Thursday, December 12, 2013

Head 2 Head – TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs 2013!

Thanks for coming back to Two Spot Monkeys Blog as we wrap up the 2013 WWE Pick'em Contest between Tom and Jim.  Jim has already locked down his 2nd consecutive winning year in this contest and Tom will lose his hair at some point in 2014 as the result of being the loser!
We take a look at WWE's TLC PPV in this edition and give thoughts, ideas and more heading into Sunday night's show. Enjoy!
Kickoff Show Match
Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango

Jim:  My how the mighty have fallen with Ziggler huh?  This guy should be your Ric Flair type right now as a top heel in the company, and at this point, he could face Santino Marella in a face vs. face match, and my money might go on Santino.  UGH.  How the hell do you not book this guy better?  Frustrating to say the least.  Fandango on the other hand while he had a quick start, cooled a bit, and now they seem to be slowly rebuilding him a bit, though a slow build is definitely what it is.  He had a nice match with Daniel Bryan on Monday on Raw, and I’d love to see him work his way into the IC Title mix again, as I think he does a good job in the ring.  He’s also got one of those gimmicks that you know 15 years from now when Vince wants to pull out a nostalgia trip, he can use Fandango, so he’s got staying power in my eyes, no matter how high up the card he ever gets.  I can see this going either way, but since they often like to start off with a babyface win, I’ll say Ziggler gets the win here, but wouldn’t be shocked to be wrong either. 

Tom:  I am still in awe of how Ziggler has fallen off the radar.  Maybe that isn’t how WWE sees him in the big machine, but you can tell from Jim’s comments and now mine that the guy is a bonafide main event player and he’s not used to that potential in the least.  I hope 2014 has better in store for both of these guys.  Ziggler is my pick to get the win here.

Intercontinental Title Match
Big E. Langston (c) vs. Damien Sandow

Jim:  They seem to be trying to rebuild Sandow without the robe and such, but still and arrogant prick of a heel.  Langston they are obviously very behind, and they have something in each of these guys.  Both can be top players by the end of 2014 if they play their cards right in booking each of these guys.  I don’t have a lot of hope for that as we’ve seen in 2013, WWE doesn’t seem to know how to do that, but, we shall see.  For this match, it’s WAY too soon to take the title off of Langston, and while I hate seeing Sandow lose yet again, I think you could do a situation where he’s about to get hit with The Big Ending, and he escapes and runs to the back, losing by count out.  Either that, or they just have Langston squash him.  Either way, Langston wins and keeps the title.

Tom:  I’ll disagree with Jim in the idea that it is too soon to take the title off of Big E..  Years ago, I would have agreed with that notion but not in the WWE of today.  I agree that there is a growing star in Big E. and really, the fact that he is here and Ziggler is not when they were paired together earlier is telling.  I like how Sandow has been built back up and think that the rise is going to continue.  Along that line of thinking, I am going to be bold (I have nothing to lose since Jim wrapped up the contest a month ago!) and pick Sandow to win the I-C title.    

Divas Title Match
AJ Lee (c) vs. Natalya

Jim:  Natalya seems to be stuck in Brie Bella mode, she can beat Lee anytime the title isn’t on the line, but yet, can’t beat her when the title is on the line.  I love Natalya’s in ring work, and I think she’s got a decent bit of personality as well.  Honestly, I think she and Tyson Kidd could be a good couple to get a push into the upper mid-card in 2014 if WWE wanted to, but again, not betting on it.  Lee is just awesome in everything she does.  By far the best in ring worker they have in the Divas division (though Natalya is likely #2), and her personality and promos are just great.  I personally don’t see the point in having her drop the title to Natalya here, which is precisely why I think they will.  And to give them something more to add to Total Divas.  Always thought it would be a Bella, but now I’m changing my tune.  I think Natalya wins the Divas title here.

Tom:  Will the “Alberto Del Rio Curse” that I suffered from earlier this year become the “AJ Lee Curse?”  I’ve been picking against Lee for months and that trend continues here again.  I think the Total Divas tie-in and the way they would sell this in the context of the show for Nattie winning is big.  Natalya wins the title.

3 on 1 Handicap Match
CM Punk vs. The Shield

Jim:  Ugh.  While I expect some decent work here, since 3 out of the four are outstanding in the ring, and Reigns isn’t terrible, especially when kept to power spots, I mean, seriously, 3 on 1 on a PPV?  Dumb!  (And hey, they’re going to do it twice, more on that soon).  I can go either way on this match.  I mean, The Shield SHOULD win the match.  There are 3 of them, they are not named Slater, Mahal or McIntyre, so by all good reason, they should beat even CM Punk.  But, it’s the wacky WWE handicap match, and nothing ever is quite as it seems.  I could definitely see Punk winning here, especially if they break the Shield up (and I’m thinking they are heading that way, perhaps to a 3 way match at Wrestlemania).  But I’m going to go with good sound reason and say that 3 on 1, 3 will win every time.  Likely Reigns spearing Punk while he’s got one of the other two up for the GTS will be the finish.  The Shield gets the win, and if needed, Reigns has bragging rights for “saving” whoever is in the GTS.

Tom:  Yeah, this and the other 3 on 1 match is kinda goofy to me.  I love the idea of Punk vs. The Shield and Bryan vs. The Wyatts, but a Gauntlet Match or something else would have been better.  I am excited to see how Punk works with all of the guys here; I am high on them and their futures!  There should be NO way whatsoever that Punk wins…even if potential seeds for dissension amongst Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins begin/continue to sprout here.  Believe in The Shield.    

3 on 1 Handicap Match
Daniel Bryan vs. The Wyatt Family

Jim:  Yep, such a great stipulation we’re going to see it twice!  Again, I just don’t think this belongs on a PPV, but whatever, it’s here, and you know Bryan will do all he can to have a killer match.  Harper and Wyatt should be right there with him as well, and Rowan can come in and do some power spots.  Actually, I expect that we’ll see it mainly be Bryan vs. Harper and Rowan with Wyatt coming in to pick the bones of what’s left.  This one I definitely see the Wyatt’s winning.  They need the win to keep building them up, and it plays even more into the “will he join them or not” story the seem to be doing with Bryan.  Sister Abigail is calling for Daniel Bryan this Sunday!

Tom:  Like I mentioned above, the idea of 2 handicap matches is goofy.  Even if they went with one and made the other a Gauntlet Match it would have been more creative booking to me.  Beyond that, I could have even lived with Bryan vs. Bray (if Bray can go in the ring and is healed up) and then mix in Harper and Rowan with Cody Rhodes and Goldust.  I think from a psychology perspective, the idea that Wyatt would “sacrifice” himself to let Bryan get a win in an effort to get him to join the “clan” would have been more interesting.  Alas, I don’t get paid for creative…just opine on what I’d like to see.  Wyatt Family gets the win here.

Title Unification TLC Match
John Cena (c) vs. Randy Orton (c)

Jim:  Well, they are certainly selling this as the unification, I just don’t see it happening this Sunday.  Maybe at the Rumble, that would make some sense to me.  But not here on what amounts to a throw away PPV.  Heck, usually at TLC we have a Tables Match, a Chairs Match, a Ladder Match and a TLC Match.  This year we just get one TLC Match.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it will be pretty good, but no way do I see a clear winner here.  I’m going to go with the “draw” possibility where John Cena grabs the WWE Title and Randy Orton grabs the World Heavyweight Title, thus “switching” champions, but not unifying a damn thing.

Tom:  It’s so weird that this just seems so rushed.  WWE could have really built and milked this to build to WrestleMania, making it feel even bigger.  I think that WWE knows it cannot have a fluky finish here (in lieu of the recent PPV stretch run) and that is why I pick Orton to win and be the Unified Champion.  Now, where the heck do they go from there and where will it take us on the Road to WrestleMania – we can only guess!
There you have it!  Tom and Jim still differ on a few picks and we will see how that plays out in the Final Standings when we return with a REACT post next week.
Also in the spirit of the end of year, look for an announcement of our next podcast recording where we will take a look back at the good, the bad and the ugly of professional wrestling in 2013 through our "Year End Awards."
We wish you a great holiday season and thank you for your support of us, be it listening to a podcast, reading this blog or interacting with us via social media.  Thanks for sharing in the fun and enjoyment that we get out of pro wrestling and MMA!
Tom and Jim
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