WWE Tables Ladders and Chairs Event Shouldn’t Return in 2016

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This Sunday will be the seventh Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view from WWE, which made its debut on December 13, 2009. If I had things my way, it would be the very last.

Right now, you’re probably thinking that I’m insane. Why would you possibly want to get rid of something that WWE describes as their version of a demolition derby? On the contrary, I think Extreme Rules (albeit neutered down the past few years) is a great concept for an event, but TLC itself needs to go away and fast.

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At first glance, this is an event that would seem to be super entertaining and something that could be the best of the year. However, if you really think about it, it’s unnecessary and it gets in the way of possibly doing something different to spice things up. There are a lot of flaws in this concept and after seeing that the build for this year’s event has proven them all correct yet again, I can’t help but beg for it to be tossed in the pile with Taboo Tuesday, One Night Stand, Fatal 4-Way and the rest that are no longer with us.

Problem #1: Origins and Motivators


The TLC event gets its namesake after the TLC match, which first occurred in August of 2000. In that match, The Dudley Boyz (known for their use of tables) faced off against The Hardy Boyz (who were very proficient in ladder matches) and Edge and Christian (creators of the Con-Chair-To). The gimmick revolved around how each team specialized in a particular weapon and in this environment, all three of those options were available. If the three sides were Finlay, Triple H and Mick Foley, the match would have been an SSS match (Shillelagh Sledgehammer Socko) but the more entertaining option was chosen.

Back then, it was an interesting choice to go with, but since then, it’s been bastardized into just a regular match involving completely different people who have no affiliation with any of the weaponry at their disposal. This year, we do finally have The Dudley Boyz back, and they’re rightfully involved in a Tables Match like they should be, but are any of the other matches justified in being what they are?


The setup to these feuds are completely reliant on how this pay-per-view is around this time frame rather than the feud dictating the stipulation. Roman Reigns won a tournament for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Sheamus cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to win it from him, and since then their paths have crossed numerous times. Not once did a ladder, a table or a chair jump out as a motivator until this week’s Raw, where it had already been announced that they would be competing in a TLC match. The match’s announcement brought the weapons into play.

Remember when a Hell in a Cell match would only happen as something special to end a feud that had been brutal and needed to have such a dangerous stipulation? Now that we have Hell in a Cell every year, whoever happens to be champion at the time tends to just wrestle his opponent in one, so that gimmick doesn’t mean anywhere near as much. The same applies to TLC matches. Nothing in this feud between Sheamus and Roman Reigns pointed to them building to a TLC match, but we’re getting one because it’s December.


The Royal Rumble comes around every January and is built into the fabric of the schedule as the event that will lead into WrestleMania. SummerSlam is naturally in the summer, but it doesn’t have a specific gimmick attached to it that must be revolved around. The Money in the Bank match has been flexible over the years as taking place at WrestleMania and/or in the summer as need be. There’s absolutely nothing saying that TLC needs to happen in December, or at all.


The setup for these bouts are always so forced, too. Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger just so happened to be dueling with chairs on the go-home show before the event where no chairs matches were announced, and lo and behold they are suddenly in a chairs match. WWE could have assigned that stipulation to Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose and nobody would have batted an eye, thinking “but clearly Del Rio and Swagger are the two feuding with chairs right now!”

Problem #2: TLC = Ladder Match

Going with the theme of there not being a reason to have a stipulation attached to certain matches, how crazy is it to think that there’s a pay-per-view and a gimmick that revolves around something that already existed beforehand?


The TLC match is advertised as being something different and unique, but let’s face it, it’s just a ladder match.

In a ladder match, two or more people can only win by retrieving whatever is above the ring, whether it be a championship belt, a briefcase, a contract, etc. There are no disqualifications, no count outs, no pinfalls and no submissions.

In a TLC match, two or more people can only win by retrieving whatever is above the ring, whether it be a championship belt, a briefcase, a contract, etc. There are no disqualifications, no count outs, no pinfalls, and no submissions.


See?

To the best of my recollection, only two TLC matches have included pinfalls or submissions, and if you want to poke holes and bring them up, then I have some bad news for you, because that just turns this into a generic No Disqualification match. For those counting, a No Disqualification match also has gone down the drain with extra names, being an Extreme Rules match, a Street Fight, a No Holds Barred match, and any other kind of variation WWE wants to go with that week (Boiler Room Brawl, Belfast Brawl, etc)


Effectively, a TLC match is nothing that we don’t already get, so why bother with it? There are distinct differences between a regular steel cage match, an Elimination Chamber, a Hell in a Cell and a Punjabi Prison, just as there’s an obvious stipulation separating a No Count Out match from a Falls Count Anywhere match.

Since a ladder match is already something that operates under No DQ rules, then you can use tables or chairs in them. That’s a TLC match. There’s no reason for The New Day, The Lucha Dragons and The Usos to not use all three weapons in their “regular ladder match” on Sunday except for WWE telling them in scripted format to stay away from that because they don’t want to downplay how special those weapons are in the other matches.

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