The final Raw before TLC is done and dusted, the card is set, now all that's left to do before the pay-per-view itself is to put on our prediction hats and ponder what we think might happen come Sunday night. Most of WWE's focus has been invested in the night's main event, and rightly so. Well, on Friday that match became even more hotly anticipated than it was before. With Roman Reigns off sick, The Big Dog has been replaced with Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle. Pretty big news to say the least, and that's not all. Bray Wyatt is also unable to make it on Sunday night, meaning his mundane match against Balor has now been replaced with the blockbuster bout of Balor versus AJ Styles. So what can we expect from the newly improved TLC card?
It's one of the matches die-hard wrestling fans have been waiting to see ever since Finn Balor and AJ Styles were both under the same roof. Well, now we're getting it, but not under the circumstances we might have expected. AJ Styles is stepping in for an ill Bray Wyatt and at the moment there is no real rhyme or reason as to why WWE has opted for The Phenomenal One to remedy this situation. That may begin to become clear when they go to war at TLC. It will be a battle of the Bullet Club leaders and don't be surprised if fellow former Club members Gallows and Anderson come to the ring at some point and side with one man or the other, reuniting The Club or beginning the era of the Balor Club.
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The Miz appears to have been angling for a rivalry with a General Manager for about a year now. When on SmackDown Live the Intercontinental Champion constantly provoked Daniel Bryan, and recently on Raw, he has been antagonizing Kurt Angle and his on-screen son, Jason Jordan. Well, it looks like Miz is finally going to get his wish. Kurt will be replacing Roman Reigns on Sunday and the last minute change may very well spark a longer feud between The A-Lister and our Olympic Hero. Let's hope it all goes well for Angle's in-ring return at TLC and that we will see much, much more from him going forward, starting with a Miz feud.
Come on, be honest, who saw the return of Kane coming during the main event of Raw this past Monday? Not many people we'd imagine. The Miz continually teased that he had a secret fifth person in mind for his TLC team, and at the culmination of the cage match, it turned out to be The Big Red Machine. Don't expect the 20-year veteran to be around for long though. There are rumors that Kane returned to avenge The Undertaker's loss at WrestleMania 33, but the man behind the mask is an extremely busy guy nowadays. Glenn Jacobs is currently running for mayor of Knox County, Tennessee. It's a surprise that he has found the time to come back at all. Much like The Great Khali and Chris Jericho, he has likely returned for a couple of nights in order to do WWE a favor and will bid farewell once again after TLC.
If the rumors about what is going on in the cruiserweight division right now are true, then the booking is likely very much up in the air right now. Apparently, Kalisto was not supposed to win the Cruiserweight Championship until TLC this Sunday, but because of the absence of Neville, those plans were changed. Instead, Kalisto will have had the title for almost two weeks come Sunday, and Amore will be getting his rematch. Well, expect things to be shaken up again at TLC. Smacktalker Skywalker has recently gotten himself some followers from the 205 Live roster and the division's title would be the perfect finishing touch to his new entourage.
TLC will be the stage for the much-anticipated debut of the longest reigning NXT Women's Champion ever, Asuka. Emma is the lucky woman who earned herself the first shot at Asuka's undefeated streak and most people, including Corey Graves, have already written The Aussie off as merely being prey for The Empress of Tomorrow. As pointed out by Taz on his daily show, the constant mentioning of Emma definitely losing by Graves might be a sign. Unfortunately for Asuka fans, a sign that the Japanese star is going to lose. It seems inconceivable since she is now around two years unbeaten since arriving in NXT, but an Asuka defeat could be the big shock of the night. Rest assured that if it does happen, it will be swiftly followed by The Empress wreaking havoc on Raw for months to come.
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