WWE’s Hell in a Cell: The good, the bad and the ugly

Published: October 30, 2013

No other staple match has been able to replace Hell in a Cell, the demonic steel cage that has shortened the careers of so many.

Hell in a Cell has been considered one of the most gruelling staple matches of all time, since its début in 1999. Although it has inspired many imitations, none have been able to replace the demonic steel cage that has shortened the careers of so many.

What better month to ‘go to hell’ than October – the month of Halloween!

Like most matches, this one also had its fair share of the ‘good, the bad and the downright ugly’.

The Good

Tag Team Division

The titles were defended between the Rhodes Brothers – Cody Rhodes and Dustin ‘Goldust’ Rhodes – the Uso Brothers – Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso – and the defending champions The Shield – Regins and Rollins. It was a stellar match that showcased the future of the company and the new-found life of the tag team division. Cody Rhodes is a rising star with brilliant ring chemistry as well as an arsenal of unorthodox manoeuvres. But Cody and his veteran brother Goldust were not the main highlight of the night; the real tag team action came from the Usos and the Shield.

The Usos, sons of the legendary Rikishi, showed their brilliant combination of Samoan power, speed and size. It never ceases to amaze me how these huge wrestlers can be so agile and use their sheer size for power. I don’t want to sound stereotypical but seriously Samoans are built for this sport! The Shield showcased their in-ring greatness, and the way these young talented superstars work together as a team is always a sheer joy to watch. We have had glimpses of their singles competitive skills and there’s no doubt in my mind that these individuals are going to leave a lasting mark on the WWE.

Another decent tag team match took place between the Los Matadores and the Real Americans. Termed a racial issue, this match had entertaining spots, specially the little El Torito. Seriously, the little bull’s energy makes it seem as if he drinks Red Bull! Although the match had a slower pace than the Tag Team Championship match earlier that night, it was still worth watching and ended with the Los Matadores countering the Patriot Lock with the unnamed Double-team Suplex. All in all, it was a great night for the tag team division.

Hell in a Cell match: CM Punk vs Paul Heyman and Ryback

Fans had been waiting impatiently for months to see how Punk would break Heyman’s face, and defeat Ryback. Things literally escalated, with Heyman riding to the ring in a scissor lift, all the while belittling the former WWE Champion; he then resumed to stay on top of the Devil’s Structure.

Although CM Punk’s performance was not of ‘Best in the World’ standards, but he put on a good showcase. The memorable moment came when Punk climbed to the Devil’s Structure and beat the living hell out of Paul Heyman with a Kendo stick.

The return of John Cena

Although most of the International Wrestling Cartel (IWC) might criticise Cena’s Superman-like gimmick but it is a fact that the man recovered in half the span of his required recuperation and then put up a great wrestling match. Perhaps, Super Cena isn’t a gimmick; perhaps, he is just not human.

Cena’s wrestling ability was already under debate when he suffered an injury, which in turn led to heavy criticism of him suffering potential ring rust. However, scheduled to be out for six months like normal people, Cena’s wolverine-like regenerative capabilities, have allowed him to return in half the time. This ‘never give up’ attitude got the best of the Mexican Aristocrat, Alberto Del Rio, and won Cena the title of World Heavyweight Champion.

Del Rio tried everything but the kitchen sink on Cena’s arm and yet the former Doctor of Thuganomics prevailed in over-powering the former champion and obtaining his third World Title.

The Bad

When The Miz came out to a crowd exceeding 17,000, the reactions indicated that a majority of them were on a toilet break. Unfortunately, the superstar has fallen from his WWE Champion days. He called out the Wyatt family and only two appeared since the leader Bray Wyatt had suffered an off-screen injury. However, The Miz made a brilliant promo; this guy has great mic skills and can be equated with the likes of CM Punk, albeit after a little polishing.

The surprise in this Hell in a Cell Pay Per View (PPV) was one half of the Brothers of Destruction; you didn’t really expect a HinC PPV without them, did you? Kane came out to a huge pop, but botched what seemed to be an Oklahoma Powerslam or Tombstone. Although the pace did pick up when Kane proceeded to showcase his dominance by Chokeslaming the Miz, a wrestling fan is left to wonder what the purpose of this promo was, to begin with?

The Ugly

The face of the company

Another on-going debate for the last few months has been around Orton and Bryan; who is the face of the company and most deserving of the WWE Championship?

After all, both men are gifted in ring competition and have faced each other numerous times. Bryan got the best of Orton in the last PPV when he won the Championship fair and square.

However, this time it was different.

The only negative of this rivalry is the lack of attention given to the main superstars involved. On the contrary, more focus was put on Triple H and Shawn Michaels, even on the Big Show; superstars who haven’t performed well since 1999. The two gladiators received minimum on screen time, and if they were on screen longer, it was just as side characters to the tale of the COO’s ego. Frankly, this match had no need for Triple H, but he was there and is likely to be the reason behind the final decision of the match.

Don’t get me wrong, the match was incredible. I just have sour grapes over a suit in a WWE Championship match. If it were not for this, this would have been in the ‘Good’ category of the review. The match itself was barbaric and technical – everything a wrestling fan wants – it was just the story and end result that ruined an otherwise brilliant match, for me.

However, that is just my opinion. What did you think of the PPV? Was there any match that should have been mentioned? Leave a comment in the comment section below and until the next PPV,

“Ciao and cheers!”

Please note that the above review is opinion-based, contains debatable content and includes spoilers. Reader discretion is advised.

Omer Anwar

Omer Anwar

Omer Anwar like to write about the modern geek, events, sports and movies, with a pinch of anger management issues. From wrestling to comic books, Omer likes to write for fans as a fan. He blogs at 90schildsperspective.tumblr.com/ and tweets as @90s_Child (twitter.com/90s_child)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Hina

    I love OrtonRecommend

  • raw is war

    seriously? An article on WWE?Recommend

  • Parvez

    Will leave some informed comments after I meet up with my 78 year old mother-in-law who knows all there is to know about WWE affairs……. and she takes it seriously.Recommend

  • Adil Uddin

    Hell in a Cell match didn’t make its debut in 1999 but 1997 and it featured Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. That’s the same match where Kane made its debut. In the following year one can’t forget the famous Undertaker vs Mankind Hell in a Cell Match at King Of The Ring where Mick Foley fell and could have died.
    Anyways, to name a whole PPV after a specific match doesn’t sound great. Hell in a Cell shouldn’t be announced after a rivalry of just few months. It should rather be a final chapter or encounter in the rivalry of the two wrestlers such as HHH vs HBK in 2004.Recommend

  • Avid Reader

    Please i seriously thought tribune has grown up…..Recommend

  • D3ath

    You do realize that these matches are preplanned and fake,
    If you want real action watch MMA (Mixed Martial arts)Recommend

  • Qasim

    The only match that stood out was Cena Delrio match and perhaps sheild’s too … Rest it was garbage. Ortan Bryan match was way predicted since Shawn michaels was to involve as refreee c’mon WWE havent we seen enough nowRecommend

  • ather

    saying ‘wrestling is fake ‘ everytime its discussed is like going to a movie theater and telling everyone the movies fake….OF COURSE ITS FAKE …..ITS ENTERTAINMENT NO ONES PROMOTING IT OTHERWISERecommend

  • Felimban

    The Rhodes Brothers were the defending champions at the time. They won the titles two weeks prior to the PPV. Correct your article.Recommend