Written By: Alexander Settee
Hell In A Cell 2010, October 3, 2010, American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
Announcers: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, & Matt Striker
Opening Match, United States Championship Submissions Count Anywhere: Daniel Bryan vs. John Morrison vs. The Miz
The Setup: Bryan won the Title from Miz at Night of Champions, so Miz gets the rematch, but with John Morrison also thrown in by the GM and a questionable stip added as well.
The Action: The big problem with booking a match like this becomes apparent right away. That is that between the three of them, there is exactly one over submission move. So you have them trying moves on each other with no reaction because no one has seen these guys win matches with Fujiwara armbars or triangle chokes. Bryan pulls out Cattle Mutilation, but again, they crowd isn’t buying it. So they brawl through the crowd and up to the stage where Morrison dives on both of them from the top of the cage they have there as part of the set. He then gets Miz in a Texas cloverleaf, so we know who the agent for this match was, but Alex Riley runs out for the save. Bryan recovers and lays him out, and then he gets Miz in the LeBell Lock for the tap out to retain at 13:35.
The Verdict: In spite of the problems with the stip, this was actually a pretty good match. I think that they could have done better though had they not been limited. ***
WWE Championship Hell In A Cell Match: Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
The Setup: Orton won the belt at NOC so Sheamus gets a rematch inside the Cell for no good reason.
The Action: They brawl around the Cell early on, using he steps as their weapon of choice, and run each other to the cage several times. Sheamus eventually gains control and starts working over the midsection. He gets the steps into the ring, but ends up getting powerslammed onto them. Orton sets up the hanging DDT, which Sheamus escapes, but he gets rehooked and takes it from the apron to the floor instead. He then tries an RKO in the floor, but Sheamus counters and sends him to the post. Back in the ring, a Brogue Kick only gets 2, so Sheamus beats him down with a chair, but Orton kicks out from that at 2 as well. Another chairshot misses and Orton connects with the RKO, but Sheamus rolls to the floor. Orton sets up the punt, but Sheamus moves and hits another Brogue Kick which gets 2 back in the ring. He goes for the High Cross, but Orton escapes that and hits the RKO on the steps for the 3 count at 22:53.
The Verdict: I thought that this was a good match, and we got a good decisive winner so that Orton can now move on to another challenger. Good stuff. ***1/2
Nexus interrupts a NXT Divas promo so that Wade Barrett can let us know that he’s gonna win and they’ve got an armband all ready for Cena.
Then it’s time for an Alberto Del Rio promo. He’s interrupted by the Edge campaign against stupidity, teasing a future match between them. Alberto gets ready to fight, but now Jack Swagger, angry about having his little ceremony on Smackdown crashed by Edge, comes out and says that the only stupid thing here is that he’s not wrestling. Edge attacks him, but gets nailed by Alberto who then promptly vanishes. The Raw GM, represented by a new computer then sends a message which Michael Cole reads, and he says that Edge will have to apologize to him tomorrow on Raw, but for tonight he’ll have to face Jack Swagger in a match.
Edge vs. Jack Swagger
The Setup: We just saw it.
The Action: Swagger already has the advantage, so he continues beating on him. He keeps going for the ankle lock, but Edge is always one step ahead of that move. Edge then kicks Swagger as he tries the pump splash and hits a DDT. He gets caught on the spear though and hit with the gutwrench powerbomb, but still kicks out at 2. Swagger goes back to the ankle lock, but Edge escapes it yet again and hits the spear for 3 at 11:32.
The Verdict: This was nothing special at all, but I’m looking forward to Edge and Alberto Del Rio. **
Meanwhile, David Otunga lets the rest of Nexus know that he’s got something going on that won’t get Barrett disqualified.
John Cena Joining Nexus vs. Nexus Disbanding: Wade Barrett vs. John Cena
The Setup: Barrett made Cena run the gauntlet against the rest of Nexus on Raw to get the match here. Once he won, Barrett said he would only accept the match if Cena would join Nexus if he lost. Cena agreed on the condition that if he won, Nexus would be disbanded.
The Action: It’s kind of ironic that with Nexus interference in plenty of Cena matches, this is the one feud where Hell in a Cell would be a natural progression, but they don’t get it. The interference issue is addressed by saying that if they do get involved, Cena will be declared the winner. Cena out wrestles Barrett early, and as he hoists him for the AA, Nexus comes out, but they don’t touch anyone. Barrett reminds them to stay back before sending Cena to the post. He works Cena over for a bit, and then Cena comes back with the usual. After the Five Knuckle Shuffle, Big Show leads the locker room down to send Nexus packing. I should note here that it’s Raw and Smackdown guys working together to do this which is just great when the next PPV in three weeks is based around an alleged rivalry between the two groups. So anyways, the match continues, and Barrett regains control. They work to a bit where Barrett hits Wasteland and Cena kicks out, but then Barrett gets to kick out of the AA. Cena hooks the STF, but then a “fan” hits the ring. While the ref deals with him, another “fan” runs in and nails Cena. Barrett covers, and gets the 3 count at 17:51.
The Verdict: After the match they did a great job of pushing this as a big deal as they found quite a few shocked fans in the crowd and showed their reactions, and they also did the thing where they followed a dejected Cena leaving the ring. Where they’re going with it is interesting as of the first Raw, so hopefully it will continue. The match itself was pretty good too and that’s good for Barrett as he didn’t fold under the pressure of being in a big singles match. ***1/4
Josh Matthews then finds Paul Bearer who tells us that for the past six years he’s been biding his time and now was the point for him to come back. That would be a hint for the people who remember what happened six years ago.
Divas Championship Match: Michelle McCool vs. Natalya
The Setup: Natalya won a battle royal on Raw to become the #1 Contender, and she gets the shot.
The Action: Even though they’re billed as the “co-champions”, notice how it’s Michelle who always gets the PPV payoffs? Not that Layla’s a great wrestler or anything, but she’s clearly positioned as second fiddle to Michelle, who isn’t exactly worlds above her. Natalya outwrestles Michelle to start, but makes the mistake of going after Layla on the floor and gets clotheslined. Michelle works her over in the ring using a bodyscissors, but gets caught using the ropes. Natalya comes back and Layla gets up on the apron, but Natalya avoids a kick from Michelle which hits Layla instead. She gets a rollup, but the ref is getting Layla out and it only ends up getting 2. She hooks the Sharpshooter, which Michelle counters to the heel hook, but she counters it back and at that point Layla throws her shoe at her for the DQ at 4:53. Natalya then clears them out after the match so the feud will continue.
The Verdict: The awful, awful finish aside, this was the best Divas match on PPV in a long time. And not coincidentally it was the result of letting the best woman wrestler they have (sorry Matt Striker, I’m not talking about Michelle McCool), you know, wrestle. *1/2
Main Event, World Heavyweight Championship Hell In A Cell Match: Kane vs. The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer)
The Setup: Kane beat Undertaker clean at NOC, but the return of Paul Bearer on Smackdown to give Taker his powers back has apparently was reason enough for Taker to remain the top contender and get another shot, which is in the Cell, again for no good reason.
The Action: Bearer wants to be in the Cell, but Taker makes him leave which gives Kane the chance t attack and they briefly brawl on the outside. Finally they get in and the match starts. Kane goes to work on the leg with a chair, but Taker makes the comebacks and gets his stuff in. He hooks Hell’s Gates at one point, but Kane breaks by getting to the floor. They both kick out of chokeslams, and then Kane kicks out of a Last Ride while Taker kicks out of a Tombstone. This pisses Kane off, so he nails the ref, and they have to open the cage to get him out and a new one in. This also lets Bearer sneak in. Kane stalks him into the ring, which looks bad because Bearer clearly doesn’t move very well anymore. Taker eventually sits up and hits a chokeslam. He sets up for the Tombstone, but Bearer opens the urn and shines alight in his eyes. This blinds Taker and lets Kane hit a chokeslam for the 3 count to retain at 21:42.
The Verdict: This wasn’t a good match and wasn’t a good way to end this show. Bearer turning on Taker was pretty predictable, but at least it makes sense. Apparently this is going to lead to a Buried Alive Match to end the feud, but I can’t say I’m looking forward to that. *
Overall Thoughts: Three good matches out of six is a pretty good score, but none of them were over the top great, and the show was dragged down by a bad main event with a downer ending to boot. There’s not that much else to say, so since I’m coming out of it feeling that it wasn’t a bad show overall, but also that it wasn’t that good overall, that makes it Thumbs in the Middle for Hell In A Cell 2010.