411’s Instant Access 10.28.12: WWE Hell in a Cell 2012
Hey kids, I’m Scott, and this is 411’s Instant Access: WWE Hell in a Cell 2012. Instant Access is the companion piece to 411 Live Pay-Per-View Coverage and features immediate reaction to wrestling pay-per-views. The focus in Instant Access is on first thoughts and initial reactions instead of play-by-play with the goal of providing you with instant access to one writer’s thoughts on the show. Here’s the team for Hell in a Cell:
Okay kids, enough with the explanations. Let’s get to the wrestling.
Match Result: Randy Orton defeats Alberto Del Rio with the RKO.
Match Length: 12:34
Slimmer: This match exceeded my expectations, but that’s only because my expectations were relatively low. It’s no secret that both Orton and Del Rio tend to work a slower, more methodical style than some in the IWC might prefer, and I’ll admit that I was concerned that their combined efforts might come off as a bit dull. I was pleasantly surprised that they were able to keep the pace up for much of the match, but I can’t overlook the fact that WWE never really gave us a reason to care about this match. Del Rio was more or less neutered by his feud with Sheamus, and Orton isn’t nearly as compelling in a mid-card feud as he is when he’s battling for the belt. I understand the desire to get both guys on the card, and I’ll give both guys credit for exceeding my expectations. I just think that either the WWE Tag Team Championship Match or the Intercontinental Championship Match would have been a better choice to open the show and get the crowd excited. Moving forward, with Big Show as the World Heavyweight Champion, now might be the right time for Randy Orton to return to the main event scene. Sheamus will most likely get a rematch before Orton gets a shot at the title, but look for Orton to challenge Big Show for the title before the end of 2012.
Match Result: Team Rhodes Scholars defeats Team Hell No via disqualification.
Match Length: 12:58
Slimmer: This was a relatively formulaic tag team match, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with sticking with a time-tested formula when you’re trying to rebuild the credibility of your tag team division. Rhodes and Sandow looked right at home next to two former World Champions, and that’s great news for both the tag team division and the future of the Smackdown main event scene. All four guys did a great job of incorporating the tension between Bryan and Kane into the finish of the match, but I question the decision to go with a disqualification given that the main even would also see a screwy finish. The closing melee easily could have seen Bryan catch Rhodes in the No Lock or Kane deliver a Choke Slam Rhodes before Bryan crawled on top for the pin. However, minor quibbles with the finish aside, it was great to see a solid tag team match on a WWE PPV. The finish would seem to indicate that Rhodes and Sandow are in line for a rematch, and it seems like a safe bet that the issues between Daniel Bryan and Kane are going to cost them the titles at some point.
Match Result: Kofi Kingston defeats The Miz with Trouble in Paradise.
Match Length: 9:49
Slimmer: Kingston and Miz put on a good match with solid psychology throughout, but unfortunately their decision to focus on the story of Miz going after Kingston’s injured leg detracted from Kingston’s ability to showcase his trademark high-flying, high-octane offense. We all know that Kingston is a better talker that WWE usually gives him the chance to demonstrate, but what will really get him over as Intercontinental Champion is his exciting, crowd-pleasing offense. I do appreciate two guys being able to successfully tell a classic, psychologically-solid story in the ring, but I’m not sure that was the best decision for Kingston’s first PPV title defense. I would have let Kingston defend the title in one or two PPV matches that allowed him to really shine before booking a match like this. I’d be happy to see the Kingston / Miz feud continue, if for no other reason that I’m not sure who else is really ready to challenge for the IC belt. Rhodes and Sandow would normally both make sense, but they’re tied up in the tag team division for the moment. I suppose Wade Barrett could challenge Kingston, but I’m not sure how you continue to build Barrett without undercutting any momentum you’ve finally given to Kingston. A feud between Kingston and a heel R-Truth could be a ton of fun, but there are rumors that Vince McMahon wants to keep Truth as a face for the time being. And so with all of those constraints in mind, it seems like having Kingston feud with Miz for another month is just about the best option.
Antonio Cesaro (Champion) vs. Justin Gabriel
Match Result: Antonio Cesaro defeats Justin Gabriel with the Neutralizer.
Match Length: 7:27
Slimmer: Sure, this was an impromptu time-filler match that no one expected Gabriel to actually win, but I love the fact that Justin Gabriel actually got a one-on-one title match on PPV. This was the shortest non-Diva match on the card, but both Cesaro and Gabriel really got a chance to showcase their offense. This definitely seemed like a one-off match, so I wouldn’t expect the Cesaro / Gabriel feud to continue. However, given the fact that Cesaro has been saying that no American can beat him for the United States Championship, it might make sense for him to move from a South African challenger to a Canadian challenger, Tyson Kidd. Cesaro and Kidd could have a few fun matches, but as with Gabriel, I’m not sure I could really see him winning the belt. And so much like Kofi Kingston and the Intercontinental Championship, I have to wonder who can credibly challenge Antonio Cesaro for the United States Championship. He seems to have moved past Santino Marella and Zack Ryder, and Brodus Clay’s stock continues to drop. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara would both make sense, but much like Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow, they seem to be tied up in the tag team division. That may leave R-Truth as the only real threat to Cesaro’s title in the near future.
Match Result: Rey Mysterio defeats Darren Young with the 619 / Drop the Dime.
Match Length: 12:39
Slimmer: As a general rule, I’m not a big fan of impromptu PPV matches. I generally believe that PPV matches should be viewed as important enough to have a true build or, at the very least, be hyped beforehand. However, we all know that there are exceptions to every rule, and this was one case when I was more than happy to see an impromptu PPV match. The reason I was so happy with this particular impromptu match was that it was then the second tag team match on the card, and both of those matches featured established tag teams that weren’t thrown together simply for the sake of the PPV. That really shows how far the tag team division has come. There is still a long way to go, but the Kingston & Truth and Bryan & Kane title reigns along with the elevation of Rhodes & Sandow, Mysterio & Sin Cara, and the Prime Time Players have done a world of good for the tag team division. I still think the Young & O’Neal are the future of the WWE Tag Team Championships, but my hunch is that Rhodes & Sandow will get a title reign before the PTP.
Match Result: Big Show defeats Sheamus with the Knockout Punch.
Match Length: 15:00ish (stopwatch issues)
Slimmer: I’m all kinds of torn about this match. On the one hand, Show and Sheamus put on a brutal, hard-hitting match that did a wonderful job of playing into the “whose finishing move is more powerful” storyline. Having Show dominate for the majority of the match allowed Sheamus to fight back from an unfamiliar position, and having each man kick out of his opponent’s finisher actually worked quite well in this case. However, on the other hand, I am deeply disappointed that this wasn’t a Hell in a Cell match. Please understand, I am aware that WWE never actually said that this would be a HiaC match. However, at the same time, they certainly didn’t go out of their way to make it clear that this wouldn’t be a HiaC match, and their lie of omission is even more damnable given that every Hell in a Cell PPV has featured at least two HiaC matches. We have been conditioned to expect both the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship be defended in HiaC matches at the HiaC PPV. I tend to believe that WWE wanted us to believe that this was going to be a HiaC match, but that point is certainly debatable. However, what’s most frustrating is that there’s no good reason this match shouldn’t have been a HiaC match. Show and Sheamus are the kind of big, powerful guys that can utilize the HiaC environment to its fullest. Show could have dominated Sheamus even more convincingly by using the cell, and Sheamus easily could have employed the cell in his comeback. The finishing sequence would have worked just as well in the cell, and the overall effect would have been much more impressive. So while you can definitely argue whether or not WWE was intentionally deceptive about this not being a HiaC match, in my mind the bigger mistake was not making it a HiaC match at all. Sheamus almost certainly has a rematch in his future, but my guess is that Show will retain and move on to defend against Randy Orton.
Match Result: Eve defeats Layla after a power slam from Kaitlyn.
Match Length: 6:26
Slimmer: Um, okay. How do I say this politely. I try to support the Divas division as much as possible. I really do. I respect the hell out of the Divas. I really do. And from time to time they put together surprisingly decent one-on-one PPV matches. But this Triple Threat Match was just a train wreck from start to finish, and it completely killed the crowd. Eve, Layla, and Kaitlyn seemed to have trouble finding the right rhythm for a triple threat match, and the majority of the near-fall breakups were sloppy. I’ve enjoyed the Eve / Layla / Kaitlyn / Aksana storyline, and this triple threat match made perfect sense from a storyline point of view. Unfortunately, the end product seems to indicate that a one-on-one match between Eve and Layla probably would have been a better decision. Having Eve steal the win from Layla may indicate that Layla will get a one-on-one rematch, and I still do believe that Eve and Layla have a lot more in them than they showed tonight.
Match Result: CM Punk defeats Ryback after a low blow from the referee.
Match Length: 11:42
Slimmer: I think we all hoped something miraculous would happen in this match, but what we got was really all that we ever should have expected. We hoped we might see a magical moment when a new star is crowned. We hoped CM Punk might be able to prove he’s the best in the world by making a more limited worker look like a million bucks. We hoped that we might see the return of Brock Lesnar or the Undertaker. But in the end what we did see was Punk and Ryback do the best they could with what they had, and we got a finish that was really just WWE’s way to get themselves out of an awkward situation. Ryback held his own, but he definitely also looked like a guy who wasn’t quite ready for the main event. Punk did what he could to keep the match from sucking, and while it certainly wasn’t a classic, it also certainly didn’t suck. The finish was what it was, and it could be interesting to see what Punk and Heyman are able to do with a corrupt referee in their pocket. However, all of that being said, I do want to say that I have a ton of respect for both Punk and Ryback for actually doing the Shell Shocked spot on top of the cell. Remember, this isn’t the same cell the Mick Foley fell off and through. This new cell is a full 20 feet tall, and no one has ever fallen off or through it. Even though I’m sure that the cell was designed not to break during the Shell Shocked spot, Punk and Ryback had to know that the possibility existed for something to go wrong. But they did it anyway, and in the end they gave us an amazing visual to end the show. So say what you will about the match, but I think we have to give major props to both Punk and Ryback for taking a hell of a risk to close the show.
Match of the Night:
Slimmer: Sheamus vs. The Big Show (***½)
Sheamus and Show played to their strengths and really utilized the storyline that build to this match. They put on probably the best match that they possibly could, and that’s enough for MotN honors on a night when many matches seemed to be somewhat underwhelming.
Trash of the Night:
Slimmer: Eve Torres vs. Layla vs. Kaitlyn (*)
All three Divas in this match have talent, but sometimes a match just gets away from you. They never really found their rhythm, and the result was a muddled mess. The sloppy in-ring action was bad enough, but the real reason this match earns TotN dishonors is that it completely killed the crowd.
Slimmer: I have to say that this was a fairly underwhelming PPV from WWE. The Big Show title win is the only real news coming out of the show, and most of the other matches on the card were either forgettable or underwhelming. Only two of the eight matches on the card hit ***, and none of the matches made it to ****. There was nothing offensively wrong with this show (although some of you will be more upset about the nutshot than others), but in many ways this show just felt like a way to burn time until Survivor Series. Don’t order the replay, and don’t buy the DVD unless you’re a completist.