Tables Ladders and Chairs 2017 Preview

Let’s get this in as fast as I can before another performer is taken off the card due to illness. In a rare case, two top level wrestlers scheduled to appear on this show have been taken off the card due to medical issues. That changes the whole dynamic of the show, but that doesn’t mean the show is worse as a result. It should be interesting to see where the card goes from here so let’s get to it.

Kickoff Show: Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox

So this might have been scheduled to be Nia Jax in Fox’s spot but Jax not getting to face Asuka was enough to make her leave the promotion for the time being. Banks already made Fox tap out earlier in the week on “Monday Night Raw”, which makes me wonder what the point is in having the match all over again. Maybe they’re trying to convince us that there will be a surprise ending?

If that’s what they’re going for, I’m certainly not buying it. I have no reason to believe that this won’t end with another Bank Statement and there’s really no reason for Fox to win the thing. Fox is nothing more than a warm body for Banks to defeat and there’s nothing wrong with that. Banks is someone who is going to fire the crowd up as soon as she comes into the arena and that’s exactly what you want a dark match to do. Good choice for a match, but not exactly a questionable ending.

Cruiserweight Title: Kalisto(c) vs. Enzo Amore

Over the last few weeks of “205 Live”, I’ve been finding Amore more tolerable than I have in recent months. However, that doesn’t mean he’s any less annoying that he’s been for the last…well ever actually. Kalisto won the title a few weeks back and it seems that we’ve just been counting down the time until Amore gets the title back for the sake of making “205 Live” interesting again.

In other words, of course Amore gets the title back here as Kalisto is little more than a quick way to make Amore a two time champion. It helps that they let him keep the belt for more than a few days, though it doesn’t make things any better. Amore dominates any show he’s on and that can get old in a hurry. I get why he’s around and he’s a necessary evil, though that doesn’t make him getting the title back any easier. So yeah, Amore wins, much to the rise of my blood pressure.

Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles

This is the first of the two lineup changes we’ve had to undergo as Styles is replacing Bray Wyatt, who has been taken off the show due to medical reasons. That’s a major problem as Wyatt was supposed to debut Sister Abigail and Balor was supposed to bring back the Demon character. It seems that Balor will still be the Demon in what is now a glorified dream match.

I’ll take Balor to win as “Monday Night Raw” shouldn’t have one of its top stars lose, especially with a potential World Title challenge in the next few months. That’s a problem when Styles seems to be up next for Smackdown World Champion Jinder Mahal. However, the tie goes to the wrestler with home roster advantage so I’ll take Balor winning in a heck of a classic.

Women’s Title: Alexa Bliss(c) vs. Mickie James

This is the classic “I’m young and awesome and you’re old and lame” story which could very easily be set up for the sake of giving James the big feel good win, only to have Bliss get the title back in very short order. On the other hand, it could be little more than a way to give Bliss a quick win and there’s nothing wrong with that.

I’ll take Bliss to retain here, though the idea of giving James a win is tempting. James has been teasing tying Trish Stratus’ record for the most Women’s Title reigns in company history though I don’t think they’ll actually pull the trigger. Bliss can move on to facing someone else (hint: her name rhymes with Shaska) later on and James isn’t going to lose anything if she doesn’t pick up the title. So yeah, Bliss retains, even though I’m not feeling as sure as I was just a few days ago.

Asuka vs Emma

Did you now that Jesse Ventura and Roddy Piper filmed a pilot for a cop show back in the 1980s? The show was called “Tag Team” and it was looking strong to be picked up but that never quite came together. Now what does this have to do with the match? Well nothing, but what else am I supposed to talk about for the build towards this one?

Of course Asuka is going to destroy Emma and of course that’s what should happen. Asuka hasn’t lost since she came to WWE and Emma is little more than an appetizer before she gets on to someone more important and/or a bigger challenge. Emma was the obvious option for this as she can get destroyed and lose nothing, mainly because she has no value in the first place. Asuka wins here and it’s a glorified squash at worst.

Cedric Alexander/Rich Swann vs. Jack Gallagher/Brian Kendrick

To paraphrase a certain song: “This is filler. Filler night. And no one’s gonna save you from this match actually being on pay per view.” Yeah there’s no hiding the fact that this is taking place because the main event if featuring eight people and they need something else to fill in part of the card. It’s nice that the cruiserweights are getting another spot on the card but it’s the popcorn match of the night.

I’ll take Alexander and Swann to win here and I’m not particularly sure why. Neither of them is interesting and while the story worked well enough, they’re just showing how unimportant the rest of the division really is. There’s a story to the match (revenge, basically) and that’s all well and good, but if the participants feel so unimportant, the match isn’t likely to be worth watching.

Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose/Kurt Angle vs. Miz/Kane/Braun Strowman/The Bar

Hokey smoke what a match this has turned into. The original idea, and the match the entire show was built around, was the Shield vs. these five, though Roman Reigns was taken out due to another medical issue. That leaves Angle to fill in and….I have almost no idea what to think of the change. Angle is a special attraction and I’d like to see him get built up for a lot longer, but desperate times call for bad builds.

I’ll definitely take Rollins/Ambrose/Angle as there’s just no reason to have any other option. Angle is probably a one off appearance and there’s nothing wrong with that. Hopefully he doesn’t die or something in the ring, though that’s almost par for the course whenever Angle gets in the ring. The match should be violent, but Kane, Cesaro and Sheamus are all there to take a fall for any of the winners and that’s the way to go.

Overall Thoughts

This is an interesting show as the whole thing has been turned upside down in the span of a few days. The top two matches have been thrown out (well only somewhat in the main event’s case) yet somehow the show is even better on paper than it was just a few days ago. I could go for a long Balor vs. Styles match and Angle…well let’s just hope he’s ok. The show’s gimmick has gone from interesting to something I only remember because of what the show is called, which isn’t the best sign. This show really is a once in a long time situation and it could be interesting to see how WWE handles things.

 

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2 comments

  1. Your Eternal Reward says:

    I just can’t see them keeping it a 3 on 5 handicap match with Reigns gone. I’m fairly certain they will toss in JJ and Matt Hardy since neither are doing anything and it’d work into what they’ve been doing over the past couple months anyway.

    [Reply]

  2. Stormy says:

    There is one thing that will make this PPV really good. Not Balor/Styles, which should be a classic. Not Angle’s return, which will be awesome. But the distinct lack of a CHAIRS match. That’s what will make TLC 2017 a great show. In fact, for a Gimmick PPV there’s only one gimmick match, which is surprising.

    I almost wish they put Enzo/Kalisto in a Ladder match.

    [Reply]

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