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By Dave Scherer, Mike Johnson, and Richard Trionfo on 2018-12-14 13:13:00

WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Bar vs. The New Day vs. The Usos

Dave: The match should be really good, if they let the guys go.  The Bar should use the other teams wanting to get the win so badly as a way to sneak out with their belts.

Mike:  As long as this doesn’t break into a comedy rap battle and they give it time, this could be awesome as everyone involved is such a great talent.  In fact, matches like this are what I want to see the Raw division aspire to.  You know it’s going to be a lot of great physical action here.  In the end, The Bar needs to keep the belts and continue being built up more than any of the challengers need the titles.  I don’t foresee a title change here.

Richard:  This was the one match on the Smackdown brand that I thought did not do a good job to build for this show with the stupid Rap Battle.  Any team could be justified to be champions walking out of this match, but I think the Bar needs it the most.  The other teams do not need the titles.  I am looking forward to a very good match, but the bigger question is, just like the WWE Championship match, who is the next team to challenge for the title since we need some new teams on top.

Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio - Chairs match

Dave: Rey shouldn’t win since, again, he is so, so small.  He should put up a good fight, but crash and burn trying to do a big spot at the end.  There is a reason that welterweights don’t fight heavyweights in other sports.

Mike: Randy Orton has been nothing short of great the last few months and I expect more of that here.  Rey has looked good since his return, but I don’t see WWE taking everything they have built with Orton and having him lose to Rey in a match that honestly, won’t matter in a few weeks.   I expect some cool carnage and Rey doing some fun moves and a good match, as these two have always worked well together, but this will be Orton avenging his Crown Jewel loss more than anything else.

Richard:  They made me care more about this match after the segment on Tuesday and I have liked what they have done over the last few weeks even if it feels forced into this show.  If they don’t do a spot where Rey sends Randy into the ropes to set up a 619 only to have Orton pull up a chair that is on the apron to stop Rey, I will be disappointed.  Give the win to Orton.

Drew McIntyre vs Finn Balor.

Dave: If the match happens, Drew needs to win in convincing fashion.  I love Finn and all but he has not been booked like a top talent.  Drew has been and they need to not mess that up.

Mike:  As we are getting closer to the weekend, I have not heard anything about Balor being 100% cleared.  I am leaning towards this match not happening, but if it does, McIntyre should get the win as he’s being propped up for a top role and they obviously have no true interest in Balor being in a similar position.

Richard:  If Balor is able to go, I think this has the potential to be like the Balor/Styles match that we saw thrown together at the last minute and end up being very good.  Drew should win because I think he has to be the man holding the Brock Belt at the end of Mania.  If he cannot go, do they replace him with Apollo Crews like they did in the MMC?

Elias vs Bobby Lashley - Ladder Match with guitar hanging over the ring.

Dave: It’s Elias’ gimmick so he should be the one to use it.  They could have Lio Rush do something stupid and cost his man Lashley the match.  They really need to do something to get Elias’ face turn back on track.  They have not done a good job with him at all in that respect and it’s a real shame.

Mike: Elias has been handled haphazardly since his babyface turn, so I don’t hold any real faith he’s going to suddenly be treated well here.  The match should be fine with a lot of teases, but I don’t see Lashley taking a million bumps off the ladder, similar to what one would expect from Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins.  That’s just not the role he plays.  I expect a lot of teasing of getting the guitar before Elias gets it, Lio interferes and Lashley blasts him with it to get the win.  Elias SHOULD get a decisive win here but I don’t see WWE going that way.

Richard:  I would like to see someone come out and interrupt this match since that would follow Elias’ gimmick.  Personally, I think the bloom is off the Elias rose because of the repetitive pattern of his performances being cut short (and I know I am in a minority).  Throw in a lackluster Lashley character and the grating Lio Rush gimmick and you have the Triple Threat of Disinterest from me.   Elias should win and hit Rush with a guitar.  I also hope that since the stipulation is that the person who gets the guitar can use it, it means we get the guy who doesn’t get the guitar hitting the other person with the guitar.

WWE Cruiserweight Champion Buddy Murphy vs. Cedric Alexander (Kickoff Show)

Dave: I am loving Buddy as the champion and I still think it’s too soon to take the belt off of him, especially on a B show like that.  Murphy retains.

Mike: Buddy Murphy has been doing a phenomenal job as the Cruiserweight Champion.  The 205 Live brand in general has been kicking ass when it comes to the level of actual in-ring wrestling they present on a weekly basis and should be sought out.  This match, as long as WWE doesn’t treat it like an after-thought, should be great.  Cedric is a hell of a babyface and does a great job at pulling people into his matches.  He and Murphy have great chemistry.  I am really looking forward to this one.  In the end though, I don’t see a title change.

Richard:  It seems like while we get very good matches from the Cruiserweights on pay per views (or kickoff shows), the matches are not as good as what we see on 205 Live every week.  The matches on this week’s 205 Live were very good to give Buddy and Cedric tune ups for Sunday.  If they weren’t going to give the title to Ali at Survivor Series, I don’t see them giving it to Alexander at TLC.  Maybe we see a Triple Threat match with Ali added to the mix (at Royal Rumble?) before we move on to new challengers for the title.

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