TLC ends the WWE PPV year with a whimper, not a bang. Few will argue that the two most intriguing aspects to WWE TV right now are the return of masked Kane, and the mystery that surrounds the Jan. 2 promos we have seen for the last few weeks, neither of which have anything to do with TLC.
Instead, we are getting a relatively weak lineup tonight, starting at the top with CM Punk, The Miz and Alberto Del Rio in a three-way TLC bout. At this point, ADR should be clear of the title picture and is clearly weighing down this bout. The natural progression, of course, is for Miz and Punk to split to their own program, so that does open the door for Miz to come out on top; but this one's Punk's walking away in reality.
Next up is the World Title, and we're getting Mark Henry vs. Big Show in their third straight PPV bout. The interactions between the two have been stellar, and Henry is undeniably the MVP of Smackdown in 2011. Taking the belt off Henry makes zero sense at this point. There's the outside shot that, after this Chairs match, Henry drops the belt to Daniel Bryan, but there's also the feeling that Sheamus will come out of Royal Rumble with the 'Mania title shot. Either way, Henry has to retain.
We also have Triple H in a Ladder/Sledgehammer match vs. Kevin Nash. Monday's promo alluding to 'Taker/Trips III at WM means this one is merely a bump in the road for The Game, and should be an easy victory before Nash goes back behind the scenes.
Perhaps the most anticipated match on the card is Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder for the US title. This is the true test of WWE's faith in Ryder and really he should get the belt tonight. Ziggler, meanwhile, is another potential Royal Rumble winner, and Punk vs. Ziggler at 'Mania is a really decent bout.
On the Smackdown side, the IC title is up for grabs between Cody Rhodes and Booker T. T's already indicated in interviews that he's not coming back full time to the ring, so Cody should roll through this one easily.
Finally, we have Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett in a Tables match. Barrett needs the win much more than Orton does, so expect the Brit to go over to give him a stronger position going into the Rumble.
Enjoy the card tonight and look for SLAM! Wrestling's review soon after!
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