WWE Hell in a Cell 2012: What We Learned from This Year's PPV
A week ago, I thought Hell in a Cell was going to be an epic fail.
I even wrote about it.
I was hoping it would be better than advertised. I even thought the PPV needed John Cena to be successful.
Are you serious?
Of all the things I have seen with WCW and Charles Robinson, and now with the match between CM Punk and Ryback, nothing compares to the low blow and the win by CM Punk.
Make that 344 days and counting.
The ending was terrible, and the fact Ryback stood atop the cell after giving "Shellshock" to Punk spoke volumes of what direction this company will be taking.
And all of us thought Brock Lesnar would make an appearance.
Hell in a Cell this year will be remembered for the minutes that changed the WWE heading into Survivor Series.
The PPV itself was good but not great, probably a B- grade for the night.
While we saw a new World Champion crowned and great matches by the divas (yes I said that) and Kofi Kingston and The Miz, there was still something lacking and now, there are plenty of questions to be answered.
Here is what we learned from this year's PPV.
This May Be the Last Time Randy Orton Is a Fan Favorite
We are still waiting for Orton to make the change he so desperately desires.
But until then, we had to watch him in the match against the Mexican Aristocrat, Alberto Del Rio.
Del Rio and Orton are a boring combination and it showed. The former World Champions would have been better in matches separate from each other.
Wade Barrett and Orton make a more compelling feud.
The match was better than it should have been, but it still lacked something.
Glad to see Orton get the win.
Alberto Del Rio Needs a Makeover
Gallo Images/Getty Images
We are tiring of Del Rio's shtick.
While he sells well for his opponents and he is a good technician, he is mainly one dimensional.
A new style, a new announcer, just something. And a female accompanying him to the ring would be awesome (Rosa Mendes).
It would be odd, but what if it is Del Rio who shocks us all and makes a face turn when Orton, if it happens, eventually turns to the dark side.
But it just might work.
It Started out as a Great Tag Team Match
When the match between Team 'Hell No' and Team 'Road Scholar's started, it was everything it was built up to be.
Then it broke down.
Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow will be future Tag Team champions, but the debates between Kane and Daniel Bryan reared their ugly heads and it overtook the match.
This was a match that should have continued without the drama.
I would have liked to have seen a real winner without a disqualification. These four guys have great chemistry in the ring.
Hopefully the next match between the four will be just as good, minus the "crazy" play between the current champions.
Daniel Bryan Is the Best in the Business Today
Gallo Images/Getty Images
It's just an opinion.
After watching Bryan in the tag team match, I am convinced Bryan is a great tag team champion, but he is more suited for a singles title.
Watching him with both Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow in the ring proves his size is an advantage when he is the ring.
I would love to see him as a face challenging CM Punk again.
The Miz Is the Best Heel in the WWE
Regardless of the fact he lost the Intercontinental Title Match against Kofi Kingston, The Miz gets better and better with each match.
Remember, he was left for dead earlier this year before Money in the Bank (he had just shot a film) and when he came back to the WWE, he has been red hot.
The feud with Kingston is a breath of fresh air.
While Miz lost, which may be a good thing, it just means he will continue his path toward greatness and maybe another title chance.
I would love to see him face Daniel Bryan or maybe John Cena down the road.
Kofi Kingston Deserves a Run at the World Title
Or maybe the WWE Title.
Kingston, in the words of the late Gordon Solie, is "quick, he's sudden."
While we could possibly see Kingston as the perennial face like a Rick Steamboat, his acrobatic moves and his energy makes him a worthy champion and one who would be a fan-favorite, should he capture WWE Title gold.
Whether that happens however remains to be seen.
Antonio Cesaro Is a Beast
Just like JBL said, it is hard to take a title from a champion.
I look at Cesaro and see Billy Robinson and Vern Gagne all in one, with a mean streak like Ivan Koloff.
The match with Justin Gabriel (who I think needs the push he is getting), shows Cesaro can wrestle men who are quick and flashy.
With that uppercut, shades of Dory Funk, Jr., Cesaro proved he is still the man to beat with the title.
What a faceplant.
The Announcers Did Not Work Tonight
I have been complaining for months to have Jim Ross back in the announcers set at the desk with Michael Cole, and now with JBL.
Tonight, it lacked something.
JBL and Michael Cole are a good duo, but three at the desk was a little too much. The chemistry wasn't as impressive as it could have been, and it looked like Ross was the weakest link.
And I think the more JBL is on camera, the better he gets with his insight. Sometimes, it just works for former wrestlers.
I will be curious to see if this continues, although it has been used on Raw lately and should continue.
I personally do not like the idea of three.
Two work just fine.
Love the Idea of More Than One Tag Team Match on the PPV
The Prime Time Players vs. Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio.
I'm curious to see how the WWE continues to build the tag team division with teams like these.
'The Players' use their strength and power, and the great 'Luchadors' use their speed and quickness.
It was a good match. Not a great match, but a good match.
Sin Cara is lucky he did not break his neck.
Big Show Has Never Looked Better
Not many wrestlers can say they got better with age.
Big Show is one of them.
There are few big wrestlers who can dominate like he does, and he is intimidating as hell.
And he won the World Title.
This was actually one of Show's better performances in a title match, although he endured a battle at the end from Sheamus—one in which both wrestlers kicked out of their finishing moves (shades of Stone Cold and The Rock).
It was that good.
And now, it remains to be seen who can challenge the big man for the title.
Forget the idiocy of Zack Ryder and Santino Marella.
Seeing Ron Simmons for 30 seconds was worth its weight in gold.
Yes, it was that damn good.
Viva La Diva
I loved the Triple Threat Match between Eve, Layla and Kaitlyn.
And it was a decent match. Maybe the WWE is on the right track with these three ladies leading the Divas Division.
While it looks like Layla and Kaitlyn are primed for the challenge of helping to carry the torch of the company in this division, other ladies need to step up (AJ ?).
But the match was a great start to what could be something very good coming into the new year.
What Happened to Dolph Ziggler?
Didn't he proclaim he would cash in his MITB contract at Hell in a Cell?
It did not happen.
It also means the WWE must have some other plan for him in the coming months.
Does this also mean that someone else will be leading his charge in the near future?
Could someone like Paul Heyman lure him away from Vickie Guerrero, or maybe Ric Flair will take over as his manager should he return to the WWE?
But it is about to get pretty interesting.
Win by Any Means Necessary
The fact CM Punk weakened the big man was impressive.
But in the end, you knew there would be a shocker to help Punk win. Ryback was making it look too easy.
I really thought (and so did everyone else in the world) Brock Lesnar would show up and get involved.
I also thought John Cena would get into the match somehow.
Now, come Monday, we deal with a rogue referee (like Nick Patrick and Charles Robinson in WCW), a champion who holds the title for almost an entire year but does not deserve the title and an angry beast.
Makes for great drama.
It also means we probably will see Vince McMahon again tomorrow night.
Let's all tune in and see what happens.