To me, Survivor Series seemingly only took place last week, but here we have Armageddon all of a sudden, WWE's final PPV of 2008.
This year, Armageddon is a PPV with surprisingly little build, with efforts focused on last Monday's Slammy Awards and the upcoming Tribute to the Troops on NBC. As of writing, seven matches have been announced, and I'll have a brief look at them now.
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
John Cena (c) vs. Chris Jericho
Since Survivor Series, Chris Jericho has provided a couple of interesting moments, such as his Slammy win for Superstar of the Year, and his Liontamer on Cena a couple of weeks ago.
However, the build to this rematch has been dominated by The Champ in all of their one-on-one fights. The night after Survivor Series, Cena destroyed Jericho and put him in the STFU, and the following week, Cena was handily beating Jericho up again before The Legacy interfered, allowing Jericho to get his shots in.
WWE have done nothing here to suggest that Jericho will have any chance of winning his title back on Sunday.
WWE are clearly building to the big Cena/Batista rematch, possibly at WrestleMania. To achieve that, they may need Jericho to get a DQ win here to get a gimmick match at the Royal Rumble, so a lot depends on the placement of this match on the card.
If it's the main event, Cena goes over and the feud ends, if the SmackDown three way is on last, Jericho may well get a DQ win. Either way, Cena hangs onto the title, and we either move away from this, or move on with it for six weeks until the Rumble.
TRIPLE THREAT MATCH FOR THE WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
Edge (c) vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Triple H
There's been a lot of talk this week about Jeff Hardy finally winning the WWE Title here, but I just don't see it. A lot of it had to do with his loss to Chris Jericho on RAW, which some see as a sign that he's winning the title on the PPV. I however just don't see Edge losing the title this soon.
Sure, Edge dropped the WWE Title three weeks after winning it for the first time in January 2006, but those were different circumstances to pop some ratings on RAW. Now Edge is a more developed and seasoned champion, and he's expected to hold onto the title until WrestleMania, where Hardy should win the belt.
Some may say this is giving Hardy the Samoa Joe treatment, where TNA took so long to put their title on Joe, that it became bittersweet when he got it. The way I see it, Mania will be a perfect place for Hardy to become champion. Armageddon is not that place.
As for Triple H, he's there to take the pinfall for me. He has his place in the match for Edge accusing him of attacking Hardy in his hotel, so there's intrigue if HHH will turn heel or not. I doubt it, but he's not winning his title back. Edge retains via dubious means.
Batista vs. Randy Orton
Supposedly this is a "first time meeting" this Sunday between the two former Evolution members, but WWE seem to have forgotten a match on RAW the night after WrestleMania 21, where the newly crowned World Heavyweight Champion Batista defeated Orton.
Dave and Randy haven't forgotten though, hence why they're claiming this match is "three years in the making". It may also be the most interesting match on the show.
This match is important for both men - for Orton, it's to further establish his role as the leader of The Legacy, and to see what role Cody Rhodes, Manu and possibly Ted DiBiase may play in this match.
For Batista, this is to continue momentum heading towards that rumoured rematch with John Cena at WrestleMania, possibly for the World Heavyweight Title. I think Batista's need is greater here, as Orton will remain over despite a defeat, so Big Dave takes this one.
INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP #1 CONTENDERS TOURNAMENT FINAL
CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio
This will be a very fun match; then again, I thought Mysterio/Kingston would have been last Monday on RAW, but that hardly got any time to get going. This match, however, should get plenty of time, and it will be interesting to see how their styles mesh together.
It is a simple match to call, though. Rey is currently having issues with Mike Knox, whilst Punk has beef with the current Intercontinental Champion William Regal, so look for Knox to possibly cost Mysterio the match, and then see Punk go on to face Regal, with Miz and Morrison probably costing Punk the title.
Matt Hardy vs. Vladimir Kozlov
This was originally meant to be an ECW Title match, thank goodness it isn't. When you consider that not even Triple H could get a good match out of Kozlov, what makes anyone think that Matt Hardy can?
The only way I see this being non-title is if Kozlov wins, as they don't exactly want to give Kozlov's first TV pinfall loss to Hardy, so Kozlov wins here, and Hardy gets some sort of victory in a title match either on ECW or at the Royal Rumble. I know what my toilet break match will be.
Finlay vs. Mark Henry
This match could have just been like the previous one, but for the added gimmick of a Belfast Brawl, which will make this a fun watch. Expect plenty of plunder, wig splitting and Leprechaun hijinks, and probably a Finlaywin too.
EIGHT DIVA "SANTA'S LITTLE HELPERS" TAG TEAM MATCH
Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Michelle McCool & Maria vs. Jillian Hall, Maryse, Natalya & Victoria
A last minute addition to the card, and something that will be crowd pleasing to break up what seems to be a very serious card. Plus it's always worth it to see Mickie James not wearing many clothes in the spirit of Christmas.
This match will have a storyline presence though, as Michelle McCool is still seething over Maria beating her a couple of weeks ago, and over Mickie pinning her at Survivor Series. Look for her to cost Maria the match, giving Maryse's team the win.
If it was up to me, I'd suggest sleeping on this show, especially during the credit crunch we're in, and save up for the Rumble. But if you do want to order Armageddon on Sunday, you may be in for a surprisingly good show, but I wouldn't bet the house on it. Then again, with Mickie in a skimpy Santa's outfit, maybe you should buy.
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