Thursday, April 4, 2019

WWE Judgment Day 2008

"HHH retains the title.
There's still no World champ.
Mickie James kept her belt - no one cares.
Cena wins yet again.
Lather, rinse, repeat."
DTM, May 19th, 2008

In recent weeks, I've been going through the old blog posts from the old blog and sometimes I see nuggets such as this used to describe entire three hour show. For some reason, this one blurb has compelled me to load up this particular show on the Network... whether that was the original intent, I've long since forgotten.

Regardless, let's take a trip down memory lane because I honestly don't remember this one. My guess is I didn't care for this one back then. Let's see if that's still the case.

John Cena defeated John Bradshaw Layfield in a terrible match... hence why it's the opening match. This was during a period where my annoyance at John Cena being pushed over more interesting characters was a thing that happened and now that time has passed, maybe this would've been better viewed... but nope, the match still sucked. Cena tried, but JBL needed to be put on that commentary table and stuck there with glue... then again... never mind.

WWE Tag-Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison defeated Kane & CM Punk in a slightly better match to retain the tag titles. Just to provide a bit of context here, Punk was the Money In The Bank winner and yet was treated like a joke. Even when he won the World Title a short time later - and believe me, seeing that guy win a World title in WWE gave me great joy that was short-lived - it was a bitter pill to swallow. Still, this was an okay match.

Shawn Michaels defeated Chris Jericho in a fine finish that saw him reverse Jericho's Walls into a roll-up for the pinfall. And suddenly, the show quality has jumped up considerably thanks to a fine outing. Both men act like dicks, but only because they want to beat the other guy. A begruding handshake is shared afterwards and I forgot where this feud went afterwards, but now my interest is somewhat piqued.

WWE Women’s Champion Mickie James defeated Melina and Beth Phoenix to retain the title. Highlight of the match was Beth Phoenix holding both women in a backbreaker-like hold, which is probably the most ludicrously awesome bit I've ever seen. I guess you could say that Beth Phoenix "carried" both women to a good match... har, har, har.

At the time, I didn't care for this one. And I think that has more due to poor booking, storytelling, and just the overall stigma of the Divas division at the time has more to do with my perception of the match at the time. Time, perspective, and a break from the monotony reveals a pretty fun little match on display here. Beth was great. Mickie was great. Melina was great since she's nowhere near Alicia Fox. I liked this match more than I thought I would, and that's a good thing. Sometimes, WWE can put out good women's wrestling. It's just too bad that everything around it made it hard to notice.

Undertaker defeated Edge via countout in a match to crown the vacant World Heavyweight Championship. However, out comes Vickie Guerrero (then-Smackdown GM) to announce that Taker did NOT win the title because it was a countout... as much as people want to call this a Dusty Finish due to the so-called "bait-and-switch" ending, she did bring a fair point. In a match, a title changes hands in WWE on a pinfall or submission. Edge got counted out; he did not get pinned and he did not submit. Therefore, Taker did not win the title and we have another match between the two for the next PPV.

The match was fine; while the ending irked me somewhat since it was another month of a vacant World championship, at the very least, it was a smart and logical swerve that played into the rules of WWE. Sure, it would piss off the fanbase, but the smarter folks who stuck with the story would think about it and go "Yeah, that made sense."

MVP comes out for a promo, complains about not being on the card, and issues an open challenge which is answered by Jeff Hardy. And then after a brief back-and-forth, Jeff Hardy beats MVP. Short, fun, nothing to complain about.

WWE Champion HHH defeated Randy Orton in a steel cage match to retain the title. This was okay; nothing great, nothing special, nothing outstanding. When it comes to the HHH/RKO pairing, they usually don't produce great matches, but this was one of the rare occasions where they managed something workable and enjoyable. Give them a crazy stipulation like street fights or steel cages and let 'em go nuts; that's how you'll get mileage out of these two to produce great stuff. So, of course, when they main event Mania 25 the following year, it's a straight wrestling match that went way too long and turned out much worse.

So, I'll be honest; reading that blurb from ages ago, I was expecting a show to be less than stellar and it certainly started off that way. But once HBK/Y2J hit, the quality ramped up considerably and the show turned out to be a pretty good watch with very few sour spots. Even the main event deliver, which surprised me to no degree.

So yeah... Judgment Day 2008. Skip up to Shawn vs. Jericho and enjoy the show.

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