Thursday, December 15, 2011

WWE TLC Preview

Hey, there is a WWE PPV this Sunday! And if you watched the end of RAW this week, you wouldn't even know there is one. RAW ended this week with the return of Masked Kane choke-slamming John Cena. I'm all for the return of Kane with the mask, but they couldn't have waited to do that one more week? If I were the WWE, I would have been more concerned with selling my PPV on Sunday then Kane's return. At this point, I don't see how TLC does good at all in the PPV buy rate department. The build that the WWE did do on RAW this past Monday was ok, but it would have been served better had it been the main point of the show. The Slammys distracted from the TLC build. It is a problem with having a 3 hour RAW before a PPV.

One thing the WWE is doing with this PPV is taking a major risk leaving John Cena off the card. Now don't get me wrong, Cena will be on the PPV. But not announcing him being on it in some capacity is a bit of a risk. The rumor is that he will be the referee of the Dolph Ziggler/Zack Ryder match, with some stipulation making him eligible for the WWE Title match later in the night. Kudos to the WWE for taking this risk, but hopefully it doesn't back fire. RAW's ratings have been down lately with less Cena, so we may be seeing more of him soon.

The build for this PPV has been lackluster. I'm guessing the WWE is hoping that the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs gimmick sells the PPV itself. I don't think that is going to happen though. The best build, in my opinion, has been the Wade Barrett/Randy Orton match. Barrett has looked like he belongs in the ring with Orton and I'm really hoping Barrett goes over again here. It seems like the WWE is finally behind a serious Barrett push, which is great.

On to the preview!

Cody Rhodes vs Booker T

If they aren't going to put Cody Rhodes in the World Title Picture or have him feud with Randy Orton, this may be the next best thing for Rhodes to do: Give him a veteran presence to take on, and presumably go over. Booker T had been calling out Cody Rhodes on commentary for a few weeks. Cody finally had enough of it, and got in Booker's face about it. Finally on the December 9th Smackdown, Rhodes jumped Booker T as he was headed out to the Arena. Booker got retribution later in the night when he attacked Rhodes during his match.

As I said, this may be the best thing for Rhodes to do right now. Booker T is still in shape and can probably still go in the ring. Rhodes has been constantly improving in the ring so this should be a good match. The match isn't for the Intercontinental Title, which worries me that Booker might go over. But if the WWE is smart, they have Rhodes go over here, even if it is by heel tactics. Rhodes deserves the win if they are serious about pushing him as a future World Title contender.

WINNER: Cody Rhodes

United States Championship: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs Zack Ryder

And Internet fans rejoiced everywhere. After weeks of pleading, Zack Ryder finally got his United States Title shot against Dolph Ziggler. RAW GM John Laurinaitis made Ryder jump through hoops to get this match. Finally, with the help of John Cena, Ryder beat Mark Henry to earn the match. Am I a fan of that happening? No. Ryder should never go over Mark Henry under any circumstances. But at least the match is finally happening. It should have happened at Survivor Series in MSG, but for some reason the WWE decided to put John Morrison in that spot. Ryder is a hit on the Internet, but the problem is, at least to me, is that the pops for him aren't as big in non-big cities. So how big of a pop will he get in Baltimore?

Dolph Ziggler, meanwhile, has been one of the best starts on RAW in recent months. He has pulled double duty on two straight PPVs, which is impressive. Ziggler has also been improving on the mic. I would love to see Ziggler get a WWE Title feud with C.M. Punk heading into the Royal Rumble. I always say that the Rumble is the perfect opportunity to take chances like that since the Rumble match sells itself. Ziggler has to lose the United States Title first. Well, I guess he doesn't. But Ziggler has done almost as much as he possibly could with the Title. I think it is time for a change, so Ryder goes over here.

WINNER: Zack Ryder

Sledgehammer Ladder Match: Triple H vs Kevin Nash

Kevin Nash in a Ladder match. Smell the PPV buys. That, at least to me, may be the most interesting aspect to this match. Kevin Nash isn't the most athletic guy around these days. He has often had the nickname "Big Lazy" attached to him. Nash also has bad knees. How does the WWE expect him to climb a ladder? Maybe Nash can pay someone to climb the ladder for him?

I think the WWE has dropped the ball in promoting this match. It shouldn't have been a featured match, but they could have done better, especially this past Monday on RAW. Triple H's promo wasn't very good. And then Nash was nowhere to be found. Nash took out HHH 6 weeks ago with a sledgehammer attack that "cracked" one of HHH's vertebrae. Nash has been trying to make a point the last few weeks that he deserved a job back in January, but HHH wouldn't allow it. Nash took out poor Santino for a couple weeks. But then, on the go home show, Nash isn't on? Why not? Why should I care that Nash didn't get a job from HHH when he doesn't feel it necessary to show up on the last show before the PPV? This whole Triple H as COO thing has been terrible and this terribly built match just adds to it.

I don't know the stipulations of this match either. Does the first man who grabs the Sledgehammer win? Is it still a match that ends via pinfall? My guess is that Nash gets the sledgehammer, but HHH ducks the sledgehammer shot, ends up using the hammer on Nash, then hits a Pedigree for the win.

WINNER: Triple H

Tables Match: Randy Orton vs Wade Barrett

As I said in my intro, this is the match I'm most looking forward too on this PPV. Wade Barrett is finally getting the singles push that he deserves. The Barrett Barrage as he is calling it. It looks like the WWE finally sees the potential Barrett has. He showed it when he was the leader of Nexus, and now he is showing it on Smackdown. Barrett defeated Randy Orton about a month ago before Survivor Series. Then at Survivor Series, Wade Barrett's team defeated Randy Orton's team with Barrett and Cody Rhodes being the survivors. Orton won the Beat the Clock Challenge and a Tables Match was agreed upon between the two men. Barrett and Orton have been constantly trying to one up each other on RAW and Smackdown.

Barrett's push is something nice to see. It is different than the norm we have seen in the WWE in recent years. As long as the WWE just doesn't decide to randomly pull the plug on it, which they have been know to do in year's past. But I don't think the WWE will do that with Barrett, and I think he might be the early favorite to win the Royal Rumble. Meanwhile, Randy Orton has been alright to watch in recent weeks. He has put on some good matches with Barrett, Ziggler, and Cody Rhodes. Orton is very watchable when he isn't being forced down our throats as World Champion or World Title contender. Orton also has been putting guys over recently which is nice to see.

This match is a bit of a toss-up. At one end, you don't want Barrett to lose and have his push take a bit of a u-turn. But it would also be losing a tables match and he wouldn't get pinned. Orton has been putting guys over lately, and you would think that the WWE would want Orton to finally get a win here again. But if the WWE is serious about Barrett's push, he should get the win here. And I think he will. Barrett puts Orton through a table after shoving him off the apron, with Orton landing on a table set up at ringside.

WINNER: Wade Barrett

World Heavyweight Championship: Mark Henry (c) vs Big Show- Chairs Match

Can this please be the end of this feud? The WWE is just grasping at straws at this point with these two. At Survivor Series, Big Show injured Mark Henry's ankle. Henry has still looked dominant with the injured ankle. He defeated Daniel Bryan on Smackdown in a steel cage match. But Big Show and Mark Henry have gone as far as they possibly can in this program.

Neither of their two previous encounters have ended in a clean finish. At Vengeance, the ring exploded. At Survivor Series, Mark Henry low blowed Big Show causing a DQ. But with chairs being legal in this match, any kind of non-finishes can be thrown out the window. The point here is obvious. Big Show doesn't need to be World Champion. Mark Henry has lost some of his luster in recent weeks. He was just pinned by Zack Ryder. I understand they are trying to make Henry look like a tough guy with his ankle injury, but I don't like that. I can understand the non-finish at Survivor Series, but I would have preferred to see Henry go over at Survivor Series.

People don't want to keep seeing Mark Henry vs Big Show on PPV, so hopefully this is the last match these two have. And hopefully it ends this way: Big Show goes for the  Knockout Punch, but Henry puts up a chair to block it. Henry then delivers a World's Strongest Slam onto a chair and picks up the win. Henry moves on, as does Big Show.

WINNER: Mark Henry

WWE Championship: The Miz vs C.M. Punk (c) vs Alberto del Rio- Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match

The build for this has been ok. They did a good job of making us think this past Monday that C.M. Punk had no chance, and that the heels would take out Punk and end up fighting over the Title themselves. Now of course, we know in WWE land that plans like that never work. The heels always try to one up the other, and it leads to a confrontation. C.M. Punk appears to be the new centerpiece of the WWE, but the ratings haven't been as strong with him on top. That's something to consider when looking at this match, but you have to look at the other options as well.

Miz was never a big ratings draw at the top, neither was Alberto del Rio. It is nice to see the WWE take a risk and not have John Cena in the WWE Title match, but you have to wonder if it will effect the PPV buyrate. The WWE is trying to build back up The Miz as a serious threat, but they haven't done a good job of doing it. It started off well, but it has fizzled out. Alberto del Rio, meanwhile, just hasn't done well since his move from Smackdown to RAW. Sure he's won the WWE Title twice, but he has lost it at the next PPV both times. Alberto del Rio has apparently soured on WWE management's eyes, but they are just as much to blame for his act not getting over. RAW is lacking a top heel at the moment and neither Miz or Del Rio seem ready to take that spot for the long run.

I wouldn't be surprised if John Cena somehow gets added to the match, but the result will still end up being the same. I see C.M. Punk walking out with the WWE Title again. There's no reason for him to lose it right away if the WWE still plans on building around him. Miz or ADR aren't ready to reclaim the top spot. That is Punk's spot right now and I believe he is walking into Wrestlemania with the WWE Title.


That's all for this preview. I will have a review up for the show immediately after TLC. I might do a live update of the show. Depends how I feel Sunday night.

Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

No comments:

Post a Comment