The Hell in a Cell match in WWE has been one that’s produced great match after great match over the years, with legends such as Mick Foley, The Undertaker, Triple H and Shawn Michaels all having their careers made inside the satanic steel structure. On this night, we got to see John Cena take on Randy Orton inside the cell for the right to a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Brock Lesnar, as well as upcoming stars and former Shield cohorts Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose having what can only be described as an all out brawl inside the super size steel cage, with pretty much everything but the proverbial kitchen sink thrown at both men. Not only that, but we have a sister vs sister match with a lot at stake, the Tag Team, United States and Divas Championships are on the line, and we get to see the continued rise of a Russian/Bulgarian villain.
Strap on your seatbelts, and let’s get ready for a ride, as Hell in a Cell matches are always guaranteed to be extreme, one way or another, but before the big matches come, we’ve got a card full of superstars who are determined to make themselves the centre of the stage despite the bigger names that are due to take on one another inside the 20ft high, 5 tons of steel structure.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Cesaro – 2-out-of-3 Falls Intercontinental Championship Match
This 2 out of 3 falls match was already included on the WWE Best PPV Matches of 2014 DVD, and for good reason, as Cesaro and Ziggler continue to impress in a technical clinic that shows off the contrasting styles of both men, with Ziggler showing off his flashy charisma, bullet quick offence and selling ability, and with Cesaro playing the super strongman, throwing Ziggler around as if he weighed nothing! It’s been mentioned many times previously, but seeing either the Showoff or the King of Swing in action is always a treat, and if these guys met every week, it goes without saying that they’d still consistently pull out something surprising for the WWE Universe to be held in awe by. Classic match.
Nikki Bella VS Brie Bella
The spouses of John Cena and Daniel Bryan took on one another in what ended up being a surprisingly good match, all things considered. Oh, and did we mention the loser of this would have to become, ahem, the winner’s, uh, well, we won’t repeat what was said on RAW, but put it this way, the loser would be made to be the winner’s personal assistant for 30 days, or face contract termination. Nikki Bella played the heel in this bout against her sister Brie Bella, and gee whizz, it’s almost as if the influence from their partners had been rubbing off on the two. They really brought out a brutal cat fight from one another that was a bit more in line with what you’d see in the Attitude Era, as opposed to this feud’s origins on Total Divas. Very enjoyable, and a good sign that when given the incentive and time, WWE can really pull off great women’s matches without having to have the championship on the line. Despite the feud and build to this point, which was at a push kinda entertaining, this exceeded expectations.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Gold & Stardust VS The Usos
A rematch from the previous pay-per-view, but this time, the Rhodes brothers walked into the bout against the Samoan Siblings as the defending champions. Jimmy and Jey lost their championships to the men now known as Gold & Stardust at Night of Champions, and they looked to regain the gold, er, bronze here tonight. The story going into this was that Gold & Stardust, being the dastardly villains that they are, unfairly attacked Jey Uso’s knee/leg area time and time again, and at one point, had the Samoan on crutches, but on the previous RAW, Jey brandished his shackles and ran down to the ring to attack the Rhodes. Ultimately, the leg was what gave the men in gold the victory, and despite this being a rematch from Night of Champions with more of the same, this told a different story and featured a few different spots we’ve not seen before, including an impressive double superplex.
John Cena VS Randy Orton – Hell in a Cell Match
Much like the opening bout, this match was also featured on the WWE Best PPV Matches of 2014 DVD. Although I think this has less of a right to be there than the opener, saying that, if you look at this bout as an individual fight and not as part of a wider picture, it’s pretty damn great. Heck, even where it’s placed on the pay-per-view, it’s pretty fantastic, too. It’s about halfway through the card and gives the fans a good taste of the brutality of Hell in a Cell without going too far into ridiculous territory, which is of course, saved for the main event. The major flaw here, as was mentioned in the Best PPV Matches review, is that these guys have faced each other time and time again. In face, this was match number 21 between Cena and Orton, and this isn’t counting tag team matches, matches with other people included (such as the Wrestlemania 24 main event), and only counting matches on WWE television. Yeah, Cena and Orton always pull off a clinic against each other, and if you haven’t seen them wrestle before, it’s great, but for someone who has seen one of their matches before, you know what you’re in for. Also mentioned is the fact that despite Ambrose beating Cena in a match for the right to be in the main event against Seth Rollins, Cena gets a shot at becoming number one contender anyway. Silly.
United States Championship Match – Sheamus VS The Miz
Now if you don’t love Mizdow, you should. In fact, watch this match if you don’t, or just look at the picture up there. Damien Sandow, known as Mizdow, accompanied The Miz to the ring for his match with the Celtic Warrior, Sheamus, for the United States Championship. To say that Sandow stole the show yet again would be an understatement. For those who haven’t been keeping track of WWE lately, The Miz has come off of a stint in Hollywood and reformed himself as a movie star, with Damien Sandow being Miz’s stunt double, mimicking all of his actions, offensive or otherwise. As Jerry Lawler says, it’s “sorta like synchronised swimming”. Whatever it is, it’s hilarious. A fairly average WWE PPV style match made very entertaining by Sandow.
Rusev VS The Big Show
Rusev and Lana were one of the most entertaining acts in WWE in 2014, and coming towards the end of last year and throughout the feud going into this match, they really showed how they deserve to be the future of the global wrestling giant. Not only funny with throwbacks to Rocky IV, but the story has bordered on edgy, touching some very sensitive political subjects. Big Show takes the role of the face here, with the Texan crowd getting in his corner, and as you can expect, they chant USA a lot. Despite all this, and even with Show receiving the crowd’s support, the Rusev train rolls on, defeating Big Show clean with the Accolade. Wow. A short match, but it shows Rusev’s MMA influence and his pure dominance over the World’s Largest Athlete.
Diva’s Championship Match – AJ Lee VS Paige
Another rematch from Night of Champions… and Summerslam, but hey, we get Alicia Fox at ringside this time for some reason. At least we see some new spots, with Paige taking a leaf out of Cesaro’s book at one point with the giant swing to the crowd barrier. Nowhere near as good as their previous encounters, with very textbook WWE match formula and the heel dominating most of the time, but then the face does their comeback and wins. Nothing new to see here. If you like eye candy, then it’s nice for that at least.
Seth Rollins VS Dean Ambrose – Hell in a Cell Match
The one we’ve all been waiting for – the Architect of the Shield, Mr Money in the Bank and the self-proclaimed future of the WWE, Seth Rollins, takes on the Lunatic Fringe and former “brother”, Dean Ambrose. It’s only fair to mention that this is also a rematch from earlier in the year, but this time, unlike when there has been some kind of a dusty finish, or multiple interferences, this was billed as the final frontier on the twisted road that has become the feud between Rollins and Ambrose. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a complete one-on-one situation, but it was damned near enough, as J&J Security are dispatched before the match can even begin, with Ambrose and Rollins both being sent flying off the side of the cage and through the announce tables at the side.
Cue fecal chants here.
This really deserved to be the main event, and you only have to watch it to realise why – It’s extreme, dramatic, and is the continuation of the making of two future stars. Ultimately, the interference at the end still left the feud between Rollins and Ambrose open, but if anything, it gives WWE an open book to come back to if they ever want Rollins and Ambrose to square off again. Let’s just hope they don’t milk it like they have Orton and Cena.
In conclusion, Hell in a Cell 2014 was a bit of a mixed bag. We got some surprisingly good matches, and some we knew weren’t going to be entirely impressive, but at the end of it we got a stellar main event that was a big gamble to put on last, yet it carried the entire event and made up for any earlier mishaps. So if anything, watch this just for the hype and build, as well as the actual match of the main event itself. The Blu-Ray and DVD exclusives are also well worth taking a look at, especially the promos from Paul Heyman, Dean Ambrose and none other than The Rock.
WWE Hell in a Cell 2014 is available on DVD and Blu-Ray from Monday the 19th of January.
Blu Ray Exclusives:
Monday Night Raw – 6 October 2014
The Rock Returns to Confront Rusev
Home Video Exclusive:
Philadelphia, PA – 10 October 2014
Paul Heyman addresses the John Cena-Dean Ambrose Rivalry
SmackDown – 10 October 2014
John Cena and Dean Ambrose face off on MizTV
Monday Night Raw – 13 October 2014
John Cena Gives Dean Ambrose “Veteran Advice”
No Holds Barred Contract on a Pole Match
John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose
Monday Night Raw – 20 October 2014
Randy Orton Has Words for John Cena
DVD Special Features:
Hell in a Cell Kickoff
MIZDOW TV with The Miz
Hell in a Cell Kickoff
Mark Henry Vs. Bo Dallas
Home Video Exclusive
Goldust and Stardust Cannot Be Divided
Home Video Exclusive
The Miz and Damien Mizdow’s Vocal Training
All images (C) WWE.