A ladder match used to be the highlight of the calendar, with one happening very rarely, perhaps only once every two or three years. By this time in 2015, WWE will have put on six ladder matches in this year alone. That does rather drain the excitement out of it. Even duller is the card for this lacklustre end of year PPV, some of which looks like it was put together at the last minute, much the way a forgetful child makes a macaroni collage on Christmas eve and hopes their parents won’t notice.
Intercontinental Title Match: Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose
My money is on Owens to retain, here, as they’re only really letting Dean chase the IC title because he can’t have the heavyweight title until they’ve put it on golden boy Reigns. Dean is beyond the IC title at this point, it’s a mid-carder prize, and he’s proven time and again that he’s supposed to be top card. Unfortunately, with Seth gone and that feud having the wind taken out of its sails, he’s left with no one to fight but his brother, and frankly, Roman still needs his support to get over with the crowd, as this underdog who fights for family gimmick seems to be going down very well.
Prediction: Owens to retain, Ambrose to keep fighting him into the new year OR back up his newly crowned Samoan brother.
Ryback vs. Rusev
Who cares? Rusev only came back three weeks ago, and now they’re desperately shoehorning him into the card because they have literally nobody else. This feud started two weeks ago when Lana came back to join Rusev, and nobody cares. There’s no fire behind it, there’s no real story, because Lana said she forgave Ryback, and then she tricked him into losing a match, but no one cares? Honestly, no one cares? Ryback’s playing good, Rusev and Lana have yet to truly convince the crowd that they’re evil, and so this is a confusing mish-mash of people that could end up being the worst on the card.
Prediction: Rusev will go hard over Ryback, as he’s freshly back, and has been given more of a push, while Ryback languishes in the mid-card
Tag Team Title Match: The New Day vs. The Usos vs. The Lucha Dragons (Ladder Match)
This is going to be a mess. The Lucha Dragons have been having a good push lately, especially with Kalisto in the heavyweight tournament, but they seem unlikely winners just yet. They have been beating the New Day pretty solidly, whereas the Usos have been losing pretty solidly (and are also needed to look after big cousin Roman and his weird pet Dean) and so probably aren’t in the title picture at all. The Lucha Dragons should have some very cool spots off the ladders which shouldn’t be missed, and we can assume that the third member of New Day who isn’t competing will make things interesting from the outside. Please let it be Xavier Woods and the trombone. Please.
Prediction: New Day retains. IF by some chance they don’t, then the titles move to the Lucha Dragons, which would work, as we’d still get New Day talking when they come out to get their gold back. Sorry Usos.
Diva’s Championship Match: Charlotte vs. Paige
This is a strange match now, because it was clearly good vs. evil with baby face Flair playing daddy’s little princess and Paige as the team wrecker who talks about dead siblings (not that we’re supposed to remember that). However, with Charlotte’s new heel nastiness, it’ll be interesting to see where the heat is between these two. Does it come down to Charlotte being her father’s daughter, and Paige wanting her to be more than that, or does it simply keep being about the implosion of Team PCB?
Prediction: Charlotte to retain. Her title run is still new, Paige’s third Diva’s title run would not be, and it seems like she’s an interim opponent until Charlotte vs Becky gets on the road.
Elimination Match: The Wyatt Family vs. Team Extreme (Tables Match)
This is hopefully the culmination of a feud I haven’t been bothering to watch. Yeah, it’s kinda cool to have Rhyno in the ring, and Tommy Dreamer is supposed to be a big deal and all, even if he does look really stiff in the ring. But I’m sick of seeing the old blood win out against the new. It’s not realistic, it’s not fun, it’s not entertaining, and it ends up feeling like the new talent isn’t as good as the older stuff – which blatantly isn’t true. Also, the Dudleys said they were coming back to get their tenth tag team titles win, and yet, they’re not in the ladder match to get the titles off New Day. Why are they fighting the Wyatts when literally the thing they said they wanted is up for grabs?
Prediction: I’m going to be hopeful here and say that the Wyatt Family will win out, and then Tommy Dreamer can go back to wherever he spends his life when he’s not flattening younger talent and wearing Dusty Rhodes’ pants.
US Title Match: Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger (Chairs Match)
We know that Del Rio can beat up an old man on a mobility scooter, but how does he do against fresh young blood, Jack Swagger? Well, with Colter out of the picture, both men will have to let their wrestling do the talking, which could be an interesting match? It’s unlikely, Del Rio has been turning into molasses in the ring, all his spots are so slow to set up, and Swagger hasn’t been pushed enough for him to get the win, either.
Prediction: Del Rio retains, so Cena can come back after the 16th and take revenge on the man who stole his title. Alternately, Cena rocks up during this match, takes both of them out, and leaves with the title, turning heel! Look, something exciting has to happen on the PPV, that may as well be it.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns (TLC Match)
This is a hard one to call. Sheamus has been doing a great job as an interim heel champion, he’s got the crowd roundly booing him, and laughing whenever a face makes fun of him, plus he’s one of those guys that the WWE Universe loves to hate. Roman, on the other hand, is doing well against him, getting the face pop that he was missing before, the crowd on his side, and so being an underdog seems to suit him. People are blaming this feud for the ratings slump, but honestly, it’s one of the better written feuds going on right now, between two whole factions, not just two men, which is giving the Euroboys their spotlight time, and Ro’s Bros their chance to band together and be that family support that highlights Roman’s character.
Prediction: Sheamus to retain. I just don’t think that shifting Roman from underdog to top dog right now is what’s needed, and this feud could go on until Mania, easily.
- All champs retain, no change.
- Roman Reigns wins (unlikely), no other change
- New Day loses to Lucha Dragons, no other change