WWE Championship – TLC Match
Drew McIntyre © vs AJ Styles
Drew McIntyre is 1/6 to win here, giving McIntyre some of the shortest odds of a defending champion all year (yet – incredibly – still not the shortest odds of THIS PPV). A late December show with minimal build is rarely the time to do big changes to the company which is why neither Drew or Roman are expected to drop their matches.
Styles is a good opponent for these sorts of throwaway World Title matches (as is Kevin Owens) – enough credibility as a World Title contender, plausible enough that they could win it (they won’t) and proven enough that a loss will have absolutely zero impact on them or their ability to do this all again in 3, 6, 9 or 12 months.
The only real curve ball to the story is the MITB holder, The Miz potentially kicking around. Having originally put the case in the hands of Otis suggests that they have – at best – a shifting plan for the briefcase and it’s hard to see any benefit to taking the title (back) off Drew. Most likely scenario, Drew wins and then fights off an attempt and we head into 2021 with McIntyre as champ.
Prediction: Drew McIntyre Wins
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton
Fighting with a Fridge to a maggot based powerpoint presentation on the canvas, it’s fair to say that the story of Wyatt vs Orton has had some serious bollix to it. Fully expecting that the be the case again here. Maybe involving puppets. Definitely involving puppets.
I’m very confused how a possessed murderous demon is a face in modern day WWE, but hey-ho. I’m a *lot* more positive on Wyatt than some, and Alexa Bliss has been great in the role, but I’m also struggling to see this as anything but a tired retread. We’ve done Orton / Wyatt so many times. I want to see them both do something new.
Orton – through his tenure and presentation – is one of the least effected ‘top level’ guys in WWE so I tend to back him to lose more than win. I’m sticking with my standards here and – like the bookies – would back Wyatt to win here. Wyatt is the favourite at 4/11 and Orton is reasonably long odds (for Orton) at 2/1. Given the short odds for Wyatt, it feels like the kind of match to avoid putting any real money on.
Prediction: The Fiend Wins
WWE Women’s Tag Team Title
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler © vs Asuka & TBC
With Lana being (officially) pulled from the match means it’s hard to get any current odds on the match, because really – Asuka’s partner is going to play big into what the predicted outcome is.
Since Lana is now “gone” from the match (those quote marks are very intentional), the most rumoured partner for The Empress of Tomorrow is a returning Mandy Rose. If it is Mandy, then this is the only scenario where I see the champs retaining.
The more likely scenario is that – THROUGH SHENNANIGANS – it somehow ends up being Lana. Maybe it’s Lana from the start. Maybe Lana challenges Jaxzler after they beat Rose/Asuka ala. Hogan/Yoko/Wrestlemania 9. Maybe it’s a Sports Entertainment special and Lana replaces her midway through the match for – err – reasons.
If it’s Lana, then Lanasuka will be taking the titles. They’ll lose them back pretty sharpish, but in that scenario, Lana kinda really needs to and should win.
The third option is that it’s someone else entirely and if this has all been a total bait and switch, then it’s also likely to see a title change. Io Shirai or Charlotte feel the more obvious choices (especially Charlotte). A returning, face, kick-ass Sonya DeVille would be interesting. Total left field – Rousey???
There’s three options on the table and two of the three (possibly three of the three) end with new champs, so that’s what to back here
Prediction: Asuka and TBC WIN (New Champs)
WWE Universal Championship
Roman Reigns © vs Kevin Owens
See everything I put for McIntyre & Styles about this being a nothing PPV and that the champ will deffo retain, yet it’s still a solid, believable opponent. All of that – minus The Miz – again here.
It’s a credit to both Owens and Styles as characters and performers that they can generate any interest in this match at all when the result is so little in doubt; especially here.
Owens is a canny enough performer to know that Roman’s position won’t be effected by how good this match is, but KO’s might be – so expect him to “give it some”. Roman is on top form with the new (yet several years too late) heel character and hopefully these two can have a good match; its’ definitely got the potential to be match of the night.
How it goes either way though is irrelevant. The result is certain – seriously, the bookies have Reigns at TWENTY TO ONE ON to win here. There’s only two people in the sodding match and Reigns is Twenty to one on. For comparison, it’s 12 to one on that Liverpool finish in the TOP FOUR this season.
You’d be daft to put money on this
Prediction: Roman Reigns Wins
WWE Smackdown Women’s Title
Sasha Banks © vs Carmella
I almost wanted to put together a similar preview to Banks/Carmella as I did Styles/Drew & Roman/KO – solid champ, they ain’t losing on a late December PPV. Sasha will probably win here too (she’s 1/3 on at the moment vs Carmella’s 9/4) but there’s a couple of things making this less predictable outcome.
Firstly, this is very much the first main test of Carmella since she returned to Smackdown. Losing here would be a blow if they have plans do something more with ‘Mella than they have done before. There was a rumour this week that Carmella’s name was appearing on a list of Superstars that WWE writers thought that they should do more with
Also, Sasha (like Charlotte) has an excellent record for winning titles but a rubbish record for keeping them. Sasha’s win was as much about dethroning Bayley’s mammoth reign as it was about rewarding Banks, so it’s less of a lock that The Boss wins here.
Maybe they’re trying to change all of that. Beating Carmella would help get Banks reign off to a non-Bayley related start and the damage to Carmella wouldn’t be that great as it’s not *that* different / new a character. Maybe it’s triology and Mella wins later.
I’m backing Banks to win, but with 1/3 odds your money is better spent elsewhere
Prediction: Sasha Banks Wins
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs The Hurt Business (Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander)
Not sure that right now is the correct forum for this thought, but when exactly did it go from being “New Day” to “The New Day”? Have they always been “THE New Day”? Or have they been mistakenly called “The” so often that it’s now just become so accepted that it’s actually what they’re called? See also – “Bullet Club” – still called “The Bullet Club” despite a much clearer edict at the that time that the stable was very much a two word name.
Sorry… I’ve got distracted…
THE Hurt Business… if you’re an actual business, you should have three initials – ScS, TNT, RAF – for reasons I won’t bore you with, so THB makes much more sense here… ANYWAY… The Hurt Business are 1/2 slight favourites to win here (New Day are 6/4) and at first though, I’m inclined to agree with the bookies here. I think that Mr Porter’s suited collective have been one of the brighter spots on RAW and adding some (more) gold to the team won’t hurt. Much has been made of MVP’s latter career renaissance, but Shelton deserves equal applause – and being one half of the World’s Greatest Tag Team, Mr Benjamin knows how to win a Tag Belt.
HOWEVER… there have been a number of teases for a New Day (Woods/Kofi) heel turn and it may be more rewarding for them to do it as champs. Hurt Business (especially against Retribution) have been portrayed as almost tweenerish characters. Having Woods/Kofi out cheat them would be an interesting beat on the heel turn. With New Day at 6/4 it’s also a good chance to double your money.
Prediction: New Day Retains
Those are our predictions, what are yours? Please leave them in the comments!