Predictions for AEW Dynamite and WWE Raw, SmackDown After TLC PPV
On the heels of a TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs event in which WWE wrapped up its pay-per-view in stunning fashion, with a show full of superb in-ring action and jaw-dropping storyline developments, the company heads into the holiday week looking to extend rivalries and present new ones.
Over on AEW Dynamite, the company celebrates the holidays with a gift for one of the top young teams in wrestling as Top Flight sets foot in the same ring with former world champion and future Hall of Famer Chris Jericho, who teams with MJF for the big tag team encounter.
Who emerges from that match victoriously, what can fans expect from the competition and how will all of it set up the future of each promotion as 2020 nears its end?
Find out with these predictions for the week in wrasslin' TV to come.
Sheamus, McIntyre's Friendship Shows Cracks Ahead of Obvious Title Encounter
Where was WWE Champion Drew McIntyre when his best mate, Sheamus, was getting his ass kicked by AJ Styles courtesy of a steel chair?
It is a question that will be at the center of mounting tension between the Scot and the Irishman as they head toward an inevitable championship clash.
WWE knows its audience expects it. They even had McIntyre and Sheamus brawl, only to rekindle their friendship having settled their differences "like men." After Sheamus was left hanging, quite literally, by his best friend while Styles teed off on him, there were undoubtedly feelings hurt.
Expect said sour feelings to manifest themselves in a confrontation Monday night, after which Sheamus will begin making his intentions known.
Perhaps he leaves McIntyre to fend for himself in the face of any combination of The Miz, John Morrison, Omos and Styles. Maybe he instigates the attack himself, setting the stage for a showdown at Royal Rumble on January 31.
Whatever the case may be, that is the direction the top of the Raw card is headed, and the heavyweight hoss fight will be damn fun to watch when it arrives.
A Post-PPV Championship Rematch
If there is one thing WWE knows and loves, it is a pay-per-view rematch. Throw in a championship and Vince McMahon salivates at the opportunity to present it on free television just 24 hours after insisting his audience pay for the same match.
Sunday night at TLC, Charlotte Flair returned, teaming with Raw Women's Champion Asuka to defeat Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler for the Women's Tag Team Championship.
Monday, WWE will predictably book the rematch, looking to garner viewers on the promise of seeing The Queen and The Empress defend their titles against the former champs.
Why? In case Baszler had not seen her credibility damaged enough by eating the pinfall the night before? In case Flair needs another win to further cement that she is back and ready to reclaim her throne? Or is it "just cuz," the famous answer reflecting the majority of the company's booking decisions when it comes to the red brand?
Flair and Asuka will retain, Baszler will probably endure the loss and the creative team will somehow forget to mention that Jax put Flair out of action six months ago to further add levity to the match.
Just as it forgot Sunday on the WWE Network.
Top Flight Scores the Biggest Win of Their Young Careers
Despite losing a big 12-man tag team match on last week's Dynamite, Top Flight's Darius and Dante Martin sent a message to The Inner Circle by teeing off on Chris Jericho and MJF. After a backstage promo later in the broadcast, a match between the young team and Le Champion and MJF was made official for Wednesday's TNT broadcast.
While the case can be made that the young tandem will benefit just from sharing the ring with a future Hall of Famer and the young star most groomed for future success, look for AEW to take things one step further by having Darius and Dante score the most significant victory of their young careers.
There is already tension among The Inner Circle. Sammy Guevara hates MJF, Jake Hager and Wardlow are not the best of friends, and Ortiz remains torn by it all. It would not be particularly surprising if interference went wrong and Guevara accidentally cost his teammates a victory.
Especially as he appears poised to turn babyface and feud with his mentor and his new pet project.
Carmella Avenges TLC Loss, Continues Her Chase of the SmackDown Women's Title
Sasha Banks cut a YouTube exclusive promo after her victory over Carmella at TLC Sunday night in which she expressed her interest in the next challenger to her SmackDown women's championship.
Her next challenge will be a familiar one as The Untouchable challenger rears her head once more.
Carmella turned in the performance of her career Sunday night, working a fantastic match with one of the best wrestlers in the industry. Her in-ring chemistry with Banks was strong enough to warrant another opportunity to compete over the title, not to mention her character work, which was even stronger.
She has benefited from extended television time and will not suddenly disappear from the title hunt because of one loss. It's not true to her character.
Look for Carmella to make excuses and back her way into another title opportunity as that particular program heats up, keeping both women busy in the gap between TLC and the Royal Rumble pay-per-view on January 31.