The Undertaker vs CM Punk
Probably a good choice for opener, in order to spread the cell matches around a little bit, the first bout was the Hell in a Cell match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Now don’t get me wrong, this was an enjoyable match and in fact quite a good match, but this didn’t feel like a Cell match in execution. This felt like a normal match which the giant cage surrounded. CM Punk’s work of Taker’s knee and then the Deadman’s subsequent selling of it were well done, and so were the nearfalls, such as the one from the Last Ride in the corner. I also enjoyed some of the spots they did such as CM Punk’s attempt at his knee strike bulldog combo on the apron which Taker countered. I also enjoyed CM Punk reversing Old School into what was effectively the Go2Sleep, and I think that was the intent judging by Punk’s reaction to the two count, but the crowd nor announcers seemed to pick up on it.All the same though, this felt like a match with a cage around it rather than the usual great Cell match we get, so while this was still an enjoyable match, it still was very much underwhelming especially considering the rather flat finish of chokeslam>tombstone>pin. I was also surprised to see them not play off the Hell’s Gate really, considering it was unbanned and after all the controversy at Breaking Point. While I still think CM Punk was hot as champion and they may end up regret having lose cleanly here, there was no real way of having Punk win and there was no way of having Taker lose again, if you get my meaning. We shall have to see where the latest Undertaker World Title reign will take us. ***
Dolph Ziggler vs John Morrison
Next up was the Intercontinental Championship match that never was at Breaking Point. This was what was widely expected to be the ‘workrate’ match of the nioght and it certainly was. They built slow with some mat grappling, before going on to some nice rope sequences before getting to the big moves. This was a very exciting match with lots of believable near falls, and they hit their moves with stunning fluidity. Minor complaints are that there wasn’t a whole lot of a story being told, but they weren’t really given one too work off of. Also for the length of time they had, there was probably a little too much mat wrestling as this began to lose the crowd a little , but only because of the length of time the match had, and they won them back eventually all the same. If or when Ziggler will win the title is to be determined but his performances are getting better and for me this was his most impressive PPV showing yet. ***1/4
Then the ninja turtles arrived. Fantastic.
Alicia Fox vs Mickie James
Next in what was probably the least anticipated match since Kane vs Khali, came the Diva’s title match. At this point I realise there’s a ‘Where’s My ECW Title Match?’ sign in the audience. What followed was an inoffensive, thankfully short divas match, that did quite well in the time it got, apart from Mickie once again botching her jumping DDT finish. Keeping the belt on Mickie was pretty much the only way to go here, because even though Alicia shows some promise, she’s still really too green to be able to carry the women’s division on RAW. 3/4*
Chris Jericho and The Big Show vs Batista and Rey Mysterio
In my opinion, post draft WWE have done a great job (as well as respective holders) in rebuilding the meaning of their tag team and intercontinental championship belts, and with respect to the tag team belts, that continued with this event in a fantastic tag team match. This match had it all, and the best part about it was that even when Batista and Big Show were in there, the guys opposite them made sure that it was still a good match in how they were used. The sections with Mysterio and Jericho were great as expected, and we also got one of the hottest and best home stretches to a WWe tag team match for a long time, with some great spots with the 619s, the double spear on the outside and then the knockout punch finish, which although we’ve seen similar before, is a great way to end a match. I also really enoyed the commentary on this match. JR and Todd Grisham did really well to put over literally everything, from each individual wrestler, the wrestlers as teams, the moves and even the crowd. From a ’smart’ fan perspective it was going to be interesting, as much like Punk vs Undertaker, it was hard to have anyone lose, with Batista being Batista, Rey making his return and Show and Jericho doing so well with the belts. This ended up being a great match and mainly because of CM Punk vs Undertaker being a disappointment more than a bad match, this tag match became my favourite match of the night so far. ***3/4
Randy Orton vs John Cena
Now this is where match order got a little bit odd. To me, no matter the booking of either match, this had to be the main event really, now this feud has developed enough to be properly blown off in Hell in a Cell, having it here doesn’t have the same effect. However, the reason for this became clear by the end of the match, as they don’t usually like to go off the air with a heel win unless it’s a majorly important one and here, Randy Orton choked Cena out and then punted him to regain the WWE championship. This was actually a solid if not really exciting match, that wasn’t really a Hell in a Cell match either, but this one had more of a story and more history to build off which made up for the lack of brutality and at least made it feel like a big match. While the match did keep fading away into the usual plodding fare we expect from Randy Orton, there were some bright spots, like Cena’s aggressive throwing of the stairs at Orton, the nearfalls we got from the Attitude Adjustment and the RKO and the interesting way Orton choked out Cena to get to the finish. While, I did predict this result based on this week’s TV and the ‘no more rematches’ clause, I don’t see what the point of the switch was other than to sadly create another John Cena/Randy Orton match, probably now at Survivor Series, and sadly even with a month and a half break, this feud has really long since ran it’s course. Ah, so we’re just going straight to another match at Bragging Rights then. While the Ironman format will freshen things up, if this is a 1 hr Ironmatch match…oyy..who really wants to see either of these guys wrestle for an hour? **3/4
R-Truth vs Drew McIntyre
Drew McIntyre made his full WWE wrestling debut, marking it with a win against established mid carder R-Truth. They were given five minutes and it was frankly fairly unspectacular. In my opinion McIntyre wasn’t give enough offense to properly get himself over as the badass heel they want him to be, and while he bumped around well for Truth, a little heat of his own wouldn’t have hurt. The older male section of the crowd (who had been smarky all night) chanted boring on and off throughout, which definitely didn’t help matters. The match itsself was solid, but it didn’t give me enough to see the future World Champion in the young Scot just yet. *1/2
The first really interesting backstage segment came with Randy Orton and his Legacy, and it worked well to put over Hell in a Cell and showed just what Legacy have turned into after spending so long as Orton’s lackeys.
The Miz vs Jack Swagger vs Kofi Kingston
When he came out, Miz had a microphone, and promised to become US champion, and he complained about having to win it in Newark, New Jersey, where all sewers lead to. Miz asked the mayor to ban him from the city so he’d never have to come back. basic cheap heat promo. Jack Swagger now has gloves for those that care. This was a good match, but not great as it was more a collection of spots than a story or supreme wrestling match, but when the mid card is as negelcted as it is on RAW this was all you could ask for really, and I did enjoy it. I was surprised to see Kofi retain but it’s good to see how much confidence the writers or bookers have in him, but now I think Miz and Swagger will have to move onto other things, as Kofi has beaten them both now on a couple of occasions. Obviously, in hindsight, Miz won, pretty much negating this match. Go figure. **3/4
D-Generation X vs Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase
Now, as much a big deal as DX is, and as much a good way to get Legacy over as this is, this should have swapped places with Cena and Orton in my opinion. With this being said, this match had a story interesting enough to justify it being the main event. Things started hot with a wild brawl outside the cell, and Triple H being laid out and then locked out of the Cell, leaving Legacy to have what must have been 15 minutes alone with a one legged Shawn Michaels, whose knee had been attacked with a chain beforehand. What followed wasn’t an amazing wrestling match, but good storytelling and booking. I enjoyed the sadistic nature of Legacy’s beatdown and their smack talk during and I think both Hunter and Shawn worked their facial expressions well. This for me, was match of the night and an appropriate to end the feud, and while Legacy do look a little stupid for not just pinning HBK, it works from a storyline point of having them making the mistake of enjoying the beatdown too much. ***3/4
Overall, this was an excellent show, as everything delivered, and the things I didn’t expect much from, weren’t bad at all. Overall I’d recommend finding a way to see this show if you didn’t on Sunday and contrary to what I expected, the three Cell match format actually worked out well.
Answered By: whatsyourexcuse - 10/10/2009