The final WWE pay-per-view of 2014 kicks off in extreme fashion as the Intercontinental Championship would be hanging high above the ring as the bizarre Luke Harper would defend the gold against the man who has emerged as a survivor in recent weeks, Cleveland’s own Dolph Ziggler, in a Ladder Match where the only way to win is by climbing a ladder and retrieving the Intercontinental Title. It would not take long for ladders to be introduced into the match as Luke Harper shoves Dolph Ziggler face-first into a ladder at ringside before tossing Dolph over the ringside barricade before trying to climb the ladder. Harper would then bridge a ladder between the ring and the announce table on the outside, but Dolph would fight out of being planted on the ladder, only to be squashed with a spinning side slam on the arena floor. Harper would then try to climb the ladder again, but Dolph Ziggler would slip back into the ring, knocking Harper off of the ladder. Harper would then shove the ladder into the face of Ziggler before dropping the ladder on Dolph’s skull. The resilient Ziggler would briefly battle back, but Harper would snuff out the attempted comeback, knocking Dolph off of the top rope to the outside and tossing a ladder into the face of Ziggler at ringside. On the outside, Dolph would pick up a ladder and Luke Harper would dive to the outside, taking Ziggler out, but landing all of his weight on his left arm, which gets sandwiched between Harper and the steel ladder!
Dolph Ziggler then climbs the ladder in the ring, but Luke Harper would tip the ladder over, sending Dolph crashing to the mat. Harper then lays a ladder down in the middle of the ring with the intent of delivering a powerbomb on the ladder, but Dolph fights out of it before he finds himself at the mercy of Harper again. This time, Harper plants Dolph with a powerbomb on a ladder suspended in the corner before laying a ladder on Dolph on the bottom rope, forcing Dolph’s skull into the ladder and busting Ziggler open! Harper would then try to climb the ladder again, but Ziggler would scramble up the other side of the ladder and a brawl between the two men would cause the ladder to tip over, dumping both champion and challenger on the mat. Harper then goes for another powerbomb on the ladder, but Ziggler would counter, driving Harper face-first into the steel! Dolph then sets up a ladder, trying again to make the climb and, when Harper tries to pull Ziggler off of the ladder, Dolph would catch Harper with a big DDT! With both men back to their feet, Harper would place a ladder around his head, using it to knock Dolph down before Dolph knocks Harper down with a dropkick. Ziggler then uses a ladder to knock Harper off of the ring apron onto the ladder that is bridged between the ring and the announce table at ringside!
Dolph Ziggler then scrambles up the ladder again, this time getting to touch the title belt before Luke Harper comes back into the ring, tipping the ladder over as Dolph crashes to the mat again. Harper then sets up a ladder in the ring and Dolph uses another ladder to take Harper out before trying to climb again, but Harper would set up a ladder next to Dolph’s ladder and both men would climb towards the belt. Dolph would then catch Luke Harper with a big super kick to the face, knocking Harper and his ladder over before Ziggler finally retrieves the belt, becoming the brand new Intercontinental Champion for the fourth time in his career!
The WWE Tag Team Titles would also be up for grabs at WWE TLC in more traditional fashion as The Miz & Damien Mizdow would defend the WWE Tag Team Titles against The Usos. During the match, The Miz would come within moments of losing the WWE Tag Team Titles for himself and Damien Mizdow and the desperate champions would try to walk out of the match with their titles, but The Usos would dive to the outside, taking out Miz & Mizdow. However, The Miz would then grab his stunt double’s Slammy Award, using it as a weapon against one of The Usos, ending the match by disqualification. The Miz would then use the same tactic to take out the other Uso, ensuring that they walk out with the WWE Tag Team Titles by any means necessary.
Then it was time for a first in WWE as two hard-hitting giants would square off in the first ever Stairs Match where “Big Red” Erick Rowan would face “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show in a match where steel stairs are legal. Erick Rowan would be the first man to experience the steel in the match as Big Show sends Rowan shoulder-first into the stairs on the outside, but it would be long before Rowan fights back, ramming Big Show’s shoulder with the steel stairs. The unlikely genius then builds a ‘wall’ of steel stairs in the entranceway, but Big Show grabs Rowan, sending him into the steel ring post and tossing Rowan over the ringside barricade. Big Show then sends Rowan into the steel stairs again before picking up the top half of the stairs and ramming them into Rowan’s mid-section. Big Show would then bring Rowan back into the ring before propping up the steel stairs under the top rope in the corner, twice sending Rowan face-first into the steel. However, for the first time in the match, Rowan would hit a big move, picking up “The World’s Largest Athlete” and planting Big Show on the steel stairs with a scoop slam!
Rowan then comes off the top rope with the steel stairs with the intent of crushing Big Show, but the giant would avoid the majority of the impact while Rowan would inadvertently take himself out in the process. Rowan would roll to the outside, but Big Show was not far behind as the giant puts all his weight into tackling Erick Rowan as both men crash through the wall of steel stairs set up by Rowan earlier in the match! Big Show would manage to climb to his feet first, rolling Rowan back into the ring before picking up the steel stairs, but Rowan would rush Big Show, using a big boot to knock the stairs back into Big Show’s face. Big Show would shake off the effects of the big boot and plant Rowan with a chokeslam on the steel stairs, following it up with the Knockout Punch. To make sure that Erick Rowan stayed down, Big Show would place the steps over Rowan, keeping Rowan down for the three-count as Big Show picks up the win.
In a rivalry that has been brewing ever since Seth Rollins cost John Cena the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Night of Champions, John Cena would be forced to put his #1 Contendership for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on the line against “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Seth Rollins, with J&J Security in his corner, in a Tables Match, where the only way to win is to put your opponent through a table. Before John Cena and Seth Rollins make their way to the ring, the advocate for WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman, makes his way to ringside. The match would get underway and John Cena would be the first to pull out a table from under the ring, but after Cena slides the table into the ring and re-enters the ring himself, J&J Security pulls the table right back out of the ring! Seth Rollins would then pull a table out from under the ring, but Cena would cut “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” off, knocking Rollins down and rolling him back into the ring. Cena then slides the table into the ring before J&J Security tries to pull the table out of the ring again, leading to a tug-of-war between Cena and J&J Security with Cena shoving the table into Noble & Mercury, taking them both out for the time being.
The brief distraction would allow Seth Rollins to take advantage in the match, knocking John Cena down before placing the table on the top rope in the corner. Cena would then battle back and would set his sights on delivering a powerbomb to Rollins through the table, but J&J Security would again get involved, shoving the table to the outside of the ring and attacking Cena, allowing Rollins to regain the advantage. Rollins then sets up a table in the corner of the ring before Cena mounts another comeback, but just when it looks like Cena is going to deliver the Attitude Adjustment to Seth Rollins, J&J Security come in again, pummeling Cena in the middle of the ring. Rolling and his security team then look to put Cena through the table with a three-man powerbomb, but Cena would fight back, shoving Rollins away before focusing on J&J Security. Cena would follow Jamie Noble to the outside of the ring, decking Noble with a big right hand. Cena then grabs a piece of the steel ringside barricade, driving the steel into the face of Noble, as well as Joey Mercury. Cena then delivers a suplex to Noble on top of the steel barricade before Rollins and Mercury jump on Cena, bringing Cena back to the ringside area and sending Cena face-first into the steel ring post. With Cena laid up against the ring post, Rollins and Mercury would charge at Cena with a table in hand, but Cena would narrowly avoid the impact as the table breaks in half around the ring post.
John Cena then isolates Joey Mercury long enough to deliver the Attitude Adjustment to Mercury over the ringside barricade and into the timekeeper’s area. With J&J Security out of commission for the time being, the match would come down to just Cena and Rollins. Rollins would take Cena down on the outside before setting up two tables on the outside of the ring. With Cena back in the ring, Rollins would try to send Cena through the tables with a suplex, but Cena would counter and the two would go blow-for-blow in the ring before Rollins is able to take Cena down again. Rollins would then try to send Cena through the table still set up in the corner of the ring, but Cena would counter again, tossing Rollins to the outside of the ring. Cena then slides another table into the ring, but Rollins catches Cena in the mid-section with the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase. Back in the ring, Rollins would beat Cena down with the briefcase before sliding the briefcase out of the ring. Rollins then sets a table up in the middle of the ring before “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” makes the questionable decision to mock John Cena, who takes advantage of Rollins’ overconfidence as Cena would hoist Rollins on his shoulders for the Attitude Adjustment. However, unbeknownst to John Cena, Seth Rollins inadvertently kicks the referee, knocking the referee out of the ring. Rollins then manages to avoid going through the table, using his agility to land on his feet on the other side of the table and drop Cena with a big kick that leaves Cena laying face-down on the table.
With John Cena in the perfect position, Seth Rollins would head to the top rope with the intention of sending Cena through the table with the Curb Stomp, but Cena would pop up off of the table just in time. Cena then puts Rollins on his shoulders and delivers the Attitude Adjustment off of the top rope to Seth Rollins through the table! However, the referee was still down on the outside and, since the referee didn’t see Rollins go through the table, the match continues. J&J Security quickly realize this and immediately take action as, with Jamie Noble making sure that Cena doesn’t interfere, Joey Mercury pulls Seth Rollins out from among the remains of the table before Mercury quickly disposes of the evidence by tossing the broken pieces of table out of the ring! Mercury then slides a table into the ring and Noble sets up the table while Mercury continues to keep Cena down. J&J Security then help Seth Rollins to his feet before the trio pick Cena up for the three-man powerbomb, but Cena again fights back, tossing Rollins out of the ring before Cena picks up both Noble & Mercury, driving both members of J&J Security through the table with the Attitude Adjustment! Cena then tries to deliver the Attitude Adjustment to Seth Rollins through the two tables at ringside, but Rollins fights out and both men find themselves battling on the ring apron with one fall from the ring apron spelling the end of the match. Both men would struggle to get to their feet and, with the referee back on his feet, both Cena and Rollins would fall through the two tables at the same time, prompting the referee to call for the bell!
With everyone awaiting a decision from the referee, two more referees come out to try and make sense of the chaos. Meanwhile, both Cena and Rollins manage to climb back into the ring and one referee raises the hand of John Cena, declaring him the winner, but the other referee raises Seth Rollins’ hand, claiming that Rollins is the winner! However, the final decision would come down to the referee who was actually in charge of the match and that referee would put both men’s arms down before making the bold call that, with no clear winner, he is restarting the match! The bell would ring and the chaos would continue with Seth Rollins striking first, taking Cena down on the outside before exposing the announce table. Cena would then grab Seth Rollins and deliver the Attitude Adjustment to Rollins onto the announce table, but the table would not break! With Rollins laid out at ringside, Cena would set another table up in the ring, but that is when Big Show would march down to the ring with his sights set on John Cena. With a smile on his face, Big Show would deliver several big shots to Cena’s mid-section before grabbing Cena by the throat.
Just as Big Show was about to send Cena through the table with a chokeslam, the music of Roman Reigns would blast throughout the arena and, sure enough, the 2014 Superstar of the Year would come marching through the crowd looking for a fight! Roman would march right into the ring and immediately target Big Show, blasting Big Show with the Superman Punch before sending Big Show crashing through a table with the Spear! Seth Rollins would then try to take Reigns out with the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase, but Reigns would duck the shot, blasting Rollins with the Superman Punch before Cena picks Rollins up and sends “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” through a table with the Attitude Adjustment, finally winning the match and remaining the #1 Contender and punching his ticket to the Royal Rumble, where he will challenge Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship!
The Divas Championship would then be defended at WWE TLC as, with Brie Bella in her corner, Nikki Bella would defend the Divas Title against AJ Lee. During a hard-fought match dominated mostly by Nikki Bella, AJ Lee would mount a comeback against the champion, hitting the Shining Wizard on Nikki Bella, but when AJ covers Nikki, Brie would get involved, putting Nikki’s foot on the bottom rope. However, the referee would see Brie’s actions and would respond by ejecting Brie from ringside, but Brie would not go quietly and, with the referee’s back turned, Nikki Bella would spray hairspray in AJ’s eyes! Nikki then hits the Rack Attack on AJ Lee, pinning AJ to retain the Divas Title under dubious circumstances.
Backstage, the 2014 Superstar of the Year, Roman Reigns, says that he returned earlier in the night with the intent of making an “impact” and he did just that. Roman then makes the huge announcement that he is the first man to officially throw his name in the hat as a participant in the 2015 Royal Rumble Match! Roman then says that his record-breaking performance in the last Royal Rumble Match will be nothing compared to the impact he makes in the 2015 Royal Rumble Match, telling the world to “believe that”.
Two big angry men would then be given weapons to try and destroy their opponent as “The Big Guy” Ryback would collide with Kane in a Chairs Match, where steel chairs are legal to use. The match would start off with both men wielding steel chairs, but Kane would be the first to gain an advantage, using the chair to take Ryback down before wedging the steel chair in the corner. Ryback would then battle back, sending Kane shoulder-first into the chair in the corner before hitting three big splashes on Kane. Ryback would then try to hit a fourth splash with a chair laying on Kane, but Kane push the chair into the mid-section of Ryback before dropping Ryback face-first onto a chair set up on the top rope in the corner. Kane would continue to wear Ryback down with the chair before dropping Ryback with a DDT onto the steel. Ryback would have a brief comeback, but Kane would quickly regain the advantage, again driving a chair into the mid-section of Ryback. Kane then grabs several chairs and tosses them into the ring, unfolding two chairs in the center of the ring, but it was Kane who would feel the steel as Ryback plants Kane with a spinebuster onto the steel.
“The Big Guy” then wears Kane out with several chair shots to the back before setting Kane up for the Meat Hook Clothesline, but when Ryback charges at Kane, Kane hurls a chair into Ryback’s face, quickly following this up with a thunderous chokeslam and Ryback somehow manages to kick out of the attempted pinfall! An angry and desperate Kane would then try to deliver the Tombstone Piledriver to Ryback, but Ryback would fight out, hitting the Meat Hook Clothesline and following it up with Shell Shocked, pinning Kane to pick up the win.
The United States Championship was also on the line at WWE TLC as Rusev, with Lana in his corner, would defend the United States Title against “The Real American” Jack Swagger. Throughout the match, both men would trade their signature submission maneuvers with Jack Swagger even countering the Accolade into the Patriot Lock, but Rusev would fight out of the Patriot Lock. Rusev would then blast Swagger with a big side kick on the outside of the ring and, while Swagger would get back into the ring just before the ten-count, a second kick to the face would spell the end for Jack Swagger as Rusev again locks in the Accolade. Swagger then has no choice but to tap out as Rusev successfully retains the United States Title.
Then it was time for a personally-charged main event between two very unusual individuals as “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose would collide with “The Eater of Worlds” Bray Wyatt in a TLC Match, where tables, ladders, and chairs will all be legal to use. Dean Ambrose would waste little time in getting things started as Ambrose would toss a ladder at Bray Wyatt at ringside before taking it among the fans as both men brawl through the arena. Dean Ambrose would then launch himself off of the desk used for the WWE TLC Kickoff Panel, taking out Wyatt. Back at ringside, Dean Ambrose grabs a steel chair, wearing Bray down with a pair of chair shots and tossing a few chairs in the ring before setting up a table at ringside. “The Lunatic Fringe” then brings two kendo sticks into the ring, tossing one to the side before waylaying Bray with several stick shots. Ambrose then grabs a steel chair, using it for an extreme elbow drop on Bray Wyatt before sitting Bray down on a steel chair. Ambrose would then climb to the top rope, but with one simple uppercut, Bray Wyatt would change the course of the match as the right hand knocks Ambrose off of the top rope through a table at ringside!
With Bray Wyatt in control for the first time in the match, Bray would bring Ambrose back into the ring, attempting a pinfall before grabbing a kendo stick, delivering several stick shots to Ambrose. Bray then wedges the kendo stick into the top turnbuckle, making the weapon stick straight out before sending Dean Ambrose face-first into the protruding stick! Bringing a ladder into the ring, Bray hits Ambrose in the face with the steel before laying Ambrose on the ladder and squashing Ambrose with a senton. Wyatt then delivers another kendo stick shot to Ambrose before sending Ambrose into the ladder set up in the corner. Bray attempts a splash in the corner, but Ambrose moves out of the way as Wyatt gets nothing but steel in the corner. Ambrose then uses the ladder as a platform on the top rope, launching himself off of the ladder, taking out Wyatt before he traps Bray in the ropes, coming off of the top rope with a leg drop to Bray Wyatt, who goes face-first onto a steel chair.
Bray Wyatt manages to battle back, dropping Dean Ambrose with a sternum-rattling clothesline. Bray then brings Ambrose to the outside of the ring and “The Lunatic Fringe” battles back, placing Bray on a table in the entranceway. Ambrose then comes off of the ladder with a big elbow drop that sends Wyatt through the table! Apparently not satisfied with only doing it once, Ambrose places Bray on another table before climbing up an even taller ladder, dropping another elbow onto Bray Wyatt through a table! Ambrose then drags Bray Wyatt back to the ring, rolling Bray into the ring, but the damage done to Dean Ambrose at his own expense would end up costing “The Lunatic Fringe” as, by the time Ambrose manages to get back into the ring, Bray Wyatt pops up and hits Sister Abigail on Ambrose. However, Dean Ambrose is somehow able to kick out and Bray Wyatt would look to end the match with a second Sister Abigail, but Ambrose would counter, nearly surprising Wyatt with a roll-up before sending Bray face-first into a ladder in the corner.
Dean Ambrose then spikes Bray Wyatt with Dirty Deeds, but this time, Bray kicks out, rolling out of the ring. With a smile on his face, Dean Ambrose begins digging under the ring, finding a live monitor under the ring. After taking some time to look at himself in the monitor, “The Lunatic Fringe” apparently comes up with another sinister plan as Ambrose heads to the staging area, grabbing an absolutely giant ladder and lugging it to ringside. Ambrose then sets up the monster ladder in front of the Spanish announce table, but during this time, Bray Wyatt was given an ample amount of time to recover and, when Ambrose tries to retrieve Bray, Wyatt catches Ambrose in the mid-section with a steel chair. Bray then sets his sights on crushing Ambrose’s neck with a chair, but Ambrose blocks the move and drives the chair into Wyatt’s throat instead! “The Lunatic Fringe” then places Bray on the Spanish announce table before climbing the huge ladder and diving off of the ladder with an unbelievable elbow drop to Bray Wyatt through the Spanish announce table! Ambrose is the first to make it back to his feet and Ambrose has the unenviable task of getting Bray back into the ring. After struggling to get back into the ring himself, Dean Ambrose picks up the live monitor, but Ambrose’s eagerness to bash Wyatt with the monitor would end up costing Ambrose as “The Lunatic Fringe” would forget to unplug the monitor before trying to use it as a weapon and the back of the monitor would explode in a flash of sparks and smoke. Bray Wyatt would then take advantage of the temporarily blinded Ambrose, quickly hitting Sister Abigail and pinning Ambrose to pick up the win in a barbaric encounter. As referees and doctors tend to Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt makes it back to his feet on the outside, somehow managing to walk away from an unbelievably destructive and career-altering war.
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