What up wrestling fans, I'm the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at WWE Hell in a Cell 2011. How would the PPV do even though they had some low build up? Well, let's find out and start the review. Before I get started, some of you might have noticed the lack of updates last week. Well, I am currently going through some family matters (not the TV show, mind you) and my family comes first before any of this (Don't really want to say what the matter is. Let's just say it's a very serious matter). With that said, there is a chance that there might be more episodes that I don't review. I will try to manage the best I can and get something out there, but not always a given at this present time. That's just a fair warning in case there are some reviews that are missing through the course of this week and such. In fact, this week's Raw review will probably not happen. Once things clear up, I will be back to the normal schedule. I mainly bring this up so people don't get angry that I am not updating the way I used to, but family comes first. With that said, let's REALLY begin the review.
Match #1: Christian vs Sheamus
We open up with.....a satanic video package? Seriously, that s*** will scare the crap out of you. Any second now, I felt Freddy Kruger was going to maul someone. Well, we are in the month of October, so I guess it fits. Miz and R-Truth showed up in the audience prior to this match, but John Laurinaitis and security showed up and threw them out of the building. This should clearly tip people off that Miz and Truth are still working for the WWE and this is all a part of a storyline. JR was on commentary with Booker T and Michael Cole. Honestly, I felt the commentary was a heavy upgrade compared to the last couple of PPVs. There is just something about JR since he adds so much to a match/scene, especially the last match. Gotta give props to Good o' JR. This was a great way to open up the PPV. Christian and Sheamus put forth one hell of a physical match. This match was pretty even and it was very well done. I would like to see a rematch after tonight, but it might not be the case after tonight. The finish comes when Sheamus counters the Killswitch and eventually hits the Brogue Kick for the clean win. This Sheamus/face push has worked extremely well and might be the top guy to watch over on Friday nights.
Winner via pinfall: Sheamus
Match #2: Sin Cara vs Sin Cara
Go, go, Sin Cara Rangers, you saviors of Mexicooooo!!! This is again one of those times where this would register a lot better if I was doing audio reviews. Anyway, there was a much darker opening for Sin Cara #2/negro/black with a lion roaring. Damn, I thought I was in a Disney animated film for a second. Ok, with all the joking I've done, I gotta say the second Sin Cara's/Hunico's color scheme looks awesome. Now, I had some concerns about this match. One of the major issues I had was the fact the story here didn't get explained very well. You have to be a very smart wrestling fan or a fan from Mexico to understand what is going on here. This is why you normally don't cater to the IWC because 10-15% of the audience knows what's going on while the other people are totally confused. There was a little bit of detail explained by the second Sin Cara that both were once Mistico and maybe he's feeling a little bitter about the fact he got out shined. If there was more details explained by the WWE, this would have been a well anticipated match. Instead, casual fans are a little lost into what's going on, which is why the audience was dead for this match. As most of you would've thought, this was a very technical/high flying wrestling match. It wasn't bad, but I can see why people weren't very interested in this match. Oh no, the original Sin Cara is in trouble. Quick, summon the Dragon Zord...
The finish comes when the original Sin Cara hits a Rollthrough Powerbomb for the quick victory. With the way this match ended, this doesn't really end things between both guys, which is a positive since I felt the rivalry needs more build up. Not a bad way to get things started, but we need more storytelling....and giant, fighting robots
Winner via pinfall: Sin Cara (funny thing about this pick? You couldn't get it wrong if you think about it)
Backstage where David Otunga, Attorney at Law, confronts CM Punk. He tells him to join their cause, but Punk refuses because he hates lawyers. The wrestling logic in this scene was neither one of these guys brought up their Nexus days, but who cares? By the way, did Otunga look like Carlton Banks from Fresh Prince with the sweater? Time for the Carlton dance...
Match #3: Air Boom vs Vickie Coalition for the WWE Tag Team Championships
Ha, see what I did there? Someone needs to tell Cole it isn't a Hugh Jackman punch, it's the Adamantium Punch. This was an okay match for the most part. Nothing amazing, but not bad either. The crowd seemed to enjoy this contest. The finish comes when Evan Bourne hits a Hurricanrana into a pinfall attempt and steals this match. After the match, Vickie was yelling at Jack Swagger since he was the one who lost the match. It was pretty much a given Air Boom would retain the titles since this match didn't have much of a story going into tonight. Again, that's what happens when you schedule a PPV two weeks after the last one. There is a chance for a rematch with these two teams again. If that happens, WWE is sure putting a lot of stock in Dolph Ziggler. He could be working an angle with Zack Ryder/US Championship and is one of the front runners of this lawsuit angle. Things are looking pretty good from Ziggler's end. Let's hope he can continue the vast improvement.
Winner via pinfall and still Tag Champs: Air Boom
Match #4: Mark Henry vs Randy Orton; Hell in a Cell Match for the WHC
The first of the two HIAC matches tonight. This was definitely the weaker of the HIAC matches. The match was ok, but there was a lot of boring spots. I think my main problem was it was called a HIAC match, but this really felt more like a street fight since they didn't use the structure as much as they could have. Throughout the match, Henry was dominating the match while Orton would claw his way back to make this a close contest. Again, Henry and Orton are telling a good story in the ring, which is why I am more interested in this match than say the Sin Cara match. Storytelling is vital and key in professional wrestling, despite what a lot of wrestling fans think. Orton hit the RKO, but still couldn't put Henry away. The finish comes when Orton goes for the punt, but Henry gets back up to hit World's Strongest Slam and wins cleanly. The story here is Orton got really close to knocking off Henry, but the big guy was too much once again. After the match, Henry was about to smash Orton's leg with a steel chair (similar to what he did to Big Show and Kane), but Orton dodged it and used the chair as a weapon. He seems to have Henry this time around, but the champ runs away. This definitely keeps the rivalry in tact since Orton had plenty of fight despite losing the match. Orton is the most qualified to go up against Henry at the moment, despite the fact people are getting tired of seeing Orton title matches. Plus, Henry is still fresh into the WHC reign and should keep this and the Hall of Pain a while longer.
Winner via pinfall and still WHC: Mark Henry
We are back in the ring with Darth Vader's long lost son, Cody Rhodes. He mocks the New Orleans audience and talks about the history of the IC Championship. He puts the current IC belt in a paper bag and reveals the classic IC belt (well, not completely classic since the company is called WWE as opposed to WWF). I gotta admit, I really like the belt. Still, I wish we can get rid of that bling bling WWE Championship. Rhodes vows to be the best IC Champion ever. Johnny Ace interrupts and informs Rhodes he will be defending the IC belt against John Morrison. Johnny Ace did explain Triple H was the one who put Rhodes in this match. So, we have another match for the night. I figured as much.
Match #5: Cody Rhodes vs John Morrison for the IC Championship
Rhodes wrestled in his business suit since he wasn't "scheduled" to compete. Line of the night has to go to JR in response to all of Cole's bitching. JR said "oh no, not the Gucci shoes". The match was ok for what it was worth, but nothing special. The finish comes when Rhodes sneaks a roll up victory. This really tells a lot more about Rhodes as opposed to the actual match. Then again, what do you expect from the Filler Man?
Winner via pinfall and still IC Champ: Cody Rhodes
Backstage where Trips is saying over the phone he has had it with someone. Hooray for foreshadowing. Johnny Ace arrives and Trips tells him he is tired of Johnny Ace sticking his nose in the wrestling matches/booking while Ace say there's an emergency. They run to the back and see Miz and Truth beating up Air Boom while officials try to restrain them. Once they have been tossed out of the building, they will never bother anyone again *wink, wink*. Trips yells at Johnny Ace for not calling the cops earlier. Cops in pro wrestling? Well, at least they are using them....once in a while.
Match #6: Kelly Kelly vs Beth Phoenix for the Divas Championship
Same as the previous matches, Beth dominates while Kelly gets a move here and there. Ever get Deja vu? Did Booker just say "shucky, ducky, quack"? What the hell is Booker on? The finish comes when Beth locks in that interesting submission hold and Natalya starts taunting Kelly. Kelly grabs the rope, and with the ref's back turned to deal with the break up, Natalya hits Kelly with the mic. Beth then hits Glam Slam and wins the match. I wasn't really big on Beth not winning this match cleanly, but I understand why they did it. They did it to keep Kelly's stock high...even though 90% of her victories are done via a roll up. This might make the rivalry continue, and I am getting a little sick of seeing this match. We really do need some sort of a change with the divas division. I still feel this title change was set to happen at NoC, but because of the two week break in between PPVs, they delayed it. That's at least my theory.
Winner via pinfall and NEW Divas Champ: Beth Phoenix
Match #7: John Cena vs CM Punk vs Alberto Del Rio; Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE Championship
The audience was really split between Punk and Cena. Del Rio playing chicken s*** early in the match. This was hands down the best match of the night. Now, THIS is how a HIAC match should be. There was a lot of stuff to witness in this match. Unlike the other HIAC match which only used the structure and steel steps for brief moments, this one used a lot more stuff. There was chairs, tables, the structure, and even a lead pipe. See, there can still be decent HIAC matches despite the fact people think the blood is what makes HIAC work. All three guys looked pretty good tonight. They each had a good chance to win this match. Cena hit AA, but Del Rio broke up the count. Punk hit GTS, but Del Rio dragged the ref under the ring to save the match. This is a match I highly recommend checking out since I can't name everything that happened in this match. The finish comes when Punk goes through a table thanks to Del Rio. Cena locks in the STF and it seems victory is in his grasp, but Ricardo Rodriguez knocked down the outside official and stole the keys. He unlocked the door, but Cena sees him and attacks. Ricardo ends up dropping a lead pipe, which allows Del Rio to pick it up and KO Cena with the pipe. He locks the HIAC doors with Cena on the outside. Punk starts to get back into the match and is starting to feel it, but the lead pipe (Gives new meaning to the term "pipe bomb")was too much. After around 2-3 more pipe shots to Punk, (Punk really did have a rough night when you think about it. Table crash and lead pipe shots. Punk's a trooper) Del Rio steals the title. Cena tried to get back into the match, but couldn't get inside the cage doors without the key. I wasn't a big fan of the finish. I understand Cena is the face of the company, but do you feel WWE protects Cena way too much? They had to lock him out of the door so it would give the Cena kiddy fans an excuse as to why Cena lost the match. You almost get the feeling that hell would freeze over if WWE allowed for Cena to show a little bit of weakness. This is perhaps one of the main reasons I am not the biggest Cena fan. I just get tired of seeing WWE do everything possible to make sure Cena doesn't look weak. One clean lose isn't going to screw up Cena's merchandise sells and for the kiddies to bail on him, so it's ok to make the guy a little more human as opposed to a Superman. Heck, most of your favorite superheroes show a little bit of weakness, but this never seems to happen in regards to Cena's character. This is perhaps the biggest reason why Cena gets a lot of the heat he does with the fans. Again, I respect this guy, but the way they book Cena is quite ridiculous at times. With the way this match ends, it doesn't really end things between either person. All three guys come out of this ok. Some people might think Punk looks weaker at the end of the night, but with all the punishment he took, he had to take the pinfall in this match. Plus, this opens up the door for Punk to get back in the title hunt since Del Rio managed to outsmart everyone involved in the match. You had to figure Del Rio would end up getting the title back, but it really begs the question what was the point of giving Cena the belt for two weeks? It just doesn't seem to add up in the long run. I guess you can say the reason the title changed happened at NoC is so the Triple Threat cards would be in place, but Cena winning the title didn't add anything to this match or his previous credentials and you still could've thrown Punk in this match without having the title change at NoC. WWE was trying to make a big deal in Cena winning his 10th WWE Championship, but now it's already over? This wasn't handled in the best way possible, despite what they were trying to do booking wise.
Winner via pinfall and NEW WWE Champion: Alberto Del Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiioooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
After the match, the cage rises up slightly and Cena gets back in there to confront Del Rio. That is when two mysterious guys show up and attack everyone in the ring, even the referee. They reveal themselves to be Miz and Truth, showing up for a third time. They cage door lowers back down (For some wrestling logical reasoning I believe) and Miz/Truth continue the punishment. Trips, Johnny Ace, security, police, and various WWE Superstars arrive and try to break down the cage door, but nothing was making it budge. They finally got some bolt cutters and they arrested Truth and Miz. Trips wants a go at them, but they are restraining him. It didn't last long as Trips got away and managed to take a couple of shots at Awesome Truth. The show ends with Miz and Truth being taken away while Trips and the rest of the talent look onward. This definitely sets up future events for down the road. Again, my theory is Vince McMahon is trying to get his company back and is slowly recruiting a team for a Survivor Series match against Trips' team. Even though some momentum of the main storyline has lost some of its flavor, it's still one of the most interesting things going around in the WWE.
For a PPV that only had two weeks of build up, this wasn't too bad of a showing. I thought this might have been one of those really bad evenings for the WWE, but this one turned out to be pretty decent. I found this PPV to be more entertaining than NoC, so that's a good thing. I know some people will be disappointed with the last two PPVs, but kinda hard to live up to MITB and SummerSlam since those PPVs were out of the park. There was some pretty good stuff to watch tonight. I thought the action tonight was very well done and there's enough there regardless of what kind of wrestling fan you are. The other thing I was looking for in this PPV was how the HIAC matches would fair out. While one of them didn't really feel like a HIAC match, the main event did and that did shed some positive light for a gimmick match that really has lost a lot of steam over the years. The Triple Threat Match might have saved the HIAC match and it shows it is still possible to put forth a decent HIAC match despite the nostalgia fans screaming for the crimson mask. I wouldn't consider this a must see evening, but it wasn't a terrible evening. If I have to grade this PPV on a scale of 1-10 and 5 being average (as I've explained many times on this show, I don't do decimal points since I like to do things differently compared to this wrestling websites), I will give HIAC a 6 out of 10, meaning it was slightly above average. Even though I gave this the same score as NoC, I felt HIAC was the better evening. It just seemed the wrestling matches were at a better quality this go around and there might have been more storytelling out of this PPV than the last one. I wouldn't consider ordering this PPV on TV, but I would say a Netflixs watch or a DVD rental would be worth your while. In fact, this isn't a bad PPV to add to the collection depending on how you felt about the evening in general. What also hurts this evening was the show ending 22 minutes early. I know it's common for the PPVs not to go the full time limit, but 22 minutes seems a little cheap. There is a lot of stuff that will be continuing after tonight. In fact, most of these rivalries will probably be getting another match at WWE Vengeance, which happens to be the next WWE PPV. The Sin Caras haven't quite cleared up everything, so I expect more storytelling in order to get more people invested in that rivalry. Henry and Orton might end up getting a rematch and both Punk and Cena have a score to settle with Del Rio. It does make the next couple of Raws interesting to watch so we can see where they are going with all of this. Oh, and let's not forget about other storylines like the potential lawsuit and Trips loosing control of the WWE. Only time will tell to see where they plan on going with these series of events. That's going to do it for the review and I hope you enjoyed it. Tell me what you thought of my review or tonight's show. Again, I will try to see if I can do a Raw review or a Running Diary, but it isn't really up to me. We will see how the week plays out, and I will try to give an update on how this will all play out. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time.
WrestlingNerd's Official Score of WWE Hell in a Cell: 6 out of 10
WrestlingNerd's Favorite Match of the Night: Triple Threat Hell in a Cell Match