In-Depth Look At The History Of WWE “TLC” Match


On December 15, 2013 at the WWE Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view, current WWE Champion Randy Orton and current World Heavyweight Champion John Cena will compete in match to determine what fans voted for to be called the “Unified Champion” of WWE. One dynamic of this match that is already being overlooked is the fact that it is an actual TLC match. This point was finally given a bit of promotion on RAW this past Monday night when during the contract signing between Orton and Cena, the two attacked each other with the use of tables, ladders and chairs.

The first ever official “TLC” match took place at SummerSlam 2000 between The Hardy Boyz, The Dudley Boyz and Edge and Christian. (Watch it here). The match served as an undercard bout for the WWE Tag-Team Championships, which were held at the time by Edge and Christian. This match was the direct result of a series of ladder matches involving some (or all three) of the aforementioned tag-teams.

At the WWE No Mercy pay-per-view in 1999, the managerial services of Terri Runnels was on the line in a tag-team ladder match between The Hardy Boyz and Edge and Christian. (Watch it here.) The match ended up being one of the craziest, action-packed, exciting and dramatic contests wrestling fans in the WWE had ever seen. They took the ladder match that was popularized by Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon at WrestleMania X to the next level, and really cemented their status in the company in that one match. Both teams not only received standing ovations from the fans at the conclusion of their match at No Mercy, but again the following night on RAW when they simply came to the ring. WWE realized that the two teams had revolutionized the ladder match concept and decided to run with it.

In the months that followed, Edge and Christian would square off against The Dudley Boyz in a series of tables matches. The reason for the table match was due to The Dudley Boyz having a popular spot in matches where Bubba Ray Dudley would shove D-Von Dudley, and yell out “D-Von…get the tables!” The two would then put their opponents through the table to win their match.

As that feud was going on, WWE ran with the idea that The Hardy Boyz were the king of the ladder matches, having the two compete in additional matches using the ladder, including some singles matches where one-half of the team would challenge main event opponents, such as The Undertaker. (Watch it here).

At the same time, Edge and Christian popularized a spot in their matches called the “Con-Chair-To.” This was a spot where each guy would blast their opponent in the side of the head, simultaneously, on opposite sides, with chairs.

That was how it all came together. The Dudley Boyz were known for tables. The Hardy Boyz were known for ladders. Edge and Christian were known for chairs. It only seemed logical at that point to have all three teams compete against each other in a three-way tag-team match called “Tables, Ladders and Chairs.”

Flash-forward back to SummerSlam 2000, where the first official “TLC” match took place. Edge and Christian ended up winning the match that night to retain their WWE Tag-Team Championships. The match was again so critically acclaimed that they ended up doing a “TLC” rematch on the grandest stage of them all — WrestleMania.

The event was WrestleMania X-Seven, which is considered by many to be among the best WrestleMania events from top-to-bottom in WWE history. One of the reasons it was considered one of the best is because of the TLC match between The Hardyz, The Dudleyz and Edge and Christian (Watch it here). All three teams stepped it up a notch in this match, where a number of highlight spots took place. Everyone remembers Jeff Hardy’s insane “Swanton Bomb” off the giant 16-foot ladder. (Watch it here). Everyone remembers Edge leaping off the giant ladder to spear Jeff Hardy, who was dangling from the loop that holds the belts above the ring. (Watch it here). Edge himself calls that the single greatest snapshot of his entire career.

A total of eight TLC matches would take place before WWE decided to create an entire pay-per-view around the match concept in 2009. WWE Tables, Ladders and Chairs 2009 would feature main events where there would be a ladder match, a tables match, a match where steel chairs were legal as weapons and the final bout of the evening would be an actual TLC match. The TLC pay-per-view replaced what was the original WWE pay-per-view show in December, “Armageddon.”

There have been four previous “TLC” pay-per-views and a total of 15 officially recorded TLC matches since the inception of the match in 2000. On December 15, 2013 in Houston, Texas at the fifth WWE TLC pay-per-view, WWE Champion Randy Orton will compete in his first ever official TLC match. His opponent, John Cena, will be competing in his second official TLC match. Cena’s first TLC match was at the WWE Unforgiven pay-per-view in 2006. Cena defeated Edge that night to win the WWE Championship. On December 15th, Orton and Cena will battle in the first ever TLC match that will determine the “Unified Champion” of WWE.

For history buffs out there, the following are some stats related to the history of officially recorded WWE TLC matches. The stats do not include TLC matches that took place outside of WWE.

WWE Hall Of Famer Edge has appeared in more TLC matches than any WWE Superstar in history. Edge has wrestled in seven TLC matches, winning five of them, which is the current record for most victories in a TLC match.

Jeff Hardy has appeared in the second-most TLC matches with five, however he has never won an official TLC match in WWE.

Both Bubba Ray Dudley and Christian are tied for the third most appearances in TLC matches, each having competed in four. Christian won two of those matches, which puts him at number three on the list of most victories in TLC matches. Dudley on the other hand, is one of few who have appeared in so many TLC matches without a single victory in any of them.

CM Punk comes in at number two on the all-time list of WWE Superstars with the most victories in TLC matches, winning all three of the TLC matches he has appeared in.

Other Superstars who have appeared in three TLC matches include Chris Jericho (who won one of them), Kane (who also won one of them), and Matt Hardy and D-Von Dudley, both of which failed to win any of the TLC matches they participated in.

The Miz, Alberto Del Rio and Ryback have all appeared in two official TLC matches. The Miz won one of them, while Del Rio and Ryback have yet to win any.

Chris Benoit, John Cena, Triple H and Shawn Michaels (who competed in a TLC tag-team match as D-Generation X), Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns (who competed in a TLC match as The Shield), Spike Dudley, Rob Van Dam, Ric Flair, The Undertaker, Big Show, Jerry Lawler, Rey Mysterio and Daniel Bryan have all competed in one official TLC match. Of these names, Benoit, Cena, HHH, Michaels, Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns all won the lone TLC match they were involved in. The rest of the names, which includes Spike Dudley, Van Dam, Flair, Undertaker, Big Show, Lawler, Mysterio and Bryan, all lost their only official TLC matches.

Make sure to visit on Sunday, December 15, 2013 for detailed live results coverage of the entire WWE Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view event.

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NOTE: The above item is an opinionated editorial, and should not be confused as a factual news item. Readers can contact the author of the above editorial, Matt Boone, via Twitter @MBoone420 or by posting your immediate feedback in the “Comments” section below.

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