WWE TLC PPV PPV PRIMER 12/19: Javier’s Preview & Predictions for Reigns vs. Owens for Universal Title, McIntyre vs. Styles for WWE Title, Fiend vs. Orton in an Inferno match, Banks vs. Carmella for Smackdown Title, more

By Javier Machado, PWTorch contributor


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

TLC: Table, Ladders & Chairs will be airing on December 20, 2020 and will be the first Thunderdome PPV event from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is the one time a year champions from both brands face their challengers in a TLC match where the objective is to retrieve the title which is suspended above the ring using (usually) a ladder, only this time, the use of chairs and tables are permitted. In this year’s iteration both men’s belts will be defended in TLC matches. Not to be outdone The Fiend and Randy Orton face each other in a Firefly Inferno match, the objective of which is to set your opponent on fire.


Roman Reigns (c) vs. Kevin Owen – Tables, Ladders, and Chairs WWE Universal Championship match

Story in a nutshell: After a few run ins with his puppet Jey Uso, Kevin Owens went straight for the puppet master, the Universal Champion, Roman Reigns.

Prior to Survivor Series, Kevin Owens was singled out by Roman Reigns for Jey Uso to prove himself against. Instead of going after Jey Uso, KO plowed through him to go after Roman Reigns. Reigns, for his part, became angry with KO’s insolence and made him pay by handing him a hellacious beating. However, Kevin Owens kept getting up despite the damage, much to Reigns disgust.

Prediction: Roman Reigns wins but/and Owens will show guts.


Drew McIntyre (c) vs. A.J. Styles – Tables, Ladders, and Chairs WWE Championship match

Story in a nutshell: After winning a mini tournament for the opportunity to challenge Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship, AJ Styles struck a tentative alliance with the Money in the Bank holder, Miz and his partner John Morrison along the way to this championship match.

AJ Styles defeated Randy Orton, Riddle, and Keith Lee, on his way to winning a shot at Drew McIntyre. The Money in the Bank holder Miz, with John Morrison, attempted to get close to Styles, thinking that Styles would be an easier target to cash in on rather than Drew or, if Drew won, Styles would have weakened Drew sufficiently so that Miz could get an easy win. Also involved in this Gordian knot of mixed-up angles is Sheamus, Drews best friend, who was brutally attacked by AJ Styles who injured his knee.

Prediction: I can’t discount a win by AJ here. The Miz involvement and the fact that Drew didn’t bail Sheamus out can lead to plenty of shenanigans in the match. I think Drew wins but I’m not as confident on this one. Drew has multiple ways coming up to get back in the title hunt, by winning Money in the Bank from Miz, the Royal Rumble, and Elimination Chamber.


The Fiend vs. Randy Orton – Firefly Inferno Match

Story in a nutshell: (I’m gonna need a bigger nut for this one.) The Fiend is coming to pay back Randy Orton for burning down Bray Wyatt’s house back in 2017.

Thirteen years ago, in 2017 (if you are reading this far in the future and think my math is wrong, 2020 has been a looong year), Randy Orton infiltrated the Wyatt family looking for a way to get into Bray Wyatt’s head. He eventually found it and burned down the Wyatt house, possibly letting loose all the evils within. This and Wyatt’s loss to Orton at WrestleMania was the trigger that led to the unleashing of the Fiend (John Cena created it, Orton freed it). The Fiend remembers and is now coming after Orton for retribution (Oh my gods, that’s another word ruined by the WWE). Orton, still the master of mind games has gone after the Fiend using Alexa Bliss, thinking her the Fiend’s weakness. Orton also used the rocking chair that Bray (and possibly the ghost of Sister Abigail) used to sit on as bait to trap Bray and try to set him on fire. Unfortunately for Randy that just pissed the Fiend off. Now their match at TLC is and Firefly Inferno match where, if it is true to other inferno matches, the goal is to set your opponent on fire.

Prediction: Randy Orton uses Alexa Bliss’s safety as bait to lure the Fiend through fire to win the match. Sure, Randy gets the win, but he still has to contend with the Fiend, only now he is also ON FIRE.


Sasha Banks (c) vs. Carmella, WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship match

Story in a nutshell: Carmella returned with a new attitude and has her eyes squarely trained on the champion, Sasha Banks.

As soon as Sasha Banks defeated Bayley, successfully defending her title, she was immediately blindsided by a returning Carmella. For weeks Carmella targeted Banks with precise brutal (but not as brutal as some of Banks’s promos) attacks, beating her down and breaking a bottle on Banks’s back twice eventually leading to this match.

Prediction: With Banks being on the losing end of several beatdowns, she’s probably winning this one, but this is one prediction I won’t mind being wrong on. Give Carmella the belt and let Banks reframe and try the babyface thing again.


Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Asuka & TBD, WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match

Story in a nutshell: An unlikely Asuka/Lana alliance led to them getting a shot at the tag team champions, Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax, only an injury to Lana has left Asuka looking for a new partner to team up.

For three months Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler have been tormenting poor Lana, putting her through a table on nine different occasions. Lana finally strung together a string of unlikely victories that put her in the champion’s, Asuka’s, orbit. Together they got an opportunity to challenge the tag champs only a brutal attack sidelined Lana. Now Asuka needs a new partner for the match.

Prediction: This can go in several ways. The happy way, Lana makes it to the match and, while wounded, helps Asuka win, putting Jax though a table. The sad way, Charlotte Flair returns as Asuka’s partner (Nia Jax put Flair out of commission) only to turn her back on her partner at the last minute, setting up Flair vs. Asuka at the Rumble. Then the boring way, Mandy is the partner, and they lose. I think Charlotte’s return makes the most sense even though we are in the doldrums of WWE’s December. This puts Flair on the timeline to win the title at the Rumble, setting up Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair for WrestleMania.


Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods vs. Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin, WWE Raw Tag Team Championship match

Story in a nutshell: These are the only two male tag teams active on Raw.

Back on November 2, 2020, the Hurt Business defeated the New Day in a non-title match setting up a whole series of encounters with New Day winning the ones with the titles on the line and Hurt Business winning some of the rest.

Prediction: The Hurt Business wins. They need to else what is the point of the group. Also, in his last few matches, Kofi has been selling a leg injury, something that is sure to come into play during the match.


RECOMMENDED: WWE SMACKDOWN HITS & MISSES 12/18: Final Reigns-Owens hype for TLC, Big Time Bayley, Carmella-Sasha hype, Nakamura loss, Sami Awards, Tag Title match

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