WWE TLC airs this evening as fans get treated to one of the company’s most action-packed nights of the year.
Coming from Minneapolis, Minnesota, the show sees WWE Champion Bray Wyatt defend his title against The Miz, with the absence of the ominous Fiend character quite conspicuous by its absence.
Elsewhere, though, and in-keeping with the event’s traditions, tables, ladders and chairs and set to fly everywhere as Roman Reigns tackles King Corbin and Becky Lynch teams with Charlotte Flair to meet the Kabuki Warriors for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship.
With bones set to crunch and bumps and bruises aplenty, WWE TLC is usually one of the hardest-hitting affairs of the calendar – but what kind of surprises has the night thrown up in the past?
Whether titles have been on the line, or feuds have been settled in the most brutal way possible, TLC has never disappointed where drama is concerned.
Mirror Sport’s Matty Paddock looks back at five memorable matches from the TLC pay-per-view.
A Clash of Styles
When you think ‘bone crunching’ and ‘hard hitting’ at TLC, there aren’t many matches that come to mind before the battle between AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose in 2016.
The two met for Styles’ WWE Championship in what was less a wrestling classic and more an all-out war.
Ambrose made use of one of the already-available tables in inventive fashion in driving Styes through an announce table with a high-impact elbow from the top of a ladder.
The champ’s best offence came later in the bout, as he hit his trademark 450 splash from the top rope and helped seal Ambrose’s fate by sending him through – you guessed it – another table.
Though relatively brief at just over the 15-minute mark, the match is, thankfully, less remembered for the needless finish involving James Ellsworth, and better recalled for its awesome physicality.
Legends Break it Down
The first, dedicated WWE TLC pay-per-view came our way almost a decade to the day back in 2009, and its main event didn’t disappoint.
At the time, the combined forces of Triple H and Shawn Michaels were once again riding high as the incomparable D-Generation X.
On this night their quest for dominance and bragging rights in WWE saw them challenging for the Unified tag team titles, then held by Jeri-Show, the duo Chris Jericho and The Big Show.
Some far distance away from being past it, all four delivered the kind of performance for which they had all become famed; taking almost 25 minutes to reach a climax that saw DX pick up the titles.
That was, however, not before Michaels had been chokeslammed on top of HHH and through an announce table, and Y2J had himself suffered after an expertly-timed Sweet Chin Music from HBK.
Arriving with a bang
Much has been made of The Shield’s impact in WWE, but it can be easily overlooked that their first major pay-per-view match together came at a TLC event in 2012.
Back then, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns were lawless mercenaries, pitted against the united forces of Ryback, Kane and Daniel Bryan.
The bout was suitably staged in New York, a city which has hosted so many brutal WWE battles over the years.
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In typical gangland style, isolation proved to be the name of the game for the Hounds of Justice, who largely dispatched of Ryback. before turning their attention to the Big Red Machine.
Though those two would fight back intermittently, the proverbial kill was the damage done to Bryan, when a double powerbomb through a table from Reigns and Ambrose was enough for the former to secure the pin. The Shield had arrived in WWE.
A new angle
Fast-forward five years, The Shield have disbanded and reunited, and were set for more warfare in Minnesota of all places.
All ready to take on The Miz, Braun Strowman, Kane, Sheamus and Cesaro in a five-on-three handicap match, the trio’s preparations were dealt a blow when Reigns was ruled out due to illness.
That led to the unexpected active return to the ring of Kurt Angle, who stepped up to the plate to join The Shield as an honorary member and compete in his first WWE match in 11 years.
The match was the night’s main event, and saw Angle feature enough to make it memorable, but not so much that he dominated the affair – spending a chunk of it backstage after being mauled by Strowman.
The WWE legend would return to play his part at the end, though, dishing out Angle Slams aplenty before gaining the decisive pinfall over The Miz, after Rollins and Ambrose had joined him to deliver the triple powerbomb.
An overdue first
It took until 2018 for WWE’s incredible women’s roster to be able to add a TLC match to their great catalogue of landmark matches as part of the Women’s Evolution.
Smackdown Women’s Champion, Becky Lynch, defended her title against Charlotte Flair and Asuka in a 20-minute main event, which earned its place in history.
By powerbombing Flair through a table, The Empress of Tomorrow set the tone early for a bout that certainly didn’t let up in physicality; Flair’s night not faring much better when Lynch hit a leg drop through one of the announce desks soon after.
In a memorable finish, it looked as though Flair and Lynch would be left to battle it out together, as they straddled opposite sides of the ladder, positioned under the dangling belt.
In a move that would go on to trigger one of the best storylines of the following year, Ronda Rousey would shock everyone watching by emerging to topple the ladder and both combatants, effectively handing Asuka the win, and leaving the unseated Lynch livid.
Watch WWE TLC live on the WWE Network or on Sky Sports Box Office at midnight on Sunday, December 15.
You can follow all the action as it happens in the Mirror Sport WWE TLC Live Blog.