Points by Ben Simmons during Game 3 victory over Nets

Heel Turns: Who needs a little TLC?

Posted by Achilles Heel On December 4

Achilles HeelThe too-quick turnaround from Survivor Series to Sunday’s Tables, Ladders and Chairs premiere event (kickoff show at 7 p.m. on WWE Network) barely allowed time to build up the matches. That may be one reason that Smackdown’s TLC includes several feuds that have been building for months.

The main event is a TLC match between A.J. Styles and Dean Ambrose. Styles and Ambrose have been feuding since the summer, with Styles defeating Ambrose for the WWE World Championship at Backlash in early September. Their feud continued at Survivor Series, with each man contributing to the other’s elimination. A TLC match is usually the blowoff to a feud. Given how good he’s been as champion, Styles should retain. And TLC matches almost always deliver.

The problem is there aren’t a lot of potential challengers for Styles on the Smackdown roster. One could be Dolph Ziggler, which could be a reason Ziggler does not win the Intercontinental Championship in his ladder match with The Miz at TLC. If Ziggler isn’t in line for a feud with Ambrose, he should win the Intercontinental Championship – unless there is going to be a champion vs. champion rivalry, similar to what’s developing on RAW between Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens. Regardless of the outcome, this should be a terrific match, as have all of the other bouts in this excellent feud.

Becky Lynch defends the Smackdown Women’s Championship against Alexa Bliss, who has been knocking on the championship door for two months. This is a tables match, which is a stipulation often used to switch the championship without the champion being pinned. But the Greek God of Wrestling believes Lynch will retain – unless WWE puts the belt on Bliss for one month, only to have Lynch win it back at the Royal Rumble.

In another women’s match, Nikki Bella and Carmella settle their months-long feud in a no disqualification match. Considering Carmella has gotten the better of Nikki most of the time, Achilles Heel expects Nikki to be victorious at TLC. An alternative ending would be to have Natalya cost Nikki the victory.

One match that isn’t based upon an ongoing feud is the Smackdown Tag Team Championship match. Rhyno and Heath Slater defend the titles against Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton, who earned the title shot with a victory over American Alpha (Chad Gable and Jason Jordan) in a tremendous match on Smackdown. The Greek God of Wrestling has suspected from the beginning that Orton is only pretending to be part of the Wyatt family in order to destroy it from within. If Wyatt and Orton win the tag team titles, Orton can use the titles to drive a wedge between Wyatt and Luke Harper by pointing out that the Wyatt family never won a title until he joined it. Expect a title change – unless Harper inadvertently causes Wyatt and Orton to lose or be disqualified.

Kalisto and Baron Corbin will continue their David vs. Goliath feud in a chairs match. This makes sense because they’ve been battering each other for more than a month, with Kalisto costing Corbin his spot on Smackdown’s men’s team at Survivor Series. Corbin should earn the victory.

With the resolution of several ongoing feuds in the works, TLC definitely appears to be an enjoyable show worth checking out.


NEW CHAMP COMES TO PHILLY: Kyle O’Reilly, who won the Ring of Honor World Championship from Adam Cole on Friday at Ring of Honor’s Final Battle, will make his first appearance as champion Sunday (6 p.m.) at 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia.

The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson), the Ring of Honor Tag Team champions, are also scheduled to appear. There could be further developments in their budding feud with Matt and Jeff Hardy. Matt Hardy challenged the Young Bucks in a promo on the video screen Friday at Final Battle after the Young Bucks successfully defended their titles against Mark and Jay Briscoe.

Other results from Final Battle included Cody Rhodes turning heel to defeat Jay Lethal, Marty Scrull retaining the Ring of Honor Television Championship in a three-way match with Will Ospreay and Dragon Lee (Bobby Fish missed the show due to the death of his mother), Silas Young upsetting Jushin “Thunder” Liger, and Matt Taven, Vinny Marseglia and TK O’Ryan becoming the inaugural six-man champions by beat Lio Rush, Jay White and KUSHIDA.


RING OF HONOR TOURNEY IN PHILLY: The highlight of the “Final Battle Aftermath” television tapings at 2300 Arena on Sunday (6 p.m.) should be the start of  the Decade of Excellence Tournament, featuring wrestlers who were in Ring of Honor at least a decade earlier. The winner of the tournament, which will conclude Jan. 14 in Atlanta, will receive a shot at the Ring of Honor World Championship at the 15th anniversary show in Las Vegas on March 10. First-round matches are Christopher Danels vs. Mark Briscoe; Alex Shelley vs. Colt Cabana; Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Jay Lethal; and B.J. Whitmer vs. Jay Briscoe.

A no-disqualification match between Mandy Leon and Taeler Hendrix has also been announced for Sunday’s tapings.


NAKAMURA REGAINS TITLE: Shinsuke Nakamura regained the NXT Championship from Samoa Joe on Saturday in an NXT house show in Osaka, Japan. Samoa Joe had taken the title back from Nakamura at NXT Takeover: Toronto the night before Survivor Series. The bout will air Wednesday (8 p.m.) on NXT.


SWANN SONG: Rich Swann defeated Brian Kendrick for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship on the inaugural edition of 205 Live last Tuesday on WWE Network. In other matches on the debut show, Jack Gallagher beat Ariya Daivari, and The Bollywood Boys beat Tony Nese and Drew Gulak.


TNA TITLE ON THE LINE: Eddie Edwards will defend the TNA World Championship on Thursday’s Impact Wrestling against Ethan Carter III. The Greek God of Wrestling doesn’t need a crystal ball – or spoilers – to see outside interference playing a role in this match.

During last week’s Impact Wrestling, Moose defeated Aaron Rex (the former Damien Sandow) to win the Grand Championship.


SAD NEWS ON SNUKA: According to his lawyer, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka is in hospice care in Florida and has been told he only has six more months to live. A judge had ruled in August that Snuka is not mentally competent to stand trial, but she has not yet dismissed the murder case against Snuka in the death of 23-year-old Nancy Argentino, Snuka’s girlfriend, in a Whitehall Township hotel room in 1983. The defense maintains that Snuka is faking signs of dementia to avoid being put on trial.


CZW DOUBLEHEADER: Combat Zone Wrestling presents a doubleheader next Saturday (Dec. 10) at Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees. At Cage of Death 18 (7:30 p.m.), Jonathan Gresham defends the CZW World Championship against Joe Gacy. Other matches include Sami Callihan vs. Lio Rush; Danny Havoc vs. Rickey Shane Page; A.R. Fox vs. Dave Crist; Greg Excellent vs. Homicide; and a Cage of Death match involving eight competitors, including former CZQ World champion Matt Tremont, Joey Janela and Conor Claxton. Fans are encouraged to bring a donation for Toys for Tots.

Cage of Death 18 is preceded earlier in the day (2 p.m.) at Flyers Skate Zone by Dojo Wars’ Mega Event 3. Admission is $5 or the donation of a toy to benefit Toys for Tots.


RAW IN PHILLY: Don’t forget that Raw is returning to Wells Fargo Center on Dec. 12 for a live Raw broadcast. Please stop emailing the Greek God of Wrestling for free tickets. I’m not Santa Claus!

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