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Some weeks have been more consistent than others, but we are all preparing for the down time on WWE television before the Royal Rumble begins preparations for WrestleMania. It looks like a pretty good match card on paper, but nothing mind blowing. We can expect to find Cena make his way to the event as well as some sort of continuation of Kane's reincarnation, but for now I will go down the announced match card and predict who I feel will win each bout. You are welcome to leave your thoughts on the comments section and please remember to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
TLC Match for the WWE Championship: CM Punk (c) vs The Miz vs Alberto Del Rio
The good news here is that we are seeing three fresh and talented wrestlers taking the spotlight in a pay per view main event bout. The bad news, however, is that WWE hasn't done a very good job in building up the credibility of Alberto Del Rio or The Miz. Both got some nice offense in on last week's Raw, but neither truly have the heat they once have had due to WWE's seemingly drop of stock in the both of them. I do see Miz only going up from here, but where Del Rio stands is questionable.
While the booking has been more so Punk vs Mr. Excitement, than building up Punk's opponents, there is no question this will be a highly entertaining match up. Punk is no rookie when it comes to the ladder match and both Del Rio and Miz previously won the Money in the Bank briefcase in the past two years. All three have experience and will deliver one Hell of a main event. I can't see Punk dropping the title belt, as I anticipate him holding it until WrestleMania, which takes away the predictability of who is most likely to win. However, this will be a great match given time and little to no involvement from the Dynamic Dude.
Predicted Winner: CM Punk
Chairs Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Mark Henry (c) vs Big Show
This is the first time in WWE history and possibly the last time that a Chairs match will make sense and be fun to watch. Hopefully, this is the final blowoff between Henry and Show, as their feud is becoming one that is running toward its expiration date. TLC will be the final opportunity for these two to clash before the magic is gone. Henry needs a new opponent and Show could use the time off if they injure him off on Sunday, because I can't imagine who he'll take on next. There is really nothing for Show to do on Raw or Smackdown, but all I know is Henry needs to move on to one of the upcoming names on the blue brand's roster.
This is a perfect bout to end this feud with and I fully expect Henry to retain here. It is difficult to imagine Show holding the world title, especially in 2011. Their feud was fun, but much like Orton/Christian in summer, time is up. One complaint is that I do not like the more social, injured, and cowardly Henry we have been seeing lately opposed to the indestructible one who first burst onto the scene. We need that Henry back and it is time for him to make his re-debut at TLC. Henry takes the win here and moves on to hopefully a feud with Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, Jack Swagger, or even Brodus Clay who could make a great debut as a babyface if they wanted to go that route.
Predicted Winner: Mark Henry
Intercontinental Championship Match: Cody Rhodes (c) vs Booker T
Booker isn't winning the title here. Just getting that out of the way. Booker is an enhancement to building up Cody Rhodes, and while I expect their fun feud to continue after TLC, I don't ever see Booker holding the gold again unless he makes a full time return. This feud has been solid and Booker is reportedly shining at live events in the ring, so I expect a nice match here. The only way I see Booker T winning is via disqualification to keep the feud alive, but I'm leaning more towards a strong Cody Rhodes win here. The feud will likely continue at the Rumble in some capacity, but for now, Cody Rhodes is still your Intercontinental Champion.
Predicted Winner: Cody Rhodes
United States Championship Match: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs Zack Ryder
In a match I'm really looking forward to, Dolph Ziggler and Zack Ryder will finally collide for the United States Championship. As of now, I'm not a fan of Zack Ryder's gimmick as I feel it is too "silly" to really ever propel him above mid card status. Ziggler on the other hand is a main eventer in the making. His work is absolutely off the charts and I am expecting a world title run or two in 2012. Ryder is a very solid in ring talent and has gotten over in a huge way, but this needs to be just the beginning for his character development as he just doesn't look like he is on the same level as Ziggler, Orton, Cena, or any other true main event talent.
The build up on this, however, has been stand out. Ryder and Ziggler have been working hard on Z! True Long Island Story to build this up and they have both excelled over the past months in building this on television. It is the story of the underdog babyface chasing for the gold over the confident heel. Booking 101, but it hasn't been done in so long that it's refreshing. Ryder comes off as really treasuring the championship and Ziggler is a perfect rival. While many expect to see Ryder take the W here, I do see Ziggler holding on one more month to continue the final part of their rivalry in this chase storyline. It could go either way, but I see Ryder taking the gold either on Raw or at the Royal Rumble. Expect a very good match between these two.
Predicted Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Ladder Match with a Sledgehammer Hung Above: Triple H vs Kevin Nash
Look, I'm sure both will try very hard, but I just don't see this being a good match. The feud has been very lackluster and while again, both men have tried, it just hasn't clicked in 2011. I feel as though Triple H realizes this and asked for this blowoff to move on from this horrid story. On top of that, how could they make this a match involving ladders? Can Kevin even climb to the top? He can't even take any serious bumps. This whole feud really has been proof that Nash vs Triple H in 2011 doesn't work. Both men will try their best and put on a quality bout, but decent at best. I expect Triple H to end this feud with a victory via his trademark sledgehammer and set his sights on WrestleMania and The Undertaker.
Predicted Winner: Triple H
Tables Match: Wade Barrett vs Randy Orton
Honestly, I'm not a big fan of Tables matches. I just don't see the appeal in it, especially if it is just two guys in the match. I am looking forward to Barrett and Orton putting on a good match, but it's not something I'm truly anticipating. While it's a treat to see Barrett becoming the Superstar he is destined to be, the Tables match sort of guarantees he will get some sort of cheap victory over Orton. It's systematic. We've seen it previously with Cena and Sheamus two years ago. Both will put on a good match and the "Barrett Barrage" will continue with a victory over Randy Orton. This won't be a show stealer, but it has potential to be very solid for the middle of the card.
Predicted Winner: Wade Barrett
Well that's that for WWE: TLC, and it looks to be a good event. Cena and Kane will find their way to the show and it'd be great to see Brodus Clay find his way on to ignite a feud with either Mark Henry or Big Show. I hope they find a way to get Daniel Bryan or Air Boom on the card, as both need some PPV recognition, but I'm not holding my breath for it. The main events look solid, as does the undercard. Besides Nash/Triple H, there is no true sleeper in the event, which is always good. This may not be worth a full purchase, but it has a lot of potential.
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