Thunder And Lightning are back with our TLC 2012 predictions! The card has shaped up through a somewhat interesting build, and here we are to share our thoughts!
Pre Show Match: Divas Battle Royal to determine a no. 1 contender:
ML: There have been reports circulating all week that the WWE wants to revamp and improve their Divas division, which is about damn time. The Divas division has been suffering for far too long and the WWE needs to revamp it. Eve Torres’ reign as Divas Champion has been solid but extremely predictable and she has torn through almost everyone she’s faced. There has been no confirmation as to whether the winner of this Battle Royal will face Eve on the TLC PPV or not.
Prediction: Layla Confidence Points: 2
JT: Well, Kaitlyn has been chasing the title for months and it’s gotten her nowhere. Would it make sense for her to win this battle royal and get the next title shot? Absolutely. Instead, I’m going with Layla because apparently AJ Lee isn’t going to be in the match, despite being advertised. Confidence Points: 1
Tables Match for the No. 1 Contender’s Spot: Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara vs Team Rhodes Scholars
ML: The Raw Fatal Four-Way Elimination Tag Match was ridicously predictable as far as a winner was concerned. What wasn’t predictable was The Usos being made out to look dominate eliminating Prime Time Players and The Puerto Ricans. Naturally, I would expect PTP to somehow get involved in this match, but after seeing what happened on Raw, I’m not so sure. Cody Rhodes’ return to the ring was nice to see, he took a pretty bad concussion and shoulder injury out of WWE Main Event with him. In my opinion, there’s no tag team more over with the crowd than the Rhodes’ Scholars and Cody’s moustache just enhances that notion. Sin Cara and Mysterio are still slated for a match at WrestleMania from the last time I knew and there’s no matter way to start planting those seeds than right now.
Prediction: The Rhodes’ Scholars to become Number One Contenders
Confidence Points: 4
JT: This match has potential to be insanely exciting, but there’s just one TINY problem. Three out of the four guys involved are injury prone. Really? A tables match? I just don’t understand. My other problem with this match is that we already know who WWE is pushing to challenge for the gold, and my hint is that it’s not the guys in the masks. Rhodes and Sandow get the win. Confidence Points: 5
Intercontinental Championship: Wade Barrett vs Kofi Kingston(c)
ML: This match is one of the matches I’m looking forward to the most. Kingston has improved leaps and bounds since his 2009 campaign and has limited his botches drastically. Wade Barrett, in my opinion, would have already been either a World Heavyweight Champion or the WWE Champion, had he not go hurt earlier this year. The WWE has spent a lot of time building this rivalry up through the IC Title, which has been refreshing considering building a feud through the title helps bring back prestige to the title. The last few years the WWE has made the IC Title an afterthought and this renewed push in making the IC Title mean something is nice to see. I hope the WWE just continues with this campaign, as it definitely needs to strengthen it’s mid-card titles.
Prediction: Kofi Kingston to retain the WWE Intercontinental Title
Confidence Points: 4
JT: Wade and Kofi have had a couple good matches together already, and their rivalry has developed well with the involvement of Truth and Cesaro. I’m excited to see how this one goes, and I honestly believe WWE could go in either direction with this one. Kofi could continue his run and face new challenges, or Kofi could drop the title to Barrett and chase after it with a rematch culminating at the Royal Rumble. Despite the rumors, I’m predicting Barrett to become the new champion. Confidence Points: 2
United States Championship: Antonio Cesaro(c) vs R-Truth
ML: The WWE’s rebuilding of the mid-card titles is something that has needed to be done. The fact that this match, as is the case in the IC Title Match, was built through the title is something the WWE has lost sight of in the recent years. Cesaro becoming the US Champion has been something special. Essentially because the WWE has made the US Title important again by making him champion. He has defended the title regularly, and he has competed on the television shows on a regular basis as well. They have started slowly started pumping the presitge into this title by making R-Truth a top contender. Truth’s victory over Barrett on Raw was a good momentum boost for him heading into the PPV.
Prediction: Antonio Cesaro to retain the United States Championship
Confidence Points: 4
JT: Just like the IC Title match, this rivalry has been built with a solid foundation. I don’t expect WWE to take the title off Cesaro, nor do I expect Truth to hold a singles title whatsoever during the rest of his time in WWE. Cesaro’s dominant reign continues after this. Confidence Points: 5
Ladder Match for the MITB Briefcase: John Cena vs Dolph Ziggler
ML: I find these match being for the briefcase a complete joke. Ziggler has done nothing but work his tail off for the WWE and he has hardly been rewarded for his efforts. I know there’s still a chance that Cena could lose this match, but it’s extremely hard to be confident in a Ziggler victory here. Especially considering the fact that Cena hasn’t won on a PPV since the Money in the Bank PPV. The WWE has set this up perfectly for an opportunity for Cena to carry around a briefcase to cash in on the WWE Champion, not even the World Champion if it comes down to Cena winning. But I firmly believe that if Ziggler wins, the same stipulation may end up on his briefcase as well, which would allow him to cash in on the WWE Champion if he chooses too.
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler to win the Money in the Bank briefcase back
Confidence Points: 2
QuickNote: I’m expecting SHIELD to get involved in this match in some form.
JT: Cena and Ziggler SHOULD deliver the most entertaining match of the night. As long as this is the back and forth brawl that it should be, these guys should deliver. I hope WWE isn’t foolish enough to give Cena another MITB contract. If by some odd chance that Ziggler cashes in before this match and becomes World Heavyweight Champion, then I predict John Cena wins the title from Ziggler. If Ziggler doesn’t cash in, then retains the briefcase via interference(Cena doesn’t lose clean, even in gimmick matches). Confidence Points: 5
Chairs Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Sheamus vs Big Show(c)
ML: There really isn’t a more pointless match than a chairs match. They’re hardly ever exciting and they have a tendcy to become redundant. Big Show and Sheamus will beat the hell out of the each other with these chairs, which will be exciting for a total of two minutes. After that, they will have to re-produce the Match of the Night efforts they performed at Hell in a Cell. Especially since this is the third time they will have fought in three months on PPVs. They have great cohensiveness in the ring together and we all saw what they’re capable to executing at Hell in a Cell. Hopefully this match isn’t a dull moment on the card and is able to be come through for everyone.
Prediction: Big Show to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
Confidence Points: 3
JT: These two had a great match at Hell in a Cell, and they had a match that would’ve been better had it not been for a terrible finish. I’d guess that we’ll see a complete massacre involving steel, but I don’t think it will last more than fifteen minutes. Again, I know the rumors speculate that no new champions will be crowned at TLC, but I don’t see Big Show continuing this run with the title. I predict Sheamus to win the match and once again become the World Heavyweight Champion. Confidence Points: 3
TLC Match: Team Hell No and Ryback vs The Shield
ML: Can this match really be called a “tag” match? I’m assuming that this match will be under the tornado style match stipulation, especially considering it being a TLC Match. SHIELD’s debut at Survivor Series was actually a surprise and was smart booking on the WWE’s part. The beatings have been random lately, or so they want you to think. How SHIELD’s attacks on Randy Orton and John Cena will play out is yet to be determined and I haven’t put together a solid enough theory just yet. This match will be all out brawl, as is the normal for a tornado-style match. The question becomes here: How does the WWE book this match to end? It’s essentially the same problem they had at HiaC with Ryback and Punk. Do you book the match in favor of SHIELD, make one of the Team Hell No members take the pinfalll to keep Ryback’s momentum? Do you book Ryback to pin one of the SHIELD’s members and essentially eliminate the momentum of SHIELD? It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out but what I don’t expect is a CM Punk involvement or Paul Heyman being behind the SHIELD relevation.
Confidence Points: 2
QuickNote: I’m almost expecting one, maybe two more members of SHIELD to be revealed. There are two NXT guys that stick out in my mind and since both guys were expected to be called to the main roster early next year, having them join SHIELD would be a great way to break the ice on them until WWE can figure something else out for them. Conor O’Brien and Kassius Ohno.
JT: I love the storyline, and I love the fact that the Shield is on this pay per view. What I don’t love is two things. I was expecting a WWE Title match, and I don’t care if we already knew that Punk would retain. The other thing I don’t like is the lack of a Tag Team Championship match. I was expecting maybe Orton and Miz to team with Ryback instead of Team Hell No. Now we’re left speculating what Miz and Orton will do for the show, and Ryback just gets to be the guy who doesn’t get pinned in this one. Daniel Bryan or Kane will end up losing the match, and I think it’s more likely that Dbry will be the one to take the fall. The Shield wins in their debut match, and we’ll be entertained by their performance. Confidence Points: 5
ML: With Alberto Del Rio and Randy Orton both being left off the card, as well as The Miz, I can’t help but think that there might be an impromptu match or two on the card but with six confirmed matches on the card, they might be able to squeeze one in there, depending on the time alotted for each match. If all three of those guys are left off the card, I’m almost expecting Orton and The Miz to somehow get involved in the SHIELD’s match considering they have both suffered beatdowns by them. The card overall looks to have shaped pretty nicely, though. I feel the WWE did a good job coming out of Survivor Series with being able to build this card and shape it up into what it is on paper. I like the fact that they handled the CM Punk knee surgery quickly and efficiently by using the momentum of SHIELD and Ryback into creating that match. I’m also impressed that the WWE realized that Punk would be back from the knee surgery sooner than later and decided to not strip him of the title. Now, if the matches can produce, the WWE actually did a great job at building a good looking card and if the matches produce at the level they should be able to, then the WWE would have also been able to execute a good looking card. I take my hat off to you, WWE, for putting together a good card for TLC.
JT: I feel like taking Punk off the card just points out how little WWE cares about this show. Despite knowing that the show won’t gather as many buys as the Rumble, last year’s TLC was a GREAT show(I was hammered, but I remember it being very exciting), and this year’s had the potential(it sort of still does) to be just as exciting. Putting the length of Punk’s title reign aside, what better way would there have been to create doubt about Punk/Rock at the Rumble than to have Ryback overcome the Shield and the screwjobs to actually win the WWE Championship? You could’ve booked Punk to win the belt back on ANY of the three Raws before the Rumble. Yes, I realize it sounds like something that would’ve happened in the Attitude Era, but I genuinely believe people would’ve tuned in to see how it all played out. I still think TLC will be a good show(usually because it always delivers), but I don’t if it will be as good as it would’ve been if Punk and Ryback had actually been allowed to have an epic war.
Make sure you check out our Final Battle predictions, and my regular rundown for the weekend! Also, you can visit facebook.com/tlppwhof and check out the two newest inductees into Thunder And Lightning’s Pure Pro-Wrestling Hall Of Fame! Thanks for reading!
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