December 14, 2008- December 20, 2008
Welcome to the thirty-third edition of the WWE Week In Review. Feel free to contact me on TWO or Wrestling 101 anytime with comments, questions, and anything in between. Also, check out my blog on Wrestling101.com.
The ninth edition of WWE Armageddon came to you, live, from the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, NY. Confirmed for the final WWE pay-per-view of 2008 was a Triple Threat Match for the WWE Title that would see new champion Edge defend the title against former champion Triple H and Jeff Hardy. John Cena would also make his first defense of the World Heavyweight Title by facing former champion and 2008 Superstar of the Year Chris Jericho. ECW Champion Matt Hardy would also take on "The Undefeated Moscow Mauler" Vladimir Kozlov in a non-title match. Former Evolution teammates Batista & Randy Orton would face off. The Finals of the Intercontinental Title Tournament would take place as CM Punk took on Rey Mysterio with the winner becoming the #1 Contender for William Regal’s Intercontinental Title. Finlay would also seek revenge on Mark Henry in a Belfast Brawl. The WWE Divas would also be in action in a Santa’s Little Helpers 8-Diva Tag Match.
Bad Night For: Triple H (had WWE Title won several times)
It Will Be Interesting This Week For: John Cena & Jeff Hardy (to see who will challenge them next)
And In Other News…
The ninth edition of WWE Armageddon kicked off with a grudge match between ECW Champion Matt Hardy and "The Undefeated Moscow Mauler" Vladimir Kozlov. The powerful Russian used his new, and devastating, chokeslam finisher to defeat the ECW Champion in a non-title bout.
CM Punk would recover quite nicely from having lost the World Tag Team Titles to The Miz & John Morrison one night earlier by defeating Rey Mysterio in the Finals of the Intercontinental Title Tournament to earn the right to face Intercontinental Champion William Regal at a later date.
JBL also made a special appearance at Armageddon. After making his way to the ring, JBL introduced his "newest employee"- "The Hearbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels. An emotional HBK admits that he has been affected by the recent economic collapse in the U.S. due to squandering his money when he was younger and first got into the wrestling business. He said he took the advice of a financial planner and invested his money in the stock market. He stated that he paid for all the surgeries that he has had over the years and that after turning his life around, he used money to support his church and local charities. Michaels also said that he does not know how much time he has left and he has a family that depends on him to support them financially and that is why he had no choice but to accept JBL’s offer to work for him. He stated that he hated JBL just as much as the fans or anyone else does, but that JBL is good financially. HBK says that he refuses to be a "wrestling tragedy", where he would be forced to wrestle in high school gyms and sign autographs well into his later years in order to support his loved ones and that if he gets booed and disapproved of by the fans, than so be it. As the crowd in Buffalo chants "You Sold Out" at Michaels, HBK stated that this is something he has to do. JBL takes the microphone from a distraught Michaels and Michaels reluctantly shakes hands with his new "boss". A dejected and hurt Michaels leaves the ring, following JBL.
In a match that has gotten very personal over the last few weeks, Finlay was able to defeat "The World’s Strongest Man" Mark Henry in a Belfast Brawl. Earlier in the evening, Finlay told his son, Hornswoggle, to stay backstage and stay out of his match with Mark Henry. However, it was Hornswoggle disobeying his father’s orders by providing the Irishman with a shillelagh that helped Finlay win the match.
In a contest that has been over four years in the making, two former World Champions squared off as "The Animal" Batista defeated his former Evolution teammate Randy Orton in a very hard-fought match. The end may have come early for "The Legend Killer" as, early on in the match, Cody Rhodes & Manu attacked "The Animal" behind the referee’s back, but when Priceless got caught red-handed, the official ejected the duo from ringside. Orton was still able to hold his own against Batista, but the power of Batista proved too much for Orton on this night.
It was then time for a break from all the emotion and intensity of Armageddon with a Santa’s Little Helpers 8-Diva Tag Match that saw Divas Champion Michelle McCool team with Maria, Mickie James, & Kelly Kelly to defeat Maryse, Natalya, Jillian, & Victoria. Not all was well in this contest as McCool tagged herself in when Maria was poised to win the match for her team and stole the win from her teammate. After the match, The Great Khali & Ranjin Singh came out for a special "Christmas Kiss Cam". Ranjin Singh elected the Divas Champion to be the one to kiss the "Punjabi Playboy", but McCool opted to exit the ring and deny the big man. Ranjin then tried to coax Mickie James, Maria, & Kelly Kelly into kissing Khali, but the three were reluctant and Ranjin revealed his "backup plan"- the 2008 WWE Hall of Famer Mae Young. An ecstatic Mae Young gladly put the lip lock on The Great Khali.
The World Heavyweight Title would be up for grabs in Buffalo as John Cena defended the World Heavyweight Title against Chris Jericho in a rematch from Survivor Series. The 2008 Superstar of the Year put up the best possible fight he could muster, but Jericho fell victim to the STF-U and had no choice but to submit.
December 14, 2008 was a dream-come-true night for Jeff Hardy as "The Extreme Enigma" finally got to experience his life-long goal of becoming the WWE Champion! The match went back-and-forth between champion Edge and fellow challenger Triple H; a match that saw Triple H hit the Pedigree on the champion twice, but got his pinfall taken away both times, it also saw Jeff Hardy get speared through the SmackDown announce table, and saw Vladimir Kozlov attempt to cost both Triple H & Jeff Hardy the title (only to have Matt Hardy come back for more of Kozlov and prevent him from causing any more disturbances in the contest). When all was said and done, it was Triple H hitting the Pedigree on Edge and Jeff Hardy hitting the Swanton Bomb on both Edge & Triple H that would seal the deal for the enigmatic Jeff Hardy, to overcome a very tumultuous year to become the man on top of the mountain- the WWE Champion.
The 812’th edition of Monday Night RAW came to you, live, one night after a historic WWE Armageddon, from the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. Two tag team matches were confirmed for the cold evening in the Steel City as new World Tag Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison would defend their newly acquired gold against the former champions CM Punk & Kofi Kingston. Also, Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix would team with Jillian to take on Melina & Kelly Kelly.
Bad Week For: Batista (may have been punted out of World Title contention by Randy Orton)
It Will Be Interesting Next Week For: All Eight Former Champions Vying For The #1 Contendership
Best Mic Work: Chris Jericho
The night started off with a Divas Tag Match as the team of Melina & Kelly Kelly defeated the team of Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix & RAW’s "Sour Songstress" Jillian. The bigger story occured after the match had concluded, however. After Beth Phoenix & Jillian assaulted Kelly Kelly, Kane made his way to the ring, scaring off the duo. "The Big Red Monster" then backed Kelly Kelly into the corner and actually extended his hand to possibly help the fallen Diva. Knowing Kane’s bizarre and volatile history, Kelly made a quick exit from the ring, but Kane stalked Kelly all the way into the backstage area where he eventually cornered Kelly and told the Diva that they "needed to talk".
With Cody Rhodes & Manu at ringside, Rey Mysterio was set for action against Deuce. However, before the match began, Deuce grabbed the microphone and revealed that he is the son of WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and that his real name is Sim Snuka and that is how he wished to be recognized. Simms Snuka put up a good fight against Rey Mysterio, but when Simms ducked an aerial attack by Rey, Rey landed in front of Cody Rhodes & Manu. The second-generation duo attacked Rey and seeing that the odds were against him, Rey escaped, but then Rey was blind sided by Mike Knox, who laid out Rey Mysterio with the Knox Out on the arena floor.
Meanwhile, in the backstage area, Kane has isolated Kelly Kelly in an unknown room backstage. The demented monster told Kelly that on last week’s Slammy Award Special, she looked him in the eyes and said that "love is a beautiful thing". Kane accused Kelly of leading him on. Kane then opens the door and tells Kelly that if she did not lead him on, she can leave. As Kelly tried to leave, Kane slammed the door and the maniac Kane tells the horrified Diva that he knew she feels something for him.
In a backstage interview, Randy Orton reveals that he has challenged Batista to a rematch from Armageddon, but has yet to hear a response from "The Animal". Orton then calls Batista a "coward". Batista enters to face Orton, but Orton slaps Batista across the face and runs from "The Animal". Orton makes his way to ringside, where Batista follows and is ambushed by Cody Rhodes & Manu. As Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, & Manu assault Batista, the World Heavyweight Champion John Cena runs out to save "The Animal". The two sides stare each other down. We would later find out that Stephanie McMahon made a 3-on-2 Handicap Match for the main event of RAW that would see World Heavyweight Champion John Cena team with Batista to take on Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, & Manu, who are now calling themselves "The Legacy".
Backstage, Kane is still interrogating Kelly Kelly and Kane comes to the deduction that Kelly is interested in another man. Kelly eventually reveals the name of the individual and Kane says he will be right back. Kelly pleads with Kane not to hurt him and Kane quotes Kelly by saying "love is a beautiful thing".
RAW was then scheduled to have a match that would see the 2008 Superstar of the Year Chris Jericho take on "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan. However, Jericho came out in a suit and informed Duggan and the fans that he is refusing to wrestle tonight because it is a slap in the face to Jericho that he is being pitted against Jim Duggan. Jericho then tells a visibly upset Duggan that he is a "bottom of the barrel" talent. Before leaving, Jericho proclaims that he will not wrestle in any match that is not in agreement with his status as the 2008 Superstar of the Year.
Following a big win over Rey Mysterio at Armageddon that earned him a shot at the Intercontinental Title, CM Punk was looking to make it a two peat and regain the World Tag Team Titles as he and Kofi Kingston would challenge the new World Tag Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison for the titles. Though Punk & Kofi put up a tough fight, the 2008 Tag Team of the Year was able to defeat the former champions to retain their new gold. Kane then made another appearance, and after glaring at Intercontinental Champion William Regal (who was watching the World Tag Team Title Match from the staging area), Kane made his way to the ring and stared down CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, The Miz, & John Morrison. After hitting John Morrison with a big boot that sent him out of the ring, "The Big Red Machine" attacked The Miz, laying out "The Chick Magnet" with the Tombstone Piledriver. Apparently, Kelly Kelly’s "metal" was attracted to "The Chick Magnet" and The Miz must be the mystery man that Kelly has been going out with.
JBL also made a special appearance on RAW to introduce a piece of footage from last night’s Armageddon event that depicts Shawn Michaels accepting the job offer of JBL (see the Armageddon coverage for more).
As she hastily packed up her possessions, Kelly Kelly was comforted by fellow Divas Mickie James and Candice. The flustered Diva seemed repulsed by the suggestion that her secret Superstar lover is The Miz. Did Kane have the right man?
RAW also saw a special visit by "Santa Claas". In his most "Christmassy" impersonation yet, Charlie Haas squared off with Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler showed no respect for "Santa Claas" and pinned "Jolly Ol’ Saint Haas" to pick up the first pinfall win of his career. After the match, Ziggler ripped Santa’s suit to pieces.
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon is talking with Chris Jericho. Stephanie wants to know what that stunt was that Jericho pulled with Jim Duggan out in the ring. Jericho questions the quality of work that Stephanie McMahon is doing for RAW. Stephanie then announces a series of matches to determine the new #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title. On next week’s RAW in Toronto, there will be four matches that will feature eight former World Champions and the winners of those four matches will face off in a Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match in two weeks and the winner of the match will be the new #1 Contender and will face John Cena for the World Heavyweight Title. During the main event, it was revealed that the matches will be- Batista taking on Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels Vs. Kane, Chris Jericho Vs. CM Punk, & JBL Vs. Rey Mysterio. After this blockbuster announcement, Stephanie told Jericho that if he ever pulls a stunt like the one he pulled tonight, she will make sure that he will never wrestle in a match worthy of the Superstar of the Year again and said she was doing him a favor by giving him a warm-up match for his match next week.
It was then time for the main event that pitted the team of World Heavyweight Champion John Cena & Batista against The Legacy in a 3-on-2 Handicap Match. After Randy Orton ordered Cody Rhodes & Manu to keep Cena at bay on the outside, Orton had "The Animal" all to himself and, after shoving the referee, who called for the disqualification, Orton punted the head of Batista, leaving him unconcious in the ring, as The Legacy looked on and celebrated their actions.
The 132’nd edition of ECW on Sci-Fi came to you from the 1’st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, MD. Confirmed for the night in the Port City was a 6-Man Tag Match that would see "The All-American American" Jack Swagger team up with the World Tag Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison to take on the team of the #1 Contender for the Intercontinental Title CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, & Ricky Ortiz.
Good Week For: Finlay (picked up two wins at Armageddon and on ECW)
Bad Week For: Chavo Guerrero (was unable to win the ECW Title)
It Will Be Interesting Next Week For: Matt Hardy (to see who will step up to challenge for the ECW Title)
Best Mic Work: Matt Hardy
And In Other News…
The night in Baltimore started off with a special appearance by the ECW Champion Matt Hardy. The ecstatic elder Hardy discussed how thrilled he was with his brother Jeff for living the dream and becoming the new WWE Champion at Armageddon. Matt stated that there will be a huge celebration for the new champion on SmackDown. However, Chavo Guerrero interrupted the joyous champion and informed Matt that he was sent by his aunt, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero to "take care" of Matt, because his last name is Hardy and himself and Vickie feel that Jeff "stole" the title from Edge at Armageddon. Chavo revealed that he had talked to Vickie and that Vickie had talked to ECW General Manager Theodore Long and they had agreed on a match between Matt & Chavo for the ECW Title in the main event. Theodore Long interrupted and informed "The Mexican Warrior" that he had also talked with Matt Hardy and then Long ruled that Chavo will get his title opportunity, but that it would happen right now…..
Two nights after suffering a horrendous beating at the hands of Vladimir Kozlov, Matt Hardy was able to defeat Chavo Guerrero to keep a hold of his ECW Championship.
Following a successful win in a Belfast Brawl against Mark Henry at Armageddon, Finlay defeated Gavin Spears.
During a promo for next week’s Monday Night RAW, it was revealed that whoever the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title is in two weeks will get their opportunity at John Cena and the title at the Royal Rumble on January 25 in Detroit.
In the 6-Man Tag Team main event of ECW, the team of the undefeated Jack Swagger and the World Tag Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison defeated CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, & Ricky Ortiz.
The 488’th edition of WWE SmackDown came to you five days removed from Armageddon, where a new WWE Champion was crowned- Jeff Hardy. SmackDown would open with a huge celebration for the new champion.
Good Week For: Jeff Hardy (won WWE Title at Armageddon & laid out Edge twice in one night)
Bad Week For: Edge (lost WWE Title at Armageddon & got laid out by the new champion twice in one night)
It Will Be Interesting Next Week For: Jeff Hardy (to see who will be the first to challenge the new champion)
Best Mic Work: Edge
And In Other News…
SmackDown opened with a huge championship celebration for new WWE Champion Jeff Hardy. Among all the pyro, confetti, and cheers from the fans, Jeff soaked it all on his first night on SmackDown as WWE Champion. Jeff started by saying that the WWE is about to change. Before Jeff could get any further, the furious former champion Edge made his way to the ring and told Jeff that Jeff is WWE Champion because he was "lucky" and that he was champion because of "hard work". Jeff called Edge a liar and Edge responded by reiterating that he did not attack Jeff and that he did not need to, because he is better than Jeff Hardy. Edge reveals two big main event matches for SmackDown, on behalf of the SmackDown General Manager and Edge’s wife, Vickie Guerrero (Edge protested that it the matches were made "independently of their relationship"). In a non-title match, Edge would face ECW Champion and Jeff’s older brother, Matt Hardy. The new WWE Champion Jeff Hardy would also be in a non-title match against "The Undefeated Moscow Mauler" Vladimir Kozlov. Before he exited, Edge told Jeff that Jeff will always be a "screw-up". Jeff responded by laying out Edge with a Twist of Fate.
SmackDown opened with a tag match which pitted the team of United States Champion Shelton Benjamin & MVP against the #1 Contender for the United States Title Hurricane Helms & R-Truth. The unlucky MVP inadvertantly hit his tag partner with a big boot, which led to Hurricane Helms pinning the U.S. Champion for the second week in a row. If Helms pins Shelton Benjamin next week, he will be the new U.S. Champion as the two will face off over the championship.
World Tag Team Champion John Morrison was also in action against Festus. Before the match got underway, The Miz tried to steal the ring bell to control Festus, but Festus’ tag partner Jesse knocked Miz out of the way and took the bell himself. At the command of the ring bell being rang by Jesse, the match started. Throughout the match, Miz tried to gain control of Festus by getting the bell from Jesse. However, when Jesse swung the bell at Miz’s head, Miz ducked and Jesse hit the ring post with the bell, causing it to ring. With Festus going back into his stoic state, John Morrison took advantage and hit the Moonlight Drive for the win.
In a non-title match, former WWE Champion Edge defeated current ECW Champion Matt Hardy.
Also, Ezekiel Jackson defeated one-half of the WWE Tag Team Champions Carlito.
Divas Champion Michelle McCool was at ringside as Maria and Maryse battled over the #1 Contender’s spot for the Divas Title. Maryse was able to defeat Maria with her DDT to become the #1 Contender. "The French-Canadian Diva" & The Divas Champion faced off at ringside. Will the third time be the charm for Maryse?
It was then time for Jeff Hardy’s first match on SmackDown since becoming the WWE Champion at Armageddon and it was against "The Moscow Mauler" Vladimir Kozlov. The champion would get the win over the Russian via disqualification after Edge entered the ring and assaulted Jeff. Both Edge & Kozlov assaulted the champion until Triple H made his way to the ring. "The Game" laid out Edge with the Pedigree and brawled with Vladimir Kozlov on the outside. Triple H retrieved his trusty sledgehammer, but Kozlov made a hasty exit from the furious Triple H, who stalked Kozlov. Back in the ring, Jeff Hardy hit the Swanton Bomb on Edge. Will we see the same site whenever Edge gets his rematch for the title?
The sixth annual WWE Tribute To The Troops came to you from Camp Victory in the middle of Baghdad, Iraq. Confirmed for the special show was two 6-Man Tag main events.
Good Week For: The U.S. Troops (got to be entertained by the WWE Superstars)
Bad Week For: Chris Jericho & Randy Orton (got abandoned by Big Show)
Best Mic Work: R-Truth
And In Other News…
The sixth annual Tribute To The Troops opened with a 6-Man Tag Match that saw new WWE Champion Jeff Hardy team with CM Punk & R-Truth to defeat JBL & World Tag Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison.
Cryme Tyme also made a special appearance, who enlisted the help of "Santa’s Little Helpers" (also known as the WWE Divas) to pass out early Christmas gifts to America’s soldiers.
In the main event of the show, the team of World Heavyweight Champion John Cena, Rey Mysterio, & Batista defeated the team of Chris Jericho, Big Show, & Randy Orton. In the middle of the contest, Chris Jericho slapped Big Show in response to Show trying to tell Jericho what to do. Big Show came into the ring and laid out both Chris Jericho & Randy Orton and then abandoned his team, leading to a victory for "The Champ" John Cena, Rey Mysterio, & Batista.
Superstar of the Week: Jeff Hardy