The Armageddon 2008 event was the last WWE PPV of the year where the company went PG. It was a pretty good roster at the time, but historically speaking the December PPVs usually don’t always big moments. What’s cool about this one is there is a historically great moment at the end of the show thanks to main event triple threat match with Edge defending the WWE Title against Triple H and Jeff Hardy.
This show did a poor number on pay-per-view with 193,000 buys. It was the worst number of PPV buys in Armageddon history and about 40,000 buys worse than the year before. It only beat a couple of PPVs in 2008, but overall I’d say it was a disappointing number.
Here is the synopsis on WWE Network:
“Triple H, Edge, and Jeff Hardy battle in a Triple Threat Match for WWE Championship. John Cena faces Chris Jericho for World Heavyweight Championship. Finlay battles Mark Henry in a Belfast Brawl. An Eight-Woman Santa’s Little Helper Tag Team Match and more.” PG (V)
The DVD looked like this:
Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Let’s get to the show.
From HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York
December 14, 2008
The opening video package spoke about how an epic war will take place between the “kings of the Earth” which is a bit over the top even for WWE. It focused on the main rivalries like John Cena facing Chris Jericho, Randy Orton against Batista and the Triple H vs. Edge vs. Jeff Hardy match for the WWE Championship.
They had a pretty cool set by the entrance with buildings and structures as a part of it. I’ve never been a big “set guy” but I like it when they attempted to put something there. There was a big crowd in Buffalo as Jim Ross welcomed us to the show.
Matt Hardy made his entrance as the ECW Champion. The ECW announce team of Todd Grisham and Matt Striker were on hand to call the match. The Raw announcers were Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler while Jim Ross and Tazz were the Smackdown announcers. “The Moscow Mauler” Vladimir Kozlov entered for this non-title match with the announcers noting he has not been pinned since he started in WWE eight months earlier.
Matt Hardy vs. Vladimir Kozlov
Pre-match notes: Hardy was the face while Kozlov was the heel.
Kozlov with shoulder tackles. Kozlov went for a power move, but Matt got a rollup for two. Kozlov came back with a belly to back suplex across the ring. Kozlov sent Hardy’s left shoulder into the ring post two times in a row. Kozlov with headbutts to the left arm/shoulder followed by an armbar for a couple of minutes. This went on way too long until Matt finally hit a jawbreaker to break free. Kozlov hooked the arms leading to headbutts to the chest for a two count. Kozlov applied another armbar on the left arm. When Matt got back up, Kozlov hit him with a DDT for two and back to the left armbar for another minute. Hardy broke free, shoulders to the ribs and a double ax handle to the back. Hardy tossed Kozlov out of the ring. Matt went for a cross body block off the apron, Kozlov caught him, but then Matt sent Kozlov into the ring post two times. Back in the ring, Matt got a Side Effect for two. Matt went for a diving attack off the turnbuckle and Kozlov hit him with a palm strike for two with Matt getting his left hand on the bottom rope. Matt got an inside cradle for two. Kozlov sent Matt into the top of the ring post and a headbutt to the chest. Kozlov hit a Chokeslam like power move (or more like a spinebuster) for the pinfall win at 9:02.
Winner by pinfall: Vladimir Kozlov
Analysis: *1/2 A boring match like most Kozlov matches. I don’t think many guys could have carried him to a good match. Matt worked hard to his credit. Kozlov working on the left arm was fine, but it went on too long and it wasn’t exciting to watch. I don’t think Kozlov is a good choice in an opening match since his style is so boring.
Edge and Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero were in the dressing room together. Vickie had a neckbrace on. Edge told her he had to go get ready for his match. Chavo Guerrero was there too. Chavo asked how Vickie and Edge took out Jeff Hardy the night before Survivor Series. Vickie said that they were not involved. Vickie told Chavo to fetch her cup of coffee she asked for five minutes ago. Chavo said that if they did have something to do with Jeff’s attack, he wouldn’t tell a soul and Vickie said there’s nothing to tell, so she told him to get her coffee.
Finlay was shown backstage with Hornswoggle, who was chasing around Eve and she wished them Happy Holidays. Finlay told “son” Hornswoggle to stay in the back because he didn’t want him to get hurt if he came to ringside. Hornswoggle looked sad about it.
The Intercontinental Champion William Regal and Layla were at ringside to watch the next match. This next match was the final match in the Intercontinental Championship tournament.
Here’s how the brackets were for the IC Title tournament to set up CM Punk facing Rey Mysterio.
Rey Mysterio entered first to a good pop. CM Punk got a solid reaction, but not that big. Punk and Kofi Kingston lost the Tag Team Titles to The Miz & John Morrison at a live event one night earlier.
CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio
Pre-match notes: CM Punk and Rey Mysterio were both babyfaces.
Punk and Rey shook hands since they are both faces. Each guy went for rollup attempts early on. Punk with two shoulder tackles, Rey with a trip and jackknife cover for two. Rey charged, Punk with two arm drags and Rey countered with an arm drag of his own. Punk sent Rey over the top to the floor right in front of Regal. Punk did a slingshot dive over the top onto a standing Rey on the floor. Punk with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Punk wrapped his legs around Rey’s waist to trap him on the mat. Rey to the apron, then up top, Punk tripped him up and Rey was caught upside down against the turnbuckle. Punk charged, Rey pulled himself back up and Rey hit a moonsault off the top on a standing Punk for a two count. Punk with a scoop slam for a two count. Punk went for an armbar, then a Crossface submission and Rey got to the bottom rope to break the hold. Rey ran the ropes leading to a move where he spun around Punk’s body into an armbar on the left arm, which led to Punk getting to the bottom rope to break the hold. Rey with kicks to the body, then a dropkick to the back and Punk bumped to the floor. Rey jumped off the top with a cross body block on Punk on the floor. Back in the ring, Rey hit a springboard cross body block for a two count. Rey with a victory roll pin, Punk countered to his own pin attempt and Rey kicked out at two. Punk came back with the running knee into a bulldog combo that he likes to do for a two count. Rey tripped up Punk and bridged back for a two count. Rey sent Punk into the ropes, Rey went for the 619, Punk moved and Rey countered the GTS into a headscissors leading to the 619 kick against the ropes. Rey went for the springboard splash, but Punk sat up. Rey hooked the arms into a crucifix pin for a two count. Rey jumped off the turnbuckle, Punk managed to get Rey on his shoulders and he gave him a GTS knee to the face for the pinfall win at 12:15. Rey had a bloody nose. Rey tried to block the GTS with a hand, but it hit him in the nose.
Winner by pinfall: CM Punk
Analysis: ***1/2 A very good match with two entertaining babyfaces that worked well together. I would have put this as the opening match on the show instead of what they went with. It was more of a back and forth match with each guy getting plenty of offense. When Punk turned heel, he had better matches with Rey. What I liked also is that it was a competitive match between two babyfaces with something on the line since Punk earned an IC Title match with the win. It’s simple booking, but it works. Give people a reason to care about the matches. That always helps.
Post match, Punk picked up Rey and hugged him out of respect. Punk stared at Regal as he celebrated the win.
Jeff Hardy did a promo in a darkened room saying that people have tried to change him his whole life. Jeff said it’s easy for people to say he’s a screw up and make a mistake again. Jeff talked about how everybody has tried to break him, but he has broke his own walls down, but tonight is a new chapter in his career and you will see inside the eyes of one imagination. Jeff said tonight he’ll answer the questions. Jeff said he is who he is, Jeff Hardy – WWE Champion! The fans cheered that.
Analysis: It was a focused Jeff Hardy looking ready to go later in the show.
There was a video that aired about the storyline with John Bradshaw Layfield talking about the financial troubles of Shawn Michaels and JBL was helping him even though Shawn didn’t want to do it. Shawn made bad investments or something along those lines, so we are to believe he didn’t have a lot of money even as a top guy in WWE.
Analysis: This was the early part of a long term storyline.
Let’s Hear from John Bradshaw Layfield and Shawn Michaels
John Bradshaw Layfield made his entrance in a limousine for a promo segment. JBL was booed by the crowd as he got into the ring. JBL introduced us to his newest employee – Shawn Michaels. The fans cheered for Michaels, who was in street clothes and not looking excited to be out there. The fans chanted “HBK” for the Heartbreak Kid.
Michaels said that the economy has hit all of us very hard and he’s not immune to it. Shawn said he’s in a very tough spot and he’s heard all the whispers. Shawn said he’s heard people say he’s on TV, he’s rich, so there’s no way this could happen to him and he wishes that was the case. Michaels said like when he came into money, he bought houses, cars, motorcycles and gave handouts to friends that needed it. Michaels said he paid for all his knee surgeries, his back surgeries and he didn’t want to be beholden to a company. Michaels talked about how about ten years ago he met his wife, they had two beautiful children, he called an investment company and saved his money while supporting things he believed in. Michaels spoke about how the roof caved in, so to speak. Michaels said he doesn’t know how much time he has left (as a wrestler). Michaels noted that he has a wife, two children that depend on him, plus other family that depends on him and that is why he took JBL up on his offer. Michaels made it clear he doesn’t like JBL any more than you do and he finds him reprehensible, but the man is very good financially, so that’s what Shawn needs right now. Michaels spoke about how he will put his children through college, he will not let his brothers and sisters lose their homes. Michaels said he won’t become one of those guys that wrestles in a high school gym and he will not become a wrestling tragedy. Shawn said if he gets booed or called a “sellout” then he’ll pay that price. The fans chanted “you sold out” at him. Michaels ended it saying it’s not something he wants to do, it’s something he has to do. JBL took the microphone from Michaels and extended his hand. Michaels shook the hand, which drew boos from the crowd. JBL left first and Michaels left after him.
Analysis: It was a good promo by Shawn. I don’t necessarily think it was a great storyline by any means, but from a performance standpoint, what Shawn said and how he acted was believable. The story ended up lasting for a few months, it ended with Shawn getting to stand tall again and that was it. With all of that said, if this promo was a 10-minute segment on Raw, it would have been better than putting it on a PPV. I’d rather see matches on a PPV. The tag team division wasn’t a part of this show, so maybe they could have had a match instead of this promo.
Randy Orton was interviewed by Eve. Cody Rhodes and Manu showed up to support Orton with Cody saying that Randy was the “Crown Jewel” of Evolution while Batista was hired muscle. Cody said that Batista doesn’t possess the skills of a second or third-generation wrestler like them. Manu said that Orton has been waiting four years and he will expose Batista for the fraud that he is. Manu said that tonight, Orton cements his legacy. Orton didn’t say a word as the interview ended there.
Analysis: The Legacy group was Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, and Manu at this point. Manu didn’t last very long with them, though.
They showed some players from the Buffalo Bills at ringside.
Belfast Brawl: Mark Henry (w/Tony Atlas) vs. Finlay
Pre-match notes: Mark Henry was the heel while Finlay was the face. This was an ECW brand match.
It was a Belfast Brawl, so no countouts or disqualifications. Weapons were allowed.
Henry used his power to pick up Finlay in a body slam and dump him onto the apron to the floor. Henry left the ring, so Finlay gave him a drop toe hold into the announce table. Henry whipped Finlay into the apron and barricade. Henry tripped up Finlay on the apron. Back in the ring, Henry missed a splash when Finlay moved and Finlay delivered kicks to the head. Finlay brought two kendo sticks, two trash cans and more kendo sticks into the ring. Atlas tried a trash can lid attack, so Finlay kicked him down. Henry hit Finlay with a trash can lid to the face. Henry set up Finlay against the ropes with Henry hitting a running splash onto the back. Finlay got back into it with a trash can shot to the head and a DDT. Finlay hit Henry with another trash can for a two count. Henry worked over Finlay with a headbutt, but then Finlay avoided a splash in the corner where it was obvious that Henry was never going to connect. Finlay got the shillelagh piece of wood, but Henry kicked him in the head. Henry broke the shillelagh over his knee. Finlay was back up with a kendo stick, Henry knocked Finlay down with a headbutt and broke the kendo stick. Henry with a bearhug, which led to Hornswoggle showing up at ringside and Hornswoggle was bumped off the apron, so he went under the ring. Henry squashed a trash can against Finlay against the turnbuckle. Henry tossed the steel steps into the ring, but Finlay dropkicked Henry in the knee so Henry went into the steps. Hornswoggle tossed another shillelagh to Finlay, so Finlay hit Henry with the shillelagh in the head for the pinfall win at 9:38.
Winner by pinfall: Finlay
Analysis: *3/4 A boring match for the most part until they used some weapons to get the fans into it. A lot of Mark Henry matches were slow and plodding like this, so it was tough to get into it. Good ending at least with Hornswoggle helping his “dad” get the win with the use of a second shillelagh. They also protect Henry a bit because Henry only lost because he was hit with a weapon.
There was a backstage scene with The Bella Twins, Candice Michelle, Melina and Tiffany with Santa Claus, but it was Charlie Haas so it was “Santa Haas” instead. The divas were told that Santa gave them presents. Santino and Beth Phoenix, the Women’s Champion, appeared with Santino bragging about Beth winning the Slammy Award for Best Diva. Santino reached into a box of presents, but then The Boogeyman was there. When Santino opened a door, Goldust was there under a mistletoe and Santino left. Boogeyman gave Goldust a present. That led to a bunch of people went into the room to sing “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” including Festus staring off into a distance.
Analysis: Typical WWE “comedy” bit with a bunch of people smiling and making lame jokes.
Mr. Kennedy plugged the DVD release of his movie Behind Enemy Lines Colombia on January 6.
Analysis: I did not buy it. I don’t think a lot of people did.
A video aired about the history between Randy Orton and Batista going back to their Evolution days in 2003-04. It focused on their journeys in WWE over the last four years with both men becoming World Champions in the company and now they have a big PPV match to see who is better.
Batista was up first to a big ovation. The fans were strongly behind “The Animal” as usual during this time period. Randy Orton was joined by Cody Rhodes and Manu at ringside.
Batista vs. Randy Orton (w/Cody Rhodes & Manu)
Pre-match notes: Batista was the face while Orton was the heel.
A fan had a sign that said: “I hear voices too Randy.” Please consult a doctor. I noticed another fan in the crowd wearing an OJ Simpson jersey (Buffalo Bills legend), so they need to consult a doctor too.
They battled over some tight headlocks early on. Batista used his power with a shoulder tackle. Orton sent Batista out of the ring. Cody and Manu went after Batista on the floor, the referee Mike Chioda saw them doing the cheap attack, so Chioda ejected Cody and Manu to the back. Orton sent Batista into the ring post with Batista’s left shoulder hitting the ring post. Orton applied an armbar on the left arm. Batista powered out leading to two clotheslines and a running powerslam. Batista lifted Orton, who slipped out of a Batista Bomb attempt leading to a neckbreaker. Orton with a knee drop for two. Orton grabbed a chinlock, Batista powered out with a body slam and shoulder tackles to the ribs. Orton charged at Batista, who avoided the charge leading to Batista sending Orton over the top to the floor. Batista sent Orton back into the ring, but Orton was ready with a kick followed by a draping DDT for two. Orton worked over Batista with punches leading to Batista rolling out of the ring to the floor. Orton with a chinlock, Batista fought out of it and Orton went back to the chinlock for a couple of minutes. Batista sent Orton back first into the turnbuckle leading to a sidewalk slam. Batista took control again with repeated clotheslines including a clothesline that sent Orton over the top to the floor. Back in the ring, Batista went up top for nothing, so that set up the next spot as Orton hit the superplex off the middle rope. Batista came back with a spinebuster for two. They each went for finishing moves and then Batista hit a Bossman Slam-like move for two. Orton hit a modified backbreaker for a two count. Orton set up for an RKO, but then Batista hit a lifting slam like a spinebuster for two. Orton came back with a kick to the gut and a DDT. Orton charged, Batista caught him and sent Orton into the turnbuckle. Orton got a hold of Batista out of the corner looking like an Alabama Slam, but Batista held onto the ropes and then Batista managed to hit a Batista Bomb for the pinfall win at 16:41.
Winner by pinfall: Batista
Analysis: **1/2 A longer match that was probably too long because I felt it was an average match. For whatever reason, they just didn’t have great matches against eachother. I think if they had a different style of match with more action, nearfalls that make sense and some big spots mixed in, they could have had better matches. It was just slow and plodding. The finish was built up well wit the story being that Batista was the first guy to hit his finisher, so he managed to win because of that. The winner of the match could have been either guy, but I think they wanted to give Batista some momentum. Orton was fine anyway because he would go on to win the Royal Rumble one month later.
They showed some highlights from the 2008 WWE Slammy Awards from the previous edition of Raw.
Santa’s Little Helper Eight-Diva Tag Team Match: Maria, Mickie James, Michelle McCool & Kelly Kelly vs. Maryse, Victoria, Natalya & Jillian Hall
Pre-match notes: The team of Maria, Mickie, Michell and Kelly were the faces while Maryse, Victoria, Natalya & Jillian Hall were heels. Michelle McCool was the Divas Champion.
James worked over Maryse with punches, Maryse went to the ropes and did some creative posing. Natalya tagged in, James with a Thesz Press and a slap to the face. Kelly tagged in with a clothesline on Natalya, a slap to the face and a dropkick to the back. Natalya with a hard slap and forearms. After the heels worked over Kelly a bit, Natalya hit a discus lariat. Jillian did a hair whip to send Kelly across the ring. Jilly tried a cartwheel elbow, but Kelly blocked it. Maria tagged in with a back elbow, a boot to the face and a bulldog for two as Victoria broke up the pin. That led to the faces clearing the ring of the heels. Maria with a headscissors on Jillian. McCool tagged herself in, Maria didn’t like it and McCool hit the Faith Breaker on Jillian for the pinfall win at 4:33.
Winners by pinfall: Maria, Mickie James, Michelle McCool & Kelly Kelly
Analysis: *3/4 It was a short match typical of divas matches in this era. McCool getting the win makes sense since she was the Divas Champion and they used that selfish finish to set up her heel turn. More time would have been nice and more of Mickie James in the match would be preferred by me, of course.
Post match, McCool had to deal with the other three women complaining about how McCool tagged herself in.
Analysis: This would set up McCool’s heel turn. That was when Michelle was at her best.
The Great Khali entered with Ranjin Singh for the Kissmas Kiss Cam. Singh asked who wants a kiss from the Punjabi Playboy with Maria, Michelle, Kelly and Mickie in the ring. McCool left instead of kissing Khali.
Analysis: I’m sure The Undertaker liked that McCool walked out on that.
Ranjin suggested that Khali gets to kiss all three women in the ring. Ranjin said that the divas are overwhelmed with how handsome, irresistible and romantic the Great Khali is. Ranjin said he had a backup plan. Ranjin brought out his Santa’s Little Helper that has been helping Santa for a long time. It was Mae Young. After Mae’s slow entrance, Khali lifted her and kissed Mae in the ring. JR had a good line about how Khali might want a junior mint now.
Analysis: This just kept on going. It did make people laugh because the sight of a giant man like Khali kissing an older woman like Mae Young is funny, but it’s really not that funny. I’m sure Vince McMahon loved it, though, so that’s what matters.
Chris Jericho was shown getting ready in the locker room with Cole noting he was the 2008 Slammy Award winner for Superstar of the Year. Great choice.
A video package aired about John Cena coming back from a neck injury to beat Chris Jericho to win the World Heavyweight Title at Survivor Series. Jericho called Cena a coward and a hypocrite just like all the fans. Cena responded to that by beating up Jericho leading to the STF submission. Jericho got an assist from Randy Orton and the Legacy group in attacking Cena.
Analysis: Jericho only had the World Heavyweight Title for about two months. Cena missed about three months after SummerSlam 2008, the neck injury wasn’t as bad as WWE feared and WWE put the World Title back on Cena quickly.
Chris Jericho made his entrance first as the challenger that doesn’t smile. John Cena was next as the World Heavyweight Champion that was cheered loudly by the fans. Some people were booing for sure, but it was mostly cheering for Cena and a loud response as usual.
World Heavyweight Championship: John Cena vs. Chris Jericho
Pre-match notes: John Cena was the babyface World Heavyweight Champion while Chris Jericho was the heel that was the former World Heavyweight Champion. They were part of the Raw brand.
Jericho with a shoulder tackle followed by stomps and punches to the back of Cena’s neck. Cena came back with punches, Jericho bailed to the floor and Cena brought him back in. Jericho with a corner whip, but Cena came back with a clothesline. Cena charged, Jericho moved and Jericho applied a sleeper that lasted for a couple of minutes with Cena going down to the mat before getting back up. Cena lifted Jericho up, but Jericho countered an FU with a DDT. Cena was on the apron, Jericho went for a springboard attack, Cena had Jericho on the shoulders, Jericho slipped out of that and gave Cena a facebuster (like a bulldog) into the steel steps. That was an innovative spot. Back in the ring, Jericho got a two count. Jericho applied a head/arm submission to ground Cena for about a minute, Jericho charged, Cena moved and Cena hit two shoulder tackles. Cena with a spinning slam. Cena did the “you can’t see me hand gesture” leading to the Five Knuckle Shuffle fist drop. Cena went for the FU, but Jericho countered into a Walls of Jericho attempt only for Cena to power out of that. Cena with a belly to belly slam for two. Jericho came back with a kick and missile dropkick off the middle ropes for two. Cena with a hiptoss followed by a clothesline and Jericho blocked a throwback neckbreaker. Jericho hit a Lionsault for a two count. Jericho worked over Cena with punches, but then Cena suplexed Jericho face first off the ropes. Cena went up top and hit a leg drop to the back of the head for two. Cena went for the FU again, Jericho landed on his feet and Jericho hit a Codebreaker for two. The Codebreaker was Jericho’s finisher, so Cena kicking out was a big deal. Cena hit the FU where he tossed Jericho across the ring. Cena was slow to cover, so Jericho was able to kick out at two. Cena went over to Jericho, who got an inside cradle for two. Jericho went for an enziguri kick, Cena ducked it and went for the STFU, but Jericho slipped out and applied the Walls of Jericho. When Cena got close to the ropes, Jericho pulled him towards the center of the ring. Cena reversed the Walls of Jericho and applied the STFU leading to Jericho tapping out. Cena wins at 12:43.
Winner by submission: John Cena
Analysis: ***3/4 This was a tremendous match that was better than what they did at Survivor Series (I rated that at three stars). This match was about nine minutes shorter and definitely a better, more exciting match. Jericho was aggressive working on the neck for most of the match, then the intensity really picked up and Cena was able to find a way to get the win. Good nearfall with Cena kicking out the Codebreaker for a two count followed by Cena getting a two count on the FU due to a slow cover. It seemed like every time these guys wrestled in a singles match on pay-per-view it was a win by Cena, so this result was no different than most of their matches together.
Cena celebrated with the World Heavyweight Title. The fans were really happy that he was still the champion.
There was a commercial for the 2009 Royal Rumble. Spoiler: Randy Orton wins. Sorry for the spoiler from 12 years ago.
A poll question asked about who attacked Jeff Hardy in his hotel before Survivor Series:
Edge – 65%
Other – 23%
Triple H – 7%
Kozlov – 5%
The video package aired showing that Jeff Hardy was taken out of the WWE Title match at Survivor Series 2008 because he was attacked by a mystery person. Vickie Guerrero brought back Edge (Vickie and Edge were married in the storyline) to take Jeff’s spot in the match with Triple H and Vladimir Kozlov. Jeff showed up, hit Triple H by accident with a chair, Jeff hit Kozlov with a chair too and Edge hit Jeff with a Spear. Edge pinned Triple H to win the WWE Title again. Edge denied that he didn’t do it while implying that Triple H was the one that did it. Triple H told Jeff he wasn’t the one that did it. Anyway, Edge made his two opponents target eachother in the build up to the match.
Analysis: There were a lot of rumors at this point that Christian was coming back to WWE after his three year run with TNA ended, so this was a way to bring him back at some point. It ended up going a different way as we saw at Royal Rumble 2009.
It was main event time for the WWE Championship from the Smackdown brand with Jim Ross and Tazz on the call. Triple H got a big ovation from the crowd. Jeff Hardy got a huge pop as usual with JR noting that Jeff had won 16 championships in his WWE career, but not a World Championship at this point. Edge was up last as the WWE Champion.
WWE Championship: Edge vs. Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy
Pre-match notes: Edge was the heel WWE Champion, Triple H was a face that was a former and Jeff Hardy was also a face that had never been a World Champion in WWE before. They were all in their 30s with Triple H at 39 years of age, Edge was 35 and Jeff was 31.
There are no countouts or disqualifications in WWE triple threat matches. You have to win by pinfall or submission in the ring.
Jeff was aggressive with forearms for each man. Jeff sent Edge into a turnbuckle, he whipped Hunter into Edge and Jeff hit a corner splash after jumping off Triple H’s back. Jeff tossed Hunter over the top to the floor. Edge stopped Jeff’s momentum with a slam into the mat. Edge charged at Jeff, so Jeff tossed Edge over the top to the floor. Jeff with a slingshot dive over the top onto Edge on the floor. Hunter avoided the dive, so he hit Jeff with a clothesline. Hunter whipped Hardy back first into the barricade at ringside. When Hunter got back into the ring, Edge hit him with a boot to the face. Hunter came back with punches, but Edge hit him with another boot to the head. Hunter sent Edge into the ropes leading to a jumping knee to the head and a neckbreaker. Hunter with two corner clotheslines. Hunter with a facebuster into the knee, but Jeff was back in with a punch to the back. Hunter with another facebuster into the knee. While Hunter was setting up Edge for a Pedigree, Jeff went up top and hit a Whisper in the Wind twisting body attack onto Hunter to break it up. Jeff with a double leg drop on Edge’s legs for a pin attempt that was broken up by Hunter. Jeff and Edge battled on the top, Hunter put Edge on his shoulders in the Electric Chair position and Jeff jumped off the top with a Whisper in the Wind on Edge for a two count with Hunter breaking up the pin.
Hunter with a kick to the gut of Jeff, but then Jeff countered with a catapult into the turnbuckle. Jeff with two boots to the chest. Edge got back into it with a sitout neckbreaker for a two count. Edge set up for a Spear, Jeff with a leapfrog and Edge hit Hunter with more of a shoulder tackle. Jeff with a clothesline that sent Edge out of the ring. Jeff hit a Twist of Fate on Hunter. Jeff went up top, the crowd was getting into it and Jeff hit a Swanton Bomb on Hunter. You could see Jeff blatantly put his feet towards the ropes, so Edge was there to pull Jeff out of the ring to break up the count. Edge tossed Jeff into the barricade. Edge tossed Jeff into the top of the ECW commentary table. Jeff blocked a whip into the announce table and tossed Edge into the table. Jeff whipped Edge into the barricade on the floor. Jeff cleared off the Smackdown announce table. Jeff sent Edge into the top of the Raw announce table. Hunter was back up with a forearm to the back of Edge. Hunter tossed Edge over the ECW announce table, so then Hunter cleared off the Raw announce table. Hunter stood on the middle Raw announce table with Jeff in a Pedigree position, but Jeff slipped out of it. Edge ran across the announce tables, Hunter moved and Edge gave Jeff a Spear through the Smackdown announce table! What a great spot that was. That was set up brilliantly with Tazz calling it one of the most insane things he has seen for years.
Hunter and Edge went back into the ring with Edge countering Hunter to hit an Impaler DDT. Edge charged at Hunter, who caught him with a huge spinebuster. Hunter hit the Pedigree for the pinfall on the side of the ring by the entrance, but Kozlov pulled Hunter out of the ring and Kozlov sent Hunter into the steel steps. Matt Hardy went after Kozlov, but Kozlov sent him into the barricade. Jeff Hardy went up top, Kozlov saw that and shoved him off the top to the floor. Kozlov and Matt went brawling up the aisle to the back. Edge and Hunter both struggled back up to their feet with Edge hitting a Spear for just a two count. Edge was shocked by that. Edge brought two steel chairs into the ring to set up for the Conchairto on Hunter, but Jeff was back up and swung the chair into Edge’s head. Jeff went up top, but Hunter reached up and knocked Jeff down, so Jeff was crotched on the top. Ouch. Edge slowly got back up after the chair shot and Hunter hit him with a Pedigree in the corner of the ring where Jeff was crotched. As Hunter went for a pin there, Hardy was up top and hit a Swanton Bomb on Hunter’s back to break up the pin attempt while Hunter was on Edge (most of Hardy hit Edge), that led to Hunter rolling out of the ring while Jeff covered Edge for the one…two…and three! NEW WWE CHAMPION! The match went 17:19. JR: “Hardy wins! Jeff Hardy wins!”
Winner by pinfall AND NEW WWE Champion: Jeff Hardy
Analysis: **** I thought it was an excellent match. They had some creative spots with all three guys coming close to win, so they built up the drama well leading to the finish. I really liked the story of the match with it looking like Jeff was taken out after the table bump, but he was able to get back into it and win the match. I don’t think the Kozlov spot was that necessary although I see why they did it since it was right after Hunter hit a Pedigree, so that’s why they did it at that moment. Early in the match it wasn’t a hot crowd, but they really got into it towards the end as they realized Jeff was going to win. The fans were firmly behind Jeff, so when he hit that Swanton Bomb and got the pin, they treated it as a big moment because that’s what it was. It was a huge moment for Jeff Hardy.
Jeff celebrated the big win with the WWE Championship in his arms as the fans popped huge for Jeff’s first time winning the biggest prize in WWE. Jeff posed on the apron with the WWE Championship. The announcers did a nice job of going quiet for a few moments to let the pictures tell the story of the crowd applauding Jeff on the biggest win of his career. Jeff continued to pose around the ring with the fans cheering loudly for him. Jeff put the WWE Championship around his waist. Jeff went up the aisle to the entrance area.
There were some replays shown of the key spots in the match.
Jeff climbed up part of the Armageddon set to pose with the WWE Championship on there. Jeff was high up there as the camera showed him with the WWE Title in his arms. The show ended there.
Analysis: It’s always cool when a veteran wrestler wins a major title for the first time. This was treated as a big deal as it should be. While Armageddon is not WrestleMania, SummerSlam, Royal Rumble or Survivor Series, it was still a huge moment in Jeff’s career and the fans in Buffalo did a nice job of cheering him on during this moment.
This event had a runtime of 2:51:32 on WWE Network.
Show rating (out of 10): 7.25
I thought it was a very good PPV capped off by the happy moment of Jeff Hardy becoming the WWE Champion for the first time. Plus, that was an entertaining triple threat match with a strong finish, so that helps a lot.
I also liked the Cena/Jericho match that was an improvement over what they did at Survivor Series. Cena’s intensity was really impressive and needed there. The CM Punk/Mysterio match was fun to watch too. The Orton/Batista match was a big deal at the time, but it didn’t hold up that well. Most of the rest of the card was average or worse.
1. Jeff Hardy
2. Edge/Triple H
3. John Cena
4. Chris Jericho
5. CM Punk/Rey Mysterio
Best Match: Jeff Hardy vs. Edge vs. Triple H (**** out of 5)
Worst Match: Vladimir Kozlov vs. Matt Hardy (*1/2)
Most Memorable Moment: Jeff Hardy winning the WWE Title after nearly a decade in WWE. Huge moment for him!
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.