With TLC 2018 coming up this Sunday night, the go-home shows of Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live have given us an indication of what talent is booked for the pay-per-view and who is not currently scheduled. Of course, the card is always subject to change and WWE may end up making alterations to this lineup, but at the moment, the men and women in this breakdown are not currently advertised as being part of this event.
In some cases, this may be justified, or even a purposeful plan to set up a surprise. In other cases, it may be ridiculous. That is up to you to decide as we take a look at which superstars aren’t being promoted for this show.
From the Raw Men’s Singles Division
— Apollo Crews: For a brief minute there, I thought Crews was going to be factored into the story with Baron Corbin and would offset Jinder Mahal on the heel team. That quickly dissipated, though. Then, Crews had a shot to get into the Mixed Match Challenge finals, but lost.
— Bray Wyatt: There had been a chance that Wyatt would make his return to do something involving Corbin, as the two fought each other at Starrcade, but WWE must have decided that that didn’t really factor into their plans.
— Brock Lesnar: Of course Lesnar isn’t on the card and the universal title is MIA. That’s what happens with him all the time. Don’t be surprised.
— Curt Hawkins: Given his over 200+ losing streak, it makes sense when Hawkins is always skipped over for spots on pay-per-views. I still maintain that they could do much more with that story, though, and it’s a shame it’s going to waste on Main Event.
— Dolph Ziggler: I’m still not entirely sold that Ziggler isn’t going to replace Braun Strowman in a certain sense by WWE merging matches together to avoid Strowman’s and Balor’s injuries. Ziggler being on the opposite end of McIntyre would make sense, even if he isn’t a full-fledged babyface yet.
— Goldust: Injury (knees). There is no set timetable for his return.
— Heath Slater: Apparently, Slater is a referee now, according to the storyline. I’m really hoping we actually see that idea executed at TLC with Slater acting as the referee to Corbin’s match or something.
— Jason Jordan: Injury (neck). There is no set timetable for his return, if it ever happens.
— Kevin Owens: Injury (knee). He is expected back possibly sometime around WrestleMania season.
— Mojo Rawley: Jobber status. He hasn’t been involved in anything recently, so why would he compete here?
— No Way Jose: Jobber status rules effect him as well.
— Roman Reigns: The Big Dog will remain out of action for quite some time as he is suffering from leukemia. There is no timetable for his return.
— Sami Zayn: Injury (two torn rotator cuffs). He is expected back possibly sometime around WrestleMania season.
— Titus O’Neil: Since Titus Worldwide split, Titus O’Neil has spent more time being a WWE ambassador than an in-ring competitor. That is one of the reasons why he’s nowhere to be seen for the TLC card, on top of just not being a priority character.
— Zack Ryder: Long Island Iced Z seems relegated entirely to Main Event these days, which is a shame. I’d really like to see him reform his tag team with Curt Hawkins and do something in the tag team division, but I’m not holding my breath.
From the Raw Women’s Division
— Alexa Bliss: While out with her injuries, Bliss has been moved to an authority figure position. This very well might mean that she will make an appearance at TLC in that capacity, rather than wrestling, as it’s still unclear when she’ll be able to step back into the ring.
— Bayley: She and Apollo Crews lost their Mixed Match Challenge match, rendering Bayley a no-go for this event. That’s as good of an excuse as any.
— Dana Brooke: When does Dana Brooke ever compete on a card? Come on now.
— Ember Moon: Moon has been used as a stepping stone to put Nia Jax over during this feud with Ronda Rousey. They might pick that up once TLC is over, but that was basically her job the past month or so, rather than to build to something for this card.
— Mickie James: Mickie’s simply not been doing anything other than joining in on the attacks on Bayley and Sasha Banks, which aren’t of much substance and certainly not deserving of a spot on this show.
— Sasha Banks: The Boss simply has nothing going on right now, unless WWE were to set up another one of those awful Q&A segments. Please, no.
— Tamina Snuka: While she’s technically not advertised as part of the card, it’s pretty safe to assume Tamina will be ringside for Nia Jax’s match against Ronda Rousey.
From the Raw Tag Team Division
— The Ascension: Jobbers don’t get tables, ladders and chairs. They only get the scraps that fall off the tables.
— The Authors of Pain / Chad Gable and Bobby Roode: WWE sure pissed all over this feud, didn’t they? (Sorry, I had to.) The lack of importance going on with the primary Raw Tag Team Championship feud right now not being on this card just goes to show how little Vince McMahon cares about that division and how even two big guys like AOP aren’t enough to make him pay attention and invest. A random title change doesn’t make up for everything that came before it, as Roode and Gable aren’t the most dynamic tag team to begin with. It’s cheap.
— The B-Team: Well, at least they haven’t gotten split up like Heath Slater and Rhyno did, right? That’s one thing. Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas got lucky with a joke title reign earlier this year and that was their highlight for all of 2018 and I’m sure all of 2019. The next time we’ll see them on a pay-per-view is likely WrestleMania’s Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
— Breezango: Fandango remains out due to a shoulder injury, but he was spotted recently working his way through his recovery, which is good. Tyler Breeze is stuck in jobber limbo and even went down to NXT for a North American Championship title shot.
— The Lucha House Party / The Revival: This feud is a Raw TV program and not something that is big enough to justify putting on a pay-per-view that could have bigger matches on it, but is already out of room.
From the SmackDown Men’s Singles Division
— Aiden English: I assume English is off singing a sad melody somewhere, since he hasn’t been on SmackDown for long enough now that I can’t remember the last time he popped up, but I do know it was just to look like a fool.