Definitions

Tables Match

Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match

A Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match, often abbreviated as a TLC, is a type of professional wrestling match originated within World Wrestling Entertainment, but can be seen in other wrestling variations.

History

The TLC match is a variation of a ladder match with a particular emphasis on the use of the three most popular "foreign objects" in wrestling. The TLC match usually pits three or more tag teams against each other, but is available for a one-on-one match. The goal is to acquire the item (usually championship belts) which starts the match suspended above the ring. A TLC match can be seen as a more complicated ladder match, where tables and chairs, along with ladders, can also be used as legal foreign objects. This, compared to the relative ages of the wrestlers involved, gives the match an atmosphere similar to that of a hardcore match.

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment

WWE created and adapted the matches to make it known today as a TLC match. The idea of the TLC match in WWE had its origins in a tag-team ladder match for the managerial services of Terri Runnels between Edge and Christian and the Hardy Boyz at No Mercy 1999, with audiences giving all four wrestlers a standing ovation at the end of the match. The move catapulted both tag teams to the top of the tag team world. The following months had the Hardy Boyz face the Dudley Boyz in a tag-team Tables match, which had similar success.

The three teams would be known for their three respective foreign objects, as well as the hardcore wrestling styles associated therein: the Dudley Boyz often had a spot in their tag team matches where Bubba Ray Dudley would say "D-Von, get the tables!" when a table spot was imminent; the Hardy Boyz, in singles matches, would challenge main-event singles wrestlers (such as The Undertaker) in Ladder matches, considered at that time to be the "signature match" of the team; while Edge and Christian developed the "Con-Chair-To" finishing move, which involved the two hitting an opponent's head simultaneously with chairs. Eventually, the three teams were brought together in a Triple Threat Ladder match in WrestleMania 2000, in what would be the forerunner of the TLC in terms of the spots involved (tables were involved in some of the major spots, even though it was technically a Ladder match). It is incorrectly referred to by some fans as the first TLC match. The match was called a Triangle Ladder Match.

The first TLC match was contested between these three teams using the weapons (and to a lesser extent, the type of match) that they had made famous at SummerSlam 2000. These TLC matches frequently involved members of these three teams, and are largely remembered for the dangerous stunts, injuries, and length. However, the TLC matches slowly met its end when Edge and Christian broke up and Jeff Hardy was released. Additionally, the matches that have incorporated more weapons created an overall trend of increased concussions and neck injuries that plagued the WWE roster, and as a result, led to the return of a more traditional mat-based style of matches. Although the tables remain, to this day, a Dudley Boyz (now known as Team 3D) gimmick, Team 3D is virtually the only tag team to use it, and thus table matches are now few and far between. Chairs were reduced to their former roles as a mainstay form of interference and disqualification in wrestling matches, while ladders and Ladder matches are now used sporadically.

The second TLC match occurred at WrestleMania X-Seven the following year, which also sprung the infamous Swanton Bomb off a 16ft ladder by Jeff Hardy on Rhyno and Spike Dudley. These matches involved the three aforementioned teams, with each having Edge and Christian winning. TLC III occurred on the May 24, 2001 edition of WWF SmackDown! when the tag team of Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit had to face the usual other three tag teams in order to retain their tag team championship, which they did. This TLC is sometimes referred to as the Forgotten TLC due to the fact that there was no hype prior to the match and it was on TV. Clear evidence of this is shown to the hype of TLC VI where Edge continually stated that to Cena, TLC was "A match you never had, and a match I never lost."

The fourth TLC match, TLC IV, occurred on the October 7, 2002 edition of RAW, where four tag teams had drawn, as a result of "Raw Roulette" (where the match type of every match of the card was determined by spinning a wheel), a TLC match. The match saw defending champions Kane and The Hurricane putting their World Tag Team Titles up against the teams of Christian and Chris Jericho, Bubba Ray Dudley and Spike Dudley, and Jeff Hardy and Rob Van Dam. Being the veterans that they were to the match itself, general manager Eric Bischoff allowed Jeff, Christian and Bubba Ray to choose their own partners, as their former parters Matt Hardy, Edge, and D-Von Dudley were absent from the RAW brand at the time. Before the match, The Hurricane was assaulted backstage, leaving Kane completely alone in the match. Despite this, Kane managed to retain the titles.

On the January 16, 2006 edition of RAW, WWE had its fifth TLC match, the first in over three years. Edge successfully defended his WWE Championship against Ric Flair. It was the first TLC match to be held in singles competition and the first to have the WWE Championship on the line. It also marked the first (and only to this point) TLC match where a wrestler has "bladed" (Ric Flair bladed). This also marked the second time there was a TLC match in Raleigh, North Carolina.

TLC VI was held at Unforgiven on September 17, 2006, where John Cena won the WWE Championship from Edge in his first TLC match.

TLC VII was held at One Night Stand on June 1, 2008, where Edge won the vacated World Heavyweight Championship, defeating The Undertaker and (kayfabe) banishing him from WWE.

The first six TLC matches are included on the Ladder Match DVD that was released in June 2007.

No. Match Event, Date and Location
I Edge and Christian defeated The Hardy Boyz and The Dudley Boyz to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship SummerSlam
August 27, 2000,
Raleigh, North Carolina
II Edge and Christian defeated The Dudley Boyz and The Hardy Boyz to win the WWF Tag Team Championship WrestleMania X-Seven
April 1, 2001,
Houston, Texas
III Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho defeated The Hardy Boyz, The Dudley Boyz and Edge and Christian to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship SmackDown!
May 24, 2001,
Anaheim, California
IV Kane* defeated Christian & Chris Jericho, Bubba Ray & Spike and Jeff Hardy & Rob Van Dam to retain the World Tag Team Championship
*
RAW
October 7, 2002,
Las Vegas, Nevada
V Edge defeated Ric Flair to retain the WWE Championship RAW
January 16, 2006,
Raleigh, North Carolina
VI John Cena defeated Edge to win the WWE Championship Unforgiven
September 17, 2006,
Toronto, Canada
VII Edge defeated The Undertaker to win the vacant World Heavyweight Championship One Night Stand
June 1, 2008,
San Diego, California

Extreme Championship Wrestling

In other promotions, the TLC match has quite the following, appealing to a niche market within professional wrestling. However, the term "TLC" itself was trademarked by WWE, thus other promotions give different names to these types of matches despite having an identical setup. In more hardcore-style promotions, the chairs were often replaced, or were used alongside, chains. One example of a variation of the TLC match is the Tables, Ladders, Chairs, and Canes match. This match is a TLC match with the addition of Singapore Canes. The most notable match was at ECW Guilty as Charged on January 7, 2001 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, involving Steve Corino, Justin Credible, and The Sandman.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling

TNA Wrestling used a variation of the TLC match called "Full Metal Mayhem" as a bout between Jeff Hardy and Abyss at TNA Against All Odds 2005. The added stipulation to the match was that "anything metal is legal", though this only included the use of Abyss' trademark chain and bag of tacks. In reality, anything is legal; it's just that TNA provides tables, ladders, chairs and chains.

Abyss defeated Jeff Hardy by climbing the ladder to retrieve a contract for a shot at the NWA World Heavyweight Championship on a future episode of TNA Impact!. Abyss was never granted such title shot, and the story was retconned to state he lost his title shot to A.J. Styles at Lockdown, even though the shot Styles won was used at Hard Justice and not on Impact!, though Abyss would later get title shots at Slammiversary and No Surrender that year.

TNA used the "Full Metal Mayhem" match again at Sacrifice 2006 on May 14, 2006 when Abyss went one on one with Christian Cage for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Cage defeated Abyss to retain the championship.

It made its most recent appearance at Victory Road in 2008, in a 6-man tag team match featuring Christian Cage, A.J. Styles and Rhyno against Kurt Angle and Team 3D, where Angle pinned Styles to win the match for his team.

Wrestling Society X

WSX used a variation of the TLC match called a "Tables, Ladders, y Cervezas" match, where the match ends in a pinfall or submission. This match debuted on the February 13, 2007 taping.

See also

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