WWE Survivor Series '08
November 23rd, 2008

Hello again, all! I started working on this when I was laid up in bed with a nasty cold, and now I'm coming back to it a few days later to finish it up. My first review in a while! Will it signal a bunch more after it? Odds are against it, but we can always hope. At the very least, I can start getting more and more of these up, going through my old collection, and make this a strong historical site, even if I don't have the time to keep up with the day-to-day changes.

With that said, let's start talking about Survivor Series '08! It's the 22nd Annual Survivor Series, a show that has gone through so much over its long run, and still rates as one of the top shows of the year for the WWE. We've got an Undertaker/Big Show Casket Match, the wild Jeff Hardy situation, John Cena's return from injury, numerous Survivor Series style matches (including a Diva one *gulp*), and more, so let's get to it!

WWE Survivor Series '08
Posted by the Accelerator, February 2nd, 2013

- "For 22 years, it's been all about Survival. Tonight, the tradition continues." That's how we begin. The video then is all about John Cena, starting with the herniated disc he got from Batista. The triumphant return of Cena is shown, but it's interrupted by Chris Jericho, who talks about how every fairy tale ends with him as the champion. He's going to show Cena that not every tale has a happy ending.

- We're in Boston, and we already have some love for John Cena in the crowd. Welcome home, John.

- Our announcers are Jim Ross and Taz. After the fireworks display, we quickly get into a 'serious' portion, as JR talks about Jeff Hardy being found unconscious in the stairwell in his Boston hotel. Many news agencies are supposedly covering it, and Hardy was hospitalized but has since been released. Will he wrestle tonight? We shall see...

- They don't get shown on screen, but I can hear Michael Cole, Jerry "The King" Lawler, Todd Grisham, and Matt Striker, who are also on commentary. Ahhh, the days when they tried to separate the announcers (but had them all on PPV's).

Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, The Great Khali w/ Ranjin Singh, & Cryme Tyme (Shad Gaspard & JTG) vs. John Bradshaw Layfield, Kane, MVP, John Morrison, & The Miz, Survivor Series Elimination Match:

Backstory: In a late-October match, JBL & Chris Jericho were set to face Shawn Michaels & Batista. To try and get the advantage, JBL attacked Michaels in the back, injuring his knee. Michaels eventually made it to the match, though, and the face team won out. Michaels also got revenge on JBL on the next Raw, throwing him into the ring to get chokeslammed by the Undertaker. In retaliation, JBL helped Chris Jericho win a "Last Man Standing" match over HBK. The two continued to feud while building up teams for a traditional Survivor Series match.

Elimination #1: After a short exchange between MVP and Mysterio, JTG gets tagged in, only to have MVP take him out with a Drive By for the elimination.

Elimination #2: MVP celebrated a little too much (having been on a losing streak while trying to earn his incentive payout), which allowed the Great Khali to walk up and crush him with a huge chop. Khali then pinned MVP with one foot, eliminating him.

Elimination #3: Khali and Kane faced off in a battle of monsters, with Khali blocking a chokeslam and getting another powerful chop. He then tagged in Mysterio and lifted Mysterio onto his shoulders, with Mysterio leaping off him for a big splash to eliminate Kane. We've barely started this match, and three quick eliminations are already complete. Wow.

Elimination #4: Shad had a short battle with both Morrison & the Miz, and seemed to have things in control. But a distraction from Morrison allowed the Miz to make a quick comeback and get the Reality Check for the victory, eliminating Shad from the contest.

Elimination #5: Michaels came in, but actually got dominated a while by the heels. Eventually, Michaels escapes and gets the hot tag to Mysterio, who takes it to the Miz. Mysterio gets the 619 and the splash for the pinfall, getting rid of the Miz.

Elimination #6: Mysterio gets to play the face-in-peril for a while, but after a beating, he manages a reversal on JBL and got a standing moonsault to land (bloodying JBL's lip). Michaels makes the hot tag, going at it with JBL. The two fight to the outside, with the two rivals duking it out. JBL managed to avoid a teased Sweet Chin Music, but his backing away was his undoing, as Michaels dived under the ropes while JBL was counted out.

Elimination #7: While JBL is still complaining, Morrison tries to get a surprise kick of his own on Michaels. But HBK ducks it, then lands his own Sweet Chin Music, knocking Morrison out for the pinfall victory. Your survivors are Michaels, Mysterio, and Khali.

Ace Thoughts: An enjoyable opening, although the pinfalls seemed extremely quick in the beginning of this one for a 10-man elimination. But then, that's what it was there for, just to get the crowd going. I liked a bit at the end, where Khali raised the arms of both Mysterio and Michaels, with both looking painfully up at him. HBK managed to get them forward and climbed the lower rope, while Mysterio climbed the middle one, getting them enough leverage to be up with the giant Khali.

- Triple H is in the back and interviewer Eve Torres asked him about Jeff Hardy. He thinks Hardy will be back sooner or later to face him, if he doesn't tonight. Thus, it will be Triple H vs. Vladimir Kozlov tonight. Joy. I frankly forgot about Kozlov getting this 'undefeated' push.

Team Raw (Jillian Hall, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Candice Michelle, & Beth Phoenix w/ Santino Marella) vs. Team Smackdown (Maria, Maryse, Michelle McCool, Natalya, & Victoria), Survivor Series Elimination Match:

Backstory: Yeah, it's a Divas tag match. I mean, there are a few stories here and there (like Kelly Kelly upsetting Victoria in a match), but that's all I've got.

Elimination #1: Team Smackdown doesn't seem to be focused, as McCool and Maryse come to blows and have to be separated at one point. We see some of several wrestlers before Victoria tags herself in, wanting to show that her loss to Kelly Kelly was a fluke. Kelly Kelly promptly takes her down with a hurricanrana pin and eliminates her. BTW, Kelly Kelly's skills are pretty weak at this point, but she at least had the hurricanrana pin working for her (so we see it a lot).

Elimination #2: Maryse soon takes control of Kelly Kelly, delivering a major backbreaker and then pinning her (with the hands on Kelly Kelly's chest).

Elimination #3: Mickie James comes in, and the wrestling immediately picks back up. McCool and James put on a pinning clinic, with nobody eliminated. After one move, James makes the pin, but then dodges as Maria comes in to attempt the save, causing Maria to hit McCool. An angry McCool yells at Maria, distracted, and thus falls to the Mickie DDT and is pinned.

Elimination #4: As McCool leaves, Phoenix walks on the apron to mock her. This distracts James, who turns her back and gets rolled up by Maryse and pinned. So the wrestling picks up, so we quickly get rid of the wrestlers. Okay.

Elimination #5: Natalya (the daughter of Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart) gets some good cheers for putting Candice Michelle in the Sharpshooter. But Jillian Hall breaks it up, and a distracted Natalya gets speared and pinned by Candice. I've been using 'distracted' a lot in these eliminations. I think the only clean pin so far has been Kelly Kelly.

Elimination #6: After Jillian gets in her cartwheel elbow into the corner on Maria, she makes the mistake of letting Maria get up on her shoulders. Maria rolls down and makes the pin, eliminating Jillian.

Elimination #7: Candice Michelle comes in, but her leg buckles due to the earlier Sharpshooter. Maria stupidly gets too close for a headlock, though, and Candice gets a northern lights suplex on Maria to eliminate her, mere seconds after the last elimination.

Elimination #8: Maryse knocks Phoenix off the apron, and then goes after Candice Michelle's injured leg, putting on a figure four variation that forces the tap out. We're down to one-on-one.

Elimination #9: Maryse puts up a short fight, trying to take out Phoenix, but the Glamazon won't be denied. One Glam Slam ends it, making Phoenix the sole survivor.

Ace Thoughts: Some painful moments to sit through aside, I've seen worse diva matches. I'm not saying it was great, and I'm not saying it was terrible, just somewhere in-between.

- Matt Hardy gives a brief update on his brother, Jeff, to Todd Grisham. It's brief because Matt doesn't seem to know much, other than that he had feared the worst.

- We get a video talking about the Big Show/Undertaker feud. The Big Show says that the Undertaker gets his power through fear, but that won't work against him. To prove that the Big Show isn't afraid of him, he challenges the Undertaker to a casket match. The Undertaker answers with his normal mind games, showing off the large casket. The Big Show believes in power, fist power, and they talk about him knocking the Undertaker unconscious at No Mercy '08. Nice video build-up for this one.

- It's the eighteenth anniversary of the debut of the Undertaker. Talk about an impressive career.

- The casket gets the impressive entrance, complete with darkness and chanting. If I were the Big Show, I might be a little afraid now. But that's just me.

The Big Show vs. The Undertaker, Casket Match:

Backstory: I covered most of the backstory in the video above, so check that out.

The Match: Typical casket match at first. Despite what he said, the Big Show definitely isn't a big fan of caskets. First big spot is on the ECW announce table, with the Undertaker coming off the close-by Raw table to drop a leg onto the Big Show through the table! The fight continued back in the ring, with the Big Show suplexing the Undertaker off the turnbuckle and landing some big hits on "the Phenom". He gets the Undertaker into the casket, but the refs won't close it, since the Big Show has to close it himself. The Big Show isn't happy about it, and the delay allows the Undertaker to recover and get out.

The fight continued in the ring, with the Undertaker chokeslamming the Big Show off the turnbuckle (why Show went up there is a complete mystery). He kicks the Big Show into the casket, but the Big Show blocks the door closure. The Big Show comes back with a chokeslam, then decides to take out the casket, flipping it over and leaving. The Undertaker rises up and goes after him, blocking the Big Show's escape with a blast of fire at the entrance!! They brawl down the aisle, away from the 'broken' casket. The Undertaker has another casket ready, though, at the entryway. After a long fight on the stage, the casket gets propped up with the door open. The Undertaker then manages to whip the Big Show into it, causing it to fall over and close, ending the match. Winner: The Undertaker

Ace Thoughts: I didn't come into this one expecting a lot of high-flying or technical maneuvers, so I think I got my money's worth from the couple big moves they put on. The ending could have used a little more (it was somewhat anticlimactic), and you really shouldn't expect a memorable contest, but other than that, no complaints.

- We see Carlito, Primo, and the Bella Twins in the back. The Gobbly Gooker shows up (with Primo a little bit starstruck). Carlito immediately thinks it must be Charlie Haas, who has been dressing up like different wrestlers lately. Charlie then shows up, confusing everyone. The Gooker hat comes off, and it's the Boogeyman! "I'm the Boogeyman, and I'm coming to get you! *pause* Gobble gobble."

- Randy Orton is in the back with his team, and he wants to set the record straight. He didn't choose to be the captain, and if it was up to him, he'd be wrestling Chris Jericho for the World Title. But since he's the leader, they aren't going to lose. They have their strengths (Orton looks at Mark Henry) and we have our weaknesses (Orton turns to Cody Rhodes), but if they follow him, they will win. Rhodes immediately says that if Orton is eliminated first, "let's call it addition by subtraction". The rest of the team has to separate Orton and Rhodes, not a good start for Team Orton.

Team Batista (Batista, Matt Hardy, Kofi Kingston, CM Punk, & R-Truth) vs. Team Orton (Shelton Benjamin, Mark Henry w/ Tony Atlas, Randy Orton, William Regal w/ Layla, & Cody Rhodes w/ Manu), Survivor Series Elimination Match:

Backstory: As always with elimination matches, there are several to choose from (but none major). Lately, the main feuds have involved Randy Orton, CM Punk, and Cody Rhodes. A short time ago, Orton had tried to get Punk suspended, with no success (but he did get rid of Mike Adamle, thank goodness). Orton also gave Ted DiBiase (Rhodes' tag-team championship partner) a punt kick, putting him out of action and leading to definite issues between the two.

Elimination #1: This doesn't take long. Punk immediately attacks Regal with a splash in the corner, and then gets the Go To Sleep for the first elimination. Word has it Regal was dealing with an illness, which is what led to the quick elimination. Enjoy the paycheck, Regal, thanks for coming, now go home and get some rest.

Elimination #2: After the quick elimination, we settle down, with several wrestlers getting in there. Eventually, it's R-Truth and Benjamin, with R-Truth taking control and going for the What's Up kick. But Benjamin ducks it, and then gets Paydirt to take R-Truth out.

Elimination #3: Kingston comes in strong, but eventually gets blind-sided by Henry. The heels then work him over, with Orton giving him a rope-hanging DDT to take him out. Team Orton is up 4-3.

Elimination #4: Punk's in to take it to Orton, but Rhodes gets tagged in and takes control. Punk comes back, but gets caught on the top rope. One DDT later and Punk is out.

Elimination #5: Now it's Hardy's turn, and he nearly puts Rhodes away with a Side Effect. But Rhodes manages to tag in Henry, who takes over. Hardy still manages to nearly put him away with another Side Effect, but that move's not keeping anyone down tonight. Hardy then dives off the top rope but is caught and given the World's Strongest Slam, and just like that, it's 4-on-1.

Elimination #6: Being alone, Batista knows not to waste any time. He spears Henry and immediately eliminates him, making the odds slightly better.

Elimination #7: Benjamin charges in, but immediately takes a lot of abuse as well, eventually ending with a Batista Bomb that takes him out. We're down to 2-1.

Elimination #8: Rhodes is the next to face Batista's wrath, taking some shots. But Orton manages the blind tag, so after Rhodes gets the Batista Bomb, the ref refuses to count the pinfall. Batista, confused, stands up and gets RKO'ed by Orton, taking him out. Your survivors are Orton & Rhodes.

Ace Thoughts: I enjoyed the first elimination match of the night better, but this one had some good moments, especially Batista tearing through his opponents near the end. It was sad to see Punk and Kingston get jobbed out so quickly, though.

- An interview from Vladimir Kozlov by Eve Torres. She asked if Jeff Hardy not being there would change his strategy. After some Russian comments, he says "It makes... no difference... (what) Tonight... (what) I will become... (what) the champion..." That's it, Kozlov then walks away. Why even waste the interview time?

- We also get an update about Jeff Hardy, that he's checked out of the hospital. Does that mean he's on the way?? The announcers talk about the 'cruel irony' that the history package is mostly about Jeff Hardy, who's not going to be in the match.

- We then see the video package, which, yep, is a lot about Hardy's quest to finally become the WWE champion, but always coming close but not completing it. We see Hardy interrupting the contract signing between Triple H and Kozlov, beating down Kozlov and tearing up the contract. "Was that Extreme enough for you, Vickie??" Hardy's rampage through the WWE is shown, which led Vickie to say if Hardy can beat Triple H in a one-on-one match, he gets into the Survivor Series match. Kozlov distracted Triple H in the match, allowing Hardy to get the roll-up victory. Kozlov then assaulted both men after the match, showing his own power.

Triple H(c) vs. Vladimir Kozlov, WWE Championship No Disqualification, No Countout Match:

Backstory: Again, see the video above for a lot of the history. At the time, this was Kozlov's PPV debut, and he had been pushed as an undefeated monster (but the fans had not gotten behind him at all). With Jeff Hardy scratched, it almost felt like a bait-and-switch (at least at first).

The Match: We get a lot of somewhat-technical wrestling for a while, which bores the crowd. A "We Want Hardy" chant follows a "Boring" one. Triple H is in control for a while at the beginning, getting some of his favorite moves. Kozlov takes over after blocking the Pedigree with a Battering Ram headbutt. He beats on Triple H for a good amount of time, but the crowd is really not into it, other than a "USA" chant here and there. The announcers are desperately trying to sell Kozlov's "wearing down" style as a fantastic decision.

Just when it seems like Kozlov has everything in hand, a (really weak) missed headbutt in the corner leads to a quick Triple H Pedigree, leaving both men down. That's when Vickie Guerrero comes out, announcing that "As promised, this will be a Triple Threat match! Ladies and gentlemen, he's here!! He's here! Here he is!!" And the fans erupt as... Edge's music hits!!! Edge shocks the world!

Edge immediately takes up his position in the corner, ready for a Spear, and he hits it on Triple H! But then the crowd gets even louder as, suddenly, Jeff Hardy's in the ring!!! He attacks Edge, and then goes for a chair, bringing it in! He swings at Edge, but nails Triple H instead!! he then turns and strikes Kozlov, knocking him out!! Another turn... and Edge Spears Hardy!! Immediately, Edge drops and pins Triple H, getting the victory and becoming the WWE Champion!! He goes and celebrates with his wife, Vickie, afterwards, as the announcers continue to be blown away.

Ace Thoughts: A very rough match is worth seeing for the last two minutes. Edge's appearance, first, shocked the crowd (but got a lot of cheers, showing how bored everyone was with Kozlov). Then Hardy's run-out took it to another level, ending with Edge winning the championship. If you're going to check this match out, I recommend fast-forwarding to the end, personally... but don't skip it completely.

- A video package talks about Chris Jericho being the best in the world. While Cena was recovering from his injury, Jericho won a "Scramble" Match at Unforgiven to become the World Champion. He beat CM Punk in a Cage match, Shawn Michaels in a "Ladder" Match, and Batista in another Cage match. Cena then returns, and is immediately given a World Title match in his hometown against Jericho. - We have a quick push for people to buy the WWE Smackdown vs. Raw '09 video game. Gotta be nice when you can have your sponsor be your own product.

Chris Jericho(c) vs. John Cena, World Heavyweight Title Match:

Backstory: Ok, these Backstory sections are somewhat pointless with video packages detailing everything beforehand *lol*. Maybe I should only put this if there wasn't a video package in the future.

The Match: Cena tries to end things early with an FU, but Jericho's able to escape. The two go back and forth for a while, avoiding each other's submission maneuvers and looking to get any advantage they can. At one point, Jericho nails Cena with a big kick that seemingly knocks him out on the outside, but Cena manages to get up at the count of 9 to continue. Jericho's in control for a while, both in and out of the ring, as the fight continues.

Cena makes his usual comeback and manages to avoid the Lionsault and get his Protobomb. However, when Cena goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, Jericho reverses into the Walls of Jericho!! Cena manages to reverse out of it, but a clothesline from Jericho allows him to put the hold right back on. Cena's in the hold for a long time before finally reaching the ropes to cause the break. After Jericho argues with the ref, he turns back to Cena, who immediately gives him the FU!! So much for selling the legs there, Cena. Cena at least is too weak for the cover for a minute, so by the time he gets there, Jericho kicks out.

The two wrestlers get back up and fight on the turnbuckle, with Jericho getting thrown off. Cena rises up and leaps off with the top-rope leg drop. But a second FT is countered into the Codebreaker!! Jericho's pin takes too long, though, so the match continues. Jericho then hits multiple clotheslines, getting cocky (or just enraged). "Get up, you son of a bitch!!" But Jericho finally goes one too many times, with Cena reversing into the STFU submission!! Jericho claws towards the ropes, so Cena tries to pull him backwards, only to take a kick to the face and get rolled up for 2. But Cena powers out of the roll-up, getting to his feet with Jericho in his arms and lifting him up onto his shoulders, landing the FU!! The match ends there, with Cena returning to the WWE and immediately becoming the WWE Champion!

Ace Thoughts: There were some really good elements in this match, and it had the atmosphere of a big match. But despite all the reversals, counters, and finishing maneuvers, this one just didn't seem to reach its top gear. I'm not sure why; maybe Cena was still rusty, maybe Jericho wasn't into it due to having his reign end this way, or maybe it was just the certainty of the crowd that Cena was going to win. Whichever way you look at it, this match wasn't quite a 4 or 5 star match. It was acceptable, even enjoyable, just not one I'll be watching again in a year or so.

Overall, not a bad show, with a very memorable moment in the Edge return and title victory, but not something to record in the history books as an epic night of wrestling. Thankfully, there wasn't anything awful, either, so if you're a wrestling fan, it was probably worth at least part of the money paid.

The Accelerator