Hell in a Cell thoughts
Both world championships changed hands at WWE’s Hell in a Cell pay-per-view Sunday night, but the match that went on last and was the most memorable was the one between DX and Legacy.
Even though Shawn Michaels and Triple H got the victory over Ted DiBiase Jr. and Cody Rhodes, the two twenty-somethings still came out of this show having climbed another rung up the ladder.
Not only was their match put in the main event position, but DiBiase and Rhodes out-smarted the babyfaces at the beginning of the contest to gain a two-on-one advantage, and then destroyed Michaels and taunted Triple H for the majority of the match.
They also had a somewhat contentious verbal exchange backstage with their leader, Randy Orton. DiBiase and Rhodes are gradually getting cockier and showing Orton less respect.
Speaking of Orton, he defeated John Cena to regain the WWE title, and in the world heavyweight championship match, The Undertaker won the title from CM Punk.
It was a good show overall, although not seeing blood in Hell in a Cell matches is definitely going to take some getting used to.
Here is a match-by-match look at the show:
HELL IN A CELL MATCHES
The Undertaker defeated CM Punk to win the world heavyweight title: In a big surprise, this match went on first. I thought before the show started that The Undertaker was going to win the title, but the curious placing of the match seemed to suggest that Punk would retain in another screwjob finish. Nope. Undertaker went over clean with the Tombstone in about 10 minutes. The match was competitive while it lasted, and Punk even kicked out of the Last Ride. I don’t agree at all with taking the belt off him, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he got it back in the near future.
Randy Orton defeated John Cena to win the WWE title: Like a lot of fans, I’m more than ready to see Orton and Cena end their feud and face new opponents, but I have to admit that these guys always have good pay-per-view matches together. The finishing sequence made for good drama. After a ref bump, Cena caught Orton in the STF and had him tapping. Cena eventually released the hold to revive the referee, when Orton suddenly hit an RKO out of nowhere and made the cover. The crowd thought it was over, but Cena kicked out at the last possible moment. Orton then tied Cena up in the ropes and began to choke him out. Once Cena appeared to be out cold, Orton let go and the referee untied Cena, who fell face-first to the mat. Orton then delivered a punt to Cena’s head and covered him for the win, which the crowd popped for, at about the 22-minute mark. Orton’s facial expressions and body language toward the latter stages of the match were off the charts. Cena also had a great look on his face after the match that was a combination of disappointment and wooziness as he stared from the ring at a victorious Orton on the ramp. It was nice to see Orton score a decisive win without outside interference, and he even kicked out of the Attitude Adjustment during the match. Cena, meanwhile, got to save face to some extent because he made Orton tap while the referee was incapacitated. After Cena got kicked in the head I figured he would be taking some time off to sell a concussion, but he did not need medical assistance, so that doesn’t appear to be the case. It was explained that the kick wasn’t as powerful as usual because Orton’s knee had been weakened during the match. This felt like the blow-off match to their feud, but I wouldn’t bet on that being the case since there does not seem to be a logical new opponent for either of them.
DX defeated Legacy: Ted DiBiase Jr. and Cody Rhodes jumped Shawn Michaels and Triple H from behind while they were making their entrance. The two teams brawled on the floor for several minutes before Rhodes and DiBiase hit a double DDT on Triple H on the stage, and Rhodes followed by KO’ing Triple H with the Crossroads. With Triple H unconscious, DiBiase and Rhodes threw Michaels inside the cage and locked the door. For about the next 15 minutes, Legacy brutally double-teamed Michaels, but instead of pinning him, they just kept delivering more punishment and taunting him. Triple H finally recovered, but he had no way to get inside the cage. He eventually went backstage and came out several minutes later with bolt cutters. Once inside the cage, he and Michaels went on the offensive. They threw DiBiase out of the cage and locked the door, and now Rhodes was at a two-on-one disadvantage. DX got the win at about the 25-minute mark after Michaels nailed Rhodes with Sweet Chin Music while Triple H smashed Rhodes in the face with a sledgehammer at the same time. The match told a good story, as DiBiase and Rhodes were portrayed as cunning and dangerous, but just a little too cocky for their own good. It also was interesting that for the second consecutive pay-per-view, Triple H was taken out of the match by Legacy and Michaels was left to fight alone against both men for a significant stretch. I wonder if that will play into a future storyline for Triple H and Michaels.
Unified WWE tag team champions Chris Jericho and The Big Show defeated Batista and Rey Mysterio: This was an entertaining match between four solid pros who worked well together. The huge disparity in size between Big Show and Mysterio was played up, as Mysterio displayed courage by facing Big Show early in the match instead of tagging out to Batista when he had an opportunity. Later, Big Show, who was standing in the ring, reached outside, palmed Mysterio’s head and lifted him back in. In another cool-looking spot, Batista speared Jericho and Big Show simultaneously on the floor. The finish saw Mysterio hit a 619 on Big Show, but when Mysterio went for the springboard splash, Big Show nailed him with the knockout punch in mid-air and pinned him.
Intercontinental champion John Morrison defeated Dolph Ziggler: Morrison and Ziggler were given about 16 minutes, so they did not have to rush and they put together a good match. There was a lot of mat wrestling in the early going. Ziggler controlled the majority of the match, but he couldn’t put Morrison away. The longer the match went on and the more frustrated Ziggler became, the more obvious it was that Morrison was going to pull out the victory, which he did by hitting Starship Pain. That makes Ziggler 0-for-3 in Intercontinental title matches on pay-per-view. Going into the match I thought for sure Ziggler was going to win this time.
U.S. champion Kofi Kingston defeated The Miz and Jack Swagger in a triple threat match: This match was laid out well and all three guys looked good. There were several nice near falls, including one in which Miz appeared to have Kingston pinned for the win before Swagger put Kingston’s foot on the rope at the last second. After Swagger hit a gut-wrench powerbomb on Miz, Kingston nailed Swagger with Trouble in Paradise and then pinned Miz to retain his title. Swagger telegraphed the finish slightly when he cocked his head like he knew the kick was coming before contact was made.
WWE Divas champion Mickie James defeated Alicia Fox: Both women were very aggressive and this was a decent match. Fox has come a long way in a short time. James got the win after hitting a nasty looking DDT. I cringed when Fox appeared to land right on her head in an awkward manner, but apparently she was all right. It was fitting that WWE aired a “Don’t try this at home” video immediately following the match.
Drew McIntyre defeated R-Truth: This followed the Orton-Cena match and the fans never gave it a chance. The “boring” chant started almost immediately after the bell rang. I have very little respect for the fans that were being disrespectful to these guys, because they didn’t deserve it. McIntyre, who seemingly is being put on the fast track, picked up the win in his pay-per-view debut after hitting a double underhook DDT.