Jon Material - WWE TLC Fact Sheet: 20 interesting, fun, and trivial facts regarding the annual pay-per-view event
By Jon Lopuch
1. The first Tables, Ladder & Chairs PPV occurred on December 13, 2009 from San Antonio, TX. It replaced Armageddon as the WWE’s December PPV.
2. The first match in TLC PPV history saw Christian defeated Shelton Benjamin in a Ladder Match for the ECW Championship. Benjamin earned the title shot by defeating Madison Square Garden’s favorite son Zack Ryder (then accompanied by Rosa Mendes) in the opening bout of an ECW broadcast from Bridgeport, CT.
3. The Tables, Ladders & Chairs concept began as a match featuring tag teams. The first TLC match was at SummerSlam 2000 and saw Edge & Christian retained their titles against the Hardy Boyz and Dudley Boyz. Each team has been billed as brothers at some point in their history, although only Matt and Jeff Hardy are biologically related.
4. A re-match between that triumvirate of tag teams occurred at Wrestlemania X-Seven. Once again the tandem of Edge & Christian walked away victorious, this time winning the straps from the Dudley Boyz.
5. The first TLC match featuring singles wrestlers was between then-Intercontinental champion Ric Flair and then-WWE champion Edge. Only the Rated-R Superstar’s title was on the line. Edge was victorious as the world watched live on Raw. The show took place in Raleigh, NC at the same arena that witnessed the inaugural TLC match in 2000.
6. That wasn’t the only TLC match to feature a WWE Hall of Famer going for the WWE Championship. Last year on November 29, Jerry "The King" Lawler lost to The Miz when Michael Cole’s interference proved to be the difference. The match was The Miz’s first title defense and the spark that ignited the Lawler/Cole fuel.
7. That episode of Raw also contained the King of the Ring tournament, which was won by Sheamus. The Celtic Warrior made a splash at the inaugural TLC PPV when he won his first WWE Championship in a Tables Match against John Cena.
8. Sheamus received that title match by virtue of winning the "Breakthrough Battle Royal" on a episode of Raw emanating from Hershey, PA. The idea was the storyline brainchild of WWE legend and former Minnesota governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura, who was the guest host that night. Ventura was tired of the same old faces getting title shots, so he created a battle royal that featured only wrestlers who haven’t held either world championship (with the exception of Randy Orton, who muscled himself in). The Body reunited with Vince McMahon to do color commentary during the battle royal.
9. The inaugural TLC PPV also witnessed the final PPV tag match for WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels. HBK teamed with Triple H to form Degeneration X, and the pair won the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship from Jeri-Show. Michaels first made a name for himself in the tag team ranks. His PPV debut was part of a victorious Survivor Series team and his Wrestlemania debut came as one half of the Rockers in a losing effort to the Twin Towers at Wrestlemania V.
10. It was during Shawn’s feud with former partner Marty Jennety when he brought in his seven-foot bodyguard, Kevin Nash, who was billed as Diesel. Michael’s investment paid immediate dividends, as Nash debuted the same night Michaels defeated Jennety to win back the Intercontinental Title at a house show in Albany, NY.
11. Nash left the WWF in May of 1996 and returned with the NWO on February 17, 2002. For weeks Vince McMahon had been promising to inject a lethal dose of poison into the WWF because of his feud with Flair.
12. Perhaps Triple H was forgetting his 2003 feud with Nash when he told his sob story about how he thought Kevin was his friend for life. In April 2003, Nash returned from a quad injury and was asked to pick sides in an ongoing feud between Triple H and Michaels. Triple H eventually hit Nash in the nuts and later got himself intentionally disqualified to retain the World heavyweight Championship at Backlash. The feud culminated in a Hell in the Cell match where Triple H defeated Nash after brutalizing him with a medley of malicious objects that included steel chairs, barbed wire bats and, of course, the cage itself.
13. Tonght’s card also features an Intercontinental Title defense. Champion Cody Rhodes will battle Booker T, who returned to WWE at the 2011 Royal Rumble and joined the Smackdown announce team the following episode. Booker previously returned to a WWE ring earlier this year with a win over Jack Swagger on an episode of Raw.
14. The only time the Intercontinental Title has changed hands in Baltimore was in 1985 when Tito Santana won the prestigious championship from Greg Valentine in the confines of an unforgiving steel cage. Santana would hold the belt for seven months before dropping it to the late, great "Macho Man" Randy Savage.
15. Tito’s reign of 217 days was over four times longer than the 51-day reign of Ezekiel Jackson, the man Rhodes defeated in August to win the title. Jackson’s reign was the shortest since 2009, when Chris Jericho held the gold for only three weeks.
16. If Booker wins the title tonight, it will be his second reign as Intercontinental champion. He first captured the belt in July 2003 from Christian during an airing of Raw and dropped it back to him a month later during a house show in Des Moines, IA. That remains the last time the Intercontinental title has changed hands at a house show.
18. Mark Henry and The Big Show have been feuding since June, but the the stakes were raised at Night of Champions in September when Henry cleanly pinned Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship. This is Henry’s first time with the title. The Big Show has never laid his oven-mitt sized hands on this title, although he did fight for it during a Triple Threat Match at Wrestlemaia XXV.
19. Wade Barrett’s "Barrett Barage" began on October 21 when he defeated Daniel Bryan in Mexico City. Well, he actually called his philosophy change from leader of men to lone wolf "The Great Barrett Uprising," but he must have realized the marketing department prefers alliterations.
20. It was Randy Orton who knocked Chris Jericho out of WWE with a punt kick to the head on September 27, 2010. We’ll see if that rivalry is renewed on January 2, 2012.
If you enjoyed the column, found an error, or have interest in replacing Sam Hurd in a business venture, contact Jon Lopuch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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