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411 PPV Roundtable Preview - WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs 2012
Posted by Stephen Randle on 12.15.2012





Introduction

Another year is coming to a close, and with it comes the last PPV show of 2012, as WWE presents TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs. And since creating a Pay-Per-View by that name without including match types that tie into the gimmick, we've got those in spades. Most notably, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara will face Rhodes Scholars in a Tables Match with the winner being named #1 Contender to the WWE Tag Team titles, John Cena will take on Dolph Ziggler in a Ladder Match where Ziggler's Money in the Bank briefcase will hang above the ring as a prize, The Big Show will defend the World Heavyweight Title against Sheamus in a Chairs Match, and Ryback and Team Hell No will look for some revenge against The Shield, in the first ever TLC match to be competed under pinfall/submission rules.

And it's Christmas come early for everyone, because the 411 Staff is here to give to you, absolutely free of charge, their predictions for WWE's final big show of 2012. And assuming that whole Mayan thing isn't a load of crap, the final WWE PPV…ever!

The Staff

Stephen Randle, The Wrestling News Experience

Ben Watters, 411 Instant Analysis

James Wright, The Heel Report

Michael Weyer, Shining A Spotlight

Jack Bramma, Ring Crew Reviews

Ken Hill, Raw and Smackdown recapper







Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara vs Rhodes Scholars
Tables Match
#1 Contenders Match


Stephen Randle: I don't think there's any doubt that the Scholars are taking this match and getting another shot at Hell No, but I'd like to see them re-visit this match-up at a later date, possibly for Mania.

Winners: Rhodes Scholars

Ben Watters: For a last minute 'my word, we have to have a tables match on this PPV' match - this looks pretty damn good. Every man here can hold his own in a match and adding in the tables stipulation is the icing on the cake. Can only really see Rhodes Scholars getting the win, but Rey and Sin Cara will have their time.

Winner: Team Rhodes Scholars

James Wright: After a surprise return and a piece of facial hair that has rocked the wrestling world to its very core the Rhodes Scholars are back in the title hunt. The addition of this table match to the event I feel completes a strong card and I'd imagine there will be another last minute tag team match added as there are normally a couple on each card now. The Rhodes Scholars deserve to take the tag titles now as Hell No have held them long enough so I'm definitely pulling for them to win. I don't think there is time to give the team of Mysterio and Sin Cara the titles, have them fall apart as a team and lose the titles, and then turn on each other, with enough proper build to their inevitable Wrestlemania match. Instead they should probably lose here through some miss-communication and start their breakdown now. Either way this thing has the potential to be dangerous and with Botchamania's biggest star in the mix, along with two guys nursing injuries, it could all turn into a real car wreck.

Winner: The Rhodes Scholars

Michael Weyer: This actually looks promising as all four guys are good together and should be an exciting match. Expect plenty of spots and slams as I see the Scholars getting the win as they'd be better for the tag belts than the masked duo but still should be a good way to open the show.

Winners: The Rhodes Scholars

Jack Bramma: Intriguing match. The Cara/Mysterio match at Mania to set the mask record has been on the armchair booking card for months. Even if that's the way the E is going, I still see much more long term potential in Rhodes Scholar. Still, WWE could still build to the Mysterio/Cara break up by having them win here and then blow it at RR in their title shot. Still, I'll go with the heels since Cody is fresh off a routine and has a new heat magnet in his stache.

Winner: Rhodes Scholars

Ken Hill: Curious to see that Rey and Cara were already entered in while Rhodes Scholars had to beat three other teams, but I suppose another tag team tourney would've been redundant. Anyway, with Wrestlemania and the upcoming rumored Cara/Rey match, it wouldn't surprise me to see Rey or Cara make a mistake, allow Rhodes and Sandow to win, and sow some seeds of dissension.

Winners: Rhodes Scholars



Ryback and Team Hell No vs The Shield
TLC Match, Pinfalls and Submissions Only


Stephen Randle: Whereas Punk-Ryback would be an easy pick, this is more of a toss-up than you'd think. On one hand, you probably shouldn't job out your hot new "invaders" act in their first real match, and Daniel Bryan is right there to eat a pinfall, but on the other hand, there is the Ryback factor, and he probably needs to get this win after two PPV title shot misses. Plus it would make sense in storyline if he powerbombs The Shield through tables in revenge for the last three weeks. Of course, we also know Punk will be in attendance, and I would imagine he'll be involved in the finish in some fashion. Time to flip a coin.

Winners: The Shield

Ben Watters: Whilst injuries are generally not a positive occurrence for anyone, this card has benefited from CM Punk's injury somewhat with this match. The TLC main event has turned into a fairly predictable Ryback/Punk match with a foregone conclusion into a chaotic 6 man TLC match with 3 men who haven't even wrestled a match on the main roster yet. To say I'm interested would be an understatement. Shield to win here though to keep their momentum going, but D Bryan will be eating that pin.

Winner: The Shield

James Wright: This is The Shield's big break and I have high expectations for them to shine. I honestly wouldn't mind if they lost as long as they can look good while doing it. If they are just shut down and we are treated to a ten minute beat down of the new group, killing their momentum dead, then fuck the WWE for being idiotic. Otherwise this could be a great contest; Ryback with his explosive power moves, the technical ability of Daniel Bryan and the reliability of Kane in multi-man and speciality matches alone could make it great, but then throw in three determined young lions and we could have the match of the night right here. No matter what happens I can't see the Shield picking up the win, but here's hoping they lose in style.

Winner: Team Hell No & The Ryback

Michael Weyer: This is the test for the young guys, to show they can hold thier own on the big stage and thus puts a lot of pressure on things. Kane and Daniels should help things out and I see the Shield getting the win as they need to be sold as a real threat rather than just shut down by the faces the first time out. Either way, should be some good excitement going on and the idea of a TLC match where the object is to pin a guy is a unique touch to elevate this more.

Winners: The Shield

Jack Bramma: Close call here. The crowd is just now getting electric for Ryback even more than they were for two months of him chasing Punk and competing with Cena for cheers. Plus Ryback is coming off two tainted losses and is in very very mild danger of losing his monster status if he doesn't get to blow through at least one member of Shield and win with the Torture Rack maybe. If this were elimination rules, the match would have more opportunities to put over Ryback and still protect Shield in their first match on PPV. The submission rules in kayfabe terms point to Daniel Bryan and the No Lock but it also leaves open room for plenty of interference from either new members (Hero?) or Punk or possibly Lesnar. The WWE blew the aftermath of the Nexus invasion by having them lose at Summerslam, so I'm hoping they won't repeat the mistake and have the Shield loses here especially when they have the stipulation safety net and a REAL opportunity for Ryback to clean their clocks in the Royal Rumble. I still have a ton of heels winning so this is probably going Ryback's way, but I'm thinking he gets distracted by Ambrose into chasing him to the back so Bryan can eat the combo powerbomb.

Winner: The Shield

Ken Hill: As far as a replacement match for Punk/Ryback II, it's not a bad concept, including the pinfalls and submissions. That COULD open up the door for a Bryan victory, but we're talking about the Shield's first official match and they need to win this to avoid going the way of the Nexus. It also doesn't hurt either Kane or Bryan to take the pinfall, since being in the main event can only help to further elevate the importance of the Tag Team Championship. Oh, and we get to see Ryback "feed."

Winners: The Shield



Kofi Kingston © vs Wade Barrett
Intercontinental Championship


Stephen Randle: I don't really want them to take the title off of Kingston, but I can't help but feel that Barrett needs this win, deserves this win, and is going to get this win.

Winner: Wade Barret

Ben Watters: Hot damn, this is a lazy feud. Whilst the match itself intrigues me, put this rivalry next to the US title feud and see the difference. Kofi's reign with the IC title hasn't been spectacular, but it's been fairly good and I can only really see it continuing here.

Winner: Kofi Kingston

James Wright: Surprisingly enough there has actually been some nice build to this match. Kofi hasn't looked too weak and Barrett has a legitimate claim to face the champion after beating him clean a couple of times. I still would like the WWE to inject more (decent) storylines into the mid-card belt rivalries, but as long as the matches are not just miscellaneously thrown together then that is fine with me. I think that Kofi Kingston Push No. 65 has fallen flat once again as they failed to capitalize on his momentum after winning the title, therefore they might as well give Barrett a run with the belt. Or else have the two trading the belt back and forth for a bit as Sheamus seems to have moved on so Barrett doesn't have anywhere to go, and there is nothing else really for Kofi to do at this point, either way I think Barrett is due for another run with the gold.

Winner: Wade Barrett

Michael Weyer: Tough to pick here as Barrett has been strong with pins over Kofi but the word of WWE wanting to build the mid-card up would mean a more decent IC champion. Frankly, I think they need to build Kofi up more and make the belt mean something, Barrett might not be that. I think he'll give his best but Kofi sneaks a win to keep the feud going and hopefully WWE finally builds on Kofi's popularity with the crowds for a decent title run.

Winner and STILL IC Champion: Kofi Kingston

Jack Bramma: Another one that's all about long term potential for me. Wade is going to be one of the next guys as soon as the WWE just makes up their mind. Kofi has topped out a couple of times as an IC champ and despite having a recent push as the "Wildcat", he's been taking some clean pinfalls on RAW. He did just beat Del Rio on Smackdown clean, so either Del Rio interferes here to help Wade win or Del Rio attacks after the match to set up a RR blowoff where ADR takes the belt. I'll go with a Kofi win to prevent the heels from running the table.

Winner: Kofi Kingston

Ken Hill: It just feels like ever since the "Wildcat" came out of Kofi during his feud with the Miz over the IC Championship, it's gone into hiding and the Kofi of old (Lukewarm pops, underestimates heels) is up against Barrett. Wade simply feels shunted into this feud as he's "been there, done that" with the IC Title and seems to be spinning his wheels until the Sheamus/Show World Title feud's been resolved. Expect Kofi to eke out a narrow victory here.

Winner: Kofi Kingston



Antonio Cesaro © vs R-Truth
United States Championship


Stephen Randle: Nice of them to stretch out a midcard title feud, because it helps hide the fact that there really aren't any other face contenders for Cesaro. No reason for Truth to win the title, and with the Rumble up next, they have plenty of time to build an actual contender for Cesaro to face at Mania.

Winner: Antonio Cesaro

Ben Watters: A midcard title match with a surprisingly well built up feud is pretty rare these days, so this is a breath of the freshest air. While we've already seen this match last month and I'm not convinced that Truth is the best person to be challenging for the US title, I've been enjoying this feud a lot and both guys have been on fire recently. Cesaro to retain though.

Winner: Antonio Cesaro

James Wright: Another well build match, at least in terms of recent history between the two. It is hard to argue that Truth was entitled to another shot after being beaten cleanly the last time, but who else was going to get fed to Cesaro at this point? The WWE are clearly set to keep Cesaro as their US champion and the gimmick of disparaging European as champion makes a lot of sense so I'm all for that. I hope they build off of their last match and do more with the time given, and possibly a run-in from Jack Swagger to set up a new feud for Cesaro in the coming months.

Winner: Antonio Cesaro

Michael Weyer: A decent build for this but just don't see Truth getting the belt. But they did a good job last month so we'll see if they can improve it this time around. Cesaro is a strong worker, he just needs decent challengers to make being a champion mean a lot so hopefully they can work that in starting here.

Winner and STILL US Champion: Antonio Cesaro

Jack Bramma: I like R-Truth a lot, but he's on the tracks and the train's coming through. Cesaro is on a major hot streak and the Fed is letting him run with it. A Truth win would be a stunning upset to me. Cesaro should go undefeated until winning the MITB sometime next time probably.

Winner: Antonio Cesaro

Ken Hill: Truth made a surprisingly solid Dusty-esque promo about the US last Friday night, and it's somewhat renewed my interest in this feud. While Truth's offensive style isn't the easiest to mesh with, Cesaro's been able to counteract high-flyers, power threats, and technicians simply by UPPERCUTTING THE CRAP OUT OF THEM!

Seriously though, Cesaro's been on a roll and I don't see it ending this Sunday.

Winner: Antonio Cesaro



The Big Show © vs Sheamus
World Heavyweight Championship


Stephen Randle: They wouldn't run the exact same angle at consecutive TLC PPV's, would they? If they let Ziggler (oops, spoiled my Cena-Ziggler pick) cash in after Sheamus wins the title, that would give us a Sheamus-Ziggler match at the Rumble, which I'd at least prefer over Ziggler-Show. I like that pick, I'm going to roll with it.

Winner: Sheamus

Ben Watters: This has to end here right? Their first match was awesome (much better than it had any right to be), their second encounter was disappointing and I can't see this being any better - even with the chairs stipulation. I have confidence in Sheamus to have a good PPV match with most men on the roster but never when it's the same match 3 PPVs in a row. Anyway, Sheamus to win his World Heavyweight title here and maybe put Big Show on the shelf for a few months.

Winner: Sheamus

James Wright: This match should be brutal. Sheamus and Show have worked surprisingly well so far and a final battle for the World Heavyweight title could be a great contest, and would obviously set up for a Ziggler or Cena cash in, depending on the booking on the night. Whatever happens in and after this match I think this rivalry has done its job; Sheamus looks to be in the position of the top face on Smackdown, Big Show has erased the memory of his 45-second title reign, and both men look strong at this point, however I think it might be Sheamus that gets the win, because whoever holds the MitB case will work better with the Celtic Warrior as champion at this point.

Winner: Sheamus

Michael Weyer: Okay, this has been fun for Show, the veteran with another title run but time to end it. Not the biggest Sheamus mark but I still think he's better as the champ than Show so expect them to blow it off with massive strikes and spots and Sheamus getting payback by smashing up Show and putting him on the shelf for a bit en route to another strong title run.

Winner and NEW World Heavyweight Champion: Sheamus

Jack Bramma: Lots of possibilities here between the MITB briefcase and this title match. Last month, I predicted a Dolph cash-in to provide some symmetry to the same thing happening to Show last year. Instead, however, Show retained giving us another month's worth of speculation for the REAL homage -- Ziggler cashing in on Sheamus at TLC as soon as he wins the belt, just like Bryan cashed in on Show as soon as he won the belt at TLC last year. As much sense as it makes to me to go with that finish, the WWE has a major jones for Sheamus and Show is just holding Sheamus's belt. In back to back weeks, Show has ate a Emerald Fusion and a FU and rolled out of the ring or had interference save him from jobbing. Not exactly the strongest booking in the world. I'm still going with a Ziggler cash-in and win.

Winner: Sheamus wins, Dolph cashes in and wins the belt

Ken Hill: For the second straight year, a Chairs Match actually makes sense for the climax of a feud. Show hasn't been built up as a real serious titleholder and feels more like a placeholder for Sheamus. That would normally dictate Sheamus winning. However, depending on how the card is ordered for this Sunday, one other question should be considered: If a certain Show-Off isn't so sure about his odds against Cena for the MITB breifcase, why not make sure Cena can't win it?

Winner: Sheamus, but then sore loser KO Punch, cash in, and NEW World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler


John Cena vs Dolph Ziggler
Ladder Match for the MITB Briefcase


Stephen Randle: Dammit, WWE, you had better not blow this. There is no reason to have Cena win the briefcase here, and it will even allow him to put over Ziggler without having to suffer the indignity of getting pinned. Seriously, Ziggler may be on the cusp of being a huge Superstar, but he can't possibly pin Cena. Who does he think he is, Tensai? Anyway, I'd imagine the on-again, off-again psycho AJ will somehow distract Cena and cost him the MITB briefcase that he doesn't really need because he's going to face the Rock for the WWE Title at WrestleMania anyway. Next, have the balls to not have this main-event so that Ziggler can cash in afterwards.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

Ben Watters: Potential match of the night here. These guys haven't met too often in the past and both of them have the ability to have fantastic PPV matches. Factor in the intrigue of the Money in the Bank lunchbox being on the line and we have ourselves a damn good match. While Ziggler hasn't been incredible with his MitB 'reign', I can't see him simply dropping the briefcase here to Cena and will probably get the win due to some kind of Shield interference.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

James Wright: Once again we have a match involving Cena in a PPV where he could either make a guy, or break a guy. If Ziggler loses his MitB briefcase to Cena, after losing to him in all their matches already, and his only real claim to fame being his joke of a title reign that is still disputed in its legitimacy, he will just look like a joke if he loses in this match as well. However if Cena lets Ziggler get the victory then Ziggler could look really strong coming out of the match and take the title either later in the night or soon in the coming year. Judging by Ziggler's recent track record it might make more sense that he will win as if they are really trying to push the guy then having him lose all the time only means something if they finally give him this big win, otherwise it's just another case of 'how the hell did the WWE mess this up?'. Of course the WWE could still throw us a curve ball and have it so Ziggler cashes in before the match if it is after the World Title match and then it will probably be for the title itself, if that happens then I am highly skeptical of a Ziggler victory as the likeliness of him winning in a Ziggler vs. Cena in a title match is very low. Still I'm going to go with the optimist view in believing that here the WWE has set Ziggler up to succeed and prove that he belongs in the main event, he'll probably screw Cena over in some way, but as long as he climbs the ladder and retrieves the case at the end of the night then I don't really care how he does it.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

Michael Weyer: So the anti-Cena crowd are naturally going "well, Cena goes over here obviously" but is that really the case? This is the man who allowed himself to be the first guy to fail to cash in MITB for a title win, he doesn't need the belt and even WWE has to recognize that. Cena's proven himself a good company guy but also willing to carry others if he can, not his fault the bookers want him as the superman. The last year has seen him allow that to be weakened so I think Cena will actually put Ziggler over here. Ziggler is long overdue for a big run and this is the best way to do it. Expect great battles and I wouldn't be surprised at a run-in by someone for Punk (if not Punk himself somehow) to cost Cena the win and push Ziggler more.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

Jack Bramma: My ultimate smark booking prediction is this: Ziggler cashes in after the WHW championship match and wins the belt early in the night to prevent Cena from being able to get the briefcase. Vince because he's Vince changes the stipulation in the main event makes the match for the belt and Cena wins. I think it's a terrible idea for the long-term booking and abandons a good Sheamus-Show program and COMPLETELY bypasses Ziggler who is ready to be the guy in favor of adding some mystery to the Wrestlemania match fantasy-booking with Rock, Punk, Cena, Undertaker, etc. Cena moving over to Smackdown for a couple of months makes a certain kind of sense to allow Ryback and Rock room to be the dominant faces on RAW, but it just is the most short-sighted idea possible for the health of the Smackdown brand, in my opinion and that's probably while they will do it.

Winner: John Cena to become new World Heavyweight Champion

Ken Hill: While I haven't liked that AJ and Vickie have been as much a part of this feud as Cena and Dolph have, Dolph is still getting his time to shine with the big boys. First a win at Survivor Series pinning Randy Orton, and now his MITB briefcase on the line against Cena. However, if what I predicted comes to pass, I see Vickie (note: Vince) making the ladder match for the World Title. Regardless of whether it ends up for the briefcase or the World Championship, I see AJ accidentally costing Cena to further her mental breakdown.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

Overall Thoughts


Stephen Randle: The very definition of a throwaway PPV, and a great example of why WWE should seriously consider dumping the December show and just running stuff like the Slammies, maybe a Year in Review for the Christmas Eve/New Year's Ever show, and maybe a little extra build towards the Royal Rumble. The matches might be okay, but I don't see any reason why I should care, and will be saving my forty bucks towards the Rumble in January.

Buy/No Buy: No Buy

Ben Watters: I can't really see a terrible match on this card. While the Intercontinental title match is pretty throwaway and the World Heavyweight title match is likely to be underwhelming, nothing really strikes me as a total waste of time on this card. We'll see though.

Buy/No Buy: Buy

James Wright: Surprisingly this actually looks like a pretty stacked card. If the matches involved are given enough time to develop properly, and the TLC action isn't toned down too much, then we could be in for a great night. I'm not sure if Punk, Rock, Brock or anyone else will get involved in the event, but the potential alone is probably worth the money this time as it could be a sleeper event that surprises everyone.

Buy/No Buy: Buy

Michael Weyer: After the mess of Survivor Series, this looks like a damn good card. TLC is always a fun show and the mix of matches looks pretty promising with Sheamus and Show having thier big showdown and the IC and U.S. bouts paying off builds. The main event is worth watching to see if Cena can really job to Ziggler and the uncertainty makes this more of a must-see than usual so well worth paying money to check out.

Buy/No Buy: Buy

Jack Bramma: A show with a ton of interesting booking possibilities that I'm looking forward to. The tag division is coming back with a fury; the secondary titles have STORYLINES and good wrestling; there's a heel stable in the main event with new fresh faces; and Dolph Ziggler may be anointed as the next guy (not likely but I'm optimistic).

Buy/No Buy: Buy

Ken Hill: While I feel like WWE's just spinning their wheels until Dwayne shows up for the Royal Rumble, they've got a pretty good lineup here, and the potential Show/Sheamus/Cena/Ziggler World Championship debacle is enough to catch my interest for this Sunday.

Buy/No Buy: Buy

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