This Sunday WWE hosts its final PPV of the 2020 calendar year. TLC will punctuate the coming new year as TLC leads to January's Royal Rumble and the road to Wrestlemania! The PPV itself has several exciting matches that have been built up in an old school way that in my opinion has been missing over the last couple years. A point to which I'm happy to see changing.
One such bout is the Universal Championship Title match featuring current reigned Universal Champion Roman Reigns versus the ever credible and blistering challenger Kevin Owens. I loved the heated vibe coming off these two in recent weeks especially after the beat down by Owens onto Jey Uso. Kevin Owens threw down the gauntlet and challenged Reigns. Reigns accepted the TLC match. The old school vibe that I loved was Reigns not allowing Owens to get his hands on Roman until the much anticipated TLC PPV. Classic. Building tension without giving the match away prior to the PPV. Both men being no strangers to tables, ladders, and chairs. We'll see if Uso has Reigns using him as an insurance policy…
AJ Styles in much the same fashion will go toe to toe with the current reigning WWE Champion Drew McIntyre in another TLC match on the PPV. McIntyre will have his hands full as this match has quite a few variables lurking just out of view. Randy Orton? Sheamus? When you're Champion, there's a proverbial target on your back with eyes for your meal ticket - your championship title. Is Randy Orton moving on? After Sheamus lost to AJ Styles on Raw with a resounding echoing chair shot, will he have a chip on his shoulder? What about Mr. Money In The Bank? Will The Miz want to cash in on this bout? With all these existential circumstances, Drew McIntyre isn't simply walking into TLC to face only AJ Styles. He's going to war.
The Smackdown Women's Championship will indeed be on the line at TLC. Champion Sasha Banks will square off with the returning Carmella. This storyline interests me in the sense of heated smack talking that both ladies could easily believe essentially dropping some massive truth bombs. Carmella appeals to Sasha's undeniable gard work. While on the other hand verbally slapping Sasha in the face by claiming the hard work was necessary as Banks isn't a natural star like Carmella herself. Carmella who implies simply walked into the WWE Performance Center and was an overnight star. A star whose reign she claims is longer than all of Sasha's put together.
The reason I feel this works is based on realism. Whoever is writing this storyline understands the complexities that occur with the dynamic of female to female interactions. The artful skill with which women mentally wage war on each other in the subtle art of backhanded compliments, jealousy, and a smug smile. Well done! Carmella needs to be on the look out for that Bank Statement to ensure she didn't write a check she cannot cash…
The Women's Tag Team Championship Titles will be on the line and defended at TLC. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler are set to go up against Asuka and an opponent tagging with Asuka. Now there's been quite a bit of hate as well as speculation in regards to the Tag Team Titles. Lana has been working her way up as featured in WWE's Chronicle of Lana. Lana's impressive progress saw her to her win at Survivor Series. She went on to take more than her fair share of beatings until she finally beat Nia Jax on Raw. Many assumed with the long time friendship between Asuka and Lana that it would be Lana teaming with Asuka against the Tag Team Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. Especially after Lana's impressive win on Raw over Jax despite an extremely effective beatdown by Baszler & Jax thusly ending Lana's celebratory moment and subsequent trip to the hospital.
The interesting aspects to this Tag Team match are the other tag teams simultaneously fighting for a shot. Lana being taken out due to potential injuries suffered at the hands of the champs has left the spot open with the Raw Champion looking elsewhere. With the return of Mandy Rose coming to the aid of her tag partner Dana Brooke who was about the suffer the same fate as Lana, could have us seeing Mandy Rose and Asuka accompanied by Dana Brooke versus Baszler and Jax. Or with the recent push of Dana Brooke who recently won against the Retribution main roster debut of Mia Yim could have us see the reverse with Dana herself tagging with Asuka.
Another possibility could be the potential return rumors surfacing around Charlotte Flair. Flair bring no stranger to Asuka. Another point I'd like to add is seeing more put forth for The Riott Squad. Between Sexy Muscle Friends (hopefully namennot set in stone,) The Riott Squad, perhaps Bianca Belair with Naomi? Many options. I'm really liking the options for the Women's Tag Team Division. We'll have to wait and see…
Another match proving some throwback vibes is The Fiend Bray Wyatt versus Randy Orton. I wouldn't count Orton out of interfering even when he should be otherwise engaged elsewhere. It's a strategy that's proved fortuitous in the past. This feud has been evolving on T.V for several weeks now. The tactic chosen is Orton exploiting Alexa Bliss. Almost as if letting the threat of hurting Bliss hang in the silence bouncing off the walls of The Fiend's brain. Thusly having Orton pretty much living in the Fiend's mind rent free. Orton seems to be aiming to defeat The Fiend before the two even set foot at TLC. Not an entirely ineffective strategy. We'll have to see how it turns out as The Fiend has a grudge against Orton and Orton is fresh off of losing the WWE Championship back to Drew McIntyre…
Raw Tag Team action is also set to take place at TLC as The New Day prepares to once again face their current rivals The Hurt Business. Perhaps to permanently hurt the Hurt Business…? Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods have been battling Shelton Benjamin and Cedrix Alexander for some time recently. Both teams amassing wins against each other. However, some of the means to thise ends used by The Hurt Business haven't sat well with The New Day. Not at all. Both teams are prepared for each other as they head into TLC with a vast amount of familiarity with each other. Numerous years of in ring experience. A hunger for success to stay at the top. I wouldn't be surprised if The New Day returned the favor and utilize some similar untoward tactics on Benjamin and Alexander they used on The New Day. Just desserts? Or, a new tag team at the top…?
As we head into the last WWE PPV of the year just ahead on the road to Wrestlemania, there's lots to look out for. The Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Street Profits are set to take on the team of Dolph Zighler and Robert Roode. United States Champion Bobby Lashley will take on Matt Riddle. Riddle looking to get even with Lashley. Riddle will need to even the odds as The Hurt Business will certainly be around along with MVP. Although there has been tension building within the group that could drastically affect the outcome of both their match with The New Day and U.S Champion Lashley's match against Matt Riddle. Both have been evolving storylines on WWE programming.
Lastly another bout to look out for is without a doubt, Daniel Bryan and Jey Uso. Jey Uso seemingly becoming a pawn of Roman Reigns. Uso suffering a heated beatdown at the hands of Kevin Owens will certainly have left a bad taste in his mouth. I'm speculating that Daniel Bryan is being built up to be the next big rival for Roman Reigns. In order to accomplish this, Bryan will need to sever the voice in USO's head i.e Roman Reigns and then add another win against Jey Uso to his record to put him in a better position to become number one contender. Again I wonder if a crossover will happen with this too from Reigns versus Owens and Uso versus Bryan.
WWE TLC is set to begin streaming live on the WWE Network at 7pm ET. The PPV will begin after a one hour preshow leading up to the main card kicking off the last PPV of the year. Be sure to tweet out your predictions and check out the categories for the Slammy Awards next week…
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