As I stated in the title of my review for the first DVD set of "The Ladder Match", this is one of the most innovative matches of all time to the point where it has spun off into so many different types of matches such as King Of The Mountain in TNA, Stairway To Hell In ECW, Money In The Bank, and T.L.C./Full Metal Mayhem. Since that set, this match has caused WWE to push the envelope even more to the point where two pay per views each year are based around this match ("Money In The Bank" & "T.L.C.: Tables, Ladders, Chairs") so here's another collection of matches that were either missed the first time or happened in the four year period after the release of Volume One.
WWE Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels - This was the first ladder match to be seen on WWE television. Both men started off wrestling early before Diesel got involved & ended up paying for it before Razor removed the outside mat & exposed the concrete that didn't end up working in his favor. The ladder came into play from here as Shawn started to use it as a weapon to attack Razor's ribs starting with a baseball slide into the ladder right into Razor's ribs & later doing a big splash off the top of it while later Razor used it to his advantage by whipping Shawn into it & using it squish Shawn into the ringpost. There were times when both men launched an attack while one was on the ladder much as Razor slamming Shawn off of it & him "making an ass" of Shawn to prevent him from winning the match. This ladder match was the one that set the standard for what WWE would do this match for years to come as it was definitely a match where both men came out stronger than they went in with Jerry Lawler to the point said about one competitor, "He Is Superman!"
[From The Vault: Shawn Michaels; History Of Intercontinental Championship]
Tracy Smothers vs. Chris Candido - This match was for $2,500 hung in an envelope over the ring & they started wrestling like this was a regular match with Smothers constantly kicking Candido out of the ring so he could attempt to climb the match. The ladder started to come into play when Candido got his head caught in the ladder & thrown into the post for it to bounce in-between the steps, Chris using the ladder as a weapon for him to choke Smothers before later slamming Smothers on it while he later was a victim of the ladder by missing a top rope splash onto it. This wasn't much as far as spots go & really nothing special.
"Smoky Mountain Wrestling" Mar. 94
WCW United States Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Syxx - This match was Eddie's first ladder match from the nWo's first (and only) PPV "nWo Souled Out" and this was one of the highlights from that PPV. Eddie was going for revenge against the man who stole his United States Championship from him in the Syxx (1-2-3 Kid/X-Pac). This wasn't the best ladder match in history but far from the worse as well as this was more of a wrestling match featuring a ladder instead of what you would usually expect in a ladder match. As Eddie said in his commentary before his ladder match with RVD on his first DVD set, he didn't think this match wasn't that good...and he had a point as this was a good wrestling match featuring a ladder but didn't match up to the standards to set by previous & future ladder matches in wrestling.
nWo Souled Out 97
[Rise & Fall Of WCW]
Hardcore Champion Mankind vs. Big Boss Man - Boss Man was a member of Mr. McMahon's "The Corporation" stable at the time & his job here was to take away the only thing Mankind had left in his Hardcore Championship while it should be noted that Shawn Michaels was the Commissioner at the time & did commentary at ringside. Mankind was attacked by Boss Man on the floor right away with the nightstick before he was able to recover & used the steps & the ladder on Boss Man. Foley was able to use the ladder to his advantage various times such as dropping elbow drops while Boss Man was wedged inside & even doing a clothesline off it at one point but overall, this was more about pushing the story of the The Corporation continuing to screw Mankind while further push his feud with The Rock than anything else as this was more of a hardcore match than an actual ladder match.
"RAW" Nov. 98
WWE Champion Mankind vs. The Rock - After countless encounters over the previous months including such matches as "I Quit" & Last Man Standing & fights in an empty arena, this was their final encounter for the WWE Championship with the winner going into the title match against Steve Austin (who was also on commentary for this match. Mankind came into the match with a bad leg from the night before & they started this match on the floor with Rock targeting the legs right away by throwing Mankind into the steps legs first before slamming it into a chair multiple times. The ladder was brought into play by The Rock only for Mankind to start using it as a weapon by nailing it with a chair multiple times while Rock was trapped underneath but Rock continued to work over Mankind's bad knee to prevent him from climbing including hitting the ladder with a chair while his leg was wedged in-between & constantly hitting it with a chair whenever Mankind tried to climb. They took the fight to the outside brawling through the crowd before making their way back ringside & through the announce table but it was a "big nasty" presence that was the difference maker in the end.
"RAW" Feb. 99
[The Rock: The Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment]
Steve Austin vs. Vince & Shane McMahon - During this time, Mr. McMahon revealed himself to be the "Higher Power" behind The Corporate Ministry only for Linda & Stephanie McMahon to quickly reveal that they gave their ownership of WWE to Steve Austin setting up this match with a briefcase at stake (where have I seen this recently?) containing the paperwork for complete ownership of the WWE. Austin attacked both men in the isleway early before taking the fight to the stage area where Austin dominated to the point where he literally "brought the house down." With the use of the announce tables & some mysterious interference, this wasn't the type of ladder match you would expect from people like the Hardys, Dudleys, or Edge & Christian but it was a brawl that you would expect from Stone Cold with some comedic moments & being able to take a beating that you would expect from both McMahon's.
King Of The Ring 99
Jung Dragons vs. 3 Count - The rules for this ladder match was that both 3 Count's golden record & their recording contract must be taken to win the match while it should be noted during this time that former MMA competitor Tank Abbott was playing a role of the biggest 3 Count fan including wearing their shirts & dancing while they perform while Evan came into this match with a brace on his ankle from injuring it in another ladder match on Nitro a short time earlier (which is available on "Best Of WCW Nitro" DVD). Knowing that both teams in this match were high flying crusierweights, we got a bunch of various spots & moments throughout the match such as Yang backdropping Shannon onto a ladder, Kaz slammed on top of Jamieson on the ladder straddled in the corner, Jamieson's giant leap off a ladder onto 3 Count on the floor, the various unique ways of knocking someone off the ladder including a neckbreaker & vertical suplex, Kaz being powerslammed on a ladder, dual splashes by the Dragons off ladders onto Shannon before he was later powerbombed off a ladder. This match topped their previous ladder match on Nitro only for them to continue to top this with their ladder match at Starrcade months later but this match definitely stole the show at this PPV.
WCW New Blood Rising 00
WWE Tag Team Champions Hardy Boyz vs. Edge & Christian - Nice to see WWE finally remembered that this match happened & released it onto DVD after over a decade. A couple of notes here in that this was on the debut of RAW on TNN (later SpikeTV), happened the night after their steel cage match at the Unforgiven PPV so everyone came in battered & bruised, and would be the last title match for Edge & Christian during this title reign of the Hardy Boyz. This match was exactly what you would expect from both teams with such highlights as a baseball side into the ladder that had every man watch feeling the pain, Christian sacrificing himself to hurt Jeff, Edge reliving a highlight moment between him & Jeff, Lita getting involved with a chair, Matt Hardy bleeding, Edge doing a clothesline off the ladder onto the outside, Christian being back suplexed off the ladder before Edge was later powerbombed off the ladder, and two sets of ladders being tipped over with once again every man watching being in pain after seeing how the wrestlers on them landed. It's not as memorable as their other encounters but not lacking quality.
"RAW" Sept. 00
WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam vs. WWE European Champion Jeff Hardy - This was a unification title match as both men started wrestling early with RVD even going for a pin out of instinct. The ladder was brought in quickly with RVD being the first to use it with a baseball slide into Hardy followed by a somersault off the apron onto Jeff before taking a nasty bump on his own as he was yanked off the ladder by Hardy so hard that he fell face first followed by both men then went for other ladders at ringside resulting in a duel ladder fight. Both men took some very hard hits here such as RVD's rolling thunder onto Jeff Hardy laying on a ladder, Jeff back suplexing RVD off the ladder followed by a swanton bomb off a ladder, RVD flip powerbombing Jeff Hardy off a ladder, RVD kicking the ladder from underneath Hardy who definitely "crashed & burned", followed by a huge frog splash. I enjoyed this better than their previous ladder match years earlier.
"RAW" July 02
[History Of Intercontinental Championship]
WWE Tag Team Champions Team Angle vs. Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri - This was originally scheduled to be Los Guerreros teaming together but Chavo was injured before this match leading to Tajiri replacing him. The match started off with a bang right away as Team Angle had the strategy of divide & conquer by throwing Eddie into the ladder in the isleway right away to work over Tajiri who was able to recover doing a handspring elbow onto ladder knocking off both Hass & Benjamin followed by both him & Eddie delivering a dropkick to the ladder that had every man in the building feeling Hass' pain. Eddie pulled out some unique moves of his own like a hilo over the top rope onto Team Angle who were sandwitched between the ladders before Shelton was able to give Eddie a powerslam into the ladder on the corner. Eddie delivered out some more punishment like monkeyflipping Shelton into Hass who was holding a ladder, his frop splash off the top of the ladder & later executing a flip powerbomb. Although Eddie was the only person in the match with ladder match experience in WWE, everyone in here gave a quality performance.
Judgment Day 03
WWE Intercontinental Champion Christian vs. Rob Van Dam - Christian was in control early before RVD was able to regain momentum with his baseball slide into a ladder & somersault over the ropes onto Christian & the ladder followed by his spinning kick onto Christian laying on the ladder. Christian gave a hard irish whip onto RVD into the ladder in the corner before RVD countered showing some strength of his own by pressing Christian onto the ladder followed by a backwards flip. Hard hits were taken by both men such as Christian being monkeyflipped into a ladder, RVD landing on a ladder after missing the frog splash, and Christian falling & hitting a ladder face first.
"RAW" Sept. 03
[Rob Van Dam: One Of A Kind]
Undisputed OVW Women's Championship: Katie Lea vs. Beth Phoenix - Katie Lee started this off with a bang as she jumped off the ladder onto Beth on the outside right from the start followed by ramming her into the ladder. Both ladies pulled out some moments of their own such as Katie delivering a top rope dropkick onto Beth's leg while climbing the ladder, Beth falling face first off the ladder, Katie slammed onto the ladder, Beth missing a top rope splash onto the ladder, Katie having the ladder dropkicked right into her chin, and Katie delivering one hell of a "rude awakening" onto Beth off the ladder. This is a rare encounter here as I can rarely recall ladder matches featuring females but this was definitely a treat as they took some punishment that even some men have never done in this type of match.
"OVW" Dec. 06
Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Edge vs. Randy Orton vs. King Booker vs. Finlay vs. Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy vs. C.M. Punk vs. Mr. Kennedy...Kennedy (sorry, I had to do that) - Damn, they knew how to kick this PPV off in style and this was the best Money In The Bank match to date. Not every participant was able to get a "highlight reel" spot but everyone held their own & was able make this the one of the best matches of the night. Some great moments to look out for where Edge's elimination from the match thanks to Jeff Hardy, Randy Orton receiving the Bookend off the ladder, and even Finlay's Hornswaggle getting in on some of the action...plus the return of the spinarooni!!!!
World Tag Team Champions The Hardys vs. World's Greatest Tag Team - Knowing the Hardys reputation in ladder matches with this being Jeff's 4th ladder match & Matt's 3rd in under a year along with Shelton's showstealing performances in the first two Money In The Bank along with him & Hass' outstanding performance in their "forgotten" ladder match again Tajiri & Eddie Guerrero...you just knew this was going to be the match of the night which it was. The match started out as a brawl then the ladders were brought into play to make moves more high impact such as Hass being slammed off the top rope onto the ladder, Shelton being backdropped on one lying on the ring apron, and the Hardys shoving Hass & Benjamin off the ladder with Shelton going over the top rope & hitting a ladder on the way down.
One Night Stand 07
WWE Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy vs. Carlito - This was on RAW's 15th Anniversary Show & Carlito's first ladder match in WWE (not sure if he's had one in Puerto Rico or anywhere else). Carlito hit Hardy with the ladder early before Jeff fought back & dropkicked Carlito off the apron onto the ladder lying on the rail. For his first ladder match, Carlito took some nasty bumps like doing a sunset flip powerbomb on Hardy off the ladder & later being backdropped on the ladder while also working over Jeff's leg including wedging it in-between the ladder. This isn't one of those ladder matches that will stand the test of time but was still a good encounter.
"RAW" Dec. 07
[Jeff Hardy: My Rules, My Life]
World Championship/T.L.C. Match vs. Undertaker - After Taker was stripped the championship months earlier & their last match still didn't determine a new champion, they met here in Edge's specialty match of T.L.C. match which was also the first time Taker has been in this type of match & only the second ladder match in his career as both men were evenly matched as one would use the ladder to their advantage like hitting the top of the ladder face first, going into a ladder setup in the corner only, and later a low blow only for the other to deliver a receipt with the same move. Taker took the advantage using a ladder & chair on Edge but Edge used a chair to block his trademark apron legdrop regaining control with various chairshots while also delivering a splash off one table through another one before Taker came back putting Edge through a ladder on the outside & later a Last Ride off the ladder through stacked tables resulting in members of La Familia coming out to try to help Edge but ended up causalities of the tables & ladders & chairs themselves before one of the took the ultimate fall off a ladder that they couldn't get up from. This was the highlight reel carnage that you expect from this type of match with tables being destroyed, chairs being damages, and the ladders being used for impact.
One Night Stand: Extreme Rules '08
[Edge: Decade Of Decadence]
World Champion Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels - This was a different type of ladder match than we're used to seeing...and that's a good thing. Just like their previous matches like the Unsanctioned Match at Unforgiven, this was more about each man trying to beat the hell out of each other with the ladder making moves more impactful instead of pulling off a bunch of cool looking high spots. Couple of moments to look for was when Jericho took a fall off the ladder straight to the floor that we normally see except he didn't have tables to break his fall and one hit with the ladder right to the fact that resulted in one of his teeth getting knocked out. Fun match with both men (innovators of this match in their own rights) setting a different standard for a ladder match.
No Mercy 08
[Breaking The Code: Behind The Walls Of Chris Jericho]
Money in the Bank Ladder Match: C.M. Punk vs. Kane vs. M.V.P. vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Finlay vs. Christian vs. Mark Henry vs. Shelton Benjamin - After the last couple of MITB ladder matches starting to become a little "routine" when it came to the spots, this one had the ladders used in ways we've never seen before in more unique ways. Moments to look out for are the showcases of strength by Mark Henry & Kane, Christian clearly being the crowd favorite, Shelton Benjamin's leap off the ladder outside the ring, Hornswoggle & his "ladder", and the darkhorse (no pun intended) in Kofi Kingston being the human highlight reel of the match. There were some botches for the stuff they were trying to pull off but overall, entertaining match & great way to kick off the show.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Evan Bourne vs. John Morrison vs. Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry vs. The Miz vs. Ted DiBiase vs. Chris Jericho vs. Edge - This match was different than the earlier ladder match in that it had more brawling in the match but still had various moments such as Mark Henry "parting the red sea" with two ladders, Maryse making an attempt to climb the ladder, John Morrison having an innovative way to get on the ladder to stop Edge & eventually getting trapped between an open ladder, Mark Henry delivering various World's Strongest Slams along with Randy Orton giving out RKO's out of nowhere, Henry dropping Miz on top a ladder...that was on top of Chris Jericho, Henry being taken out thanks to a series of signature moves, up to 5 men climbing up a ladder at once, Orton delivering an RKO right before being on the receiving end of Air Bourne, Edge's nasty fall off a ladder onto another open ladder...that was upside down, and the aftermath with Miz winning the match but breaking character by getting real emotional.
Money in the Bank 10
John Morrison vs. Sheamus - This was the "rubber" match between the two with Morrison winning at Survivor Series while Sheamus defeated Morrison afterwords to become King Of The Ring. You saw various spots & highlight moments such as Morrison's corkscrew dive over a ladder, a dueling ladder fight, and both falling off the ladder over the top rope to the ringside floor with Sheamus crashing through a ladder on the way down. Along with these moments came a great story being told with Morrison hurting his knee with Sheamus punishing & focusing on it non-stop throughout the match using the ladder along with out moves like snapping Morrison over his back via his leg. Anyone who's seen their series of matches for the past few months (look up the "Falls Count Anywhere" from RAW back in Sept.) knows that these two go hard & deliver quality with this being no exception. I wouldn't go as far as to put this ladder match in the same level as Shawn/Razor from WrestleMania X but definitely on the level of Rock/Triple H from SummerSlam '98 as a standout performance for both mens career.
T.L.C.: Tables, Ladders, Chairs 10
World Heavyweight Championship Match: Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio - For those who don't already know, Edge was forced to retire the week after WrestleMania & forfeited the World Championship in the process setting up this ladder match between the two top challengers. There were plenty of spots (as expected) in this type of match such as Christian falling face first into a ladder after his legs were pulled from under him, Del Rio dropped arm first into a ladder & later using a "Hornswoggle" sized ladder to execute a armbreaker onto Christian off another ladder, a ladder wedged between the ring apron & the announce table resulting in Del Rio taking a very nasty landing on his spine, the appearance of Brodus Clay resulting in him having his own pool of blood on the outside, Del Rio doing a variation of his cross armbreaker using the stepladder, and the appearance of a "Rated R" jeep leading to a moment that a solid core group of fans have been waiting a long time to happen...at least in WWE.
Extreme Rules 11
(Blu-Ray) World Champion Edge vs. Jeff Hardy - I'll give credit in that they've tried to do what Jericho/Michaels did at No Mercy in delivering a different type of ladder match than the usual "non-stop spotfest" that we're used to seeing. They tried to find new ways to use the ladder in this match along with revisiting old "highlight reel" spots from all their previous ladder matches. Again, it was a good match but it wasn't the blowaway classic everyone was expecting...but to be fair, they've set the bar so high for the past decade in regards to ladder matches that they just couldn't top it in this case. This was one of those matches where if you judge it on it's own instead of comparing it to all of their past ladder matches (I counted at least six) then it's a good match. But the major story at the end of the night was the aftermath that resulted in a new World Champion...AGAIN!
Extreme Rules 09
[History Of World Heavyweight Championship]
(Blu-Ray) ECW Champion Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin - With the ECW brand being lost in the shuffle for the past couple of PPV's (which Christian openly admitted weeks earlier), they came back with a bang here with the two men who have their own highlight reels when it comes to ladder matches. Michael Cole described this match just right in the end when he called it a "thriller" because you just had so many moments such as various moves done off the ladder (flying clothesline, powerslam, scorpion deathdrop) and done onto the ladder (frog splash) and one moment where Shelton showed heavy strength by catching Christian off the ladder into a powerbomb onto another one. The only thing I can really say that was negative here was when Christian got busted open at one point & the match was stopped so the EMT can attend to it leading the crowd to chant "WE WANT BLOOD." Despite that one negative, they did what they accomplished to do & that's steal the show.
T.L.C.: Tables, Ladders, Chairs 09
[Best PPV Matches Of 2009-2010]
(Blu-Ray) T.L.C. Match: WWE Champion The Miz vs. Jerry Lawler - As a birthday gift for Lawler, he got his first ever WWE Championship match...which also happened to be in his first T.L.C. match as well & it should be noted that C.M. Punk was on commentary during this match. This started off as a wrestling match before Miz started using the chair only for Lawler to return the favor after miscommunication from Alex Riley gave Lawler an advantage. Miz was the first one to taste the ladder before Riley paid for getting involved one too many times but Miz was able to recover & worked over Lawler's back with a suplex onto a chair & several chairshots. Lawler kept fighting back but it was the unexpected involvement of someone nobody expected that helped The Miz retain.
"RAW" Nov. 10
(Blu-Ray) WWE Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger - After weeks of controversy between Kofi & Swagger over who was the rightful #1 contender for Dolph's championship, we get a triple threat ladder match. Various moments include Dolph being slingshot into a ladder, Kofi delivering a dropkick through the ladder, Dolph delivering Billy Gunn's fameasser on Kofi onto the ladder...with Swagger underneath it, Kofi attempting to climb the ladder while in Swagger's anklelock, Vickie Guerrero's involvement leading to a spat between Lawler & Cole, and Dolph intercepting a fumble. This was a fun way to kick off the show with extra credit going to Swagger for working through his hand being injured so early.
T.L.C.: Tables, Ladders, Chairs 10
The only criticisms I have in regards to this set is that (again) there was no ladder matches from ECW just like how there wasn't on the first set while some of the matches came off as filler & could have been replaced with a better quality match. One of my big pet peeves about DVD sets is having a bunch of repeats from other sets but a majority of the repeats on here were from sets that are so old (going up to almost 6 years ago) that it wasn't an issue with me here as I was overall satisfied with this follow up collection that I would recommend for those fans of this type of match.