Wednesday, August 31, 2016

WWE Hell In A Cell 2015 Review

Brock Lesnar & The Undertaker square off inside Hell In A Cell for the 2nd time!

WWE Hell In A Cell 2015
Los Angeles, California 10/25/15

Kickoff Show

1.) Six-Man Tag - Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler, & Neville vs. Sheamus, King Barrett, & Rusev: ***½

In hindsight, it’s kind of amazing that this match was relegated to the Kickoff Show, because it was one of the highlights of the entire show. In fact, I think it might even be one of the best Kickoff Show matches we’ve seen on a PPV that wasn’t WrestleMania. All six guys are very good (to varying degrees, of course), and they went out there and just had a really entertaining Six-Man Tag. It was just fun to watch from start to finish. In the end, the babyface team of Cesaro, Neville, & Ziggler would get the win.


We kicked off the actual PPV with John Cena’s US Title Open Challenge. When Cena comes out and calls for his opponent, Zeb Colter comes out (riding a scooter), making his first appearance on WWE TV in almost 10 Months or so. It seemed like he was going to bring out Jack Swagger (as those two had been a pairing before Zeb Colter disappeared from WWE TV), but instead, Zeb Colter introduces Alberto Del Rio, of all people! For those who don’t know ADR left WWE in mid-2014 after an incident backstage where a WWE employee (not a wrestler, but I think someone who worked with either or WWE’s social media) called ADR some kind of racial slur, which caused ADR to strike him (I believe that was the story. Correct me if I’m wrong on that). ADR then spent the next year wrestling in places like ROH, AAA, and eventually, Lucha Underground. Following the conclusion of Season 1 of Lucha Underground, ADR had a falling out with Lucha Underground, and he (evidently) made amends with WWE, which led to his return here on this show.

1.) WWE United States Title - John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio (with Zeb Colter): **1/4

So yeah, this wasn’t a very good match. There’s really not much else to say beyond that. It was surprisingly short (just under eight minutes or so), and ADR won with, of all things, a simple superkick. I think people knew Cena was going to lose here (as he would take some time off to film a new TV show for FOX, called American Grit), but this match was just so weak. It was certainly an anti-climactic way to end the whole “John Cena US Open Challenge” gimmick, and it would be the start of a very interesting second run in WWE (to say the least) for Alberto Del Rio.

2.) Hell In A Cell Match - Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt: ***3/4

Our second match of the night featured the first of two Hell In A Cell matches, as Roman Reigns & Bray Wyatt looked to put an end to their feud. This match got a lot of criticism from some right after it happened, but honestly, I really enjoyed this match. Was it the greatest Hell In A Cell Match we’ve ever seen? Absolutely not, but still, considering who was involved, this turned out to be a lot better than I thought it would be. We got some really cool stuff with various weapons (including a bunch of tables, and I’m someone who always likes to see a few tables get used in hardcore environments like this), and as a whole, I found to actually be entertaining. The fact that we didn’t get any shenanigans here (such as interference from The Wyatt Family, or Wyatt himself resorting to parlor tricks or “smoke & mirrors”) also helped this match a lot. Eventually, Reigns would get the win over Wyatt with a spear.

3.) WWE Tag Team Titles - The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) vs. The Dudley Boyz: **3/4

So the story here is the The Dudley Boyz took out Xavier Woods, meaning that they finally have The New Day in a fair two-on-two match with Big E & Kofi Kingston for the WWE Tag Team Titles. The match itself was fine. It was really right on par with their previous matches, and (in what was a surprise to me), The New Day retained their titles after shenanigans involving Xavier Woods’ trombone. At the time, I was honestly a little disappointed that The Dudley Boyz didn’t get a run with the WWE Tag Team Titles, especially considering the pop they got when they returned in Brooklyn. Now I’m not saying they needed to have a long run. Quite the contrary. I would have just given them a very short, nostalgic run, which would have ended with The New Day winning the titles back (probably at this PPV). It’s just kind of weird that this feud, when it came to title matches, consisted of two DQ finishes, and then a third match where the heels retained via shenanigans, basically ending the feud. Very strange, but alas, The New Day retain their WWE Tag Team Titles.

4.) WWE Diva’s Title - Charlotte vs. Nikki Bella: ***1/4

Charlotte won the WWE Diva’s Title from Nikki Bella back at Night of Champions, and this is Nikki’s rematch. I thought they actually managed to top their match from the previous PPV. This was a pretty solid match. They got a good amount of time, and despite some sloppiness (and a little lack of selling), there was some good action throughout. At one point, Nikka Bella gave Charlotte an Alabama Slam on the apron, which just looked so nasty. In the end, Charlotte would get the submission victory with the Figure Eight to retain the WWE Diva’s Title.

After the match, Becky Lynch and (for some reason) Paige came out to celebrate with Charlotte. This was so weird to see, since they seeming turned Paige heel and had been doing a breakup angle during the weeks prior on RAW.

5.) WWE World Heavyweight Title - Seth Rollins vs. Kane: ***1/4

Even though this really isn’t a match people were clamoring for, it actually does have a fair bit of backstory, as Seth Rollins & Corporate Kane were seemingly at odds with each other constantly. Things culminated during the summer, when Rollins snapped and attacked Corporate Kane, putting him out of commission. Then, Demon Kane made his return at the end of Night of Champions, attacking Seth Rollins, which led to this match. There is an added stipulation here, as if Demon Kane lost, then Corporate Kane would be fired as Director of Operations. When it comes to the match itself, it was…...good. Nothing more than that. It was solid match that was fine for what it was, but in the grand scheme of things, is completely forgettable. The fact that it felt longer than it actually was worked against it as well. Rollins would eventually get the win to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Title, but the match was by no means memorable.

6.) WWE Intercontinental Title - Kevin Owens vs. Ryback: **1/2

Here, we have another rematch from Night of Champions, but this time, Kevin Owens is the champion, and Ryback is the challenger. Honestly, this was a slight step down from their first encounter, which didn’t exactly set the world on fire. It only went about five minutes or so, and felt more like a short match you’d see on an average RAW. Kevin Owens retained his title, and that’s really the only thing you need to know.

7.) Hell In A Cell Match - Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) vs. The Undertaker: ****¼

These two actually had a GREAT Hell In A Cell Match at No Mercy 2002, back when Brock Lesnar was still a “super-rookie” and when The Undertaker was still The American Bad-Ass. This time around, the circumstances are much different, as Brock Lesnar has become a much bigger star since then, and The Undertaker is in his Deadman persona. I’d say this was the best match these two have had, in this 2014-2015 feud. It was a wild brawl, and that’s really what it needed to be. Both guys got busted open, and we saw a decent amount of plunder used. We got to see the mat torn apart, as Lesnar exposed the wooden boards that are under the mat. These two definitely brought it here, and they went to war inside Hell In A Cell. Eventually, Lesnar hit a NASTY and VICIOUS low blow on The Undertaker (which seems like a heel move, but really isn’t, as Lesnar was just returning the favor, as The Undertaker had hit a low blow on him numerous times since he re-emerged a few months prior), and hit the F5 on the exposed ring boards for the win.

After the match, Lesnar left the ring, as The Undertaker slowly got to his feet. We got a ton of “Thank You ‘Taker” chants. Then, the lights go out, and when they come back on, all four members of The Wyatt Family surrounded the ring. They proceed to attack The Undertaker (with JBL going crazy on commentary, saying how dare they disrespect such a legend, or something like that). After the beatdown is over, Bray Wyatt orders Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, & Braun Strowman to carry The Undertaker to the back, and they do so, as the show comes to a close.

Overall: 7.25/10

This was a show that had a lot of highs and a lot of lows. The Six-Man Tag on the Kickoff Show was, outside of the Main Event, the third best match on the show, and is actually worth checking out. I would say that the two Hell In A Cell Matches delivered, with both being pleasant surprises to various degrees. I enjoyed Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt, and Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker felt like a throwback to what the Hell In A Cell Match used to be like. Outside of those matches, the other major note was Alberto Del Rio returning to WWE (with Zeb Colter, of all people, by his side), winning the United States Title from John Cena in a mediocre match. There were some other decent nuggets scattered in the undercard, but in the end, this PPV was one that had a lot of really good, a solid amount of average, and a major disappointment.

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