The 5 Greatest TLC Matches In WWE History
Tonight is one of pro wrestling's signature pay-per-views, WWE's TLC, live from Dallas.
When it comes to pro wrestling, TLC has nothing to do with tender love and care, it stands for tables, ladders, and chairs. No of course everyone over 8-years-old gets that the results of the matches are predetermined, but by no means does that make wrestling "fake", and more than anything else, a TLC match can help you understand that.
The idea for the TLC match was born out of three tag teams in the late 90s, who all specialized in the use of a foreign object; The Hardy Boyz were high-flyers who used ladders to elevate their daredevil moves, The Dudleyz put everybody they could find through tables, while Edge and Christian employed the use of steel chairs as often as they could. So when all three teams came together for a match at Summerslam 2000 that would feature all three elements.
This has become the most unforgiving match in pro wrestling, which is why there have been less than 20 scheduled over the last 16 years. People can argue that a Hell In A Cell match, or a hardcore match is as dangerous, but the consistent spots from the tops of 20 foot ladders, repeated plunges through tables, and unrelenting chair shots that are all necessary parts of this particular match make me believe it is far more dangerous. You can get out of a Hell In A Cell without overtly dangerous spots, we actually saw this just over a month ago during WWE's Hell In A Cell pay-per-view.
Anyway, if you still feel like wrestling is "fake", or you understand the complications of a TLC match and just enjoy them, check out these top TLC matches:
#5 - Edge vs. Undertaker - One Night Stand 2008
A TLC match used to be looked at to carry the middle of a pay-per-view, but somewhere along the way the match evolved into a serious championship device. This was impressive, considering the insane danger involved in these matches, mixed with a championship picture, means you risk losing some of your top stars to violent injury.
That didn't stop WWE from putting one of their all-time greats, The Undertaker, into a match with the guy who was their top star at the time in Edge for their lead championship at One Night Stand 2008.
The story was good, the action was great, but this match makes the list for basically one spot, when Taker flys off a 20 foot ladder into a double-stacked tower of tables outside the ring.
#4 - Hardyz vs. Dudleyz vs. Edge & Christian - SummerSlam 2000
The one that OFFICIALLY started it all. Was it perfect right away? No, but was it an instant classic? Hell yes.
Everyone can pick their apex of the Attitude Era, whether it was Mick Foley winning the World Championship on Raw, or Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock at Wrestlemania, everyone has that one moment that they say "THAT was the Attitude Era" and for me it was this TLC debut.
Three teams that each represented the top three aspects of the Attitude Era, in a match designed to accentuate the best elements of the Attitude Era.
#3 - Edge vs. Ric Flair - Raw January 16th, 2006
You might start to notice a pattern, Edge seems to be in everyone of these matches. Well, he's the best at them...and of the 18 TLC (if you cont Wrestlemania 2000, 19 which he was in as well) he's appeared in 7 of them.
This was the TLC match that launched the style of match into the main event picture. The Tag Team titles had been on the line before, but this was the first time that the WWE Championship was on the line in a TLC style match.
It became instantly compelling for multiple reasons: 1. The title is on the line in a TLC match 2. It's on RAW, and not a PPV 3. An older Ric Flair was being asked to perform in a highly athletic spot-fest type match.
Much like all of Ric Flairs non-TNA career, he rose to the occasion, and delivered another career moment. Flair bled, Flair sold, Flair put Edge over...
#2 - Hardyz vs. Dudleyz vs. Edge & Christian - Wrestlemania X-Seven
On The Grandest Stage Of Them All, the three pioneers of the TLC match put together the most entertaining version of the match we've ever seen.
Of course the high-flying spots you would expect came into play, but what made this one the most entertaining was the non-stop action. When I think of TLC matches, I do think about some of the "rest spots" afforded to the participants, but in this installation of the event, a lot of those "rest spots" were handed over to outside players.
Lita made her way into this match, Spike Dudley got served with an unprotected chair shot, and Rhyno even got to display his animal instinct all over the ring in violent fashion.
Plus, this match featured THAT spot...
As a pure wrestling match, this shouldn't be above the Taker or Flair TLC matches, but for pure entertainment value, this is the best TLC branded match ever. (But wait, how can I say that have an it at #2? Technicality is why)
#1 - Hardyz vs. Dudleyz vs. Edge & Christian - Wrestlemania 2000
OK, so TECHNICALLY this match was not a TLC Match, but a "Triangle Ladder Match" for the Tag Team Titles. But as the match progressed, the tables and chairs came into play...along with the stairs, and the announcer's table. But no matter what they started bringing out, you kept getting drawn in.
This match was the first of this kind, and when I say that I don't mean a match with just various weapons or hardcore rules. The difference between New Jack hauling a trash can full of weapons to a ring and a TLC match is the art of if. These TLC matches weren't just non-stop violence at any cost, these were meticulous maneuvers that often required pre-planning and pseudo-construction.
You didn't just pick up a chair to hit someone, or throw a ladder into someone, you had to plan to build a stack of tables, or to set a ladder up at the perfect distance from a table to launch a Swanton Bomb from 20 feet up to land onto that table perfectly.
This match tops the list partially for it's historical impact, but also because there were so many elements that we've never seen before, that kept coming one after another after another...you want to talk edge of your seat, this one had you standing.