2020 has been quite a stressful year for WWE.
The current pandemic forced Vinnie Mac and Co. to forgo live crowds for their shows and adopt virtual panels of their fans for its ThunderDome presentation. Throughout the year, we’ve been treated to a series of monumental moments, quality matches, and entertaining character changes. The final month of one of the worst years in recorded human history is upon us and it’s time for WWE to go out with a bang. This means it’s time for another healthy serving of TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs. The stars of Raw and Smackdown will clash with some familiar weaponry on hand for the annual PPV festivities.
Let’s check out the announced matches for TLC 2020 and break down our picks for who will come out on top.
The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) (c) vs. The Hurt Business (Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin) (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship)
Predictions & Winners: I gotta hand it to The New Day and The Hurt Business – they’ve been delivering some impressive performances ever since their feud kicked off. So far, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods have notched two major championship victories over The Hurt Business’ Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin. But Alexander has claimed two surprising singles victories of his own over his stables’ latest rivals, which makes this third tag team title encounter a lot more interesting. Can The New Day successfully pull off a three-peat? Or will the youngest member of The Hurt Business parlay his singles wins into tag team championship glory?
I’m of the opinion that it’s time for The New Day to drop the straps. And I think the powers that be feel the exact same way. Kingston & Woods already defeated Alexander & Benjamin twice before, so it would pretty much be a waste of time for The Hurt Business to lose for the third straight time (especially on PPV). Alexander’s recent string of good luck will push him and his veteran tag team partner to finally overcoming The New Day. Now Bobby Lashley won’t be the only stablemate in The Hurt Business wearing championship gold around his waist.
Sasha Banks (c) vs. Carmella (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Carmella has come back with a vengeance and a rebooted look to boot. And her ire has been focused on Sasha Banks, the current WWE SmackDown Women’s champion. Makes all the sense in the world for Carmella to begin her latest run on Smackdown in the position of a top title contender. Plus Banks needs new blood to work with before a certain woman that’s labeled as the “EST” confronts her (Banks vs. Bianca Belair at next year’s WrestleMania is a super safe bet, right?).
I said all that because it’s clear to me that Banks needs someone new to go over in order to keep her current title reign strong. And even though Carmella has made her grand return, she won’t be solidifying it with a major championship victory here. This is basically a one-off feud that will wrap up once this match comes to a close. Carmella will put up a good fight, but Banks will overcome her and move onto her next foe once 2021 kicks in. At least Carmella’s getting a title shot in the first place, which is refreshing.
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Asuka and Lana (WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship)
Predictions & Winners: So WWE is trying their hardest to get Lana over as a babyface. The way they’re doing it really isn’t flying with me, though. Watching someone get repeatedly smashed through an announce table for weeks and get fluke victories will never make me take Lana seriously as one of Raw’s premier women’s competitors. And the fact that she’s still dumpster truck juice in the ring won’t help her current run mean much, either. Since partnering up with WWE Raw Women’s Champion Asuka, Lana has gotten two major non-title victories over the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. And at TLC, Asuka and Lana will face Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler once again. And this time, the belts are up for grabs.
I think the random babyface pairing of Asuka and Lana will prevail over their hard-edged rivals once more and leave with the pearly white titles. WWE is going to go all-in on this Lana redemption storyline during this match and will even use their Raw Women’s Champion to get it over as much as possible. As a matter of fact, Lana will probably get the winning pin on Jax as revenge for all the pain she’s caused her this year. This championship loss for Jax and Baszler will force their uneasy alliance to finally come unglued and push them into a feud while Lana’s major push continues. Yay…
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (with Alexa Bliss) vs. Randy Orton (Firefly Inferno Match)
Predictions & Winner: Ever since he claimed (and later dropped) the WWE Championship, Randy Orton has had to deal with Raw’s resident monster. And what makes matters even worse is the fact that “The Viper” has to also contend with his creepy assistant in the form of a newly heel-turned Alexa Bliss. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt now has the sleazy veteran in his sights and is ready to make an example out of him. Orton clearly feels the exact same way, which is why we’re getting this first-time matchup between him and Wyatt’s darker persona.
I’m sure this bout won’t feature the cringeworthy gimmicks that ruined the WWE Championship clash that took place between both men at WrestleMania 33. It’ll just be a regular match without all the special effects fans hated once before, but I’m sure some mind games will come into play here. Bliss will be the one to come in and distract Randy when he attempts to finish “The Fiend” (I’m guessing he’ll go for a match-ending Running Punt). That quick slip-up by Randy will ultimately be his undoing and lead to him falling to “The Fiend.” Orton’s clearly being used here to give Bray the big rub he needs in order to rebuild him into a world title threat for Drew McIntyre later down the line.
Drew McIntyre (c) vs. AJ Styles (with Omos) (Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match for the WWE Championship)
Predictions & Winner: We are now in the midst of Drew McIntyre’s second WWE Championship reign. And to be clear, that really shouldn’t have been the case. Instead of hot shotting the belt to Randy Orton just to end up going right back to Drew as the champ just seemed like a total waste of time. Drew’s very first WWE Championship run should have been completely uninterrupted and kept on going strong into the new year. At least Drew’s back in the driver’s seat on Monday Night Raw and ready to hold the top spot for months to come. His next challenger comes in the form of the “Phenomenal One” AJ Styles, who now has a giant brute backing him just in case things go left.
AJ managed to slot himself into this high profile position after besting Keith Lee and Matt Riddle during a Sudden Death Triple Threat match. Now we’re set to witness the first-ever one-on-one meeting between two of Raw’s premier talents. While AJ may have slowed down a bit these days, he’s still capable of bringing his best to every match he competes in. And as a conniving heel, he’s even more entertaining and willing to go to great lengths to secure a victory. With the massive Omos by his side, AJ looks to have this match in the bag.
But we all know AJ is being set up as the next legit challenger that Drew can defeat to build up his main event credibility even further. This match will be great and give Drew another notch in his belt as he looks to lay claim to being called the best wrestler of 2020. I have a sneaking suspicion that Drew’s first major hurdle in 2021 will be his supposed best friend Sheamus. Sounds like a great matchup for next year’s Royal Rumble, if you ask me.
Roman Reigns (c) (with Paul Heyman & Jey Uso) vs. Kevin Owens (Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match for the WWE Universal Championship)
Predictions & Winner: SmackDown’s “Tribal Chief” has morphed into the most interesting part of WWE’s main roster these days. His promos sound way more natural, his badassery has been put on full display, and his matches have been bonafide show stealers. And now my gut is telling me Roman Reigns will be a part of another excellent title defense against a worthy opponent in the form of Kevin Owens. I still look back fondly on their quality No Disqualification match from the 2017 Royal Rumble, which is why I’m expecting a main event of equal quality from both men here. With the TLC stipulation added to it, it’s quite evident that Reigns and Owens will meet my high expectations.
Reigns and Owens will use everything except the kitchen sink to destroy each other, of course. And I’m sure Jey Uso’s involvement will come into play during those intervals where Owens looks to be on the verge of winning. During the final moments of this match, I foresee a situation where Owens has had enough of Jey’s involvement and Powerbombs him through a table for his transgressions. But this moment will lead right into Owens turning right around into a devastating move from Reigns (a Spear through a table, perhaps?), which will give the WWE Universal Champion all the time he needs to retrieve his belt. Everyone and their grandmother can see Reigns retaining his title here from a mile away.