Pros: Great main event, title matches are very watchable
Cons: Awkward booking, two matches shouldn't have been here
I never thought the day would come, in fact, it never crossed my mind. WWE has decided, to book an entire event. Based on their ultimate feud settler. Just as Unforgiven has been changed into Breaking Point. The previous ppv event No Mercy. Has been changed into Hell in a Cell(see the link for the origin). When I first heard the news. I couldn't believe that WWE was hijacking TNA's(Total Non Stop Action) Lethal Lockdown ppv, which is an all steel cage event. But, WWE instead only booked the hottest rivalries, with the Hell in a Cell(HINC) gimmick. I was also very skeptical of the move, because I wondered. How WWE was going to pull off such a brutal gimmick, with its new kinder and gentler attitude.
An event like this would be difficult to pull off indeed, because steel cage matches have been known to be bloody. But, I still came into this with an open mind, and willing to suspend belief but so far. I will say that the HINC matches were pretty good. But, the entire card was put together in an awkward manner, and several matches were severely overlooked in the process. Even though at least two were bad anyway. It hurts stars who are trying to get over.
1) World Heavyweight Championship: Hell in a Cell
CM Punk(C) vs. Undertaker
This match will be memorable for several reasons, but a few I won't mention. First, a ppv has never opened up with a HINC match. Second, I can't remember the last time Undertaker opened up an event. I was really looking forward to this bout, because I enjoyed the build up leading to it. Plus, when Taker is chasing a title. You're almost always guaranteed, to get a very good match.
The ring psychology was there, with Taker dominating for a little while. CM Punk implemented smart tactics, to cut down the Deadman, which delivered good in ring storytelling. This set up a good portion of counters, and the overall action was beyond passable. CM Punk also took a sick Last Ride. The match was very entertaining, and the crowd was heavily into it, as a regular match it was pretty good. But, as a HINC match. I don't think it completely came off, as the ultimate feud settler by a long shot, and the short length due to Taker's health issues. Didn't really the match either. 3.5/5
2) Intercontinental Championship
John Morrison(C) vs. Dolph Ziggler
For the past few months. WWE has restored quite a bit of credibility to the IC title. On ppv, it has truly lived up to its namesake, as "The Workhorse Title". These two were surprisingly given a good amount of time to work here. They completely went against the grain, by not delivering an immediate spot fest. They kicked the match off with some decent chain wrestling, and gradually began to pick up.
Once the match appeared to over stay its welcome. I began to understand the story, which was being told. Both guys came out looking good, and Morrison shows his charisma, is every bit as flashy, as his move list. A very good match. That doesn't cater too much, to the spot fest crowd. 3.75/5
3) Divas Championship
Mickie James(C) vs. Alicia Fox
The first bomb of the night. Creative attempted to build up Fox as somewhat of a threat. But, she is way too green, to be in high profile matches just yet. Yes, I understand Beth Phoenix was very green two years ago. When they put the belt on her. But, at least she has her strength as a selling point. Fox doesn't really have much.
This match had some decent moments, with some good take downs and beliveable offense. But, the chemistry wasn't there, and Mickie is clearly not as great, as she used to be back around 06, or maybe she just couldn't carry this girl. The highest point was the Tornado DDT at the end. But, it was hard to tell if it was either botched, or Fox just sold it very well. 2.5/5
4) Unified Tag Team Championship
Chris Jericho & Big Show(C) vs. Rey Mysterio & Batista
Two reasons why I didn't get into this match immediately. 1) Rey's offense wasn't believable in the beginning. 2) The commentary straight up blows. I said this many times, but I'll say it again. WWE needs to go back to using a heel bias commentator. Some of these matches are boring, because of the special treatment. The faces are receiving.
The match had its good points, but Jericho played the spot monkey for too long. Batista got in some work, and was dominant for a little while. But, something has to be wrong. When both heels are being cheered over him. I think WWE actually took notice of that. Due to Batista's actions, in the following ppv Well any way I look at it. This was an entertaining match, and is one of the best up to this point. Some real good spots, with a very believable ending. 3.75/5
5) WWE Championship: Hell in a Cell
John Cena(C) vs. Randy Orton
I think out of all the matches using the HINC gimmick. This could have probably been the only one actually called for. Since these two have feuded over a two year period. However, since the feud continued after this. I didn't really see much sense behind it.
Something that all Cena matches have in common. They start out very dry, but turn into something later. The chemistry was there. These two fought very well, and there were some good finisher kick outs. The match had a title bout feel, but the same as the opening bout. It simply didn't feel like a HINC match. The tactics that were used. Could have been done, in a No Holds Barred Match.
If this match did anything well. It was the use of Orton's "Viper" character. The match put him over, as a sadistic individual. That will do anything, to try and get the win. The ending to this match was sick, but very effective. 3.75/5
6) R-Truth vs. Drew McIntyre
What the hell were the bookers smoking? This match should have been the opening bout. There was no way. This could have followed the Two Championship, IC Championship, or Unified Tag matches and it showed. The crowd turned on this almost right away.
Neither one of these guys have any real star power. The proof is in the very fact. That no one popped for R-Truth's very predictable, and played out move list(I was happy to see that). Plus, there were boring chants. When ever Drew did anything. The action was somewhat, sort of, kind of half way decent, with some cheap brawling and grapples. But, nothing special really took place here. This match would have been a dud. Even if it wasn't put on so late. 2.25/5
7) Triple Threat for the US Championship
Kofi Kingston(C) vs. The Miz vs. Jack Swagger
For those who don't know. A Triple Threat is a three man. One fall bout.
I didn't think it would happen, but Swagger has fallen since arriving on the RAW roster. He hasn't been in a great match. Since his feud with Christian blew over, which seems so long ago. But, getting to the match. This is another one that was hurt, for being so late on the card.
This followed the typical heels working together, to take out the babyface. Whom happens to be Kofi. Until the heels self destruct, and try to pound each other. The match was pretty boring. Until it finally became a free for all. There were some good multi man spots and near falls. This one wasn't predictable, and I was surprised by the end. 3.25/5
8) Tag Team Hell in a Cell
DX(Triple H & Shawn Michaels) vs. Legacy(Cody Rhodes & Ted Dibiase)
The final HINC and match on the card. But, it's not for any belts? I really couldn't believe my eyes. When I saw this coming on last. But, I have to give credit where it's do. There was no better way to cap off the show.
Many wrestling fans may not quite agree, with the rating I'm going to give this. Bu,t I don't really care to be honest. This was one great match from the very start to finish. The action kicked off immediately, and this became a full fledged fight. I enjoyed the story being told here, because I can't remember the last time. The divide and conquer theme was this well used.
Yes, Legacy damn near broke DX into pieces early, and this shaped up into a squash, of epic proportions. This match was brutal in many ways with loads of suspense. They delivered action in many forms, and Legacy once again proved. That they are on DX's level. The last few minutes leading up to the end, and the ending itself is chaotic. This is a match I watched a total of three times already.
The rivalry itself has been excellent, and this was an excellent follow up, to their Breaking Point and Summerslam encounters. This is the only encounter on the event. That truly felt like HINC. This is so far my third favorite match of the year. Next to Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels of Wrestlemania 25, and Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho of The Bash. Great match and Match of the Night for me. 5/5
Overall, Hell in a Cell is WWE's best event, in quite some time. But, still pales in comparison to both Backlash 09 and No Way Out 09. However, I still recommend this event, as a rental at the very least. WWE proved they can deliver at least one HINC classic without the use of blading. But this event should be scrapped immediately before HINC becomes another one of those, "what's the big deal?" matches. In my eyes, HINC should be very rare, and used only when the situation really dictates. I hope WWE doesn't decide, to cram this down our throats every year, or it will lose its appeal.
The extras only consist of the main event aftermath, with someone leaving on a stretcher.
This event will also be my contribution to Texas Swede's, Texas+Sweden write off. Due to Undertaker aka Mark Calaway. Being a born Texas native. Coming out of Houston.