Weekly Wrestling Recap 12-7-11
It’s been a busy week in the WWE Universe with a bunch of new matches being announced for TLC, an overseas tour in Japan last week, Daniel Bryan attempting to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase and more news on the WWE Network coming out for 2012.
After Monday’s Raw we have a much clearer picture of the WWE Championship match at TLC and the general title scene on Raw. CM Punk will defend against The Miz and Alberto Del Rio in a triple threat match which will be Tables, Ladders and Chairs. John Cena was supposed to be in the match as well, but gave up his shot so that Zack Ryder could face Dolph Ziggler for the United States Championship at TLC. I wouldn’t be surprised however if Cena gets into the match next week on Raw and it turns into a fatal 4-way.
Also speaking of Ryder, Raw was Ryder on Monday as Zack got a ton of screen time and of course his long awaited U.S. Championship match. Ryder has shown some more in-ring chops as the weeks go by as well, as I was impressed with his drop kick off the top rope against Cena. Ziggler will be carrying the weight in the match I’m sure but it should be exciting and I think Ryder will win the U.S. Championship making way for Dolph to get a main event push in 2012 and possibly even go on to win the Rumble.
Over on Smackdown we were treated to a Holiday special with special guest host Mick Foley. This was maybe the cheesiest episode of WWE TV in a long time but what else do you expect with Piper, Foley and Dusty Rhodes in backstage vignettes. Mark Henry defeated Daniel Bryan inside of a steel cage which means that he will go on to face the Big Show at TLC for the World Heavyweight Title. I’m kind of tired of this feud and Big Show has become a third wheel to the Henry/Bryan saga. I have an odd feeling that this big man match is on the card to make way for a Kane sighting and interference at TLC. Another match announced was Triple H vs. Kevin Nash to settle their seemingly endless feud. This match is gimmicked up to the max as neither man is really in his prime. Not only will it be a ladder match but there will be a sledgehammer at the top which can be used by whoever gets it first to decimate their opponent. This is an interesting twist and should make for a fun match between the two “former” best friends.
I’m sure we’ll see some more TLC build up on Smackdown and next week’s three hour Raw as well with Randy Orton vs Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes vs. Booker T added to the card (if you read the spoilers you may get some more definitive answers to this). I also think we’ll see a tag match between Kelly Kelly and Eve vs. Beth Phoenix and Natty Neidhart. Next week’s Raw is not only special due to its 8 pm start time, but will also be the annual Slammy Awards. WWE has opened up voting on their website for the Superstar of the Year category and you can place your votes here http://poll.wwe.com/slammy-2011/.
The WWE Network has been gaining a lot of news coverage lately as it’s expected to launch on April 1, 2012 to coincide with WrestleMania 28. The WWE ran a very slick promo for it on Raw announcing the first official show on the network which will be WWE Legends House. This is like the Real World or Big Brother concept but with former WWE legends living together. You know if Iron Sheik is in the mix it’ll be some must-see TV. WWE is also expected to put the majority of its pay-per-views on the network outside of the Big 4. I’m not sure if it’s going to cost a monthly fee to subscribe or if it’ll be included in your cable provider’s digital tier but either way the WWE Network seems to be offering a lot of great content. Here’s the video that was aired on Raw:
In other news, Lillian Garcia has been brought back to the company to be the new full-time ring announcer for Smackdown.
John Morrison wrapped up with the WWE after last Monday’s Raw and is not expected to sign a new contract anytime in the forseeable future. An interesting footnote is that he did not have a 90 day no-compete clause making him eligible to immediately go to TNA, although it’s doubtful he will do so for the moment.
Also don’t forget that the annual Tribute for the Troops special will air on USA next Tuesday at 9/8C.
Here’s how the card looks for TLC right now:
TLC Match for the WWE Championship:
CM Punk vs. The Miz vs. Alberto Del Rio
World Heavyweight Title Match:
Mark Henry vs. Big Show
Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett
Ladder Match with Sledge Hammer Hanging Above The Ring:
Triple H vs. Kevin Nash
United States Championship Match:
Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder
WWE: Tables, Ladders & Chairs takes place on Sunday, December 18th, 2011.
Adi contributes regular columns on the world of Pro-Wrestling, Tech, Video Games, and Movies. You can follow him on Twitter @adiraval