Countdown to WWE Armageddon
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff
And so, after months of previews, the PPV year comes to an end for WWE with
It's hard to really say that this is the end of anything, however, as it's
pretty clear that many of these feuds will continue through the first couple
pay-per-views of 2009. That being said, no one should think that Armageddon
is a throwaway title, because there is some good potential for hot matches.
Let's take a closer look at Sunday's card (minus the last-minute-added women's
match, which is too degrading for us to care about anyways).
|| WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
John Cena vs. Chris Jericho
In turbulent financial times, Cena still has the ability to put fans in the
seats and increase pay-per-view buys. As good as Jericho has been, Cena is the
logical choice to win and shore up WWE's bottom line.
If I had the book I would have Batista interfere to try and help Cena, but inadvertently
cost him the title, setting up there eventual WrestleMania rematch. What will
happen is that Cena is winning clean and we are on the path back to mediocre
promos and lame comedy once again.
All logic here would dictate that Chris Jericho gets the title back, but the
strap has been passed back and forth more times than a gravy bowl at Christmas
dinner. There needs to be a lengthy run to re-establish the legitimacy of the
title, which means Cena keeps it.
If there is a God, John Cena's title reign will end here and now, before we're
subjected to sub-par main events and cheesy, unfunny "comedy" promos
that suddenly turn "serious" when Cena attempts to prove he's not
joking about the title. Yawn. He is the Harrison Ford of wrestling -- no matter
how much you want to see him get blown up, somehow he always ends up walking
through the explosion without a scratch, or even a third degree burn. Please,
let Jericho win.
Wow - top billing for Jericho. Oh, and Cena, too. I think it's too early for
ANOTHER title switch, but not a clean win for Cena either. The champ retains
by a countout or DQ here.
| WWE CHAMPIONSHIP (TRIPLE
Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Edge
Hmm. If Edge loses the belt anytime soon, it would probably be at the Rumble
in my estimation. If Jeff were to possibly win the belt, it would be at WrestleMania.
And I'm betting Triple H will be too entangled with the new toy Elimination
Chamber sets to worry about also carrying the championship. The former 'The
It's great to have Edge back as he is definitely the most over heel. I keep
saying that Hardy's last title match should be his final one, but the WWE just
keeps throwing him in. I could see Jeff picking up the win for a short championship
reign, however, I am going with Edge keeping the gold and have the Triple H
I like having Edge as champ at least until through the Royal Rumble. Like I
said during my Smackdown report, I get the feeling that this paves the way for
Christian's return at WrestleMania, which would mean Hardy screwing Mr. Copeland
out of the title either at the Rumble or No Way Out, which is fine by me. For
now though, Edge wins by pinning Hardy. What of HHH you ask? I think he's going
to be too busy hawking his stuffed bear.
Edge, the greatest heel in wrestling, should retain. Hardy should never come
near the title due to the fact that he's one wellness policy violation away
from being banished from WWE forever...and Triple H just had a pretty substantial
title run. There's more money in Triple H chasing the title up until WrestleMania
than there is Edge chasing Triple H. Therefore...chalk one up for the Rated
Edge with any title makes more sense than any other champion. Jeff Hardy, for
one reason or another, just can't seem to get a World title push, much like
his brother (the ECW title is not a championship in my book). This match should
get Edge over, but perhaps a screwy finish with Vladimir Kozlov or Vickie Guerrero
and her traumatic voice ruining it. In any event, Edge keeps the strap.
|| GRUDGE MATCH
Batista vs. Randy Orton
RKO, only because Batista until late has had a long winning streak in money
matches. It's not like it's WrestleMania or the Rumble either, so the L on Batista
will evaporate long before those pay-per-views roll along.
Orton is on a roll and is looking strong with his mini stable at his side. This
will be a terrific back and forth match, and it ends with a bit of outside interference
allowing Orton to hit the RKO.
The 2nd Gen Stars really are starting to take shape well. Orton and Rhodes seem
destined for a feud down the line -- maybe a fathers and sons match at 'Mania
will happen -- but for now Cody is more than happy to second the Legend Killer.
Batista can take the loss and, as we've seen before, will still get a title
shot, so no loss there by having his shoulders on the mat.
I'd be surprised if Orton didn't win. WWE has new faith in him and Batista has
grown pretty stale over the years. Orton is younger, hungrier and flat-out better.
I'm going with the master of the RKO.
A solid worker (Orton) against a boring, no-talent worker (Batista). Talent
overcomes no talent every time, so Orton takes it here, hopefully with a sweet
|| GRUDGE MATCH (NON-TITLE)
Matt Hardy vs. Vladimir Kozlov
A non-title match at a pay-per-view... Ah, the old non-title stipulation. In
this case, I'd have to go with Kozlov to sell the fact he can win. A non-title
match at a pay-per-view
Why is a non-title match on a pay-per-view? Wow has Kozlov fallen fast. He will
win here, which will set up a title match later on where Hardy will keep the
gold. I think this will be a short one.
Umm...shouldn't non-title matches happen on non-PPVs? Crazy thinking, I know.
To me, it's important that Matt loses here and has time to recuperate and let
his knee heel so he can be ready for 'Mania, so I think Kozlov wins and wins
big, putting Hardy on the shelf, resulting in an ECW title tourney.
Wow. This match wasn't boring enough by itself...they had to go and make it
non-title? That's obviously a means of letting the challenger go over without
screwing up plans for Hardy's title run. Kozlov for the win to restore his credibility
after not winning the title from Triple H.
A non-title match on a pay-per-view? Who books this? It looks like Kozlov's
push is dead as he's now relegated to having to wrestle Tuesday Night Velocity
guys. He wins, too.
|| GRUDGE MATCH (BELFAST BRAWL)
Mark Henry vs. Fit Finlay
Irish eyes shine on Finlay with the help of the 'Swoogle.
Yikes...I feel sorry for Finlay. Both men will bleed, and of course use tons
of plunder to try and mask the fact that Henry is awful. The World's Strongest
Man finishes off the Irishman.
This match serves only one purpose - a redux of King Kong Bundy and WreslteMania
III. World's Strongest Slam on Hornswoggle after he draws the DQ puts the little
guy on the shelf, hopefully permanently.
This should be a good opportunity for viewers to grab a snack, go to the bathroom,
have a quick nap...not necessarily in that order. Finlay is great but not even
he can carry one of the slowest, laziest workers in the business to a decent
match. Nonetheless, I'd expect Mark Henry to win.
This would be the perfect time to take a nap, or go to bed even. The World's
Sweatiest Man wins after Hornswoggle interference backfires again. Yawn.
|| INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE NUMBER ONE CONTENDER'S
CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio
CM's reign as World Heavyweight champion was not terribly exciting but then
again neither was Rey-Rey's. The Evan Bourne match with Mysterio on RAW a while
back was pretty good though, and if they can line some fast-paced matches like
that for Rey, he'd make a great Intercontinental champion. I'll say Rey based
on that potential. Don't injure yourself Rey; this is your whole life here.
Okay, maybe not; but it's close.
Rey will be selling his injured elbow, but regardless these two should put on
a tremendous show. A victory over Mysterio can give Punk some legitimacy as
a contender, and putting him over is the right thing to do. CM Punk wins the
tourney and goes on to fight Regal.
Match of the night, no questions asked. The mystique of Punk becoming what
I believe is the first guy to win the Triple Crown in one year is amazing, and
would go a long way in establishing him as a superstar for years to come.
The Intercontinental Title would be a nice accolade for CM Punk. Mysterio really
has no use for it, but Punk has a lot to prove after losing the World Heavyweight
title earlier this year. If he can run with the IC title, he may get another
shot at the main event (where he belongs). Rey is already over enough that he
doesn't need a title to be effective. He's also willing to put over younger
talent. Punk with the win.
So the winner gets William Regal? Wow. Impressive. This match should be the
best on the card and I see Rey Rey winning and both men embracing after the
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-- compiled by Jon Waldman