Retro Reviews: WWE Unforgiven 2008
The final WWE Unforgiven event took place in 2008 with a unique format for the show: Championship Scramble Matches.
Instead of having traditional singles matches for the WWE World Heavyweight and ECW Titles, WWE opted to try something new by having “Championship Scramble” matches.
The 2008 WWE Unforgiven PPV did 211,000 buys, which is the second-lowest number of buys for Unforgiven in the 11-year history of the event. The first Unforgiven was in April and then it became a September PPV from 1999 to 2008. When comparing that number to other PPVs in 2008, it was around average. I guess it’s fair to say that if it did really well then WWE would have done the Scramble Match concept again, but since it didn’t really do that well, they never did a Scramble Match show like this in the years that followed.
Here is the synopsis on WWE Network:
“Batista, Rey Mysterio, Kane, JBL, and Chris Jericho compete in a Scramble Match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Triple H, Jeff Hardy, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, and The Brian Kendrick battle it out in a WWE Championship Scramble Match. Shawn Michaels takes on Chris Jericho in an Unsanctioned Street Fight.” PG (V)
The DVD looked like this:
This was originally written in 2021.
From Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio
September 7, 2008
The opening video package focused on the first-ever Championship Scramble matches and also the incredible Shawn Michaels/Chris Jericho feud leading to a match on this show.
The pyro went off on the stage as we saw the crowd in Cleveland. The attendance is listed at 8,700 fans for this show, which is not near a sellout in an NBA-sized arena. The ECW announce team of Todd Grisham and Matt Striker welcomed us to the show.
Here are the Championship Scramble Rules:
Matt Hardy and The Miz entered as the first two men in the Championship Scramble match. The Miz was in his hometown of Cleveland.
ECW Championship Scramble Match: Mark Henry vs. Matt Hardy vs. The Miz vs. Finlay vs. Chavo Guerrero
Pre-match notes: Matt Hardy was the babyface and Miz was the heel to start the match. Mark Henry was the ECW Champion.
Matt was in control of Miz with a shoulder tackle, Miz came back with an armdrag and a side headlock. Miz missed a corner clothesline, Matt got a hold of Miz off the ropes and hit a sitout Powerbomb for two. Matt bounced off the ropes with a running clothesline for two. Miz sent Matt into the middle rope followed by a neck snap on the middle rope for two. Matt got a sunset flip for two and then Miz came back with a clothesline for two. Matt charged at Miz against the turnbuckle, Miz got blocked and then Miz hit a knee lift into a neckbreaker. Matt rolled out to the floor. Miz rolled Matt back into the ring for a two count.
The third man was Chavo Guerrero in heel mode. Chavo sent Miz out of the ring. Matt was laying down in the ring, so Chavo went up top and hit a Frog Splash to pin Matt.
Chavo Guerrero was the current ECW Champion
Miz battled Chavo with Miz getting a clothesline. Chavo hit a spinning heel kick on Miz and a dive onto Miz on the floor. Matt brought Chavo back into the ring with an elbow drop for two. Chavo met Miz on top for a superplex, but Matt got involved and Miz shoved Chavo down. Miz hit a cross body block off the top on both guys. Matt with a clothesline on both guys, a back body drop on Chavo and Matt hit a bulldog/clothesline combo on both guys. Matt hit the Side Effect on Chavo for the pinfall.
Matt Hardy was the current ECW Champion
Matt tossed Chavo out of the ring and applied a chinlock on Miz. After Miz broke free, it was time for the next entrant.
Mark Henry was fourth as the NXT Champion with Tony Atlas joining him for the entrance. Henry was attacked by the three other guys, but Henry managed to shove them off him. Henry with an armdrag on Chavo followed by Henry doing a press slam on Matt. Henry with a knockdown on Miz and the World’s Strongest Slam by Henry on Chavo got a pinfall.
Matt Hardy was the current ECW Champion
Henry hit a World’s Strongest Slam on Miz. When Matt tried a jumping attack, Henry punched him out of the ring. Henry launched Miz in the air with Miz bumping to the floor. Henry applied a bearhug on Chavo. Matt jumped off the top rope, so Henry let go of Chavo and applied a bearhug on Matt. Henry drove Matt back first into the turnbuckle. Henry applied a bearhug on Matt again, Matt broke free with punches and the clock ticked down again.
The last man in this match was Finlay as a babyface with Hornswoggle joining him by going under the ring. Finlay with kicks to Henry leading to a DDT for two. Finlay with another DDT on Henry. There was a clock counting down from five minutes meaning that’s the end of the match. Hornswoggle with a distraction of the referee, so Finlay hit Henry with a shillelagh to the head. Finlay and Matt dumped Henry out of the ring. Finlay hit the Air Raid Crash for the pinfall on Matt.
Finlay was the current ECW Champion
The Miz got back into it with a missile dropkick, which is not a move he did that often. Matt hit the Twist of Fate on Miz to pin him.
Matt Hardy was the current ECW Champion
There were about three minutes left as Henry got back in the ring with Henry and Chavo hit a Frog Splash on Miz, but Matt broke it up. Henry with punches and a World’s Strongest Slam on Miz for two as Matt broke up the pin. Miz was cut open around his nose. Henry with a World’s Strongest Slam on Chavo with Matt breaking it up. Henry wit ha World’s Strongest Slam on Finlay with Matt breaking it up again. Miz got a rollup on Matt, but that only got two. Chavo jumped on Henry and Henry got a World’s Strongest Slam for two because Matt broke it up again. Henry with a boot to Finlay and Hardy to knock them down. Henry with a splash on Miz with Matt breaking that up too. Matt dumped Chavo out of the ring. Matt broke up Henry’s pin attempt on Finlay too. Matt tossed Miz out of the ring and Chavo out of the ring. Finlay and Chavo tried to go after Matt, but there were pin attempts broken up all over. The clock ticked down to zero and the fans cheered for Matt Hardy as the winner. I think it was around 20:00.
Winner AND NEW ECW Champion: Matt Hardy
Analysis: **1/2 It was good for most of it, but had some dull parts too. I liked the ending a lot with Matt getting the last pinfall in the match and then being on the defensive to prevent another pinfall. It’s a smart way to book a finish like that. I just don’t think the talent in the match meshed that well because there were some moments where it wasn’t that exciting to watch and by the midway point I just wanted it to end. Anyway, it was a way to get the title off of a dominant heel like Mark Henry by having him lose the title without losing in a clean manner.
Matt Hardy celebrated with the ECW Title. It was Matt’s first time winning that title in his career.
Analysis: The announcers tried to put it over as a big deal even though fans didn’t think highly of the WWE-ECW brand two years after it started.
They showed Matt Hardy getting a hug from brother Jeff Hardy. Matt told Jeff this was the best night ever and it would be even better if Jeff could win the WWE Title too.
The Raw announce team of Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler were on call for the next match.
World Tag Team Championships: Ted Dibiase & Cody Rhodes vs. Cryme Tyme (Shad Gaspard & JTG)
Pre-match notes: Ted and Cody were the heels while Shad and JTG were the faces. All four guys were in their early-to-mid 20s. It makes me sad watching Shad knowing he lost his life so early in 2020. May he rest in peace.
JTG with punches for both champions followed by Shad hitting a double clothesline knocking both guys out of the ring. Cody has “Prince of Pro Wrestling” on the back of his trunks. Shad launched a running JTG over the top onto Cody/Ted on the floor. Cody sent JTG into the middle turnbuckle, Ted tagged in and Shad launched JTG into Ted for a splash for two. Ted with a running back elbow on Shad, who came back with a powerslam and an elbow drop for two. Dibiase with a kick to the chest of Shad, Cody back in, JTG tagged himself in and hit a slingshot shoulder tackle for two. Cody got in a cheap shot on JTG, so JTG chased him on the floor and Cody hit a clothesline on the floor. Cody with a knee drop on the left arm. Cody and Ted made some quick tags getting in some moves working on the left arm of JTG. Ted hit an impressive dropkick for a two count. JTG broke free with a belly to back suplex, but Cody/Ted did some effective referee manipulation to prevent the tag. When JTG looked like he broke free, Cody kicked him in the ribs. Cody took way too long to attempt a moonsault off the top, then he hit the ring (JTG moved) and Cody oversold the bump big time. Shad got the hot tag to a big pop against Ted with Shad hitting two clotheslines, an atomic drop, corner clothesline and snake eyes into the top turnbuckle. Shad hit a running forearm with Cody making the save. JTG with a forearm on Cody. Shad with a back body drop. Cody with a cheap kick to the gut and DDT for two for Ted, but Shad got his foot on the bottom rope. Cody back in with Shad crushing him with a clothesline. JTG back in with an inside cradle, Dibiase turned it around (Shad didn’t see it) and Cody hooked JTG for the pinfall win at 11:35.
Winners by pinfall:Ted Dibiase & Cody Rhodes
Analysis: **1/2 It was a competitive match that was pretty standard with JTG as the face in peril before Shad got the hot tag and they went to the finish. The formula is just so common, so it doesn’t really make the match stand out at all. Ted and Cody were skilled as a basic heel team at this point. That finish was creative since it wasn’t done that often in WWE. A title change would have been nice, but the champs found a way to retain here.
Post match, Ted and Cody bragged about the win, so Cryme Tyme went after them. A third man went into the ring to beat up Shad and JTG, so he was helping the champions. The announcers had no idea who it was.
Analysis: They would end up calling him Manu. He did not last long in WWE. More on him later.
They showed a backstage scene with Shawn Michaels getting his left arm taped up. The trainer warned him that doing this match runs the risk of tearing the tendon completely off the bone. Michael Cole said that Michaels had a partial tear of his left triceps.
A video aired showing the Shawn Michaels/Chris Jericho feud. They went back to SummerSlam with Shawn teasing retirement, then Jericho got involved and accidentally punched Shawn’s wife Rebecca in the face (while Shawn avoided the punch). Jericho didn’t show remorse for what he did while adding Shawn has himself to blame. Jericho told Michaels to admit that Jericho gave Michaels the eye injury that caused Shawn’s retirement. Michaels said that Jericho showed no remorse for what he had done, so Shawn said that he knew that he was not going anywhere. Jericho reminded Michaels that he asked for this match. Michaels said no rules and no liabilities. Jericho said that the only person to blame for all of this was Shawn himself.
Analysis: This was the feud of the year in WWE. It was so awesome. Every week it built up so well. Jericho noted in his book that it was only supposed to be a one PPV story, but they ended up going six months with it with such great storytelling along the way.
Chris Jericho entered first as the heel showing no emotion on his face. The announcers put over the story of Jericho not being sorry for what he has done to Michaels. Shawn Michaels got a big pop and he was cheered loudly as well.
Unsanctioned Match: Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels
Pre-match notes: Chris Jericho was the heel while Shawn Michaels was the face. Michaels was wrestling in black tank top, jeans, cowboy boots and had a big brace on his left arm. It was not his flashy HBK attire.
It was an Unsanctioned Match where there was a hold harmless agreement. There were no disqualifications or countouts. The only way to win was by pinfall or submission.
Michaels went after Jericho with punches right away as he should for a personal match like this. Michaels with a kick to the ribs and the face. Michaels hit Jericho in the head with his cowboy boot three times in a row, so Jericho bumped to the floor. Michaels tackled Jericho over the railing into the crowd. Back at ringside, Michaels did a catapult to send Jericho into the ring post. Michaels grabbed a chair, he swung it, Jericho moved and Shawn hit the ring post with the chair. Jericho sent Michaels into the announce table and onto the barricade. Jericho with a DDT on the floor. Jericho brought out a table from under the ring, but the legs wouldn’t work so he just threw it at Michaels. Jericho set up another table on the floor by the announce tables, Michaels punched back and Jericho sent Michaels face first into the ring apron. Back in the ring, Jericho hit Michaels with a steel chair to the ribs and back. Jericho with a belly to back suplex. Jericho wedged the chair between the top/middle turnbuckle. Jericho whipped Michaels, but Shawn reversed it the other way and Jericho went shoulder first into the turnbuckle. Jericho went for a suplex through the table on the floor, Michaels held onto the top rope and clotheslined Jericho back into the ring. Michaels bounced off the ropes with a forearm followed by the familiar kip-up and then Michaels choked Jericho with both hands. Michaels went up top to jump off with the classic elbow drop to a big pop. Michaels went for a superkick, but then he stopped himself and decided to punch Jericho in the face repeatedly. Michaels worked over Jericho with elbows to the face followed by the Crossface submission. Jericho got back to a standing position and sent Jericho into the steel chair. Michaels sold it as if he got hit in the injured right eye. The tide turned as Jericho punched Michaels repeatedly as well doing an eye gouge. Jericho punched Michaels repeatedly as Michaels was staggered, but then Michaels connected with punches of his own. Michaels was sent into the turnbuckle, he turned it around by doing a flip and came back with punches followed by a clothesline. Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho to Michaels by the ropes, Michaels got to the bottom rope and Jericho didn’t have to break the hold, so he held onto the Walls of Jericho while Michaels got a fire extinguisher and sprayed Jericho in the face with it! The fans popped for that. Both guys were down selling for a few moments after that.
Michaels hit Jericho in the head with the metal fire extinguisher and Jericho bumped to the floor. They went brawling up the aisle with Michaels whipping Jericho in the barricade a couple of times. Michaels hit a suplex on the steel with Jericho screaming in pain. That led to Jericho’s buddy Lance Cade showing up to attack, but Michaels punched and kicked him. Jericho had a bloody nose and a cut on his right elbow as well. Cade got back up, punched Michaels on the injured left arm and then a clothesline with Michaels selling with a flip bump. Jericho held Shawn’s left arm while Cade hit the left arm with a running knee. Cade held Michaels (who helped to train Cade to be a wrestler), Jericho slapped Shawn and hit a headbutt. Jericho with a kick to the left arm. Cade held the left arm leading to Jericho hitting the left arm with a steel chair two times in a row. They showed a shocked woman in the crowd. Jericho went up to the top rope, Michaels kicked Cade into the ropes to knock down Jericho and Michaels hit the Sweet Chin Music superkick on Cade to send him out of the ring. Michaels with a chair shot to Jericho (Chris blocked the chair with his arm) and then Jericho bumped off the middle rope through the table below. Jericho turned his head to look at the table to make sure he landed safely, which is fine. Michaels used the right arm to swing a chair while Jericho was on the floor and beat on Jericho with several chair shots. Michaels cleared off the middle announce table. Michaels put Cade on the announce table. Michaels went back in to the ring, then he thought about going to the top rope and Michaels placed Jericho on top of Cade. Michaels went up top and jumped off with an elbow drop to put Jericho and Cade through the announce table! It drew a big pop from the crowd. It looked pretty good even though it’s silly to think that two guys would just lay there and take it, but that’s pro wrestling sometimes.
The match returned to the ring with Jericho crawling while selling the beating he had taken during the match. Michaels took off his leather belt and whipped Jericho’s back with the strap. Michaels put the leather belt around his left hand, he hooked Jericho’s arm to prevent him from blocking it and Michaels punched Jericho repeatedly with the left hand that had the strap on it. Michaels kept punching Jericho with the left hand with the strap on it. The referee called for the bell since Jericho was selling like he was out of it and couldn’t defend himself. It went 26:53.
Winner by referee’s stoppage: Shawn Michaels
Analysis: ****1/4 This was a very physical and emotional match. It wasn’t about pinfalls since they barely went for any of them. The story was all about Michaels going after Jericho aggressively from the beginning of the match and physically dissecting him. Even though Jericho had help from Lance Cade during the match, Michaels was able to overcome the double team attack to take care of both guys at the same time. It might have went a bit long at nearly 30 minutes, but I certainly wasn’t bored by it and the crowd loved it whenever Michaels was on offense because they wanted him to kick ass.
After the match, Michaels went on Jericho again and kept on punching Jericho with the strap on his left hand. The referee Marty Elias grabbed Michaels and tackled him to get Shawn to stop the attack. Michaels got sick of the referee talking to him about how hurt Jericho was, so Michaels superkicked the referee! Big pop for that. The camera zoomed in on Shawn’s face with Shawn looking emotional like he could burst into tears at any moment because of what he was going through. There were other referees that went into the ring to check on Jericho as well as the referee that Shawn superkicked. There were also WWE Medical guys checking on Jericho.
The music of Shawn Michaels played and Shawn slowly walked out of the ring to go to the back. It was an awkward moment for the song “Sexy Boy” with Shawn serious.
Analysis: The rivalry would continue with one more match at the next PPV, No Mercy. That was a big one.
Randy Orton went into the locker room to talk to Cody Rhodes, Ted Dibiase and Manu. Cody said that they won their match and made a statement by introducing Manu, who is the son of Afa. Dibiase asked if Orton is impressed. Orton said he’s got nothing to say, but congratulations. Orton said that Cryme Tyme had to learn to fight on the street, but these guys have God-given ability. Orton wanted them to celebrate how they think they accomplished something. Orton told them that talent and ability goes on forever. Orton said he was not impressed…at all. Orton left.
The Smackdown announce team of Jim Ross and Tazz took over for the next match.
Jeff Hardy was up first to a good pop. The US Champion Shelton Benjamin was next. There was not much of a reaction to him.
WWE Championship Scramble Match: Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy vs. The Brian Kendrick vs. Montel Vontavious Porter vs. Shelton Benjamin
Pre-match notes: Jeff Hardy was a babyface while Shelton Benjamin was the heel. Triple H was the WWE Champion going into this match.
It started quickly with Jeff and Shelton each going for pin attempts followed by Shelton getting a shoulder tackle for two. Jeff got a rollup for two. Jeff got a sunset flip for two. Shelton took over with a side headlock. After Jeff got up, Shelton delivered a Buckle Bomb into the turnbuckle. Shelton hit a suplex. Shelton applied a chinlock to keep Jeff grounded. Jeff with a body slam and leg drop for two. Jeff with a neckbreaker on Benjamin.
The Brian Kendrick was the next entrant for his first ever WWE Title match. Jeff and Shelton battled on the turnbuckle with Shelton going for a German Suplex, but Kendrick knocked Shelton off the apron. Kendrick with a forearm on Jeff for two. Jeff avoided a corner attack, Kendrick hit the turnbuckle and Jeff hit an overhead release Powerbomb for the pinfall.
Jeff Hardy was the current WWE Champion
Shelton was back in, Jeff met him with a forearm and shoulder tackle. Jeff with a suplex on Shelton for two. Shelton rocked Jeff with a couple of forearms for a two count. Shelton charged, Jeff moved and got a nearfall. Shelton shoved Hardy away and hit Paydirt, but was slow to cover, so Shelton went in and kicked Shelton in the head. Kendrick hit Sliced Bread for the pinfall on Jeff.
The Brian Kendrick was the current WWE Champion
It was Montel Vontavious Porter up next as MVP entered for his first WWE Title match. MVP with punches followed by a lifting slam into the mat. MVP kicked Jeff out of the ring and a back body drop on Kendrick. MVP with a knee to the face. MVP with a clothesline to the back on Shelton. MVP charged, but Kendrick was back in with a jumping kick. Jeff returned with a forearm on Kendrick. Jeff with a spin kick that sent Shelton into the turnbuckle and Jeff hit a double dropkick for two. Kendrick sent Jeff out of the ring and then Shelton hit Kendrick with a Samoan Drop. Kendrick with a twisting cross body block off the middle rope on MVP. Kendrick with kicks on two opponents, but then Benjamin came back with a clothesline. Kendrick hit a hurricanrana on Shelton. Kendrick hit a jumping knee to the face of MVP.
The WWE Champion Triple H was the last man to make his entrance and he was in babyface mode, so he was cheered by the crowd. The clock was on the screen to let us know there were five minutes left. Hunter with two clotheslines, then a facebuster and Hunter hit a spinebuster on Kendrick. Hunter tossed MVP out of the ring. Hunter with a Pedigree on Kendrick to pin him.
Triple H was the current WWE Champion
There were four minutes left as Shelton went after Hunter and they were brawling on the floor. Shelton whipped Hunter into the steel steps. Jeff blocked an MVP kick and hit the Twist of Fate for the pinfall.
Jeff Hardy was the current WWE Champion
Kendrick went for Sliced Bread, but Jeff got out of it and hit a sitout front suplex. Jeff went up top with Hunter getting back up to trip Jeff on the top rope. Hunter hit another Pedigree on Kendrick for another pinfall.
Triple H was the current WWE Champion
There were about two minutes left as Jeff went up top and hit a Swanton Bomb while Hunter was on the other side of the ring, so he did not see it.
Jeff Hardy was the current WWE Champion
Jeff countered Hunter with a back body drop over the top to the floor. Jeff with a twisting plancha on Hunter on the floor. Benjamin jumped over MVP and they did a Tower of Doom suplex/Powerbomb spot. Jeff hit the Whisper in the Wind attack on MVP. Jeff went up top and hit a Swanton on Shelton. Hunter back in with a Pedigree on MVP for the one…two…and three with one second left. Jeff didn’t break up the pin because he went to cover Shelton, which was dumb.
Triple H was the current WWE Champion
Winner by pinfall: Triple H
Analysis: ***1/4 It was an entertaining match with Triple H and Jeff as the focal points of the match. There were seven pinfalls in 20 minutes, so there was a lot of action especially in the last five minutes. It definitely started slow and I think when you tell the audience that the match is going 20 minutes, it’s tough to care about everything before that. If everything was as exciting as the last five minutes then it would have been an amazing match overall. However, there was just too much time spent on guys hitting moves, laying around and not enough action. It was cool seeing Brian Kendrick in a match like that, but that didn’t happen for him in his WWE career.
After the match, Hunter and Jeff acknowledged eachother in the ring. Jeff noted he was so close to winning. Hunter shook his hand. Hunter left with the WWE Championship. Jeff was frustrated in the ring.
Analysis: Jeff would get his WWE Championship three months after this.
Shawn Michaels was interviewed backstage by Todd Grisham. Michaels said that it was the first time in the last three PPVs where he didn’t spend the night in the hospital. Michaels said he was going home to his wife and kids. Michaels said he was content, but he didn’t feel like it was closure. Michaels added for Chris Jericho, the worst was yet to come.
CM Punk, the World Heavyweight Champion on Raw, was interviewed by Eve Torres. Punk said since he’s become champion the odds have been stacked against him, but it’s been like that his whole life. Randy Orton showed up to tell Orton he was an absolute fluke. CM Punk wondered if Orton was cleared to compete. Punk called Orton a bitter ex-champion with no reason to be there while Punk will have the match of his career. That led to Cody, Ted and Manu attacking Punk from behind. They tossed Punk into a table. Kofi Kingston tried to help Punk, but he was beaten up. With Punk kneeling on the floor, Orton showed up and punted Punk in the head. Orton told the other wrestlers that was impressive.
Analysis: That took CM Punk out of the World Title match and ended his title reign. That was disappointing to see since Punk deserved to lose the title in the ring rather than in a backstage segment like that. It was disappointing.
Maryse made her entrance as a heel. Michelle McCool was in babyface mode.
Divas Championship: Michelle McCool vs. Maryse
Pre-match notes: McCool was the face while Maryse was a heel.
McCool with an armbar, then a hiptoss was blocked so McCool with a Russian legsweep. McCool got a hold of Maryse and tossed her across the ring. Maryse whipped McCool into the barricade and then over the barricade, but McCool came back with a boot to the face. McCool with a clothesline off the barricade. Back in the ring, Maryse took over ramming McCool’s knee into the ropes and then she wrenched back on the submission. Maryse with a knee bar submission. This took too long. McCool got out of it and delivered some elbow drops followed by a slam into the mat. McCool applied a heel hook on the left knee, but Maryse was able to the ropes. Maryse choked McCool against the ropes. McCool with a boot to the face for two. Maryse got a sloppy sunset flip, but then McCool hit a low dropkick. Maryse kicked the left leg of Maryse. McCool with a boot the ribs. McCool picked up Maryse and hit a front sitout suplex for the pinfall win at 5:42.
Winner by pinfall: Michelle McCool
Analysis: *1/4 A boring match with no crowd reaction at all. Most divas matches in this era got this amount of time. McCool was so much better as a character in her heel days.
A fan vote asked if Vickie Guerrero should have let Big Show go in a Championship Scramble match. It was 77% for Yes and 23% for now.
Mike Adamle, the Raw General Manager, was on the stage saying that CM Punk may not be able to compete. He said if Punk cannot compete then he’ll find a suitable replacement. Adamle said that Raw’s Championship Scramble will take place tonight.
Let’s Hear from Big Show
Big Show volunteered himself as a replacement for the World Title match in Japan. Show complained about how wasn’t in a Championship Scramble match. Show said it’s our chance to have our voices heard. Show asked if he should be in the Championship Scramble, the fans cheered at that was it.
The Smackdown General Manager Vickie Guerrero went down in the ring. Vickie mocked Show for past mistakes and called him a “big, dumb giant.” Vickie said that was the last time, so now he’ll do with the circumstances.
There was a casket along with some handlers that brought it down to the ring. Undertaker wondered if Vickie will go voluntarily or wait until Undertaker squeezes her around the throat. Taker ended it by saying “winds of change” since WWE loved that phrase.
The Undertaker made his slow walking entrance down to ringside. Show had a hold of Vickie in the ring. When Undertaker approached, it was Big Show heel turn time since he hit Taker with a KO Punch and more punches. Show sent Taker out of the ring with Show getting full control. The fans were behind Taker a bit, but then he got destroyed by Big Show. Big Show punched Taker in the face. Show held Taker in his arms and Vickie slapped Taker in the face. Show left with Vickie while Undertaker was down selling.
Analysis: A beatdown that took way too long with nobody there to try to save Undertaker. This would lead to yet another Big Show heel turn and a feud with Undertaker again.
There was a backstage scene with William Regal talking to Raw GM Mike Adamle with Regal trying to tell Adamle to let him in the match. Adamle said he’ll take it under advisement and left.
Batista made his entrance first for the WHC Scramble Match as part of the Raw brand with the fans cheering for him loudly. John Bradshaw Layfield was up next in the main event with Cole noting that everybody in the match has been a champion before.
World Heavyweight Championship Scramble Match: Batista vs. John “Bradshaw” Layfield vs. Kane vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho
Pre-match notes: Batista was a face while JBL was a heel. CM Punk was the World Heavyweight Champion going into the match, but he was taken out earlier in the show.
Batista with shoulder tackles, JBL with punches and then Batista hit a clothesline for two. JBL applied a sleeper and Batista hit a kneebreaker followed by a chop block to the back of the left leg. Batista applied a Figure Four Leglock like his mentor Ric Flair, which is a move that Batista didn’t do often in his career. JBL got to the rope to get out of it. JBL grabbed the tights to toss Batista out of the ring. Batista whipped JBL into the steel steps at ringside. They said it was supposed to be five minutes for the next man, but it was closer to four minutes.
Kane was up next looking like he was in heel mode although there wasn’t much of a reaction for his entrance. Kane with a whip into the corner, Batista came back with a clothesline and a boot to the face. Kane with a snapmare on Batista leading to a low dropkick for two. Kane sent Batista into the turnbuckle and Batista got an elbow up leading to a clothesline. Kane came back with a sidewalk slam. Kane went up top and jumped off with a clothesline, but Batista moved. Kane with an uppercut punch. Batista fought out of a Chokeslam attempt and JBL was back in with a kick to the head. Kane ducked a charging JBL and Kane hit a Chokeslam on JBL to pin him.
Kane was the current World Heavyweight Champion
It was about four minutes (not five minutes) for the next entrant in the match. It was Rey Mysterio going in there as a babyface as usual. Kane sent Batista into the ring post to send him out of the ring. Rey bounced off the ropes with dropkicks to the leg and a kick to the head. Rey hit a springboard dropkick with Kane taking a nice bump over the top to the floor. Rey with a headscissors takedown followed by the classic counter into a bulldog spot. Rey went for a 619 kick on Kane, who ducked, and Kane hit a clothesline. Batista was back in with a belly to back suplex on Kane and a kick to JBL. Rey went on Batista’s shoulders and Rey jumped off the shoulders with a splash on Kane, so Batista got a two count out of it. Rey got on Batista’s shoulders again and Rey got a sunset flip on Batista for a two count. Batista wondered what that was about. JBL with a clothesline on Batista and a fallaway slam on Rey onto Batista for two. JBL kicked Kane in the face. JBL with a short-arm clothesline on Mysterio for another man. Once again it was only four minutes between intervals.
Chris Jericho was the fifth and final man in the match with Jericho slowly walking down to the ring. The announcers were shocked by it since Jericho was destroyed earlier in the night. There was a clock with five minutes left, so that’s when the match will end. Jericho had visible scars all over his body.
Kane with a clothesline on Batista. Rey ran the ropes and Batista hit him with a Spear. Jericho into the ring and Batista hit him with a Spear. Batista with a Spear on JBL for two with a foot on the rope. Rey with a 619 to Kane and Batista kicked Kane for two with Rey breaking up the pin. Rey with a running leg drop on JBL. Rey hit a 619 on JBL. Rey went for a springboard attack, but Batista knocked him off the top rope to the floor. JBL with a Clothesline From Hell on Kane. Batista with a spinebuster on JBL. There were under two minutes left. Kane hit a body slam on Batista and then up top where Kane connected with the top rope clothesline for two. There was one minute left as Batista hit a Spear on Kane. Batista with a spinebuster on Kane to pin him.
Batista was the current World Heavyweight Champion
There were about 25 seconds left as Rey went for a move on Batista, but Batista caught him. Jericho snuck in the ring and pinned Kane (Batista never saw it since he was dealing with Rey) while Batista gave Rey a Batista Bomb on the other side of the ring. Jericho got the pinfall with about seven seconds left.
Chris Jericho was the current World Heavyweight Champion
The clock ran down and Jericho was the new World Heavyweight Champion. The match went 17:08. It was supposed to go 20 minutes, but it was nearly three full minutes less than that.
Winner AND NEW World Heavyweight Champion: Chris Jericho
Analysis: *** A cheap ending that was also weak since Kane got pinned twice in a row after a spinebuster. Really? A spinebuster? That’s it. There was a Spear before it, but it came off as a poor spot. It just didn’t look good to me. Batista pinned Kane after that spinebuster with 40 seconds left and Kane just stayed there as Jericho covered him with 10 seconds left, so Kane was down for 30 seconds from that spinebuster. I understand what they were going for with Jericho doing no moves the entire match and then stealing the pin right at the end while Batista giving Rey the Batista Bomb. I just think it could have been booked better. Anyway, Batista was in the middle of everything throughout the match since he started it, he worked with the heels and had some spots with Rey too. What really stood out was how dead the crowd was. That could be a big reason why WWE didn’t do this match concept again. When the crowd is that quiet for your main event match, it’s a bad sign. It wasn’t a bad match overall. It was just average.
Chris Jericho was presented with the World Heavyweight Championship even though he barely did anything in the match. They showed the replays of the final two pinfalls. It focused on Batista looking shocked about what happened at the end of the match.
Jericho continued to celebrate with the World Heavyweight Championship.
Analysis: The reason for Jericho getting the World Title here is because the feud with Shawn Michaels was so hot that WWE’s creative team wanted to move the title onto that feud for one more match at No Mercy. That would be a Ladder Match. I think the finish was creative as I said, but
This event had a runtime of 2:42:16 on WWE Network.
Show rating (out of 10): 6.25
It was mostly an average show with the Michaels/Jericho story as the highlight as usual for any 2008 PPV they were on.
I think doing three Championship Scramble matches on the PPV was a bad idea. They should have done just one or two max. Three was too much. By the time the third one ended in the main event, the crowd was dead quiet and lost interest in the match. They barely reacted to some of the action in that match. Obviously, WWE didn’t love the Scramble Match concept since this was the only time they did it with three matches on a PPV. Yes, they did an ECW Title Scramble Match at The Bash 2009, but it was just one match on a PPV.
1. Shawn Michaels
2. Chris Jericho
3. Jeff Hardy
4. Rey Mysterio
Best Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho (****1/4 out of 5) – Most of their PPV matches were the best match on the card.
Worst Match: Michelle McCool vs. Maryse (*1/4)
Most Memorable Moment: Chris Jericho sneaking in at the last possible moment to win the World Heavyweight Title.
That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.
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