WWE TLC: Will the WWE Championship or Universal Championship Change Hands?
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Sunday, December 20, 2020
WWE hosts their annual TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs pay-per-view event from the ThunderDome inside Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, Florida tonight live on the WWE Network. Tonight’s event will be the final of 2020 as the company set their sights on the new year, where they will kick off the road to WrestleMania.
Much like other sports leagues such as the NBA, NHL, MLS, and UFC, the WWE have had to adjust and adapt to the new norm that has come with the ongoing pandemic. WWE had gone from hosting events all over the world to creating their own version of a bubble at the WWE Performance Center and now the ThunderDome.
Throughout the pandemic, WWE had experimented with different formats including having talent at ringside, a virtual fan experience in the ThunderDome, and on the product side of things, they have featured more cinematic matches throughout the year.
With WWE about to turn their attention to the Royal Rumble, it will be interesting to see whether WWE Champion Drew McIntyre and WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns will still be the champions of their respective brand heading into one of the biggest events of the year.
On SmackDown, Reigns has had quite the run as a champion since returning as a heel with Paul Heyman as his manager; he referred to himself as the “Tribal Chief” and has continued stressing the importance of that role of being the head of the table of his legendary wrestling family.
Reigns will defend his Universal title against Kevin Owens, who has done a great job as a babyface in this feud. Owens and Reigns have had multiple feuds in the past, so it has been refreshing to see both men add different elements to the buildup to generate interest. Owens has been targeted by both Reigns and Jey Uso, with the champion taking the more personal approach in his promos.
With this being a TLC match, it will not come as a surprise if Uso ends up getting involved to cost Owens the match to set the stage for a rivalry between the two heading into the Royal Rumble match and allow Reigns to turn his attention to a new challenger.
As it pertains to the WWE title picture on Raw, the booking for the TLC match between McIntyre and AJ Styles could get interesting. McIntyre defeated Randy Orton to become the new champion prior to Survivor Series, so if he were to lose tonight, his title reign would be much shorter than his first title reign earlier in the year. It is no secret that Raw has been struggling in the TV ratings in recent weeks and that may cause WWE to have a surprise outcome to the match.
The booking for McIntyre vs. Styles provides many different scenarios that could play out. Styles could become the new champion and become the face that runs the place on Raw and look to have the same level of success as he did while being champion on SmackDown. Styles has proven to be a champion that WWE could rely on in the past, so they may take that into account as they look to improve their weekly programming and attract fans to tune in.
Another scenario could see Sheamus, who has been featured with McIntyre on a regular basis as of late, turn on McIntyre to kick-off a feud between the two. Lastly, with The Miz and John Morrison being in the mix during the build-up to this match, fans should not rule out a Miz cash-in as he has teased it on a few occasions.
Do you think there should be a title change tonight?
Photo Credit: WWE (wwe.com)