Monday 18 March 2019

WWE Night Of Champions 2008 Review

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Hello and welcome to another electric edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that lets you down more than dial up internet connections during the early 2000s! WWE’s Night Of Champions where every match is a championship match, John Cena vs Triple H in a rematch of the Wrestlemania 22 Main Event as Randy Orton repairs his broken collarbone while Smackdown shows that they are struggling to build new talent as with Undertaker gone, we are back to Batista challenging Edge for the championship, a match that we have seen at least 4 times over the past year. Other matches of note include Kofi Kingston’s first pay per view appearance against Chris Jericho and Big Show vs Kane, let’s get it on!

(WWE Tag Team Championship Match) Finlay & Hornswoggle vs John Morrison & The Miz ©

Well, this is not what I expected for the tag team division, Finlay and Morrison start the match. Side headlock by Finlay, shoulder block. European Uppercut, elbow to the nose. Short-arm clothesline for two, front suplex and elbow drop by Finlay. Nerve hold from Finlay, Morrison gets caught in the ring apron. Finlay batters Morrison before Miz attacks Hornswoggle, Morrison clotheslines Finlay. The champions grab Hornswoggle, Hornswoggle wants a piece of the two. Finlay clotheslines the champions, Hornswoggle spears the champions. Double sentons by the challengers, the champions roll to the floor. Back in the ring, Morrison snaps the ropes on Finlay’s face. Tag to Miz, Miz applies a reverse chinlock.

Tag to Morrison, forearm into the elbow drop across the knees. Two for Morrison, tag to Miz. Miz ducks off an Irish whip, boot and inverted atomic drop by Finlay. Hornswoggle nails a headscissors, stunner and a bulldog for two. Morrison nails Hornswoggle as the little man runs off the ropes. Miz bitch slaps Hornswoggle, Finlay cannot save his son. Miz steps on Hornswoggle, Morrison hurls Swoggle into the turnbuckle. Hornswoggle fights back as Miz & Morrison mock Swoggle on their knees, double clothesline by the champions.

Miz chokes Swoggle in the corner, Miz misses his corner clothesline. Morrison tags in, Hornswoggle cannot make the tag. Slaps by Morrison, Hornswoggle ducks and dives, here comes Finlay. Powerslam to Morrison for two, low shot by Morrison. Whip to the corner, boot by Finlay. Missile dropkick for two, rolling firemen’s carry, clothesline to Miz. Celtic Cross with a Tadpole Splash but the splash is blocked, Morrison is on his feet. Morrison drags down Hornswoggle, the champions retain their championships.

Fun opening match, was not expecting the crowd to be so hot for Finlay and Hornswoggle, Finlay gave it all when he was in there, impressed with his commitment but JR puts everything over like it is amazing. Morrison and Miz area  great team but have had little to work with, nice to see that they can still put together an entertaining match when they are actually featured on the card, please give me more meaningful tag team matches on pay per view thank you very much!

Winners: Miz & Morrison over The Finlays Via Big Throw!

(WWE United States Championship Match) Matt Hardy © vs Chavo Guerrero W/ Bam Neely

Matt Hardy won the United States Championship from MVP a long time ago, this would be first defence on pay per view for quite some time, happy to see the championship defended on pay per view. Lock-up, side headlock and roll-up from Chavo for one, Chavo talks trash trying to get into the head of Hardy. Hardy grabs the side headlock, shoulder block by Hardy. Side headlock from Chavo, Hardy reverses for a corner clothesline. Slam and fist drop for one, Chavo fights back with right hands. Chavo walks into a back body drop, whip to the corner. Clothesline but no bulldog, chop block from Chavo. Chavo begins to work the left leg, elbows to the knee and leg snap from Chavo.

Chavo comes down on the knee of Hardy, Chavo wraps Hardy’s leg around the ringpost. Neely copies his boss, Chavo drives his knee into the damaged knee of Hardy. Bulldog from Hardy out of nothing, not even a one for Hardy. Chavo sweeps the legs, two for Chavo. Deathlock hold from Chavo, Chavo attempts a frog splash but rolls through as Hardy dodges, massive lariat from Hardy. They trade blows, clothesline by Hardy. Reverse elbow and elbow drop for one, side effect is blocked. Uppercut is blocked by Hardy, backslide is attempted but Chavo flips over but walks into a Side Effect for two. Hardy climbs to the middle rope, middle rope elbow drop for two.

Chavo yanks Hardy off the middle rope, single leg Boston crab from Chavo. Hardy inches towards the ropes, Hardy reaches the ropes. Chavo stomps the leg, Hardy DDTs Chavo hard for two. Hardy calls for a Twist of Fate, Chavo pushes off Hardy for a roll-through Boston crab. Hardy makes it to the ropes, enzuigiri out of nowhere. Chavo regains control, Three Amigos but the last does not connect, Twist Of Fate connects and Hardy retains his championship.

Solid United States Championship match for Smackdown, Chavo tells a great story working the hell out of Hardy’s leg, lots of mat work on the leg, offence that focused solely on the leg and a nice false finish with the single leg Boston Crab on the leg, Hardy shows the heart of a fighting babyface, wish it could have gotten a little longer but that finish comes out of nowhere and the fans really appreciated it.

Winner: Matt Hardy over Chavo Guerrero via Twist Of Fate!

(ECW Championship Match) Kane © vs Mark Henry vs The Big Show

Well, this is different than I expected, you may notice that I said Big Show vs Kane was the expected match for the championship, Big Show winning the extreme rules five way match at One Night Stand but here is Mark Henry looking to win his first championship since 1999.

Kane starts swinging from the beginning, right hands to both challengers. Kane dropkicks the knee of Henry, Show clotheslines Kane hard to the mat. Headutt and body blows by Show, Show ducks his head off an Irish whip. DDT by Kane, two for Kane. Show hurls Kane to the floor, Henry comes back to life. Show and Henry square off, shoulder block by Henry does not knock Show. Show shoulder blocks and slams Henry, doctors come to check out on Kane who seems to have smashed his back off the ring apron resulting in injury. Show punches down Henry, Show wants a Chokeslam. Henry battles his way out, both men have a massive double takedown.

Kane is on his feet, diving clothesline to Henry. Shot to Show, Henry is backed into the corner. Massive corner clotheslines for both, Henry grabs Kane but Kane elbows his way out of the hold. Show boots Henry, Kane and Show Double Chokeslam Henry. Kane tees off on Show, headbutts by Show. Enzuigiri by Kane, Kane jumps into a Chokeslam from Show. 1…2.. Show cannot believe his eyes as Kane kicks out, Kane sits up too. Show climbs to the top rope, Kane superplexes Show to the mat, Henry jumps in and Splashes Kane.

They did enough to keep my interest, Kane was on fire at certain points in this match, I do like the idea of Henry being champion for I feel Kane and Show are worth so much more than that championship, both are big match wrestlers and the quicker they move on from this, the quicker we can have bigger feuds and allow other superstars to flourish on ECW.

Winner: Mark Henry over Everyone Else via Splash!

(WWE World Tag Team Championship Match) Cody Rhodes & Hardcore Holly © vs Ted Dibiase & ?????????

So, they had a good thing going with Holly and Rhodes, Holly taking Rhodes under his wing and making Rhodes into a champion, here’s the problem though: That storyline and growth was never shown on pay per view, we have seen none of the storyline that I have described, those titles have been irrelevant just like the Smackdown tag team titles which Morrison and Miz have worn for quite some time without a real angle. The match begins with no sign of Dibiase’s  partner, Dibiase calls out Holly which leads to Rhodes turning on Holly with a massive DDT. Holly has no clue before Dream Street is applied by the debuting Dibiase, we have new tag team champions in Dibiase and Rhodes. An angle more than a match but at least, we have something going on with two young stars.

Winners: Rhodes & Dibiase over Hardcore Holly via Dream Street!

(WWE Intercontinental Championship Match) Chris Jericho © vs Kofi Kingston

Jericho cuts a promo to begin this match on HBK, Jericho rips into Michaels and this would be the beginning of Y2J’s descent into main eventhood in the WWE, Jericho would strike a chord with the audience and find his spot as an egotistical heel with Lance Cade at his side and this would be the best thing that Jericho would have done since returning to the WWE following his two-year absence. Jericho is interrupted by Kofi Kingston, Kingston has not been seen on WWE pay per view before, Kingston moved to Raw in the draft the prior Monday. Jericho looks at Kingston with disgust, lock-up between the two. Slap from Jericho, Kingston looks fired up now with Jericho dodging Kingston’s attacks.

Jericho takes the back, Kingston switches and takes the back. Side headlock by Y2J, takedown from Jericho. Shoulder block and forearm from Jericho, Kingston is stomped down by the champion. More slaps, more trash-talk from the champion. Big rights from Kingston, leapfrogs but Jericho dodges the elbow by powdering to the floor. Baseball slide from Kingston, plancha with Cade looking concerned for Jericho. Kofi climbs high, crossbody from Kingston for two. Forearms from Kingston, leaping punches to the face in the corner but Jericho tosses Kingston to the floor.

Jericho goes to the floor after Kingston, Kingston is rammed into the apron. Shoulder thrusts from Jericho, hard Irish whip to the opposite corner. Jericho kicks and embarrasses Kingston, Jericho attempts a suplex from the apron. Kingston fights but Jericho connects with the suplex for two, backbreaker and stretch from the champion. Dropkick from Jericho after Kingston escapes the stretch, Jericho chokes Kingston across the middle rope. Knee to the spine, Jericho continues to berate and slap Kingston. Abdominal stretch from Jericho, Kingston manages to wriggle free. Jericho drop toeholds Kingston into the middle rope, Jericho stands all over Kingston’s neck. Kingston is placed on the top rope, repeated shots to the back from Jericho.

Super back suplex is countered by Kingston who counters with a crossbody, two for Kingston. Kingston nails a massive Polish hammer, dropkick from Kingston. Flying forearm, Kingston attempts his boom drop but Jericho goes for the walls of Jericho, small package from Kingston for two. Sweep and Boom Drop from Kingston for two, Jericho is hanging on by a thread. Boot to the face, hurricanrana and cover for two, Jericho clotheslines Kofi hard. Kick to the ribs from Jericho, more kicks to the head. Scoop slam and Lionsault connects, Walls Of Jericho. Here comes Shawn Michaels from the crowd, Sweet Chin Music to Cade. Jericho knocks Michaels off the apron but does not see Trouble In Paradise and 1…2…3! Kingston is your new Intercontinental Champion.

First thing that sticks out to me is the poor commentary and reaction to Kingston’s win, Kingston in his first pay per view match has won the Intercontinental Championship, JR would be blowing his top off with this win but there is hardly a change in tone from Cole. Disappointing but the match itself, a few believable near-falls which added to the drama, Jericho had done something similar in the past with Shelton Benjamin at Taboo Tuesday 2004 so Jericho knows what to do to get over new talent. It is a beautiful moment for Kingston which could have been made so much more special with the right level of enthusiasm. After the match, Jericho decks Michaels in the eye and the commentators speculate that this could be the end of Michaels in WWE.

Winner: Kofi Kingston over Chris Jericho via Trouble In Paradise!

(WWE Women’s Championship Match) Mickie James © vs Katie Lea Burchill

Katie Lea and Paul Burchill have an interesting relationship to say the least, the two are brother and sister competing on the ECW brand. Katie has two victories over Mickie in tag and singles matches which leads us to this match. Burchill is in Katie’s corner, multiple pin attempts from Katie to beat Mickie but Mickie has not been caught yet. Suplex from Mickie who grounds Katie, O Connor roll for one. Katie rolls to the ropes quickly, monkey toss and clothesline from Mickie. Forearms from Mickie, Mickie climbs to the top rope. Paul pulls out Katie, Katie grabs the leg of Mickie, quick pin for two. Forearms and snapmare from Mickie, low dropkick to the face. Two for the champion, Katie rolls to the ropes once more, Katie grabs the arm of Mickie.

Hammerlock suplex from Katie, big stomps from Katie. Stomps to the targeted arm, choke from Katie. Mickie is clutching her leg in the corner, Mickie elbows Katie. Hammerlock hold and Mickie hits the turnbuckle hard. The referee checks on Mickie, armbar from Katie. Forearms from Mickie, Lou Thesz Press with right hands. Katie crawls to the corner, elbow to the face and a nice single arm DDT for two. Kicks in the corner, Mickie clutches at her arm. Forearms from Katie, hard Irish whip to the corner. Mickie fights out with a headscissors, big clotheslines with the bad arm, Mickie hits a snapmare and elbow for two. MickieDT is countered into a Fujiwara armbar, Mickie crawls over to the ropes. Armdrag, hammerlock hold into the turnbuckle from Katie. Hammerlock suplex is reversed for a MickieDT and Mickie retains the championship.

Apart from the usual lack of crowd heat that the fans give the women in their matches, this was a good match. I loved the arm work of Katie, it seemed to be building to the end of the match. Mickie sold the arm throughout, liked the referee asking if Mickie could continue at various points in the match. Katie’s character is different too but Mickie showed a lot of hearts and guts, earning her rightful spot as the babyface of the division. Would love to see more of these two lock up inside of the ring.

Winner: Mickie James over Katie Lea Burchill via MickieDT!

(WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match) Edge © vs Batista

Batista has to win, no more opportunities for The Animal. Edge has rid himself of The Undertaker but Batista now stands in the champion’s way. Batista is aggressive to start, Edge is already shaken by sharing the ring with The Animal. Side headlock, shoulder block from Batista. Edge covers up in the corner, lock-up with Batista tossing Edge to the floor. Edge is slammed into the barricade and ring apron, Batista has caught his prey. Elbow to the face for two, Batista drops his weight on the back of Edge. Hard Irish whip to the corner, two for Batista. Snapmare and boot by the challenger, Edge has no clue where he is at this time. Jackhammer for two, clothesline to the floor.

Batista throws Edge into the ring, Batista tries to re-enter the ring but Edge boots Batista and sends The Animal shoulder first into the ring-post. The Animal falls to the floor, clutching his arm. Baseball slide from Edge, Batista goes sailing over the ECW announce table. Edge poses prematurely inside the ring, Edge stomps all over Batista. Edge crossbodys across the back of Batista, Edge slides out to the floor. Big right hands from Edge, Batista spills out to the floor once more. Batista climbs to the apron, right hands from The Animal. Drop toehold from Edge, swinging neckbreaker for two. Edge applies a sleeper, Batista powers up and shakes off Edge in the corner. Batista attempts a corner clothesline but Edge drop toeholds Batista down.

Neckbreaker from Edge, Edge slaps on another sleeper. Batista is back to his feet, running powerslam is blocked. Edge O Matic is blocked, sunset flip from Edge for two. Clothesline by the champion, Edge climbs to the top rope. Batista gets hung up on the top rope, Batista fires back with a clothesline, both men are down. Shoulder thrusts by Batista, corner clothesline. Sidewalk slam by Batista for two, Batista nails a massive Spear for two. Batista shakes the ropes, Batista Bomb is countered for an Edgecution. 1…2… Batista kicks out! Edge sets up for the Spear, Batista boots down the champion. Batista climbs to the top rope, Edge counters a diving spear with a dropkick.

Here comes Hawkins & Ryder with Vickie Guerrero, Edge measures for another Spear. Batista leapfrogs the spear and nails a Spinebuster, Vickie pulls out the referee to stop the pin-fall. Spear misses again as Batista sidesteps Edge who is hurled into the ring-post. The referee begins counting, Edge is almost back to his feet. Edge pulls out the referee and nails the referee in the face, Batista cannot believe this has happened. Vickie asks for a new referee, here comes Chavo Guerrero in referee gear. Batista has Vickie Guerrero, Batista tosses Vickie onto La Familia. Edge waffles Batista with the world heavyweight championship, up comes Chavo who counts the pin-fall for Edge.

You see what I mean about commentary? Cole could not touch JR when it comes to passion at that commentary booth, JR screams and yells and makes you care about his match, passionate pleas about Edge’s cheating are just fantastic. This match packed a lot of heat with it, the fans loved the twists and turns of this match, Batista and Edge have a lot of chemistry. Vickie has the most heat of anyone in the company, tossing her onto La Familia was beautiful. The fans screamed like crazy for that spot, tremendous spot for the match. Batista is kept strong through a championship shot to the head being what it took to beat him and Edge continues to roll on forward as one of the biggest sleazeballs in wrestling.

Winner: Edge over Batista Via Championship To The Head!

(WWE Championship Match) Triple H © vs John Cena

Big match, two years in the making. John Cena defeated Triple H at Wrestlemania 22, that loss has eaten away at The Game for two years. Tripe H wants revenge tonight, Triple H nails a massive shoulder block on Cena, setting the tone for the match. Side headlock from Triple H, another shoulder block to Cena. Hiptoss, Cena is being out performed at this time, nice Suck It chop from The Game. Side headlock from Cena, big shoulder block from the challenger. Massive clothesline floors Triple H, spear from Cena. Shoulder blocks from Cena, Triple H ducks the shoulder block with Cena spilling to the floor. Suplex by The Game, elbows to the spine of the challenger.

Hard Irish whip by The Game, Triple H  and Cena trade blows. Cena wins the war but The Game nails a massive boot from the corner. Cena staggers Triple H with a boot, shoulder blocks. Spin-out back suplex, Cena feels it and signals to the crowd. Triple H kicks away Cena, right hands by the challenger. High knee from The Game, big right hand from The Game. Facebuster from the champion, Cena is looking worse at this time. Pedigree is blocked, throwback from Cena. Kobashi-style leg drop from Cena, Cena looks for The STFU. The Game kicks off Cena, massive spin-out back suplex. Five Knuckle Shuffle is blocked with a high knee, Spinebuster from The Game.

Pedigree is avoided once more, Triple H goes sailing over the top rope and clutches the knee, not another possible injury to the Raw Main Event scene. Chop block from Cena, uncharacteristically Cena is going after the injured body part. Could Cena be playing to the crowd? The Game has his leg rammed into the ring-post. Cena measures the helpless champion, Cena looks for the STFU again but Triple H reaches the ropes. Another chop block, Triple H is struggling to avoid the submission, Triple H is doing everything within his power to avoid the hold but Triple H reaches the ropes in desperation. FU is countered, Pedigree on one leg from The Game. 1…2…. Cena kicks out of The Pedigree!

Both men make it to their feet, Cena nails an FU out of nowhere. Cena collapses to the mat, cover and Triple H kicks out at two and a half! Both men are dropping bombs, each shot echoes throughout the arena. Triple H wins the slugfest, spin-out back suplex from Cena. Cena holds himself up on the ropes, Five Knuckle Shuffle connects for Cena. FU but Triple H holds onto the ropes, Cena cannot pull off The Game. Pedigree is countered into The STFU, middle of the ring, where can The Game go? Triple H reaches the ropes, Cena looks to re-apply the hold in the middle of the ring, counter into the crossface from The Game. Cena powers out of the hold into an FU position, massive elbows from Triple H and A Pedigree ends this match!

That was tremendous from bell to bell, two babyfaces battling it out for the right to be the number one superstar in the WWE. Both men knew one another so well, it led to counter after counter with both men showing how well they knew one another, the injured leg for Triple H that Cena exploits, Cena showing a nasty streak which has been lacking in many of his matches. Triple H and Cena’s finishing stretch was full of drama and excitement, the fans had no clue which way it was going to go and in the end, it was the accumulative damage that The Game built up led to The Game being able to lock in that vital Pedigree which led to the end of this match. Great main event which capped off this pay per view.

Winner: Triple H over John Cena Via Pedigree!

That was WWE’s Night Of Champions 2008, a very good pay per view from the WWE. The drama of the night was heightened by the potential of championships switching brands. We kick off with an opening match that has no right to be as fun as it was but it delivered in tenfold. Finlay and Hornswoggle use tricks to keep in the match while the champions Miz and Morrison are comedic enough to pull off this feud with ease, fun match. The ECW Championship match was fine, I thought Kane and Big Show had not been doing much since both were on the Extreme brand, the direction they were heading with Show became interesting at the last pay per view but here’s this curveball with Mark Henry in the mix, not entirely sure what to think of where things will go next but I will be watching closely. The last three matches have a lot of drama and depth to them, loved the way Jericho looked down on Kingston, not thinking much of his challenger at all. More near-falls could have built to the drama and Cole’s subdued reaction hurt Kofi’s big win but this was still a quality match that furthers the feud between Michaels and Jericho. Batista and Edge had one hell of a match with the added bonus of Vickie Guerrero getting the screen time that she deserves because she is a heat magnet at the time, loved the way the match unfolded and Edge continues to defy the odds so that when Edge does lose that championship, it will mean so much. Cena and Triple H put everything on the line, battling it out to be the cream of the crop in the WWE, mind games and counters galore lead to a drama filled main-event which delivered. Thanks for reading and remember: There’s always another night!

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