Mt. Killamanjaro: WWE’s 2011 TLC PPV Preview

Mike Killam

Sledgehammer Ladder Match – Triple H vs. Kevin Nash
Could they be any more obvious in their attempts to blow off this match? It's like they went in guns ablaze, thought it was a great idea in bringing back Kevin Nash, and then suddenly realized nobody (including management) cared. It's a shame, because the Game is one of the few guys who can carry anybody through a good feud. But even Triple H needs more than a single week's promo to build a match – intelligent booking wouldn't hurt either. Whoever thought hanging a sledgehammer above the ring, and having two older stars with notorious quad problems climb a ladder to get to it clearly opened themselves up to the various injury/Vince Russo jokes. 

Why should I be interested in this match? A ruptured vertebrae is about as believable as the Game getting run over by a truck and showing up for work the next day. Kevin Nash has no place winning this match, and the fans haven't shown one ounce of concern over his return. It's likely that Triple H will win, move on, and pretend nothing ever happened between the two Kliq members. And no, I don't think it's likely at all that Undertaker makes his return tonight… 

World Heavyweight Championship – Chairs Match – Mark Henry vs. Big Show
Well, at least these two don't have a ladder match… My biggest disappointment is that Show has pushed Henry to surprisingly great matches without the use of a gimmick. You put something like a chair into the match, and I'm worried this is going to result in a very bland, predictable contest. Although, if you think about their history, the stipulation definitely makes sense… 

Henry has to retain the title, but there's nobody to stop Big Show from knocking him out, and possibly teasing another cash-in from Daniel Bryan. If they don't want Henry to main event WrestleMania, now is the time to take the belt off of him. Likewise, if they DO decide he should hold on to the belt, a solid victory is what the big man needs going into the Road. I'd say odds of a new champion, either Bryan or Show, is about 20%. 

WWE Championship – TLC Match – CM Punk vs. Miz vs. Alberto del Rio
How good was the post-match beatdown on Punk during last week's Raw? That alone sold me on this match, not to mention that the TLC is one of my favorite gimmicks ever. It's going to be interesting to see Punk rise above the double-team, and to see Miz and ADR's unlikely duo deteriorate. There's a chance they could return to lazy booking, as we've seen the two heels on one face routine over and over again… But Punk usually comes up with something original, and I think it's likely this will be a great main event. 

Two weeks from now we'll get our answer to the mysterious "return promos", and if it is indeed Chris Jericho, CM Punk should probably hold on to the belt. He needs to retain regardless, but it would make very little sense to take it off him again, just to to give it right back going in to WrestleMania. There are still a considerable amount of fans who are waiting to see if Punk can carry "the ball" for the company. That's almost impossible to find out unless the WWE is willing to keep the title on him for a considerable amount of time. The next four months seems like a great opportunity to prove a lot of "one-hit-wonder" preachers wrong. 

Final Thoughts: The card for TLC could have been better, and given a bit more build…but when haven't we said that this year about a WWE event? Considering the Slammy Awards filled a lot of time, and that this isn't a major PPV on the yearly schedule, I'd say they did a pretty decent job given what they had to work with. We have at least one main event match I'm looking forward to, and Henry continues to surprise me, so I won't rule out another. I have no interest in Triple H's match, but he often surprises me with the quality of his work… The mid-card is really what I'm invested in, with Ziggler, Ryder, Rhodes, and Barrett's futures all hanging in the balance with this one event. It's not make-or-break quite yet, but a lot of smart decisions need to be made tonight. 

Quick question: where is Sheamus on this card? 

Follow along with all the TLC action right here on Wrestlezone, and don't forget to cast your vote for the Top 5 WWE & TNA stars for the next issue of the Depth Chart. Voting ends two hours after the TLC PPV goes off the air, and you can send me your votes directly @MikeKillam on Twitter, or by posting in the comments section below. 

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