Tables, Ladders, and Chairs…oh my! It has been nearly two decades since Mick Foley introduced the TLC match to the WWE and they have been some of the most consistently great matches in the company’s history.
The first match took place at SummerSlam 2000 and involved Matt and Jeff Hardy, D-Von and Bubba Ray Dudley, and Edge and Christian. The concept was to adapt the format of the preexisting ladder match and add tables and chairs to the ringside area for the combatants to use. During 2000, Edge and Christian became known for their use of steel chairs, the Dudleys were known for putting people through tables, and the Hardys frequently jumped off tall ladders. Following the Triangle Ladder match at WrestleMania 2000, which was the precursor to the TLC match in many ways, the three teams clashed once again in the historic, first ever TLC match.
The three teams participated in the first three TLC matches before they all went their separate ways. In the years that followed, the TLC match became the signature match of Edge. Upon his push into the main event picture, Edge began defending the WWE Championship in TLC matches against Ric Flair and John Cena. He would continue to compete in TLC matches until he retired in 2011.
In 2009, WWE created the Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay per view event. At this event there were tables matches, ladder matches, and chairs matches, as well as a yearly TLC match. As this was the age of WWE creating “gimmick pay per views” such as Hell in a Cell and Fatal 4-Way, the TLC matches began to start involving people whose style did not match the style usually found in TLC matches. The high-flying styles of the Hardys, and the manipulative style of Edge made for different blends of TLC matches with impressive results. However, the introduction of the yearly scheduled TLC match lead to wrestlers such as Sheamus, Randy Orton, and Braun Strowman’s involvement. Their matches are not bad per se, they do represent a change in the TLC match over time.
In this post we will rank every TLC match in history based on its star rating courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter. If you disagree with this list in any way feel free to leave your own list in the comments below!
Honorable Mention: Hornswoggle vs. El Torito – Extreme Rules 2014
By far the most bizarre match on this list. Hornswoggle and El Torito competed in the only WeeLC match in WWE history at Extreme Rules 2014. The referee, the ring announcer, and the commentators were all minis in addition to the participants. You might think this match is silly, and you’re probably right, but this match was far better than it had any right to be.
Hornswoggle had 3MB in his corner while El Torito had Los Matadores and the accompanying wrestlers took a great deal of the larger bumps for the competitors. While there were a great number of comedy spots, WeeLC had more than its fair share of big scary bumps. Torito dove onto Jinder Mahal and Los Matadores as they tumbled through tables and ladders. The mini-announcers had to vacate their post as Hornswoggle delivered an elbow drop through the announce table to the roar of the crowd. The stakes were pretty low in this match as no titles were on the line but that did not stop the two men from having a pretty great match.
This was a very fun match, no question about it. It may have been a bit short by TLC standards but it was on the kickoff show so it can be forgiven. Torito was able to pin Hornswoggle with a springboard seated-senton through a table for the win. While this match did not reach the heights of its predecessors, it remains one of the most unique and memorable matches in recent history.
20. Jerry Lawler vs. The Miz – Raw (November 29, 2010)
Star Rating: N/A
The WWE was a strange place in 2010. The Nexus got smashed by John Cena, Jack Swagger was World Heavyweight Champion, and Jerry Lawler wrestled The Miz in a TLC match for the WWE Championship on Raw.
Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. His work in Memphis puts him in an elite class that few wrestlers in history have been able to attain. However, if you had told Jerry Lawler back in 1979 that he would be wrestling in a TLC match at the age of 61 he probably would have punched you in the mouth. In 2010, Lawler attempted to win his first ever WWE Championship at the expense of The Miz.
The Miz had won the WWE Championship the week prior when he cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on Randy Orton. This Tables, Ladders and Chairs match was his first title defence and is only memorable for the finish. As this was during Michael Cole’s insufferable run as a heel commentator whose favorite wrestler was The Miz, Cole took it upon himself to pull Lawler down from the ladder when it appeared that he had the match won. As Lawler punched out Cole, Miz was able to ascend the ladder and hit ‘The King’ with the title belt before retaining the championship.
I would not call this a bad match but it has been mostly lost to history and not one people should dig to find.
19. CM Punk vs. Ryback – Raw (January 7th, 2013)
Star Rating: N/A
I’m sure CM Punk would like to have this one back. It has been well documented how much Punk disliked working with Ryback and this would be far from their last encounter.
This match was a weird one to digest. It was near the tail end of Punk’s 434 day reign as WWE Champion and he was already scheduled to face The Rock at the Royal Rumble pay per view only a few weeks later. This was also when Punk had The Shield in his back pocket and they would interfere in his matches to ensure he remained champion. So it is interesting that the live crowd really got behind Ryback in this match despite it being a foregone conclusion that Punk would retain.
When Ryback appeared to have the match won he was attacked by the Shield, which lead to the crowd chanting for The Rock to come even the odds. He did not show up but it still seemed odd that this crowd seemed to believe that Rock would emerge to help Ryback win the title, thus setting up a Ryback vs. The Rock match at the Royal Rumble.
Interesting crowd aside, this match was one of the better matches of Ryback’s career and credit should be given to CM Punk for getting a match of this level out of the big rookie. With both men on the WWE‘s hit list I would not expect this match to be brought up in video packages in the future.
19. Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin – TLC 2018
Star Rating: 1 star
What a disaster this was. The furthest thing from a TLC match on this list, Baron Corbin and Braun Strowman battled in what was really a chairs match at TLC 2018. The two had been feuding on Raw during the Autumn on 2018 with Corbin acting as the “Constable” for the brand.
He made himself numerous enemies in the position, not limited to Finn Balor, Kurt Angle, Bobby Roode and Chad Gable. This really was more of a segment than a match. All of Corbin’s foes emerged to lay waste to the constable and keep him from fleeing this fight. They hit him with chairs before Strowman got the pin. Strowman was nursing an injury at the time, which is likely the reason for the smoke and mirrors nature of the match.
This match clocks in at just 2:31, making it the shortest TLC match in history and also the worst.
18. Randy Orton vs. John Cena – TLC 2013
Star Rating: 3.25 stars
Everyone’s favorite rivalry. By the time John Cena and Randy Orton met at TLC 2013 WWE‘s audience was long passed done watching them wrestle. The even more pressing issue was this was the match that finally unified the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships.
By December of 2013, WWE was beginning to get in a tug of war with their fans. The fans wanted Daniel Bryan to be the WWE Champion while the WWE had other plans and this may be hindsight talking but I do not believe that force-feeding your fanbase a rivalry they have seen multiple times over the prior six years is a good idea when they are already mad at you.
Daniel Bryan aside, this was the match that main-evented Tables, Ladders and Chairs in 2013. The match was not horrible but it was nothing special either. It was also difficult to get fully invested in when the fans watching it had seen this rivalry play out two previous times. It also does not help that you can count the great matches these two men have had together on one hand despite having dozens of matches but that’s besides the point.
In the end, Orton handcuffed Cena to the ropes, which Cena was able to partially escape by disconnecting the turnbuckle, before pulling Cena off a ladder and sending him head-first onto a table. Orton then climbed the ladder and pulled down the titles to become the Undisputed WWE World Heavyweight Champion. This match was completely forgettable and deserving its spot near the bottom of this list.
17. DX vs. Jeri-Show – TLC 2009
Star Rating: 3.5 stars
This was the main event of the first Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay per view and while it was not spectacular, it was the culmination of one of the best Tag Team Championship runs in WWE‘s recent history.
Chris Jericho had recruited the Big Show to be his tag team partner at Night of Champions in July of 2009 and since then they reigned as the Unified Tag Team Champions. While their competition was less than stellar, ‘Jeri-Show’ was a great team and their reign as champions made the titles feel important, something that was lacking from the tag team division since the Attitude Era. They had their own custom music, they did not bicker about who got the pin like most teams did in the late 2000s, and they perfectly highlighted the strengths of their differing styles.
Triple H and Shawn Michaels had reunited for their final (or so we thought) run as DX and had their sights set on their first Tag Team Championships. At the TLC pay per view the two teams competed in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match. They had some creative spots such as Michaels and Jericho duelling with chair and Triple H holding up half a ladder for Michaels to climb. However, the issue with the match is that it was quite slow given the men involved. Triple H and the Big Show are not ever going to be known for high-flying moves and Shawn Michaels was nearing his retirement. This left the two teams to tell a story instead of put on a spectacle.
Finally, Michaels and Triple H were able to dethrone ‘Jeri-Show’ and win their first Tag Team Championship in the process.
16. Edge vs. The Undertaker – One Night Stand 2008
Star Rating: 3.5 stars
For such a great rivalry this was one of the weaker matches that Edge and the Undertaker had together. Only two weeks after their last pay per view match at Judgment Day, Edge and Undertaker did battle in a TLC match for the vacant World Heavyweight Championship. Also if Undertaker lost he was banished from WWE forever. On a two week build. Alright then.
Lousy booking aside, Edge and Undertaker had a decent match together that appeared much more contrived than most other Tables, Ladders and Chairs matches. They had tables set up and then one wrestler would position the ladder in a way that only someone who wanted to be put through those tables would do. Then La Familia (Curt Hawkins, Zack Ryder, Chavo Guerrero and Bam Neely) would run in in pairs to be dispatched by the Undertaker.
Undertaker was hurting at the time and was set to take a few months off to recuperate and would not be one that many people would think to be in a hurry to take a series of ladder bumps anyway. The end of the match saw Undertaker climb a ladder only to be pushed off through a pile of tables stacked at ringside. Edge then scurried up the ladder and retrieved the championship to mark his fifth reign as World Champion.
Per the stipulations, Undertaker was banished from the WWE and was never heard from ever again…for two months.
15. Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt – Tables, Ladders, Chairs and Stairs 2014
Star Rating: 3.75 stars
This match undoubtedly has the stupidest finish of any TLC match in history. Ambrose grabbed a big monitor to try and hit Bray Wyatt with it (because all the tables, ladders, and chairs aren’t enough you see) and as he ran at Wyatt the monitor hit a snag because it was still plugged in. Ambrose stopped dead in his tracks and the whole crowd just laughed at him. He then attempted to yank the cord loose and the monitor exploded in his hands. Bray Wyatt then hit Sister Abigail and pinned him. It’s crap like this that made it impossible for Dean Ambrose to get over following the Shield breakup. Ugh. Next match please.
14. Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus – TLC 2015
Star Rating: 4.0 stars
Oh let us not forget the pain and misery of watching Sheamus as WWE Champion in 2015. During WWE‘s nonsensical attempt of getting Roman Reigns to be their new top star by beating him for a year straight, Sheamus defended the WWE Championship against Reigns in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match.
This is another match that has been essentially lost to history. WWE doesn’t seem to want to remind their fans of the failure that was Sheamus’ WWE Championship reign in 2015, nor do they want to remind their fans of Roman Reigns’ constant failures before becoming the WWE Champion. With that being said, this is a good match. Reigns and Sheamus worked a tough style as two big, strong, tough men should.
After beating each other for a considerable amount of time, the League of Nations (Alberto Del Rio and Rusev) emerged to help Sheamus defeat Reigns. Reigns was able to fight off the invading assault but then ate a Brogue Kick and Sheamus retrieved the title for the win.
Roman Reigns would attack Triple H following the match and went on to win the title on Raw the next night, rendering much of this match moot. Still, it is an entertaining affair and you probably won’t regret seeking it out and watching it.
13. Edge vs. Ric Flair – Raw (January 16, 2006)
Star Rating: 4.0 stars
This match is a treat. In Edge’s first title defence of his first ever WWE Championship, he wrestled the one and only Ric Flair in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match on Raw.
Edge and Flair had a delightful little match where the crowd genuinely wanted to see Ric Flair win the title. Edge was just getting started as a main eventer and this match did a good job to wet the appetite of the WWE fans. Flair bled quite a lot in this match (as Flair has been known to do) but put up a good fight all things considered.
However, this was a spotlight for Edge to shine in his new role and shine he did. Edge has always been a great heel and his relationship with Lita made him all the more hatable during this time period. Edge was able to retain the WWE Championship following a bloody fight and would go on to feud with John Cena for much of 2006. This is a very fun little match that you will not be mad that you watched.
Fun fact: A younger Charlotte Flair can be seen in the front row during this match.
12. Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, & Kurt Angle vs. The Miz, Cesaro, Sheamus, Kane, & Braun Strowman – TLC 2017
Star Rating: 4.25 stars
What the hell even is this match? This match is an example of throwing everything at the wall, nothing sticking, and saying “welp there’s a pay per view on Sunday, this will have to do”.
To be fair, WWE could not have foreseen that Roman Reigns would come down with the mumps just days before the event. His involvement would have made the match a little less nonsensical, but only a little. The Shield reunion was going to be a big deal and because of Reigns’ illness it just never really got off the ground. Kurt Angle being Reigns replacement did not make much sense from a storyline perspective but WWE wanted to give their audience a memorable replacement for Reigns so it can be forgiven.
What I am less inclined to forgive is just how much of a mess this match was. Why a five-on-three handicap Tables, Ladders and Chairs match with nothing on the line was decided on as The Shield’s return match I will never understand. Angle was wrestling his first match in WWE since his departure in 2006 and was unable to do much of what he was remembered for. The rest of the match was the heel team beating The Shield down until finally they began to turn on one another, leading to The Shield’s comeback and eventual victory.
Not a fan of this one, felt like they jumped the shark by trying to do too much. This match probably would have been better if the heel team had three people. Also Booker T’s commentary in this match is particularly atrocious.
11. Edge vs. Kane vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Rey Mysterio – TLC 2010
Star Rating: 4.25 stars
This match is a lot better than the version of it that was originally scheduled. In late 2010, Edge and Kane were feuding over the World Heavyweight Championship and what an awful feud it was. The culmination of their horrendous rivalry was set to be a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match, scheduled for the upcoming TLC pay per view.
The match was thought to be a terrible idea within WWE as Kane is not known for his stellar performances and a TLC match between the two would likely not produce great results. So the change was made and Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio were added to the match to make it a four-way. This undoubtedly helped the quality of the match and resulted in a pretty decent Tables, Ladders and Chairs match.
Mysterio and Del Rio had been feuding throughout the autumn so they had their own storyline going during the match while still trying to win the championship. Meanwhile Kane and Edge were attempting to battle one another in what was still the culmination of their feud. There weren’t as many huge spots in this match but it told a good enough story and ended with Edge winning his tenth World Championship.
Edge vs. Kane would go on to win the award for Worst Rivalry of the Year in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards and I do not believe that a TLC match between them would have changed that.
10. CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. The Miz – TLC 2011
Star Rating: 4.25 stars
One of the few pay per views that CM Punk main evented during his 434 day reign as WWE Champion was Tables, Ladders and Chairs in 2011. One month after winning the title from Alberto Del Rio at Survivor Series, Punk would put his gold on the line against Del Rio and The Miz in a three-way TLC match.
Punk’s reign as champion should be commended and was very memorable, but some people may forget that this was his first pay per view title defence during that reign. While the match was fun and very well wrestled, it is a tad forgettable. I seriously doubt anyone thought Del Rio or The Miz would win the title in this match although this was the year that the WWE title changed hands nine times in six months so I could be wrong.
Punk was handcuffed to a turnbuckle and as Del Rio and The Miz were attempting to climb a ladder, Punk unscrewed the turnbuckle, knocked Del Rio down, and hit The Miz with the Go To Sleep. Punk was then able to climb the ladder and successfully retain the WWE Championship.
This was a very good match that unfortunately just does not stand out among all the other great Tables, Ladders and Chairs matches that have come before it.
9. Jeff Hardy vs. CM Punk – SummerSlam 2009
Star Rating: 4.25 stars
It is hard to believe that Jeff Hardy has only had one singles TLC match in his WWE career. This is that one match. Hardy’s rivalry with CM Punk in 2009 really helped establish both men as legitimate main eventers and their match in the main event of SummerSlam for the World Heavyweight Championship cemented their status.
CM Punk was in the middle of his first run as a heel in WWE where he played up his Straightedge persona opposite the free-spirited Jeff Hardy. Hardy and Punk had great chemistry and their storyline was one that the fans got behind. Punk claiming he was better than Hardy and the fans because of his lifestyle was a hot angle in the summer of 2009 and after trading the World title back and forth their blowoff match was set for SummerSlam.
CM Punk challenged Hardy in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match for the World Heavyweight Championship and what a match it was. While it is best remembered for Hardy’s insane Swanton Bomb from the top of a massive ladder, the match told a great story while incorporating the surrounding hardware. Hardy being the experienced combatant was used to his surroundings while Punk relied on his vicious intent to injury Hardy to get him through. Both men took hellacious bumps and following the climactic Swanton, Hardy appeared to have done more damage to himself than to Punk. Punk was able to climb the ladder and knock Hardy off to win his third World Heavyweight Championship.
Hardy and Punk would have their final match days later on SmackDown with Loser Leaves Town stipulations. Hardy would lose once again and he would not return to WWE until WrestleMania 33 nearly eight years later.
8. Edge vs. John Cena – Unforgiven 2006
Star Rating: 4.25 stars
Edge and John Cena’s TLC match in Toronto is memorable for a number of reasons, not limited to the biggest FU/Attitude Adjustment of all time.
As Cena and Edge came to the conclusion of the 2006 portion of their rivalry, the only way to settle things was in Edge’s specialty match. After beating Cena in Cena’s hometown of Boston at SummerSlam, Edge was challenged to a rematch where he got to pick the time, place and stipulation for the match. Of course, the next pay per view was scheduled for Edge’s hometown of Toronto and the stage was set for the two men’s Tables, Ladders and Chair match.
Edge of course was a massive babyface in his hometown and Cena was booed mercilessly. As Cena was forced to adapt to his surroundings, he locked Edge in the STF while Edge was trapped in a ladder. This is where you can see Edge legitimately go unconscious and he does not come to until Edge hits him in the head with a ladder. After some interference from Lita, Edge and Cena traded blows atop a ladder with two tables stacked beside them. As Edge reached for the title, Cena lifted him in the air and delivered the biggest FU/AA of all time through the two tables. With Edge vanquished, Cena reached up and unclasped the title, winning the match and his third WWE Championship.
There is a lot to like in this match and Toronto fans hold this dearly as it was the last pay per view main event they saw live for over a decade (I’m not bitter I swear).
7. TLC IV – Raw (October 7, 2002)
Star Rating: 4.25 stars
Next up we have the fourth Tables, Ladders and Chairs match ever, as TLC IV took place on Raw in 2002 for the World Tag Team Championships.
Kane was forced to defend the Tag Team Champions without Hurricane Helms (Helms was injured earlier in the night) in a four-way TLC match. His challengers were the teams of Chris Jericho & Christian, Bubba Ray & Spike Dudley, and Jeff Hardy & Rob Van Dam. Despite a lot of crazy, high-risk spots and being a great match, this match is another that I’m sure many new fans are unaware exists.
TLC IV mixes high-risk spots from Hardy, Van Dam, and others with the story of Kane being the biggest and strongest man in the match while competing without a partner. The other wrestlers tried their hardest to take Kane out of the match but like a monster he would not stay down. Kane was able to chokeslam Chris Jericho off a ladder before climbing and retaining the Tag Team Championships on behalf of his fallen partner.
This is a great match that fans should go out of their way to watch. Plus you get to hear J.R. on commentary solo, which sounds like heaven compare to most commentary over the last ten years.
6. Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles – TLC 2016
Star Rating: 4.5 stars
What a match this was. AJ Styles first year in WWE was something to behold and he capped it off with on of his best performances of the whole year.
AJ Styles had won the WWE Championship from Dean Ambrose at Backlash in September and this was Ambrose’s long awaited one-on-one rematch. Ambrose wanted the WWE title back more than anything but unfortunately he had to compete with Styles during perhaps Styles best year of his career.
A singles TLC match is very hard to do as people in the past have learned. There are fewer people to take bumps and thus the participants have to put themselves through more punishment with less time to recover in order to keep the fans engaged. This problem did not seem to affect Ambrose and Styles however as the two men put on the best singles Tables, Ladders and Chairs match ever. Ambrose dropped an elbow off a ladder through the announce table, Styles delivered a 450 splash through a table, and overall they just beat the hell out of each other. In the end, Ambrose’s friend James Ellsworth cost him the match as Ellsworth had a future WWE title match and he thought he could beat Styles easier than he could beat Ambrose (spoiler alert: he couldn’t).
This match is fantastic and definitely worth the watch although it may be best remembered as the match where Styles ripped a whole in the ass of his pants during one of his greatest performances. Such as life.
5. Asuka vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair – TLC 2018
Star Rating: 4.5 stars
While Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte was the first women’s match to main event a WWE pay per view at Hell in a Cell 2016, this match was a greater statement about where women’s wrestling had gone in the WWE.
Both the Banks vs. Charlotte match and the WWE Evolution pay per view were promoted with a great deal of propaganda in mind, with WWE trying to paint themselves as progressive. This match, however, main evented the pay per view not because they were women, but because they were the most popular stars, the best workers, and could produce arguably the best match on the show.
Lynch was by far the most popular star in WWE at the time. Fans had gotten behind her as WWE tried to turn her heel in a nonsensical storyline and an iconic moment when she invaded Raw cemented her status. This was her first pay per view main event and it would not be her last. She, Charlotte and Asuka engaged in a pretty awe-inspiring match, which culminated in a run in from Ronda Rousey.
Rousey had ongoing tension with both Lynch and Charlotte following the Survivor Series and just as they were perched atop a ladder, Rousey came down to tip them over and cost them the match. Asuka quickly climbed the ladder and won her first WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship. Everyone involved outdid themselves and produced one of the best TLC matches of all time.
4. The Shield vs. Ryback, Daniel Bryan and Kane – TLC 2012
Star Rating: 4.5 stars
THIS is how you debut a faction. After Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns debuted at Survivor Series in 2012 their first official WWE match was scheduled for the following month’s pay per view TLC.
This was the first time nothing was on the line in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match and thus resulted in this match being decided by pinfall or submission. It still baffles me that this is still a thing. Why not just call it a Street Fight or a No Holds Barred match? Well it would be because it was time for the TLC pay per view and they needed a TLC match. It doesn’t make much sense but I’ll roll with it.
This was an awesome No-DQ match and a perfect way to show the WWE fans who The Shield was. Each member of the stable had a different and clearly defined role. Rollins was the high-flyer, Ambrose was the brawler, and Reigns was the powerhouse. When you put these three styles together on one team they made for great matches and this one is no exception. This was a wild brawl from the get-go and there was always something happening. Eventually Kane was speared through the dasherboards and Ryback yanked Rollins through a table near the stage. This left Daniel Bryan alone to fight Ambrose and Reigns and unfortunately the numbers game got the best of him. Ambrose and Reigns hit a double-powerbomb through a table and pinned Bryan to win their first WWE match.
Rollins bump through the tables was scary as he banged his head on the edge of a table but he ended up being alright and we can look back on this for the great match it was.
3. TLC I – SummerSlam 2000
Star Rating: 4.5 stars
The one that started it all. Tables, Ladders and Chairs…oh my! The Attitude Era is remembered for many things but one that should not be lost is the quality of the tag team division in 2000-2001. Edge & Christian, The Hardys and The Dudleys were embroiled in a three-way rivalry over the WWF World Tag Team Championships for over a year and right in the middle of that rivalry was the first ever Tables, Ladders and chairs match.
As punishment from then-commissioner Mick Foley, Edge and Christian were forced to defend their titles in a three-way TLC match at SummerSlam 2000. This match remains a classic to this day as the breakneck speed and death-defying spots of this match are difficult to top nearly two decades later. The Hardys tried their best to use their prowess with ladders to win the titles in front of their hometown crowd, while the Dudleys attempted to take out the competition by putting them through tables.
The spots in this match are some of the most iconic TLC match spots in history. Matt Hardy being thrown backwards off a ladder through two tables on the floor is a horrifying bump pulled off to perfection. D-Von Dudley being afraid of heights makes him and Jeff Hardy hanging from the cable all the more terrifying (or funny in a morbid kind of way). And Edge and Christian pushing Bubba Ray Dudley through stacked tables at ringside capped off the first Tables, Ladders and Chairs match.
Edge and Christian retained their titles but this would not be the last time these teams would meet with their patented hardware involved.
2. TLC III – SmackDown (May 22, 2001)
Star Rating: 4.75 stars
This has been called “the forgotten TLC match” by those who were involved and while it is arguably the best Tables, Ladders and Chairs match in history, it is easy to understand why WWE has swept this match under the carpet.
Less than two months after the historic TLC II at WrestleMania X-Seven, the original three teams were joined by a fourth tag team: Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit. Despite the match’s immense quality, it is difficult to watch due to who is involved. Chris Benoit is the star of this match, suffering a severe neck injury by diving through a table at ringside and reemerging to be hit with a con-chair-to from Edge and Christian and then again to climb the ladder and win the match.
For obvious reasons a match like that is not one that WWE would want to promote. It is unfortunate because even if you take out Benoit’s involvement this match is near flawless. Jeff Hardy’s leapfrog legdrop through the announce table was original, Jericho giving Edge the Walls of Jericho across two ladders was a new idea and it was clear that the teams involved had more TLC ideas left in their collective tanks.
If you can set aside your thoughts of Chris Benoit this match is one of the best you will see, but otherwise it may be best to leave this one locked in the vault.
1. TLC II (WrestleMania X-Seven)
Star Rating: 4.75 stars
Here you have it. The best Tables, Ladders and Chairs match of all time. Determined to outdo themselves from the previous year’s WrestleMania and from their SummerSlam encounter months earlier, Edge & Christian, The Hardys and The Dudleys met once again in TLC.
More carnage than ever before and it took place on the biggest WrestleMania ever at the time. The Dudleys came into this match as the WWF World Tag Team Champions and were determined to retain their gold against their familiar foes. Each team had someone in their corner in this match as well. The Hardys had Lita, The Dudleys had Spike Dudley, and Edge and Christian had Rhyno. This added an extra element to this match that had not been seen in their prior matches as now there were more people to take the crazy bumps the match required.
Jeff Hardy performed one of his craziest Swanton Bombs ever as he drove Rhyno and Spike Dudley through two tables, Matt Hardy and Bubba Ray Dudley took a beautiful dive through four stacked tables at ringside, and then there was the biggest spot of them all. As Jeff Hardy hung from the cables high above the ring, Edge began to climb a ladder than had been set up in the corner. Then as Bubba Ray Dudley cause Hardy to swing towards the centre of the ring, Edge leapt off and speared the prone Hardy down to the mat below. It was a move that has been replayed thousands of times in the seventeen years since and will continue to be played until the end of time.
As Edge held D-Von Dudley down and prevented him from climbing the ladder, Rhyno lifted Christian on his shoulders and climbed the ladder to retrieve the tag titles. Thus bringing a close to the greatest Tables, Ladders and Chairs match in history.
The Tables, Ladders and Chairs match has seen more than its fair share of great matches since its inception in 2000. The wrestlers who have competed in the match could make up a list of some of the best to ever compete in a WWE ring. Now we must wait to see what the future holds for TLC matches as this year’s Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay per view fast approaches.
Tables, Ladders and Chairs matches have been consistently good matches more than almost any WWE gimmick match and it is easy to see why. When you have wrestlers involved such as Edge & Christian, The Hardys, The Dudleys, AJ Styles, CM Punk, and Chris Jericho, it becomes clear why these have become some of the best WWE matches of all time.
The matches have taken their tolls on those who helped to innovate them, but they will forever be remembered as the matches that ushered in a new wave of death-defying stunts in WWE. Years later wrestlers everywhere still emulate much of what was seen in these matches nearly two decades ago. If that continues then the legacy of the TLC match will live on forever.
Now it is up to you to tell us what your list would look like! You can always leave us a comment down below or you can send your lists to us on Twitter as well. Opinions are always good to have so feel free to share yours!