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Posted in: Doctor's Orders
Doctor's Orders: TLC Preview - It's Kind of a Big Deal
By The Doc
Dec 10, 2013 - 9:07:06 PM

The Snowman is a genius

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Who wins the Unified WWE Championship TLC match on Sunday?

If you take the final promos by the combatants in a WWE PPV main-event into account when determining whether or not to order, then surely John Cena and Randy Orton gave you some things to think about in advance of this Sunday's TLC. We have seen those two for so long that you can tell when they're motivated. Last night, they both looked very motivated. I was originally planning to post my Match of the Year breakdown tonight, but I get the impression that I had better hold off until Sunday has come and gone; there might be another match to consider. Combined with the unbelievably dramatic ending to Raw that saw CM Punk hit Orton, only to then get thrown to the ground by Triple H, retaliate by punching The Game, and then get superkicked by HBK, who then took the running knee from Daniel Bryan, who proceeded to counter Orton's RKO attempt by pushing him into Stephanie McMahon, prompting Triple H to get up and give Orton the Pedigree...I'm sold on TLC and beyond.

I don't know where the finish to Raw will lead us, but the two promos that came before it showed me that Orton and Cena have every intention of offering something historically memorable in a situation that absolutely calls for it. The WWE does a lot of hyperbolizing (I can appreciate that), making everything out to be a lot bigger than it is. In this case, I'm not sure that the WWE has done enough to accentuate how important a match that this is...and they've done a lot. There's a sense of finality to the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships being unified in 2013 that was absent in 2001. Rumors had been going around for awhile that the WWE was going to split up their stacked roster once the Invasion ended 12 years ago. Therefore, I don't recall being that surprised when they re-disputed the Undisputed WWE Championship back to two belts. Conversely, there's no reason to expect the return of the World Heavyweight Championship after Sunday...and I mean ever. What would be the point? Whatever happens in the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match, I think it will stick. From then on, there will be just one World Champion. We might see both titles being held by one guy for a bit, but eventually the Unified Champ will go the route of the Tag Team Champions and the Diva's/Women's titleholder and hold a single, solitary belt.

To borrow a line from The Authority, I think it's "best for business" to have one major title. Now, we can end this silly charade of adding "World Heavyweight Champion" to a wrestler's list of accolades in 2013 and acting as if it really mattered. If Dolph Ziggler ever gets his career back on track and wins the WWE Championship, carrying the lineage onward of both the NWA/WCW and WWE titles, he'll be a made man and not just a flash in the pan headliner. I agree that there are negatives to a single World title, but there are plenty of positives, the main one of which is that winning it will once again be a pinnacle achievement that one has to scratch and claw and scrape to attain. It will mean not just something to win the WWE Championship, but everything.

So, who emerges as the Unified WWE Champion on Sunday?

The most intriguing rumored option, in my opinion, is the one that suggests that Triple H will somehow enter the ring when the others are down and out, ascend the ladder, and retrieve the titles for himself. I love this option. No matter who Triple H wrestles at Wrestlemania, it would make sense for the #1 heel on the roster to put over the star who emerges as the #1 babyface for the WWE Championship. Wrestlemania XXX calls for such an occasion. Unless Cena unexpectedly turns heel (finally), then Triple H is the best option to put over Bryan or Punk. I like the traditional labels, by the way. I enjoy seeing a guy (or two) get over with nearly the entire audience supporting their efforts. Bryan, especially, receives almost universal adoration by live audiences across the globe. He needs a truly hated heel to put him over on the grandest stage. Triple H fits that role perfectly given their ongoing storyline (yes, ongoing - it's far from over, prisoners of the moment). Imagine the heat that Trips would get if HE won the Undisputed Championship. They'd need to keep more ice around. Though the least likely outcome due to the inherent logistical problem of advertising a winner between two wrestlers and giving them a third as the victor, I think Triple H winning is the most fascinating option and the one that would best serve Wrestlemania XXX and the next several months of TV.

I will play the Cena heel turn card, here. They've got a top babyface waiting in the wings who can take over as the #1 merchandise seller in D-Bry. I'm still not convinced that Bryan can ever be "The Man," but you'd be foolish as a businessperson to ignore how over he is throughout the country. Last night may have been near his hometown, but it was no isolated incident to hear a crowd lose their minds cheering for him while the WWE was forcibly trying to get over something else. Bryan is ready and able to take the #1 babyface role from Cena. Honestly, you're never going to be able to completely replace everything that Cena offers you as the company spokesperson, but there's nothing in the revised, 2013 rulebook that states that Cena can't still go around the world doing appearances and making the WWE look good. He just wouldn't be playing the consummate babyface on TV while he's doing it. Now is as good a time as there has ever been given The Authority's presence and Bryan's rise. Punk is there, too, as another top babyface that can help make up the difference from some of Cena's non-babyface downside. Granted, the Cena heel turn option has never proven to be anything more than mindless conjecture, so he could also just win the TLC match and move onto whatever is next.

Orton as Unified Champion makes more sense to me from the long-term perspective, but Cena makes more sense from the "OK, this is the 1st Undisputed Champ moving into the future" perspective. So, I'd give the edge to Cena for the historical context of it all. Then again, they made Chris Jericho the very first Undisputed Champ when the context argument would have better supported Rock or Austin. So, Orton is just as viable an option. The Viper needs the title to be Wrestlemania relevant, in my opinion. Without it, he'll get lost in the shuffle as he has since 2009. I honestly have no idea who is going to win this match...and that's going to make it intensely dramatic.

Official Prediction: Triple H somehow wins the title

The rest of the card interests me very little. AJ retains, maybe. Who cares? God Bless the Divas, but the division has tumbled far since the Pipe Bombette. Maybe a great match between those two can give the title a shot in the arm? There are not two better suited women on the roster to make it happen. The two handicap matches surely have long-term implications for CM Punk and Daniel Bryan heading toward Wrestlemania. I'm not sure how that will all play out, but I'm not so much interested in the matches themselves. Presumably, they will be entertaining spectacles, each with a respective memorable moment or two or three. I just have never been that intrigued by handicap matches. One would think that both Punk and Bryan will lose.


I promise you that we have the kinks finally figured out. The echoes and the audio problems have been solved and we're going to deliver a great show. We're due some good luck! Join me and Super Chrisss for "The Doc and Super Chrisss Show" as we give our Win/Fail of the week, preview TLC, talk all the scenarios for the potential victors for the TLC match for the Undisputed Championship, and look ahead to Wrestlemania 30.

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