Note: This piece is pure editorial speculation based on recent WWE storylines and is no way a news report confirming that any of the matches below will, in fact, take place.
The main event of Monday Night Raw this week, the first in a three-week build to WWE TLC, saw the Authors of Pain interrupt a main event between Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins, attacking the former, and leaving the later standing stunned in the middle of the ring.
It seems clear WWE is paving the way for a bigger Owens vs. Rollins match at the PPV, potentially with some kind of added stipulation. I’m very intrigued by the addition of AOP, however, so this could still take some twists and turns. The other rather obvious program is AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton. Styles isn’t due an obligatory championship rematch, and he all but called out Orton tonight after getting screwed out of the U.S. title.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported recently that Bobby Lashley vs. Rusev was set for TLC, and given that they were kept off the Survivor Series card, that’s most definitely happening. Aleister Black vs. Buddy Murphy is a give-in after their scuffle and staredown tonight. Jumping over to the Smackdown side, King Corbin vs. Roman Reigns was another match reported.
This is maybe a stretch, but with Rey Mysterio winning the U.S. title he’s going to need a challenger. Humberto Carrillo had earned a title shot against Styles, but was screwed out of it by The O.C., so he’s still in line, if not at the front of that line. Remember when Mysterio put over Carrillo in a backstage promo literally one week ago? If this is indeed the match for TLC, it would be a huge opportunity and, you would assume, a dream moment for the 24-year-old lucha star.
Finally, I have to assume that if there’s any justice in the world, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode should be next in line for the Smackdown tag team titles, given that they actually won a match for Team Smackdown at Survivor Series.
So based on all of that, here’s a look at our speculative WWE TLC match card for the December 15th pay-per-view:
— Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins
— AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton
— Bobby Lashley vs. Rusev
UNITED STATES TITLE MATCH
— Humberto Carrillo vs. Rey Mysterio (c)
WWE WOMEN’S TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH
— Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair vs. The Kabuki Warriors (c)
— Aleister Black vs. Buddy Murphy
— Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin
SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH
— Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode vs. The New Day (c)
There’s still a few big unanswered questions left on the table. Bray Wyatt will likely defend the WWE title, but will it be another Daniel Bryan match, or a totally new direction? Is seemed like there was unfinished business between Bryan and The Miz, even up to a backstage altercation on Sunday, but those two have been linked since literally day one.
The directions of Bayley and Shinsuke Nakamura are relatively unknown coming out of Survivor Series as they’re coming out of programs against NXT and Raw stars, so they’ll need to set up new challengers quickly.