5 Questions: WWE TLC 2017 (Shield, Sister Abigail, Cruiserweights, Asuka)

{Editor’s Note: This was written before the card changes Friday night. Look after the original article for the author’s additional thoughts on the changes.}

 

1 – Can The Shield create the same magic 5 years later?

Five years ago, 3 “stars” from FCW appeared at WWE Survivor Series during a WWE Championship match to powerbomb Ryback through the announce table. The former Tyler Black, Jon Moxley and Leakee weren’t just rookies on the main WWE roster, they were practically unknown to the majority of the audience. To say the trio made an impact on their debut would be an understatement and they followed this debut up with one of the most impressive stable runs of the modern era. They defeated teams consisting of Randy Orton, Batista, Daniel Bryan, John Cena, Triple H and even The Undertaker. And it all started at TLC 2012 in a match against Ryback and Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan). Five years on and these 3 “rookies” are three of the biggest names in the sport. Reigns and Rollins are both multi-time World Champions with Ambrose have one World title win as well. The reunion has been well received and interest in their return match together is high but will it deliver? When they won their debut match at TLC in 2012, it was a surprised and it was looked at as a good start for 3 fresh stars. Now they are in a match with The Miz, Sheamus, Cesaro, Braun Strowman and Kane. Not the top stars of the company and not fresh, budding talent. It’s a match that just seems to be… there. We will see Sunday if the nostalgia of The Shield reunion can carry through a TLC match or if it will die as soon as their entrance through the packed Target Center is over.

2 – Will the “Sister Abigail” character work?

Bray Wyatt is a unique character that has worked since its debut. What was once looked at as a Waylon Mercy rehash has outperformed many people’s expectations, even becoming a World Champion. And since the beginning there’s always been that dangling carrot of when will we finally see the infamous “Sister Abigail”. Who will play her? What would she look like? For awhile, I even pegged an unknown Alexa Bliss to play the role. But instead, in a peculiar twist, Bray Wyatt himself will play the Abigail role. Now, plainly speaking, I want this to work. Wyatt has needed a new dynamic to his character and this would do the trick. But will it come across creepy and goosebump-inducing? Or groan-inducing? This can go wrong in so many ways that I truly hope they (WWE & Wyatt) have something truly special planned.

3 – Will Asuka be used correctly on the main roster?

It is finally Asuka’s turn in the harsh spotlight of WWE’s main roster. She’s already proven to be a force for the women’s division and for women’s wrestling in general but will she continue on the same pace every Monday night? While it appears to be a no-brainer to let the undefeated Empress run roughshod over much of the roster, that can lead to problems as well. One can hope that the recent bookings of Goldberg, Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman have proven that monsters can be unstoppable in today’s WWE, former NXT standouts The Ascension prove otherwise.

4 – Can the Cruiserweights deliver on PPV?

The Cruiserweights have three segments booked for the PPV/Kickoff show. A tag team match, a championship match and… a PowerPoint segment. MS Office product placement aside, this shows character development for the oft-forgot about Cruiserweights and is providing 7 different men the opportunity to show the WWE audience why they should care about the division. While other factors like TV time limits may still come into play, the ball is largely in the court of Gulak, Kendrick, Gallagher, Swann, Alexander, Kalisto and Amore.

5 – Is RAW still better than SmackDown?

While it may be coming off of one of the worst viewership ratings in recent history, creatively and match quality-wise, SmackDown has reached a peak. Hell in a Cell was a massive success and the core of the SmackDown roster is one of the best we’ve seen in years. But the blue brand still plays a supporting role to the flagship Monday Night RAW. Sunday is a perfect place for the Superstars of RAW to prove why. Every star (except Brock Lesnar) is booked on one of the most talked about gimmick PPVs of the year. The Shield, the most popular WWE stable of the current generation, has reunited while the most dominant woman in professional wrestling is debut at the big dance. The time is right and stage is set for RAW to solidify its place as the best and biggest show WWE has to offer. Yet, I don’t see it happening.

 

LAST MINUTE CARD CHANGE QUESTIONS

  • Why is Kurt Angle’s first WWE match in 10 years in an unpromoted, multi-man match with no storyline?
    • Kurt Angle is a WWE Hall of Famer and one of the greatest in-ring performers in history. His return to the WWE earlier this year was a huge deal and an amazing moment for fans. His first time competing in a WWE ring should have been built for months, culminating in a WrestleMania worthy match against an opponent who compliments the Olympic Hero’s style. Instead he’s been pegged as a last-minute replacement for Roman Reigns in what was supposed to be a Shield reunion. Why? No one knows. Angle wasn’t even with the company when The Shield was active and except for one segment last week, has never interacted with them at all. There’s no logical sense for Angle to be in this match and while I understand WWE needing a big name for Roman’s replacement, I think most people will be scratching their heads rather than appaulding this decision.

 

  • Will Finn Balor versus AJ Styles be the Match of the Year?
    • Hear me out… AJ Styles and Finn Balor are two of the most popular wrestlers in the world today. They are also two of the best performers inside the ring as well. A match between these two men is huge and could have been big business with the right promotion and storyline. We didn’t get that but we are in a different scenario that may prove magical. The WWE is scrambling and need to fill a PPV card when some of their top stars are unavailable. To do that, they’ve tapped two of their best and have said to go out and entertain. Styles and Balor don’t need a story to put on an amazing match and now, unlike Styles’ matches with Kevin Owens, they won’t be burdened with trying to tell a WWE story. All they have been tasked to do is be the best in the world and I truly believe we will see something special Sunday night.
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WWE TLC Preview: 100% Viral Meningitis Free!

WWE TLC is this Sunday. And boy is it crazy. Of course, the bigger story is the lead up to the show with the possibility of viral meningitis spreading in the WWE locker room. This has caused a complete change to the TLC Card. Kurt Angle is replacing Roman Reigns in the main event, which is NUTS. Angle’s first match back is a TLC match and he is going in on 48 hours notice. I would have never called that.

Meanwhile, AJ Styles replaces Bray Wyatt to take on Finn Balor which at this point is a special attraction match. That’s an upgrade over what we were going to get. And I just hope it is also the end of the Sister Abigail shit.

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MAJOR Changes To This Sunday’s WWE TLC PPV

And you though this show was going to be a disaster didn’t you?

A viral meningitis outbreak has caused massive changes to this Sunday’s TLC show. The biggest being that Roman Reigns is OUT of the main event match. That puts The Shield reunion on hold for the time being. In his place? Well that is current RAW GM Kurt Angle.

That’s right, Kurt Angle is stepping in a WWE ring for the first time in eleven years on 48 hours notice.

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Lucha Underground: Ultima Lucha Tres Review 10.18.17

Cage Match: Matanza vs El Dragon Azteca Jr.

-Matt Striker sounds like he is losing his voice. So the show is already off to a great start. (no sarcasm)

-El Dragon starts by hitting a moonsault off the top of the cage.

-Matanza regains control and just starts tossing Dragon around into the cage.

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Justin C Watches WCW Mayhem 1999

I’ve been making my way through the first Vince Russo Era in WCW. And let me tell you, it is awful. I could count the number of things I like on one hand, and I could still do it even if I had three of my fingers blown off. How anyone can defend any of Russo’s shit on Twitter nowadays is beyond me. What is there to like? Wrestling is non-existent. Matches are kept short and have constant interference, even more so than previous WCW. Women are objectified to nothing but sex objects (a byproduct of that era). Constant backstage segments and quick cuts that look like shit. Oh and he decided to push Jeff Jarrett to the moon.

This PPV is awful. Don’t watch it. Just read my review of it.

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WWE Smackdown Live Review 10.17.17 w/ The Chairman

Tonight on Smackdown Live, another chapter in the Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler is written. After this match was booked last week, tonight these rivals look to settle things in the ring. Find out who was victorious? Also rumors were running wild that WWE Champion Jinder Mahal was going to issue a challenge at Survivor Series. Keep reading to find out who? Finally, best friends reunited Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn take to the ring to challenge some of Smackdown Live’s top superstars in the main event. If you’re curious to see who they faced and how they did, keep reading!

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WWE Raw Review 10.16.17 – with Heather

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As The Shield Turns

The Shield is back!  And they want everyone to know it right away by ruining the big moment of them doing their old entrance and wearing their vests tonight to interrupt Kurt Angle starting the show. They cut a promo where Roman gets overzealous and Seth tells him to calm down saying how proud he is to stand with his brothers five years after their debut match at TLC.  They always dominated when they were in the ring and now it’s come full circle.  Dean says nobody divides and conquers like the Shield nor any force of nature stronger.  He calls out Miz, SheaSaro and BRAUN right now.

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Lucha Underground: Ultima Lucha Tres 10.11.17

Last Luchadora Standing: Taya vs Sexy Star

-First Sexy Star match I’ve watched since her incident at Triplemania.

-Sexy Star hits a couple awful hurricarranas then dropkicks Taya out of the ring. Taya catches Sexy on the outside then slams her into the railing.

-Taya plants Sexy on the ringside chairs but Sexy moves as Taya charges at her.

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JC’s Top Rope Report: R.I.P. Bray Wyatt

Sometimes you just see the death of a wrestling character right in front of your eyes. For Bray Wyatt that slow death was happening for a very long time. It started at Wrestlemania and it just kept getting worse and worse.

This past Monday on RAW, the Bray Wyatt character was finally taken off life support.

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WWE Smackdown Live Review 10.10.17 w/ The Chairman

Hell in a Cell has come and gone, but there are many questions still lingering in the landscape of Smackdown Live. The big one many in the WWE Universe want to know is why did Sami Zayn help Kevin Owens? Also on Smackdown Live tonight we learned who is next in line to challenge the Usos for the Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship and whether or not Baron Corbin was successful in his first United States Championship defense? The answers to these questions and more will be covered in this very review.

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