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October 4, 2010

WWE Hell in a Cell thoughts

Every so often, John Cena changes his color scheme in a not-so-subtle attempt to keep his merchandise sales up.

Tonight on Raw, Cena will once again be donning colors that will be new for him, but I don’t think the members of Cenation will be rushing to this time to order what Cena will be sporting. That’s because Cena will be wearing the black and yellow that is representative of The Nexus.

At The Hell in a Cell pay-per-view Sunday night, Wade Barrett defeated Cena, which means that Cena has to join the group that he has been fighting for months.

With the Raw ratings significantly down the past two weeks, WWE needs to shake things up, and having the face of the company become a reluctant member (well, he’s reluctant for now, anyway) of the top heel faction certainly accomplishes that goal.

The Barrett-Cena bout was perhaps the best match on a show that featured several good ones, including the Submissions Count Anywhere match that saw Daniel Bryan retain the U.S. title against The Miz and John Morrison, and the Hell in a Cell Match in which WWE champion Randy Orton made a successful title defense against Sheamus.

Unfortunately, the pay-per-view ended on a flat note. The Hell in a Cell match between world heavyweight champion Kane and The Undertaker just wasn’t very exciting and the finish was extremely hokey. In a turn that couldn’t have been more telegraphed, Paul Bearer betrayed The Undertaker, using the “magic urn” to cost him the match.

Here is a match-by-match look at the show:

WWE champion Randy Orton defeated Sheamus in a Hell in a Cell match (22:51): This was a hard-hitting match that told a good story. Both guys dished out a lot of punishment but neither of them would stay down. At the 15-minute mark, Orton power-slammed Sheamus onto the steps, which had been brought into the ring, for a near fall. A few minutes later, Orton kicked out of a Brogue Kick, and then he kicked out again after Sheamus had slammed him in the back several times with a chair. At just under the 20-minute mark, Orton ducked another chair shot and hit the RKO, but Sheamus was able to roll out of the ring. Orton then went for the punt to the head outside the ring, but he missed and Sheamus followed up with another Brogue Kick. He threw Orton back into the ring and covered him, but Orton again kicked out at two.

At around the 22-minute mark, Sheamus went for the High Cross on the steps, which were still in the ring, but Orton countered and dropped Sheamus hard on his back onto the steps. Orton then hit the RKO for the win. The match solidified Orton’s standing as the top guy on Raw and it also made Sheamus look tough in defeat. Sheamus can definitely hold up his end in the ring, but I still don’t see that “it factor” in him.

World heavyweight champion Kane defeated The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match (21:38): Before the match began, Paul Bearer told The Undertaker that he wanted to remain inside the cage because The Undertaker needed him, but Undertaker told him no. That brief exchange confirmed my suspicion that Bearer was going to turn heel. This was a slow match that never really got out of first gear. At the 17-minute mark, Kane countered The Undertaker’s attempt at a Tombstone Piledriver and hit a Tombstone of his own. The Undertaker’s head looked dangerously low on the move, but apparently he was OK. After The Undertaker kicked out of Kane’s pin attempt at two, a frustrated Kane slugged the referee. That led to the cage being unlocked so that another referee could enter and the injured referee could be taken to the back. Bearer also slipped into the cage at that point. Kane stalked the rotund Bearer, who was moving (more like waddling, actually) very slowly, and forced him into the ring.

While Kane threatened Bearer, The Undertaker recovered and then choke-slammed Kane. As The Undertaker was about to finish off Kane, lights suddenly began to flash and thunder sound effects went off. It was so painfully obvious that Bearer was going to turn on The Undertaker. Bearer pointed the urn at The Undertaker and a bright light came out of it, blinding “The Dead Man.” Bearer then handed the urn to Kane, who smashed The Undertaker in the head with it. Kane followed up with a chokeslam for the win. All of the hocus pocus stuff was beyond silly. I was waiting for Edge – who says he is on a mission to eliminate everything that is stupid from WWE – to come out and spear them all. I’m ready for this feud to be over. On a side note, Kane was bleeding slightly from a cut on the top of his head during the contest, but the match was never stopped. That was a good call, because the fans would have booed them out of the building if a Hell in a Cell Match was interrupted to close a wound.

Wade Barrett defeated John Cena (17:48): The stipulation was that if Cena won, The Nexus had to disband, and if Barrett won, Cena had to join the group. The crowd was into this match more than any other on the show. Barrett, who looked like a legitimate main-event-level star in this match, controlled the bout early on, repeatedly beating Cena to the punch until Cena made a comeback at around the 8-minute mark. Shortly thereafter, wrestlers from both Raw and Smackdown (mostly babyfaces; I think Dolph Ziggler was the only heel) came out and ran off the other Nexus members, who had been standing outside the ring. There were some good near falls, as Barrett and Cena kicked out of each other’s finisher.

As Cena had Barrett in the STF at the 17-minute mark, a “fan” suddenly tried to enter the ring. Cena released the hold while the referee grabbed the guy and stopped him. With the referee’s attention diverted, another “fan” – this one was Husky Harris from NXT Season 2 – hit Cena in the head with a 2X4. That allowed Barrett to pin him for the victory. Little kids and women in the crowd were stunned, and Michael Cole – who was a total babyface during this match – was going crazy about what a travesty this was. Cena had a sad look on his face as he made his way to the back. By the way, several wrestling websites were saying that the first guy to hit the ring was Michael McGillicutty, also of NXT Season 2, but I couldn’t see his face well enough to tell.

U.S. champion Daniel Bryan defeated The Miz and John Morrison in a Submissions Count Anywhere match (13:33): These three put on an entertaining match that took place mostly on the floor, in the crowd and on the entrance ramp and stage. At the 6:30 mark, Miz had Morrison trapped in a Dragon Sleeper around a guard rail, but Bryan broke it up. About five minutes later, Morrison performed the high risk move of the night when he dove off a lighting grid onto both guys on the stage. Morrison then had Miz in the Texas Cloverleaf on the ramp, but Alex Riley ran out from backstage and attacked Morrison. Bryan then took out Riley and applied the LeBell Lock to Miz, who tapped out. After the match, Miz’s biggest fan, Michael Cole, said that he had to admit that Bryan was for real.

Edge defeated Jack Swagger (11:31): This impromptu match, made by the anonymous Raw general manager, was set up by a segment that began with Alberto Del Rio cutting a promo, included mic work by Edge and Swagger and ended with Del Rio and Swagger jumping Edge. This was a decent match that saw Edge – who worked as a babyface – kick out of Swagger’s Gutwrench Powerbomb and maneuver his way out of the ankle lock before winning with a Spear. It was announced that the Raw GM demanded that Edge apologize to him tonight on Raw. My guess is that Edge will refuse to do so, which will result in him getting fired from Raw and joining Smackdown.

Natalya defeated Unified Divas champion Michelle McCool by disqualification (4:54): It was obvious watching this match that these two are more skilled in the ring than most of the other Divas, and they were having a nice match until it was marred by a bad finish. Natalya had McCool locked in the Sharpshooter, and just as it appeared that McCool was going to tap, McCool’s BFF, Layla, threw her shoe into the ring. That caused McCool to lose the match by disqualification but it saved the title. I was really surprised that McCool didn’t pin Natalya. I suppose this means Natalya will be getting another title shot, so that’s a positive.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 4:43 AM | | Comments (37)


We Are One! We Are One! We Are One!

Nexus is growing. +Cena +Joe Hennig +Fat Guy.

Husky Harris was a #1 trending topic on Twitter around the time he screwed Cena...I guess he made a huge impact!

Raw ratings will be higher than 2.7 tonight...

what a betrayal from bearer, kane shuld be ready to face the dead man forv real...

Great show, didnt really care for Wade-John as felt typical boring Cena was gona bury Nexus to booast his ego so surprised and happy Nexus lives on...Pg-HIAC- BORING...Edge-Swagger was a great match, Edge simple the best preformer in the business coz no matter what or who it is, he makes it entertaining and a great match, a true legend...Lame ending to Bryans match, dont see why Morrison couldnt be one to tap instead of Miz, decent match thou.

I won't be surprised if Cena switches to a heel in the coming weeks. I will be surprised if The Miz A: ever cashes in his MITB, and B: *successfully* cashes in his MITB.

I like what they're doing with Randy Orton. He's the closest people who loved the Attitude Era will get to reliving it. The sad thing is that he doesn't really have anyone to defend against. Sheamus is fine to watch, but like Kev said, he doesn't have that IT factor. And Cena, Orton and Sheamus can only fight each other for too long.

Of course, whoever has the belt is just holding it until HHH comes back.

I guess I just miss RAW going off the air and feeling like I can't wait to watch next week. Or even feeling like I need to. As it is now, and has been for the past few months, I could take it or leave it. I hope they change that.

The first fan was Mike Mcguillycutty and Husky Harris used a lead pipe not a 2x4

Good was amazing to see the looks on the fans faces after Cena was pinned. However, I felt that the "fan run-in" was a bit tasteless since in the last two weeks I've seen fans jump onto the field at a (4-time National League East Champion) Philadelphia Phillies game and at a Smackdown house show in Delaware. Other than that, great show except for the ending of the main event. Now, we get to hear Cena cry on RAW tonight..........

I Can't believe that there are still finishes like the Undertaker and Kane HIC match in 2010...
God help us

why do high interest main events always have to be fraught with outside interference? Why can't the two wrestlers be left to go at it the old-fashioned way? fan enters with a 2X4, fan does this, ref does that...


How do you afford to watch so many pay-per-views or do you go out to a bar and watch it?

I can't believe they have another ppv coming up in just a few weeks.

If I wouldn´t have been already convinced that Wade Barrett is a main-eventer he would have won me over with his performance last night. The only thing that disturbs me is his finisher, it´s looking so lame.

I was surprised Cena lost but I have a feeling he will still stay face reluctantly helping the heels. Most likely he destroys the group from within. I seriously doubt they will turn him fully heel since vince has long been oppossed to it but now that Orton's popularity is rising as a face I think it's time to finally turn Cena heel.

I had a feeling McCool wasn't going to lose the title, which Layla won from Beth Phoenix by the way. I'm sorry but Michelle McCool is the triple h of the women's division. Using her marriage to a person with major influence in the wwe to keep herself in the top spot.

I miss the days of Trish and Lita.

RESPONSE FROM KE: I get what you're saying, but there is a big difference between Triple H and McCool. Triple H was already a world champion and a top guy before he starting dating Stephanie. He was over with the fans. McCool has never been over.

1) Having an impromptu match on a PPV is absolutely pointless, unless it's Miz cashing in his Money in the Bank contract (or are we supposed to forget he still has that? I don't recall it being mentioned in a while.)

2) Putting only six matches on a PPV is a terrible waste of WWE's enormous talent roster.

3) Only two weeks between PPVs? If Vinnie Mac had any faith in his product, he'd have waited another week and scheduled Hell in a Cell opposite TNA's PPV. Are they really too afraid of TNA to do that? I'd expect they'd do far more damage to TNA's buy rate than vice-versa, especially with a PPV like Hell in a Cell.

Ummm, how do you get DQ'ed for throwing a shoe in the ring???? Why did you not comment on how stupid this was? Oh, that's right, because it wasn't TNA. Carry on...

RESPONSE FROM KE: Well, I did say it was a bad finish, but if you want me to add "stupid" to that, then OK, "it was a bad finish that was really stupid."

I guess now that Cena has turned heel, the WWE Universe will be on pins and needles waiting for the return of HHH

I genuinely think that Sheamus has considerably more charisma than Orton. In terms of "it factor" I think they are equal, same for ability, though I think Orton is slightly more inspired in match pacing etc.

So what next for Cena, and the movie career? Does this make Edge the new top face?

I once got pulled over for speeding in Submissions County. I didn't get a ticket, but I ended up tapping out of a figure-four leg lock.
Look, the lack of blood puts WWE in a difficult position when it stages a night full of Hell in a Cell matches. After delivering fans years worth of brutality inside (and sometimes outside) the structure, it's hard for today's wrestlers to live up to the high expectations given the limitations they're working under. But I thought the storytelling leading up to this PPV was excellent, and the wrestlers capped it off with some great performances last night.
It's hard to think of HIAC without thinking about Mick Foley, who put so much on the line in this type of match. The rumor mill is really spinning with talk of him returning to the WWE, but I have my doubts. Most of the talk is based on Cole's plug for Foley's book on Raw and more plugs on the WWE Web site. I know Vince usually doesn't acknowledge competition, but in this case, much of Foley's book is about his departure from the WWE and certainly will create a buzz. That being said, I think it's more likely that McMahon's love of publicity is the driving force here. If there were any serious talk between Foley and the WWE, I don't think TNA would be featuring him so prominantly on its programming.

RESPONSE FROM KE: Darn it, spell check! Submissions County I believe is somewhere east of Parts Unknown. To get there you make a right at Know Your Role Blvd.

The Undertaker-Kane feud seems really out of place alongside everything else in the WWE.

Everything in the Taker/Kane feud has been predictable. I can't believe they ended the show with that main event. To me, the WWE is cheating it's loyal fans. Rehashing all of this old crap on a show that's supposed to bring new twists and surprises. The ratings are tanking for a reason.

Hey Kev i heard was Huskie Harris who hit Cena with a camera from i heard about the Taker vs Kane match what the Hell was the WWE thinking no one wants this again they can't be more creative than that .

First of all, as long as WWE is PG the Hell in a cell needs to go. It added absolutely nothing to the matches. After all the crazy stuff we've seen in those matches in the past a PG WWE has no chance with them.

I love how the all seeing GM decided not to watch probably the most important match on the card with Cena vs. Barrett. If Edge had taken out Cena instead do you think the match would have been restarted? Of course it would.

I really think that the RAW GM will overturn the result of John Cena joining the Nexus because of the interference. I think Cena and Wade Barrett will have a rematch tonight and Cena will prevail. If not then WWE would probably have a way of Cena not joining Nexus because I can't see him joining them right now because he's the face of the WWE PG and the merchandise machine. Making him lose in Hell in a Cell and force to join Nexus is just to create a buss for the following Monday Night RAW which is suffering from TV ratings.

Kevin, have you thought at all about how you would write off the undertaker? He's clearly on his way out as his body can't really hold up that much longer. This is probably one of the biggest storylines that will happen in the WWE's history. That seems like an impossible task for one of the WWE writers to undertake.

I guess the NXT guys are looking for a face and what better way than Cena but i think Cena will most likey start turning the faction against each other.

I'm just glad WWE found a way to use Husky Harris. I like that long as he keeps his shirt on.

After rewatching the interference I'm 100% certain that Hennig (McGillicuty) was the first one to interfere. Am I the only one that wishes that Percy Watson would have interfered instead? Nexus could use another strong Mic worker besides Barrett.

First... Mr. Eck you are the man. Love your writing. You (and HD) brought me back to rasslin.

I don't comment often but I have to say last nights PPV was REALLY GOOD. Yes it did have some lame finishes. But the "superstars" left their hearts in the ring. Cant say there was one person that mailed it in. Even the Taker/Kane match I thought told a good story. Keep in mind the audience is very fluid, so chances are many people haven't seen some of their earlier feuds.

And thank goodness for WWE's production values. I think this industry sometimes needs a little "magic crap" to remind us all that this is theater. Now compare TNA's Hogan/Abyss/Magic WWE hall of fame ring crap with this. Personally I'll take this any day. Plus in terms of paying a guy back... WWE is really showing loyalty to Kane to give him the strap for this long at this point in his career, and he is paying them back by delivering great performances.

Good match between Sheamus and Orton. I'm starting to come around to the pasty one.

GREAT match between Barrett and Cena. I was into the WHOLE MATCH BIG TIME. I wanted Cena to lose so bad... The finisher kickouts had me marking out. Barrett is certainly a main-eventer.

Did you happen to go on last night? There was a Q and A with Mick Foley and Joey Styles promoting Countdown to Lockdown yet again. Is Vince really just doing it because he respects Foley? Why doesn't he show the same respect for Jericho?

Why would anybody pay for a PG rated Hell in a Cell?

If WWE were honest, they could call it "Heck on the Deck".

"If Vinnie Mac had any faith in his product, he'd have waited another week and scheduled Hell in a Cell opposite TNA's PPV. Are they really too afraid of TNA to do that? I'd expect they'd do far more damage to TNA's buy rate than vice-versa, especially with a PPV like Hell in a Cell."

This has nothing to do with TNA and more to do with the cable companies not wanting two ppv's competing against each other. A similar thing happened in the 80's between WWF and WCW and the cable companies went ballistic.

Besides, WWE has its ppv's scheduled a year ahead of time. I'd be surprised if TNA even scheduled their ppv's two months in advance.

Hmmm.... Raw is getting bad ratings and losing Chris Jericho; so WWE thinks turning Cena heel and sending Edge off to Smackdown will reverse the slide???

well, its about time the deadman took a few losses to kane. I mean really!! Kane took more than his fair share of losses to taker, losing at both wrestlemanias, both inferno matches, and Taker had the belt seven times already, while kane had it once for one evening. the undertaker needs to stop being a FRIKIN BALL HOG! yet kane has put in his fair share of time in the WWE. it is his turn to shine!!! I'm soo glad kane defeated the undertaker at noc and this hell in the cell match!! and bearer is back at his side!! yay!

Overall, it was a lackluster PPV. The Undertaker/Kane ending made things worse.

The positives were the triple threat US title match and the continuation of the storyline between Barrett & Cena.

Got the impression from HBK's Facebook that he is not a fan of the storylines right now.
Turning Cena could be commercial suicide. Not just in merchandise; Cena is the favourite of the casual fan. Those people may tune in to this Raw to see what's up, but it's likely they could quit in droves if they don't "get it".
Turning Cena gets approval of the wrestling nerds, which is good in a way, but the financial implications could be devastating. Imagine if all the casual fans switched off?

Caps Nut I'm assuming the move of Edge was for him to maybe get a push or do smething with bragging rights. But also to help raise Smackdown's ratings because the Sy Fy premier of smackdown got a 1.7 and getting close to TNA's 1.2 so I'm assuming they want it back up to atleast 2.1 or try to get it to 3 like when Smackdown hosted Raw for the day.

"its about time the deadman took a few losses to kane. I mean really!! Kane took more than his fair share of losses to taker, losing at both wrestlemanias, both inferno matches, and Taker had the belt seven times already, while kane had it once for one evening."-Caine

While your point is perfectly fine, and I agree with it, Kane did defeat Undertaker in the second Inferno match in 1998. It was the match that gave him the title shot at King of the Ring, where he won the WWF Championship for the evening.

His World championship reign has been a good thing for Kane, as well as the Smackdown brand itself. And, to reiterate Caine's point, "it's about time!"

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
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