Since it’s conception in WWE at Summerslam 2000, the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match – also referred as the ‘TLC’ match, has been highlighted as one of the most dangerous and exiting contests in WWE.
Due to the intensity and extreme danger of the ‘TLC’ matches, the WWE respectively don’t book these matches as much as the WWE universe crave, making them a special occasion of the fans. During these matches, there is a severe chance of injuries being caused, thus these matches must be thoroughly prepared for between those participating.
Therefore, with the professional wrestling pay-per-view ‘TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs’ taking place on December 4, 2016, at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Together with, the match card containing various ‘TLC’ based matches for the SmackDown brand to conclude many story lined rivalries from the show.
Here are 10 of the best ‘TLC’ matches, WWE have displayed over the years:
- Ric Flair vs. Edge (Raw, January 16, 2006)
In Edge’s first entry on this brutal list, the self-proclaimed ‘TLC’ specialist had just won the WWE title from John Cena after cashing in his ‘money in the bank’ contract, put his WWE title on the line against the then 56-year-old Intercontinental champion Ric Flair.
Flair was competing in this match type for the first time in his remarkable career, and it was evident that he wanted to make this match one to remember. In the process, Flair took an extreme amount of punishment from the Rated-R Superstar. Including a dangerous super plex from the top of the ladder, which most of the WWE universe found uncomfortable to watch.
At points, it looked very likely that the ‘Nature boy’ would become an even more historic 17-time world heavyweight champion. However, with the help of Lita, Edge could regain control after knocking Flair off the ladder. He then progressed up the ladder himself, to retrieve and retain his championship.
CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. The Miz (TLC, December 18, 2011)
Just a month after Punk regained the WWE title against Del Rio, during Survivor Series at Madison Square Garden. WWE bookers decided to throw The Miz into the mix, as Punk had to defend his title against two competitors in Del Rio’s rematch.
As the babyface champion; Punk endorsed all the emotion of this match, by taking various damage from attacks from both competitors. At one point, the ‘straight edge saviour’ had to escape being handcuffed to the middle rope by The Miz, forcing him to watch as he and Del Rio scaled the ladder. Ultimately, Punk was not ready to forfeit his title just yet, as he tore apart the turnbuckle to escape the situation.
The end eventually came when Punk could hit his signature move, the ‘go to sleep’ on Miz while Del Rio was laid out on the mat. That then gave him the opportunity to climb the ladder and grab the belt for the victory.
This win was a crowning achievement for Punk and first successful title defense, which would eventually lead to his historic 434-day championship reign.
- D-Generation X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) vs. Jeri-Show (Chris Jericho and The Bigshow) – (TLC, December 13, 2009)
Although, this extreme match type was originally created for tag team contests, by 2009, there had not been a tag team match of its kind for nearly 7 years. Therefore, at the inaugural WWE TLC pay-per-view, when the evening’s only ‘TLC’ match featured the-then world tag team champions Chris Jericho and The Bigshow against D-Generation X, the whole audience knew they’d be in for an instant classic.
Despite, all four competitors’ illustrious careers involving various intense match types, this was the first time these superstars had been involved in a ‘TLC’ match, excluding Y2J. Thus, Jericho tried to use his experience in the match, whilst The Big Show delivered most of the threat using his utmost strength. As, Michaels and Triple H both found themselves been choke slammed through tables and tossed effortlessly into each other.
Nonetheless, the fan favorites D-Generation X walked out of the match new world tag team champions in a unique way. As with a broken ladder and both members of the opposing team planted outside of the ring. To grab the victory, the Cerebral Assassin held half of the ladder up to support HBK whilst he climbed and secured the two belts.
- Ryback and Team Hell No vs. The Shield (TLC, December 16, 2012)
In this brilliantly structured match, no one knew what to expect from The Shield’s pay-per-view debut. However, in the inaugural six-man tag ‘TLC’ match, The Shield proved to whole locker room that they weren’t amateur pushovers. In the process, burying Ryback by triple power bombing him through a table, which later would be known as their signature finish.
During the match, Team Hell No and The Big Guy put on a courageous effort against The Hounds of Justice, in this brutal contest. Kane choke slammed Dean Ambrose through a steel chair, and Ryback pulled Seth Rollins from the top of a ladder sending him through a stack of tables.
In the end, the unified teamwork of The Shield proved beneficial. As, Reigns viciously speared Kane through the guardrail at ringside, followed by a power bomb to Daniel Bryan through a table to give The Shield their first win in impressive fashion.
- Kane (without Hurricane Helms) vs. The Dudley Boys (Bubba Ray and Spike) vs. Christian and Chris Jericho, vs. Jeff Hardy and Rob Van Dam (Raw, October 7, 2002)
On a special ‘Raw Roulette’ episode on Monday Night Raw, it was determined that the duo of Kane and The Hurricane would defend their tag team championships in a fatal 4-way ‘TLC’ match. The amount of natural talent in this match was astonishing, due to 5 of the competitors also have experience in the ‘TLC’ surroundings, which fuelled fans anticipation.
If the champions were to retain the titles, Kane would have to defeat the 3-other team alone, due to a storyline injury angle on Hurricane Helms.
The match left nothing to the imagination, as it was very bit unpredictable and extreme as anticipated. High spots in the match included, Jeff Hardy being slammed through a table, Y2J applying the ‘Walls of Jericho’ to Rob Van Dam on the top of the ladder and Kane catching Jericho with a huge choke slam off the ladder.
Despite the odds being heavily against the Big Red Monster, Kane tore through all the opposition, climbed the ladder of success, and retrieved both tag titles alone.
- Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit vs. The Dudley Boys vs. Edge and Christian, vs. The Hardy Boys (SmackDown, May 24, 2001)
Prior to this match, Jericho and Benoit had just defeated Mr McMahon’s Two Man Power Trip, Steve Austin, and Triple H for the WWE tag team championships. Hence, in attempt to push the new tag champions but also to get the titles off them. McMahon announced a Fatal 4-way ‘TLC’ match for the May 24 edition of SmackDown.
The tag team specialists did not disappoint in this match, delivering one of the finest matches in SmackDown history. It had many breath-taking moments, including where Benoit dove off the top rope and through a table after Matt Hardy quickly moved out of the way. The match continued to go back and forth with all teams using the weapons and surrounding to their advantage, in this fast-paced contest.
The bout finished when, Jericho pushed Matt Hardy off the top of the ladder, only to encounter a vicious spear from Edge when he climbed the ladder himself. However, both men fell to the mat which allowed Benoit to climb the ladder and retain the straps on himself and Y2J.
- Edge vs. The Undertaker (One Night Stand, June 1, 2008)
Heading into his sixth career ‘TLC’ match, Edge was aware of the enormous stakes as he matches up against The Undertaker in attempt to regain the now vacant World Heavyweight Championship. Although, less familiar with the specific match type, this was The Undertaker’s debut in the ‘TLC’ match and if the Deadman was to lose this match he would be banished from the WWE by SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero.
The in-ring veterans created a smarter, more story-centric match, but still involving various punishing moves and memorable moments. Interference from Chavo Guerrero, Bam Neely and the Edge heads added to the storytelling of the match, Ryder and Hawkins further were involved in a huge bump with the tables, which also pumped up the WWE audience even more.
The most memorable spot involved, The Deadman throwing Edge through two stacked tables using his signature ‘Last Ride’ manuever, which was incredible. The Undertaker trembled through two rows of stacked tables as Edge pushed him off the top of a ladder, which lead to Edge’s victory and Undertakers’ banishment.
The Undertaker did take a 2-month break, just before returning at the same year’s SummerSlam, and defeating the Rated R superstar in a Hell in a Cell match to gain redemption.
- Jeff Hardy vs. CM Punk (Summerslam, August 25, 2009)
After two consecutive pay-per-view bouts the rivalry between heel CM Punk and, possibly the most favored babyface and World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy, would finally settle their tension at Summerslam in the terrifying ‘TLC’ surroundings.
Hardy used his specialty in these kinds of matches and his unusual dare devilish wrestling nature to his advantage. However, every time that the ‘Charismatic Enigma’ tried to use his high-flying, extreme offense. Punk always had his number and quickly regained momentum in the match. The Chicago native superstar even avoided a Swanton Bomb from Hardy, making him land straight through the announcers table, which assured WWE medical staff to come and assist Hardy.
By the nights’ end, the match proved to be too intense for the Extreme Enigma as, Punk could scale the ladder and reclaim the World championship away from Hardy. That specific championship highlighted CM Punk’s third world championship run and Jeff Hardy’s last ever WWE title.
- John Cena vs. Edge (Unforgiven, September 17, 2006)
This was a highly emotional match for Edge’s WWE championship, and considered as the best encounter of these 2 world class competitors, who have had many rivalries in their careers. The match had various high rick moves involving all three foreign objects, with the contest lasting over 25 minutes.
Many astonishing moments occurred, such as Cena executing the STFU submission hold on Edge, whilst he was trapped in between a ladder, causing him to tap out. Unfortunately, for Cena the match could not be won by pin fall or submission. Interference from Lita caused a Cena downfall as she managed to push him from the ladder, landing through a table. Without regard, Cena could take care of Lita, dishing out an ‘FU’ and ending her interference.
Nearing the end, the two combatants climbed to the top of the ladder and battled out, exchanging left and right hooks in attempt reach for the gold. Using his amazing strength, the Cenation Leader could hoist the Rated-R Superstar onto his shoulders and deliver an Attitude Adjustment off the ladder and through two stacked tables, before grabbing the WWE title in glorifying fashion.
- Edge and Christian vs. The Dudley Boys vs. The Hardy Boys (Wrestlemania X-7, April 1, 2001)
The greatest Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match in WWE history, was also contested at what some believe was the best Wrestlemania ever. Edge, Christian, The Dudleys and The Hardys, renewed their historic rivalry at the showcase of immortals and the second incarnation of the legendary ‘TLC’ match, which was only founded 8 months earlier.
Created by Jeff Hardy was the first unforgettable moment in this match, as he hit the interfering Spike Dudley and Rhino with a diving Swanton Bomb through two tables off a 16-foot-high ladder. Lita who accompanied The Hardy Boys to the ring, was also caught interfering, but ultimately was ineffective for Matt and Jeff. As she fell into the path of The Dudley Boys, who executed their finishing move ‘3D’ on her.
Unbelievably, Edge overshadowed every other moment this legendary match had to offer. As the battle heated up above the squared-circle, Jeff Hardy dangled above the ring, slightly hanging onto the World tag team championships secured on the hook. The Rated R superstar, ascended a ladder and speared Hardy onto the mat, causing collateral damage. The prodigious moment didn’t just define the ‘TLC’ match, for it’s dangerous and exciting nature, but also helped Edge and Christian recapture the tag championships.