WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs Preview

Posted by Grey Sunday, December 19, 2010

Will The Miz hang on to his newly-cashed-in WWE championship? Will Kane avenge his father's "freaky death" (at his own hands, incidentally) by taking out Edge? Will Wade Barrett be transformed into a total joke by the end of the night?

Get yourself prepared with WWE's final Pay-Per-View event for the year as WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs takes place tonight at the Toyota Center on Houston, Texas.


Tonight, WWE will be presenting their final PPV of the year, the second annual WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs. For the uninformed, like the previous installment, TLC will be featuring a match with a stipulation related to its namesake: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs, along with a (usually) main event with all three stipulations thrown into the mix. However, unlike last year where this formula held true, we will be getting more than what we bargained for (or rather hoped for) with a card devoid of any regular matches as even the midcard matches (yes, even the obligatory Divas's match-up) will be utilizing one of the three special stipulations.

So now, the situation begs the question? Is that a good thing?

Before we go into the finer details as we attempt to answer that question, here's a brief explanation on what these stipulations are about:

Tables: In this match, the only way to win is for the opponent to be put through a table.

Ladders: In this match, a specific object (traditionally a title belt) will be suspended above the ring, and the only way to win is to be the first person to climb a ladder to retrieve it.

Chairs: In this match, chairs (and only chairs) is allowed to be used as a weapon.

For the record, I maintained my opinion last year that a Chairs Match is absolutely nonsensical and existed here in this particular PPV just to make the namesake/concept of the show sensible (and no it still don't). There's a reason why you can easily see a Tables Matches or a Ladder Matches (way too many of these in fact, due to the Money in the Bank overexposure), but I can bet our asses that the only place you can get to witness a "Chairs Match" will only be here at WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs. So much for exclusivity that might add to the interest of an otherwise stagnant show.

Putting the Chairs Match aside, it's not like the other stipulations are much more exciting either. The way these matches are being overexposed, as mentioned earlier, are seriously ruining the very reason why they were supposed to be interesting in the first place. In fact, matches with special stipulations should always be executed when its theme is appropriate and therefore add up the interest of the feud in question, instead of doing it the other way round by shoehorning feuds into matches. Gimmick matches are great to witness, but not they are being abused to the extent like how TLC has fallen into, where a match with a main gimmick can be further segregated into components for other matches.

Anyway, despite our optimism, Survivor Series turned out be quite a train wreck to look at, complete with bizarre finishing (Kane and Edge's double pinfall), frustratingly short timeframe given to matches which had potential (Daniel Bryan's match-up with Ted DiBiase), and unfortunately poor and uninspired bookings (the final fate of Cena is eventually uneventful and inconsequential less than one month removed). Against the defensive bookings and due to our relatively audacious predictions, we scored 5-3 (discounting Kane and Edge's double pinfall, as it resulted in Kane retaining the title) in our prediction's accuracy department. Hopefully, with the road to Wrestlemania set to begin with next month's Royal Rumble, we can get to see some interesting development as old rivalries get its closure, giving way for new feuds to grow.

With that out of the way, let's get on with the show.


WWE Champion The Miz vs. Randy Orton (Tables Match)

Just one night removed, and you will realized how accurate we were (okay, we have had one shot on the target with option 2b out of the five scenario we conjured). All in all, the mediocrity of the utterly uneventful finish of the main event between Randy Orton and Wade Barrett with Cena's "Free or Fired" referee role only served to make the Raw on the following night looked all the better.

Not that we mind, as we get to witness some begrudgingly cool Superstar-fans interactions as such:


The young lady who has now lovingly coined "The Miz Girl" for her outrage at The Miz's Money in the Bank victory tremendously helped sold The Miz's title success more than anything else. We did mentioned earlier of the potential positive vibe if The Miz were to tap into this amazing objection in his championship promo in the following Raw. Not only did he talked about it, but WWE actually created an award at their annual Slammy Awards called "Best Fan Reaction!" just to get her on the stage to create a truly awesome moment when the Miz Girl meets The Miz.

Back to the topic on hand, the rise of The Miz, as he cashed in the Money in the Bank to become the new WWE champion, is a refreshing change from the gradually sour taste of The Nexus, and till now, has prove to be a positive change. As for Orton, he has reached the level where he is much better in the role of a Lone Wolf on a title hunt that doesn't need the glow of the championship to enhance his stature. But will we get to see The Miz go out to main event a WrestleMania? That will seriously depend on how things progresses these few upcoming months.

Predicted Winner: The Miz
It doesn't take a genius to guess that we are going to pick The Miz as our predicted winner for this one, judging from our tone above. As mentioned, Orton ill needs the title, while The Miz, with his victory, has been providing WWE some unexpected media coverage. While Edge lost his first world title back to John Cena three weeks after cashing in the first-ever Money in the Bank, it is unlikely that The Miz is getting such half-hearted effort here, especially when a Tables Match is a perfect set-up for Orton to remain strong by failing to win the title despite not being pinned or submitted. In addition, there's this other factor arising from Sheamus and John Morrison's match-up to be the #1 contender to the title. More on that later.


World Heavyweight Champion Kane vs. Edge vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio (Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match)

With one of the most morbidly silly storyline around, Kane and Edge's feud progressed to the next level... with the help of two more opponents who are also caught in their respective rivalry.

Indicative of WWE's writers's very own resentment at their horrific creation, this week's Smackdown actually opened with Edge presenting a video highlights that told the audience in the face to just pretend the whole thing never happened. While Edge's consistently tongue-in-cheer humor in his involvement over the kidnap and eventual "death" of Paul Bearer makes him amiable in a way (not that we here at The Daily Zombies condone kidnapping and elaborate set-up to cause manslaughter, but, come on, wrestling is indeed supposed to be stupid at times), the whole fiasco is a shoo-in for the worst storyline of the year. There is no doubt that the whole Katie Vick arc will forever remained at the epitome of wrestling's ridiculous train wrecks, but Kane is unfortunate enough to warrant yet another entry in the dubious honors's history.

Nevertheless, the reason behind the congregation of these two match-ups are most likely due to time constraints, and probably the need to keep both feuds from ending before Royal Rumble.

Predicted Winner: Edge
Now this is the bold prediction of the month (readers will gradually notice that we won't be giving out bold predictions as loosely as before after our traumatic experience in believing that the writers would be audacious enough to do the right thing by turning Cena heel last month).

Kane is unfortunately not working out as the champion carrying the show, while Mysterio's injury status continues to be clouding his availability in the long term. Del Rio, despite his current enormous push, continues to be questionable for the big role though his shocking emergence as a world champion remains to be a viable option if the writers decided to deliver some shock tactics. Edge seems to be more likely option as a world champion to carry the show with more heel challengers for his title. Moreover, it's TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, a match-type pioneered by Edge.


John Cena vs. Wade Barrett (Chairs Match)

Is Cena back in WWE? It's almost like he never left... Oh wait, he didn't. Not one week. While Orton took a week's off after losing his title to The Miz, true to his slogan, Cena never give up... making an appearance on Raw. God damn it.

Now, prepared for the ultimate blow-off match to the entire Nexus debacle. It certainly looks like WWE merchandising wing has finally decided to cease production of the Nexus tee shirts.

Predicted Winner: Juan Cena's infinitely more popular cousin, John.
Christmas comes early for kids all across the world! If Cena do not cleanly wins this one, I bet the WWE Universe will have a gloomy dark Christmas indeed. The only question with this one is, how big a joke will Wade Barrett's character be when the dust settled?


John Morrison vs. Sheamus (Ladder Match)

Both Morrison and Sheamus have had interesting match-ups both on Raw and Survivor Series. With both picking success over each other respectively, this match-up for the #1 contender status for the WWE championship will likely be the blow-off match for them.

Both have had exciting and unpredictable encounters before, so this is no doubt one match-up to watch out for. Continuing our obligatory disclaimer for any PPV match-ups involving Sheamus from now till pre-WrestleMania, Triple H might just pop by to say hi.

Predicted Winner: John Morrison
As mentioned earlier, the result of this match-up will actually affect your viewing pleasure of the main event title match between reigning champion The Miz and current #1 contender Randy Orton. No doubt a fact that any informed wrestling fans will know would be the point that the title match at the Royal Rumble is indeed, more often than not, a throwaway title shot featuring up-and-coming midcarders in their first title opportunity, in order to free up more Superstars from the upper card to take part in the titular main event. Add to the fact that there is already an established history between both Morrison and Miz, and it's easy booking for the obligatory title match at the PPV. Though I bet you will have to suffer more "Jannetty"-pointing. Poor Marty Jannetty must be praying for the Irish High King now.


Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger (Triple Threat Ladder Match)

A main contender to the match of the show right alongside Morrison and Sheamus's match-up would be this one. Ziggler continues to impress while Kingston, in his relegated micard role, remain to be sufficiently entertainingly. But it is Swagger that has been turning heads these days with his in-ring performances.


Predicted Winner: Jack Swagger
Swagger has been consistently raising the bar with his match-ups in Smackdown, despite being severely underused. With the recent dumping of his mascot, the Swagger Soaring Eagle (unfortunately, the damned creature lives to kick off a feud with equally damned little bastard Hornswoggle in Smackdown), it is perhaps a great opportunity now to once again tap on Swagger to deliver. Ziggler, with his relatively long title reign, has benefited from it and can well afford to drop the title to fly on his own.


Divas Champion Natalya & Beth Phoenix vs. Team Lay-Cool (Divas Tag Team Tables Match)

The never-ending feud between LayCool and Natalya boldly move on to its fourth month with Beth Phoenix, fresh returned from her injury, joining in the fray.

Predicted Winners: Natalya & Beth Phoenix
Frankly, we all know where this heading: The only two Divas who can actually wrestle a match are actually on the same side. Do you smell a betrayal somewhere down the line? The question would be when that will happen. My guess is, it's not tonight.


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The Rundown

Depending on your threshold for gimmick matches... this one makes up entirely of it. Most of these matches should be at least serviceable but I just don't see anything that is essential viewing here.

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