TLC 2012 – The Shield’s PPV Debut

Tables, Ladders, and Chairs took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on December 16th, 2012. It boasted an attendance of 15,748, as well as 175,000 PPV buys (down from 179,000 the previous year). It had a fine card, but the highlight, by far, was the PPV debut of Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins – collectively known as THE SHIELD!!

They took on Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan) and Ryback in a six-man TLC match. It’s one of my favorite matches. Ambrose, Reigns, and Rollins knew they had an opportunity to showcase themselves, so they made the most of it.

Roman Reigns spears Kane through the ringside barricade (Courtesy of
Roman Reigns spears Kane through the ringside barricade (Courtesy of

They broke out all the now classic Shield tricks. Roman hit the spear through the barricade (pictured directly above). They played the numbers game, isolating members of their opponent team. Oh, and of course, they hit that dope Triple Power Bomb.

If you don’t know about The Shield, this is the match for you to start with. The first I actually saw of them, was WrestleMania 29, and I had zero interest in learning more. Then, not long after acquiring a WWE Network subscription, I was watching TLC 2012, and this match came on. I decided to let it play, and see what was up. Man, I’m glad I did.

The match is so physical. That’s one of the most important aspects of a wrestling match. Make me believe that you want to kick the dog shit out of your opponent. That’s all I need. If you sell me on that aspect, I’ll happily take the rest of the ride.

These guys weren’t more than five minutes in before they busted out the ladders, and the chairs. That’s how it should be. If you’re rivalry is going to pass through a PPV like TLC, then you better be prepared for pain. That’s why I will forever be hyped on this match. The WWE had started to get s-a-w-f-t. A lot of their gimmick matches, especially, became stale. Then Shield came in.

Seth Rollins is sent crashing through some tables (Courtesy of
Seth Rollins is sent crashing through some tables (Courtesy of

They started with TLC, and they raised the bar. All of a sudden, top of the ladder bumps were possible again, because Seth Rollins never seemed to have any problem with putting his body on the line. Obviously, I’m referencing the huge bump he took off the top of a very tall ladder, through a very wooden table, onto some very concrete-y concrete (pictured directly above, video below).

He also definitely smacked his head on another table, on the way down.

This is all it took. Before TLC, Shield had some TV matches, and what not, but this was the moment that took them to the next level. Reigns, Ambrose, and Rollins stepped out there with Kane, D-Bry, and Ryback, and they made a place for themselves.

They carved their spots into the roster.

Let’s fast forward to today. Seth Rollins is the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, a title that he earned at WrestleMania, after cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase during the main event of Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns. A few months after that, Seth feuded with Dean Ambrose over that same title. That rivalry included a string of solid bouts, with the highlight being their Ladder Match at the Money in the Bank PPV.

They’ve taken the WWE Universe by storm, and I couldn’t be any happier about it. One day, they’ll main event WrestleMania, facing each other. I’m oddly confident about that.

Eventually, it’ll be time to run that program.


WrestleMania 33
Main Event


Joseph Finnegan