For the first time in quite a while, the newest WWE PPV will NOT feature a WWE/Heavyweight Championship match on the night’s card. However, out of the two cell matches featured tonight, one definitely has championship implications while the other has potential for a title match a month or so down the road. Tonight’s PPV comes to us from Dallas, TX.
Pre-Show: Mizdow TV
No, that’s not a typo, Damien Mizdow will be hosting a special edition of Miz TV. His guest? The real Miz. Of course, anytime Miz does ANYTHING, including talking or moving, Damien continues to mimic him, including a respectable lip syncing anytime Miz talks. Essentially, Miz says since he’s beaten Sheamus several times in the past few weeks, he’ll continue his hot streak. Damien drops some subtle hints that the stunt double is close to overcoming the A-List Miz.
The two men give each other a bro hug during the match. Sheamus interrupts the interview backstage. the US Champ has a quick response that he’s still going to Brogue Kick Miz and then does so to the camera recording his interview. Okay…
Kickoff Show Match: Singles- Mark Henry vs. Bo “Washington”
Glad the WWE tag match will be on the regular PPV rather than the pre-show like we were originally taught. Bo has been getting sneaky, but totally legal, victories four times recently. Bo thinks that makes him the new WSM. Bo decides to chastise the crowd and says he’s ashamed to share the same last name as the city he’s currently in and tonight he will be known as “Bo Washington”. The match starts and Mark manhandles Washington, within 30 seconds he hits his World’s Strongest Slam for the duke.
Winner by pinfall…Mark Henry
Bo says after the match that he wasn’t ready. And that in the eyes of the “record book of life” Bo won the match. Henry doesn’t care and tosses Washington into the guard rail.
Match 1: 2 out of 3 Falls for the Intercontinental Championship- Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Cesaro
A lot of the SLAM! staff believes this match has the chance to be a MOTY contender. If that’s right, this is a great way to start off the night. Chain wrestling begins this match as both men trade holds and pinning attempts. I can’t remember how long it’s been, but we FINALLY get to see a Cesaro Swing. This time the Swiss Superman gets only 8 revolutions. Ziggler reverses Antonio’s lackadaisical pinning attempt and gets the three count for the first fall.
That just seems to annoy Cesaro who gets a few extra shots in before the ref can start the second fall. Cesaro continues to beat down the IC champ. Every time Ziggler mounts any offense, Cesaro quickly squashes it. Antonio may have tweaked his left arm. He hits his version of the Last Ride but still Ziggler continues to kick out of the pinning attempts. Ziggler finally gets some offense going as he locks in a submission. While in the hold, Cesaro gets Ziggler up to the second rope and nails a very impressive superplex but the arm sustained damage so he can only get a two count.
Ziggler hits a Fame-Asser but Cesaro kicks out at two. A European Uppercut still can’t give Antonio his first fall of the night, enraging the former Paul Heyman Guy. Ziggler reverses the Neutralizer, attacks Cesaro’s arm again and connect with a Zig Zag and has swept the match. Did not see that one coming.
Winner 2 falls to 0 and STILL Intercontinental Champion…Dolph Ziggler
Match Rating: 7/10
We go backstage and see the Authority sans Rollins. Orton says he wants to know where Rollins is so he can give him a friendly reminder to stay the hell out of his match tonight. Steph tells Orton what he needs to do is conserve that anger he has for Rollins and take it out on Cena. Hunter says this is Orton’s time to beat Cena and bring back home the WWE Championship. Orton agrees to do things the Authority’s way for now, but expects them to deal with Rollins or Randy will.
Match 2: Divas- Nikki Bella vs. Brie Bella
We’re reminded that the loser will be the winner’s personal assistant for an entire month or they will be terminated. The announcers are trying to figure out if there has ever been a sister vs. sister match. Nikki drills Brie with a knee to the face for a two count. Nikki continues to yell at Brie as she continues her beatdown of her sister. Nikki gets some old school Double J offense as she pulls her sister’s hair multiple times, stopping each time just before the ref counts to 5.
Nikki gets out of the ring to catch her breath. Brie doesn’t want to give her sister time to recover so she does a suicide dive outside the ring. Brie tosses Nikki back in the ring and hits a missile dropkick but just gets two. The sisters now trade shots as Nikki hits the Rack Attack but but can’t pin Brie. Brie returns the favor by locking in the YES! Lock. Nikki gets her feet on the rope to break the count. Nikki then cold cocks Brie with a forearm and hits another Rack Attack. This time, she’s victorious.
Match Rating: 5/10
Nikki does the YES! chant following her victory. I wonder what Nikki will make Brie do for the next 30 days.
Match 3: Tag Team Championship- Usos vs. Star and Goldust (c)
Stardust has some interesting blue added to his suit. Not sure if it’s a good edition or not just yet. Michael Cole says that Stardust has been sending out riddle tweets and I’m embarrassed that Cole didn’t know the answer. The question: A cowboy rides into town on Friday, stays three days and leaves again on Friday. How did he do it? SERIOUSLY COLE? How can you not know that one?
The Dust boys do a good job of constantly tagging each other in, keeping each other fresh. Jey waits on the apron, just begging for a tag in from his brother. Finally Jimmy hits a Samoan drop on Goldy, tossing him out of the ring which allows the Usos to tag in. Jey then hits a dive outside the ring on both Dust boys. Jey hits a cross body but just gets two for his efforts. Jey hits another Samoan drop but the result is the same.
Goldy gets tossed into the turnbuckle and goes for the reverse elbow but Jey ducks the attack allowing Jey to hit a superkick but only for a two count. Both Usos deliver simultaneous superplexes to the Dust Brothers. Jey goes to the top rope, hits a big splash but Stardust breaks up the pin. Goldy reverses another attack thanks to Stardust kicking Jey in the leg and hits his version of Cross Rhodes for the win.
Winner and STILL Tag Champions…Gold and Stardust
Match Rating: 6/10
We get the obligatory Breast Cancer Awareness spot and see some of the survivors at the ring tonight. Interesting choice for the next match as it’s the first of the eponymous PPV match.
Match 4: Number 1 Contender’s Hell in the Cell Match- Randy Orton vs. John Cena
Interesting note before this match starts, there’s a camera man on top of the cell, so it’s a safe bet to assume these men are going up to the top for a King of the Ring ’98 spot. Orton starts out on fire. A few minutes into the match, Orton goes under the ring and pulls out a chair. Cena avoids and chair and hits a fisherman suplex. Orton picks up the chair again and hits Cena in the gut and back with the chair but just gets a two count. Orton continues to use chair, sets it in the turnbuckle, giving Cena time to recover.
Cena goes for an AA but Orton counters into a DDT. Cena rolls out of the ring. Orton follows Cena and begins using the cage as a weapon a la cheese grater but still can’t put Cena away following several pinning attempts.
Orton takes some time to pose. Bad call as Cena clotheslines him. Orton returns the favor. The men go out of the ring and Orton tosses Cena into the cell like a lawn dart. Cena hits two moves of doom but Orton stops him cold with a scoop slam. Orton goes for his elevated DDT but Cena counters and tosses Randy out of the ring and starts slamming Orton into the cell. Orton however, counters Cena and tosses him, crotch first, into the ring post. Ouch! From that position, Randy hits his back/neck breaker.
We’re reminded that you have to win the match inside the ring. We get a reference to WWE referee Tim White and the injury he suffered inside HIAC. John now starts tossing Randy into the cell several times and Cena himself gets a weapon. Devon! Sorry, I mean Cena! Get the table! While Orton is outside the ring, Cena sets up the table inside the ring. Orton avoids an AA onto the table by knocking it over and then hits a dropkick for another two count.
Orton Irish Whips Cena into the steel chair he set up a while ago but the Viper still can’t get the pin. Orton now props up the table on the opposite side of the ring. Randy hits Cena with another chair shot. Cena goes for a shoulder block but Randy turns it into an RKO. Another two count. Orton Irish Whips Cena into the table but still can’t put him away.
Orton goes back outside and tosses a chair in favor of the bottom rings steps. He sets up the steps inside the ring and prepares for another RKO but Cena turns it into a slam on top of the steps and follows it with the 5 Knuckle Shuffle. Cena goes for another AA but Randy counters it into a low blow, totally legal in this match, but can’t get the pin.
Orton momentarily speaks with the ref because he thinks it was a slow count. However the two don’t come to blows. Randy prepares the punt but John sidesteps it and locks in the STF. Randy crawls to the ropes but the ref doesn’t force the break. Randy realizes this and uses the bottom rope to create separation allowing him to escape outside. John picks up the ring steps and tosses them at Orton but misses the attack.
John finally hits an AA but Orton kicks out. John goes for another AA but Orton somehow counters it into another modified RKO. John gets up and hits a second AA but still another kick out. Cena brings out another table and prepares for a leg drop. Orton beats Cena to the punch and Cena is stuck on the top turnbuckle. Orton goes for a super RKO, it’s countered, Orton goes again and Cena hits him with an AA from the top rope through the table for the three count.
Winner by pinfall and #1 Contender…John Cena
Match Rating: 7/10
During Cena’s celebration, we see Cena taunting Paul Heyman, who was on the pre-show, telling him to call him. Heyman looks on with a worried look.
Backstage Big Show warms up. Mark Henry comes up to him and says something along the lines of it’s time to take care of business. Show says he’s going to knock out Rusev and Henry makes an odd face, I sense a swerve here during this match… Afterwards Show says he’s taking Henry on his bus to Silsbee, Texas for some BBQ.
Match 5: Singles for the US Championship- Miz w/ Damien Mizdow vs. Sheamus (c)
Mizdow has totally committed for this job and I love it. When Miz hits caught in the ropes, Damien actually ties himself in the ropes during the assault. Unfortunately, Miz goes for a clothesline and hits his stunt double. But Miz stays on the offensive despite that snafu.
Sheamus hits several high impact moves but can’t put Miz away. Miz starts slapping Sheamus and hits a DDT for another two count. Crowd chants “Mizdow’s awesome!” Mizdow distracts the Celtic Warrior, allowing Miz to hit the Skullcrushing Finale, but can’t put the champ away. Miz goes for a diving attack but runs into a Brogue Kick and that’s all she wrote for this one.
After the match Mizdow goes into the ring and continues to mimic Miz’s actions. Sheamus lifts Miz’s arm and Damien does the same. We get to some more crazy movements but Mizdow continues to mimic including doing the YMCA chant multiple times over. Then the champ hits Miz with another kick for emphasis.
Winner by pinfall and STILL US Champ…Sheamus
Match Rating: 7/10
Mizdow’s Rating: 15/10
In the parking lot it looks like Brie is already hard at work for Nikki. After producing a smoothie for Nikki, Nikki spills it over her Brie and tells her that one was for her, now make her (Nikki) another one the same way. Only 29 days, 23 hours and change Brie.
Match 6: Singles – Ruzev w/ Lana vs. Big Show
Lana comes out wearing an all pink getup. Show starts off by going to town on the Bulgarian. Rusev weathers the story and shows his intelligence by going to work on Show’s left leg using both strikes and pressure holds to keep the big man on his back. Show breaks the hold but Rusev is able to suplex Show. Wow.
Rusev goes for a Accolade but Show counters it into a modified Texas Cloverleaf. Rusev grabs the ropes. Show releases and loads up for the KO punch. Rusev ducks it but he’s still hurting from the submission allowing Show to land some more offense including a spear. Mark Henry makes his way to the ring to cheer on his friend.
Show signals for his chokeslam but Rusev escapes it. Rusev goes for his superkick, Show catches it and does hit the chokeslam but Rusev kicks out. Alex rolls out of the ring near Henry. Mark motions that he’s not going to interfere. The men go back inside the ring and Rusev superkicks both Show and Henry. Show gets hit with two more superkicks and finally goes to the ground. Rusev locks in the Accolade near the middle of the ring. I didn’t see Show tap out but the ref stops the match. Hopefully a replay will show the tapping. We don’t get a replay. Okay…
Winner by submission…Rusev
Match Rating: 6/10
The announcers wonder who will be able to defeat the Bulgarian. Henry comes in to the ring to check on Show. Rusev and Henry taunt each other for a moment.
Match 7: Singles for the Divas Championship- AJ Lee (c) vs. Paige w/ Alicia Fox
The two women trade blows. Paige hits a shoulder block, AJ with a clothesline pinning combo but gets just a one count. AJ upps the ante with a spinning headscissors but can only manage a two count for her efforts. AJ kicks Paige out of the ring via a kick to the face.
The champ goes after Paige and tosses the challenger into the apron. AJ then focuses her attention on Alicia, giving Paige time to recover. It seems like Cesaro’s Swing had an impact because Paige now swings AJ into the barricade several times. The divas trade shots with AJ hitting a good DDT but still gets a two count despite that move looking very painful.
During the time out of the ring, the ref makes one of the slower counts to 10 I’ve seen in a while, but since it gives the ladies time to come back into the ring rather than ending it via count-out, I’m okay with that. The match ends when AJ locks in the Black Widow, forcing Paige to tap out.
Winner by submission and STILL Divas Champion… AJ Lee
Match Rating: 5/10
Main Event: Hell in the Cell Singles Match- Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
|WHAT YOU THINK|
It was great – 6%
It was okay – 29%
Didn’t like it – 17%
Didn’t see it – 48%
Remember what I said earlier about King of the Ring ’98? We may start out that way as Ambrose tosses a bunch of chairs and a duffel bag into the ring before while taking a kendo stick and climbing to the top of the cell. When Rollins gets to the ring he wants to climb up as well, but decides to have Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury climb up and get Dean down. Both stooges get to the top of the cell and Ambrose hits both men multiple times with the stick.
This allows Rollins to climb up and the two former Shield mates go at it. The stooges hold down Dean while Rollins unloads with the kendo stick multiple times. The top of the cell actually seems to dent a little bit. Rollins drops the kendo stick off the cell and instructs the stooges to toss Dean off the cell. Dean fights them off, suplexes Noble and a new part of the cell caves in a little.
Seth decides it’s time to climb off the cell and Dean joins in the chase down. Dean catches Rollins several times and it looks like we may be creating the first ever HIAC match. When Dean headbutts Seth, BOTH men fall off the cage and through both announce tables about halfway up the cell. #OMG!
The officials calls for some medical attention for both men. Dean looks concussed and Seth appears to have injured ribs. The EMTs show up with one gurney and start to load up Rollins. Another one comes for Ambrose as Seth is finally put on the stretcher. We’re told that the match never officially started. Both men are finally both on stretchers and the refs have to move away the fallen tables so both men can be wheeled back.
Dean is strapped to the stretcher, fights his way off it and goes to attack Rollins, knocking him off the stretcher, tosses him into the cell, goes in the cell and instructs the refs to lock the door as the stooges plead with the officials. The bell rings and we’re officially underway now.
Dean goes into one of his duffel bags, pulls out a roll of tape and a chair. You can easily hear Dean yelling to Rollins that he (Seth) stabbed him (Ambrose) in the back and unloads multiple chair shots onto his former friend. Dean picks up a screwdriver but Seth hits a hangman’s neckbreaker to avoid the attack. Ambrose dropkicks Rollins into the cage and sets up a table outside the ring, to the delight of the WWE Universe.
Both men avoid being tossed into the table. Ambrose hits a suicide dive. Tosses Seth back inside the ring and tries to suplex him onto 4 chairs. Rollins counters it and Seth ends up eating the chairs. Rollins brings out another table. It’s hard to describe this next move but the quick version is the Lunatic Fringe hits a Macho Man elbow on Rollins on the table outside the cell. Out comes a smattering of ECW chants.
Dean starts using the cage as a weapon but Corporate Kane (from out of nowhere) sprays Ambrose with a fire extinguisher, allowing Rollins to powerbomb Dean on that first table that was set up. The men get back in the ring and the Architect hits a Curb Stomp, only to have Dean kick out at two. Rollins grabs his MITB briefcase, drops it and decides to nail Dean with six violent chair shots of his own. Rollins places Ambrose’s head on the briefcase, setting him up for another curb stomp.
Ambrose avoids it clotheslines Rollins and nails Seth with the MITB case but can’t get the pinfall. Dean goes and grabs two cinder blocks from under the ring and positions them near Seth’s back. Looks like Dean is going to curb stomp Rollins when the arena goes totally black. Someone is speaking in tongues over the PA while the lights are out. Bray Wyatt’s lantern illuminates in the middle of the ring and out comes Bray to clothesline Dean. We fade to black again and we get the spider walk to Dean. Bray nails Dean with a chokeslam which allows Seth Rollins to record the pinfall. It should be noted that the arena lights have yet to turn back on and only the ring is slightly illuminated.
Winner by pinfall…Seth Rollins
Match Rating: 8/10
PPV Rating: 7/10
While Rollins exits, Bray hits Dean with Sister Abagail. We hear the creepy startup of Bray’s music and we fade to black for the end of the PPV.
Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist currently living in Atlanta. He’s hoping this doesn’t mean Bray Wyatt becomes Corporate like Kane. The thought of that man in a suit and tie is scary. Feel free to email Matthew your thoughts or suggestions and follow him on Twitter @santavato.