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SummerSlam Memories #5: Undertaker vs. Edge 2008


By John Canton (@johnreport)

It was the last match in one of the best WWE rivalries of the previous decade as The Undertaker battled Edge in a Hell in a Cell match at SummerSlam 2008. I loved all of their matches and this one did a tremendous job in ending it on the right note.

If you remember back to WWE in 2008, it was a transitional year for the company in the sense that they dropped the TV14 rating early in the year in favor of the TVPG rating that has been in place for the last five years.

This feud was a highlight of that year along with the Chris Jericho/Shawn Michaels feud. That Jericho/Michaels story dominated Raw while Undertaker/Edge carried Smackdown. Undertaker was the veteran hero that showed he still had a lot left in the tank while Edge was a villain in the prime of his career who had all the confidence in the world.

The Undertaker and Edge had a feud that lasted for much of the year with Undertaker winning the World Title from Edge at WrestleMania 24 in an outstanding matchup. When they had a rematch a month later at Backlash 2008, Undertaker won that one too. They had another match at Judgment Day 2008 with Undertaker winning via countout.

Edge finally got his World Title back at One Night Stand 2008 in a very memorable TLC match. Edge lost the World Title soon after due to CM Punk cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase. At SummerSlam 2008, the stage was set for the 5th and final Undertaker/Edge match this time inside Hell in a Cell.

I remember going into the match thinking how can they pull off a Hell in a Cell match without blood, which was a common theme for these kinds of matches before the PG era? Of course that was a stupid question because these were two of the best performers ever in a hot feud and they did everything right in the match.

What I liked about the match is that you would think Undertaker would be on the offensive right from the beginning, but it turned out that Edge dominated much of the early portion of the match. In the build up to the match, Edge became much more aggressive and even maniacal at various points. That set the tone for the match perfectly.

The big spot in the match was when Undertaker was leaning by the cage, Edge came charging in at him and speared him through the side of the cage. It was one of those moments that left us saying "oh my God" as they did everything they could to destroy each other. It's hard to come up with new, innovative moves inside Hell in a Cell, but they found a way to get it done.


Edge continued the assault by hitting Undertaker with a monitor to the head and then speared Undertaker through one of the announce tables after running across all of them. It was a very memorable moment.

Undertaker managed to get back up, they went into this crazy sequence of nearfalls that was big move after big move. If you paid attention to their matches in the year you could see how well they knew each other. They were able to dig deep in order to keep the match going.

The big turning point of the match was when Edge went for the Old School clothesline only for Undertaker to counter it and chokeslam him through tables. That was another aspect of the match I really liked. They incorporated tables, ladders & chairs into a Hell in a Cell match (they already had a TLC match) so it made it unique.

When Undertaker was finally able to gain control the action, it was lights out for Edge. Undertaker did all of his big moves much to the delight of the crowd. He did a Spear to Edge, a camera shot to the head, a Conchairto and then he finished it with a Tombstone for the pinfall at the 27 minute mark.

After the match, Undertaker chokeslammed Edge "straight to hell" as the ring collapsed and lit on fire. It was a visual that I'll never forget.

This match should be remembered as a very physical encounter that was part Hell in a Cell, part TLC and the culmination of a violent rivalry that brought out the best in both men.

Kids, don't try this at home.


You can follow me on Twitter @johnreport,email me mrjohncanton@gmail.com and visit my wrestling website TJRWrestling.com for columns like my weekly WWE Raw Deal and others from our amazing staff.

 

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