While the main event is rightfully the Hell in a Cell match featuring the World Heavyweight Champion Kane vying for supremacy in his on-again, off-again feud with his half-brother The Undertaker, there were other events on Sunday that will have a longer-lasting impact on the landscape of the WWE for the foreseeable future.
“Come writers and critics who prophesize with your pen, and keep your eyes wide the chance won’t come again … And don’t speak too soon for the wheel’s still in spin and there’s no tellin’ who that it’s namin’. For the loser now will be later to win for the times they are a-changin’.”
It is nonetheless in the main event that we find everything that Hell in a Cell is supposed to represent: two bitter foes, each with a sadistic streak, each with the intention of finishing their feud with one another once and for all. Kane enters the imposing structure first, despite being the champion, and seems to eagerly await his opposition. The Undertaker arrives with all of the grandeur he regularly commands, accompanied, of course, by Paul Bearer. Not much is made of his quest to capture the championship in either the promotion of the match or the commentary throughout, as the title takes a back seat to a personal vendetta.
The Undertaker insists that Bearer wait outside of the cage, despite the manager’s protestations, and Kane takes advantage of the discussion by attacking a distracted Undertaker. They do battle between the ring and the cage for a few moments before the bell rings to officially start the match. The Undertaker lands the first string of offensive moves, including an early Snake Eyes and leg drop, but Kane manuevers him outside of the ring again and runs the challenger into the steel steps. Kane then employs a chair on The Undertaker’s legs and traps his ankle between the steps and the ringpost.
Back inside the ring, Kane interrupts an Old School attempt and follows with a superplex, putting him firmly in command. It only takes a second, though, for The Undertaker to lock in Hell’s Gate, from which Kane narrowly escapes. Both men hit each other with a boot to the face, both sit up, and both take turns delivering chokeslams. All of a sudden it feels like SummerSlam 1994.
The end is nearing as The Undertaker hits a towering Last Ride for one of the closest two counts you’ll see, but Kane counters with a Tombstone Piledriver for another two count. In frustration, Kane knocks out the ref, and the cage door opens to bring in a new official. In this time, Paul Bearer has snuck into the cage — only to be chased into the ring by Kane. The Undertaker is up and chokeslams the champ, but Bearer steps in as The Deadman prepares his own Tombstone — blinding him with a light from the urn. Bearer hands the urn to Kane who uses it to knock out his half-brother and seal the win.
The next WWE pay-per-view is Bragging Rights on October 24th.
Dallas, TX hosts tonight’s event, complete with commentary by the trio of Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Matt Striker.
Daniel Bryan (champion) vs. The Miz (challenger) vs. John Morrison (challenger) – United States Championship Match, Submission Counts Anywhere
The Miz enters toting a microphone, telling both Bryan and Morrison that he made their careers happen. The match predictably features a lot of submission attempts, and an admirable amount of action involving all three competitors, contrary to what normally occurs in Triple Threat matches. The first notably creative submission hold sees The Miz wrap Morrison around a handrail out amongst the fans. The Miz is then tossed behind the set decorations around the entrance ramp, returning with a huge rolling cart to inflict damage on both Morrison and Bryan. Morrison then uses the set to clamber way up above Bryan and The Miz, landing a splash on both of them. Morrison follows with a submission hold on The Miz, but Alex Riley, The Miz’s former rookie, arrives to make the save. Bryan decks Riley and plants the Lebell Lock on The Miz, forcing a submission. It’s probably time for The Miz to move on to the heavyweight title chase.
Winner and still United States Champion: Daniel Bryan
Sheamus (challenger) vs. Randy Orton (champion) – Hell in a Cell match for the WWE Championship
Very tight and aggressive contact between these two in the opening moments of the match. Sheamus wants to keep the action in the ring, but Orton gets him outside and hits him with the stairs. Sheamus gets back in the ring and removes one of the turnbuckle pads, which seems redundant, and of course he soon pays for it when he runs into the exposed metal himself. Orton goes on a streak with a clothesline, scoop slam, bell-to-belly suplex, backbreaker … but not an RKO. Sheamus drags the stairs into the ring, but his plan backfires again and he is scoop slammed onto the steel. Orton then drops his leveraged DDT on Sheamus to the outside floor (though his fall was cushioned by Orton, nixing any replays). Back in the ring, Sheamus goes for the win with a Brogue kick but Orton kicks out. Orton hits his RKO but Sheamus rolls out of the ring. Orton follows him, misses a punt, and suffers a second Brogue kick but still kicks out. An RKO on the steel steps for Sheamus, and that’s that.
Winner and still WWE Champion: Randy Orton
Rating: 6/10 for using too many finishers
We are given a Bragging Rights promo (which now features a Nexus flavour to it as well), and Josh Matthews is backstage to interview the NXT Season 3 competitors. The Nexus interrupts, though, to show off the armband they have waiting for Cena.
Ricardo Rodriguez is in the ring to introduce Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio simply wants to remind everyone that he’s better than they are, but Edge interrupts continuing his quest against stupidity. He calls Del Rio’s personal ring announcer, scarf, and other little things, stupid — but Jack Swagger interrupts to call Edge out for ruining his party last Friday on Smackdown. The Raw GM makes an “appearance” and creates a new match for the evening.
Edge vs. Jack Swagger
Del Rio finds himself with nothing to do, so he suckers Edge from behind and leaves. This gives Swagger the hammer for most of the match. Edge drops Swagger onto the back of his head, but Swagger neatly gets a hold of Edge’s ankle during the subsequent pinning attempt and cinches in the ankle lock. Edge escapes to the ropes, but Swagger re-applies the ankle lock outside the ring. Edge fights to get back between the ropes, hitting a missile dropkick off the top turnbuckle. He charges with a spear but Swagger catches it and turns it into a gut-wrench powerbomb. Edge kicks out, and hits with his second spear attempt for the win.
Backstage, David Otunga tells his Nexus brethren, minus Barrett, that he has a plan that will help Nexus without risking disqualification.
John Cena vs. Wade Barrett
|WHAT YOU THINK|
What did you think of the WWE Hell in a Cell PPV?
It was great – 9%
It was okay – 18%
It sucked – 26%
Didn’t see it – 47%
Just in case the WWE promo-machine passed you by: if Cena wins then Nexus must disband. If Barrett wins then Cena must join the Nexus. Cena starts off quickly tonight, pulling out his dropkick early. An early AA attempt is aborted as the other Nexus members descend to distract Cena. Barrett lays him out from behind, but then berates his teammates for even being at ringside. He hits Cena with an impressive elbow off the top rope, and soon afterward a horde of WWE wrestlers arrives to chase the Nexus members away (which didn’t really make sense: they should have wanted them to interfere … oh well, I guess Goldust didn’t get all dressed up for nothing). Cena can’t get the STF or the AA on Barrett after the confusion, but then Barrett hits his Wasteland — netting only a two count. Cena lands the AA — also for a two count. These things are still called “finishers,” right? As Cena clamps on the STF, a fan somehow makes it over the security barrier and nearly gets in the ring. As the ref deals with this problem, another fan blindsides Cena from behind, knocking him out for an easy pin by Barrett. Security, people!
Winner: Wade Barrett
The cameras find every shocked kid in the audience, milking their heartbreak for all it’s worth. Cena, too, looks shocked and dismayed, but, curiously, his new Nexus teammates leave him behind in the ring. I guess the celebratory induction has to wait for Raw.
Josh Matthews is backstage again, seeking The Undertaker. He finds Paul Bearer, who explains his return by claiming to favour The Undertaker over Kane.
Michelle McCool (champion) (w/ Layla) vs. Natalya (challenger) – Divas Championship
For the record, I’m glad the WWE stuck with the Divas belt as the unified strap. Natalya chases McCool around the ring, running straight through Layla and into a clothesline by MCool. Layla later gets on the apron, and Natalya confronts her. McCool tries to attack from behind, but hits Layla instead. Natalya gets the Sharpshooter on McCool, but Layla throws her shoe at Natalya costing McCool the match by disqualification — but not the title. These two could have done so much more than they were seemingly given time for.
Winner: Natalya (title does not change hands on a DQ)
Undertaker (challenger) vs. Kane (champion) – Hell in a Cell match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Winner and still World Heavyweight Champion: Kane
Event Rating: 7/10
Dave Hillhouse remembers his mom throwing her shoe from time to time, but never while he was holding someone in a Sharpshooter. Nor did the shoe ever connect.