|Survivor Series (2008)|
Promotional poster featuring John Cena
|Tagline(s)||Spoilin' for a Fight|
|"Spoilin' for a Fight" by AC/DC|
|Promotion||World Wrestling Entertainment|
|Date||November 23, 2008|
|Venue||TD Banknorth Garden|
|Survivor Series chronology|
Survivor Series (2008) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and presented by THQ's WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009. It took place on November 23, 2008, at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston. The event, the 22nd Survivor Series, involved wrestlers from WWE's all three brands, Raw, SmackDown, and ECW. The event's card consisted of six professional wrestling matches. The event received 319,000 pay-per-view buys, less than the previous year's event.
The main event was for the World Heavyweight Championship between John Cena, returning after suffering a herniated disc at SummerSlam, and the champion, Chris Jericho, which Cena won by pinfall after executing an AA. Another match on the event was the SmackDown main event, which saw Edge return and defeat Vladimir Kozlov, and the champion Triple H, in a Triple Threat match to win the WWE Championship. The undercard matches included The Undertaker versus The Big Show in a Casket Match and three five-on-five elimination tag team matches.
The event featured professional wrestling matches involving different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots and storylines. Wrestlers portrayed a villain or a fan favorite character as they followed a series of events that built tension, and culminated into a wrestling match or series of matches. All wrestlers came from the ECW, Raw, and SmackDown brands — a storyline division in which WWE assigns its employees to different programs.
Advertising on WWE programming and on the Survivor Series promotional poster had foreshadowed the return of John Cena, whom a herniated disk injury (that he suffered during his match with Batista at SummerSlam) had sidelined, at the event. On the November 3, 2008 episode of Raw, Shane McMahon announced that Cena would challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship at Survivor Series. Cena would face the champion resulting from a Steel cage match between World Heavyweight Champion Batista and Chris Jericho, which Jericho won. This event marks the first time that Jericho and Cena would wrestle for a major championship since August 2005. During that summer, Cena defeated Jericho on two different occasions for the WWE Championship (the title that Cena held at the time). First at the SummerSlam event and on the following night's episode of Raw in a "You're Fired" match, a match that ended the career of Jericho, until his return on the November 19, 2007 episode of Raw.
The main feud on the SmackDown brand involved Triple H, Vladimir Kozlov and Jeff Hardy, who were competing for Triple H's WWE Championship. At No Mercy in October, Hardy came close to winning the WWE title from Triple H but failed to do so when Triple H pinned him with the roll-up. Kozlov was one of the choices for Triple H's challengers at Cyber Sunday for the fans to vote, but Hardy won the poll and faced Triple H for the title, a match in which Hardy lost again. Then, after Kozlov demanded a WWE title match against Triple H on SmackDown, General Manager Vickie Guerrero put Kozlov in a match against The Undertaker on the November 7 episode of SmackDown, adding that if Kozlov won, he would challenge Triple H at Survivor Series for the WWE Championship. Kozlov won the match, albeit via disqualification after Hardy interfered and hit Kozlov with a steel chair. However, after seeing Hardy defeat The Undertaker in an Extreme Rules match the following week, Guerrero scheduled Hardy in a non-title match against Triple H on the November 21 episode of SmackDown, stating that should Hardy win, she would add him to the WWE Championship match at Survivor Series, making it a Triple Threat match. Hardy won the match and earned the title opportunity. However it was announced during the event that Hardy was found unconscious in a hotel stairwell in Boston, casting doubt over whether he would be able to compete in the match.
Another feud from SmackDown heading into Survivor Series took place between The Undertaker and The Big Show. At Unforgiven, Big Show betrayed The Undertaker and attacked him, punching him in the head on several occasions. At No Mercy, in a match between the two, Big Show knocked The Undertaker out with 2 punches to the face and 1 to the back of the head, prompting the referee to rule the match a knockout in Big Show's favour. However, at Cyber Sunday, in a fans-voted Last Man Standing match, Undertaker defeated Big Show by choking him out with the gogoplata or Hells Gate. On an episode of SmackDown, The Undertaker defeated Chavo Guerrero in a casket match despite of the Big Show's interference. On the November 7 episode, Big Show challenged Undertaker to a casket match at Survivor Series.
Three inter-promotional Survivor Series Elimination matches were scheduled for the event. In one match, Shawn Michaels captained the team of Rey Mysterio, The Great Khali, and Cryme Tyme (JTG and Shad Gaspard) against John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) and his team of Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP), Kane, John Morrison and The Miz. The feud that led to the Team HBK vs. Team JBL match began between Rey Mysterio and Kane over the summer then a couple of months later, the Team of Cryme Tyme (from the Raw brand) started their own feud against John Morrison and The Miz (from the ECW brand). From SmackDown, MVP and The Great Khali have had their own issues in the few weeks leading up to Survivor Series. The main rivalry between the captains, Michaels and JBL, began on the October 27 episode of Raw, when JBL attacked Michaels before a tag-team match between the latter and Batista, taking on JBL and Chris Jericho. Despite of the assault, Michaels and Batista defeated JBL and Jericho. The next week, a match between JBL and The Undertaker took place, which Undertaker won by countout. Moments after the match, Michaels threw JBL back into the ring, allowing Undertaker to perform a Tombstone Piledriver on JBL. On the November 10 episode, JBL retaliated when he helped Chris Jericho defeat Michaels in a Last Man Standing match.
Another match featured Batista captaining the team of Matt Hardy, R-Truth, CM Punk, and Kofi Kingston, and facing off against the team captained by Randy Orton, consisting of Shelton Benjamin, William Regal, Cody Rhodes, and Mark Henry. The rivalry between Team Batista and Team Orton originally started between Matt Hardy and Shelton Benjamin. On the June 23 episode of Raw, Hardy was drafted from SmackDown to ECW when he was the WWE United States Champion at the time. Then at The Great American Bash, he lost the U.S. title to Benjamin. Afterwards, Hardy went for the ECW World Championship held by Mark Henry on a few occasions. At Unforgiven, Hardy won the ECW title from Henry in the Championship Scramble match after he pinned The Miz. Henry challenged Hardy for the title at No Mercy but lost by pinfall. From SmackDown, Benjamin had successfully defended the U.S. title against the likes of Jimmy Wang Yang, and Jeff Hardy but has yet to defeat R-Truth in a non-title match. At Cyber Sunday, Benjamin defeated R-Truth in a WWE.com match to retain the U.S. title. Then on the November 7 episode, Benjamin defeated R-Truth again to retain the title but on the next two weeks on SmackDown, he and Henry lost to R-Truth and Hardy in a tag match. From the Raw brand, then World Tag Team Champions, Kofi Kingston and CM Punk would have their own issues with Cody Rhodes and Manu for two months. It began on the September 1 episode of Raw, when Randy Orton appeared to belittle Raw's champions, drawing then World Champion, CM Punk out to the ring to confront Orton. At Unforgiven, Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, and Manu attacked Punk, as well as Kingston who tried to help Punk. After they had attacked both Punk and Kingston, Orton made use of this opportunity to perform a running punt on Punk. In result of this, Punk was stripped of the World title and was replaced by Chris Jericho before the third Championship Scramble began on that event. The main rivalry between the captains, Batista and Orton began on the November 10 episode of Raw, when Batista invoked his rematch clause against Chris Jericho, whom he lost the World title the week before in a Steel cage match. Stephanie McMahon, however, appeared in the titantron to address Batista, alerting him that due to her brother, Shane's promise that whoever won the Steel cage match would go on to face John Cena for the title at Survivor Series, she was unable to grant Batista his rematch request until after the pay-per-view event. Following this, Orton made his way to the ring, dredging up bad history from he and Batista's days in Evolution several years earlier. Orton then said that after Cena, it was his turn for a title opportunity, not Batista's. On the November 17 episode of Raw, Orton defeated Punk in a Lumberjack match with the help of then WWE Intercontinental Champion, William Regal. After the match, Batista entered the ring and attacked Orton, leading all of the superstars present to get involved in what became an out-of-control brawl that ended the show.
The third match announced was a Divas Elimination match, in which Beth Phoenix led Team Raw composed of Mickie James, Candice Michelle, Kelly Kelly, and Jillian Hall, against Team SmackDown, which featured Michelle McCool as captain, Victoria, Maria, Maryse, and Natalya. On the October 3 episode of SmackDown, Women's Champion Phoenix defeated the Divas Champion McCool in a Lumberjill match due to interference from Maryse. The feud between Phoenix and McCool restarted on the November 17 episode of Raw, when Raw Diva, Kelly Kelly fought SmackDown Diva Victoria and was victorious. As a result of this, Victoria attacked her opponent after the bell before Kelly's fellow Raw Divas ran to her rescue.
The actual pay-per-view opened with a Survivor Series elimination match between Team HBK (Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, Cryme Tyme (Shad Gaspard and JTG) and The Great Khali) and Team JBL (John "Bradshaw" Layfield, Kane, Montel Vontavious Porter, John Morrison and The Miz). JTG was eliminated by MVP after a Drive-By Kick. MVP was eliminated by Khali after a Khali Chop. Kane was eliminated by Mysterio after a Brain Chop by Khali and an Aided Splash with Khali. Gaspard was eliminated by The Miz after a Reality Check. Miz was eliminated by Mysterio after a 619 and a Frog Splash. JBL was eliminated after being counted out. Morrison was eliminated by Michaels after Sweet Chin Music, leaving Michaels, Mysterio and Khali as the survivors.
The second match was a Divas Survivor Series elimination match between Team Raw Women's Champion Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Candice Michelle and Jillian Hall) and Team SmackDown (Divas Champion Michelle McCool, Victoria, Maria, Maryse and Natalya). Victoria was eliminated by Kelly Kelly with a Rana pin. Kelly Kelly was eliminated by Maryse after a Side Slam Backbreaker. McCool was eliminated by Mickie after a Mickie-DDT. James was eliminated by Maryse with a roll-up. Natalya was eliminated by Candice after a Spear. Hall was eliminated by Maria with a victory roll. Maria was eliminated by Candice with a Bridging Northern Light Suplex pin. Candice was eliminated by Maryse after submitting to a modified Figure Four Leglock. Maryse was eliminated by Phoenix after a Glam Slam, leaving Phoenix as the sole survivor.
Next, The Undertaker faced Big Show in a Casket Match. During the match, Undertaker executed a Leg Drop through a broadcast table on Big Show. Big Show performed a Chokeslam on Undertaker and tried to walk away but Undertaker stopped him. The two fought on the entrance ramp, where Big Show set up the casket. The match ended when Undertaker performed an Irish Whip on Big Show, knocking him into a casket. As the casket fell over, Undertaker won the match.
The fourth match was a Survivor Series elimination match between Team Orton (Randy Orton, United States Champion Shelton Benjamin, Intercontinental Champion William Regal, Cody Rhodes and Mark Henry) and Team Batista (Batista, World Tag Team Champions CM Punk and Kofi Kingston, ECW Champion Matt Hardy, and R-Truth). Regal was eliminated by Punk after a GTS. R-Truth was eliminated by Benjamin after Paydirt. Kingston was eliminated by Orton after a Rope-Hung DDT. Punk was eliminated by Rhodes after a Silver Spoon DDT. Hardy was eliminated by Henry after a World's Strongest Slam. Henry was eliminated by Batista after a Spear. Benjamin was eliminated by Batista after a Batista Bomb. Batista was eliminated by Orton after an RKO, leaving Orton and Rhodes as the survivors.
The first main event match began as a standard match for the WWE Championship between Triple H and Vladimir Kozlov. After Triple H executed a Pedigree on Kozlov, Vickie Guerrero changed the match into a Triple threat match also involving Edge, marking Edge's first appearance since SummerSlam. Edge performed a Spear on Triple H but was attacked by Jeff Hardy, who was originally scheduled to be in the match. Hardy tried to hit Edge with a chair but hit Triple H instead. Hardy then also hit Kozlov with the chair but Edge performed a Spear on Hardy. Edge pinned Triple H to win the title.
In the final match, Chris Jericho defended the World Heavyweight Championship against John Cena, who returned from injury after suffering a herniated disc at Summerslam. During the match, Cena attempted a Five Knuckle Shuffle on Jericho but Jericho applied the Liontamer on Cena, which he countered. Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho but Cena reached the ropes to break the hold. Cena performed an FU on Jericho for a near-fall. Cena attempted another FU on Jericho but Jericho countered with a Codebreaker for a near-fall. Cena applied the STF on Jericho but Jericho countered with a small package for a near-fall. Cena performed another FU on Jericho to win the title.
After Edge returned and captured the WWE Championship, Triple H, Jeff Hardy, and Vladimir Kozlov participated in a Beat The Clock challenge for the number one contender's spot. Kozlov lost his match to Matt Hardy, while Jeff Hardy and Triple H each won their matches in exactly the same time. Due to the results, a reluctant Vickie Guerrero scheduled Edge to defend his WWE Championship against both Hardy and Triple H in a triple threat match at Armageddon. At the pay-per-view, Hardy defeated Edge and Triple H to win his first WWE Championship. The situation with Jeff Hardy was tied into the lead up to his match at WrestleMania XXV against his brother Matt Hardy, who claimed responsibility for attacking him.
The feud between John Cena and Chris Jericho continued on into Armageddon, where Cena defeated Jericho to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
The day after Survivor Series, Melina returned from injury and resumed her feud with Beth Phoenix that had begun back in June. On the December 29 episode of Raw, Melina won a battle royal to become the number one contender to Phoenix's WWE Women's Championship. At the Royal Rumble, Melina defeated Phoenix to win her third Women's Championship. After the SmackDown Divas were defeated at Survivor Series, Michelle McCool began showing signs of a villainous turn, beginning with attacking Maria after losing a non-title match to her on the December 5 episode of SmackDown. Two weeks later, Maryse defeated Maria to earn a shot at Michelle's WWE Divas Championship. On the December 26 episode of SmackDown, Maryse defeated Michelle to capture the Divas Championship in a match where Maria was the guest referee.
The event was generally well received by critics. The Sun praised the shock return of Edge and his and Cena's subsequent World Championship victories. However they highly criticized the poor quality of the casket match and the Jeff Hardy storyline, which they regarded as "tasteless". The Team Orton vs Team Batista match was viewed as the best wrestling match of the night. Overall they gave the event a rating of 7 out of 10. Conversely, the event was voted by Wrestling Observer Newsletter as the worst pay-per-view of 2008.
|1D||The Brian Kendrick defeated Kung Fu Naki||Singles match||Unknown|
|2||Team HBK (The Great Khali, JTG, Rey Mysterio, Shad Gaspard and Shawn Michaels) (with Ranjin Singh) defeated Team JBL (John "Bradshaw" Layfield, John Morrison, Kane, The Miz and Montel Vontavious Porter)1||5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination match||18:13|
|3||Team Raw (Beth Phoenix, Candice Michelle, Jillian Hall, Kelly Kelly and Mickie James) (with Santino Marella) defeated Team SmackDown (Maria, Maryse, Michelle McCool, Natalya and Victoria)2||5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination match||09:39|
|4||The Undertaker defeated Big Show||Casket match||12:45|
|5||Team Orton (Cody Rhodes, Mark Henry, Randy Orton, Shelton Benjamin and William Regal) (with Layla, Manu and Tony Atlas) defeated Team Batista (Batista, CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, Matt Hardy and R-Truth)3||5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination match||16:13|
|6||Edge defeated Triple H (c) and Vladimir Kozlov||Triple threat match for the WWE Championship||14:22|
|7||John Cena defeated Chris Jericho (c)||Singles match for the World Heavyweight Championship||21:19|
|Elimination||Wrestler||Team||Eliminated by||Elimination move||Time|
|1||JTG||Team HBK||MVP||Drive-By Kick||01:41|
|2||MVP||Team JBL||The Great Khali||Khali chop||01:54|
|3||Kane||Team JBL||Rey Mysterio||Khali Chop by Khali and an Aided splash with Khali||03:26|
|4||Shad Gaspard||Team HBK||The Miz||Reality Check||06:30|
|5||The Miz||Team JBL||Rey Mysterio||619 followed by a Frog Splash||11:45|
|6||John "Bradshaw" Layfield||Team JBL||N/A||Counted out||17:57|
|7||John Morrison||Team JBL||Shawn Michaels||Sweet Chin Music||18:13|
|Survivor(s):||Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio and The Great Khali (Team HBK)|
|Elimination||Wrestler||Team||Eliminated by||Elimination Move||Time|
|1||Victoria||Team SmackDown||Kelly Kelly||Hurricanrana pin||02:54|
|2||Kelly Kelly||Team Raw||Maryse||Side slam backbreaker||03:23|
|3||Michelle McCool||Team SmackDown||Mickie James||Mickie-DDT||05:07|
|4||Mickie James||Team Raw||Maryse||Roll-up||05:26|
|5||Natalya||Team SmackDown||Candice Michelle||Spear||06:45|
|6||Jillian Hall||Team Raw||Maria||Victory Roll||07:44|
|7||Maria||Team SmackDown||Candice Michelle||Bridging Northern Lights suplex pin||07:55|
|8||Candice Michelle||Team Raw||Maryse||Modified figure-4 leglock||08:38|
|9||Maryse||Team SmackDown||Beth Phoenix||Glam Slam||09:39|
|Survivor(s):||Beth Phoenix (Team Raw)|
|Elimination||Wrestler||Team||Eliminated by||Elimination Move||Time|
|1||William Regal||Team Orton||CM Punk||Go To Sleep||00:11|
|2||R-Truth||Team Batista||Shelton Benjamin||Paydirt||07:38|
|3||Kofi Kingston||Team Batista||Randy Orton||Rope hung DDT||10:45|
|4||CM Punk||Team Batista||Cody Rhodes||Silver Spoon DDT||13:06|
|5||Matt Hardy||Team Batista||Mark Henry||World's Strongest Slam||14:22|
|6||Mark Henry||Team Orton||Batista||Spear||14:32|
|7||Shelton Benjamin||Team Orton||Batista||Batista Bomb||15:06|
|8||Batista||Team Batista||Randy Orton||RKO||16:13|
|Survivor(s):||Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes (Team Orton)|
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