WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs Preview

Posted by Grey Sunday, December 18, 2011

The final WWE Pay-Per-View (PPV) event of the year will be taking place tonight at the 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. Let The Daily Zombies prepare you for the third edition of TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs.

Fresh off the disastrous Slammy Awards from last Monday's Raw, TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, incidentally the final WWE Pay-Per-View (PPV) event of the year will be taking place tonight at the 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Maryland.

While last month's Survivor Series were mildly disappointing given the strong tease of a much-anticipated heel turn by John Cena, we were greatly excited by The Rock's in-ring form. The Great One definitely still has it. Coupled that with a feel-good moment when CM Punk defeated Alberto Del Rio for the WWE Championship and we have a quite a show that lived up to its reputation among one of the "Big Four" events of WWE (along with WrestleMania, Royal Rumble and SummerSlam).

With the third edition of TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs happening tonight, we are witnessing something of a striking oddity in the booking here: John Cena, well-known for not missing any WWE shows except in the face of a genuine injury, is not booked in the show. While not being advertise in a match does not necessarily meant that he will not be showing up tonight, Cena has took to his Twitter account to address his absence.

Not that I have a problem with that fact, but it is intriguing to note that WWE seem to be conducting a little "social experiment" of their own with tonight's show given how Punk's "Best of the World" t-shirt has outsold Cena's usual "Fruity Pebble" gears. Is WWE trying out Punk's appeal in garnering PPV buy-rates by totally leaving Cena out of the equation?

Back to the show on hand. A well-stacked undercard is on hand with Intercontinental champion Cody Rhodes putting his title on the line against the former 5-times, 5-times, 5-times, 5-times, 5-times WCW Champion, Booker T, who is returning to the ring for this one. Internet sensation (and self-proclaimed champion) Zack Ryder will finally get another shot at Dolph Ziggler's United States title.

In keeping with the annual TLC event's tradition, four matches befitting the theme of the gimmick will be in place: Continuing where their feud left off, SmackDown's number-one guy, Randy Orton takes on Wade Barrett, who is currently on a roll with his "Barrett Barrage", in a Tables Match. Triple H and his former best friend Kevin Nash will clash in an unlikely Sledgehammer Ladder Match. In a likely last chapter to their surprisingly enduring feud, the World's Strongest Man, Mark Henry, will once again put his World Heavyweight Championship on the line against Big Show in a Chairs Match. The reigning WWE Champion, CM Punk takes on incredible odds by squaring off with both The Miz and Alberto Del Rio in a Triple Threat TLC Match.

For those keeping the score, we scored a mediocre four out of the announced six-match card on Survivor Series. With WWE kicking off the Road to WrestleMania come next PPV, will tonight's event be set in holding patterns before Royal Rumble? We shall see. On with the show.

WWE Championship Triple Threat TLC Match

The current reigning WWE Champion CM Punk will be taking on Alberto Del Rio and The Miz in the main event: A Triple Threat Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match for the WWE Title.

Ad mentioned earlier, Punk won the title from Del Rio during last month's Survivor Series in one of the best encounters both Superstars ever had. With The Miz in the mix, coupled with the "extreme" stipulation, this match is easily in the running for best match of the evening.

Predicted Winner: CM Punk
While we are not exactly certain the duration of Punk as the WWE Champion given Cena's commitment in putting the WWE Championship on the line against The Rock at WrestleMania XXVIII, we are all for a long title run for the Second City Saint. And tonight is definitely not a night for a major title change.

Being both loudmouths armed with pipe-bombs of their own, Punk and The Miz have potential chemistry working together in a feud and is likely to continue their rivalry over the title.

World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry vs. Big Show (Chairs Match)

Despite being the third edition of TLC, I just feel that I would never get use to the concept of a "Chairs Match". A match where only chairs are legal? How lame could that get? I have been grumbling about this for the past two years so let's cut this out right now.

That said, The World's Strongest Man, Mark Henry and The Biggest Athlete in The World does have some legitimate claim to the stipulation, with the chair being a key component in their feud. We saw Big Show delivering a cool flying elbow last month, and the imploding of the ring the month before when these two clash. Being likely the final encounter between the two in this extended series of match-ups, expect this one to be one of the best big man matches around.

Predicted Winner: Mark Henry
The Hall of Pain has to continue until WrestleMania XXVIII. Kane made a good choice picking up on Cena instead of Henry. The spectacular of the eventual defeat of the monster champion has to happen at the Grandest Stage of them all.

Triple H vs. Kevin Nash (Sledgehammer Ladder Match)

A ladder match for both veterans with known knee problems? Is WWE trying to deliver us with the slowest ladder match in pro-wrestling history?

While Triple H is still capable to pulling off decent-to-great matches, we all knew deep down how a Kevin Nash match will go down. Will a train-wreck waiting to happen turned out to be a lesson in dishing out the unexpected? Perhaps we can see some of the most innovative way to retrieve the MacGuffin (in this case, a hammer) without actually climbing the ladder. Apart from that, there's one more thing that puzzles us: How does this match actually end? Retrieving the sledgehammer does not mean victory unlike the normal ladder matches. The match still go by the usual pinfall or submission rule. If one can take the time to retrieve the sledgehammer while the other is rendered out of action long enough for that to be achieved, why not just pin the opponent without retrieving the sledgehammer in the first place? Do you smell a screw-job somewhere?

Predicted Winner: Kevin Nash
The simple truth: If Triple H wins, the feud is over. All the texting, brotherly rivalry will amount to nothing. While an anticlimax in a feud does occur from time to time more often than we wish to remember, we got a feeling this ain't it. Yet.

Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett (Tables Match)

The feud between Wade Barrett and Randy Orton have been surprisingly thoughtful, thus making Barrett's "Barrett Barrage" rather effective. Perhaps it is due to us being desensitized to WWE's inept booking, but with a strong set-up and the refreshing scenario of Orton in peril, this Tables Match is one that I would be watching out for.

Predicted Winners: Randy Orton
While we definitely agree that Barrett needs this victory more so than Orton, the Viper has been outplayed at every move for the past few weeks (even losing at the Survivor Series, something unprecedented for the Apex Predator) that we are getting the vibe of a reverse of fortune for him here. Either way, the unique thing about a TLC, Tables, Chairs, or Ladder Match is that one is never truly defeated in them except for the abysmal stipulation for Triple H and Nash's bout) having not submitted or pinned by anybody. The Barrett Barrage can continue even stronger after the rub from Orton.

United States Champion Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder

Ok, here's where we are going to insert an additional prediction: Cena, being the ever-lovable, hulking cheerleader that he is, will turn up to be at Ryder's side to mitigate Vickie Guerrero's cheating ways. And even get some ass-whooping by the returning Big Red Machine along the way.

As for the actual match-up between Ryder and Ziggler, the match should be something to watch out for given Ziggler's recent consistency of dishing out great matches.

Predicted Winner: Zack Ryder
The reign of Perfection is over. Long live the reign of Perfection. With Ziggler now poised for the main event limelight, it is only right for him to drop the lesser title to the up-and-coming Ryder, both to please the rabid fans of Ryder and to also award Ryder for his long-standing service as well.

Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes vs. Booker T

Interestingly, both reigning midcard champions have been great of late, cementing their inevitable push to the uppercard. Here, we have Cody Rhodes who continue to shine in both his in-ring ability and on the mic. On the other hand, Booker T is someone who has the reputation and capability to further launch Rhodes's career.

Match quality-wise, this should be just fine. But do remember that when Booker is in
the ring, that means he can't be at the announcer table. That's what I am talking about.

Predicted Winner: Cody Rhodes
Rhodes may be not as near to the main event limelight as Ziggler but rubbing shoulder to a veteran like Booker will definitely be a plus for the Superstar. Losing to the former 5-times, 5-times, 5-times, 5-times, 5-times WCW Champion would however be unlikely though.


The Rundown

We were actually quite happy to learn that CM Punk was honored the Superstar of the Year at the Slammys. And now we have a PPV that is setting directly on Punk's shoulder. With the TLC main event, the Tables Match, and because we are interested to witness the train-wreck (as well as the storyline fallout) of Triple H vs. Kevin Nash, we will checking out this one.


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