Monday, October 29, 2012

Hell in a Cell: Right Decision, Wrong Execution

Ryback stands tall, but Punk wins
Hell in a Cell 2012
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Chad Smart
@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter

As I start to type this, WWE’s Hell In A Cell pay per view has been over for about 12 hours.  I debated on writing because I found the show to be the perfect example of why monthly PPVs and themed PPVs shouldn’t exist and I didn’t want to spread more negativity around the My 1-2-3 Cents offices.  With that said, I don’t think HIAC was a bad show. It was just a show that had it not happened, no one would have missed it.


Normally I would start with the things I didn’t like about the show and end with the positives of the show. Unfortunately, I think the negatives outweigh the positives for HIAC so we’re going to start with the good stuff.

Overall the wrestling was good. The problem I had though was there was no match that had me interested in the outcome other than the WWE and World title matches.  With the exception of the Diva’s title, all of the outcomes were fairly predictable. Though I do take exception at Team Rhode Scholars winning by DQ, as I picked Team Hell No in the Rafter’s Radio pick ‘em contest since I didn’t see them losing the tag titles.

Kaitlyn shines in the Divas match
Hell in a Cell 2012
Photo courtesy: WWE
The World Title match between Sheamus and Big Show was the match of the night in my opinion and was a near perfect example of two power wrestlers beating the tar out of each other.  While the match was good, there’s one aspect that has me scratching my head. I’ll get to that in the negatives section.  I also thought the Divas title match was much better than expected.  Eve and Kaitlyn busted out some innovative moves and submission holds. If WWE ever gave the fans a reason to care about the Divas the talent is there for a solid division.  Those two matches and the lack of anything terrible are really the only positives I have for the show.

In addition to the announced matches, in what is becoming a monthly fixture, there were two unadvertised matches on the show. The U.S. Title match between Antonio Cessaro and Justin Gabriel made sense given the events on RAW. The Prime Time Players vs. the ReySins served no purpose other than to put a popular wrestler (Rey Mysterio) on the show.  

Gabriel misses the 450 Splash
Hell in a Cell 2012
Photo courtesy: WWE
Due to these additional matches, which were not short matches, they clocked in at a combined total of 20 minutes not including entrance times; the main event of the show only went 12 minutes.  I’m not saying had those matches not been on the show CM Punk and Ryback would have went longer. But I am hinting at poor time management on the show.

I have not missed Jerry Lawler since he’s been gone. In fact, when I heard his voice in one of the preview packages, I was reminded how irritating his voice is to me. JBL and Jim Ross have done a good job of filling in in the King’s absence along with a toned down Michael Cole. At HIAC though, I wanted to hit the mute button several times.  It sounded as if the three guys had gotten into an argument before the show and were determined not to work together.  Several times one of the commentators would say something and then another would repeat what was said. Then the original speaker would ridicule the repeater for saying what had just been said. If I didn’t know any better, I would also think someone had made a bet with JBL to see how many Notre Dame references and Oklahoma insults he could fit into the broadcast. Maybe it was an off night, or their minds were focused more on Hurricane Sandy. Whatever the reason, the commentary pulled the show down a notch or two.

Big Show beats Sheamus
Hell in a Cell 2012
Photo courtesy: WWE
During the Big Show/Sheamus match, the announcers made mention of Dolph Ziggler guaranteeing cashing in the Money In The Bank briefcase. They showed Dolph backstage watching the match. There were several references to Big Show’s 45-second title reign in December when Daniel Bryan cashed in the MITB case to become champion. After Show won the match, there was no Ziggler. There was no mention of Ziggler cashing in to try and become champion.  Maybe they should bring in Scooby Doo and the Mystery Gang tonight to solve the case of the Missing Zig. Seriously, what happened to Dolph cashing in during the show?

The backstage segments involving Paul Heyman and CM Punk trying to get the match with Ryback cancelled made little sense. First Heyman went to Vickie Guerrero to get the match cancelled and she said no. After a few matches, Heyman was shown going up to Vickie and thanking her for cancelling the match. She said the match was still on and Paul slinked off. Who told Paul the match was cancelled? Why did he go to Vickie a second time when she already said the match was happening?  It’s the little logic gaps or unexplained issues in WWE storytelling that brings down the entire story.

Punk with the kendo stick
Hell in a Cell 2012
Photo courtesy: WWE
Now, the main event, or “how to tell your fans you just wasted fifty dollars.”  Ryback losing was the right call. He’s not ready to be champion and ending the streak is a positive step.  Looking back at Goldberg’s streak, and how The Giant was unstoppable and quickly won the WCW title history will show you the longer one goes undefeated, the bigger and faster the fall is when they eventually lose. When a wrestler gets to the top of the mountain with little resistance it is harder to logically keep them of the perch after they get knocked off the top.  So Ryback losing will, in theory, help make him a bigger star in the long run if used properly.

Punk wins...with some help
Hell in a Cell 2012
Photo courtesy: WWE
That said, the cheating referee angle was not the way to end the unbeaten streak. Granted, it was better than Heyman using a cattle prod. Either because knowing the match wasn’t going to go long due to what time it started, or because the match was more a one sided affair with CM Punk getting in some offense but mostly being on the run for the match, the match just didn’t click with me. Yes, the visual of Ryback delivering the Shell Shock to Punk on top of the Cell will be a visual used in highlight packages for years to come, but the ten minutes preceding that moment weren’t good.

As I said, overall there’s nothing bad on the show and there are worse shows to spend your time watching. On the flip side, there’s nothing on the show that is must see. I’m guessing between the next 4 Raws and Survivor Series; we’ll see at least 90% of rematches from this show.

What did you think of the show?  Weigh in here or like us on Facebook and share your thoughts.

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