Hell In A Cell is in the books. Looking back, my impression is that this was overall a pretty flat event with a couple of stand out moments and a hell of a main event. We got a big surprise return and they set a couple of story lines in motion which is always a good thing as we head toward the end of the year and the Road To WrestleMania. They did a nice job of setting up the beginnings of Survivor Series which isn’t one of my personal favorite shows but it considered one of the “Big Four” when it comes to WWE PPVs.
As we do for every PPV, Mark and I got together after Sunday family dinner (which happened to be Meagan’s birthday as well) and sat down and watched the show. G watched the first two matches with us.
I didn’t see the pre-show match and it doesn’t sound like we missed much except a RAW match… because that’s what it was. Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro and Neville defeated Rusev, Sheamus and King Barrett in a rematch from last week’s RAW. Meh.
Alberto Del Rio Defeated John Cena For The US Championship
This was a great way to start off the night. John Cena had held the US Championship since last month when he reclaimed it from Seth Rollins at Night of Champions. Cena is taking some time away from the WWE through the rest of the year so it wasn’t shocking that he’d lose the title. I was sort of surprised that he put Del Rio over clean right in the middle after only one finisher to end a relatively short match (just under 8 minutes).
There were several folks who I’d considered to be Cena’s challenger and I’ve got to say Del Rio wasn’t even on my radar – and that’s a very good thing. I was thinking it would either be Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan or Tyler Breeze. The fact that it was Del Rio was a nice surprise though I’m not sure why in the hell he’d be aligned with Zeb Colter especially considering their history. Regardless, this was a nice way to kick off the PPV as it sends Cena on his way and paints Del Rio as a major player upon his return.
Roman Reigns Defeated Bray Wyatt – Hell In A Cell
I’m predicting big things for Roman Reigns in the very near future and this match was the start of that. This was an incredible back and forth match with the intensity really turned up. This is a great way to finish this feud with a match that was physical and left both guys looking strong. I’ve bagged on Wyatt and his crew in the past but it’s never been because of his in ring work and he definitely brought his A game to this event.
Part of the problem with the push Reigns got last year starting at the Royal Rumble is folks didn’t think he earned it. It’s matches like this against Wyatt and the matches he had last night on RAW earning him a title shot at next month’s Survivor Series that will make this push different… he’s earning it. And people are going to get behind him. Great match.
The New Day Defeated The Dudley Boyz To Retain The Tag Titles
I hate to say it but this may have been my least favorite match on the card. I’ve been absolutely loving what The New Day has been bringing to the table recently but this just fell flat to me. I’m not sure if that’s because Xavier Woods wasn’t present or what, but this was just not good. I think it’s clear that the Dudleys are going to be the ones that take the straps off New Day (giving the Boyz their 10th championship reign) but now wasn’t the time. I’m guessing that’ll be put off until the December PPV – Tables, Ladders and Chairs. It just sort of makes sense to have them win their 10th title in a TLC match right?
Charlotte Defeated Nikki Bella To Retain The Divas Championship
This was a great match. And not just for a Divas match. It was a great WRESTLING match. And I’ve gotta say… if I ever hear someone say Nikki Bella can’t wrestle or can’t hang with the “Divas Revolution” gals again I’m going to smack them upside the head and force them to watch this match. Nikki outclassed Charlotte in every way here and proved to everyone that she can indeed wrestle. Sure being John Cena’s girlfriend hasn’t hurt her, but she’s come a LONG way in the ring. Mad props to her.
Back to the match… this was stiff from the word go. There was a couple of botches along the way (specifically Charlotte fucking up toward the end) but those were offset by some great moves. The highlight of the match was when Nikki slammed Charlotte into the ring apron outside of the ring. Mark and I both gasped and we thought she was legit dead. It makes sense that Charlotte retained here but for the first time in a long time it was nice to see one on one Divas action that wasn’t just a bathroom break. Well done ladies.
Seth Rollins Defeated Kane To Retain The World Heavyweight Championship
I was shocked that this match was so low on the card. I was even more shocked and upset that Rollins came to the ring first. Call me old school, but I firmly believe that the World Championship match should close the show. I suppose I can understand why you’d make Undertaker the headliner. But if you’re going to do that at the very lease you’ve got to let the champ come out second. </rant>
This was decent for what it was – a match to give Rollins some legitimacy to his title run. I’m generally over Kane but these two put on a good match. It’s too bad to see Corporate Kane will be “fired” as a result of this match because in that persona Glenn Jacobs has been doing some of the best work of his career. That said, I won’t miss the announce team constantly referring to Demon Kane, Corporate Kane, Demon Kane, Corporate Kane. Demon, Corporate. Demon, Corporate. Shut up already.
I was very happy to see Rollins go over clean here with no outside interference and no cheating. Just good old fashioned wrestling where the champion went over the challenger. That doesn’t happen all that often these days so it was a welcome sight. That said why in the hell was Kane in a title match to begin with? I guess the same reason Sting was last month. After last night’s RAW it’s good to see that Rollins has somewhere to go. It was looking like he’d be sitting around with nothing to do and that would be a very bad thing.
Kevin Owens Defeated Ryback To Retain The Intercontinental Championship
This was terrible. Five and a half minutes of Owens and Ryback getting in each others way. I said this back in June in my I Missed WWE RAW post:
Kevin Owens – dude is a stud. We knew it before he came up to the main roster. And if we didn’t, all we’ve got to do is wait a week for creative to jam him down our throats. The IWC (Internet Wrestling Community) complains about how John Cena and Roman Reigns have been shoved at us for years. Careful what you ask for. I’m guessing they’ll be booing Owens in a year for the same reasons.
This has started to happen at least for me. I’m bored with him. He’s not growing as a character and while he’s still pretty tremendous in the ring I’m just over it. It’s not all his fault. He was in the ring with Ryback who I think is pretty poor, but this was clearly the worst of the night. Luckily it was short.
Brock Lesnar Defeated The Undertaker – Hell In A Cell
For as bad as the previous match was, this was damn near perfect. It was bad ass match between two bad ass wrestlers. They fought, they bled, they looked real doing it. They didn’t pull any punches and with the exception of a pretty poor looking Tombstone on the exposed boards, a move which never looks great in my opinion, this was damn near flawless from bell to bell. Undertaker is my all time favorite wrestler so this final run he’s on has been difficult to watch but I’m well versed enough in the wrestling business to know that he’s doing what needs to be done – he’s building stars for the future. It wouldn’t make sense for Taker to go over Lesnar in any scenario because if he did then the younger, faster, stronger Lesnar just lost to an old guy. The way it played out was perfect. Taker gave Lesnar everything he could handle and more, but in the end youth won out.
There’s just one problem as I see it. Where does Lesnar go from here? He’s been booked SO strong that WWE has sort of backed themselves into a corner. Who can beat him? Yes I know it’ll happen and when it does whoever the guy that beats him will get a HUGE push but he’s going to need to have earned it. At this point I’d guess Roman Reigns. But time will tell.
As for Taker the post match stuff with Bray Wyatt and crew paints a pretty clear picture that points toward Survivor Series, which happens to be the 25th anniversary of his debut. The only question in my mind is will is also be where he has his final match? I sort of doubt it.
There were some good things to come out of Hell In A Cell this year. As I said last month I’m glad that we didn’t have to wait until WrestleMania 32 to get the conclusion of the Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker feud. I’m still banking on the fact that we’re going to get a Sting – Taker match there (if Sting can physically go). It was good to see Albert Del Rio back and even though I’m a big fan it was good to see John Cena lose. Dude deserves some time off and when he comes back he should be primed for a run towards the Rumble and WrestleMania.
After RAW last night it’s clear to me we’re headed toward a Wyatt Family – Brothers of Destruction showdown at Survivor Series and Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins has history that makes that match must see. It was nice to see women’s wrestling be not just a filler and I’m really hoping that the true “Divas Revolution” can now begin after PCB broke up. The next couple of months will be critical for the WWE. They need to build stars to generate enough interest to fill 100k+ seats in Texas for WrestleMania and they’re going to have to do it without the likes of John Cena, Undertaker and Brock Lesnar being there week in and week out.
When you think about it, we’re really not THAT far away from the Road To WrestleMania. Next month we get Survivor Series, followed by Tables, Ladders & Chairs and then it’s Royal Rumble time. And that’s when WWE traditionally kicks it into high gear. With ratings sagging that uptick in excitement can’t come quick enough.
Did you watch Hell In A Cell? What did you think?