The Rope Break #21: WWE TLC 2017 Predictions!!

By Curtis Suthard – 10/20/2017 -Updated

 

Credit: WWE.com

 Well, this looks like a pretty weak card. I mean most of RAW’s top tier of talent will all be involved in the Main Event, leaving a ton of space for some of those mid-card storylines to get some attention and see what pans out. At least, that’s what would be happening, if we could have nice things. “The Powers That Be”, in WWE, don’t seem to feel we deserve too much of a good thing, since, after all, they gave us the SHIELD reunion we were all surely clamoring for. By the way, that last bit was sarcasm, in case you’re not reading this right. Don’t worry though, two Cruiserweight matches and three Women’s Division matches are helping to fill in the gaps. Anyway, let’s take a look at each match and take a peek at my choices to win along the way. This should be a quick one!

Credit: WWE.com

Sasha Banks VS. Alicia Fox (Kickoff Show Match): So, The Boss got bumped down to the Pre-show? Sure, whatever. This match is just another throw away confrontation between these two women and really doesn’t matter. I’m not saying that Banks or Alicia aren’t talented and fun to watch. I’m simply saying that this feud is lame and nothing will probably come of it. Plus, I’m disappointed that Nia isn’t around to take Alicia’s place and keep up some of that momentum that she was building over the last couple of weeks. I would have loved to seen Sasha and Nia go at it in some variation of the Tables, Ladders and Chairs theme. Maybe even a Triple Threat with Bayley thrown into the mix. But, that wasn’t going to happen, especially with Nia either taking a walk or taking an excused leave of absence for “Personal Reasons”. Either way, I hope to see her back sooner, rather than later. Ah, well, we got this instead.

Credit: WWE.com

My Pick: Sasha Banks

Credit: WWE.com

Asuka VS. Emma: Okay, let’s just get this one out of the way. Is there anyone out there who really believes that Asuka, the Empress of Tomorrow and former NXT Women’s Champion, who remains undefeated since entering WWE, will lose in her debut match against Emma, of all people? No. Good, neither do I. This could be a very good match, though, as Emma can go when she wants to. Though expect Asuka to very possibly steamroll her and win this one hands down.

Credit: WWE.com

My Pick: Asuka

Credit: WWE.com

The Brian Kendrick & Jack Gallagher VS. Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann: I have to admit that I’m a little happy to see this match being featured somewhere on the main card for this show. One of the more entertaining storylines to come out of 205 Live recently has been Gallagher’s heel turn and alliance with Kendrick. Gallagher has been displaying a true mean streak and it has been quite enjoyable. With that being said, I am also a huge mark for Alexander and I’m glad to see him getting some spotlight at a larger event. The guy just needs to tighten up his mic work and he could easily carry the Cruiserweight title in the future, if not make a leap over to the main roster. Which would be cool…for me at least. Anyway, I hope that this whole Gallagher/Kendrick heel team-up storyline will end somewhere down the line with Gallagher turning on Kendrick and maintaining that heel status. I fully expect that this could be short and placed just before the Main Event as filler. I just hope this one gets enough time to find its groove and wraps up nice, as it could be a “show stealer”-type match if done right.

Credit: WWE.com

My Pick: The Brian Kendrick & Jack Gallagher

Credit: WWE.com

Sister Abigail/Bray Wyatt VS. The Demon/Finn Balor: So, I am equally uncertain that we need Finn to be throwing on the bodypaint and doing the whole Demon spectacle this soon after the last time and my need to see Bray potentially dress in some kind of drag. The whole Demon gimmick could get real old, real fast if it’s not held in reserve for only the biggest of matches. As cool as it is, too much of anything isn’t a good thing. Though, this time, Finn seems like he’s embracing his inner Pumpkin Demon King, if those flashes of his painted face from this last week was any indication. On the other hand, Bray doing the whole costume/makeup thing is kind of interesting and I’ll admit I’m really curious to see what it looks like. The only problem there, is that it could be just as lame, as it could potentially be cool. My main concern here is that these two have a solid match. Their first meeting, at Summerslam, was just boring and wasn’t anywhere near the level that I know both of these guys can normally compete at. The second match, at No Mercy last month, almost made up for all of that, though. That one was really good and, yet, no makeup or gimmicks were needed. Everything in me is screaming that Balor will win yet again, but I really feel like Bray needs a win and this could lead to something more with the whole Sister Abigail-angle.

Just to throw another wrench into the gears of this one, is the fact that Bray hasn’t been live on RAW in the last few weeks. Now, early reports said that possibly Bray, his real life brother, Bo Dallas and RAW announcer, Jojo may have all contracted viral meningitis. Which caused me to look up viral meningitis and, being the hypochondriac that I am, I’m almost certain that I too may be coming down with it. Recently, though, the official story changed saying that Bo Dallas had viral meningitis and Jojo and Bray were just being kept off of the road as a precaution due to their proximity to Bo. So, there may be a chance something could come up and this match may not go as planned. But, let’s hope that it does.

Credit: WWE.com

UPDATE: Just as I was posting this thing up WWE.com announced that Bray Wyatt was not cleared to compete and would not be facing Finn Balor on Sunday night at TLC. Instead, they made the Phenomenal decision to replace him with A. J. Styles, which is truly a Dream Match and undoubtedly “What’s Best For Business”. This, of course, changes my pick for the match, as I don’t see Finn losing in this impromptu encounter. Quite frankly, I don’t really care who wins, because as long as this match is given time to pay out just right, we All Win! This has the potential to not only be the match of the night, but a contender for Match of the Year!

Credit: WWE.com

My Pick: Finn Balor

Mickie James VS. Alexa Bliss (RAW Women’s Championship): Another match that has all of the potential in the world to be really good, if not great, but just feels like a filler match. Alexa has survived this long as the RAW Women’s Champ it’s kind of hard to believe that Mickie James really stands any chance of getting the win over her, let alone winning the title. Now, Mickie could win by DQ or Count-out, thus allowing Bliss to retain the Championship, but what good will that do? It isn’t like anyone holding that title has much hope holding onto it, now that Asuka is on the scene. And, with Survivor Series right around the corner, I don’t see Mickie being the one that Asuka takes down. It will be much more satisfying to see Little Miss Bliss get her comeuppance at the hands of Asuka. Though, with all of that being said, stranger things could happen, with Mickie winning that title off of Bliss for a short run, only to lose it back before Asuka gets her shot. I just don’t see that happening.

Credit: WWE.com

My Pick: Alexa Bliss

Credit: WWE.com

Enzo Amore VS. Kalisto (WWE Cruiserweight Championship): So, just when I thought that Enzo winning the Cruiserweight title and planting himself in the division as the new “Top Heel” was a good thing, it ends up bringing about all out chaos. We go from having a great run by Neville, as the Cruiserweight Champ and self-proclaimed “King of the Cruiserweights” to Enzo getting a screwy heel victory over the champ and taking the title to Ol’ Botchy McBotcherson JR., Kalisto (Botchy McBotcherson SR, remains Sin Cara, for now) winning the title off of Enzo and Neville possibly leaving WWE entirely! See what I mean by “We Can’t Have Nice Things”? I would have had no problem with Kalisto joining 205 Live, heck I expected it to happen a lot sooner than it did. But, not at the cost of losing Neville entirely. Neville has got a ton of talent in the ring and has really improved in leaps and bounds on the mic. He’s incredibly talented and hopefully WWE can work something out to keep him around, maybe back on the main roster, or he’ll head out into the great unknown and we’ll get to see him really cut loose elsewhere.

Well, I avoided talking about the actual match long enough, I guess? Enzo is great as a heel. There I said it! He has done a really good job at being unlikeable, which, according to rumors and gossip, seems to be Enzo’s default setting in real life as well. Kalisto on the other hand can be fun to watch, I just don’t really get excited for the stuff he does anymore. As Samurey Del Rey, I was all about the dude. But, since coming to WWE, he’s flaked out a bit and lost that excitement. For the Cruiserweight division to remain interesting there needs to be a good leader at the top and, as much as I hate to admit, Enzo is possibly the best qualified to keep it interesting for now. Hopefully, this will lead to some other guys who deserve their moment in the spotlight to shine. Guys like Mustafa Ali and the aforementioned, Cedric Alexander, deserve a real shot at the title, if not a good run with it. Enzo, being obviously less talented than Neville was, could easily drop the belt more often than Neville would have and still be credible when he sneakily wins it back. Neville’s reign was based, primarily, on him being that much better than every other guy out there and Enzo’s should be based on cheating and trolling the fans.

Credit: WWE.com

My Pick: Enzo Amore

Credit: WWE.com

The Shield VS. The Miz, The Bar, Braun Strowman & Kane (5-on-3 Handicap TLC Match): So, everyone was clamoring for the Shield to return, huh? I guess it gives the top guys on RAW something to do for now, since the Universal Champ only shows up here and there, so there is that. It also elevates the Miz to the upper levels of the RAW talent, a place he rightly deserves after these last few years of killing it. And, it brought back…Kane? So…yay? I was actually really hoping that Curtis Axel would have gotten the nod to join the team, but I guess it keeps with the theme of this Rope Break, that “We Can’t Have Nice Things” and WWE makes sure to tease us just enough, before yanking that football away. Some rumors are suggesting that Kane’s arrival might be a precursor to a confrontation with the Undertaker next month, at Survivor Series. As cool as that may be, for ‘Taker to pop up on the same PPV that he debuted at so many years ago, I’m not sure I care. ‘Taker’s last match with Reigns at Wrestlemania was just kind of sad and not really the way I wanted to see the Deadman go out. Maybe he’ll be in primo shape for this last and final hurrah?

I really want the Shield to get wiped out, but I just don’t see that happening. I can’t imagine that they brought these three guys back together and would be willing to make them look weak, right out of the gate. Besides, there were a ton of folks wearing Shield T-shirts at both RAW and Smackdown this week and WWE ain’t going to end that cash cow anytime soon. Maybe Dean, who got his buddies roped into this whole Handicap match fiasco by running his mouth, will prove to be the weaker link, in this match or this is merely laying the groundwork for something to play out further down the line. Hopefully this leads to a whole new heel turn angle for the three Shield guys, where, this time, its Ambrose turning on them and setting the stage for what could potentially be a fantastic heel run by Dean.

Credit: WWE.com

UPDATE: WWE.com has said that Roman Reigns will not be cleared to work at this Sunday’s TLC PPV and will be replaced by RAW General Manager and Olympic Gold Medalist, Kurt Angle. Oh, It’s True! It’s Damn True! This doesn’t change my pick to win this match and it only makes this one a definite can’t miss.

Credit: WWE.com

My Pick: The Shield

So, there you have it! Check back here on Monday for my review of TLC 2017 and be prepared for complaining. Lots of complaining, as I predict that this show may stink. Here’s hoping that it doesn’t!

Be sure to check out all of my other Rope Breaks, as well as my Rope Break RETROs and Crappy movie Reviews (I’ve got to get back on the movie reviewing horse, admittedly) by CLICKING RIGHT HERE!

Also, be sure to give a listen to my debut episode of Nerd Nation Radio Presents: The Rope Break Podcast, which I will be doing live at 6pm EST, Sunday evening before WWE TLC’s Kickoff show. Listen in or even give me a call at 929-477-3767. I’ll be talking about the show and these predictions, as well as some news and notes from the world of pro wrestling at large.

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