October 7, 2009
Hell In A Cell 2009, October 4, 2009, Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
Announcers: The teams of: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross & Todd Grisham
So we’ve come to another themed PPV, this one obviously being Hell in a Cell with the top three matches all taking place in said venue. Incidentally, two of tonight’s Cell participants, Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker wrestled in the first ever Cell match twelve years less one day ago. Past Cell matches have generally been good to great (with a few exceptions) but I think it’ll be a real challenge to do it three times in one night because you have to make them different and at the same time make it seem like there was a reason to have the matches there to begin with. On another note, with the departure of Lillian Garcia, the ring announcing duties for the entire show have fallen to Justin Roberts, and I think he does a great job with that so good for him. Let’s see what we get then out of the wrestling aspect of the show, shall we?
Opening Match, World Heavyweight Championship Hell in a Cell Match: CM Punk vs. The Undertaker
So after the screwjob last month at Breaking Point, Taker kidnapped Teddy Long and presumably did unspeakable things to him until Long made this match here. Did Long have any motivation for this other then maybe following Vince’s orders to do something to make an impact? I hope it was something more for what he had to go through. Punk starts out by throwing his shirt at Taker as if to say he couldn’t care less what Taker thinks of his fashion decisions. He then tries using speed to avoid Taker but is soon caught, dragged outside and sent to the cage repeatedly. They briefly get back in, but Taker just boots Punk off the apron and into the cage again. Finally Punk gets away and then turns to dropkick the steps into Taker’s knee. He stomps the knee for a bit, but is unable to post the leg. Taker gets up, so Punk goes for the running knee on the apron, but he gets tossed off into the cage yet again. Taker drops a leg on the apron, but now Punk gets a measure of revenge by sending Taker off to the cage. He then follows with a suicide dive. Back in, they trade shots with Taker taking control. He sets up the Tombstone , which Punk slips out of, but Taker still hits a big boot and legdrop for 2. They trade more finisher tries before Punk gets back on the knee. Chairshot gets 2 for Punk. He then goes for a running knee in the corner, but gets caught and dropped with the Last Ride. He does kickout at 2 though. Taker goes for Old School, but gets pulled down into a knee for 2. Punk gets the chair again, but Taker kicks it back in his face. Tombstone follows and gets the 3 count to give Taker the WHC at 10:25. Apparently this is more a case of punishing Punk because they perceive his ego to be getting out of control then it is any desire to have Taker as the champ. Taker/Batista is supposedly the next stop on the never ending loop of main event matchups and that doesn’t sound pretty. But then again, this wasn’t either. **
Intercontinental Championship Match: John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler
Alright, it’s the PPV matchup a month and a half in the making! Ziggler beat Morrison in a tag match Friday on Smackdown which normally wouldn’t bode well for him, but he’s seemingly been in line for a title win, so we’ll see what we get. They start out with some mat wrestling. Neither guy really controls, but they do get a few 1 counts on each other. The crowd is not into this one at all at this point, which isn’t surprising given what they have to follow. Ziggler hits a shoulderblock, but then runs into a dropkick for 1. Slam by Morrison sets up a breakdancing legdrop for 1. Ziggler gets sent off and tripped up which leads to a springboard crossbody for 2. Morrison follows with a dropkick and goes for Starship Pain, but Ziggler moves and then covers for 2. He drops an elbow for 2 and then hits a dropkick for another 2. He goes to work on the neck for a bit until Morrison gets out and hits an elbow, but then runs into a powerslam for another 2 for Ziggler. Ziggler then hits a Curt Hennig jumping necksnap. Hennig is definitely a good choice for someone to emulate. Corner splash gets 2 as does a slam. A couple of fireman’s carries get another 2 as Ziggler now starts taunting him, feeling that he’s well in control. But of course, Morrison counters a slam to a DDT. He then wins a slugfest and follows with a dropkick. Standing Shooting Star Press gets 2. Ziggler slips out of a suplex and rolls him up for 2 holding the ropes. Morrison gets his own quick rollup for 2. Ziggler goes for a sunset flip, which Morrison rolls through, but he ends up taking a jawjacker for 2. He sets Morrison on the top rope, but gets shoved off. Morrison leaps at him and then catches the legs as Ziggler tries a dropkick. That leads to a catapult for 2. Springboard misses though and Ziggler nails a German suplex for 2. Fameasser gets yet another 2 count and Ziggler is getting really frustrated at his inability to put Morrison away. He runs into a boot that puts him down, but blocks Starship and drops him for 2. He goes for the Zig Zag, but Morrison holds on to the ropes. Morrison then connects with a knee to the face and this time he hits Starship Pain and that gets the 3 count to retain at 15:43. Lots of credit to these guys as they overcame the death slot to really get the crowd into it by the end, and ended up having a really good match in the process. This one should have gone on first. ***1/2
Divas Championship Match: Mickie James vs. Alicia Fox
And this match should have followed Undertaker’s Title win. They start with an aggressive lockup and break. Fox goes to a wristlock, but Mickie trips her up for 1. Mickie gets a monkeyflip, followed by a snapmare to setup a seated dropkick for 2. She then hits a neckbreaker and goes up, but Fox drags her off and covers for 2. She hooks a rear chinlock, from which Mickie escapes, but then she runs into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 2. To a bodyscissors, which Mickie elbows out of. Mickie connects with three clotheslines, but her corner whip is reversed. She gets the elbow up on the charge though and takes Fox down with a headscissors. Thesz press off the top connects, but she doesn’t really follow up. She goes for the DDT next, but Fox backs her to the corner to break and then hits a nice looking Northern Lights suplex for 2. She misses the scissors kick though and that allows Mickie to absolutely plant her with the DDT for the 3 count at 5:20. Man, that DDT looked sick. Oh, and guess what? I think Alicia Fox showed a bit of potential here in her PPV debut, so good on her. *1/2
Unified Tag Team Championship Match: Chris Jericho & The Big Show vs. Dave Batista & Rey Mysterio
Mysterio returns from suspension to team with former championship partner Batista here for a shot at the Unified Titles. Mysterio and Jericho start out with Jericho working him over. Mysterio comes back with an armdrag and monkey flip, followed by a headscissors and springboard moonsault for 2. Tag Batista who hits a shoulderblock and then a bodyblock in the corner. He puts the shoulders to Jericho and tags Mysterio who he whips into a seated dropkick on Jericho for 2. Boot to the head gets another 2 and then Mysterio tags back out. Batista gets an elbow up and hits a suplex for 2. Tag to Mysterio who drops a big splash off of Batista’s shoulders for another 2. Jericho manages to escape further punishment and make the tag to Show though. Batista offers to take the tag, but Mysterio would rather prove himself against the big man. That, of course, proves to be a mistake as he gets dropped and stepped on, then chopped out to the floor. Show lifts him back in and hits a big boot before tagging Jericho. Catapult into the ropes gets 2 for him, but Mysterio comes back with an ensiguiri. He’s too slow on the 619 though and runs into a clothesline for 2. Jericho goes for the mask, but that card has been played out so Mysterio elbows him off and comes off the top with a vertical press. Tag to Batista who nails a couple of clotheslines and then knocks Show down as well. Sidewalk slam on Jericho gets 2, as does a spinebuster. Show grabs his leg from the floor, and that’s enough distraction for Jericho to hit the Codebreaker, but it only gets 2. Tag to Show, who misses a legdrop. Batista fires away, but gets caught and chokeslammed. Mysterio makes the save on the pin attempt. Show tags Jericho, who tries the Lionsault, but he misses and that lets Batista tag Mysterio. Jericho has also tagged so Mysterio has to face Show again, and he does well at first, using his speed advantage, but soon gets caught on a springboard. He escapes that though and runs Show to the corner, then follows with a DDT for 2. Show gets up and charges, but Mysterio low bridges him and he goes to the floor. Jericho is in, but he quickly gets set up for the 619. He is able to avoid it, but Mysterio still connects with Shown on the floor. Jericho charges, but gets backdropped into Show’s arms, where Batista is waiting with a spear for both of them. Show gets back in with Mysterio where he takes the 619, but comes off on his feet. Mysterio springboards off the top, but flies right into the Big Right Hand. That gets the pin for the champs to retain at 13:43. I wasn’t initially sold on the idea of Show and Jericho as a team, but the booking of them has been really well done and based on that I take back whatever disappointment I expressed. Hopefully they aren’t just going to drop the belts to DX now and go their separate ways. ***3/4
WWE Championship Hell in a Cell Match: John Cena vs. Randy Orton
Here we have another rematch from last month in one of our top matches. Cena gets the first shot in so Orton bails, but then lures him back in and goes to work. Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment out of nowhere, but Orton escapes and hits a belly to belly for 2. Slugfest if won by Cena and he hits a shoulderblock, but Orton ducks the second one. He knocks Cena off the apron to the cage and stomps him on the floor. Cena blocks another shot to the cage and runs Orton’s back to it. He then goes for the javelin spot, but Orton slips off and throws him to the steps. Orton then gets the steps in the ring and goes for the hanging DDT on them but Cena blocks it and then backdrops Orton to the floor. Cena goes to throw the steps at him, but Orton avoids it. Back in, Orton gets his neckbreaker for 2. He drops a knee, but then runs into a boot. Cena connects with the two shoulderblocks this time, followed by the Protobomb and the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He goes for the Attitude Adjustment, but Orton holds the ropes and then drops Cena on them. He then follows with the hanging DDT for 2. RKO try is next, but Cena blocks and hits the Attitude Adjustment. He covers, but Orton kicks out at 2. This leads to a Super AA, but Orton gets off and takes Cena down with an electric chair drop for 2. Orton then sets up a superplex, but Cena knocks him back. Cena goes for the top rope legdrop, but misses. Orton grabs a chair from under the ring and takes a couple of shots to the neck which leads to a cover for 2. He then sets the chair under Cena’s head, but misses a kneedrop on it. Cena hooks the STF with Orton managing to struggle to the ropes, but there’s no rope breaks here tonight. He manages to drag himself far enough out that Cena has to break though. In the ensuing struggle to get it back on, the ref gets bumped and doesn’t see Orton tap out. Cena breaks it again to revive the ref, but does it just in time to eat an RKO. He still manages to kick out at 2 though. Now Orton has had enough, so he ties Cena in the ropes and proceeds to choke him out. The fans weren’t really buying it though because all he was using was a plain old rear chinlock which is established in pro wrestling as nothing more then a resthold. The ref gets Cena free and he does sell it big so maybe that will help things in the end. He recovers slowly, but Orton connects (well, misses by quite a bit actually) with the punt and that puts Cena down for 3 at 21:25. Orton regains the Title again. So why did they even bother putting it back on Cena then? This was an alright match and if this were it I would be fine with it, but in three weeks at Bragging Rights, these guys are going to have an Ironman Match. I’m sure that they’ll be given every shortcut in the book, and probably many more that aren’t in the book to help them pull that one off, but talk about something that exactly no one was asking for. Here tonight though, they get ***.
R-Truth vs. Drew McIntyre
Another PPV debut here as I get my first look at McIntyre in a reviewing capacity. Unfortunately for him it’s in a total throwaway match so it’ll be hard to do anything meaningful. But they must have plans for the guy if Vince McMahon himself was involved in his introduction and that there’s nothing stereotypically Scottish about his character. McIntyre goes to a side headlock and sure enough the crowd is right on them with the “boring” chants. He gets sent off into a dropkick. Truth then follows with an ax kick and hiptoss for 1. McIntyre hides in the corner and while the ref holds Truth back he gets in a cheapshot. He works Truth over for a bit and hits a short clothesline for 1. The “boring” chant continues as their trading shots leads to a collision that puts both down. Truth gets a couple of clotheslines and a scissors kick for 2. Another kick misses but he still gets a rollup for 2. He mounts McIntyre for punches but gets slammed down and the McIntyre finishes with a double arm DDT at 4:39. This had No Chance In Hell, and McIntyre completely failed to impress here. ½*
Legacy has a moment in the locker room as Rhodes and Dibiase are confident for later on, but Orton lets them know they have no idea what they’re getting into. They were teasing a face turn for somebody here. It’ll probably end up being Rhodes because that’s who we would least suspect.
United States Championship Match: Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz vs. Jack Swagger
Kofi is now being announced from Ghana, which is where he’s actually from, but the Jamaican gimmick remains in effect anyways. He fights off both guys to start until finally getting clotheslined from behind by Swagger. Now Miz and Swagger get an alliance going, hitting a double elbow and double suplex. Miz cover for 2, but Swagger pulls him off. They control a bit longer before Miz turns on him. He hits clotheslines on both guys and then a double ax off the top on Swagger. Neckbreaker on Kofi gets 2. He then sets Kofi on top, but Swagger gets him down from behind and that allows Kofi to get a crossbody off the top for 2. He then covers Swagger for 1. Swagger drops him on the buckle and then tosses him into Miz. Belly to belly suplex follows and gets 2. Swagger gets Miz in the Tree of Woe and mocks him, but Kofi comes over and sends him to the buckle. Kofi the suplexes Miz off the top and covers him. Swagger goes for the pump splash to break it, but Kofi moves and Miz takes it. Swagger gets 2 from it, and the Kofi cradles Swagger for 2. Dropkick and clothesline setup the Boom Drop which gets another 2. Kofi spinkicks Swagger, but then takes the Skull Crushing Finale. Swagger makes the save at 2 on that one. After a couple of cradles, Swagger hits Miz with the gutwrench powerbomb, but then takes Trouble In Paradise from Kofi. Kofi covers Miz and gets the 3 count to retain at 7:56. Not bad, but nothing special either. ** No need to feel bad for Miz though. He goes on to win the Title in a one on one match tomorrow night on Raw.
Main Event, Hell in a Cell Match: Shawn Michaels & Triple H vs. Cody Rhodes & Ted Dibiase
Here we have our third and final HIAC match of the night and obviously they’ve deviated from their usual deal which is to have a Title match go on last. I don’t think that really matters anyway with the Titles meaning as little as they do these days, so whatever. Legacy attacks during the entrance and that turns things into a big brawl around ringside before the match even gets underway. Rhodes gets nailed with a monitor and suplexed on the announce table. Dibiase comes from behind on HHH and takes him down. Those two brawl into the crowd while Shawn and Rhodes continue around ringside. Rhodes gets whipped to the barrier, but then he gets the chain they use to lock the cage and he nails Shawn with it. He then goes to save Dibiase as he and HHH have made their way to the top of the ramp. They hit a double DDT and then Rhodes hits Crossrhodes to put HHH out. They go back down the ramp and focus their attention on Shawn now, slamming the door on his leg a couple of times. They get him in the cage and then Rhodes grabs the chain and padlocks the door from the inside making it a two on one situation. After all that, the bell finally rings to officially get the match underway. The beating is on as they hit a clothesline/clip combo that gets 2 in what would be their only pinfall attempt of the match. They focus on the knee early on here. Shawn comes back with an ensiguiri, but gets stomped back down. Rhodes posts the leg. Shawn throws a chair at him but Dibiase is right there to send him to the cage. Shawn actually gets quite a few comeback spots, but the other member of Legacy is always there to reinforce the numbers game. He even gets the flying forearm and Sweet Chin Music on Dibiase, but Rhodes saves and nails him with a chair. By this point HHH has recovered and is trying to break his way into the cage, but is having no luck. Dibiase and Rhodes continually stop to mock him rather then trying to win the match, and that ends up being their undoing. HHH heads to the back as the beating on Shawn continues and now they mock him for his partner having abandoned him. They even put Shawn in the same ringpost figure four/Million Dollar Dream spot from Breaking Point, but before he can give up, back comes HHH with a pair of bolt cutters. Now he gets in the cage and takes over. High knee for Rhodes! Facebuster for Dibiase! Spinebuster for Rhodes which sets up the Pedigree, but Dibiase saves his partner. Shawn attacks now and lays Dibiase out on the floor. A ref has brought a new chain out to lock the cage again, but this time HHH gets it. He wraps it around his fist and clocks Dibiase. He then hits the Pedigree and throws him out of the Cell, locking it from the inside again and leaving Rhodes as the two on one victim now. They make quick work of him of course. HHH hits a spinebuster, followed by Shawn hitting an elbow off the top with a chair around Rhodes’ neck. HHH pulls out a sledge hammer and they do a simultaneous shot with that and Sweet Chin Music to finish things off at 18:03. Post match sees the Cell rise up and Dibiase runs in to check on his partner, but he ends up taking Sweet Chin Music as well. This was a good match, but kinds hurt by the fact that you knew that HHH was somehow getting in and therefore the finish couldn’t come until that happened. I did like that unlike the other two matches, the cage played a major part in this one while the other two were just matches that happened to take place in the Cell rather that being actual Cell Matches. It looks like this issue may be over too as DX is seemingly on to a feud with Show and Jericho. ****
So, all in all, I think we have a pretty good show here. Nothing was off the charts great, but at the same time nothing sucked with the exception of the throwaway Truth/McIntyre match. It was enjoyable enough that I can call it a Thumbs Up, but these shows with three of the same gimmick match in one night are going to wear pretty thin sooner rather then later so hopefully they find something else to do.