The TLC match has had a long history of great matches in WWE. Talking about the gimmick evokes memories of the classic bouts of The Attitude Era, the surprisingly memorable matches of the mid-2000’s, and now, the Pay Per View which bears its name. Yes, TLC has a rich history in WWE. But where did the concept of TLC originate? What did it evolve from, and what has it turned into, over many years of existence? Well, we’re here to share with you the lengthy, and sometimes surprising, evolution of the TLC match, from its humble beginnings in a small Canadian wrestling territory, to a yearly Pay Per View special in WWE.
10. The First Ladder Match
When talking about TLC, you have to start with its origins as a ladder match. Believe it or not, those things didn’t used to be common! There is some debate about when the ladder match debuted in professional wrestling, but in North America, it is generally accepted that they originated in Stampede Wrestling, the promotion based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and owned by Hall of Famer Stu Hart, patriarch of the legendary Hart Family. The first ever North American ladder match took place in Stampede in 1972, with the objective being to grab a handful of cash from the rafters of the arena. Unlike the modern ladder match, the original used a single-sided extension ladder, as opposed to the double-sided stepladders that are used today, and the match mostly involved fully incapacitating your opponent on the ground before even attempting to climb and win the match. WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart would also compete in ladder matches during his time in Stampede, and when he was signed by WWE in 1984, he brought the idea with him.