Tables, ladders and chairs—oh my.
In front of an absolutely electric crowd at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Sunday night, WWE put on its final pay-per-view event of the calendar year. In might not have been the best of 2012, but TLC had some unforgettable moments and a strong candidate for Match of the Year.
Let's take a look at all the action.
Tables Match: Team Rhodes Scholars defeats Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara
This was a terrific way to start the PPV, as it's always exciting to watch Mysterio and Sin Cara fly around the ring like flying squirrels.
Mysterio and Cara carried most of the match with their aerial assaults, but when Cara tried to enter the ring via the top rope, Rhodes pushed him back, sending him through one of the tables that had been set up below for the win.
It made sense for the heels to win. They need to be brought back up to the top of the ladder in the tag-team division now that Rhodes is back from his injury, but it was hard not to be impressed with Cara, who absolutely put his body on the line.
Unfortunately, he may have suffered an injury in the process.
Rhodes and Sandow will now get a shot at the tag-team championship in a division that continues to improve.
WWE United States Championship: Antonio Cesaro (c) defeats R-Truth
Much like Rhodes and Sandow did before their match, Cesaro insulted the Brooklyn audience after extending his winning streak by beating yet another American.
After some solid action from both wrestlers, Cesaro finished Truth with the Neutralizer to grab the pin.
The Swiss International once again showed off his immense strength and truly looks to be gaining some steam.
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) defeats Wade Barrett
Kofi got the win and held onto his Intercontinental belt, but both wrestlers were impressive in this one.
Kingston, as always, showcased his high-flying ways that are so fun to watch, but Barrett also looked solid as he landed some fantastic moves and seemed to earn many fans in the process as "Let's Go, Barrett" chants rang throughout the arena.
In the end, however, Kingston landed a huge Trouble in Paradise and got the pin.
The Shield Defeats Team Hell No and Ryback
Um, wow. These guys are going to be sore in the morning.
We could be here forever talking about this match, which featured a truly amazing first win for The Shield, so I'll just give you a run-down of the "holy expletive, did that really just happen?" moments.
After Ryback dominated all three opponents inside the ring for a while, The Shield finally took control when it got the big monster on the outside. With Team Hell No sidelined for the moment, the threesome was able to put Ryback through the Spanish announcers' table with a giant powerbomb.
Next, the Shield set up a table on top of the ropes in the corner, allowing Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins to land a huge double superplex on Bryan from the top.
Kane was able to land a flying forearm from that same table and then a massive chokeslam onto a chair before being tackled outside the ring through the ring announcer's booth. He was then covered in debris and wouldn't return.
After a long while, Ryback finally returned and was taken up the ramp by all three members of The Shield, where they displayed their teamwork and went to town on him.
Ambrose and Roman Reigns returned to the ring to work on Bryan while Rollins climbed to the top of a huge ladder with Ryback placed on a table below. The big man was able to get up in time, however, and climbed to the top to join Rollins.
That's where he tossed the Shield member 15 feet below through three tables.
Once again, wow.
However, as Ryback returned to the ring, Ambrose and Reigns powerbombed Bryan through a table and got a pin for the win.
And those were just the highlights.
Legendary probably doesn't begin to describe this match.
WWE Divas Championship: Eve (c) defeats Naomi
The Divas got the unfortunate task of following up that instant classic.
Eve landed a neckbreaker and got the win over Naomi, who won the divas rumble during the pre-show. That's all you really need to know.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Big Show (c) defeats Sheamus
This was an absolute battle in which both wrestlers absolutely destroyed each other. Unfortunately, there's only so much you can do with chairs, and as a result, it felt a little stale.
Still, there were some massive maneuvers, extraordinary hits and exciting near-falls as both men put forth an entertaining show. At one point, Show kicked out after Sheamus landed a White Noise on a chair and Sheamus kicked out after Show landed a huge KO Punch.
In the end, the Big Show whipped out a comically-sized chair and nailed Sheamus with it for the pin.
The Miz, Alberto Del Rio and The Brooklyn Brawler defeat 3MB
You might be thinking, "huh?".
What was the Match of the Night?
Earlier in the night, the Miz was set to interview 3MB during MizTV, but the group got distracted and decided to attack the Spanish announcers (obviously).
Ricardo Rodriguez came to their rescue, which led Del Rio to come to his rescue, and eventually, Miz came to Del Rio's rescue in a heel turn for The Mexican Aristocrat.
3MB demanded a three-on-three battle, and Miz declared he and Del Rio would find a teammate.
Well, we were in Brooklyn, so who other than the Brooklyn Baller, who donned a Deron Williams jersey?
After the Miz landed the Skull-Crushing Finale on Jinder Mahal, he tagged in Brawler, who forced Mahal to tap out with the Boston Crab.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Dolph Ziggler defeats John Cena
Another absolute battle.
Ziggler and Cena went back and forth, beating each other with all the weapons involved.
How would you grade TLC 2012?
At one point, Ziggler had the sleeper hold on Cena as the other Mr. Money in the Bank climbed the ladder. Cena then passed out, sending both men crashing through the table.
Another top moment happened when Cena landed a hurricanrana on Ziggler through the table. It wasn't a great hurricanrana, but it was exciting to see the big man (who also had the power to lift a ladder with Ziggler attached straight over his head) show some agility.
Eventually, Vickie Guerrero came out with a chair, but A.J. came to Cena's rescue, landing shoulder bumps and then the Five Knuckle Shuffle.
With Cena climbing the ladder for the win, A.J. shockingly (to some) pushed the ladder over, sending Cena right into a huge Superkick.
Ziggler proceeded to climb the ladder for the win, and we were left with this (via Barclays Center's official Twitter account):
Barclays Center (@barclayscenter) December 17, 2012
After Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow escaped with the victory, WWE's Renee Young posed a pretty important question:
It's tough to follow up something like a cartwheel and a Rhodes mustache, which trended worldwide on Twitter. The six-man tag match, however, took Twitter to another level.
First, this one from Matt Striker:
Dear WWE, Thats how u do it ! Thank u ! Merry Christmas world. Great match. Thanks to those who came b4 n sacrificed in TLC matches #wwetlc— Matt Striker (@Matt_Striker_) December 17, 2012
Then this one from Wrestling News Source:
Powerbomb to DB through the table! THE SHIELD WIN! Awesome, awesome match. Once again, WHY didn't this Main Event?! #wwetlc— WrestlingNewsSource (@WNSource) December 17, 2012
Finally, Sean Ross Sapp summed up what most of us were feeling during the match:
Okay, I've lost count of how many times I've screamed obscenities due to this match.#WWETLC— Sean Ross Sapp MMA (@SeanRossSappMMA) December 17, 2012
There were hundreds of thousands more going crazy over that match.
After the Big Show clobbered Sheamus with the Big Chair, Brodus Clay tweeted, um, this:
Brodus Clay (@BrodusClay) December 17, 2012
All right, then.
Ring announcer Lilian Garcia caught this impressive picture that captured the brilliant match between Cena and Ziggler: