Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga from WWE 2008

Originally reviewed here.

WWE Raw
January 7, 2008

Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga [Cage Match]
This was a part of Jeff’s first real push to the main event in the WWE. He was booked for a WWE Championship match against Randy Orton at the Royal Rumble PPV later this month. He defeated Triple H (clean, but not decisive) on the previous PPV. To say that I was hyped for the idea of Jeff being elevated at this point would be a massive understatement.

Jeff and Youmanga had tremendous chemistry, but this may be the only time they came close to having a great match. Randy Orton came to the ringside area to watch the match. They could have had so many more great matches together. Umaga dominated Jeff for a while. Jeff got some offense in, but Umaga had control. Umaga applied a NERVE HOLD. Umaga couldn’t finish Jeff, and Orton decided to throw Umaga lots of chairs to use. Umaga looked somewhat insulted, but he attacked Jeff with the chairs all the same. Jeff tried to fight back, but Umaga avoided the Twist of Fate. Jeff finally came back after avoiding the corner ass attack. Jeff went to leave the cage, but Orton slammed the door into Jeff’s head. Umaga called for the Spike, but Jeff reversed it into the Twist of Fate. Jeff climbed the cage, stared down Orton, and then hit Whisper in the Wind off the top of the cage on Umaga: 1…2…3!

Time for some TLDR story time! This match brings back so many memories for me, and it really reminds me of a time where I was so invested in something WWE was doing. Jeff Hardy was basically the equivalent of superhero to me as a child, and then to see him get a big push when I was eighteen really felt special. The stars were perfectly aligned. The diehard wrestling fan and childhood mark were both fully behind a wrestler that WWE was pushing strong and receiving incredible reactions on every show.

Jeff Hardy pinned Triple H on a PPV to earn this title match. It was not particularly decisive, but it was clean and just the fact that a number one contender match was happening on PPV made it seem important. Jeff then pinned Orton on television the next night in a tag match. He later worked a great Raw main event with Umaga and finished it with a ridiculous highspot off a cage. The next week, he did an even bigger highspot off the stage and through several tables on Orton. Jeff of course lost the PPV title match, and I was disappointed but it didn’t really matter. For one month, I was incredibly happy to be a WWE fan. That was a good time.

Almost needless to say, I love this match, and it actually caused an emotional reaction in me that caused the word vomit that you all just experienced.
Match Rating: ****1/4

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