AJ Styles and Drew McIntyre kicked off WWE's final pay-per-event of the year in the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs showdown. The ThunderDome was finely decorated in a plethora of its namesake's weaponry lining the ring and up the WWE's Florida center's ramp. Past match-ups between titleholders like Randy Orton and the Fiend, Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns, Sasha Banks, and her new run as champion opened up the show, but it wasn't until AJ Styles made his entrance that the pop of the crowd really kicked off the WWE TLC event.
WWE TLC Results Part 2
AJ Styles has been picking at Drew McIntyre's run as WWE Champion, beginning with the long 18-year run it took for the current reigning to win the belt. In their first matchup for the title ever, Styles and McIntyre started the match in a flurry of fists as energy, with the former taking control of the fight early on. McIntyre has commented on waiting for this match since he was 16 years old, and his mental preparation may have given him an edge despite the shortcomings in the first few minutes of the match. McIntyre was able to rally and punish his opponent with various throws and chops around the ring.
McIntyre wisely kept his eye on AJ's ringside bodyguard, but even the momentary distraction was not enough for AJ to get himself back into the fight yet. Although AJ managed to halt the claymore attempt from McIntyre, he was immediately launched out of the ring but the WWE Champion.
In the first tables, ladders, and chairs use of the night, McIntyre bounced AJ's face off a table like a bouncing ball before he failed a suplex on the Phenomenal One. Although the ringside was riddled with weaponry, it's only used by McIntyre in the match so far, flipping Styles around the ringside area like a pancake.
Finally, McIntyre climbed a ladder in his first attempt for the belt but unwisely took his attention from AJ Styles, who advantageously used a metal chair to knock the champion off the ladder. The two men went back and forth quite consistently until AJ was thwarted by his own chair set up against the ropes and got launched justly against the trap. Since the beginning of the match, however, AJ targeted McIntyre's injured knee and used every advantage given to assault Drew's previous injury. The strategy seemed to be the only thing working for AJ, as every other direct match up between the two seemed to skew in Drew's favor.
Where McIntyre focused on climbing the ladder to his belt, AJ was more intent on punishing the champion. Instead of climbing the ladder, AJ attempted a Styles Clash but was quickly twisted into a DDT from McIntyre, which left him writhing in the corner of the ring. Lifting the ladder into the air, McIntyre brought it down on AJ hard, but instead of being incapacitated, AJ once again went for champ's knee injury. Bending McIntyre's knee around the ladder, AJ reduced his opponent into a writhing mess, much to the disdain of the crowd. Taunting McIntyre to stay down, AJ hit the man, again and again, focusing on the knee injury which caused the champion's pained screamed to echo louder than the cries of the crowd. Despite kicking out of the hold and pushing AJ into the chair, McIntyre was still reduced to a heap in the center of the ring. With absolutely no mercy, AJ dragged McIntyre to the corner of the ring and slammed the champ's knee into the post before taking a ladder and smashing in into Drew's face.
AJ then meticulously laid McIntyre on a ringside table and climbed to the top rope of the ring, but was stopped before he could complete his move by receiving a steel chair to the face. McIntyre tried to respond in kind by setting the table up inside the ring, but the injury to his knee was clearly slowing him down. AJ countered the champ and slammed McIntyre's face into the ladder inside the ring, but was not fast enough to dodge the champ's belly-to-belly throw into the same steel ladder. Unfortunately for Drew, AJ had done enough damage to his knee to take advantage of climbing to the top rope and laying a devastatingly accurate phenomenal forearm to McIntyre's head.
AJ wisely set up a ladder at this point and tried to climb the steps to the belt, but McIntyre lifted the man above his head and threw him over the ropes and out of the ring into a table, causing it to break cleanly in half. With AJ taken out, it seemed like there would be a clear and uncontested path for Drew to climb the ladder and regain his title…
Except suddenly, the Miz, followed by Morrison, charged into the ring and knocked McIntyre off the ladder, and cashed in on his money in the bank contract. This immediately turned the match into a triple threat tables, ladders, and chairs fight. However, just a fingertip away from the belt, Miz was grabbed off the ladder and thrown out of the ring by AJ's bodyguard, Omos. Not even thwarted by a steel chair to his back, Omos stared down Miz's partner, John Morrison, who couldn't get away from the looming bodyguard fast enough and tripped his way out of the ring to the backstage of the ThunderDome.
The belt hung uncontested as all three men in the fight struggled to regain composure from the brutal assaults in the tables, ladders, and chairs fight. AJ was the first to recover, but McIntyre would not let his knee injury prevent him from joining his opponent on the ladder. In a race to the top, McIntyre got to the top of the ladder first but faced a relentless onslaught of knee chops from AJ. While the two men struggled, Miz brought a second ladder to the mix and set it up in the center of the ring but could not get his hands on the belt without a blow-for-blow fight with McIntyre. As soon as Miz fell from the ladder, AJ was back up to the top to challenge McIntyre for his reach of the belt. In the same regard, as soon and McIntyre fell from the ladder, Miz was up to keep AJ from grabbing the belt. While the two men traded blows, McIntyre pushed their ladder over the ropes and forced his opponents to the ground. Miz attempted to recover but was met in kind with a face full of Claymore, and in the end, the two men were not able to hang with McIntyre's drive and ferocity.
As they writhed in pain, McIntyre overcame his knee injury, climbed to the top of the ladder, and retook his title in what ended up being a three-way tables, ladders, and chairs battle.