The final pay-per-view of the calendar year comes on Sunday, December 16th as WWE hosts TLC at the SAP Center in San Jose.
Truly, it’s an outstanding card for what’s generally regarded as a B-level event in the eyes of most WWE fans. Outside of an awful Mixed Match Challenge finals that will take place, every match on the card has been well built, even on the lower card. Six championship matches take place on Sunday, with 12 matches overall. The card is loaded, the matches all interesting and at worst, it’s looking to be a solid final PPV before the Road to WrestleMania kicks off next month.
It’s the final event of 2018 - let’s get ready!
- Mixed Match Challenge Final - R-Truth & Carmella vs. Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox
- Natalya vs. Ruby Riott - (Tables Match)
- Elias vs. Bobby Lashley (Ladder Match)
- Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton (Chairs Match)
- Finn Balor vs. Drew McIntyre
- Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin (Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match)
- WWE Cruiserweight Championship - Buddy Murphy © vs. Cedric Alexander
- SmackDown Tag Team Championship match - The Bar © vs. The Usos vs. The New Day
- Intercontinental Championship match - Seth Rollins © vs. Dean Ambrose
- SmackDown Women’s Championship match - Becky Lynch © vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka (Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match)
- Raw Women’s Championship match - Ronda Rousey© vs. Nia Jax
- WWE Championship match - Daniel Bryan© vs. AJ Styles
Hayden Love, AKA God
Mixed Match Challenge Final - R-Truth & Carmella vs. Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox
Spencer: The coveted #30 position in the Royal Rumble is on the line, and I couldn’t be less excited. Neither pairing here is an appealing option for me, so I’m going with the Alberta connection. Prediction: Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox
Parker: Lol, this is for the #30 spot in the Rumble. Question: Can you see any of the following members winning the rumble? Prediction: Carmella and the bane of my existence, R-Truth. Second Prediction: The Fans Lose
Hayden: It is difficult to compare this year’s edition of the Mixed Match Challenge to last year’s. Firstly, the stakes have completely changed - last year’s winners (Asuka and the Miz) were granted a sum of $100,000, to be donated to a charity of their choosing. In all seriousness, it was a fantastic competition with an excellent premise and two sensible winners. This year, the teams of Mahalicia and The Fabulous Truth compete not only for the #30 spot within their respective Royal Rumble matches but also an all expenses paid trip, anywhere in the world. Like, what the shit? How did this happen? Anyhow, I predict the Fabulous Truth will win. Prediction: Fabulous Truth
Natalya vs. Ruby Riott (Tables Match)
Spencer: Ruby Riott is quietly developing into one of the best heels in WWE today. This should be an excellent match; both women are incredibly underrated in-ring, and this feud has enough fire behind it to get me completely invested. Say what you will about the way deaths are used in the WWE, but Ruby’s table depicting Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart on it was excellent, excellent heeldom and she deserves to be rewarded. Prediction: Ruby Riott
Parker: “Evil will always triumph because good is dumb.” Ruby needs the win more here, Ruby has the hotter act, Ruby has the brighter future on RAW. This feud has been ok, not my cup of tea, but I expect the Riott Squad will help get the win here. Prediction: Ruby Riott
Hayden: Though the Riott Squad may be scant for victories, their leader has quietly been putting away win after win in singles competition on RAW. Ruby Riott has had an interesting path of progression through her time in WWE - a satisfying if underwhelming face run in NXT came to an end when she, Sarah Logan, and Liv Morgan debuted on SmackDown Live! as a villainous faction. Their success there saw them traded to RAW, along with fellow Smackdown alumnus Natalya. Recently, they have butted heads following the death of Natalya’s father. Nice. As a fan of both women, I eagerly anticipate their match. Prediction: Natalya
Elias vs Bobby Lashley (Ladder Match)
Spencer: You suck, Bobby Lashley. You suck, Lio Rush. You don’t suck, Elias. Prediction: Elias
Parker: Spencer’s favourite wrestler gets the win, over the much more entertaining & interesting babyface. What does Vince McMahon love again? Also, this stipulation is stupid. Prediction: Bobby Lashley wins again
Hayden: In anticipation of this match, I have been hard at work repairing my relationship with God. Each and every day, I have fallen to my knees, praying that the Bobby Lashley will win. Are you there God? It’s me, Hayden. Give Bobby the victory, lest his 3 sisters tie him to a tree again. Prediction: Bobby Lashley
Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton (Chairs Match)
Spencer: I don’t think Orton can afford a loss here, while Mysterio is already a WWE legend. That’s not to say Randy isn’t, but he’s more in need of a win. Prediction: Randall Keith Orton
Parker: I’m on board with Sadistic Heel Randy Orton, and I’m on board with Rey Mysterio at all times. This one is up in the air for me, and I’m going with the good guy winning. Either way, I won’t be upset with the winner. Prediction: Rey Mysterio
Hayden: An extremely difficult call. Both men have something to gain, and something to lose in this match. However, Rey Mysterio‘s stature as a legitimate living legend makes certain that the Viper wwe superstar the Randy Orton will come out on top. Prediction: Randy Orton
Finn Balor vs. Drew McIntyre
Spencer: There is absolutely no reason for Drew McIntyre to lose on PPV, period. Hopefully, this is leading to a return of the Demon for another Balor/McIntyre matchup. Colour me excited! Prediction: Drew McIntrye
Parker: Who thought Dolph Ziggler would be the first man to pin Drew on the main roster? Drew is going to destroy Finn here for costing him his undefeated streak. Any other outcome is dumb. Maybe we see the demon in a future match, but for now… Prediction: Drew McIntyre
Hayden: Drew, easy. Prediction: Drew McIntyre
Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin (Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match)
Spencer: Will Braun even wrestle? That’s truly the question heading into the advertised Strowman/Corbin match for Sunday. This is fully contingent on if the Monster Among Men actually shows up, but it’s an easy prediction if he does. Prediction: Braun Strowman
Parker: Even if Braun loses, do you see anyone else challenging Brock at the Royal Rumble? Honestly, though, I wouldn’t be surprised at all about a Corbin win somehow. Prediction: Braun Strowman
Hayden: Although Spencer detests Interim RAW General Manager Elect Constable Baron Corbin, Hayden feels that he has grown immeasurably from his early days in NXT. However, he is still quite bad, especially when held in comparison to the Braun Strowman. As mentioned, Strowman’s PPV status is still up in the air, following surgery on a shattered elbow. I am going to spit in the faces of my fellow columnists and predict that Corbin will capitalize on Strowman’s state and end up with a win. Prediction: Baron Corbin
WWE Cruiserweight Championship - Buddy Murphy © vs. Cedric Alexander
Spencer: What’s sure to be an excellent match is sure to be a victory for Buddy Murphy. There’s simply no point in a second title reign for Alexander - and with tension teased between the former champion and best friend Mustafa Ali, a heel turn seems more likely to this writer. Prediction: Buddy Murphy
Parker: The title doesn’t need to go back on Alexander. Simple. Prediction: Buddy Murphy
Hayden: As always, these two men could end up stealing the show. With Murphy’s stock and popularity concurrently rising, and Alexander exhibiting signs of “turning heel” (INSIDER TERM), it may be time for the second Age of Alexander. However, I love the Buddy Murphy and expect he and his championship will live to see another day. Prediction: Buddy Murphy
SmackDown Tag Team Championship match - The Bar © vs. The Usos vs. The New Day
Spencer: As much as I’d love it, I don’t see a title change happening here. Both the Usos and the New Day have had lengthy reigns with the Smackdown Tag Team Championships - now, it’s The Bar’s turn. Prediction: The Bar
Parker: Honestly up in the air. As long as nobody pees on something I’ll be happy. I have no real idea of where this will go, any of these teams winning would be great, as it is pretty hard to screw up the talent in Smackdown’s tag division. To go with my gut… Prediction: The Usos become the New Smackdown Tag Team Champions.
Hayden: I, like Bubba Ray, hoped for a TLC match to be contested between the three teams. With the Bar exhibiting cracks - especially following the departure of longtime manager Big Show - it seems the titles are ripe for the picking. The New Day can go to hell. The Usos can win the titles. Easy! Prediction: The Usos
Intercontinental Championship match - Seth Rollins © vs. Dean Ambrose
Spencer: While the feud has lost a bit of steam in recent weeks, this is still one of the most anticipated bouts on the card. I’m incredibly excited to watch a legendary feud reignite with the heel/face dynamic switched. I see this feud continuing for a long time, with a marquee matchup at the Royal Rumble almost set in stone. While Ambrose is destined to be the next Intercontinental Champion, I don’t think the switch happens on Sunday. Prediction: Seth Rollins via DQ.
Parker: While Seth’s first few weeks after initially winning the Intercontinental Championship were fantastic with the open challenges, what else has he done? Without a doubt, Seth is the best babyface on RAW right now. Couple that with a fantastic heel turn for Dean Ambrose, this should have been a great feud to keep RAW afloat. Now Ambrose is a germaphobe for… reasons. Seth doesn’t need the title here, and Dean Ambrose needs a win in my opinion. I think we see the Lunatic Fringe take the strap here, by hook or by crook, in order to have Seth make a move into the main event of RAW on the Road to WrestleMania. Prediction: Dean Ambrose becomes the new Intercontinental Champion.
Hayden: I am still “hard” for this match. Ambrose, while making some odd changes to his character, has flipped a switch in the ring, and has genuinely become one of the best wrestlers in the whole of the WWE. Put him together with The Architect, and you have a phenomenal match in the making. That said, the “storyline” (INSIDER TERM) implications make this a difficult match to predict. Seth seems destined for a world title match at WrestleMania, but I cannot see him losing the title on Sunday. Prediction: Seth Rollins retains.
SmackDown Women’s Championship match - Becky Lynch © vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka (Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match)
Spencer: Becky Lynch will be losing her title on Sunday, that much I am sure of. It just makes sense, right? Losing her championship is the perfect reason to enter the Royal Rumble and set up an inevitable match with one Ronda Rousey. However, with The Man losing out on her title, who pulls out the victory? Well, after the Baddest Woman on the Planet retains against Nia Jax - more on that later - I firmly believe that she’ll set her sights on the woman who destroyed her with a kendo stick at Survivor Series. How can you top that match? Make it Champion vs. Champion. Prediction: Charlotte Flair
Parker: Well this should be fantastic. It seems to me like there will be potentially two women’s matches at the Royal Rumble. Charlotte taking on Ronda, and Nia Jax vs Becky. My ideal situations for these three women at ‘Mania is that Charlotte and Asuka face off again, with Asuka getting revenge for Charlotte ending the streak. That moment definitely ruined a lot of Asuka’s momentum, and the biggest money match they have is Becky vs. Ronda. I see Becky beating Nia and moving to RAW, Becky winning the women’s rumble (or both?), and we see Rousey vs. Becky at ‘Mania for the RAW Women’s title. To kick this series of events off, I see Asuka taking the title here where everyone can look strong. Prediction: BOLD, but Asuka wins after Charlotte & Becky destroy each other.
Hayden: Well this should be fantastic. It seems to me like there will be potentially two women’s matches at the Royal Rumble. Charlotte taking on Ronda, and Nia Jax vs Becky. My ideal situations for these three women at ‘Mania is that Charlotte and Asuka face off again, with Asuka getting revenge for Charlotte ending the streak. That moment definitely ruined a lot of Asuka’s momentum, and the biggest money match they have is Becky vs. Ronda. I see Becky beating Nia and moving to RAW, Becky winning the women’s rumble (or both?), and we see Rousey vs. Becky at ‘Mania for the RAW Women’s title. To kick this series of events off, I see Asuka taking the title here where everyone can look strong. Prediction: BOLD, but Asuka wins after Charlotte & Becky destroy each other.
Raw Women’s Championship match - Ronda Rousey© vs. Nia Jax
Spencer: The rematch no one wanted takes place this Sunday, and hopefully doesn’t ever take place again. It’s not even that I dislike the pairing; I’m just simply left wondering why they’d re-do this matchup so soon again. Either way, Ronda comes out victorious. Prediction: Ronda Rousey
Parker: My prediction of Ronda won’t lose until ‘Mania comes into effect again. Hopefully, Nia Jax doesn’t randomly scream midway through her promo again. Prediction: Ronda Rousey
Hayden: Like the classic 1977 comedy “Oh, God!” starring John Denver and George Burns, Oh God. I can confidently speak for the entirety of the Win Column staff in saying this match will suck. Ronda, easy. Prediction: Ronda Rousey
WWE Championship match - Daniel Bryan© vs. AJ Styles
Spencer: Daniel Bryan is quite possibly the most interesting character in WWE right now, and that’s truly saying something in an era where Becky Lynch exists. He’s been absolutely, well, phenomenal since turning on AJ Styles just over a month ago, and there’s absolutely no reason for him not to have a long run. I think Styles is past the point of needing the championship - after tonight, let the speculation on when he moves to RAW begin. Prediction: Daniel Bryan
Parker: Bryan is too fresh, and too interesting, to take the title off of him. Styles run with the strap was great, but with the belt off of him, I can see him being used to build some new stars on Smackdown. With AJ wanting to spend more time with his family, Daniel Bryan just makes sense here. Prediction: The NEW Daniel Bryan retains
Hayden: A soft smile comes to my face when thinking of the NEW Daniel Bryan. He has recaptured what originally endeared him to the WWE Universe; an absolute show-stealer in the ring, coupled with legitimate, well-structured character work. There is too much upside to keeping the belt on Bryan to have him lose to Styles so early. Not to discredit Styles; we here have sung (and will continue to sing) his praises until the day he retires. Styles is due for a break, considering the length of his reign and the accompanying workload. Prediction: Daniel Bryan
- Thank You.
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