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Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE Hell in a Cell Review with Match Ratings and Show Grade
By Mr. Tito
Oct 25, 2015 - 10:54:34 PM

Follow Mr. Tito on @titowrestling

Welcome, one and all, to the INSTA-COLUMN edition of Mr. Tito's Excellence in Column Writing exclusively here at / As has become standard practice with this column, for the most part, I'm writing the column LIVE as the event occurs and posting it immediately thereafter. Thus, consider the context of how this column was posted... Immediate reaction and satisfaction!

Heading into the show, my expectations were pretty high... I liked many of the match-ups and looked especially forward to Undertaker/Lesnar round 3. Overall for 2015, it has been a pretty satisfying Pay Per View year for the WWE. That's what they should strive for if the WWE wants to keep moving WWE Network subscriptions. As critical as we could be about Seth Rollins and how RAW has performed with him on top, you cannot deny that 2015 has been Seth's year for in-ring wrestling. He has brought amazing performances to the table for the 2015 Pay Per View slate. Goes to show you where the ultimate failure resides and that's with WWE Creative for being unable to hype and market him while also hiding some of his legitimate character weaknesses.

With WWE now having consistently good Pay Per Views, I'm beginning to rethink my role as a wrestling fan... I could possibly SKIP Monday Night RAW entirely. Why not? It's just 3 hours of filler crap that hypes what I'll be watching on the WWE Network anyway. Even with the 1.5 Hulu version of RAW, the show is getting tedious. The LACK of a strong midcard is devouring the base of the WWE while the Rollins/Authority storyline has been a snore. If you watch Pay Per Views only, you can avoid the madness of a poorly booked 3 hour or 1.5 hour RAW show. I'm seriously considering it as the NXT weekly show is beginning to impress me... I could just watch whatever is on WWE Network and that would be fine by me... And WWE would win because they are getting my $9.99 while other suckers still endure the RAW show.

Onto the Hell in a Cell review:

Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE Hell in a Cell 2015 Pay Per View Review

I missed much of the pre-game show because I just got home and took a while to get the spawns of Tito ready for bed. Plus, the WWE Network was cutting out during the Ziggler/Cesaro/Neville vs. Barrett/Rusev/Sheamus match so NO COMMENT here. My Twitter users said Cesaro looked quite good and the crowd, once again, was really into him. Gee, imagine that... But that won't get noticed, as usual. We've had YEARS of that activity and Vince McMahon has deemed that Cesaro has failed to grab the "brass ring". In case you're reading my column for results, Cesaro/Neville/Ziggler won the match and Neville got the pin. Cool...

John Cena starts off the show with his US Title Open Challenge and the surprise opponent is... Well, Zeb Colter comes out on a scooter and rips Cena before introducing his opponent: ALBERTO DEL RIO. Wow... And he's looking LEAN, MEAN, BUFFED, and JACKED (© Joel Gertner) for his match. Del Rio looks possessed and the fans are quite happy to have him back. In my opinion, Del Rio is a tremendous in-ring worker... Like others, such as Sheamus, they are overpushed and turned from heel/face at the wrong time. However, time can heel everything... With the WWE wanting to dig deep into the Hispanic market, expect a big PUSH to be coming again... Is Del Rio up for it and will the WWE do it correctly? Doesn't hurt to have Zeb Colter managing him and trying to help him get heat... Male managers work, yo...

Either way, this is a good surprise... Nobody saw it coming, although WWE was reportedly trying to pull Del Rio away from Lucha Underground. Their chemistry was a bit off to start the match, but they didn't make any major mistakes together. The crowd seemed to be heavily into the match and were appreciative of his return. Match got better with time but then out of no where, Alberto Del Rio reverses the Attitude Adjustment into a backstabber and then hits a kick to Cena's face for the 100% clean win. I was expecting Zeb Colter to run over Cena with that motorized scooter but nope... 100% clean. And Del Rio wrestled like a babyface yet he shook Colter's hand afterward. Hmmm... Not a bad opener but both could give us better with several weeks of working together. Chemistry just wasn't there and it's too shockingly clean for Alberto Del Rio considering how others have struggled against John Cena. So let me get this straight... Seth Rollins can reverse the Attitude Adjustment several times and fail to win but Del Rio only has to reverse it once? Hmmm... [ ** 3/4 ]

Backstage, HHH/Stephanie are like "now that's how you start a show" and Seth Rollins steps in to kiss their butts to agree. Then, Kane joins to remind us of the stupid stipulation for their match later.

Kevin Dunn's video packages to hype Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns are way better than watching the actual RAW episodes as those events happen. That's why you pay Mr. Dunn big bucks... Good at polishing turds from the production truck!

Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns is the second match and it's a HELL IN A CELL match. This match should be considered as quite vital to the careers of both wrestlers here, particularly Reigns. Vince McMahon wants to push him as the #1 star so badly. Early on, Roman took the upper hand with lots of slap punches and knees to the corner. Bray Wyatt introduces the Kendo Stick to help make things interesting. Brutal shots there... Bray even gets a chair out, sits on it, and just whacks Reigns while taunting him. Nice... Bray would later throw Reigns into the fence where the Kendo Stick was lodge and the impact snapped the stick! Some audible "Wyatt" chants started... More Kendo Sticks, as Reigns pulls TWO from the ring. Who on earth stores those things there? I mean, at least show a GTV of both competitors sneaking weapons under the ring before the match (I'm showing my age with that "GTV" reference). Now, tables... Not a bad idea... If you can't wow a crowd with in-ring wrestling, put on the daredevil hat and perform some dangerous stunts. BRUTAL Rock Bottom like move on the side of the ring and onto a table by Bray Wyatt onto Roman Reigns. Amazing impact on that slam! Holy damn! Later, Bray Wyatt wanted to reference his uncle with a Super Plex but through a table but Roman Reigns fought it off to get to the apron and powerbomb Wyatt through the table! Damn! Now that the BIG SPOTS have been hit, the crowd is fully invested in this match... Good formula. Several close finishes here with a Sister Abigail reversal and the Superman Punch, 2 counts only. SPEAR through the table on the outside! Wyatt eventually regains and hits a Sister Abigail on a nice reversal.... 2 count only. Wyatt tries to set up Kendo Sticks in the corner to impail Reigns but Reigns fights that off and hits the Spear for the win. They brought it, folks... Good for them and their careers at this point. [ **** 1/2 ]

Well booked match there between Wyatt and Reigns... To help mask any in-ring deficiencies, they opted for both wrestlers doing a high impact hardcore match with many close finishes. Those BIG SPOTS got the fans' attention and they were fully invested in anything that Wyatt/Reigns tried. This match delivered huge and it's a much needed resume bullet point for both guys in the WWE. I could imagine this match warranting several "Match of the Year" candidate consideration although the match was heavily dependent on the big table spots to spice up the match. But hey, those spots worked and it's a lesson learned by many in the business who are just starting out. Hardys/Edge/Christian learned that at No Mercy 1999 and Triple H even learned that at Royal Rumble 2000 to boost his main event role.

"25 Years of the Undertaker" hyped for Survivor Series 2015... Whoa... We get him for another month?

No Xavier Woods is like robbing pancakes of their syrup... New Day vs. Dudley Boyz is next. However, Big E and Kofi are doing well on the microphone as they've been chiming in with Xavier for the past few weeks and practice has helped. Good formula tag match... D-Von became "face in peril" and took a brutal move in the corner. Nice oldschool heel move by Kofi as he tossed the broken Trombone to Bubba Ray and sold an injury to the referee... Almost worked. Eventually, Big E used that Trombone to blast Bubba and Kofi hit his kick to get the win. Nice, cheap win... You want to know why the New Day is getting over even without Xavier Woods tonight? They TALK LIKE HEELS and they WALK LIKE HEELS. They talk smack on their opponents and the crowds while cheating whenever they can to retain the titles. That's how pro wrestling works... Heat! [ *** 1/4 ]

Cool WWE 2K16 commercial... I still insist that the 2K game cover with Steve Austin means that he'll wrestle at Wrestlemania 32.

Next match is Nikki Bella vs. Charlotte for the Divas Title. Say what you will, but I love the Bellas theme song... Both competitors upped their fashion sense tonight, too... Some back and forth brawling to start. Poor ladies in the ring as a "We Want Sasha" chant breaks out. Oh boy. Nikki is aggressively going after the back on this match and the announcers are there to tell you repeatedly about it. Good job, Michael Cole. Nikki also returns to being a submission specialist on the legs again... Sigh. We did see some nice athleticism by Charlotte with a pretty sick reversal out of a Suplex and also pulling up out of the backslide. Although the crowd didn't notice it, nice slingslot spot by Nikki where Charlotte hit the ropes and then came down on Nikki's knees. Charlotte collapsed attempting a suplex, selling the backwork, and Nikki continues working on the back. Master psychologist, Nikki! Charlotte can deliver a CHOP and John better be careful grabbing those later on... Charlotte's nose appears busted and may have a broken nose. Odd looking spot where Nikki appeared to be going for a German Suplex and Charlotte reversed it? Actually looked more like a blown spot for the way Nikki fell and the crowd agreed with me from their silence... DEADLY Alabama Slam on the Apron as delivered by Nikki on Charlotte. I've never seen that before! OUCH! Rack Attack attempt by Nikki but Charlotte reversed that and rolled into a Figure 4 and then Figure 8 set up for the tapout win. Charlotte won a decent women's match, although the fans weren't much into it. Had its issues but I think the Creative part of the Divas Division is killing any heat these ladies could draw. [ ** 1/2 ]

That piano version of the Undertaker's theme song is AMAZING as we hype "25 Years of the Undertaker" for Survivor Series 2015 again.

Backstage, Dean Ambrose is there to give congrats to Roman Reigns on his match. Dean Ambrose hints at something "we know what's next" and Reigns says we'll address that later.

Bill Simmons and Seth Green are at ringside... Speaking of Simmons, have you guys notices the mass exodus at ESPN right now? Yikes... No wonder they are attempting to cover WWE events and give WWE coverage now. The costs of the NFL, NBA, MLB, and College Football are breaking budgets along with multiple 24/7 Sports Channels challenging ESPN now. Oh, and many youngsters cutting the cord on Cable is crushing ESPN as well as viewership is down. Quite fascinating to see where many of the ESPN talents are turning up. It's like the "Monday Night Wars" for sports cable channels, I guess.

Kane vs. Seth Rollins is up next... FINGER OF SHAME to the WWE for having Seth Rollins come out first despite him being WWE Champion. This kind of disrespect, along with repeat losses to John Cena, will never get a new face over as a main eventer. Michael Cole makes mention of Kane being in the WWE for 18 years now. Yep, and Kane is still able to dominate 18 years later and keep younger talents down. Match has no heat to start as it's a big lumbering Kane and Seth Rollins trying to bump when he can. The storyline sucks and that's why it has no heat... Kane is sucking wind throughout the match and can barely get that leg up for big boots. So sad... Lesson of Hell in a Cell 2015... When you're match needs help, USE THE TABLES! Sidewalk slam for Rollins on the announcer table and then Kane tries to hit a chokeslam on that table but Seth Rollins reverses it and powerbombs Kane on top of the table. I would say "through", but Kane more or less bounced off the table instead of breaking it. Beautiful flying knee by Seth Rollins and then a second by Seth Rollins. 2 kicks and then froggy splash, not enough... "Eddie" chants break out, nice work crowd. Rollins fends off a Chokeslam, hits a Pedigree, and then pins Kane. OH THANK GOD, the "Director of Operations" gimmick is OVER! And when I say "over", I mean FINISHED and DONE. Bad match, though, and it's time to reduce Kane's role on the roster from Main Eventer to Midcarder. Just doesn't have it and he's just older... [ * 1/2 ]

I'll repeat what I've said before... I have no problems with raising Breast Cancer Awareness in the WWE. They mention it often and probably gives it a bit overkill, but if that allows for more money to be raised to somehow either raise awareness of breast cancer or to help research a cure, I'm for it. Thus, I won't bash it...

Highlights of the Pre-Game show match are shown... Neville's Red Arrow and Cesaro's Giant Swing looked quite impressive.

Ryback vs. Kevin Owens is up next for the Intecontinental Title. Huh? So the WWE can respect Owens by letting him, as champion, come out second but not Seth Rollins?!? I do applaud the WWE for giving these guys an extensive midcard program together. If only the WWE gave their midcard and Intercontinental Title more attention, midcard feuds would get more over. Instead, both guys were once pushed to challenge big name wrestlers and wrestling for the Intercontinental Title seems like a downgrade for both. Ryback is mostly slamming Owens around with Owens getting in a few shots (nice superkick on the apron)... Eventually, Owens fights off Ryback enough to hit his Powerbomb move for the win. Clean win, GOOD. Let's be done with this feud because the in-ring chemistry is not there. Give Owens an extensive feud with someone like Cesaro or Ziggler, please. Maybe Neville. [ * 3/4 ]

And now... THE MAIN EVENT. Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker, HELL IN A CELL. Entrances are impressive and seeing these two in the Cell together is quite an honor. Last time we'll ever get to see this, so good or bad, it has been an honor. Great idea, in my opinion, to have this match NOW rather than at Wrestlemania 32. "Suplex City" and "Undertaker" dueling chants start as both Brock and Taker act like blind men at an orgy as they going to have to feel things out... Lesnar wants to hit a German but Taker does whatever he can to avoid it, even causing Lesnar to fly out of the ring. Once again, the RING POST is Lesnar's biggest foe and Undertaker reverses an F5 on the outside to push Lesnar into the post. Looks like the Rocky 4 formula works well for Lesnar/WWE matches... WWE physician checks on Lesnar. Hmmm... Bleeding doesn't seem to phase Lesnar, though. He starts to dominate Undertaker and crushes him with a chairshot that the production truck replayed about 3 times. Suplex City is crushing the Undertaker with 3 Germans and then an F5 but 2 Count Only. WWE physician is in the ring for a second time to check on Lesnar... Uh oh. Lesnar tosses the physician, LOL, and then delivers another F5 to Undertaker. 2 count only, though. Steel steps used on the Undertaker, 2 count only. Lesnar continues to dominate but can't put Taker away... Then, Lesnar notices the ring apron has a tear and begins to tear up the ring by removing some padding. Undertaker gets up and chokeslams Lesnar on the "exposed" ring which is clearly shown as boards. What, that half inch pad didn't hurt before? Lesnar is staggering after that and Undertaker hits a Tombstone on Lesnar on that exposed area (actually, about 6 inches off) and it's a 2 count only. Crowd is HIGHLY emotional... Lesnar destroys Undertaker's dong with a LOW BLOW and then hits the F5 on the exposed area for the 1, 2, 3... Lesnar wins! [ **** ] Another great match, although not as good as the SummerSlam battle with a lot of downtime between the moves and the match was very one-sided in favor of Lesnar.

After the match, both sell the wear and tear from the match and the announcers declare Lesnar as being more unstoppable by winning this feud. OK... Standing ovation from the Hell in a Cell crowd with a "Thank You Taker" as well. They cheered him on as he fought sitting up. Great career from that guy and it's amazing to me how he can still deliver the BIG MATCH at his age. Take note, Kane... Undertaker is truly one of the greatest of all time, no doubt in my mind.

BUT WE'RE NOT DONE YET! The Wyatt Family, ALL FOUR OF THEM, arrive and are ready to attack the Undertaker. Yep... Revenge for Wrestlemania, makes sense. I like it... Good ol' gang beating and then the Wyatts carry Undertaker away from the ring. Interesting... And there are 4 of them just before Survivor Series, the 25th anniversary of the Undertaker's debut. Hmmm...

LAST WORD: Overall, another GOOD WWE Pay Per View. 2015 continues to give WWE good luck on their Pay Per View shows. Why? Because they are letting the wrestlers wrestle. RAW has become the place of DOING NOTHING but waiting for the Pay Per Views to happen. It's quite evident, though, that the WWE has to rework a few talents such as the Divas Division, Kane, and Ryback. They are in need of a creative mind and if only the WWE employed a few former creative minds on their roster (Colter, Heyman, etc.). Good return for Alberto Del Rio, nice cheap win for New Day, and Lesnar/Undertaker delivered another good match... But the REAL STORY is how Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns stepped up and delivered a blockbuster match. Expect the MEGA PUSH of Roman Reigns to commence and maybe a little bit of love for Wyatt too. But hey, that's what happens when you step up and seize the opportunity. Good show with a handful of good to great matches and some subpar ones. [ B+ ]



Hell in a Cell themed questions this week...

QUESTION #1: What is the BEST Hell in a Cell match? (BEFORE TONIGHT)

I always like the original, as most noticed from my On This Day in Pro Wrestling History praising the No Mercy 1999 Tag Team Ladder match as the best ever one of those... Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels at WWE In Your House: Badd Blood 1997 is the best Hell in a Cell match, in my opinion. The whole match's gimmick is that YOU CANNOT ESCAPE which was the psychology of the match. At the previous Pay Per View, In Your House: Ground Zero 1997, tons of Degeneration X interference created that need to cage Michaels and Undertaker inside the ring. Thus, HBK could not run from the Undertaker and Undertaker could finally get revenge for that chairshot at SummerSlam 1997 that started this great feud. Great one-on-one battle and the end result gave us Kane debuting, ripping off the cage door, and Tombstoning (albeit poorly) a surprised and stunned Undertaker that his "brother" survived a fire during their childhood. Great match and an epic ending, all around great.

Most will say Mankind vs. Undertaker from WWE King of the Ring 1998 but I would say that match produced better moments than say move-by-move. Take away Foley's 2 dangerous falls from the cage, it becomes a standard hardcore match (although nobody uses thumbtack's to this match's credit).

I know that I'm disagreeing with the "Best There is, Was, and Ever Will Be" Bret Hart on this match assessment but I really like Undertaker vs. Triple H from Wrestlemania 28. Add Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee and the "sense of urgency" to finally overcome the Undertaker to end the Wrestlemania streak, and you have a ton of emotion building in this match. Many critics of this match, including old bitter Bret, try to suggest that it wasn't a wrestling clinic but they fail to realize that in-ring performance is just part of a wrestling match. Go watch Chris Benoit vs. Dean Malenko from WCW Hog Wild 1996... It's an amazing in-ring match but since neither guy had any connection with fans (including Bikers there at that event), that match had ZERO heat. Undertaker vs. HHH was a good match but the pure emotion of finally overcoming the streak between HHH/HBK pushed that match to higher levels.

I personally like Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar Hell in a Cell match at WWE No Mercy 2002, as it was wrestled the way the match was intended... INSIDE THE CAGE. And clean win by the Brock Lesnar here. Most point to the SummerSlam 2002 match against the Rock as being important to Brock Lesnar's career but this win was damn important too.

Gotta say it... Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns was a very good Hell in a Cell match that we'll have to assess with time.


QUESTION #2: What was the WORST Hell in a Cell match?

I'm not a fan of Undertaker vs. Big Bossman at Wrestlemania 15 and probably consider that the worst "pure" Hell in a Cell match. But since the big cage was used, I consider the WWE Unforgiven 1999 match between Al Snow vs. Big Bossman to be the worst one. Poor Big Bossman... For those who haven't seen it, please log into your WWE Network and see this disaster. The match's title was called KENNEL FROM HELL and I did not make that up.

The premise for the match was a Cage-within-a-Cage, as you had the Hell in a Cell surrounding the ring and then another cage attached to the ring itself. Between the 2 cages and on the floor were DOGS. That's right... DOGS. The whole idea of the match was that if you escaped the first cage, you had to endure the hostility of dogs on the outside in attempt of escaping the Hell in a Cell cage. However, the dogs didn't care... They were probably as bored of that Pay Per View as most fans were in attendance. Zero hostility from them on the outside as they were busy pissing or crapping on the outside instead. Lucky for them, as the WWE put Al Snow and Big Bossman in real workplace danger of any of the dogs attacked them.

How did that match happen, you further ask? Well, Al Snow and Big Bossman were feuding and as a means to ramp up the heat of the feud, the Big Bossman was booked to steal Al Snow's dog "Pepper" and convert the dog into food for Al Snow to eat. Seriously... Big Bossman fed Al Snow his dog to eat! That idiotic and sick storyline created the need to have a KENNEL from HELL. I'm willing to bet that WCW didn't follow this storyline or watch this match when they stole WWE's head writer of this madness shortly thereafter. The quality of WWE's storylines were quickly diminishing following Wrestlemania 15 and they were just riding the fumes of Austin, Rock, and Mick Foley's star power at that point.


QUESTION #3: Should WWE bring back War Games?

For those who do not know what "War Games" is, it was a concept created by the late NWA/WCW Booker Dusty Rhodes and it was quite fantastic. There were actually TWO rings set-up side-by-side with a Cage surrounding both. There would be 2 teams usually consisting of 4 or 5 wrestlers each but they were introduced one by one, much like you see in the Royal Royal match today. Thus, the teams can have a mismatch for a while... The psychology of the match is to wear down the teams until the real match begins. Once all 8 or 10 wrestlers are in the ring, the match's result would be determined if ONE wrestler from the teams either (a) gets knocked out or (b) submits (or any team member can call the match). All it takes is one...

The last "true" War Games match was in 1997 when Curt Hennig did his famous heel turn on the Four Horsemen and brutalized Ric Flair with the cage door. I still cringe looking at that... WCW went on to have different variations but it was "meh".

In my opinion, WWE could try War Games with a Hell in a Cell cage, but the beauty of WCW's War Games was that it was mostly opposing stables of wrestlers with a real legitimate score to settle. Now, you'd have the Authority... Oh wait. Maybe a team going up against the 4 person Wyatt Family? WWE sort of had a singles-version of War Games with the Elimination Chamber... Good chance that War Games won't happen on the WWE main roster because it was a WCW idea and Vince McMahon doesn't like using those historically.

HOWEVER - I would suggest using it for NXT. NXT's booking and character development infrastructure was built up by Dusty Rhodes. That's why the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team tournament was so meaningful to many wrestlers there. Thus, why not use it for NXT instead? Problem is for NXT is that Stables are non-existent as far as I can see to have this match. Sure, you can just stack heels and faces on teams, but what is the score to settle?


QUESTION #4: Where would we be if Dean Ambrose BEAT Seth Rollins at Hell in a Cell 2014?

You mean, actually payoff on that revenge feud? It's always funny to me how Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns were completely denied seeking revenge against Rollins who brutally attacked them with chairs on the RAW that followed WWE Payback 2014. Dean and Roman didn't even acknowledge each other at all on television following the Rollins heel turn. One would think that Ambrose/Reigns would remain a team and both go after Rollins. Oh no. Reigns was placed in multiple WWE Title matches and Dean Ambrose had hurdle after hurdle placed in front of him when trying to chase Rollins. That made sense... But the events of Hell in a Cell 2014 made no sense. In a match that should have been a payoff for Ambrose to FINALLY get revenge on Rollins, Bray Wyatt randomly attacks and ruins that opportunity. Dean would pretty much get owned by Wyatt for the next few months.

Obviously, the WWE would have given birth to a new babyface sensation that they could build and build in the upper-midcard along with continuing to build Seth Rollins as a heel in that position as well. They could have kept feuding, why not? At minimum, Dean could have won the Intercontinental Title and defended it well to end 2014. Think about this as a fact... For the last 6 months of 2014, there were SIX Intercontinental Champions (one per month, when dividing). And let it NOT be like Ambrose's joke of a United States Title reign that spanned 351 days between 2013-2014 where he barely defended the title.

Instead, we have a Dean Ambrose who has barely won a Pay Per View since that Shield break-up and furthermore, Seth Rollins has LACKED opponents with babyface star power aside from John Cena. And that includes Dean Ambrose who must now be creatively built up if he's to be salvaged. WWE Creative picked the wrong Shield member to push as a top babyface, at least for 2014-2015, and as a result, the WWE has its work cut out to repair an overpushed Roman Reigns and an underpushed Dean Ambrose.


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