WWE Tables, Ladders, Chairs and Stairs
December 14, 2014
Meet our preview panel:
- Rob McCarron: Co-host of Shake Them Ropes, Voices of Wrestling’s Main Event reviewer and Figure Four Online’s Raw recapper. All-around good guy! @LetsSayThings
- Sean Flynn: Voices of Wrestling’s Raw reviewer (bless his soul). All-around bad guy! @spiffie6123
- Rob Barry: Voices of Wrestling’s Puro utility hitter — Big Japan, All Japan, random lucha, Rob’s got it! @RobsBrutalWorld
- Special Guest – John Sparkz: A 21-year-old Mixing & Mastering engineer from New Jersey. Backed with a Master Certificate from Berklee College of Music and two Avid Pro Tools Certificates he is super producer Harry Fraud’s engineer and apart of the “La Musica De Harry Fraud” & “Surf School” Family. @JohnSparkz
The New Day vs. Gold and Stardust
Rob McCarron: The New Day is the brand new, refreshed trio that haven’t even been on TV yet for as long as their introduction vignettes aired. They should win this match, but we’ve been made to look foolish in these types of seemingly predictable matches before. I’ll stick with what should happen, hoping that this will indeed be a new day.
Prediction: The New Day
Sean Flynn: If you’ve been reading my Raw Reviews (and if you’re not, I’m begging you to do so. If the page views don’t increase I’m getting put on reviewing 4 hour comps of Davey Richards promos) you know how I feel about both of these teams. The Dust Bros. make me happy, especially the manic pixie dream boy Stardust. What felt like a couple of weeks of angle before Cody ditched the makeup and turned on his brother turned into him finding a role to just gnaw on until he reached marrow. The New Day makes me sad. Not because of anyone in the group, as its members range from okay to awesome, but because every time they appear I realize this is how WWE things black people worth cheering for should act. And when they start wrestling nothing about them changes. If you’re going to have a terrible gimmick borne of Vince McMahon being an old man with very antiquated views on race, at least have that gimmick be part of your persona in the ring as well as out. For Christ’s sake the gimmick name is THE NEW DAY! Show me how Kofi and Xavier and Big E are reborn as people and as wrestlers and maybe I won’t have to focus on the cringetastic nature of the gimmick.
Prediction: New Day. Dust Bros can just sort of hang out being weird as long as they want. TND needs some momentum. I guess. I hate that gimmick.
Rob Barry: I appreciate what WWE is trying to do with the New Day even if some of this gimmick is terrible. The Dust Bros are just withering away before our very eyes, which in turn makes me sad for both Goldy and Cody. This should be a half decent affair as I like The New Day being able to do a Freebird rule so who knows who we will get. I’m totally with Sean as this is how Vince sees Kofi, Big E and Xavier Woods which is frustrating beyond words. I’m sure all 4 guys will work hard and it will be fun.
Prediction: The New Day needs momentum especially since losing on their debut on RAW-Read Sean’s reviews, they are really good. The Dust Bros can be the gatekeepers in the tag division as long as they have something to do. Sticking with The New Day.
John Sparkz: The New Day gimmick is overall painful to watch, with such talent with Big E and Kingston why ruin it with Xavier Woods? The crowd seems to just go along with it because they don’t know what else to do. But with the overall lacking tag team division why not add something new to stir it up.
Prediction: Obviously New Day. WWE has been doing so well with making things unpredictable (sarcasm) maybe this will be a new dawn of the tag team division though.
Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match
Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt
Rob McCarron: What could have been the main event on the show, and what may end up being the best overall match on TLC(&S), Bray and Ambrose will likely get near 20 minutes to pull out all the stops. After all, this match is the namesake of the PPV. You really shouldn’t cheapen it. The build up this week on TV has been much better than, albeit goofy still, than the preceding weeks of build. Dumb injury angles and promos aside, when the two get in the ring, I’m expecting a breakout singles match for the both of them. Ambrose hasn’t won a singles match on PPV at all this year. Not one. It’s his time. The gimmick of building him to a win only to make a foolish finish negate his momentum needs to end here. The “Wyatt needs the win more” people boggle my mind. Let us not that CM Punk went into a Taker match at Mania on a two show losing streak. Wyatt does not need the win here if that is his ultimate destination, either.
Prediction: Dean Ambrose
Sean Flynn: The most tragic tale of love and loss in WWE since Chris Jericho and Trish Stratus, only with neither person recording a love song to the other (Trish actually had a cromulent singing voice). Bray Wyatt is a man who wants so desperately to find someone he can love with as much intensity as he hates the world. But he has been broken. Sister Abigail taught him how to lose love but never how to find it. His lessons all culminated in disillusionment and loneliness. He is Lennie unable to help break the necks of the things he desires. Dean Ambrose is a man who fears the pain love can bring so he strikes first. Those who should have loved him left him to fend for himself, to believe love is weakness and vulnerability in a world where you can have no soft spot to attack. He knows loyalty and brotherhood, but he does not know love. He doesn’t respect it. For him love is an ailment. He’s Will Hunting with a weaponized condiment belt and an ambulance driven by Afroman. Now these two broken souls, abandoned by their brothers and their mothers, will try to speak to each other in a language their damaged minds can understand. They will speak in violence and brutality. They will whisper their loves through wood and metal and pain.
Prediction: Love will find a way. Also Ambrose wins. After the match Bray promises some new cult members tomorrow night. Ascension ahoy?
John Sparkz: I’ve been following this feud and I think its a really good thing. Everytime I watch Ambrose, I don’t know why, i think of Stone Cold. He has that old school style and his promos always go over well with the crowd. However does anyone else seem to notice the whole Bad Guy vs Bad Guy thing? It’s going to be interested to see where it ends up.
Prediction: Wyatt, he needs the win to keep momentum and keep the feud going to Wrestlemania. Though and Ambrose victory would be very good for him I think they need to drag it out a little bit more.
Rob Barry: Dean we could have been kings! KINGS! I stopped caring about Bray Wyatt months ago but I’ve always enjoyed Ambrose. Feed Wyatt to Ambrose and it makes Bray look good and Ambrose becomes even more of a star. This will be a war of attrition, watch Ambrose in his earlier days this match will pale in comparisons to previous wars he was in. Ambrose needs a win as he has not won a singles match in what feels like an eon. Wyatt can be good when he wants to be and I have a feeling this may steal the show.
Prediction: Ambrose, but in this match the winner will lose parts of them that they can never get back.
Ryback vs. Kane
Rob McCarron: The match I’m looking most forward to (Since I will be there live and will use this match to check out concessions), this should be kept short and to the point. What the point will be, however, I’m unsure of. This is one of those easily predictable matches that just screams swerve. I harken it to Kane vs Orton at Mania years ago, when it made zero sense for Kane to win… and he did. It makes zero sense for Kane to win here, and I’m hoping the writers realize that. I think they will. I’ve been told I have too much faith.
Prediction: The Ryback
Sean Flynn: I don’t even have any running jokes or goofy references to make in regards to this match. Chairs matches seem thoroughly pointless in the modern era where head shots have been banned. I’m not calling for people to scramble their brains on the regular anymore, but if all you can do in a chair match is hit someone in the back or drop them on the chair you should find a new stipulation. It’s a vestigial remnant of the Attitude Era. Kind of like Kane.
Prediction: “The Big Guy” is still a hilarious nickname to me, so let’s go with Ryback.
John Sparkz: Kane…… I mean Corporate Kane, as a childhood favorite it actually makes me very sad to see him still wrestling, in suit pants and a oversized wife beater. To put him in a “chairs” match with Ryback is kind of pointless because I don’t know about anyone else when I hear chairs I think of ECW brawls.
Prediction: Ryback, this is a prime example of a match to put someone over. Kane will probably trickle away after this for a few weeks.
Rob Barry: Talk about feeding-amirite? If I stopped caring about Wyatt months ago then my levels of apathy for Kane have sunken to new lows/highs. You know guys who could work a chair match without it being labeled a chair match? Masato Tanaka and Mike Awesome-then again they were scrambling each other’s brains with chair shots. Ryback wins here but this match as well as Kane need to retire and we all win.
Prediction: THE BIG GUY
WWE Tag Team Championships
The Miz and Damien Mizdow © vs. The Usos
Rob McCarron: One of the most over acts in terms of crowd response this half of the year has been Damien Mizdow. That act isn’t complete without the counterpart of The Miz. Crowd reactions turned Daniel Bryan into a credible player, but can that happen for Mizdow, too? Probably not anywhere near to Bryan’s level, but at least enough to get WWE to give him more important TV time. That TV time continues with a tag title reign and eventual Mania match with Miz. The question is when they pull the trigger on the breakup. I think that happens at the Royal Rumble, or Fast Lane. So they get the win here to continue that flow.
Prediction: The Miz & Damien Mizdow
Sean Flynn: The Usos could be played by anybody here. They could be Los Matadores, Cade & Murdoch, D.J Peterson & The Trooper, Todd Champion & Firebreaker Chip, or Geto & Bepo Mongol. They are so thoroughly irrelevant to the reason for paying attention to this match. We’re all going to watch, we’re all going to laugh at Mizdow and revel in his awesomeness, and we’re all going to agree that this hasn’t quite peaked yet. It’s getting there. The steak is cooked, but you have to give it a little more time to rest before cutting into it. Something tells me Royal Rumble is where we cut into that delicious hunk of Mizdow Meat. Wait, that did not sound right.
Prediction: Mizdow because of something Naomi related.
John Sparkz: The tag team division is struggling as I previously said, I think the Usos are slowly but steadily losing their pop with the crowd. However through the mist emerges the reborn Damien Sandow. Which is actually one of my favorites at the moment. I agree with Sean that he’s almost peeking but not quite there. I think a win here will definately help him be more consistent.
Prediction: Mizdow Mizdow Mizdow
Rob Barry: For any serious wrestling fan The Usos and their dives plus superkicks is great but they need to be rebranded, a heel turn wouldn’t hurt them. Mizdow is the only reason Miz is partially over and serious wrestling fans will hate their comedy act. Damien is better than this team and act show. Remember ShowMiz? That ended well for no one, including Miz and Show. Mizdow, my advice to you is get out of this relationship immediately but Vince will never treat you as a singles wrestler no matter how much us peons want it. The Usos will continue to chase the title at least until the next PPV and then triumph back to the promised land.
Prediction: The Miz & Damien Mizdow
Steel Stairs Match
Erick Rowan vs. Big Show
Rob McCarron: The match I care the least for on this entire show is this one. Stairs Match? I suppose it’s a new way to get weapons involved, and it’s two big dudes who can easily navigate the stairs, sure. I see this match going 6 minutes with a big Rowan win to setup whatever he’ll do for the beginning of 2015.
Prediction: Erick Rowan
Sean Flynn: I was in the middle of a long fantasy about Erick Rowan’s time in Napa Valley when I realized that I’m keeping that for the Raw Review. I’ll just say for now that Rowan and his ludicrous backstory is now my favorite thing on Raw not named Mizdow. The mind boggles with the potential of what one could do with this character who is limitless in his talents. On the other side is Big Show, a man who we know as well as we know anyone in the history of wrestling. There are no surprises in Big Show. We have seen him to his core and know him as if he were our brother. Familiarity breeds contempt.
Prediction: “BIG RED” Erick Rowan is a man with a mighty beard and guitar virtuosity and a vintner’s soul. Big Show is big and cries. Rowan now, Rowan forever.
John Sparkz: I don’t know what to say, a steel stairs match. It could be great with two huge fellas like Rowan and Big Show. Great opportunity to see what Erick Rowan is all about. Just wish it was something more than steel stairs.
Rob Barry: This match should be where the wrestlers pretend the floor is lava and you have to make all four step corners to win and in my mind that sounds more interesting than this turd in the punch bowl. I loved that episode of Community so I may travel to that episode in my mind as this match takes place. Big Show sticks around only to become face in the next few months and Rowan or Big Red as he is lovingly called keeps improving, he isn’t Luke Harper but he is a million times better than when he came through the door. Rowan also has that weird charisma that will never be appreciated, he’s an acquired taste. I would love to see Rowan knock Big Show out with the spin kick as that would put that move over more than the W.M.D.
Prediction: Erick Rowan
WWE Intercontinental Championship – Ladder
Luke Harper © vs. Dolph Ziggler
Rob McCarron: Ziggler vs Harper is a match that can steal the show, and you know these two will try. The whole story has been set up for a Ziggler win, in my perspective. Ziggler was robbed of the title by The Authority, he fought against all odds to win the Survivor Series main event against that adversary, and now he’s on the road to getting back what was wrongfully taken. I know Harper just won the belt, but what has he done with it? Well, like everyone else lately, nothing. Putting the title back on Ziggler at least makes sense to the story, and it allows Ziggler to continue his babyface rise for however long WWE allows him before they get bored.
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler
Sean Flynn: I don’t have a clue what the hell any of this is about. Ziggler has been given very little chance to build on the momentum of what should have been his breakout moment at Survivor Series. Harper has been given very little chance to show any new sides of himself outside of his sudden interest in arts and crafts as seen in his nifty vests. Both of these guys need an emphatic win leading into Mania season. So of course they’re against each other. Also, Harper looks like he’s gained some weight. If he can’t keep up a good pace with Ziggler this match is going to be deep fried death. I wish they would have flipped things and let Rowan and Harper fight, and give Ziggler a chance to go over Big Show clean to really establish himself as a guy who can hang with anybody in the company. Instead we get what we get and no one really comes out the better for it all.
Prediction: I don’t know. Harper? Involvement from Mercury and Noble? Chances of me caring are…remote.
John Sparkz: Tough spot for Ziggler, with a recently more meaningless title. His momentum has been so crazy I don’t know why he is still in this bracket. However I think this ladder match will be a great plateau for him to really show how talented he is. But! Something tells me it isn’t going to be that easy for him, I’m sensing a heel turn with Ziggler.
Prediction: Harper because of an interference or cheap shot.
Rob Barry: Never mind what I said earlier about Ambrose and Wyatt stealing the show because Dolph Ziggler has landed and that is his M.O. Harper is one of the better and legit big men in the business-including WWE, I’m counting down the days until Uhaa Nation gets more eyes on him. Ziggler will sell the beating well and I’m sure there will be some unique spots but why is this match happening again? Both men will take nasty bumps and we will all go home happy but try not to understand the storytelling or lack thereof for this match. Even steven booking will be heavy here and no one gets any type of momentum. WWE Logic: Throw it at the wall, I’m sure some of this will stick right??? Crickets.
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler
WWE United States Championship
Rusev © vs. Jack Swagger
Rob McCarron: Rusev crush.
Sean Flynn: It’s going to be nice to watch a Rusev match where for once he is the honest to goodness by gawd heel. He did an awful thing to someone who didn’t deserve it. Sure Zeb Colter is annoying but that doesn’t justify a bone breaking sneak attack on a senior citizen. If he had attacked Daniel Bryan or Sgt. Slaughter or any of the people involved with that whole Pledge crap he would still be on the side of the communist angels. Instead he’s finally being put in a position where there is no shade of grey and his heat is earned by his actions instead of his flag. This is a positive development. Sadly it seems my hopes for Kurt Angle as a surprise at the Rumble to answer a Rusev open challenge are finally dashed for good. Now I hope they turn Henry face again to fight Rusev and see if the fans really do have the memories of goldfish.
Prediction: Someone is going to break the streak. That someone is not, nor ever will be, Jack Swagger. Expect some sort of “moral victory” that does not include beating Rusev.
John Sparkz: When The Rock returned in Brooklyn I almost cried, and I really though for the slightest second he was back to stop Rusev, after that I thought the talk of Angle returning would be a perfect match, but Jack Swagger is the next best thing!
Prediction: Swagger is coming with America on his back, I think it’s time to give Rusev a loss and move on with things.
Rob Barry: If you at first don’t succeed try and try again-or become Jack Swagger. Rusev should be heel based on his actions not because of Mother Russia. That show The Americans doesn’t make me hate Russians so why would I hate Rusev? The guy hardly cheats, works a nice and snug hoss style and is better and better each time I see him. He loves his country, He is a beast and has not lost via pin or submission save for a few scary moments but he has CRUSHED his competition. Anyone hoping for a Kurt Angle return will be disappointed but really who wanted to see that? The question is what is next for Rusev? Who are you going to feed to him and then look incredibly stupid once this streak is over because these undefeated streaks never end well, just ask Goldberg and The Undertaker.
Prediction: RUSEV PUTRIA RUSEV PATCHKA
WWE Divas Championship
Nikki Bella © vs. AJ Lee
Rob McCarron: I love this match. Love it. Can’t wait. Nikki Bella is great. AJ Lee is great. Am I crazy for enjoying these two? Brie looking innocent in the corner while also being mysteriously willing to help her sister for no reason is great. I love it all. I’m probably wrong in thinking that this will be AJ Lee’s final PPV match of any importance maybe ever, but I think she’ll go out in a blaze of glory if it is. Good for her. Good for them. Give this 20 minutes. Nikki vs Brie has to happen, regardless of whether they seem to be cohesive (to a degree) right now. I think that’s next once AJ is out of the picture.
Prediction: Nikki Bella
Sean Flynn: Screw it. Every damn month I predict this is when A.J. Lee is going to finally leave the company and hang out with noted MMA enthusiast C.M. Punk forever and ever. Well I’m tired of being wrong. Sure Punk has spent the last month destroying his bridges to WWE like he’s at the Do Lung and Willard and crew are just pulling up. Sure A.J. seems like she’s going through the motions much of the time. I don’t care. She’s going to be here forever and never leave.
Prediction: A.J. Lee regains the title and prepares for feuds with Natalya and Charlotte.
John Sparkz: After the beach ball sized fake additions to Nikki (i had to look at the title i could care less who is who) there isn’t much in ring talent. Regardless of what anyone says AJ has that in ring talent and can talk on the mic without sounding like she is memorizing what they told her backstage. The title switch had to be done because of total divas. AJ needs to be back in the spotlight because when Phil Brooks wins his MMA title they can rule the world king and queen!
Rob Barry: Lesbians, pipe bombs, bullying-what is this Mean Girls? I don’t care about AJ, I don’t care about Nikki or Brie. I’ll admit it readily, I’m going to the bathroom here because we may get a repeat of last month’s PPV. I’m hoping I’m wrong but WWE proves me right every time and I’m the idiot who continues to watch. DIVAS! WRESTLING! I think I’m going to watch some Aja Kong and reminisce about better days in women’s wrestling. Goodnight.
Prediction: A.J. Lee-THEN NOW FOREVER
John Cena vs. Seth Rollins
Rob McCarron: “Don’t bet against Cena in PPV main events. Don’t bet against Cena in PPV main events.” I just don’t know what to do. This match, with Cena’s #1 contendership now on the line, seems obvious. The two will battle and tease tables for ten minutes, then something is going to happen to make it seem likely Rollins will win, only for Cena to come back and Superman it up and take the victory. I feel Cena will win because all the signs point that way, and if a returning Orton is set to do battle with Rollins, Seth doesn’t need the win here. The heat on him is already there for Orton.
Prediction: John Cena
Sean Flynn: Normally I would be excited to write about a match where I think John Cena is on the losing side for the second time in a row on PPV. But this night is dark and full of terrors. Terrors known as our old pal, the friendly neighborhood Juggernaut, Mr. Roman Q. Reigns. The Q stands for “BELEE DAT!” Roman was never the best speller. Little known fact is that Titus O’Neil is the reigning WWE Spelling Bee champ. The winning word was “washrag”. The more you know and all that. Sorry, lost focus there. So yeah, Cena will beat the hell out of Rollins then chicanery will ensue and Cena will go through a table. Then we get to the Rumble where the #1 contendership is on the line and Reigns wins it. Or Reigns tanks in the next month and Cena overcomes odds at the Rumble as is his wont. Either way the guy who wins the least is Rollins. He’s the guy who is most likely to get lost in the shuffle the next few months as all the big names come trickling back onto tv.
Prediction: Cena goes through a table. Rollins may or may not have anything to do with it.
John Sparkz: Again, i think i was too spoiled watching The Dudley Boyz to have any high expectations for a tables match with Super Cena and Seth Rollins. Does anybody else think Seth Rollins whole gimmick is getting old quick? If Cena loses he can’t be #1 Contender, which wouldn’t be a terrible thing but he needs his redemption at Brock.
Prediction: Cena, 5 moves of doom, then an AA through a table.
Rob Barry: If there is a match I cannot stand more than a chairs match is the tables match. I can change this match for you guys. Instead of going through one table or the ref waking up to see a wrestler buried under rubbles of table let’s try for pins. Go through multiple tables and you have to win through pinfall only. I’m expecting shenanigans, ref bump, Roman “Make It Reign Up In Dis Bitch” Reigns and a decent match buried underneath. Speaking of buried, whatever happened to buried alive matches? Oh wait that’s right Kane was in those and chairs matches are easier on the body. Plus this is for a #1 Contendership for the WWE Title, Cena won’t lose here but hey make it semi interesting WWE.
Prediction: John Cena and some good old fashioned Very Very Very Breaky Breaky Breaky Bishi Bishi!!!