Brett Mix’s- “WWE Judgment Day 2008” Review:
“These two here in Jericho and Michaels, are two of the greatest EVER……..” – Jim Ross
-Like Judgment Day 2006’s review said, I don’t own Judgment Day 2007 so please don’t ask where the review to that event is.
-WWE Judgment Day 2008 took place on Sunday, May the 18th, 2008 from the Qwest Center Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska in front of 8,000 fans.
-The main feud heading into WWE Judgment Day 2008 was between Triple H and Randy Orton feuding for the WWE title which lead to a Cage match, Cena and JBL as well as Edge and Taker were other major feuds at the time.
-This was the 9th Annual Judgment Day PPV event In the May slot. This was actually the 10th PPV under the Judgment Day title including the October 1998 PPV. (There was NO 1999 Judgment Day as this event came back into play after Over The Edge was taken away.)
-John Cena came in to this event with a 4-0 Record and would remain undefeated with two of his victories over being over JBL.
-Mick Foley and Micheal Cole broadcasted for Smackdown! While Ross and King did Raw and Adamle did ECW with Tazz.
-In a Dark Match before the event Hardcore Holly and Cody Rhodes (c) defeated Santino Marella and Carlito to retain the tag team titles.
-Now onto the PPV……………
1) Opening Contest- John Cena vs John “Bradshaw” Layfield
Okay, is this going to be Wrestlemania 21-like or Judgment Day 2005-like. There’s a big difference.
It had to be fairly obvious what this match was more likely to resemble of those two encounters, after all the Judgment Day 05 match relied heavily on the Gimmick and proper booking with a Sick Blade Job and many bumps.
Should be fairly obvious this was going to be like Wrestlemania 21 given that it was a basic match.
That was the part that wasn’t even what I dreaded the most if you can believe it, it was the fact that this match opened the show! I can’t believe that!
Booking101 says you never place a dull match in the opening spot and sure as hell they did. Not only that but it was boring, completely predictable, and extremely long.
Cena had been injured so JBL used that Smash Mouth style we’ve all come to love and know from him but he also wore down Cena the entire match which would be semi-fine, it it wasn’t going to put everyone to sleep and HE WON THE MATCH. That’s the worst part about going through all the slow, and natural torture of the match is that you know somehow, some way it’s not going to matter because Cena was somehow going to find a way to win, despite anything that got thrown at him.
Usually a high profile feud/stars opening a show is a good thing. They really could of at least booked this a little different, I don’t care if that means making it shorter, placing this in a different spot on the card, throwing in A LITTLE Cena offense, whatever, it just wasn’t good enough to even be decent.
JBL used moves that made sense but it was painfully boring and Cena’s selling looked Silly.
Oh and there’s the fact it lasted an eternity.
The best part of the match was when Cena tried to perform an F-U on JBL but then collapsed due to his pain and was unable to hit the move showing a relief that not REALLY might all this be for nothing and Cena was going to come back with an F-U and win, but he also rememebered to sell! That with the laughs it got from the crowd.
But it was all made the worse when JBL hits his finishing clothesline with some kicks then the same spot happens, only this time Cena is laughing and I’m not.
In the end John Cena gave JBL an F-U and defeated him at 15:14 following that move out of practically no where. What a shock.
Overall, a * 1/2 match.
Deduct 1/2* for the fact this went MUCH longer and I mean MUCH longer then it should have.
Deduct 1/4* for the fact they’ve even tried this formula before so it wasn’t even original to boot!
2) John Morrison and The Miz (c) vs Kane and CM Punk for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Looking back, this is a tag match in 2008 but three years later it could be a 4-way for the main title.
Morrison and Miz came out first but of course not together, god forebid a tag team let alone THE CHAMPION’S actually look like a team.
Kane and CM Punk look like they weren’t really a team either and just placed here. Kane after all was the ECW Champion while CM Punk was the MITB Winner.
Mike Adamle’s commentary is brutal.
CM Punk and Miz started it out and Punk hit him with a shoulder, block, a kick then a suplex before scoring a quick nearfall at the beginning of the match.
Kane tagged in and both him and Punk double teamed Miz in the corner before Kane went to work on him. Kane choked his neck and then Miz succesfully found a way to get Kane in his corner where the champions could neutralize him somehow and Morrison came in and went to work but Kane didn’t let that last and hit him a few times including a sliding boot to the face before tagging in Punk.
“Nice move there BY CM!” as Adamle puts it so poetically.
Morrison comes in with the Miz and they double team CM Punk in the middle of the ring before Miz slaps a long sleeper on Punk that he inevitably got out of by tagging in Kane. Kane back in the ring hit a sidewalk Slam on Miz and then went up high with a flying clothesline in a signature spot. Kane scoops up Miz but he was resorceful falling down until Kane grabbed him by the throat as he turned around but Morrison from behind levelled Kane with a hard shot and Miz tagged him in. Morrison went to work on Kane and then sent him in the corner for Miz to give him a big kick, and then Morrison came back around and took it to Kane some more. This is looking like a legit tag team here! Miz slaps a sleeper on the big man in mid-ring and Kane takes constant knee shots until he levels Miz with a big boot to the face after he came off the side ropes.
Morrison then got caught with a Shoulder block and then a dropkick-spinning heelkick combination at mid-ring by Punk. CM Punk with a lot of high flying aerial moves both inside and out of the ring, and inside to the outside here showing his dominance on both Morrison and The Miz.
CM Punk in complete control of the match and as Kane chokeslams Miz outside the ring to the ground, Morrison hits CM Punk with a moonlight drive and pinned him at 7:30.
In the end, Morrison and Miz retained the titles.
Short and sweet, pretty good.
3) “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels vs “Y2J” Chris Jericho
Both these guys went out and put on two classic matches in 2003 with each other that I rated like this.
WM X9 **** 3/4
Raw Summer of 03 *** 3/4.
Both brilliant matches with only the WM 19 being the classic obviously but they’re in-ring chemistry can’t be denied and it translates from the ring to the microphone as both are brilliant there as well being tremendously charismatic and intelligent. Both guys are able to get a story or storyline over with the audience and that’s why they can do it so well time and time again.
Good Build Up to this match as shown in the pre-match package.
Jericho entered as the IC Champion (A record 8 Reigns at the time, as of this writing I could be wrong but I believe he has it at 11) but the belt wasn’t on the line here nor was it about it.
HBK came out 2nd and the two were now in the ring then of course shared a bit of a staredown before getting things going.
All is fair in love and war.
Well call me fooled if it doesen’t sound like Jim Ross’s lips are around Micheals’s ball sack. I mean we know the guy loved HBK and when starting in the WWF called a lot of his matches, but he wasn’t even this blind for Austin. AUSTIN. In the pre-match package I’m just wondering how Shawn Michaels is even the BABYFACE in this feud let alone Jim Ross have any explanation for him whatsoever.
I’ve been meaning to watch this one for awhile. Should be awesome.
The two tie up early and Jericho looks to take the leg out of Michaels by pulling on it in the corner using force, and he tried to drop an elbow on it but HBK moved and the quick short exchange in the beginning is over and the fans applaud.
They tie up again and HBK has a side headlock on Jericho and begins to wear him down towards the canvas where he locks it in so hard he forces Jericho’s back to the mat a couple of times for some near falls while remaining in a side headlock.
Jericho tries to take the leg out while in the Side Headlock but Shawn counters it with a roll-up, the two exchange roll-up’s until Shawn bridges out and then once more before attemtping the backslide. An awesome counter by HBK in mid-air and then went for what looked like a Sharpshooter but then slapped on what they call a figure four. Y2J gets to the ropes while HBK gives him a smirk, and when King says he’s COCKY, JR would of course have to say he’s just confident. Of course.
HBK slapped Jericho like a bitch then Jericho got pissed off and tried taking him out in the corner. King then owns JR by saying “See, he’s cocky.” Love it.
This is getting aggressive now and Jericho delivers a hard elbow to the head of Shawn while he had him in the side headlock and then HBK returns the favor after an Irish Whip to the corner. Jericho’s left arm was then targetted by HBK as he went to the bottom of the ropes and hung on to deliver pressure and then once back in the ring continued that until Jericho scored a beautiful reversal sending Shawn to the corner and then he dropped him on the top of the ropes while he hit at the lower back of Shawn. Shawn then elbowed Jericho off the top out of desperation and he got caught by Jericho who wanted to make sure he caught him and he tries to come off with a suplex but Michaels sends him face first. Shawn went for an elbow but Jericho got his knees up and hit HBK in the ribs region. HBK had crashed and burned against Flair at Mania on the table hurting his ribs so it played with that while Jericho dropped his elbow a few times in that region following up on it. Jericho then grew frustrated with Michaels and kicked at him there as well. Y2J slaps on an abdominal stretch. These blows during the hold were also painful for Shawn as he was grinded down mid-section first before a rib-breaker on Michaels by Jericho right after. So much tork from Jericho to HBK in that area and then he chops him in the corner. Jericho went for a running bulldog, and HBK used his own momentum to push him into the top-middle rope where he fell. Once Jericho got up Shawn hit an atomic drop followed by a chop, until irish whipping Jericho and knocking him down and then kicked up.
Jericho though, switched things up a bit and took HBK out because of his sore ribs and put him in the Walls of Jericho until HBK broke the hold by grabbing into the ropes but Jericho still attacked Shawn’s ribs and he remembered to sell it of course and then a cool spot with Shawn on the ring apron, Jericho hops over attempting to take him out on the apron but Shawn hits a SUPERKICK out of no where and Jericho gets thrown back in the ring and HBK dragged him to the center of the ring to make sure he couldn’t reach the ropes, despite it hurting his ribs to do so but Jericho kicked out. HBK then slowly climbed to the top and hit an elbow drop from the top ropes.
HBK wanted to hit Jericho with a super kick but Jericho collapsed down not once, but twice.
Jericho out of no where drove his knees into the sternum of Shawn when he went for the finishing move a third time.
Jericho got a nearfall after the Code Breaker. Y2J then with another hard shot to the ribs of Shawn then set him up for a suplex but Shawn caught him in the Crossface!
Jericho got to the lower rope after the Crossface to Jericho. Jericho then dropped Shawn onto the top ropes ribs first and back to the center of the ring. Jericho then jumped off the top going for a Lionsault, but he blocked Shawn’s block and then went for The Walls Of Jericho but HBK hit a roll-up out of no where to win the match.
The finish came at 15:56 when Shawn hit a roll-up out of desperation to Jericho.
4) Mickie Jamies (c) vs Beth Phoenix vs Melina in a Triple Threat Match for the WWE Women’s Championship
All three women introduced once IN the ring.
Beth Phoenix told the ladies to leave her ring and Mickie hit a roll-up on Melina but got a two.
The Glamazon that is Beth Phoenix then had Melina all to herself once in the ring. Melina rolled her over and hit her with rights. Phoenix came back with a roll-up on Melina until a resourceful Mickie James came from the backdoor as Ross says here and hit a cradle and got a nearfall.
Melina is taken down by a unique offensive move from Mickie, then Mickie with a modified sleeper to Phoenix wearing her down.
Always helps in these ladies matches that the girls can wrestle if they’re going to give them the time and lucky us, on this night, they actually can!
Melina though breaks it up and after knocking Phoenix down, counters a Melina DDT and plants her fact first into the canvas, but going to the top is caught by Melina and then she gets caught from inside the ring by Phoenix. Beth falls back first and she hit the canvas then Mickie hopped off the top with a cross body to Phoenix and the two got near falls until Melina hit her with a dropkick. Mickie James then is knocked off the top rope and is choked out by Melina.
Phoenix then picked up Melina and James both from the top carrying them both in the air and she now has 2 women in the double back breaker, crazy stuff.
Phoenix then chokes out Mickie.
With Beth out of the way, Mickie James hit a BIG DDT Melina in the middle of the ring.
Mickie James retained her title in the end when at 4:55 she scored the pinfall on Melina.
5) The Undertaker vs Edge for the Vacant World Heavyweight Championship
The Undertaker and Edge for the title The Undertaker won over Edge in a Classic Match at WM 24. Undertaker’s title was stripped off of him and his chokehold is banned.
Edge being the brillaint oppurtunist and the “medical miracle” is ready for the match and can become a 5 time Champion. (At the time, god knows he’d have 11 by 3 more years) I love Edge and I think it’s great but at the same time those reigns should of been longer, I think it de-values the prestige of the title when tossed around that much. (Those last words were written in 08 when he was a 5 time champ, now he is in 2011 and I re-read it shaking my head.)
Taker waited cautiously for Edge to make a mistake and choked him out a bit before throwing him away and he takes a walk on the outside before getting back in.
The feeling out process is short lived as Edge hammers Taker in the corner before he grabs him and throws him in the corner for some hard blows as well. Taker continued to chokex out Edge and then stomped on him inside the ring.
Taker then on the outside of the ring sent Edge’s left arm hard into the ring post before getting him back in the center of the ring and focusing on that region and squeezing it towards his own chest. Taker then sent Edge to the corner of the ring hard left arm first and then kicked away at that spot before twisting the arm and going up for Old School and then tripping.
Edge had the move scouted perfectly, well he should seeing how many times they had met by this time.
Edge then still selling the left arm had Taker outside the ring but Taker grabbed him by the waist when on the apron and his head bounced off the security wall! Taker then with a hard headbutt to Edge. Taker then with an irish whip that Edge reversed and sent Taker hard into the Steel Steps. Edge then threw Taker back first into the security wall. Back in the ring though Taker got back to his feet and headbutted Edge before hitting him with an irish whip to the corner buckle hitting Edgxe back first this time.
Edge moved out of the way when Taker went charging for him in the corner and Taker hit his legs up high. Edge then gained confidence as the momentum shifted and Edge worked over The Deadman in the center of the ring. Taker fought back with a couple of right hands and then a headbutt. Taker misses a clothesline that Edge ducks and then Edge goes back to the legs of Taker. Edge takes the big man off his vertical base and then grabs his leg from the outside and wraps it around the pole, then smashes his left leg hard into the ring post!
Undertaker slowly getting back to his feet but he meets some right hands by Edge and then Edge with a couple more hard right hands to the head of the Deadman and Edge in a spot where Taker could go for his submission hold but Edge got out of that predicament then went up high for an OLD SCHOOL try but he got tangled up at the top and Taker threw him off and he landed crotch first on the top rope of course. Taker with hard right hands to Edge in the center of the ring before Edge kicks back and Irish Whips Taker to the ropes and he comes off with a flying clothesline. Edge then gets a big splash in the corner by Undertaker before another hard irish whip to the other buckle followed by yet another big splash! Edge then gets chokeslammed hard into the ring corner before catching a big boot and then a near fall.
Undertaker twisted the arm of Edge once more and comes off successfully with Old School this time.
Taker signalled for a Tombstone until Edge’s “followers” came to ringside and with Robinson distracted they get sent to the back. Edge comes off with a kick and Taker then sets him up for The Last Ride, but Edge Falls and hits the Edge-a-cution! Undertaker kicks out and Edge can’t believe it. Edge then first to his feet goes for a SPEAR in the corner but hits the corner of the buckle and Taker then picked up Edge and Slammed him hard into the corner with a Powerbomb or Last Ride seemingly into the top of that buckle, but STILL only gets a nearfall.
Taker then scooped up Edge and before he could hit a Tombstone Edge resourcfully slid off Taker and shoved him into the ring post, but Taker got back in it scooping up Edge and dropping him head first into the top of the ring post with no buckle padding. Undertaker then goes to the ropes and Edge comes off with a SPEAR! A Spear to Taker out of no where but still only a nearfall and Edge really looks intimidated. Edge then catches a hard uppercut from the Phenom before a big time Chokeslam!
Only a nearfall!
Edge goes out for a breather to buy himself some time but then catches a hard clothesline
outside of the entrance wall by Undertaker. Once almost back in the ring Undertaker slams him hard against the wall and just manages to get back in the ring before the ten count.
The Undertaker wins the match by countout at 16:30.
Vickie Guerrero! Hilarious when she calls Taker a Son of a Bitch after the Stombstone to Edge.
Title remains vacant though Taker won a great match here on par to the Backlash encounter.
6) Jeff Hardy vs Montel Vontavious Porter
MVP does the usual promo Christian would usually have to cut about not being on the PPV and then Jeff Hardy took the role of the good guy who comes out and responds.
This of course after Matt who is apparently “better then MVP” comes out first to tease us all.
Jeff gets taken to wrestling school in the early stages by Montel before the rainbow warrior hit a flying clothesline, then ducked some trouble and kicked MVP to the outside dodging a hold.
He even claps for himself, cool.
MVP came back in the ring and then he stood on one side while Jeff was on the other and MVP took him down legs first this time upon entering the ring area. MVP rolled him over on his back and mat wrestled him for a bit and then began an inside chinlock to wear Jeff Hardy down which is yes, harder then it looks due to the insane amounts of Speed he takes.
That SPEED would need to be contained in this match but MVP knows this and when Jeff goes for a dropkick he takes the leg out of him by pulling him from inside the ring to the outside and then into the steps, then back into the ring! Gotta love this guy.
MVP with a near fall then stomps away on Hardy before planting a knee up high.
MVP lifting the left arm up high and using it for more momentum as he drilled Jeff hard and face first into the canvas with a big time DDT.
Jeff gets his feet on the ropes breaking up the count.
Somehow the Warrior manages to get back in the match, The Ultimate Warrior then flies…oh I mean Hardy flies off in a Swanton attempt and misses.
MVP charges towards Jeff in the corner and he hits a drop toehold hitting MVP face first into the buckle.
Jeff flies off the top now!
At 9:50 in the end Jeff Hardy won the match after he hit a corkscrew noonsault!
Well this was a pretty good match until the ending.
7) Main Event- “The Game” Triple H (c) vs Randy Orton in a Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship
Orton came out first and posed on top of the Cage.
Trips second with the title, took it off and the two have a stare down and Hunter poses with Cena’s SPINNER BELT.
Mike Keota tries to feel up both guys or checks for weapons, but since this is a Cage match I’m going to guess he is Homosexual. He lifts the belt high in the air.
Orton right from the get go like a coward goes to escape the cage and Hunter pulls him back with solid blows to his head, but not before Orton could slam the steel door in his head.
Randy Orton wanted his WWE Title Back and would stop at nothing…clearly.
Orton then hammered away on The Game inside the ring with rights and lefts in the corner but Hunter fought back with some of his own. Trips won the title the month before at Backlash in a fatal-fourway, and he caught Randy with a high knee. what happened to his head? I guess it’s better. Hunter then slams Orton’s face into the side of the cage. Orton then hammers away on Trips. What happened to Orton’s head? I guess it’s better.
Triple H then slammed him a couple of times into the side of the steel cage but not before trying to escape the top first. If it doesen’t work for with the door, try the long way I guess. Triple H caught him with another knee and scored a near fall. I’d perfer if these CAGE matches would just have a rule that it had to be decided by pinfall or just by escaping, not both. I find it very stupid, very dumb to get into it that way and hard to believe if nothing else.
Orton caught Hunter and catapolted him into the side of the Cage.
Orton then slowly pounded away at Hunter near the cage and slammed his head back first against it. Orton came back towards Triple H but he landed a boot to his skull.
Randy Orton caught Triple H from outside the ropes and from the inside planted him with a DDT to the canvas floor and scored a nearfall. This clearly got to the challenger so he choked him out some more before hitting him with some more lefts and rights.
Orton then scored a couple of hard right hands on the top of H’s head and gave him a chinlock. I would never have thought he’d ever go for that. Triple H aggressively fought out of it with hard right hands of his own before geting sent to the ropes and being caught with a quick Powerslam by Orton.
Nicely done and Orton then from his feet looked down at the Champion and just sort of kicked away at him.
They show William Regal looking like Jeffrey Dahmer from a Box Sweet above looking at the action.
Orton stomped away on the legs of Triple H to ensure he’d stay down and then when going to drop his knees high on him he just missed out and Triple H caught one of his legs and then kept going back to it after some limping. Some bad selling earlier on is made up for by the selling with the limping here.
However the whole match has been wrestled quite well from a strategic standpoint.
Triple H then slaps on a Figure Four which would no doubt do even more damage to anything that’s related with standing, or crawling/walking/climbing.
Orton reached the ropes so Keota told Hunter he had to drop it and when HHH went for the Pedigree, Orton hit a back body drop.
Somebody is actually trying to escape? Orton tries to leave and Hunter holds onto him a couple of times but this time Orton brought a chair with him.
With HHH kicked off to the corner, Orton came back with a steel chair in hand and went to hit HHH but he caught a boot to the face. HHH then irish whipped to the ropes came off with a face buster to Orton and then scored only a nearfall.
Orton went to go lowblow Triple H and caught him as Hunter had the chair in hand.
Randy Orton then picked up the chair and smacked Trips a couple of times with it before planting him head first into the chair on the canvas floor.
Orton only gets a two count though.
See I would have liked better if that near fall wasn’t made possible to sell the injury to the head more and perhaps add suspense to the match. why not have Randy get cocky somehow? Tell a story the way my first two example matches did.
Orton then stalked HHH as he got up slowly and he did sure as fuck take his time getting to his feet, but I guess if I was nailing Steph I could as well. Orton then went for an RKO into a chair set up in mid-ring but got pushed to the side of the Cage. Helmsley then hit him coming off the ropes with a drop toe hold and he fell face first into the chair and HHH got only a two.
HHH then grabbed Orton’s trunks down exposing his ass to all the screaming 14 year old girls as he tried to escape from the top, and Hunter climbed to the top of the ropes to stand side by side with him. Trips slammed Orton down from there and this time tried to escape the cage for the first time in the match seemingly for himself. Orton then battled back with Hunter as he brought him back in the ring. Orton stood up top and looked to have a clear advantage in getting out as his whole body but one leg was over but Triple H got there just in time.
Triple H brought him from the outside back in and with them both up top slammed his head into the steel a couple of more times.
Triple H set up Orton for a Pedigree thast high up but Randy speared him a few times hard against the Steel hitting back first. Game down. HHH fell to the inside of the ring. Orton kind of waited there on the top of the ropes looking down then decided to climb, taking all the time in the world to do it and HHH somehow managed to get up there to hang on to Orton who was hanging from the other side, much like Bret would hang on to Owen’s head but not quite as good. Trips looked like a vertical suplex from the top was possible but not so much as Orton was just brought in and HHH fell to the inside before trying to stop Orton some more. Both guys grab and kick away at each other and the result is they both hit the mat from the top.
Orton goes running for HHH but he catches him with a Spinebuster Slam! Triple H then with the Steel Chair in hand places it in the center of the ring right below Orton.
Orton then dropped HHH on it further damaging and exposing the back of Trips.
Randy Orton’s eyes get as wide as Backlund from the 90’s as he goes for one of those “Career ending kicks” but HHH just moves out of the way and hits a Pedigree for the win!
In the end, Trips retained the Championship at 21:21 after that pedigree.
While this match could of used blood, it could of used a better climax, I’ll probably argue it just needed more consistency. Yeah, I like the old school touch but it wasn’t consistent throughout.
Pretty underwhelming even though I still knew what to expect.
In saying that, it still had its moments and WAS a good match.
Final Rating for WWE Judgment Day 2008 = 6.5/10
This show had two great matches. It had four good matches and one lousy match which was the opener in something you almost never see booking wise. On paper it scores about a 6.5 given the how much CRAP to what was GOOD comparison, but looking at is when Judging from a WHAT DID YOU GET IN RETURN standpoint, it doesen’t feel much better then a 6 for me. Still a good event for these days though for sure and had a couple of great matches, as mentioned. I’d get it for those alone.