The end of the year is upon us and WWE is putting on their last PPV of the year which happens to be titled Armageddon which is a nice way of saying “the end.” With 2009 closing in on all the superstars of Raw, SmackDown, and ECW, it was time to put a final topping on things so that everyone could start fresh and maybe with some new gold around their waist. Some would be fighting for titles while others had wound their way through a tournament just to get one step closer to fighting for a prestigious title. But when all is said and done, the end was near for 2008 and also for a long journey that would finally culminate with the highest award.
The date was December 14, 2008 and all the superstars of WWE were ready to tangle in Buffalo, New York at the HSBC Arena. This night would see a triple threat match for the WWE Title against the “Ultimate Opportunist” Edge, the “Game” Triple H, and the “Extreme Enigma” Jeff Hardy. Hardy’s path to this moment had been spread over many years and numerous failed attempts to reach the pinnacle of his career, but perhaps this night he would finally be able to cross that line. In the other big match of the evening; Chris Jericho would bring every bit if his evil personality to the ring against fan favorite John Cena as he tried to win back the World Heavyweight Title less then a month ago at Survivor Series.
Armageddon had a host of other matches set to finish out the year, but none of them really delivered much at all. Besides the CM Punk/Rey Mysterio battle and the Triple Threat match, there isn’t much of anything that was able to keep my attention or even remotely entertain. Considering this was the final event of 2008, you’d think a little bit more effort would have been put out by even those competing on the card. It appears as if most of the matches are thrown together and some of the performances are just phoned in sadly enough. The divas’ match is pointless and the Belfast Brawl is boring. Most of everything else just hardly is worth checking out once let alone deserving a repeat viewing. Luckily the WWE had a pretty banner year with PPVs and I’d say that a good seventy-five percent of them were really good. It’s just a shame that this final event had to be such a downer.
~ Matt Hardy Vs. Vladimir Kozlov – Here is the opening match and there is not much to be said here as Hardy gets in most of the offense before a couple moves by Kozlov takes him out. Not a good way to get the crowd going at the beginning of the event.
~ Final Match in the WWE Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender Tournament: CM Punk Vs. Rey Mysterio – This would be the final match in the tournament to see who faces William Regal for the Intercontinental Title and I was actually rooting for a Kofi Kingston versus CM Punk match but that wasn’t meant to be. Both men get in a great bit of offense and it is a pretty high-paced match, but something just seems quite off throughout and I’m not one hundred percent sure what it is. Either way, it is not a great match but in no way is it not enjoyable. It does end kind of painful though as it looks like Rey Rey got hit with Punk’s finisher, the GTS, the hard way. Ouch!
~ Belfast Brawl: Finlay Vs. Mark Henry – Just as this promotes, it is nothing but a brawl. A few weapons like trash cans, kendo sticks, trash can lids, and of course the shillelagh make their way into the ring for both men to use. Both managers (Hornswoggle and Tony Atlas) get involved and it is pretty much chaos, but nothing overly exciting.
~ Batista Vs. Randy Orton – Okay so we have here Batista who is still boring and Orton who is becoming one of the top heels of our current generation. Gee, wonder who I cared about in this match. I will admit that the match is much better than I expected it to be and big DAVE can turn it on when he needs to. Things are helped, though, by being in the ring with Orton. One of the cooler parts of this back-and-forth match sees Orton attempt and RKO only to have it countered by Batista with the Big Boss Man’s finishing slam move. Awesome sight I tell you. The finish is quite stupid even though clean and not exactly as I would have liked it to be but the match wasn’t all around bad.
~ Santa’s Little Helper Tag Team Match: Michelle McCool, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, & Maria Vs. Maryse, Natalya, Jillian, & Victoria – This is a very short match that is there for nothing more then to see the divas in their holiday attire.
~ World Heavyweight Championship Match: John Cena (c) Vs. Chris Jericho – I give all the credit in the world to John Cena for coming up and garnering the type of attention and success he has gained during his time in WWE. But he is truly and quickly becoming the “Hulk Hogan” of this generation of wrestlers. All you have to do is watch this match and see the tremendous amount of submission holds he gets out of including Jericho’s Walls of Jericho finisher. He barely gets any offense in yet continues to battle back without selling a single move or any punishment received from Jericho. Then, when it’s time for the finale, he locks in his STFU and Jericho taps before you can even say “BOO CENA!” This match just bothered me to no end and is not that good because of all the points listed and more.
~ Triple Threat for the WWE Championship: Edge (c) Vs. Triple H Vs. Jeff Hardy – Now this was a damn fine championship match. Instead of the usual triple “one guy goes out the ring while two fight and then switch up” threat match formula, all three men stay in the ring together for most of the duration. They battle it out and take turns pairing up together to get an advantage over one before switching and turning on the other. There are some great spots and you never quite know who will pull out the victory until the long-time coming result finally happens and the title belt sits around Jeff Hardy’s waist.
Armageddon is shown in 1.33:1 Full Screen format and again no problems, but you should all realize that by now as the WWE really turned the page in their DVD production values over a year ago and only release great looking stuff.
The event is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and also sounds great with no issues.
The Miz And John Morrison’s Critique Of Armageddon – This is actually pretty damn funny and why their WWE online show “The Dirt Sheet” is one of the best there is. All they do is discuss each and every moment of Armageddon and pretty much rip it to shreds, joke about it, or pay up on bets. (4:35)
Trailers – Starrcade: The Essential Collection, Edge: A Decade Of Decadence, and The Twisted, Disturbed Life Of Kane
This is really not worth the time or money it would take to get yourself a copy of Armageddon and check out what happened. Two decent matches and nothing else makes this one of the worst PPVs of the year and not a good way to finish out a rather successful 2008 for WWE. Don’t bother with this one because it seems that everyone had hung up their boots for the holidays and just got ready for the Royal Rumble in January.
WWE Home Video presents Armageddon 2008. Featuring: Chris Jericho, John Cena, Edge, Triple H, Jeff Hardy, CM Punk, Finlay, Randy Orton, and many more. Running time: 180 minutes. Rating: PG. Released on DVD: January 13, 2009. Available at Amazon.com