The rivalry between Miz and Dolph Ziggler’s been raging for quite some time, including seeing the Intercontinental championship change hands between the pair three-times since the brand split. WWE produced an epic video package about their feud which aired before tonight’s ladder match... and we also got a reminder about the current titleholder’s issues with SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan in a backstage interview. DB also revealed that, as great as their story has been for his brand, this was the end of their program (for now, of course).
With the scene set, Dolph, Miz & Maryse entered a ladder-strewn American Airlines Center for their bout at TLC tonight (Dec. 4).
Early action proved how well these two know - and dislike - each other. It took a while for ladders to come into play, as a means to climb to retrieve the belt, anyway. Miz & Ziggler found many & varies ways to use the steel to inflict punishment on one another.
It's ALL about the #ICTitle for @mikethemiz and @HEELZiggler in this BRUTAL #LadderMatch at #WWETLC LIVE on @WWENetwork! @MaryseMizanin pic.twitter.com/MsVQBBrfsR— WWE (@WWE) December 5, 2016
At one point, it looked like Miz’s desire to taunt Bryan would be his undoing. After setting Dolph up behind a ladder while delivering DB’s signature corner dropkicks, Ziggler threw the steel back at the champ, creating an opening to climb for the belt. But that battle above the ring led to the main story of the match, as Miz clipped the Show-Off’s leg.
What followed was some inventive working of the leg, including a Figure Four with Dolph’s damaged appendage wrapped through a ladder. A Skull Crushing Finale onto another ladder looked like it would let the champ retrieve his strap, but Ziggler recovered long enough to push the ladder out from under him - and then swing it back into his midsection - leading to a fall which saw the Awesome One injure HIS leg!
It was Dolph’s turn to climb, but a still-swinging belt was hard to grab. That gave Miz enough time to hop back into the ring and deliver a springboard powerbomb to his opponent onto another ladder.
From there, both men would climb a pair of ladders to duke it out at the top. It looked like Ziggler had headbutted his way to victory, but Miz climbed back up again and delivered kicks to Dolph’s groin and bad knee to stand alone atop the IC title scene.
Afterwards, the Awesome celebrated with his gorgeous wife and thanked Bryan, of all people, for motivating him.
For complete TLC results and coverage of every match on the card click here.