Reviewing the Review: Hell in a Cell 2015

This is a show that I did not want to see. In case you didn’t notice it in my 148 different versions of complaining about the show, this was the least interested I’ve been in a pay per view since…..well since whenever TNA last had a pay per view probably. It’s almost entirely made of rematches, which can work but in this case I wasn’t interested in the matches the first time around either. This is the dark time of the year for the company but I wound up really liking the show. A lot of that was due to the lack of expectations but let’s see how well it holds up.

The pre-show match saw Cesaro/Neville/Dolph Ziggler defeating Rusev/Sheamus/King Barrett. This was ALL about Cesaro, who hit a stretch in the middle of the match where he had the fans more fired up than anyone this side of Daniel Bryan. It was fun, it was entertaining, and it was followed by two straight pinfall losses on TV the following week. This is what you’re going to get in WWE: someone starts getting over and it’s not something they want to happen so it’s time to have them lose when more people are watching. The match was really fun though and did exactly what it needed to be.

Alberto Del Rio was the surprise for the US Title Open Challenge. This was indeed a big surprise, but the more I think about it the more unsure I am. Let’s get the good out of the way first: it wasn’t Big Show or some other goon that no one wanted to see. Del Rio is fine but he’s not the most interesting guy in the world by any stretch. He’s a good choice going forward as a midcard champion and the Zeb Colter as manager addition is a nice touch. However, Del Rio has never shown the ability to make me care about him as a heel. He has the in ring abilities but the lack of charisma hurts him. I could go for another face run though.

As for the match, it was just a step ahead of a squash with Del Rio winning clean with the low superkick (there’s a drinking game with that move). This seems to send Cena away for the next few months, which might help freshen things up a little bit. The ending could have been more but it’s nice to have the ending be a clean pin. Also, Del Rio FINALLY beats Cena on his own. Well done indeed.

Next up we had the first Cell match with Roman Reigns defeating Bray Wyatt. This was a good, hard hitting match but it didn’t need to be inside the Cell. This was really just a glorified street fight that happened to be inside the big cage, which isn’t the point of a match like this. You could have just had a regular cage match or barred anyone from ringside with a threat of suspension or whatever. The story leading up to this made it fit in the Cell but the execution didn’t work.

I do like that Reigns won and ended the feud (for now, because you know they’ll get together again one day, probably on a meaningless Raw where they “renew their rivalry”). Wyatt will of course be fine because wins and losses mean nothing (so he’s Nikki with a beard) to him. It’s a good match though and about what I was expecting from these two.

New Day beat the Dudleyz in another average match. This really felt like the end of the feud and at this point that’s the best thing they can do. The Dudleyz never needed to win the titles again and it’s cool to see the New Day get a win over the most successful tag team of all time. Above all else though: this match showed how much New Day needs Woods around. It wasn’t bad or anything without him but he’s the heart and soul of the team.

Charlotte retained the Divas Title over Nikki Bella in a really well done match. Nikki has started getting some psychology down and isn’t screwing up such basic stuff. Also it was nice to see Charlotte win a big match for a change as she’s spent the last month getting beaten up and then often losing. I can live with her following the 1995 Randy Savage formula of getting destroyed and then hitting one big move to retain the title. Taking a beating is fine as long as she survives.

However, Charlotte and the rest of the newcomers (as in the women who arrived three months ago) desperately need personalities. Charlotte is Ric Flair’s daughter, Becky has red hair and great legs and Sasha is spunky. What else is there to say about these three since they’ve been in WWE? Nikki has a character (not a great one but at least it’s there) and is more interesting as a result. Let them have characters (like Paige, who is starting to get there) and there might be an actual division.

Ambrose and Reigns had a nothing segment in the back that seemed to be setting up something for the next night which didn’t really happen.

Seth Rollins retained over Kane in another lame match. What was anyone expecting here? This has been the Kane formula for nearly fifteen years now: he’s an unstoppable killing machine for weeks until he has a match where he’s just a power wrestler. I don’t know why anyone expected anything different and the match was as normal as any Kane match where he clearly had no chance to leave with the title.

Kevin Owens beat Ryback to retain the title in a short match that felt like it got cut down due to time. There’s really not much to say here because it was a Raw match that ended with Owens hitting his finisher. Ryback is probably going to drop down from the ranks soon and now we get a new challenger for Owens, which is probably good at this point.

That leaves us with the main event of Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker. I’m not sure what to say here. They beat the heck out of each other and bled a lot, making it better than most Cell matches in recent years. The blood was such a nice touch and it really made the match feel like a war. It’s really tiring seeing people fight in something considered the most violent match in the world and never get that intense.

The idea here was that Lesnar is now the perfect fighting machine after learning from Undertaker…..but he kind of already was that in the first place. He regularly beat the tar out of anyone he fought, he made Undertaker tap and he’s an awesome amateur wrestler. I like the idea but it’s not something that holds up when you think about it for a little bit. Still though, Brock ripping up a ring and F5ing Undertaker on the exposed boards (after the hardest low blow I’ve ever seen) for the win was great stuff and made him look like an eve bigger killer than he was before.

Then the Wyatts kidnapped Undertaker to set up a Survivor Series match. That’s fine and there’s not much else to go into here, other than SHUT UP JBL! The entire time this was going on, JBL kept going on and on about how disrespectful it was to Undertaker to have a backwoods cult kidnap him, presumably to torture him or perform some ritual. Yeah Brock Lesnar can beat on him with a chair, make him bleed, crush his groin and drop him head first onto exposed boards, but the Wyatts were just rude. It was a moment that really didn’t need commentary and JBL really hurt the segment.

The more I think about this show, the less I like it. There’s a lot of good stuff on it but most of the title matches bring it down. It’s still a good show and a very nice surprise over what it was going to be, but it was really just a last stop before the company could start caring again. Hopefully they go somewhere interesting from here and this would be a good start to get there. The show wasn’t great but it was a good enough usage of three hours.


Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of Complete 1997 Monday Night Raw Reviews at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

And check out my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:

1 comment

  1. bj says:

    Honestly y don’t wwe push Cesaro? He has been awesome and even if they don’t push him 4 da world title at least give him a intercontinental title or us title feud. He can elevate either title and can have a classic feud w/Owens cena or del Rio.