Zayn talked about a bit of trash to get things done. Styles took the first few shots but it was Hardy who cornered the two men and took control with a clothesline and bulldog combo. He tried to get the first ladder in but Styles hit a baseball slide to send it to his ribs.
Zayn hit his signature springboard to the ground before picking up the ladder and throwing it at Hardy. The Phenomenal One and The Charismatic Enigma both recovered and began to fight in the ring. Hardy ended up missing Styles with a corner jump and hit his ribs on the racks of an upside down ladder.
Styles was the first to attempt to tackle the belts hanging above the ring but Zayn was there to pull him down. He released The Great Liberator with a Pele Kick. Hardy stopped Styles from reaching the belts as they fought at the top of the ladder. Hardy crashed into the mat but managed to get up and stop Styles from reaching the top.
Zayn sent Styles up a ladder with a blasting suplex. The three men found themselves at ringside and after a brief scuffle, Zayn was the last man standing. He slowly climbed the ladder until Styles threw a stepladder at him to knock him out. Styles and Hardy climbed the opposite sides of the ladder and he ended up rocking to get the two men out.
The Enigma took out both opponents at once when he pushed over the ladder to knock Zayn out and take out Styles in the air as he attempted a phenomenal forearm. Hardy crashed to the ground when Zayn tipped the ladder he was standing on. Zayn used a ladder to bridge the ring between the ring and the announcement table. Styles spiked him with a moonsault DDT from the table.
Hardy put Zayn on the bridge and climbed another ladder. He hit a Swanton who knocked out Zayn and snapped the ladder in half. Styles was on his own as he set up another ladder in the ring. He started to climb and Hardy arrived in the ring in time to push him off the ladder.
Zayn used a pair of handcuffs to attach Hardy’s ear to a ladder outside the ring. He tried to handcuff Styles to a hoop rope but The Phenomenal One didn’t let it happen. Zayn ended up handcuffing Styles to keep him from rising through the ranks. It was a great tactic
Hardy dragged the ladder into the ring near his ear as Styles tried to climb with Zayn on his shoulders. The Liberator produced a key to unlock and handcuffed Styles to the ladder. Zayn climbed the ladder and clinched both belts to become the rightful IC champion.
Class: A +
Was this the best Ladder match ever? Maybe not, but he’ll definitely be a WWE Match of the Year contender.
All three competitors gave nothing less than 100% to make it a flying performance. They are on a Level B PPV with no fans in the arena and they fought like they were in the main event of WrestleMania in front of thousands of screaming fans.
Hardy was his habit of taking risks and gave us a few more moments to add to his eventual Hall of Fame flagship film, as were Zayn and Styles.
In fact, this fight had some of the most creative places we’ve seen in a Ladder match in quite some time. It was an impressive performance from everyone involved.