TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2009 was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), which took place on December 13, 2009 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. It was the first TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs event and featured talent from the Raw, SmackDown, and ECW brands. Seven matches were scheduled for the event.
The concept of the show is based around the primary matches of the card each containing a stipulation utilizing tables, ladders and chairs as legal weapons. The primary matches included Christian defeating Shelton Benjamin in a Ladder match for the ECW Championship, Sheamus defeating John Cena in a Tables match to become the new WWE Champion, the reigning World Heavyweight Champion, The Undertaker, defeating Batista in a Chair match to retain his title and the main event, where D-Generation X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) defeated Chris Jericho and The Big Show in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match for the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship. Other matches in the card included John Morrison versus Drew McIntyre for the WWE Intercontinental Championship, Michelle McCool versus Mickie James for the WWE Women's Championship and Randy Orton versus Kofi Kingston.
The pay-per-view drew 228,000 buys, up from the 193,000 buys garnered by Armageddon 2008.
TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs featured professional wrestling matches involving different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots, and storylines that played out on Raw, SmackDown, ECW and WWE Superstars—World Wrestling Entertainment's (WWE) television programs. Wrestlers portrayed a villain or a hero as they followed a series of events that build tension, and culminated into a wrestling match or series of matches. All wrestlers were from WWE's Raw, SmackDown and ECW brands—a storyline division in which WWE employees were assigned to a television program of the same name.
On the November 23 episode of Raw, guest host and storyline matchmaker Jesse Ventura arranged an interpromotional "Breakthrough Battle Royal", in which the winner gained shot at their brand's world championship at the TLC event. Qualifying matches were also held that night with each wrestler having the distinction of having held neither the WWE Championship nor the World Heavyweight Championship. In qualifiers, Kofi Kingston defeated Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus defeated Finlay, the team of Mark Henry, Montel Vontavious Porter and R-Truth defeated the team of Jack Swagger, Chris Masters and Chavo Guerrero in a six-man tag team match. Disagreeing with the battle royal concept, former world champion Randy Orton attacked Primo and defeated Primo's intended opponent, Evan Bourne, to qualify. In the final qualifying match, the team of The Legacy (Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase) defeated the team of Cryme Tyme (Shad Gaspard and JTG) to qualify. In the main event of Raw, Sheamus won the battle royal, last eliminating Kofi Kingston and earning him the chance to face WWE Champion John Cena at the TLC event. A contract signing was immediately held in which Sheamus attacked Cena and slammed him through a table. Declaring his preference of Sheamus over Cena, Ventura made the prospective match a Tables match.
During his night as guest host, Jesse Ventura also booked a tag team match for the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship at the TLC event, where the champions Chris Jericho and The Big Show will defend their titles against the team of Triple H and Shawn Michaels (collectively known as D-Generation X) in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match.
On the November 24 episode of ECW, Shelton Benjamin defeated Zack Ryder to become the number one contender to the ECW Championship. ECW Champion Christian stated that the ECW Championship has been overlooked on recent pay-per-views and challenged Benjamin to a Ladder match.
After defeating Rey Mysterio at the Survivor Series, Batista expressed on the following night his intent to challenge the World Heavyweight Champion, The Undertaker. Batista was interrupted by Kane who challenged him to a physical confrontation, which Batista refused. A match was booked between the two on the November 28 episode of SmackDown where the winner would face The Undertaker at the TLC event. Batista won by countout, when outside of the referee's sight, he attacked Kane's knee with a steel chair behind the barricade. A few days later on WWE's website, it was announced that the match will be a Chair match.
On the December 4 edition of SmackDown, WWE Intercontinental Champion John Morrison faced Drew McIntyre in an exhibition contest, which saw the latter win. Later in the evening, on the company's website, it was announced McIntyre would then receive another match against Morrison for his title.
Since Bragging Rights, Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston have been in constant conflict ever since Kingston prevented further interference with Orton's teammates Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase during Orton's unsuccessful Iron Man match against John Cena for the WWE Championship. The rivalry led to the two each captaining teams for a five-on-five Survivor Series elimination match at Survivor Series, in which Kingston's team won. On the November 30 episode of Raw, Kingston was scheduled to wrestle Orton in a singles match but was ambushed by Rhodes and DiBiase before the match began and hence was too weak to offer a fair match with Orton. The following week, Raw guest host Mark Cuban booked Kingston into another match with Orton, with Cuban serving as guest referee. Still bitter from the events at the 2003 Survivor Series, where Orton performed an RKO on him, Cuban gave a fast count for Kingston's pin and gave him the win. Cuban then proceeded to announce that the two were now tied with one victory apiece and the match that would settle the score would take place at the TLC event.
On the December 11 edition of SmackDown, it was announced that the WWE Women's Champion Michelle McCool will defend her title against Mickie James at the TLC event. The two became close rivals when in November the two were made respective captains for opposing teams in a five-on-five Survivor Series elimination match at Survivor Series. Three days before Survivor Series, James was shown a video package featuring McCool performing a parody of "Old McDonald Had a Farm", calling her rival "Piggy James" and sending James into tears. At Survivor Series, James and Melina won the elimination match for their team, last eliminating McCool. On the December 4 edition of SmackDown, James defeated Beth Phoenix and Natalya in a Triple Threat match to become the number one contender for the WWE Women's Championship.
Pre-show Prior to the show airing live on pay-per-view, the crowd in attendance were shown an untelevised match pitting R-Truth versus CM Punk with Luke Gallows in his corner. R-Truth won the match via pinfall.
Preliminary matches As the show commenced, the opening match was the ladder match for the ECW Championship between defending champion Christian versus Shelton Benjamin. As the match went underway, both men left the ring to the floor of the arena in the hopes of retrieving a ladder. As Christian made his first vie to climb the ladder and retrieve the belt, Benjamin pulled him down; Christian later reciprocated, but as he made his another attempt to climb, Benjamin forced the ladder on top of him. After Benjamin caused Christian to bleed on the floor, the challenger climbed to the top of a ladder at ringside, and flip-dove onto his opponent. As the action returned to the ring, the two continued to climb the ladder as their opponent thwarted their attempts. As Christian made a climb, Benjamin came up underneath him, and threw him off the ladder with a powerslam. As both men recovered, Christian propped a ladder up in the corner in an attempt to throw Benjamin into it, the latter threw himself into Christian into the ladder. As the match progressed, Christian climbed the ladder, and grabbed the belt. As he was about to win, Benjamin pulled the ladder out from underneath him, causing him to dangle in mid-air. The challenger then grabbed his prone opponent, and connected with a powerbomb in the corner of the ring with the ladder still propped up in it. The match continued to the apron surrounding the ring, and Benjamin attempted to perform a German suplex on Christian, which would have sent him falling onto a ladder propped up behind him, making a bridge between the ring and announcer's table. Christian neutralized the attempt with a kick, sending Benjamin onto the ladder supine. The champion then ascended the top turnbuckle, and dove off onto Benjamin, causing the ladder to break in half. Christian capitalized and grabbed the belt for the victory.
Following was John Morrison defending the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Drew McIntyre. The match was outlined by the brawling and exploiting the facets of the ring to be used as a weapon. McIntyre then gained control by cinching in a variety of submission holds. Morrison shifted the momentum by twisting himself around, driving the challenger's face into the mat. The match spilled to the outside with Morrison diving onto McIntyre with his signature kick to the head he calls the Flying Chuck. Upon returning his opponent to the ring, Morrison ascended the top turnbuckle in an attempt to execute his signature backflip body press, Starship Pain; McIntyre dodged the attempt, raked Morrisons eyes while the referee wasn't looking, and drove Morrison's head into the mat before pinning him and winning the championship. After the match McIntyre was congratulated by Vince McMahon, Sheamus showed up and told McIntyre that he wouldn't be the only one leaving the event with some gold.
Michelle McCool (with associate Layla) would then defend her championship against Mickie James. The match started with both competitors exchanging blows before the action spilled to the floor. With Layla distracting James, McCool took advantage, and threw her head into the barricade surrounding ringside. Back in the ring, James attempted a comeback only to have McCool connect with a kick to the face, leading to a pinfall victory.
Kofi Kingston was preparing for his match against Randy Orton when Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase passed by and sent a message to Kingston, this resulted in Kingston going to Orton's locker room and calling Orton a "coward". During the match, the two used many submission maneuvers, while outside the ring Kingston tried to jump on Orton only to be greeted by a Dropkick to the stomach. Orton continued to work on his abdomen until Kingston delivered the S.O.S., Boom Drop and Trouble in Paradise followed by a pin but Orton grabbed the ropes. Orton punted Kingston who defended it with his left arm, Orton then hit Kingston with the RKO to get the win.
Main event matches
The next match was a Tables match for the WWE Championship between John Cena and Sheamus. As Sheamus was making his entrance, King was reading an Irish newspaper which featured an article about Sheamus. Cena repeatedly threw Sheamus into the turnbuckles, the two threw punches at each other until Sheamus headed for the apron searching for a table, Cena pushed him into the commentators table instead. Cena prepared a table outside the ring to put Sheamus through but Sheamus countered it and tried pushing Cena off the apron and through the table but was unsuccessful. Sheamus headed up the ramp to catch his breath but, Cena delivered a Suplex to Sheamus on the ramp, he then attempted to throw a table on to Sheamus' limp body but Sheamus rolled off the ramp. Cena stalked Sheamus through the crowd as he pushed Sheamus in to barricades. The two eventually ended up back inside the ring with Cena still dominating until Sheamus delivered the Celtic Cross to him. He then leaned a table against the corner of the ring planning to charge towards it with Cena in tow but Cena escaped his grip. Cena set up another table hoping to put Sheamus through it with an Attitude Adjustment from the top rope, however, Sheamus got out of his grip and the two battled it out on the top rope until Cena was pushed off but didn't go through the table. He climbed back up and both he and Sheamus struggled to keep their balance, as Sheamus fell to the outside of the ring, Cena also fell and went straight through the table making Sheamus the new WWE Champion. After the match Sheamus celebrated by taunting the crowd and Cena by placing his leg on Cena and lifting the Championship, he then departed. Cena got up and showed his frustration with his mistake and kept a piece of the broken table as a memento of his loss.
The next match was the first ever Chairs match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship between The Undertaker and Batista in the beginning Batista immediately went to the production table for a chair, The Undertaker tried to hit a big boot through the security barrier but only to miss and Batista attacked Undertaker with a chair. After a few more chair shots Undertaker was able to hit his apron leg drop to Batista, later back in the ring Batista was able to hit a superplex on the Undertaker. Batista tried to hit his Batista Bomb but Undertaker reversed by flipping him over onto a chair. After Batista got up Undertaker started running towards him only to picked up into a spinebuster, Undertaker made a return by hitting Batista by a running slam, snake eyes and Old School. After Batista got up he hit his spear and then his Spinebuster on a chair then threw him into a turnbuckle with a chair wedged between the middle and top buckles, but when Batista ran towards Undertaker he ran out of the way so Batista went head-first into the chair, Undertaker then hit his signature Chokeslam. Batista pushed Undertaker into the referee and hit a low blow and then a chair shot getting a 3 count. As Batista celebrated his win Theodore Long walked out and ordered the match to restart which began with Undertaker getting a chair shot to Batista and then delivering the Tombstone Piledriver, winning the match.
The last match was the Tables, Ladders and Chairs match for the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship, between the champions JeriShow (Chris Jericho and the Big Show) and D-Generation X (Shawn Michaels and Triple H). Chris Jericho exchanged blows with Michaels while Triple H battled the Big Show. It wasn't long before both teams were setting up tables around the ring. While Show and Triple H fought near the stage, Michaels dominated Jericho in the ring until Jericho countered it. Jericho headed up the ramp to help Show beat down Triple H and was shortly joined by Michaels, Michaels had a short fight with Jericho using chairs however Show help get JeriShow back in control as they headed back to the ring to attempt to reach the championships. They were quickly stopped by DX, the team targeted Jericho with ladders after knocking down Show. DX attempted to grab the titles but were stopped by JeriShow, they targeted Triple H and later hung him upside down on a ladder which was set up in the corner of the ring, they then threw Michaels into Triple H to damage him even more. Show tried to climb the ladder but later decided against it, he chokeslammed DX through a table that was placed against the barricade. Show started to destroy all the ladders so that DX were unable to use them, Jericho then climbed on Show's shoulders in an attempt to reach the belts but he was Superkicked off by Michaels. Triple H held the half a ladder steady which had been dismantled earlier on, while Michaels climbed it to win the titles. After the match DX celebrated with their newly won championships and the event came to a close with both men doing their signature crotch chops.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark: R-Truth defeated CM Punk
- Christian defeated Shelton Benjamin to retain the ECW Championship in a Ladder Match. (18:05)
- Drew McIntyre defeated John Morrison to win the Intercontinental Championship. (10:20)
- Michelle McCool with (Layla) defeated Mickie James to retain the Women's Championship. (7:35)
- Sheamus defeated John Cena to win the WWE Championship in a Tables Match. (16:25)
- The Undertaker defeated Batista to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a Chair Match. (14:45)
- Randy Orton defeated Kofi Kingston. (13:15)
- D-Generation X (Shawn Michaels & Triple H) defeated Chris Jericho & The Big Show to win the WWE Unified Tag Team Championships in a TLC (Tables, Ladders & Chairs) match. (22:50)
Other on-screen talent
- TLC 2009 Official Website
- TLC 2009 at CAGEMATCH.net
- TLC 2009 at Online World of Wrestling
- TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2009 on WWE Network
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