Tonight the Raw superstars of Monday night bring to us another pay per view. Tables, Ladders, and Chairs is live tonight from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Originally this event was hyped as the main roster debut for Asuka and the first match of the recently reunited Shield. However with WWE superstars coming down with meningitis, there were some adjustments made to the card. Roman Reigns has been replaced by none other than Hall of Famer and RAW GM Kurt Angle. You read correctly, Kurt Angle is stepping in and wrestling in his first WWE match since 2006. Also Bray Wyatt has been ruled out for the event and is being replaced by Smackdown Live’s AJ Styles. With that being said, here are my predictions for the event.
Sasha Banks vs Alicia Fox (PRESHOW)
The preshow match for this event is Sasha Banks vs Alicia Fox. Not exactly a match that screams must see. Sasha has dominated Alicia the majority of times these two have met including a mixed tag team match back at Extreme Rules in June when Sasha teamed with Rich Swann to defeat Alicia and Noam Dar. More than likely Sasha will look strong here and defeat Alicia again to gain momentum towards either a future Raw Women’s Championship match or a crack at ending Asuka’s winning streak.
PREDICTION: Sasha Banks
Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann vs Gentleman Jack Gallagher & The Brian Kendrick
I’ll be the first to admit I don’t watch 205 Live, but these four are some of the more talented individuals in the division. Kendrick and Swann have had brief runs with the Cruiserweight Championship and Gallagher had his chances to win the coveted prize. Alexander is definitely deserving of an opportunity, but between injury and new faces (Enzo & Kalisto) in the division, he got moved to the back burner. I’m not sure what to do expect in this tag team match and it could honestly go either way. I’ll take a shot in the dark and go with the villains.
PREDICTION: Gallagher & Kendrick
Kalisto © vs Enzo (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)
Little disappointing there wasn’t a stipulation attached to this match since in the past at TLC we’ve had a individual tables match, ladder match, and a chair match. You figure a Cruiserweight ladder match would’ve been ideal, especially since this is the only title on the line for male superstars. Anyways Enzo is getting his rematch after losing the title to Kalisto on a recent episode of Raw. Not sure if they’re going to play hot potato or let Kalisto run with the title for awhile. I think Enzo’s reign should’ve lasted longer than it did. He’s done a great job getting heat the past few weeks. There’s a chance he could use heel tactics to get the belt back, but I’m guessing Kalisto retains.
PREDICTION: Kalisto retains
Alexa Bliss © vs Mickie James (WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match)
Alexa and Mickie were allies for a brief time on Smackdown Live before they feuded with each other. Now it looks like their feud has resurfaced again on Raw and the build has been done well. It’s nice to see another challenger for Alexa opposed to the same three we usually see Sasha, Bayley, and Nia Jax. Mickie pinned the champion this past Raw in a tag team match gaining the momentum. However I think Alexa is going to leave the champion still leading to a showdown with Asuka. Hypothetical here though. Say Mickie does defeat Alexa and takes the title to Survivor Series and meets Asuka? Remember Mickie and Asuka faced off at NXT Takeover last November right before Survivor Series. How cool would it be to have these two meet one year later in a title vs streak match? However I see Alexa dropping the title to Asuka at some point, it’s just a matter of when.
PREDICTION: Alexa Bliss retains
Asuka vs Emma
The long awaited main roster debut for Asuka is finally here and her first challenger on the main roster is Emma. Emma won the right to challenge the Empress of Tomorrow by winning a fatal five way match on a recent Raw. I’m sure many people rather see Sasha Banks face off against Asuka, but that match is being saved. I’m sure someday Asuka will meet Becky Lynch and Charlotte as well and those also would be big matches. Emma however is going to be the first of many women to fall to Asuka. I’m sure Asuka will stay undefeated for a while, just make sure there’s no rogue security guards with taser guns nearby.
PREDICTION: Asuka wins
Finn Balor vs AJ Styles
So instead of the cheesy Pumpkin Demon vs Sister Abigail in the fourth or fifth chapter in the Balor vs Wyatt series, we get Balor vs Styles instead. This dream match is going to grab the attention of many wrestling fans whether they follow the WWE product or if they’re hardcore Bullet Club fans. Both of these men were former leaders of the Bullet Club faction in New Japan Pro Wrestling and now their paths have finally crossed in WWE. It’s unique being AJ Styles is a Smackdown Live superstar crossing over onto the Raw brand for a night, but of course WWE doesn’t want us to overthink things. I’m hoping there’s involvement from Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson in some way, shape, or form. The time is good as any to align Gallows and Anderson with Balor to complete Balor Club and we all know how much WWE loves factions in threes. Especially with another recently reunited trio on the Raw brand to give us some epic matches. I’m hoping these two get a solid half hour to go all out. Being a Raw event I’m predicting Balor, especially if what I mentioned comes true.
PREDICTION: Finn Balor
Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Kurt Angle vs The Miz, Cesaro, Sheamus, Braun Strowman, & Kane (TLC Match)
Over the past how many weeks, The Miz has had issues with all three former Shield superstars. The Miz has done everything he could to reunite one of WWE’s most popular factions. It’s no secret Cesaro and Sheamus have had a problem with Rollins and Ambrose. Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns have been going at it all year. Eventually The Miz pushed Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns enough that they finally reunited. The match was made for TLC. Then the match changed several times in coming weeks. Braun Strowman gets added on. The biggest surprise though was last Raw where Miz was making a play for a fifth member to his team. All Braun had to do was beat Roman in a steel cage match, but if Braun lost then he was out of TLC. All the sudden an unlikely return of Kane helped Braun win and Kane was announced as the fifth member to Miz’s team. Remember Kane was one of the opponent’s with Daniel Bryan and Ryback in the Shield’s first match at TLC in 2012. In a way it makes sense, but I’m sure Corporate Kane is still annoyed with how Seth Rollins treated him during their run in the Authority. Just when things were finally set, Roman Reigns was ruled out of the match. In his place is Kurt Angle which is a huge shocker! As a wrestling fan I’m excited, but as someone that’s thinking with logic, why? Why would Angle get himself involved and why would WWE have him return in days notice (other than the illness of course)? I personally though Matt Hardy would’ve been a worthy choice being he’s one of the TLC originals and he’s been feuding with all these superstars recently. Except Kane, but I’m sure there’s bad blood from their feud long ago involving Lita. Maybe during the preshow we’ll get some answers. Far as the match goes, I’m sure Angle isn’t going to lose in his first match back. Plus I’m sure Jason Jordan gets involved as well.
PREDICTION: Rollins, Ambrose, Angle
Those are my picks. Agree, disagree, let me know on twitter @chairmanpodcast. I wasn’t looking forward to this other than the main event, but now that Balor and Styles got added I’m hyped. Still annoyed that there’s barely any title matches and stipulations though. The cruiserweight and women divisions are heavily focused on this card as well so they’re going to have to step it up big time. Should be an interesting night in WWE.