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NCAA Tournament appearances by Temple’s Fran Dunphy, tied for most by Big 5 head coach

Heel Turns: More time needed for TLC

Posted by Achilles Heel On December 13

The problem with WWE’s TLC (Tables, Ladders and Chairs) event on Sunday (7 p.m.) is that there might be too much of a good thing. With 12 matches scheduled, TLC seems a bit crowded, without enough time for matches to develop.

There are matches at TLC, most notably Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles, Seth Rollins vs. Dan Ambrose and the triple threat match between Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Asuka, that should last at least 15 minutes. With 12 matches scheduled, either that won’t happen or the other matches will be reduced to quick matches in order to compensate for the time required for the marquee matches.

There are some solutions – and the Greek God of Wrestling is happy to provide them.

First, put the finals of the Mixed Match Challenge finals on the pre-show. Even with the final spots in the Royal Rumbles going to the winners of this match, there’s no way that a mixed tag-team match between the teams of R-Trush and Carmella and Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox should be taking up space that should be allotted to other matches.

I would also put the WWE Cruiserweight Championship match between Buddy Murphy and Cedric Alexander on the preshow. This isn’t meant to be disrespectful to the cruiserweights. Achilles Heel is a big fan of the cruiserweights. Putting them on the preshow will allow their match to go 15-20 minutes, which is highly unlikely, as the late great Gorilla Monsoon used to say, if it remains on the main card.

Those suggestions would reduce the main TLC card to 10 matches. The TLC match between Baron Corbin and Braun Strowman should be short. Either Corbin wins by forfeit or Strowman comes back from surgery and destroys Corbin with one arm.

That should leave plenty of time for what should be a classic match between Styles and Bryan for the WWE Championship. Expect Bryan to retain the title – by hook or by crook.

Rollins and Ambrose also deserve plenty of time for their Intercontinental Championship match. The Greek God of Wrestling wouldn’t be shocked to see Ambrose capture the title.

Perhaps the most-anticipated match is the first-ever women’s TLC match, featuring Lynch defending the Smackdown Women’s Championship in a triple threat match with Flair and Asuka. Achilles Heel even thinks there’s a chance that this match goes on last in the main position.

The Raw Women’s Championship match between Ronda Rousey and challenger Nia Jax doesn’t need to go more than 10 minutes, but the Smackdown Tag Team Championship triple threat match, with Sheamus and Cesaro defending against The New Day and Jimmy and Jey Uso, should receive 15-20 minutes. It would be criminal to give Finn Balor and Drew McIntyre less than 10 minutes, and the same is true of the chairs match between Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio that was recently added to the card.

The ladder match between Elias and Bobby Lashley doesn’t need to go too long. The Greek God of Wrestling would like to see the tables match between Natalya and Ruby Riott last 10-12 minutes.

TLC should be a good event solely because of the quality of the matches. But if WWE follows Achilles Heel’s advice, TLC could be one of the best cards of the year.

*****

FINAL BATTLE: WWE isn’t the only organization with a major event this weekend. Ring of Honor presents its Final Battle pay-per-view Friday (8 p.m.) at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. The main event features Jay Lethal defending the Ring of Honor World Championship against Cody Rhodes. The Ring of Honor Tag Team Championship is also on the line, with champions Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky defending against Mark and Jay Briscoe and the Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson).

Zack Sabre Jr. comes to Ring of Honor to answer Jonathan Gresham’s open challenge; Matt Taven meets Dalton Castle; Jeff Cobb defends the Ring of Honor Television Championship against Hangman Page; Bully Ray battles Flip Gordon in an “I Quit” match; Marty Scurll faces Christopher Daniels and Sumie Sakai defends the Women of Honor World Championship against Madison Rayne, Karen Q and Kelly Klein.

*****

SATURDAY NIGHT HONOR: Tickets still remain for Ring of Honor’s Final Battle Fallout on Saturday at 2300 Arena. Zack Sabre Jr. will battle Tracy Williams, Juice Robinson will meet PJ Black (the former Justin Gabriel in WWE), and Rush will face TK O’Ryan. Ring of Honor world champion Jay Lethal, Cody Rhodes, The Young Bucks, The Briscoes, Ring of Honor Tag Team champions Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky among those scheduled to appear. These could be the final Ring of Honor appearances for Rhodes and The Young Bucks, whose contracts are expiring.

*****

BIG AWARD FOR CENA: Congratulations to John Cena, who received the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award on Tuesday at Sports Illustrated’s awards show. Cena received the award for his philanthropic efforts.

*****

CASS OK AFTER SEIZURE: The wrestler known as Big Cass in WWE suffered a seizure at House of Hardcore 52 last Saturday at 2300 Arena. According to Tommy Dreamer, who promotes the House of Hardcore shows, Cass is all right.

In the main events, Nick Aldis successfully defended the NWA World Heavyweight Championship against Brian Cage, and Willie Mack defeated Shane Strickland to retain the House of Hardcore Twitch TV Championship.

*****

NEW CHAMP: Mance Warenr defeated Rickey Shane Page at Combat Zone Wrestling’s Cage of Death XX at 2300 Arena last Saturday to become the CZW world champion. Maxwell Jacob Friedman was stripped of the CZW World Championship because he is sidelined by a fractured elbow. CZW legend Masada and DJ Hyde lost to Atsushi Onita and Matt Tremont; Jordan Oliver successfully defended the CZW Wired Championship against KC Navarro and then beat Rich Swann and Shane Strickland in a triple threat match.

CZW is also hosting “Afternoon Extravaganza” during the day. There will be a meet and greet with Atsushi Onita. Fans can also watch the Eagles-Cowboys game with CZW wrestlers. Wrestlers from CZW’s Dojo Wars will provide the halftime entertainment. There will be autograph sessions and photo opportunities ($20 if you take your own picture, $30 for a professionally taken 8×10 photo). Admission is just $5 or a Toy for Tots.

*****

TOUCHDOWN CONTROVERSY: There was an unexpected twist at the end of CHIKARA’S year-ending “Let’s Get Invisible” last Saturday. In the main event, interim Grand champion Dasher Hatfield beat Ophidian. Former champion “Mr. Touchdown” Mark Angelosetti, who relinquished the title after breaking his leg at King of Trios while teaming with Hatfield, made a surprise return after the match, announcing his return to action. But Hatfield turned on Angelosetti, knocking him out before leaving the ring.

*****

RIPPING RAW: During his show-opening promo on Raw this past Monday, Seth Rollins ripped the quality of Raw, blaming interim general manager Baron Corbin for the decline. It’s interesting that WWE would acknowledge that Raw hasn’t been up to par in recent months.

Although there are a lot of factors involved, The Greek God of Wrestling thinks there is a simple answer. There has been a loss of star power. Roman Reigns due to the recurrence of leukemia, Braun Stroman had elbow surgery and Kurt Angle has been removed as general manager. That’s a lot of star power missing.

*****

TITLE CHANGE: Congratulations to Bobby Roode and Chad Gable, who won the Raw Tag Team Championship in a 3-on-2 match with Authors of Pain and Drake Maverick Authors of Pain barely held the titles for a month. Achilles Heel would like to see Roode and Gable eventually feud with The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson.

*****

MISSING IN ACTION: Why has Luke Harper disappeared from television after an injury to Erick Rowan, his tag team partner. Harper is too talented to sit on the sidelines. WWE’s writers should have found a way to keep Harper in the spotlight.

*****

WWE COMES MARCHING IN: Last week The Greek God of Wrestling told you about an episode of Raw coning to Wells Fargo Center on March 4, and a Smackdown house show at PPL Arena in Allentown on Mon., March 25, just two weeks before WrestleMania. You can add a house show at CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton on Fri, March 22.

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Side angle of Cody Parkey's missed field goal