WWE will present their fifth annual “Tables, Ladders & Chairs” pay-per-view event live from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas on Sunday, December 15, 2013. The show is historic this year in the sense that it will serve as not only the final pay-per-view of the 2013 calendar year, but will also feature a title unification bout between WWE Champion Randy Orton and World Heavyweight Champion John Cena.
As is the case with every WWE pay-per-view, it’s time for some pre-show predictions and analysis. Without further ado, let’s take a look at what fans should expect at tonight’s big pay-per-view…
TLC Match (Title Unification)
– Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena (c)
Analysis: As I’ve noted in past eWN editorials since the build for this match began, the majority of the focus for this one is being put on the fact that the match will feature the WWE and World Championships being unified. Very little attention is being given to the fact that this is also an actual “TLC match.” For John Cena, this will be his second official TLC match in WWE. For Randy Orton, his very first. This will be the 15th actual official TLC match in WWE history, making it one of few gimmick matches that haven’t been completely prostituted by the company (yet). As noted in a recent eWN article, WWE came up with the idea for the finish in this match over a week ago, and while the company usually changes their PPV main event plans multiple times leading up to the show, the planned finish for this one has reportedly remained untouched and WWE will go with the clear-cut direction they came up with when first putting together this bout. Expect a lot of bells and whistles in this one, a lot of sizzle to accompany the steak, if you will.
Prediction: John Cena
– Big E. Langston (c) vs. Damien Sandow
Analysis: It’s actually a shame that Damien Sandow is the challenger for the Intercontinental Championship. Considering the fact that Big E. Langston just recently became the I-C Champion, I can’t see a scenario where the company takes the title off of him already. Sandow can’t afford to continue losing so many high-profile matches without it hurting his star-power in the eyes of casual WWE fans. When looking at this one, it seems apparent that Langston goes over, but let’s hope WWE books this match in a way where Sandow can come out of it without losing too much. WWE will certainly want to use this match to continue their push of Langston, but let’s hope that it doesn’t completely bury Sandow in the process.
Prediction: Big E. Langston
WWE Divas Championship
– AJ Lee (c) vs. Natalya
Analysis: Anyone who has read the news on Sunday knows AJ Lee is currently in hot water with WWE management regarding an incident with NBC personality and Access Hollywood co-host Michelle Beadle. As noted in the report, Lee is expected to suffer some sort of disciplinary repercussions as a result of the incident, so seeing her losing the Divas Championship at the TLC pay-per-view wouldn’t be the most shocking thing in the world. Natalya is one of the best Divas in the company in terms of in-ring performance, and she has become somewhat of a star due to her strong showing on the Total Divas reality show. Natalya has been getting some decent television time and about as much of a “push” as any Diva can really get with so little focus on their division in the grand scheme of things. Taking all of that into consideration, I think it’s a fair assumption that Nattie comes out of this one with a couple extra pounds of gold to carry with her luggage.
WWE Tag-Team Championship
– Goldust & Cody Rhodes (c) vs. Big Show & Rey Mysterio vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel vs. The Real Americans
Analysis: Unfortunately it feels like it’s time for the WWE Tag-Team Championships to change hands. WWE is putting added emphasis on their tag-team division lately, so giving the straps to part-time duos like Big Show and Rey Mysterio, or even Ryback and Curtis Axel, seems unlikely. Certainly possible, but unlikely. That would leave The Real Americans as the favorites, however online reports claim Antonio Cesaro is scheduled to get a babyface push in the near future. If that is true, I can’t see WWE putting the belts on The Real Americans, unless it’s a prop designed to start the beginning of their inevitable split. Pretty tough one to call if you’re of the impression that the titles will be changing hands here, as I do, so I’m going to take a shot in the dark.
Prediction: Ryback & Curtis Axel
– CM Punk vs. The Shield
Analysis: This one is interesting for a few reasons. First off, with two matches featuring a three-on-one handicap dynamic, it would seem obvious that one will have to go the other way. The question is, which one will it be? WWE continues to tease problems within The Shield faction, including a strong final image of Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins leaving Dean Ambrose to get pinned by Punk on the final RAW heading into the TLC pay-per-view. Reigns did come back to spear Punk after allowing Ambrose to get beat, but the fact remains, they did that spot for a reason. Will TLC be the show that The Shield split finally happens? “Anything can happen in WWE.” I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!
Prediction: CM Punk
– Daniel Bryan vs. The Wyatt Family
Analysis: Did I pick the wrong upset? Perhaps. In this one, the focus heading into this match is Bray Wyatt’s ongoing attempt to turn Bryan heel and get him to join his Wyatt Family faction. Obviously Bryan has the beard for the gig, but it would seem insane to turn Bryan heel right now when the crowd badly wants to cheer him more than pretty much anyone else on the roster. If Bryan’s “Adele-Grammy-like” showing at the Slammy Awards wasn’t a big enough indication, certainly WWE got the message from their own “WWE Universe” loud and clear on Monday night when the rabid Seattle fans let it be known that Daniel Bryan is their guy and they want him back in the WWE Championship picture. A loss to The Wyatt Family wouldn’t exactly help that cause, however it’s a cause that the fans are begging for, not the company. You could argue that the company has done everything in their power to kill the momentum that Bryan has had going for him in the last several months, and having him in the mix with The Wyatt Family seems to be yet another move by the company to try and get fans out of the mindset that Bryan is a future WWE Champion. To me, a legitimate Bryan title run is inevitable, but I’m not so sure that he begins his road to that reign anytime soon. I’m of the opinion that the story between Bryan and The Wyatt Family is going to continue after Sunday, so a Bryan win doesn’t seem likely in this one.
Prediction: The Wyatt Family
TLC Kickoff Show Match
– Fandango vs. Dolph Ziggler
Analysis: So Dolph Ziggler has gone from Mr. Money In The Bank, to World Heavyweight Champion, to pointless gimmick matches with Damien Sandow, to multiple appears on pay-per-view “Kickoff Show” matches. Poor bastard. It doesn’t get more pointless than Fandango vs. Dolph Ziggler, unless WWE is looking for Ziggler to become a total gimmick himself. I’m sure the match quality will be great, and it should be a fun way to kick things off (no pun intended) but other than that, this is a pretty random and pointless match. I just hope that because it’s a pointless match, Ziggler gets the nod, because if he doesn’t, then there is a point to this match — WWE burying Ziggler even more.
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler
So that about does it. A match featuring Brodus Clay & Tensai vs. Xavier Woods & R-Truth is rumored to be a late addition to this card, however that is strictly a rumor at this point. Make sure to check back here at eWrestlingNews.com on Sunday night, December 15, 2013 for the best WWE Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view results coverage.
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