Cyber Sunday (2008)
Cyber Sunday (2008) was the fifth and final Cyber Sunday (the third under this name) professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It took place on October 26, 2008, at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. It featured wrestlers from the Raw, ECW, and SmackDown brands. Eight professional wrestling matches and one miscellaneous segment were featured on the event's card. The event received 153,000 pay-per-view buys, less than the previous year's event.
|Cyber Sunday (2008)|
Promotional poster featuring CM Punk
|Promotion||World Wrestling Entertainment|
|Date||October 26, 2008|
|Venue||US Airways Center|
|Cyber Sunday/Taboo Tuesday chronology|
Unlike other WWE events where the stipulations were determined by WWE's creative staff, stipulations for matches were determined by votes from WWE fans conducted on WWE's website and by text messaging. The event was scheduled to feature eight professional wrestling matches and one miscellaneous segment. Although the stipulations resulted from votes by WWE fans, different wrestlers were involved in pre-existing scripted feuds, plots and storylines, which led to scheduled matches in which WWE fans could vote upon stipulations. Wrestlers were portrayed as either villains or fan favorites as they followed a series of tension-building events. All wrestlers were from either the ECW, Raw, or SmackDown brands – a storyline division in which WWE assigned its employees to a different television program.
The main feud from the Raw brand was over the World Heavyweight Championship. On the October 6, 2008 episode of Raw, General Manager Mike Adamle announced that World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho would defend his title against Batista in a standard wrestling match, also known as a singles match, in which a guest referee would be voted for by WWE fans; the candidates for the position were Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels, and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Earlier that night, it was also announced that Santino Marella would defend his WWE Intercontinental Championship against a former Intercontinental Champion voted for by the WWE fans; the candidates were Roddy Piper, Goldust, or The Honky Tonk Man.
The main rivalry from the SmackDown brand was over the WWE Championship. It was announced on the October 10, 2008 episode of Friday Night SmackDown that WWE Champion Triple H would defend his title against either Jeff Hardy or Vladimir Kozlov in a singles match, or in a triple-threat match, a standard match involving both Hardy and Kozlov. Later that night it was also announced that The Big Show would face The Undertaker in a fans choice of match, which included a Knockout match, "I Quit" match, or a Last Man Standing match.
The only rivalry from the ECW brand was over the ECW Championship. It was announced on the October 14, 2008 episode of ECW that ECW Champion Matt Hardy would defend the title against the fans' choice of an opponent, with Mark Henry, Evan Bourne, or Finlay as the options from which to choose.
|English commentators||Michael Cole (Raw)|
|Jerry Lawler (Raw)|
|Jim Ross (SmackDown)|
|Todd Grisham (ECW)|
|Matt Striker (ECW)|
|Spanish commentators||Carlos Cabrera|
|Backstage interviewers||Todd Grisham|
|Ring announcers||Lilian Garcia (Raw)|
|Justin Roberts (SmackDown)|
|Tony Chimel (ECW)|
Before the event aired live on pay-per-view, Shelton Benjamin defended the WWE United States Championship against a superstar of the fans' choice in a match that was streamed exclusively on WWE.com. The candidates to be voted in were R-Truth, Montel Vontavious Porter and Festus. R-Truth won the poll by 59% over MVP and Festus, and hence faced Benjamin for the title. The match went back and forth, but ultimately Benjamin performed the Paydirt on R-Truth and pinned him to retain his title.
In the first match, Kane faced Rey Mysterio in a No Holds Barred Match. The fans voted the No Holds Barred match stipulation over a Falls Count Anywhere match and a 2-Out-Of-Three Falls Match. Early on in the match, Mysterio used his quickness and agility against Kane, along with some weapons like a Kendo stick and a STOP sign. Soon, Kane overpowered Mysterio and dominated the later part of the match. Near the end, Mysterio drop-toe held Kane and drove him face-first into the steel ring-steps kept in the corner of the ring. Then he hit Kane with a steel chair multiple times, before delivering a 619 and springboard splash and pinning him to win the match.
In the next match, Matt Hardy defended the ECW Championship against Evan Bourne, who the fans voted as the challenger over Mark Henry and Finlay. Early in the match, Bourne surprised Hardy with his agility, but Hardy eventually got control of the match. Nevertheless, Bourne execute several high-flying moves on Hardy, like a standing moonsault, a hurricanrana countering Hardy's Splash Mountain Bomb, and a diving knee drop from the top rope. In the end, Bourne missed the Air Bourne, and hence capitalizing, Hardy delivered a Twist of Fate to Bourne and pinned him to retain his title.
The third match aired was a tag team match with John Morrison and The Miz taking on Cryme Tyme (Shad Gaspard and JTG). This tag team match was chosen over an intergender tag team match having William Regal and Layla taking on Jamie Noble and Mickie James, and a World Tag Team Championship match between the champions Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase and the team of CM Punk and Kofi Kingston. The match featured numerous tag team moves from both the teams. At one point, Shad threw JTG over the ropes onto Morrison and Miz outside the ring. Back in the ring, Morrison and Miz controlled the latter part of the match. In the end, Miz, who was not the legal man in the ring, kicked Shad's knee behind the referee's back and Morrison delivered the Moonlight Drive to Shad for the pinfall.
In the fourth match, Santino Marella (with Beth Phoenix) faced The Honky Tonk Man for the Intercontinental Championship. The fans voted Honky Tonk Man as Marella's opponent over Roddy Piper and Goldust. Before the match began, Honky Tonk Man danced to his theme music and asked Marella to do the same, but he delivered a cheap shot to Honky Tonk Man to officially start the match. However, the match ended soon when Beth Phoenix tripped Honky Tonk Man as he prepared to hit Marella with his fist, and hence, the match ended in Honky Tonk Man's favor as he won by disqualification. Nevertheless, Marella remained Intercontinental Champion as the title does not change hands by disqualification. After the match, Piper and Goldust made their way down to the ring confronting Marella. In the ring, Goldust executed the Final Cut on Marella, Piper executed a punch combination followed by an eye poke, and Honky Tonk Man delivered the Shake, Rattle and Roll to Marella.
The fifth match was Last Man Standing between The Undertaker and The Big Show. The fans voted for Last Man Standing match stipulation over a Knockout match and an "I Quit" match. In the beginning, Big Show threw Undertaker out of the ring, and after some time, Undertaker hit Big Show with a steel chair. The match continued with Big Show dominating Undertaker and striking him with punches. The match featured many other spots, like Undertaker thrusting Big Show's throat against a ringpost with a steel chair; Undertaker delivering a leg drop to Big Show on the ring apron, and then later countering Big Show's Chokeslam into a DDT; and, then Big Show hitting Undertaker with a TV monitor and even chokeslamming him from the Barricade through an announcer's table. In the end, Big Show executed a chokeslam, followed by a knockout punch to the face and then attacking Undertaker with a steel chair, but Undertaker got to his feet each time before the ten count. Finally, Undertaker locked in Hell's Gate on Big Show causing Show to lose consciousness and allowing Undertaker to win the match.
Throughout the night, a costume contest was held featuring the Divas. The winner was announced in the ring before the WWE Championship match. Mickie James, dressed as Lara Croft, won the contest.
The next match was a WWE Championship match where the fans voted who Triple H's opponent, Jeff Hardy, who won the poll over Vladimir Kozlov. During the start of the match both Hardy and Triple H countered each other's moves, then it was evenly matched. Hardy then executed the Swanton Bomb, then went up to the top rope for a second Swanton Bomb, but was unsuccessful. As Hardy was attempting the move, Triple H got up and countered the move into a Pedigree, pinned Hardy for the win, and retained his WWE title.
In the main event, Chris Jericho defended his World Heavyweight Championship against Batista. The fans voted Stone Cold Steve Austin to be the special guest referee. Upon hearing the voting results, Jericho attempted to walk away from the match and get counted out, but Austin explained that if Jericho got counted out or disqualified, then he would lose the title. So Jericho ran back in and proceeded with the match. It went back and forth between the two until Batista collided with Austin, allowing Batista to take advantage of Jericho. Shawn Michaels came down to the ring and counted Batista's attempted pinfall, which Jericho kicked out at two. Michaels was about to execute a sweet chin music on Jericho, but instead faked Jericho out. John "Bradshaw" Layfield came down to the ring and attacked Michaels. Then Randy Orton came out and was appearing to take over as the special referee, but Austin got up and executed a Stunner on Orton. The match ended with Batista pinning Jericho after a Batista Bomb to become the new World Heavyweight Champion. After the match, Austin and Batista celebrated as they drank beer.
It was announced on the 800th episode celebration of Raw that the World Heavyweight Championship would be defended at Survivor Series against John Cena. Later that night, Chris Jericho defeated Batista to win back the title, resulting in a Jericho versus Cena match at Survivor Series. At Survivor Series, Cena defeated Jericho to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
The feud between Triple H, Jeff Hardy and Vladimir Kozlov continued. On the November 7 episode of SmackDown, Kozlov defeated the Undertaker via disqualification to win a title match against Triple H at Survivor Series. Hardy asked Vickie Guerrero for another chance at the title, which she refused. Then on the November 14 episode of SmackDown, Hardy defeated Undertaker in an Extreme Rules Match, which led to Guerrero announcing that if Hardy could beat Triple H the next week, the match at Survivor Series would be a triple threat match between Triple H, Kozlov and Hardy. The next week, Hardy defeated Triple H to gain entry into the match. On the morning of Survivor Series, however, the storyline called for Hardy to be found unconscious in his hotel. The WWE Championship was changed to a standard singles match between Kozlov and Triple H, but during the match, Guerrero announced that, as promised, there would be a triple threat match. The angle allowed the returning Edge to make his previously unannounced return in the match and win the WWE Championship.
Canadian Online Explorer's professional wrestling section rated the entire event an 8 out of 10 stars and said that this PPV lived up to its hype. This rating was higher than the previous Cyber Sunday which was rated a 7.5 out of 10 stars. The Sun gave a positive review of the event, rating it an 8 out of 10, and praising the ECW Championship match as the match of the night.
|Opponent for Shelton Benjamin|
|Stipulation for Kane vs. Rey Mysterio|
|Opponent for Matt Hardy|
|Tag team match selection|
|Opponent for Santino Marella|
|Stipulation for Big Show vs. The Undertaker|
|Winner of the Divas Halloween costume contest|
|Opponent for Triple H||
|Special guest referee for Chris Jericho vs. Batista|
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