10. Randy Gets Randy With Handcuffs (2013)
What would a list be with with Randy Orton vs John Cena? TLC 2013 saw the infamous feud once again come to light, this time with the added stipulation of combining the company’s top two championships: WWE and World Heavyweight. Cena was the World Heavyweight Champion having just returned from injury at Hell in a Cell that year, beating Alberto Del Rio for the title. Orton was the WWE Champion, after his famous heel turn and alliance with Triple H at SummerSlam, cashing in his Money in the Bank contract on Daniel Bryan.
Whoever won the match would become the first WWE World Heavyweight Champion, so there were fairly high stakes. During the course of the match, Orton brought out ol’ reliable, the handcuffs. Very kinky. He handcuffed Cena to the bottom rope and slowly began his ascent to glory. He wouldn’t do it quickly of course, because that wouldn’t give Cena time to escape. In what was actually a pretty cool sight, Cena undid the entire bottom rope and turnbuckle, and dragged them with him as he attempted the climb the ladder to counter Orton.
However, Orton got the upper hand, and dragged the bottom rope that was still attached to Cena’s wrist, flinging Cena through a table that was set up in the corner of the ring. It didn’t quite have the impact intended as ‘The Leader of the CeNation’ slipped on the ladder as he was flung off, but even so, it was pretty neat to see some handcuffs, a torn apart ring, and a table spot regardless.
9. Ellsworth Becomes Smellsworth (2016)
Hey remember when James Ellsworth was a fresh-faced, hard-working babyface? It seems weird, doesn’t it? Well, that was the case heading into TLC 2016, where Dean Ambrose was facing AJ Styles for the WWE Championship. The match itself had some pretty high spots in its own right, one of which is coming later on in the list, but the moment featured here was in the conclusion of the match.
Ellsworth had been caught up in the feud between babyface Ambrose and heel Styles in the build to this match, with Styles actually losing to Ellsworth on an episode of SmackDown. Everyone was behind the smaller guy, but when he came out during the match at TLC, it would seem fairly obvious where this was going. Because this is WWE.
Ambrose had the match won, but as he climbed the ladder, Ellsworth turned heel, pushing the ladder over and sending Ambrose crashing through a table on the outside of the ring. It was a pretty hefty fall, and combined with all the other punishment Ambrose and Styles suffered during the match, it must have been nasty to take.
8. Sheamus Teaches Roman A Lesson (2015)
The TLC 2015 match between WWE Champion Sheamus and Roman Reigns features twice on this list. Rewatching it, it was actually a pretty brutal match. Not many people remember it because…well The League of Nations existed and it was a really, really, REALLY bad storyline against Reigns.
Sheamus had cashed in his Money in the Bank contract at Survivor Series against Reigns, in a rinse-repeat story from Daniel Bryan’s rise to stardom two years earlier. No-one really bought it, and it didn’t really garner much sympathy for Reigns. The rematch came at TLC, because in 2015 we didn’t have Evolution, or Crown Jewel, or Super Show-Down.
The spot in this entry came halfway through the match, where Sheamus hoisted Reigns upon his shoulders, marched up the ring steps and hit a brutal-looking White Noise through a table on the outside. Ouchie.
7. Roman Teaches Sheamus A Lesson (2015)
And here’s the other entry from TLC 2015. As payback for Sheamus’ previous White Noise table breakage, Roman Reigns managed to go one better and break a ladder instead of a table.
The ladder in question was set up between the ring and the commentary table as a makeshift bridge. Quite the popular spot for ladders to break. Roman countered Sheamus’ beats to the chest, hoisted the Irishman on his shoulders, and fell backwards, delivering a Samoan Drop straight through the ladder.
Like I said, this was a fairly brutal match, but not a lot of people remember it. Definitely, undeniably, unquestionably, unequivocally, 100% Roman’s fault. For sure.
6. Dean Drops An Elbow (2014)
The main event of TLC 2014 saw Dean Ambrose face off against Bray Wyatt for…no title since the WWE World Heavyweight Champion was Brock Lesnar who did not appear on this show. Shocking.
This was a crazy match, with high spots all over the place. Ambrose take a table bump early on when Wyatt just straight up punched him off the top turnbuckle through a table on the outside, but ‘The Lunatic Fringe’ made sure to pay Wyatt back in kind.
Dean delivered an elbow through a table off a ladder to Wyatt. Then he set up another table. And did it again off another ladder. The third elbow through a table would be the cream of the crop though. It didn’t happen until much later in the match at the finish, but Ambrose nailed Wyatt with a third elbow from a ladder, this time through the commentary table instead of a regular table.
5. Albertoooooo Del RiOW (2010)
In the semi-main event of TLC 2010, World Heavyweight Champion Kane defended his title in a Fatal 4-Way TLC match against Edge, Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio. This is again, the first of two entries from this match in this list. The other was indeed, pretty nuts. This one in itself was crazy in its own right.
This spot did not feature the champion Kane, or the eventual winner, Edge, but the two other competitors. Towards the end of the match, Del Rio had ascended the ladder and looked to have the World Heavyweight Championship within his grasp. However that “perro” Mysterio was there to rain on Del Rio’s parade. Again.
Mysterio pushed the ladder over and sent Del Rio crashing through two tables on the outside, however Del Rio only actually impacted one of them. This one makes it quite high on this list for the sheer impact of Del Rio on the floor. The speed at which he hit was so high that the impact seemed even more painful than usual. Big ouch.
4. Ricardo’s Foes Make Him Go. Woah. (2011)
How do you go one better than having Alberto Del Rio being pushed off a ladder through two tables on the outside? By having his personal ring announcer do the same thing.
TLC 2011’s main event saw CM Punk defend his WWE Championship against both Alberto Del Rio and The Miz in a Triple Threat TLC match. At one point in the match it looked as though Del Rio’s personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, wanted to retrieve the title for his employer, so he scooted on up the ladder in pursuit of the belt. Punk and Miz didn’t like that. Not one bit.
Combined, they tipped the ladder and sent Rodriguez flying through two tables set up on the outside of the ring. Rodriguez took the bump like an absolute champ though, and it apparently impressed people backstage too. Understandably so.
3. 450 Shades of Styles (2016)
The same match that saw Ellsworth turn heel also happened to have one of the most crazy spots in TLC PPV history. AJ Styles was defending his WWE Championship against Dean Ambrose, when the challenger seemed to find himself in a spot of bother.
Ambrose was lying on a table outside of the ring, and AJ went back inside the ring. Excitement built as people gradually started to deduce what was about to happen. Styles grabbed the ropes and hit a crazy springboard 450 Splash on to Ambrose through the table on the outside. What a crazy, crazy man.
2. Edge Splash (2010)
Here we are back again at TLC 2010 in the Fatal 4-Way between Kane, Edge, Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio. This time though, it wasn’t Mysterio and Del Rio involved, this was between the champion and the eventual winner.
Kane was laid out on a table outside the ring and Edge began to climb a ladder that was set up inside the ring. That’s a whole long way from ladder to table. Nevertheless, Edge had the World Heavyweight Championship on his mind, so off he leapt.
‘The Rated-R Superstar’ dived from the ladder, over the ropes and on to Kane, through the table. It was a crazy spot, and one that took Kane out of the match. For all of about three minutes, but still. It was cool.
1. The Shield’s First Outing (2012)
TLC 2012 saw the debut match of The Shield. Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose took on the team of Daniel Bryan, Kane and Ryback in a TLC match. Expectations were high given the high-profile nature of the trio’s debut the previous month at Survivor Series, and they did not disappoint.
The highest point of this match came towards the end. Ryback had been laid out on a table on the entranceway, and Seth Rollins had climbed a nearby ladder. However, before he could do some sort of aerial move on to the big man, Ryback had risen from the table and began to give chase to Rollins up the ladder. Eventually, Ryback caught him. You can guess what happened next.
Rollins was thrown off the ladder, through a pile of tables that was set up near the ladder. This was from a pretty crazy height, but the bit that sealed how nasty this fall was, was the back of Rollins’ head connecting with the edge of one of the tables on the way down. You can see the amount of pain Rollins was in immediately, as he clutched the back of his head as soon as he impacted the ground. The Shield of course went on to win the match. What a welcome to the main roster for Seth Rollins.