I know using weapons and gimmick matches for no reason is considered dirty by some, but if the matches in TLC were just straight up wrestling matches… I can’t say I’d be too excited for this Pay Per View. It’s also a hard show for me to predict, because a lot of the matches were born from Survivor Series fallout rather than through feuds or storylines of their own. For instance, why is Rowan facing Big Show in a Stairs Match when Ryback is facing Kane in a Chairs Match? Those elements could be all flipped around and it wouldn’t make a difference. Maybe I’m expecting too much, but after NXT Takeover REvolution, I know the WWE can do better. Enough with the chit chat, let’s dive in to the predictions!
Eric Rowan vs. The Big Show in a Stairway to Nothin’ Match
One of my pet peeves in wrestling is when a wrestler can’t act out his gimmick. If someone is billed as a dancer they better be able to dance, and if Tom Phillips is going to tell me that Rowan is a super genius that can play the guitar, Eric better start strummin’ his way to the ring while reciting pi to a hundred digits or so. Anyway, I think Rowan will be winning in order to help start his singles career strong. Big Show’s role as of late is plugging up the holes in the card wherever they need him, and right now he needs to make Rowan look good.
Tag Team Overflow Match: A New Day vs. Gold and Stardust
Even though there are rumors that Vince has already soured on A (The?) New Day, I’m still predicting that they will win. I don’t think that Xavier, Kofi, and Big E.’s stable has a lot going for it right now, but they deserve at least one big victory before they’re completely given up on.
Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt in a Tables, Ladders, (and in memory of) Chairs match
Aren’t TLC matches supposed to have something hanging over the ladder? Dean and Bray’s match at Survivor Series ended up being a big tease for this show, so I’m glad to finally see it pay off. It’s usually hard to predict Wyatt’s matches because he doesn’t seem to care about winning and wants people to hit him with chairs, but this time Ambrose has gotten under his skin. I actually really like that we’re seeing this aggressive side of Wyatt now that his chair’s broken. While I hope Ambrose pulls out the victory, I officially predict that Wyatt will win in order to keep him looking strong for Wrestlemania season.
Ryback vs. Kane in a Chairs Match
Ryback will win. What else is there to say?
Because It Was So Good The First Time? Rusev vs. Jack Swagger
So I guess Rusev already made his way through the whole midcard now and is finally back around to Jack Swagger. Swagger couldn’t beat him the first time and I don’t think Zeb’s brokety leg is going to make him do any better this time. Rusev for the win.
Luke Harper vs. Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship in a Ladder Match
As much as I enjoyed Dolph’s win at Survivor Series, if he was able to beat Harper, Rollins, and Kane in a row then he should have no problem wiping out Harper now. While my gut tells me not to bet money on Ziggler winning, I’m still predicting Dolph will walk away with the gold.
Nikki Bella vs. AJ Lee in a Loser Walks CM Punk to the Octagon Match
I feel confident in predicting that Nikki will win. Everyone’s saying that AJ’s going to leave soon, and I’m inclined to believe it. I say this every time I do predictions, but, unlike most of the internet, I don’t actively hate the Bellas. Well, I DO hate that Brie and Nikki are suddenly friends again after that major feud that they had. I think that Nikki will be a fine heel Divas champ for whoever is the next person to face her though.
No Gimmicks Needed for the Tag Team Titles: The Miz and Damien Mizdow vs. The Usos
I’m probably the only person on the planet that enjoys the drama of Miz trying to get into the Usos’ heads by talking with Naomi. I don’t know, it’s just nice to have some additional storyline between these teams beyond them just wanting the titles. I predict Miz and Mizdow will win and go on to feud with A New Day. Maybe there will be some interference with Naomi? Maybe not.
John Cena vs. Seth Rollins in a Tables Match
Out of all the Pay Per Views to not feature the World Title being defended, I feel it the most in this one. Is this match the main event? Are any of the feuds at this show strong enough to be a main event? I don’t feel like this one is, even with the stipulation about Cena losing his “number one contender” status. I predict that Cena will win, of course. I liked Seth’s promo from Smackdown about wanting to beat Cena to prove he’s the future, but at the same time I wish he was going to get something more out of it if he wins.
So there’s Tables, Ladders, Chairs … and Stairs in a nutshell. It’s a pretty loaded show with nine matches announced, although there will undoubtedly be at least one on the preshow. Maybe this will cut down on the amount of filler material and impromptu matches, like anything involving Adam Rose’s Bunny. Should we consider ourselves lucky that the WWE didn’t parody that Furry Convention poisoning with the Exotic Express and The Bunny? Yes, I think so.
If Survivor Series wasn’t one of the WWE’s original Pay Per Views I wonder if it would still be around today or if it would have gone the way of No Mercy and Taboo Tuesday. I typically enjoy Survivor Series matches if the teams make sense and they are fighting for something that matters, which this year’s PPV kind of manages to achieve. Remember Survivor Series 2006 when the Spirit Squad took on a team of WWE Legends? I’ll be damned if I remember whether it was a good match or not, but I could at least understand and appreciate why a bunch of legends would team up to fight a bunch of annoying new wrestlers. While the traditional Survivor Series match this year with Team Authority vs. Team Cena isn’t perfect, WWE has invested a lot in making us think the outcome will matter, and I can appreciate that.
I’m a little more excited for this show than normal because as a St. Louisian I will be attending the event LIVE. The WWE comes here about once a year or so, and when they’re showing a PPV it’s hard to pass up. Of course the tickets for the show were bought long before the card was known or announced, so I had no idea if the WWE Champ would be defending or anything like that. I’d probably go anyway though just for the fun of attending a live show. On with the predictions!
Team Heel Divas vs. Team Face Divas, featuring Alicia Fox, Emma, Naomi, and Natalya vs. Paige, Cameron, Layla, and Summer Rae.
Remember that Spirit Squad match I referenced as the pinnacle of Survivor Series? This does not live up to it. Considering how much work the WWE has put in to the Divas’ division in the last year or two, this match feels like a step backwards towards the Divas Search days. I’m not saying all these ladies are terrible, but it doesn’t really matter who wins or loses. I’m going with the faces winning to keep the crowd happy.
Tag Team Four Way with The Usos, Los Matadores, Miz and Mizdow, and Gold and Stardust.
It’s nice to have a tag division. Sure, one of them has a bull mascot, but still. I’m predicting that Gold and Stardust will walk away with the belts because the Usos just lost them, Los Matadores aren’t serious contenders, and Miz/ Mizdow is more like a singles act with a really active manager. I’m glad that we’re getting this match though. As fun as the Usos have been to watch, I feel like I’m seeing the same work from them match in and match out, so hopefully the two extra teams will bring something new to the table.
Bray Wyatt’s Home for Wayward Ambroses Match
This is easily my most anticipated match on the show. While I was lukewarm on Wyatt’s hologram that started this feud, I’ve actually really enjoyed the twist of Bray coming after Dean because he wants to help him like he helped Rowan and Harper. Unlike when Bray tried recruiting Daniel Bryan way back at the start of this year “just because” (that may not be an actual quote), I find it believable that Bray would see Dean as a potential new cult member. I predict that Bray will squeak out a win in some way that lets Dean come back and beat him at the next PPV.
AJ Lee vs. Nikki Bella, where we hopefully hear the word “CinderBella” for the last time.
I know I’ve differentiated myself from the rest of the internet by not actively hating the Bella Twins, but I still feel a little taboo in saying that I’d be okay with Nikki winning the title. AJ’s held it for so long without too many real threats other than Paige, so having a fresh, legitimately hateable person hold it makes sense to me. I predict that Nikki will win, instantly spawning hundreds of articles about how AJ is leaving WWE to be with Punk.
Team Cena vs. Team Authority
Like a drawing by a two year old, I can appreciate the effort that went into this match, but at the same time I know it could be so much better. If the match is so important to Triple H, why isn’t he wrestling on his team? He beat Brock Lesnar not THAT long ago, you mean to tell me he can’t put on some trunks in order to save his job? Also the teams fall into the random heels versus random faces they’ve been feuding with rut. I predict that Rowan will flake out on Team Cena and Orton will rush in for the save, winning the match for Team Cena.
Wow, so I guess that’s it. Only 5 matches on the Free Pay Per View, given away to anyone with an internet connection who can sign up for the Network. I imagine we’ll get some Rose vs. Bunny action, maybe a debut of “A New Day”, possibly even something with Tyson Kidd. I’m not sure that this will be the best way to hook potential new subscribers. Hopefully at the end of the show we’ll get some new storyline coming out of the winner of Team Cena vs. Team Authority, like the announcement of the new authority figure or maybe even… a John Cena heel turn? I know, it’s hopeless, but this would be a GREAT time for him to turn heel, and give the WWE something exciting and different to get people’s attention.
Another month, another pay per special event. At one point in time, the Hell in a Cell match was used as a way to blow off feuds. Now matches are forced into it as a way to sell PPV buys. Actually, it makes perfect sense for Rollins vs. Ambrose and WOULD make perfect sense for Cena vs. Lesnar after the cop out ending to Night of Champions, but y’know, the WWE Champion can only be expected to work so many dates. Let’s dive in!
Brothers vs. Brothers: Gold and Stardust vs. The Usos
Since the Rhodeseses JUST won the tag titles I don’t think they’re losing them now. I haven’t really bought in fully to the Dust Bros., and while I appreciate that the tag division now has a) tag teams that b) actually have team names and dress alike, this feud hasn’t really grabbed my interest. Gold and Stardust for the win.
Sister vs. Sister: Brie vs. Nikki
I’m actually really torn on this one. While I think it would be strange to see Brie (a face) bossing around Nikki (a heel) for a month, Brie hasn’t really been the classic white-meat babyface. For one thing, she can barely have a conversation without calling someone a “bitch”. I think it’s going to be a better storyline to have Nikki bossing around Brie, with Brie rebelling wherever she can, so I’ll pick Nikki to win.
Singles Title Defense 1: Sheamus vs. Miz
While I haven’t really gotten that into the whole Mizdow act, I know it’s catching on with a lot of other fans, leading me to believe Miz will win. I feel like Sheamus has NO HEAT right now and needs something else to boost his career. Maybe a heel turn? Yes, I think a heel turn.
Singles Title Defense 2: Ziggler vs. Cesaro in a Two out of Three Falls match
This is one of the few matches I’m really looking forward to on the show. I’m a little worried that it will be rushed and we’ll wind up seeing the champ getting pinned within the first five minutes, but I imagine it’ll be entertaining nonetheless. It’s tough to predict a winner, but I guess I’ll go with Ziggles to retain.
The Bulgarian Bulldozer vs. That Oversized Flag Yanker
I’ve no doubt that Rusev will dominate Big Show and continue on his path to bigger and better things (Cena). I imagine that Mark Henry might use this as an opportunity to turn heel, and I can’t really blame him after Show’s talk to him about how he’s not big enough to shoulder the American spirit. I mean, he literally said that in front of hundreds of people! I know I’d be pissed if someone talked down to me like that.
Alicia Fox, featuring AJ vs. Paige for the Diva’s Title
Paige is joining Total Deevs now, so no titles for her! I know Steph denied that the Total Divas cast members were banned from winning the title in a recent interview, but the reasoning behind the rule (Vince doesn’t want viewers to be confused about the time gap between the current shows and when Total Divas airs) sounds WWE crazy enough to be true. I’m also predicting AJ to win because I’m a little tired of this feud and ready for her to move on to other things (like Charlotte Flair).
Hell in a Cell: Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
First off I want to say that I don’t think this match will be the main event. While I personally look forward to this match way more than the other cell match, and it has had much better buildup (aside from Abrose tearing apart manniquins), Cena and Orton are FAR bigger names and are fighting for number one contendership- the closest this pay per view is getting to the title. That being said, this feud actually deserves the cell, and I can’t wait to see what Rollins and Ambrose come up with. I think Ambrose will win the match, leading to more dissension in the Authority.
Hell in a Cell: John Cena vs. Randy Orton
I’m going out on a limb and suggesting that Orton will win. I want Orton to win. My prediction is based on how many times Cena has faced Lesnar recently, and while there was never a definitive end to their Night of Champions match, I think it’s time for someone else to face The Beast.
So that’s Hell in a Cell. You’d think the other singles titles would’ve raised in importance at this show given that the WWE title won’t even be there, but based off the card it doesn’t look like it. To be honest, I was fairly disappointed with Night of Champions, ESPECIALLY the ending, so I’m not super excited for this show. I hope to be proven wrong, but WWE has to up their game to keep this Network subscriber subscribin’.
…Well I’ll probably keep subscribing no matter what, but I still hope this show’s half way decent.
I’m back from break! Specifically, I’m back from Japan! The missus and I had been saving up to visit the Land of the Rising Sun for a long time now (five years to be exact), and last week we finally got to make the trip. We actually travelled with a tour group, Japan Deluxe Tour, and it was really awesome. We started off in Osaka, then went to Kyoto, Nara, Iga, a bunch of other places I can’t pronounce, and, of course, Tokyo. We mostly went because of our love of manga, anime, and Japanese video games, but were able to see a lot of different sides of the country and the Japanese culture. Highlights included going to the Iga Ninja museum, going to the Ghibli Museum (a museum that’s all about Studio Ghibli films), visiting a Maid Cafe and going to the crazy electronic shops and arcades in Akihabara, including playing a game that involved flipping a table in order to win.
As big as wrestling is in Japan, I didn’t see much there, either in terms of actual wrestling or any merchandise. I did ask our tour guide about it though and she confirmed for me that professional wrestling was loved by many Japanese people of all ages. When I asked her if she watched, she said that she was only really into it when one extremely popular, extremely good looking wrestler was active. An American who looked fierce when he was in the ring, but pretty when he was out of it. “Who was it?!” I asked. “The Rock? Ric Flair? …Marc Mero?”
“No,” she answered. “Bob Sapp.” Our driver later confirmed that Bob Sapp was the man when it came to wrestling. I was actually a little disappointed that I never saw any TNA wrestlers there, especially since I was flying out the day after their Bound for Glory PPV. I never saw any advertisements for it either, but I read that it was a well attended show, so maybe they just don’t promote in places I went to.
Anyway, I’m glad people enjoyed the reprinted comics from years past! Thanks for the positive comments on all of them. I figured that would be more entertaining than just posting a graphic of “See ya in two weeks!” so I’m glad it paid off.
So after months of me bragging over and over again about being pretty darn good at predicting WWE Pay Per Special Events, I really took it on the chin with Summerslam. That being said, it was one of the more enjoyable PPV’s I’ve seen in a LONG time. However, I’ve got a feeling that NOC will be a return to safe predictable booking, what with it being an in-between show and all. I’m sure there will be some matches worth seeing, but my hype for this show is built more around having an excuse to have pizza and beer rather than wrestling. On to the predictions!
In What Will Probably be the Pre Show: Sheamus vs. Cesaro for the US Title.
To be honest, I actually had to look up who the US champion is before writing about this match. I actually wonder whether or not this match would even be on the show if it wasn’t “Night of Champions” where every title must be defended. That being said, I’m sure Sheamus will retain his title in a short, but decent match.
The Usos vs. Dusty’s Creepy Kids for the Tag Titles.
I could really go either way on this one, so I’ll pick the Usos because I still think they’ll hold onto the belts until The Ascension debuts and beats them (which could come at any time now that they dropped the NXT titles to the Lucha Dragons). As far as the Dust Busters go, I appreciate the fact that they are a tag team that looks and acts similarly (as in not two guys thrown together) but at the same time I’m just getting annoyed by it. Stardust is really getting on my nerves and I feel like they’re always a little too close to making out.
Dolph Ziggler (as played by R-Truth) vs. The Miz (as played by Damien Sandow) for the IC Title.
The feud between these two wresters has been pretty good so far, and while I feel like they’ve gone a bit to far by adding R-Truth as Ziggler’s permanent stunt double, it doesn’t bother me that much. As I said with Summerslam, I’ve really enjoyed Miz’s return to being a heel lately, and he plays off of Ziggler well. I’m predicting Ziggler will win as a result of some failed Sandow interference, leading to some confrontation between him and Miz.
Chris Jericho’s Fozzy Schedule vs. his WWE schedule (with Randy Orton!)
One of my favorite things about wrestling is seeing how characters develop, new guys transform into stars, and storylines change over time. With a match like this though, I don’t really feel like either wrestler is going to get anything out of it and that makes it hard for me to care about it all that much. I’m sure it will still be a solid match and all, with Orton beating Jericho with a violent finish that will leave him out for the length of a Fozzy tour, but I doubt it will be anything memorable.
The Bellas Invade The Divas Title Scene, featuring AJ and Paige
In the safest bet of the night I’m predicting that Nikki Bella will win the title so she can feud with Brie over it. I don’t hate the Bellas as much as most, so I’m not all up in arms about this change. And actually, given the couple of run ins AJ’s had with Stephanie over the last few months, I’m hoping that we’ll see those two have a match sooner or later.
Rusev vs. ‘Murica, part 42
I’m glad that they’re putting so much effort into this feud, but I think we all know that Rusev’s going to win in the end. I kind of feel like Henry’s just the latest warm body for Rusev to topple in his quest to face Cena, so no amount of flag waiving can really get me behind Mark for this one.
Roman Reigns vs. his Hernia (with Seth Rollins)
While it’s a shame that Reigns is injured and won’t be able to compete, we did just see him beat Rollins definitively last Monday, so it’s not like we really missed out on this match. Given that they just had this match on Raw I didn’t think we’d see a clean ending, so now I think this time will probably be used to bring Ambrose back to resume his feud with Seth.
Brock Lesnar vs. his Suplex Dummy
While I don’t think Cena will suffer as great of a beat down as he did at Summerslam, he’ll definitely still lose this match. Cena’s talked a lot in the last month about how he’ll come back and beat Lesnar, but I’m still not exactly sure why that is. Because he’ll try harder? As in he wasn’t trying hard already? He says he has to be John Cena for all the kids out there who believe in him, which makes me believe (Bo-lieve?) that he’ll follow up with a feud with Lana, who will refer to him as a failed American hero. Brock will go out to his secret hideout in a cornfield until the Royal Rumble.
So there you have it. Other than Cena vs. Lesnar, this card looks like it would be right at home on any episode of Raw, which tells you how I feel about it. I’m sure a segment or two featuring the Bunny and his handler, Adam Rose, will sneak in there and maybe we’ll get Bo vs. Swagger. And how’s Wyatt not on this show? Anyway, it’s still worth the $9.99 per month to me (y’know, alongside all of the other content they have that’s much, much better, like NXT and Nitro).