Ranking the best TLC moments in WWE history

The Shield puts Ryback through a table during their first match at TLC in 2012. Courtesy @WWE

"I have decided to make a decision right now and I think you're going to like it. A decision that says, at SummerSlam, the Hardys and the Dudleys cannot interfere with tables and ladders in your match," commissioner Mick Foley said to then-WWE tag team champions Edge and Christian just two weeks before SummerSlam 2000.

"You see, it's going to be impossible for them to interfere in your match with tables and ladders because they are going to be in your match with tables and ladders. And if I were you two dudes, I'd bring those chairs as well, because at SummerSlam, it's going to be Edge and Christian against the Hardys against the Dudleys in a TLC match. Tables and ladders and chairs, oh my!"

And with that, the first of 19 TLC matches was set. Over the past 17 years, the TLC match has created some of the most iconic moments in recent history. It helped establish some of the premier names of the past two decades within the WWE and offered displays if incredibly athletic feats making the stipulation so popular that it was turned into a yearly pay-per-view of its own in 2009.

As we head toward TLC 2017 this Sunday, let's take a look at five of the most memorable moments in the match's history.

The debut of TLC: SummerSlam, Aug. 27, 2000

SummerSlam 2000 marked the birth of the TLC match and set the bar high right off the bat. Being that it was the first match of its kind, the element of the unknown was alive, but the expectations were high, and boy did it deliver.

The match offered a multitude of moments worthy of standing ovations, but one particular sequence stuck out. Earlier in the match, four double-stacked tables were set up outside of the ring. It was obvious a big spot was planned and it ended up being the highlight moment of the match.

As Bubba Ray Dudley climbed the ladder, placed near the middle of the ring in attempts to claim the tag team championships, Edge and Christian were there to stop him in his tracks. They proceeded to dump him from the top of the ladder to the outside of the ring, crashing through all four tables.

"Good God! The human body went 20 feet off the ladder through four tables!" exclaimed Jim Ross on commentary in what was not only the moment of the match, but the moment of the entire pay-per-view.

The spear heard round the world: WrestleMania 17, Apr. 1, 2001

The second TLC match in history -- which featured the same teams as its predecessor -- had quite a reputation to live up to coming off a highly successful first version the year before. As innovative as that first match was, TLC II topped it in every way possible. The storytelling aspect was superior to any match of its kind and the creativity factor was spectacular.

The most creative moment in the match occurred when Jeff Hardy found himself hanging from the apparatus that the championships were dangling from about 15 feet above the ring. As he was hanging, Edge climbed a ladder which was set up in the corner of the ring. As Hardy swung towards Edge, Edge dove off the ladder and delivered a perfectly executed spear to Hardy midair as they crashed to the canvas. It was a moment that would be replayed countless times throughout the years.

To this day, TLC II is widely considered the best TLC match of all time and the monumental spear by Edge to Jeff Hardy was its brightest spot.

The ultimate Attitude Adjustment: Unforgiven, Sept. 17, 2006

The John Cena/Edge rivalry was one of the greatest of both men's careers. It was personal, intense and they had undeniable chemistry together whether they opposed each other on the microphone or whether they were battling in the ring.

Perhaps the greatest in-ring chapter of their feud took place in a TLC match at Unforgiven 2006 from Edge's hometown of Toronto for the WWE Championship. The nearly 30-minute match that featured some dangerous looking falls by both men saw its finest moment at its culmination.

As Edge climbed the ladder attempting to prevent Cena from grabbing the title, Cena was able to lift Edge onto his shoulders while maintaining his balance. He then delivered the most impressive Attitude Adjustment of his brilliant career to Edge off of the ladder through two stacked tables in the ring on his way to reclaiming the WWE Championship.

The Shield's debut match: TLC, Dec. 16, 2012

This year's TLC pay-per-view centers around the resurrection of The Shield as they face off with The Miz, Braun Strowman, Cesaro and Sheamus in a TLC match. Five years ago, the TLC pay-per-view marked the birth of The Shield.

After making a major statement at the 2012 Survivor Series costing Ryback his WWE Championship match, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns made their collective main roster in-ring debuts at the 2012 TLC event one month later. They squared off against Ryback, Daniel Bryan and Kane in a TLC match and what a debut match it was.

Not only did The Shield begin their dominant run with a victory, but the effort was superb and featured many well produced sequences, none more memorable than a risky Seth Rollins bump as the bout neared its conclusion. As Rollins and Ryback approached the entranceway, which was filled with tables and ladders, Rollins climbed one of the ladders in an attempt to escape Ryback. However, when Rollins neared the top of the ladder, Ryback was right behind him and yanked him off, sending him crashing through six stacked tables.

Championship unification: TLC, Dec. 15, 2013

The main event of TLC 2013 between WWE Champion Randy Orton and World Heavyweight Champion John Cena had a big fight feel to it, and rightfully so. The TLC match was a unification match in which the WWE and World Championships would become one title to be referred to as the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

While the match was good, this moment wasn't really about the in-ring product as much as it was its significance. Since Monday Night Raw on September 2, 2002 when Triple H was presented the World Heavyweight Championship, there had been two premier championships in the company.

After Orton's victory over Cena, he became the first superstar to officially be considered the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. In addition, he was the last World Heavyweight Champion in history.

To cap it off, the boss himself, Vince McMahon, made his way to the ring to shake Orton's hand, adding another level of importance to the historic moment.