My Two Centsss - Hell in a Cell Didn't Feel Like Hell To Me
By Super Chrisss
Oct 28, 2013 - 4:03:38 PM
I'm a bit surprised by the Internet Wrestling Community's negative reception to last night's Hell in a Cell Pay-Per-View. Was it an amazing PPV? No, but when was the last time the October PPV had a spectacular card, top to bottom? I thought HiaC was quite good for what it was supposed to be (filler until next month's Survivor Series). To those of you complaining about last night's show, saying it was too predictable or you didn't get the outcomes you wanted, then why did you watch it? I didn't watch Wrestlemania 29 because I felt the matches and outcomes were anti-climatic, and to this day, I stand by that decision. But we're not talking about Wrestlemania. We're talking about a throwaway PPV that WWE knows doesn't sell very well this time of year, which is why they gave it the HiaC gimmick.
For what it's worth, I watched last night's PPV at a friend's house and my buddy who hosted it felt like he got his money's worth (he even got the HD broadcast!), and so did the rest of us. Was it as legendary as SummerSlam? Hell no! But we all agreed that HiaC was much more entertaining than both Night of Champions and Battleground combined. Some positives from last night's show include:
-A perfect match to open the show. And I'm not talking about the random-as-fuck Kofi vs. Sandow match from the Kickoff. I predicted that Punk vs. Ryback & Heyman would be the curtain-jerker in order to separate the three big matches and the two cell matches, but I'm glad I was wrong. The triple threat tag team match was a lot of fun to watch, as it filled the crowd with so much energy (which wouldn't last long, but I'll get to that in a bit). Not only was Miami on fire for this match, but it showed how far the tag team division has come in recent months when all three teams looked worthy of leaving with the belts and it was strong enough to open the PPV, as opposed to being used as a cool-down match later on in the show. Cody's Superplex on Rollins to the outside, as well as a Super Samoan Drop from an Uso and a match-ending Super Cross Rhodes all helped make this one arguably the MOTN.
-The match itself was ugly, but Punk finally got his revenge. I thought it was a cool idea for Heyman to get a forklift to the cell's rooftop (once the driver finally figured out how to operate the damn thing), but the crowd was dead for this match. D-E-A-D. CM Punk got several chants throughout the match, but I think not even Heyman has been able to save heel Ryback's momentum from going further and further down the drain. The seemingly easy victory for Punk didn't do The Big Guy any favours, either. Fortunately, the match didn't last long, which allowed Punk to tuck a Kendo Stick into his trunks and go after Heyman, who gets props for not shitting his pants in fear (getting GTSed 20 feet in the air takes some guts). I really hope the Punk/Heyman feud ended last night because it just felt...right...seeing Punk beat Heyman down. Raw match, but PPV-worthy ending to a huge rivalry.
-The world title is FINALLY off Del Rio. Like many of you, I initially wasn't thrilled when John Cena was announced to return way ahead of schedule at Hell in a Cell. But the more i thought about it, the more I was okay with it, since he wasn't sticking his nose in the Orton/Bryan/HHH storyline, but challenging Del Rio for the world title instead. As I've said many times in past columns, Del Rio is a fantastic worker/wrestler, but he should have been removed from the world title picture as early as last Spring. The man is not over, and constantly shoving him down our throats as world champion wasn't doing him or the fans any favours. Once Del Rio gets his mandatory rematch for the title - at Survivor series, I assume - I hope creative can finally find something else for him to do other than constantly challenging for a world championship. Anyways, Cena vs. Del Rio was a good match with a predictable outcome, but the right one, without a doubt.
-Orton and Bryan finally had their great world title match. It took two throwaway PPVs, a cell, and a special guest referee in Shawn Michaels, but Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan finally gave us the PPV-quality match they are more than capable of performing. Was it a MOTY candidate? No, but it was damn close. This was probably the best HiaC match since Edge vs. 'Taker at SummerSlam '08, and easily the most dramatic, even though most people assumed HBK would play a role in Orton walking away with the title. But how many of you correctly guessed that HHH would come down, enter the ring, eat a flying knee from Bryan, and Michaels would purposely screw his former student out of the title (although he did seem to regret his actions)? If you called every single part of that sequence, then my hat is off to you, sir/ma'am. But since I didn't see it coming, I was entertained, both by the outcome (Orton HAD to win) and the match. Plus, there's now the Shawn Michaels' part of the story which will come into play on Raw tonight. I thought it was a fitting end to the Orton vs. Bryan saga (for the moment, at least).
If you didn't watch the PPV, you're probably wondering, "But, Super Chrisss, if there were at least three good matches, then why did so many people dislike the show?" Well, most of the negativity stems from Daniel Bryan fans, who feel he was 'buried' last night, or wanted to see Bryan exit Miami as WWE Champion. Others are annoyed at the predictability in the top three matches, which I addressed earlier. But I do agree that a large portion of the show was lacking in quality.
Quite frankly, The Miz/Wyatt Family segment, Fandango & Summer Rae vs. Khali & Natalya, and Big E vs. Dean Ambrose all had NO business being a part of last night's line-up. I know they wanted to bring back Kane last night if not only because he was a part of the very first HiaC match, but honestly, they could have waited until tonight's Raw to air that segment. The Mixed tag team match isn't worthy of being on television, let alone a PPV. Big E vs. Ambrose was decent, but again, not PPV-quality, and considering the match was announced on the pre-show, the crowd probably had no idea why the two were facing off for the U.S. Championship. Keep in mind that these three segments/matches all aired in order, following the hot tag team title opener, which is terrible booking all-around. The Punk/Ryback match didn't help things, and the show only picked up when Punk got his hands on Heyman and they jumped to the Cena/Del Rio match. Had the 8:30pm-9:15pm portion of HiaC never happened, I think the show would have received a lot more positive ratings.
Before I forget, Aj vs. Brie was a decent, but forgettable, divas title match. The highlight of the match was when my friend Ricky asked if Rikishi or The Rock would show up, after we explained to him all the Samoan family members on the show (The Usos, Tamina, and Roman Reigns). But anyways, fuck The Bellas, I'm just thrilled Aj retained her divas championship. Can we call up Paige or Emma now, or just get some more Aj vs. Kaitlyn matches? Please?
So all in all, HiaC was a good show, just not great. If you haven't watched it yet, I do recommend giving it a go, although you're better off fast-forwarding through everything that happened after the triple threat tag team match until you see Heyman pitifully trying to defend himself against CM Punk. But don't go in expecting another SummerSlam 2013 or anything. I enjoyed the show, and for the first time since Night of Champions, I cannot wait for Raw!
Your Two Centsss: What do you think Randy Orton will be doing at Survivor Series? Defending his world title against Daniel Bryan? A new challenger? Or captaining a five-on-five Elimination Tag Team Match?
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As always, thanks for reading.