Glad I took the chance on this one and caught it at the theater tonight, because outside of some low points this was one of the better WWE PPVs in years.
– Undertaker d. CM Punk with the tombstone in a surprise opener. I guess they were wanting to space out the HIAC matches to prevent burnout, but it made for kind of a weird crowd dynamic here. Match itself was nothing special, basically a total squash by Undertaker with almost no chance being given for Punk to even get a near-fall, outside of a chairshot. Taker chokeslammed him, tombstoned him, and that was that. Fine for what it was, but what the hell was the point of this feud? Who does Undertaker even have for opponents now? ***
– Jim Morrison d. Dolph Ziggler with the Starship Pain after a couple of tries at it. Good and long match that looked it was building to a draw, but of course there are no time limits in the new WWE Universe, so instead Morrison fought off a bunch of near-falls and came back to win clean. I havenâ€™t seen enough of Ziggler to care about him doing the job here, but Morrison is the guy I like for the future, so good choice here. ***1/2
– Mickie James d. Alicia Fox with a tornado DDT that was botched about as badly as everything else here, to retain the Tramp Stamp title. Too long, and Fox did nothing for me. 1/2*
– Jericho/Show d. Rey/Batista to retain the Unfied tag titles in the match of the night, as Jerishow are really clicking as champions now with the awesome dynamic of Jericho being the little guy hiding behind the big guy. Plus Batista/Rey have the dynamic of the little guy who REFUSES to hide behind the big guy and gets his ass kicked as a result, giving us a crazy heated crowd who was into everything and an unbelievable heat segment and finishing sequence. And once again Show punches out the little guy for the pin, as thatâ€™s apparently the championsâ€™ finish. Are they building up to DX being the ones to finally beat them? ****
– Randy Orton d. John Cena clean with the PUNT OF DOOM (which obviously missed by a good six inches, thanks to the wonder of HD) in the second Cell match of the night, to regain the title. This was really the same match weâ€™ve seen a million times from these guys, as they have good chemistry together but didnâ€™t do anything to differentiate the Cell match from any of their other million matches. I liked it and Cena always delivers on PPV, but for the love of god find some new people to elevate so we donâ€™t have to rotate back to HHH-Orton yet again. ***1/4
– Drew McIntyre d. R-Truth with some sort of double-arm DDT thing. Fans turned on this instantly and gave it no chance to succeed, and Drew did nothing to distinguish himself. But then it took MVP a while to get going after a similar introduction, and look where he is now! A midcard babyface on RAW! Um, bad example, I guess. 1/2*
– Kofi Kingston (who is now from Ghana, as per real life, instead of Jamaica) d. Miz & Swagger to retain the US title in a match that was put out there to die and mostly did just that. Some wacky three-way spots at the end, but the crowd was in no mood and it died quickly. **
– D-X d. Legacy in the final Cell match of the night, and this was a hell of a deal that JUST missed classic status because Legacy doesnâ€™t quite have the star power to pull off what they were going for. Basically Legacy has no chance, so they attack D-X during their wacky entrance and lock HHH out of the Cell after mugging him on the ramp. Then Shawn gets the everloving shit beat out of him for about 15 minutes, drawing some CRAZY old-school sympathy heat and just selling it like nuts. Finally HHH retrieves bolt cutters and roars back as D-X destroys them and gets their revenge. Awesome stuff, as D-X finally starts playing the part of the old war-horses instead of the super-cool upstarts they still think of themselves as. As a match thereâ€™s been better, but finally someone takes advantage of the Cell tonight and gives us a DIFFERENT dynamic, and I enjoyed the hell out of this, even if you could see the storyline coming down main street. **** This needed Shawn bleeding like a exploded tomato in the worst way, though.
Overall, strong thumbs up. Get the replay if you missed it tonight.
Tags: cm punk, Hell in a Cell, HHH, john cena, Legacy, randy orton, shawn michaels, SmarK Rant, undertaker, WWE