4. Cody Rhodes as the New Legend Killer?
Cody Rhodes is a star on the rise, and his placement in WWE has put him in a unique position.
He is a top mid-card talent with no one to feud with.
He can't face Daniel Bryan, who has his eyes set on a bigger prize, and Sheamus is just one step away from the World Heavyweight Title himself.
Everyone else is just too low on the card for Rhodes, so WWE has given him a much different test.
Can you dig it, sucka?
He begins a tear through the legends of the business as he tries to make a name for himself and lengthen his Intercontinental Championship reign.
First, he goes through the legendary Booker T, who will hopefully be in top form when he wrestled this Sunday.
Other legends Rhodes could be going through after this include Goldust and Mick Foley.
If the WWE wants to go along these lines, they may want to introduce another legend to the mix this Sunday or at least elaborate upon Rhodes' hatred for Booker T being a legend.
5. Is Booker T Ready to Step Away from the Commentary Booth?
Booker's in-ring performance will be a partial judge of his future; however, his actions after his match with Rhodes might be an even larger indicator of where he is headed.
Will he simply shrug it off and go commentate for the rest of the night?
Or will he take it to Rhodes after the match, continuing the feud, maybe including another Royal Rumble appearance from the legend?
It is difficult to say that Booker is done with commentating, but, really, we all know it needs to happen.
Booker is the second-most inept commentator in WWE history.
He has no grasp of the wrestling in the ring or the storylines that he needs to be addressing.
He makes up lines and thinks they are instantly awesome catch phrases.
While his presence was hilarious for a time, he is the biggest indicator that commentating will never be about the in ring talent.
If he actually goes out there and starts competing in a legend's role rather than commentating, we will all be better for it.
Now, the question is: how does WWE feel about that? I need answers.
6. JR vs. Michael Cole
No, I am not saying we need another dance off or rap off.
In fact, I am saying we need this all to end.
If WWE ever plans on having JR do commentary for the company, he needs to be placed it that role now.
The constant teases and Cole segments are just too much.
Booker T will probably not be commentating for the night at all.
That leaves a third spot open for one of two people: Josh Matthews or JR.
I really hope that WWE puts an end to the stupidity and the insanity of this storylines and just "gives JR his job back."
Please, there is only so much Cole I can take in a lifetime.
7. Where Art Thou, Brodus Clay?
It has been a long time for Brodus Clay.
He has been open to compete for months, and WWE has made sure to ruin his momentum almost entirely.
It has now become a sad running joke that has Brodus Clay trending on Twitter each week for never being there which I'm sure only excites WWE more into pushing him back.
Many are starting to forget what Clay can do, and that means he is being seen more as just another WWE big man.
This man has great mic skills and a surprisingly good move set for a man his size.
If he doesn't appear soon, the 1/2/12 promos might end up being for him.
Honestly WWE, give us all an answer.
Are you ever going to debut Clay?
8. Can Big Show Reach the Top of the Mountain One More Time?
It seems like the story that everyone dismisses.
Big Show is one of the most loyal veterans in WWE today.
Sure, he is not the greatest or most charismatic worker in the company, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been working himself to the bone for the company for years.
While everyone says that Mark Henry deserved a World Title reign, Show has probably done more for the company than Henry ever was.
Now, don't get me wrong, Henry has been a great champion, and, yes, Show is a two-time WWE Champion (with three WCW World title reigns). However, consider that Show is on his last leg and both of his previous reigns were incredibly lackluster.
It could be conceivable for WWE to give him one last brief reign before having him drop the belt to a star like Wade Barrett or Sheamus.
Personally, I would not be a huge fan of the move, but WWE might be.
If their booking lately says anything, it is that Henry's time is coming to an end.
9. Daniel Bryan and the Money in the Bank Temptation
Daniel Bryan, the fastest rising star to never get any PPV booking.
Seriously, the man gets chants almost every PPV now, but he never gets picked to wrestle in any of the matches.
That is a crime; however, this month, he may be getting some PPV air time.
I am a firm supporter of Bryan waiting until WrestleMania to cash in, but a little bit of teasing never hurt anyone.
He could come out after Henry's match and threaten to cash in.
We could see him wrestle with his emotions as he has to decide between being a champion and being in WrestleMania.
This could give Bryan another subtle rub toward that WM moment that we all should be waiting in deep anticipation for.
This story needs to be addressed because, quite simply, Bryan needs to get PPV exposure.
10. What Is Kane After?
He's back! And better than ever.
With a sweet new mask, Kane is ready to run through anything and everyone in his way; however, we still don't know what he is after.
Technically, we still don't even know his intention or affiliation (heel or face).
On Sunday, there are only six matches scheduled for the card which gives Kane more than enough time to make his presence felt.
Will he get involved in the World Heavyweight Title picture? Will he do a Big Show and magically become a Raw star so that he has reason to attack CM Punk?
Kane is a big star with amazing amount of momentum after his great return on Monday. WWE needs to capitalize on him now by placing him in some sort of feud.
We do not need him loafing around again without any purpose as he largely was before he was taken out by Henry.
11. Can the Barrett Barrage Be Stopped?
The Barrett Barrage has been incredibly successful up to this point. Wade Barrett has yet to be pinned or submit since he began his movement up the SmackDown card.
On Sunday, he faces Randy Orton to find out if he can survive the biggest face on the entire brand. If he can beat Orton on Sunday, the sky might just be the limit for him.
However, will WWE have Orton lose again?
Yes, Orton has done a great job as of late of making young stars shine, but can WWE keep this up without hurting the mystique and aura of Orton?
I hope so, and I have a feeling it will happen.
That doesn't mean I still don't have reservations that WWE will mess this up. They have been known to do that, especially with Barrett. Nexus sounds familiar?
12. Who Is Going to Step Up to Take Down CM Punk?
Yes, Punk is facing the two biggest heels on Raw on Sunday, but do they honestly pose him a threat? I don't see it.
Alberto Del Rio without championship gold doesn't get a whole lot of heat from the crowd, making him come off as weak and not a serious main event star.
The Miz is coming in with a bit of momentum, but he is still coming off a main-event crushing defeat at Survivor Series. He does not instantly come off as a WWE Championship threat, at least not yet.
Now, by the end of Sunday, hopefully two things will be established.
One, Punk will have shown that he can be a true main-event heel.
Two, Punk will have a serious competitor at his back.
The Miz could come out of the match looking better than he came in, leading to a program between the two.
Dolph Ziggler could interrupt proceedings after a loss earlier in the night to Zack Ryder.
John Cena could come in to lay claim one last time to a title shot.
All I know is that Punk needs a real competitor soon, so that his title reign can get off the ground running.
13. Are the Boos Getting to Cena?
The most interesting story in WWE right now is about a major superstar who isn't even on the card for the PPV.
Over the past few weeks, John Cena has gone from unshakeable superhero to an enigma of a man.
Cena has faced a full verbal beatdown from Roddy Piper. He has had to give up his WWE Championship spot, and he still gets booed more every day. This story needs to continue.
Am I saying that Cena needs to wrestle on the card? No.
Should he be involved in some fashion? Maybe.
What could he do? Well, he could come out to congratulate Zack Ryder on his first singles title win. He could also come out to try and comfort Ryder on a tough loss (with a possible heel turn for costing Cena a WWE Title shot for nothing).
Also, Cena could get involved in the main event. That might mean saving Punk after the match or turning on a weakened but victorious Punk.
Now, I'm not saying that he has to turn heel on Sunday, but something has to be done before this story falls away. Perhaps Sunday is the night for the biggest shocker of Cena's career.
Thanks for reading!