In WWE, TLC does not stand for “tender love and care”. It also does not stand for “towels, linens, cotton”, though that does remind me to do my laundry.
TLC stands for tables, ladders and chairs, which will be used tonight as weapons and not household essentials.
The tenth installment of one of WWE’s most violent PPV events boasts the most extreme card we’ve seen in 2018, with five out of twelve advertised matches involving the show’s titular items.
The re-inclusion of stipulated matches adds spice to an event that was decidedly bland and outright weird last year. No, we won’t be getting Kurt Angle dressed in Shield attire fighting alongside Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, which is a bummer, though there’s plenty to be excited about.
- Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin in a tables, ladders and chairs match
Let’s start here, since WWE has hinted that this match may not happen at all due to Braun Strowman’s elbow injury. If Strowman can’t make it, he loses by forfeit and Corbin becomes full-time Raw GM. If Strowman wins, he gets another shot at Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. Of course something will happen here, but what? It’s likely that Strowman just comes out and squashes Corbin with one arm, but the looming variables of Heath Slater and Bray Wyatt along with Braun’s injury make this one extremely hard to predict.
Result: Strowman returns and defeats Corbin handily.
- Natalya vs. Ruby Riott in a tables match
I’ll admit that despite WWE’s best attempts to float this feud along, I lost interest completely after watching the Riott Squad routinely humiliate Natalya and taunt her over the death of her father. It’s been a pretty tasteless storyline overall that has lasted far too long, but a win for Natalya may place a final stamp on this never-ending saga of cruelty. That probably won’t happen, though.
Result: Ruby Riott defeats Natalya with help from the Riott Squad.
- Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton in a chairs match
Randy Orton has been fantastic since turning heel a few months ago, and his work with Rey Mysterio on Smackdown has been captivating to say the least. What started back at Crown Jewel has turned into a rivalry where we’ve seen Orton brutalize Mysterio with a chair, even causing the luchador legend to lose his mask. Mysterio has been booked strongly since his return, so it’s anyone’s guess who takes this match. At the very least, it should be fun to watch.
Result: Randy Orton defeats Rey Mysterio.
- The Bar (c) vs. The New Day vs. The Usos in a triple threat tag-team match for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship
These are the three best tag teams in WWE right now, each with five championship reigns on their resumes, so this match should be an absolute thriller. It seems that these three are always trading the belts back and forth between one another, so a title change here is fairly likely. The Bar haven’t been particularly exciting in their fifth championship run, though they likely need a win more than the other teams after falling to AOP(ee) at Survivor Series.
Result: The Bar retains their tag team championships.
- Finn Balor vs. Drew McIntyre in a singles match
It’s unclear why exactly this match couldn’t just happen on Raw, but we’re getting it tonight. Balor has been more entertaining over the last month or so, while McIntyre’s push to the moon has continued without much of a hitch. With McIntyre officially separated from Dolph Ziggler, this is the beginning of his big singles run. Balor is going to be used as a stepping stone here, but hopefully he’ll put up a decent fight.
Result: Drew McIntyre defeats Finn Balor.
- Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Cedric Alexander in a singles match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Buddy Murphy and Mustafa Ali would have torn down the house at Survivor Series if anyone had been watching 205 Live beforehand, and we’ll likely see a repeat of that tonight. Murphy and Alexander are two of the best in-ring performers in WWE right now, and despite being wasted on their stream-only WWE Network brand, they’re sure to pull off more than a few spots that receive big pops from the crowd. Murphy has been strong as champion, as was Alexander before him. This match is another toss-up.
Result: Cedric Alexander defeats Buddy Murphy to recapture the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
- Elias vs. Bobby Lashley in a ladder match
For this match, a guitar will be suspended above the ring, and the first superstar to climb the ladder and grab the guitar may use it as a weapon. While losing here does Lashley no favors, Elias has to actually win a match at some point. Lashley not taking a pinfall defeat keeps him looking legitimate while boosting Elias’s in-ring stock.
Result: Elias defeats Bobby Lashley
- Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Nia Jax in a singles match for the Raw Women’s Championship
Rousey and Jax faced off once before back at Money in the Bank in a match that was rudely interrupted by an Alexa Bliss cash-in. This match will likely end in the direction their previous bout was heading, which was a victory for Rousey. Let’s face it: Ronda Rousey will not lose until WrestleMania, nor should she, unless something drastic happens. There have been rumors that FOX wants Rousey on Smackdown when the brand moves networks, and her three-way feud with Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch is hard to build for while she’s still on Raw. Vince McMahon has pledged to shake things up a bit on tomorrow’s Raw, likely to improve the red brand’s sinking quality. Rousey likely retains here, but the entire situation is worth monitoring.
Result: Ronda Rousey defeats Nia Jax to retain the Raw Women’s Championship.
- Daniel Bryan (c) vs. A.J. Styles in a singles match for the WWE Championship
“The New” Daniel Bryan isn’t going to lose the WWE Championship this quickly into his reign, especially to A.J. Styles, who recently restructured his contract so he could spend more time with family and less time on the road. This should be a fine match, however.
Result: Daniel Bryan defeats A.J. Styles to retain the WWE Championship.
- Seth Rollins (c) vs. Dean Ambrose in a singles match for the Intercontinental Championship
This feud has taken a turn for the befuddling since its hot and intriguing start. Dean Ambrose is a germaphobe now, or something. Seth Rollins is still Seth Rollins and has carried Raw as best as he can since Roman Reigns’ leukemia announcement. What should be a red-hot rivalry has been lost in the shuffle of Raw’s abysmal quality. After his heroic victory over Corbin to defend his title on Raw last Monday, it’s likely that Rollins drops the belt to Ambrose to add some flavor to this feud.
Result: Dean Ambrose defeats Seth Rollins to win the Intercontinental Championship.
- Becky Lynch (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka in a triple threat tables, ladders and chairs match for the Smackdown Women’s Championship
Becky Lynch is the hottest thing in combat sports period, not just pro wrestling. Charlotte has done an awesome job at similarly reinvigorating her character since her heel turn. Asuka has lost every PPV match she’s been in since her first loss ever to Charlotte back at WrestleMania. Asuka needs a win, but it’s a long shot that she’ll get it. Becky Lynch should retain here, but her rivalry with Rousey and Vince McMahon’s impending announcement cast a shadow of doubt over the result here.
Result: Becky Lynch defeats Asuka and Charlotte Flair to retain her Smackdown Women’s Championship.
Pre-Show Bonus: Fabulous Truth defeats Mahalicia in the Mixed Match Challenge final.