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NewsWWEMatt Hardy Recalls Orchestrating The Inaugural TLC Match At WWE SummerSlam 2000

Matt Hardy Recalls Orchestrating The Inaugural TLC Match At WWE SummerSlam 2000

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On a recent edition of his “The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy” podcast, TNA veteran Matt Hardy reflected on orchestrating the inaugural TLC (Tables, Ladders, and Chairs) match at WWE SummerSlam 2000, featuring The Hardys, Dudley Boyz, and Edge & Christian.

You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On communicating with the refs for the match: “The best thing you can do is to try and make sure the referees are in tune with what you’re doing. Because if they’re in tune with what you’re doing, and they kind of know your framework, then they can help you and they can assist you. Even — I mean, there are times in the matches where [Mike] Chioda might be outside. And I’m in there, and something happens with Jeff in the ring. He’s like, ‘Hey, is brother okay?’ You can see me roll over like, ‘Hey, you good?’ Then I could roll back over to him and let him know, and then he could report it to the back. So there was a lot of communication with that. And I know all the time, there’s guys who were selling on the outside. ‘Where we at time-wise? Where we at time-wise?’ And then they can relate to someone else. Because it is tricky. Like, if you have two people on a 12 foot ladder and they’re fighting, doing whatever, it’s hard to hit the time cue. Especially you know, and do it on the DL.

On the process of putting together the match: “Putting that batch together was really interesting. One story I wanted to share about it is, there’s a part in TLC, the first TLC in Raleigh, where I’m at the top of the ladder, I’m grabbing at the titles and D-Von grabs a ladder and tips it backward. And I fall backwards through two tables. I remember we were going over that and Michael Hayes, who’s out there helping produce the match, he just said, ‘Well, I gotta tell you, there’s a lot of people that feel a little uncomfortable with that. Because you know, if your legs hit the top rope, you’re gonna fall on your head. But if you go too far back then your head is going to hit the barricade and it’s gonna break your neck. So how do we know this is right?’ I remember we would walk up; we did this in rehearsal the night before. We walk up, I see what step needed to be on — I had that memorized. I’d be grabbing the belt, and then we would like tip the ladder back from where it was and hold it steady where the ladder was, and see exactly where that step landed. If I was going to clear the road, whatever.

“And he said that day, he said, ‘Vince would really like you to land on a crash pad, and just make sure this is gonna be okay or whatever.’ I said, ‘Michael, tell Vince this is a one and done. Like we’ve measured it out and I feel good about this. This is a one and done, we do it live when that red light is on and it’s recording. That’s the only time we do that.’ And that’s that’s how that was. But it really is a team effort, especially when you’re out there because these are the guys that have ears to the back, and they know where your time is. And they are constantly doing a great job of communicating people. And the way they do it very [in]conspicuously where it’s like, they’re checking on them to see if they’re hurt whatever. But they’re really given them cues and whatnot. They do they do a great job. Mike was always the master of it.”

On asking Jim Ross for a bonus for the bout: “There was one town, where Bubba said, ‘Hey, we didn’t get paid enough for this TLC match. Because we’ve established this into something. We need to go and we need to talk to JR. And everyone, we sat there and talked with JR about everything. He said, ‘Well, okay. You guys believe you deserve that bonus? I’m gonna give you a little bit of bounce. But I would tell you, better not to be telling all the boys once you make on the PPV. Because the other boys here they might get upset.”

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