This Sunday WWE will put on their final PPV of the year, TLC.
To the uninitiated this won’t be a tribute night to the popular 90’s girl group. Nor do the wrestlers all sit around giving each other some tender loving care with Christmas just around the corner.
No, in the land of WWE, TLC stands for tables, ladders and chairs.
It’s a night that is expected to produce plenty of weapons-based destruction, tis the season and all of that.
The card is dull on paper, but there is enough talent on hand to hopefully make it an entertaining watch.
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre takes on AJ Styles and Universal Champion Roman Reigns defends his title against Kevin Owens. Both matches will be conducted under TLC rules, see it all ties together nicely.
Elsewhere on the card, Smackdown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks puts her gold on the line against Carmella. While Randy Orton and ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt add another chapter to their long-standing rivalry.
Hopefully, it can exceed expectations and deliver. The December TLC show is never one that wrestling fans are chomping at the bit to see.
However, the same can’t be said for a TLC match itself.
Even before it was made into its own PPV, a TLC was usually a must-see affair for the WWE loyalists.
The match lends itself to feats of high flying daredevilry, bone shaking chair shots and all-round classic matches that are remember for a long time to come.
So, with that in mind and the TLC PPV just days away, now seems the perfect time to check out some of the best we’ve seen throughout the years.
Just a quick caveat before we start proceedings.
I really wanted to put the WeeLC on here, like you don’t understand how much love I have for that match.
Cooler heads have prevailed, and I just couldn’t do it. This isn’t to discount the WeeLC match, it had no right to be that good. But you’ll see when we go through the list, I just couldn’t justify its place.
While we’re at it, some other quick impromptu honourable mentions.
Edge vs Ric Flair (Raw, 2008), The Shield vs Daniel Bryan, Kane & Ryback (TLC, 2012) and Chris Jericho & Chris Benoit vs The Hardy Boyz vs Edge & Christian vs The Dudley Boyz (Smackdown, 2001). Three banger TLC matches that easily could have made my little list.
Anyway, let’s take a gander and what ones did make the cut.
5. Jeff Hardy vs CM Punk (SummerSlam, 2009)
This match served as the climax to this absolute cracking feud.
Punk was the straight edge heel. Condemning Hardy for his alcohol and drug usage outside of the ring. Two men with starkly different lifestyles and we still all booed the non-drinker, classic us.
Smackdown was constantly overshadowed by Raw back in 2009, but this feud was arguably the best in the company at the time.
The match is somewhat of an underrated gem these days.
The big moment you may remember is when Hardy jumped off a 20ft ladder, crashing himself and Punk through the announcer’s desk.
CM Punk would win the match to become the new World Heavyweight Champion. While Jeff Hardy would depart the company and wouldn’t return for about eight years.
Hardy may have lost the match, but he certainly left in style.
While the entire contest was topped off with a surprise after the match.
As Punk celebrated over the motionless body of his adversary, the lights flickered, and The Undertaker replaced Jeff Hardy. He attacked the new champ and gave us a great visual in the process.
4. The Undertaker vs Edge (One Night Stand, 2008)
Speaking of The Undertaker, he pops up here with his old foe Edge.
type of match shouldn’t suit the Deadman but watching him fly off a ladder through multiple tables is a real sight to behold.
These pair always had excellent chemistry. Their Wrestlemania classic that year is super, as was their Hell in a Cell encounter at SummerSlam a few months after this one.
While it wasn’t The Undertakers best performance, these two still manage to work together to pull off a must-see TLC match.
Plenty of broken tables and interference from Edge’s La Familia stablemates really made this an uphill task for the phenom.
So much so, Edge picked up the win and the vacant World Heavyweight Championship.
The Undertaker was forced to leave WWE, but don’t you worry he was shortly reinstated for their classic SummerSlam 2008 we previously mentioned.
When all was said and done, this was another brilliant match in a feud full of them.
3. Edge vs John Cena (Unforgiven, 2006)
As we will come to see, Edge is no stranger to giving us amazing TLC matches.
As much as I love his feud with The Undertaker, his long feud with John Cena may be on par with it.
The two met at Unforgiven in September 2006, in Edge’s home country of Canada.
It wasn’t the hostile home nation crowd that you may expect.
John Cena wasn’t as hated as he would become, small pockets of the crowd were starting to turn, but it wasn’t quiet as bad as the reactions he would get during the PG Era.
Saying that, it was a very pro Edge crowd. In fairness to Edge his popularity was skyrocketing during this period.
On this night both men proved themselves once again.
For me, it was the best match these two men ever had together.
A hard-hitting brawl, that proved both men were ready to be leading faces of the company going forward, especially Edge.
Of course, with this match we all remember the finishing spot.
Cena gave Edge the FU off the top of a ladder through two tables. This gave John the perfect opportunity to unclip the WWE Championship and become our new champion.
2. The Hardy Boyz vs Edge & Christian vs The Dudley Boyz (Wrestlemania 17)
Wrestlemania 17 is regarded as the best Wrestlemania of all time by many. This was just another huge highlight of an unbelievably entertaining night of wrestling.
Honestly, this is one of the best Wrestlemania matches of all time, it’s that good.
These three teams went to war for the WWE Tag Team Championships.
Words will not do this one justice and if I were the point out every major spot this would be more novel than article.
Every man in this match just clicked and risked it all.
Vince McMahon was never keen on tag team wrestling, but even he had to know he struck gold having all these teams around at the same time.
Edge and Christian would literally stand tall after this match as the new tag team champions.
1. The Hardy Boyz vs Edge & Christian vs The Dudley Boyz (SummerSlam, 2000)
This isn’t an editorial error; this lot had an even better TLC match months before their Wrestlemania encounter.
While that one was magic, this one was just special. This was the first ever TLC match and you never forget your first.
If this match bombed, we would have never seen another TLC match again. Thankfully, we had three of the best teams in the world at the time working together to make this one of the best WWE matches of all time.
The Hardy’s loved ladders, Edge and Christian could kill a man with chairs, and we all know the Dudley’s penchant for tables. Everything made sense and had a reason to exist.
Like the Wrestlemania match, YouTube is your friend.
If I described lads falling through tables it just wouldn’t be as fun. It is 18 minutes of nonstop action that will have you glued from the word go.
Most importantly, it gave us the birth of the TLC match.
Without it the PPV by the same name, these classic matches and this very list wouldn’t be known today. All tragedies I’m sure you can agree.
All eight men knew how to incorporate their hardcore weapon into the match.
The crowd ate it all up and everyone was delighted to see Edge and Christian retain their tag team titles when all was said and done.