WWE – Hell In A Cell 2014 (Cert 15)
1 Disc Blu-ray / DVD (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 167 minutes approx.
When the Hell In A Cell concept was first introduced in 1997 it was sold as an unforgiving construction with the promise of a match of extreme brutality. The legendary first match with Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker at In Your House 18 – Bad Blood delivered just that with HBK juicing a gusher and taking a tumble from the side of the cage and through a ringside table. The sheer extent of the potential horror of the cell was fully realised in its second outing at the infamous Mankind vs. Taker match at King Of The Ring 1998 in which Mick Foley took TWO ungodly insane falls from the top of the cage!
Since then however the gimmick has been run aground and even creating a whole PPV around it hasn’t made the match any more exciting for the fans, especially since the current no blood policy has lessened its brutality quotient. And so as we head into the sixth annual PPV to carry this name, the lure of this one mighty structure to draw fans attention is in the hands of two of the young lions of the WWE, both of whom have something to prove.
Another handicap this show is fighting against is Brock Lesnar, the reigning WWE World Heavyweight champion, is nowhere to be seen, making this the third PPV in 2014 to not have a title match or the champ present. Due to Lesnar’s limited contracted dates this will be a regular occurrence until Wrestlemania and even then there are no guarantees that Lesnar will resign with WWE.
The show took place on October 26th at the American Airlines Centre in Dallas, Texas before 15,333 fans and our commentators as always are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and JBL. As ever, while my match review won’t contain any results, expect plenty of opinion.
WWE IC Title 2 out of 3 Falls Match – Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Cesaro
This should have been the show stealer and a treat for true grapple fans but some bright spark decide to only give the match 12 minutes, which is not a lot of time to fully engage with the drama of the three fall stipulation. Regardless both guys worked hard and delivered their usual top notch effort in this very good opener, but it could have been a classic given more time to build the drama.
Nikki Bella vs. Brie Bella
The stipulation quietly added to this sister vs. sister match on the WWE app (meaning no-one saw it) was the loser must either be the other’s personal assistant for 30 days or quit. Amazingly, this was quite a good match all things considered and somehow the siblings brought out the best in each other, as well as getting the crowd invested, despite the utterly horrible build up this had on TV, featuring some of the worst skits even seen.
WWE Tag Title Match – Goldust & Stardust (c) vs. The Usos
The brothers Dust won the titles back at Night Of Champions so this is the obligatory rematch since there isn’t really much of a tag team division to allow someone else to challenge the champs. Nothing wrong with the match as both teams worked hard as usual, except we’ve seen it many times before and will no doubt continue to see it again in the future.
Winner Gets Future WWE Title Shot Hell In A Cell Match – John Cena vs. Randy Orton
This is a frustrating match. On RAW Cena and Dean Ambrose fought in a match for the right to face Seth Rollins at this PPV while the loser would face Orton. But because it is Cena and the universe has to revolve around him, this was suddenly made into a Number One Contenders Match, meaning the loser of the RAW match actually receives a far greater reward than the winner did! Anyway this is every Cena vs. Orton match you’ve ever seen complete with the predictable outcome.
WWE US Title Match – Sheamus (c) vs. The Miz
Not much to this match to be honest, largely serving as a backdrop for Damien Mizdow’s “stunt double” antics at ringside, the popularity of which is at this point still in its nascent stages. There is a similar post match skit involving Mizdow which Vince McMahon much have wet himself at while everyone else just cringed.
Big Show vs. Rusev
With Jack Swagger, Big E and Mark Henry all unable to defeat the Bulgarian brute Rusev, it is up to the Big Show to stand up and represent the US in this hackneyed patriotic based feud. They tried to create some controversy by having Big Show tear down the Russian flag then humbly apologise for it but the media ignored it as usual. The match was well, just there really.
WWE Divas Title Match – AJ Lee (c) vs. Paige
This is a rematch of the rematch of the rematch of the… I’ve done that gag to death a much as the bookers have with this match up. Seriously, why not put this in the Cell too? That would be a good way to make this final match mean something. Again not a bad match but they’ve had better and are finding it hard to do something new. Paige is now “friends” with Alicia Fox, the same woman she feuded with over the title in the Spring. Yup.
Hell In A Cell Match – Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
The video package to preview this match makes Dean Ambrose seem like a comedy act. With the onus on both guys to deliver in the main event spot, they both channel their inner Foley and start the match on top of the Cell! Eventually they get down to a hard hitting plunder fest until… well let’s just say this was one of the dumbest and improbably intelligence insulting finishes seen in a long time which totally killed the crowd and prevented this match from being a career defining moment for both its up and coming participants.
Once again the curse of the “Audience of One” looms heavy over this PPV as Vince McMahon has his team of crack (head?) writers to come up with a load of silly ideas which only he would find entertaining. How else do you explain the ludicrous ending to the main event on this show? Even if you are giving away your PPVs on your floundering Network for an undisclosed sum you still need to make it entertaining and fresh to keep their viewership and interest in their product so they’ll come back for more.
The chance to make two new stars and set the scene for the next batch of faces to keep the company afloat was squandered in this main event while the status quo is maintained elsewhere as the next challenger for the WWE World Champion is the same as the last guy who challenged for the title. I don’t know what Viagra Vince is using but it must be exceptionally potent stuff as he has managed to keep his long outdated hard-on for Cena for a whole decade now!
As ever the wrestlers themselves aren’t at fault and continue to give their all in the ring, despite – or in spite – of the hindrance that is the stale and clueless creative. Even with the near spectacle of the main event and some solid in ring work, this is just another WWE PPV show which serves more to support the argument that there are too many a year.
Best Match – Dolph Ziggler vs. Cesaro (by default)
English & Spanish Language
Hell In A Cell Kickoff – Mizdow TV with The Miz
Hell In A Cell Kickoff – Mark Henry vs. Bo Dallas
Home Video Exclusive – Goldust and Stardust Cannot Be Divided
Home Video Exclusive – The Miz and Damien Mizdow’s Vocal Training
Blu Ray Only:
Monday Night RAW 6th October 2014 – The Rock Returns to Confront Rusev
Home Video Exclusive Philadelphia, PA – 10th October 2014 – Paul Heyman Addresses the John Cena-Dean Ambrose Rivalry
SmackDown 10th October 2014 – John Cena and Dean Ambrose Face off on MizTV
Monday Night RAW 13th October 2014 – John Cena Gives Dean Ambrose “Veteran Advice”
No Holds Barred Contract on a Pole Match – John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose
Monday Night RAW 20th October 2014 – Randy Orton Has Words for John Cena
Rating – ** ½
Man In Black