Wrestling History Lesson: SummerSlam 2008 | Smark Out Moment

Wrestling History Lesson: SummerSlam 2008

Posted by Ben Guest Friday, July 31, 2015
SummerSlam is just a few weeks away and there is of course one main talking point: The Undertaker. However, there is fear that this huge moment will have taken all of the time from the writers and we're in for an altogether poor show. So here at Smark Out Moment, we've decided to take you back to the summer of 2008 for our latest history lesson. Why 2008? Quite simply, it was the Undertaker's most recent appearance at SummerSlam. So let's pull Edge out of retirement and put JBL on the other side of the announce table as SummerSlam heads somewhere other than California for the last time until... well, this year.

2008 WWE SummerSlam ppv event
Image courtesy of wallpapersuggest.com
Montel Vontavious Porter vs Jeff Hardy

The first match of the night saw MVP and Jeff Hardy square off in after MVP had cost Hardy matches against Edge and Shelton Benjamin in the previous few weeks. MVP mostly dominated, but just as Jeff Hardy began to brighten up quite a dull match (in a manner that only one of the Hardy's could) Shelton Benjamin came to ringside, This distracted Hardy and allowed MVP to win following a drive by kick.

Kofi Kingston (c) and Mickie James (c) vs Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix (Glamarella) Intergender tag team match for WWE Intercontinental and WWE Women's Championships 

In a match where Superstars and Divas were allowed to wrestle each other, there was plenty of potential for excitement. However, the only excitement came from Kofi Kingston putting in some fast and high-flying maneuvers. Other than that, it was a less than average match that ended with Beth Phoenix pinning Mickie James for the win.

Shawn Michaels/Chris Jericho segment

The next segment stemmed from Chris Jericho damaging Shawn Michaels' eye at the previous pay-per-view (The Great American Bash). Michaels came to the ring with his wife to announce that he was taking his doctors advice to retire. Jericho then interrupted Michaels' farewell speech to get Michaels to admit that Jericho had forced him to retire through the injuries he caused. The two then exchanged words until Jericho went to attack Michaels, who moved out of the way, causing Jericho to knock down his wife. Jericho then walked away while Michaels (along with medics) tended to his wife.

Mark Henry (c) vs Matt Hardy for the ECW Championship

30 seconds into this match, Matt Hardy hit the Twist of Fate and was about to pin Mark Henry before Henry's manager Tony Atlas pulled Hardy out of the ring causing a DQ for Henry to retain.

CM Punk (c) vs JBL for the World Heavyweight Championship

JBL dominated most of this match, but CM Punk managed to look strong throughout. Punk was split open after the two hit heads but this was a fairly average match with a very abrupt ending as after no build up at all Punk hit the GTS to pin JBL and retain the title.

Triple H (c) vs The Great Khali for the WWE Championship

Yes, The Great Khali, a man who couldn't speak, couldn't wrestle and could barely walk was challenging for the title. Despite this, Khali controlled most of the match until Triple H attacked Khali's legs with the help of the ring post. Khali also managed to reverse 2 pedigrees, as he had also been doing over the past few weeks. Remember the days when WWE could save a spot for a PPV? (*cough* Ryback Shell Shock's Big Show on Raw before Battleground *cough*). But finally, Triple H hit Khali with the pedigree to pick up the win and retain the title.

John Cena vs Batista

This match was set up because Cena accidentally hit Batista (still don't understand how WWE thinks this is a good way to start a feud). This was a strong match with both Superstars using multiple signature moves as well as Batista using some of his mentor Ric Flair's moves including the Figure-4 leg lock. Towards the end of the match, finishers were traded before Cena was beaten by a second Batista bomb. Yes, those were the days Cena could be beaten.

The Undertaker vs Edge in a Hell in a Cell Match

This match was set up after Edge beat The Undertaker at One Night Stand for the World Heavyweight Championship in a TLC match with the added stipulation that since Undertaker lost, he was fired from WWE (how anyone believed that I'm not sure). However, Vickie Guerrero reinstated The Undertaker for this match after Edge hit her with a spear at The Great American Bash. Edge took charge at the start with the help of steel steps, tables, ladders and chairs and even knocked The Undertaker through a cell panel with a spear. Edge then went on to spear the Undertaker through the commentary table. Undertaker turned the match around by countering a spear into a chokeslam. Both Superstars went on to hit multiple finishers, including a chokeslam off the top rope through two tables outside the ring and a spear from The Undertaker to Edge to change things up. The match finally ended after The Undertaker hit Edge with a tombstone piledriver. However, as The Undertaker was walking up the ramp, Edge began to move slightly, so Taker went back to him and chokeslammed Edge off a ladder through the ring canvas and the hole in the canvas subsequently went up in flames.

Overall, this was quite a poor event. Aside from the Hell in a Cell match and the Michaels/Jericho feud, none of the feuds continued in any substantial manner. It would also be Undertaker's last appearance at SummerSlam for 7 years, and in that time, the whole scene of WWE has changed dramatically. The Undertaker has had success at SummerSlam over the years (even when facing himself in 1994) but with him back at the event once again this year to face Brock Lesnar, will he repeat that success or will this finally be Undertaker's last SummerSlam and final resting place?

What are your memories of SummerSlam 2008? How do you think Undertaker will perform this year? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Ben Guest is a history student at De Montfort University in the United Kingdom. Outside of professional wrestling, he is also a fan of Liverpool FC.


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