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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 wweshop.com 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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