Last night, WWE presented their fourth annual Hell in a Cell pay-per-view live from the Phillips Arena in Atlanta.
Despite an extremely dead crowd, the show succeeded in providing some quality wrestling throughout the night, as well as a handful of shockers by the night's end.
Here, I will analyze each significant segment presented on the show.
I will also provide a combination of aftermath and wishful thinking about what I hope to see in the coming weeks.
John Cena Addresses the AJ Controversy During the Pre-Show
Basic pre-show segment featuring John Cena, Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler. The questions that Cena answered were pretty lame, as were his answers, but it was exactly what you'd expect.
Nothing more was furthered in the Cena-AJ angle, but they managed to hype it for tomorrow's Raw.
I figured Ziggler's attack on Cena would lead to a match later in the night, but I'm glad they're saving that money matchup for a later date.
Randy Orton def. Alberto Del Rio
Excellent match between Randy Orton and Alberto Del Rio. As uninteresting as their feud has been for some people, they have excellent chemistry in the ring.
There was one botched spot from Del Rio towards the end that came off awkward, but it was quickly forgotten about with the very cool finish of Orton hitting an RKO on Del Rio as he missed his running kick in the corner.
The win doesn't do much to Orton, but it made sense since the commentators stressed throughout the match that Orton might've lost his edge.
Rhodes Scholars def. WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No via Disqualification
Team Hell No successfully defended their WWE Tag Team Championships against Rhodes Scholars. All four guys are great workers, but the dead crowd dragged down the match's excitement.
There were some good spots, but the finish with Kane getting disqualified was weak. As long as it means that the feud between the two tandems continues, then I'm content.
Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston def. The Miz
Great match with Kofi Kingston defeating The Miz to successfully retain his Intercontinental Championship.
Aside from the dead crowd, one major reason I didn't care much for this match was the fact that the feud has been so rushed over the last two weeks.
That being said, the action was pretty good, but not as good as their match from Main Event last week.
Even still, it's a nice win for Kingston, and the post-match promo helped make his victory feel important.
United States Champion Antonio Cesaro def. Justin Gabriel
Flat match between United States Champion Antonio Cesaro and Justin Gabriel.
It was expected to be booking following Gabriel's non-title victory over Cesaro on last week's Raw, but the crowd couldn't care less for this match.
Don't get me wrong, the action was fine for what it was, but the only thing that excited anyone watching was the uppercut from Cesaro at ringside.
However, I appreciate the effort in expanding the feud to pay-per-view and allowing both foreigners to work for a substantial amount of time, despite it mostly being utilized for filler.
Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara def. Prime Time Players
Fun tag team match with Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara defeating the Prime Time Players.
Unlike the previous matchup, the two tandems made good use of the time they were given, while keeping the crowd's interest.
They had good chemistry, and the bout's final moments were enjoyable. They were able to wake the Atlanta crowd up somewhat and resume the feud they had going prior to Mysterio's illness.
Big Show def. Sheamus to Win the World Heavyweight Championship
Strong match with Big Show defeating Sheamus to win the World Heavyweight Championship. The action was both intense and physical, with both giants coming off as absolute monsters.
Show getting the better of Sheamus throughout the bout made Sheamus' eventual comeback feel much more meaningful, which electrified the crowd. The kicking out of each other's finishers was well done and added suspense to the contest.
Show winning clean via the Weapon of Mass Destruction was a pleasant surprise and definitely made up for the poor booking in recent months that had done damage to his character.
Sheamus was growing stale as World Heavyweight Champion, and this is a breath of fresh air that will make the World Title picture much more interesting. I was also shocked to see Dolph Ziggler not even tease cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase, but it wasn't the right time anyway.
I hope to see Ziggler successfully cash in at some point, but that will probably be once Show is done with the Celtic Warrior by the end of the year at the latest.
Divas Champion Eve def. Layla and Kaitlyn in a Triple Threat
Decent Triple Threat match with Eve defeating Kaitlyn and Layla to retain the Divas Championship. This was one of the better wrestled Diva matches that we've seen in recent months, as all three competitors meshed nicely.
Of course, the crowd didn't care much for the contest, but that's understandable.
Eve maintaining possession of the strap was the best move, as I see Kaitlyn eventually contending for the belt while Layla is removed from the title picture.
WWE Champion CM Punk def. Ryback inside Hell in a Cell
Solid Hell in a Cell match between WWE Champion CM Punk and Ryback. Granted, they hardly utilized the cell structure, but the action itself was actually pretty good.
They kept a consistent pace and both were able to score offense while it lasted. It was a bit shorter than what I would've hoped, but it was still effective.
Smart booking by having the referee screw Ryback and help Punk retain the WWE title in fluky fashion. It allows Punk to maintain his lengthy reign as champ while Ryback's loss could always be expunged since the referee intentionally cost him the victory.
Despite the loss, they rebounded nicely with Ryback, by having him destroy the ref following the bout and deliver the Shell Shock atop Satan's Structure in what was a memorable moment.
Overall, a pretty good pay-per-view that featured some quality wrestling, but the Atlanta crowd sucked the life right out of most of the matches.
While the results were somewhat predictable, they were all logical and done for the right reasons.
The two main event matches are what really stole the show, as the sheer shock of both matches is what left a good taste in my mouth by the end of the show. While Hell in a Cell may not have been as good as last month's Night of Champions event, the awesome action kept me entertained and continued WWE's streak of producing enjoyable events.
I enjoy the direction WWE is taking with a majority of their feuds, and I'm excited to see where they go next as we advance towards Survivor Series.
Watch my latest WrestleRant video for my full thoughts on the show.
Visit my website at Next Era Wrestling, like me on Facebook and listen to my SAVE US GSM radio show every Wednesday night at 10/9c for more of my thoughts and writings, along with WWE/TNA news, reviews, recaps and more.
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