Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Top Ten Greatest Moments of 2008 (Part One)

10. Undertaker sends Edge to Hell-there are times when I forget what a solid performer the Undertaker is (and let’s face it, for a guy who’s firmly entrenched in the WWE hierarchy, he continues to put on consistent matches and add moves to his repertoire when he could just phone things in). While there's argument that the Edge/Undertaker feud went on a wee bit too long, no one can deny that the finish was nothing short of epic. After defeating Edge in a brutal Hell in a Cell Match, the Undertaker sent Edge “to hell” in an exciting display of theatrics and pyrotechnics that fans are still raving about.

9. Jericho beats Batista in a cage-heels never win in a cage, especially when it’s for a title. Well, not anymore. After the WWE painted themselves into a corner by putting a special referee stipulation into the World Championship match between Jericho and Batista, they had to put the belt on “The Animal”, cutting Chris Jericho's World Championship reign quite short. Jericho fans weren't too thrilled so imagine their surprise when Jericho regained the belt less than eight days later and in of all things, a cage match. Bad booking would have seen run-ins from half the locker room but the WWE came up with a more clever and believable finish. After reaching the top of the cage, the ever crafty Jericho grabbed a piece of metal from the cage rigging and belted “Big Dave” in the mush, stunning the champion just long enough to escape from the cage. A good cage match became a great one thanks to a novel and surprising finish.

8. 2008 Draft-while previous WWE drafts have had their surprises (Cena and Batista switching shows with their world championships perhaps being the biggest), there were always certains-Triple H would stay on RAW, none of the announce teams would get shaken up, and ECW would be home for young stars, not big names. Not anymore. This year saw “The Game” sent to SmackDown! with no trade back, Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler parted ways, and Matt Hardy went to ECW, jumping ratings in the process.

7. Steen & Generico’s quest for the ROH tag titles. While I didn’t watch a lot of Ring of Honor (ROH) this year, my illustrious colleague Zah did and added his ever insightful thoughts to the list with the above pick. Here's what Zah had to say:

"I think the accention and eventual tag title victory by Kevin Steen and El Generico need to be considered the top moment in ROH this past year. The year-long build and hard- fought matches and fan support had all meant that when the titles were finally won, they meant something. "Steenerico" have continued to display to ROH fans since why they are deserving of the titles."

Thanks Zah, and hopefully I'll keep my New Year's resolution to watch more Ring of Honor.

6. John Cena returns at Royal Rumble: 2008 was a year of surprises for WWE fans (most of them pleasant) and things got off to a wild start at the Royal Rumble when John Cena returned from what was supposed to be a six month injury. While some fans weren’t happy to see Cena back so soon, just about everybody thought it was a great surprise. Not only did it invigorate the crowd but it made for a very exciting Royal Rumble and even more surprising was Cena’s decision to challenge the WWE champion at No Way Out instead of Wrestlemania XXIV. Love him or hate him, John Cena knows how to get a strong reaction from the crowd.

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