Vintage Vault Pre-Viewing: Saturday Night’s Main Event 36

John Cena, Batista, and Cryme Tyme vs. John “Bradshaw” Layfield, Kane, Cody Rhodes, and Ted Dibiase

We continue on through the summer of 2008 on the road to Summerslam though before we get there, we have a quick pit stop which is also pretty historical as this ends up being to this point the final Saturday Night’s Main Event ever. It is pretty sad to think that since the revival back in 2006, we only had a total of 5 episodes with 2 in 2006, 2 in 2007, and only one this year though it seemed obvious that the allure the show had since its return has faded. Having said that, it is weird that we never saw another SNME again to this point though the WWE has started using the name again for their Saturday house shows which does make them feel special. You do hope at some point they will bring it back as a TV special, but for now we focus on the final SNME in 2008 which was pretty quick at only an hour and at least 2 of the 3 matches were pretty big deals including the opening 8-man tag.

On the 7/21 RAW, Batista demanded a World Title rematch against CM Punk only for JBL to demand a shot though Punk would grant Batista his rematch, and that night Cena teamed with Cryme Tyme to defeat JBL, Rhodes, and Dibiase while Batista defeated Punk by DQ when JBL got involved along with Kane and Cena as Cena would hit Batista by mistake. On the 7/28 RAW, Cena and Batista had a confrontation as it was announced that they would team up to face JBL and Kane in a tag match, and Cena and Batista would win the tag match when it was revealed the new GM of RAW would be Mike Adamle who announced that Cena and Batista would face off at Summerslam. This was a pretty big 8-man tag to have on this show as all 8 guys still had issues coming out of the Great American Bash, but the big hook was obviously how well Cena and Batista would work together knowing they would fight at Summerslam.

Cena, Batista, and Cryme Tyme get a big pop from the crowd while JBL, Kane, Rhodes, and Dibiase had solid heat as heels, and a note is that Punk is on commentary as he still had yet to know who would face him for the title at Summerslam. Batista starts off the match with Kane who gets a kick in and Batista pounds on him as Kane reverses a whip and hits a big boot, and he pounds on Batista in the corner and whips him into the other corner before splashing him. Batista reverses a whip back into the other corner and he splashes Kane as he rams the shoulder into the ribs repeatedly, and he hits a snapmare and a running boot on Kane for a two count as Kane gets a shot in and pounds on Batista in the corner. Rhodes tags in and pounds on Batista who reverses a whip only for Rhodes to catch him ducking with a kick, and Batista catches him on a leap and rams him into the corner as JTG tags in and he stomps on Rhodes. He pounds on Rhodes who reverses a whip and JTG catches him ducking with a shot as he rams him into the corner again, and Gaspard tags in and they hit a double team on Rhodes as Gaspard hits a press slam on Rhodes for a two count. He catches Rhodes on the leap and hits Snake Eyes only for JBL to get a shot in from the apron and Kane tags in, and he hits a clothesline on Gaspard and stomps on him as we go to a commercial break. When we come back from the break, JBL stomps on Gaspard and tosses him to the outside as Kane hotshots him on the barricade, and JBL goes outside and throws Gaspard back into the ring for a two count as Dibiase tags in and kicks at Gaspard before pounding on him. He hits a snap suplex on Gaspard and drops a fist on him before hitting a clothesline for a two count, and he hooks a camel clutch on Gaspard who fights to his feet only for Dibiase to get a knee in and he rams him into the buckle. He stomps and pounds on Gaspard in the corner as Kane chokes him from the apron and Rhodes tags in, and he pounds on Gaspard while Dibiase holds him from behind and he rams Gaspard into the buckle as he continues to pound on him in the corner. Gaspard catches him charging with a boot to the face and goes for his corner only for Rhodes to hit a standing dropkick, and JBL tags in and drops a series of elbows on Gaspard for a two count as he drives the elbow into Gaspard’s back. Kane tags in and stomps on Gaspard as he hits a snapmare and a low dropkick for a two count, and he hooks a submission on Gaspard and tags Dibiase who stomps on Gaspard only for Gaspard to block a suplex attempt and he hits one of his own. Cena gets the hot tag and hits a pair of flying tackles on JBL as he ducks a shot and hits a spinout powerbomb, and he taunts JBL and hits the Five-Knuckle Shuffle as he hoists him onto his shoulders only for Kane to come in and hit a big boot on Cena. Batista comes in and hits the spear on Kane as he hits a clothesline on Rhodes and the spinebuster on Dibiase, and he hits a clothesline on Kane that sends both of them over the top to the floor as JTG tags in. He goes up top and they hit a double team on Dibiase as JBL pulls Cena outside and rams Cena into the steps as the ref tells JTG that Dibiase isn’t the legal man, and JBL slides in the ring and hits the Clothesline from Hell on JTG which gets the three and he wins the match for his team.

The match itself was decent as all 8 men worked hard and put on a basic tag match. This definitely had the feel of a classic SNME match that you would’ve seen in the 1980s, and they kept things pretty simple though they were given a good amount of time to work with 11 minutes. Both teams looked good in their units and they had good chemistry as they didn’t tease much tension between Cena and Batista, and JBL was the right guy to get the pin since he was going to be in the title picture and JTG was perfect to take the pin as it keeps Cena and Batista strong. The crowd was into the match and the faces, but are not happy when the heels win. JBL, Kane, Rhodes, and Dibiase get the win over Cena, Batista, and Cryme Tyme as both teams move on.

Final Grade: **1/4