This TLC pay per view has a tremendous amount of intrigue for me, from a myriad of reasons. The obvious one is seeing some new faces get shots at championships, such as Sheamus & Drew McIntyre. The second aspect is, how the WWE is going to present this card in match order. WIth the line up as it is presently set, to see who is the first match out, and who is the main event is truly going to be something very interesting to observe. The last aspect of this PPV is simple. With the report that’s come out recently with regard to chair shots and the deaths of Chris Benoit and Andrew Martin, how is that going to affect the matches that have chairs legal.

All that being said, the card is not star studded, but it is definitely not a lame duck. Let’s go through it, and get down to business. I’ll write this out in the order I believe that the WWE will present it on sunday night. So, it’s going to be kind of a double prediction, who will win, and who will appear in the ring in what order.

WWE Women’s Championship
Michelle McCool defends vs. Mickie James
Nobody’s going to admit these factors play a part in this match, but I believe they do. I believe McCool’s standing with Undertaker has a play in why she’s been champion with very few title defenses since her return to active competition following her injury. I believe Mickie James’s signing of a record deal to begin a country music career will be a factor as to the winner and loser of this match. A lot of this match is going to be prevalent on what roles both women play backstage, I believe. I don’t think they can continue to play this feud further in to the Royal Rumble, as I don’t think the WWE fans are going to stomach such child like segments as the “Piggy James” piece McCool and Layla did recently. Well, let’s say this. I hope they don’t, because my Pro Wrestling Rewind power boss, the Power, Andy Knowles, is liable to have an aneurysm if they do try and keep that kind of angle on tap. With all that being said, I’m going to disappoint the Power, and say Mickie’s not winning here. I don’t think there’s anyone in place to challenge Mickie for the title if she were to come out victorious. I think the only one in the Smackdown locker room who would be prepared to do so is Beth Phoenix, and I don’t see that happening, as it’s been done over and over again on Raw. With McCool winning, they can potentially try and insert Maria in to a spot as a contender in time for a potential shot either on television or at the Rumble. Or McCool can turn on Layla, and bring that as a possible contender. I think a face needs to win the title for Beth to challenge, and I think it has to be someone new on top of the mountain, because of the obvious reason that WWE doesn’t want to dip back in to the same well for the umpteenth time.

Sorry Andy.

WINNER: Michelle McCool

WWE Intercontinental Championship
John Morrison defends vs. Drew McIntyre
I saw the promo between these two last night when Morrison came out dressed as William Wallace. I thought that was funny. A little corny, but funny. I’m kind of nonplused about McIntyre, I don’t know what to think of him. I’m also questioning what the Wrestling News Live guys are saying about Morrison being placed into a program that could lead to main eventing Wrestlemania on the Smackdown side. I am not saying that’s not possible, but its a stretch to me at this time. Maybe it’s an option since the choices are limited, and Edge’s health being in serious question leads the spots in the main event as very wide open, but the results of this match I don’t believe will have a tremendous impact as to where Smackdown will go forward leading up to Wrestlemania. Let’s wrap this up in a little bow, here, ladies and gentlemen. I can see this program going forward with perhaps McIntyre winning the belt on television. I don’t see them pulling the trigger on this yet. I think Morrison has more time to go with the IC title in his grasp.

WINNER: John Morrison

Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston
I’ve enjoyed seeing how Orton’s been taken to the back of the card to assist in promoting new talent. I think Kingston is a potential star in the making, and it’s obvious so does WWE with Kingston being a former Intercontinental and World tag team champion. They’re really putting a push on Kingston, but will it be enough to overcome the odds of Orton and Legacy? It’s a viable question, and one that’s pretty damn good for a topic of debate. Here’s something I want to throw out there, completely out of left field, as a possible twist to the end of this match. DiBiase has been rumoured to turn face for some time to help promote “The Marine 2”. The movie is fast approaching, and the talk of turning DiBiase face has seemingly waned to almost little to nothing. IS this the time, the final shot to turn DiBiase a full blown face, and perhaps have DiBiase and Kingston team up to take on Orton & Cody in a feud going forward. Perhaps Kofi can lose the match, and still keep the push going with that sort of a scenario. I think a combo of DiBiase and Kingston together would not be terrible to go forward as a tag team, and the lull in the face turn for DiBiase is at an all time low, which would be perfect for Vince, he’d turn the switch on now, to get the most reaction. Orton will win, but I suspect some twist in this match.

WNNER: Randy Orton

Ladder Match for the ECW Championship
Christian defends vs. Shelton Benjamin
As JJ Sexay said thursday night on Sunday Night Showdown, this will be the show stealer. Both men have experience beyond belief in this match, and I suspect some major league spots to be all over this match. As to whether or not Christian drops the title to Shelton is a good guess. There’s a good chance that either one of these men can come out victorious. One of the guys on the show thursday, I think it was the King, Hunter Golden, had said this is Shelton’s last chance to break through the glass ceiling, and fortify himself as a singles main eventer, and I would agree with that whole heartedly. I do not see another shot like this in the future of Shelton Benjamin if he were to lose this match. Christian, if he were to lose, is liable to go to Raw pretty soon afterwards, especially if Chris Jericho loses the tag straps. All of this is pretty much common knowledge to anyone who has an inkling of knowledge as to how to pick these matches. I’d like to come up with some sort of unique idea to add to this match, but I don’t see one on the tip of my tongue. I’m going to pick Shelton, because I think there is going to be a void on one of the big brands that Christian can fill, quickly.

WINNER: Shelton Benjamin

Tables Match for the WWE Championship
John Cena defends vs. Sheamus
This is one of those feuds I have been unhappy to have missed. All the word I have heard is that this feud has been done expertly from start to finish. The question is, is this the finish. That’s a damn good debate. One of the guys on thursday mentioned the option of Sheamus winning, and Cena winning the title back the next night. It’s entirely possible, because if there’s ever a match that Cena can get tripped up in, it’d be this, because of the stipulation. Now, the question is, who do I think is going to win the match? Well, I’d like to say I will make my pick based on knowledge, but I’m not. I’m going with my gut, and the absolute truth that if I pick the opposite way, I’m going to have a lot of explaining to do this weekend on the Wrestleview Radio Network. I also believe that a reprise of the Steve Austin vs. Kane situation from 96 or 98, whichever year that was, while creative as all hell, is not likely to happen.

WINNER: John Cena

P.S. Since when have we seen on a pay per view, the WWE Championship be third from the last on the pecking order? Not too often. And I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if they put this match up higher.

Chairs Match for rhe World Heavyweight Championship
The Undertaker defends vs. Batista
Obviously, off the top, this match draws controversy with the timing of the report recently released involving the deaths of Benoit and Martin. Also, this match draws a lot of speculation about the health of the champion. ALSO, this match draws a lot of questions because what the hell is the rules for a chairs match? Do you know? Does anybody? If so, I want to know. Because I don’t know, and I’d be surprised if anyone did. Now, it’s a foregone conclusion, I would think, that the Undertaker will drop the belt to Batista, it’s just a matter of when. The thought I see is this. Undertaker’s health has been a bone of contention ever since he returned. This may be a good idea to give Taker close to two months off, let him drop the belt here, and excercise a rematch clause at the Royal Rumble. By then, we can see what has transpired, and begin to slowly build to Undertaker’s 18th opponent in Wrestlemania, and what both Andy and I believe to be ‘Taker’s last go round at Wrestlemania. I have to believe that’s the plan, because keeping the world title on ‘Taker long term is just a dangerous proposition for him at this stage of his career. Healthwise, he can’t handle a long term reign. Batista, as a heel, can go for a bit of time as champion, and there’s an instant challenger that the world will love to see go after him if he wins the belt. Rey Mysterio. It almost books itself.

WINNER: Batista

TLC Match for the Unified WWE Tag Team Championships
Chris Jericho & The Big Show defend vs. Triple H & Shawn Michaels of D-Generation X
It’s truly shocking that DX have never been tag team champions. That’s got to be first statement out of the blocks here. Both men, bona fide Hall Of Famers, have never held the straps together. That’s something.

Now, kudos need to be said to Chris Jericho and the Big Show. They have made the belts respected again, they have made the tag team division legitimate again, and Show has done it on one leg for some time, which is a major feat, especially for someone of his size. Everyone knows that this was not WWE’s first choice, but with Edge going down, Big Show stepped up, and stepped up huge when he was needed, and this reign has been one for the books.

Now, truthfully, and bluntly, it’s over.

I don’t see Show climbing up any ladders in this match. I don’t think the ladders will hold his weight. That will be a major sticking point. And although Jericho is the only one in this match with TLC experience, all four men know how to go hardcore, as prevalent with the DX vs. McMahons & Big Show hell in a cell a year or so back, and that hardcore experience will cancel out any lack of experience in ladder match stipulation scenarios.

I’d like to say this will be bloody, but it probably won’t be. Will it be brutal? Indeed. No question about it. But, DX has to win the belts here. They need it more than Jerishow does. And the brands need Jericho and Big Show to return to their respective slots. More so Smackdown needs Jericho badly to return to singles competition, especially if Undertaker somehow manages to slip by the Animal in the chairs match. I personally think Jericho is in the main event of Wrestlemania already, title or not, on the Smackdown side, and I don’t see anyone else challenging the tag champs at present that is more worthy to drop the belts to than DX.

WINNERS: DGeneration X

Ok. I have some other topics to discuss before closing this chapter of the Palace out.

I’m trying very hard to lessen my stance on Hulk Hogan and TNA Wrestling. But, with his bold ratings prediction for 1/4/10, of a 3.0, and the latest that he wants to get rid of the six sided ring, I’m not sure if I can continue to try and consider this guy nothing more than a cancer on two legs.

TNA has a billboard up in Times Square, New York City. I guess they think that they think they finally made it to the big time. Tell me something, how does the rest of the talent feel that the remaining 3 weeks or so of this month are basically being done in lame duck mode, and that the entire status of the company is being placed in the one solitary basket of January 4th? If they bomb that show, ratings wise, and there is a distinct chance they will, how are they going to recover?

Jeff Jarrett is finally returning to the company he founded. But not in a position of power. What is wrong with that picture?

Evolve wrestling has become the talk of the independent wrestling scene. And I think for decent reasons. Davey Richards vs. Kota Ibushi as their first main event is definitely not something to snub. I need to be brought up to speed on something though. It seems Chikara has guys competing in promotions all over the state and the world. I have seen Jigsaw compete, and I have seen Mike Quackenbush compete, and I have enjoyed both of them, but it seems like these guys end up at all the new and ‘fresh’ promotions, DGUSA, Evolve, ROH, etc. I’m surprised not many of these guys have headed up north yet to join the group in Stamford. But, Evolve’s concepts so far have been new, and intriguing, and I look forward to seeing what they come out with in the future.

I had been promotiong of my forthcoming attendance at Final Battle. Well, its in jeopardy, because I haven’t gotten the tix. Now, I gotta go to ROH to ask what’s going on. This could be more trouble than its worth.

I’m reading a report how WWE did not acknowledge Umaga’s death during any of the airings of their programming in the United Kingdom. That’s really wrong. It’s probbaly due to the timing of the report released on Benoit and Martin, but its still really wrong. Oh, and speaking of wrong, if you’re going to slam WWE for not doing something classy for a fellow member of the wrestling fraternity, Jim Cornette, do yourself a favor, and stop trying to sell ROH in the process. I know ROH did a 10 bell salute to Umaga at one of their shows, and they did that for Eddie too, (I was there in attendance for Eddie), and they did it for Misawa (I was there), and ROH has done that classy type of maneuver all the time. One of the things that ROH does that I loved was not try and one up the big boys. Cornette tried to do that when he talked to the Sun in England. I don’t think that was the right move.

I know I’m not one to talk MMA in any way, shape, or form, but let’s be honest here. Who here doesn’t want to see Fedor vs. Lashley in the Strikeforce cage?? I sure as hell do, and I’ll actually considering buying the damn thing on DVD if/when it finally becomes a reality.

It’s close to the end of the year, so its time to start talking Palace year end awards. Any ideas on categories, talents, or topics that should be recognized, drop me a line. The links are back, somewhat, and here they are to try and find me.

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