August 20, 2004
Sheldon Kane III
Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match for the World Tag Team Championship
Edge & Christian (Champions) vs. The Hardy Boyz (Challengers) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Challengers)
Entertainment and Sports Complex, Raliegh, NC
SummerSlam -- August 27, 2000
THREE LEGENDARY TEAMS
Throughout the annals of WWE history, many great tag teams have come and gone. When one thinks of legendary tandems, names such as the British Bulldogs, Jimmy & Johnny Valiant, Demolition, the Wild Samoans, and the New Age Outlaws all come to mind. But as great as all of these teams were in the ring, none of them had ever had as many unusual types of matches as three other legendary WWE tag teams; Edge & Christian, the Dudleys, and the Hardy Boyz. These three tag teams comprised a triangle of violence and brutality the likes of which the tag team division had never before seen. At the core of it all, there was one goal; the golden straps of the World Tag Team Championship, signifying the greatest tag team in the world. For all three of these tandems, the titles were so prestigious they were willing to risk life and limb to attain them; in a very literal sense.
Few imagined that the career paths of Edge & Christian, the Hardy Boyz and the Dudleys would lead them to becoming an almost inseperable trio of tag teams battling it out for the most coveted tag team championship in the sport.
The use of tables in a wrestling ring has long been a traditional Dudleyville favorite. The Dudleys have had a lust for putting opponents through tables as far back as their ECW glory days, where they enjoyed eight Tag Team Championship reigns. It was only natural that they brought this into the Federation with them. Tables had been used numerous times in the Federation long before Bubba Ray & D-Von arrived, but now the use of the wood was more prevalent than ever before. In fact, it was their table-smashing ways which led to the Dudleys' table match with the Hardys, on January 23, 2000 at the Royal Rumble. The Dudleys showed a sick obsession with putting WWE Divas through tables, and it all started with the Hardys' manager, Terri. Their match at the Royal Rumble is long remembered by WWE fans today, most notably for Jeff Hardy's swanton bomb from the top of the entrance at Madison Square Garden onto "The Dudley".
Ladder matches have been a part of professional wrestling since the 1970s. This type of contest was not contested in a WWE ring until 1992, when Bret "Hit Man" Hart battled Shawn Michaels with the infamous iron rungs present. Over the years, ladder matches became a part of WWE venecular, most notably at WrestleMania X on March 20, 1994, when Michaels and Razor Ramon fought for the Intercontinental Championship. Matt & Jeff Hardy had a long-standing fascination with this type of match, as well as Edge & Christian. It was only fitting that when these two teams faced off in a series of matches dubbed the "Terri Invitational Tournament"--a competition which saw the two teams battle for $100,000 and the managerial services of Terri Runnels--that the final match would be a ladder match, which took place at No Mercy on October 17, 1999. The match resulted in a modern-day classic, with the Hardys winning it all and beginning a new era in their careers, under the tutelage of Terri.
AND CHAIRS...OH MY!
The use of the ringside chair has always been a common weapon in the annals of professional wrestling. Wrestlers of all types, shapes and sizes have used them, and they are as much of a part of wrestling as a headlock, although the use of the chair is clearly not within the rules of the sport. For Edge & Christian, the ringside chair became synonymous with them, gaining a reputation as "the chairmen of the World Wrestling Federation", especially for their usage of a move called the "Con-Chair-To", in which both men would slam chairs against both sides of an opponent's head.
The first time these three teams met in the same match was on April 2, 2000, at WrestleMania XVI. A triple threat ladder match was signed for the Dudleys' World Tag Team Championship, and the result was one of the most unforgettable WrestleMania matches in history, which featured, among many highlights, Jeff Hardy performing a swanton bomb off the top of a ladder, putting Bubba Ray through a table below. Ultimately, it would be Edge & Christian who would "reek of awesomeness" on this night, walking away with the titles. Save for a one-month period, Edge and Christian would reign over the tag team division throughout the spring and summer of 2000. It was inevitable that they along with the Hardys and the Dudleys would again face one another. It would take place at SummerSlam, on August 27, 2000, in a match put together by then-Commissioner Mick Foley. The first ever "Tables, Ladders and Chairs" match. Fans in attendance in Raliegh, NC that evening, and the millions watching on pay-per-view, knew this would be a chaotic match. But no one could have predicted exactly HOW chaotic things would get.
The second the Hardy Boyz made it into the ring, the action began and the bell sounded. Right away, the Hardys found themselves engaged in a slugfest with the Dudleys, trading blows back and forth. Edge and Christian tried to bring their chairs into the battle right at the start, but they were thwarted by Matt Hardy and Bubba Ray Dudley. Matt grabbed a chair away from Christian and gave him a shot to the midsection with it. The Hardys took possession of the chairs, and assaulted Christian and Bubba Ray. Matt threw one of the chairs straight into Bubba Ray's face, which strangely worked to his advantage. Bubba grabbed the chair and smashed the incoming Jeff Hardy with it, sending the younger Hardy down hard on the mat. Edge scored with a clothesline on Matt, and then he and Christian double-Irish whipped D-Von Dudley into a corner of the ring. With D-Von dazed, Edge went to the outside of the ring, and grabbed a chair from the pile of weapons stationed at ringside. Edge then set up the chair for Christian to use as a springboard, which he did to execute a Stinger Splash on D-Von. Edge followed it up by dropping D-Von face first onto the chair with a drop toehold. Edge and Christian then focused on Matt and Bubba, unleashing a flurry of punches and kicks. As Christian applied a choke on Matt, Edge brought the first ladder of the match into the ring. Edge went to work on Bubba, and Bubba collapsed on his feet, leaning against the standing ladder propped against the ropes. Edge then ran the ropes, but Bubba had the presence of mind to move, and used the ropes to his advantage to richochet the ladder into the face of the incoming Edge. The ladder fell in the middle of the ring, and Bubba DDT'ed Christian. As the crowd started to chant "We Want Tables", Bubba started to scale the ladder in the ring in an attempt to grab the World Tag Team Championship belts suspended high above the ring. Matt and Jeff were able to stop Bubba's ascension, and sent him crashing down back-first off the ladder to the mat.
Matt went to work stomping away on Christian, as Jeff set up the fallen ladder. As Jeff started to climb, D-Von had set up another ladder right beside him, and started an ascension of his own. D-Von reached out to try and knock Jeff off the ladder, but was unsuccessful. D-Von continued to climb the ladder, and he and Jeff started to slug it out in mid-air. Neither man saw Edge creep up behind them, and issue a double Russian leg sweep on both men, sending them--and himself--crashing to the mat. Christian took advantage and started to climb both ladders himself. Bubba nailed Christian with a shot to the back, and started climbing up right after him. Bubba then grabbed Christian, locked him in position, and came down hard from the ladders with a full-nelson slam. In the process, both ladders fell, and a third ladder came into play, which Matt set up. Edge assaulted Matt right away with a forearm blow and several hard kicks. Meanwhile, Jeff starts to climb the third ladder, only to be stopped by Edge. As Edge shoved Jeff off, Jeff landed on another ladder, which happened to be on top of the first fallen ladder. As a result, the ladder created a seesaw type effect, and smacked Matt hard in the head, which let out a collective groan from the crowd. Edge and Christian seized the moment, and went for a "Con-Chair-To" on Jeff, which Jeff dodged promptly. Bubba picked up another ladder and clotheslined E & C down with it. Bubba noticed Jeff incoming with a chair, and used the ladder to smash the chair into Jeff's own head. D-Von then set up a ladder in a corner of the ring, which led to a Dudleys "WASSUP" on Edge. Almost on cue, Bubba yelled out, "D-VON, GET THE TABLES!" Meanwhile, Bubba threw a ladder onto the prone body of Jeff Hardy.
D-Von grabbed the plunder and brought it into the ring, which led to a 3-D Dudley Death Drop on Christian, through the table. Bubba then tells D-Von, "D-VON, LET'S KILL THEM!" The Dudleys would proceed to grab two more tables from the runway, and stack them onto the two tables already set up at ringside. After returning to the ring, Bubba made an attempt to powerbomb Jeff onto the tables outside, but a chair in the back from Edge prevented this from happening. Edge then slammed the chair over the head of D-Von, and again Edge hit Bubba with it, but he refused to fall. Matt then grabbed an unsuspecting Edge and dropped him with a Twist of Fate. Matt then ascended the ladder, and dropped a leg on Edge. Not to be outdone, Jeff followed suit, only he jumped off the top rope and leapfrogged over the ladder to administer his legdrop on Edge. Matt then laid a ladder down in the ring, and propped Edge in between both sides of it. Meanwhile, Bubba prepared another table outside the ring, but Jeff hit Bubba with a ladder, using it as a jabolin. Inside the ring, Matt repeatedly slammed one side of the ladder into Edge, as he was trapped in the middle of it. It was then when the future "Version 1.0" had an idea; seeing Christian climb the ropes, Matt grabbed Christian and threw him off the ropes, onto the ladder below...with Edge still sandwiched inside of it. We then move on to the outside of the ring, where Jeff was pummeling Bubba as he lay on top of two tables outside the ring. Jeff then made an attempt to mimick his legendary WrestleMania XVI swanton bomb off a ladder, but missed his target when Bubba moved out of the way, leaving Jeff to crash through the tables. As Christian and Bubba fought outside the ring, Matt set up a ladder and started to climb up. Before Bubba could get in to stop him, Edge floored him with a chair, and slid into the ring. Edge started to climb after Matt, but they were followed up the ladder by Christian and D-Von. Soon all four men were climbing the ladder simultaneously. Before the climb could go further, Christian took Matt down with a reverse DDT off the ladder, which sent Edge and D-Von off the ladder, clotheslining themselves across the top rope. With all four men down, Bubba Ray got back into the ring and seized the opportuinity to climb the ladder and grab the belts. Edge and Christian rose to their feet and pushed the ladder over, which caused Bubba to come down crashing through the four stacked tables at ringside. The Dudleys' tactics came back to haunt them on this night.
Seeing they now have both teams at bay, Edge and Christian began to climb a ladder inside the ring to grab their belts and call it a night. At that moment, the Hardys' newfound ally, Lita, hit the ring and pushed the ladder over, causing both men to land crotch-first on the top rope and spill out to the floor. With Lita screaming for Matt to get up, Matt started to climb the ladder, seemingly on his way to victory. But not if D-Von Dudley had a say in the matter! D-Von proceeded to tip the ladder over, and send Matt down below through yet another table. As a concerned Lita checked on Matt's condition with two referees, Edge saw an opportunity to pay the "Xtreme Diva" back for her earlier interference, and floored her with a devastating spear outside the ring. In the process, the back of Lita's head smacked off a nearby ladder, putting Lita out of commission. Meanwhile, inside the ring, the most spectacular moment of the match unfolded: Jeff and D-Von both began a feverish climb up the ladders to grab the gold above. Both men grabbed onto the belts on the hooks above the ring, but the ladder ended up falling down in the middle of the ring, leaving both Jeff and D-Von hanging onto the belts on the hooks for dear life. As the two of them were suspended in mid-air, Jeff managed to boot D-Von off, sending him on a fall to the canvas. It appeared to the Hardys' hometown North Carolina crowd that Jeff was about to grab the glory and the belts for his team. Enter Christian. The future beau of Trish Stratus picked up a ladder and swatted Jeff like a fly, and Jeff fell to the mat below. To the loud disapproval of the crowd, Edge and Christian ascended up the ladder, and grabbed the World Tag Team Title belts at 14:49. E & C emerged from the wreckage with their gold intact one more time.
This match would not be the last time Edge & Christian, the Dudleys, and the Hardys would face off. They would go on again to duel TLC style, at WrestleMania X-Seven on April 1, 2001. Despite interference from Lita and Spike Dudley, E & C again came out on top as champions, with help from their "Man Beast", Rhyno. Four years after their first TLC match, WWE fans the world over still talk about this classic, and the breathtaking visuals it produced. These three teams may never battle one another again (in fact two of them have long since split), but you can be sure none of the men involved will ever forget the wars they had, all in order to call themselves the best tag team in the sport.