TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs (2016)
TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs (2016) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event and WWE Network event produced by WWE for the SmackDown brand. It took place on December 4, 2016, at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. This was the eighth event under the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs chronology.
|TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs (2016)|
Promotional poster featuring AJ Styles
|Date||December 4, 2016|
|Venue||American Airlines Center|
|WWE Network event chronology|
|TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs chronology|
Seven matches were contested at the event, including one match on the pre-show. In the main event, AJ Styles defeated Dean Ambrose in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match to retain the WWE World Championship. SmackDown's other three championships were also defended: The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton) defeated Heath Slater and Rhyno for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, Alexa Bliss defeated Becky Lynch for the SmackDown Women's Championship in a Tables match, and The Miz retained the Intercontinental Championship against Dolph Ziggler in a ladder match.
The card included seven matches that resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed villains, heroes, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches, with results predetermined by WWE's writers on the SmackDown brand. Storylines were produced on WWE's weekly television show SmackDown Live.
At No Mercy, AJ Styles defeated both Dean Ambrose and John Cena to retain the WWE World Championship. On the October 25 episode of SmackDown, Ambrose fought Styles to become the number one contender for the title, but James Ellsworth attacked Styles, causing Ambrose to be disqualified. A rematch took place on the November 1 episode and Ambrose successfully defeated Styles, earning a title match at TLC, for which Commissioner Shane McMahon scheduled it as a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match. At Survivor Series, Ambrose and Styles, both part of Team SmackDown, got into a heated argument during their Survivor Series elimination match against Team Raw. Ambrose attacked Styles, but was surprised by Braun Strowman, who scored a pinfall after a running powerslam; Styles did not attempt to break the pin. Later in the match, Ambrose returned to the ring to attack Styles and helped his former Shield partners Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns to perform a triple powerbomb on Styles through a broadcast table, which enabled Rollins to eliminate Styles. On the following SmackDown, Ambrose was given the night off for his actions and Ellsworth was granted a SmackDown contract. AJ Styles criticized this decision, arguing that Ellsworth should earn his contract in a ladder match. Ellsworth accepted the challenge, with both his new contract and a future opportunity at the WWE World Championship on the line. Dean Ambrose, who had been repeatedly sent out of the arena, returned during the match and helped Ellsworth defeat Styles. On the November 29 episode of SmackDown, Ambrose hosted his Ambrose Asylum with Ellsworth as the guest. Styles interrupted and attacked both, resulting in Ellsworth being taken away on a stretcher. Later, Ambrose attacked Styles backstage as the show ended.
On the November 15 episode of SmackDown, The Miz, with help from Maryse, defeated Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship and then retained the championship at Survivor Series against Raw's Sami Zayn; this was an open challenge originally made by Ziggler before he lost the title to Miz. On the November 22 episode of SmackDown, following a controversial win over Kalisto, Miz was surprised by Ziggler, who hit him with a superkick. Later, General Manager Daniel Bryan scheduled The Miz to defend his championship against Ziggler at TLC in a ladder match.
On the August 2 episode of SmackDown, Kalisto was injured by Baron Corbin. Kalisto returned on the November 8 episode and faced Corbin; during the match, Kalisto injured Corbin's knee, preventing Corbin from competing at Survivor Series. At that event, Kalisto was granted an opportunity for Raw's WWE Cruiserweight Championship; if Kalisto won, the cruiserweight division would transfer to SmackDown. However, Corbin interfered in the match, costing Kalisto the title and SmackDown the division. On the following SmackDown, Kalisto received an Intercontinental Championship match against The Miz, but lost due to distraction by Corbin, who then executed End of Days on Kalisto. For interfering in both of Kalisto's championship matches and also costing SmackDown the cruiserweight division, he was scheduled to face Kane. During the match, Kalisto attacked Corbin. Afterwards on Talking Smack, a chairs match between the two was scheduled for TLC.
SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch was originally scheduled to defend the title against Alexa Bliss at No Mercy, but due to a legitimate out-of-ring injury, she was unable to compete and the match was rescheduled for the November 8 episode of SmackDown. Lynch won the match by submission, despite Bliss placing her foot on the rope. On the November 22 episode of SmackDown, Bliss demanded a rematch, to which Lynch agreed for TLC. Later that night, Bliss attacked Lynch, who had just defeated Natalya. The following week during the contract signing, Lynch attacked Bliss but was eventually put through a table herself. At Bliss's request, their match was made a tables match.
On the November 22 episode of SmackDown, American Alpha became the number one contenders for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship by defeating The Hype Bros, The Ascension, Breezango, The Usos, and The Vaudevillains in a Tag Team Turmoil match. However, Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton (of The Wyatt Family), who had won the Survivor Series match for SmackDown's men's team, immediately challenged American Alpha to a match for the number one contender's spot the following week. On the November 29 episode, Wyatt and Orton defeated American Alpha to become the number one contenders.
At SummerSlam, Nikki Bella returned from injury and joined Natalya and Alexa Bliss to replace the suspended Eva Marie against Becky Lynch, Carmella, and Naomi. Nikki won the match for her team by pinning Carmella. Carmella then attacked Nikki on the following SmackDown and the aftershow Talking Smack, beginning a long, heated rivalry between the two. At Survivor Series, Nikki was the captain for Team SmackDown, which included Carmella, for the women's Survivor Series elimination match, but was kept out of the match when someone attacked her backstage. On the November 22 episode of SmackDown, Nikki accused Carmella of being the attacker, which Carmella denied. Nikki added that regardless of who attacked her, she would settle her differences with Carmella at TLC in a no disqualification match. On the November 29 episode, Carmella apologized to John Cena for what she would do to his girlfriend, Nikki Bella, at TLC. Frustrated, Nikki attacked Carmella, who managed to escape.
|English commentators||Mauro Ranallo|
|John "Bradshaw" Layfield|
|Spanish commentators||Carlos Cabrera|
|German commentators||Holger Böschen|
|Ring announcer||Greg Hamilton|
|Backstage interviewers||Renee Young|
|Pre-show panel||Renee Young|
|Talking Smack panel||Renee Young|
During the pre-show, Apollo Crews, The Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder), and American Alpha (Chad Gable and Jason Jordan) faced Curt Hawkins, The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor), and The Vaudevillains (Simon Gotch and Aiden English). Jason Jordan won the match for his team by pinning Simon Gotch after performing "Grand Amplitude".
The actual pay-per-view event opened with Heath Slater and Rhyno defending the SmackDown Tag Team Championship against The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton). In the end, Rhyno attempted a "Gore" on Orton outside the ring, but Luke Harper pushed Orton, resulting in Harper receiving the "Gore" from Rhyno. Rhyno returned to the ring to face Wyatt who he believed was the legal man. Orton, however, surprised Rhyno with an "RKO" to win the championship.
Next, Nikki Bella faced Carmella in a No Disqualification match. The match ended when Nikki sprayed Carmella with a fire extinguisher and performed a "Rack Attack 2.0" for the win. After the match, Carmella alleged that Natalya was the one that attacked Nikki at Survivor Series.
After that, The Miz defended the Intercontinental Championship against Dolph Ziggler in a Ladder match. During the match, Miz targeted Ziggler's leg. Miz applied a Figure Four Leglock on Ziggler, whose leg was trapped in a ladder. As Ziggler climbed the ladder, Miz performed a Slingshot Powerbomb on Ziggler onto a ladder wedged in the corner. In the end, as Ziggler tried to retrieve the title belt, Miz attacked Ziggler with two low blows and retrieved the belt to retain the title.
In the fourth match, Baron Corbin faced Kalisto in a Chairs match. Corbin executed the "End of Days" on Kalisto onto a pile of chairs to win the match.
Next, Becky Lynch defended the SmackDown Women's Championship against Alexa Bliss in a Tables match. The match ended when Lynch and Bliss fought on the ring apron above a table. After Bliss was pushed down to the floor, Bliss performed a Powerbomb on Lynch through the table to win the title.
In the main event, AJ Styles defended the WWE World Championship against Dean Ambrose in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match. During the match, Styles attempted a suplex through four chairs on Ambrose but Ambrose countered with a rolling release suplex through the chairs. Ambrose then set up a ladder on a broadcast table, from which he performed a diving elbow drop onto Styles through another broadcast table. Ambrose climbed the ladder to retrieve the title belt but Styles stopped him and then performed a Springboard "450 Splash" on Ambrose through a table set up outside the ring. Styles climbed the ladder but James Ellsworth appeared and distracted Styles. As Styles attacked Ellsworth, Ambrose stopped him and performed "Dirty Deeds" onto the ring steps. As Ambrose climbed the ladder to retrieve the belt, Ellsworth pushed the ladder, causing Ambrose to fall through tables set up outside the ring. Styles retrieved the title belt to retain the championship.
On Talking Smack immediately following TLC, James Ellsworth explained to an angry Daniel Bryan that he had interfered because he wanted to defeat AJ Styles, whom he had already beaten three times, for the WWE World Championship, and Shane McMahon granted him the match for the following SmackDown. He also stated he would immediately give Dean Ambrose another title opportunity. However, Ellsworth's opportunity for the title, now renamed WWE Championship, was twice postponed; on the following SmackDown, Styles was still ailing from injuries sustained at TLC. Ellsworth interrupted Styles, but was attacked by Ambrose with Dirty Deeds. On the following episode, Ellsworth was suffering from a cold. The match eventually happened on the December 20 episode; Styles easily defeated Ellsworth in under a minute.
Also on Talking Smack after TLC, Baron Corbin demanded a spot in the main event and a chance at the world championship. Before that, he defeated Kalisto in a rematch. On the December 20 episode, he confronted Dolph Ziggler, who had earned a WWE Championship match the week prior. Corbin called Ziggler undeserving of a title shot and a match between the two with Ziggler's title shot on the line was scheduled, but it ended in a double count-out, after which, AJ Styles attacked both Ziggler and Corbin with a chair. Daniel Bryan then scheduled a triple threat for the WWE Championship between the three for the following episode. Styles won that match and reignited his rivalry with the returning John Cena, who demanded a title match at the Royal Rumble.
Dean Ambrose was a guest at Miz TV. Miz first celebrated his win over Dolph Ziggler and said that their rivalry was finally at an end. Ambrose explained that he was not angry with James Ellsworth, just surprised, especially for all that he had done for him, including helping him get a SmackDown contract. Miz blamed the situation on Ambrose and insulted him by handing him a participation award, beginning a rivalry between the two, where Ambrose defeated Miz for the Intercontinental Championship on the January 3, 2017 episode.
For the next couple of weeks, Carmella repeated her accusation against Natalya, who allegedly had acted out of jealousy, but Natalya denied it until the December 20 episode, when she admitted to being the attacker because of pent up jealousy of the Bella Twins. Alexa Bliss, using heel tactics, retained the SmackDown Women's Championship against Becky Lynch in a rematch. She then lost a non-title match against "newcomer" La Luchadora, who made the champion submit to the Dis-arm-her and then unmasked as Lynch. Over the next few weeks, an unknown female dressed as La Luchadora began to aid Bliss in matches against Lynch, including Bliss's successful title defense in a steel cage match in the main event of the January 17 episode, where La Luchadora was unmasked as the returning Mickie James.
After failing to win back the SmackDown Tag Team Championship on the following SmackDown, Heath Slater and Rhyno discussed their future on Talking Smack. Rhyno criticized Slater's lack of contribution in their matches before walking off; despite this, they continued as a team. The Wyatt Family invoked the Freebird Rule, allowing Luke Harper to also defend the championship. The Hype Bros then won a battle royal to become the number one contenders, but after the match, it was discovered that Zack Ryder had injured his knee and required surgery. Subsequently, on the December 27 episode, The Wyatt Family lost the titles to American Alpha in a four-way tag team elimination match. The Wyatt Family invoked their rematch clause for the January 10, 2017 episode, but were unsuccessful.
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