Tables, Ladders and Chairs matches are typically associated with death-defying spots, breathtaking falls and young performers throwing caution to the wind in hopes of achieving a new level of stardom.
But what if the competitors in the match are already established stars? What if one of the performers is unable to consistently take the big bumps?
That was the situation facing The Undertaker and Edge as they battled for the vacant World Heavyweight Championship at the 2008 One Night Stand pay-per-view event.
Rather than attempting to have the same kind of match that Edge, along with Christian, the Hardy Boyz and the Dudley Boyz had earlier in the decade, the two ring generals put together a match that was smartly wrestled and reserved the high spots for late in the match, when they would be more effective in creating drama and popping the crowd.
The result was a completely different match and one that proved that Superstars do not have to resort to the crazy, insane, risky bumps that their predecessors endured in order to deliver a crowd-pleasing match.
At No Way Out 2008, World Heavyweight champion Edge defeated Rey Mysterio to retain his title while The Undertaker outlasted five other Superstars to win the Elimination Chamber match and earn a championship opportunity at WrestleMania XXIV.
At that event, The Phenom overcame interference from Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder and defeated the Rated-R Superstar with the Hell's submission hold. It was the Dead Man's 16th consecutive win at the event.
Edge was granted his rematch a few weeks later at Backlash. Like WrestleMania, he once again found himself tapping out while trapped in Hell's Gate. This time, however, he was worse for wear as he was stretchered out of the arena.
SmackDown general manager Vickie Guerrero, the on-screen love interest of Edge, banned the Hell's Gate hold, referring to it as an "illegal choke." She took her abuse of power one step further, stripping Undertaker of the title since he won the title using the hold.
Undertaker would again defeat Edge, this time at May's Judgment Day event, but he would do so by count-out. Guerrero revealed that the title could not, and would not, change hands on a count-out and thus, it remained vacant.
This set the stage for a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match in the main event of One Night Stand in June. It was Edge's trademark match and one Undertaker, for all of his accomplishments, had never competed in.
The odds were stacked heavily against the Dead Man as he entered the June 1, 2008 pay-per-view event.
Undertaker and Edge utilized steel chairs for the majority of the bout and relied heavily on interference from Chavo Guerrero, Bam Neely and Zack Ryder to create the chaotic environment typically associated with the match. Ryder and Hawkins, in particular, took huge and dangerous bumps through tables at ringside.
The biggest spot of the match saw Undertaker climb the ladder and nearly secure the title. Unfortunately, the ladder was tipped and The Phenom fell off of it and through a stack of tables set up near the aisle.
Edge retrieved the title and set off on another championship reign.
A very good, very smartly-worked match that played to the strengths of the talents involved while telling an easily-followed story that allowed Edge to leave with his hand held high in victory while setting up a huge Hell in a Cell match between him and Undertaker at SummerSlam in August.
The match has become one of the more underrated, underappreciated TLC matches in WWE history.
While it had no long-term impact on WWE, it was Undertaker's first foray into the wild and crazy match. The Dead Man proved he could work his style into the gimmick match and do so effectively.
Edge proved himself as a ring general, helping the Dead Man through untested waters, all the while working with him to deliver a match that was more than worthy of the main event slot on the One Night Stand pay-per-view, a show that features gimmick matches up and down the card.
Two months later, Undertaker defeated Edge inside Hell in a Cell to bring an end to their rivalry, which started five months earlier.
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