WWE Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2015
December 13, 2015
TD Garden
Boston, Massachusetts
Watch: WWENetwork

Meet the preview team:

  • Sean Flynn (@spiffie6123): Voices of Wrestling’s weekly WWE RAW reviewer. Probably has an Amazon Wishlist if you feel bad for him.
  • Rob McCarron (@ShakeThemRopes): 1/2 of the Shake Them Ropes podcast and frequent contributor to the website. Don’t think he has an Amazon wishlist but I could be wrong.
  • Joe Lanza (@JoeMLanza): One of the founders of this here website and co-host of Voices of Wrestling’s flagship podcast. His Amazon wishlist is just porn and cereal.
  • Jeff Hawkins (@CrapGame13): The other half of Shake Them Ropes and the undisputed MVP of this preview (you’ll see).

WWE Divas Title Match
Charlotte (c) vs. Paige

Sean Flynn: Time to spin the wheel of alignment and see who WWE thinks we should root for today. I hope that some sort of double turn is being done and that Charlotte is finally turning into the arrogant heel she should be, and Paige is going back to the underdog role. Just like last month I worry about the way these two can let a match become aimless and meandering without a strong hand to guide them. Not sure what happened to the rumored ladder stipulation, but I don’t think it is going to matter either way. This match is really more about setting the pieces in place for the road to Mania. And I think Charlotte is the one destined to be the major player on that road out of this match. Expect chicanery. Prediction: Charlotte

Rob McCarron: I hope 2016 comes and this entire division undergoes a reset. There could be a large amount of positive stories to come out of this division, but WWE doesn’t seem intent on telling any of them yet. Please come back quickly, albeit safely, Nikki. We need you back. Prediction: Charlotte

Joe Lanza: I think i’m the only person in the world who has enjoyed this feud. The matches aren’t all time classics, but I like the intensity that both women have brought to the table. I’d like to see a title switch, but I don’t think it’ll happen. Prediction: Charlotte

Jeff Hawkins: “But it’s all the same at the end of the day I have myself to blame. I’m just trippin’”- TLC, Unpretty

I wanted the Divas Revolution to work. I had faith. I had hope that this would be different and make the cards more interesting and give it depth. See also, Nexus. To quote Moe Howard, “Optimism is for fools.” Now we have this: heel Paige who made fun of Charlotte’s dead brother vs. Charlotte who eschewed all sympathy from that and sacrificed individuality in character development to have her father cheat for her. I had hope we wouldn’t get dad to oversee growth in character, because Ric can’t help but overshadow whomever’s he with, be it AJ Styles, Miz or Charlotte. Charlotte’s still finding her “main roster” voice, and championship heft was a problem in NXT as well in terms of line delivery. I’d love to see her blossom into Sasha’s confidence and turn on dad, but that’s down the road. Flairs cheat, it’s what they do.  Ric helps Charlotte get the win and we’re left with the question of whether Paige deserves sympathy for all she’s done. Prediction: Charlotte

WWE United States Title Chairs Match
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Jack Swagger

Sean Flynn: A chairs match in a company that has banned chairshots to the head. I don’t disagree with that edict, but to then book a match entirely based around chairs is setting the match up to fail. If they use chairs but it’s all shots to the back the crowd will notice and not likely approve. If they don’t use chairs then everything will be ignored waiting for the chairs. Also the old racist guy will probably get back with his young racist friend instead of his other secretly racist new friend. Are you excited for this match yet? Between the muddied story, the match stipulation, and Del Rio’s general malaise since returning I am keeping expectations low here. Prediction: Alberto Del Rio

Rob McCarron: Swagger’s back. Remember how hot he was in the summer of 2014? Go back and watch, he was. Mostly because he had a super hot heel in Rusev to play off of. Now where are the both of them? Rusev isn’t even on the show, so I suppose that’s a tick in the win column for Swags. Del Rio has to win. Just has to. What’s next for him, though? No idea. A Royal Rumble final four finish, probably. Then, the ladder match at Mania. If he doesn’t get released before hand. Does that sound silly? It shouldn’t. Prediction: Alberto Del Rio

Joe Lanza: It’s good to see Jack Swagger, a grossly underused talent (by some of his own doing, to be fair), doing something somewhat significant on shows that matter. The Del Rio return has been hilariously botched, he’s one of the most boring wrestlers on planet Earth, and on top of that, it looks like he doesn’t even care. Prediction: Alberto Del Rio

Jeff Hawkins: “No I don’t want no scrubs, a scrub is a guy who can’t get no love from me”- TLC, Scrubs

I like Jack Swagger and I like his fire of late. In the territory days, his athletic prowess would be highlighted and they’d give him a manager to do most of the talking while he just kicked ass and kept the verbiage short and sweet. He should be Brock Lesnar, Vince doesn’t see this.   Instead he’s stuck trying to rehash nostalgia for a gimmick based on vague racism. I think we get a reunion with Zeb, but Jack’s being fed to Del Rio. Though if Del Rio’s motivated, it may be the best match of the night in the ring. Prediction: Alberto Del Rio

Eight Man Tag Team Table Elimination Match
Rhyno, The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley & D-Von Dudley) & Tommy Dreamer vs. The Wyatt Family (Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan & Luke Harper)

Sean Flynn: The stipulation says tables, but I have a funny feeling there may be more plunder involved than just that. This match should be briskly paced from the start, involve lots of plunder, and hopefully hide the weakness of Team ECW. Being an elimination match this should allow for action, and since I can’t imagine a world where this goes more than 20 minutes, hopefully it will remain dynamic throughout. I’d say the Wyatts really have to win, but since Bray vs. Cena at Mania I’ve been saying this, and each time their competition gets less meaningful. Really all I want from this is a Spike Dudley appearance, and Tommy Dreamer’s face when he breaks a kendo stick over Braun Strowman’s head to no effect. Prediction: Wyatt Family

Rob McCarron: Rhyno’s cool. In NXT. In short doses. In WWE? I have no interest in Dreamer and/or Rhyno on the main shows. More 2000 era WWE stars could make the show fun, but WWE keeps choosing the wrong 2000 era stars. Less Dreamer and Rhyno, more Austin and Rock. Actually, scratch that. Make some 2015 era stars! Prediction: Wyatt Family

Joe Lanza: In an alternate universe, this is a fun mid card match filled with wacky nostalgia, designed to further push a hot heel act destined for the main event scene as we approach Mania season. In the actual universe, this is a pathetic, desperate example of a company failing to understand the strength of its own assets, as fresh, unexposed, high upside acts rot in a vanity project disguised as a developmental territory. And Bray Wyatt will never be a legitimate main event player, even if eventually pushed as one. That ship sailed eons ago. Prediction: Wyatt Family, unless they have completely lost their minds

Jeff Hawkins:  “What about your friends? Will they stand their ground? Will they let you down again?”- TLC, What About Your Friends

ECW is back. We haven’t seen them since the last reunion. Cannon fodder. If it’s a single fall, it’s Dreamer or Rhyno, with the Dudleys getting payback on Erick Julio Gallo Rowan post-match Prediction: The Wyatts

WWE Tag Team Title Triple Threat Ladder Match
The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) (c) vs. The Lucha Dragons (Kalisto & Sin Cara) vs. The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso)

Sean Flynn: At this moment New Day is still by far the most entertaining act on the show. Also, they don’t even need ladders. If they don’t pay this off by at least attempting a three man shoulder stack to reach the ladders I will be profoundly disappointed. This ought to be a crazy car wreck full of people falling from high places. It is really difficult to have a boring ladder match, and given the teams involved I assume this is not something to worry about here. The belts should stay with the champs through Mania. Prediction: New Day

Rob McCarron: Joe is going against the rest of this crew something fierce, and I’m not surprised. Not because it’s Joe, it could be anyone. This show, though, is almost an all or nothing. As mentioned this week on Shake Them Ropes, this show very well could be the story of all the good guys losing out to all the Authority-backed bad guys. Could the League of Nations and New Day run rampant while Roman and his family fall short one more time? Or, can the good guys all triumph emphatically? I just know I’m not confident in really any prediction I have for this show. Prediction: New Day

Joe Lanza: The New Day is perilously close to jumping the shark, but now is not the time to take the titles off of them. This, of course, means they’ll probably lose. Prediction: The Usos

Jeff Hawkins: “Well you want my heart and all my time, well it won’t be there if you can’t deal with my mind”- TLC, Baby, Baby, Baby

The story leading up to this is the New Day outsmarting opponents to avoid a match with double dq’s by attacking opponents and things of that nature.  I expect since this is no disqualification, the third member is the key to a New Day retention.  Or Sasha Banks, because she makes everything better. Prediction: The New Day

WWE Intercontinental Title Match
Kevin Owens (c) vs. Dean Ambrose

Sean Flynn: Build for this match has been awful. Everyone is in agreement on this, right? But the good news is that Kevin Owens is a machine right now, and Dean Ambrose can work his ass off when he is inspired. If this isn’t the best match of the night I will be utterly gobsmacked. The lack of a stipulation, but the easy access to weaponry should allow for violence without completely subsuming the match. Really looking forward to this one. Prediction: Kevin Owens

Rob McCarron: Imagine if this program went all the way to WrestleMania. The fact that they kept the stipulations away from this match makes me think they may be going for a long story, eventually to end with some kind of stip. Either way, this is the match I’m most looking forward to for the actual in ring aspect. The WWE title match is my most anticipated for the result, but this match, in the ring, is the drawing card. Prediction: Kevin Owens

Joe Lanza: This should be an epic feud, filled with sheer hate, killer promos, and violent brawls. Instead, the build was centered around Dean chilling out with some popcorn and a soda. Owens shouldn’t lose, but he probably will. Prediction: Dean Ambrose

Jeff Hawkins: “If I need it in the mornin’ or the middle of the night, I ain’t too proud to beg”- TLC, Ain’t Too Proud to Beg

We’re dying for a compelling feud with two guys on the microphone who we can believe hate each other and show it on the mic.  I’d love for this to be it.  Seems like a complete waste to have this be based on popcorn and soda, but here we are.  If it’s the opening salvo for a feud that gives me that, I wonder why start this way.  Is it possible to have a bad finish to a chairs match where Owens walks out?  I’m guessing eye rake. Prediction: Kevin Owens

WWE World Heavyweight Title Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match
Sheamus (c) vs. Roman Reigns

Sean Flynn: I’ve been typing things and erasing them here for 20 minutes now. I don’t even know what to say about this match. Everything involving Roman Reigns is so messed up and poorly executed that any possible outcome makes sense. Roman winning and having WWE spend the next few months building him up as a champion could happen. Roman winning the belt and revealing he’s in league with HHH could happen. Sheamus winning due to League of Nations interference could and likely will happen. These two guys will beat each other half to death, and while the crowd might not care either way, it should still be fun to watch happening. Prediction: Sheamus

Rob McCarron: The last time Sheamus and Roman Reigns were in a ladder match together, it was this year’s Money In The Bank event. Roman was screwed out of getting the briefcase, an item that Sheamus ultimately won because of Roman’s misfortune. Has that part of this story been played up at all? No, of course not. Adding that tidbit may not have affected the entire story, but it adds a little depth. Boy, depth, something certainly needed right now. Prediction: Sheamus

Joe Lanza: It would shock no one if these two guys went out there and had a killer match, but there’s a good chance they’ll be fighting upstream against a tepid crowd that simply isn’t emotionally invested in the result. At this point, it doesn’t really matter why fans aren’t connecting with Reigns, all that matters is that they aren’t. The prudent thing to do would be to abort mission, back off of Roman for a while, and restart things a few months (or years) down the line. The dumb thing would be to finally crown Roman king in a gimmick match on a B-level PPV. Roman has dominated the build, which usually means a loss in the big match. But the problem with waiting on Roman is that they’ve burned the “have him come this close” card multiple times already, which is one of the major factors in fan malaise towards him. This, folks, is called booking yourself into a corner. Prediction: Roman Reigns

Jeff Hawkins:  “Don’t go chasin’ waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and the lakes you’re used to” – TLC, Waterfalls

The story of the underdog combined with the self-made man.  The tough brash hero who at the turn of a dime hit you with a smart alecky comeback quip.  Roman Reigns is Vince McMahon, all things to all people.  It’s the well beaten path of the hero’s quest and once again, Roman is eventually going to have to overcome the odds.  Sheamus has hurt and been hurt in matches of this ilk.  Roman has had injuries.  Injured reserve is long so other people are taking bumps.  Enter the League of Nations and maybe Roman’s buddies as well for some smoke a mirrors.  Roman’s getting screwed.  This show isn’t big enough to give him a moment, and we continue the dance.  Prediction: Sheamus