Many fans overlook the final WWE pay-per-view of the year as nothing more than a holdover until the new year and the road to the Royal Rumble. Those fans couldn't be more wrong as the December pay-per-view, Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2012, is a vital event for many superstars looking to break through the glass ceiling to become major players in professional wrestling in 2013.
Let's take a look at the top wrestlers who need to perform at a top level and not only captivate the fans in attendance and watching at home, but more importantly, the WWE officials backstage.
The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) vs. Ryback and Team Hell No in a TLC Match
These three have greatness in their blood. Finally at the main roster, they are part the single-most entertaining and intriguing storyline in recent memory. In order to keep their fight against the injustices in the WWE, they must bring their A-game on Sunday.
Those familiar with NXT already know what we're going to get.
These three men bring ruthless aggression in each and every move they implement during their matches. However, this is even more important because it is their first match at this level, on pay-per-view and possibly in the main event.
The pressure is on and it certainly won't get any easier should they disappoint. These are three of the most talented young performers in the game today, but nerves and jitters can attack even the most talented of men.
It is imperative that all three pull out all the stops in order to maintain their spot at the main roster; because, should they fail miserably, they'll be written off quicker than Mae Young's pregnancy angle. They have the luxury of working with two of the top veterans in the company in Kane and Daniel Bryan and arguably the most over face in the business right now in Ryback.
All they have to do is be themselves inside the ring while bringing that "Shield" flare that we've come to love over the past month. It will come down to poise, mannerisms, charisma and willingness to give fans exactly what they want—physical domination.
The birth of three future main event players begins at TLC, as long as they do exactly what we've come to expect from each man.
John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler in a Ladder Match for the World Heavyweight Championship, Money in the Bank Briefcase
Not many people have the luxury of being in a top storyline with John Cena, and even less have the opportunity to actually defeat him on pay-per-view with something mightily important on the line.
Ziggler is in that position.
After losing to Cena on Raw over the course of several weeks in two great matches, Ziggler is in prime position to walk out of TLC still Mr. Money in the Bank. If there was ever a time for Ziggler to just be Dolph Ziggler, this is that time.
Arguably the most talented and entertaining in-ring performer in the business today due to his cockiness, athleticism and disregard for his own body, Ziggler just needs to simply execute to steal the show. With a ladder involved, there is no telling what type of spots ZIggler and Cena can do, we just have to be ready not to blink when it's about to happen.
This is the match that will solidify ZIggler as a main event player heading into 2013. A victory against Cena will prove to the world and WWE officials that he will be able to carry the company like many fans believe he can.
John Cena and Edge competed in classic matches, none better than their TLC match at Unforgiven in 2006. With Ziggler involved, this could actually top it.
R-Truth vs. Antonio Cesaro for the WWE United States Championship
Though one could make a case that either Wade Barrett, Kofi Kingston or Rhodes Scholars could be on this list, the nod goes to Antonio Cesaro.
Cesaro is truly on the brink of greatness.
He has been involved in some of the most physical matches of the past few months. The man is easily pound-for-pound one of the toughest in-ring performers in the business today. He has the roots and in-ring skills to be a main event player, but it takes more than that.
In a rematch against R-Truth, Cesaro needs to prove that he can truly captivate a crowd without the help of going against a big fan-favorite like Sheamus or even Kingston. R-Truth has been a struggling face for most of the cheer despite getting some quality pops, but Cesaro needs to truly make himself hated.
This is his time to prove that he can be a true ring-general.
We know about his toughness, as he's been working with an injured hand. We know he has the skills and the look. We also know he has the power and old-school feel that can appeal to all fans. Now, Cesaro must make us care about a rematch that not many fans are intrigued with.
As long as he can put on a quality show and draw great heat from the live crowd, he will position himself for a longer United States Championship run and vault himself into the discussion for main event status in 2013.
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