WWE brings 'TLC' to Brooklyn's Barclays Center
Wrestling has been a longtime New York City staple, withcountless classic matches and massive events held all over town, from"WrestleMania's" 1985 debut at Madison Square Garden to the first episode ofWWE's "Monday Night Raw" being filmed at Manhattan Center.
This Sunday, the WWE heads to Brooklyn's Barclays Center for "WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs." This event is particularly brutal, asmany of the matches involve wrestlers beating each other up using tables,ladders and, you guessed it, chairs.
amNewYork spoke with the highflying Kofi Kingston, who willbe facing off against Wade Barrett in defense of his IntercontinentalChampionship Belt.
What are you doing to get ready for your match on Sunday? It's been more of a mental preparation. I'm a guy who alwaystries to play by the rules, and Wade Barrett is pretty much the opposite ofthat. So initially, he and I had a match on "Raw" a couple weeks ago and Iwasn't ready as far as knowing the lows that he would go to win a match. Andkudos to him. But I know what I have to do now to compete and to win and retainmy Intercontinental Championship.
Any plans on how to handle Wade Barrett's elbow-smashingfinishing move, the Bull Hammer? I got a few different plans - I've been hit by it a coupleof times now, you know, so we'll see.
What does the Intercontinental Championship mean to you? The Intercontinental Championship, to me, is one of the mostprestigious titles in the history of WWE, being that it's been carried by somany legends - Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart. These are guys I used to watch andidolize growing up and are arguably the greatest of all time. They definitelyleft some big shoes to fill. I'm just trying to do my best to continue that legacy,so that down the line, people will be trying to fill my shoes. It definitelymeans a lot.
Do you foresee the use of tables, ladders or chairs inyour match? For me and Wade, I believe it's going to be just a straightup match, but the thing about it, like I told you, the history between us, it'sgoing to enable it to be quite a brawl. We don't need tables or ladders orchairs. It's really about me beating Wade up, Wade trying to beat me up, andwe're going to be going at it. Trust me when I tell you.
What are the keys to taking a hit from a steel chair? There really is no secret - you either get hit or you don'tget hit. ... When you do, it definitely is not fun. And I know that first hand.
Do you have a favorite match you've been in feature one ofthe title items? Well, right now, the first one that comes to my head is whenI beat Sheamus for the United States Championship [last year at the ExtremeRules event], and we had a tables match. ... Winning the United StatesChampionship was awesome. And even being able to put a guy like Sheamus througha table is no easy feat. When you see this guy, and you know that he's abrawler, so I know it was going to be a fight, but that's probably my bestmemory so far. Hopefully, this Sunday will be an even better memory when I beatWade!
As a fan, is there a match you're excited to see? Well, to be honest, I'm excited about all of them. You'vegot so many here. Cena versus Dolph with the Money in the Bank contract atstake - this is awesome. You think that once you win Money in the Bank, you'reset. Pretty much 99% of the people who have cashed in that brief case have won.And for people who don't know Money in the Bank, basically you have a contractto be able to challenge for [the] title at any time, and that's a hugeadvantage. To put that on the line, it's almost like another championship, so Ithink that's going to be a great match. I know Dolph and Cena are two guys thatdefinitely despise each other and that always makes for a great match. The BigShow and Sheamus - two brawlers who have been going at it for a couple ofmonths and they have a chairs match. You put a chair in hands of a guy likeSheamus, it's probably not good news, even if you are 7 feet, 500 pounds likethe Big Show. Like I said, there's a lot of great matches. You've got theShield taking on Ryback and Team Hell No in a TLC match. It's going to be agreat pay-per-view all around. I can't get excited enough to let people know.And being in the Barclays is going to be awesome, because obviously this is abrand new arena. I know a lot of people have been looking forward to beingthere. It's going to be great all around.
When you think of wrestling and Brooklyn, 1980s wrestlerthe Brooklyn Brawler comes immediately to mind. Have you talked to him aboutthe keys to brawling in Brooklyn? I have not! I'll actually ask him about that today, becauseif there's anyone to ask, I'm sure he would know!
Here are the matches set for Sunday. (Title holders are bolded)
CHAIRS MATCH FOR WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Big Show vs. Sheamus
MATCH FOR THE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett
LADDER MATCH FOR MONEY IN THE BANK (FOR A WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE MATCH)
Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena
TABLES, LADDERS AND CHAIRS MATCH
Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) and Ryback vs. The Shield (Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns)
MATCH FOR THE UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP
Antonio Cesaro vs. R-Truth
TABLES MATCH TO BE THE NO. 1 CONTENDER FOR THE WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara vs. Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow)
If you go: "WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs" is on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn, 917-618-6700, $56-$406.
On TV: The event is on pay-per-view on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. for $44.99.