WWE’s Raw roster presents TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs this Sunday night live on the WWE Network. The build-up to the show has mostly centred around the reunion of the popular trio known as The Shield, even though they are battling the odds this weekend as they step into a 5-on-3 handicap TLC match.
This year there are only two Championships on the line and seven matches currently announced for the event, as it looks to live up to the hype that the event has created in previous years. Tables, Ladders and Chairs has been a WWE pay-per-view since 2009 and over the past eight years, this event has created a lot of history of its own. TLC will be remembered for some of the strangest match types in the almost decade that it has been an annual event.
TLC is another pay-per-view that is considered to be a gimmick event since it is focused on and around a certain gimmick match much like Hell in a Cell, Elimination Chamber and even The Royal Rumble. WWE decided to add a number of these back in 2009 and some of them are still part of WWE’s calendar.
When it comes to TLC, there have been many stand out things happening at the event over the past eight years that are worth noting before this year’s event, as well as a number of history-making matches that are set to take place at this year’s event. The following list looks at all of the talking points before TLC 2017.
15. Three Women’s Matches On The Show For The First Time
The women of WWE have not always been given a fair chance. This is a new development in WWE, which means that this pay-per-view has never seen three women’s matches on the card before.
This Sunday this changes as Sasha Banks faces Alicia Fox on the pre-show, Asuka makes her WWE main roster debut to take on Emma, and Alexa Bliss defends her Women’s Championship against former six-time Champion Mickie James. The women make up almost half of a pay-per-view show on Sunday night for the very first time and have all of the potential to steal the show if they are given the chance. Mickie James and Alexa Bliss are the only women on the card who have been part of the show before, whilst the other four women make their debut at the event this weekend, and what a way for them to be taking their TLC bow.
14. First Ever Handicap Main Event
The Shield walk into TLC this weekend knowing that they are battling against the odds as they take on Braun Strowman, Kane, The Miz, Cesaro and Sheamus in a 5-on-3 handicap TLC match.
This is the first time in the history of the TLC event that a handicap match has been the main event. More often than not, the main event is usually a TLC match for the World Championship but since Brock Lesnar is unavailable for this event, WWE has had to throw this match together instead. TLC back in 2013 boasted two different 3-on-1 handicap matches; one was The Shield against CM Punk, which they lost, and the other was The Wyatt Family taking on Daniel Bryan. This definitely isn’t the first handicap match at TLC but it is the first one to headline the event. It is also the first tag team main event match since 2009 when D Generation-X took on Chris Jericho and The Big Show.
13. Intercontinental Championship Has Been Defended At Every Event
Even though the Intercontinental Championship is seen as a mid-card title, TLC has been one of the best pay-per-views for the ancient belt, since it has been defended at every version event over the past eight years.
Ever since 2009 when Drew McIntyre won the Championship from John Morrison at the inaugural event all the way through to 2016 where The Miz successfully defended his title against Dolph Ziggler in a ladder match. Much like WrestleMania, WWE often opts to put the Championship on the line in a ladder match at this event; this has happened three times out of the past eight. Since current Intercontinental Champion The Miz plays his part in the main event TLC handicap match this year, it seems that this streak will come to an end because the Intercontinental Championship is not currently scheduled to be defended at the event for the very first time.
12. TLC 2014 Was AJ Lee’s Final Divas Championship Match
AJ Lee was once the longest reigning Divas Champion in WWE history; she won the Championship back at Payback in 2013 and defended it for 295 days until she was defeated by Paige the day after WrestleMania 30 in 2014. AJ went on to regain the Championship two more times before she lost it to Nikki Bella at Survivor Series.
AJ cashed in her rematch clause for the Championship at TLC that year and after she was unsuccessful she decided to take a lengthy hiatus from the company to heal from a pre-existing neck injury. She returned to WWE in March 2015 and was part of a tag match at WrestleMania when she teamed with Paige in a victory over The Bella Twins. Two days later AJ announced that she had retired from wrestling. So TLC 2014 was her final shot at the Championship that she managed to redefine during her time with the company.
11. The Shortest Championship Match At The Event Was Just 2 Minutes And 58 Seconds
As already stated, the women in WWE weren’t given a chance on pay-per-view for a long time before the Women’s Revolution began back in 2015, and the best example of this comes from TLC back in 2012 when the Divas Championship match lasted just under three minutes.
Naomi won the Santa’s little helper battle royale earlier in the night to secure her place in the match against the Champion Eve Torres. What is perhaps most shocking is the fact that the battle royale took longer than the actual Championship match. We should technically give Naomi the benefit of the doubt here, though, since she had already been part of one match already that night and can’t have been wrestling at one hundred percent against the Champion. Thank god the WWE Universe decided to start a Women’s Revolution, or there might have only been a three-minute women’s match this weekend instead of three separate matches.
10. The Shortest Match At The Event Was Just Seven Seconds Long
Back at TLC in 2011, the WWE Universe witnessed the first and only Money in the Bank cash-in in the history of this pay-per-view event, as Daniel Bryan decided to cash in his contract on The Big Show following his brutal Chairs match against Mark Henry where he had won the World Heavyweight Championship from The World’s Strongest Man.
Bryan won the impromptu match in just seven seconds, and this now holds the record as the shortest match in the history of the event. The win made Bryan the first wrestler from NXT to win a Championship on the main roster and Bryan went on to hold the Championship all the way through to WrestleMania, where he lost his match to Sheamus in just 18 seconds after he was distracted by AJ Lee as she attempted to give him a good luck kiss before his match.
9. The Longest Match At The Event Was 30 Minutes Long
TLC matches are definitely not considered to be short; more often than not the match is only won when a person climbs the ladder and lifts a Championship, but there have been a number of times when WWE have allowed the match to end in a pinfall instead of putting titles on the line.
This means that each competitor has to beat their opponent so that they can’t stop them from climbing the ladder, so many main event matches in the history of this event have been more than 20 minutes long. Only one match at the event has managed to last longer than half an hour, though, and that was the TLC match between fierce rivals Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles at last year’s event when the duo fought it out for almost 31 minutes before James Ellsworth interfered and turned on his friend, which cost him the WWE Championship.
8. TLC Was CM Punk’s Final Sanctioned WWE Pay-Per-View Match
It seems that TLC holds quite a bit of history for CM Punk and his wife AJ Lee, since TLC 2013 was CM Punk’s final sanctioned WWE match. Punk was part of The Royal Rumble the following year, but walked out of WWE following the event and hasn’t returned since.
Punk took on all three members of The Shield at the final event of the year back in 2013 and somehow managed to win the match after he moved out of the way and allowed Roman Reigns to instead spear his teammate, Dean Ambrose. Punk and The Shield had a fantastic rivalry throughout the year and it seemed as though it had come to an end following this match, since Punk looked as though he had stepped into a feud with Kane before he decided to leave. This 3-on-1 handicap match wasn’t one of Punk’s best matches, but it was certainly one of his last and it will be fondly remembered as such.
7. The Women Made History At The Event In 2010
Some women have been allowed to make history at TLC over the years and back in 2010 The Divas of Doom took on LayCool in the first ever Women’s tag team tables match. Natalya and Beth Phoenix won the match when Natalya performed a cross-body that put both women through the tables. Natalya and Beth were two of the most dominant women in WWE at the time so it made sense to give the women this kind of opportunity.
This achievement was then repeated last year when Becky Lynch defended her Women’s Championship against Alexa Bliss in the first ever women’s singles tables match. This marked the first time Bliss won a WWE Championship. She has since gone on to win the SmackDown and Raw Women’s Championships twice. Sadly, all three women’s matches on the card on Sunday night are singles matches with no weapons involved, so history doesn’t seem to be repeating itself.
6. John Cena And Randy Orton Unified The World Titles At TLC In 2013
In 2013, TLC saw the historic unification of the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships. Randy Orton and John Cena put their titles on the line in the match and it was Randy Orton who walked out as the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
WWE decided to unify the titles because they were working as one roster and didn’t need two world titles, but shockingly, less than three years later, they decided to split their roster back into two brands and renamed the WWE World Championship as the WWE Championship once again and then introduced the Universal Championship on their Raw brand instead. This was a historic moment in WWE history, and even though in the grand scheme of things it did become quite pointless, at the time it was considered to be the beginning of something huge. Incredibly, the match between these two only lasted 25 minutes.
5. Mickie James And Sheamus Are The Only Stars On The Card On Sunday Who Were Part Of The Show In 2009
Eight years is a long time in WWE;, it’s a long time in any company, but it seems to have seen a number of superstars come and go from the company in that time. So much so that Sheamus and Mickie James are the only two WWE stars who are part of the card this weekend that were part of the inaugural show.
Mickie James has been gone from WWE for the past seven years and this is her first singles pay-per-view match since she returned to WWE back in January. Sheamus was winning the WWE Championship back at TLC in 2009 but he is now part of the main event singles match with The Shield after he and Cesaro lost their Tag Team Championships to Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose back at SummerSlam. A lot has changed in the past eight years.
4. No World Championship Match At TLC In 2014
Over the past eight years, there has always been a World Championship match at TLC, unless Brock Lesnar was Champion. Back in 2014, The Beast Incarnate was World Champion and this was the beginning of the time where Lesnar would pick and choose which events to defend his Championship at.
Once again, this year Lesnar is Universal Champion, and the Championship isn’t being defended at the event this weekend. It seems that WWE always adapts their shows to meet the demands of Brock Lesnar, and this year the only real pull the company has is the fact that The Shield is set to perform for the first time in more than three years in the main event. Brock Lesnar seems to be the main reason for this, but WWE has been able to pull together quite interesting cards for the event without the title being on the line on both occasions.
3. Tables, Ladders, Chairs And Stairs
The WWE Universe will fondly remember the time when WWE decided to extend the name of their annual pay-per-view event by calling the show Tables, Ladders, Chairs and Stairs back in 2014.
After the buildup to the match between Erick Rowan and The Big Show had included the steel steps a few times, WWE decided that it was a good idea to have the duo compete in the first-ever steel steps match at TLC in 2014. The match was as dire as the WWE Universe expected it to be but somehow it managed to go on for more than 11 minutes. The steel steps match was no different from a normal sanctioned match except the fact that you could use steel steps as a weapon without being disqualified. Many stars do this in regular matches anyway so it was a bit of a stupid addition to the show. Luckily, the company hasn’t repeated it since.
2. Women’s No-DQ Match
The feud between Carmella and Nikki Bella that began following Nikki’s return to WWE at last year’s SummerSlam reached the point where the women needed a match that had no rules so that they could finally go all out and only one woman would walk out at the end.
It was decided that the women could collide in a no-disqualification match at last year’s TLC event, where Nikki Bella came out as the winner after months of being sneak attacked by Carmella. The only women’s match that was given the no-DQ label before this one was a personal feud between former teammates Layla and Michelle McCool back at Extreme Rules in 2011. This ended up being Michelle’s final WWE match since it was also labelled a Loser Leaves WWE match. Bayley and Nia Jax recently were part of a no-disqualification match on Raw as well, so it seems that the match type is no longer as rare as it once was for the women of WWE.
1. The Shield Made Their Pay-Per-View Debut At The Event In 2012
WWE didn’t just throw together a match that would see The Shield reunite because Brock Lesnar and John Cena were unavailable for the event. Well, that was one of the reasons. Another one is the fact that The Shield had their debut match at TLC back in 2012 when they took on Ryback, Daniel Bryan and Kane in a tag team TLC match.
The Shield officially made their debut at Survivor Series the month before, but it wasn’t until TLC that the trio was seen in tag team action in a WWE ring. It seems slightly poetic that the most dominant stable of all time has been able to reform more than three years after they split, just in time for them to celebrate the first anniversary of their debut. TLC is a show that has been dominated by The Shield and the members of the Shield in singles matches over the past few years; don’t expect it to be any different this year.
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