Jamie Lithgow & Craig Wilson
Ahead of WWE TLC tonight, Jamie and Craig take a look at the card and make their match predictions.
Team Hell No & Ryback vs. The Shield (TLC Match)
Jamie: I’m quite looking forward to seeing The Shield make their in ring debut, especially the potential exchanges between Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins. I see this being a very strong match with a hot crowd given how popular the babyfaces are and how good The Shield have been to this point. Also, as I alluded to by mentioning Bryan and Rollins, there are some good workers in this match too. It may be a substitute for Punk vs. Ryback III but after events at Survivor Series this match is the logical progression for Ryback. He’s been beaten by Punk twice already and in all likelihood would have lost (or at least not won the title) a third time. No doubt Ryback would have lost his planned match to punk due to interference of some kind but that would not have protected him this time around. Given how Punk won the last two matches Ryback would just look stupid if he allowed himself to lose under similar circumstances for a third time. This is the logical match for Ryback because The Shield are the enemies staring him in the face, Punk has been looking passed him for weeks now. As for a winner, The Shield cannot lose, that would be a complete waste of a month’s TV, a good storyline and three very promising superstars to just job them out at the first opportunity. Equally Ryback can’t afford a loss because he’s lost his last two PPV matches. My hunch is that The Shield picks up the win, but Bryan or Kane do the job.
Winners – The Shield
Craig: This is a great main event and very impressive that the WWE have been able to resist having The Shield wrestle on television in order for them to make their in-ring debut on this PPV. This match should be a very good and, like Jamie, I expect some hot exchanges between Bryan and Rollins. I can see this one ending with Kane or Bryan taking the pin – just can’t see Ryback losing in this one. Can’t also see The Shield losing, that would be ridiculous.
Winners – The Shield
John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler (Ladder Match)
Jamie: Very excited about this match, and it’s not often I say that about a match involving Cena. However, at the same time I’m kind of dreading it too. I hope this is Ziggler’s big night where he grabs the imaginary brass ring and topples the mighty John Cena to reserve his spot in the main event picture for 2013. However, he’s facing John Cena. Time and time again this man has won matches when he should have been used to put someone else over. Also, Dolph’s Money in the Bank briefcase is up for grabs. If WWE had no intention of passing it on to Cena then they would have just booked a straight tables match, rather than a ladder match which requires a trophy to fight for. If this match goes on last then I fear for Ziggler because WWE hasn’t sent the fans home happy for a while. If the six man tag goes on last then at least Ryback can beat up The Shield after the decision to gloss over the result I am predicting, thus sending the fans home happy enough. Although, having said that, I bet Ziggler has more fans on the night than Cena. My fingers are crossed that this match is near the start of the card, in which case Ziggler should pick up the win. Ideally this match would be the main event and Ziggler would win, but like that would ever happen?! Oh, I’m also predicting that AJ will turn heel on Cena to help Ziggler win. We can’t have John Cena lose clean now can we?!
Winner – Dolph Ziggler
Craig: Now this is the match I’m probably most excited about on this card. I share Jamie’s concerns over where the match is placed on the card and I hope that Ziggler goes over here. Despite being my prediction for star of the year, he’s not really quite gotten things going. That said, this is an excellent chance for Ziggler to go over, and go over strong, putting him in a strong place for 2013. But when will he cash in the briefcase?
Winner – Ziggler (hopefully!)
World Heavyweight Champion Big Show vs. Sheamus (Chairs Match)
Jamie: I know that their matches have been well received but I still don’t care about the truly awful character that is Sheamus and the always uninteresting Big Show. Actually, that’s a little harsh on Show. I still think he has a role to play in WWE, just not at the top of the card. As for Sheamus, I just don’t like him. He’s not funny when he tries to be and his act seems too forced and fake to the point of embarrassment. As for the match, yet again I am predicting that Ziggler cashes in his briefcase on the winner. Who that winner will be is harder to predict, I really want it to be Sheamus though. That way Ziggler could knock off two of my least favourite wrestlers in one night!
Winner – Sheamus
Craig: If you’d said to me in the summer that Big Show and Sheamus would have a series of very strong PPV matches that in the first two occasions would arguable steal the show, then I’d have been very surprised but that’s exactly what they have done. I see Sheamus going over here in what is shaping up to be a very hard hitting match. I see Jamie’s predicting in the cashing of Ziggler’s briefcase post match but I don’t see that happening. Think Sheamus will end the night with the gold.
Winner – Sheamus
Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett
Jamie: It’s nice to see the title scene further down the card being shown a little bit of interest by the writers. I can see this feud continuing towards The Rumble so I think Kofi will retain, although I expect Barrett to look strong in order for the feud to continue.
Winner – Kofi Kingston
Craig: I’m a big fan of both of these guys and think there wildly contrasting styles will make for a very interesting encounter. I think Barrett has bigger and better things in the near future than a run with the Intercontinental title and I see Kofi winning this one. Like Jamie I think there’s a bit of gas left in the tank for this feud after tonight though and having something meaningful like that, bodes well for both guys going in to 2013.
Winner – Kofi
U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro vs. R-Truth
Jamie: It is nice that something is being done with the US title; it’s just a shame that this is what WWE came up with. Cesaro is a great worker but his character is so boring and out dated, he’s really dull. He’s also facing R-Truth, whom fans have been unable to take seriously since he started talking to himself.
Winner – Antonio Cesaro
Craig: I feel sorry for Cesaro. As talented as he is the fans care not a jot about him, owing to his thoroughly boring character. It’s difficult to get in to this match and feud really owing to how the fans perhaps care even less for his R-Truth.
Winner – Cesaro.
Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. Team Rhodes Scholars
Jamie: Two teams fighting for the chance to face Team Hell No for the titles, I like it. The simple fact that these guys are competing to even get a shot the titles (who are held by a team in the main event of the PPV) says that the Tag Titles are worth winning and that tag team wrestling is alive in WWE. I won’t say that it is alive and well, but the inclusion of this match promotes positive thoughts. I’m picking Mysterio and Sin Cara to win, purely because they need to get a higher up the card in order for their inevitable split to have any impact.
Winners – Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara
Craig: As someone that is a well documented fan of tag team wrestling, the fact that the number one contenders match is taking place on a PPV is great news. Both of these teams are good and add a lot to the tag team division which now looks more relevant than it has been in years. I do get Jamie’s point re the future split up of Rey and Cara, but I want to see Team Rhodes Scholars challenge for the tag titles.
Winners – Team Rhodes Scholars.
Jamie: It doesn’t look too bad a show on paper, far better than Survivor Series looked at least. I would imagine the likes of CM Punk, The Miz and Randy Orton will make appearances and another match will get added making this a half decent looking PPV.
Craig: On paper a very strong outing here. I think Sheamus v Show will be very bloody and hard hitting, I have hopes that Ziggler will go over strong – which he really needs – and I’m really looking forward to seeing The Shield make their in-ring debut together at this PPV. Like Jamie I see another match being added somewhere along the line as well but so far, so good for me.