Hell in a Cell is a PPV that has almost always burned me whenever I've gotten it. It is a flawed PPV in general because it is based around a stipulation. This isn't like the Royal Rumble, a whole PPV built around its gimmick match that happens once a year. Hell in a Cell has just become a regular PPV except they force one or two Hell in a Cell matches to happen, not matter what the storyline currently is in those matches. You see, Hell in a Cell, as a match, is the a stipulation that requires a reason for it to exist. The first time it happened was because Shawn Michaels kept running from the Undertaker, so he stipulated a huge cell with a ceiling put around the ring, so that Michaels could not get away from the Deadman's wrath. Now ... it is just a no DQ match with a cage. Normally. Luckily, one of the two matches in the cells this PPV need it.
Oh, and quick reminder about the last PPV: it was awful. Let's get going.
Dolph Ziggler retains the Intercontinental Championship v. Cesaro in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match, 2-0
The show opened exactly how I would have hoped, with a really great match out of the gate. The two have had a pure-sports competitive feud going, with both having wins over the other, which is why they went with this stipulation, to prove who was really the better of the two. There was also some very good commentary work, with the very subtle reference that Ziggler holds the record for most pins at his college in collegiate wrestling. They hit a lot of great spots, did some cool chain wrestling, had some awesome nearfalls, and a whole lot of great psychology as Ziggler worked on Cesaro's arm the whole match. This was really good. Two guys working really hard, showing off their skills, power, and natural ability.
Verdict - Outstanding, match of the night. Spoiler.
Nikki Bella pins Brie Bella, making Brie has to be Nikki's personal assistant for the next 30 days
The stipulation is absolutely a heel-is-gonna-win-the-match stipulation. There is nothing entertaining of watching a heel have to do things for a face, and there is no story there, so of course Nikki was going to win. Also, Brie has been booked like a total loser, and she continues to be one. All she does is lose, all the time, and I just do not have any sympathy for her. Hell, she is normally the better worker of the two Bellas, but Nikki has really brought up her game and improved a whole bunch.
See, she countered that awful AWFUL diving shove move with a facebuster?
The crowd didn't care about this match, but that's fine. The chant for JBL, that's fine. The story is stupid, and that's fine. The stipulation is stupid, but that's fine. Because they worked hard, and they won the crowd over with every single move. These sisters did not hold back once, and had a really visceral and fun match for the time given. More good signs of the Divas division changing, which I'm a huge fan of, considering how lackluster the tag division is.
Verdict - Better than it had any right to be, considering the story. They both worked hard, and Nikki has gotten surprisingly good now that she has found a wrestling style that more suits her.
The Brothers of DUSTruction retain against the only other tag team in the WWE
I was not tired of the Usos. Not yet. I am now. Seriously, there are just no other teams. You cannot have a division with just the Dusts, the Usos, and Slater Gator. Ugh. Please, WWE, soon bring up the Ascension as a face team, and go ahead and bring up the Vaudevillains, the Lucha Dragons, and the Dubstep Cowboys (Team Thick), and the Dude-bros. Let's have some actual competition.
The match is fine. Better than their last one, as it had more interesting things happen, the Dusts have really gotten their formula together, and the Usos are just fine. The matches don't really ever crank up enough to make me care, but at least this time things were a little more interesting. Very few dives over the top rope, which I'm super tired of, and no flying shoves, which is nice.
Stardust shenanigans to retain!
Verdict - Meh. Could have been worse, though. We need more teams in this division.
John Cena wins, is number one contender ... AGAIN. UGH!
The only good thing I have to say about this match is that ... nope, I got nothing.
The match was boring, none of the moves looked good or like they connected, both guys just walked through their roles, and ... ugh. It was a huge waste of time. Even worse, we are now going to have our time wasted in the FUTURE so we can get John Cena v. Brock Lesnar III. Yeah, let's take the guy with limited dates, and instead of putting him against a bunch of talent, let's have him face John Cena over and over and over again.
There was a great sign that showed that this was Cena and Orton's one-hundred and twenty-first match. I am very much not surprised. The number could be wrong, but it certainly makes a point. I could point out so many problems with that match, like how it was paint by numbers, how Cena hit only 5 moves all match, how it became just a finisher-fest at the end, how if Orton can counter the Attitude Adjustment into an RKO why doesn't he do that all the time?
You know what, I want to talk about that idea for a little bit. This match had nothing going for it. No one cared that it was for number one contendership. No one cares about seeing Orton v. Cena again. No one cared at the Royal Rumble when they teased it. No one has cared for any of their run ins with each other sense then. There is no heat here. But let me just try to tell an interesting story with these two, if you'll permit me a little ...
Ok, it was announced Cena v. Orton would be number one contendership on Raw last week. Have during that match Orton counter Cena's Attitude Adjustment with the RKO. Make sure he does it twice on Raw. Then you have during the promo segment or video package segment an interview with Orton where he very confidently talks to Cena, saying that he knows him very well, and there isn't a thing Cena is going to be able to do, because he'll never be able to land the AA on him now.
You have now created a new way to tell the story, with Cena every time he goes for an AA, which happened in this match alone 5 times I believe, all of them countered. How does Cena beat him? There is some at least slightly compelling storytelling there.
Oh, I'm sorry, what's that? Two main eventers weren't in the main event, so they pouted and put on a really $#!+3&^ match? Ugh.
Verdict - I don't curse on this blog, but that match was utter $#!+3&^.
Sheamus retained the US title, Miz was overshadowed by his stunt double joke character
This match was pointless. Well, not pointless. It built up Sheamus so he can go on to a new feud, and it started the breaking up of Miz and his stunt double Mizdow. Other than that, it was just a match with a comedy segment running through it and a comedy segment to finish. They did fine, it was fine, I don't care about any of it. Turn Sheamus heel again. The most brutal thing he did was during a backstage promo when he kicked the camera.
Verdict - Pointless, but a perfectly fine breather now that Diva's matches are not the bathroom breaks.
Rusev continues to beat America, Big Show taps out off camera
Yeah, the tap out happened off camera, which is really weird. But yeah, this match was better than versus Mark Henry last time, mostly because Big Show is better than Henry. Henry did have a fun segment with Bo Dallas on the Kick-Off show, though.
Rusev and Lana do not come across as heels any longer. Big Show and Henry were both huge bullies on Raw two weeks ago, and then last week ... ok, sure, Rusev kicked a service man in the face. But ... eh, I don't care. Let's get him with in a feud with a guy who can go at the same speed Rusev does. I'm looking at you, Sheamus. Rusev going for the US title is what makes sense.
Also, wrasslormonkey made a great Mark Henry gif. Look it!
Verdict - Better than last time, but still whatever.
AJ retains the Divas Championship, Paige still great
Oh, and Alicia Fox was there
Paige continues to have terrible storylines but great matches for the Diva's title. I love that there were two pretty good Divas matches on this PPV. They are easily, for me, the second and third best matches. I implore you readers who do not give the Divas a chance, watch these matches. The girls are working way harder than they have in probably ten years to put on really good WRESTLING matches, not just soap opera jokes and wasting time. Paige and AJ are very talented in the ring, and they keep having pretty good matches. The crowd is finally treating them with some respect. AJ got chants for her, and they reacted to each move, including an awesome bump Paige took on the outside.
Verdict - A great sign of more good things to come ... if only the writing was better ... like ... at all.
Seth Rollins pins Dean after some ghosts and Bray Wyatt be ridiculous
And then ... Bray Wyatt showed up with a pillar of fog and a ghost, and Dean got beat up and Seth stole a victory.
The more I think about it, the more I like this ending. Bray Wyatt will hopefully get his mojo back, keep the heat on him as he screws with the fans most beloved babyface in the company currently, and finally be a threat like he started out to be in the beginning of the year with his Match of the Year contender with Daniel Bryan. Seth stole a victory, continues to be able to brag, but has a new opponent in a turning face Randy Orton. And Dean has someone crazy for him to fight, someone he cannot predict.
All that said, it was a kind of sour ending to a PPV that was sour after its first two matches. The spots were good, the guys worked hard, but the ending just kind of ... stinks. We don't get a real ending to the feud, we don't get to see Ambrose finally win, we just see him have another bad guy he has to fight through. WWE really needs to look at NXT to remember how to book their faces, because they make it almost impossible to like anyone. And that sucks.
Verdict - Very enjoyable, hard worked match with a sour note ending that should hopefully actually lead to really good things.