Torch Flashbacks WWE JUDGMENT DAY PPV FLASHBACK SERIES - 2008 PPV Report: Orton vs. Hunter main event, Cena opens PPV, HBK vs. Jericho
May 23, 2010 - 12:00:14 PM
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WWE JUDGMENT DAY PPV REPORT
FLASHBACK SERIES - MAY 18, 2008
REPORT BY WADE KELLER, TORCH EDITOR
-After a video package previewing the event, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler introduced the show "from the heartland."
1 -- JBL vs. JOHN CENA
Wow, Cena in an opening match. There's a way to define an opener as something more than a mere slot for prelim wrestlers. I doubt JBL got back into the ring anticipating wrestling Cena in an opening match of an off-brand PPV after being a headliner over on SD. JBL took control early with a headlock, which Ross called "the basics," and some punches. He worked on Cena's shoulder and neck. Ross said, "The methodical pace is very dangerous that JBL has established here." JBL, on his back, tried to extend Cena's arm into a submission hold. A couple times JBL's shoulders were down for a one or two count. Cena resisted, lifted him, and slammed him. He sold that his arm was badly hurt afterward. JBL stomped away aggressively at Cena. Cena came back and attempted a top rope legdrop. JBL moved and Cena crashed at 5:00. A minute later, from the ring apron, Cena attempted to suplex JBL over the top rope to the floor. JBL reversed it and slingshot Cena's mid-section over the top rope. JBL locked on a bearhug of sorts at 8:00. Then he shifted to a full nelson, which he held for a while. Cena escaped and went for a quick FU, but his arm gave out and he collapsed. JBL went into a leg body scissors. Cena lifted JBL and slammed him to the mat to break the hold at 12:00. They stood up and went into third gear for the first time all match with a slugfest. Cena charged at JBL in the corner, but JBL moved and then gave a big boot to Cena. He worked over Cena's ribs with a series of repeated elbow drops. Lawler said JBL might have been able to pin Cena after the big boot without any elbowdrops. JBL hit a short-arm clothesline for a near fall. JBL stomped on Cena's fingers, then set up another short-arm clothesline. Cena ducked and surprised him with an FU out of nowhere for a sudden pin.
WINNER: Cena in 14:00.
STAR RATING: ** -- An okay match in some ways as certain aspects were well executed, but it was undeniably kinda boring with such a slow, methodical pace throughout. If an opener is supposed to set the bar low for excitement but high for selling mat holds, it did that. I still question putting Cena and JBL in an opening match.
-They showed William Regal looking down at the ring from a luxury suite.
-Michael Cole and Mick Foley took over commentary. Cole plugged a text message poll to predict the winner of Undertaker vs. Edge. Then they went to Mike Adamle and Tazz at ringside. Adamle carefully listed the wrestlers in the tag match. They went to a video promoting "The Dirt Sheet" as narrated by Howard Finkle. They aired a sample of The Miz imitating Kane saying he's lactose intolerant but eats at Dairy Queen anyway, then he pretended to lose control of his bowels as farting noises were added. John Morrison imitated C.M. Punk saying he got tickets to the "New Kids on the Block" reunion tour. Miz then said he's scared of monsters and wets his pants. I really can't imagine anything I'd less rather spend my time doing than watch that kind of thing, but Tazz noted that it's the most watched video every week at WWE.com.
2 -- JOHN MORRISON & THE MIZ vs. KANE & C.M. PUNK -- WWE Tag Team Title match
Tazz noted that Punk has a major muscle bruise on one of his arms from a match against Miz a few days ago. Kane and Punk double-teamed Miz in their corner in the opening minute. Tazz said over 60 countries were watching Judgment Day. Miz and Morrison eventually took over on Punk. Punk hot-tagged Kane at 3:00. He side slammed Miz and then climbed to the top rope. He flew off with a clothesline. Punk tagged in and Punk hit Morrison with a string of rapid-fire offense including a snap powerslam for a near fall at 5:00. Punk hit a running knee in the corner, knocked Miz off the ring apron, and scored another near fall. When Punk went for the GTS, Miz charged into the ring. Kane entered, too. As the ref was distracted, Miz grabbed Punk's leg. Kane dropped to the floor and chokeslammed him. Morrison, though, surprised a distracted Punk with a neckbreaker for the win.
WINNERS: Miz & Morrison in 7:00 to retain the WWE Tag Team Titles.
STAR RATING: ** -- That would have been a more suitable opener with a really good pace to it and good athleticism. Not long enough to qualify as an above-average match, but for just even minutes, it was good.
-A commercial aired for "Rambo." Ross and Lawler said they're going to have some exclusive comments from Sylvester Stallone on the making of Rambo. They shifted to setting the stage for Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho.
3 -- CHRIS JERICHO vs. SHAWN MICHAELS
Ross said there have only been five men in the history of WWE who have won every major championship - five total, and these are two of them. Not sure what counts on Ross's list of "every major title" (both tag belts and both world belts and IC?). Ross defended Michaels's approach to faking the injury because "all is fair in love and war" and he did say he'd do whatever it took. Lawler also noted Michaels isn't the biggest guy, so he does get latitude on his techniques. Michaels locked on a headlock in the opening minute. He scored a two count with a sunset flip. Jericho leveraged Michaels with a two count. Michaels bridged out. They continued the Flair-Steamboat sequence (which Michaels and Flair couldn't quite pull off at WrestleMania). Michaels quickly locked on an Indian deathlock at 3:00. Jericho forced a break by reaching the bottom rope.
They reset the match by both getting to their feet and staring each other down from across the ring. Jericho roundkicked Michaels. Michaels fired back with a hard slap to the face. That set Jericho off with a barrage of punches in the corner. The pulled him off as Michaels broke out into a satisfied taunting grin. Jericho elbowed out of a Michaels elbow lock. Michaels locked on an armbar in the ropes, then continued to focus on Jericho's arm after the ref forced a break. Jericho reverse whipped Michaels into the corner and Michaels flipped Flair-style into the corner. It was back and forth in these opening six minutes.
Jericho set Michaels on the top rope and set up a back suplex. Michaels elbowed out of it and climbed to the top. Jericho met him there and went for a superplex. Michaels resisted and then dropped Jericho onto the mat. He went for a top rope elbow, but Jericho moved. Jericho took control and worked over Michaels's ribs, settling into an abdominal stretch. Michaels side-stepped a bulldog attempt and tossed Jericho into the ropes. Michaels followed with a flying forearm and some chops. Jericho came right back by dropped Michaels and applying a Walls of Jericho center-ring. Michaels crawled to the bottom rope to force a break, then caught Jericho with a superkick out of nowhere. Jericho dropped to the floor. At the count of eight Michaels threw him back into the ring for a near fall at 11:00. Michaels stomped the mat in anticipation of Sweet Chin Music. Jericho stood, but then collapsed. Michaels stomped again. Jericho got up and then collapsed. Michaels grew frustrated. He stomped the mat again. Jericho turned quickly and surprised Michaels with a Code Breaker. All that did is expose how foolish it is of Michaels to warn every wrestler he faces by stomping the mat before he goes for his finisher. Jericho was slow to make the cover, and when he did, Jericho kicked out just before three.
Michaels slipped on a crossface. Jericho reached the bottom rope at 15:00. Jericho went for a Lionsault a minute later. Michaels lifted his legs. Jericho stopped short and then grabbed Michaels's legs for a Walls of Jericho attempt. Michaels blocked it and rolled up Jericho for a three count. Ross said somebody had to win, somebody had to lose (well, not necessarily these days on WWE TV shows), and as a fan he could watch those two every night of the week. Afterward, Jericho offered a handshake. They tentatively shook hands. Jericho applauded as Michaels, clutching ribs, walked out of the ring. Lawler said he liked that.
WINNER: Michaels in 16:00.
STAR RATING: ***3/4 -- Excellent match. They could have gone another ten at that page without losing the crowd or overstaying their welcome.
-They showed Regal again watchng from a luxury suite.
-A commercial aired for One Night Stand on June 1. That is way too soon for another PPV. Buyrates are just going to crash over this stretch of three PPVs in rapid-fire fashion.
-Todd Grisham interviewed Mickie James. Mickie said things are going well for her favorites such as Cena and Michaels. Grisham asked how the night out with Cena went. She said it went well and he's a nice guy. JBL walked into the picture and told Mickie to leave. He moved in on Grisham and asked him to ask him a question about Cena. Grisham said, "Okay, John Cena beat you. What are you going to do in the days and weeks to come to get revenge on John Cena." JBL told Grisham he's obviously never been in a fight. He said he beat Cena for 20 straight minutes. He said he's on his feet while Cena is in the training room. He told Grisham if he ever asks him a stupid, asinine question again, it'll be his first and last fight. Grisham just held his ground without overplaying the moment. He looked neither cartoonishly intimidated nor unjustifiably cocky or brave. Good job by both in that exchange.
4 -- MICKIE JAMES vs. "GLAMAZON" BETH PHOENIX vs. MELINA - WWE Women's Title match
When the match began, Glamazon insisted that Melina "get out of my ring right now." Melina refused and instead kicked Glamazon out of the ring. Mickie seized the opportunity to roll-up Melina for a near fall. Mickie ran into the ropes, but Glamazon yanked them down and Mickie fell to the floor. Glamazon clotheslined her on the floor, then entered the ring to go after Melina. Melina went after her aggressively. Mickie returned to the ring applied a sleeper type hold at 2:00. When Mickie went to the top rope, Melina knocked her off balance. Glamazon picked up Melina onto her shoulders and dropped her back Electric Chair style. Mickie dove onto Glamazon for a near fall, then scored a two count. She followed with a low dropkick. Melina set up Mickie on the top rope. Glamazon picked up Melina in an inverted body vice. She then moved over to Mickie and lifted her, too. "There's no way," Ross declared. "I've never seen that in my life." Glamazon held both women up there in an inverted body vice for several seconds before dropping down. As Glamazon set up a chokeslam on Mickie, Melina jumped Beth from behind. Mickie then DDT'd Melina for the pin.
WINNER: Mickie in 4:00 to retain the Women's Title.
STAR RATING: *1/2 -- That was a good four minute match. Like the previous match, they could have gone quite a bit longer with this and not overstayed their welcome.
-Backstage Batista approached Shawn Michaels as he was taking off his knee brace. Batista told him that if he was lying about his injury, the next time he saw him he'd hurt you. Batista said he's going to make him wait now, but he'll dictate the time and place, but assured him he would hurt him. Batista walked away and Michaels soaked in the threat, seeming to take it seriously.
-A commercial aired promoting WrestleMania XXIV on DVD.
-Cole and Tazz revealed that 85 percent of voters predicted an Undertaker win. Big shock. Mick Foley said he wanted to vote, but he realized he doesn't know how to text message.
-A video package aired on the Smackdown World Title situation.
5 -- EDGE vs. UNDERTAKER -- For the Vacant World Hvt. Title
Foley said Edge proved he will stoop low to get that title back. At 2:00 Taker climbed to the top rope and walked it with a grip on Edge's arm. Edge knocked Taker off-balance. Taker dropped to the mat hard. Edge went after Taker on the floor. Taker yanked Edge into the security wall. Edge whipped Taker into the ringside steps, then rolled into the ring to break the ref's count. He slidekicked Taker as Taker was trying to re-enter the ring. Cole explained that Edge realized Taker was about to beat the ten count, so he decided to punish him some more. Taker charged with a big boot in the corner at 5:00, but Edge moved. Edge went for a cover, but Taker kicked out. Edge took Taker down with a kick at 7:00, but Taker surprised Edge with an attempted chokehold. The ref waved off Taker's attempt, since that would get him DQ'd. Edge followed by doing his own version of the top rope walk. Taker did the same to Edge, knocking him off balance. Taker went on a flurry of offense leading to a near fall at 9:00. He walked the top rope again and this time came down on Edge with a forearm. Zach Ryder and Curt Hawkins ran to ringside to distract Taker and the ref. Edge pulled the turnbuckle padding off one corner.
A minute later, Taker set up a Last Ride, but Edge escaped and DDT'd Taker for a two count at 10:00. Edge charged at Taker in the corner, but Taker side-stepped it and set up another Last Ride. Instead, he rammed Edge into the turnbuckles leading to a pin attempt. Edge stopped the count with his foot on the bottom rope. Edge shoved Taker into the exposed turnbuckle, then mounted Taker in the corner and punched away at him. Taker shoved him off, then threw him toward the exposed turnbuckle. Edge stopped short. Taker lifted him and dropped him over it face-first with a Snake Eyes. Taker was slow to get up. Edge surprised Taker with a spear as Taker bounded off the ropes leading to a near fall at 13:00. They had a mid-ring slugfest. Foley said it's become a war of attrition. Taker grabbed Edge by the throat. Edge punched out of it and charged at Taker off the ropes. Taker turned it into a chokeslam and draped his arm over Edge for a near fall. Taker and Edge brawled to ringside. Taker knocked Edge into the crowd. The ref kept counting as they worked their way back to the ring apron. Taker yanked Edge off the apron, then rolled into the ring to win the match and apparently the World Title.
WINNER: Undertaker via countout in 17:00.
STAR RATING: ***3/4 -- Another very good, borderline four-star match from these two. The finish is what you get when WWE is squeezing three PPVs into a six week span and gets "clever" with non-decisive outcomes to milk a rematch quickly.
As the ref announced Taker as the winner and Cole declared it the beginning of Taker's seventh World Title reign, Vickie Guerrero was rolled onto the stage. She said several times, "Excuse me!" As Taker clutched the World Title belt in the ring, she milked the boos of the crowd for two very long minutes. She said it is common knowledge that a championship can only be won by pinfall or submission, not via disqualification or countout. "Therefore," she said, "the World Heavyweight Title remains vacant." Taker sneered at her from the ring as he sat on the mat and leaned against the ropes looking totally spent. Cole said, "You've got to be kidding me." He said she's manipulating the rules again. He said he thought the rules were a champion couldn't lose a title via CO or DQ, but since there was no champion going into this match, that wouldn't apply. Taker yanked Edge into the ring in anger and gave him a Tombstone. Vickie said, "You son of a bitch!" She was bleeped at the end. Foley said it's a blatant abuse of power.
-Another plug aired for One Night Stand.
-They showed the exterior of Qwest Center.
-A promo aired with Randy Orton predicting he'd win his match. It was a standard solid serious Orton promo.
-MVP walked to the ring unexpectedly. He said this is a major WWE pay-per-view (wha are the minor ones?) and he was left off the card. He said goes beyond disrespect into the area of stupidity. "It's just bad for business," he said, adding that he's top tier talent who won't be denied. "If there happens to be any so-called top-tier talent who'd like to expel me from this ring, I'll give you one opportunity because I am still half-man, half-amazing." He said if someone back there thinks they're on his level, come on out. No one answered at first. He said he made his point. Then Matt Hardy's music played. "Talk about your top-tier talent," said Foley. He stepped onto the stage with his U.S. Title belt. MVP told Matt to bring his ass to the ring with "his" title belt. Matt said he's already proven he's better than him, so not so fast. He said instead of beating him again, there's someone else interested in proving he's better than MVP. Jeff Hardy's music played.
6 -- JEFF HARDY vs. MVP
This is a really smart move by WWE. Whatever frustration fans might be feeling for Taker being screwed out of winning the World Title is wiped away for most by getting a bonus match featuring two wrestlers fans care about, especially the freshly returned Hardy. It's a gesture that builds good-will. It's a novel interbrand match-up, which was set up in a way that seems impromptu without a blatant pre-planned brand-cross violation. Foley said they're Smackdown loyalists, but MVP can be a jerk and Jeff's a good guy. After some rapid-fire action early, Hardy settled into some mat work for a few minutes. At 3:00 MVP elbowed out of an elbow lock. When he charged Hardy, Hardy ducked. MVP fell to the floor. MVP caught Jeff's kick attempt and yanked him to the floor with a thud. Back in the ring, he worked over Hardy's arm. At 7:00 MVP hit Hardy with a running boot, knocking him to the floor. MVP went back to working on Hardy's arm mid-ring. Hardy came back at 9:00 and went for a Swanton. MVP moved. Foley complimented MVP for countering every Hardy move despite having no time to prepare for the match. MVP charged at Hardy, but Hardy sidestepped him and gave hima drop toe hold. He followed with a sudden Whisper in the Wind for a three count.
WINNER: Jeff Hardy in 10:00.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Reminiscent of Cena-JBL with a relatively slow pace throughout, but with some bursts of athleticism.
-They went to an interview with Slyvester Stallone talking about his directing choices in the movie. He said it's like it was directed by Rambo himself.
7 -- TRIPLE H vs. RANDY ORTON -- WWE Title match in a Cage
Triple H climbed to the top of the cage during his ring intro. When the bell rang to start the match, the door hadn't been closed yet. Orton darted toward the opening. Triple H stopped him. Orton yanked the door into Triple H's head, then went on offense with punches. Hunter eventually fired back with a knee and some puinches of his own. Hunter threw Orton into the cage a couple times and remained on offense. Orton changed course by dropping down and throwing Hunter into the side of the cage. He went on sustained offense, including a snap powerslam a 6:00. Orton went into his Orton Stomp. Lawler said Hunter may be beaten down enough to allow Orton to climb out of the cage. Orton stalked Hunter and continued the methodical beating. Lawler said Orton can sometimes be too aggressive. They showed Regal watching again. Hunter showed life with a chop block. Hunter applied a figure-four. Orton made it to the bottom rope and the ref forced a break. DQs in a cage match? Orton went for a surprise RKO attempt. Hunter blocked it and went for a Pedigree. Orton backdropped out of it and then climbed out of the cage door. He touched the floor with his hands, but Hunter yanked him back into the ring. Orton brought a chair back in with him. Orton kicked Hunter into the corner, then clutched the chair. When he swung, Hunter kicked it away at 12:00. Hunter gave Orton a facebuster knee leading to a two count.
Hunter picked up the chair. Ross said the chair was as legal as the chinlock (but apparently not keeping a submission hold on when the victim grabs the ropes). Orton hit Hunter with a low blow to stop a chairshot. Orton DDT'd Hunter onto a chair for a near fall. Hunter shot Orton into the side of the cage and then sent Orton via drop toe hold into a chair set up in mid-ring. Hunter draped his arm over Orton for a two count at 15:00. Ross said some things come instinctively to Orton as a third generation wrestler. Hunter climbed the cage. Orton met him up there and knocked him to the top rope where they each stood and fought. Orton sent Hunter tumbling to the mat with a right punch. Ross said Orton "looks manic." Orton then climbed to the top of the cage. Hunter pursued him and pulled Orton down to the top rope. Hunter set up a Pedigree off the top rope. Orton jammed Hunter in the shoulder to escape, then knocked Hunter to the mat. Orton climbed over the top of the cage and was about to crawl down when Hunter again climbed to the top and grabbed ahold of him at 18:00. He had Orton by his head with Orton dangling. Orton knocked Hunter to the mat again and then climbed to the top of the cage again. Hunter grabbed his leg and yanked him down. Orton crotched the top turnbuckle. Lawler said that was Hunter's version of the low-blow Orton delivered earlier. Hunter gave Orton a spinebuster, then showed some fire to elicit a crowd pop. He picked up a chair and placed it mid-ring. He then set up a Pedigree. Orton escaped and dropped Hunter back-first onto the chair. A loud "Triple H, Triple H" chant broke out. Orton went for the punt, but Hunter avoided it and smashed Orton with the chair on the head. He followed with a Pedigree and scored a three count.
WINNER: Triple H in 21:00.
STAR RATING: ***1/2 -- A well-executed match, but it felt a little too familiar. It also seemed like Hunter and Orton could sleep walk through that format and have a good match, but there's something keeping it from feeling epic at this point in their feud. The spot where Hunter held onto Orton's head as he dangled from the top of the cage was the most memorable of the match.
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