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No Punches Pulled: WWE Hell in a Cell 2015 Review

October 26, 2015 | Posted by Eric Presti
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No Punches Pulled: WWE Hell in a Cell 2015 Review  

No Punches Pulled is a hard-hitting, no B.S., call-it-right-down-the-middle, review column dedicated to delivering unbiased thoughts and criticisms from the world of WWE to readers everywhere. Just because professional wrestlers pull their punches, doesn’t mean we have to pull ours.

Since this is the very first edition of No Punches Pulled, a formal introduction and a “why we do what we do” is in order. Our names are Eric Garrels and P.J. Presti and we will be the collective pen of this column.

P.J. is a licensed Master Barber living South of Boston. He’s been a fanatical wrestling fan since before he could walk and, unlike most kids, his interest only grew when he found out the matches and storylines were scripted. The fact that there was a whole world of back stage politics, choreography, and science beyond the squared-circle hooked him far more than the standard match. He’s been insatiable about WWE, in particular, ever since. As many interests wane in life, wrestling never has for P.J. and it is truly something he lives for.

Eric is a Medical Student hoping to one-day work in infectious disease. He is 22 and originally from Brockton, MA. Introduced to the sport as a child by his father and uncle, wrestling captivated him as it did almost every child of the generation. While many of his friends’ interest dwindled with age, Eric’s never did and, similar to P.J., the word of scripted storylines and predetermined outcomes only stimulated his curiosity in understanding what really happens behind the curtains. The world of WWE politics is fascinating and following them is something he is dedicated to.

As expressed in our tag line at the top of the page, we are a column series, dedicated to bringing you an unbiased viewpoint on WWE pay-per-view matches from life-long wrestling fans. The reason we chose to start this column was in response to our difficulty in finding descriptive, unbiased reviews where the writer views every wrestler in the same light and gives their honest opinion. We felt 411Mania gave us that vibe in their writing and we are both excited and thankful to have the opportunity to write for them.

WWE Hell in a Cell takes place from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA, in front of a close-to sold out crowd of 17,505.

Pre Show: Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro, and Neville vs King Barrett, Sheamus, and Rusev

The faces are out first, one by one to their respective music. Dolph Ziggler received the best reaction followed by Neville, and then Cesaro. Heel team out in similar fashion with Sheamus and Rusev getting huge boos. Mr, Money in the Bank and Neville kick off this match and Sheamus receives the “You look stupid” chant almost immediately after the opening bell. They mix it up for a short time, Neville taking the upper hand and tagging in Cesaro. Very cool double team where Neville essentially hits the Red Arrow standing on Cesaro’s back. Cesaro maintains the advantage and tags Neville back in. Sheamus finally kills the momentum and is able to work the match back to his corner and tag in Barrett who, after a short time, tags Rusev. The Neville beat down commences as Rusev tags in Sheamus. Neville is able to shift momentum as he reverses a suplex from Sheamus and makes it to Ziggler for the hot tag. Ziggler comes in cleaning house and hits his signature elbows and fameasser. The ref gets distracted with the face corner and Rusev destroys Ziggler with a superkick to which Sheamus attempts a cover for a two count. Barrett tags in and maintains the upper hand, hitting Ziggler with another shattering kick in the corner. Barrett tags Rusev who does a good job of letting Ziggler get close to his corner and then ripping him away and mocking him. Rusev works back to his corner and tags in Sheamus who slpas a rest hold on. Dolph battles out of the headlock and is able to muster a quick suplex in counter. Sheamus makes the tag to Rusev who is able to block Ziggler’s tag to Cesaro. Good job building the hot tag. Ziggler is able to duck out of the way of a Rusev corner splash and while Rusev falls over the ropes to the floor, Dolph is able to make the tag to Cesaro. Cesaro in to a huge pop and Barrett is able to receive the tag from Rusev. Cesaro kills Barrett with a furry of corner-to-corner uppercuts. Cesaro dives out to the floor to take out Sheamus and does a lap around the ring, destroying Rusev and Sheamus with more uppercuts. Back into the ring, Ziggler tags Barrett with his superkick, leading to the Cesaro Swing, which everyone popped for. Cesaro tags Neville for the Red Arrow and the three count.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro, and Neville

PJ: This was a raw match. Literally. It felt like a match you would see on Raw, because it WAS a match we saw on Raw last week. I dislike that this seems to be the era of the six-man tag in WWE. Unless there are distinct factions, or the teams come about organically, they scream “thrown together.” Coincidentally that is exactly what this is. Cesaro got in some cool spots here, with his uppercut fest. The crowd continues to be behind his in-ring prowess. None of the heels spent much time getting heat on, particularly Sheamus. My gripe is this: The dude holds a contract to potentially come out later in the damn show and become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. If he is going to be reduced to a pre-show curtain jerker, can he at least dominate the thing?? You’re better off not putting him on the show at all in my eyes. At least if he did come out it would be that much more of a surprise. Having him on the losing end of a pre-show match, of which he did nothing of note, just puts him further and further away from the title picture. This all felt like a way to get Cesaro a pop, and then let Neville do the Red Arrow. It wasn’t a yawn, but it was a standard Raw fare, and I may have set myself up for disappointment thinking this might be a bit of a surprise.

Eric: Personally, I was disappointed going into this match. Originally announced was Dean Ambrose and Randy Orton vs Luke Harper and Braun Strowman, which I felt would have taken this PPV to the next level. Randy Orton’s expert ring psychology and in-ring ability, along with Dean Ambrose’s Wild Card tactics, were things I felt were missing on this show. It came off, to me, that Vinnie Mac was scrambling in light of Orton’s dislocated shoulder (give the guy a break, he has hypermobile shoulders, so he’s prone to dislocations) and just tossed a match from Raw onto the pre show. It seems like he thought the match happened recent enough that people might care and it was a way to get multiple talented guys some work in, who otherwise would have been throwing back brews on the couch in the back. My other gripe with this match, P.J. hit on the head, so I won’t go into too much detail, is Sheamus’ role. Why is a guy who is essentially 3 seconds away from being the face of the company, barely working a pre show match? When Seth Rollins had the briefcase, dude was IN the main event fighting for the title. Now our future champion can’t even get some work in against Vince Neil… I mean Dolph Ziggler. It appears to me that we may see a match in the future where the briefcase is up for grabs and Sheamus may lose it. We’ll see.

Most Entertaining: Cesaro probably has the best cardio in the WWE right now. His ability to perform in the ring without tiring is almost unrivaled. His furry of uppercuts is a prime example.

Something we would Change: It’s and odd change from the last MITB winner in terms of relevance. Last year, Seth Rollins was taking part in pseudo-main event and main event matches with the briefcase. Sheamus, on the other hand, is wrestling in the pre show match during the tail end of the slow part of the season. In addition, he really didn’t get a lot or ring time or even use any of his signature moves. Sheamus should have had more time to showcase skills seeing as he is most likely the next WWE Champion.
On a side note, Stardust and the Ascension were at ringside, but did not get involved or attempt to get involved. Not sure why they were out there and the match would have been the same without them there.

Rating: 1.5 Stars

John Cena (c) US Open Challenge Answered by Alberto Del Rio

John Cena out first to the fans singing “John Cena sucks” per usual. The announcers do a strong job building up the mystery opponent. Wait time before challenger’s entrance really built up the suspense. Zeb Colter Enters to Jack Swagger’s music and cuts a quick promo on how people of different backgrounds should come together and how its time that Cena loses the US Title. He introduces Alberto Del Rio, who really doesn’t get a huge reaction, most likely due to the shock of his return. However, during the official championship match introduction, Del Rio got a huge pop. They lock up to start the match and the opening pace is slow with a lot of holds. The fans erupt into “Welcome back” chants. Del Rio sets it off with a brutal kick to Cena’s hamstring. Sending him out to the floor. Cena limps to sell the kick. Cena tries to battle back with punches, but Del Rio hits a top-notch arm drag, taking Cena down. Back to their feet, Del Rio drills Cena with another kick to the hamstring. Slow pace continues on through the middle of the match. Cena battles back and heads to top rope. Del Rio clipped Cena with a nasty springboard enzuigiri, knocking him to the mat. Del Rio calls for the Cross Arm Breaker and the crowd goes nuts. Cena up quick and kill the momentum with a thunderous clothesline. They throw punches back and forth in a boo-yay spot. Cena then starts the sequence of his five moves of doom and attempts to finish with the Attitude Adjustment. Del Rio reverses the AA into his signature Back Stabber and then lands a super kick that sent Cena’s head into the back row of the Staples Center. Del Rio covers for the three count and the US Title.

Winner and new United States Champion: Alberto Del Rio

PJ: Del Rio answering the challenge was a good surprise. He wasn’t on my radar and having Colter in his corner and as his mouthpiece it isn’t going to hurt him. Although, explaining away their bitter feud from Mania 29 might be hard. Who am I kidding? This is WWE! Match felt a bit clunky at first. You would think two guys who have had numerous main event level matches together would have a bit more chemistry. While the crowd is certainly invested in the match, they do seem confused about cheering for Del Rio. Not only was he a heel for the majority of his run, but so was Colter, making the pairing even more confusing. Del Rio does look to be in phenomenal shape here as he nails some stiff offense on Cena that impressed me. I liked the match for what it was but in comparison to his raw U.S. Open Challenges, this felt short. Eric and I will often gripe about the amount of false finishes in a John Cena match but this match had essentially none. Normally that’d be fine with me, but us as a collective fan-base having built up a tolerance to John Cena false finishes, a match with only one Attitude Adjustment ATTEMPT is just going to feel weird. That being said, it was nice to see Del Rio get a clean win with a stiff kick to the face. I dislike that he didn’t even go for his cross armbreaker though. For once Michael Cole was useful on commentary and reminded everybody about it a few times, but to re-introduce a character, have him beat your top draw, and not even go for his finisher is just bad booking to me. What about new fans to the product? What about fans who have memories like the chick from 50 First Dates? It doesn’t necessarily sit well with me that Del Rio fights off 1 AA, and then pins Cena with a move that is not even his finisher, but Rollins, the guy with the big belt, could barely buy a clean win off of Cena. Maybe that’s the Rollins mark in me. Anyway, this match was good, not great. I hope they continue to use Del Rio wisely. It will be nice to have a stretch of television to see what life will be like post-John Cena, as he’s not scheduled back until mid December.

Eric: I’m pumped about Alberto Del Rio being back in the WWE. I really like him before he left and to see him back, with an amazing mouthpiece like Zeb Colter no less, is a real treat. Initially, I though Jack Swagger was making his way out, which I was actually alright with, since I’m a fan of his, but this damn near blew my mind. It was a solid build up too. No one saw it coming and, from what I can remember, Del Rio was not a common guess, if one at all. The match itself was a little lackluster. Extremely slow paced for my taste. However, the offense that was going down was awesome. Great arm drag from Del Rio, the springboard enzuigiri, those hamstring kicks, and the brutal super kick that made even MY teeth hurt, were just some examples. I agree with P.J. that this match could have used a little more time to really set it off. Showcasing the finishers and just a couple false finishes would have been enough to push this match into the three star range.

Most Entertaining: The surprise of Alberto Del Rio coming back was awesome. It was very well concealed and not a lot of info made it out about Del Rio coming back. He was in great shape and looked like he never left.

Something we would Change: False finishes. Now typically, a Cena match is almost unbearable with the seven false finishes they usually have, but this match felt almost rushed without a single one. Cena didn’t hit a single AA or STF and Del Rio didn’t lock a Cross Arm Breaker in at all. The only signature we saw was the Back Stabber and the super kick from Del Rio. He didn’t even win with his finisher. This match deserved more time to really set it off and distinguish it from Cena’s Raw open challenges.

Rating: 2.75 Stars

Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt in Hell in a Cell

Bray Wyatt out first to big pops. He’s coming out alone for a change. Something we haven’t seen in a while. Reigns out next to a mixed reaction. The bell rings and Reigns strikes first with kicks and landing bombs on Wyatt in the corner. Wyatt starts coming back, but Reigns kills his momentum with a clothesline and into a couple of his exploder suplexes. Reigns attempts a Samoan drop, but Wyatt reverses. Reigns counters and gets the upper hand once again. Wyatt is knocked down to the bottom rope to set up for Reign’s Drive By. Reigns attempts, but Wyatt avoids and tries to catch Reigns with a clothesline. Reigns dodges and clips Wyatt with a punch to the face, knocking him out of the ring to the apron. Reigns attempts and connects with the Drive By and follows up by tossing Wyatt into the cell. Wyatt grabs a kendo stick from under the ring and proceeds to beat down Reigns, finally taking over the match. Wyatt grabs a chair, after throwing Reigns into the cell, and feigns hitting him with it. Instead, he sits down on it and taunts reigns, smashing him with the kendo stick. Wyatt then utilizes the cage in a unique fashion by sticking the chair into the cell and the kendo stick into the corner of the cell. Wyatt puts Reigns head first through the kendo stick to a huge pop, but after a lengthy taunting is the one to go head first through the chair. He then grabs two kendo sticks and beats Wyatt down. Reigns grabs two tables from under the ring and sets one up outside the ring. Both stars up to the apron where Reigns attempts to suplex Wyatt through the table, but Wyatt counters and hits his signature uranage slam to put Reigns through the table instead. The match moves back into the ring where Wyatt follows up with running sentons and covers. Reigns rolls back out to the floor. Wyatt sets Reigns up with his head up against the ring post and lands some hard forearms. He then grabs another table and sets it up inside the ring. Wyatt picks Reigns up off the mat and sets him up for a superplex, which Reigns countered into a powerbomb to put Wyatt through instead. A good sequence next where reigns attempts a clothesline, but Bray blocks into Sister Abigain. Reigns then rolls through into a rollup for a two count. Reigns immediately hits a superman punch to which Wyatt kicks out again and rolls out to the apron. Reigns follows, setting up a Spear off the apron and through the table. Reigns picks a limp Wyatt off the ground and into the ring for a two count and sets up in the corner for another Spear. Bray counters this with a kick and plants Reigns with Sister Abigail for another two count. Wyatt grabs the two kendo sticks used on him earlier in the match and sets them up in the corner, similar to how he did against Dean Ambrose, but with one on the top and middle turnbuckle. He attempts to drive Reigns face into the top one, but Reigns reverses and grabs the bottom kendo stick to hit Wyatt with. Reigns then grabs Wyatt and throws him into the kendo stick still stuck in the top turnbuckle. Reigns hits the Spear on a groggy Wyatt and picks up the three count. Another great sequence.

Winner: Roman Reigns

PJ: What a match! Fantastic booking. You knew these two couldn’t wow the fans with a technical classic, so after a few table bumps and some kendo stick shots that were so stiff I felt them here in Massachusetts; the crowd was eating out of the palm of their hands. What a showing from these two, huh? Unfortunately, you’ll still see some reviewers on the interwebz complain about the over-reliance of weapons in this match. These are the same reviewers that complain about PG WWE. They just want something to complain about. Was it not awesome to see a brawl befitting of the attitude era, between two of the best PG era brawlers? I loved nearly everything about this match. So pleasantly surprised that there was no interference. After all the big bumps were taken, Reigns and Wyatt did put together some very fluid sequences and both hit their signatures and finishers with gusto. Super enjoyable match, totally exceeded my expectations. Roman got a good win here but it’s safe to say this loss didn’t hurt Wyatt too much. They left it all out in the ring, and to me the only question is, how well this match will age with time and how does it sit in Hell in a Cell lore. Hats off to both men.

Eric: There is really not much I can say that shouldn’t already be in your minds if you watched this match. It was amazing. Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns did an awesome job making this match feel like it was the end of a personal feud. If I had an archenemy, this is how I’d envision taking them out. Spear through a table; double kendo sticks to the head; yes please. Anyway, I feel like the build was great and I felt the match went above and beyond what anyone could have expected (not common in WWE anymore). Many will say that the match was over-reliant on weapons, but if someone brought your child into a personal beef, you’d probably be ready to start swinging chairs like baseball bats too. In a feud this personal, nothing is off limits and there is nothing you won’t do to finish the feud. Roman Reigns gave us that feel and he certainly carried it out. It was great to see the rest of the family not at ringside as well as not see any interference.

Most Entertaining: The offense in this match was brutal and it showcased that the cage can still be used in an intuitive manner. This didn’t just feel like a match in a cell; it felt like the match really made a difference in the match. The use of weapons was well done and refreshing in the PG era.

Something we would Change: Honestly, nothing. This match was great.

Rating: 4 Stars

New Day (c) vs. Dudley Boyz for the WWE Tag Team Championships

No Xavier Woods tonight. He is selling the injury from the Dudleyz powerbomb through the table from Monday night (In actuality he’s getting married. NPP sends our best to the booty couple). The New Day make their way through the curtain and are still pretty good on the stick without X. They’re wearing “XW” armbands to commemorate. Highlights of their shenanigans include a unicorn shout-out to Xavier, running down the local L.A. Lakers, and saying they are going to beat Bubba Ray’s belly like a bass drum and turn him into a Caucasian Kamala. Hilarious. Dudley Boyz pyro hits as the faces interrupt the ridiculousness. Bubba and Kofi start out before a quick tag to D-Von leads to a horribly botched double team maneuver that even JBL forces to call a “miscommunication” and “butt-ugly.” Afterward, D-Von becomes the “face in peril” and takes some of the New Day offense and taunting we’ve been accustomed to. After the cyclical stomps in the corner Kofi hits a brutal corner dropkick and gives D-Von a pretty nice DDT. A few quick tags by New Day before D-Von finally breaks momentum as he reverses out of New Day mocking the ol’ Wassssssupppp move, before getting the hot tag into Bubba! Bubba in like a house of fire before hitting the Caucasian Kamala belly slaps, and then mocking Big E’s hip gyration before hitting the REAL Wassssssupppp head drop. Bubba starts to tell D-Von to get the tables (If Roman and Bray didn’t use them all), before Kofi comes out of nowhere with a nice double dropkick. Kofi pulls the old Eddie Guerrero heel move as he tossed the broken Trombone to Bubba Ray and sold an injury to the referee… close but no cigar as I guess they don’t make referees as stupid as they used to… Eventually, after The Dudleyz got a bit of shine on the champs, Big E used the Trombone to nail Bubba and Kofi hit Trouble in Paradise for the win!

Winners and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions: The New Day

PJ: I thought this was a good formulaic tag match. It was nice to know the New Day could still draw some good heat on the mic without their mouthpiece. The action wasn’t always crisp, as the botch really delayed this match from kicking into second gear, and time never allowed it to be anything more than a continuation of their feud. That said, I have enjoyed this feud and am glad to see it continue, and I think this match served that purpose. The New Day “walks the walk” as well as “talks the talk” in terms of being heels. They get cheap, yet decisive, wins over their opponents. Them flirting in main event six-man matches along with the return of the Dudleyz have definitely elevated the title belts. Nothing about this match will be memorable in the future, and nothing, not even the botch, will be a stain on how the match will be viewed in subsequent years. The little subtleties of the mimicking of each other’s moves and taunts, made this feel a little more personal this time, something I think the feud could use. I wonder if a certain little runt of the Dudley Litter will come around at a Survivor Series PPV which is known for it’s multi-man matches. Hmm….

Eric: This was a standard tag match in my opinion. Nothing special going on for either side, other than some good comedy spots (and that botch, yikes). With Xavier Woods away for the night, the extra dimension the New Day normally brings was missing. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy their performance. Big E is entertaining as always and Kofi pulling out that Eddie Guerrero spot was amazing. I though the match should have ended right there and that was it, but hey, I’m not the one writing story. It was clear that this match was merely intended to prolong the feud in the absence of Woods, so it really didn’t have to bring the house down. With TLC just two PPVs away and Bubba being sited on interview stating that “Spike is only a phone call away”, we may be in for some real fun tag classics and dare I say, a tables match? “D-VON…”

Most Entertaining: The New Day’s ability to stay heel and draw heat without Xavier Woods. You can tell these three have gelled together and they didn’t really miss a beat without Woods, although I am confident he would’ve been beneficial had he been there. This time together will serve all 3 well, as both of us see break-out potential in all 3 members, which is something that would’ve been laughable if heard merely 6 months ago.

Something We Would Change: This match certainly served its purpose in furthering the feud, but we both feel like this match had the potential to hit another gear. All 4 of these men are competent, and over performers. They could’ve given these guys a couple more minutes to hash out and really make this match stand out from a TV match. We would’ve liked to see a little more Big E offense (we’re fans), and maybe a couple more false finishes. That said they kept us wanting more which is why this feud has been refreshing.

Rating: 2.25 Stars

Charlotte (c) vs Nikki Bella for the Divas Championship

Nikki out first, noticeably all alone as the announcers tell us all other Divas are banned from ringside. Charlotte is out next. Both women are debuting new attire. The match barely gets going with some brawling before a “We Want Sasha” chant breaks out. Charlotte hits the ten punches in the corner (which she is almost too tall to do on Nikki), before Nikki tries to powerbomb her, resulting in a sloppy Charlotte hurricanrana. Nikki eventually turns the tide with a vicious forearm before tossing Charlotte over the barricade. The ladies then trade a few forearms. Nikki tears a page out of her psychology book as she aggressively works the back with stomps and throws before tossing the champ in the ring for a near fall. Nikki then puts on a pseudo Camel Clutch, before a pretty damn deep Half Boston (REPRESENT) Crab. Good dirty tactics of digging the knee in the back and some hair pulling by Nikki too. She is heeling it big time tonight. Michael Cole asserts that the back can come into play with Charlotte’s Figure 8 and reminds us that Nikki has found a good opening with the back, (two praises of Michael Cole in one night? Don’t get used to it, dear readers). Charlotte’s nose appears to be legit busted as Nikki works over the back some more. Charlotte hits her dad’s signature corner spot before turning the momentum with a big boot. She gets her comeback cut off with a pretty good spinebuster by Miss Bella, as she taunts Charlotte. They trade slaps and chops as the Staples Center is being filled with “Wooooo’s!” Just as this match is starting to pick up real steam and turn into a barnburner, the ladies attempt what we can only call a German Superplex? “Attempt” being the operative word here. The result is a horrible blown spot with Charlotte sort of landing on her feet and Nikki landing in a heap. Neither of your fearless scribes are entirely sure where this spot was supposed to go. Charlotte does her best Roman Reigns impression with a spear and a roar for a near fall. The action eventually leads back outside where Nikki plants charlotte on the apron with a sick Alabama Slam (great move, glad someone brought it back) Wow! Crowd getting back into it with that, but as Nikki goes for the Rack Attack, Charlotte rolls through, applies the Figure 8 and Nikki Bella taps out! The rest of PCB comes out to curiously celebrate, as we are seemingly ignoring Paige’s full on heel turn weeks ago?

Winner and STILL Diva’s Champion: Charlotte

PJ: For the most part I dug this. This was an example that if they booked the main roster divas with the same coherence they book the NXT girls with, they could be nearly as good. “Nearly” being a key word. Nikki Bella, while a really good heel, just does some awkward things in matches that take me out of it. Some of the sequences in this match weren’t crisp at all. The match told a great overarching story though. Nikki worked over the back in a multitude of ways, with strikes, holds and maneuvers, and for the rest of the match it was a struggle for Charlotte to lock on the signature hold that stole Nikki’s gold away in the first place. I liked that. I liked Nikki’s taunting. A minor gripe for me is Charlotte’s nine-foot hair extensions. I can’t even pinpoint the exact moment she broke her nose (I believe it was the forearm) because her ridiculous fake spaghetti hair is flopping in her face, totally disarming her of the ability to sell things via facial expressions. They’re completely distracting. The big elephant in the room for me was the botched top rope deal. Why the hell did they even try this? What, the match was going TOO well and they just wanted to ruin it? Even if the intended result were a German by Nikki into Charlotte doing her best Seth Rollins impression and landing on her feet, with the sore back how would she have believably pulled that off? She can’t bridge up for the Figure 8, but she can land a full backflip like a cat on her feet ready to spear? It was the shits. It reeked of them trying to outdo the NXT Divas, and do something to put the match over the top. Instead they nearly lost it. To their credit, they didn’t let it rattle them and they went into their ending sequence with the same vitriol they started this match with. With some booking that would allow these ladies to garner heat in a one on one battle without all the side attractions, these two could go. This was still better than a vast majority of main roster diva’s matches over the years.

Eric: P.J. and I agreed that in terms of overall match quality, this was a three star outing. But as my partner harped on pretty heavily, that botch… There is some forgiveness in an honest mistake like high-risk Lucha-libre wrestling or even in the Dudley – New Day match, but something this ugly is unforgivable. That’s stuff you leave at the door when you cross from NXT to the big leagues. Now I’m just beating a dead horse, so I’ll move on. Psychology was on point with the lower back, both working and selling. Charlotte being unable to put Nikki away with the Figure 4, but fighting through the pain at the end to put her away with the Figure 8 was a great move and it went over well. Nikki looked better than she has, arguably, ever in the WWE. The future is definitely bright for the Diva’s division if they stay away from unrealistic spots.

Most Entertaining: Nikki’s attack of the back and Charlotte’s subsequent selling of the injury really made for a clean visual storyline. The question of “Can the competitor fight through their injury to lock on their finisher?” is a tried and true method of booking and creates an arching storyline that makes a match easy to watch. I liked Nikki’s heelwork and Charlotte looked in peril so hats off to the girls.

Something We Would Change: Obviously it’s the Sabu-esque, cringe worthy botch. Total desperation to give a match that was already going well, something it didn’t need. The strength of the match to that point was in its believability and simplicity. Eye roll to whichever agent OK’d that move because even if it was hit properly, it would not have done much for us either way. Also can someone get Charlotte to sit in P.J’s barber chair? She has about 11 feet of extra hair that could use lopping off.

Rating: 2.5 stars

Seth Rollins (c) vs. Demon Kane for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship (if Demon Kane loses, Corporate Kane is fired)

Curiously the champ is out first in his black attire. Kane out next as the announcers point out he made his debut in October of 1997 in the Hell in a Cell structure running interference on his brother. When WWE acknowledges its history in a match setting it just widens the scope of the company. Whoever is pulling Michael Cole’s string tonight is doing a nice job. This is the 210th day of Seth’s reign as we get the formal introductions from Lillian Garcia. Jersey Shore ref holds up the strap as the bell rings. Seth yells that he’s not afraid of corporate, nor demon Kane, seemingly trying to convince himself along with the rest of us. Under way here before Kane kicks it into gear with a DDT and a leg drop which Seth bumps crisply for. Kane knocks Seth off the top rope with one of his trademark throat chops, before bouncing Seth’s head off of the announce table like Kobe bounces Spaldings off of the Staples Center hardwood. Kane strips the Spanish Announce Table of all its electronics. Seth tries to reset with a suicide dive, before being caught by Kane with another throat thrust. Kane keeps getting heat on Rollins before Seth turns the tide while crotching Kane as he went up for his top rope clothesline. Rollins then hits an absurd plancha, which results in his leg scissor kicking Kane. Can you dig it, Sucka? Seth makes a comeback, a few rest holds and hair pulls. (Is he allowed to pull hair that’s technically not attached to Kane’s head? Things that make you go hmmmm). Seth gets a few one-counts, which he smarmily expresses frustration to the ref about. Seth tries to go aerial before Kane reverses. We’re back into second gear with some real nice brawling. Superplex by Kane, but he can’t capitalize as Jersey Shore ref checks on both combatants. The men put together some nice reversal sequences before Seth tries to hit a superplex of his own before getting face planted. Kane eventually reverses a Pedigree before planting Seth with a Chokeslam for a very near fall. Kane slashes the throat and signals the end, but Rollins retreats to the outside. Kane pursues and sidewalk slams Rollins onto the main announce table before clearing that one of electronics (as Lawler hilariously pleads to Kane that the Spanish Announce table is perfectly fit for Rollins). Kane looks to Chokeslam Seth onto the announce table, but Seth slinks under him and plants him with a powerbomb that doesn’t quite break the Spanish table, as it tips over. Looked fairly brutal nonetheless. Kane beats the count of 10 and enters the ring. He is welcomed by a couple of Rollins trademark springboard knees. Rollins feels froggy as he hits Kane with an RVD style splash for a close near fall. “Eddie” chant breaks out, as we near the 10-year anniversary of that great mans death. Wow. Feels like yesterday. Kane attempts another Chokeslam, but is planted with a Pedigree for the finish.

Winner and STILL WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Seth Rollins (Corporate Kane is out of work).

PJ: Tidy little match. It is a damn shame they gave this match away on free TV last week with the lumberjack match and countless times before with corporate Kane and Seth fighting. Corporate and Demon Kane have the same moveset, so I’m not sure I entirely understand the need for two separate IN-RING entities. The announcers, and the video package guy try to sell the fact that this is a bigger match than it is, but in reality, the stench of the fact both of these competitors have fought so much on free tv, is hard to overcome. Kane looked winded at points but they masked it well (See what I did there?). Seth put another feather in his cap with another great performance to continue the torrid pace he’s been on since breaking off from his Shield brethren. I thought both men bumped and sold nicely, I like the clean win for Seth, and I do like that Corporate Kane will be out of the picture, although it does make it rather difficult to keep Kane relevant as strictly an in-ring competitor. Maybe this is the beginning of the end for the Big Red Machine in WWE. If it is, then hat’s off to him. The man is in great shape for his age, and more than held his end of the bargain with the greatest-going today.

Eric: I’d like to take this time, since my partner handed off praise to Seth, to hand out my praise to The Devil’s Favorite Demon. The fact that he’s able to keep up, even remotely, with a guy who is, in my mind anyway, the best in the world (Sorry CM) is truly astounding. The match was not what we are used to out of Seth Rollins, but it was a solid match with a decisive victory for the champ. If anything, it freed Kane from the authority to maybe yield one or two more solid feuds before he hangs his boots up.

Most Entertaining: We’re gonna have to give it to the champ. Seth has adapted and carried veterans, hung with beasts, and battled all the top dogs the company has to offer. He bumped and sold for Kane, making Kane look great. He verbally taunted, and did some great chicken-shit heel antics, and most of all, he got a much needed clean win. It’s only fitting that in our inaugural column we lay out praise for the man.

Something We Would Change: The lumberjack match that took place on Raw, essentially made this match far more complicated for the competitors. Can we please build a match between two full time superstars without them getting in the ring with each other before the PPV? What’s the incentive for any of us to watch? Could they not have at least made it corporate Kane in the lumberjack match to give us a different visual? Its lazy, and its terrible booking.

Rating 2.75 Stars

Kevin Owens (c) vs Ryback for the Intercontinental Championship

Ryback entered first to a mixed reaction. Kevin Owens out second to huge pops. To start the match, Owens ducks out of the ring (like he always did in NXT and against Cena), but Ryback follows him out to the floor. They battle and the match ends up back in the ring. Kevin Owens put Ryback down and talks trash in old-school heel fashion. Ryaback back up and they exchange some back and forth offense with reversals. Kevin Owens winds up on top by pushing Ryback’s legs out from underneath him when on the middle rope. Owens then hits his signature running sentons and covers for two. Ryback crawls to the corner and Kevin Owens sets up for the cannonball. Owens attempts, but Ryback is up quick and hits a spinebuster. Ryback heads to the corner to set up for the meat hook clothesline, to, which Owens counters. Ryback counters in return with a powerbomb and covers for a two count. Ryback goes out to apron to climb the ropes, but Owens catches him with a super kick knocking him to the outside. Count went to 9, but Ryback got back into the ring to break. After some back and forth, Ryback attempts Shell Shocked, but Owens counters by grabbing the ropes. Owens stays in the ropes causing the ref to push Ryback off. Owens comes back and hits Ryback with the Pop Up Powebomb for the win clean win.

Winner and STILL Intercontinental Champion: Kevin Owens

PJ: This match was what it was. It was short, but I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing because I’m not sure these two could have done more with more time ala the Dudleyz and New Day. These two just don’t have very good chemistry. Ryback serves a purpose on the roster and I’m a fan of his, but booking him against Owens wasn’t good for him. The crowd turned on him fast and Owen’s couldn’t get proper heat without cutting the nuts off of Ryback’s character in the promos leading up to the match. I get he needed his rematch but I hope both are moving on to other endeavors. I’m glad the ending had finality and I’m hoping Owens goes on to feud with Neville for an extensive feud that would not only elevate both men, but the title itself. Imagine a ladder match between those two at TLC? Hot damn.

Eric: I’m disappointed in the booking decisions for Kevin Owens as of late. It seems like ever since he had his blockbuster feud with Cena, that they just sort of tossed him aside into the mid-card. Finally, he wins the gold he deserves, but only to feud with a guy whom its nearly impossible to have a good match with? I mean I’m cool with Ryback, I’ve just never seen a guy so green for so long. The match itself wasn’t completely awful; they just did nothing of note or general importance. I’m the one who wrote the review for this match and I’m having trouble recalling what happened. The only thing that can be said about this is I hope that whoever they have Owen’s feuds with next can hold up their end of the feud and make it interesting.

Most Entertaining: Clean win for the heel to make him the undisputed champ.

Something we would Change: Kevin Owens and Ryback had no chemistry together. Kevin Owens needs to be in feuds with guys he works well with. Ryback is a tough guy to have good matches with.

Rating: 1.75 Stars

Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker in Hell in a Cell

Brock out first, looking pumped up, followed by the Undertaker in undoubtedly one of the last times we see his grand entrance. As huge mars of his, we appreciate every time he dons the tights and 2015 has been a fairly active year for him. As a fan and a historian, knowing this is the last time we are going to see these two men go at it, and in one of WWE’s greatest gimmick matches, it is a true privilege. The feud has had ups and downs, but these are two greats and the crowd is buzzing for this. Undertaker is closing in on his 25th year in the top company in wrestling history and that is a feat that demands respects. This is his remarkable 13th battle in the vicious cell, as he slams the door shut behind him. Crowd battles each other with dueling “Undertaker” and “Suplex City” chants, but they are very hot for this one. They circle each other and size up before Lesnar goes for a German out of the box, and Taker does everything he can do to avoid it. Stiff knees and shoulders from Lesnar before Taker follows up with some pretty vicious punches of his own. Another attempt at a German from Brock, but Taker slyly rolls through and sends Lesnar flying through the ropes. Nicely done as Taker is doing everything he can to avoid a one-way trip to Suplex City. Lesnar goes for the F5 on the outside before Taker hits him with some ludicrous elbows (these two are so stiff with each other) before sending Lesnar head first into his next biggest nemesis besides Taker this year, the ring post, and oh my, he is cut deep. Taker, like a shark, lands strikes right into the wound. He tosses Brock around like a ragdoll as the blood pours deep. It’s a full-on crimson mask. Blood doesn’t faze him for long though, as we take the action back inside. He hits Undertaker with a double leg, Arn Anderson like, spinebuster. Brock wails at Taker with a steel chair, throwing in stomps. Wow these two are packing a lot into this match. The doctor comes to check on brock’s nasty cut, which some people detest, but not us. Same thing happens in boxing matches, so why is that a bad thing? Sure it didn’t happen in the attitude era, but not everything needs to be the same as the attitude era. Actually, watching some of that stuff back, we’re glad we have moved on from some of that nonsense. Anyway, back to Lesnar absolutely annihilating The Phenom with the chair. One shot definitely got a good portion of his jaw. Both men have used the cell as a weapon nicely. So far very good cell match, albeit different from the earlier edition, which is a difficult art to pull off. Lesnar removes the gloves signaling that it’s time to put down the chair and give an ol’ fashioned country boy whoopin’. Taker must have map-quested directions to Suplex City before the match because he snaps off a nice vertical suplex on The Conqueror outside the ring. Taker barely looks winded, as this is definitely a much more in shape Undertaker compared to Wrestlemania 30. Taker throws the chair underneath Brocks jaw and slams into deep into the mat. Brutal, brutal stuff. This was brutal from the word go. So apropos given the nature of their feud. Taker is covered in what is believed to be Lesnar’s blood, as The Beast finally hits his first German of the match. Followed by 2 more, the match seems to be in Lesnar’s grip as he connects with an F-5. Near fall! Doctor back in checking on Lesnar before Brock hilariously sends the doc flying before connecting with another F5! An even closer near fall! Lesnar is perplexed by Undertaker’s resilience, as the “This is Awesome” chants rain down on the athletes. Indeed it is. The steel steps are Brocks next move apparently, as a sick smile comes over his bloody face, before leveling The Deadman with them. Frustration is setting in as the Undertaker kicks out yet again. Taker eventually kicks the steps back onto Lesnar’s wounded head as both competitors are selling this epic battle. Taker looks to be playing a bit of possum as Hell’s Gate is locked in deep! Lesnar looks to start fading before punching his way out of it. Brock Lesnar snaps and begins tearing the ring mat up exposing the wooden boards the ring’s skeleton is composed of. The Deadman sits up, and plants Lesnar with a gnarly chokeslam right onto the exposed ring! Next was a Tombstone followed by a great near fall (Lesnar’s staggering prior to the move made us think it just might be over). Before Taker hints at another Tombstone, Lesnar NAILS a vicious low blow on Taker. Turnabout is fair play, F5 number 3 to the exposed ring. MATCH OVER.

Winner: BROCK LESNAR!!!!

Cage rises, and Lesnar leaves, in all his glory, with Heyman. He truly is The Conqueror. The crowd is hot for Taker, as they will him to sit up. He staggers in the ring soaking up adulation, as the announcers play up that he is closing in on a quarter of a century with the company. Just as the emotion hits a fever pitch, the entire Wyatt family comes out! Revenge for Mania perhaps? Rowan, Harper, and Strowman beat down Taker as Bray barks orders. JBL hysterically exclaims, “This man paved the way for you sick hairy bastards!” as Bray gets in on the beat down. The four Wyatts carry Taker off, putting Paul Heymans prophecy that only 1 man would walk out of the Cell to truth. Looks like they are setting up some type of traditional survivor series match up for the event next month. The Wyatt Family versus Taker, Reigns, Ambrose and Kane perhaps? Sign us up. That’s the type of match Taker made his way into the company with. Pretty cool.

PJ: Another barnburner. This match was crazy from the bell, and I think the decision to blow it off now instead of Wrestlemania was great. It gave the October PPV, which generally can be hit or miss, something that made it must see. It also frees up both men for different Wrestlemania programs leaving possibilities endless for the supercard in the Jerry Dome. I think the right man won, as if Taker won the feud, him having his streak ended would be relatively pointless. Taker, in my opinion never looked better since returning from that dismantling he took in NOLA at Mania 30. He didn’t get a ton of signature moves in, but that wasn’t what this match was about. In my mind that was 2 gladiators trying to get the kill over their enemy. There will be no time for Old School, or Snake Eyes in a match that was set up like it would be to the death. I loved the booking of both Cell matches but the crowd took this one up a notch for me. Although this wasn’t the longest match in the world both men looked absolutely spent and, at times, were absolutely leveling each other with offense. They did an outstanding job at tying all three of their matches together, while structuring them all very differently. A very impressive, top-notch match that historically will give this show replay value.

Eric: This was the only way to end the feud in my eyes. If Taker were to win, even on an interference to set up Lesnar for mania, the breaking of the streak would have been entirely pointless. The entire purpose of having Lesnar end the streak was to solidify his character and to implant that maybe there was someone Taker couldn’t beat. It was to push Brock Lesnar into an elite category. If Taker were to win the feud, then it makes the breaking of the streak look like a fluke and that makes both the Streak and Lesnar look really bad. The match was a classic. One that will be remembered. The psychology was great and both guys came out looking like champs. The offense was hard-hitting and, like the previous Hell in a Cell match, the cage felt like a factor in the match and not just like a match that happened to be in a cell. We saw innovative things like Lesnar ripping up the mat and exposing the wood, Lesnar removing his gloves to inflict more damage. The match felt real.

Most Entertaining: For us it’s the Deadman. As Shawn Michaels used to state in 1997 as a dig to the WCW dinosaurs, The Undertaker is the icon that can still go. We both, along with a large portion of the IWC thought the days of Undertaker classic matches was dead and gone after his injury following Wrestlemania 30. Well we here at No Punches Pulled stand corrected. This was a classic. Lesnar is not the easiest opponent to pull off a classic with, and during a time at which most legends his age are making one-time appearances to collect a check, Taker is in there with one of the most dangerous to ever do it. Salute to him. Makes us wonder if he could actually go a couple more years if they gave the poor bastard someone easier to work with!

Something We Would Change: Knowing that Brock was ultimately going to win the feud anyways, I think we would’ve wanted Undertaker to get a clean (er) win at Summerslam to keep some of his integrity going forward (Not that he really needs it; he’s over like no ones business). Even if it all played out the same way, without Undertaker actually tapping out, it would make this last battle look even more epic in retrospect. That is very nitpicky though. Both men really put on a series of matches that are unique to their era, and will last with time.

Rating: 4.25 Stars

Thanks for reading everyone. Comments and feedback are more than welcomed and we want to know YOUR thoughts on the show! Let’s have a dialogue here. Where are things going for November? What would YOU have done differently if you were booking? See you back here at 411Mania for the Survivor Series PPV!

The final score: review Good
The 411
Overall good pay-per-view from WWE. Nice to see Colter, and Del Rio back, as more known and over talent with in ring skill as we head into Mania season is never a bad thing. A lot of good clean wins on this show. New Day and the Dudleyz have their entertaining feud extended. The women had about as good of a one on one Divas contest as we’ve seen on the main roster in a while. Kane and Rollins had a solid, if uneventful title match. But the two crowning jewels on this show are the two Hell in a Cell matches that both absolutely ripped down the house in our eyes. Awesome stuff. The only stains on this show were a lackluster Intercontinental Title Match, a fairly weak pre-show match, and I think the absence of the Orton and Ambrose vs Strowman and Harper match really hindered this match from entering top echelon aura. Still, for an October show, this is one we would definitely recommend you try and watch.