WWE Hell In A Cell 2014
Dallas, Texas 10/26/14
Before I begin, I should mention that there was a pre-show match on the WWE Network Kickoff Show that featured Bo Dallas against Mark Henry. There really isn’t much to say about it, as Henry made quick work of Dallas, beating him in around 30 seconds, give or take.
1.) WWE Intercontinental Title – 2/3 Falls Match – Dolph Ziggler vs. Cesaro: ***3/4
The show properly kicks off with a battle for the Intercontinental Title in a 2/3 Falls Match. You know that whenever you have these two guys in a match, it’s going to be good, at a bare minimum. This was a very good opening match. Great action throughout this match. Ziggler would end up beating Cesaro in two straight falls to retain the Intercontinental Title.
2.) Nikki Bella vs. Brie Bella: **3/4
Back at SummerSlam, Nikki Bella turned on her sister Brie Bella while the latter was having a match with Stephanie McMahon. It’s been almost a year since that feud (as I type this review), and I still remember how bad it was. Who could forget Nikki saying that she wished Brie died in the womb? How about when they got into it with Jerry Springer? Good times (not really). The stipulation for this match is that the loser has to be the winner’s assistant for 30 Days. Despite all of the crap on RAW leading up to this, the match itself was surprisingly solid. There were a few rough points, but on the whole I think it was much better than most would have thought coming in. The crowd wasn’t into it initially, but they seemed to be invested by the end of it. Nikki Bella would get the win, which means that Brie Bella would have to be her personal assistant for 30 Days.
3.) WWE Tag Team Titles – Goldust & Stardust vs. The Usos: ***
The Rhodes Brothers won the WWE Tag Team Titles back at Night of Champions. This is a chance for The Usos to get the titles back. I thought this was a fine match. It wasn’t great, and it wasn’t terrible. It was a pretty solid tag team match. Exactly what you would expect from these guys. Goldust & Stardust would eventually get the win to retain their WWE Tag Team Titles.
4.) Hell In A Cell #1 Contender’s Match – John Cena vs. Randy Orton: ***3/4
I’ve lost track of how many times these guys have faced off over the years. In fact, this is the second time these two have wrestled each other inside Hell In A Cell (they had a WWE Title Match inside the structure in 2009). The winner of this particular encounter will face Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Title at a future date. Despite the stale nature of this match, it still ended up being pretty solid. John Cena always gives it his all in a big match situation, and Randy Orton looked pretty good in here as well. We saw a number of weapons used in here, including the steel steps, chairs, and a table. In the end, Cena picks up the win over Orton with a Super Attitude Adjustment off the top rope through a table! Cena now is the #1 Contender to the WWE World Title.
5.) WWE United States Title – Sheamus vs. The Miz (with Damien Mizdow): **1/2
If you’ll remember Night of Champions, Sheamus was defending the United States Title against Cesaro, while The Miz was challenging Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Title. After that PPV, the champions basically swapped challengers, as Ziggler retained against Cesaro earlier in the night, and now The Miz is challenging Sheamus. This was a pretty standard match. It was honestly felt more like a match on RAW, and that’s not good. The action was ok, but everyone was paying more attention to Damien Mizdow’s stunt double antics on the outside (which are great, by the way). Sheamus eventually retains the United States Title.
6.) Rusev (with Lana) vs. The Big Show: **1/2
Rusev has seemingly been running through the gauntlet of patriotic Americans as of late. He defeated Jack Swagger at SummerSlam, and Mark Henry at Night of Champions. Now he has his biggest challenge yet in the form of The Big Show. This was an ok match. It was about as good as you would expect a match between these two to be. A fine big man match. Mark Henry came out at one point and tried to get involved, but Rusev takes him out, and makes The Big Show pass out to The Accolade for the win.
7.) WWE Diva’s Title – AJ Lee vs. Paige (with Alicia Fox): **1/4
So these two have traded the Diva’s Title back & forth four times since Paige made her debut the night after WrestleMania XXX. Most recently, AJ Lee recaptured the Diva’s Title from Paige in a Triple Threat Match at Night of Champions that also involved Nikki Bella. Alicia Fox accompanies Paige to ringside for some reason. For some reason, these two just haven’t produced the kind of singles matches that we hoped for. I think I liked the match at SummerSlam, but that’s about it. AJ Lee eventually gets the win to retain the Diva’s Title, while Paige gets into it with Alicia Fox after the match.
8.) Hell In A Cell Match – Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins: ****
This is a match that a lot of people have been looking forward to since The Shield broke up and the Rollins/Ambrose feud started. These two are having the type of deeply personal feud that you want to end inside Hell In A Cell. We saw it all in this match. They brawl at the top of the structure. Shortly thereafter, they both take a high fall off the side of cage through the announcer’s tables!! That looked cool & scary at the same time. They eventually get back in the ring and weapons become a factor. Tables, Chairs, and other weapons are used. Finally, it looks like Ambrose is going to finish off with Cinder Blocks (a callback to a Street Fight they had on RAW), when the lights go out. We then hear a weird chant, and what appears to be a hologram in the middle of the ring, with smoke coming out of it. Bray Wyatt then shows up out of nowhere and decks Dean Ambrose. He lays him out, which allows Rollins to get the cheap victory. If this had a decisive finish, it could have been a Match of the Year Contender (at least in my opinion). I was really loving this match. Aside from blood, this had the feel of an old school Hell In A Cell Match. The finish was, of course, ridiculous & absurd in so many ways. If they want to do a Ambrose/Wyatt feud, that’s fine, but there were so many better ways to do it. It just left a bad taste in your mouth. Still, I really enjoyed this, despite the stupid finish.
If you look at the first half of this card (pretty much everything up to, and including, the John Cena/Randy Orton match), things were going decently well, and this had the makings of being a solid show. The opener with Ziggler vs. Cesaro was really good, Nikki Bella vs. Brie Bella was better than expected, the WWE Tag Team Title Match was perfectly solid, and Cena vs. Orton was very good, despite the staleness of the match. Unfortunately, the rest of the card up into the Main Event was incredibly average….like RAW average. People will have a lot of differing opinions on the Main Event. Personally, I was really enjoying the match until the finish, which is one of the most frustrating finishes to a WWE PPV Main Event in recent memory. This show had a few bright spots, but WWE left a lot to be desired.