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Friday, 20 October 2017

Here Are Your WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders And Chairs 2017 Predictions And Analysis

WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2017 airs this Sunday, October 22, live on WWE Network. The Raw-exclusive pay-per-view event in Minnesota not featuring a Brock Lesnar Universal title defense is headlined by The Shield taking on … pretty much everybody, as well as the main roster debut of Asuka and matches for the Cruiserweight and Raw Women’s Championships.

Here’s the complete WWE TLC ’17 card as we know it.

WWE TLC 2017 Card:

1. TLC Match: The Shield vs. The Miz, The Bar, Braun Strowman, and Kane

2. Raw Women’s Championship Match: Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Mickie James

3. WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Kalisto (c) vs. Enzo Amore

4. Asuka vs. Emma

5. The Demon vs. Sister Abigail

6. Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander vs. The Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher

7. Kickoff Match: Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox

As always, here’s our complete rundown of the card, featuring predictions and analysis for all seven matches. Be sure to drop down into our comments section and let us know who you think’s winning what and why, and be here on Sunday for our complete coverage of the event.

Kickoff Match: Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox

What Should Happen: Maybe Summer Rae shows up and helps Alicia Fox win, rekindling the classic Summer/Sasha rivalry? Or better yet, Summer shows up to help Sasha win, even though Sasha’s already beaten Foxy easily like two weeks in a row. Then Bayley can be all “tsk tsk” about it, and the BFF can light her up.

What Will Happen: Sasha wins, and hopefully the Raw creative team learns how to book the division’s undercard with something deeper than, “also the OTHER women have a match.”

Staff Picks

Bill Hanstock – I’m just thrilled that Foxy is getting a spot on ANY pay-per-view, even if it’s the pre-show. No one was more impacted by the loss of Team Bella than our poor, poor Foxy. Sasha will win, but one Northern Suplex from Ms. Alicia and we’re ALL winners.

Scott Heisel – Two Mondays ago, Sasha Banks made Alicia Fox tap out. Last Monday, Sasha Banks made Alicia Fox tap out. Tune in this Sunday to see if Sasha Banks can make Alicia Fox tap out!

Chris Trew – I’m all about Sasha Banks but even MORE about Kickoff matches doing something that makes people feel like they should tune in to Kickoff matches more often. So I’m pulling for Alicia in what I’ll call an “odd squash”. But If I’m putting money on this *which I’m not* the smart move is Sasha Banks and the under for 7.5 minutes.

Brian James O’Connell – It seems very, very, very weird to me that they have a kick-off match on a card with only 6 matches (and only one of them TLC). Why is this match happening? If it is going longer than four minutes, why are they doing that? If it is going less than four minutes, why keep it off the actual card? This is easily the most confusing TLC card I can every remember. The only way this match would be good is if it is made a Stairs Match at the last minute and the two of them just struggle to pick up the ring side stairs and get a double count out. Sasha Banks with the win because hahahahahaha, come on, son.

John Canton – I doubt Banks is thrilled about being relegated to the Kickoff show. At least she’s on the card unlike Bayley. Banks should win pretty easily. Really hope she turns heel before WrestleMania because she needs it.

Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander vs. The Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher

What Should Happen: Give them 25 minutes to put on a classic and see if they can do it. Like, tell them they’re main-eventing a PWG show this weekend and do the match here they’d do there. It’s not like you’re accomplishing a crucial plot point with a thrown-together cruiserweight tag team match. Let these talented dudes use that talent and give us bug eyes. Give us something to get us talking.

What Will Happen: Everyone’s picking the heels to win, so I guess I’ll go with the consensus. Still hoping Cedric Alexander finds a way to connect with Raw crowds and gets the love his talent deserves.

Staff Picks

Bill Hanstock – They did a good job (in my opinion) showcasing these four on Raw, and I’m glad this match is sniffing the main card. I’m hoping it will be a great big showcase for Swann and Alexander, but these are four talented dudes who will hopefully get upwards of eight minutes to do some dives and stuff. Yearning the faces will take it, but I think Kendrick and Gallagher will walk away the winners.

Scott Heisel – This is indeed a match, one in which one team will win tonight, and the other team will almost surely not. (Geez, I feel like Cutman on ‘Sports Night’ right now.) I guess I’ll pick TBK and Gentleman Jack.

Chris Trew – Whatever Swann and Alexander have to do to become a real life tag team, I hope that happens. And I hope Kendrick and Gallagher get to fight people who aren’t cruiserweights sometime because those guys are my favorite wrestlers that I never think about. If I’m putting money on this *which I’m not* I’m going Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander but I’m not super confident about so I’m putting, like, the bare minimum so that the person at the ticket counter doesn’t make fun of me when I walk away.

Brian James O’Connell – I love Jack Gallagher’s new look and the idea of him being a heel is actually interesting but I would love it much, much more if his tag partner was Pete Dunne. I want them to shoot a ton of Trainspotting promo videos where Dunne is just ripping the pub apart and Jack is all like “Pardon my mate. He’s not as genteel as I am” and then he headbutts the camera. Heels go over here because why wouldn’t they.

John Canton – It’s rare to see a second cruiserweight match on a Raw PPV. I’m very surprised this made the show while guys like Jason Jordan and Elias aren’t even on the card. Since Alexander beat Gallagher on Raw, I think the heel team of Kendrick and Gallagher are going to get the win. It’s not like it matters because it seems like everybody in the cruiserweight division trades wins anyway.

The Demon vs. Sister Abigail

What Should Happen: Goldust shows up as Seven and kicks both of their asses.

Seriously though, the only way I could even think to book out of this hole, especially if Bray Wyatt is sick and can’t participate at all, is to have Pumpkin Spice Finn in the ring ready to fight wedding dress Bray but then whoops, turns out Sister Abigail is an actual spooky lady played by Sage Beckett. She says some cryptic stuff, and then the Bludgeon Brothers show up from Smackdown and attempt to murder Finn with hammers. Turns out Bray is just the mastermind of an evil plot again, and Finn has to get The Club back together to fight them.

What Will Happen: The match graphic doesn’t depict the PUMPKIN DEMON, which makes the situation worse. Look, at this point I want them to go like, 10x Lucha Underground with this. I want guys shooting lightning at each other. I want the end fight from The Matrix Revolutions. Move the match to a haunted house. Put a Punjabi Prison around it. Set the prison on fire. Just do whatever you wanna do and then stop doing it forever as soon as you’re done.

Staff Picks

Bill Hanstock – I’m going to hope this match just doesn’t happen at all. If it does happen, I’m just going to imagine that instead of yet another Bálor vs. Wyatt match, I’m actually watching a blood feud blowoff match between Jamie Madrox and Monoxide Child. What was it that caused Twiztid to come to blows like this? How could brother turn against brother in such a fashion? See; you’re already more interested.

Scott Heisel – …

Chris Trew – Why isn’t this the kickoff match? Is there an online petition I can sign to make it that way? I have hundreds of email addresses, let me put them to good use. If I’m putting money on this *which I’m not* I would bet “yes” on every single prop available like “Will Sister Abigail’s sheet get in the way” and “does more than half of the Demon’s makeup come off his face” and “are the majority of adults embarrassed by this match happening.”

Brian James O’Connell – It was one thing when Bray was cooling his own heat, but now burying other guys we like is just inexcusable. Who is this match even for? What is the venn diagram for WWE fans and Hot Topic customers? What kind of microscope would you need to see that thin of a sliver of purple between the red and blue circles? The Demon wins with a Coup De Grace and I start working on that first issue of The Saga Of The Eater Of Worlds while Bray takes a long swamp nap.

John Canton – Please keep it short and keep the stupidity to a minimum. I’m sure this match appeals to the kids watching at home, but it really doesn’t interest me a whole lot. Finn Balor hasn’t been booked well all year and this feud isn’t helping him at all. Put Balor over and move on, which is what I said last month when they did put Balor over, yet they didn’t move on. Move on!

Asuka vs. Emma

What Should Happen: You don’t need a prediction for this one, do you?

What Will Happen: Asuka via a kick to the head and an Asuka Lock after Emma gets in a little too much offense and stalls a little too much for an exciting main roster debut. At least it should be good, and Asuka’s not facing Dolph Ziggler like everyone who debuts on Smackdown.

Staff Picks

Bill Hanstock – EMMA GONNA DIE. These two had a tremendous match at NXT TakeOver: London, and while I don’t think it will be that competitive, I don’t think it will be a straight squash for Asuka. The Empress of Tomorrow will get her first chance to wow the main roster WWE Universe. It won’t be her last. Settle in for years of Asuka goodness.

Scott Heisel – How amazing would it be if Emma snuck out a dirty win on Asuka to end her main roster winning streak before it ever started? While there’s a part of me that would love something so incredibly nihilistic (some men just want to watch the Raw women’s division burn), there is little question here about the outcome. Congrats on the call-up, Asuka. Watch out for distraction roll-ups.

Chris Trew – Asuka is going to have such an amazing Wrestlemania entrance and really, this match just begins the road to that. Asuka in a slaughter. If I’m putting money on this *which I’m not* I’m taking out loans from every bank in America and putting it on Emma losing this match clean.

Brian James O’Connell – Asuka’s entrance is 5 minutes long, Emma comes out and says “nope” to this gimmick as well and then goes back to Gorilla pretending Aussies don’t speak English. Asuka offers an open challenge and we get … someone? I don’t know. If they are doing anything with Asuka other than Kabuki Mask Goldberg, I’m going to be furious so I tried to think of something even dumber.

John Canton – Asuka should win this match in five minutes or less. Anything more than that is too long. No disrespect to Emma because I like her, but Asuka needs to win this match easily. I’m glad Emma is featured in a singles match, though. She deserves it.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Kalisto (c) vs. Enzo Amore

What Should Happen: You put together a heel posse for Enzo on Raw and the “nobody in the division can touch him” stipulation is in the past, so give Enzo the belt, have him make it leopard print, and spend now until WrestleMania having his goons run interference to keep him from dropping the belt. For better or worse, he made us talk about a division nobody was talking about for a few weeks. Not like Kalisto’s promos are gonna do anything but cringe society so hard it collapses.

And seriously, I can’t believe a month later I’m advocating an Enzo Amore Cruiserweight Championship run. The sad reality of “your show’s worst wrestler kicked Neville in the balls and now he’s gone, so what can we do?”

What Will Happen: I think Enzo takes it back here. Especially if you believe those reports that Kalisto winning the title on Raw was in response to Neville, and how the original plan was for Neville to lose that to set up Kalisto/Enzo here. WWE hates an audible and loves a reset button, almost as much as they love doing the opposite of the right result when plans suddenly change. Enzo wins and we start over.

Staff Picks

Bill Hanstock – Enzo and his NEFARIOUS CRUISERWEIGHTS will regain the title on Sunday, and we’ll hopefully be treated to a long run of the nWzo, which is a joke that I saw on Twitter and unfortunately can’t take credit for. Enzo as heel champ is pure gold, they actually found something compelling to do with Noam Dar and Tony Nese, and the cruiserweight division is finally one of the best things in the company. Who knew this was the secret?

Scott Heisel – Kalisto should be forced to vacate the title after giving a promo on Raw in which he seemingly forgot he was the champion. Good lucha things, indeed. Enzo wins, the division is reset, and we build to a Mustafa Ali title win at Royal Rumble.

Chris Trew – I’m glad Kalisto won the belt the way he did and I don’t exactly know what would happen if Enzo got it back this weekend so I’m pulling for the great unknown. (Hey, how about another Network Cruiserweight special? Am I alone in that?) If I’m putting money on this *which I’m not* I’m cautiously putting a parlay on “Amore wins the belt back” and “Kalisto does something awkward.”

Brian James O’Connell – They are going to pinball this title back and forth until it means absolutely nothing just in time for Ricochet to show up so that it will be worth less than a jobber’s spare boots. The Guy Who Can Talk But Can’t Wrestle Vs. The Guy Who Can Wrestle But Can’t Talk is not a great match in any weight class. If this was a Ladder Match or even another Lumberjack Match I might enjoy the spectacle, but just a straight up match? No wonder Aires and PAC were like, “Um, no thank you.” Enzo wins with assist from hired guns on a ref distraction. What? We’re going to open Raw with a Kalisto promo?

John Canton – Enzo’s probably going to win the title back. I think his new heel persona needs him to be the champion because it gives him something to brag about. Kalisto winning the title from him was just a way to create some excitement on Raw. Plus, WWE loves short title reigns, so Enzo should win it again.

Raw Women’s Championship Match: Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Mickie James

What Should Happen: Does Alexa keep the belt and run scared of Asuka until WrestleMania? Does WWE have that kind of patience? The answer to that’s almost as certain as, “will Alexa beat Mickie James at TLC and then just go ahead and lose to Asuka on Monday.” I wish so many of WWE’s booking decisions didn’t seem like a result of them going “uhhhh, uhhhh” on Monday afternoon.

At the same time, WWE loves records. Charlotte had one, Natalya just had one, Asuka’s got one incoming and here Mickie James could win to become a 7-time Women’s Champion. I could see them giving her an inspirational couple of weeks with the belt just for the sake of doing it, and she certainly deserves it, but “Piggy James” didn’t end well for her, so I don’t imagine “Grimmaw Mickie” will either.

What Will Happen: They didn’t even remember to give this match the background graphic, if that tells you anything. Best guess is that Alexa retains, and we figure out to do in an ecosystem without Nia Jax.

Staff Picks

Bill Hanstock – I would love to see Mickie win the title, and I think it’s actually totally possible (and what better way to delay the Bliss vs. Jax blowoff even further?), but I see Bliss retaining so she can finally face her final non-Asuka opponent at Survivor Series. It’ll be a good match, though!

Scott Heisel – Fuck it, let Mickie win. Nothing about this women’s division makes sense anymore. (Of course Alexa is going to retain.)

Chris Trew – Keep Alexa Bliss the kayfabe best until Wrestlemania because I wanna see her navigate the title program with Asuka so.dang.bad. Alexa Bliss for MV A, B, and C. Most Valuable Alexa, Bliss, Champ. (You can use that, little miss Bliss). If I’m putting money on this *which I’m not* I’m taking a flyer on Mickie James just because the value is probably pretty good on that one and it’s not completely far fetched Mickie is the one serving the belt up to Asuka.

Brian James O’Connell – Man, I so desperately want to like this more. On the one hand, I love that Mickie James is in a match for the strap. On the other hand, I can’t think of a single person on god’s green earth that thinks she is actually walking away with it at the end of the night. This feels like a holding pattern and the real story is whatever Asuka does earlier in the night.

John Canton – This is a match they’ve done a few times and it was just okay in the past. Hopefully they have better chemistry this time. I want Mickie to win because she’s my favorite woman in WWE, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. This is a decent feud designed to keep the title on Bliss. Would love to be wrong on that. Screw it, going with my heart and picking Mickie to win.

TLC Match: The Shield vs. The Miz, The Bar, Braun Strowman, and Kane

What Should Happen: I really wish they’d just left this as The Shield vs. The Miztourage, or at least The Shield vs. Miz and The Bar. Adding a bunch of random guys to it and making it a handicap match because you’re worried about star power or whatever not only complicates the match and dilutes the impact of the Shield reunion, it takes away players that could’ve done something else on your show. That way you wouldn’t have to have a cruiserweight tag and an Alicia Fox match on your card, you know?

I like the idea of The Shield losing, but it’s hard to explain that without sounding like I’m being nihilistic as a joke. They aren’t up against Dallas and Axel, they’re up against the Intercontinental Champion, the best heel tag team on the show featuring a former WWE Champion and a FUTURE WWE Champion, a multiple-time champion and legend in Kane (whether he’s been a glorified jobber for years or not), and BRAUN GODDAMN STROWMAN. If this was The Shield vs. Braun Strowman by himself it’d be close to even. If you have the heels win, the Shield loses their reunion match and that sucks. If Shield wins, they beat four of your top heels and Kane. So like, what do you do?

What Will Happen: The logical thing here, I guess, is that somebody’s turning on somebody on the heel team. Seems like it’ll be Kane and Strowman suddenly having a problem and choking each other, or like, Kane taking a pinfall and Braun beating him up for it to set up another Hosspocalypse-esque thing for Survivor Series. It seems like a no-win situation, but I’m happy to be proven wrong, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy what they do even if it doesn’t feel ideal.

Staff Picks

Bill Hanstock – THE DAMNED NUMBERS GAME IS ON THE OTHER FOOT. Fans are so horny for the Shield reunion that they’re likely to forgive them OVERCOMING THE ODDS (TM) with the deck stacked against them. It’s fine; the match should be a lot of fun. We also get to see Braun Strowman climb a ladder, maybe. The Shield will win, and we get to say goodbye to Kane again for a while. It’s sad when friends move away.

Scott Heisel – The Shield loses. They have to. It allows for better long-term storytelling. What if Dean, Seth and Roman aren’t as good as they think they are together? Sure, the odds are stacked against them, but it’s Dean’s big mouth who got the trio into this mess anyway, so maybe he ends up facing the consequences (and eating the pin).

Chris Trew – I want to say The Shield get screwed over here since a loss won’t really hurt fan perception of the group. The two people who would benefit most from standing tall here are The Miz (who should be headlining Wrestlemania again one day but probably never will) and Cesaro (who should be headlining Wrestlemania one day but absolutely never will). If I’m putting money on this *which I’m not*, I’m going with Shield pinning Kane and I’m going to buy me and my best friends swat team vests with the winnings.

Brian James O’Connell – Whew! This should be a barnburner as they are saving up all of the Tender Lovin’ Carnage for this one match. There really isn’t one bad worker in the bunch here and either the early statistics aren’t good in the mayoral campaign or Kane simply doesn’t give a shit anymore but I’d say he was inserted here merely to take the pin and keep everyone else Country Strong. My personal hope is they pull Big Show’s Ladder from underneath the apron and Triple Bomb Strowman through the “literal hell” one bedroom apartment Kane lives in beneath the ring.

John Canton – A 3 on 5 match is so random and weird. Of course it’s happening in 2017, which is one of the weirdest years WWE has ever had in terms of booking stupid stuff. At least it’s not a Punjabi Prison match or a House of Horrors match. Anyway, it should be a pretty crazy match that gets a lot of time and plenty of people going through tables, which always pops the crowd. It wouldn’t surprise me if Kane turns on his team when Miz tries to order him around and that’s the reason The Shield wins. I say that just because WWE books Kane to turn more than anybody else. That can also lead to Kane vs. Strowman in a feud, which I’m sure Vince McMahon would love. I’d be shocked if The Shield didn’t win this match. Putting them back together just to lose their first match would be too stupid even for WWE booking. The Shield wins with Roman Reigns looking the strongest of course.

 

UPROXX

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