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Posted in: Doctor's Orders
Doctor's Orders: The Hell in a Cell Report - Did Orton vs. Bryan Finally Deliver?
By The Doc
Oct 27, 2013 - 11:26:40 PM

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QUESTION OF THE DAY: Did you enjoy Hell in a Cell or did you feel that it was, much like the previous two PPVs, lacking?

The Hell in a Cell Report (October 27, 2013)

Match 1: Cody Rhodes and Goldust defeated The Usos and The Shield in 14:38 (***1/4) (It had been since Money in the Bank that we had a truly hot opening match. The Tag Team division delivered in spades tonight. This is what happens when you take six motivated individuals and put them together with something on the line. The six combined for a very unique spot, in which Cody gave Rollins a sky high superplex down to the floor and onto the other four. Unbelievable. I like how Rollins and Reigns, in addition to Ambrose, have maintained their status as being more cerebral than most of their opponents. They wrestle smart, psychologically sound matches. The Usos are just a ball of energy. It is not a wonder that they have gotten themselves over. They will continue to be a good addition to the tag team scene, especially if the division continues to build depth. Speaking of energy...Goldust sure looks happy to have his WWE job back, doesn't he? He has given everything that he has in the last few weeks since his return. As well as he is doing, it is as if every week is an audition for a full-time comeback, perhaps culminating in the match that he has desired for so long: Goldust vs. Cody, Brother vs. Brother. I'm all for it. I am also all for the continued build-up of the Tag Team Championships. In the last four weeks, the division has produced the best match at a PPV, the best tag match on Raw in a long time, and a hot opening PPV match that should spark every match that follows it)

The Miz called out the Wyatt Family, got ambushed by Rowan and Harper, and then was saved by the returning Kane. 16 years ago, Kane debuted at the end of the first Hell in a Cell. Tonight, he cleaned house of the heels and then chokeslammed Miz.

Match 2: Fandango and Summer Rae defeated Great Khali and Natalya (n/a) (Sorry guys, I paid attention, but had no critical interest. Summer looked good. Fandango was as amusing as always)

Match 3: Big E Langston beat Dean Ambrose via Count Out in 8:42 (*3/4) (It was a bit clunky, but the story of the match for me was not the quality or the result. Rather, it was hard damn hard Big E and Ambrose worked. Big E is already ahead of Ryback in that department. He is full of power, but he appears motivated to be a star. This was merely an impromptu match set up on the pre-show due to an injury to E's originally scheduled opponent, Curtis Axel. He put himself out there for the world, running around like a mack truck without breaks. I was impressed with his stamina. On the kayfabe side, he got busted open under his right eye and wore a Phantom of the Opera-style crimson mask for the last few minutes. He speared Ambrose through the ropes, as well. Impressive in the effort department from both, but we've seen Ambrose make something out of nothing before. This was a first with Langston and I walked away excited to see what the future holds for Big E)

Match 4: CM Punk defeated Ryback and Paul Heyman in 13:46 (**1/2) (The match was oddly structured with Heyman spending the entire match on top of the Cell, but it ultimately provided a nice visual. Punk defeated Ryback and then scaled the Cell to meet Heyman up top. There, Punk gave Heyman the uninterrupted whooping that we had been building toward since June. Four months in the making is what it was. It was not a brutal beat down, but it served its purpose well. The question now becomes: "What's next for both?" There was a small sense of finality to it given that Punk has left each PPV without giving Heyman a lasting comeuppance. Ryback looked OK. I went into thinking that I really needed to see something from him. He pulled off a nice spot that I had not seen before in the Cell, giving Punk three vertical suplexes into the side of the cage. The match, generally, was well booked. The pace was good and, though they did not try to do too much, that wound up being a good thing. They kept it simple and got to the conclusion well. The overall presentation was what it needed to be)

(Doc's note - Good show, so far. Great opening tag match and a nice conclusion to, at least, the Ryback chapter of the Punk-Heyman story. A little too much fluff for my tastes, but I'm pretty engaged in the main stories tonight. Of the four matches that I paid to see, the two that have happened, thus far, have delivered what I wanted)

Match 5: Los Matadores defeated The Real Americans in 5:52 (*1/2) (This has been a bit of a showcase night for the tag team division, thus far. I admittedly had not watched Primo and Epico's new gimmick. They are very talented performers with flashy move sets that could, to a lesser degree than the Usos, add depth to the tag roster. Every division must have its comedy act. They're getting over. It's good to see Swagger and Cesaro on PPV, I suppose. That Giant Swing of Cesaro's is ridiculous. He's got incredible balance and equilibrium. Someone counted 31 swings tonight!)

Match 6: John Cena defeated Alberto Del Rio to win the World Heavyweight Championship in 15:16 (***1/2) (Another month, another very good title match from Alberto Del Rio, this time in a losing effort to the returning hero, John Cena. These two have always worked well together, dating back to the 2011 Night of Champions when Cena last defeated Del Rio for a championship. Del Rio played up Cena's injury well, focusing most of his attention on the surgically repaired left arm. The usual flurry of false finishes that have become hallmarks of Del Rio's World title matches capped off an intelligently worked effort from both. It will be interesting to see where we go with Cena as the World Champion. With all the talk of Brock vs. Taker on the rumor mill for Wrestlemania, the thought crossed my mind to have Cena hold the World title until Mania, where a WWE Champ named CM Punk might could meet him for the much-talked about, not often-rumored, but very much-hoped for unification of the World and WWE Championships. That was just a random thought on my part. Cena as World Champ does a lot of good, even if it is just a short-term thing, for that title. Whatever belt that Cena holds is important. The World title's stature had taken a slight hit in recent years. Though the matches wrestled for it have usually been of high quality, the feuds that led to the title matches have been lacking in creativity. With Cena at the helm of the division, that will likely change. Can you believe that Cena is just two title reigns away from Flair's record?)

Match 7: AJ retained the Diva's title (*) (Here is a division that is long on relevant personalities, but short on actual talent right now. AJ is an effective champion and a great foundational building block, but there are a very few girls that can hang with her. Most of the females on the roster don't seem to be much more than serviceable)

Match 8: Randy Orton defeated Daniel Bryan to win the vacant WWE Championship in 22:07 (***3/4) (I knew that they had it in them, Bryan and Orton. There was simply too much talent for those two not to have a great match at some point. Tonight was that night. The rating reflects the ending, but I may bump that up to 4-stars after a second viewing. It was not a classic, but this was not the end. I am unsure when the end will come. I know that there will be some unhappy people out there and I respect that stance in advance. It was another screwy ending, but it furthered the story after a helluva match. The climax was clearly setting up something foul, as it became apparent that Triple H expected HBK to do dirty work on his behalf. That dirty deed ended up being a superkick to Bryan when the "Yes!" man had the momentum swung back in his favor. Many questions will need to be answered, but an intriguing new wrinkle to the story has been added. How will this play out moving forward? I'm not sure. The last two PPVs did a poor job of delivering a main-event that seemed fitting for those who purchased the show, while also fanning the flames of the top feud so that it could continue to be built on television. Night of Champions and Battleground were aptly referred to as PPVs used to sell TV. Tonight, they found a better balance. The Hell in a Cell match had that familiar aura that did the Cell bouts of old. The Miami crowd responded, doing their part to add a much-needed backdrop. Orton and Bryan delivered one of the best versions of this gimmick in the PPV namesake's history. Unique variations of moves, a pace befitting of a presumed end, and clear cut motivation to steal the show were the obvious themes of the first 3/4 of the match. Then, Triple H came to the ring and we returned to the more story-driven action reminiscent of the previous two PPVs. I needed that first 3/4 to be able to handle the story-driven stuff. The camera shifted back and forth, creating necessary confusion that well told the tale of corporate collusion. Bryan got a measure of revenge first, clocking Trips with the running knee - a move that needs a name and fast. However, HBK followed with Sweet Chin Music, allowing Orton to get the win. He looked very conflicted about it. Overall, I really enjoyed the match until the finish designed to irk me accomplished its goal)

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