And a beast in the Cell.
Hell in a Cell 2015
Date: October 25, 2015
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, John Bradshaw Layfield
It’s time for one of the most violent shows of the year with two matches inside the namesake structure. The other main event is Demon Kane challenging Seth Rollins for the WWE World Title but if Demon Kane loses, Corporate Kane loses his job as Director of Operations. Uh right. Let’s get to it.
Pre-Show: Cesaro/Neville/Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev/Sheamus/King Barrett
Back with Barrett cranking on Ziggler’s arms and kicking him in the chest for two. Rusev comes in to talk trash the announcers bounce back and forth between talking about the match and golf. Sheamus comes back in for one of the most intense chinlocks I’ve ever seen but Ziggler pops up for his jumping DDT. Leave it to Dolph to just get in his stuff instead of selling. Cesaro comes in for the running uppercuts and a cannonball off the apron to take Sheamus down.
There’s a running uppercut against the barricade for Rusev before Cesaro takes a lap around the ring to hit Sheamus with another uppercut. That was one heck of a run and Cesaro keeps it going by backflipping Neville onto Sheamus and Cesaro. Ziggler superkicks Barrett into the Swing and it’s the Red Arrow to put Barrett away at 11:31.
Rating: C. For Cesaro, who stole this match as well as anyone I’ve seen do in years. He had the fans totally into him and ran with it for a change, though somehow it seems that he’s considered boring. If that’s still the case, he needs to get out of WWE now because he’s never going to get a crowd more fired up than he did right there.
Oh and in case you don’t get what I meant, the match was a B-.
The opening video is about the torment everyone is about to go through, including those not in the Cell. I take it to believe that their torment will be the same, meaning the Cell changes nothing and is therefore worthless. Nice job WWE.
US Title: John Cena vs. ???
Cena is defending in this Open Challenge. The mystery opponent is…….not clear yet as we’ve got the returning Zeb Colter on a motorized scooter. He calls Cena a divider and a separator so it’s time for people of all different backgrounds to come together. Colter thinks it’s time for Cena to lose the title to someone who will do more with it than Cena ever has. That next US Champion is…….ALBERTO DEL RIO! That’s quite the surprise but more importantly, HE ISN’T THE BIG SHOW!
Cena shoulders him down to start but a hard kick to the hamstring sends the champ out to the floor. Back in and we hit the armbar as Del Rio’s psychology hasn’t slipped a bit. Alberto misses a charge though and crashes out to the floor, only to come back with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a chinlock.
Cena continues his loud spot calling until he comes back with the release fisherman’s suplex. An enziguri looks to set up the armbreaker but Cena comes back with that clothesline that he uses for his comebacks. The finishing sequence is initiated but the AA is countered into a Backstabber and the low superkick is good for the completely clean pin at 7:50.
Rating: C. Not much to the match here as we knew Cena was losing but I really like the fact that it was clean. WWE needs stars right now and Del Rio is as good of a choice as anyone due to his resume and the shock value of him coming back. It’s better to have a big name come back and win than have someone win it with a fluke. Del Rio looks legit and that’s exactly what he needed to do.
Rollins comes in to the Authority’s office and does that weird recapping events thing that he does until Kane comes in to say he’s back from suspension. He was back on Smackdown and made a match but as usual that doesn’t count. Kane and Rollins get in an argument and HHH throws Kane out.
We recap Wyatt vs. Reigns. They’ve been feuding for months as Wyatt doesn’t want Reigns to be the next face of the company for reasons that he kind of explained months ago and hasn’t brought up since. This led to a series of tag matches and then they were ready for the Cell.
Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns
No seconds at ringside. Cole hypes up the fact that these are the 34th and 35th men inside the Cell. It’s been around 18 years so that’s not really all that impressive. They slug it out to start until Reigns throws Bray with a suplex. It’s quickly out to the floor for the apron boot and a ram into the cage but Bray comes back with a kendo stick to take over. Bray starts driving the tip of the stick into Reigns’ hand before putting the stick and a chair in the cage wall.
Roman gets sent through the stick but comes back by throwing Bray face first into the chair. Now since Bray used a kendo stick, Reigns has to come up with something more devastating. His choice: TWO kendo sticks and TWO tables. As is the law of the table match though, Roman sets one up and winds up going through it via a Rock Bottom from the apron.
The backsplash gets two back inside and Bray loads up another table. The fans give Reigns the Cena dueling chants but he breaks up a superplex attempt and powerbombs Bray through the table for two. Now the fans think it’s awesome. Pick a side already. Sister Abigail is countered into a fast rollup and the Superman Punch gets two more.
The fans switch to ROCKY’S COUSIN (that’s an insult?) until Reigns spears him through the ropes and through the table for a huge crash. It’s only good for two though and Bray grabs Sister Abigail for the same. Some kendo sticks are put up on the turnbuckles but Roman pulls one down and beats Wyatt with it, setting up the spear for the pin at 23:22.
Rating: B-. This is the new normal for the Cell: a long street fight that happens to be inside a big cage. This didn’t have a big moment or a big finish but it did have some good spots and was entertaining but they’re never going back to the old Cell style. It’s sad and annoying but it’s the truth. Unfortunately WWE talks about it like this big warzone and it’s just not that kind of match anymore. Good match, but the standard underwhelming Cell formula.
We recap the New Day vs. the Dudleyz. They’ve traded some wins and the Dudleyz put Woods through a table. This feud has gone on too long and it’s getting tiring.
Tag Team Titles: New Day vs. Dudley Boyz
New Day is defending and Big E. brings the broken trombone for the spirit of Woods. Big E.: “Tromboner……trombonists……TROMBONE PLAYERS around the world are in mourning!” However, they promise to play the bongos on D-Von’s head and a drum on Bubba’s belly. Kofi: “LIKE A CAUCASIAN KAMALA!” D-Von shoulders Kofi down to start and Bubba knocks Kingston to the floor.
The champs have a huddle (Big E.: “TIME OUT SUCKA!”) and the announcers look at the trombone. The Dudleyz botch a backbreaker/legdrop spot and the fans boo it loudly. Big E. runs D-Von over and it’s time for the rotating stomps, followed by more dancing. The Warior Splash gets two but the champs make the mistake of trying What’s Up, allowing D-Von to kick Kofi away and make the tag.
Bubba cleans house until Kofi dropkicks both Dudleyz down. Kofi grabs the trombone and throws it to Bubba before falling down ala Eddie Guerrero. The referee teases the DQ but doesn’t go for it, only to have Big E. blast D-Von in the back with the trombone, setting up Trouble in Paradise to D-Von for the pin at 9:24.
Rating: C. And hopefully that’s that. I don’t really need to see these teams fight again for a very long time as they’ve covered almost everything they need to cover. The Dudleyz are going to be fine after putting New Day over and if they’re gone after tonight, they’ve served their purpose. I’m sure they’ll stick around and have a few more feuds but this was the right result.
We recap Nikki Bella vs. Charlotte. Nikki lost the title to Charlotte last month but Charlotte has been treated like a joke ever since while Nikki hasn’t seem to mind that she isn’t champion anymore.
Divas Title: Nikki Bella vs. Charlotte
Charlotte is defending and again no one is at ringside. Feeling out process to start with Charlotte hammering away in the corner and countering a powerbomb attempt with a hurricanrana. Some big forearms put Charlotte down and Nikki cranks on her neck with a knee in the back. Nikki backbreakers her a few times before putting on a half Liontamer of all things. Charlotte finally gets to the ropes and kicks Nikki in the face but she can’t pull off a suplex because of the back. Double knees to the back and a spinebuster keep Charlotte in trouble but trash talk is enough for her to come back with chops.
Nikki comes off the second rope but jams her knee to give Charlotte an opening. Not that it matters as Nikki is fine enough to load up a belly to back superplex, only to have Charlotte backflip off the top and send Nikki crashing down again. The Figure Eight doesn’t work because of the back though and Charlotte crashes to the floor. Nikki follows up with an Alabama Slam onto the apron (freaking OW man!) but the Rack Attack is broken up, setting up the Figure Eight to retain the title at 9:42.
Rating: B+. Yep it was good. I’m fine with Charlotte selling for most of the match as long as she doesn’t lose in the end like a squash. Nikki has gotten WAY better in recent months but it took so long to get there that she’s got a long way to go. It’s still really entertaining stuff though and I’m glad they didn’t give it back to Nikki as that’s been covered for way too long already.
Paige and Becky run out to celebrate with Paige making sure to get in first. Ignore Nikki casually rolling out of the ring and walking up the aisle holding her back instead of limping.
Reigns is in the back when Dean comes in. Ambrose congratulates him on the win and says they have something new to deal with but Reigns says they’ll do that tomorrow. That’s cool with Dean and they’re celebrating tonight. That must be setting something up for later.
We recap Kane vs. Seth Rollins. They fought for months over the summer but then Brock Lesnar broke Kane’s ankle. Kane returned and saved Rollins from Sheamus cashing in and then developed a split personality. Therefore, tonight it’s Demon Kane vs. Rollins but if Kane doesn’t win the title (or the match as it’s changed a few times), Corporate Kane loses his job as director of operations.
WWE World Title: Seth Rollins vs. Kane
Are Kane’s magical hair growing powers ever going to be addressed? Rollins is defending but Kane starts fast with a running DDT and basement dropkick. They’re on the floor in a hurry with Kane loading up the announcers’ table but Seth escapes and they get back inside. Rollins sends Kane right back to the floor and it’s a big flip dive to take the monster down. Back in again and Seth dives into an uppercut but avoids a charge in the corner and pounds away. That goes nowhere as he gets crotched on the top and kicked in the face for two.
The top rope clothesline sets up the chokeslam for two and Kane is stunned. Why he’s stunned isn’t clear as everyone kicks out of that thing but since when has logic ever stopped a wrestling match? The tombstone doesn’t work so they head outside and load up the announcers’ table again. Lawler: “The Spanish announce table is right over there!” Rollins escapes another chokes attempt and powerbombs Kane onto the Spanish table. The count almost beats Kane but he gets back in, only to take some kicks to the head and one heck of a frog splash for two. Another chokeslam is countered and the Pedigree retains clean at 14:36.
Rating: C-. This wasn’t the worst but above all else THANK GOODNESS they didn’t set up a rematch. It’s another example of “hey let’s set Kane up as this unstoppable monster!” and then he just loses the title match because he’s Kane, he’ll be fifty the year after next, and no one buys it at this point.
The pre-show panel chats for a bit. Renee has changed outfits for some reason.
Intercontinental Title: Ryback vs. Kevin Owens
Owens is defending after taking the title from Ryback last month. Ryback ax handles him in the chest to start and shrugs off Owens’ offense. Back in and Owens gets in a shot to the ribs to take over, followed by the backsplash for two. The Cannonball is countered into a spinebuster and the fans just do not like Ryback. Owens avoids the Meathook but walks into a powerbomb for two. Ryback goes up top but gets shoved out to the floor, only to come back in for the Meathook. They fight over by the ropes and it looks like Owens gets in another thumb to the eye, setting up the Pop Up Powerbomb (minus any power) to retain at 5:34.
Rating: D+. I’m thinking time hurt this one a lot but they weren’t going to have anything great no matter what they did. This was the most obvious result of the night and there wasn’t a lot of interest going into it. Ryback can go off to do something else now and Owens needs a new opponent. Not a horrible match but it could have been on any given Raw.
We look back at Del Rio winning the title tonight.
Recap of Lesnar vs. Undertaker from Summerslam where Undertaker tapped but won by knockout after hitting Lesnar low and putting him in Hell’s Gate. Tonight is the final showdown (allegedly) inside the Cell.
Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker
They stare each other down before the bell and Undertaker gives him the throat slit. The fans are split on this one and it feels like a main event. They slug it out as you would expect with Undertaker over off a clothesline. Undertaker blocks some suplexes and Brock is sent to the floor. Brock tries an F5 on the floor for some reason and Undertaker sends him into the post, drawing a nice cut on the head.
Back inside with a chair included but Brock grabs a spinebuster to get a breather. And now let’s stop for a doctor INSIDE THE CELL. Why even have the thing at this point? A lot of the blood is wiped away and Lesnar beats away on Undertaker with the chair, including a shot to the arm that impresses the announcers far too much. Undertaker suplexes him on the floor but now he’s busted open as well.
Back in and Undertaker drives Brock’s throat onto the top of a chair for two. A suplex out of nowhere sends Undertaker flying and Brock follows up with two more. The F5 is good for a near fall and let’s get that doctor in there to check on the cuts. At least they let them do the high spots first. Thankfully Lesnar throws the doctor away and hits a second F5 for another near fall. Some steps to the head get two more and Cole says we’re all in shock. No Cole, we’re not.
Lesnar picks up the steps, poses with them until Undertaker can raise his feet, and then slams them onto said feet so Undertaker can kick the steps back into his face. Hell’s Gate goes on (Heyman: “NO!!!!!”) but Brock punches his way out. Brock erupts on Undertaker with lefts and rights….and then he rips the mat apart.
Undertaker sits up though and it’s a chokeslam onto the exposed boards. The Tombstone onto the boards (work with me here) gets two and Undertaker gets in his awesome shocked look. Undertaker does the throat slit but Brock hits one of the hardest low blows I’ve ever seen, followed by the F5 onto the boards for the pin at 18:10.
Rating: A-. Now that felt like a Cell match. I know it’s an easy answer but that blood really does add a lot. It makes them feel like they’re actually having a violent battle instead of a street fight that happens to be inside a big cage. In other words, it makes it feel special. This wasn’t as good or violent as their first Cell match but thirteen years will do that to you. Oh and how much better was this with three suplexes instead of like fifteen? That helped so much.
The announcers treat this as WAY bigger of a deal than it is considering we saw it before. JBL talks about how Undertaker might be the best of all time and we get the big emotional situp with a THANK YOU TAKER chant. The only thing I can think of to say: oh shut up. He’s lost this exact same match before and this one really means nothing, especially after the Streak was broken. If it’s his retirement match then fine (it’s not) but stop treating this like anything more than a really good match.
Undertaker stands up…..and we’ve got Wyatts. Undertaker tries to get ready to fight but it’s an easy beatdown. JBL will not SHUT UP during the whole thing about a lack of honor or some nonsense like that as the Wyatts take Undertaker away to end the show.
Overall Rating: B+. So much of that is due to the low expectations coming in but this was a heck of a show. The worst match is five minutes long and the main event was a great surprise. Unfortunately WWE has no idea how to do TV right now but their pay per views rock. In other words: it’s great when they’re finally able to settle down for a change and not waste everyone’s time with stupid build that completely misses the point. Get the TV better to set up these great shows and the company is on fire again. Until then though, just wait for the big shows because it’s all you’re getting.
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