Although 2008 might not be a time most WWE fans would immediately look back upon with great fondness, it was a time when I myself was watching as a kid. And looking back at the card for this show, my goodness me what a card!!! There was a lot on the line at this PPV, and although it came in that tricky spot in the calendar between WrestleMania and SummerSlam, it still felt to me like a huge show. There is an argument to be made that every person on this card should and might one day go into the WWE Hall of Fame, and a few are already there since (Edge, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Beth Phoenix to name a few). So given how stacked this show is I should get right into it… So here, on the 13th anniversary, is my review of WWE’s One Night Stand PPV from 2008.
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler were the Raw Commentators, with Lilian Garcia the ring announcer. Michael Cole and Mick Foley along with Justin Roberts did the SmackDown side of things.
Jeff Hardy defeated Umaga in a Falls Count Anywhere match
In the same way a modern day Shane McMahon match is more like a big build up to one spot, at times in his career it has been like that with Jeff Hardy. But as I’ve said this really was THE year of Jeff Hardy. And Umaga at this point was a serviceable mid-card heel monster for the popular babyface to try and overcome. Umaga himself has his big year in 2007, so he was on the down a little as Jeff was almost at the top. Crowd were hot for this opener. Commentary, I don’t know if intentionally or not, made sure to be clear that ‘Falls Count Anywhere’ really did mean ‘anywhere’… wonder if that foreshadows the finish…?
The crowd really were hot for this one, they popped big for an early nearfall from Hardy after a whisper in the wind, and then more so when Hardy kicked out of a pin from Umaga after a blackhole slam. They had a pretty fun match with spots and nearfalls as they went from the ring to the outside, and then into the crowd after Umaga threw him into the barrier. Umaga beat down on Jeff as he shouted at the crowd, Jeff tried to fightback but his opponent was a monster, and sold little of his offence. He hit a big thrust kick for a nearfall after no selling getting a traffic (something) thrown at him. Hardy used a fire extinguisher after Umaga missed his running move, they brawled into the inner part of the arena, and up some stairs, Hardy then used the rail to slide down to collide with Umaga, and he got a nearfall from it. Really creative stuff. They went up the stairs into what looked like the concourse area of the arena, and continued the brawl with Umaga dragging Hardy… from there they went outside the arena, into San Diego… Umaga launched Hardy into a big case, and then smashed his head on a forklift for another nearfall. Then Umaga smashed Jeff into the bank of a WWE truck, and continued with the punishment. Jeff came back by smashing the backdoor of a truck into Umaga and using some truck ties to choke him for a nearfall. They brawled again towards another truck, and Jeff climbed to the top of one of the trucks up a ladder, but Jeff kicked Umaga off the ladder… and you knew what was coming next…
Yep… Swawton off the top of the truck. They were clever with how they shot it as they had some boxes of some sort and basically shielded where Umaga was and where Jeff landed so we didn’t actually see the impact. So I’m guessing they hid from shot whatever protection they put in place. They played it off as if it was on the concrete. Anyway a fun opener, and the babyface got the win which is always a good start.
Next up was our WWE ECW match of the show, Tony Chimel ring announcer and on the call… Oh god…
OH GOD.. it’s Mike Adamle…
So WWECW match time next I guess… as if anyone at this point could care about that shit show…
As if they didn’t wanna dumb down on WWE’s ECW knockoff anymore, Adamle said that Singapore Cane matches were a staple of the old ECW but now not so much, but tonight we’re bringing back the past…. With a little twist he added, that 5 former ECW champions would be in the match (Dreamer was the only former ECW champion, not WWECW). The stip was the winner would face the ECW champion at night of champions for the title (why this was on a ppv I’ve no idea, and why CM Punk who was Mr MITB was in the match also I’ve not a clue… but hey… WWECW I guess…).
They played clips from the last two weeks of ECW where Big Show each week battered everyone. And played on a face to face between Show and ECW champion Kane… so I guess we have our favourite.
We showed shots of people putting up poles with Canes at the top.
And that was where my interest died. Anything on a pole in a match gets a big NOPE from me.
Big Show defeated Tommy Dreamer, CM Punk, John Morrison and Chavo Guerrero in a 5 way Singapore Cane match to earn an ECW Championship match at the next PPV
Adamle called CM Punk “CM” not ‘Punk’ but C FUCKING M… I can’t… Chavo had Bam Neely with him (basically a big heavy they got in to be the heater for the smaller heel). Morrison was one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions at the time, I’m guessing with Miz… Show came out last… imagine after all this he doesn’t win… he was smiling as he came out so I THINK he’s a babyface…
Big Show beat everyone up. That’s how you could describe the start of the match. Mike Adamle calling Punk just “CM” is KILLING me not in a good way… Everyone teamed up on Big Show then each got a cane, then they all took turn smashing Big Show with their cane before “CM” and Dreamer got Show out the ring. Chavo went after “CM” as Morrison and Dreamer (or John and Tommy as Adamle would say) brawled. We had a bizarre moment where Chavo swung his cane at Punk who moved, and Chavo hit a fan instead… I’m guessing it was a plant but still that was interesting… Punk missed a few cane shots at Guerrero but then catapulted him over the announce table. The fan who Chavo hit was cheering Punk on, and then after encouragement the fan was given the cane by Punk… and the “fan” hit Chavo with the cane! It appears the fan was a local NFL player who they referred to earlier in the show, my apologies I had and still don’t know who that man is… ANYWAY… Big Show was beating up Morrison, and so to his tag partner Miz who tried in vain to make the save. Morrison saved Miz by hitting show with a cane, so Show went head first into the steel steps he was about to hurl at the Miz. Back in the ring Punk got the first nearfall of the match on Chavo after a Randy Orton like (I can’t think of the name but it’s the move where he catches the oncoming opponent and throws them to the floor). Morrison and Dreamer then came back in each with canes and Dreamer hit him and then used his cane to assist an overhead suplex which was impressive. Dreamer tried his move, Punk tried for a GTS but Dreamer countered into a Texas cloverleaf until Morrison smashed him over the back with a cane.
They showed a close up shot of Big Show who had a NASTY cut on his head…
Anyway the in ring stuff after was good, but that Big Show cut really took me out of it. The finish after some good action, came when a furious blood-drenched Big Show smashed everyone in site with a cane, (suddenly there was a tonne of canes at ringside in a trashcan), and Dreamer took a chokeslam… and then show made him get up again and he grabbed a cane and absolutely smashed Dreamer over the head. He put one foot on his chest and got the pin.
So yeah… the odds on favourite and the man who they made so incredible obvious was winning, did in fact win…
Kane was seen watching on from backstage laughing at what he saw. So they set up Kane vs Big Show for the ECW title at the next PPV… oh the joys… a proper ECW match right there… Jesus…
Todd Grisham spoke backstage interviewing Mr McMahon. And he spoke about the Million Dollar Giveaway…
Oh Boy… I’ll let you all do your own research on that and how it went…
John Cena defeated JBL in a First Blood match
It was odd seeing a John Cena match in this era be in the middle of the show… JBL undid the turnbuckle pad and in turn Cena undid the pad on the opposite side. They brawled as the match got properly underway, with the crowd chanting and making lots of noise for everything Cena did. Although JBL dominated most of the start with hard and stiff offence as usual, he then tried raking Cena’s face on the crowd barrier, Cena fought back with punches until JBL went at Cena’s eyes and hit a big boot. Cena got out the way of disaster as JBL swung a chair at the ringpost, although he did hit Cena not long after with a mic and then again after in the ring. After some punches Cena hit all his signature moves (the shoulder tackles then the 5 knuckle shuffle) but JBL escaped from a potential FU (AA). JBL got more moves in and he sent Cena into the post, but he still didn’t bleed. JBL got the steps but Cena moved, JBL then ripped the protection from the barrier and then sent Cena head first into it. Cena (with chants cheering him on from the crowd) blocked a ddt on the steps, Cena then got a mic and smashed JBL in the head with it, then raking JBL’s head on the steps. Cena had a chair but JBL kicked him down and then sent him head first into the exposed turnbuckle. JBL set for the Clothesline From Hell but Cena hit a bulldog to JBL onto the chair, but still no blood. JBL soon got a chain and hit Cena in the ribs… eventually Cena tried an FU but JBL again got out of it after kicking Cena… cena then was trapped in the ring ropes…
JBL then went and pulled out a whip that looked like something Indiana Jones might use. Luckily for Cena he kicked himself out of trouble and soon after used the nearby chain to to apply a modified STFU.
As a result JBL bled from the mouth and that was the win for Cena. It seemed a sudden ending to me but a good enough match.
Backstage Randy Orton approached his former Evolution partner Batista with a proposition…
Beth Phoenix defeated Melina in an I Quit match
So as you can see the full match for yourself above… YES Melina did THAT entrance (they also showed a replay of one of her fake paparazzi falling over which I’m sure was a Vince call from backstage), both women were very aggressive in their offence but sadly the crowd weren’t that into it or not as much as I was anyway, a power move by Phoenix was reversed by Melina and this sent Beth crashing into the turnbuckle, Melina targeted Phoenix’s arm/shoulder and some great transitions led to an armbar into a cross-armbreaker, although Phoenix powered up and slammed Melina down. She then hit a Glam Slam, and locked in a really strong looking submission, and as a result Melina eventually but very reluctantly quit.
We had a very odd backstage segment where John Cena and Mickie James were flirting, and Mike Adamle interrupted… I don’t even know what to say or how to describe it, but I know it took up a few minutes of my life I’m never getting back.
They played this video ahead of our next match…
Batista defeated Shawn Michaels in a Stretcher Match
So I THINK Michaels is the babyface here… if he should be or not I don’t know… this feud started after Batista was angry at how HBK retired his hero Ric Flair, and then as you saw in the pre match promo video Michaels used questionable tactics to get his win over Batista at Backlash… Both guys looked focused and intent on hurting the other before this one, so they did a great job of making this come across as a big grudge match.
The size difference here is absurd really… Batista was by far the more aggressive of the two out of the gates. He threw HBK onto the stretcher, but then was launched into the steps himself. HBK got into it again after with a kick to the head, and he then picked up the stairs and sat the far bigger man on them before ramming the nearby stretcher into the body of Batista. Michaels again used the stretcher after wheeling it into Batista, but The Animal fought out after being placed on the stretcher… Batista soon after tried a Batista Bomb on the outside but Michaels countered locking in a form of a guillotine/chokehold to try and wear the big man down… Michaels after got Batista on the stretcher and tried to wheel him towards the finish line, but Batista fought out and off the stretcher. Batista countered after by launching Michaels into the ringpost, he then sent Michaels spine first into the apron, and again after into the barricade. Batista hit a huge clothesline that sent HBK flying, and then sent him into the corner and following that up with a clothesline in the corner. Batista hit a big running powerslam, and looked to be waiting to hit a Spear after, but Michaels side-stepped and went Batista into the corner spine first. The two went back and forth after with Michaels doing a kip up and looking for the big elbow, and hitting it but looked like he did damage to himself too. Michaels tuned up the band after, but Batista hit a clothesline. Batista wanted his big move after, Michaels fought out and hit the superkick, which sent Batista flying over the ropes and onto the stretcher outside the ring. The crowd chanted for HBK as he tried to drag the stretcher, Batista clinging onto the ring apron, but Michaels tried again only for Batista to fall off… Michaels again dragged Batista up, but Batista punched out only to get a stretcher to the body once more, then again and a third time Batista was able to hold it off and he won the power battle, flinging the stretcher into Michaels’ face and then smashing the stretcher into HBK knocking him down. Batista sent Michaels into the ring, and then did hit a big Spear. Batista signalled it was over, set for the Batista Bomb, and hit a big one. Michaels was flat out, Batista dragged Michaels out the ring and eventually placed him on the stretcher… only for then Chris Jericho (who was a part of this story as he was made guest ref for their backlash match, and he tried to stick up for Michaels after, only to get a superkick for his troubles. Batista also beat Jericho to get this match with Michaels). Anyway… Jericho spoke to Michaels to try and will him on it appeared, Batista waited and watched on, the refs eventually backed Jericho away… Batista looked not to know what to do after, and taking his time he waited for HBK to crawl back up…
Michaels tried a superkick but just didn’t have the energy left… Batista picked him up and spoke to Michaels then hitting a huge Batista Bomb. Commentary told us that Batista in fact echoed what HBK had famously said to Flair “I’m sorry, I love you” before hitting his big move. Which was a real cool bit of storytelling I thought. Batista after dragged Michaels to the stretcher and put him on it, and wheeled it towards the finish line, only for Jericho to re-appear and try and will Michaels up, even going as far as stopping the stretcher when it neared the finish line. Batista let Jericho take HBK off the stretcher, and he then walked towards the ring and got the steel steps… he placed them down and picked HBK up, he then hit a spinebuster onto the steps… before finally putting Michaels on the stretcher and sending it across the line for the win. Shawn Michaels absolutely took a BEATING in this match. A fairly dominant win for Batista, despite Jericho’s cheerleading… the replay of the close up showed is Batista in fact said “I don’t love you, and I am not sorry”… which again is really cool stuff.
We then went back to JR and The King ahead of the WWE Championship last man standing match with Triple H defending against Randy Orton. Now even from memory I recall what happened at the end of this match… basically Orton suffers a legitimate injury here that ends up being quite serious. He actually broke his collar bone which kept him out for a little while. This was a feud they had running from the later part of 2007 onwards to this point between these two over the WWE title and it would continue after when Orton returned, the two main evented the next year’s WrestleMania in fact. So I’m expecting a good match with a possibly abrupt ending… let’s see…
The pre match video was super cool. Looking back at Orton’s 6 month reign as champion previously where Orton beat Cena, Jeff Hardy, Jericho, HBK, and Triple H. It ended the previous month in a multi man match won by The Game.
Orton was unwilling after to accept that the age of Orton was dead, and so set a last man standing match as his rematch. Given that was the same match he won the title in in the first place.
Triple H (C) defeated Randy Orton in a Last Man Standing match to retain the WWE Championship
An amazing stat from JR as Orton came out that the WWE title had changed hands once in 25 years in a last man standing match, that being Orton’s previous win against Triple H. This for me, aside from his run in 2020, was PRIME Randy Orton. He is legitimately one of THE greatest of all time and don’t let anybody else tell you any different.
HHH sends Orton into stairs as he does after him on the outside. HHH dominates the start. HHH strikes and stomps to Orton in the ring. It’s really all Triple H so far. Orton is then sent shoulder first into the ringpost. And then again right after. Triple H then gets a series of strikes in on Orton. Orton finally gets something with his signature great dropkick, although Triple H soon sends Orton to the outside. Triple H sends Orton head first into the steps and after a punch he starts to clear one of the announce tables… With both men on the table Triple H lays in punches, and it really looks like we’ll get a Pedigree… Orton tries to get an RKO… and eventually Orton gets some punches and the big draping ddt onto the floor, as the ref starts his count on Triple H for the first time in the match… He just gets up at 9… and Orton goes right to work again with big punches, Orton goes and exposes some of the floor outside of the ring by pulling back the mats… He gets Triple H and looks for an RKO… but HHH sends Orton into the ringpost to escape disaster. Orton back in the ring gets a series of big stomps to Triple H after a big blow to the back of the head got him down. With Triple H down Orton gets the steps from outside and gets them into the ring… and he smashes HHH in the face with them! The ref counts… but HHH is up at 9 as Orton goes outside and gets some form of extension cord as HHH fights back… but Orton soon chokes Triple H with this long cord… the ref counts again after, as Orton stalks HHH but as he goes to hit the RKO Triple H lifts Orton up and over the ropes to the outside. And he really went flying over the ropes which for a guy of Orton’s size looked a nasty fall to take.
Orton is seen in real pain as he mouths something, the ref counts as Jerry Lawler says on commentary that Orton said he broke his collarbone. As the ref Mike Chioda is counting he holds up the X (the universal sign that a wrestler is hurt for real)… Triple H breaks the count after by gently lifting Orton up and giving him a punch (I’m going to guess to see if he was Ok…)… Orton gets to his feet again and HHH gives him a punch. He then goes and gets the sledgehammer after… Now at this point you’re probably wondering why they didn’t stop the match… Well HHH and Orton and the ref maybe thought that they need to have a proper finish, one worthy of a Last Man Standing match. So a sledgehammer shot will do it… Should they of just gone home after the fall? Maybe… would it of sucked as a finish? Perhaps… Anyway he hits the sledgehammer shot and after the ref counts and he gets to 10 and that’s that. Triple H retains but really that isn’t the story here.
Orton was helped to the back by a load of officials after HHH had celebrated and left.
The match was fun, about as good as Last Man Standing matches can be, the finish felt of course it came early, I think they had another 5-10 minutes to go as a guess. But they did a fine job.
Wrestling really is NOT fake.
After an advert Orton was led away, he got a big crowd reaction but he tried his best to heel it off. Ever the professional. Even with a broken collarbone that prematurely ended a WWE title match he’s still got his mind on the job.
And from one extreme to another…
Strap yourself in boys and girls… this next one could be a classic…
This hype video was incredible by the way. Given these are my number 1 and number 3 faves of all time I of course loved it.
Ok so the story here was…
Taker beat Edge for the title at mania
Taker wins the rematch
After Edge passed out and was bloodied from the mouth and stretchered away after the Hell’s Gate submission, SmackDown GM and Edge’s fiancée Vickie Guerrero puts a ban on the move and strips Taker of the title. At Judgement day for the vacant title it ends in a countout win for Taker, but Guerrero enforces the rule of ‘no title changes by countout’… so that’s the set up for this TLC match. Oh and if Taker loses he has to leave WWE (they get round that one down the line in a very funny way…).
I implore you to watch this one…
Edge defeated The Undertaker in a TLC match to win the vacant World Heavyweight Championship (Undertaker must leave WWE)
My word what a match. Just everything that a great TLC match should be. We had every aspect of what made Edge in this era so good, and The Undertaker looked like superman. A great match that I absolutely loved.
So yeah eventually Vickie brings Taker back after Edge is caught cheating on her with their wedding planner (who was played by a young Alicia Fox), and the two have a legendary Hell in a Cell match at that year’s SummerSlam.
But this was a fun show overall. Not a classic and aside from the main event the matches on their own were just OK. But my word this main event was MEGA, and if nothing else this show is worth watching just for that. This was a golden era for Taker but more so for SmackDown heel, world champion Edge. One of the best heel runs of ALL TIME.