Pros & Cons of WWE TLC 2021 PPV Not Happening in December


While the card is always subject to change and WWE has had many instances in the past where events have been shifted around, we typically know at least the name and date of an event two months or so in advance. That hasn’t been the case with WWE TLC, which was originally rumored to be somewhere in December (likely the 19th or, eventually, the 12th).

Now, Fightful Select has reported the reason everyone is so hush about this is because there is no event in December. Well, now, that makes a lot more sense, doesn’t it?

My first reaction was to be annoyed that I’m just finding out about this now. To be honest, I had planned to write several articles surrounding this topic, and now, my December has to be adjusted. Woe is me. But the more I thought about it, the more I started to think of overall positives and negatives that come out of this. So that’s what we’ll be addressing today. What are the pros and cons to this decision to cut the December pay-per-view from the lineup?

Pro: A Longer Build for WWE Day 1

According to Fightful’s sources, the reason why this December event was scrapped was because Nick Khan has put more focus on WWE Day 1 set for January 1, 2022. The thought process is that that will be a bigger show and take the place of TLC in mid-December.

If we’re looking for positives, we can say that this will give WWE more time to develop storylines coming out of Survivor Series and heading into Day 1. Instead of having 3 weeks to go from the Raw vs. SmackDown event to setting up new challengers for champions and the like, they’ll have nearly 6 weeks to reestablish the rosters post-draft and let the repercussions from Survivor Series really play out.

When done well, a longer build to a pay-per-view can lead to more meaningful matches. Back in the day, when there were only four major events per year, they felt like they mattered more. When WWE spends much of its resources spreading everything thin, the so-called “special events” no longer feel special, and TLC would have likely fit into that category.

Half the matches would have been on TLC with the other half on Day 1, or it would have been an instance where Day 1 was just a series of rematches nobody cared to see a second time.

Con: A Longer Build for WWE Day 1 (Yup)

You read it right. The same pro and con. That’s because the key to the previous thing being a positive was the phrase “when done well” and that isn’t always a guarantee, especially in today’s landscape.

WWE has steered more and more into the direction of being lazy and booking repetitive matches, dragging out storylines well past their expiration dates and having no idea what to do until the last minute, wandering aimlessly creatively until the eleventh hour. Just because they’ll have 6 weeks to develop better stories doesn’t mean they will. Instead, we could be in for 5 weeks of utter nonsense with a go-home rush to a series of random matches that mean nothing.

WWE likes to talk about how they tell long-term storylines and fans need to be patient, but we’ve seen perpetually how often that patience is rewarded versus how often we’re just being strung along with WWE thinking “We’ll figure it out later” hoping time will sort out every problem. Then, when push comes to shove, directions change, feuds are dropped and it’s chalked up to “oh well” and we’re supposed to forgive and forget and move on.

If Day 1 is Nick Khan’s baby, maybe he’ll push for more oversight. However, he’s not the direct head of WWE Creative, so even if he’s harping on it being a priority, it doesn’t mean the rest of the team will be able to manifest that.

Pro: More Room for Other Projects

Taking a pay-per-view out of the calendar means December won’t require as much attention for that specific event. Instead, the end of the year could be focused on some of the other things that sometimes get pushed aside.

For example, this makes it easier for WWE to dedicate time to the Slammy Awards. While it’s far from the most important thing like WrestleMania, it’s still a good way to wrap up the year, remind fans of some of the good things from the past 12 months and play into the “end of the year recap” mentality people have in December.

Maybe we can finally see some more shows on the WWE Network, which has pretty much dried up since the shift to Peacock. Almost nothing gets released anymore, even if it’s already been filmed, strangely enough. But if people aren’t focusing on hyping up TLC, could we get another edition of The Ultimate Show, for instance?

At the very least, the lack of a pay-per-view means there’s no excuse for “everything else” having more attention put onto it, which means everything else should theoretically be better quality.

Con: A Shorter Window for Royal Rumble 2022

Nixing a December event to go with something on January 1st means while there’s more room in the last month of the year, by proxy, there’s less room in the first month of 2022.

Inevitably, the January 3rd episode of Monday Night Raw will deal with the fallout from WWE Day 1. It pretty much has to, or that means WWE would blow past it and make it seem like it didn’t really matter, which can’t happen if you waited over a month since Survivor Series for this to take place.

That means there is then only 3 weeks until Royal Rumble to really build the entire card, as I would hope it wouldn’t consist of carryover feuds that are still lingering from the November-December build. That would be too long of a stretch.

Three weeks, if done well (key words, again), can work. The Royal Rumble matches speak for themselves and we just need to set up some potential winners for that, as well as establish challengers for the four world titles and maybe one or two other matches. But I don’t want to see a scenario where we spend half of November-December dawdling, the rest of December leading to Day 1, and then those 3 weeks are just waiting for Royal Rumble to happen so the title matches from Day 1 can happen on a repeat.

For example, let’s say Big E defends the WWE Championship at Day 1 against someone like AJ Styles. WWE will likely be too pressed for time to set up a new feud that’s worthwhile for Royal Rumble and will just go “Let’s run back Styles challenging Big E again. Maybe, if we really feel like we need it, we’ll make it a gimmick match, but we probably don’t need that if it’s Royal Rumble season. Let’s just do a regular rematch.” That’s bland, uninspired, weak, and lazy, and something WWE has done time and time again.

Trending Stories