Now Is The Winter Of Our Discontent: McNEILL Previews TLC 2015 (w/Wrestling History Lesson!)

By Pat McNeill, PWTorch columnist

Sheamus at Tribute to the Troops (c) WWE


StaffMcNeill07_120Wake the pets & call the neighbors, it’s time for our exclusive WWE Network pseudo PPV projections!

DISCLAIMER: Projections are based on what the columnist would do if he were booking this event, instead of Paul “NXT” Levesque, Runjin Singh, Ed Koskey, and WWE President Bats— Crazy Vincent Kennedy Gagne. Projections are not predictions, because this is the column where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter. This preview has been sealed in a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnall’s porch since noon today. Some of our departing contestants will receive a year’s supply of Minwax Wood Finish. America’s finest line of interior stain products, in twenty-two colors. Minwax makes and keeps wood beautiful. Pat McNeill’s wardrobe provided by Rubin Brothers International Fashions Limited. Remember, this is only an exhibition. This is not a competition. Please, please, no wagering. This lineup is based on the best available information as of this writing. These projections are based on what the columnist would do if he had creative control over WWE, right after he brings back the World Six Man Tag Team Titles.

Remember how upset Mr. McMahon got last December during the Stone Cold Podcast when Steve Austin suggested that the Chairman might be, you know, out of touch? It’s one year later, and it sure looks like the man who’s booking World Wrestling Entertainment has completely lost the pulse of his audience. Things are bad enough that Mr. McMahon’s subordinates are talking to the wrestling press, which is how we know it was Vince’s idea to pair Alberto Del Rio up with Zeb Colter. Still, if the Boss can wait until January, he’ll have John Cena, The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar back, and that will make up for some poor booking decisions.

Before we preview tonight’s show, let’s get to this month’s edition of the Wrestling History Lesson, because that’s why many of you clicked here in the first place. Twenty years ago, on December 17, 1995, the World Wrestling Federation presented its “In Your House 5: Season’s Beatings” pay-per-view from Hershey, Pennsylvania. On that event, it was Henry Godwin locking up with Hunter Hearst Helmsley in our first ever Hog Pen Match! Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler had the call.

What was happening in World Wrestling Entertainment fifteen years ago? I’m glad you asked! On December 11, 2000 the World Wrestling Federation presented a live episode of Monday Night Raw from Memphis, Tennessee. The opening match was a big tag team contest, as The Hardy Boys took on Dean Malenko & Perry Saturn.. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler had the call.

Did you catch WWE Smackdown? Well, you can watch one of the segments from this past Thursday night right now. It’s the contract signing between Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose for Sunday’s battle for the Intercontinental Title. And nothing’s more exciting than a contract signing on a wrestling program. Enjoy.

Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John B. Layfield will be announcing the show. Renee Young, Booker T and Byron Saxton will be doing the preshow while Tom Phillips will sit alone in the social media lounge, reading your tweets in the dark. On with the program!

Will we have a pre-show match to round out the show? Sure. Let’s say that it’s Goldust defeating Bo Dallas.

We probably also need another match for the pay-per-view, don’t you think? Let’s go with The Prime Time Players getting some air time with a win over Los Matadores.

Ryback vs. Rusev (w/ Lana): Over on John Clapp opened his preview of the bout by writing “With the emersion of The League of Nations…” With apologies to Mandy Patinkin, I do not think that word means what Mr. Clapp thinks it means. Projection? It is time to bust out another classic. Lana brings a handbag with her to the ring. Like Missy Hyatt’s handbag in the 1980’s, Lana’s purse contains a brick. Rusev whacks Ryback with the loaded purse and gets disqualified. Don’t look at me that way, I never would have put this match on the show to begin with.

Charlotte Flair vs. Paige Knight (WWE Divas Title): Two heels are fighting for the title, yay. Projection? Charlotte finally applies the Figure Eight on Paige, and gets extra leverage from The Dirtiest Father In The Game outside the ring to force Paige to tap. We still have Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch, Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks and Charlotte vs. Bayley to get through by WrestleMania. There’s no more time for the First Daughter to feud with the Alabaster Angel.

The Dudleys, Tommy Dreamer & Rhyno vs. The Wyatt Family (Tables Elimination Match): Okay, I like the idea of sending Dreamer & Rhyno out on the road to fill spots until some of the injured roster members return. That’s good thinking. Having Tommy Dreamer wrestle Braun Strowman on Raw? Sound booking, but it didn’t make for much of a match. Projection? The New Day’s “Save The Tables” campaign takes a major hit, as Bray drops Bubba through a table to be the Sole Survivor for his flock.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger (WWE United States Title – Chairs Match): That’s right, Zeb Colter and Alberto Del Rio are on the rocks. It’s a good move, because the only thing less useful than a babyface manager is a babyface manager working with the heel he’s been opposing for two years. Projection? Zeb comes out to ringside in the middle of the match, and tries to help the Real American. It ends poorly as Del Rio removes Zeb from his Rascal and clobbers Swagger with the vehicle, knocking out Big Jack. Del Rio wins with an assist from the (*ahem*) wheeled chair.

The New Day vs. The Lucha Dragons vs. The Usos (WWE Tag Team Titles – Ladder Match): Yes, two ladder matches on the same show. If the company has any brains, this will be the opener, to put as much distance as possible between the tag titles and the main event. Projection? While the six participants brawl all over the furniture, Dr. Xavier Woods uses a ladder and a couple of tables to build himself a bridge to the tag titles, enabling The New Day to remain champions. Let’s let the Usos work for it.

Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose (WWE Intercontinental Title): Okay, what did I write for this month last month? Because I know WWE didn’t use my finish. Projection? “I have a feeling that protecting Owens will be a bigger priority than protecting Dean Ambrose, so let’s go with Owens poking Dean in the eyes and winning with a rollup.

Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns (WWE Heavyweight Title – TLC Match): I’m sure everyone heard how the fans in Charleston, South Carolina walked out during the final segment of Raw. I am sympathetic to the crowd. Look, at this point they’d already seen Reigns and Sheamus wrestle. Do you really want to hear them tackle their scripted promos. That segment was dead until they both started throwing punches.

Is there a way to get fans interested in this main event? Well, maybe WWE could be inspired by the video above and throw in a hog pen. A little pork would add something to the TLC match. In fact, you could make it a Bacon, Ladders, Tables and chairs. The first ever BLTC match! (Okay, that’s a horrible idea for the pay-per-view. That’s a match concept you save for the post pay-per-view episode of Raw this Monday.)

I have heard that Mr. McMahon wants to save Roman Reigns’ title win until WrestleMania, and give the Big Dawg his WrestleMania moment. But I think it’s more important to not have another three months of Sheamus as WWE Champion. Projection? Superman punch, put Sheamus through a table, climb the ladder and end the show the way Survivor Series should have ended, with Roman Reigns holding the WWE Title.

If the Philadelphia fans boo Roman Reigns Monday night on Raw, hey, at least they’re not leaving early.

Aftermath: Next month is the Royal Rumble. Cena, Undertaker and Lesnar are in the Rumble. ‘Taker eliminates Cena from behind, and beats up Big Match John when he stands up to the Dead Man. Lesnar wins the Rumble in dominating fashion. Also, Reigns beats Sheamus again to end their feud.

February is Fast Lane. Reigns defends the WWE Title against Undertaker. John Cena drops in on the match and bloodies up Undertaker with Cena’s old bicycle chain, enabling Roman to keep his title. What’s that? You think the fans will boo John Cena over this? Dude, they’re going to boo Cena anyway. He’s feuding with The Undertaker.

And yes, we get to Reigns and Lesnar having their WrestleMania rematch in Dallas, and the big Undertaker vs. John Cena blowout in front of 94,000 people. That should prop this company up for another four months.


Pat McNeill of Greenville, South Carolina has been a PWTorch Columnist since 2001. He’d take the New England Patriots over the Houston Texans on Sunday Night Football. You know, if gambling were legal.

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