2011 WWE Hell in a Cell PPV Flashback: John Cena vs. C.M. Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio in a Triple Threat Hell in a Cell match for the WWE Championship, Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton in a HIAC match for the World Hvt. Championship
The following is Jason Powell's "Live Coverage" report of the October 2, 2011 WWE Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. Check back tonight for Jason Powell and Chris Shore's live coverage reviews of the 2012 WWE Hell in a Cell pay-per-view beginning at 6:30 p.m. CT. Dot Net Members can look forward to an exclusive audio recap of the show from Rich and Jason later tonight. You can sign up for membership right now for as little as $5.50 per month via Prowrestling.net/amember/signup.php.
WWE Hell in a Cell
Aired live on pay-per-view
New Orleans, La. at New Orleans Arena
Michael Cole introduced the show and promoted the Twitter page. Cole was joined by Jim Ross and Booker T on commentary. Ross said there are no winners in Hell in a Cell, only survivors. Nice line. Cole said Jerry Lawler was not with them because he was still recovery from the Mark Henry attack...
Christian came to the ring for the opening match. The Miz and R-Truth were shown walking through the crowd with tickets in their hands. John Laurinaitis came out with security and confronted Miz and Truth. Security led them out as a small "let them stay" chant broke out. Sheamus was introduced for the opening match...
Powell's POV: I assume the swerve is Laurinaitis kicking out Miz and Truth, as all signs point to them working together.
1. Sheamus beat Christian in 13:40. Christian did the spot where he jumps over the top rope and throws an uppercut from the floor, but Sheamus blocked it. Christian came back by shoving Sheamus off the top rope to the floor a short time later. They continued to trade offense.
At 10:15, Christian went for his finisher, but Sheamus avoided it. Sheamus hit a top rope shoulder block at 11:10 that woke up the flat live crowd. He set up for the Brogue Kick, but Christian avoided it. Later, Christian speared Sheamus for a good near fall. They jockeyed for position and Sheamus ended up hitting the Brogue Kick and getting the clean pin.
Powell's POV: A solid match that the crowd was really quiet for during the first ten minutes. They came to life during the last few minutes and for the finish. It was an entertaining match that felt out of place in the opening slot. The Miz tweeted that he wasted $1,000 via Stub Hub, but said it's better than a $250,000 fine. Funny.
Backstage, Matt Striker interviewed Mark Henry, who said Randy Orton is going to join the Hall of Pain...
Powell's POV: I guess Orton wasn't officially inducted into the Hall of Pain two weeks ago when Henry beat him to win the title.
2. Original Sin Cara beat Dark Sin Cara in 9:50. The fans had no idea which Sin Cara to cheer for. They cheered for the original because he came out first, but they didn't make any noise for the second (dark Sin Cara). Cole determined that they would call the wrestler in the darker match Sin Cara 2. Booker succeeded in adding to the confusion by saying that he thought Sin Cara 2 was the original.
The original Sin Cara clapped and got the crowd to clap along briefly. The fans popped when the original Sin Cara (Mistico) performed a high spot. He followed up with a flip over the top rope and took a boot to the face from No. 2. The problem is that it looked really bad because original Sin Cara would have come nowhere near dark Sin Cara.
Booker T said "whoa" a lot while the live crowd sat there not knowing what to cheer for. One guy kept yelling "boring." He was eventually joined by others as the "boring" chants grew. Original Sin Cara hit a cross body block off the top rope onto the other Sin Cara on the floor. He played to the crowd and got some cheers.
In the end, Original Sin Cara avoided a powebomb and rolled over until he got the other Sin Cara in a roll up for the win. The fans cheered the finish...
Powell's POV: I always liked the proposed Dark Rey Mysterio character that was pitched for Low-Ki in the past. It's not working here because the fans don't feel a connection with the original character enough to be bothered by an impostor. Well, that and they have no idea which version is the original and which is the impostor. Yeah, that last one is pretty big. I'm sure the wrestlers will catch the heat, but creative really deserves it for botching this storyline.
Backstage, David Otunga was in lawyer mode and attempted to talk with C.M. Punk, who blew him off by saying he hates lawyers...
3. Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne beat Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger (w/Vickie Guerrero) to retain the WWE Tag Titles in 11:15. Solid action throughout the match. Bourne hit his knee press off the ropes on Ziggler for a great near fall. He followed up with standing moonsault for another near fall.
At 10:30, Ziggler caught Bourne with a great clothesline. Both men stayed down and production showed replays of the high spots. In the end, Swagger was setting up for a powerbomb off the ropes, but Bourne countered with a huracanrana and got the pin while Kingston pulled Ziggler out of the ring. Vickie blew a gasket and yelled at Swagger at ringside after the match...
Powell's POV: As much as I like the idea of having the tag titles on later in the show, I must admit this would have worked better in the opening slot than Christian vs. Sheamus did. I don't think they were doing a breakup angle with Vickie and Swagger. Cole simply said that Swagger should get used to it because Vickie gets angry when her wrestlers lose.
An ad aired for Triple H's "Inside Out"... The Hell in a Cell structure lowered around the ring, and then a video previewed the World Heavyweight Championship match...
4. Mark Henry beat Randy Orton in a Hell in a Cell match to retain the World Hvt. Championship in 16:00. They fought to ringside early and Orton took Henry off his feet. The announcers quickly put over how big it was for Orton to have Henry flat on his back. However, Henry came back and took control of the offense for the next few minutes. He slammed Orton's head into the cage at 6:00.
Henry continued to dominate the offense. He picked up Orton on his shoulders and rammed his head into the cage again. "Welcome to my hell," Henry told Orton at 7:45. Orton came back with a DDT on the ring steps around 13:00 and went on the offensive, which brought the crowd to life.
Orton hit the RKO at 14:30 and the fans went crazy, but Henry kicked out at the last minute. There were some boos from the frustrated crowd, which is a pretty cool reaction to garner in this day and age. Orton backed into the corner and set up for the punt kick. He ran at Henry, who stood up, grabbed Orton, and hit him with the World's Strongest Slam for the three count.
After the match, the cell went up and Henry started to leave. However, Henry returned to the ring and hit Orton with another World's Strongest Slam. Henry wrapped Orton's leg inside a chair and went to the second rope for a Vader Bomb, but Orton moved his leg. Orton took the chair and slammed it over Henry's back a couple of times.
Henry left the ring, and Orton followed and hit him with repeated chairshots near the stage. Henry caught Orton with a kick and then scurried backstage. Orton slammed the chair down and soaked up the "Randy" chant that broke out in the crowd before his music played...
Powell's POV: I enjoyed the match and the story they told. I can see where some viewers would be bored during Henry's lengthy offensive stretch, but it was perfectly logical given that they are still trying to establish Henry as a monster. It also led to the crowd rallying behind Orton when he came to life down the stretch. The post-match was also well done as I was starting to wonder whether they were working an injury angle to give Orton some time off, but he came back strong and gave his fans something to cheer for even though he lost the match. This was the highlight of the night so far.
Backstage, Josh Mathews interviewed Alberto Del Rio, who said he shouldn't be in the match because he's not a criminal and an animal. He then talked about what an animal does when it's trapped even though he just said he wasn't an animal. He vowed to leave with the WWE Championship...
A Rey Mysterio toy gun commercial aired...
Cody Rhodes walked to ringside wearing a suit and carrying the Intercontinental Title. He said it's not even Halloween yet and he wouldn't let most of the fans on his street. He said the fans who refused paper bags should be euthanized. Cody said it was time for the current Intercontinental Title to be put to rest.
Cody put the IC Title inside a paper bag and had another one of his sidekicks hand him a black velvet bag. Cody pulled out a white Intercontinental Title belt. He said it was the classic IC Title. He said it was worn by Ricky Steamboat, Bret Hart, Randy Savage, and Steve Austin. He said he will wear it in honor of those men, yet will also wear it with more pride and dignity than any of them.
Cody said he'll defend the title belt feverishly. John Laurinaitis walked out and interrupted Rhodes. He apologized for the interruption and then listed his own credentials. Laurinaitis said Triple H was ordering him to defend the Intercontinental Title on the spot...
Powell's POV: I wonder if Morrison is going over and moving to Smackdown. I guess that would explain why he's been losing so frequently and decisively on Raw lately since that creative team wouldn't have much use for him.
5. Cody Rhodes beat John Morrison to retain the Intercontinental Title in 7:30. Cody had to work the match in street clothes. Cole threw a fit about how unfair Triple H was being by forcing him to defend the title without warning and in street clothes. Ross conceded that the battle royal on Raw was also an odd choice.
It was all Morrison early. Cody hilariously grabbed the post at ringside in an attempt to get himself counted out, but Morrison got him back inside the ring. Morrison dominated the offense until he missed a Chuck Kick. Rhodes rolled him up and scored the pin. Ross said Morrison made one mistake and Rhodes capitalized...
Powell's POV: So much for Morrison to Smackdown. Cole spent the whole match bitching about Triple H. Shouldn't he still be afraid of Hunter taking his job away?
An anti-bullying ad aired...
Backstage, Triple H was on the phone saying he's had it with someone. Laurinaitis walked into the picture. Hunter started to complain about Laurinaitis booking matches. Laurinaitis told him that Miz and Truth were beating up talent. Hunter and Laurinaitis ran into a room nearby where Kingston and Bourne had been attacked. Hunter scolded Laurinaitis for not calling the police as he said he'd ordered him to do earlier...
Powell's POV: I'm starting to side with Michael Cole when it comes to Triple H losing control. After all, if he couldn't even hear the big brawl coming from a nearby room, then either he has a hearing problem or he's oblivious. Okay, not really. We had to rewind three times to make out what mush mouth Laurinaitis was saying to Hunter, so insert your own joke here about my hearing loss. By the way, if Hunter is implying that Laurinaitis made the IC Title match, does that mean Laurinaitis doesn't like Cody, was trying to help Morrison, or creative just wanted to have him book a match so Hunter could bitch about it? Probably the latter.
6. Beth Phoenix (w/Natalya) defeated Kelly Kelly (w/Eve) to win the WWE Divas Championship in 8:30 Beth dominated the offense early. Most of her moves prompted Booker to say "whoa." Kelly came back with a huracanrana out of a powerbomb attempt, but Beth went right back on the offensive.
Kelly hit her handspring elbow in the corner. The tough live crowd didn't give her much of a reaction, which is a shame because the move is always impressive. Beth locked Kelly in a submission hold. Natalya mocked her over the house mic. Kelly got out of the hold, but Natalya slammed it over her head. Beth hit the Glam Slam and scored the pin...
Powell's POV: It took them long enough to get to this point. Let's just say the live crowd's dead reaction was nothing compared to what it would have been if Beth had won the strap in Buffalo a couple weeks ago.
A Vengeance commercial aired and featured Mark Henry...
Ricardo Rodriguez introduced Alberto Del Rio. C.M. Punk was out next. He asked the crowd what time it was. He yelled, "It's Clobberin' Time." John Cena was out next to the usual mixed reaction. He looked into the camera and said it was time for the Hell in a Cell...
Powell's POV: Dot Net correspondent Brock Ryder noted that they just changed the ring mat. He questioned whether it was a distraction to sneak someone under the ring. My prediction in Dot Net Members' audio was that we'd see Kevin Nash, The Miz, R-Truth, and maybe Big Show emerge from underneath the ring at some point. I guess we'll find out shortly.
7. Alberto Del Rio defeated John Cena and C.M. Punk in a Hell in a Cell match to win WWE Championship in 24:10. Cole once again hyped that the HIAC structure is bigger than the average American home. I have no idea why they think that's a selling point, but whatever. The vocal fans were rooting for Punk and booing Cena early on.
A dueling chant broke out with the women and kids rooting for Cena, and the men yelling even louder that Cena sucks. They did the usual three-way bit of having Punk take a powder at ringside while the other two worked in the ring. Punk returned and had a few cuts on his back, presumably from the cage. Ouch!
At 7:00, Cena slammed Punk from the ring apron into the cage. Punk took a great face bump into the cage. Wow. Great intensity early on and the live crowd is definitely into the action. WWE desperately needs this match to deliver in order to close this show on a high note, and the trio is off to a strong start.
Punk was selling at ringside at 15:00 when Del Rio was trying to apply the Cross Arm Breaker on Cena, when Punk popped into the picture and flipped over the top rope onto both men to break it up. Later, Cena was going for the Five Moves of Doom and did the "You can't see me" bit to Punk, who was lying on his back when he blasted Cena with a kick to the head. I guess he could see him after all.
Del Rio sent Punk through a table on the floor a short time later. Cena locked Del Rio in the STF. At ringside, Ricardo Rodriguez attacked the ringside referee with a pipe. He got the key and opened the door. Ricardo tried to hit Cena with the pipe, but Cena stopped him and hit him with a hard Attitude Adjustment on the floor.
Del Rio ended up with the pipe and hit Cena with it. Cena ended up outside the Hell in a Cell structure. Del Rio closed the door, locked the Cell, and threw the key underneath the ring. Later and back inside the ring, Punk fired away on Del Rio with a series of great kicks. He followed up with a bulldog and a springboard clothesline for a near fall at 23:10.
Meanwhile, Cena went through Ricardo's clothes. I'm pretty sure he was looking for a key, but he may have been just copping a feel. Cena tried to force his way into the locked cell, but he's no Robocop. Del Rio took the pipe and blasted Punk with the pipe a couple of times and pinned him to win the WWE Championship.
The Cell structure was raised. Cena slid under and went after Del Rio. However, The Miz and R-Truth showed up wearing black hoodies and attacked all three men. The Cell structure lowered. Laurinaitis came out and talked to someone on the production side (presumably the person in charge of raising the Cell).
Triple H and heel and babyface members of the locker room came out, but they couldn't get inside the Cell. The beatdown inside the Cell continued until someone came out with a bolt cutter. Two policemen entered the structure and handcuffed Miz and Truth. They led them out of the Cell, where Triple H attacked them with punches. Laurinaitis tried to intervene, but Hunter pushed him down. The fans chanted for Triple H.
Triple H was eventually restrained by two bald security guys. One of them yelled, "That's enough" a couple of times and the show went off the air...
Powell's POV: A strong main event match. All three guys worked a good, fast pace and put together an entertaining and intense match. There's no way the modern day HIAC matches can be what the old versions were minus blood and ridiculous bumps, but I enjoyed both version of the match even though the structure itself wasn't a big factor in my enjoyment.
Does anyone have any idea why they put the belt back on Cena two weeks ago just to have him lose it here? The title belt has become a joke with all of the rapid fire title changes. Overall, the show felt flat aside from the two title matches. It was a tough live crowd to please, although they did get fired up down the stretch of most of the matches, and were hot for the main event.
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