LaBar: WWE's 'Hell in a Cell' starts strong, leaves questions
WWE's “Hell in a Cell” pay-per-view ended with John Cena as World Heavyweight Champion, Randy Orton as WWE Champion and with Shawn Michaels and Triple H physically involved in the finish of the main event
Some things never change.
Despite the cast of significant characters circa 2008, the event was enjoyable. There were some questionable booking decisions, but it was wrapped up in solid entertainment for three hours.
CM Punk beat Ryback — again. What felt like the blowoff for Punk and Heyman took place on top of the cell after the match. The storytelling and chemistry with those two is great but at what expense for guys, such as Ryback and Curtis Axel, who haven't lived up to the success of being “Paul Heyman guys?”
Speaking of Axel, an injury led to him being taken off the card. This couldn't come at a worse time. Then again, I think Axel might have had a good chance of losing the Intercontinental belt to Big E. Langston on the pre-show if he competed. So, maybe him not competing worked out better.
Langston had a great match against United States Champion Dean Ambrose. A count-out finish allowed Ambrose to escape with the title, but Langston looked strong. Big things are ahead for Langston.
The spot of the night — perhaps the match of the night — was the opening contest. The triple-threat tag-team match was a work of art. Opening a pay-per-view strong is as important as finishing strong. Cody Rhodes suplexing Seth Rollins from the top rope to the outside of the ring on top of the rest of the match's participants garnered one of those memorable and organic energized crowd reactions for the next minute. The pay-per-view cost of admission was delivered as much as possible in that match alone.
Kane returned after The Miz was beat down by members of the Wyatt family. Kane got rid of the Wyatts but then attacked Miz. One can only hope Kane joins the faction, as I've been fantasy booking for five months.
Cena returned and won the World Heavyweight Championship. I don't think Cena gets very far with the title. It would be a smart move to do a big promotional build to him making his “SmackDown” debut as the champion and have Damien Sandow cash in on that night. It would be fitting for the evening and could happen when they tape the show Tuesday. This would get three days of buzz from the fans, as it would get spoiled on the Internet.
Sandow versus Cena in Cena's hometown of Boston for “Survivor Series.” Sounds like a great rub for Sandow.
The final match left reason to watch “Monday Night RAW” as more questions need to be answered, and I'm interested in the fallout.
Michaels kicking Bryan wasn't a shock, as most people assumed he would do that. It was either that or help Bryan beat Orton. Michaels was a special guest referee, and the whole purpose is to swerve the match.
Michaels helped Orton win but did it with remorse on his face. This was necessary, because if he celebrated with Triple H and Orton, then his heel turn would have to lead to a payoff, which would have to lead to Michaels making an in-ring return.
The chase is where the money is at. Bryan's chase continues. I just hope that chase still has value to the audience and is worth more than the opening bidding price at the TNA Wrestling auction.