BARON CORBIN VS KALISTO - [CHAIRS MATCH]
Plain and simple, I don't know any fans who actually care about this match. It won't be great and it won't steal the show. That said, it has the potential to be good. That's the absolute ceiling for this match...to be decent enough to not bore the fans to tears. I feel as though a win for Kalisto does absolutely nothing for him, being that he won't be elevated to a mid-card title feud anytime soon. So, Baron Corbin is your winner here. Corbin racks up a win against a former US Title holder and slowly builds himself towards an IC title shot.
PREDICTED WINNER: BARON CORBIN
NIKKI BELLA VS CARMELLA - [NO DQ MATCH]
I feel as though this match has Wrestlemania implications and unfortunately, I don't see Carmella in a Mania match that doesn't involve pudding or 19 other women in a brand vs brand rumble. I see Nikki Bella winning this match and being escalated to a crowded title picture heading towards Mania, that may result in a triple threat (Bella / Lynch / Bliss) and may also lead to her killing some time with an Eva Marie feud. Unfortunately, I also see this match being a potential "breaking point" for Carmella. Meaning that she snaps and goes full psychopath in the coming weeks on Smackdown. I say "unfortunately" because it's WWE's fallback position regarding heel women...to make them crazy, catty and jealous. Unless it's done right, it's a well worn path for Carmella, that eventually leads no where (remember when Alicia Fox went crazy?).
PREDICTED WINNER: NIKKI BELLA
BRAY WYATT AND RANDY ORTON VS HEATH SLATER AND RHYNO [CHAMPION] - [SD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP]
If you look back at my Notes blog from No Mercy
, you'd see that my initial guess was that Bray Wyatt and a partner would enter the tag division, reek havok, then split and have a showdown with each other at Wrestlemania. The part that I got wrong, was that I predicted his partner would be Luke Harper, not Randy Orton, being that the largest impending feud for Bray Wyatt on the horizon, is Luke Harper. Other than who the partner actually is, I still think this all plays out the same way. Randy Orton pledges a false allegiance to Wyatt, wins with him, bonds with him, only to eventually reveal that he was playing mind games on the very guy who cornered the market on mind games. We'll get new champs here, but don't expect this partnership to last long. I still expect Bray and Orton to be a transitional team with the sole purpose of getting the Tag Team belts on American Alpha. Maybe that happens at Wrestlemania, but also, don't be surprised if it happens as soon as the Royal Rumble.
PREDICTED WINNER: BRAY WYATT AND RANDY ORTON [NEW CHAMPIONS]
ALEXA BLISS VS BECKY LYNCH [CHAMPION] - [TABLES MATCH] [SD WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP]
This is the one match that I'm really torn between. On one hand, I can see Becky Lynch winning a grueling marathon match against Bliss, but I can also see Alexa Bliss going into full heel mode, using a distraction of some kind, and putting Lynch through a table to become the new champ. Either way, just as I said earlier, I think this match has implications for Wrestlemania. So, if the end result is to have Becky Lynch win the belt back at Mania, then Bliss wins here. If the end result is to have Lynch drop the title at Mania after a lengthy reign, then get drafted to Raw, then look for her to retain here. It really could go either way, so I guess what I'm saying is that I'm excited for this match. I look forward to Bliss's heel work and to see if she has what it takes to get to the next level.
PREDICTED WINNER: BECKY LYNCH
DOLPH ZIGGLER VS THE MIZ W/ MARYSE [CHAMPION] - [INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP]
I think The Miz is getting elevated with this match. I don't expect him to be loitering around the mid-card for much longer, especially considering that AJ Styles is running out of quality opponents. I see The Miz getting involved in a series of matches with AJ Styles, with the explicit intention of WWE to burn off a couple of PPVs, while Styles awaits larger matches with John Cena and The Undertaker. This isn't to say that Dolph Ziggler is going to be a default champion, on the contrary, I think he could do a tremendous job elevating the IC title to even greater heights, all the while, putting on 5 star matches and potentially headlining upcoming Smackdown branded PPV's. Immediately, I'm thinking that his first opponent will be a heel Dean Ambrose, with some potential involvement from James Ellsworth. Who would have thought? James Ellsworth gives the main event rub to Dolph Ziggler. Hmmm.
PREDICTED WINNER: DOLPH ZIGGLER [NEW CHAMPION]
DEAN AMBROSE VS AJ STYLES [CHAMPION] - [TABLES, LADDERS AND CHAIRS MATCH] [WWE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP]
After coming off of a string of dud matches, this is where we'll really see what Dean Ambrose can do. He blames Brock Lesnar for their terrible Mania match, but if Ambrose can't pull off a decent TLC match with Styles, then there is ZERO hope left for him as a performer. In my personal opinion, Ambrose doesn't belong in this spot. His act has worn thin and he should be relegated to the mid-card, post haste.
With all the rumors swirling around, regarding AJ Styles facing the Undertaker at Royal Rumble 2017, it's hard to predict how this TLC match will end. I'm 100% positive that Styles retains the belt, but I don't know how. Does Undertaker get involved? Usually heels get involved in match finishes, so I don't think he is involved in the decision, but I do think he'll make an appearance at some point before the PPV ends. Does Styles win clean? Being that this should be the conclusion to the Ambrose/Styles feud, then Styles winning clean is a likely scenario, but I don't see how the Undertaker gets involved if Styles wins clean. In any event, though the details may be murky, Styles wins here and goes on to face Taker at the Royal Rumble.
PREDICTED WINNER: AJ STYLES
The bottom line is that most of these matches have Wrestlemania implications, and I'm predicting 2 (potentially 3) title changes, so this should be a tremendous event as we pick up steam to the Road to Wrestlemania.