2019 turned out to be an insane year for professional wrestling. But before we can start handing out the "Best of" awards and rankings, WWE still has one more pay-per-view offering left on the calendar — TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs. WWE seemingly went out of its way to not announce matches for this show up until the last minute, and as a result we've got seven matches on the card so far and none of them involve a singles championship being put on the line. But there are still some intriguing matchups to look out for, most notably Bray Wyatt vs. The Miz and a TLC match for the Women's Tag Team Championships between The Kabuki Warriors, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch.
Once again we've gathered the ComicBook team of wrestling writers — Connor Casey, Ryan Droste and Matt Aguilar — to break down the biggest questions heading into Sunday night's show. Check out their predictions in the list below!
What Do You Expect From the Non-Fiend Version of Bray Wyatt?
Connor Casey: There's a lot to like about this one. For starters, I love the theory that Wyatt won't use The Fiend on the Miz specifically because he never had a feud with him during his original run (unlike Balor, Rollins and Bryan). Also the fact that it's a non-title match gives Miz the outside chance of a win, which would continue to show how much more of a threat Fiend is compared to regular Wyatt. My hopes is that the "Sweater" Wyatt has a bit of a different moveset and isn't as aggressive as The Fiend (like not using the neck snap or the Mandible Claw), which is the kind of character development I've been begging them to give Finn Balor when he uses The Demon. The match itself will probably be just okay, but I imagine the little details will go a long way.
Matt Aguilar: I'm hoping Bray actually introduces a different style to his wrestling in this match, as it would go a long way to selling this whole dual character thing. They can share the same finisher, but it would go a long way if he actually moved different in the ring, with a more lighthearted step and a different style of punches and kicks. That's a lot to ask obviously, but even if it's just a few key changes, I hope he really commits to making it different, otherwise what's the point?
Ryan Droste: I agree that this one has some intrigue in just seeing how Wyatt works the match. Connor is on to this one, we'd expect to see a less aggressive character. It's the character of The Fiend, though, that separates Wyatt from the pack right now so I'm not sure this one is going to hold the attention of the audience. It should be brief.prevnext
Will This Be the End of the Rusev-Lashley-Lana Love Triangle?
Connor: No chance... in hell! It's no secret that Vince McMahon absolutely loves this story and for as bad as its been at times, it actually managed to turn Rusev back into a wildly-popular babyface. I get the feeling since it's a Tables match it'll be easy for Lana to interfere, sending this feud right into 2020.
Matt: Sadly no, but you know what, maybe that's not a bad thing? (braces while people throw things. Listen, this story is terrible, don't get me wrong, and I'm not interested in the actual romance angle of it in any shape or form. While they lucked into it, he has had a chance to showcase his charisma, and the audience is behind his underdog persona, though to be fair they loved him before all this too. So, no it's not going anywhere, but that's also not the worst thing in the world for Rusev, just the fans who have to watch it.
Ryan: It should be but....no, not it won't be. While maybe it has added some popularity to Rusev, I'm not sure he ever really lost much. The crowd has always loved him, yet the company has never capitalized on him. If this is the impetus for them finally going with him long term, great. When I attended WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans, there was no t-shirt I saw around town (and in the French Quarter) more than the Rusev Day shirt. It wasn't even close.prevnext
Give Me a Reason to Care About Reigns vs. Corbin
Connor: Because this feud will end after Roman wins. See, there is an upside!
Matt: I can't...because I don't. I do love Roman though, and he'll make it an entertaining match, but I need something fresh.
Ryan: To echo my colleagues, yes, because we will hopefully be moving on to something better. Obviously due to the way SmackDown ended last week, we'd expect Roman to get some serious revenge.prevnext
Does Aleister Black vs. Buddy Murphy Steal the Show?
Connor: If it doesn't get put on the kickoff show, yeah!
Matt: It very well could. Aleister makes any match fun to watch, and Murphy can turn it up to 11 on a whim. Granted, we've seen two skilled performers get in the ring and put on a boring show in the past, but I don't think it will happen here.
Ryan: It's going to be a hell of a match for sure, so on paper it should be the best match of the show. I'm not sure how much the crowd is going to be behind the match, though, which will probably impact how good it is and how we assess it after the fact. We haven't been given a reason to care about either guy by WWE in a long time.prevnext
What Was Your Favorite WWE Pay-Per-View of 2019 (TakeOvers Don't Count)?
Connor: It went on too long and there were a few missteps, but WrestleMania 35 was actually pretty solid this year. The early Rollins victory, the four-way SmackDown tag match, Triple H vs. Big Dave, freaking Kofi Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan; it was all solid. Some runners up would be Fastlane (that Bryan vs. Ali vs. Owens match will easily go down as my most underrated WWE match of the year) and Survivor Series.
Matt: Stomping Grounds simply for the boot...you're welcome Connor.
Connor: It was just a boot!0comments
Matt: Okay, for realsies. I probably have to go with Survivor Series. The freshness of the matchups and the feeling of anything could happen was all over that pay-per-view, and I haven't looked forward to one like that all year. A lot of those matches delivered too, so yeah, Survivor Series for me.
Ryan: For me, it's between WrestleMania 35, Money In The Bank, and Fastlane. I think the best main roster match of the year is probably Bryan/Kofi at WrestleMania, but the show was too long as usual and there was a lot of fluff. Fastlane was a tighter show with two great matches: Bryan vs. Ali vs. Owens and The Shield vs. Corbin, Lashley, and McIntyre. There was also a pretty good fatal four-way between Joe, Andrade, R-Truth, and Mysterio. Money In The Bank had a great Rollins/Styles title match, and the men's Money In The Bank match was also really good. Kofi vs. Owens too. I'll go with Fastlane with Money In The Bank hot on its heels.prev