Tuesday, 4 November 2014

WWE Hell in a Cell on Sky Box Office - TV Review

It's time to head into WWE territory once again as we take a belated look at this year's Hell in a Cell, shown recently on Sky Box Office here in Britain.

The broadcast began with Cesaro challenging Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental title in a best of three falls encounter.

As the old saying goes this was a great way to start the show, a match filled with some tremendous back and forth exchanges. It began with some good old fashioned wrestling, and as the action went on this writer was once again impressed with the way Cesaro went about his business. The guy looked top notch throughout, and Ziggler wasn't far behind him in that respect. As for the falls.....

The first fall went to Ziggler. After Cesaro took his man round with the big swing he went for the cover, with Ziggler quickly reversing to take the pin.

The second fall came after a great sequence of moves, and after Cesaro nearly executed his neutralizer Ziggler took the winning pin after the zig-zag.

The first Divas match of the evening was the battle of the Bella sisters, with the loser becoming the winner's personal assistant for thirty days.

You know, I really wasn't expecting too much from this match, but what I got was pleasantly surprising. It was a well executed encounter, with both of the twins putting in good performances as they put together some nice sequences.

The win went to Nikki. Having survived Brie's yes lock attempt she took her sibling down with the rack attack for the pin.

Then it was back to title action as the Usos challenged Goldust and Stardust for the Tag Team titles.

Although this was a match we've seen many times before it was still pretty entertaining, with both teams putting in good stints. The Rhodes boys looked the better of the teams once more, especially when they were using Jimmy as their punching bag, and when he managed to get the hot tag to his brother it signalled the start of some nice back and forth sequences between Jey and Goldie.

But despite his best efforts the Usos came up short as Goldie took the pin after taking down Jey with his neckbreaker variation.

Then it was on to Chapter 500 of the years-long rivalry between Randy Orton and John Cena in the first Hell in a Cell match, with the winner getting a shot at Brock Lesnar's title.

Despite my misgivings about seeing these two against each other again this proved to be a pretty decent encounter, and in the process they gave us a few things we probably haven't seen from their previous encounters.

It was an enjoyable contest from start to finish, with the toys brought in early on and the environment around them used to good effect as well, and as the match went on it really felt as if either man could take the win.

This was never more apparent when they both kicked out of each other's big moves, including the moment when Orton countered Cena's attitude adjuster into an RKO. It was a tremendous move, the best thing in this match, and it signified just how good this was.

So with all the big moves having failed it took something bigger than big to end the proceedings. With a table near the corner and both men jockeying for position on the top rope Cena finally took his man down with a super attitude adjuster through the table for the winning pin and the shot at the title.

It was back to title action next as the Miz, accompanied by Damian Mizdow, challenged Sheamus for the United States title.

I think the best way to describe this one is that it was interesting. The action in the ring was very good, with both Miz and Sheamus putting in good performances, but as our two protagonists went about their business the focus kind of shifted to what was happening at ringside, and that was because Miz's stunt double Mizdow basically mirrored almost everything Miz did in the ring.

It was definitely something I've never seen before, and I have to admit I found it quite interesting, although it did have a somewhat detrimental effect on the match, especially when the fans began a "Mizdow's awesome" chant.

As for the finish, that came when Sheamus connected with a brogue kick as Miz came down off the top rope.

The Cold War then came back into our living rooms as Russia's favourite Bulgarian Rusev, accompanied as always by Lana, took on America's latest defender of the flag, the Big Show.

Well, if you like two big guys beating the hell out of each other this one was for you. Okay, maybe I'm being a little unfair, because it wasn't actually that bad, and Rusev did look pretty decent here.

It was the kind of back and forth encounter I was expecting, with Rusev targeting Show's leg at one point, but when he managed to take the big man down with a vertical suplex that was impressive, and then some.

But despite being cheered on by every American on the planet (apparently) and Mark Henry at ringside Show couldn't get the job done, and after taking the big man down with a series of kicks Rusev applied his accolade finisher for the submission win.

The penultimate match saw Paige, accompanied by Alicia Fox, challenging A.J. Lee for the Divas title. Moving on.....

The main event saw Dean Ambrose taking on Seth Rollins in the second Hell in a Cell match.

If you want a good example of what Hell in a Cell should be about then watch this one. It had everything, a ton of drama, some massive bumps, two guys who hated each other beating the proverbial out of each other, and a rather nice surprise at the end.

The action began on top of the cage. Ambrose, kendo stick in hand, called his rival to join him at the summit of the structure. Rollins was reluctant to grant him his request, but after he sent his stooges Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury up to run interference Rollins quickly arrived on the scene for the sneak attack.

This soon led to the Joey Styles OMG moment of the night as both men hung on to the side of the cage clobbering each other, and when Ambrose connected with a headbutt it sent Rollins crashing through the Spanish announcer's table, with Ambrose joining him just seconds later.

But just when it looked as if the evening's entertainment was going to come to a premature end it got even better. As both men were being carted away on stretchers Ambrose came too, and after removing the straps that held him down he raced over to Ambrose's stretcher and attacked, ramming him into the Cell before throwing him inside, finally starting the match.

What followed was a continuation of what was turning out to be the best Cell match in years as they beat the hell out of each other. Ambrose began to dominate the proceedings as he used Rollins for target practice. However, he found his progress halted when Corporate Kane appeared out of nowhere and used a fire extinguisher to give Rollins the advantage.

The former demon soon made his escape from ringside, leaving our two men to continue their incredible encounter. It was the kind of match you couldn't take your eyes off as they continued to take each other apart, and Ambrose looked like he was loving every moment of it.

Then, it happened. The lights went out, and as everyone began to wonder what was happening we heard a strange incantation. Then a single solitary lamp appeared in the middle of the ring as smoke began to appear. It was then that Bray Wyatt appeared out of nowhere and attacked Ambrose.

The lights went out again a few seconds later, and when they came back on Wyatt was in the corner doing that crazy upside down thing of his, and after a brief crab walk he took Ambrose down with a side slam. While all of this was happening a weary Rollins watched on from nearby, and he looked somewhat nervous as he crawled over to Ambrose and covered him for the winning pin before he quickly made his escape.

Wyatt's work was far from over though, and the night's entertainment came to an end when he took Ambrose down with his sister Abigail.

In conclusion - I had considered skipping this review, mainly because my current commitments meant that I was finding it hard to find the time to watch this show. But having now seen this in full I'm glad I managed to fit this one in, because this year's Hell in a Cell proved to be a quality show.

The quality of the action ranged from good to great, and although the Cena/Orton Cell match was quite impressive they were completely overshadowed by the new kids on the block as Ambrose and Rollins stole the show, reminding this ageing wrestling fan of a certain Cell match back in 1998, and it just seemed so fitting that they were given the main event slot, because that match just wouldn't have worked in the middle of the card.

Having read that you've probably realised by now you've probably realised who's getting the no-prize for match of the night, with Ambrose and Rollins taking the honours here.

So with all of that out of the way there's just one more thing left to do, and that's to give this show the big thumbs up.