Since it’s conception in 2000, the Tables, Ladders and Chairs match has weaved its way into the foundations of professional wrestling. The legacy continues to evolve, as WWE’s TLC-specific pay-per-view is taken over by SmackDown Live.
To celebrate TLC 2016, the team at Vulture Hound have compiled a list of our greatest TLC matches of all time. Enjoy!
The Hardy Boyz vs Edge and Christian vs The Dudley Boyz – TLC 1: Summerslam 2000
The first TLC match is one of the greatest of all time. In the height of the Attitude Era, the three greatest teams of this era clashed in this insane match. The match saw high spots, crazy dives and a whole tonne of carnage. Each team had chances to bring down the belts, with Jeff Hardy and D-Von Dudley even hanging 20 ft off the ground trying to rip down the belts. The match saw Bubba Ray Dudley pushed off a twenty-foot ladder crashing through four tables on the outside. When all the mayhem had ended, Edge and Christian were the ones who left this iconic match victorious.
The Hardy Boyz vs Edge and Christian vs The Dudley Boyz – TLC 2: WrestleMania 17, 2001
So nice why not do it twice? WrestleMania 17 is regarded by many as the greatest wrestling event of all time. This match helped solidify this point. The same teams who clashed at Summerslam six months ago, were back at it again for the Tag Team gold. The match just like the first, involved death-defying spots which resulted in many bodies crashing through tables. The most iconic part of the match came when Jeff Hardy was hanging in the air, and then was speared 20 feet to the ground by Edge. The match saw outside help from Lita, Spike Dudley and Rhyno. The end of the match came when Edge and Christian pushed Matt Hardy and Bubba Dudley off a twenty foot ladder crashing through four tables on the outside. Edge and Chrstian would climb the ladder and win the second ever TLC match.
The Hardy Boyz vs Edge and Christian vs The Dudley Boyz vs Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit – SmackDown 2001
This match has been called the ‘forgotten TLC match’ due to the fact that it happened randomly on an episode of Smackdown. Taking place two months after WrestleMania 17, the same teams were at it again, with Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit joining the party. Jericho and Benoit who had just beaten Triple H and Stone Cold a few nights earlier on RAW for the belts were punished by Vince McMahon and forced to defend their newly won belys in a TLC match. As usual the match included high spots, the most notable being Jeff Hardy jumping off a 20 ft ladder crashing into the announcers table. This match is a must watch, and ended with Jericho and Benoit winning the match and retaining tag gold. In its 900 episode history this match was certainly one of the greatest that ever happened on SmackDown.
Kane vs. Chris Jericho and Christian vs. Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy vs. Bubba Ray and Spike Dudley – RAW 2002
By the fall of 2002, Eric Bischoff was the GM of the flagship show. With RAW in Las Vegas Bischoff came up with RAW Roulette in which the spin of a roulette wheel would determine the match types that night. The odds were in the fans favor that night as the Tag titles would be defended in a TLC match. Kane and The Hurricane were champions at the time but after an attack backstage Kane was forced to defend the titles alone. Despite the odds against him and the massive carnage spills and and breakage of both bodies and tables, Kane was able to survive the match and retain the bets for him and his partner.
John Cena vs. Edge – Unforgiven 2006
Erroneously believed to be the first TLC singles match in history, that honour actually went to Edge vs. Ric Flair on a cold January night in Raleigh, North Carolina – It’s a shame because the first TLC match to actually headline a PPV and be fought for the company’s biggest title was certainly good enough to carry the honour. Edge was deeply moved by the Canadian crowd who were all massively behind their native heel champion and Cena was getting from them the kind of venom he would need to develop an immunity to during the next ten years. The match was a thriller, with the finish involving Edge taking an F-U from a ladder and through two tables, which might or might not have been the biggest bump of the match.
The Undertaker vs Edge – One Night Stand 2008
One of SmackDown’s greatest feuds was between Edge and The Undertaker. In June of 2008 the two battled in a TLC match for the vacant World Heavyweight Championship. If The Undertaker lost the match though he would be forced to leave WWE. The match featured tables breaking, high spots and damage to both men. The Undertaker chokeslammed Edge through a table. Undertaker began climbing the Ladder, but Edge’s faction mates of La Familia came out to his aid. Undertaker would take them all out and proceed to climb the ladder again. Edge though began to recover and was able to push the ladder over with The Undertaker crashing through four tables on the outside. Edge would then climb the ladder and claim the gold. The Undertaker would be forced to leave WWE for a few months, but would return to gain his revenge against Edge in a Hell in a Cell match at Summerslam.
The Shield vs Team Hell No and Ryback – TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs 2012
The first ever six-man TLC match in WWE, and the first official match of the newly debuted Shield, this match was a burst of much-needed energy that appeared from seemingly nowhere in 2012. Seamlessly crafted story-telling and high spots in the space of near 25 minutes, what could well have been an over-booked mess of upper mid-carders came to full fruition. The atmosphere builds at a constant pace, dipping momentarily as Rollins delivers a curb stomp onto a chair to Bryan, before total implosion as Rollins is pulled off a ladder and falls through a table. This match established the Shield early on as a cohesive unit and dominant force, and retrospectively foreshadowed the future faces of the company and a new hope for fans to a T.