Tuesday 1 January 2019

WWE Judgement Day 2008 Review

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Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that puts you to sleep quicker than a Tamina promo! It’s WWE Judgement Day 2008 where Triple H and Randy Orton look to end their feud inside of a menacing steel cage! Edge looks to regain what is dearest to him: The World Heavyweight Championship which now belongs to The Deadman and Chris Jericho looks to put away his idol Shawn Michaels. Many more matches are on this card so let’s see if this Judgement Day is a hit!

Opening Promo

Focusing on 4 main feuds going into the pay per view, Undertaker’s chokehold is now illegal, the move has given Undertaker two wins over Edge but can Undertaker win without the chokehold? Triple H and Orton look to end their feud inside of the demonic steel cage while Cena and JBL look to brawl all over the arena. Lovely spliced footage and some really nice camera work lay the usual foundations for a pay per view, you cannot help but feel pumped watching these packages.

JBL vs John Cena

After returning from retirement and being injected into the Raw main event scene, JBL looks to battle the man he made famous in John Cena. The main reason for this feud is JBL believes Cena cost him the WWE championship at Backlash. John Cena opening the card is something I have not seen in quite some time, looking forward to see how this match plays out after Cena and JBL did not exactly light it up in their Wrestlemania championship match several years prior.

JBL’s facials are great to begin, you can feel the disdain JBL has for Cena. They lock-up, Cena pushes back JBL to the corner. Clean break from Cena, Cena takes the back and applies a side headlock. JBL brings Cena to the corner, clean break from JBL. Knee from JBL, right hands and side headlock from JBL. Cena pushes JBL off the ropes, clubbing blow to the back by JBL. Cena drop toeholds JBL who crawls to the ropes faster than I have ever seen him move. JBL runs to the apron, suckers in Cena and JBL pulls down hard on Cena’s shoulder. Cena is hurled into the ringpost shoulder first, JBL has found his weak spot.

JBL boots and pummels the arm, hangman’s neckbreaker by JBL. Cross armbreaker from JBL, Cena keeps his hands clasped together. Cena powers up JBL but Cena’s arm gives out on him, Cena is crying out in pain. JBL continues to boot Cena, two for JBL. Big right hands from JBL, Cena begins to mount a comeback. JBL goes to the arm, hard Irish whip by JBL but Cena bursts out of the corner. Clothesline and throwback facebuster, Cena misses his Kobashi-style leg drop as JBL dodges. JBL boots and knees Cena on the apron, JBL wants a suplex but Cena blocks the suplex.

JBL counters and hangs up Cena on the ropes, shoulder block by JBL to the floor. JBL rams Cena back first into the apron, two for JBL. Boots and elbows by JBL for two, bearhug by JBL. JBL transitions into a bodyscissors but Cena fights back, full-nelson from JBL with a bodyscissors. Cena powers up and breaks the hold, FU does not connect as JBL goes for the arm. Another rear-naked choke from JBL, Cena counters and spinebusters JBL. Cena misses a corner clothesline, boot by JBL. Elbows to the spine, JBL kicks Cena in the ribs. Short-arm clothesline from JBL, JBL looks down at Cena.

Slaps to the head from JBL, JBL boots Cena in the head and stomps on Cena’s fingers. JBL gets cocky and wastes time, this allows Cena to make an opening. As JBL winds up for another clothesline, Cena catches the money-loving man for a massive FU for the win, JBL is beyond pissed following the finish of the match.

That was a lot of fun, I really enjoy JBL’s character as JBL is touted as a massive prick in real life and JBL is t he perfect character for Bradshaw. So, JBL’s facials are excellent, his body language is perfect. Cena’s selling was a bit over the top in this match, thought the arm work would pay off more when it came to the finish but it is ok I can live with it. This was much better than their Wrestlemania match and I know things could get good between these two.

Winner: John Cena over JBL via FU!

(WWE Tag Team Championship Match) Miz & Morrison © vs Kane & CM Punk

Morrison & Miz enter separately, why would a team do such a thing? They are also out first which greatly annoys me. Anyways, Punk is Mr. Money In The Bank and Kane is ECW Champion, neither are on a collision course yet are the two biggest stars on the brand so they team up on this night.

Punk and Miz begin, lock-up with Punk applying a side headlock. Shoulder block by Punk, kick to the ribs and snap suplex with a floatover for two. Punk has a double underhook on Miz, in comes Kane. Kane and Punk stomp Miz, neckbreaker style choke from Kane. Miz faceplants onto the mat, Irish whip to the corner. Miz elbows Kane and spears Kane to the champions’ corner. In comes Morrison, scoop slam and dropkick by Kane. Two for Kane, tag to Punk. Backbreaker and slingshot knee drop by the challengers for two, Morrison whips Punk to the corner. Tarantula-like manoeuvre and sunset flip by Punk for two, Punk holds Morrison in a crucifix but Morrison knees his way out of the hold.

Miz tags in, double gutbuster from the champions. Front chancery from Miz, Punk nails Miz with a roundhouse. Kane comes in, clothesline and sidewalk slam. Diving clothesline from Kane, Miz escapes a tombstone. Morrison blind tags in, kick to the knee and neckbreaker from Morrison. Massive forearms from Morrison, Miz tags in and nails his corner clothesline. Tag to Morrison, massive knee to the face. Two for Morrison, Miz roughs up Kane before a big boot ends that. Kane tags Punk, Punk runs wild on Morrison. Powerslam for two, knees to the ribs.

Punk nails his clothesline/bulldog combination. Punk planchas onto Miz, springboard clothesline on Morrison for two. GTS is stopped, Miz is thrown to the floor. Punk looks for GTS again, Miz distracts Punk. Kane Chokeslams Miz on the floor, Morrison nails Punk with Moonlight Drive for the win.

That was ok, the ECW brand was always treated like red-headed stepchild by WWE and the booking of CM Punk has always been shady at best, Morrison dominated Punk in their feud and Punk lost the championship to Chavo before winning Money in the Bank and here is Punk doing the job again, very strange. Miz and Morrison are an entertaining duo but the tag division is on life support once more in the WWE, no more makeshift teams, let’s focus on the division.

Winners: Miz & Morrison over Kane & CM Punk via Moonlight Drive!

Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho

Shawn Michaels has had an interesting start to 2008, HBK had retired Ric Flair and beaten Batista under questionable circumstances as Michaels went down with a knee injury but seconds later, Michaels defeated The Animal at Backlash. Chris Jericho questioned Michaels and the legitimacy of his injury, Jericho acted sincere towards Michaels as Jericho believed HBK was injured following a tag match on Raw. Michaels would superkick Jericho further confusing all of us as to whether Shawn Michaels is legitimately injured.

Definitely the most interesting dynamic heading into a match on this card, the two lock-up and we have a clean break. Jericho goes for the leg that is “injured”, Jericho wants to know if the injury is legit or not but Michaels thwarts Jericho on every occasion. Side headlock by HBK, Jericho looks to grab the leg as Michaels transitions into a takedown. The two trade pins, Michaels locks in an inverted Indian deathlock. Michaels slaps Jericho, Jericho snaps. Michaels is messing with Jericho, Jericho is falling for the mind games of HBK.

They lock-up, side headlock by Michaels. Elbow by Jericho, right hands from Y2J. Stomps in the corner, Michaels elbows Jericho. Minoru-Suzuki style cross armbreaker leaning over the ropes from Michaels, Michaels plants his knee into Jericho’s arm. Michaels smashes the arm of Jericho, Jericho whips Michaels to the corner. The two trade blows on the top rope, Michaels front suplexes Jericho to the mat, Michaels tries his elbow drop but Jericho blocks with his knees, both men are dealing with sore arms.

 Back drop from Jericho, Jericho begins working the ribs of HBK. Abdominal stretch from Jericho, gutbuster from Jericho. Jericho hard Irish whips Michaels back and forth, Jericho tries a bulldog but Michaels shoves Jericho into the ropes. Inverted atomic drop from Michaels, chops. Flying forearm and kip-up from HBK, sore ribs prevent Michaels from capitalising. Walls of Jericho in the middle of the ring, Michaels crawls. HBK reaches the ropes and rolls to the apron, Jericho does not connect with his springboard dropkick, landing on the apron. Michaels leans back and nails Sweet Chin Music, Jericho is out.

Michaels rolls Jericho into the ring, Michaels pulls Jericho away from the ropes. 1…2… Jericho kicks out! Michaels nails his signature elbow drop, Michaels looks for the Sweet Chin Music. Jericho slowly rises to his feet, Jericho collapses to the mat twice. Jericho suckers in HBK for a massive Codebreaker. 1….2… Michaels kicks out! Michaels applies a crossface out of nowhere, middle of the ring. Jericho struggles in the hold, Jericho crawls his way to the ropes.

Michaels rises to his feet, clutching his ribs. Knees from Jericho, Michaels is hung across the top rope with a suplex. Jericho attempts a Lionsault, Michaels blocks but Jericho has control. Walls of Jericho but its countered with a roll-through from Michaels for the win.

That was a good wrestling match, the angle has me all-in on the storyline. I love that HBK is playing up that he could be hurt, messing with his opponents. Michaels already had that edge over Jericho and the slap was the icing on the cake, Michaels lures in Jericho, firing up Y2J into making a mistake which Michaels exploits to work the arm of Jericho. Jericho gives it back just as good as Y2J lures in Michaels for some nice rib work and a Codebreaker which almost scores Jericho the victory. Michaels sells his ass off as always and they show off some nice counters before a tense handshake ends the match between the two, it was good but we know they can do better and this feud is nowhere near over.

Winner: Shawn Michaels over Chris Jericho via Roll-Up!

(WWE Women’s Championship Match) Mickie James © vs Beth Phoenix vs Melina

Looks like the division is looking hopeful once more, three talented women battling it out for the championship. Melina and Beth have issues to begin the match, Melina kicks Beth out of the ring. Mickie almost sneaks a win, Beth trips up Mickie who eats a clothesline on the floor. Beth and Melina begin to brawl, Beth dominates Melina with her power. Mickie tries a roll-up on Beth for two, forearms and kicks by Mickie. MickieDT is blocked by Beth, sleeper from Mickie on Beth. Beth sinks to a knee, Mickie neckbreakers Melina. Beth takes a breather as Mickie climbs to the top rope.

Melina crotches Mickie, the look for a superplex. Beth has Melina in the electric chair position, Melina is slammed hard. Mickie lands a senton on Beth and a low dropkick for two, Mickie eats forearms from Melina. Beth picks up Melina and Mickie in an Argentine backbreaker, huge pop from the fans. Beth is taken down by Melina and out of nowhere, Mickie nails her DDT on Melina for the win.

Some nice spots mixed in here with some good story-telling too, great to have multiple storylines going on the RAW women’s roster when it can flip flop so much of the time. Mickie retains the championship but Mickie survives Beth Phoenix, can Mickie continue to run from Beth? We will keep going with that storyline on the next pay per view I hope.

Winner: Mickie James over Melina & Beth Phoenix via MickieDT!

(WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match) The Undertaker vs Edge

The Undertaker had been stripped of the world heavyweight championship due to the illegal use of his submission chokehold. Taker has injured superstars and also beaten Edge twice due to the application of that very hold. Taker’s chokehold has been banned and The Undertaker has been stripped of his championship. Edge would win the opportunity to challenge for the championship due to questionable methods as Vicky Guerrero bent the rules in Edge’s favour.

Taker stalks Edge to begin the match, Taker throws off Edge as Edge rolls to the floor. Taker corners Edge but Edge ducks and begins throwing right hands, Edge gets caught and Taker pummels Edge to the mat, choke by Taker. Taker works the arm before Edge crotches Taker onto an attempted Old School. Taker yanks Edge off the apron and throws Edge onto the barricade. Edge allows himself a breather as Undertaker smashes his knees off the steel steps, baseball slide from The Rated R Superstar. Edge headbutts Taker in the ring, Taker battles back with a headbutt of his own. Hard Irish whip, Taker misses a big boot in the corner.

Edge covers for two, boots to the head from Edge. Taker trades blows with Edge, headbutt from The Deadman. Edge ducks a clothesline and kicks out Taker’s legs. Edge wraps Taker’s legs around the ringpost, more right hands from Edge. Taker fights back against Edge, boot by Edge. Taker crumbles to the mat, Taker lures Edge into the choke but the referee warns Taker the choke is banned. Edge looks for Old School, Edge is crotched by Taker. Taker begins rolling, clotheslines and a chokeslam into the corner. Big boot by Taker for two, Old School from Undertaker.

The Edgeheads are at ringside, Taker eats a massive Edge O Matic. Edge exposes the turnbuckle in one of the corners in the ring, Taker looks for a Last Ride. Edge counters, Edgecution on Taker for two. Taker avoids a spear and Last Rides Edge into the turnbuckle, Edge survives by placing his foot on the ropes. Taker looks for snake eyes on the exposed turnbuckle, Edge slips out the back. Spear into the corner, Edge ten punches Taker. Taker shoves off Edge, snake eyes onto the exposed turnbuckle.

 Taker believes boot off the ropes will finish Edge, Edge Spears Taker. 1….2…. Taker kicks out! Right hands by Edge, Taker takes the best blows of Edge. Taker tries a chokeslam, Edge battles out. Edge runs off the ropes, Edge gets caught. Chokeslam from Taker, Taker collapses into the pin for two and a half! Edge is out on the floor, Taker rolls out after Edge. Both men fall into the crowd as Taker clotheslines Edge. Both men brawl on their hands and knees, Taker drags Edge off the apron and hurls Edge into the barricade. Taker wins by count-out but Taker does not win the championship as it was a count-out.

Slow to start but once things got going, this turned into a fun match. Edge and Undertaker have some good chemistry in the ring with one another, they know one another so well, it leads to some creative spots and twists to their earlier matches. Disappointing the leg work of Edge went nowhere, not a fan of that type of story-telling. If you are going to go to the trouble of working over the leg of Taker throughout the match, have it play into the finish in some way. However, the twist in the story was fantastic. Vickie Guerrero is despised and they wanted to stretch out this feud, it was a perfect way to stretch out the feud without either man seeming weak. Neither man loses, there is more heat on Edge and Vickie while Taker gets his heat back by decimating Edge after the bell has rang.

Winner: Undertaker over Edge via Count-Out!

MVP vs Jeff Hardy

MVP is left of the Judgment Day pay per view, MVP is not happy about said arrangement and wants a match on the pay per view. Matt Hardy interrupts MVP because this feud is simply never going to end, I have accepted it by this point. Matt brings out his brother Jeff Hardy to battle MVP, MVP is ready to kick some ass.

MVP clubs down Hardy to begin, they go to the corner. Forearms to the spine and a roll-up for two, Irish whip with Hardy ducking, massive flying forearm. Hardy slides through the legs of MVP, big dropkick with MVP rolling to the floor. MVP contemplates leaving the ring, MVP takes down Hardy and pounds on Hardy with right hands, MVP grounds Hardy with a wasitlock, MVP rides Hardy grabbing a front chancery. Hammerlock counter by Hardy, MVP backs Hardy to the corner. Elbow from MVP, Hardy lowbridges MVP who crashes to the floor. Hardy tries a slingshot baseball slide but MVP has it scouted, MVP drags out Hardy by his right leg, Hardy smashes his back off the ring mats.

MVP identifies the elbow as Hardy’s weak point, knee drop for two. Hardy brawls back to his feet, MVP yanks Hardy down by the hair. MVP kicks and punches the elbow of Hardy. Knees to the elbow, MVP whips Hardy to the corner. Hardy wanted to leapfrog MVP using the turnbuckle but Hardy’s elbow gives out on him, MVP goes back to work with a single arm DDT for two. MVP kicks the arm of Hardy, military press slam by MVP. Massive boot to the side of the head, Hardy crashes to the floor.

MVP rams Hardy shoulder first into the barricade, two for MVP in the ring. More punches to the arm by MVP, submission hold from MVP. Facebuster from MVP, Playmaker is dodged. One-armed swinging neckbreaker by Hardy, flying forearm from Hardy. Slingshot dropkick in the corner, Hardy wants a Swanton Bomb, MVP dodges. Forearms in the corner, MVP wants the boot. Hardy trips MVP into the middle turnbuckle, Whisper in The Wind and this match is over.

Good match from Hardy and MVP, MVP seems on a downward slope in the WWE but his in-ring work is very good. Loved the arm work, loved hoe it affected Hardy’s attempts to nail certain moves. I also like the finish, it is different and believable with MVP being dazed by the turnbuckle. Also works for me considering Jeff missed a Swanton Bomb moments earlier, would not make much for story-telling if Hardy managed to hit the Swanton Bomb seconds after missing the first attempt.

Winner: Jeff Hardy over MVP via Whisper In The Wind!

(WWE Championship Match) Triple H © vs Randy Orton (Steel Cage Match)

Never thought Orton should have lost the championship in my humble opinion, Orton had been on an absolute hot-streak since Judgment Day of the year prior. RVD, Shawn Michaels, Cena and Triple H himself had all fallen victim to The Viper. Orton tapped into a side of himself that was so much more sinister than anything we had seen in quite some time, Orton was truly a despicable heel, far more complex than your typical WWE Heel and I bought into like a fool. Triple H won the championship last month stopping Orton in his tracks and I still do not see the need but we have the two inside of a cage for the championship.

Orton enters the cage first, Orton walks down to the ring with fear in his eyes, Orton wants his championship but knows the stakes of a cage match. Standing across from him will be The Game, his former mentor.

Pin-fall/Submission/Escaping the cage are the ways to win, Orton and Triple H stare one another down to begin, Orton shoots for the door to escape the match. Triple H grabs Orton by the feet, Orton rams the cage door off Triple H’s head. Orton has a gameplan, Orton has surprised Triple H to begin this match. Orton continues to tee off on Triple H, Triple H battles back and nails a huge knee. Both men attempt to ram one another into the cage wall, both men trade blocks before Orton meets the cage wall head first. Orton’s reaction to this? Scramble for the top of the cage, love it how Orton has no qualms about running for his life.

Triple H counters a back drop for a neckbreaker, two for The Game. Mounted punches from The King of Kings. Knee drop Flair-style for two, Triple H has assumed control of this match. Orton drags The Game into the cage wall, Orton takes down the champion. Catapult into the cage wall, Orton bangs Triple H’s head off the cage wall. Again and again, Triple H meets the cage wall. Orton nails his rope-draped DDT on The Game, two for Orton. Reverse chinlock from Orton, Triple H powers out but Orton delivers a massive powerslam. Two for Orton, Orton stomps all over the champion Garbin-style.

Orton pulls down his kneepad for extra power on a knee drop but Triple H dodges the knee. Triple H goes low with a chop block, Orton crumbles to the mat. Figure four from the champion, referee breaks the hold when Orton reaches the ropes? This is no-DQ, that is bullshit referee. Orton avoids a Pedigree with a back drop, Orton crawls to the cage door. Triple H pulls Orton back into the ring, Orton kicks off Triple H but drags in a chair with him. Triple H is kicked into the corner, Orton misses the chair shot. Right hands by The Game, facebuster from Triple H. Two for Triple H, Triple H has the chair.

Low blow from Orton, Orton smashes Triple H with the chair. DDT on the chair, Triple H lays motionless. Orton covers, 1…2… The Game kicks out! Orton’s RKO on the chair is avoided, Triple H pushes Orton into the cage wall, drop toehold into the chair by The Cerebral Assassin. Two for Triple H, Orton is first to his feet and climbs to the cage wall. Both men balance on the top rope, Triple H knocks off Orton. Orton falls to the mat, Triple H attempts escaping. Orton drags down Triple H, it is Orton’s time to try escaping over the top.

Both men are battling on the top rope, Triple H wants a Pedigree. Orton stops the pedigree and Triple H is thrown off the top rope. Orton begins climbing out of the cage, Triple H gives chase and pulls in Orton, both men are dangling but either man could win. Triple H has Orton in a headlock, Orton is dragged back into the cage. Orton elbows Triple H to the mat, Orton tries escaping for a third time. Triple H has his boot, Orton kicks off The Game. Triple H yanks down Orton who is crotched on the top rope, spinebuster from Triple H. Triple H wants a Pedigree on the chair, Orton counters and drops Triple H on the chair. Orton eyes up Triple H, Punt kick misses and Triple H waffles Orton with the chair and a Pedigree puts an end to this feud.

I thought this was good but could have been much better, I thought there was so much backstory to this match that it would draw me in and the violence coupled with the use of the cage would give me everything that I could want but I did not have that feeling when it was over, I also feel like the wrong man one but that’s the story for another time. Orton is a tremendous character, I loved the way the cameras try to capture every look on Orton’s face when they have the time or the shot, Orton’s facials are tremendous and his ideas of trying to run out the door or escape rather than score a pin-fall was a lot of fun. Blood would have helped, I feel cage matches need that blood factor to not only sell the magnitude of the match but the magnitude of fighting inside of a cage, it is supposed to be a career-shortening match because of the possible injuries and tolls they can take on your body, I did not get that in this match so I was left a little disappointed but overall, it was good.

Winner: Triple H over Randy Orton via Pedigree!

That was WWE’s Judgment Day 2008, a good pay per view from the WWE when all was said and done. No match on the card was bad for this pay per view but some of the matches just did not hit that sweet spot. Cena and JBL was entertaining for what it was, the big plus of this pay per view for me was the character work I saw from the heels and veterans on this show. JBL was a prime example, there is simply no redeeming quality to JBL. Bradshaw is completely detestable and unlikeable, a bully plain and simple and it makes for great viewing as I want to see him torn limb from limb. That adds so much to the enjoyment of the match and this is why I really enjoyed Cena vs JBL.

The tag team championship match and MVP vs Hardy match felt thrown together, I feel like they do not know what to do with Kane as the champion at the moment considering ECW is exactly bursting with main event talent and there is so much cross promotion with Smackdown at this point, I do not even know what direction they will take with The Big Red Monster. MVP vs Hardy was good, some really good arm work from MVP but it had little meaning to it in terms of an angle, MVP being annoyed that he isn’t booked is what I want for MVP, MVP has dropped the United States Championship, is it not elevation time?

Michaels and Jericho was a great tease match, we know what these two can do and they show us just a little of what they are capable of but that is enough to blow me away and the rest of the card for that matter. Shawn Michaels has the best storyline going on in the company at the time and HBK playing up to the Is he injured or is he not stuff is tremendous, Michaels bemuses Jericho and ends up walking away with the win in a great match.

Finally, we have the two championship matches. The Smackdown match edges it for me with how the storyline is going to continue, Vickie Guerrero is stellar in her role and the fact that we all know she is sleeping with Edge means it is easy heat but the way she controls the crowd adds such a great dynamic. Everyone hates her and she cannot speak for at least 2 minutes through constant booing, it’s wonderful. The finish also allows the feud to continue without hurting either man considering neither were pinned and we are all awaiting the satisfying climax that will be Undertaker finally destroying Edge. Good stuff! Orton vs Triple H did not hit the heights I wanted it to but it was good, it had intensity at times, Orton looked like a maniac which helps and you had a definitive finish to the feud. Thanks for reading and remember: There’s always another night!

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