WWE TLC 2020 is the final pay-per-view event of 2020 and it’s nearly upon us. There’s a lot of questions going into Sunday’s event, with perhaps the biggest being, just who is Asuka’s mystery partner now that Lana’s injury has seen pulled her from the match?
Five WWE Championships are on the line and two of them will be fought for in TLC (tables, ladders, chairs) matches. Can Kevin Owens take Roman Reigns’ seat at the head of the table? Is AJ Styles phenomenal enough to end Drew McIntyre’s dominance over the Raw brand? And, is Carmella’s new look and attitude just for show, or does she actually have what it takes to defeat one of the greatest wrestler’s of her generation, Sasha Banks? Our panel of experts answer all those questions and more.
You can watch WWE’s TLC 2020 pay-per-view this Sunday, December 20, at 7 ET/4 PT on the WWE network. Get a head start on the action by checking out the full card and our team of expert’s predictions below. You can stay up-to-date on all the weekly WWE action by listening to our weekly wrestling podcast PTW.
The New Day (c) vs. The Hurt Business’ Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander (Raw Tag Team Championship match)
Darius: For my money, the Hurt Business were hard carrying Raw for a while during this pandemic era, even making Raw Underground extra interesting whenever they were on it. I feel like this will be the time where they get coronated as a stable (whereas previously it was just Lashley and MVP taking on the US championship as singles stars associated with a stable). The New Day will always be able to pick up the belt again later, so why not take a chance on the current coolest act on Raw?
Winner: The Hurt Business
Shane: I’m going to go with Hurt Business on this one. There’s just a mental image of Bobby Lashley as US Champ and Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin as Tag Champs that I can’t get out of my head. Honestly, I think the Hurt Business should have won the tag championships off of The Street Profits months ago, so I think the time is right here. Plus, when the New Day inevitably wins them back, it’ll just help boost their numbers.
Winners: (and NEW Raw Tag Team Champions) The Hurt Business
Jay: The Hurt Business. This has been a long time coming for them considering there have been upwards of fifteen New Day v. Hurt Business matches and The Hurt Business are one of the best acts in WWE right now so they’ve more than earned the shine here.
Winners: The Hurt Business
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Asuka & ? (WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match)
Darius: This is the hardest choice of the show since, even if we knew who the partner was, there are still multiple ways to go about handling the tag team championships afterward. If the partner is just Lana with a fake mustache (which is my personal fantasy booking), I say Asuka has it. If it’s Charlotte, then there’s a 100% chance that it results in an Asuka vs Charlotte singles feud, but the question is if they’ll be tag champs for it or if it starts because Charlotte screws Asuka out of the title. Because 2/3 of these outcomes rely on Asuka leaving as tag champion, I’ll throw my weight behind that choice.
Winner: Asuka and Friend
Shane: I think Asuka is walking out of TLC as a double champion. I’ve been going back and forth with who I think her tag team partner will be and I think it’ll either be WWE trying to swerve us and have it be Lana after all or Charlotte Flair returning. Even though I’m hoping deep down for the return to be Kairi Sane(I know it won’t happen), my gut tells me it is going to be Charlotte that’s revealed as Asuka’s partner. It was Nia who put Charlotte on the shelf in the first place so that has some sort of storyline continuity in place? Either way, I think the Jax/Baszler experiment has run its course and it just feels like the time is right to take those belts off them.
Winners: (and NEW WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions) Asuka (& Charlotte Flair?)
Jay: Lana is going to be the mystery partner and win the titles with Asuka. She’s going to come out and do the whole underdog schtick and win the title with Asuka in a heart-warming moment. There’s nothing overtly wrong with this angle but, I just don’t care.
Winners: Asuka and Lana
The Fiend vs. Randy Orton (Firefly Inferno Match)
Darius: My reasoning here is pretty practical: The Fiend can go through the fire because he wears more flammable clothing, a la bodysuit Kane vs short-sleeved Undertaker. Also, though, I feel like these matches where the end goal isn’t a pinfall are exactly the types that The Fiend can lose without looking too weak. You don’t have to put him down — just get 0.01% of his body engulfed in flames and run away. Plus, Orton has spent this whole year winning matches I wish he would lose, so let’s bet on that again.
Winner: Randy Orton
Shane: I think Darius might be right on this one and it kills me inside. The Fiend is one of those characters that shouldn’t lose matches. However, like Darius mentioned, this is one of those stipulations where he, in theory, could lose without actually losing. I do think it is worth mentioning that this is the first major match we have seen for a babyface Fiend and perhaps Randy Orton will use Alexa Bliss to his advantage. We all know that Orton as a heel will do whatever it takes to win a match.
Winner: Randy Orton
Jay: This has to be the least hyped up inferno match in history. I mean, they literally announced it on Twitter and it’s an inferno match. The lackadaisical promotion of this match, however, coincides with just how apathetic most viewers are to this. Randy Orton v. Fiend should be making waves on WWE programming but why does it feel so mundane? I think WWE is using the Inferno match to literally light a spark for this feud and get the audience to buy in. With that said, it makes the most sense for Orton to take it here to escalate the situation.
Winner: Randy Orton.
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre vs. AJ Styles (Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match)
Darius: It’s going to make AJ look really stupid when he loses what’s basically been implied to be a four on two handicap match (AJ, Omos, Miz, and Morrison vs McIntyre and Sheamus), but I think that’s where we’re headed. Miz is going to cash-in the briefcase eventually, and I can’t see it being against anyone other than Drew, so unless Miz cashes in during this match and grabs the belt himself, I think Drew’s going to be champ for a bit longer.
Winner: Drew McIntyre.
Shane: The Miz cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase is the only thing that makes this prediction slightly difficult to call…I just don’t see it happening. And if it does, he’s not going to be successful with his cash in. Drew is on a roll and I don’t see it coming to an end any time soon.
Winner: (and STILL WWE Champion) Drew McIntyre
Jay: I can’t wait for this. D. Mac is on fire and AJ Styles is AJ Styles. Plus you have The Miz and JoMo lurking in the background, a simmering Sheamus v. D.Mac feud incoming. Drew McIntyre is gonna babyface the hell out of this by beating back the combined onslaught of AJ & Miz et al., get an assist from Sheamus either during the match or a post-match cash in from Miz, only to then get kicked in the face by Sheamus to officially begin their feud. This match will exceed expectations and I’m excited for it.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens (Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match)
Darius: This may be the easiest prediction simply because I can’t imagine anyone taking the title off of Reigns, period. I can’t see it being either Uso, nor do I see it being Owens or Bryan or my boy Big E without some real build to it. Unfortunately for Owens, this ain’t the kind of build I’m thinking of, so I certainly imagine there being some shenanigans leading to our Canadian hero’s downfall.
Winner: The Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns
Shane: This isn’t a prediction; it’s a spoiler alert. Roman Reigns, hands down. How anyone can even think otherwise, baffles me. And for those people that do think that, Roman Reigns, Tribal Chief and Head of the Table, I personally apologize for them.
🎵Oh Roman Reigns, he’s our Tribal Chief. We love you, Roman Reigns, our Tribal Chief.🎵
Winner: (And STILL Universal Champion) Roman Reigns
Jay: Roman Reigns. This a great filler feud for Roman as we head into Rumble season. KO is low-key excellent at generating interest for whatever feud he is apart of and this is no different. After all, this feud only started two weeks ago and already we have clear motivations for why these two hate each other, have had escalating actions from both parties that makes them credible contenders against one another, and have justified the other-wise superficial need to have a TLC match. Bravo on all accounts and I can’t wait for this. I do expect Roman to take it to continue his road to WrestleMania where he will – hopefully – face off against The Rock.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Sasha Banks vs. Carmella (SmackDown Women’s Championship match)
Darius: This is more of a beg than a prediction: please let Sasha Banks have a memorable title reign. I don’t even need it to last past WrestleMania, but now that she’s had one defense, I just want her to get a few wins under her belt before losing to the new up and comer. The only problem I see here is that this new and improved Carmella would likely either lose by DQ (ew) or via Banks Statement, and I’m not sure how much they want to protect her from a submission loss. But whatever! Get creative! As long as the result is:
Winner: Sasha Banks
Shane: This whole feud just isn’t working for me… I don’t know if it’s because of just how great Bayley and Banks were or what. *sigh* But anywho, I think they need to have Sasha win here. But I think she will win with some sort of shenanigans. Sasha needs a lengthy title reign just because she deserves it. On the other hand, I don’t think it will do Carmella’s character any justice to just lose cleanly right out of the gate. This is one of those proverbial ‘rock and hard place’ positions that the WWE always seems to find themselves in. I’m going to base my prediction on long-term storyline plans that I’m fantasy booking for Wrestlemania. Sasha wins here. Bayley wins the Royal Rumble. We get another Bayley/Banks match at Wrestlemania as the well deserved Main Event. Fingers crossed.
Winner: (And STILL Smackdown Women’s Champion) Sasha Banks
Jay: Sasha Banks. Carmella is great as a heel and is underrated as a performer but Banks is on a roll right now and it doesn’t make sense to take the title off her at this juncture.
Winner: Sasha Banks
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