Drew McIntyre defeated AJ Styles and The Miz in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match at the TLC pay-per-view on Sunday night to retain the WWE Championship.
McIntyre was only scheduled to face Styles, but The Miz made it a Triple Threat affair when he decided to cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase. The A-Lister thought he could climb his way to the title after powerbombing the champion through a table.
However, Styles' associate, Omos, had other ideas and lifted The Miz from the ladder and deposited him through a table on the outside.
McIntyre, Styles and The Miz all had their hands on the title at some point as the three fought one another from a pair of ladders. When all was said and done, though, it was the Scot who was standing tall.
Sunday marked the first time McIntyre and Styles had faced each other in a singles contest, and they did not disappoint in the eagerly anticipated encounter at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The match came into focus in the weeks following Survivor Series, as Styles was one of several Superstars given the opportunity to earn the No. 1 contendership after Raw's success at the pay-per-view on Nov. 22.
Four weeks ago on Raw, Styles beat Randy Orton in the main event thanks to some interference from "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt, which placed him in a Triple Threat match against Keith Lee and Riddle the following week.
The Phenomenal One was again victorious in that match, making him the No. 1 contender and setting the stage for him to vie for his third WWE Championship.
Styles is always a threat due to his ability and track record, but he put McIntyre on notice on the Dec. 7 edition of Raw when he teamed with The Miz and John Morrison in a handicap match against the Scot and Sheamus.
After The Celtic Warrior accidentally took his teammate out with a Brogue Kick in that match, Styles hit the Irishman with a Phenomenal Forearm and pinned him for the victory.
With that win, Styles maintained his undefeated record since moving to Raw as part of the WWE draft in October and subsequently taking on the massive Omos as his bodyguard.
The Phenomenal One had all the momentum in the world on his side entering TLC, while McIntyre had some things to worry about—including the possibility of Sheamus turning on him, which is what many had been expecting for weeks.
McIntyre and Styles delivered in a big way Sunday, and although the champion managed to win and retain the title, it may not be the last fans see of this rivalry in the coming weeks.
At least McIntyre no longer has to worry about the threat of a sudden cash-in by The Miz.
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