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Case Number 15509

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WWE: Survivor Series 2008

WWE // 2008 // 170 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // January 21st, 2009

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All Rise...

Judge Franck Tabouring is a true survivor. He made it through this entire PPV without dozing off.

Editor's Note

Our reviews of WWE: Survivor Series Anthology, Volume 1 (1979-1991) (published December 3rd, 2009), WWE: Survivor Series Anthology, Volume 2 (1992-1996) (published January 28th, 2010), WWE: Survivor Series 2009 (published February 18th, 2010), and WWE: Survivor Series 2011 (published January 15th, 2012) are also available.

The Charge

Spoiling for a fight…

Opening Statement

The stars of Raw, SmackDown, and ECW head to Boston for the 2008 WWE: Survivor Series, a pay-per-view that will prove who's got what it takes to survive the ultimate wrestling battle.

Facts of the Case

Here's a brief look at what to expect on this disc: The Undertaker goes head to head with Big Show; Triple H takes on Vladimir Kozlov; and Chris Jericho faces John Cena. The pay-per-view also includes three Survivor Series Elimination Tag Team matches, one of which is a diva battle.

The Evidence

Here's the complete lineup:

• Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, Great Khali, and Cryme Tyme vs. Kane, JBL, MVP, The Miz, and John Morrison in a Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match
The first Survivor Series match of this event is a traditional tag team elimination match, which means the rules are the same as in a regular tag team battle. Some wrestlers in this matchup obviously get more time inside the ring than others, but as a whole, this is a decent opener featuring a bunch of solid maneuvers from Mysterio, Michaels, and JBL in particular. It's not a surprising battle, but it flows pretty well for most of its 18 minutes.

• Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Candice Michelle, and Jillian vs. Michelle McCool, Maria, Maryse, Natalya, and Victoria in a SmackDown vs. Raw Divas Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match
I've seen a number of vibrant diva matches at past WWE pay-per-views, but this Survivor Series battle is not one of them. Clocking in at 9 short minutes, this matchup is by far less exciting as some recent women's one-on-one fights. As a whole, the battle lacks coordination, and, apart from only a handful of interesting moves, there's really not much to praise here. Come on, girls, you can do much better!

• Big Show vs. Undertaker in a Casket Match
The Big Show and the Undertaker are at it again, but their match at this edition of Survivor Series is anything but memorable. The two wrestlers go head to head in a Casket match, which means the only way to win the fight is to push the opponent into a casket outside the ring. At 12 minutes, this is a rather slow-moving battle, with both the Undertaker and Big Show delivering too many punches and other blows instead of offering the crowd some awesome moves. Okay, they do occasionally execute one or the other impressive enough maneuver, but all in all, they fail to bring along the necessary energy to make this matchup memorable.

• Batista, CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, and Matt Hardy vs. Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, William Regal, Shelton Benjamin, and Mark Henry in a Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match
The Survivor Series action continues, and this is an excellent, fast-paced Tag Team Elimination match. Every wrestler gets plenty of opportunities to contribute, and most of the participants pull off high-risk maneuvers that look awesome. Kudos to Kingston and R-Truth, who both fire up the crowd with first-class wrestling action. This 18-minute match is undoubtedly the best of this PPV so far.

• The Game vs. Vladimir Kozlov in a WWE Championship Match
This one is a big disappointment. Clocking in at 14 minutes, this title match between Triple H and Kozlov remains boring and incredibly slow-moving throughout. Both athletes do their best to offer the crowd a variety of moves and submission maneuvers, but in the end, none of it is really exciting to watch. A couple of twists towards the end finally manage to speed it up, but by then, it's already too late. This one lacks PPV quality, and it's not the best way to lead into the anticipated main event.

• John Cena vs. Chris Jericho in a World Heavyweight Championship Match
John Cena returns to WWE action in the main event, challenging Chris Jericho for the World Heavyweight title. While this 21-minute fight is certainly more entertaining and fast-paced than the previous match, it still doesn't live up to the quality of some of the main events we've seen in previous 2008 PPVs. That said, Cena is back in great shape, delivering a bunch of strong, high-risk moves that look great, inspire the crowd to cheer, and really shake things up inside the ring. Jericho remains a tough competitor throughout, but I'm sure he could have brought much more to this title match. It's certainly not boring, but something's missing.

As far as the technical aspects are concerned, the disc's full-frame presentation works just fine. The same goes for the decent audio transfer, and that's all there is to say about it.

The special features are halfway decent. Besides a ridiculous backstage talk between the Great Khali and Shawn Michaels, the bonus material also includes an entertaining Extreme Rules Match between Jeff Hardy and the Undertaker at SmackDown. This 12-minute battle is actually not as extreme as I thought it'd be, but as it turns out, both wrestlers perform a variety of cool maneuvers to keep it fast enough throughout.

Closing Statement

I launched into Survivor Series with pretty high expectations, but that was a mistake. I wouldn't call it terrible, but it's disappointing after Cyber Sunday.

The Verdict

Guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 88
Audio: 88
Extras: 75
Acting: 80
Story: 70
Judgment: 74

Perp Profile

Studio: WWE
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 170 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Sports
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Interview
• Bonus Match

Accomplices

• IMDb
• Official Site








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