What could happen in WWE for their final month of the year?
WWE is about to head into the month of December, one that should provide plenty of fanfare heading into 2017. There are two pay-per-views to cover and even an NXT Championship match just two days into the final month of the year. Royal Rumble build will even continue, which started just two weeks ago on Raw.
The first of the shows coming up will be WWE TLC on Sunday, December 4. This will see AJ Styles defend the WWE World Championship against Dean Ambrose in a TLC match. After a lengthy feud between the two, it seems that things could culminate here. How could this match go down? Might there be a twist or turn that sends this into another chapter on SmackDown?
Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch are set to contend for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at TLC as well. They have battled for the title for the past few months, just like Styles and Ambrose for the world title. However, there have been no title changes in this women’s division feud. Could TLC be the night this happens?
At Raw’s Roadblock PPV, Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship is the only previously announced match, as of December 1. This feud is only in its infancy, but could that mean the title changes hands?
There are plenty of high stakes matches set to go down in December, which could develop WWE’s landscape heading into 2017. Who knows, maybe someone from NXT could show up to Raw or SmackDown and unleash on the roster.
10. Alexa Bliss Wins the SmackDown Women’s Championship
Alexa Bliss had once been a sparkle princess-like character in NXT. Then, in May of 2015, she turned into the Wicked Witch of WWE and has since taken off. It led to a main roster promotion during the 2016 WWE Draft, something she has taken full advantage of.
Just two months in, Bliss began challenging Becky Lynch for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. This already saw a faulty finish with the former Blake and Murphy manager tapping out with her foot on the ropes. It led to another match, which will take place at WWE TLC.
Every time Bliss and Lynch have met in nontitle situations, the former always seems to get the upper hand. While this is for a championship, the tables may not turn here (literally), meaning Bliss would continue her dominance over the Irish Lass Kicker and win the SmackDown Women’s Title.
This would be a title change just three months into Lynch’s reign, but given the superb work Bliss has done on the main roster, it may be time to reward her. She has arguably been the women’s division’s MVP so far and could be in store for a healthy title run if WWE decides to put the belt on her on Sunday.
John Cena is currently away from WWE TV to tape the FOX reality show, “American Grit”. It’s set to air sometime in 2017.
By being away since October, this has caused Cena to miss Survivor Series and the upcoming TLC pay-per-view. However, as things stand, he’ll be back before the end of December. He’s advertised to appear at a WWE MSG event days before New Year’s Eve. By returning at this December 26 show, it sets up the Face That Runs the Place to appear on the final episode of SmackDown of 2016.
Cena returning to WWE needs to have a significant impact, and not just having a match for the sake of it. He needs to make an announcement, something like entering the 2017 Royal Rumble. The Leader of the Cenation could make the case that after falling short of his 16th world title at No Mercy, he wants to get another shot and walk out of WrestleMania 33 with a record-tying win.
By joining the Royal Rumble, Cena would be with Goldberg and Brock Lesnar, who already announced their intentions of being in this annual match. How much of a chance Cena would stand at winning is unknown, but his announcement would make for a significant moment in his return to WWE.
AJ Styles walking out with the WWE World Championship at TLC wouldn’t be much of a surprise. He has had a successful reign since winning the belt in September, and hasn’t done much to warrant dropping it. This is despite all the James Ellsworth shenanigans that have gone on these past few months.
Dean Ambrose’s chances of walking out with the belt aren’t high, especially with him not needing to be pinned to lose. All Styles has to do is climb the ladder and grab the world title to retain. This somewhat protects the Lunatic Fringe as he potentially moves into another feud (more on that later).
Styles would walk into the Royal Rumble pay-per-view as the world champion, which takes him out of the Royal Rumble match equation. Given big names like Brock Lesnar and Goldberg are already in it, the Phenomenal One’s presence may not be needed. He could defend the title against a big name, though (more on that later too).
7. Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt Win the SmackDown Tag Titles
Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt have made for an odd pairing, one that may be volatile with Luke Harper seemingly not trusting the newest Wyatt Family member. They have been successful, though, having been the sole survivors of the Raw vs. SmackDown match at Survivor Series and winning a handful of matches.
Following their latest win, this time over American Alpha, Orton and Wyatt will head into TLC to face Rhyno and Heath Slater for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship. Given the direction the new Wyatt Family is going in, it’s time to give them some gold.
Orton hasn’t held a tag team title since his days with Edge in Rated RKO nearly 10 years ago. So, this wouldn’t be an unknown scenario for him. For Wyatt, though, he has never held a title in WWE and hasn’t really been given an opportunity to do so. The SmackDown Tag Team Championship may be his greatest opportunity ever, especially with the way his group is trending.
As for Rhyno and Heath Slater, they have had a solid reign, defeating the Usos multiple times. However, their face run with the belts has run its course as it hasn’t featured much fanfare. Adding Orton and Wyatt to the title scene could spice things up, similar to how the WWE World and SmackDown Women’s Championships have become interesting parts of TV.
The New Day addresses The WWE Universe. Courtesy of WWE.com
6. New Day Won’t Break Demolition’s Record
It would be a very gutsy call for WWE to not let New Day break Demolition’s tag team title reign record of 478 days. They’re already at 466 days and counting, so it seems inevitable that the Unicorns wouldn’t pull it off.
In between December 1 and the title reign record being accomplished, there are two episodes of Raw. The second of them would be just one or two days before they break Demolition’s mark. It sets up for a potentially dramatic scenario of New Day having to defend the title just hours before they pull off the feat.
Over the past month or so, though, Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods have cheated to win, making it a little difficult to get behind them. They’re still cutting babyface promos, though, so a heel turn may not necessarily be on the way. If a character change is in WWE’s plans, though, then they should have New Day miss the mark by just one or two days, losing the Raw Tag Team Championship to Cesaro and Sheamus.
All the cheating to win would have come back to haunt New Day. The referee of their last title match would notice something that they did to alter the bout, and even send whoever isn’t wrestling to the back. This would allow Cesaro and Sheamus, who are seemingly on the same page after their bar fight, to take advantage of the even numbers and pull off the win.
Charlotte and Sasha Banks have played hot potato with the Raw Women’s Championship for the past four months. Banks has won the belt three times, all on Raw, and Charlotte has taken it back twice. She most recently lost it on the November 28 episode, though, likely meaning we’re getting another installment of these two in a ring.
With the WWE Roadblock: End of the Line PPV in less than three weeks, it would seem likely that Charlotte and Sasha are headed toward a title match there. Maybe this is and should be the end of their feud. It could be called “End of the Line” for a reason, so Banks should end things here by retaining the Raw Women’s Championship.
This would be the first time the title has been successfully defended since Charlotte beat Natalya back at WWE Extreme Rules and Paige in June, if she even matters anymore. So, however you look at it, it’s been about 5-6 months since someone retained this belt. Roadblock should be the place where the Boss ends this trend of trading the title back and forth, and eventually, heads into another feud.
4. Roman Reigns Wins the WWE Universal Championship
Roman Reigns is back in the main event scene for the first time in about four months. He drifted away from it after being suspended for 30 days for a Wellness Policy violation. WWE then had him take the pinfall in multiple title matches, and even had to give way to Finn Balor on his main roster debut.
Well, at Roadblock: End of the Line, the Big Dog is back in a position he had at WrestleMania 32. He’ll be gunning for the WWE Universal Championship from Kevin Owens, who’s in the midst of a three-plus month reign.
Despite the angst toward Reigns and everything his character is about, he still seems poised to walk out of Roadblock as champion; not just with the United States belt.
KO should probably get a longer run with the belt, but his time with it hasn’t been spectacular. WWE still never explained why Triple H handed him the championship and he can only win with help (as seen on the November 28 Raw when he couldn’t win without Chris Jericho). Reigns also has a leg up on him, similar to the feud with Rusev in the summer.
Not only that, but Reigns walking into Royal Rumble as champion may not be the worst thing. It would take him out of the Royal Rumble match, which his presence has led to some awful reactions that took over the 30-man bout. This has happened each of the past three years, so a Reigns-less Rumble isn’t such a bad scenario. It’s at the detriment of Owens, though, who could use an extra month or two of a title reign to help solidify his status.
While Roman Reigns will be going for the WWE Universal Championship, he still has that United States Title that he carries like a plastic bag of groceries from a supermarket. If WWE wants to bring that belt back to relevance, they would be wise to take it off of him befoe Roadblock: End of the Line.
Samoa Joe, who is set to defend the NXT Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura on December 3, in Osaka, Japan, would enter the arena. He’d be coming off a title loss and be angry, looking for someone to take his anger out on. The U.S. Title could be prey for Joe, and with Owens at ringside, he would challenge Reigns for the belt in his debut.
After a somewhat short match, Owens would interfere by potentially gouging Reigns in the eyes or kicking him in the face. This would all come with the referee not looking, which would allow the Samoan Submission Machine to take advantage. One Muscle Buster later, he would become the new United States champion.
Doing this would have some similarities to when Dean Ambrose dropped the Intercontinental Championship in February. He had been set to move into the world title picture at the Fastlane main event, so WWE took the belt off him. This ended up in a match with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 32 and a title win two months later. It wouldn’t hurt to do this with Reigns, who doesn’t have much business holding his current title, especially if he’s going to win at Roadblock.
James Ellsworth has become this fun-loving underdog who probably has no business being in WWE. He started off as a jobber, but his extremely unique charisma and that one line from his Braun Strowman match made him a star. Four months later, he’s now a WWE Superstar and aligned with Dean Ambrose.
Throughout Ambrose and Ellsworth’s time together, it’s been full of anomalies and uncharacteristic losses. The Chinless Wonder has beaten AJ Styles on multiple occasions, but also screwed the Lunatic Fringe out of a few matches. It’s made for an intriguing WWE storyline, which is going to lead to a title match for Ellsworth.
However, all good things must come to an end. In this case, it would be Ellsworth severing his ties with Ambrose to align with Styles at TLC.
The simple scenario here would be as Ambrose is climbing the ladder to grab the world title, Ellsworth would push him off. He’d then run to a beaten Styles, lift him up, and throw him on the ladder to climb it. The two would then stand tall as TLC closes.
As for the title match, Ellsworth really has no business having one. So, he could stick with Styles in return for giving up his championship opportunity. They could make the argument that Ellsworth is already holding the title by being with the former TNA star.
This probably means that Styles vs. Ambrose will continue after TLC. But, adding a new wrinkle helps freshen things up and potentially carry us into one last title match before Royal Rumble.
On the go-home episode of SmackDown before Survivor Series, Undertaker made an advertised-but-somewhat-surprising appearance. He hadn’t been seen since his WrestleMania 32 win over Shane McMahon. This resulted in a warning to Team SmackDown that if they didn’t win at Survivor Series, he’d go after them. Nothing resulted in this, though, as the Blue Brand won the men’s match.
In this segment, Taker didn’t really tease tension with anyone, so it’s an open book for who he could face down the road. If it’s going to be AJ Styles, though, then WWE could set this up at TLC.
Undertaker could take aim at Styles for winning dirty by having James Ellsworth win for him. This may result in the gong going off after the match and Taker appearing in the ring. He would chokeslam Styles and Tombstone Ellsworth to close the show. The worst of the two finishers would be done to the latter so it could be saved for a future match, maybe at the Royal Rumble.
One would have to think a Styles vs. Undertaker match would be for the WWE World Championship. It would then set up for a Dead Man win, and a potential defense at WrestleMania 33. This could be the retirement match against John Cena that fans have guessed on for the past year.