RETRO REVIEW: WWE The Ladder Match DVD (2007) – Innovative Encounters, Incredible Collection!

December 4, 2017 by Mark Armstrong

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It has been just over ten years since WWE first dedicated a DVD to one of the company’s most popular match gimmicks, the Ladder Match. That being said, this collection also features all six TLC matches held in a WWE ring up to that point, along with many of the company’s greatest and most memorable Ladder Matches. The upshot is that we get a sensational wrestling DVD containing loads of fantastic matches and a plethora of jaw-dropping spots.

Hosted by Todd Grisham and with occasional comments from the likes of Shawn Michaels, Jeff Hardy and Edge, this 3-disc set was released in late 2007, and as such, December 2006 is the cut-off point for the featured matches. Before then, we get everything from The Terri Invitational Tournament to Money in the Bank, from 3 Count to MNM, and from Stampede Wrestling to WrestleMania X-Seven. In all, 22 matches are included, and the majority of them come highly recommended.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit “The Ladder Match”.


Stampede Wrestling – July 1979
North American Championship Ladder Match

Jake Roberts vs. Big Daddy Ritter

The set begins with this clash from Stampede Wrestling, involving Jake Roberts and the future Junkyard Dog. It’s not a great outing, and it’s obviously very limited on major spots, given that it took place in 1979, but it’s cool to have it here for historical purposes.

Classic WWE 'The Ladder Match' DVD Hosted by Todd Grisham
WWE - Bret Hart Beats Shawn Michaels in Ladder Match for Intercontinental Championship

WWF – July 21, 1992
WWF Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match

Bret Hart (C) vs. Shawn Michaels

Up next is the first ever Ladder Match held inside a WWF ring, as the stipulation (brought to Vince McMahon’s attention by Bret Hart) gets off to a fine start with this Bret vs. Shawn battle. Though it would be a Coliseum Video exclusive, meaning it wasn’t officially televised, it’s a great match, with the Hitman capitalizing on a Michaels mistake to win.

WWF SummerSlam 1995 – August 27, 1995
WWF Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match

Shawn Michaels (C) vs. Razor Ramon

I have no idea why the more famous WrestleMania X Razor-Shawn clash isn’t here. But their rematch is a more-than-worthy substitute, and it may even be superior to the original match in Madison Square Garden. This is the WWF’s best match of 1995, and another feather in Shawn’s cap on his way to the top of the company.

WWE 'The Ladder Match' DVD - Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon, SummerSlam 1995
WWE - Triple H Beats The Rock in Ladder Match at SummerSlam 1998

WWF SummerSlam 1998 – August 30, 1998
WWF Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match

The Rock (C) vs. Triple H

This is one of those matches where the loser probably benefited more than the winner. Triple H’s triumph was undoubtedly a major moment for him, but the fans getting behind The Rock in the manner that they did, and continuing to do so in the subsequent weeks, played a key role in Rock being elevated to the top level in the WWF. An early career highlight for both men, who each deliver great performances.

WWF No Mercy 1999 – October 17, 1999
Terri Invitational Tournament Tag Team Ladder Match For $100,000

Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz

A turning point for the four participants, and for the Ladder Match in general, this five-star classic came out of nowhere, almost hidden on a No Mercy card filled with the big Attitude Era names of the day. It was a breakout match for all four, and at the time, it was the most awe-inspiring Ladder Match ever seen. But this was just the beginning…

WWF SummerSlam 2000 – August 27, 2000
WWF World Tag Team Championship Three-Team TLC Match

Edge & Christian (C) vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz

The first ever TLC match is absolutely incredible. The previous Triangle Ladder Match at WrestleMania 2000 was literally taken to new heights here, with one amazing spot after another. Jeff Hardy and Buh Buh Ray Dudley, in particular, took some incredible chances in this must-see match.

WWE 'The Ladder Match' DVD - First Ever TLC Match, SummerSlam 2000
WWE 'The Ladder Match' DVD - Ladder Match in WCW, Starrcade 2000

WCW Starrcade 2000 – December 17, 2000
Three-Team Ladder Match For A WCW Cruiserweight Championship Opportunity

3 Count vs. The Jung Dragons vs. Jamie Noble & Evan Karagias

This was probably the best match of the year in WCW. Few people saw it at the time, because WCW was in deep turmoil by this point, and the company would never recover. But that doesn’t discount the effort on display, with some innovative spots and a ton of risks taken by the six participants.

WWF Royal Rumble 2001 – January 21, 2001
WWF Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match

Chris Benoit (C) vs. Chris Jericho

At the time that this match took place, some fans complained about the familiarity of these two facing off once again on PPV. They needn’t have complained, because this is an excellent Ladder Match, one which would have been a Match of the Year contender had the next match on this DVD not stolen its thunder a few months later!


WWF WrestleMania X-Seven – April 1, 2001
WWF World Tag Team Championship Three-Team TLC Match

The Dudley Boyz (C) vs. Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz

You’ll probably have already seen TLC II if you’re reading this review. If you haven’t seen it, then you need to go out of your way to watch it. It’s the only TLC match ever staged at a WrestleMania, and it’d be impossible for any future TLC bouts on the grandest stage to top this one. An absolute classic.

WWE 'The Ladder Match' DVD - TLC II at WrestleMania 17!

WWF SmackDown! – May 24, 2001
WWF World Tag Team Championship Four-Team TLC Match

Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho (C) vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz

Often considered the “forgotten” TLC match, at least amongst the earliest encounters, this is one hell of a match by television standards. Though it’s not quite as spectacular as the previous two TLC bouts, TLC III is still a terrific contest, and it would mark the last hurrah for the legendary E&C/Hardyz/Dudleyz rivalry.

WWE 'The Ladder Match' DVD - Edge vs. Christian, No Mercy 2001

WWF No Mercy 2001 – October 21, 2001
WWF Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match

Christian (C) vs. Edge

Edge vs. Christian in a Ladder Match sounds like a sure-fire classic, given the epic TLC clashes that they contested as a team. However, though the effort is definitely there by both men, it’s not quite the five-star Ladder Match that both expected, a feeling seemingly shared by the combatants themselves when discussing their 2001 feud in hindsight.

WWE RAW – May 27, 2002
WWE Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match

Eddie Guerrero (C) vs. Rob Van Dam

WWE held three Ladder Matches on RAW in the space of two months. Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy, the last of these three, isn’t included, but the first two are, beginning with Van Dam vs. Eddie Guerrero. The two would have better Ladder Matches against different opposition in the future, but this is still well worth watching.

WWE RAW – July 1, 2002
WWE Undisputed Championship Ladder Match

The Undertaker (C) vs. Jeff Hardy

Now for a Ladder Match of a different kind. The Undertaker and Jeff Hardy have wildly contrasting styles, but they meshed to tell a perfect story here, with Jeff almost pulling off the unthinkable and dethroning the American Bad Ass as WWE Undisputed Champion against all the odds.

WWE 'The Ladder Match' DVD - RAW Roulette TLC Tag Team Match

WWE RAW Roulette – October 7, 2002
WWE World Tag Team Championship Four-Team TLC Match

Kane & The Hurricane (C) vs. Bubba Ray Dudley & Spike Dudley vs. Chris Jericho & Christian vs. Rob Van Dam & Jeff Hardy

When WWE compiles the list of RAW’s greatest ever matches ahead of the forthcoming 25th anniversary celebrations, this one will probably feature highly. A somewhat random collection of talent (and with The Hurricane attacked beforehand by HHH and Ric Flair) all graft to deliver a superb TLC bout, one of only four TLC matches in RAW history.

WWE Unforgiven 2004 – September 12, 2004
WWE Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match

Chris Jericho vs. Christian

For some reason, the year 2003 (which featured a great Christian-RVD Ladder Match) was entirely omitted from this DVD (that match would appear on The Ladder Match 2), so we jump ahead to this contest from Unforgiven 2004. Of note, it features Jericho suffering a VERY painful-looking bump, albeit one which did not prevent him continuing and eventually coming out on top.


WWE WrestleMania 21 – April 3, 2005
Money in the Bank Ladder Match

Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit vs. Edge vs. Christian vs Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane

Disc three opens with the first ever Money in the Bank Ladder Match. It’s one of the very best MITB matches, if not THE best, with a ton of great moments. Shelton Benjamin is the star of the match – his biggest spots were jaw-dropping at the time – but it’s Edge who triumphed, and he used the MITB prize to ultimately launch his main event career.

WWE 'The Ladder Match' DVD - First Ever Money in the Bank Ladder Match!

WWE SummerSlam 2005 – August 21, 2005
Ladder Match For Custody Of Dominick
Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero

Two longtime rivals and close friends outside the ring, Eddie and Rey had many matches in 2005 as part of a long storyline where Mysterio had Eddie’s number. At this point, the custody of Rey’s son Dominick was at stake, and regardless of your thoughts on that aspect of the feud, the Ladder Match with the “papers” on the line features a great effort by both men.

WWE - Edge Beats Matt Hardy in 'Loser Leaves RAW' Ladder Match!

WWE RAW Homecoming – October 3, 2005
Loser Leaves RAW Money in the Bank Ladder Match

Edge vs. Matt Hardy

Six months to the day of Edge winning Money in the Bank, he defended the briefcase against Matt Hardy to culminate a rivalry which stemmed from a real-life affair involving Lita. It’s not the best Ladder Match that either man has had (far from it), but it’s still a worthy encounter on what was a stacked RAW Homecoming show.

WWE RAW – January 16, 2006
WWE Championship TLC Match
Edge (C) vs. Ric Flair

Edge’s first WWE Title reign was a major ratings-attraction for the company, despite lasting just three weeks. The infamous Live Sex Celebration was followed by his TLC showdown with Ric Flair. Unsurprisingly, it’s the weakest TLC match on the set, but Flair gives it his all, and Edge takes some major risks to ensure that the bout is worthy of the TLC reputation.

WWE 'The Ladder Match' DVD - John Cena vs. Edge, TLC Match at Unforgiven

WWE Unforgiven 2006 – September 17, 2006
WWE Championship TLC Match, John Cena Joins SmackDown If He Loses

Edge (C) vs. John Cena

Speaking of which, the Rated R Superstar returns to face John Cena under TLC rules in his hometown of Toronto. It’s a really fun match, one which took place at the peak of the famous Cena-Edge rivalry. The finish (Cena slamming Edge through two tables with an FU off a ladder) ends the contest in spectacular fashion.

WWE RAW – November 20, 2006
WWE Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match

Jeff Hardy (C) vs. Johnny Nitro

A forgotten gem of a Ladder Match, this arguably marked the moment when Jeff Hardy truly re-established himself as a force in WWE, having returned to the company several months earlier. The Rainbow-Haired Warrior (remember that nickname?) is on top form here, but so is Nitro, who delivers the best performance of his career up to that point.

WWE - William Regal & Dave Taylor Competing in a Ladder Match, Armageddon 2006

WWE Armageddon 2006 – December 17, 2006
WWE Tag Team Championship Four-Team Ladder Match

Paul London & Brian Kendrick (C) vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. MNM vs. William Regal & Dave Taylor

The final match of the DVD is a fantastic four-team clash with several hair-raising moments. It’s most notable, though, for the gruesome injury suffered by Joey Mercury; he suffered a shattered nose after a Jeff Hardy ladder see-saw spot, but given how his eye swelled shut amidst a ton of blood seeping out, the outcome could have been far worse.

Classic WWE 'The Ladder Match' DVD - Ric Flair Interview



The Ladder Match itself is one of those stipulations which will always evolve and, as such, attract a new generation of fans. In the decade since this DVD was released, we’ve seen Money in the Bank earn its own Pay-Per-View event, as has the TLC match.

We’ve even seen a second Ladder Match DVD released (“Crash & Burn”), which included many Ladder Matches that were not present here, along with other bouts from 2007 to 2011. Chances are that we will get a third Ladder Match DVD in the future, given the popularity of the stipulation (incidentally, leave your comments below as to which bouts you’d like to see on a Ladder Match 3 DVD, in the event that it ever becomes a reality).

But in the meantime, “The Ladder Match” still stands up as one of the best WWE DVDs ever released from the standpoint of delivering classic matches, huge spots and incredible excitement. Whether you grew up watching Razor and Shawn, the E&C/Hardyz/Dudleyz saga, or the growth of the Money in the Bank clashes, this DVD delivers some of the most memorable encounters in WWE history, along with plenty of other great bouts and a few forgotten gems as well.

If you have never seen this one, I would definitely suggest that you find a way to see “The Ladder Match” on DVD; you’ll be rewarded with hours of tremendous, high-risk action.


WWE 'The Ladder Match' DVD - Main Menu

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25 Comments left on this article...

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  1. Pasquale says:

    Does anyone know by any chance what match the cover of the ladder match is from?

  2. James says:

    I like the variety of matches on here. Where else will you find edge and Ric flair in a TLC match.

  3. Eric Schneider says:

    Good dvd

  4. Brandon Vendetta says:

    I believe that this was the last set that had any Benoit matches on it. If not than what was? I think I’m right though.

    • Mark Markson says:

      Wasn’t he on the War Games set too?

      • Brandon Vendetta says:

        I don’t think so.he was on the money in the bank anthology but they made no mention of him and that’s all I think.

        • RabidHeat says:

          He was Iron Will / Satan’s Prison too, but again – all positive compliments about him removed. At least his entrance was included on that though (unlike on the MitB Anthology).

          • David says:

            I remember Satan Prison’s was the first DVD WWE (minus the Summerslam Anthology as that was already in production while Benoit was still alive) were going to release with Benoit so there was lot of curiosity how WWE would handle it. As you mentioned they just removed all positive comments and actually kept the ones where he was getting beat.

            • RabidHeat says:

              Yeah, it was mad how they left in the phrase about him getting dropped “on his head”!

              • Vintage Simon says:

                Reading the above, it’s actually quite daft how WWE would only include negative comments about Benoit on these DVDs. Their entire notion is that Chris Benoit is a scripted character, and separate from the real-life human being. So why go out of their way to edit how the ‘character’ is portrayed? Seems like double-standards.

      • Justin says:

        Mark Markson– Yeah Benoit was in the War Games release.The nWo entrances are there but the Horsemen entrances are gone. Sad thing is, even though Benoits entrance is gone, Benoit is first man into War Games & is talked about a litte bit compared to other releases with edits. Its kinda weird watching an original release (New Years Revolution 2005 dvd with Chamber match) compared to the Satans Prison comp where everything about Benoit good or bad is muted out. I picked up the MITB Anthology dirt cheap over the summer & found the WrestleMania 21 entrances to be kinda comical. Yes Benoits entrance is edited out but there is once instance during them that Benoit is all of a sudden in the ring without ever being introduced.

        • RabidHeat says:

          Yeah it’s stupid; they should have just left the entrance in but muted the commentary like on Satan’s Prison. If anything, cutting the entrance clean just draws your attention to him even more.

    • David says:

      This set was released few weeks before the tragedy. I read that the Summerslam Anthology was actually suppose to be released in August 2007 but WWE didn’t know how to handle the Benoit footage and was delayed until the following year.

      Also the Legacy of Stone Cold Steve Austin DVD was suppose to be out around August or September 2007 but WWE delayed it to remove Benoit’s comments and the match from Smackdown in Edmonton in 2001 with alternate commentary with Austin and Benoit. Pretty crazy time when it came to home video releases.

  5. SRB says:

    Not only was this a great set and the sequel that followed, WWE should bring in more sets like this that include gimmick matches: I Quit, Last Man Standing, and Falls Count Anywhere. I remember some really terrific I Quit and Last Man Standing matches over the years, which included some really great Cena performances with Umaga, Del Rio, and Orton.

  6. D.p. says:

    The most appealing part of this set for me at this time was the lack of repeat matches for that time & still has some matches that haven’t been released again since like the Razor/HBK rematch when the original WMX one has been released on what seems like every single set they put out. Thank goodness this came out right before what happened with Benoit too.

  7. RabidHeat says:

    Nobody can doubt the quality and watchability of these Ladder Match sets; they’re awesome. My only quibble, and it is a quibble, is that I personally would’ve liked for them to have waited until around the time of the release of the second set, and released one set which literally only contained standard ladder matches. I may be in the minority, but I consider TLC and Money in the Bank to be twists on the idea, but effectively separate concepts. To me this is kind of like putting Hell in a Cell or Elimination Chamber matches on The Greatest Cage Matches of All Time, which they didn’t do. Plus, the Money in the Bank match got it’s own anthology set with Straight to the Top. I think TLC could’ve done aswell, so including them here didn’t make sense to me.

    I also remember thinking it was stupid that WM X wasn’t on this set. I think they were fearing backlash ag that time because it was on a lot more current releases at that time. But it is awkward to not include the most famous ladder match until Volume 2!

    Thank you for the review though; still a great set.

    • SAB says:

      If a match has a ladder in it’s by definition a “ladder match”!

      • RabidHeat says:

        I made it clear that it was my own perspective. If yours differs, that’s fine. Foe example, I would say that if Tables and Chairs are also legal to use, then it is MORE than a mere ladder match, and hence not simply a “ladder match”. It’s a TLC match.

        • Anonymous says:

          Tables and chairs (and whatever else) are usually legal in any ladder match since they’re no DQ by default though.

          • RabidHeat says:

            Fair point. I still think my point has some merit though; I mean Hell in a Cell and Elimination Chamber matches feature a cage, yet were not included on the Cage Matches sets.

            • Abraham says:

              You probably think Wolverine and Predator are the same because they wear masks and have claws or probably think Penguin and Mr. Freeze are the same guy because they need the ice to survive.

    • D.p. says:

      WWE had the same mindset as you when they released a Ladder Match collection on the network where they removed the TLC matches & kwpt it strictly regular ladder matches.

  8. Mark Markson says:

    I love this set. I will need to watch it again soon.

    I’d like if you could review the 2 disc Road Warriors DVD that was released in 2005.

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