What a year it has been for the WWE. It started things off with one of the most negatively received Royal Rumbles in history, found itself at the top of the world following Wrestlemania, entered into a glorious period of decent booking during July, but then fell into a slump as the year came to an end. Ratings have taken a nosedive, most of their top talent is injured, and Creative can’t seem to figure out how to fix itself.
Now, the WWE looks to bring a dismal year to a dismal end with its last pay-per-view of the year.
I’m typically an optimistic person. But my expectations for tomorrow are about as low as the blow Undertaker gave to Lesnar.
So on that cheery note, here are my predictions for Tables, Ladders, and Chairs 2015.
Ryback vs. Rusev
Ryback’s booking in 2015 has been incredibly bland. He’s good working crowds and has an awesome build, but aside from that the storytelling in his character is simply not there.
Rusev started the year off as an unbeatable monster. Now he’s a character from a low-budget romantic comedy.
I doubt anyone will be too invested in this match. But Rusev needs the win more. Therefore, my hopeful side is BEGGING Creative to let Rusev win this one.
Prediction: Rusev wins, possibly with interference from Lana.
The New Day vs. The Usos vs. The Lucha Dragons (ladder match for Tag Team Championship)
The New Day has been 2015’s saving grace. They have been equally entertaining with and without the Tag Team Championship. The Usos are always entertaining to watch, and have an infectious energy. The Lucha Dragons are the ultimate underdogs, with Kallisto being one of the breakout stars of the year.
Expect this match to be a spot-fest, with fun antics from the New Day throughout. I would feel absolutely robbed if Big E doesn’t dance on the ladder at some point.
I doubt the WWE will remove the belts from the New Day until 2016, however. Hopefully, this match will catapult the Lucha Dragons more ardently into title contention for the Royal Rumble.
Prediction: The New Day retains, Xavier Woods does something legendary with his hair.
Charlotte vs. Paige (Divas Championship)
I’m going to split this prediction into two parts: what absolutely should happen and what will actually happen.
Charlotte and Paige’s feud has been absolutely, painfully dull. The booking has been so lackluster, and Charlotte’s characterization so muddled, that the WWE seems to have practically given up on making us care about this.
This is a damn shame, considering how loaded with talent the Divas division actually is. But with only one title to contend for, and a creative team that thinks women can only fight over petty matters, most of them have faded into the background.
So, onto what should happen.
Sasha Banks, one of the best wrestlers, male or female, in the entire world, is from Boston, where the pay-per-view is taking place. An interference in this match leading to a triple threat between the heelish champ, the fierce antihero, and true babyface Becky Lynch at the Royal Rumble would do wonders for Creative.
What will actually happen? Charlotte will win dirty in true Flair fashion with assistance from good ol’ pops, and face Becky Lynch next as a full heel.
Prediction: Charlotte retains dirty with interference from her father.
The Wyatt Family vs. Rhyno, Tommy Dreamer and The Dudley Boyz (elimination tables match)
The Wyatt family, in theory, should be an unstoppable force of nature. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan are two of the most underrated workers int he business. Braun Strowman is scary as hell. Bray Wyatt has the kind of terrifying charisma that could carry over into a face turn. However, for some reason, Creative just won’t let them win anything. At all.
This losing streak absolutely MUST end at TLC. The ECW boys are the perfect foils to put the Wyatts over.
This match, if done right, has the potential to be brutal, thrilling, and all-around fun to watch. I hope it is.
Prediction: The Wyatts prevail over the ECW veterans.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger (chairs match for United States Championship)
This shouldn’t even be a question.
Del Rio should, hopefully, be back to form after his split from Zeb Coulter. And this unique angle with Swagger should put him over in time for Cena’s return.
As for the match itself? Chair matches are the runt of the litter in gimmick matches, so expect nothing overly exciting.
Prediction: Del Rio retains.
Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose (Intercontinental Championship)
This is only the beginning, I hope.
As I’ve said before, this feud has the potential to be the only one on this card to last into Wrestlemania. There are clear face/heel dynamics, both performers are over, and both men are dynamite in the ring.
Ambrose is the kind of man who is wasted when he’s not int he hunt for a title. He’s above being Roman Reigns’ lapdog. The audience adores him, and he has managed to remain wildly popular despite consistently underwhelming booking. This feud is perfect for him heading into Wrestlemania season.
Expect this match to steal the show, but don’t expect Ambrose to take home the gold just yet.
Prediction: Owens retains (for now).
Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns (TLC match for WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
The easy prediction is Sheamus retaining. But, as much as I think Roman Reigns has no business being champion yet, I have to say that I think the WWE is going to end this feud, say their prayers, and give Reigns the belt.
I don’t have a long-winded explanation for this, as there is really no outcome to this match that will make me jump for joy or solve the WWE’s issues immediately, but it would be a change. And since I don’t see any other titles changing hands, this will have to be it.
Prediction: Roman Reigns wins. Whether he wins the title itself or via DQ if the League of Nations interferes, I can’t say.