High Predictability: A 2020 WWE TLC Preview

WWE TLC takes place today, Sunday, December 20th, from the WWE Thunderdome inside Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, Florida. There are six matches on the card as of this writing (though WWE could add more before the show begins or during it). And despite news that both WWE and USA Network are panicking due to WWE Raw's plummeting ratings and reports that WWE is looking for out-of-the-box ideas to shake things up, it seems highly unlikely there will be any major title changes tonight.

Here's what's happening at WWE TLC and what we figure will bet the results of each match.

The New Day defend the Raw Tag Team Championships against Hurt Business at WWE TLC
The New Day defend the Raw Tag Team Championships against Hurt Business at WWE TLC

The New Day vs. Hurt Business for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships

At this point, we're not even sure why WWE has one set of tag team championships, let alone three of them (four if you count NXT). The company has no tag team division to speak of. At most, they seem to have two teams per show that fight each other for months at a time, over and over again. In Raw's case it's New Day and Hurt Business, who have had approximately eight billion skillion matches on Raw since the New Day arrived after the draft.

Cedric Alexander has been on a winning streak lately (though Shelton Benjamin has never been on a winning streak in his entire career). It would make sense for Hurt Business to win the belts here if WWE gave a rat's ass about said belts, but since they don't, it's equally likely New Day walks out with them and they just continue this feud until WrestleMania.

Prediction: Who cares?

Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler defend the Women's Tag Team Championships against Asuka and a mystery partner at WWE TLC
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler defend the Women's Tag Team Championships against Asuka and a mystery partner at WWE TLC

Nia Jax and Shayne Baszler vs. Asuka and Mystery Partner for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships

Everything said above about the Raw tag team championship also applies to the women's championship. For weeks, the Raw tag team champions have mainly been feuding with Lana, but for some reason, despite investing weeks in that storyline and, against all odds, kinda sorta making Lana a sympathetic babyface, Lana has now been pulled from TV and Raw Women's Champion Asuka will take on the tag champs with a mystery partner. The rumor mill thinks it could be Charlotte Flair. If it is Flair, it seems unlikely the end goal would be for her to become tag team champion with Asuka, so you have to expect some kind of swerve here to set up Charlotte challenging and ultimately defeating Asuka for the Raw belt. Therefore, the actual winner of this match is basically irrelevant.

Prediction: Doesn't matter

Bray Wyatt faces Randy Orton in a Firefly Inferno match at WWE TLC
Bray Wyatt faces Randy Orton in a Firefly Inferno match at WWE TLC

Randy Orton vs. The Fiend Bray Wyatt in a Firefly Inferno Match

Randy Orton goes by the moniker "The Legend Killer," but he could really be more accurately described as "The Push Killer." Orton and Wyatt have faced off in a cinematic match before, a non-title rematch after Orton cut Wyatt's world championship title reign to under 50 days at WrestleMania a month earlier. Though Wyatt won that rematch, it arguably killed his character and after a lackluster run as a tag team with Matt Hardy, he disappeared and got rebooted as The Fiend.

Can Orton work his magic twice and ruin Wyatt's character again? It would seem incredibly foolish for Wyatt to lose here, but anything can happen. Even so, WWE probably does the safe thing here and has Alexa Bliss return from filming a Punky Brewster reboot (no, seriously) to help Wyatt pull out the victory:

Prediction: Bray Wyatt either wins or gets canceled and rebooted again

Drew McIntyre defends the WWE Championship against AJ Styles at WWE TLC
Drew McIntyre defends the WWE Championship against AJ Styles at WWE TLC

Drew McIntyre vs. AJ Styles in a TLC Match for the WWE Championship

Based on its ratings, WWE Raw is the show that most desperately needs something exciting to happen. The problem: no possible outcome of this WWE Championship match has any potential to excite. Drew McIntyre has been champion, aside from a near push-killing interlude by Randy Orton, since WrestleMania. And while he's not a bad champ on paper, the ratings have gone down under his watch. Not his fault, sure. But it's true nonetheless.

But AJ Styles has been in WWE long enough for most of his pre-WWE shine to come off. It doesn't help that, behind the scenes, he's been a total kissass, defending WWE's Twitch policy and backstage politicking against Paul Heyman after Vince McMahon fired the Good Brothers. Another Styles title run doesn't seem likely to boost the ratings, though I guess it is the fastest way toward getting the title on the giant Olmos as he and AJ could do the bodyguard challenges his boss feud between now and WrestleMania.

And then there's The Miz, who has burned off every bit of goodwill earned during his stellar run on Smackdown that started with a feud on Talking Smack with Daniel Bryan and ended with his battle with Shane McMahon. But as good as that Miz run was, pairing him with John Morrison so the pair can make unfunny jokes for what seems like a year nonstop has made it actively painful to watch WWE when they're on the screen. So Miz cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase isn't what Raw needs to turn ratings around either.

Prediction: Ratings continue to slide no matter what happens

Sasha Banks defends the Smackdown Women's Championship against Carmella at WWE TLC
Sasha Banks defends the Smackdown Women's Championship against Carmella at WWE TLC

Sasha Banks vs. Carmela for the Smackdown Women's Championship

WWE had its hottest feud of the year going with Sasha Banks vs. Bayley, something they spent nearly a year building to and which was based on the careers of both women going back to NXT. So of course, WWE blew off the feud at TLC of all places. Now Sasha is fighting a repackaged Carmella in the first big feud of her title reign. Sasha can't afford to lose, having had so many short reigns in the past. But Carmella also can't afford to lose her first big match since revamping her character, but WWE loves to book themselves into these kinds of situations. The smart thing to do would be to have Charlotte return here, not during the tag match, and attack both women, setting up a three-way feud they could ride out until WrestleMania. But that wouldn't solve Raw's ratings slide. There's even a possibility Banks loses to punish her for her causing, Snoop Dogg, jumping to AEW. But most likely, Banks defeats Carmella, killing her new character, and then goes on to have no one to feud with on Smackdown for the next three months.

Prediction: Sasha Banks wins the battle but loses the war for relevance

Roman Reigns defends the Universal Championship against Kevin Owens at WWE TLC
Roman Reigns defends the Universal Championship against Kevin Owens at WWE TLC

Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens in a TLC match for the Universal Championship

In Roman Reigns, WWE has its first truly interesting story in quite some time, so it would be utterly foolish to have him drop the title to Kevin Owens here. I appreciate what WWE is trying to do in booking Kevin Owens as Stone Cold Steve Austin if Stone Cold Steve Austin was a chubby, Canadian underdog babyface, but ultimately I think that the lack of real crowds hurts Owens as a real crowd getting behind him is the only thing that could legitimize what WWE has been doing with his character the last few months.

Prediction: Roman Reigns retains, WWE gives The Rock a bajillion dollars to show up at the Royal Rumble

Will our predictions come true? WWE TLC airs tonight starting at 7PM on the WWE Network. Bleeding Cool will be covering it live, so feel free to come back and mock us in the comments of those articles if we're wrong.

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About Jude Terror

A prophecy once said that in the comic book industry's darkest days, a hero would come to lead the people through a plague of overpriced floppies, incentive variant covers, #1 issue reboots, and super-mega-crossover events. Sadly, that prophecy was wrong. Oh, Jude Terror was right. For ten years. About everything. But nobody listened. And so, Jude Terror has moved on to a more important mission: turning Bleeding Cool into a pro wrestling dirt sheet!
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