A2Z Analysiz: WWE Night of Champions 2008 (Triple H, John Cena)


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American Airlines Center – Dallas, Texas – June 29, 2008

MATCH #1: WWE Tag Team Championship Match – John Morrison & The Miz vs. Finlay & Hornswoggle

Ross and Foley are on commentary because this is a Smackdown title, even though four ECW wrestlers are fighting for it. Morrison & Miz have been champions since 11.16.07 and this is their ninth defense. Finlay and Morrison start the match. Finlay takes the first advantage with his unorthodox offense. Morrison comes back and dumps Finlay to the floor. He tries to slingshot onto him, but Finlay pulls the ring apron out and Morrison crotches himself on it. That was certainly different. The champions take Finlay down and then bully Hornswoggle around. Finlay comes back to his son’s rescue and uses him as a battering ram to take both champions down. Miz distracts Finlay and allows Morrison to land a big kick to the face and champions take over. Finlay finally recovers and Hornswoggle tags himself in and actually hits a few big moves on Miz before Morrison takes a cheap shot. These guys are awesome.

They keep beating on Hornswoggle as the crowd gets behind him. Hornswoggle finally makes the hot tag and Finlay is working over both champions. He even hits a missile dropkick for a near fall! Finlay hits Morrison with the Celtic Cross and tags Hornswoggle in for the Tadpole Splash. Miz comes in and knocks Finlay off the apron, allowing Morrison to slam Hornswoggle off the top rope and get the pin at 8:46. That was actually a really fun match, with Morrison and Miz really acting like jerks but also coming off as clever because they really work well together and they wrestle smart. They wrestle like a team, something WWE has very few of.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: United States Championship Match – Matt Hardy vs. Chavo Guerrero

Hardy has been the champion since 4.27.08, and this is his second defense. They start off with the easy chain wrestling, Hardy grabbing a headlock. He knocks Chavo down and he pops right up and now Chavo goes to the headlock. Hardy comes back and delivers a clothesline in the corner, a body slam, and a fist drop for about a one count. Back up Hardy hits a back body drop, another clothesline in the corner and tries a bulldog but Chavo avoids it and hits a chop block and starts working on the knee. Bam Neely makes sure to interfere a little bit from the outside. Hardy comes back with a bulldog and Chavo kicks out right at one. Chavo goes right back to the leg. He goes up for presumably a Frog Splash but Hardy rolls out of the way and Chavo somersaults to his feet but Hardy counters him with a clothesline.

They slug it out and Hardy wins that, all while selling the leg. He drops an elbow for two. He hits the Side Effect for two. Hardy goes to the second rope but hits an elbow instead of a legdrop, which is a nice touch. Chavo throws Matt into the corner but eats a forearm coming in. Hardy goes to the second rope again, but Chavo sweeps his legs and locks on a half Boston Crab. Hardy reaches the ropes. Hardy hits a DDT for two. Hardy motions for the Twist of Fate but Chavo counters it and once again puts on the half Boston Crab. He reaches the ropes again, and then hits an enziguiri. Chavo gets up first and hits the Three Amigos, but Hardy hits the Twist of Fate out of nowhere to get the pin at 9:21.That was a perfectly acceptable and competent match, but this is about as good as Chavo Guerrero gets.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #3: Triple Threat Match for the ECW Championship – Kane vs. Big Show vs. Mark Henry

Kane has been the champion since 3.30.08 and this is his second defense. This one starts off as a big brawl with the champion controlling the first minute or so. Kane throws Henry to the floor and then Show goes on offense on Kane for bit. Kane fights back with a DDT for about a one count. Show throws Kane over the ropes and now Show and Henry fight it out in the ring. Show bodyslams Henry. Doctors are checking Kane out at ringside while the two challengers slug it out in the ring. They clothesline each other and Kane makes his way to the top rope and nails Henry with a clothesline and slugs Show into the corner. He runs corner to corner with clotheslines on both men. Henry catches him in a bear hug but Kane escapes it and whips him into a big boot from Show.

Kane and Show agree to double chokeslam Henry to take him out, but obviously they won’t let each other go for the cover. They argue now and start throwing bombs at each other. Kane tries the flying clothesline but Show catches him and Chokeslams him but Kane kicks out and then sits up. He grabs Show by the throat but Show blocks it and hits some kind of suplex. Not sure what they were going for there, maybe an Olympic Slam, and it gets two. Show goes up to the top rope but Kane stops him and delivers a huge superplex. That leaves Kane open to a big splash from Henry and he gets the pin and wins the ECW Title at 8:17. That was actually much better than I thought it would be, as they kept it short and easy, and the finish was very cool.
Rating: **½

MATCH #4: World Tag Team Championship Match – Cody Rhodes & Hardcore Holly vs. Ted DiBiase & ?

Rhodes & Holly have been the champions since 12.10.07, and this is their fourth defense. DiBiase’s music is really some kind of terrible. He comes out to the ring alone. He says his partner just texted him and he needs 10 minutes to get there. The referee says he has to wrestle it now or forfeit. He says they can start the match and his partner will be there.

Rhodes starts the match, but DiBiase says he wants Holly. The veteran obliges, but just as he turns his back, Rhodes spins him around and hits a DDT! DiBiase then introduces Rhodes as his tag team partner! Rhodes tags DiBiase in and he hits the Million Dollar Legsweep to get the pin and win the titles in his debut match at 1:27. It obviously wasn’t much of a match but I do think it was a good angle to get Rhodes and DiBiase together and I really hope they give these guys some room to breathe because they could really get over.
Rating: ¼*

MATCH #5: WWE Intercontinental Championship Match – Chris Jericho vs. Kofi Kingston

Jericho has been the champion since 3.10.08, and this is his fourth defense. Jericho’s opponent was not announced ahead of time, so he had no time to prepare. Jericho was in the midst of his eighth Intercontinental Title reign, and he had just recently turned heel on Shawn Michaels. Lance Cade has accompanied Jericho to ringside. Jericho cuts an anti-HBK promo, since he isn’t in attendance tonight. They start with some chain wrestling, and Jericho tries to intimidate the young Kingston. The challenger comes back with some of his unusual and high-flying offense so Jericho takes a powder. Kingston doesn’t give him a break though, hitting a slingshot dive and throwing Jericho back in the ring. He hits a cross body block off the top rope for two. Kingston tries his punches in the corner but Jericho dumps him to the floor. Jericho follows him outside and rams him into the apron twice. Back in the ring Jericho works on Kingston’s back and acts like a jerk. He puts on the abdominal stretch. Kingston gets out but Jericho is able to thwart all of his offensive attacks. Jericho tries a super back suplex but Kingston reverses the momentum and falls on top for a cover and gets a near fall. Kingston tries his legdrop but Jericho blocks it and tries the Walls of Jericho and Kingston gets a small package for two. Now he hits the double legdrop but only gets two. A rana gets two. Jericho comes back with a clothesline and some kicks. He hits the Lionsault and then puts on the Walls of Jericho. The crowd is going crazy, because Shawn Michaels is in the building! He hits Cade with Sweet Chin Music and gets up on the apron. Jericho knocks him down, but that gives Kingston the chance to hit the Trouble in Paradise and win the title at 11:00. They had some really good stuff in here, but it’s obvious that no matter who Jericho lost the belt to it would be forgotten because of Jericho’s feud with Michaels, which took center stage. Trainers try to take Michaels backstage, but Jericho makes sure to take a shot at his eye before he can make it.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #6: WWE Women’s Championship Match – Mickie James vs. Katie Lea Burchill

Mickie has been the champion since 4.14.08 and this is her third defense. Katie Lea goes for several quick covers and Mickie is able to kick out. Mickie then uses a go-behind and gets an O’Connor roll for two. Mickie hits a couple of maneuvers and heads to the top rope, so Katie Lea takes a powder. Katie Lea’s brother Paul interferes, but Mickie is soon back in control. Katie Lea then comes back and starts working on the arm.

Mickie comes back with some right hands. Mickie comes charging into the corner but Katie Lea goes back to the arm. Mickie makes another comeback but her arm is in pretty bad shape. She goes for the tornado DDT but Katie Lea reverses it to a cross-arm-breaker. Moments later Mickie comes back with the tornado DDT to get the pin and retain the title at 7:11. That was pretty okay for a women’s match, even if all the arm work never really paid off.
Rating: **½

MATCH #7: World Heavyweight Championship Match – Edge vs. Batista

The results of the fan poll says that 30% think Cena will win the title tonight, 32% think Batista, 31% think both, and 7% think neither. Edge has been the champion since 6.1.08, and this is his first defense.

Batista overpowers Edge in the early going, so Edge cowers in the corner. He tries to hide outside but Batista follows him and stays on offense. Everything Edge tries gets countered and Batista sends Edge to the floor again and rolls him back in the ring. Edge takes that opportunity to throw Batista shoulder first into the ring post. Now Edge takes over on offense and works the challenger over, even using the announce table to his advantage. Every time Batista tries an offensive maneuver Edge is able to avoid it, reverse it, or counter it. Batista finally unleashes some offense and lands a big Boss Man Slam for two. Batista hits a Spear and Edge barely kicks out. Batista hits a powerslam and goes for the Batista Bomb but Edge counters to the Impaler DDT for a close two count.

Edge misses a Spear and Batista goes to the top only to be hit on the way down by an Edge dropkick. Both men are down and Hawkins, Ryder, and Vickie Guerrero make their way near the ring. Edge misses another Spear and gets hit with a Spinebuster which JR calls the “Batista Bomb.” Vickie grabs the referee at two to break up the pin. Edge charges and Batista avoids him, hurling him into the ring post and onto the floor. Edge pulls the referee outside the ring and knocks him out, so Vickie orders another referee, and it’s Chavo Guerrero. Batista grabs Vickie and press slams her onto La Familia. That gives Edge the chance to blast Batista in the face with the belt and Chavo makes the three count to get the win at 16:48. That was a pretty good match up until all the craziness with Vickie started. Batista is going to RAW beltless.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #8: WWE Championship Match – Triple H vs. John Cena

Triple H has been the champion since 4.27.08, and this is his fourth defense. The champion scores the first knockdown and looks calm and cool, while Cena appears to have some butterflies. HHH hits a hip toss and does a crotch chop. Cena gets up and goes for the headlock, but it doesn’t take long for HHH to break that. Cena counters the Game’s attacks and knocks him down, then gives him a big salute as a receipt for the crotch chop. Cena continues to roll, hitting the fisherman’s suplex for two. Cena hits a shoulderblock but HHH avoids the second one and Cena rolls to the floor. HHH goes to work on Cena’s back, presumably so he can’t execute the FU. They take turns countering each other’s moves and Cena comes out on top. He hits the Proto-Plex and looks for the Five Knuckle Shuffle. HHH kicks him down but Cena is right back on the attack. He hits the leg drop off the top rope to the back of the neck and lands another Proto-Plex and once again goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, and HHH blocks it again and hits a spinebuster.

HHH tries the Pedigree but Cena blocks it and throws HHH all the way to the floor and he looked to have landed awkwardly. Cena goes out to the floor and attacks the champion’s leg. HHH does a good job avoiding the STFU. Cena finally gets it on but HHH quickly reaches the ropes. Cena goes for the FU but HHH blocks it and hits the Pedigree. Cena kicks out! Both men are down, and when they get up Cena hits an FU and both men are down again. They get up and trade big right hands. HHH gets the better of it, but soon Cena gets a third Proto-Plex, and finally lands the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He then goes for the FU but HHH grabs the top rope and slides out and tries the Pedigree. Cena gets out of that and puts on the STFU. Cena pulls HHH away from the ropes, but that gives HHH the chance to put on a weird looking version of the Crippler Crossface. Cena lifts HHH into an FU position from there, but HHH elbows his way out and hits the Pedigree to get the pin at 19:37. That was an awesome match with great crowd heat, great hope spots, great false finishes, and a great real finish. I’m excited for the eventual rubber match.
Rating: ****¼

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