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5/18 WWE Judgment Day Live Coverage: Triple H vs. Randy Orton inside a cage, Undertaker battles Edge for the vacant World Hvt. Championship, Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho
May 18, 2008 - 10:00 PM




Aired live on pay-per-view
Omaha, Neb.


The opening video recapped the Undertaker vs. Edge, and Triple H vs. Randy Orotn matches and then featured rapid fire highlights of the other feuds... The show tonight is brought to us by Rambo. Well, that and the $40 some of us plunked down for the show... Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler introduced the show and hyped that four title matches will air on the show...

1. John Cena defeated JBL at 15:03. Lawler claimed that JBL would be WWE Champion today if it wasn't for Cena. Sure. Slow start with JBL working over Cena's left shoulder. Cena woke up the crowd with a brief comeback. JBL locked Cena in a Full Nelson. Cena eventually broke the hold and went for the FU, but instead he sold it as if his shoulder was too far to executive the move. Ross described JBL as "motivated" and said Cena not being able to execute the move could be huge.

At 13:30, they broke into a brief slugfest. JBL nailed Cena with a big boot to the head and remained on offense. JBL continued to dominate the offense and then Cena hit the FU out of nowhere for the win. Afterward, JBL shook his head and looked to the ceiling in frustration. He eventually left the ring without any further contact with Cena...

Powell's POV: Odd choice for the opening match. I expected a brawl and instead we got JBL working over Cena's shoulder for the first ten minutes. It wasn't bad, just not what I expected. It seemed odd that the buildup focussed on JBL's anger toward Cena and and JBL beating up prelim wrestlers in a violent manner. Good match, but nothing memorable.

As Cena left the ring, a shot aired of a scowling William Regal watching the show from a luxury box... Ross and Lawler turned it over to Michael Cole and Mick Foley, who pimped a text message vote regarding the Undertaker vs. Edge match... Cole threw it over to Mike Adamle and Tazz. They hyped the tag title match and introduced highlights of The Dirt Sheet with The Miz and John Morrison...

Powell's POV: How could they not show the New Kids on the Block/Oreo cookie dance? Boo!

2. John Morrison and The Miz beat Kane and C.M. Punk to retain the WWE Tag Titles at 7:12. The babyface team controlled the bulk of the action. Punk was especially dominant. Late in the match, Kane chokeslammed Miz on the floor after he interfered from the outside. In the ring, Morrison recovered and hit the Moonlight Drive for the win...

Powell's POV: Good match. Punk was really impressive. No one can accuse him of sandbagging it because he was doing the job. He had some flashy offense and really carried the match.

A Rambo ad aired... Ross and Lawler introduced a Shawn Michaels vs. Batista video aired...

3. Shawn Michaels pinned Chris Jericho at 15:50. Early in the match, Ross went P.C. on us by referring to Shawn's Indian death lock as a "Native American death lock." Michaels tagged Jericho with a slap to the face that popped the crowd. Jericho looked like he was going to cry. He charged at Michaels with a flurry of punches. Michaels ducked between the ropes and flashed a cocky grin while Jericho rubbed his own cheek.

At 10:00, Jericho locked HBK in the Liontamer. The crowd popped big and thought it was the finish. Michaels reached the ropes and many in the crowd were disappointed. Moments later, HBK hit Sweet Chin Music on Jericho, who was standing on the ring apron. The kicked knocked Jericho to the floor. Michaels went to ringside and carried Jericho back into the ring and went for a cover, but Jericho kicked out.

Michaels followed up with a top rope elbow drop. He went to the corner and tuned up the band. Jericho got to his feet, but fell back down. Michaels tuned up some more, but Jericho fell down again. Jericho stood up for a third time and Michaels went for kick the kick, but Jericho greeted him with the Codebreaker. Cool spot. It took Jericho a while to recover and make the cover, so HBK kicked out.

Moments later, Michaels caught Jericho in the crossface. Jericho reached the ropes. Jericho regained control and went for the Lionsault. Michaels lifted his knees and Jericho landed on his feet and went for the Liontamer again, but Michaels rolled him up and scored the pin.

After the match, Michaels was about to leave the ring when Jericho stood in the center and held out his right hand. Michaels back and and both men reluctantly shook hands. Michaels continued to watch Jericho as he walked to the back. A shot aired of Regal watching from his luxury box as Michaels headed backstage...

Powell's POV: This one lived up to the hype. Excellent match. Ross said that as a fan he could watch HBK and Y2J wrestle every day of the week. Very entertaining, not that anyone expected otherwise. Very good call by Ross, as well. Again, not that anyone should be surprised. Really, the only surprise is that we didn't see Batista. I'm not complaining, though...

A One Night Stand aired. It featured Kane and the voiceover guy said it was the one night of the year that WWE goes extreme...

Backstage, Todd Grisham interviewed a happy-go-lucky (almost to an annoying degree) Mickie James about her match. He also asked her about her date with Cena. She reluctantly said it was fun. JBL showed up and told Mickie to leave. After she walked away, JBL said he beat Cena for 20 minutes. He said Cena was the one in the training room, not him...

4. Mickie James defeated Beth Phoenix and Melina in a three-way to retain the WWE Women's Title in 4:38. Mickie hit a great dropkick to Beth's face. Beth recovered a short time later and picked up both women in an awesome double backbreaker. Just a short time later, Mickie hit a jumping DDT on Melina for the pin...

Powell's POV: They were well on their way to having a great match, but the match ended way too early. It was really good while it lasted. Too bad they didn't give them more time.

A backstage shot aired of Shawn Michaels in his locker room. Batista walked in and reminded Shawn that he said he'd hurt him if he found out he was faking his injury. "But I'm going to make you wait for it," Batista said. "I'm going to dictate the time and the place, but I am going to hurt you." Batista walked away and Michaels looked concerned...

Powell's POV: That was awesome. Short and sweet. They didn't need to say another word. Tremendous backstage segment.

85 percent of the text voters predicted that Undertaker would defeat Edge to regain the World Hvt. Championship... A video recapped the Taker vs. Edge feud...

5. Undertaker defeated Edge via countout in 17:00. After some solid, yet unspectacular action, Taker went for the gogoplata choke, but realized he couldn't use the hold. Taker took control of the offense and the pace picked up. Zach Ryder and Kurt Hawkins came to ringside to distract the referee momentarily. In the meantime, Edge removed one of the top turnbuckle pads.

Later, Taker went for Snake Eyes, but Edge avoided it and shoved taker into the exposed turnbuckle. Taker came back and hit Snake Eyes a short time later. At 16:00, Taker and Edge were fighting on the floor. Taker shoved Edge and beat the referee's ten count. The ref named Taker the winner and handed him the title belt.

Ryder and Hawkins immediately wheeled Vickie onto the stage. The crowd booed. She milked it forever, to the point that I was wondering if she forget her line. She eventually stated that the title can't be won via countout or DQ. As such, the title was still vacant. Taker snapped. He grabbed Edge from ringside and Tomstone piledrove him in the ring.

Vickie stood up and called Taker a son of a bitch. The tried to censor the line and did a lousy job. Ryder and Hawkins pulled Taker from the ring. Vickie headed backstage while Ryder and Hawkins dragged Edge to the back. Taker stood in the ring with the World Hvt. Championship...

Powell's POV: A good match. Nothing particularly memorable. I'm still holding out hope that MVP somehow wins the vacated title. I'm just hoping that we won't see another Taker vs. Edge at One Night Stand...

Another ad aired for One Night Stand... A pre-taped Randy Orton promo aired. He said Hunter accuses him of being lucky, "but luck is winning the title in a four-way match in your third try." Good promo in the usual monotone voice...

MVP walked to the ring for a promo. He complained that he was left off the pay-per-view and issued an open challenge to anyone who thinks they are on his level. Matt Hardy walked out wearing street clothes. Matt said he's already proven that he's better than MVP, but someone else wanted to prove that he's also better...

6. Jeff Hardy pinned MVP in 9:42. Early in the match, Foley mentioned that Jeff lost his home in a fire. It's the first time that WWE has acknowledged that on television. Cole said Hardy finds solace in the ring. MVP grabbed control of the offense early and maintained it for the bulk of the match. Hardy came back, but missed a Swanton. A short time later, he hit a Whisper in the Wind and picked up the clean pin.

Powell's POV: Well, that beat the hell out of the Big Show vs. Mark Henry match that was advertised briefly in one WWE.com article. I'm not sure why they didn't advertise it in advance, though. Hardy is arguably the most popular guy in WWE and MVP is a strong opponent. It's nice to create the impression that anything can happen, but I think they cost themselves some money in this case. The match was good, but nothing spectacular.

Another shot aired of Regal watching from the luxury box as Jeff was walking backstage... A video aired with Sylvester Stallone hyping Rambo. It wasn't personalized for WWE in any way... The cage lowered for the main event... A video recapped the Hunter vs. Orton match...

7. Triple H pinned Randy Orton to retain the WWE Title in a cage match at 21:12. Orton dove for the door as soon as the bell rang, but Hunter stopped him. Let the punching and kicking begin. Orton must have took a shot to the chops because he bled a little from the mouth early on. Orton took control of the match and delivered a series of kicks and a knee drop. A shot aired of Regal watching from the luxury box.

At 11:00, Orton made another attempt to escape the cage. Hunter caught him, but Orton grabbed a chair that was just leaning against the ring steps for no reason. He missed Hunter with his first swing, but came back to strike him with it and then DDT'd him on the chair for a nearfall. The crowd chanted for Triple H.

At 14:30, Hunter channeled Raven by performing the drop toehold onto the chair. Moments later, Orton channeled Ric Flair by having his ass exposed when Hunter stopped him from escaping the cage by grabbing his trunks.

At 17:00, Hunter and Orton fought at the top of the cage. Orton had the advantage, but Hunter stopped him and slammed his head into it. Hunter set up for a top rope Pedigree, but Orton fought him off and knocked him. Orton climbed over the cage and Hunter caught up to him and grabbed him by the neck. Orton dangled his legs in a really cool spot. Orton knocked Hunter down again, but Hunter got up quickly and stopped him from climbing over the top.

At 19:20, Hunter crotched Orton in one of the corners. Hunter was first to his feet. He went for a Pedigree onto the chair, but Orton pulled his legs out from under him. Orton went for the big kick, but Hunter dodged it. Hunter creamed Orton with huge chairshot and then finished him off with the Pedigree for the clean pin. After the match, Hunter stood on top of the cage and celebrated with the WWE Title belt to close the show...

Powell's POV: A strong cage match. Very good. The spot with Hunter holding Orton by his neck while Randy dangled his legs was really cool. The overall show was good. The in-ring action was solid, but most of the outcomes were predictable. Plus, the same old matchups didn't help the show's cause. The Michaels vs. Jericho match was memorable. The main event was a good cage match (where was the blood?). Most of the matches lived up to expectations, yet this just didn't strike me as a truly great pay-per-view. Rather, it felt flat at times because we've seen so many of these matches before. I guess the best way to put it was that the show was as good as it could be.

I'll have more to say about the show in the WWE Judgment Day Hitlist on Monday.
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