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Here we are, another December and another Tables, Ladders, and Chairs pay-per-view. Much like Hell in a Cell, the show features shoehorned TLC matches with people who happen to be fighting with each other at the time, just for the heck of it!
Like leftovers from the Thanksgiving meal that was Survivor Series, TLC often has short programs coming to a conclusion, or loose ends tied up before the Royal Rumble and the busier time of year. The two world title matches both find themselves in the first category, as Kevin Owens will face Universal Champion Roman Reigns after only a few brief but very solid weeks of build. AJ Styles will face WWE Champion Drew McIntyre after perhaps even less time, but the pairing represents a completely fresh matchup in the professional wrestling landscape between one of the best to ever do it, and the fastest rising star in the company.
It seems pretty unlikely that either champion will be dethroned before the Royal Rumble, with Drew having only just won his title back a few weeks ago on RAW, and Roman Reigns on the hottest run of his career with his delusional heel patriarch character. Something tells me Styles and Drew will have the better match, while Owens will attempt the craziest high spot of the night.
Elsewhere on the card, we have Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler defending their tag titles, taking on Asuka and a partner to be named later. Lana, who was originally booked for the match, defeated Nia Jax via pinfall on the go-home show before TLC, but was written out of the match via injury. Worth noting that Asuka actually headlined TLC 2019 in a Women’s Tag Title bout with partner Kairi Sane, defeating the team of Charlotte Flair and RAW Women’s Champion, Becky Lynch. This year, she enters the show as RAW Women’s Champion, and will be facing the champs.
Normally, I am quite the sucker for a “mystery partner” angle. Could it be Io Shirai? What if Kairi Sane came back for one night? What if it was Rhea Ripley, and this is how she got called up to the main roster??? One day, one of these angles might actually pay off. I expect it to be Mandy Rose. Or Lana. Somehow?
I absolutely do not expect anything other than Bray Wyatt winning here, whether due to Alexa Bliss or some other spooky bollocks.
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt, who has simply kicked Randy Orton’s ass any time he is “The Fiend” and not simply Bray Wyatt, faces Randy Orton! I absolutely do not expect anything other than Bray Wyatt winning here, whether due to Alexa Bliss or some other spooky bollocks. Randy needs to be freed up to face Edge, I assume, at WrestleMania … again. This program has had a lot of callbacks and references to their previous feud from 2017. One thing I hope they leave behind was the superimposed overhead projections of worms and bugs which turned their WrestleMania WWE championship match into a comedy segment which saw Bray lose clean as a whistle to a single RKO.
***BREAKING NEWS UPDATE***
Since writing this preview, WWE has announced the Orton/Fiend match will be a “Funhouse Inferno Match.” What that specifically means is unclear. but if it is classic Inferno Match rules, the loser is the guy who gets set on fire. This kind of changes everything if you ask me. What, exactly, does Randy Orton wear while wrestling that can be set on fire? His little Speedo trunks? This now seems like a chance to have The Fiend take a loss without eating a pinfall or submission. Poor Bray and his clown pants are probably going to catch fire, in the worst way possible.
Sasha Banks and Carmella will face each other for the SmackDown Women’s championship in a rematch from this past Friday. Carmella seems to have Sasha’s number, and Sasha hasn’t looked particularly great, nor valiant, in dispatching her challenge. It wouldn’t totally surprise me to see Carmella leave with the title. They seem to have a serious, new investment in her as a character, and she even has a new entrance that was definitely not Scarlett Bordeaux’s gimmick at all. She looks great. In conclusion, Carmella for president.
Lastly, the New Day will face The Hurt Business for the RAW Tag Team championships. They have been teasing something with Cedric Alexander, but considering he already turned heel to join The Hurt Business, I’m not really too sure what it could be. Is he going to…turn heel on the Hurt Business? A double negative would be a positive, so we would just have this new intensity Cedric as a babyface? Either way, seems a bit early for that because I see them picking up a big win here. I’m not really sure what or where they go with Kofi and Xavier these days, as “being the tag team champions” is pretty much their on-screen character over the last few years.
WWE TLC 2020 comes to you live starting at 7 p.m. ET on the WWE Network. Got something to say? Hit me up @hard_seltzer on Twitter dot com or leave a comment below! Be sure to check out the Fight Game Media Network on Patreon and stay tuned for the Break it Down with Keila and Andy podcast coming THIS Monday!