Welcome to another edition of eWN Round Table, where we gather some of the most active writers here on eWrestlingNews and share the platform to answer some questions surrounding a centralized topic, upcoming event, etc.
This is meant to showcase the potential for both a wide range of perspectives as well as how sometimes, there can be a group consensus no matter what your viewpoint is, so we also invite all of you to join in on the discussion by answering these questions yourself in the comments section below.
For this particular volume, we’ll be focusing on Tables, Ladders and Chairs 2018.
Participants for this round = Anthony Mango, Ethan Ablser, Richard Staple, Heel Heat and Chris Holden.
1) “If Baron Corbin loses control of Raw, who should take charge as the new general manager?”
MANGO: The easiest and laziest transition would be Alexa Bliss, and although I like her in the role (minus the awful Q&A segments), I want her back in the ring, more so than staying as an authority figure. If she can’t do that, give her the spot, but if she’s able to wrestle, I’d actually like Jason Jordan to fill the role. If HE is able to wrestle again, I’d say Big Show, JBL, or just ignore it for a while and have Triple H and Stephanie McMahon hold down the fort for a bit.
ABSLER: If Baron Corbin loses on Sunday, he loses control of RAW too. With that being said, this leaves a perfect void that the possibly returning Hulk Hogan could fill. More than likely, the GM will not be an active superstar, so I don’t see many options here.
STAPLE: It doesn’t matter who controls the show so long as the quality still remains poor. I wouldn’t mind Kurt coming back, but it’s not clicking for me anymore. The GM is ultimately just another part of the script, and I don’t think it relies so much on the actual character that gets the position so much as its the material they get to work with. No interesting names come to mind either.
HEAT: Honestly, I don’t mind Baron Corbin in an authority role, he’s good at garnering heat as a heel GM. But if I absolutely had to choose another person, I guess I’d just go with Kurt Angle again. I know, boring answer. But to be frank, I couldn’t care less about who’s “in charge,” just as long as they’re not in every segment or overshadowing the active talent.
HOLDEN: Of course, we’re assuming they’re going to keep the ridiculous GM position, since they don’t seem to know how to book a show without an authority figure of some sort. All signs point to Alexa Bliss being primed and readied for the GM role. She looks the part, plays a solid heel, and who knows how far away her in-ring return might be. Outside of Bliss, I don’t think there’s anyone on the Raw roster that ‘fits’ at the moment. If I had to pick a shock return, someone who could generate instant heat, and perhaps help Raw out of it’s current ratings slumber? Vince Russo. Then I’d chain him in the basement between his on-air segments, and wouldn’t let him within 100-ft of anyone in the Creative department.
2) “Agree or disagree: TLC matches shouldn’t be classified a separate gimmick as they’re just No DQ matches or ladder matches with a specific focus on two more foreign objects.”
MANGO: Of course this isn’t a distinct match! That’s like how a stupid Chairs Match is somehow supposed to also allow for disqualifications if they use anything other than chairs. It never happens, which means it’s No DQ, which means it’s a No DQ match that only features chairs because it’s scripted. That is what a TLC match is. If you allow for pinfalls, it’s just a No DQ match. If you have the winner declared by retrieving something from the ladder, it’s just a ladder match. There’s literally no difference.
ABSLER: TLC matches are just be ladder matches where tables and chairs are also encouraged and scattered around ringside, but WWE just classifies it as a separate gimmick to make more money. So yes I agree, TLC isn’t truly a separate type of match, but a gimmick to make extra cash.
STAPLE: Well, there is a distinction that has to be made, although a fault of this ambiguity is WWE’s fault. Most Tables, Ladders, and Chairs matches are just ladder matches where you need to grab something on top. However, there are also TLC matches like The Shield vs. Daniel Bryan/Kane/Ryback or Corbin vs. Strowman this Sunday in which it is just basically a one-fall match that just so happens to have tables, ladders and chairs matches. The entire concept of the match has gotten very confusing ever since The Dudleyz, The Hardyz and Edge/Christian introduced it nearly two decades ago. I believe if the match can only be won by obtaining something with a ladder, it should be called a ladder match and nothing more. Elias and Bobby Lashley have a Ladder match, but they aren’t fighting for a title or a briefcase. It’s a ladder match that permits you to use a single weapon when you can literally find other weapons under the ring or at ringside. Edge and Eddie Guererro’s legendary No DQ match in Smackdown of 2002 featured chairs and ladders, but it was called a No DQ match. Technically, Orton and Mysterio don’t have to use just chairs in their match. The whole concept is confusing. There goes my brain.
HEAT: I don’t really care about that subject.
HOLDEN: Agreed. The cachet of TLC matches was built in a different era by three teams who each ‘specialized’ with one of the weapons – the Hardy’s were the ladder match kings, the Dudley’s were famous for breaking tables, and Edge and Christian had their Con-Chair-To. The concept of the TLC match headed into the first one felt unique, and all six men used the appliances with innovation. As with many concepts in WWE, they’ve tried and tried again to recreate that magic, but the only thing today’s TLC matches have in common with the original is the name.
3) “Should Tables, Ladders, Chairs and Stairs ever be a thing again? Should any other weapons be added to the title lineup?”
MANGO: Absolutely not for Stairs, and no, no other weapons should be added. They should just change TLC to something like “WWE Demolition” since they refer to it as their version of a demolition derby. Or, better yet, go with Breaking Point, or No Mercy, and stop forcing gimmicks onto feuds that don’t need them.