Reviews

TJR Retro: WWE Armageddon 2007 Review (Batista vs. The Undertaker vs. Edge)

The WWE Armageddon 2007 was the last PPV of the year. It was a mix of a Raw, Smackdown and ECW show. There were nine Armageddon PPV events in total with all of them taking place in the month of December. This was the second last time that WWE used the Armageddon PPV name. It’s also the last WWE PPV before they went HD in early 2008.

There was a triple threat main event featuring the Smackdown brand with Batista defending the World Heavyweight Title against Edge and The Undertaker. On the Raw side, Randy Orton was defending the WWE Title against Chris Jericho, who was fresh as a babyface that returned after taking a WWE break for a couple of years. There was also a big match with Triple H facing Jeff Hardy. If you’re wondering about John Cena, he was out with a torn pectoral injury that saw him miss about four months of action. Cena’s memorable return was at Royal Rumble 2008.

This show did a decent number in terms of PPV business with 237,000 buys. That was about average for a non-major PPV in 2007. It wasn’t a hot or cold period for WWE. It was just average overall.

This show followed Survivor Series 2007 and led to Royal Rumble 2008.

Here’s the synopsis on WWE Network:

“Triple H and Jeff Hardy battle to determine the No. 1 Contender for the WWE Championship. Shawn Michaels faces Mr. Kennedy. Batista defends the World Heavyweight Championship in a Triple Threat Match against The Undertaker and Edge. Randy Orton defends the WWE Championship against Chris Jericho.” 14+ (D,L,V)

The DVD looks like this:

Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Let’s get to the show.

WWE Armageddon
From Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
December 16, 2007

The opening video package focused on the usual theme for Armageddon being the “end of days” that they usually mention for this PPV. It focused on the big matches on the show.

There was an impressive pyro display to start the show. The fans in Pittsburgh were ready to go with Michael Cole announcing 14,189 fans in the building. Justin Roberts announced the first match for the US Title. Michael Cole and Job Bradshaw Layfield were on commentary for the Smackdown matches.

Montel Vontavious Porter entered as the US Champion. Rey Mysterio was his opponent and he got a nice ovation.

United States Championship: Montel Vontavious Porter vs. Rey Mysterio

Pre-match notes: MVP was the heel US Champion while Mysterio was the babyface challenger. MVP was a long-term US Champion that held the title for about seven months going into this match.

Rey with an armdrag takedown followed by a headscissors and then a cradle for a one count. Rey with an armdrag that sent MVP through the ropes to the floor. MVP wanted a timeout on the floor, but Rey didn’t agree with that and hit a dive over the top of referee Jimmy Korderas leading a twisting splash on MVP on the floor. Back in the ring, Rey charged, MVP caught him and MVP sent Rey headfirst into the top rope. Good bump as MVP took control with a headlock. MVP with a leg trip sending Rey into the mat followed by a running kick to the head for two. MVP drove Rey’s head into the knee for a two count. MVP with an armbar, Rey kicked out and then MVP took him down by the head for a neckbreaker like move for a two count. MVP went for a press slam off the shoulder, Rey landed on his feet and MVP ran right into a hurricanrana from Rey. There was a springboard cross body block from Rey that got a two. Rey went for a springboard attack, he slipped a bit and then jumped onto MVP with a senton takedown. Rey went up top again with a springboard moonsault for a two count. MVP came back with a clothesline. They battled on the top rope where MVP punched Rey off the apron to the turnbuckle. With MVP seated on the top rope, Rey hit a hurricanrana off the top for a two count. That was awesome with the crowd popping big for the nearfall. Rey ran off the ropes right into a big boot by MVP for a two count. MVP went for a lifting slam, but Mysterio countered it into a reverse DDT neckbreaker for a two count. Rey sent MVP into the ropes, Rey went for the 619 kick, MVP moved and bailed to the floor. Rey ran off the apron with a headscissors onto MVP on the floor. Rey went back in the ring well before the ten count, MVP was on the apron at the count of eight, then thought better of it and dropped to the floor so referee Jimmy Korderas counted to nine and ten. That meant Rey won by countout at 11:29.

Winner by countout: Rey Mysterio (MVP retains the US Title)

Analysis: ***1/4 A good match with a cheap finish to keep the title on MVP. I don’t like the finish that much, but sometimes you have to book a countout to show that a heel champion is able to retain the title using different methods. There was a bit of a scary moment when MVP slipped on the ropes, but he wasn’t hurt by it and kept on going. Rey would go on to feud with Edge for the WWE Title after this, so that’s likely why they didn’t want him losing by pinfall here.

Post match, Rey hit a baseball slide dropkick. Rey sent MVP into the ropes and hit the 619 kick to the face. That popped the crowd and MVP left.

Analysis: Rey didn’t win the title, but he got the last word with the 619 on MVP that led to cheers from the crowd. That’s some typical post match babyface booking right there.

The Raw announce team of Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler were on camera. That led to a video of Triple H and Jeff Hardy working together at Survivor Series to win as the last two men beating five men on the other team.

Jeff Hardy was the Intercontinental Champion that was interviewed by Todd Grisham. Jeff said this was the biggest match of his career facing Triple H because the winner gets a WWE Title match. Jeff said he didn’t fear Triple H or nobody. Jeff said it’s time for him to rock on to the next level.

Kane made his entrance as the ECW announcers Joey Styles and Tazz took over for this match. CM Punk was up next as the popular ECW Champion. Big Daddy V and Mark Henry entered with manager Matt Striker. The team’s combined weight was 879 pounds. They’re huge.

 

Kane and CM Punk vs. Mark Henry and Big Daddy V (w/Matt Striker)

Pre-match notes: CM Punk and Kane were faces while Henry and Big Daddy V (aka Viscera) were heels.

Punk was aggressive against Henry with punches and kicks. Kane tagged in with punches against Henry followed by Kane hitting a dropkick to the knee. Punk was back in with a dropkick, but then Henry stopped his momentum with a clothesline. Big Daddy V tagged in with a hard chop and a clothesline. Viscera sent Punk out of the ring, so Striker got in a cheap kick. V with a press slam over his head that sent Punk into the mat. Henry worked over Punk with his foot on the throat followed by more blatant choking and a punch to the back. Henry charged, Punk moved and Kane got the tag. Kane showed that babyface fire with punches, two clotheslines, a boot to the face and Kane jumped off the top with the clothesline that he did in nearly every match of his career. Kane punched V while on the apron, so Henry shoved Kane into the turnbuckle. V tagged in, blocked a Chokeslam attempt and V hit a sitout spinebuster for two as Punk hit a dropkick to break it up. V with a short-arm clothesline on Kane. Big Daddy V jumped on Kane’s back with some punches to the back. Big Daddy V with a corner splash on Kane. Henry tagged in with a bearhug. Kane tried to tag out, but Henry drove him into the turnbuckle. Big Daddy V was back with a chop, Kane with a boot, but then Big Daddy V hit a clothesline. Kane bounced off the ropes, Henry ducked and Kane hit a DDT. Punk got the hot tag against V with three running forearms, two knee lifts to the face and an enziguri kick to that set V to one knee. Kane and Punk combined to send Henry out of the ring. Punk to the apron, Striker was there, so Punk kicked him. Punk jumped off the top onto Big Daddy V’s shoulders, so Big Daddy V hit a Samoan Drop on Punk for the pinfall win at 10:33.

Winners by pinfall: Mark Henry and Viscera

Analysis: *1/2 A bad match that went too long, but the finish was okay with Punk on fire until Big Daddy V was able to finish him off with one move. It’s hard to get a good match out of a team like Henry and Big Daddy V. The crowd was dead for a lot of it. They were trying to build up Henry and Big Daddy V as future title contenders for Punk.

There was a dressing room scene with Vickie Guerrero in a wheelchair (plus a neckbrace) in a room with balloons. Edge walked up to Vickie to see all the balloons in the room that were there for his victory celebration. Vickie said after Edge becomes World Champion, all of her pain and mental suffering will subside even for one moment. Edge said he’ll do this because of her love, which gives him the strength of three men. Edge wanted a kiss for good luck, so Edge kissed her hand and Edge left.

Mr. (Ken) Kennedy made his entrance for the next match, which was a Raw match. Kennedy did a pre-match promo so he could do his “Mr. Kennedy…Kennedy” bit. Big pop for Shawn Michaels, who got the impressive pyro display as well.

Analysis: This was during a period where Kennedy was getting pushed at times, but then at other times his push would get stopped. Kennedy was Mr. Money in the Bank earlier in the year, he was going to be a World Champion and then an injury sidelined him. Kennedy was also going to be named as Vince McMahon’s illegitimate son, but then he was suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs. By this point in 2007, Kennedy could have been (and perhaps should have been) a much bigger star in WWE. Instead, he just wasn’t at that top level and he would never get there in WWE. Part of it was because his in-ring work wasn’t at that high level even though in terms of character/personality, he did stand out in part due to his entrance.

Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. (Ken) Kennedy

Pre-match notes: Michaels was the babyface while Kennedy was the heel. Michaels was 42 years old while Kennedy was 31 years old.

Kennedy was aggressive with a body slam and elbow drop. Kennedy with a backbreaker. A fan had a sign that said “Hickenbottom Balding Klub” because it’s HBK and Shawn’s real name last name is Hickenbottom. Clever, I guess. Kennedy whipped Michaels into the turnbuckle, upside down bump by Michaels and a chop block by Michaels. Punches by Michaels, then a suplex attempt, Kennedy blocked it and Michaels did a single-arm takedown. Michaels worked over the left arm of Kennedy with an armbar. Kennedy sent Michaels into the turnbuckle followed by a tackle that sent Michaels out of the ring to the floor. Michaels sent Kennedy back first into the barricade and then Michaels did a knee drop onto the left arm. Kennedy fought off Michaels working on the left hand, they went to the apron and Kennedy shoved Michaels back first into the turnbuckle. Back in the ring, Kennedy sent Michaels back first into the turnbuckle a few times, Michaels kicked the left hand and then Kennedy hit a running boot to the face for two. Kennedy with a backbreaker as he continued to work on the back. Kennedy with another backbreaker and then stretched Shawn over the knee. Kennedy kept on working on the back with an elbow drop to the back followed by a body slam. Kennedy jumped off the ropes, Michaels got a boot up, so Kennedy landed on his feet and stomped on the back for a two count. Kennedy slapped on a chinlock for about a minute, Michaels fought back with punches to the face and a back body drop over the top to the floor. Both guys were down with Kennedy on the floor, so he had to crawl back in the ring, which he did.

Michaels continued the comeback with the running forearm, atomic drop and a body slam while favoring the injured back. Michaels went up top and connected with the elbow drop. Michaels went for the Sweet Chin Music superkick, but Kennedy ducked it and got a rollup for two. Nice nearfall. Michaels countered a Kennedy move with a pin attempt for two. Kennedy with a catapult that sent Shawn into the ring post (with his hand) and then Kennedy hit the rolling senton for two. Michaels held onto the rope to block a move. Kennedy with a left-handed punch led to Kennedy going back to selling the left hand again, so Michaels took advantage of that with a Sweet Chin Music superkick (with emphatic leg slap) for the pinfall win at 15:16.

Winner by pinfall: Shawn Michaels

Analysis: *** It was a good match that had an entertaining finish with the babyface Michaels finding a way to win. It was boring at times with Kennedy on offense for most of it. The fans weren’t really into it that much until Michaels began the comeback, which led to some good nearfalls. I liked the finish because they told the story of the injured left hand of Kennedy all match, so then Kennedy went for a lefty punch because it was available and Michaels took advantage to hit the Sweet Chin Music for the win. Should the younger guy have gotten the win here? Maybe, but I don’t think WWE still believed in Kennedy that much at this point. That’s why Michaels got the win.

Michaels celebrated the win with JR putting over Kennedy for the strong performance even in defeat.

Randy Orton, the WWE Champion, was interviewed by Todd Grisham. Orton said that Chris Jericho is a virus, so he’s going to shut it down. Orton didn’t care if the fans were disappointed as long as he leaves as WWE Champion. Orton said if you like codes his code is RKO 18 because that’s the number of World Championships shared between his last three victims – Triple H, Shawn Michaels and John Cena. Orton told Jericho not to save us, but spare us. Orton told Jericho that all the hype in the world will not help him when he faces the best in the business – Orton.

Jeff Hardy made his entrance with the Intercontinental Title around his waist. That title would not be on the line for this match. Triple H made his entrance as the opponent.

Jeff Hardy vs. Triple H

Pre-match notes: Jeff Hardy was a babyface that was one of the most popular faces in all of WWE. Triple H was also a babyface that was also very popular with the fans.

The winner of this match will earn a WWE Title match at Royal Rumble 2008.

They shook hands to start the match and then Hunter pushed Jeff across the ring to show it was a serious match. Hunter with two shoulder tackles and then he blocked a hiptoss leading to a clothesline. Hardy got some offense going with multiple armdrag takedowns and then Hardy sent Hunter into the barricade. Hardy tried to walk the rail, but Hunter was there with a clothesline on the floor. They were in the ring again, Hardy stopped himself from delivering a punch, so Hunter decked him with a hard, open hand slap to the face. Hunter: “Fight me!” Hardy with kicks to the ribs, then a whip into the ropes, Hardy with an atomic drop, double leg drop and a low dropkick. Hardy came back with a hard slap of his own, which led to a smile from Hunter to let us know he liked it. Hunter sent Hardy under the bottom rope to the floor and then a whip into the steel steps. Hunter drove Hardy back first into the barricade and apron leading to them going back in the ring. Hunter with a hard whip into the turnbuckle, Hardy got an elbow up to block an attack, but when Hardy was on the top rope, Hunter shoved him off. That led to Hardy taking a big bump off the top onto the barricade on the floor. Hardy got back into the ring before the ten count with Hunter greeting him with an elbow off the middle ropes. When Hunter went for a back kick, Hunter avoided it and slammed Jeff down. Hunter did an abdominal stretch including a rope grab that the referee didn’t see, so Hunter did it again and Hunter broke the hold after the referee saw it. Hardy avoided a suplex and hit an enziguri kick to the head. Hunter with a facebuster into the knee followed by a clothesline for two. Hardy countered a sleeper by sending Hunter into the turnbuckle and Jeff hit a missile dropkick. Hardy with a neckbreaker, and then Hardy ran the ropes leading to a clothesline. Hardy worked over Hunter with multiple punches, but then he missed a splash coming out of the corner, so Hunter got a two count. Hardy with a low dropkick and then over the top onto Hunter on the floor. Back in the ring, Hardy hit a cross body block off the top for a two count. Hardy hit the Whisper in the Wind twisting splash onto a standing Hunter for a two count. Hardy went for a Twist of Fate, but Hunter countered it into a DDT for two. They each got nearfalls. Hunter aggressively punched and kicked Hardy, then Hardy got back up with a mule kick followed by the corner low dropkick. Hardy went up top, he jumped off with the Swanton Bomb, Hunter moved and Hardy hit the mat leading to a two count for Hunter. They each countered moves, Hardy off the ropes and Hunter hit a spinebuster. Hunter set up for the Pedigree, he hooked the arms, Hardly slipped out of it, Hardy flipped over with a jackknife cover for one…two…and three! Jeff Hardy wins at 15:23. Hunter kicked out right after the three count.

Winner by pinfall: Jeff Hardy

Analysis: ***1/4 A pretty good match that was treated like a big with for Hardy because he beat a guy that was a level above him for their careers up to this point. The crowd wasn’t into it as much as you would expect. I think they probably could have told a better story with some more nearfalls for each guy because then it would have been a more interesting match. Since Jeff won in a way where it was close and Hunter kicked out after three, it put over the idea that Jeff barely won, but all that matters is that Jeff won clean. It felt like a big deal that Jeff won this match.

Jeff celebrated the win by going into the crowd with JR noting that Jeff “shocked the world” with this victory. Hunter left first as the loser while Jeff celebrated the win at ringside.

Analysis: There were a lot of people that thought Jeff Hardy was on his way to winning the WWE Title at Royal Rumble 2008. It didn’t happen at that point, but it did happen about one year after this match with Triple H.

The Great Khali did a promo in Punjabi while “brother” Ranjin Singh translated for us. During the Khali part, fans chanted “what” at him. Anyway, Khali was talking trash about Finlay and Hornswoggle since that’s who he was feuding with at the time.

The Great Khali made his entrance first with Ranjin Singh by his side. Finlay entered with Hornswoggle to a nice ovation from the crowd.

The Great Khali (w/Ranjin Singh) vs. Finlay (w/Hornswoggle)

Pre-match notes: Khali was a heel while Finlay was a face. Ranjin Singh is really a WWE creative team member named Dave Kapoor. They were on Smackdown. This was during a time where Hornswoggle was the bastard “son” of Vince McMahon, which ended up being dumped as a storyline in early 2008 when they said Finlay was Hornswoggle’s dad.

Finlay attacked with punches, Khali sent Finlay into the turnbuckle and followed up with kicks. After a hard chop, Khali kicked Finlay and dumped Finlay out of the ring. Khali went for a chop while on the floor, Finlay moved and Khali chopped the ring post. Finlay got in some strikes, but Khali did a huge chop to the chest. Khali slapped on the vice grip on the shoulder of Finlay, then Finlay broke free and Khali hit a spin kick to the face. Khali put the vice grip on the shoulder again. Khali did the dreaded HEAD SQUEEZE~! of Finlay’s head by the ropes. Hornswoggle was on the apron, so Khali grabbed him and threw him out of the ring. Hornswoggle with a hard chop and body slam. Finlay grabbed the shillelagh piece of wood while Khali took a turnbuckle pad off. The referee Charles Robinson took the shillelagh out of the ring, so then Hornswoggle hit Khali with another shillelagh for a low blow and then Finlay hit Khali in the head with the shillelagh. Khali bumped like he was knocked out and then Finlay covered Khali to win by pinfall at 6:02

Winner by pinfall: Finlay

Analysis: *1/4 It’s a Khali match, so it’s not surprising that it was a poor match. The surprising thing is that Khali lost, which was rare at this point in his career. Khali was on offense for most of the match, then Finley got the assist from Hornswoggle and the shillelagh was the deciding factor. It was booked in a way that made the fans happy at least.

The video package aired for the WWE Champion Randy Orton facing challenger Chris Jericho on the Raw brand. Orton bragged about beating Shawn Michaels, Triple H and John Cena, so there was nobody left for him. That led to Chris Jericho returning to WWE during his “SAVE US Y2J” phase of his career. Jericho was back after two years away from WWE. Jericho said it was the second coming of Y2J. Jericho said he was here to “save us” from Orton. It also led to Jericho debuting the Codebreaker as a new finishing move. That led to some confrontations leading to this title shot.

Chris Jericho made his entrance first as the challenger with the fans giving him a nice ovation. It wasn’t a huge pop, but it was solid with some “Y2J” chants. Randy Orton was up next as the WWE Champion using the “Hey nothing you can say” theme song.

WWE Championship: Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho

Pre-match notes: Randy Orton was the heel WWE Champion while Jericho was the babyface challenger. Jericho was 37 years old, Randy Orton was 27 years old and as I write this over 13 years later, both are still very active as wrestlers. They were on the Raw brand.

Jericho with some arm drag takedowns leading to an armbar. Jericho suplexed Orton ribs first across the top rope followed by a hard kick to the ribs. Orton came back with a kick to the gut, but Jericho came back with a spinning heel kick. Orton went to the floor to avoid a move, so Jericho went up top and jumped off the top with a cross body block onto Jericho on the floor. Back in the ring, Jericho avoided the draping DDT and Orton blocked a Walls of Jericho attempt leading to Orton hitting a regular DDT. Orton grabbed a chinlock on the mat. Jericho got back with a forearm, but then Orton hit a perfect-looking dropkick for two. Orton with another chinlock, back up, Jericho was whipped into the turnbuckle and then they ran into eachother in a collision spot. Jericho with running shoulder tackles followed by a clothesline for two. Jericho with a dropkick off the middle rope for two. Orton came back with a powerslam for two. Orton wanted an RKO, but Jericho countered into a backslide pin for two. Orton sent Jericho shoulder first into the turnbuckle/ringpost area. Orton hit a superplex while standing on the middle ropes for a two count. For most of his career, Orton did it off the top rope like his father did. Jericho held on to avoid a dropkick, Jericho went for the Walls, but Orton came back with a rollup for two. Jericho with an enziguri kick to the head. Jericho with the running bulldog followed by the Lionsault, but Orton got the knees up to block it. Orton with an inverted backbreaker. Orton went for the RKO, Jericho shoved him off and Jericho hit the Lionsault for a two count. The crowd popped HUGE for that nearfall.

Orton sent Jericho to the apron and a forearm by Orton sent Jericho to the floor. Orton left the ring, Jericho charged and Orton sent Jericho over the Smackdown announce table right onto JBL. It seemed like JBL wasn’t happy about that as Jericho pushed JBL aside. Jericho with a necksnap onto the top rope. Jericho jumped off the top rope with a forearm to the back. Orton countered a Codebreaker by sending Jericho back first into the top rope. Orton went for The Punt, Jericho moved and slapped on the Walls of Jericho on Orton. The fans were screaming at the possibility of Jericho winning, but Orton was fighting it. As Jericho had the Walls of Jericho on Orton, who was close to tapping, JBL went into the ring and kicked Jericho in the head for the DQ finish at 15:05.

Winner by disqualification: Chris Jericho (Randy Orton remains WWE Champion)

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a solid match with a crappy finish to keep the title on Orton. There were times when the crowd didn’t really care at all, which is a bad sign for a WWE Title match. The good thing is the crowd did get into the match as it got going because when Jericho hit the Lionsault and Orton kicked out at two, it drew big pop. The finish pissed off the fans because Jericho was so close to winning the WWE Title, but there was JBL to put a stop to that. That was set up by the spot a few minutes earlier when Jericho was thrown into JBL during the match. Orton leaving as the champion is what was expected here although I doubt anybody could have predicted that kind of finish. Jericho did look very competitive even in defeat.

The crowd booed loudly while the announcers were shocked by it. JBL stared at Jericho on the mat and JBL left the ring to go to the back.

Analysis: This led to JBL unretiring as an announcer and making an in-ring comeback for the next year and a half.

After the match, Orton celebrated with the WWE Title while the fans booed. Orton was about to leave the ring, but then he changed his mind and dropped Jericho with the RKO. That led to more boos for Orton. They played Orton’s music even though he lost the match. Jericho remained down selling in the ring after the kick and the RKO. Good job selling by Jericho.

A commercial aired for the 2008 Royal Rumble with wrestlers going on the subway in New York City while the passengers on the subway were shocked by it. That’s because the Rumble was in Madison Square Garden. Shawn Michaels hit a superkick on Michael Buffer too. I thought it was one of WWE’s better commercials.

Jillian Hall showed up in a tight and short green dress to greet us with her comically bad singing. Jillian said she was there to spread some Christmas cheer. Jillian said her album on iTunes is blowing up while claiming it was one of the hottest albums in the entire world. Jillian gave us a holiday gift by singing and the fans booed loudly. This went really badly until the music of Mickie James to save us and save the crowd.

Analysis: I thought Jillian was talented in a lot of ways, but she was hurt by having the mole gimmick early in her career and then the comedic signing character. It was tough for her to be taken seriously. I don’t think Jillian was that bad in the ring, though. Anyway, this was just time killer for a few minutes.

Mickie James entered as the challenger and Beth Phoenix was the Women’s Champion.

Women’s Championship: Beth Phoenix vs. Mickie James

Pre-match notes: Beth was the heel champion. Mickie was the babyface challenger that was a three-time former champion. They were both on Raw. They wrestled many times in their career.

Phoenix used her power to hit a shoulder tackle. James hit a back elbow followed by a headscissors attempt out of the corner, but Phoenix caught her and hit a Powerbomb for two. Phoenix had a reverse sleeper on, James fought out of it and then Phoenix sent James into the turnbuckle. James came back with a rollup. Phoenix slapped on a chickenwing submission, James got out of that and then hit an up-kick while on the ground. James with a back elbow followed by a headscissors and a Thesz Press takedown leading to punches. James with another press and a low dropkick for two. James hit a neckbreaker. James went up top with a missile dropkick for two. James didn’t do that move that often in her career. Phoenix avoided a DDT, Phoenix with a knee to the ribs and Phoenix hit a Fisherman’s Suplex for the pinfall win at 4:45.

Winner by pinfall: Beth Phoenix

Analysis: *3/4 A short match with the crowd not reacting to them much at all. The crowd didn’t even react to the finish because Beth’s finisher was the Glam Slam rather than a Fisherman’s Suplex so the crowd didn’t realize it was the end. James didn’t really get many nearfalls in the match. It was just too short.

A commercial aired for WrestleMania 24 on March 30, 2008.

It was Michael Cole and Tazz on commentary for the main event. Tazz was an ECW announcer, but with JBL leaving during the show, Tazz took over.

The video package aired for the World Heavyweight Championship triple threat match with Batista defending the title against The Undertaker and Edge. At Survivor Series, Edge returned after several months on the shelf with an injury by costing The Undertaker the World Title against Batista in a Hell in a Cell match. Undertaker got payback by hitting Vickie Guerrero, the Smackdown GM that was Edge’s girlfriend, with a Tombstone. When Batista defended the World Title against Edge, The Undertaker ended that match without a finish. That led to Teddy Long setting up this triple threat match.

Analysis: The story was about Edge being a devious heel that was using Vickie to help him get back the World Heavyweight Title, but she wasn’t able to see it. That was more of the long-term story. This triple threat was built up well.

Batista entered first as the World Heavyweight Champion. Good pop for the champion that was one of the biggest faces on Smackdown for nearly three years at this point. Edge made his entrance as a former multi-time World Champion. Edge was forced to vacate the title in July 2007 due to a torn pectoral injury. The Undertaker was up last making his slow walking entrance and he got a big ovation from the crowd as usual. The Undertaker beat Batista to win the World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania 23 and then Edge cashed in Money in the Bank to take the World Title from Undertaker. That title loss by Undertaker led to him missing about five months with a torn biceps injury.

Analysis: It’s interesting how their histories were all tied together. All of them have had injuries while being a World Champion as well. It’s just a reminder that it’s a tough business. A lot of these guys work hurt all the time.

World Heavyweight Championship: Batista vs. Edge vs. The Undertaker

Pre-match notes: Batista was the babyface World Heavyweight Champion for 91 days going into this match. The Undertaker was also a babyface and Edge was a heel.

There are no countouts or disqualifications in a WWE triple threat match. You can only win by pinfall or submission.

The bell rang with Edge starting on the floor, then Batista and Taker fought over who got to beat up Edge first, so Edge got away from both guys. Taker sent Batista into the barricade. Edge bailed to the floor again, Batista grabbed Taker and sent him into the turnbuckle. Batista with a kick to the chest followed by a clothesline over the top to the floor. Batista kicked Edge into the barricade. Taker sent Batista into the steel steps. Taker hit the leg drop on the chest of Batista on the apron. Batista sent Taker into the ring post and then Edge sent Batista into the ring post. Back in the ring, Edge got a two count on Batista. Edge with a shoulder tackle to Undertaker on the apron. Edge charged in and Batista hit a sidewalk slam for two. Batista with shoulder tackles, Edge with a trip that sent Batista into the second turnbuckle and Edge charged right into a kick by Batista. Running powerslam by Batista got two as Taker pulled Batista out of the ring and Taker sent Batista into the steel steps. Taker worked over Edge with a kick to the head, but when he went for a leg drop, Batista hit Taker with a clothesline. Edge charged into a spinebuster by Batista, but then Edge hit a low blow punch to the groin. Edge hit a lifting DDT for two as Taker pulled the referee Mickey Henson out of the ring to break up the pin.

Undertaker worked over Edge with punches, then a corner clothesline, snake eyes into the top turnbuckle and a boot to the face for two. Taker walked the ropes for Old School leading to a punch to the back. Batista was back in with a Spear on Taker and Batista tossed Edge out of the ring. Taker slapped on the Triangle Choke submission around the head/arm of Batista, so Edge rang the bell repeatedly and that led to Undertaker letting go of the submission. The referee Henson made it clear he didn’t call for the bell. Edge was back in with a Spear for a two count, so Taker kicked out of Edge’s finisher. Edge with a Spear to Batista and he kicked out of Edge’s finisher as well. Edge brought two chairs into the ring, he teased a Conchairto on Batista, but Batista kicked a chair into Edge’s face. Taker with a clothesline to knock Edge out of the ring. Batista with a running clothesline on Taker. Batista went up top, which is rare for him and Taker knocked him down. Taker hit a superplex with one foot on the top rope while the left foot was on the middle rope. Taker covered Batista for a two count. When Taker tried the rope walk for the Old School move, Batista caught Taker and hit him with a spinebuster. Edge was back in the ring, so Batista hit him with a Spear. However, it was really a fake Edge (Zack Ryder before we knew who he was) Taker drove Batista into the turnbuckle. Taker with a back body drop on Batista. Edge was on the floor with another guy looking like Edge on the floor. Taker hit a Chokeslam on Batista. A fake Edge (Curt Hawkins before we knew who he was) jumped off the top, Taker caught him and hit a Chokeslam. Taker sent Batista into the turnbuckle, but Batista came back with a clothesline for two. Batista teased a Tombstone, Taker reversed it and Taker hit the Tombstone on Batista. Edge was back in with a steel chair to the back of Undertaker to prevent a pin attempt. Edge hit Taker in the head with a chair with Taker looking like he blocked it with his hand. Edge pinned Batista, who was still out from the Tombstone, and Edge got the one…two…and three! NEW World Champion! It went 13:01.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW World Heavyweight Champion: Edge

Analysis: ***1/2 Good match. It was fun with a very creative and cheap finish that was fitting for Edge as a cheap heel. The Undertaker and Batista gave everything they had, but Edge was so crafty as the heel that was outside the ring for some of the match and even cheated with the help of allies that we didn’t know about at the time. I liked some of the nearfalls towards the finish with some finishers being hit, but not winning the match. This match was all about the action and also smartly booked with Edge stealing the pin thanks to the chair attack on Taker followed Edge pinning Batista after a Tombstone. Batista losing the title took him out of the title picture while there was a long-term plan in place for The Undertaker to chase after Edge for the title.

Post match, Edge celebrated with the World Heavyweight Title as the “Edgeheads” joined him in the aisle to celebrate. The Undertaker had this confused and angry look on his face. Edge kept on celebrating while the camera kept on showing The Undertaker looking angry in the ring even though it was Batista who was the former champion. That’s because the Edge feud with Taker would be the main story on Smackdown going into WrestleMania 24. The show ended with Edge smiling about being World Heavyweight Champion.

Analysis: This was the debut of Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder as the Edgeheads that were allies of Edge. They were known as the Major Brothers, but never really got pushed. Edge would introduce them to us on the next Smackdown episode. The deal was that Edge would use Curt and Zack to take some big moves, which allowed Edge to stay fresh, which is what led to Edge going back in the ring to hit Undertaker with the chair and pin Batista to win the match.

This event had a runtime of 2:39:06 on WWE Network.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Show rating (out of 10): 7

It’s a solid show from top to bottom that is lacking great matches. However, there are several pretty good matches, so it’s easy to get through it and not get bored. I rated five matches at the three-star level or above, which shows that there are consistently good matches. I liked the Edge/Batista/Undertaker main event the most due to the creative booking. Smart way to introduce Ryder/Hawkins to the audience too because it led to more cheap heel moments for Edge. Other matches like Mysterio/MVP and Orton/Jericho were well worked with cheap finishes to protect the heel champions. Jeff Hardy beating Triple H was a big deal at the time, so it was cool to see Jeff get an important win like that. Even the bad matches were passable because at least they were kept short.

An issue with the show is that the Pittsburgh crowd was dead for some parts of it although they did care about the bigger matches and popped for some of the finishes. I just think in general, they were a bad crowd. Was it their fault or the lack of interesting stories? I think the stories were fine and there were a lot of talented people on the card.

This isn’t the kind of PPV that will blow you away if you’ve never seen it. However, it’s easy to watch and holds up well all these years later.

 

FIVE STARS

  1. Edge
  2. The Undertaker
  3. Randy Orton
  4. Chris Jericho
  5. Rey Mysterio

 

OPINIONS

Best Match: Edge vs. Batista vs. The Undertaker (***1/2 out of 5)

Worst Match: Finlay vs. The Great Khali (*1/4)

Most Memorable Moment: Jeff Hardy pinning Triple H with the jackknife pin. Edge winning the World Title is big, but I remember Jeff’s win the most.

That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.

—-

My contact info is below.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

 

More Reviews