26th Oct2015

‘WWE Hell in a Cell 2015′ PPV Recap & Review

by Phil Wheat

Hell in a Cell is a pay per view that has spawned some classic WWE matches over the years. But since the end of the Attitude Era, and in particular the more “hardcore” style of wrestling, the idea of two men fighting in a cage seems to have lost steam within the company. Especially in the current PG-era of the WWE, where brutality is no longer favoured. But that’s not to say the event can’t still shock – and this year’s PPV in particular held a surprise that would leave fans stunned during the very first match.

As always SPOILERS if you haven’t seen the PPV yet…

hell-in-a-cell-15-screen

Kicking off with the usual pre-show, Hell in a Cell 2015‘s kickoff match would be a six-man tag featuring Neville, Cesaro and Dolph Ziggler versus the “evil trio” of Wade Barrett, Sheamus and Rusev. Although it would be Sheamus, Neville and Cesaro who would in the end carry the weight of this match, with Cesaro and Neville working together to pull of some intersting new moves mixed with of the pairs well-worn finishers. Cesaro would end the match by putting Barrett is the Cesaro Swing after a superick to Barrett from Ziggler, Cesaro eventually setting Neville up for the Red Arrow and the pinfall.

Winners: Neville, Cesaro and Dolph Ziggler 

To the show proper, and as per the bombastic backstage interview in the pre-show, John Cena comes out to issue the US Open Challenge to kick off the pay per view. And the first shock of the night? The challenge was answered by non other than Zeb Coulter… and Alberto Del Rio! Yes, Del Rio, who has most recently been working for Lucha Underground and was rumoured for a WWE return at Wrestlemania, took up John Cena’s call to action for a match that was fast paced and reminiscent of the duo’s previous clashes – the pair obviously work well together and it showed here. A bit of back and forth led to Del Rio superkicking Cena for a surprise win. Welcome back El Patron!

Winner, and new US Champion: Alberto Del Rio

Time for the first actual Hell in a Cell match between Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt. A feud that has been brewing for what seems like years comes to a supposed head in a match that finally sees Wyatt without any help from the rest of the his greasy clan. Some solid work from the pair, both utilising their collection of movies, would lead to Wyatt bringing out a Kendo stick to try and wear down Reigns. A superman punch from Reigns and a couple of destroyed tables later (both Reigns and Wyatt would use the tables to their advantage) and Wyatt still had enough steam to kick out of a huge pin by Reigns, which almost saw the ref mangled up in the action. A huge spear by Reigns, sending Bray Wyatt through a table for a second time, would lead to yet another near-fall and more back and forth between the pair. Another near-fall, this time from Wyatt, followed by a Kendo stick or two from Reigns with another huge spear to secure the win.

Winner: Roman Reigns

A video package showing the previous Monday’s Raw, and the destruction of Xavier Woods at the hands of John Cena and the Dudleys revealed that Woods is out of action for tonights match, making the Tag Team Championship a seemingly even match between The New Day and the Dudley Boyz. Big E and Kofi make up for Woods’ absence by being even more obnoxious than normal… The match kicks off with a strong start from the Dudleys, leaving New Day running scared. After a quick regroup New Day take charge of the match, with a HUGE splash from Big E on Devon and a quick near-fall. Some more back and forth, each team getting a chance to shine. A hilarious misdirect from Kofi using their trombone in an attempt to get the Dudleys disqualified would not pay off. But a sneaky hit to Bubba Ray across the back with the trombone from Big E, followed by another huge boot from Kofi and a pin to retain the tag titles would end this disappointing and lacklustre match.

Winners, and still tag Team Champions: The New Day

Another  video package introduces the Divas rematch between Charlotte and Nikki Bella. This Divas title match is under the stipulation that there’s no outside interference from either Team Bella or Team PBC, though given current storylines that didn’t seem likely… Time for the second big shock of the night. No, not a title win by Nikki, but rather a pretty decent performance from the Diva instead. Nikki Bella’s moves looked solid for once, with some great submission moves. However she was out-classed by Charlotte who pulls off two great counters (including an epic top-rope maneuver) despite having to sell a back injury from Nikki. Charlotte would eventually end the match with her figure eight finisher, making Nikki Bella submit for the win.

Winner, and still Divas Champion: Charlotte

A big sell for the World Championship match with a video that recaps each and every recent encounter between Kane and Seth Rollins, meaning we didn’t have to sit through this now-tedious storyline on Raw for the past few months. The match, with the stipulation that if Kane loses he’s no longer DOO of Raw, itself plays out exactly as you’d expect. A swift back and forth between the pair, with Rollins gaining the upper hand early on. Kane eventually takes Rollins up onto the announce table for a chokeslam which is reversed by Rollins, who powerbommbs Kane onto the Mexican announce table which DOES NOT collapse under Kane’s weight. Not sure if that was intentional or just bad positioning by the pair… Rollins gets the upper hand, hitting a frog splash (to the delight of the crowd who chant “Eddie, Eddie”) on Kane before scoring a near-fall. A pele later and Rollins scores the pinfall.

So what now for this feud? And what about Kane – no longer a corporate entity, he surely now has free reign to pursue Rollins at every turn unhindered by his membership of The Authority.

Winner, and still WWE World Champion: Seth Rollins

A predictable World Championship match was followed by another championship match – this time between Ryback and Kevin Owens, two huge men with growing fanbases. Owens especially had a lot of heat with the crowd following his kickoff show comments and his disrespect for the L.A. Lakers. Probably the biggest let down of the night, the match between Owens and Ryback saw the majority if the match ruled by Ryback (I really thought they were going for a squash match for the title tonight), before a failed finisher for the big guy saw Owens scrambling on the apron before hitting his pop-up powerbomb finisher for the all-too-quick win. A weak finish for a weak match. Time for Owens to move on to another feud methinks.

Winner, and still Intercontinental Champion: Kevin Owens

Hell in a Cell 2015 ended with the biggest, and most anticpated match of the night. Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker inside a steel cage. Lesnar came out strong to his music, really looking pumped and ready to really (and I mean really) fight as he ran back and forth between the ropes. Meanwhile ‘Taker looks better than he’s done in years, staring down the Beast as the bell rings  and the match turns into an MMA slugfest as the crowd explodes. Taker takes total control as the match opens, busting open Lesnar early on before the tide turns and Lesnar fights back – with a little help from a chair. Three suplexes, two F-5′s and a set of steel steps to the face don’t put the Undertaker away but does score Lesnar some very-near falls. Taker eventually fights back, with a chokeslam and tombstone to Lesnar onto the exposed wood of a destroyed ring, but its not enough to end the match. A low blow from Lesnar (payback from their previous encounter) and a third F-5 scores the Beast the pinfall.

The match ends with the ring literally torn to pieces, both men bloody and battered (both were busted open during their confrontation) and both having seemed to have given it their all. ‘Taker gets to soak in the fan appreciation after the match, selling the beating from Lesnar as he does so. Then comes the final surprise of the night… the annihilation of ‘Taker at the hands of the Wyatt family.

Given the number of times we saw the ad for Survivor Series and “25 Years of The Undertaker” I’m guessing something big is planned for that pay per view, probably involving the Wyatts. But for now Hell in a Cell 2015 looks like the end of Taker and Lesnar’s feud. Leaving everything open for a huge 25 year celebration for Mark Calloway’s iconic deadman.

Winner: Brock Lesnar
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Well another pay per view with all the titles on the line and another pay per view were nothing really changes. Only Cena dropped the belt and that was expected given that we knew he had requested time off after Hell in a Cell. A couple of questions do remain however. What now for Roman Reigns? His feud with Bray Wyatt reignited his WWE career following the huge audience turn on his championship run. But with no feud where does he go from here? Back to teaming with Dean Ambrose – probably, esepcially given the pair now seem to have nothing to do on Raw each week. Then there’s Kane… Will losing his role as DOO make him more lethal, really unleashing the demon of old? One would hope so. Like ‘Taker, Kane is getting on in age and maybe it’s time for one last, huge, push for his demon Kane character.

Not a fantastic pay per view by any stretch of the imagination. The high of the opening match, with the surprise appearance of Alberto Del Rio set the bar too high for the rest of the night, which was left to pan out in the usual, predictable, WWE way. Until the last cage match, which seemed to be something of a return to the bloody, brutal, classic Hell in a Cell matches of old – odd for the PG-filled action that had come before but hey-ho, that’s the WWE for you…

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