October 22, 2017 by coachcarter717
Written by Carter Cotrupi, Adam Burt, and Shawn Eaton
Carter: This past week, two changes were made to WWE TLC 2017 due to a backstage virus affecting both Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt. Their substitutes? Current Raw General Manager and WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle and Smackdown Live star AJ Styles. If the goal for these replacements was for maximum shock value, then the WWE has outdone themselves. Although we don’t get to see The Shield back in PPV action, we are treated to the battle between former Bullet Club leaders Finn Balor and AJ Styles. For a Raw brand PPV, this card has the potential to one of the best shows in 2017.
|Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox||Pre-Show Match||Sasha Banks (C+)||Alicia Fox (D)||Banks (C)|
|Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Mickie James||Raw Women’s Championship Match||Mickie James (B+)
Miz/ The Bar/ Kane vs. Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Kurt Angle
|TLC Match (w/ Kurt Angle replacing Roman Reigns)||Rollins, Ambrose, Angle (A)||Angle, Rollins, Ambrose (A)||Ambrose, Rollins, Angle (A)|
|Singles Match (Asuka’s Main Roster Debut)||Asuka (B)||Asuka (C)||Asuka (B+)|
|Kalisto (c) vs. Enzo Amore||Cruiserweight Championship Match||Enzo Amore (C)
|Kalisto (C-)||Kalisto (C-)|
|The Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher vs. Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander||Cruiserweight Tag Team Match||Swann/Alexander (B-)||Alexander/Swann (B)||Gallagher & Kendrick (B-)|
|Finn Balor vs.
|Singles Match (w/ AJ Styles replacing Bray Wyatt)||Finn Balor (A+)||Balor (A)||The Phenomenal One (A+)|
AB: My pick for the bathroom break match is Kalisto vs Enzo Amore for the cruiserweight championship. I honestly think this will be a decent match with some cool spots from Kalisto but this also is likely to be the least appealing match on this short TLC card.
SE: I am not interested in Alicia Fox vs Sasha. I am sorry. Sasha needs something better than a pre-show match with arguably the least exciting talent in the women’s division.
CC: Because I think Kalisto and Enzo can hold their own on the main card, my bathroom break has to go to the cruiserweight tag team match. Keep in mind, I don’t pick this match because it lacks talent (it is certainly not the case among these four superstars). The futile attempt at trying to sell Gentleman Jack Gallagher (who has a LITERAL baby face) as a heel does not fly with me. I would rather watch Bray Wyatt cut a promo about paint drying.
AB: My show stopper match without question is going to be between the phenomenal AJ Styles and Finn Balor. Yes, the two former Bullet Club brothers have been given a last-minute match after the news of Bray Wyatt, “Sister Abagail” call her or him what you will at the moment was announced to have a medical issue. This match is going to be amazing, I think when the news was announced everyone was hyped and it’s going to be a classic between two of the best talents in WWE currently.
SE: AJ vs Finn Balor is a dream match, and these two could potentially put on the best match of 2017. The return of Kurt Angle will be fun to watch but this match will exceed all expectations.
CC: It’s a clean sweep for Balor and Styles stealing the show at TLC. These two superstars are in their prime and both possess the athleticism and aerial expertise to set up one insane spot after another. Plus, the story writes itself: two former leaders of the world-famous Bullet Club meeting for the first time in a WWE PPV event. Maybe this last-minute replacement is just that: a temporary fix. Maybe the WWE Bullet Club era will not have its introduction just yet. Still, I don’t think there will be one fan in attendance who won’t be talking about this match for years to come.
(NEW) Hot Tag- in this section, each of our analysts has the chance to publish a crazy hot take that would have been previously restricted to our group messages. Enjoy.
AB: Hear me out, after the match between Styles and Balor in which I picked Balor to win. Finn Balor is going to go for a handshake or some sort of respect gesture to his old brother. AJ Styles isn’t going to buy it and Styles is going to beat down Finn Balor with a little help from Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson to get The Club back together as a powerful heel trio moving AJ Styles to a performer on both brands as well as Gallows and Anderson. This would be an amazing time to do it after The Shield reunion, all I’m trying to say here is please god give me The Shield vs The Club this absolutely puts asses in the seats!
SE: Since WWE went with Kurt Angle for Romans replacement, they must have been planning on an Angle return at some point. I feel this match will lead to a future feud for Angle down the road vs the Bar, with Angle/Jordan vs The Bar.
CC: The fact that WWE think a suitable replacement for Reigns is a WWE Hall of Famer says it all. I agree with Shawn that their readiness to put Angle as the immediate plan B for the PPV means that they must have had a plan to bring him back in the ring soon. Yet, I think the WWE is swerving all of us. Kurt Angle in today’s main event scene will put butts in seats and the idea here is to lure old and new wrestling fans alike to this Raw Brand PPV. But it will NOT be Kurt Angle in the ring with Ambrose and Rollins at TLC. Angle will be in his ring gear, ready to go out for his entrance but he will never step foot inside the ring because Kane and Strowman will have met him halfway and put him through his office desk or something of equal shock value. Cue the determined son Jason Jordan charging into the ring once the 2 vs. 5 handicapped TLC match is underway. Save Angle’s return for WrestleMania.