Rasslin’ Roundtable – WWE TLC 2010

It’s the last PPV event of 2010, and the second one dedicated to various gimmick matches that start with either T, L or C. With the excess furniture that we’ll see, our own Steven Gepp needed to get a second job and he wound up as a writer for the new IKEA catalog. He was kind enough to share some of the new products with us.

World Heavyweight Championship – TLC Match:
Kane(C) vs. Edge vs Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio

Ikea Item No. 23145 “Konfoozen-Krap”
This little ensemble suite would suit any room in the house if you wanted people to leave quickly or if you thought ladders were a good decorating item. May seem on the surface to be slightly stupid, but when looked at deep down, it goes beyond that. This set has a distinct German influence – it looks like it’s been in two world wars and lost them both. At least two of the pieces work together well, and this will surely be a conversation piece in your trailer or shack if nothing else.

Steven Gepp: Can we please take the title off Kane now, give it to Edge and have him fight a much better match at the next WM with a returning Chris Jericho? Please? For a man fighting stupidity, Edge has certainly been involved in one of the stupidest angles of 2010. Just end it now. For the love of God… Oh, hang on, that’s right, they realised the suckitude this match was destined to have, and so they’ve thrown in Rey and Del Rio to up the ante. But this just makes it confusing, throwing two feuds together for no good reason. It won’t lift the match, but will drag down the Del Rio/Rey confrontation (which I had set as match of the night). And I think they’ve had the winner in mind all along, so the other two bodies don’t matter.
Winner: Edge

Kyle Sparks: Kane’s run has been interesting, but ultimately hasn’t really helped much of anyone. The feud with Edge had some potential, but has inexplicably devolved into a Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote cartoon. The late addition of Mysterio and Del Rio implies that one of them will be walking away with the title, as that’s what usually happens in these types of situations. Since it won’t be Rey, that only leaves one possibility. For whatever reason, Del Rio just doesn’t do it for me, but he’s availed himself decently, and can be a solid placeholder champion for the time being.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio (NEW World Heavyweight Champion)

Jonah Kue: This is probably the most unpredictable match in terms of the outcome. It’s been such an odd year for Smackdown, especially the recently horrendous booking with Kane. With that said, as ideal as it might seem (and as much as we’d like to see this happen), the trigger might not be pulled when it comes to Del Rio. I know that new territory is finally being explored (Awesome), but I feel as though cold feet are running rampant in this match. Therefore, I’m looking for Edge to win here. Mysterio doesn’t make much sense, and Kane’s had his run. Besides, it would make sense to start the Del Rio/Edge feud for the title after this match. Speaking of which, this match won’t be exceptional by any means, but it will test Del Rio’s breakout potential in a big match situation.
Winner: Edge (New World Heavyweight Champion)

Raffi Shamir: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE end Kane’s title reign. And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE end the stupidity! I hate everything about Kane’s title reign and I hate his feud with Edge. I like Mysterio and Del Rio, and they deserved a chance to put on one major PPV match in their feud rather than be thrown into a match they don’t belong in. I can’t see either of them taking the big gold belt so their only job here is to make sure Smackdown’s title match wouldn’t suck. Rey shouldn’t get the title again and it’s too soon for Del Rio. It should have been Edge last month but at least now he’ll get to win the title in “his” match.
Winner: Edge

Andrew Wheeler: Much like the entire TLC PPV, I was running short on time so my picks are going to be brief. This match was apparently created due to a timing issue, which is fine by me. Kane has been passable as champion (looks menacing, can still cut a great promo) but it’s clear that he just wasn’t going to be a capable top draw against Edge for a second time. Giving Del Rio and Mysterio chances at the belt freshen up what could have been a dull match and lets the company see if JBLatino has what it takes to hang with the big boys. The biggest problem with an Edge win was that he had no one to transition into a feud with, but by adding Alberto now, Edge has someone to face in the coming months.
Winner: Edge

WWE Championship – Tables Match:
The Miz (C) vs. Randy Orton

Ikea Item No. PG13 “Reelvorld”
This item is perfect for schizophrenic households. One end of the table is highly polished and seems to need extra legs to hold itself up while the other end is prone to sudden break downs. Perfect for the divorcing couple.

Steven Gepp: I don’t think Miz is a deserving champion. Sure, he’s improved, but he just does not say ‘champion’ to me. Having said that, I’m bored with Orton. Yes, I’m a fussy turd. This match will probably deliver, and I expect to see some hijinx from Alex Riley, and I expect this feud to be drawn out even further.
Winner: Miz

Kyle Sparks: Simply put, no way they put the title back on Orton this soon. Besides, a tables match is a nice safe choice to make sure that Orton doesn’t come out looking bad, and Miz can get a successful title defense against the former champ to up his credibility after the cash-in.
Winner: The Miz (STILL WWE Champion)

Jonah Kue: And here, friends, is the test. Well, several, actually. The Miz will be tested to see if he can perform in a main event level match. Orton will be tested to see if he can carry a newbie in a better fashion than he did Sheamus. And, perhaps most importantly, these two will have their chemistry tested. My expectations are moderate at best, even though I’m a mark for the Miz, and am a fan of Orton’s. As for results, can’t see them taking the title off of Miz this quickly, especially with that No.1 Contender’s match in the mix. Anyone else smell a Dirt Sheet Reunion?
Winner: The Mix (Still WWE Champion)

Raffi Shamir: Miz’s first title defense and no way is he losing here. A-Ri will probably get involved like every good apprentice, but I dread a situation where WWE might think that David Arquette was good on Monday night and have him make a cameo appearance here as well. The whole idea of a tables match is for a dreaded heel to win without a beloved face taking a pin or submitting. It somewhat worked for Sheamus against Cena on TLC 2009 and it will work for Miz here. It probably won’t be an amazing match, and the “sports entertainment” levels will more than likely be over the top, but it should get the job, of solidifying Miz in the main event, done.
Winner: The Miz

Andrew Wheeler: Tables matches are designed to have someone win without making it definitive, so there’s no reason for the WWE to abandon Miz right now, especially considering how much press he’s generating. Besides, the WWE still has at least one more Miz/Orton match in them before the Elimination Chamber.
Winner: The Miz

Chairs Match:
John Cena vs. Wade Barrett

Ikea Item No. USA-4, UK-1.2 “Nonecksuss”
These chairs are an interesting mix of British and American influences, with green wood and a distinctly Hoganesque design. How well these features come together is a matter of taste, but there is enough here for the connoisseur as well as for the slobs sitting around the BBQ.

Steven Gepp: I think if anyone is going to be able to carry Barrett to a good match at this point, it’s going to be Cena. Barrett is really good on the mic, has the look, but his in-ring skills have seemed a little nervous more than anything. Let’s hope being in there with someone like Cena who he’s faced a few times already will help him out. I actually have reasonable hopes for an entertaining match here, but the way the booking is I have no idea who is going to win. I do expect Otunga to get involved somehow, and I don’t expect the chair stipulation to play a huge part in the result, but this is still a pick ‘em.
Winner: John Cena (I think)

Kyle Sparks: Oy. Did Cena need to come back this soon? I grasp that he’s one of their biggest merch movers, but with his constant run-ins (never mind the enormous suspension of disbelief) he honestly never left. Why should we give a rat’s ass about stipulations? Those arguments aside, look for Cena to get the win here and put a bullet in the Nexus angle that appears to be starting to lurch to a close. Barrett should still be fine, and ironically enough may be able to settle into the Jericho role of JTTS and occasional main eventer while still keeping the bulk of his heat.
Winner: John Cena

Jonah Kue: I really can’t feel that much intensity from this match. Blame it on the last minute thrown-together formula of it. If Cena wins, it’ll probably spell the end of this feud. If Barrett crosses the threshold to victory, then….well, there’d better be a little more dimension added to the Nexus issue, ’cause if it only means that the feud is dragged on, then it’s crossing Orton/Cena-5th-PPV-in-a-row-circa-2009 territory. Either way, expect this match to be the snoozer of the card.
Winner: John Cena

Raffi Shamir: I can’t believe that what should have been feud of the year has gone so downhill in the last month. Everything that happened since the ending of Survivor Series has really soured my view of this feud. To make a long story short, John Cena shouldn’t have turned heel at Survivor Series or get fired and not been seen at all at least until this Sunday night when he would have made his return as the renegade who tries to avenge everything. Now it’s just another missed opportunity. Now it seems inevitable that he’d win this match and I don’t see a bright future for Nexus since I don’t think anyone is looking for a feud between Wade Barrett and David Otunga.
Winner: John Cena

Andrew Wheeler: Maybe this is time for John Cena to extract some revenge? Considering the next major PPV is the Royal Rumble (where both guys are gonna be entrants), this may be the last time the company can do a straight-up Barrett/Cena match for a while. The chairs stipulation works for either guy here, as Cena can beat Barrett by using the weapon (which protects Wade’s reputation) or Cena can lose because all of Nexus interferes with chairs.
Winner: John Cena

Intercontinental Championship – Triple Threat Ladder Match:
Dolph Ziggler (C) vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger

Ikea Item No. ½ “Hoeleeshee-it”
An interesting ladder with three legs instead of the usual two. Flashy looking and bound to impress youngsters with limited world experience, but you wouldn’t use it to fix a light bulb. Looks good sitting in the corner of your living room, but does not bear up to too much inspection.

Steven Gepp: The spotfest match of the night. Three guys who don’t care but will do anything in this situation to make themselves look amazing. This will be a match high on flash, but limited in substance. Dolph has improved greatly as a wrestler, Swagger was a world champ, and Kingston hasn’t changed his schtick for 18 months. So…
Winner: Kofi Kingston

Kyle Sparks: Ziggler’s run as IC Champion has pretty much run its course. While I’m not entirely surprised they didn’t put the title on Kaval at Survivor Series, I’m a little disappointed he’s not involved in what seems to be a pretty thrown together ladder match here. Swagger and Kofi are both utterly spinning their wheels at this point as neither seems to have a lot of upward momentum. Look for Swagger to pick up the IC Title here, as it seems as though WWE sees a brighter future in him than they see in Kofi.
Winner: Jack Swagger (NEW Intercontinental Champion)

Jonah Kue: Three words: Expected Show Stealer. All three of these guys seem like they’re at their A game (even if Swagger is being treated like a jobber, he’s still damn good in the ring). I feel as if Kingston is being pushed as a huge threat once again. I do wish they’d give him the mic, though. The guy can cut a hell of a promo, if given the chance (Kofi/Orton late last year). I see Ziggler retaining, but not after an incredible match, followed by a nail-biting spot fest. Let’s go with it.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler (still IC Champion)

Raffi Shamir: Of all the gimmick matches, this will probably steal the show and give its participants the most opportunity to shine. If they wanted to transition the title to Kofi, they’d probably make this a one on one match between him and Ziggler. Adding Swagger to this spotfest will probably let him show his abilities again and be a good way to transition the title from one heel to another. I just hope that even without the IC title, Ziggler will continue his hot period and will not be pushed down the card.
Winner: Jack Swagger

Andrew Wheeler: All three of these guys are going to look to steal the show, which is fine with me. In the end, there are plenty of challengers for Kofi to face (Rhodes, Ziggler, Swangle, McIntyre), so why not let Kingston have another run with the strap?
Winner: Kofi Kingston

#1 Contender Ladder Match:
John Morrison vs. Sheamus

Ikea Item No. 123ZZZ “Wotsthapoint”
Called the king of ladders, this is the sort of ladder a rock star might use if they ever bothered to do DIY instead of DUI. Really, it’s just another ladder, but because it’s where it is, it will seem so much more important than it really is.

Steven Gepp: Another match where the stip does not seem to suit the buildup or the combatants. While Morrison could well be a ladder guy, it just does not seem to suit Sheamus. And the fact they don’t have to climb to get anything, just a pinfall or submission, sort of renders the whole ladder thing unnecessary and just there to make the ‘TLC PPV’ concept work. Shame because I think these two could have a good match together. The winner is another pick ‘em, but with Sheamus being the king, I think this starts a long feud leading… somewhere.
Winner: Morrison

Kyle Sparks: Now THIS is intriguing. You’d think that the King of the Ring title would put Sheamus over the top here, but that leads to a heel/heel title match at the Rumble. However, putting Morrison over here helps get him another step up the ladder. He’s picked up his game over the last few weeks and deserves to be here, but has he earned a PPV title match? Let’s not forget also that this is the Royal Rumble. This was one of Jeff Hardy’s first major PPV title matches, hell, Hardcore Holly got a title shot here, and a year or two ago, they put up Edge vs. Rey Mysterio as a WHT match. Look for Morrison to get the win here and set up Miz vs. Morrison at the Rumble. The only problem there is that after Randy Orton, even a short program with Morrison could only feel like a step down, regardless of whether you’re the champ or not. Perhaps a 3 way at the Rumble?
Winner: John Morrison

Jonah Kue: Watching these two feud has been quite intriguing. Through their past few singles matches, they’ve been finding their chemistry, and I think we’re going to see it finally produce in this match. As for the winner, I see Miz retaining, so, it’s going to be the return to the Palace of Wisdom (see the debut column of “Kue’s Korner” for details).
Winner: John Morrison

Raffi Shamir: I made sure to chedck the stipulation for this match, and nowhere does it say that the winner gets a title match at Royal Rumble. This is actually fine with me since it opens up a wide window fore fantasy booking that spans two feuds. Let’s say that Sheamus wins here and WWE announce that the title match will take place on the first Raw of 2011. Miz vs. Sheamus will be a nice main event for Raw, which would allow Triple H to come back, cost Sheamus the match and restart his feud with Sheamus en route to a match between them at the Royal Rumble. That still leaves John Morrison free, except he will win the rumble match itself, go on to face The Miz at WrestleMania and finally win the title and get his first significant victory over Miz. Alternatively, Morrison can win Raw’s Elimination Chamber after WWE recreate last year’s Rumble ending and have Chris Jericho be a surprise entrant, win and challenge Edge for a WrestleMania rematch match that this time will not disappoint. I know, it’s a long shot and will not come true, but I’m going with it against all logic or odds.
Winner: Sheamus

Andrew Wheeler: A Sheamus win only makes sense if Orton wins the main event, and I don’t see him winning the main event. My guess is Morrison wins the title shot and faces Miz on RAW, giving The Miz another win over a credible opponent.
Winner: John Slo-Mo-Rrison

Divas Tag Team Tables Match:
Natalya & Beth Phoenix vs. Team Lay-Cool

Ikea Item No. 36DD “Hubbahubba”
These twin sets of two tables are very impressive to look at. Whether they can match it with pieces from the past or from Florida is a matter of some debate, but there’s no denying many men (and a number of women) would not mind setting themselves on one of them. Decorative if nothing else.

Steven Gepp: Phoenix and Natalya are the two best female wrestlers in the ‘E at the moment… maybe in mainstream North American wrestling in general considering how much TNA are allowing the once mighty Knockouts Division to deteriorate. So the logic I see would be that they will eventually meet one another in what could well be one of the best WWF/E female matches ever (and, yes, I am serious; feel free to flame away!). So I think this is the match that starts us down that WM path. What? There’s another team? I thought they were also headed for a breakup angle, but, who knows anymore?
Winners: LayCool

Kyle Sparks: As perversely entertaining as Lay-Cool have been, the gimmick is really starting to stretch its shelf life. Look for Nattie and Beth to go over here, and build towards their eventual breakup and feud to culminate at WrestleMania.
Winner: Natalya & Beth Phoenix (Natalya STILL Divas Champion)

Jonah Kue: I like Nattie. Glad Beth’s back. Layla’s smokin’, but Lay-Cool has run its course. And I mean several laps of running. Let’s make this quick and painless.
Winners: Natalya and Beth Phoenix

Raffi Shamir: I was in the audience for the first ever WWE Women’s Championship hardcore match – Trish Stratus (God, how I miss her) vs. Victoria (Now Tara) at Survivor Series 2002. This was a groundbreaking match and as good as Beth and Natalya are, I don’t think they will be able to carry LayCool to anything near as good as that match. WWE is trying to take a page out of recent events in TNA’s Knockouts Division, but I just can’t see LayCool do the stuff that Mickey James and Tara are capable of. Excpet perhaps go through a table, because I don’t see the diva that eliminated Khali from the Royal Rumble match doing that.
Winners: Natalya and Beth Phoenix

Andrew Wheeler: Well, they went through all that trouble making the pink table…
Winner: Natalya and Phoenix

And that’s our roundtable. Come back to Pulse Wrestling on Sunday night for full live coverage of WWE TLC 2010.

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