WWE Hell in a Cell Review: Del Rio, Henry, Rhodes, and an Arrested Development

William GulloCorrespondent IOctober 4, 2011

All things make sense; you just have to fathom how they make sense.

                         ~ Piers Anthony

With that being said; what makes more sense?

1. Being completely stopped in the "fast" lane of the highway while traffic in other lanes flows past you.

Side Note: This of course leads you to aggressively switch lanes only for the "fast" lane to rifle by while your "new" lane is completely stopped. Rinse and repeat this for two hours and you'll want to Rock Bottom everyone for the rest of the day.

2. The plot line of Lost.

3. The WWE holding a Pay-Per-View two weeks after Night of Champions, with little to no build up, using a concept not meant for "PG", and basically trying to take its fan base for everything it's got while testing its loyalty.

Answer: Shockingly... 3

(shaking head in disbelief) It's truly an unbelievable accomplishment and compliment in what I am about to say...

"Hell in a Cell was probably the third best pay-per-view of the year!"

Top Three Pay-per-views of the year

1. Money in the Bank

2. WrestleMania 27

3. Hell in a Cell

I can't even begin to fathom how they managed to pull this off... I am stunned, shocked, confused...impressed.

As I sat down at roughly 7:45 p.m. (Eastern Standard time), I begrudgingly prepared for Hell in a Cell. Sure, I was excited to see how events would play out, how the Cell structure would be used, and wondered if Orton would agree to lose cleanly to someone he once refereed to as "stiff, and hard to work with" and how the conspiracy angle would flex its muscle, but I still felt as though this event was unnecessary.

As 8 p.m. dawned I cracked into a "diet soda" and turned to my friend for one last word before the festivities began...

Me: Well, this should be interesting. Wanna gamble on this pay-per-view to make it more interesting? Put odds on matches? Chances of seeing blood? Over/under on botched moves by both Sin Cara's? ...For the love of god, let's do something to make this more interesting!

My Friend: (Wearing a red John Cena shirt, and In his best Booker T voice) If you can't get along... Let's get it on!  

Me: (Starring blankly at him) ... What?

...What the hell does that have to do with my question? What does that even mean? Why do I associate myself with people like this?... Now I know how Michael Cole feels.

First things first... Grading the Matches

Sheamus vs. Christian

This was the appropriate way to kick off the event. These two will hopefully be locked into a feud for a while... I'm in no rush for Sheamus to get destroyed by Mark Henry, and would rather see him put on faster paced, athletic matches with someone who can hang with him in Christian.

I was thoroughly surprised that this match ended with Sheamus winning clean and not in a DQ or count out, but it's probably for the best. Christina... sorry Christian, is a blink of an eye away from feuding with HHH, and while I know it already happened numerous times, I would love to see Orton and Sheamus battle for the No. 1 contender spot.

I don't want to point out the obvious, but ever since Sheamus dropped the gimmick, returned from middle earth, and stopped dressing like he traveled from the shire; he's been a beast... and deserves his chance in the spotlight.

Oh P.S. The Miz and R-Truth getting the boot was hilarious, and to tell you the truth a little uncalled for. I had a friend that got fired from the local minor league ballpark where I live, and they didn't kick him out when he showed up to attend a game...

...then again he didn't assault our boss on his way out the door while being dragged away by employees who were wearing tights. So maybe this is different then that...oh well, I tried. 

Grade: B+

Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara

... (shakes head) 

... How do I explain this? You know when you watch a good wrestling match and the fact that its fake and scripted leaves your mind? When everything in the world doesn't really matter except for the story, characters, and action of the match? When commentators, wrestlers and crowd sync up like a painter painting a masterpiece?... This didn't even come close to happening during this match! 

On the bright spot...the commentary was hysterical, and you can truly see how much fun these guys have working with each other. For those of you who like your WWE commentary serious and with a little bit of professional journalism; I highly suggest you give up complaining and just enjoy the pure comedy gold that comes from the mouths of Booker and Cole.

On a more serious note: The WWE has their work cut out for them trying to revive the Sin Cara character after an abysmal performance by not one Sin Cara, but two!

Grade: D

Air Boom vs. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger

All right... let me be the first to say that anything that comes out of my mouth about "Air Boom" is going to be biased based solely on the fact that I can't stand them as a team.

My Friend: It kind of worries me that you actually hate "Air Boom" with a passion.. You're not a serial killer or anything right? I mean, these guys are rejuvenating the tag titles and are overall a couple of stand up guys, athletes, and performers... You not liking them is like not liking Gandhi.

... I'm happy the tag titles are legitimate again with an actual team that defends them with honor, respect, and consistency. However, while I may be pessimistic about this: I feel like the team is to packaged for me, and therefore can't quite enjoy them like I would a good heel team.

From the matching outfits, to the ridiculous amount of smiling they do, to their attempts at being a cohesive team, to their freaking stupid name... Air Boom! What is that anyways, an Air Boom? It sounds like something a five year old says after he collides two toys in the air together. Air Boom... so stupid...

I should probably say something about this match before I have an aneurysm... It was really good. It had a lot of dynamics involved and played out pretty well. As J.R. said at the finale of the match:

"This was one of the best tag team title matches we've seen on pay-per-view in a long time"... He's right. It was.

Grade: B+

Cody Rhodes vs. John Morrison

I'm sure if you really wanted to look, you could probably find a handful of articles that talk about Rhodes and his re-introduction of the classic Intercontinental Championship belt... It's a bold, and beautiful move by the WWE in my opinion. It's about time the WWE realized they have other titles other than the World titles, and have given them to deserving stars who can showcase and defend them properly.

While Ziggler, since the middle of May, has done wonders for the U.S. title... Rhodes will bring the IC title to heights it hasn't seen since it was around the waist of Chris Jericho (I know someone out there is gonna love that statement). 

I've never been a fan of Morrison, but was thoroughly entertained by this match... That's all I really have to say bout this match other than the fact that Rhodes is about to get the green light on the push of his life.

Grade: C+

Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix

I guess I shouldn't be surprised by three things that occurred during this match:

1. The fact that the WWE couldn't bear to see "Super" Kelly lose cleanly. 

2. That the "Divas of Doom" come across looking like cheap, under-booked, pathetic heels straight out of the Alberto Del Rio institute.

3. That for the third straight pay-per-view these "divas"... I hate that word! Wrestlers... have put on three quality matches that show the potential the WWE has in this division.

I did learn one thing I'm pretty sure I already knew through this match... The people of New Orleans are not as funny and cheerful as the people of Buffalo.

Grade: C

Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton 

Going into this match, I couldn't help but think of the Hell in a Cell match between HHH and Batista. Everyone knew that it was only a matter of time before HHH destroyed Batista and took back the Heavyweight Championship, but Batista shocked the world and came out on top...cleanly. I was both pleased, and surprised to see Henry get the same treatment over Orton.

Someone, whether it's management, creative, or Orton himself has finally realized two "super" beings within the WWE is no good for business. I applaud their change in direction, focus and storytelling.

While the match really had no business taking place in the Cell Structure, it was basically a re-hash of their match from Night of Champions... with one special twist. Orton hit the RKO, but Henry kicked out. 

I'm surprised how much I actually like and respect Orton now that he has lost matches cleanly... Is that really all it takes?

Grade: B

John Cena Vs. Alberto Del Rio Vs. CM Punk

At about this time my friend and I began discussing possible outcomes for the match ahead of us. Without going too much into detail, we debated, and decided that John Cena would probably retain the WWE championship. Our chances of being right were looking good...

... right up until Alberto Del Rio did the most hilarious, ingenius, devilishly heel maneuver of all time by locking Cena out of the Cell... Absolutely brilliant story-telling, and booking! 

While my friend spiked his John Cena headband while repeating a phrase that rhymes with "full-split"; I was captivated and enamored with all the possibilities that this plot twist would offer.

Overall this match was great for two reasons:

1. The story-telling and pacing throughout the match was excellent. From Punk giving Cena a neck breaker while simultaneously giving Del Rio a DDT, to Punk going through the table, to Cena getting locked out; It was very well booked, and the outcome was perfect.

Side note: Just because Punk lost doesn't mean the WWE is screwing up his push, or burying him. I think we might have turned the corner where anything is possible, and everyone can lose (except John Cena). Would everyone feel better if we went from "Super" Cena to "Super" Punk? How does that justify the constant complaining about Cena? How does that accomplish anything?      

2. For the second time (first being Money in the Bank) since I was a little kid watching the Rock drop elbows, Stone Cold hand out stunners, and HHH pedigree everyone that moved; I was once again captivated by wrestling and the storybook matches and story telling it presents... It's truly amazing what can happen when the WWE goes outside the box and breaks status quo.

Great match... 

Grade: A

...and then all hell broke loose...

An Arrested Development     

While it shouldn't surprise anyone that the Miz and R-Truth, our banished anarchists, returned to cause disruption and mayhem during the night's events; it should come as a surprise to the severity and perfectly executed assault the two unleashed as the cell was raised following the finale of the main event.

It was quick. It was sudden. It was devastating. It was Awesome.

The return of the anarchists signifies a great change of direction now for the WWE. It's now clear that while a battle rages amongst Del Rio and Cena for the kingdom's title as champion, and Punk, Triple-H and their unyielding search for the truth behind the conspiracy... there is a larger war on the horizon.

Triple-H, and his blind hatred to the "Awesome Truth," has dug himself into a grave that he can no longer escape without aid. While searching for the same answers that the Miz and R-Truth were searching for; Triple-H banished them before he knew the extent of their valor, the depth of their commitment, and the anger and rage they could potentially harbor.

While the "Awesome Truth" were banished and seemed lost... It actually was a blessing for the anarchist group.  

The anarchists have discovered the conspiracy in the wake of their banishment from the WWE kingdom, and now look as though they have become a part of everything they hated.

In finding the conspiracy, they have found a common bond with its leader and agenda... Destroy HHH, the WWE establishment, and those who elect to side with the king.

With the atrocious and terrorist-like attack on the main event and the staff involved, two things became clear.

1. The safe haven the anarchists enjoyed, locked behind the closed cell structure signifies the conspiracy is real and the anarchists have now eloped with its leader.

2. The assault on the anarchists, after their apprehension, by Triple H will not go unpunished. Those who once gave him the benefit of the doubt will no longer side with a king not only losing control of his crumbling empire, but losing control of himself in the process....

We should all take a moment to fully come to terms with what the end of Hell in a Cell presented to us... we are about to enter an age of unpredictability, anarchy, deeds done behind "closed" doors, alliances, factions and war. 

While the WWE kingdom enters a dark period of a brewing war; its patrons and fans are about to enter a period of hope, change, and the return to a clearer focus and direction.

While the anarchists' attack in full view, and with unrelenting hatred; their is a legal council growing within the shadows of the empire looking to uncork their laments to a higher court through politics and power plays.

Which one will be the death of the king and his kingdom?

Triple H is on the verge of losing everything he has built. The time has now come for him to decide who he is, who he has become, and which one is the true version of him.

We, as fans, know who the real Triple H is. He is not the quiet, humble, arbitrator of men, but the cold, calculated cerebral assassin who would rather destroy his opposition rather then talk amicably.

We are about to witness a transformation of Triple-H, the king, in a time of war...

Time, which changes people, does not alter the image we have retained of them.

                                                       ~Marcel Proust  



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