The WWE will close out its special events calendar year with TLC 2015 on Sunday night. The bad news is that the event presents arguably its weakest lineup of the year. The good news is that we can look forward to the start of the WrestleMania 32 season on Monday.
I can’t think of a weaker match card on paper all year than what is being promoted for Tables, Ladders, and Chairs 2015. The one upside I can offer is that generally it is the weaker show that tends to outperform expectations and generally TLC shows do tend to deliver more excitement than some of the stronger lineups throughout the year.
Unfortunately the watered down event doesn’t present a whole lot of intrigue up and down the card. Thus I am going to focus only on a handful of the key matches as opposed to trying to come up with something from nothing.
Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE world championship in a TLC Match
I don’t think anyone would argue that this is the weakest WWE PPV main-event all year, especially in regards to WWE world title matches. This will be the first time (well second if you count Sheamus’ quick MITB cash-in at Survivor Series) that the WWE world title defense will not feature Seth Rollins or Brock Lesnar. Those are some hard shoes for Sheamus and Reigns to fill.
The disappointing thing about this match is that it could have been bigger. Instead of salvaging Sheamus and turning him into the credible brawler he was when he won his first WWE world title, he has been booked to be a goofball. Additionally, the company missed a golden opportunity to reinvent an angry Roman Reigns, thus blowing all of the momentum he had a month ago.
Does the company pull the trigger on the Roman era at TLC? Conventional wisdom would say yes, although I get the feeling watching the way that Roman has gotten the best of Sheamus on RAW the last few weeks that Sheamus will be victorious. The TLC gimmick allows Sheamus to retain with a screwy finish without getting a clean pin on Reigns. This one could truly go either way.
I think Sheamus retains and holds the title until WrestleMania. He’s a stop-gap champion, kind of like the Miz a few years back. I think the match is designed to keep Roman strong yet advance Sheamus to the Royal Rumble as champion. I am feeling a Triple H vs. Roman Reigns WrestleMania 32 match more and more, thus I think that angle takes a hard turn at TLC and Sheamus retains.
Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose for the intercontinental title
I have to be honest. I had to double-check the lineup because after Reigns-Sheamus I couldn’t even think of what else could be even remotely as important. This one jumped out because you have Owens at a pivotal point in his career and Ambrose coming off the WWE championship tournament final. So what else on the undercard could be nearly as important?
I am surprised this match isn’t coming with a gimmick, especially with Ambrose and Owens. A ladder would be perfect here or even tables considering how many times Dean has used them this past year. I don’t see Ambrose taking the title here. I think the company sees Dean as a mid-card guy at best and will do whatever they can to stifle any momentum he gets. In their eyes Owens is beating the guy that just went to the title final so technically, it makes sense.
On the other hand if my prediction of Sheamus retaining sticks, it may make more sense to put Ambrose over here. Ambrose as the face champion and Sheamus as the heel champion make sense, especially when you can pair them up at the Royal Rumble. That is probably what I would do, but I can’t see it happening. I think Owens goes over clean, although I’d love to see some kind of finish that leaves the door open for a longer program.
The Dudley Boyz, Rhyno and Tommy Dreamer vs. the Wyatt Family in an 8-Man Elimination Tables Match
This one sounds great on paper but from an interest standpoint, I don’t get it. We’ve already seen the Dudleys put all of the Wyatts through tables, so why the match? To get Bray Wyatt over for WrestleMania that’s why!
This is generally the time of the year where the company forgets about all of the bad booking Bray Wyatt has suffered and start to rehabilitate him. Wyatt has faced John Cena and the Undertaker in consecutive WrestleMania matches so I have no reason to doubt he is in for something big at 32. I think Wyatt is the last man standing here to win the match for his team. I also don’t see any way that this match doesn’t steal the show.
Full WWE Tables, Ladders, and Chairs 2015 card and matches
Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns…Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, and/or Xavier Woods) (c) vs. The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso) vs. The Lucha Dragons (Kalisto and Sin Cara)…Triple Threat Tag Team Ladder match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Charlotte (with Ric Flair) vs. Paige for the WWE Divas Championship
The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley), Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno vs. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan)…8-man Tag Team Elimination Tables match
Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger…Chairs match for the WWE United States Championship