The next WWE pay per view is just a day away. Tomorrow night, live from the Toyota Center in Houston, TX, WWE will hold its second TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs show. Last year saw the rise of Sheamus to the WWE championship and DX dethrone Chris Jericho and The Big Show for the Tag Team Championship. The event was booked with one Chairs Match, one Tables Match, one Ladder Match and finally a TLC match to finish off the night. With the exception of two bouts with the table stipulation, this year’s show follows much of the same layout. Currently the card looks like this:
LayCool vs. Natalya and Beth Phoenix
Even with all of the gimmick pay per views WWE has been doing there are rarely gimmick matches scheduled for the Divas. WWE made an interesting choice with this match. You have the two snotty high school girls against the two badass baby faces. The very thought of Phoenix and Natalya slamming Michelle and Layla through a table is great payback for LayCool. Say what you will about any four of these women, this match is just going to be good fun.
John Cena vs. Wade Barrett
There are a lot of great programs that people look back on years later as legendary. The Cena-Nexus saga may very well become one of those programs. The length and depth to this program has been fantastic. There have been hiccups and inconsistencies along the way but very few programs, if any, are flawless. Barrett hiring Cena back so soon after Survivor Series does seem a bit rushed. They certainly could have played it out longer, but the show must go on. TLC is not the climax of the saga. It is the next chapter. I think the argument could be made for either guy to win this match. Cena had to sit on the sidelines because of Barrett and he lost the match at Hell in a Cell. A win against Barrett seems appropriate. At the same time Barrett failed at two pay per views in a row to win the WWE Championship, Nexus is falling apart and a loss to Cena could mean the end for the program to continue. When this feud ends is anyone’s guess, but TLC hardly seems like the place.
Ladder Match for a Shot at the WWE Title
King Sheamus vs. John Morrison
This may surprise some but this match may be the one that steals the show. The ladder stip is perfect for the climax of this feud. Sheamus is an ideal opponent for Morrison because he can dish out a brutal punishment with Morrison pulling out big moves here and there. It keeps Morrison grounded until the crowd craves him to pull out a comeback. That’s part of the appeal of this being a ladder match. Instead of two guys going into the ring and putting on a gymnastics show it becomes tale of two men with two very different approaches to winning the match.
What they are fighting for also gives the feud a reason to climax at TLC. Without it, it would merely be one more match between two guys that don’t like each other. More than likely Morrison will walk out with the win. This is a match Sheamus does not need to win. Morrison is a different story. If Miz walks out of TLC with the WWE Championship, we are looking at a possible Miz-Morrison match for the Royal Rumble and that would make a lot of Morrison fans happy.
IC Title Ladder Match
Dolph Ziggler © vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger
This match seems a bit out of place on the card. Given the intrigue to the rest of the matches, another match between Kingston and Ziggler feels redundant. The addition of Swagger helps, but wow has the All-American American had a crazy year. Ziggler has made a good I-C title holder, but it may be time for him to do something else for a while. Putting it back on Kingston doesn’t feel right. Perhaps having a triple threat match is the WWE’s way of getting the title from Ziggy over to Swagger without a baby face turn for one of them.
WWE Title Tables Match
The Miz © vs. Randy Orton
The TLC match between Miz and Jerry Lawler was a great way for Miz to kick off his title reign. TLC looks to be that first big title defense to legitimize him as champion. Instead of taking advantage of an injured Orton or having Michael Cole help him defeat Lawler, Miz is going up against one of the top guys on the roster in a pay per view main event. There seems to be no reason to take the title off of Miz at this point, but you never know, WWE may put the title back on Orton. The Road to Wrestlemania is on the horizon and Raw will need a strong champion going to Atlanta. Who that will be seems to be a tossup between Orton and Miz.
World Title TLC Match
Kane © vs. Edge vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio
Let’s start with this match by saying that the Edge-Kane program has not been very good and their matches aren’t any better. This doesn’t mean either one sucks or doesn’t deserve their spot. These two just don’t have good chemistry. With Kane and Edge slated to square off in the titled stipulation of this pay per view, there didn’t seem to be a lot to look forward to at first. Thankfully Mysterio and Del Rio have been added to the mix. With Mysterio not in the best physical shape and the Kane-Edge program turning into fingernails on a chalkboard, combining the two matches into a four-way was the best way to go. You now have more guys in the match to keep it going between spots and you add a little more unpredictability.
Edge doesn’t seem like the way to go and Mysterio is working hurt. Del Rio is a very interesting possibility but not a lock. Kane has been champion for some time and could continue is reign but outside of Big Show, there aren’t any other baby faces for him to go through. The choice to walk out as World Champion really could be any of the four. Will Kane continue his reign of terror or will a hero finally dethrone him? Or will Del Rio become Sheamus of the 2010 TLC?
Closing out 2010 for WWE pay per views is TLC. The gimmick pay per views WWE has been running have not been pulling in the best buy rates, but TLC looks to be one of the success stories of the string. Strong stories and a good series of matches make for a fitting end to 2010. Here’s to the year that was in 2010, and the hope the fallout leads to a thrilling 2011.