(CBS Minnesota) — Just weeks before we flip the calendar to a new year, WWE will wrap up its 2019 pay-per-view schedule on Sunday with TLC from the Target Center in Minneapolis.
While it may be the final PPV of the year, the show also marks the first time that Bray Wyatt, and not his sinister alter-ego The Fiend, will be in action since returning to TV with a revamped persona. Wyatt will be tangling with The Miz, and while he may have the Universal Championship belt with him, the title itself likely won’t be on the line. More on this later.
The card also features a pair of tables, ladders and chairs matches, as the title of the show would suggest. On the SmackDown side of things, Roman Reigns will be looking to exact revenge on King Corbin after the King of the Ring winner and Dolph Ziggler smeared dog food all over him last week. Representing Raw, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair are putting their grudge aside to team up to settle the score with the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, the Kabuki Warriors, in a match that has the potential to steal the show.
On the men’s tag team side of things, The New Day are putting the SmackDown Tag Team titles on the line against The Revival, while Raw Tag Team Champions, The Viking Raiders, are issuing an open challenge for the gold. The open slot affords WWE one of the final opportunities to surprise fans this year.
One of the teams being mentioned as a possibility to answer the challenge is the Authors of Pain. Akam and Rezar have been threatening to run roughshod over the division and have recently cemented their partnership with the newly minted heel Seth Rollins. The trio’s beatdown of Kevin Owens was a centerpiece of Raw on Monday and meant to simultaneously elevate AOP while putting the final touches on Rollins’ character shift.
Elsewhere, after signing a divorce agreement with Lana, Rusev will be looking to beat down her new beau Bobby Lashley in a tables match. This over-the-top love triangle has been given ample amounts of time on camera despite sharp criticism from fans and even many in the WWE locker room. Perhaps this will be the match to put everything to bed now that on-screen divorce appears to be all but finalized.
If pure wrestling is your thing, you’ll probably enjoy watching Aleister Black and Buddy Murphy settle their short-term feud. Both Murphy, a former cruiserweight champion, and Black have been underutilized and are poised to put on a classic here.
Here is a look at the full card with some predictions.
Universal Champion Bray Wyatt vs. The Miz
Because this is a non-title match, I’m not expecting a clean finish. Daniel Bryan may resurface here to exact some measure of revenge on Wyatt/The Fiend despite his differences with The Miz in the past. This could set up a rematch between the leader of the “Yes Movement” and the demented champion for January’s Royal Rumble. If that’s the case, then The Miz is merely a conduit for the two. Pick: Bray Wyatt
Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
The Kabuki Warriors (c) vs. Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair
Charlotte Flair asked Becky Lynch if she was ready to be “Becky Two Belts” again. Although Lynch seems to be more motivated by getting revenge on the champions, a win by the frenemies over Asuka and Kairi Sane would still make that happen. It’d be a nice story to cap off the year and a big talker as WWE heads into 2020. I could see a scenario where they win the gold, patch things up, and then have their relationship deteriorate again leading to a WrestleMania rematch. Pick: Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair
Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match
Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin
This is another match where outside interference is a near certainty. Look for Dolph Ziggler to jump into the mix in an attempt to aide Corbin to victory. But since anything goes here, Reigns is going to be dishing out payback for the weeks of humiliation. Anything less means the feud will continue on into the new year or be paid off quickly on free TV. It is possible that WWE may opt to go with the latter, but the more likely scenario is Reigns wins to put this one to bed. Pick: Roman Reigns
SmackDown Tag Team Championship
The New Day (c) vs. The Revival
Earlier in the year there were rumblings that The Revival were looking to leave WWE. Shortly thereafter Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder found themselves with gold around their waists. Even without the titles now they’ve been able to rise to the top of the tag team heap. On the other side, The New Day remains a man down, with Xavier Woods out for the foreseeable future due to a torn Achilles. Kofi Kingston and Big E are doing a formidable job holding down the fort, and I see no reason for things to change now, especially with a new podcast to promote and Kofi still basking in the fading afterglow of a long run as WWE Champion. Pick: The New Day
Rusev vs. Bobby Lashley
This match hopefully will be the merciful conclusion to an angle which has been painful to watch at times. The formula here is simple: Rusev must win in order to bring this feud to a close. Should Lashley walk away victorious, classic wrestling logic dictates their battle continues until the sympathetic soon-to-be ex-husband comes out on top and Lana questions why she left him for a loser. The juice from this apple has been squeezed dry, and it’s time to move on. Pick: Rusev
Aleister Black vs. Buddy Murphy
While this match may be relegated to the pre-show, it still has the makings of a four-star or better clash. Hopefully they’ll be given enough time to shine. As for a winner, look for Aleister Black to come out on top then retreat to his dark room and wait for the next opponent to knock on his door. Pick: Aleister Black
Raw Tag Team Championship
The Viking Raiders (c) to issue open challenge
The current Raw Tag Team Champions are keeping their dance card open until bell time. Could this be the long awaited return of The Usos? The brothers have been kept off WWE programming since Jimmy Uso was arrested for DUI in late July, but continued to make sporadic appearances in non-wrestling-related programming. A return here would be huge news. Other possibilities include AOP and the team of Gallows and Anderson.
NEWS & NOTES
Luke Harper, Sin Cara and Konnor and Viktor of The Ascension are all free agents after being released by WWE this week. It had been some time since the company has done a roster purge, and the timing of this one was somewhat surprising. There had been rumblings that more releases were coming, but as of Thursday no other names had been announced. Harper publicly lobbied for his release while The Ascension had been rarely used.
The nWo and Dave Bautista will headline the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2020. Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman will represent the black and white brand. Waltman was also inducted last year as a member of Degeneration X. The ceremony will be held on the Thursday prior to WrestleMania at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. Tickets for the ceremony go on sale Dec. 13 at noon eastern.
On Dec. 10, WWE announced that Eddie “Primo” Colón and Robert Roode had each been suspended for 30 days for violating the company’s talent wellness policy. It is the first violation for both men who will be eligible for reinstatement on January 9. The nature of the infractions is unclear.
Chuck Carroll is former pro wrestling announcer and referee turned sports media personality. He once appeared on Monday Night RAW when he presented Robert Griffin III with a WWE title belt in the Redskins locker room.
Follow him on Twitter @ChuckCarrollWLC.