What’s crackalacking, faithful readers? Hope everyone’s had a decent week; I played my first game of ‘Cards Against Humanity’ and got told by my girlfriend if I did my impression of Lemongrab one more time, she’d stab me. Turns out telling her that that was ‘unacceptable’ was…ah…a really bad move.
Oh yeah, Hell in a Cell. Against my better judgement, I actually allowed myself to dare to hope to think to dream that I might not leave with a reaction best described as ‘well, they fucked that up’. And I was wrong and I was stupid for thinking that. Shit, who was I to think that WWE might consider giving someone other than John Cena a match against Brock Lesnar? Or that a Hell in a Cell match might actually be so definitive a punctuation mark to a violent feud that using it to kick-start a new feud in a way that aped something done almost twenty years ago which was done better the first time than in its lacklustre imitation would be goddamn ridiculous? A fool, my readers, a fool.
Fuck it, it’s time to face the consequences of WWE’s actions, like they’re that junkie friend we can’t cut ourselves off from because we know, deep down, that if we leave them they’ll be dead in a week. Oh and it’s Halloween…and I think me forgetting that is a nail in the coffin of my childhood. Fuck…
I Can’t Be The Only One Who Assumed That All The Competitors Were Going To Dress As Each Other
Seems like WWE’s still in touch with its inner child (not one you’d want your own kids playing with), because it’s a costume Battle Royal for the Divas. Paige is Summer Rae; Natalya is the Queen of Hearts; Naomi is a paratrooper; Summer Rae is a schoolgirl nerd; Layla is a…clown? Probably. Emma is either Tarzan or Jane; they sort of end up wearing the same thing, I guess. Rosa’s a zombie nurse; Cameron is a police officer; Alicia Fox is a firefighter, so all the emergency services are represented barring the coastguard. Nikki is a black cat, and apparently made Brie drive all the way to San Antonio whilst dressed as Daniel Bryan. I wish people tried to torment me via impromptu road trips, as opposed to via making me watch the Bellas act. Michael Cole chimes in with ‘well, that was pathetic’, and I assume he’s talking about the angle, the acting and the dialogue. AJ is on commentary, and it’s half-funny, half-bullying.
Bell rings, and let’s get this sloppy action underway. The girls all leap on each other, and Naomi hurricanranas Rosa and dropkicks her out under the bottom rope, which is an elimination because they’re all delicate flowers, I guess? Natalya forces Summer Rae out to the floor, and Emma locks in the tarantula to Cameron, but when she disengages it she is pushed out to the floor by Alicia.
Layla starts dancing like a…well, I currently lack the words, but I’ll get back to you. Paige is watching this with a look of amazement, but then shakes her boobs, and then Layla starts pulling out a bunch of tissue paper, so Paige stuffs her bra? Yeah, why not. Paige kicks the shit out of Layla and eliminates her, and Cameron and Naomi get eliminated by Natalya. Nikki spinebusters the fuck out of Paige as Alicia kicks Natalya in the face. Nat has a hope spot which gets crushed as Alicia eliminates her, then Fox basically Mick Foleys Paige, leaving Nikki Bella as the last woman standing.
I like Battle Royals, even if they are hell to cover. I’m glad we avoided turning AJ/Paige into John Cena/Randy Orton (even though at least AJ and Paige have both tried being the heel in their feud), but…Jesus, now I might have to listen to Nikki on a microphone. Fuck you, WWE. 2 Stars.
Nikki celebrates her win-via-default, and then has a stare-down with AJ.
It’s Like…It’s Like The People In Charge Aren’t Doing A Good Job
Kane’s here, and is heading for a rematch with Dolph Ziggler. We repeat Orton being more interesting than he has been in years on Monday; I was into that whole thing, really, especially Triple H’s ‘fuck’s sakes’ look post-RKO. Kane gets on the microphone, and it’s Kane and Rollins comedy hour; I don’t know why I find these two so endearing a couple, but I truly do. Of all the ‘guilty pleasure’ matches Kane could have put someone in, a street fight match is really, really tame. Seth gets on and talks about how you’d have to be stupid to join Team Cena, and this segues into Kane’s match with Dolph Ziggler. This whole ‘get punished for talking to John Cena’ is sort of like 1984, only Big Brother and the Party actually seemed sort of competent at their jobs, whereas the Authority are sometimes so bad at being evil masterminds I sometimes worry about them forgetting how to breathe. Case in point: Kane deciding to punish the Intercontinental Champion – a much younger man in far better shape than himself – by fighting him. Some Sun Tzu shit right there.
Bell rings and we’re underway. Ziggler ducks and dodges Kane for a moment, before laying punches and a dropkick on him. Kane breaks out of a facelock, slamming Ziggler on the mat and then wrenching him back on the ropes. Clothesline drops Dolph, and Kane works him over in the corner. Dolph is just Kane’s bitch right now, and tries to work his way out of a sleeper. Kicks have Kane reeling, allowing Ziggler to hit a neckbreaker and a big elbow. Michael Cole comments that the Authority can bury your career before it even begins, and it’s amazing John Cena hasn’t joined them; seems like his kind of gig.
Ziggler gets uppercutted whilst on the second rope, falling down to the floor. Post-commercial, however, Dolph has dodged a shoulder charge, dropkicking Kane and slamming fists into his face. Neckbreaker is scouted by Kane; Ziggler ducks a big boot and hits a Fameasser for the win. Noble gets on the apron, causing Dolph to lunge for him when he should have just nut-shotted Kane. Ziggler gets big booted for a near-fall. Kane calls for his chokeslam, but Ziggler almost repeats Monday night with a roll-up, and then superkicks Kane. He runs right into a chokeslam for Kane’s victory.
Ah, the pre-Survivor Series win-trading. I love this time of year. Decent match, but I seriously have trouble seeing Kane as a threat. I mean, he won that match, and I feel like most of the locker room could kick his old ass. 2 Stars.
Kane chokeslams Ziggler again, then the Cruiserweights start attacking Ziggler. When are we ending the Authority story arc, by the way? I mean, it’s been okay, and I’ve enjoyed some of what’s happened during it, but how long are a group of well-muscled and physically capable guys and gals going to take a reign of terror from four over-the-hill guys, two guys in their prime and one deep-voiced woman? Why haven’t Steph and Hunter got Mussolini’d by now? Kane gets on the microphone and tells Ziggler he has another match, against Seth Rollins.
Seth stalks Ziggler as Michael Cole bitches about how now nobody can talk to or have lunch with John Cena. Oh wow, what if that’s Triple H’s plan? Screw Survivor Series; he just wants Cena to feel lonely. Curb Stomp ends it. Michael says that John Cena might be the only guy on his team at Survivor Series; you know he’d still not be the underdog then, right?
New Contender For Rusev?
Well…Heath Slater is covered in straw and dressed as a scarecrow; those two things might be related. He’s pissed off that Cena AA’d him, and he gets just that far before Ryback decided to eat him. I’ve missed this incarnation of the Big Guy; we may have actually seen him undo the damage caused by his interaction with John Cena.
Slater actually lays a punch on Ryback, and then a waistlock; Ryback actually rips Slater’s hand off, but it’s unfortunately fake. Ryback spinebusters and meathooks Heath before hitting Shellshocked.
I’m just so happy that we’ve picked this up again. 2.5 Stars.
Backstage, Adam Rose trick-or-treats on a random door, and it’s the Dust Brothers, who succeed in nonplussing them. The next door is Hunico dressed as Sin Cara dressed as a Ninja Turtle. They run into a guy in a sheet and freak out, even though they share a workplace environment with Bray Wyatt. It’s R-Truth, who is ecstatic to meet the Bunny. Truth then tries to cause friction between Rose and the Bunny, and gives Adam Rose a rock. Hah; because a rock is a stone. And Adam Rose is a stoner. And a waste of space.
Miz and Sandmiz are doing a special Halloween episode of Miz TV, in which we will see how frightening getting the shit kicked out of you by a ginormous black man is. Sandmiz is getting goddamn pops whenever he talks. We relive Mark Henry deciding ‘meh, who cares about the Tag Team Championships?’ Mark Henry comes out, and Miz asks him what happened; Henry says we all know what happened: Big Show was jealous. Miz uses the R-word (not R-Truth), and we replay Big Show losing at Hell in a Cell, but shows Mark Henry smiling as it happens. Wow, WWE: decent. He says Big Show is just a tall guy with an overactive pituitary gland: what an asshole.
Big Show comes out at this biological trash-talking, looking pissed. He approaches the ring, and Mark Henry backs off. Wow, really? World’s Strongest Man? Big Show goes right to Henry, actually catching him, but Henry drives him into the steel ring post, and then slams him through the barricade. It’s like, we should be impressed, but I can remember Brock Lesnar destroying both of these guys with Godlike ease.
I Guess Goldust and Stardust Are Both Considered Sufficiently ‘Halloween’
It’s the Dust Brothers against Los Matadores, and I hate those bull-fighting bastards. Stardust runs the ropes and gets hurricanrana’d. The other Matador tags in and dropkicks him, then Diego tags back in, laying a senton onto Stardust. Stardust finally breaks free, hitting a Disaster Kick and tagging in Goldust. Dust the Elder in control with an uppercut, and Stardust low-bridges Diego as we go to break.
As we come back from commercials, Stardust knocks El Torito off the apron, which is the only reason that bull should even exist anymore, but gets flapjacked by Fernando. Goldust and Diego both come in, and Fernando is taking it to Goldust, even knocking Stardust down. Hurricanrana lays Goldust low, and Los Matadores dive through the ropes onto Goldust. Stardust hits the Falling Star, cackling madly as he does so: perfect touch. He then grabs El Torito, still shrieking with laughter, and oh God, he might actually rape it. Torito actually manages to dropkick Stardust, and then hit an armdrag, on a fucking Tag Team Champion. Goldust gets rolled up, and that’s all.
Oh God, first Nikki Bella and now this? Fuck you, WWE. 1.5 Stars.
Remember When Khali Was A Genuine Threat To The Undertaker?
It’s Khali vs. Rusev, and Khali hits a big chop, and then another. Wow, imagine if Khali does it; I’d laugh. Actually forget it: Rusev hits his big kick and locks in the Accolade for the win.
Swift, dominant, impressive. Nice choice of opponent for this. 2 Stars.
Lana gets on the microphone, and says that she has received direction from Mother Russia: to further destroy the deteriorating American spirit. Wow, Texas hates foreigners. Who knew? Rusev gives a pretty decent short speech, and says he will crush the American Champion: Sheamus. Oh shit, son: a feud I actually want. Sheamus shows up, and finally someone who doesn’t care about America, but just wants to beat a guy up. He almost hits the Brogue Kick on Rusev, who ducks away from it and makes his exit. Looking forward to this.
Bray Wyatt makes his way to the ring, in an attempt to explain WWE’s awful life choices. He lays out his usual creepy spiel, with some real fire behind it this time: must be psyched for this Ambrose feud. He says we love Ambrose because he’s nothing like us; he’s like Bray. Dean Ambrose is a monster, and Bray knows how it felt to go after Seth Rollins. He says that Ambrose doesn’t just get to wash his hands clean; Bray knows that ‘she’ still cries for Dean Ambrose. Strong promo; another feud I’m looking forward to.
Kane’s Guilty Erection Pleasure Match
Dean Ambrose comes to the ring, which actually looks pretty well-themed. I mean, there are a lot of pumpkins, I guess. This is a Trick or Street Fight match, so Kane’s guilty pleasure is atrocious puns, I suppose. Cesaro comes out, and Ambrose starts off straight-up wailing on him, hitting a running bulldog. Dean has a pumpkin in his hands, but Cesaro cuts him off with a Singapore cane, going pretty crazy on Ambrose with it. Dean finally catches the cane, rebounds off the ropes, but runs right into another swing of the cane. A double-underhook suplex gets two for Cesaro, and he lashes Ambrose with the cane again.
Cesaro sets off a bunch of pumpkins for no clear reason whatsoever. Tom says there are no disqualifications, and what kind of referee would call a DQ due to squash arranging? Cesaro tries to suplex Ambrose into the pumpkins, because that’s a move reminiscent of a man who just laced another man with a kendo stick. Dean fights back, but gets caned once again. Cesaro tries to come into the ring with a plate of candy, but it gets baseball-slid right into his face. Ambrose flies out onto Cesaro, who catches him and hurls him over the announce table. Dean manages to grab a kendo stick, however, and comes up swinging. Once back in the ring, he backdrops Cesaro right onto the pumpkins, and that’s a future back injury right there, I think.
Ambrose clotheslines Cesaro out of the ring, and launches himself over the top, right into a kendo stick swing. Cesaro tries to drown Dean in the apple-bobbing area, but Ambrose spits an apple back into Cesaro’s face and attacks Cesaro with a skeleton figure, only for Cesaro to suplex both Dean and the skeleton. Cesaro sets up a table, but Ambose gains the upper hand, hitting an elbow through the table whilst riding a broomstick: fuck yeah.
Back in the ring, Cesaro jawbreaker’s Ambrose, who comes back with his rebound clothesline. Dean puts a pumpkin on Cesaro’s head and hits what I guess we’re now calling ‘Dirty Deeds’ for the win.
Okay, I was definitely charmed by this; other competitors wouldn’t have done this anywhere near so well. Just some good fun, really, particularly the broomstick. 3 Stars.
Ambrose puts the pumpkin back on Cesaro’s head post-match, and hits Dirty Deeds again to close the show.
That was pretty fun: nothing massively important, but we established the next couple of feuds very efficiently, and some of the humour was rather good. This week gets an eight.
Movie Recommendation: Free Samples, one of those comedies with a very simple premise which manages to grow both emotionally and in terms of storyline: a lazy comedy which still makes you feel.
Tags: aj lee, big show, Cesaro, Damien Mizdow, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, El Torito, goldust, Heath Slater, kane, Khali, Lana, Los Matadores, Mark Henry, Nikki Bella, Paige, rusev, ryback, seth rollins, sheamus, Stardust, The Miz