Previously at “Night of Champions“…Seth Rollins might’ve been dethroned as the U.S Champion, but he defeated (and potentially ended the career of) Sting to retain the World Heavyweight Championship and survived an attempted Money in the Bank cash-in from Sheamus thanks to interference from Kane, who promptly destroyed him. I’m sure other things happened, but it was a very mediocre PPV. Oh yeah, didn’t Nikki Bella lose the Diva’s Championship after breaking AJ Lee’s record for being the longest reigning Diva’s champion? I think something like that did happen, but it was so anti-climactic and dull that I’m having difficulty remembering such an event…
The Wyatt Family kicks things off, so naturally Roman Reigns has to come out as well. This eventually leads to Ambrose and Randy Orton saving the day, allowing Ambreigns to have their first successful attack since the introduction of Braun Stowman. Very entertaining segment! Backstage, Rollins has a strange interaction with a very happy Kane and I was temporarily distracted by the switch in cameras as it drew attention to how wrestling is…you know, scripted. Also, it’s bizarre that the Authority would have a poster of an Ambrose movie on their wall…Kane isn’t acknowledging what occurred at “Night of Champions“, making me wonder if he’s faking or if he’s suffering some sort of dissociation identity disorder. I will admit that this is an intriguing development, although I’m not sold on this feud YET. Ric Flair comes out and brags about his daughter, which causes Charlotte to come out and everyone cries. This was pretty emotional. Paige turns heel and bitches about everyone. This turn felt very forced and unnecessary at this time, but Paige cut one hell of a promo. The Bella’s appear and also talk big. Nice work, ladies! This leads to ‘Charlotte Vs Brie‘, which was an average match, but it didn’t need to be anything special. The Authority confronts Kane, whose cheeriness is border-lining on silly, but I did like his sudden menacing dimeanor. The New Day teams up with Rusev to take on Ziggler and the Dudleys, which was fun and fast paced, but I’m always baffled when Rusev ends it with a Super Kick. Is that supposed to be a finisher or not? ‘Big Show Vs Cesaro‘ was solid, but not as good as their bout last week. That suplex was certainly impressive though. Big Show cuts a promo for his special match with Brock Lesnar, which is good stuff although I found it amusing how Big Show cites his ONE victory over Lesnar throughout the entirety of his career as the reason why he’d win. Was it just me or did the giant get some cheers? The Wyatt Family has a vignette where they threaten Randy Orton and shockingly, Brauns’ words stood out the most. Pretty menacing stuff. ‘Cena Vs Rollins‘ for the U.S Championship is the main event and it’s pretty good, although the finish was a little dull and there were some sloppy spots. Kane appears on the titantron and gives a thinly veiled threat to Rollins, before Demon Kane comes from beneath the ring and drags him to ‘hell’. I’d say this RAW was pretty good, but it does seem like hulu cut out most of the matches.
WWE Main Event (9/22/2015): ‘Team Bella Vs Team Bad‘ is the first match, which is fairly high profile for this show. This was an entertaining brawl that really made Naomi look good. Alicia Fox got some time to shine as well. ‘Jack Swagger Vs Sheamus‘ is the main event and it’s a solid match. I wouldn’t say this show was exceptional, but at least the star power was impressive.
Kane starts off the show and pumps up the crowd, who react with enthusiasm. Rollins interrupts and demands to know wtf Kane is doing and they have an enjoyable exchange. I might be wary of this feud, but Kane’s bi-polar persona (or dissociation identity disorder?) is an interesting angle and at least Rollins isn’t just repeating past promos (so far). ‘Roman Reigns Vs Luke Harper‘ is the first match, with their allies being barred from ring-side, which only makes the winner that much more obvious. Solid, hard hitting match with a predictable resolution. The New Day take on Neville/Lucha Dragons, which was entertaining enough, but what was Booker T thinking when he claimed that the Dudleys have returned for financial reasons? His awful commentary continues through ‘Cesaro Vs Bo Dallas‘, which was…fine, I guess. Charlotte and Becky arrive to pander to the crowd, but Paige crashes the party and offers a forced apology. Paige dances around everyone on the mic, before Natalya returns to hulu! More banter- Paige is doing an excellent job at getting heat. I wanted to see the girls crush her, a feeling I haven’t experienced towards a heel in a long time. ‘Ryback and Ziggler Vs Owens and Rusev‘ was fine, but the ‘We want Lana’ chants have gotten annoying and the Kings ‘They want to see Ryback in there’ interpretation made me gag. I’ve seen this ending before and all this does is make the babyfaces look bad. Oi…The Dudleys do an interview backstage and I thought they came across as whiny and bitter, although it was nice to see the Prime Time Players. Finally, and I mean FINALLY, because I found this show to be incredibly mediocre- the main event arrives! ‘Rollins Vs Ambrose‘ was good and fast paced, although once again, predictable finish. I liked Seth’s subsequent rant. While there were some bright spots, this was a very average Smackdown.
Seth Rollins opens with- oh wait, that’s John Cena, who re-opens the U.S championship open challenge. The New Day answers the call and this leads to ‘Cena Vs Xavier Woods‘. Good stuff that sadly ended abruptly when the New Day interrupt, changing the match to ‘New Day Vs Cena/Dudleys‘, which was also good. Backstage, an HR representative responds to an anonymous complaint against Kane, who is obviously Seth. Kane plays up the charm, which was pretty amusing, especially after it follows him getting really intense. Roman Reigns is preparing to confront Bray, but the scene becomes more about the distrust between Ambrose and Orton. Next up we have a segment of Miz TV, with the special guests being the fractured Team PCB. Paige and the Bellas show up for a confrontation, which leads to a match. Good stuff! The Prime Time Players take on the Wyatts in a fun bout that just seemed too short. Kane and Rollins have an elaborate segment where the HR lady clears Kane, but this was strange because apparently both men spent time preparing each-others video packages. Rollins beats up Kane, who gets placed in an Ambulance, but the demon emerges and strikes back. This was a strong segment, but it went on for too long. Paul Heyman promotes Lesnar’s upcoming match with Big Show, causing the Giant to arrive and cut his own promo. This wasn’t a very good segment, but I wasn’t sure why until I realized that the crowd seemed incredibly quiet and uninterested. ‘Roman Reigns Vs Bray Wyatt‘ was a fun Main Event and I didn’t even mind the DQ finish. The subsequent brawl was brutal! This RAW was…pretty good? I guess? According to my notes, I liked most of the show, but my memory has retained very little.
Rollins arrives and rants about what occurred on RAW, which draws an injured Corporate Kane out to rebuke him. For all of my misgivings about this feud, at least its inspiring the writers to come up with new promos for Seth. Team BAD takes on the Bella Empire and this was actually pretty fun in a typical ‘6 participant tag team’ kind of way. The New Day successfully cheers up Seth (funny!) and Team PCB has a suspenseful confrontation, adding more to the Paige/Natalya tension. I actually liked the ‘Owens Vs Ryback” rematch for the Intercontinental championship more than their bout at “Night at Champions“. Good pacing, storytelling and action! The ending worked for me because of Owens facial expressions. ‘The Cosmic Wasteland Vs Neville/Lucha Dragons‘ was fun, although the matchup is losing its luster since we’ve seen it too many times. Bray cuts a promo and Roman Reigns interrupts and has an intense stare-down with Bray, ignoring the rest of the family. He sets up their Hell in a Cell match and I loved this, because Roman conveys a lot with few words and the attention has centered on Bray once more- instead of Braun Stowman. Finally, we have come to the main event- New Day and Rollins Vs the Dudley Boys and Kane. Corporate Kane sits next to the announce table, so obviously the demon no-shows…for now…Rollins eventually attacks Kane, causing him to be escorted to the back and Rollins’ acting is great when he realizes his mistake. I enjoyed this finale and I thought this was an exceptional Smackdown. Watch it.
WWE Superstars (10/2/2015): ‘Cesaro Vs Heath Slater‘ was both surprisingly competitive and funny! The Ascension battle the Lucha Dragons for the Main Event and this was incredibly entertaining too. It’a fast paced, boasted some really awesome spots and both teams looked good- although I think Sin Cara botched jumping through the ropes. The rest of the show is just RAW recaps, but the two “Superstars” exclusive matches were definitely worth watching.
Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar kick off the show! Heyman promotes the ‘Hell in a Cell‘ match with the Undertaker and it’s an excellent speech, but reminds me that the crowd does not want to boo the Undertaker. I still have no idea what I’m supposed to feel about this feud…Big Show comes out and tries to shake Lesnar’s hand, leading Lesnar to laugh him off like a jerk, but Lesnar gets angry when Show mentions his loss to Undertaker. Are they trying to turn Show face? Because Lesnar is acting more like a heel than Show is…Lesnar destroys him. While confusing, this still was an entertaining segment. Back-stage, Stephanie trolls Rollins, confusing me even further. ‘The Wyatt Family Vs Ambreigns, Randy Orton‘ was interesting because it showed Strowman get his ass kicked. Fun stuff! Kane nominates himself is Show’s replacement as Seth’s Tag Team partner against the Dudleys, but Rollins objects and their little spat was nicely written. Stephanie comes out and panders like a babyface- soooo confused- and cements the Main Event for the PPV (Kane Vs Rollins). However, she promptly turns heel by saying that if Kane doesn’t win, he’s stripped of his authority. Soooooooooooooooooooooooo CONFUUUUUUUUSED! This doesn’t stop her from bullying the New Day (heel team), so I’m still…SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO CONFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUZZZZZED!!!! And then she’s seen smiling at the ‘cure for cancer’ campaign, which makes me SOOO-actually, we’ve gone full circle and somehow all of this makes sense. Clearly Stephanie is being possessed by the demon known as Big Show’s booking. ‘Rollins and Kane Vs Dudleys‘ has Devon attacking the injured Kane, which makes perfect sense. Big Show’s booking has clearly contaminated the locker room. Eventually Demon Kane comes out and this leads to the Dudleys getting revenge, while Kane chokeslams Rollins through a table. The Diva’s- The Bella’s Vs BAD- have a verbal showdown before having another match. Pretty average match with a few cool moments. John Cena gets the Main Event, pumping up the crowd who boo him, but who will step up for his U.S Open Challenge? Ziggler! Or he would, if the New Day wasn’t dragging his body down the ramp. Big E takes his place. Decent match, which ends with a Cena victory, but the subsequent brawl was far more interesting- involving Cena, New Day, Ziggler and the Dudleys. To be honest, I thought this was all kind of sloppy. Did Ziggler superkick Cena by accident? Because that looked pretty damn intentional, although he acts shocked afterwards. While this show provided some good stuff, I thought it was mostly just disjointed and confusing.
The New Day kick things off by boasting about destroying Cena, Ziggler and the Dudleys on RAW, while making sure to take shots at the Philadelphia Eagles, since…they’re in Philadelphia, obviously…Ziggler comes out and reminds us all why he is such a terrible babyface by calling Cena his ‘good friend’, which just sounds so seedy after super-kicking Cena and trying to steal his girlfriend on Total Diva’s. Plus, saying he got ‘permission from the Authority’ multiple times sounded like sucking up. He has a match with Big E, but brings the Dudleys as back-up. I liked this match, as it had nice pacing and showcased the greatest strength of the New Day- They seem to share the same devious mind. Good storytelling and clever finish! Rusev and Summer Rae have a segment back-stage and I want to take this time to thank Hulu for cutting out the majority of this storyline…Thank you…So much! With that said, my issue with it right now is that I don’t know where they’re going, as Ziggler and Rusev don’t seem to be feuding anymore. The Bella’s take on Team PCB, except replace the P with N because Natalya is here! The match was fine, but I paid more attention to the slightly misogynistic commentary. Yikes! ‘Rusev Vs Ryback‘ starts with a vignette of Ryback saying “Rusev, you’re going to be engaged tonight! Engaged with a man…with a voracious appetite!“. Erm, is this a new love triangle? Because Ryback and Rusev totally have more romantic chemistry than Dolph and Lana. Pretty good match, made even better by Kevin Owens on commentary. ‘Neville Vs King Barrett‘ was okay and I was surprised to see Barrett score the win, although I hope this isn’t leading to ANOTHER feud between the two. Wouldn’t this be their third since Neville debuted on the main roster? Stardust cuts a cryptic promo, suggesting that he is going to target someone new…So is the Stardust-Neville program over? Anyway…Main Event time! Roman Reigns and Randy Orton fight Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman! Good, story-driven match surrounding the apparent invincibility of Strowman, although not at the expense of Bray. Solid Smackdown!
The Authority is running late, so Kane has to run the show. Otherwise, Ambrose opens the program, which is kind of a nice break in the formula. But before he can get going, Randy Orton comes out and apparently they’re going to be tag team partners for Hell in a Cell. I found their banter to be slow and awkward, but the New Day arrive to save the…day…I find their attention to continuity to be funny. Kane announces that the teams would have a match and I also laughed at Kane’s ‘fire safety’ poster line. I liked the match, which was nicely paced, had impressive spots and expanded on the potential Ambrose/Orton rift. ‘Naomi Vs Nikki‘ was okay, if a little shaky, but I don’t like the booking. I’m tired of this match, people want Sasha and where in the f@ck is Charlotte? Why does it feel like ‘Nikki Vs Sasha‘ is a more important storyline than the Diva’s championship? John Cena comes out for the U.S Open Challenge, starting off with a familiar babyface promo that had a bittersweet taste, knowing that he’s about to take some time off. ‘John Cena vs Dolph Ziggler‘ was actually very fun and I personally ended up thinking Ziggler should’ve won, with a rematch being scheduled for the PPV. But Cena scores the victory in an incredibly competitive bout.
Roman Reigns delivers what is possibly his worst promo yet! Ouch, that was hard to watch and the crowd was unforgiving. ‘Roman Reigns VS Braun Strowman‘ was fine for what it was and might’ve even been good if the crowd had been warmer. God, another Authority phone call? This is the third time tonight! ‘Rusev Vs Ryback‘ begins with…ugh, them bringing in Rusev’s real life engagement to Lana…The f@ck?! Ryback wins quickly and Summer dumps Rusev, somehow sinking this storyline even lower…Ugh, at least it’s over. Am I supposed to sympathize with Summer when she was trying to get with Ziggler? Ugh, at least it’s over…Just make that your mantra. MORE AUTHORITY PHONE CALLS! The Main Event is ‘Rollins vs Demon Kane‘ and it’s pretty average. Personally, I think this RAW sucked. My head is sore from picking fights with the god damn table.
‘Roman Reigns Vs Bo Dallas’ is the opening match!? Actually, this turned out to be pretty good! A surprisingly competitive bout, I thought Bo Dallas played the PERFECT heel role and it was satisfying seeing Reigns ultimately crush him. ‘Barrett and Sheamus Vs Neville and Cesaro‘ was kind of bland, in my opinion. Now we have a backstage interview with Summer Rae, where Renee claims that ‘she had never seen this (angry, scorned, violent) side of her before’, apparently forgetting the whole Fandango love triangle of last year. I envy her of her poor memory…Zack Ryder put up way too much of a fight against Owens, but I did like the tension between Owens and Ryback. I’m tired of seeing Rusev and Ziggler fight and adding Summer as the referee isn’t making me anymore interested. This was utter shit, although the action itself was fine. The problem was Summer was really annoying, Ziggler looked weak because Rusev would’ve won if it weren’t for Summer and no one benefited from this garbage. The Dudleys and Ambrose have an amusing back-stage segment. Strowman and Harper crush the Prime Time Players, which made me groan. This could’ve been a good match, but it’s too quick and it’s too soon for the former Tag Team Champions to be losing this easily. I barely paid attention to ‘Charlotte Vs Alicia Fox‘, although apparently Paige has reformed. Shockingly, this did not end with a betrayal, although I’m sure it will come in the future. Especially since it turns out that someone attacked Natalya in the locker-room. The main event- New Day Vs Dudleys, Ambrose- was fun. The New Day get themselves DQ’ed and a bloody Xavier Woods freaks out. Epic beatdowns ensue, although I don’t think a Trombone is THAT sturdy. This was a pretty weak Smackdown that left me feeling kind of depressed for the wrong reasons.
GLASS SHATTERS! Stone Cold Steve Austin opens the show and the crowd totally ruins it by chanting “WHAT!?” after every sentence. He introduces the Undertaker, who bellows a strong promo. Lesnar and Heyman arrive to fire back (good stuff). I liked the tension and thought Brock backing down was a strong way to finish the segment, although I’m still not sure who I’m supposed to root for…’The New Day Vs Cena and the Dudleys‘ was solid work from everyone involved, but the good guys looked like sore losers when they attacked the villains after the match. Shawn Michaels takes the stage and although he tries, I thought his attempt to pump up the PPV sounded awkward. Maybe it was the dead crowd, although it picked right back up when Rollins comes out. I liked their bickering and thought Michaels brought up some good points. This leads up to ‘Rollins vs Ryback‘ and I thought this was a pretty strong match (for RAW). Nicely paced, solid psychology and Rollins looked dangerous. Now Ric Flair is in the ring and his attempt to promote the show is interrupted by Roman Reigns, who thanks him, but…it’s kind of rude for a babyface to interrupt the nature boy. Before he can talk though, the Wyatt’s arrive. Strangely, Harper is missing and Rowan is there, although Rowan’s return is so poorly handled that no one seems to care. The crowd ruins Roman’s admittedly good verbal sparring with their “WHAT!?” chants, although Roman attacking Bray when he had previously assured he wouldn’t was a dick move. Backstage, the Authority talks with Shawn Michaels, who provokes Rollins into a Shield reunion…wow…’Charlotte Vs Brie‘ was pretty dull, but the backstage segment between Paige and Renee was pretty awesome. Now we have the main event- The Shield Vs the Wyatt Family. Intriguing idea with a solid execution, although I thought it deserved a much better buildup. Most of the match was more psychologically driven, with the major spots coming after the DQ ending. All in all, this was a decent show that I probably would’ve liked more if the crowd wasn’t so disrespectful.
We open with a backstage segment involving Kane, Rollins and the New Day (minus Xavier), which was 80% funny, 20% annoying. It sets up two different matches, the first being ‘Rollins Vs Mystery Opponent‘. I love how it turns out to be Cesaro, whom Seth seems scared to fight with even though Cesaro hasn’t won a relevant singles match in forever. But in all seriousness, this was a good match that probably would’ve been great if there weren’t some missed cues and awkward spots. These guys definitely have a lot of in-ring chemistry. Paige tries apologizing to Becky and Charlotte again and quite frankly, she’s coming across as more sympathetic than the babyfaces. Lines like Charlotte’s “You had your moment” annoyed me and Charlotte claiming that Paige simply doesn’t respect her overlooks Paige’s problem in the first place- that felt like SHE wasn’t getting enough respect even though she started the revolution. Also, she’s accusing Paige of making it “about her”, not apparently realizing the irony that Charlotte is making it about her. Shit writing. Now the Bella Empire arrives and I have to hand it to the girls, their barbs felt natural and even made a little sense. The match was pretty standard. Up next: Miz TV, with…ugh, Ziggler and Summer Rae. Ziggler practically admits to being a tool, although I did like his “Sorry bro, I’m just not into you” line. Summer reveals she’s over him and calls out…TYLER BREEZE! They have a showdown to see who looks the gayest and Breeze introduces himself before beating the shit out of Ziggler. It was admittedly brutal and this probably is the best way to salvage this flop of a storyline. Sheamus and King Barrett take on the Lucha Dragons in a solid match. Bo Dallas claims he will accept John Cena’s open challenge at the PPV, but Ryback interrupts him and they have a match, followed by a brief Kevin Owens interview. All of it was decent. ‘New Day Vs Roman Reigns and Ambrose‘ was a good Main Event and I liked how it incorporated the Dudleys and Bray Wyatt. Overall, while it occasionally stumbled, I liked this Smackdown.
Hell in a Cell PREDICTIONS
- Ziggler, Neville and Cesaro Vs Sheamus, Rusev and Barrett- Ziggler, Neville, Cesaro
- John Cena’s Open Challenge- Not John Cena, and I predict Sandow will be the challenger, although Bryan and Ziggler are possibilities.
- Bray Wyatt Vs Roman Reigns: Reigns
- New Day Vs the Dudley Boyz: The Dudleyz
- Charlotte Vs Nikki: Charlotte
- Seth Rollins Vs Kane: Rollins
- Kevin Owens Vs Ryback: Owens
- Lesnar Vs Undertaker: Lesnar
HELL IN A CELL (2015)
(Kickoff Match) Dolph Ziggler, Neville and Cesaro Vs Sheamus, Rusev and King Barrett: Midcard Hell! This was a standard, fast paced 6-man tag team match that would’ve been very fun on RAW and is perfectly acceptable as part of the Kickoff show. I’d condemn the storyline as half baked, but as this was a last minute replacement for ‘Dean Ambrose and Randy Harper Vs the Wyatt Family‘, I can’t really complain. The Cosmic Wasteland watches from the sidelines and I presume this is setting up a feud between Stardust and Cesaro, although nothing goes down. You’d think that King Barrett would be targeting Stardust instead of Neville, but that would make too much sense.
United Stats Championship– John Cena’s Open Challenge: Cena is apparently going to take some time off and maybe I’m reading to deeply into his impending break, but he hasn’t really looked happy in awhile. For the most part, the face who runs the place has been used to enhance other storylines instead of having one of his own. I’m surprised this is the first official match. Alberto del Rio, who is apparently being managed by Zeb Coulter, answers the call! Wow, I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting this! This was a surprisingly slow paced bout for the opener on the card- I usually don’t count the pre-show action. I thought this was only okay, as the attempts at psychology were inconsistent and the finish was a little anti-climactic. Nevertheless, del Rio (who was a jobber when we last saw him in the WWE) defeated Cena cleanly and I’m curious to see what happens now. Will Jack Swagger turn heel? Will del Rio be a heel? Will there be an alliance, or is the partnership vetween Zeb and Swagger over? I’m definitely interested in the next chapter.
(Hell in a Cell match) Bray Wyatt Vs Roman Reigns: This long-running feud has drifted in and out of being compelling, but has probably been one of the better storylines within the past few months (for what it’s worth). Since the last PPV, the focus has shifted from the clashing clans to the bad blood between Reigns and Bray, which was smart even though there were some missteps. I mostly liked this epic battle, because both men looked like they hated each-other and were trying to commit in-ring murder. The second half starts relying on brutal and violent spots, primarily surrounding kendo sticks and tables. When someone got tabled on the outside of the ring, I had to divert my eyes as that seemed so dangerous within those cramped quarters. The spear in particular looked like it could’ve killed Roman Reigns. I feel like the placement of this match was wrong though, as it’s evenly paced, longer than the others and so intense that I already feel a little spent- 30 minutes into the show. The finish was a little anti-climactic, but this was definitely a worthy closing chapter to this feud.
TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP– The New Day Vs the Dudley Boyz: The writers ran out of material for this storyline, so focused on the New Day harassing John Cena, even though they were set to take on the Dudleyz for this PPV. Sometimes it just got awkward when the heroes lost and acted like sore losers, apparently injuring Xavier Woods in the process. The problem with this match is that we’ve seen it too many times and outside of the finish, there isn’t a whole lot of variety in both teams styles. The well has dried up and I’d rather both teams move on, or at least find a third wheel to compete with. The match is fine, never really catching fire but having a few interesting moments- such as Kofi’s attempt to pull a Eddie Guerrero.
DIVA’S CHAMPIONSHIP– Charlotte Flair Vs Nikki Bella: The Diva’s Revolution has run its course and the booking of the division has been sloppy and unfocused. Fans seem to be more interested in Team BAD, who currently aren’t in the title scene and Paige has become the focus, even though she’s also not directly in the title scene. Charlotte feels like she’s a supporting player, when she’s supposed to be the protagonist. Nevertheless, this match was A LOT better than their previous bout (which sucked) and it’s fairly ambitious considering its placement on the card. There were some big moves and the pacing was decent for a psychology based showdown. Nikki works Charlotte’s back, who responds by focusing on Nikki’s knee. There were a lot of sloppy spots though and the selling from both women was inconsistent. Not a classic by any stretch of the imagination, but I was entertained.
WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP– Seth Rollins Vs Kane: Um, what happened to the Intercontinental Championship match? I know that Lesnar and Undertaker will have the Main Event spot, but shouldn’t this at least be the final title defense? I have to give the writers credit for trying to make this story compelling and sometimes it was, if we ignore the fact that Kane shouldn’t be in the title scene right now. I haven’t forgotten his barrage of losses- which includes the matches that are building up to the PPV, where he’d also lose- since I’ve gotten back into wrestling I didn’t like this match at all and it’s stunning seeing a World Heavyweight Championship match occurring during the cooldown period. Rollins was way too dominant and all I could think of was how Kane was no-selling chair attacks weeks ago but now seems vulnerable to punches. He should’ve decimated Rollins until that big spot where Rollins sneaks out of danger and powerbombs Kane through the announce table- which would’ve been a cool spot if it broke. Standard RAW match, with sluggish pacing, little drama and doesn’t stand out at all.
INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP– Kevin Owens Vs Ryback: I liked this feud for its simplicity and how the tension between both men seemed genuine. Unfortunately, the match was short and rather dull, making me appreciate their first PPV encounter. This is the kind of match that you expect to see on RAW that would hype up the PPV match, but I’m pretty sure their RAW battles were more epic than this. I sat there and watched, yet nothing seems to have stayed within my memory. Editing Note: I watched this match again and both men played their roles well, outside of a few awkward moments, but the match failed due to a dead crowd and being too short. I wonder if ‘Reigns vs Wyatt‘ went on too long and they were forced to cut the length of ‘Owens Vs Ryback‘ down, which might explain why they had the World Heavyweight Championship defense first. After all, that belt is more important and they wouldn’t want to risk having to shorten that match as well. Some would argue that this was only inserted here to be a breather, as if ‘Rollins Vs Kane‘ was ever going to be an epic affair.
(Hell in a Cell Match) Brock Lesnar Vs Undertaker: Yikes! This grudge match started off a little slow, but then the bleeding starts begins this progresses into some dangerous moves as the ring practically turns crimson. Just when you think things can’t get any more violent, Undertaker locks in his submission and Lesnar simply smashes his face in with some gruesome stiff shots. AND THEN Lesnar starts removing the mat, exposing the wooden panels in the ring. Yet somehow, it’s the vicious low blow that feels the most devastating. This was often hard to watch, but I guess for the right reasons, as I was thoroughly invested in what was happening. After the match ended, both men were REALLY selling their injuries and in a rare display of vulnerability, Lesnar collapsed outside of the ring. The Undertaker gets up and the audience thanks him. But just as you’re allowing the emotions to run over you, the Wyatt Family appears and ruins the moment. Nevertheless, it makes you really hate the Wyatts for doing this and I presume this will lead into Survivor Series. My only regret is that there wasn’t a significant amount of build-up to this match between their last fight and this one, presumably because both men are too expensive to appear on RAW more than once a month. But it was an excellent match.
Overall: “Hell in a Cell (2015)” was alright, which is impressive considering how awful the writing and booking has been this past month. I liked how it brought closure to certain feuds, while also setting up the foundations for future storylines. The pacing was somewhat unconventional, starting off a little slow, but building up to the two most important (and awesome) matches of the night- both involving the ‘Hell in the Cell‘ gimmick. With the exception of these aforementioned bouts, the match quality was acceptable, but nothing special. My biggest gripe was with the order of the matches, especially the placement of ‘Seth Rollins Vs Kane‘. Yet I was cool with the finishes and was never bored, so this was probably the best PPV that WWE has put out in awhile.