-I apprehended a bank robber this afternoon with a poorly executed one-handed bulldog. I wholeheartedly apologize for stealing the move from Chris Jericho.
-Live from Kansas City, home of many injured Chiefs.
-No Jerry Lawler tonight, as a result of Mark Henry’s attack last week, so Booker T is here. Remember, Booker: Otunga is bland, Vickie is fat, 16 gets you 20.
-Hell in a Cell is hanging above the ring. Who rigged it up? Is it a conspiracy by the ring crew? TUNE IN TO FIND OUT!
Opening Segment: Triple H
Triple H reveals his reason for firing The Miz and R-Truth is that The Game got video of Miz and Truth showing no remorse over attacking the officials, and it didn’t jive with their apology last week. Ooooook then. Mark Henry is also fined $250,000 for attacking Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler. You can get fined for attacking JR? Triple H will be broke if you adjust for inflation! As Hunter goes on about nobody being bigger than WWE, here comes Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler. Oh, good, maybe Dolph will get a legit push! Sure enough, Ziggler is mad about Hugh Jackman jacking his jaw. Ziggler, however, is willing to stick it out for the kids, despite a fractured jaw. Ziggler: “Hey, remember when I dressed as a cheerleader and we headlined Vengeance?” Ok, he didn’t actually say that. Triple H jokingly offers Dolph security, and this brings out Cody Rhodes (whose deepened voice makes him sound like his half-brother, somewhat). Cody’s pissed that Randy Orton busted him open, and Hunter brings up how Randy Orton doing the same to him (even pointing out that Rhodes was a part of it!), and how HHH just went and got revenge. Now Christian and his ugly shirt are out here. Then Christian comes out to complain about Sheamus costing him his World Title opportunity on Friday, and Christian uses this chance to pool for a class action lawsuit with Ziggler and Rhodes against WWE, unless Christian gets “One More Match”. So Trips makes Christian vs. Sheamus for Hell in a Cell, vs. Randy Orton on Friday, and vs. John Cena tonight. Alrighty! “Is it for the title?” “No” “This is unacceptable!” Too funny. Ziggler whines some more, and draws Zack Ryder for a title match tonight. Cody mouths off, and ends up drawing a 10 man battle royal where he defends his IC Title.
SEGMENT RATING: 9/10. Hot crowd, use of some neglected upper carders, fresh perspective on storylines…..I like it!
Is it me, or does this group remind you of WWE midcarders of the 1980’s? It goes quick: McIntyre, Cara (after a twin magic moment), Riley, Gabriel, Morrison, Bryan, Dibiase, Jackson, bringing us down to Sheamus and Cody. The first ten guys that Triple H could find sadly did not include a janitor, Brooklyn Brawler, or 400 lb Dean Malenko. Sheamus has the late upper hand, but Christian comes out for the distraction. Sheamus gets hung up after a Brogue kick, and a mask shot knocks the big man to the floor. Christian assaults Sheamus afterward to further the story for Sunday.
WINNER: Cody Rhodes via elimination (Still WWE Intercontinental Champion)
RATING: 5/10. Not a great match, but it was a nice way to spread the air time around. Plus, Cody wins, so all is good.
Match 2: Kelly Kelly/Eve Torres vs. The Divas of Destruction.
Hey, it’s the Jimmy Snuka vs. Metal Maniac feud of the big leagues! I hope part 24 is as good as the previous 23! If you stuck a vacuum cleaner hose into Sofia Vergara’s body and sucked out her soul, wit, and curves, you’ve got Eve Torres. Eve takes a nice double support flapjack. Natalya then stretches her with a reverse surfboard, with Eve screaming like she’s in an apartment wrestling video with Bill Apter filming. Kelly Kelly gets the alleged hot tag (lotta boos) and steals Jericho’s lousy one armed bulldog. No worries though, as Beth finishes with the Glam Slam.
WINNERS: Divas of Destruction via Glam Slam
RATING: 4/10. Better than previous outings at least.
Match 3: Mark Henry vs. Great Khali (non title match)
Henry’s $250,000 fine is probably nothing for a man who’s worked here for fifteen years. Fine Ric Flair $100 and watch him fall to his knees crying.
Henry hits Khali with the belt before the match and quickly finishes with an impressive World’s Strongest Slam, with no decision rendered.
WINNER: Match never started
RATING: 8/10. Did exactly what it was supposed to do, and the World’s Strongest Slam looked great.
Match 4: John Cena vs. Christian (non title match)
JR: “Hell in a Cell is like church. Many attend, few understand”. Yeah, but you don’t have to put $44.95 in the plate. But first, Cena cuts a dim-light promo and mentions having that title ten times. I hope he breaks Ric Flair’s record. Inevitably, people will complain, and I’ll know which people aren’t worth being friends with. Cena punctuates his statement, and Alberto Del Rio makes his way out. Then CM Punk is out with his announcer’s jacket, as he and ADR are here to make a five man commentary team. What is this, the baseball scene from Naked Gun? Where’s Dr. Joyce Brothers? Cena’s a house of fire early, but Christian quickly takes over. Christian is chucked over the announce table, and in the confusion, Del Rio interferes, creating a DQ. Del Rio cuts a serious promo to emphasize his will to win while Punk and Cena look on.
WINNER: John Cena via DQ (interference)
RATING: 7/10. Frenetic and moved the story. Don’t ask for much.
Match 5: Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder (WWE United States)
Think Vickie recognizes Ryder as one of Edge’s lackeys? Oh right, continuity doesn’t exist, blah blah blah. Sizeable “Let’s Go Ryder” chant is heard. Vince really hates that newfangled internet, doesn’t he? And just to annoy the crowd, Jack Swagger interferes, allowing Ziggler to get the Zig Zag to win. Dolph unifies the US and Internet titles, right? Right? Afterward, Air Boom runs off Jack Dolph, and Teddy Long makes a six man tag, with Jack Dolph needing to choose a partner.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler via Zig Zag (Still WWE United States Champion)
RATING: 4/10. Holding off full judgment until the next match.
Match 6: Air Boom/Zack Ryder vs. Jack Dolph (Handicap Match)
Good, because a third partner would have ruined the symmetry of the awesome name. Bourne plays face in peril, as he’s best at, until Kofi gets the hot tag and becomes a house of fire. That’s when Vickie finally comes out with Mason Ryan (who seems even more massive than before; can he wipe his own ass?). Ryan gets the big tag and decides to beat the hell out of Jack Dolph. Ryan leaves, and Ryder gets the win over Ziggler.
WINNERS: Air Boom/Zack Ryder via Ruff Ryder
RATING: 5/10. Okay, that was fun. Not sure where it’s all going, but it’s fun.
Finally, a Ricardo sighting at 10:40. Cole shares my love of that Pugsley Adams lookalike. John Cena’s out here to do commentary, just so we can have the obvious mirroring of earlier tonight. Nice moment as Punk and Cena have a tense staredown outside, keeping the fuse for their awesome feud from the summer lit. Match is very, very fluid, which is what happens when two internationally-seasoned wrestlers are allowed to rise up the card, instead of just pretty boys from developmental. Del Rio’s working a peculiar looking armbar that has a cobra clutch style grip. I’m quite enjoying this match too much to transcribe it. Eric, if you’re reading this part, I’m sticking my tongue out at you. Punk builds a comeback, with Ricardo selling it fearfully, but the bulldog attempt leads to Del Rio attacking the arm that he’s spent all match working on. Awesome. Cross armbreaker attempt is countered by two knockout kicks from Punk for the surprising pin!
WINNER: CM Punk via roundhouse kick
RATING: 9/10. Just a great main event, and the out-of-nowhere ending made it.
Afterward, the cell lowers, trapping all three wrestlers and Ricardo. Punk and Cena, house show ending style, beat the hell out of Ricardo. Then they go after each other, but Del Rio destroys both with a chair.
OVERALL: A great go-home show for Hell in a Cell, which nullifies my ranting about two weeks notice to make fans spend $90 on one show (Night of Champions) that isn’t even paid off. The wrestling was mostly good, the crowd was hot, and lots of new/neglected characters were used. I didn’t mention David Otunga, who is apparently using his real life Harvard Law background to rally the heels, and he came off great speaking in the role. But beyond that, I’m quite looking forward to Hell in a Cell.
Thanks for shutting me up, WWE.
Justin Henry is a freelance writer whose work appears on many websites. He provides wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture columns for CamelClutchBlog.com, as well as several wrestling columns a week for WrestlingNewsSource.com and WrestleCrap.com. Justin can be found here on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/notoriousjrh and Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/cynicjrh.