From the time that Mick Foley began intoning the words, “Tables, Ladders, and Chairs – oh my!” in the summer of 2000, TLC matches have proven to be one of the most popular gimmick matches in all of WWE. The sheer combination of breathtaking athleticism and bone-crunching brutality is unlike anything else that the business had seen to that point, and it’s been hard to equal in the 18 years since.
Despite the popularity of the match, and the fact that a pay-per-view bearing the TLC name and gimmicks has been in commission since 2009, there have only been 20 matches in WWE history bearing the official Tables, Ladders, and Chairs gimmick. It almost feels like there should be many more that have taken place, but it’s probably for the best that the list is a little more sparse. Makes the matches mean a little bit more when there’s less of them.
But what was the greatest of all the TLC matches? That’s something we intend to figure out with the help of this list, because there have certainly been some exceptional exhibitions over these past two decades. But only the best can crack this top 10, and these are, unquestionably, the greatest TLC matches of all time.
10. Edge Vs. Ric Flair (Raw, 16 January 2006)
The very idea of The Nature Boy taking part in any sort of car-crash ladder match, especially on the cusp of his 57th birthday, sounded absurd. Going one greater, putting the match (which was for Edge’s WWE Championship) on free TV without a whole lot of build was doubly absurd. When the dust cleared, the sceptics weren’t talking so loudly – unless their sentiment had swung a 180.
Flair did the customary blade job, and even endured a flying splash off of a ladder through an outside table, which would’ve been bonkers even if he’d done it 15 years earlier. The two built genuinely-engrossing drama throughout the match, with Flair coming close to victory, only for Edge to pull the rug out from underneath. Bonus fact: 19-year-old Ashley Flair watched on from inside the arena, perhaps not knowing that 13 years later, she’d be in a TLC match of her own.