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WWE Year in Review 2008

Welcome to a special year-end Year In Review Special, I will provide month-by-month highlights of 2008 in the WWE, including surprise returns, new champions and the top five WWE Superstars of the Year as voted by the members on Talk Wrestling Online…

Welcome to a special year-end Year In Review Special, I will provide month-by-month highlights of 2008 in the WWE, including surprise returns, new champions and the top five WWE Superstars of the Year as voted by the members on Talk Wrestling Online.
2008 Statistics

New Champions: 29
New WWE Champions: 3
New World Heavyweight Champions: 5
New ECW Champions: 4
New Intercontinental Champions: 4
New United States Champions: 2
New Women’s Champions: 2
New Divas Champions: 2
New World Tag Team Champions: 5
New WWE Tag Team Champions: 2
WWE Pay-Per-Views: 13
Released Talent: 55



While some could say that the entire year belonged to John Cena, some would also say that it would not have happened had it not been for Cena’s surprise return at the 2008 Royal Rumble. In October of 2007, John Cena was injured at the hands of Randy Orton & Mr. Kennedy and doctors did not expect Cena to be back in time for WrestleMania, let alone the Royal Rumble. Everyone was shocked to hear the familiar music of John Cena, who entered #30 and eliminated Triple H to win the Rumble and secure his spot in the main event at WrestleMania XXIV.

January was also a good month for Chavo Guerrero, who, with a big assist by Edge, defeated CM Punk to win the ECW Championship. Chavo would hold the title until WrestleMania XXIV, where Kane was crowned the new champion in record time.


The February Tradition- No Way Out was milestone in the WWE as, for the first time ever, two Elimination Chamber Matches were held on the same night. Both were to determine the #1 Contenders for the WWE & World Heavyweight Titles at WrestleMania XXIV. Triple H won the RAW Elimination Chamber Match to earn the right to face champion Randy Orton at WrestleMania XXIV. In the SmackDown Elimination Chamber Match, The Undertaker won to secure his spot at WrestleMania to face Edge for the World Heavyweight Title.

No Way Out was not a good night for the 2008 Royal Rumble Winner- John Cena, as he decided to cash in his WrestleMania opportunity a month in advance to challenge Randy Orton for the WWE Title. Unfortunately for Cena, Orton held onto the title that night via disqualification.

Las Vegas was also home to a “giant” return as the only man to win the WWE, WCW, & ECW Titles, Big Show made his return to the WWE, slimmer and faster. Big Show got into a famous altercation with professional boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather, where Show got his nose broken, leading to their match at WrestleMania.


March was the biggest month of the year for the WWE, as March 2008 was the year for WrestleMania XXIV. On the final stretch of road on the Road To WrestleMania, Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy was derailed on his way to the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match when he not only lost his Intercontinental Title to Chris Jericho, but was suspended for 60 Days for violating the WWE Wellness Policy and was left off of the WrestleMania card and every card until May 12.

It was then time for the biggest night in the WWE- WrestleMania. The 24’th edition of WrestleMania saw The Undertaker defeat Edge to win the World Heavyweight Title and go 16-0 at WrestleMania. Earlier in the night, Randy Orton overcame the odds to defeat John Cena & Triple H in a Triple Threat Match to retain the WWE Title. Kane also walked away with gold, winning the ECW Title from Chavo Guerrero in record time. Big Show also fell victim to the knockout right of Floyd “Money” Mayweather (with some help from brass knuckles). WrestleMania also saw CM Punk win the Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match, giving him the opportunity to challenge any World Champion at any time within the next year.

WrestleMania XXIV in Orlando also saw the final match in the historic career of 2008 Hall of Famer “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Flair demanded a match against Shawn Michaels and Michaels accepted and, per the rules set by Mr. McMahon late last year, if Flair lost, he would retire. HBK reluctantly put down Flair with Sweet Chin Music to win the match.


April was the month of The Game, as Triple H walked into Backlash as a challenger and exited a 12-Time World Champion by defeating JBL, John Cena, & Randy Orton in a Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match. In a WrestleMania Rematch, The Undertaker successfully defended his newly won World Heavyweight Title by defeating Edge with his new and devastating chokehold submission. Also at Backlash, Matt Hardy won the biggest title of his career by defeating MVP to end the reign of the longest reigning United States Champion in SmackDown history. Also, in a match refereed by Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels defeated Batista in a match where Batista sought to avenge the ending of Ric Flair’s career at the hands of Michaels. Though Michaels suffered a knee injury during the course of the contest, HBK sucked it up enough to surprise Batista with a superkick, which would lead to Chris Jericho speculating on if Michaels was really hurt or not, which culminated at a match at Judgment Day.


May kicked off in a big way in regards to SmackDown and the World Heavyweight Championship. SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero interrupted a scheduled title match between Undertaker and The Great Khali and Vickie informed The Undertaker that he used an illegal chokehold to win the title at WrestleMania and again to retain it at Backlash. Vickie then shocked the world by stripping The Undertaker of his World Heavyweight Title, leaving the title vacant. Vickie then quickly came up with a solution to not having a champion by announcing a “Championship Chase”, where superstars would compete to determine who will challenge for the World Heavyweight Title at Judgment Day on May 18. Batista won the prestigious opportunity, but it was snatched away from the former champion when Vickie announced that Edge had miraculously healed in time to compete. Vickie then inserted Edge into the match, who defeated a worn down Batista to gain the ultimate opportunity at Judgment Day.

While Judgment Day saw Triple H successfully defend his WWE Title for a second time against former champion Randy Orton, this time in a Steel Cage Match. Nothing was really accomplished in the World Heavyweight Title picture as The Undertaker defeated Edge, but by Count-Out and Vickie Guerrero deemed that the championship can only be won by pinfall or submission, thus leaving the title vacated. Also at Judgment Day, Shawn Michaels defeated Chris Jericho in a feud that would certainly get more personal in the months to come.

On the SmackDown following Judgment Day, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero announced that there will be a World Heavyweight Champion after One Night Stand is said and done. Vickie went on to announce a TLC Match for the World Heavyweight Title between Edge & The Undertaker, where if Undertaker lost, he is banished from the WWE.


One Night Stand proved to be the final stand for a couple of superstars (at least for the time being). In his final opportunity at the WWE Title, Randy Orton challenged the champion Triple H to a type of match that saw Orton win the WWE Title against Triple H back at No Mercy in 2007- a Last Man Standing Match. Unfortunately, during the course of the match, Orton suffered an injury to his collarbone that would leave him out of action until November.

One Night Stand also saw the ending of a long and storied career as Edge won the TLC Match over The Undertaker to not only win the vacated World Title, but to be personally responsible for banishing The Undertaker from the WWE. After the match, Undertaker, beaten and bruised, took the slow walk backstage as the WWE Fans gave him a standing ovation.

June was also home to the 2008 WWE Draft, which saw the landscape of the WWE change forever. While Batista was drafted to RAW, Mark Henry was drafted to ECW, Jeff Hardy was drafted to SmackDown, CM Punk was drafted to RAW, Umaga was drafted to SmackDown, Kofi Kingston was drafted to RAW, United States Champion Matt Hardy was drafted to ECW with his championship, & ECW Champion Kane was drafted to RAW with the ECW Title, the biggest shock of the night had to be WWE Champion Triple H getting drafted to SmackDown with the WWE Title, leaving SmackDown with both the WWE Champion and the World Heavyweight Champion. Unfortunately, at the end of the special 2008 Draft edition of RAW, Mr. McMahon was injured after the stage collapsed and exploded around the chairman, leaving him crushed under a piece of the RAW set. No reports of his injury have been reported, nor have we seen Mr. McMahon since.

All these changes to the WWE Roster proved to make WWE’s Night of Champions a very interesting affair. After a successful defense of both the WWE Tag Team Titles & United States Titles, it was time for the ECW Championship to be decided in a very interesting Triple Threat Match that would see the champion Kane, freshly drafted to RAW, take on Big Show from SmackDown, & Mark Henry, also a fresh draftee to ECW battle over the ECW crown. In the end, it was Mark Henry taking the gold back home to ECW. This match would start a trend in the matches to follow, as both the Intercontinental & World Tag Team Titles changed hands when Kofi Kingston answered the challenge of Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho and The Jamaican Sensation used a huge assist by Shawn Michaels to take the Intercontinental Title from Jericho in Kofi’s first championship match. In a shocking turn of events, Cody Rhodes turned on his tag team partner Hardcore Holly to team with Ted DiBiase and take the World Tag Team Titles.

The trend of new champions ended with a successful defense of the Women’s Title, followed by Edge successfully defending the World Heavyweight Title against Batista (who still got to challenge for the belt, despite being drafted to RAW) and SmackDown’s biggest draft pick WWE Champion Triple H defended his title against John Cena (who also got his shot, despite Triple H getting drafted to SmackDown). So, the Night of Champions ended with three new champions, but it still did not resolve RAW’s problem of having no World Champion.

To cap off a wild and unpredictable June, RAW started off with a special appearance by SmackDown’s World Heavyweight Champion Edge, who bragged about SmackDown having both the WWE & World Heavyweight Titles and RAW not having a World Title and not having Edge. Edge then proclaimed he would never appear on RAW again, but before The Rated-R Superstar could exit, an enraged Batista completely destroyed the champion, leaving him a heap in the ring. Then, in one of the most shocking moments in recent memory, CM Punk came out with a referee and cashed in his Money-in-the-Bank opportunity to pin Edge and win the World Heavyweight Title, which was not only a huge win for CM Punk, but a huge win for RAW, as they now had a World Champion again. CM Punk’s night was not over, however, as CM Punk would also make his first defense of the World Title on that same night against JBL. Punk successfully defeated JBL to add even more value to his first night on RAW.


July 2008 was a big month for Edge & Vickie Guerrero who finally got married on SmackDown, however it was not a happy time for the newlyweds as WWE Champion Triple H revealed a video of Edge flirting with and kissing Alicia Fox, the wedding planner for Edge & Vickie. A furious Vickie screamed her lungs out at her new husband.

July also meant it was time for the nineteenth edition of The Great American Bash. The Bash started off huge with two championships changing hands right off the bat as Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder ended the eight month reign of The Miz & John Morrison by defeating the champions, Finlay & Hornswoggle, and Jesse & Festus in a Fatal 4-Way Match to win the WWE Tag Team Titles and bring the titles back to SmackDown with them. The second title change came in the form of Shelton Benjamin winning the United States Title from Matt Hardy. With this win, Shelton brought the U.S. Title back to SmackDown after it had been drafted to ECW with Matt Hardy.

The Bash also featured the next chapter in the feud between Chris Jericho & Shawn Michaels. Jericho severely assaulted Michaels, leaving Michaels’ eye bloodied and battered to the point where the referee stopped the match. John Cena & JBL also settled their differences in the culmination in an over three year feud when they faced off in a New York City Parking Lot Brawl. JBL shockingly beat the former WWE Champion after throwing Cena off of the stage and into a car windshield.

The Great American Bash also saw the first pay-per-view title defense of CM Punk, who defeated Batista by disqualification to escape Long Island with the World Heavyweight Title.

In the WWE Title Match between champion Triple H and challenger Edge, Edge’s new wife, General Manager Vickie Guerrero set her revenge in motion on her cheating husband. Vickie interjected herself into the WWE Title Match and was inadvertently speared by Edge, but Triple H took advantage and pinned Edge to retain the WWE Title.

The rough road for Edge & Vickie was not over after The Bash concluded, however, as on the following edition of SmackDown, Edge apologized to Vickie and the wheelchair-bound Vickie accepted, but informed her husband that she did something that Edge may not like. A distraught Edge asked her what she did. The General Manager informed Edge and the world that she had reinstated The Undertaker. Edge was flustered, but tried to remedy the situation by requesting that he be put in a match for the WWE Title against Triple H and Vickie throw someone else in the ring with Undertaker. Vickie informed Edge that he already had a match at SummerSlam. Edge asked who he would face and Vickie revealed that it was The Undertaker and if facing Undertaker was not bad enough, she announced that it would be inside Hell in a Cell.


August was home to one of WWE’s biggest events- SummerSlam. The 21’st annual SummerSlam kicked off with a new Intercontinental & Women’s Champion (which makes SummerSlam the third pay-per-view in a row to feature a new champion or champions crowned) in Santino Marella & Beth Phoenix. Glamarella defeated Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston & Women’s Champion Mickie James in a Winners-Take-All Match to reclaim the gold.

World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk kept his reign rolling as he defeated JBL for the second time. Triple H was also able to successfully defend his title as The Game managed to hit the Pedigree on the 7’4″, 420 lbs. Great Khali.

SummerSlam also featured a huge match that pit Batista against John Cena. Batista came out on top in the contest, but the bigger story came a month later when it was revealed the Cena had suffered a serious neck injury in the bout and would be out of action indefinitely.

SummerSlam was a bad night for the Michaels family as Shawn Michaels came out to the ring with his wife, Rebecca, and was set to announce that, due to his various injuries, would be walking away from the WWE. Chris Jericho interrupted and tried to force an emotional HBK to admit that Michaels walking away was a direct result of what Jericho did to him at The Great American Bash. Jericho tried to cheap shot HBK, but Michaels ducked and Jericho inadvertently struck Rebecca in the face. Despite being inadvertent, Jericho never took responsibility for the incident, which led to a very personal battle between the two in an Unsanctioned Match at Unforgiven.

The main event of SummerSlam was the much-anticipated Hell in a Cell Match, where The Undertaker returned to the WWE and not only defeated Edge in a grueling contest, but also chokeslammed the Rated-R Superstar through the ring and straight to hell. We would not see Edge again until Survivor Series in November.


September was a most unique month in the WWE with Unforgiven that featured a new concept- the “Championship Scramble”. The Championship Scramble would decide the fates of all three of the World Champions in the WWE. Triple H would prove to conquer the “Championship Scramble” as he was able to narrowly escape with the title by defeating Jeff Hardy, MVP, The Brian Kendrick, & United States Champion Shelton Benjamin.  Matt Hardy won the biggest title in his career by winning the ECW Championship Scramble to walk out with the ECW Title.

The Championship Scramble for the World Heavyweight Title was the most intriguing as the scheduled match was to have CM Punk defending the gold against Batista, JBL, Kane, & John Cena. However, before the Unforgiven pay-per-view, RAW General Manager Mike Adamle made the shocking announcement that Cena had suffered a neck injury in his match with Batista at SummerSlam so he could not compete in the Scramble. Adamle then made another stunning announcement that saw the returning Rey Mysterio take Cena’s place. So now it was going to be CM Punk defending the title against Batista, JBL, Kane, & Rey Mysterio in a Championship Scramble, but the match was once again changed when World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk was in the middle of a backstage interview, Randy Orton (flanked by Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, & Manu) assaulted the champion and punted Punk in the head, taking Punk out of the Championship Scramble, meaning that the match would go on with no champion; guaranteeing a new champion to be crowned!

Also at Unforgiven, Shawn Michaels got a measure of revenge over Chris Jericho in an Unsanctioned Match where Michaels brutalized Jericho for the recent actions over the last couple of months.

Unforgiven also provided an interesting confrontation between The Undertaker & SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero. With Edge out of the picture, Undertaker set his sights on Vickie in his quest for revenge. Vickie first came out to the ring and awaited the arrival of The Undertaker, but Big Show instead came out and interrupted the show yet again (as he had a couple of times before on SmackDown as he was not considered as a challenger for the WWE Title) and after a thorough chewing out by the GM, Undertaker’s music hit and Big Show prevented Vickie from escaping the ring by holding Vickie for “The Phenom”. As Undertaker approached the GM, Big Show shocked everyone by cold-cocking “The Deadman” and knocking him to the mat. “The World’s Largest Athlete” used his hefty, but deadly, right hand to assault Undertaker and completely knock out The Undertaker. Big Show later announced that he and Vickie now had a business relationship where Show would help her with her Undertaker problem and Vickie would help Show get the WWE Title. The two would face off in a match at No Mercy and again at Cyber Sunday in a Last Man Standing Match.

It was then time for the Championship Scramble for the World Heavyweight Title, but the question lingered- who would replace CM Punk in the Scramble Match? It turned out to be a bloody and battered Chris Jericho.  After a hard-fought battle between Batista, JBL, Kane, & Rey Mysterio, Jericho took advantage of Batista’s handiwork to steal the World Heavyweight Title.

Following Unforgiven, it was announced that Chris Jericho would immediately make his first defense of the World Heavyweight Title on RAW in a Steel Cage Match against former champion CM Punk. Jericho was lucky enough to actually fall out of the cage to victory to start off RAW. However, Jericho’s night was not over as he later found out that he would be defending the World Title in a Ladder Match against none other than Shawn Michaels at No Mercy.


October really got underway with WWE No Mercy. The event saw Batista pin JBL to become the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Title, WWE Champion Triple H successfully defend his title against Jeff Hardy (who “The Game” would face again later that month at Cyber Sunday), and in the main event, Chris Jericho won a tug-of-war over the World Heavyweight Title in a Ladder Match against Shawn Michaels to retain his gold. Also, Big Show defeated The Undertaker via Knockout; leaving “The Deadman” out of it for the second pay-per-view in a row.

The last Sunday of October meant it was time for WWE’s most interactive pay-per-view, Cyber Sunday. Before the event got underway, hosted a special online-exclusive match that would see Shelton Benjamin defend the United States Title against either MVP, Festus, or R-Truth. The fans voted in R-Truth, but the U.S. Champion was able to not only retain his gold, but would end R-Truth’s undefeated streak. Benjamin would again make a successful defense against R-Truth on SmackDown and would also pin him in a Traditional Elimination Match at Survivor Series.

Rey Mysterio was also able to beat Kane at his own game in a No Holds Barred Match (which got voted in over a Falls Count Anywhere Match & a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match). ECW Champion Matt Hardy defeated Evan Bourne (who got voted in over Finlay & Mark Henry) to retain his gold. Unfortunately for Bourne, he would be put out of action with an ankle injury just two days later on ECW. Cyber Sunday was also a unique night for Intercontinental Champion Santino Marella who would defend his title against one of three former Intercontinental Champions- Goldust, Roddy Piper, or The Honky Tonk Man. The fans voted for Honky and Santino ended up losing, but by disqualification, which meant the self-proclaimed “Italian Stallion” would leave Phoenix with the title intact.

The Undertaker also got a measure of revenge over Big Show by choking out the World’s Largest Athlete with Hell’s Gate to defeat him in a Last Man Standing Match (which was voted in over a Knockout Match & an “I Quit” Match). In the WWE Title match, Triple H was set to face either Jeff Hardy, Vladimir Kozlov, or both in a Triple Threat Match. Jeff Hardy was voted in to get his second shot in a row on pay-per-view against “The Game”. Much like No Mercy, “The Strange Enigma” came extremely close to beating Triple H, but the crafty champion was able to defeat Jeff.

It was then time for the World Heavyweight Championship Match that would see the champion, Chris Jericho, defend against his #1 Contender Batista. The catch was that there would be a Special Guest Referee for the very important main event. Either Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels, or Stone Cold Steve Austin would be chosen by the fans to referee the contest. The fans unanimously chose “The Texas Rattlesnake” Stone Cold Steve Austin. This was the second Cyber Sunday in a row where Stone Cold would officiate the World Title Match that would feature Batista. Last year, Batista pinned The Undertaker for the first time in his career to retain the gold and in 2008, Batista won again by defeating Chris Jericho to win the World Heavyweight Title for a fourth time. The match did not go without controversy, however, as Randy Orton took Austin out of the equation and attempted to referee the match, but Orton was disposed of by Shawn Michaels, and Michaels was then taken out of the match by JBL. In the end, it was Austin hitting Orton with the Stunner and allowing the opening Batista needed to grab the World Title from Jericho.


November would feature the 22’nd Annual Survivor Series, but first it was time to celebrate the 800’th episode of Monday Night RAW that saw a Steel Cage Match that would see new World Heavyweight Champion Batista defend against the former champion Chris Jericho. In one of the biggest shockers of the year, Jericho was able to escape the cage to regain his title only eight days after losing it. However, with this win, Jericho would be defending the title against the returning John Cena at Survivor Series. This special edition of RAW also featured the in-ring return of Randy Orton, who would get enthralled in a feud with former Evolution teammate that would lead to a Team Orton Vs. Team Batista Survivor Series Elimination Match and, ultimately, a one-on-one encounter at Armageddon.

The morning of Survivor Series saw report a very unfortunate development in the WWE Title picture. After defeating Triple H in a non-title match prior to Survivor Series, Jeff Hardy would take part in the WWE Championship Match between Triple H and Vladimir Kozlov. However, it was announced by that morning that Jeff Hardy was found unconscious in his Boston hotel room. It was later revealed by Jeff’s brother- ECW Champion Matt Hardy that Jeff was attacked with a blunt object by an unknown assailant. Despite this breaking news, Survivor Series would go on, which would start with a Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match that would pit Team Michaels against Team JBL. HBK’s team came out on top with three survivors- Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, & The Great Khali.

The Undertaker also defeated Big Show in Undertaker’s specialty- a Casket Match. The two would face off in a Steel Cage Match in early December. Team Orton also survivor the onslaught of Team Batista with Randy Orton & Cody Rhodes surviving. Orton would not be rid of “The Animal”, as the two former teammates would face off at Armageddon.

It was then time for the WWE Championship Match. It was revealed that Jeff Hardy would NOT be able to compete in the Triple Threat Match, leaving the match one-on-one with champion Triple H taking on Vladimir Kozlov (as the match was prior to SmackDown two nights earlier). After the two fought tooth and nail, Triple H was able to hit the Pedigree on “The Undefeated Moscow Mauler”, but the rigors of the match left “The Game” down, as well. SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero then came out on the stage and announced that the match will still be a Triple Threat Match and with glee, stated that “he” was here. However, the “he” was not Jeff Hardy, but Vickie’s husband, “The Rated-R Superstar” Edge (who had been out of action since SummerSlam after Undertaker chokeslammed him to “hell”). Edge rushed to the ring and speared the champion Triple H and started to pin him, but a furious Jeff Hardy rushed to the ring and assaulted Edge. Then “The Strange Enigma” brought a chair into the ring and blasted Vladimir Kozlov with a chair and swung for Edge, but Edge dodged the shot and Jeff connected with Triple H. Edge then speared Jeff Hardy and “The Ultimate Opportunist” pinned Triple H to steal the WWE Title.

Then it was time for a return that was actually planned- the return of John Cena, who returned from neck surgery after suffering the injury at SummerSlam against Batista. John Cena would make the most of his return by defeating Chris Jericho to win his first World Heavyweight Title and his fourth World Championship overall. This marked the first time since 2002 that both the WWE and World Heavyweight Titles changed hands at Survivor Series. John Cena would make his first defense of the title against Chris Jericho at Armageddon.

On Cena’s first night back on RAW, “The Champ” brutally assaulted his #1 Contender Chris Jericho and left him out of it in the ring. The following week, Chris Jericho would enlist the help of Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, & Manu to destroy John Cena in response and en route to their WWE Title Match at Armageddon.


On the SmackDown side of things, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero announced a Beat The Clock Challenge to determine the new #1 Contender. Triple H, Jeff Hardy, & Vladimir Kozlov would be the three to participate in the challenge. Jeff Hardy would be the first to compete and would set the time to beat by defeating The Brian Kendrick. Jeff’s brother, Matt Hardy was instrumental in preventing Kozlov from getting the title match by out-quicking the Russian. Then it was time for Triple H to try to beat the clock against United States Champion Shelton Benjamin (who has defeated Triple H in the past). With the referee knocked down, Triple H was able to hit the Pedigree on Benjamin, but the referee was slow to get to the count and Triple H did not exactly “beat” the clock, but rather matched it, as he won his match at the exact same time as Jeff Hardy. General Manager Vickie Guerrero later conferred with the WWE Board of Directors and, against Vickie’s judgment, ruled that the WWE Title Match at Armageddon would be a Triple Threat that would see new champion Edge defend against both Triple H & Jeff Hardy.

The following week on SmackDown, The Undertaker & Big Show squared off in another epic match- a Steel Cage Match. The brutal and hard-hitting match saw The Undertaker choke out “The World’s Largest Athlete” with Hell’s Gate to win the match.

The December 8 edition of Monday Night RAW was a special 3-hour event to celebrate the return of the WWE Slammy Awards. Several awards were given out, including “Superstar of the Year”, which went to Chris Jericho. “Diva of the Year”, which went to Beth Phoenix. “Couple of the Year” went to Edge & Vickie Guerrero, “Match of the Year” went to Shawn Michaels Vs. Ric Flair from WrestleMania XXIV, “Tag Team of the Year” went to The Miz & John Morrison, “Extreme Moment of the Year” went to Jeff Hardy for his Swanton off the RAW Stage in January, & “OMG Moment of the Year” went to CM Punk for cashing in Money-in-the-Bank to win the World Title back in June.

As if winning the Slammy Award for 2008 Tag Team of the Year, Winning another Slammy for Exclusive of the Year, & being the longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions in recent history were not enough for “The Dirt Sheet Duo” The Miz & John Morrison, the tag team shockingly defeated CM Punk & Kofi Kingston at a WWE Live Event in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on December 13, 2008 (the eve of WWE Armageddon) to win the World Tag Team Titles!

December also meant WWE Armageddon. The ninth edition of the event was a history-making night in the career of Jeff Hardy. After so many bumps in the road in 2008, the enigmatic Hardy was able to overcome all odds and opposition to defeat WWE Champion Edge and Triple H in a Triple Threat Match to finally win the “big one” and cement his legacy as WWE Champion.

John Cena also made his first successful defense of the World Heavyweight Title by defeating Chris Jericho. CM Punk defeated Rey Mysterio in the Finals of the Intercontinental Title Tournament to earn the right to face William Regal for the Intercontinental Title, Batista defeated Randy Orton, Vladimir Kozlov defeated ECW Champion Matt Hardy, & Finlay got his revenge on Mark Henry in a Belfast Brawl.

SmackDown Diva Maryse also got a belated Christmas present as she defeated Michelle McCool on the December 26 edition of SmackDown to become only the second Divas Champion in WWE History.

Batista did not have a “Merry Christmas”, as he was punted in the head by Randy Orton, resulting in a concussion and some misplaced teeth. While recovering from the injuries, “The Animal” elected to have surgery done to repair his torn hamstring. Batista will be out of action well into 2009.

That is it for the WWE in 2008. Make sure to check out the Week In Review series to keep up to date on all the happening in the WWE.

Top Five Superstars of 2008
5) CM Punk
4) Randy Orton & Shawn Michaels (Tie)
3) Edge
2) Jeff Hardy
1) Chris Jericho
Happy New Year!