Rob’s Predictions/Results: WWE TLC 2011
By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder
The big news from this past week is that after a near five month absence, Kane has returned with a new, yet familiar look. After more than eight years, he’s back under a mask. Unlike his old ones, this mask was molded to look like part of an actual human face, which is a nice tough. It also obviously includes a long wig, as “The Devil’s Favorite Demon” was bald the last time we saw him.
I think a decent percent of the fanbase has always preferred Kane as a masked wrestler (or at least the fans who were watching when Kane wore his mask). It does grant him a certain mystique that he lost without it. But I would argue that Kane was just as strong a presence without a mask, as we got to see what a good actor he was. It allowed him to be much more expressive. WWE has put Kane in some pretty hokey storylines over the years (Remember when he “impregnated” Lita, then forced her to marry him?), but they were hokey because they were cheesy, and at times in bad taste. It rarely had anything to do with Glen Jacobs’ performance as Kane, which has always been fantastic, in my opinion. He makes a very believable psychopath.
I hope WWE takes advantage of all the momentum Kane has gained from his reemergence with the mask. He’s proven before that he can be among the hottest commodities the company has. For a few weeks after he unmasked back in 2003, he was arguably the company’s biggest star. Uniformed security would walk him to the ring, and he’d be wearing these huge shackles. You believed this man was dangerous, and you tuned in to Raw each week to see what Kane was going to do next. But eventually Kane’s momentum tapered off, as it usually does. This character goes through periods where it’s extremely hot, and then simply fizzles out because creative apparently runs out of ideas. Hopefully, this can be a career high for Kane. He deserves it after all the hard work he’s put in over the years.
And now, let’s share some TLC, i.e. tables, ladders and chairs…
WWE wants Rhodes to have a win over a big name star, and Booker T is as viable a candidate as any. Plus, Booker was sitting right there at the announce desk, so he made sense for convenience’s sake. There wasn’t a pressing need for Booker to come back to the ring, but it’ll be good to see him in action. I suspect Booker will step into the ring every now and then, much like Jerry Lawler does on Raw. But there’s certainly no reason to make him the Intercontinental Champion, especially because Rhodes is on a bit of a hot streak right now.
Rob’s Prediction: Cody Rhodes
Winner: Cody Rhodes
Bottom line: It’s Zack Ryder’s time. Whether you like him or not, you can’t deny his popularity, particularly with the internet wrestling community. A win for Ryder here would help to elevate him to that next level, while at the same time freeing up Ziggler to hopefully slide into the main event picture soon. What WWE needs to be careful about though, is Ryder’s association with John Cena. This past week on Raw they had Cena give up his spot in a WWE Heavyweight Title match so that Ryder could get this US Title shot. Then later in the night, they had Cena help him out in a match against Mark Henry. Not only do they need to be careful not to portray Ryder as Cena’s pet project, but Ryder’s internet fanbase may turn on him if he’s so closely tied to Cena much longer. In any event, the time has come for the self-proclaimed “Internet Champion” to become the United States Champion as well.
Rob’s Prediction: Zack Ryder
Winner: Zack Ryder
This is a tough one. In recent weeks, this program has seen Orton and Barrett trying to psyche each other out, costing each other matches. I haven’t really been a huge fan of the whole thing, but it puts Barrett over as a cunning, sneaky heel, so I get it. Since they’re going that route, I’m going to go ahead and pick Barrett on this one. Let’s have him be the slick weasel who continues to stay just a bit ahead of the viper. That way, when Orton finally does strike Barrett down, it’ll mean that much more.
Rob’s Prediction: Wade Barrett
Winner: Randy Orton
Much like there need not be multiple Hell in a Cell matches contested at the Hell in a Cell pay per view, much of the formatting for this TLC pay per view is needless. We don’t need to have a tables match, a ladder match, and God help me, a chairs match, all on this show. The only thing we need is one TLC match with all three. This chairs match feels like a silly obligation. Granted, John Cena and Wade Barrett were able to give us a pretty cool chair-related spot in such a match last year. But the whole thing feels needless, and not a suitable blow-off match for the Mark Henry/Big Show feud. As for Henry and Show, this match will have the same outcome the last two did: Henry walking out with the title. Henry hasn’t come off very dominant this past month, especially after losing to Zack Ryder this past week on Raw. So let’s hope this match helps him regain some of that aura.
Rob’s Prediction: Mark Henry
Winner: The Big Show
Current Champion: Daniel Bryan via Money in the Bank cash in
Who the heck booked this? Yes, the Triple H/Kevin Nash feud is worthy of a ladder match payoff. But whose idea was it to put Nash, a 52-year-old man who’s had multiple knee surgeries, in a ladder match? I’m not saying he can’t pull it off, or that the match won’t be good. It’s just surprising. I’m curious as to where this program is going to go if they continue it into next year. They could always bring Shawn Michaels and Sean Waltman in as supporting characters. But what kind of match are these two going to compete in to follow this one? A ladder match is typically what you end the program with, right? So what are they going to do next? A cage, maybe? Last Man Standing? Either way, I’m interested to see how this plays out. I’ll give it to Triple H, as it’s a sledgehammer match, and as we know hammers are kind of his thing.
Rob’s Prediction: Triple H
Winner: Triple H
Thank God for The Miz, that’s all I can say. Nothing personal, but I’m completely over Del Rio’s presence in the WWE Title picture, at least for now. As I said last month, if WWE wanted a strong heel to work with Cena and Punk this past fall, Miz should have been their first choice. Del Rio’s character is far too one-dimensional, and he wasn’t ready to get the belt when he got it. I’m giving this match to Punk, under the assumption that he’s going to be the champion at Wrestlemania. Hopefully, he can work with Miz next month, work an Elimination Chamber match in February, and then that’ll get us to Wrestlemania. As for Del Rio, let him feud with an upper mid-card babyface for a little while. Let’s see if we can work on his character a bit more before we put him back into the title hunt.
Rob’s Prediction: CM Punk
Winner: CM Punk
- John Cena. Now HERE’s a name I never thought I’d put in this category. Somehow, WWE’s biggest star didn’t get a match at TLC. I’m sure he’ll be in the mix somehow, and might even be added to the WWE Title match at the last minute. But it’s somewhat puzzling that they’d leave him off the card, particularly if they’re trying to boost pay per view buyrates.
- Air Boom. A tag team ladder match with these two? Instant show-stealer. If only Evan Bourne had gotten back from his suspension sooner.
Front page image from buzzbox.com. Kane image from pwpix.net. All other images from WWE.com.