It's the final super show of the year for WWE as we make it to WWE TLC, Tables, Ladders, and Chairs (oh my!) where whether we want them to or not, we force feuds to have a TLC match because it's time for TLC. I don't think it makes sense (I still miss December being the "Armageddon" show or hell, bring back "Starrcade" as a full pay-per-view, cowards!) but here we are. Thankfully they've done a lovely job selling us on Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens needing to be a TLC match in Owens' demands for Roman to take him seriously as a challenger. Kevin Owens can sell anything and Don Roman is on fire (but not literally like Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton), so we should have fun there.
Our other TLC match, the WWE World title match between champion Drew McIntyre and challenger AJ Styles, while pairing to great workers, doesn't have the same fire or need to be a TLC match beyond existing on a show called TLC. Do we even need two of the same kind of match? Again, in my opinion, no, but again here we are.
In the name of Christmas, it would be fun if at some point, Roman Reigns was at the top of the ladder, we got a top down shot of him just as Owens kicks him off the ladder and we got a slow-motion death scene from the top of the ladder to the outside somehow in slow motion. Of course this would imply that Roman would lose and that wouldn't/shouldn't happen. #hansgruberwasright?
Let's check in on whatever we're doing with Quixotronic's Wrestling Shame Challenge™!
Previously on Fanboy Wrestletronic…
Standings going into NXT Takeover WarGames 2020:
First Place: Kyle 62% (72-45)
Second Place: Tim 56% (40-31)
Third Place: Ryan 41% (21-30)
NXT Takeover WarGames 2020 results:
Women’s WarGames Match: Team Candice (Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, Raquel Gonzalez, & Toni Storm) vs Team Shotzi (Ember Moon, Io Shirai, Rhea Ripley, & Shotzi Blackheart)
Your Winner: Team Candice
Kyle: Team Candice (1-0 / 73-45)
Ryan: n/a (0-1 / 21-31)
Tim: Team Shotzi (0-1 / 40-32)
Timothy Thatcher vs Tommaso Ciampa
Your Winner: Tommaso Ciampa
Kyle: Tommaso Ciampa (2-0 / 74-45)
Ryan: n/a (0-2 / 21-32)
Tim: Tommaso Ciampa (1-1 / 41-32)
Strap Match: Cameron Grimes vs Dexter Lumis
Your Winner: Dexter Lumis
Kyle: Dexter Lumis (3-0 / 75-45)
Ryan: n/a (0-3 / 21-33)
Tim: Cameron Grimes (1-2 / 41-33)
NXT North American Title Match: Damian Priest vs Johnny Gargano vs Leon Ruff ©
Your Winner, and NEW NXT North American Champion: Johnny Gargano
Kyle: Damian Priest (3-1 / 75-46)
Ryan: n/a (0-4 / 21-34)
Tim: Leon Ruff (1-3 / 41-34)
Men’s WarGames Match: Kings of NXT (Danny Burch, Oney Lorcan, Pat McAfee, & Pete Dunne) vs Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, & Roderick Strong)
Your Winners: Undisputed Era
Kyle: Kings of NXT (3-2 / 75-47)
Ryan: n/a (0-5 / 21-35)
Tim: Undisputed Era (2-3 / 42-34)
And now the conclusion…
New standings after WWE Survivor Series 2020
First Place: Kyle 61% (75-47)
Second Place: Tim 55% (42-34)
Third Place: Ryan 38% (21-35)
Who will survive!?
If you want to watch WWE TLC 2020 live on Sunday, you’ll want to subscribe to the WWE Network. Until then, here’s your Quixotronic preview of the show.
WWE TLC 2020
WWE Raw Tag Team Titles Match: The Hurt Business (Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin) vs The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) ©
The Background: The New Day lost their bid for Brand Supremacy™ when they lost to WWE Smackdown Tag Team champions The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) at WWE Survivor Series. Kingston and Woods saved face by successfully retaining their titles twice against the Hurt Business (once via count out, once via pin) on the November 23 Raw. Cedric Alexander defeated Xavier Woods in singles action on the November 30th Raw, and then defeated former WWE World champion Kofi Kingston on the December 7th Raw. Alexander has been celebrating his wins a bit too much causing noticeable glances from the rest of the Hurt Business, but fuck that - celebrate winning. The entire Hurt Business then defeated New Day and special guest Jeff Hardy on the December 14th Raw just to rub it in.
Fanboy Fantasy: I would completely ignore whatever issues their teasing with Cedric and have a straight up solid tag match. Also, why are both World title matches TLC matches and not this one? So, in Fanboy Fantasy land, MVP approaches Adam Pearce and demands this match be a TLC match so the Hurt Business can show that Business is Booming™. At the same time, Sheamus shows up on behalf of McIntyre (unbenowinst to Drew) and asks if McIntyre/Styles needs to be a TLC match. While Pearce is a solid guy and despite neither champs being involved in these requests, he swaps the stipulations - tag team TLC match instead and singles World title match. Now we get a TLC match with four guys that have the classic Edge/Christian/Hardyz style in a TLC match and go. The match fills itself in and the four just go nuts - and best of all, we're reminded that Shelton Benjamin is fucking fantastic with ladders (not take anything away from the other three). MVP and Bobby Lashley don't interfer until the end when the ladders are linked up in an arch, Benjamin runs up them like stars and jumps onto the hooks with the belts, but the ladders fall. MVP and Lashley attack New Day, with Lashley spearing Woods through three tables. Alexander is able to set up another ladder, climb up and help Benjamin and the belts down for the win. This leads to Hurt Business with #allthegold (that they can hold), and Xavier Woods, while wanting the tag belts back, decides to take it personal that Lashley put him through #allthetables. Woods and Kofi decide they will take all of Hurt Business's gold back - the tag titles and more importantly Lashley's United States title.
Quixotronic Bullpen Predictions:
Kyle: The New Day - As much as I want Hurt Business to win the titles, the weirdness between Cedric and the rest of Hurt Locker I think means they won't pull it off. I actually hope I'm wrong?
Tim: The Hurt Business - I love the name “The Hurt Business” and as such, I will pick them.
WWE Women's Tag Team Titles Match: Asuka & [mystery partner] vs Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler ©
The Background: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler unsuccessfully shamed Lana at WWE Survivor Series when they forced her to wait on the outside during the women's survivor series match. Jax and Baszler (along with Smackdown's Bianca Belair) were all eliminated leaving Lana, technically, the last surviving member of Team Raw and the winner. The next night, Lana and partner Asuka defeated the champions in on non-title match. The next week, Lana and partner Asuka defeated the champions in a non-title match (wait, what? Is that right? *checks November 30th Raw* Yep, they did it two weeks in a row). They mixed it up on the December 7th Raw with Asuka defeating Shayna Baszler when Lana was able knock Jax into the announce table. Finally, Lana defeated Jax with a roll-up on the December 14th Raw only to have her ankle injured in a post-match attack, effectively removing her from the match that was set up by her storyline. That makes sense. Dana Brooke also lost to Baszler via DQ when her partner, Mandy Rose, returned and attacked Baszler. So we have that set up? But I think we're going with a mystery partner for Asuka...
Fanboy Fantasy: It's going to be Charlotte Flair, right? We can play the whole "can they co-exist" game and then I dunno. So let's not do that. Jax and Baszler wait in the ring as Asuka awaits up the ramp for her partner: Rhea Ripley. The camera pans in directly on Baszler face as she visually mutters "fuck" to herself because Ripley is the one who ended her second NXT Women's title run a year ago and sent her packing to Raw. Asuka starts off and Jax/Baszler are able to work their fluid team magic on Asuka for a while. Asuka, by no means playing the Ricky Morton role because +Asuka, eventually tags in Ripley, and Baszler immediately tags in Jax. Jax, confused by the sense of fear in her partner, shrugs it off and works the match. Despite +Asuka, this is still the champions' match to lose so while Asuka is knocked to the outside, Jax hits an Annihilator. Baszler is close enough to tag herself in and steal the pin. Their team wins so it's all good, but Jax is pissed she didn't get the win. Baszler however is laughing like the jackal she is because she pinned one of her former enemies. This all injects more drama than there's been with Jax and Baszler who eventually need to break up and beat the shit out of each other and really should have been doing that the whole time anyway, and we can keep Ripley on Raw or send her back to NXT and chalk this up to a special guest appearance. Asuka stays Asuka and hopefully starts a solo feud, and Baszler/Jax are already set up to defend against Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose.
Quixotronic Bullpen Predictions:
Kyle: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler - these two are already a team of solo acts, so let's please not replace them with another team of solo acts. There are actual tag teams in the women's division. Use them? Please?
Tim: Asuka & [mystery partner] - Ooof. Asuka and ??? Vs the champs. Would I dare EVER pick against my empress? I can’t say no to you! Asuka and TBD.
WWE Smackdown Women's Title Match: Carmella vs Sasha Banks ©
The Background: Sasha Banks shocked the world (or at least the Quixo offices) when she defeated WWE Raw Women's champion Asuka last month at WWE Survivor Series. Carmella, now repackaged as "Untouchable", re-debuted and challenged Sasha Banks to a title match on the December 4th Smackdown. To change it up, Carmella challenged Banks that night on the December 11th Smackdown, but Carmella only won via DQ so no title change. The next week on the December 18th Smackdown Carmella held a pre-win toast because Mella is Money™ but Banks ruined her party, the Carmella mainted her momentum(?) by attacking Banks with a champaign bottle. They'll try fighting again on Sunday.
Fanboy Fantasy: I don't think we've acknowledged on air that Banks is on the Mandalorian (I could also be very wrong about that) so let's have her ring gear based on her Koska Reeves, helmet and all. During the match Carmella attacks Banks with another bottle and shatteres on her back while she thinks the referee is distracted but the ref sees it and the match is ended with a DQ win for Banks. Banks however tells the referee to #letthemfight and changes it to a No DQ match. The ref allows it because it's the champion making the call (because logic is always appreciated). After a few minutes Carmella gets another champaign bottle and goes for a headshot, but Banks is able to slap her Mando helmet on and block the headshot and follow up with a headbutt to Carmella. This knocks her out and Banks gets the win.
Quixotronic Bullpen Predictions:
Kyle: Sasha Banks - It's too early for Carmella to win it, it's too early for Banks to lose it.
Tim: Sasha Banks - Did you WATCH Mando? Sasha. OBVIOUSLY.
Firefly Inferno Match: Bray Wyatt (w/ Alexa Bliss) vs Randy Orton
The Background: The Fiend informed Randy Orton that he was now coming for him shortly after he briefly won the WWE World title from Drew McIntyre and subsequently lost it back to McIntyre. Orton weaseled his way into a mini-tournament to determine the new #1 contender to the title, but Wyatt's interference cost Orton his match on the November 23 Raw. Orton was able to call out and face Bray Wyatt in his children's show host form on the December 7th Raw, but the match went to a no-contest due to one of the combatants morphing into demonic creature (you'd be surprised which one it was!). Via wrestling Twitters the match has been upgraded from singles to Firehouse Inferno match. Yowie Wowie.
Fanboy Fantasy: So if we want to remember, this is NOT the first Firefly-style match between Orton and Wyatt - they had a proto-cinematic "House of Horrors" match at WWE Payback 2017 after Orton had defeated Wyatt for the WWE World title the previous month at WWE WrestleMania 33. The new match literally starts with the shot of Orton burning Wyatt's old cabin we saw 3 years ago, but now it fast forwards and the 2017 Orton morphs into 2020 Orton. Current Orton, taking a moment to gain his barings realizes where he is and that the fire has already started. Throughout the match, shots of the 2017 match are cut in when a movie the current Orton and Wyatt uses mimics the previous match. Think of how Homicide: LIfe on the Street would show the same scene from multiple angles and takes (a deep cut for my fellow David Simon fans). Throughout the match we rewind back to Orton burning the cabin, each time with the Fiend laughing more and more, and then fast forwarding back to the current match. With each rewind when we cut back to the present fight, Orton's attire jumps back a few years - first current, then Wyatt family-era, then Authority, Legacy, Rated-RKO (w/ special guest appearence by Edge standing in the corner of the cabin, Blair Witch style), all the way back to pre-Evolution blue-chipper era. Each time we hear Fiend laugh as he gets weaker, with one or two instances of someone yelling "Get Out!" Once Orton is blue-chipper Orton, Alexa Bliss shows up with a giant fucking mallet and chucks him in the face with it, allowing Fiend to drag him into the center of cabin. Fiend and Bliss disappear and we cut back one last time to the Orton-setting-cabin-on-fire scene except Orton is edited out. The cabin bursts into flames, Fiend and Bliss teleport into the shot mocking Orton's victory gestures, and we hear Orton scream. The Fiend wins and has another superstar captured and taken off the table. Our march to my fantasy-booked WWE WrestleMania 37 with an extra grave added.
Quixotronic Bullpen Predictions:
Kyle: Bray Wyatt - The Fiend should not lose. Period.
Tim: Bray Wyatt - The real winner of this match is me in that it is awesome but being forced to choose a participant, I think Orton is in for a world of emotional hurt. The Fiend.
WWE World Title TLC Match: AJ Styles vs Drew McIntyre ©
The Background: Drew McIntyre came up short to WWE Universal champion Roman Reigns at WWE Survivor Series. The next night, former NWA Worlds Heavyweight champion Adam Pearce held a 6-man mini-tournament to determine McIntyre's latest challenger made up of members of Raw's winning men's survivor series team, the winning United States champion, and Randy Orton because voices. Matt Riddle defeated Sheamus, Keith Lee defeated WWE United States champion Bobby Lashley (via DQ), and AJ Styles defeated Randy Orton all on the November 23 Raw. AJ Styles won the tournament in a triple threat match against Lee and Riddle the next week on the November 30th Raw while McIntyre teamed with new forever-friend Sheamus against Money-in-the-Bank holder(s?) The Miz & John Morrison. Styles teamed up with the Dirt Sheet Duo on the December 7th Raw against McIntyre and Sheamus to 1) break up the new forever-friends, and b) con Miz into cashing in his briefcase and winning the title because he'd likely be easier for Styles to defeat (it's actually pretty smart, right?). Finally, to Gain Momentum™, Styles defeated Sheamus on the December 14th Raw.
Fanboy Fantasy: We've downgraded this match from a TLC match to a regular singles match defense thanks to Sheamus, and AJ is pissed because he can be DQed now if Miz and/or Morrison interefere for him. Drew and AJ get a good 20 minutes of a great match with them staying evenly matched until, as they do, Miz and Morrison show up to cheer on Styles. Styles now starts getting paranoid that even if he wins he'll now have to deal with Miz's cash-in so he tries to convince them to head to the back. Sheamus shows up to take out Miz and Morrison (because for some reason we can't have be able to fight one guy even together?), distracts Styles with this show of force, and AJ turns right into a Claymore - Drew retains. Sheamus grabs the World title and hands it to Drew, not even doing the standard steals-a-glance motion. The two Forever-Friends celebrate, fade out.
Bonus Fanboy Fantasy, Money in the Bank edition: So since Miz and Morrison were pulled into this and still haven't done much with the Money in the Bank briefcase, here's what I now want: Miz fails to cash in and accidentally still has the briefcase when the next MitB show comes up in May or June. Morrison, his friend, is concerned that he'll be stripped of the briefcase because it's been a year, but Miz reminds him that Judge JBL said that the briefcase is valid for a year from winning it, and he did that only in October, so he's good! Morrison qualifies for the Money in the Bank match and wins the briefcase, so now they both have briefcases! They're briefcase buddies! At first they work together but it soon becomes obvious neither can cash in without the other cashing in directly after that. Let the shenanigans begin! Or continue? This run of the briefcase is basically a wash so let's please try something different, and what's more different the dueling briefcases? Miz and Morrison will sell it. Happy Mizgiving, everyone!
Quixotronic Bullpen Predictions:
Kyle: Drew McIntyre - he just got the title back and now has a giant fucking sword from his forever-friend. He's not losing the title until at least WrestleMania, and hopefully not even then.
Tim: Drew McIntyre - I don’t see a scenario in which I’m not continuing to pick McIntyre through Wrestlemania.
WWE Universal Title TLC Match: Kevin Owens vs Roman Reigns ©
The Background: Roman Reigns showed he was the Head of the Table™ when he defeated WWE World champion Drew McIntyre at WWE Survivor Series. After chastising his cousin Jey Uso for leading the losing team at Survivor Series, he sent the now-riled-up Uso after Kevin Owens who had previously trash talked Reigns to his face on the November 27th Smackdown. Don Roman does not appreciate your constructive criticism about his family business. Owens won via DQ after Uso used a chair on him, but Owens fought back and destroyed Uso in turn with said chair. Owens made his intentions clear on the December 4th Smackdown when he formally challenged Reigns. Don Roman was pleased with that and would grace Owens with a title shot. Later that night Owens and partner Otis Dozovic won another match via DQ over Jey Uso and the Tribal Chief™ when Reigns would break a guillotine hold on Owens. The two demolished Owens and then Reigns demolished his cousin. Family business. Owens was again attacked by Uso on the December 11th Smackdown, and later on backstage by Reigns himself. On the go-home December 18th Smackdown, Owens again called out Reigns as a hypocrite only to have Reigns and Uso attack him with tables, ladders, and chairs (oh my!). As Reigns walked to the back, Owens GOT UP because he will never stop until the Universal title is his.
Fanboy Fantasy: Welcome to the assassination of Kevin Owens by the coward Roman Reigns. Don Roman comes down flanked by Jey Uso while Owens stands alone. Once the match starts, Roman hangs out in the corner while Owens eyes both him and Jey Uso on the other side. Owens, without breaking eye contact, slides to the opposite outside to get the first weapon only to be immedietly attacked by a now-healthy Jimmy Uso. Jimmy roughs Owens up, throws him back into the ring, and both Usos begin throwing every table, ladder, and chair they can find into the ring while Don Roman waits. While the weapons collect, Sami Zayn shows up to help(?) his forever-fight-friend Owens, but Owens yells at him to get the hell away from him - he doesn't need anyone, but especially Zayn's help. Roman takes this as the opportunity to finally start on the attack and we overhear him "whispering" to Owens that he doesn't have friends and he should have accepted whatever help he can get. The two exchange blows with Owens thankfully holding his own despite both Uce on the outside and Zayn dancing around with his Intercontinental title teasing what he may do. Owens is able to get Roman to retreat enough to set up a ladder and get near the top, and Zayn slide in as if to block Roman from attacking the ladder. Once Owens gets to the top, Zayn of course turns and laughs devilishly as he kicks the ladder from under Owens, kicks him while he's down, and prances way. Roman, now collected, orders the Usos to enact The Build. We now get a table set up at every corner, chairs stuck into the ring ropes, and ladders surrounding a giant fucking ladder in the center of the ring like a fort. Jey, Jimmy, and Roman take turns spearing Owens into three of the tables. After all of that, Owens is able reverse a whip and send Roman into the final table. As the Usos are shocked, we see Zayn visibly thrown back into the arena from the back and out comes Big E who has been feuding with Zayn lately. Big E sets up another table on the outside and blasts Zayn through it, taking him out. Big E steps up to the Usos and is able to neutralize them, leaving the match finally to just Roman and Owens. Owens makes the comeback and is able to climb the ladder with Roman not far behind on the opposite side. They reach the top and trade punches. Roman grabs Owens and "whispers" that it's good that Owens has friends, it's very good. But him? He has family, and blood is so much thicker than water - with that he slams Owens head into the top of the ladder repeatedly to bust Owens open. Owens, now groggy, is able to headbutt Roman off the ladder but Roman quickly kicks the ladder out from under Owens. After a rest, Roman is able to spear Owens through the chairs to the outside of the ring. The Usos and Big E show up with the Usos having the advantage and they're able to break way from E to powerbomb Owens through the announce table. Roman is able to climb the ladder to grab the title and the win, and after he poses, he has the Usos set up two ladders - one with Big E on the top ladder and Owens on the lower one for extra hurt. Just before Roman is able to murder Owens and wound Big E, Daniel Bryan runs down for the save. He is able to chase the Tribal Chief™ and his cousins off and help Big E and Owens off the tables. We close out with a power shot of Owens in full blood-mask and flanked by Bryan and E yelling for Roman to come back down and fight them while Roman stays at the arena entrance smiling and saying that he likes that Owens has friends now. That's a good thing. Don Roman is pleased.
Quixotronic Bullpen Predictions:
Kyle: Roman Reigns - do you even read my fantasy booking? Don Roman isn't losing the title, like, ever. Believe that.
Tim: Kevin Owens - Knowing nothing about the backstory of this match I will saaaaaay... Owens.
That’s it for our WWE TLC 2020 preview and fantasy booking. We’ll be back next year when hopefully everything is magically fixed and we're no longer in #quixotine as we get to the Road to WrestleMania™ with the Royal Rumble!
Hopefully Owens' new friendships won't reach festival-levels, because that doesn't work out for everyone involved. I think we're good, but it's always good to have reminders of the past.