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Random Network Reviews: WWE Armageddon 2008

April 25, 2017 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Random Network Reviews: WWE Armageddon 2008  

WWE Armageddon 2008
December 14th, 2008 | HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York | Attendance: 11,000

The final pay-per-view of 2008 is actually one that I always remember even though I’ve only seen it once. I actually started a giant fantasy booking diary from the night after show and took it all the way to 2010. Anyway, this show is notorious for others because it is the culmination of a long chase for one Jeff Hardy towards the WWE Championship. It marked the end of a mostly strong 2008 heading into a 2009 that was a mixed bag (Smackdown ruled, while Raw sucked). This was the ninth and final Armageddon PPV.

The show begins with a video package focusing on the two major title matches. It sells them as wars, fitting of the Armageddon PPV name. Commentary is different for each brand. We start with Todd Grisham and Matt Striker for ECW. Jim Ross and Tazz handle Smackdown, while Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler do Raw.

Non-Title Match: Vladimir Kozlov def. ECW Champion Matt Hardy in 9:02
Just a month earlier, Kozlov was involved in the World Heavyweight Title picture. He has yet to be pinned in his career and also looks like he’s wrestling in some Hanes briefs. Kozlov throws Hardy around and shoulder first into the ring post twice. He wears down Matt and then drives in some battering ram like headbutts for two. He continues to dominate and work the arm. Striker says it is to prevent Hardy’s finishers. Hardy finds some openings, sending Kozlov into the ring post outside. His rally includes the Side Effect but he falls face first onto the ring post. Vladimir eventually hits the uranage to win. Not the best choice for the opener. The heel wins a mostly dull one-sided match in clean fashion. This also went nowhere as Hardy would drop the title before the next PPV to Jack Swagger.

Edge, Vickie Guerrero and Chavo Guerrero are in the back. Edge gets good luck from Vickie and leaves. Chavo wants to know how Vickie and Edge pulled off Jeff Hardy being attacked in his hotel room last month. Vickie still says that they had nothing to do with it, then sends Chavo to get coffee.

They cut to Finlay and Hornswoggle, and Hornswoggle gets all hyper around Eve. He whacks her in the butt with an inflatable weapon or something. Finlay wants Hornswoggle to stay in the back.

WWE Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament Finals: CM Punk def. Rey Mysterio in 12:17
Current Intercontinental Champion William Regal sits at ringside with Layla. A night prior, Punk and Kofi Kingston lost the Tag Team Titles to John Morrison and The Miz. This is a first time ever meeting, ahead of their rivalry in 2010. They shake hands and go into a feeling out process of chain wrestling. Rey gets an early opportunity for the 619 but Punk gets free and hits an arm drag. Rey counters the Go to Sleep in pretty much the same way. Punk hits a tope suicida. The crowd doesn’t seem to want to pick sides, so they go to “Regal sucks” chants. Punk takes it to the mat and stretches the hell out of Mysterio. Rey starts in with the high risk stuff and gets two on a springboard cross body. Punk hits the corner knee/bulldog combo for two. Mysterio ends up missing the 619 but counters the GTS into a rana. He then nails the 619 but Punk sits up to avoid the big splash. Rey goes up top for another rana but eats a brutal GTS. Punk wins. Good work from both men involved. They managed to wake up the crowd and get them super interested by the finish. The close calls down the stretch were top notch and Punk gets a big win. ***½

Time for a pretty dope Jeff Hardy promo in his trademark paint in some dark room. He talks about becoming WWE Champion.

They do a recap of the JBL/Shawn Michaels angle where JBL hired Shawn because he was apparently broke. JBL was a dick throughout the program, even stealing HBK’s Slammy Award for match of the year against Ric Flair. JBL comes to the ring and introduces Shawn. Shawn talks about the tough economy and how he’s broke. He admits that JBL is pretty much a total ass, but needs to put his kids through college.

More backstage stuff as Eve interviews Randy Orton. Before he can even speak, Cody Rhodes and Manu show up. Manu looks like a swollen Roman Reigns. It’s like Vince fired Manu, he got in shape and returned with a vest. He really did not fit in with these guys.

Belfast Brawl: Finlay def. Mark Henry w/ Tony Atlas in 9:40
They brawl outside for the early stages of this one. Trash cans come into play. Tony Atlas, in his best IRS costume, whacks Finlay with a lid but he no sells and kicks him. Henry just annihilates Finlay with one of his own. Henry takes control but Finlay starts delivering some kendo stick shots. Henry channels his inner Yokozuna and misses a Banzai Drop like move. Finlay grabs the shillelagh but Henry stops him and then breaks it. Hornswoggle shows up, gets knocked off the apron and hides under the ring. Henry goes to use the steel steps but Finlay dropkicks his knee and he falls onto the steps. Hornswoggle slides in the shillelagh and splits Henry’s wig to win. Better than I expected it to be. A fun hardcore match, with Henry really showcasing how good he is in his monster heel role. **½

There’s a backstage segment where Santa Haas brings gifts for the Divas. Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix walk in, where Santino badmouths the other women for losing to Beth for Diva of the Year. Santino goes to open a gift but the Boogeyman is in it and he screams and runs away. However, he runs into Goldust under a mistletoe. Santino runs the other way before Goldust and Boogeyman go into a weird Christmas carol. Jesse, Festus and IRS are also there for no real reason.

Batista def. Randy Orton w/ Cody Rhodes and Manu in 16:41
Orton recently returned from injury and his team bested Batista’s at Survivor Series. Cody Rhodes and Manu get involved but are ejected within the first two or so minutes. They kind of go through the motions and things just feel very uninspired. Batista looks for the Batista Bomb but Orton slips free and hits a neckbreaker. Orton works the neck because this is one of those matches were he’s all about rest holds. Batista comes back with a spinebuster but only gets a near fall. He goes for a Spear but Orton gets a boot up and hits his backbreaker/neckbreaker move for his own two count. Batista blocks an RKO and hits the Batista Bomb a few minutes later to win. While I don’t think that match was bad, it was pretty dull. These two never really gelled in the ring together and this was another example. **

We get a recap of the Slammy Awards from this past Monday.

Santa’s Little Helpers Match: Kelly Kelly, Maria Kanellis, WWE Divas Champion Michelle McCool and Mickie James def. Jillian Hall, Maryse, Melina and Victoria in 4:34
Not related to wrestling, but Mickie and Maryse look the best here. They actually start things out before Natalya comes in. Each girl gets a shot to get some offense in. Things break down and everything is chaotic. McCool blind tags in like an arrogant champion and wins with the Faith Breaker. Filler stuff to get the girls on the show. Moving on. ½*

The Great Khali and Ranjin Sighn show up for the Christmas kiss cam. The camera pans on Michelle McCool, who runs rather than kiss Khali. The other girls are reluctant too, so Ranjin brings out Mae Young. Man, they really ran the Mae Young is an old whore gimmick into the ground. They used it way more often than they should have and it was never funny.

World Heavyweight Championship: John Cena (c) def. Chris Jericho in 12:42
Chris Jericho was in the midst of a phenomenal run when John Cena returned from injury and was automatically thrust back to the title on his first night. It really wouldn’t have changed much if Jericho held the title straight through until Elimination Chamber, where Cena eventually lost it, only to win it back at WrestleMania. They trade stuff with Jericho working as a smart villain and Cena using brute strength. Jericho tries the springboard dropkick but Cena catches him in FU position. Jericho slips free and rungs him off the apron, face first into the steel steps. I have to admit, that was creative. Cena hits the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM but still ends up in trouble. Jericho lands on his feet on an FU and hits the Codebreaker for two. Jericho kicks out of the FU. He counters the STFU into the Walls, but Cena reverses it back and Jericho taps. Fine match that felt like Jericho had to carry most of it. Not because Cena is bad, but maybe Cena wasn’t 100% yet, so Jericho did most of the work. ***

WWE Championship: Jeff Hardy def. Edge (c) and Triple H in 17:20
Jeff Hardy was taken out in a stairwell before Survivor Series last month. Edge returned to replace him and won the WWE Title. Jeff goes after Edge since the consensus is that Edge was the one who attacked him. He goes for a plancha on Edge and HHH, but HHH moves so Edge takes it all. They do a cool spot where HHH had Edge in the electric chair drop position and Jeff hit Whisper in the Winds. Edge is sent outside and Jeff hits HHH with the Swanton. The crowd bites but Edge pulls him out of the ring. The fight goes outside where the announce tables come into play. Jeff nearly hits HHH with the Twist of Fate through one, but he avoids it and Edge ends up spearing Jeff through another table. HHH hits the Pedigree on Edge but Vladimir Kozlov shows up to break up the pin. He also knocks Jeff off the top but Matt is out to brawl with him to the back. HHH kicks out a Spear and Edge tries the con-chair-to. Jeff breaks it up and hits him with the chair but HHH stops him from hitting the Swanton. HHH hits the Pedigree on Edge but Jeff comes off the top with the Swanton. He pins Edge and captures the WWE Title. Pretty much your standard WWE triple threat match. Some big bumps, interference, false finishes, etc. However, this one had the added bonus of the emotional Jeff Hardy win that puts it above most. ***¾

The crowd goes nuts as Jeff finally realized his dream and finishes the pursuit of the title he’s chased since the start of the year. Honestly, from 2008-2009, Jeff Hardy rivaled, if not surpassed John Cena in popularity. Jeff takes time to celebrate with the fans and atop the entrance stage.

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
A pretty average show here. Nothing on the card was great but most things were enjoyable. Punk/Mysterio, Jericho/Cena and the main event were all the highlights of the show. Batista/Orton was disappointing and the divas match added nothing to the show. The opener was kind of just there, but I did rather enjoy the fun little Belfast Brawl. A mild thumbs up.