December 14, 2008
Countdown to WWE Armageddon
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff

And so, after months of previews, the PPV year comes to an end for WWE with Armageddon.

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

SLAM! Predictions

Kenai Andrews

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.

Andy McNamara

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.

Jon Waldman

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.

Mark Xamin

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.

Matt Mackinder

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 THREAT)

Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Edge
 

SLAM! Predictions

Kenai Andrews

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 Beard' wins.

Andy McNamara

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 chase begin!

Jon Waldman

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.

Mark Xamin

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 R Superstar.

Matt Mackinder

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

SLAM! Predictions

Kenai Andrews

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.

Andy McNamara

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.

Jon Waldman

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.

Mark Xamin

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.

Matt Mackinder

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 RKO.


  GRUDGE MATCH (NON-TITLE)

Matt Hardy vs. Vladimir Kozlov
 

SLAM! Predictions

Kenai Andrews


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…

Andy McNamara

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.

Jon Waldman

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.

Mark Xamin

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.

Matt Mackinder

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
 

SLAM! Predictions

Kenai Andrews


Irish eyes shine on Finlay with the help of the 'Swoogle.

Andy McNamara


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.

Jon Waldman

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.

Mark Xamin

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.

Matt Mackinder

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 MATCH

CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio
 


SLAM! Predictions

Kenai Andrews


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.

Andy McNamara

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.

Jon Waldman

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.

Mark Xamin

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.

Matt Mackinder

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 match.


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-- compiled by Jon Waldman


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