WWE TLC 2019 Preview & Predictions

WWE's TLC 2019 takes place on Sunday, December 15th at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Kickoff Show is scheduled to begin at 6pm ET with TLC beginning at 7pm ET on the WWE Network. In WWE, "TLC" stands for Tables, Ladders, and Chairs. There are six scheduled matches and one match between The Viking Raiders and a team to be announced later, likely adding a seventh match to the event. There is also the possibility of the additional match on the Kickoff Show between Fire & Desire and Bliss/Cross or a continuation of Bayley's feud with Dana Brooke and Elias. Last year's TLC event was a bit bloated with 12 matches on the card, it's clear that WWE is making changes to combat fan exhaustion. The Target Center has a capacity just shy of 19,000 for wrestling and there are still tickets available for the event.

TLC 2019 comes just three weeks after Survivor Series, but WWE seems to have better shows when they have less build and have to throw things together. This is the last WWE PPV event of 2019 and the last major event before The Royal Rumble kicks off WrestleMania season. Below is a preview of each match on the card complete with what to watch for and predictions based upon recent booking. In the comments below, share your thoughts on this year's TLC and memories of TLC matches and shows from the past.

The Kabuki Warriors (c) vs. Becky Lynch and Charlotte

Since their makeover, the Kabuki Warriors have used their new attitude and Asuka's green mist to achieve a new level of dominance over the women's tag team division. Asuka's tormenting of Charlotte Flair over the past month of television has been tremendous to watch. Although it's hard to ever buy Flair as a true babyface, Flair is working her tail off to show a different side of her persona. There have been plenty of complaints from fans about how the women's tag team division should be in WWE, keep in mind that these are four of the best women in wrestling, they're healthy, and we get to see them in a TLC match. Becky and Charlotte don't need the women's tag team championships going into The Royal Rumble, but Becky does need a win over Asuka. Asuka is the last person to defeat Becky Lynch cleanly in a singles match and Becky wants that win back badly. Look for those two to have some great exchanges even though Charlotte is currently the person with the most reasons to go after Asuka. Another element of this match to keep an eye on is Kairi Sane. This is a huge spotlight moment for Kairi Sane, who will be in the ring with the three most dominant women in recent WWE history. With TLC matches having no disqualifications, there's plenty of potential for outside interference in this match that is the last major show before the Royal Rumble. If Ronda Rousey isn't coming back this year for WrestleMania, WWE is going to have to come up with a spectacular money match for the women for WrestleMania 36 and it will likely involve two of the women in this match.

The Kabuki Warriors

The New Day (c) vs The Revival

Two of the greatest tag teams in WWE history are set to face off in a ladder match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship. The ladder match stipulation was added last night on SmackDown on FOX and adds an incredibly interesting new element to an already exciting matchup. Keep in mind: The Revival have never competed in a ladder match (on record) in WWE. In this match we'll get to see The Revival taken out of their element in a traditional tag team match and placed into the chaos of a ladder match. Corey Graves speculated last night that The Revival will be at a disadvantage in this match and that is definitely an element that will pop up in the story of this match.

The build for this match started last week on the December 6th edition of SmackDown on FOX with The New Day providing commentary for the #1 contenders elimination tag team match between The Revival, Lucha House Party, and the team of Shorty G & Mustafa Ali. The highlights of that match are posted in the above YouTube link, but you should go out of your way to watch this entire match. Dave Meltzer rated the televised match 4.25 stars for a reason. Tag team wrestling often gets the short end of the stick in WWE, but any time The Revival or The New Day is involved in a match, the match has potential to be a gem. The Revival had another amazing match last night on SmackDown with Mustafa Ali & Shorty G, finishing them off with a surprise Shatter Machine after Ali went to the well too many times with his 2nd rope DDT. Although the future of The Revival in WWE is uncertain, try to enjoy the match for what it is without thinking too hard about the big picture. Hopefully this match keeps the rivalry between these two teams going through The Royal Rumble next month. WWE's tag team division has some spectacular teams that they should take advantage of while they still have them.

The New Day

The Viking Raiders (c) vs. TBA

The Viking Raiders have yet to have a legitimate challenger for their championships and it's a mystery as to who will face them at TLC. This past week on RAW, the former IWGP and ROH tag team champions defeated The Street Profits definitively by pinning Montez Ford. Rumors are swirling about The Usos returning to television, so it's possible we could see the former six-time tag team champions come in for a fresh matchup. It would also be tremendous to see a match with a newly reunited Hardy Boyz and The Viking Raiders as well. AOP seems tied up with Seth Rollins' affairs at the moment, but they could give The Viking Raiders a run for their money as well. The Viking Raiders have also lost to The OC in the past and are looking to get a win on the legendary tag team. WWE loves mystery and intrigue and this match will certainly have that. This match is the likeliest to have a title change since The Viking Raiders haven't been able to prepare for whoever challenges them.

TBA via pinfall

Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin

Baron Corbin has been the top heel on WWE TV for the past year with mixed results. He's been put in a position that is incredibly difficult to shoulder for a former football player that is still learning a lot in the wrestling world. Nobody can deny Corbin's athleticism and improvement inside the ring. His combination of speed, power, and size are a marvel but he hasn't quite hit his stride yet when it comes to match psychology and finding the right dance partner. Corbin may have found that partner in Roman Reigns. With the help of Dolph Ziggler, Corbin has been an incredibly effective heel against Roman Reigns. Reigns is getting the most cheers he's gotten since his days with The SHIELD. Corbin and Reigns have faced each other four times in singles matches on television throughout their careers with Reigns having three victories to Corbin's one victory. Corbin recently handcuffed Reigns with Ziggler's help on the December 6th edition of SmackDown on FOX and poured dog food all over The Big Dog. As Corbin and Ziggler used handcuffs on Kofi Kingston last night on SmackDown, Reigns interrupted the pending dog food shower. As Corbin ran away, Ziggler ended up getting put through the announce table by Reigns.

Look for those handcuffs to make an appearance in the TLC match between Corbin and Reigns. This match is usually the blow-off for a big feud, so it seems like this may be the last match between the two men for a little while. Hopefully that's not the case since the build for this match has been Corbin's best work on the main roster. Although rumors are swirling about Roman Reigns wrestling The Rock at WrestleMania 36, it would be risky to have Reigns, who just started getting cheered by a majority of the audience, risk all of that fan support by going against a beloved Superstar like The Rock. Reigns needs a monster heel to overcome and that heel is likely going to be Bray Wyatt down the line.

Roman Reigns

Rusev vs. Bobby Lashley

Rusev and Bobby Lashley's story started with heavy criticism but has garnered eye-opening numbers on YouTube and on quarter hour Nielsen ratings. This feud has been building for two months and it appears it will finally get a blow-off match with this tables match at TLC. WWE has been patiently building the separation of Lana and Rusev while building Rusev back up and even bringing back his "Rusev Day" chant on Monday's RAW during his public divorce from Lana. Rusev could be a major player on RAW in 2020 if he makes the most of his moment at TLC and gives WWE fans something to remember after this long build. It's unclear where Lashley will go from here, but with his athleticism, look, and Lana, Lashley has tons of potential as a heel in 2020. Lashley's momentum in 2019 was cut short when he lost Lio Rush as his mouthpiece, but Lana has all the ability in the world to get Lashley over as a heel on RAW. Rusev has already put Lashley through a table and has gotten his freedom from Lana, so a loss here won't diminish Rusev's accomplishments as long as the finish involves some shenanigans beyond his control.

Bobby Lashley

WWE Universal Championship Match
Bray Wyatt (c) vs. The Miz

This is the first match since his return that Bray Wyatt will compete as himself and not as "The Fiend". According to Wyatt, "The Fiend" is with Daniel Bryan somewhere right now and so Wyatt will wrestle The Miz as himself. The absence of The Fiend hasn't stopped Wyatt from playing his mind games. Wyatt invaded The Miz's home and placed a creepy doll into The Miz's daughter's crib. Wyatt has also hijacked the video screens in The Miz's home to deliver intimidating messages to The Miz. The Miz has never been so vulnerable and sympathetic as he has been in this short feud. Wyatt is doing everything he can to get Miz over as a babyface, but Miz is also doing everything he can to sell the terror that is Bray Wyatt.

These two have never competed in a televised singles match against one another, so it's great to get a fresh matchup. Unfortunately this match will likely be a dominant performance from Wyatt instead of a competitive match. Wyatt's mind games have so clearly affected The Miz that it's hard to imagine Miz being able to focus in this match. Wyatt mentioned in his latest Firefly Funhouse that he's been able to control his mental reaction to pain and punishment. This explains how "The Fiend" has been seemingly impervious to pain. This also reveals that the only ways to take Wyatt down are to knock him unconscious long enough to pin him or break his focus on not feeling pain. The Miz would need to land multiple Skull Crushing Finales to put Wyatt down (as Rollins used his Curb Stomp in his matches with Wyatt) or Miz would have to get in Wyatt's head. The Miz doesn't seem prepared at all for this match and he likely will not be able to overcome the mind games and power of Bray Wyatt and his mandible claw.

Bray Wyatt via pinfall

Aleister Black vs. Buddy Murphy

This fresh matchup between two rising stars in WWE likely stemmed from a dark match on the September 17th edition of SmackDown. That match is the only recorded match between the two RAW Superstars and it must have opened some eyes because they now have a five week feud that has built to this match. Aleister Black has been asking for someone to knock on his door and pick a fight with him for almost 6 months now and Buddy Murphy is the first person to do it since Cesaro unsuccessfully challenged the former NXT Champion back in July. While Aleister hasn't lost a singles match yet on the main roster, Murphy hasn't taken a loss since his feud with Mustafa Ali this past August. Murphy has a big singles win against Daniel Bryan while Aleister Black's most impressive victory so far has been over Cesaro.

These two should put on a banger of a match, regardless of the time they're given. Buddy Murphy has looked amazing with every single person he's wrestled – even in a loss to Roman Reigns. Black is still establishing himself on RAW and needs this win more than Murphy does. The former NXT Male Superstar Of The Year has had amazing matches in NXT and his time on RAW is finally here as he works his way up to the top of the card. Murphy is still establishing his persona as a heel on RAW, hopefully some work with Black can help Murphy add some more character to his already impressive wrestling ability. Don't sleep on this one.


Aleister Black via pinfall