Hell in a Cell featured eight matches that were solid or better, a return fans were eager for, but it had an unsatisfactory ending that tainted the show for many.
WWE gave many fans exactly what they wanted and put Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in the main event slot. And for 20 minutes, the fans were enthralled by their match. They battled inside, outside and on top of the cage.
They started by fighting on top of the cell, and as Rollins tried to escape down the side, both him and Ambrose fell off the cell from halfway up and went through tables. Once they both made it back into the cell -- after they had started to be stretchered away -- that's when the weapons came out, and they brutalized each other all around the structure. Chairs, kendo sticks, tables, and even a fire hydrant were used to inflict punishment. And it looked like Dean Ambrose would finally get his big revenge on Seth Rollins.
Then, that's when it all went wrong, both for Dean Ambrose, and for the fans.
As Dean Ambrose brought out cinder blocks, presumably to use to get revenge for what Seth Rollins did two months ago, the lights went out. Whispers, which could be described as demonic, or speaking in tongues, came over the speakers, and then a lantern with a holographic image over it went on in the ring, as smoke rose up. That's when Bray Wyatt struck. He attacked Ambrose, and Rollins was able to get the pin. As Rollins exited the cage, Wyatt continued the attack on Ambrose, hitting him with Sister Abigail, and kneeling over him as the show came to a close.
The first thing that needs to be mentioned is that the main event, as much as anything else, felt like an homage to the early Hell in a Cell matches. You had the two starting on top of the Cell just like Mankind and Undertaker in 1998. The fall off the side of the cage, and through the tables, looked like Shawn Michaels falling off the side of the cage in 1997. The stretchers coming out, and questions about the match continuing harkened back to '98 as well. And then of course the lights going off and Bray Wyatt coming back felt like when Kane showed up and cost Undertaker in '97.
But while they used the same device as 1997, I feel like this was implemented improperly here. For nearly five months, Rollins and Ambrose had been at each other's throats, and it had kept us captivated. It was a feud about pure hatred. It didn't need a belt or anything else to distract us from that.
This shouldn't be a feud that goes away without a conclusion. It shouldn't even be put on hold without some sort of resolution. Thinking about it purely from an in-character standpoint, why would Ambrose move from Rollins to Ambrose tomorrow? He's been telling us, and showing us, how much he hates Rollins for five months now. His revenge was taken from him. Why would he move on, even if he wants to also get back at Bray Wyatt now? There was no reason not to let this have some sort of decisive ending, and give the fans a conclusion to their emotional investment for the past five months.
It's not all bad. Ambrose and Wyatt should be a fantastic feud between two of the best men on the mic in the business today. But there's no reason they couldn't have held off Bray's attack until after the match, or even until RAW. And as it stands, a lot of people were disappointed, which is a shame considering Hell in a Cell was such a good show until the final few minutes.
The Rest of Hell in a Cell:
** John Cena is the No. 1 contender after he beat Randy Orton in the other Hell in a Cell match. This match was actually quite good, and despite the relative lack of interest going in, the crowd got into it. These two improved on their first Hell in a Cell match and actually used the structure well (which was a criticism of their first match back in 2009). Both wrestlers looked strong, and Randy Orton got to hit his RKO "out of nowhere" as a reversal to an AA. In the end, though, Cena came out on top, and he will get to face Brock Lesnar. Now, we just have to wait to find out when he'll get his shot.
** AJ beat Paige to retain the Divas title. This was a physical matchup that featured some brawling on the outside. At the end of the match, Paige tried to do a move off the outside barricade, and AJ knocked her off, resulting in Paige being laid out as AJ scampered back in the ring. Alicia Fox, who had accompanied Paige down to ringside, prevented Paige from being counted out by just rolling her back in the ring. AJ quickly took advantage and locked in the Black Widow for the win. After the match, Paige slapped Alicia and left.
** Sheamus beat The Miz in a decent match to retain the US title. It was a match that also provided many moments of comedy. Of course, Miz was accompanied by Damien Sandow (or Mizdow), who pantomimed everything that was happening to Miz on the outside. Miz ended up being hit with the Brogue Kick at the end, and while he was laying in the ring, Sandow got in there and laid next to him. Sheamus picked up Miz and started treating Miz as his own puppet, with Sandow repeating everything he did, including the YMCA.
** Rusev beat Big Show when Show passed out to the Accolade. During the match, Mark Henry came down, but he only got involved briefly when he jumped up on the apron and was immediately kicked off by Rusev. It was surprising how dominant Rusev looked, as I expected there to be some sort of dirty finish, but this match just made Rusev look even stronger.
** Nikki Bella beat Brie Bella, to make Brie her assistant for the next month. While many expected this match to be a disaster, it actually was a passable divas match. Nikki's new style as a powerhouse suits her, and it allows her to keep her matches basic, but solid overall.
** The Dusts beat The Usos to retain the tag-team titles. Like their other encounters, this was a good match, but very little we hadn't seen before from these two teams. It seems like this will end their feud, but the question is where the Dusts go from here, as there aren't a lot of fair tag teams left. Maybe Big Show and Mark Henry will team together for a bit and go after the gold.
** Dolph Ziggler retained the Intercontinental Title in a solid, if relatively unspectacular, 2 out of 3 falls match against Cesaro. Ziggler won two falls to none. It does seem like they've gone against the normal trend of having every one of those matches end up 2-1. While I thought the match, overall, was unspectacular, there was one fantastic spot where Cesaro held up Ziggler in an awkward position and was able to superplex him.
What were your thoughts on Hell in a Cell, particularly the main event? Leave them in the comment section or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster