With just one month to go until Survivor Series, the Raw brand presents what has generally been one of the most anticipated pay-per-views of the year in WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs. This year? Well, you could say the card initially left a lot to be desired with one main event stipulation match, only two titles on the line and a bunch of filler that you would normally see on Monday nights.
And then suddenly, two of the main stars on the card — Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt — were pulled after being diagnosed with viral infections, changing everything.
We here at CBS Sports will be covering TLC live Sunday beginning with the kickoff show at 7 p.m. ET. The action really kicks into gear one hour later at 8 p.m. live from the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Be sure to check out our full slate of predictions for WWE TLC below, and don’t forget to subscribe to the In This Corner with Brian Campbell Podcast where we break down everything you need to know each week in the world of WWE.
2017 WWE TLC predictions
Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox (Kickoff Show)
Brian Campbell: This kickoff show match brings more anticipation with it than the storyline truthfully deserves. That’s because Fox has a way of amplifying the intensity of a segment due to her character’s crazy turns. She did so on Raw this week with a brutal backstage attack on Banks. Don’t let that confuse you, however, with Fox having much of a shot at winning the match. Pick: Banks wins
Adam Silverstein: I kind of want to go the other way here with Foxy figuring out a way to pick up an unexpected victory, but ultimately I see no way how that would benefit Banks in the least. It is astounding that Becky Lynch and Banks are completely out of the title picture on their respective brands at this point. Pick: Banks wins
Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann vs. The Brian Kendrick & Jack Gallagher
AS: Though I would normally assume this would be the buffer match between the final two bouts on the card … I can’t even single out a double main event match for TLC. So I don’t know where this goes, and I see no reason for it to be on this PPV at all. That said, while I think Alexander would be a great cruiserweight champion one day if he can figure out how to get over on the mic, it would be more impactful for the heels to take this one. Pick: Kendrick & Gallagher win
BC: Gallagher’s heel turn and the mentorship he has received from Kendrick is a story that has been told well over the past two months on 205 Live. But the feud with Alexander, who still has main event potential from an in-ring perspective but not on the microphone, simply hasn’t resonated. Neither does the idea of this forced tag team match. Pick: Kendrick & Gallagher win
Cruiserweight Championship — Kalisto (c) vs. Enzo Amore
BC: If backstage rumors are true, Kalisto winning the title was a last-minute decision on Raw two weeks ago and a direct result of a frustrated Neville walking off set in real life and never returning. Considering how much Amore has done to bring much-needed buzz to the cruiserweight division, Kalisto’s reign feels overwhelmingly temporary. Pick: Amore wins the title
AS: Hard to argue with those points. Amore has made the cruiserweight division feel legitimate, and while Kalisto is a fantastic addition, he does not have the innate microphone ability to carry the strap. I could see Kalisto keeping the title for another couple weeks, but it makes more sense for Amore to take it back and be a two-time champion who now has the ability to brag even more about his accomplishments. Pick: Amore wins the title
Women’s Championship — Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Mickie James
AS: This feels like a send-off after a nice return run for James, who fit in well with the Raw women’s division but has no legitimate reason (in kayfabe) to be deserving of a title shot. Bliss has been a solid champion and done terrific work on the mic, but she needs to drop the championship sooner than later … though it won’t be to James. I’m expecting a nice, clean win for Bliss as James rides off into the sunset following a match that overdelivers. Pick: Bliss retains the title
BC: While James has overachieved at times in the buildup to this championship feud, it’s difficult to get past the fact that her character is incredibly far from deserving of the opportunity. Ask yourself this question: Where the heck has Nia Jax been the past few weeks? James’ final promo on Monday, which talked up her age and how excited she is to return home to her three-year-old son, teased the idea that this could be her final full-time feud. Time will tell. Pick: Bliss retains the title
Asuka vs. Emma
BC: Considering Asuka left NXT with a perfect record and will be making her first main roster appearance of any kind at TLC, you can all but guarantee a loss for Emma. That doesn’t rob from the intrigue, however, as NXT did a tremendous job in keeping her special with how they booked such a special. Here’s to hoping Raw does the same thing. Pick: Asuka wins
AS: Asuka’s dominant run in NXT should continue with her main roster debut on Sunday. While Emma should not be squashed here — these two actually had a tremendous match together back in NXT — she should lose rather quickly and put over Asuka’s dominance. In other words, Asuka should be built stronger here than Shinsuke Nakamura was in his debut against Dolph Ziggler. Here’s to Asuaka winning Sunday and not losing until she takes the women’s title at Royal Rumble. Pick: Asuka wins
Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles
The originally scheduled match was The Demon (Balor) vs. Bray Wyatt. Due to a viral infection that has affected the WWE locker room, Wyatt has been pulled off the pay-per-view only to be replaced by Styles.
AS: Wow. What a change in match quality from a Balor-Wyatt bout we had already seen twice — that was being repeated a third time with a terrible gimmick — to a long-awaited showdown of two former leaders of the Bullet Club. This went from being a potential laughing stock to a possible show-stealer in a snap. Considering this is a Raw pay-per-view, it is my expectation that Balor goes over as Styles continues to look for a bounce back following his loss to Baron Corbin. It would be really cool if WWE found a way to get Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson involved in some manner. Balor will still be dressing as The Demon, for some reason. Pick: Balor wins
BC: With all respect to the illness facing Wyatt in real life, it may turn out to be a victory for WWE if the Balor-Wyatt feud never gets consummated. The replacement of Styles turns this into a possible five-star match. Here’s to hoping that this is just the beginning for these two, regardless of the fact that Styles works on SmackDown. With Survivor Series up next, this could set the table nicely. Since Styles is more established, a win for Balor would certainly shine him up as a certifiable main eventer. Pick: Balor wins
Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Kurt Angle vs. The Miz, Sheamus & Cesaro, Braun Strowman & Kane (TLC Match)
The originally scheduled match was The Shield vs. the five-man Team Miz. Due to a viral infection that has affected the WWE locker room, Roman Reigns has been pulled off the pay-per-view only to be replaced by Angle.
BC: The inclusion of Angle does well to save the show last minute when you consider the intrigue of seeing him wrestle in a WWE ring (at age 48, no less) for the first time since 2006. How that affects the storyline moving forward, however, will be most interesting. A good idea might be to escalate Angle into a feud with The Miz, which has been teased in recent months while Miz was working opposite Jason Jordan. Either way, the odds are now stacked even further against the babyfaces in this one, giving WWE very little room to book them into anything but a loss. Pick: Team Miz wins
AS: Though Reigns is out of the match on Sunday, my prediction has not changed. The story of this match was to be The Shield coming off as so strong that it is almost able to overcome the insurmountable odds that exist of them going up against not only a five-man team but one featuring monsters in Strowman and Kane. With Reigns sidelined, that is an even cleaner finish. I did not expect Angle to factor into this feud, and it makes me wonder whether the plan was to add him to the eventual Survivor Series five-on-five match, perhaps with his storyline son in Jason Jordan. There has to be a reason WWE put Angle in this match as opposed to just adding Jordan or Matt Hardy. It should be interesting to see what goes down on Sunday. Pick: Team Miz wins
Source : CBSsports