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WWE Tables, Ladders and Chairs 2015 Preview and Predictions

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So WWE went ahead and rebooted itself shortly after Survivor Series. They sort of had to, after all, when their long term project Seth Rollins was put out of action with a serious knee injury. Out of all the situations they could have done, they went ahead and did the one that made the least amount of sense - make Sheamus, who on that very same show was treated like a total geek in a nothing match - the WWE champion, pinning new champion Roman Reigns after cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase.

Sheamus, now the top heel in the company (except whenever the Authority make their presence), has formed a stable consisting of him, Wade Barrett, Rusev and Alberto del Rio known as the League of Nations. Their target is Roman Reigns, who gets another title opportunity this weekend thanks to Triple H, who just gave it to him despite doing everything in his power to get the belt off Reigns. The odds are stacked against him, but he’s proven that he can win the big one, as evidenced the previous month. Will we see a new champion crowned at the final pay per view of the year, or will the Authority’s latest charge find a way to keep his title?

Our predictors for this month’s show:

- Bryan Rose: New Japan house show/AXS reporter

- James Cox: WWE Superstars reporter and WWE DVD reviewer

- Jeremy Peeples: TNA Impact Wrestling and Lucha Underground reporter

- Steve Khan: WWE Smackdown reporter

Chairs Match for the WWE United States Championship: Alberto del Rio (c) vs. Jack Swagger

Bryan Rose: A main event in any arena! Or, should I say, a Main Event main event in any arena. Really, the booking is so lame here. You take Jack Swagger, who has not been on TV for months besides doing jobs on Main Event and Superstars, and now suddenly he’s number one contender just because. He has zero momentum to speak of, Alberto only has a bit more, and overall this just feels like a very lame feud that they gave zero time or effort to get over. Whether or not Zeb is involved doesn’t really matter, as with the new League of Nations gimmick he’s the odd man out, plus he and Alberto really have no chemistry to speak of. With that said, I fully expect it now to be a swerve that will allow del Rio to get the clean win. Over Jack Swagger.

Winner: Alberto del Rio

James Cox: It is difficult to hold out much hope for a gimmick match that has traditionally not offered up classic matches. The most intriguing thing will be how they use Zeb, though I wouldn’t be surprised if they just completely ignore that angle and move on without him at all. Swagger can never get over with this character unless they let him win, but, clearly, he’s losing here after what I would guess will be a tussle and back-and-forth between their submission moves in the finish.

Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Jeremy Peeples: This feud has been built up terribly on television and this match seemingly serves no purpose. Swagger is feuding with MexAmerica, which no longer exists after Raw, so why is this happening? Beyond just giving Swagger a payday, it should be a fine showcase for Alberto and perhaps they bring Swagger and Zeb together. There’s a very slim chance they give Swagger the title here to move Alberto into the WWE Title picture officially, but that seems very unlikely.

Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Steve Khan: I expect a lot of chairs to be used in this match. Maybe Del Rio will double foot stomp a chair into Swagger’s face. Or maybe he’ll superkick a chair into Swagger’s face. Or maybe he’ll do an armbar through a chair. Either way…

Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Eight Man Tag Team Elimination Tables Match: The Dudley Boyz, Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno vs. The Wyatt Family

Bryan Rose: I guess ECW is still popular enough in 2015 that the return of Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno are going to get big reactions. Hey, that’s a testament to the power of WWE still getting over ECW 14 years after it went out of business, plus a misguided attempt to reboot it 9 years ago. I’m not sure what to expect here other than a bunch of table shots. With the Wyatts losing clean last month to the Undertaker, something tells me they’ll do just fine against Team Extreme (not to be confused with Team Xtreme).

Winners: The Wyatt Family

James Cox: I worry that this won’t amount to much after an initial ECW pop in Boston, but I hope that I’m wrong. In theory, you can use this to reboot The Wyatts after losing last month, but I don’t know how this company thinks anymore. You can certainly beat any of these men and I would assume they will at least protect Bray and Strowman. I really want this to be a lot of fun, on a ppv that doesn’t look that exciting as things stand.

Winner: The Wyatt Family

Jeremy Peeples: They haven’t been doing much with the Dudleys, although Tommy Dreamer has been shockingly over and Rhyno is a welcome sight on the main roster. With Bubba Ray being truly wasted in this ECW/Attitude Era nostalgia act, hopefully he turns heel and does his own thing. Since there is no chance of that happening, Team Extreme will just be used to put over the Wyatts and they can talk about how the Wyatts are the only team in WWE history to defeat the Dudleys at their own game. Sure, it won’t be true, but it will tell a nice story.

Winner: The Wyatt Family

Steve Khan: Whether or not this feud is continuing, the Wyatts should win and they probably will. Tables matches are dumb so I don’t expect much from this.

Winner: The Wyatt Family

Divas Title: Charlotte (c) (with Ric Flair in her corner) vs. Paige

Bryan Rose: Does anyone care at this point? Now Charlotte’s teasing a heel turn because...I don’t know? I guess we aren’t supposed to think of the Divas as faces or heels? The only true babyface on the Divas roster at this point is Becky Lynch, who only pops up now and again. For all of this talk about a Revolution, we’re right back to square one with Divas whose one note gimmicks are that they are either heels or crazy people. Virtually nothing’s changed now and that’s probably the saddest thing about the WWE this year. Charlotte retains, I guess, but who can care at this point?

Winner: Charlotte

James Cox: I hope we see the completion of a double turn in this one. The muddying of the waters around who is the heel is just irritating. Flair can be either. On his own, he’s always going to get a babyface reaction, but with Charlotte I can see that they can use him in that way. But the fact that I’m writing this, after what happened last month with the Flair family name, is ridiculous. With no smoke and mirrors, they’re going to have to work hard to make a Boston crowd care much.

Winner: Charlotte

Jeremy Peeples: This feud has been a colossal waste of both women, but Paige’s character is more of a babyface than Charlotte’s now since she’s speaking the truth - it’s just a truth no one wants to accept. Of course, a double turn won’t do much for either of them since the commentators will just talk about how it’s okay for Charlotte to cheat because her dad did, so everything will be undercut. They had a good-ish match on the last PPV and a better one on Raw, so I expect this to have pretty good action if the match itself isn’t just a backdrop to the angle. Charlotte needs the title more than Paige, and a heel-ish win moves her cocky character forward too.

Winner: Charlotte

Steve Khan: Paige should really be the star of this division right now, as Charlotte has been nothing as champion, but her storyline over the last few weeks has probably bought her more time with the belt. She cheated last month by accident, so I think she cheats on purpose here to pick up the win. The match itself should be good.

Winner: Charlotte

Ryback vs. Rusev

Bryan Rose: This match was added at the very last minute on Smackdown. They’ve built it up the last few weeks in a build that was, well, just a build. As for the actual match, it could go either way. This could either be a fun slugfest or a WWE-style centric match, which can produce a boring bout. Let’s hope for the latter. I say Rusev wins as he needs some heat on him following his return.

Winner: Rusev

Steve Khan: It seems like this show could be dominated by heels, so Ryback getting a token win wouldn’t surprise me, but they just reunited Rusev and Lana and Rusev is in the League of Nations so he should really win.

 Winner: Rusev

Ladder Match: WWE Tag Team Championship: The New Day (c) vs. The Usos vs. The Lucha Dragons

Bryan Rose: I think this’ll be a stunt show, but a good one. All three tag teams are probably going to go all out here, with lots of ladder shots in between. Not the best built program leading to this, but not many matches on the show were anyway. I see the New Day winning here because there really aren’t any tag teams that are over enough for them to drop the titles so.

 Winner: The New Day

James Cox: This is a classic case of being booked into a corner by creating gimmick ppvs in advance. There’s no reason to have three teams in this match. But, I’d call this to be the match of the night, provided it isn’t just a spot-fest. Kofi, Kalisto and The Usos are all capable of doing something special here. The New Day have become bloated versions of themselves in the last few weeks, but it makes zero sense for them to lose the titles, other than just for the sake of playing hot potato with the belts.

 Winner: The New Day

Steve Khan: This obviously has potential to be match of the night and hopefully it’s given time to produce. I would actually put the titles on the Usos. WWE is in love with New Day but too many babyface acts are coming up short lately, and that could continue on this show if Ambrose and Reigns both lose. New Day can come out of this feud as champions eventually, and they’ll probably win here despite what I Just said, but I’ll go out on a limb (?) and take the Usos.

 Winner: The Usos

Intercontinental Championship: Kevin Owens (c) vs. Dean Ambrose

Bryan Rose: This should be a good match if given time. I can’t say there’s a whole lot of interest here because the way it was built, which included Dean Ambrose throwing soda and popcorn at his opponent, and Owens using the walkout finish on nearly every match he’s been in leading up to this one. But again, if they are given enough time, they can go out there and steal the show. As for who wins, it could go either way, but I see Owens retaining here in some sort of finish that allows a rematch for next month.

 Winner: Kevin Owens

James Cox: With all the bells and whistles that this show has, I feel like time could be an issue here. If they give them 15mins, they can have a great match. Less than 12 and I struggle to see this being much better than just OK. Owens is a great heel and Ambrose a great babyface, but only if the company want them to be and are prepared to invest time in them. With one eye on WrestleMania now, you’d have to think that if Ambrose wins, Owens becomes a potential for the Rumble or a high spot on the WrestleMania card. But in theory, with this weakened roster, so should Ambrose.

Winner: Kevin Owens

Jeremy Peeples: This match really hasn’t had much of a build to it, and Raw’s popcorn and soda usage didn’t exactly set fire to the feud. Dean Ambrose has no momentum, while Owens at least has some - so he seems like a lock to win - especially if they decide to throw him in as one of the many champions in the League of Nations. Doing so would keep this feud alive and make a Dean win in the future mean more since it showed Roman’s group could take something from Sheamus’s.

 Winner: Kevin Owens

Steve Khan: It occurred to me that this company may not want to put a title on Dean Ambrose as long as Roman Reigns is without one himself. Imagine the Usos and/or Ambrose walking out with Reigns and they have belts but he doesn’t? That puts the odds against Ambrose and the Usos on this show. Watching the babyfaces constantly come up short is getting tiresome, so that’s probably what we’ll see. The match itself should be good.

Winner: Kevin Owens

TLC Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Sheamus (c) vs. Roman Reigns

Bryan Rose: So they went ahead and did the worst possible finish they could have done at Survivor Series by making Sheamus the WWE champion again. Booking and ratings aside, Sheamus has never felt like a main event talent, and that is what causes me to have little to no interest in this match. They’ll work hard and probably have a good match. But I’m jaded enough on WWE’s product to know there will probably be a screwy finish here that leaves Roman Reign a loser for the upteenth time this year, leading to a Royal Rumble scenario that probably sees him winning the title shot again. To say this isn’t interesting television right now is an understatement. But hey, Roman Reigns has a few people cheering for him now, so I guess it all paid off, right?

Winner: Sheamus

James Cox: A TLC match is just the kind of match that Sheamus does well in when in the main event picture: long brawls where he ultimately stands tall, drenched in sweat. There’s so much that they can do here with the two factions that they have created around each of them, that maybe this will become just a series of run-ins. I hope not. This needs to kick start this programme and, ideally, we should know by the end of it what our Royal Rumble main event is. But Reigns losing again? That feels like one too many. In a TLC match I guess you can still keep him looking strong despite the defeat. And let’s not forget that, for whatever reason, this company likes Sheamus.

Winner: Sheamus

Jeremy Peeples: Sheamus is dangerous enough in a regular match, but adding at least three implements of destruction (or toys as JBL could call them) adds even more risk to Roman. With so many people out with injury, I wouldn’t put Roman in this match against Sheamus, but it’s booked and Sheamus needs to look strong. The problem is that Roman needs to as well and really can’t be losing so many title matches. With that said, Sheamus needs the win and has an entire stable to ensure a victory, so he is the likely victor and then Roman will have to overcome the entire League of Nations to get a rematch or something along those lines.

Winner: Sheamus

Steve Khan: The finish of the match is important (or at least the follow-up) because it potentially sets up the title picture through WrestleMania, which probably has a lot of moving parts at the moment. Reigns winning here seems unlikely. If he gets a rematch at the Rumble, he can win that and go into WrestleMania as champion. But if he loses and the Authority refuses to give him another rematch, then Reigns goes into the Rumble and probably wins that. That leaves a hole for Sheamus to be filled at the Rumble. Maybe they’ll throw Brock Lesnar or Undertaker or John Cena in there to set up a match with Reigns, but for now it doesn’t really matter.

Winner: Sheamus