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Superstar Sleeze

[2008-11-23-WWE-Survivor Series] Chris Jericho vs John Cena

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World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho vs John Cena - Survivor Series 2008


2008 was the Year of Jericho and I am going to re-live it MAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNN.


For my money not only his best year of his career, but he was the best wrestler of the year in 2008. After hitting it out of the park with Shawn Michaels in the best blood feud of this millennium, he faces the returning John Cena. For the life of me, I couldn't remember what the hell John Cena did 2008. Turns out feud with JBL and get injured, no wonder this is not the most memorable year of Cena's career. Besides the winning the Championship here in his hometown of Boston, Mass (I was NOT in attendance due to being at school in Michigan), he had the match with Batista at Summerslam (which I need to see) and the surprise return & win at the Rumble. So not a bad year, but definitely not his best.


I thought this was really strong and I was really shocked how this was pretty much universally panned. The strong neck psychology is refreshing during this time period and Jericho actually comes off as violent. There is one clothesline that is a real head-rocker and a string reverse elbow. I really thought Jericho was the MVP of the match and really showed me something here. I don't think the Jericho of 2005 could have worked this match. He was laser focused on the neck. I liked them zooming in on the scar early. Cena wrestled the beginning of the match like a champ. Goes for the F-U early and Jericho heads for the hills. Lets get in and out, smart strategy. Jericho hits a shouldertackle, Cena lands hard on the back of his injured neck, rolls out. Collects himself. Then charges! He unleashes fury. I would love to see this during his comebacks. This time he goes for STFU. Again smart looking to end the match early. Cena looks to ascend to the top, but changes his mind and comes back down. As he is re-entering the ropes, Jericho kicks him and nails a Double Arm DDT right on the head compressing the injured neck. So whats the story here? Why did Cena come down? Well you see the last time Cena did a move off the top was Summerslam 2008 against Batista he was caught and Powerbomb and this is how he herniated the disc in his neck. Now that's holy shit, awesome psychology. Jericho is just money here. Kicks Cena head up against the steel post. Nasty dropkick to the head as Cena is kneeling. Cena takes a great bump off a missed shouldertackle when he is trying to get something started.


The story of the match to me is that Cena's strategy was to go in swinging with reckless abandon. Jericho is weathering the storm, making Cena miss and then attacking the neck. Strong hold focused on the neck like the Full Nelson. Cena is selling really well. The match like most late-00s matches goes a bit off the rails in the latter stages. This is a watch out in future Cena matches but I think he has an issue transitioning to his comeback. The shouldertackles and the FU all come outta nowhere with no real flow. The initial comeback is a little too rote for me, shouldertackles, missed punch, Jericho backflips out of the protobomb, Lionsault, Cena moves, Jericho lands on his feet, scooped up proto-bomb. It was an elaborate dance. There was no struggle. I didn't like his reaction during the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Like he was just happy to be there. I think that stuff has a place and that place is at the beginning of the match. That smile would have been perfect for the shine not late down the stretch after you have taken a ton of shit to your neck. The best stuff late is Jericho's Liontamer and then traditional Walls of Jericho. Cena's only hope was out of nowhere bombs. The way he sold it just didn't jive with me. It felt like false Pro Wrestling NOAH epic. Jericho kept the violence coming with the reverse elbow, headbutt and clotheslines. They way overthought the finish. There is a great moment where Cena is on the top rope having knocked Jericho off and he overcomes his fear hits his patented legdrop. He is fired up, Hit the fucking FU and win the match. It was built. But they do the Codebreaker, the STFU and then FU. It is really overwrought.


This is my traditional review for matches from this era. Love the first 2/3rds and they drive me bonkers in the last 1/3. To me a real feather in Jericho's cap because he looked strong on top (something lacking from him), sound psychology, and focused. Cena was amazing at the outset and the transition to the heat segment playing off the injury was amazing as was later on him overcoming his fears. Just way too much throwing out finishers and "epic" selling drag this down from classic status. ****

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