TLC 2018: Preview & Predictions

The thing with this show is this; when it was first being built to the first few matches announced were amazing and proper PPV worthy, massive contests. The women’s 3 way TLC is a proper dream match, but there’s at least half of the matches on this card that you wouldn’t be surprised if they were on any random episode of Raw or Smackdown. Any time that’s the case it just reminds me of the dark days of some of those Smackdown only PPV shows from 2016-17 ish. They just came across at times as a more wrestling version of the weekly TV show rather than a big event. And yes admittedly some of these matches have a lot riding on them, but there’s only honestly the women’s 3 way that I’d go out of my way to watch. But who knows perhaps the lack of expectation will help the show over-achieve. We shall see…

Cruserweight Championship: Cedric Alexander V Buddy Murphy (C) 

This will be a good match for sure. 2 great wrestlers, and it’ll be as good as time it gets. Hopefully it’s on the main show but I’m doubtful. Hopefully the crowd are into it from the start but again I’m skeptical. I’m not quite sure why they did the Ali match at Survivor Series and not do Cedric’s rematch until around 2 months after he initially lost the belt in Australia. Perhaps they wanted the match with Mustafa Ali to be on a big show like Survivor Series as opposed to a title match we had seen before. And to be fair it was on the main show and it was great. I can only see this match being good. I’m not sure who is the guy to dethrone Murphy is, but I still don’t think you should end his title run anytime soon. Maybe this is Cedric’s last hurrah before he goes heel, that’d be tremendous.

Prediction: Murphy retains 

Natalya V Ruby Riott – Tables Match

Case and point in my theory that this is just a jumped-up version of Raw/Smackdown is this one. I don’t know in whose world this is a PPV worthy match, even with the Tables Match stipulation. And as much as they’ve tried their best to make us all think this is a really personal and deep rivalry I just haven’t felt as enthralled by that aspect of it as I think they’re intending for people to do. I’m sure it’ll be fine in-ring, not very long though I hope. I honestly couldn’t call the winner of this one with any certainty, I’d say the result will depend on where it falls on the card but not that WWE ever think of that type of logic.

UPDATE: Ruby said she’d put Nattie through a table and bought one out with Jim Neidhart on the front. Natalya in her promo referred to the Montreal Screwjob and Bret punching Vince in the mouth being an obstacle for her she had to overcome to get to where she is in WWE.

The Montreal Screwjob was in 1997. Bret Hart was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006. Natalya signed her WWE contract in 2007 (TEN YEARS after the Screwjob). Bret Hart beat Vince at Wrestlemania in 2010 and The Hart Family beat on him and stood tall afterwards. Natalya (from all accounts a very intelligent woman so I’m presuming she was fed this dialogue to say) was on Monday trying to convince us all something that happened TWENTY ONE YEARS AGO is a factor in her progress in her WWE career.

Fuck off with your bullshit please. Worst feud in 2018 (and that’s saying something).

Prediction: IDK… IDC… 

Jinder Mahal with The Singh Brothers & Alicia Fox V R Truth & Carmella – Mixed Match Challenge Final (The winning team will be the number 30 entrants in the Royal Rumble Matches) 

Yes you did read that correctly, JINDER MAHAL AND ALICIA FUCKING FOX ARE A TAG TEAM FOR A MATCH ON A PPV WHERE THE WINNERS WILL BE THE NUMBER 30 ENTRANTS IN THE ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH… Truth and Carmella should win and I dear god hope they will, but with this company at the minute I don’t know what they’re going to do next. That can be a great thing at times, given the WWE’s recent main roster track record I’m very much programmed to expect them to book pretty much everything terribly.

Prediction: Truth and Carmella win… or else… I don’t even know what I’ll do…

Elias V Bobby Lashley (with Lio Rush) – Ladder Match

Another TV match that’s on a PPV. I cared a SMALL amount before, then they made it a FUCKING LADDER MATCH AND A FUCKING GUITAR IS HANGING ABOVE THE RING. I’M SO DONE.

Prediction: IDC anymore 

Randy Orton V Rey Mysterio – Chairs Match 

FUCK OFF with your stupid Chairs match (I don’t even care if they’ve been utilizing chairs throughout the feud). FUCK OFF with the 10 billion-th match to have been announced for this show (I don’t even care it’s between 2 of the finest workers we’ve had in WWE in the modern era for their styles).

Prediction: Orton doesn’t lose nowadays so I’ll say him I guess 

Smackdown Tag Team Championship: ‘The New Day’ V ‘The Usos’ (Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso) V ‘The Bar’ (Sheamus & Cesaro) (C) 

This is also arguably a TV match that’s on a PPV, but given the vast in-ring abilities of all those involved and the 3 way aspect I’ll give it a pass. Admittedly they have wrestled some form of these 3 teams a huge amount of times, but I can’t remember the last less than good Usos vs New Day match, and Cesaro and to a slightly lesser extent Sheamus more often than not have good matches. This is a tough one to call, they’re clearly trying to make The New Day go down as one of the most decorated tag teams so I’d never be shocked to see them hold titles again, The Usos might be the best true tag team in the company and shine always given any form of spotlight. And The Bar are great heel champions, so any of these 3 teams as the Smackdown Tag Champions would be totally fine.

Prediction: The Bar to retain 

Intercontinental Championship: Dean Ambrose V Seth Rollins (C)

Of course this match will be good. The build up for a few reasons has been questionable, morally I’m uncomfortable with how much they’ve used Roman and his illness, some of Dean’s promos and segments have had questionable content, and for some reason it just doesn’t feel as personal as it did just after the turn. But as I said I’ve no doubt this will be a great match. I see Dean winning, mainly because I see Rollins doing awfully well in the Rumble (particularly after he was presented as the star of the show and the savior of the locker room on the Raw go-home show), maybe even winning it.

PS: STOP MENTIONING ROMAN REIGNS PLEASE. IT’S JUST NOT NECESSARY.

Prediction: Dean Ambrose wins the Intercontinental Championship 

Raw Women’s Championship: Nia Jax (with Tamina) V Ronda Rousey (C) 

I refuse to talk at any length about any Nia Jax match because she’s intolerably bad at her job.

Prediction: Ronda Retains… obviously

Finn Balor V Drew McIntyre 

If this match was anyone else but Drew and Finn I’d again be moaning that it’s just a TV match shoved on a PPV. It’s Finn Balor vs Drew McIntyre though, so I’m less annoyed. Although it means much less now than it maybe could’ve done, given for some bizarre reason they had Ziggler beat Drew on Raw the other week. Had you had Drew still unbeaten since he arrived on the red brand you could’ve told such a more captivating story in the match of how the heroic Balor was looking to conquer to undefeated Scottish behemoth. But no, we can’t have nice storylines in main roster WWE and definitely not on Raw. Finn could do wonders off the back of a big win like this I’m sure, boy does he need it, but you shouldn’t have anyone outside of maybe Rollins or Strowman or obviously Lesnar beat Drew in a big match. So Finn’s big moment will have to wait… again…

Prediction: Drew wins 

WWE Championship: AJ Styles V Daniel Bryan (C) 

Great match for sure. Daniel Bryan has been doing some of the finest work of his entire career with his recent heel, pro-vegan character. It’s all the smaller things he has done since the initial turn that altogether have just been sensational to watch. And AJ is AJ so this match should be a slam dunk in terms of being a great one. I fear though that the placement of this match on the card might hamper it in terms of crowd reaction. It’s a very sad state of affairs that a WWE Championship match between the 2 best in-ring performers of this generation to have appeared in the company could be half way down the card of a PPV. But it it what it is, and I’ve no doubt even a tired and worn out crowd will be hyped up to see Daniel Bryan vs AJ Styles. Regarding the result it seems to me very obvious that Bryan will retain as I don;t think they’d have changed him so dramatically only for him to lose the title so soon. As for the long term plans I see both men featuring prominently with the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania in mind, but I think their paths will go in different directions after this match. Exciting times ahead for both win or lose I think.

Prediction: Bryan retains 

Baron Corbin V Braun Strowman – Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match (If Strowman wins Corbin will no longer be GM of Raw and Strowman will face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble. If Corbin wins he will become the full-time GM of Raw). 

This whole match (given Braun’s recent elbow surgery) seems to hinge on the idea that Corbin will go to the ring, perhaps cut a promo, and the ref will ring the bell and begin a 10 count. Then either Braun or a replacement (I’d presume Braun given how much is riding on the match it’d be tricky to figure stuff out if he couldn’t do the match) comes down and wins. So I see the ref get to the later half of his count, Braun comes out, running powerslam, 123 and Braun gets his win. That way Braun gets the win they need him to get to build to the Lesnar match, and they can do whatever they have planned for the Corbin GM role etc. If Braun isn’t even cleared to do one move given he had surgery just a few weeks ago, then a replacement seems the way to go (how they’d book the replacement maybe winning for Braun remains to be seen). Potential replacements could be maybe Bray Wyatt, or perhaps Kurt Angle (who would make a lot of sense logistically if he came-back and won, given his recent past with Corbin). But we will see, don’t expect this match regardless of who Corbin faces to go long. What they have planned for Corbin’s GM role going forward I’ve no idea.

Prediction: Corbin loses… PLEASE!!! 

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Asuka V Charlotte V Becky Lynch (C) – Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match 

Ladies PLEASE I FUCKING BEG put on a classic. This match is now THE only reason I plan on reviewing this show. 3 of the best workers and all-round performers in the company (male or female) altogether in a match that absolutely has to close the show else I’m so done. Result wise I think you have to base this on what you (in this case I) think will happen going forward and onto the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania… I PERSONALLY see Becky dropping the title here particularly in this match (given it’s a TLC Match she wouldn’t need to be pinned or to tap out, and in nay rematch she could get rolled up or not get the title by some means that wouldn’t weaken her in anyway). I’ve gone with Charlotte to win because I see her as their female default (not that that would be a bad choice because she’s absolutely excellent at being a pro-wrestling megastar). Therefore I see going forward Charlotte and Ronda being the 2 women’s champions, Becky winning the Royal Rumble match, somewhere in between in some way Ronda beating Charlotte, Becky V Ronda at Mania. That’s my theory anyway. Could be totally wrong, perhaps they have Asuka win here which I’d also applaud greatly, who knows? …

Prediction: Charlotte wins the title 

If the women’s 3 way is anything but good, this show could be terrible. PLEASE WWE pull it out the bag. I’m not sure how much more of this bullshit I can take, since Survivor Series good god it’s been awful particularly on Raw. Smackdown has been fine, but Raw… my oh my… TLC needs to be good else this terrible creative on Raw is going to start infecting the build to the next PPV, which just so happens to be the Royal Rumble, which is going to be one of the biggest shows of the year in terms of determining the long term plans for the company. So no pressure.

Josh.

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