With TLC just around the corner and their roster decimated by illness, WWE brass has decided to dust off a hardy old fan favorite and American Hero….STAIRS!
Well not really, though at this point adding Erick Rowan vs. Big Show II to this unpredictable card wouldn’t necessarily be a stretch. With all the upheaval, WWE actually has a unique opportunity to switch gears on the fly and perhaps build intrigue in what was likely to be a pretty flat PPV (outside of the Shield reunion) leading to a inter-promotion PPV in November’s Survivor Series. Let’s hope there are more surprises in store tonight other than Coffee Table replacing Table (out w/ Viral Terminitus).
Kurt Angle & Raw Tag Team Champions Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins vs. Intercontinental Champion The Miz, Cesaro, Sheamus, Braun Strowman & Kane (5-on-3 Handicap Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match)
When the WWE teased us with the prospects of a Shield reunion, most fans naturally assumed they’d be facing off with another storied, powerhouse team. I mean why bring back the Hounds of Justice unless there was a need to overcome some grand injustice perpetrated on the WWE Universe at the hands of some nefarious monster team? Or…this. Hmmmm.
As the dwindling Miztourage (now sans Bo Dallas; Can we trace this viral outbreak back to him? Why hasn’t Bo been able to Bo-lieve he doesn’t have mumps? Why isn’t the rest of the Miztourage sick? Are they not as close as we’ve been led to believe? So many questions and no answers!) intensified their attacks on newly BFF-ed Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose it was only a matter of time before Roman Reigns got involved with his former mates. And since Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel weren’t seen as worthy teammates for the Miz, the former tag champions The Bar were added into the fray. And then Braun Strowman was added. And then, since we needed some more clarity to this cluster of a match, they added in Kane. And now Reigns is out and we have Kurt Angle. Huh?
If you can put aside the fact that this match has no purpose or consequence, this has the potential to be a lot of fun. Hopefully we’ll actually get to see Kurt Angle back in a WWE ring (and they don’t pull some stupid pre-match Jason Jordan beatdown) and hey I’ve never seen a future mayor hit anyone with a steel chair before (OK, maybe once, but he was a deputy mayor). My hope is that WWE uses this opportunity to do something outside the box. At the very least it should accelerate any Kurt Angle storyline (someone on the roster should have a problem with the fact that the GM of the company is taking sides and fighting against his employees) and perhaps we’ll even get a Triple H or Jason Jordan appearance.
Also of note: For a PPV named TLC, this is the only TLC match advertised for tonight.
Prediction: Angbrollins overcomes the odds and pulls this one out. They stay together (sans Angle) through early winter, when we get the inevitable Ambrose heel turn and Reigns leaves the story to fight Brock Lesnar. The team of Kane, The Bar, Braun Strowman, and The Miz never speak of this again, outside of a brief reunion at Miz’s daughter’s high school graduation party.
Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss vs. Mickie James
This has been a pretty straightforward story. Alexa Bliss is young, Mickie James is old. Bliss is insecure and jealous of the elder James and has taken to ridiculing her for being past her prime. James is out to prove she’s got one more run left in the tank. It hasn’t set the world on fire, but it’s been a pretty easy to follow story with clear right and wrong.
Prediction: Although this program seemed like kind of a time waster until Asuka came onto the scene and established her dominance, I’m going to go out on a limb and say James stuns the wrestling world and picks up her 7th women’s title on Sunday before losing it to Asuka by year’s end. Alexa, I fear may be a bit directionless for a while, especially with Nia Jax out indefinitely. Perhaps she comes back for Asuka come ‘Mania.
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