I’m not really one for doing reviews of shows, which is why I never do them, but I am quite fond of giving my opinion. Since no one else wanted to do a review for this ppv, I thought “why not?” So, bear with me as I attempt my first ppv review.

I went into this ppv with very low expectations, for two reasons. One, I hate this ppv concept, as I believe it takes away from the match type. Secondly, with only two weeks of build, and considering WWE severely lacks creatively, there wasn’t much to expect. Sure enough, there wasn’t.

Before the opening contest, Miz and R-Truth were shown showing up in the front row, with tickets in hand.  Johnny Ace quickly made his way down the ramp and over to where they were, where he demanded them to leave. Miz and Truth argued that they had bought tickets, and had a right to be there, however, Ace called for security to throw them out. And on with the first match we went….

Christian vs. Sheamus

Nothing special here. I thought this matchup was good for an opener, however, the actual match was average. This match could have taken place on any given Smackdown, in fact, I won’t be surprised to see a rematch on Smackdown in the next couple of weeks. So, if you didn’t see this match, you didn’t miss anything. Anyway, Christian dominated the majority of the match, as the commentators really pushed how he’s the “crafty veteran.” There were quite a few counters in this match, and the finish came when Sheamus countered some attempted move by Christian, and hit the Brogue Kick for the win. It really felt like they were just kind of going through the motions until the finish, and the crowd was nearly completely out of it, which may have attributed to the lacklusterness. This would become the theme of the night.

Rating- 3 out of 7

INTERVIEW: Mark Henry  w/ Matt Striker

Before Striker can ask Henry whatever obvious question, Henry stops him and proceeds to put on his best nerdy white person voice, impersonating him. Other than that little chuckle moment, this was pretty much the same interview Henry has been giving for weeks now. Hall of Pain this….inducting this person…going to Hell…Randy Randy Randy…

Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara

As a person who has been following Mistico for six years, I love that WWE incorporated their backstory into this feud. WWE rarely do this, and the Mistico and Hunico have such an interesting story, so hats off to WWE. Mistico is out first, followed by Hunico with a varied version of the Sin Cara theme. The announcers spend a good amount of time concerning themselves over what to call the two, and finally seem to settle on “Sin Cara Azul” and “Sin Cara Negra.” As for the match itself, it wasn’t bad, but it certainly wasn’t either of their best, as it was way too slow paced for their style. There were a few botches here and there, but they were quickly recovered from, or covered up. The crowd was completely silent, aside for the occasionally “AHH” whenever a high spot was done; they nearly ruined the match. In the end, Mistico picked up the win, which I believe is a mistake. If this is going to be a lengthy feud (which is should be), I think it would have been better to have the heel go over at this stage.

Rating- 3 out of 7

BACKSTAGE: CM Punk/ David Otunga

Punk is the locker room, putting tape on his wrists, when Otunga walks in. Otunga, in his new lawyer role, says that he wants to represent Punk. Punk, though, says that he doesn’t need a representative, because he has his own voice (Voice of the Voiceless reference), and adds that he hates lawyers.

AirBoom {c} vs. Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero, for the Tag Team Championships 

Even the dynamic Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston couldn’t wake up this dead crowd.

For two guys who aren’t getting along with each other, Ziggler and Swagger worked great with each other; there was no friction whatsoever. This was just a match. A very average, tag team match, that we’ve seen on RAW. The commentators became confused near the end, about who were the legal men. AirBoom retained their titles, walked out, and nothing happened between Ziggler and Swagger. And not even the dynamic Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston could wake up the dead crowd, who pretty much killed this match before it even got started, but picked up a bit for the finish.

Side note: I vote for “All American Perfection” to be Ziggler/Swagger’s team name.

Rating- 4 out of 7

Hell in a Cell Match- Mark Henry {c} vs. Randy Orton, for the World Heavyweight Championship

While both of these guys are known for being “viscous,” I just don’t fully buy into it warranting a Hell in a Cell match, but it works out enough I suppose. Sadly, WWE ruined part of the story by having Orton RKO Henry on Friday’s Smackdown. Before that, the question was whether or not Orton could hit the RKO on Henry, and when he did, intrigue went out the window. Anyway, the champion is out first, which I freaking hate. Once the match begins, Orton quickly takes the upper-hand, which in my opinion, was a bad way to begin story wise; it makes Henry look weak right from the get go. Besides for a few head-first tosses into the Cell, the structure wasn’t really utilized. Though, there was one counter, by Orton, that I particularly liked. Henry was looking to squash Orton into the steel steps, when Orton on top of Henry and got himself onto the side of the cage, and proceeded to kick at Henry. It seemed like Orton dominated more of the match. When he finally hit the RKO, Henry kicked out at one. Orton then went for the Punt, but Henry stood up, caught Orton, and World’s Strongest Slammed him, to retain his gold. After the match, Henry begins to leave, only to come back and pull a chair out from under the ring. He hits another World’s Strongest Slam, and then attempts his “Leg-in-chair-squash,” but Orton is able to roll out of the way. Orton then proceeds to hit Henry all the way up the ramp, until Henry is finally able to run away to the back. Which is a terrible way to portray the dominate champion.

This was a very average match, that certainly was not Hell in a Cell match worthy. No insane spots or blood, which I’m sure many fans were hoping for.

Ratings- 2 out of 7

INTERVIEW: Alberto del Rio w/ Josh Matthews

Del Rio complains that he shouldn’t have to compete in such a barbaric match, because he’s not an animal. However, he then contradicts himself, explaining how a caged animal behaves, and implicating himself to act as such during the match.

IN-RING SEGMENT: Cody Rhodes

Rhodes comes out and begins his paper bag schtick. After ripping on the crowd for a bit, he then turns his attention to the Intercontinental Championship. He says that the cursed title should be put to rest, and bags it. Then, he has one of his baggers pull out another title and hand it over to him; the Classic White Intercontinental Championship. I marked out! The Classic White IC title is my second favorite championship design, right behind the WWF Winged-Eagle Championship. Apparently, I’m not the only one who loves this title either, as the crowd pops when it’s revealed. Cody begins naming off some of the greats who have held this version of the IC title, and says that he’ll wear this title in honor of them, but with more dignity and pride. He also states that he’ll defend it anytime, any place, and against anyone, after which Johnny Ace reappears. Ace announcers that Rhodes will be defending the title right now, per HHH’s orders. Rhodes is furious, as this will be his third defense within a week, plus, he’s not in his ring gear. His opponent….John Morrison!

Cody Rhodes {c} vs. John Morrison, for the Intercontinental Championship 

This was a good, back-and-forth match, that saw a good amount of counters. Rhodes really showed how upset he was with having to defend his title in an impromptu match, in a suit. Though they argued throughout this entire match, the commentators do a good job of getting over how HHH has forced Rhodes to defend his title, and how Rhodes has overcome nonetheless. Once again, Cody will prove HHH wrong, and retain his championship, in a fairly quick match. He’s really proving to everyone that he’s a fighting champion, even as a heel.

Rating- 4 out of 7

BACKSTAGE: HHH is in his office, when Johnny Ace runs in. Turns out HHH didn’t call for the IC match, and is now upset with Ace yet again. Nevermind that, though, as Ace informs HHH of a commotion in the locker room. The two dash out of the office and into the locker room, to find AirBoom laid out by Miz and Truth. The duo are subdued by security, and HHH yells at Ace for not calling in the police instead of regular security.

Kelly Kelly {c} w/ Eve vs. Beth Phoenix w/ Natalya, for the Diva’s Championship

This was the same old match we’ve seen several times prior. The only difference being the outcome, as Beth finally captures the Championship. The finish came after Beth had locked in her reverse Sharpshooter, and Natalya had gotten a mic to taunt Kelly with. However, Kelly would somehow get to the ropes. After Beth released the hold, and the ref had his back turned, Natalya hit Kelly with the mic, followed by a GlamSlam from Beth for the pin. Beth didn’t see this mic hit, though, so there could be some tension between the Pinup Strong duo in the future…

Rating- 1 out of 7

Hell in a Cell Match: John Cena {c} vs. CM Punk vs. Alberto del Rio, for the WWE Championship

Alberto del Rio is out first….why doesn’t the WWE Champion have to come out first like the World Heavyweight Champion? That’s a rhetorical question; I know exactly why and it pisses me off. Del Rio, however, is an after-thought in this match. The fans chant for/against Cena, and for Punk, while only one is in the ring with Del Rio. The crowd comes alive during the Cena and Punk sequences, only to die back down when Del Rio entered the pictured. And yet again, the Cell isn’t used to it’s potential, as aside from for the few spots where someone, mostly Punk, is thrown into the sides of the Cell, it’s not used to inflict pain on anyone.

Towards the end of the match, Cena gets Del Rio in the STF. This prompts Ricardo Rodriguez to open the lock on the cell door, with a key I’ll presume he took from some ref, and tries to nail Cena with a metal pipe. Cena blocks the pipe, punches Ricardo, and then Attitude Adjusted him out of the Cell. The distraction, though, allows Del Rio to hit Cena with the pipe. He gets him out of the Cell, and locks the door behind him, trapping Cena outside. Del Rio goes to pin  Punk, who had been put through a table, but Punk still had some fight in him. The two battle it out for a bit, before Del Rio hits Punk in the head with the pipe. He then taunts Cena for a moment, which allows Punk enough time to recover. When Del Rio turns around, Punk goes for the GTS, but Del Rio still had the pipe, and hits him with it. He goes for the pin, and 1, 2, 3….Alberto del Rio is the new WWE Champion.

Rating- 4 out of 7

Now for the best part of the ppv…..

When the Cell rises, Cena rushes in and goes to attack Del Rio. However, two people in hoodies jump the fan barrier, and proceed to take out all three competitors….Miz and R-Truth! HHH and Johnny Ace run out to the ring to stop them, however, the Cell is mysteriously re-lowered, prompting the question of who lowered it. Miz and Truth continue their attack, not just on the wrestlers, but also the referee and two cameramen. The locker room runs out to try to help, by shaking one side of the structure, but to no avail. Security, officials, and police are now all out to Cell-side. Finally, someone runs down with a pair of bolt cutters, and cuts the lock open. Miz and Truth drop to their knees, and surrender to the police, who cuff and drag them out of the Cell. Once out of the Cell, HHH begins hitting them until he too is subdued. Miz and Truth are hauled of in handcuffs to close the show.

Overall, this Hell in a Cell 2011 was a terrible ppv. None of the matches were above average, the WWE Championship hot-potato’d yet again, the crowd was dead throughout the show, a lot of the booking was bad, and WWE built up interest in RAW, which is reverse booking. The final segment, was great, and definitely will be what this ppv is remembered for, but is reverse booking, in that WWE should build up ppvs this way, not regular shows. If this had happened on RAW, it would have given people a reason to buy this ppv. Still, though, it was great.

FYI, the WWE Championship has now changed hands 8 times in the span of 78 days. Title prestige has completely gone out the window…of an eighty-five story building!

PPV Rating: 3 out of 7

Thanks for Reading,

J.

@J712v2

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