WWE's 2012 edition of TLC will go down as the year's best pay-per-view event of any promotion, beating out even the highly regarded WrestleMania 28 and Extreme Rules shows.
Granted, WrestleMania and Extreme Rules both featured the returns of The Rock and Brock Lesnar, respectively, to singles action since WrestleMania XX. Yet despite the unfortunate absence of CM Punk wrestling, TLC is the most complete card from top to bottom.
Looking at the card, this event truly has something for everybody. The star power may be somewhat lacking, but considering the build, nearly every single match has some legitimate background that has fans interested. This is an overlooked commodity in professional wrestling and oftentimes by WWE.
While we all love the wrestling, we need the backstory to keep us interested, especially when it comes to pay-per-view events. This is what made the Attitude Era exceptional as seemingly every single superstar had some sort of storyline going on each time they wrestled on pay-per-view.
Heading into TLC, barring the tables match between Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara and Rhodes Scholars, every match has a captivating storyline to make us care.
Even then, we can look back to the tag team tournament, Rhodes Scholars' feud with Team Hell No and the fact that the winner will become the No. 1 contenders for Team Hell No's WWE Tag Team Championship and we're instantly intrigued, in addition to the match stipulation, of course.
Stipulation matches in general keeps every wrestling fan's mouth salivating. Even something as ridiculous as a chairs match at this event has some intrigue, especially when you take into account that it actually makes more sense than any other gimmick match on the card.
Sheamus destroyed Big Show with a chair at Survivor Series to lead to this match, so fans can understand why it is taking place instead of it being transparent that WWE is trying to cater to the nature of the pay-per-view.
This year, even with WWE catering to the theme of the pay-per-view, the stipulations make sense. The Money in the Bank briefcase is won in a ladder match and here we have two of the top performers in the industry in John Cena and Dolph Ziggler going one-on-one in a ladder match for that very briefcase.
Not only does the gimmick make sense for the match, but we care about this match because of what's on the line and because WWE built it up to be important. Fans can bash the Cena-AJ Lee scandal all they want, but it at the very least, it's a storyline that makes and will likely catapult a deserving Ziggler into the main-event scene.
For those that don't want a pay-per-view to be featured with an overkill of hardcore, we have two fantastic midcard bouts. Four of the best midcard wrestlers will square off and instantly improve the credibility of the Intercontinental and United States Championships.
We've seen Kofi Kingston, Wade Barrett, Antonio Cesaro and R-Truth interact with each other on Raw, SmackDown and Main Event over the past month. WWE has done a phenomenal job giving all four men television time to ensure intrigue in their matches and truly morph the midcard scene into not only something respectable, but something special.
These are four of the better pure in-ring performers and we will watch them tear the house down with no gimmicks necessary, just straight-up, good-ole wrasslin.
Finally, as if you needed a reason to care about the likely main event after the past month, we'll finally see The Shield debut. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins have been among the most highly anticipated development performers in the industry.
They have cult followings and will not disappoint in their first match at the main roster and on pay-per-view. Roman Reigns is a bit of an enigma, but his ability to stand toe-to-toe with Kane and Ryback from a physical standpoint instantly makes him intriguing.
The Shield's fight against injustice in the WWE has been incredible since their debut at Survivor Series. Now that we're finally going to get to see them wrestle a match, and with tables, ladders and chairs allowed, that right there is the price of admission and will make for one of the most memorable moments this year.
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