By Jason Powell
Aired live on pay-per-view
Dallas, Tex. at American Airlines Arena
The show opened with a video package. The narrator spoke as if he was the Hell in a Cell structure... Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Matt Striker introduced the show from ringside...
Powell's POV: I just posted the result of the six-man tag dark match on the main page. Big brother got the better of little brother.
1. Daniel Bryan defeated The Miz vs. John Morrison in a Triple Threat, submissions count anywhere match to retain the United States Championship in 13:35. The Miz entered last and was referred to as the Kenny Powers of WWE by one of the announcers. Nice. Thanks for the DVR reminder, guys.
Miz said he was the mentor of Bryan and Morrison. He stressed that he never tapped out. Morrison sold at ringside early, which gave Bryan and Miz some alone time. Bryan applied Cattle Mutilation at one point. Striker told the other announcers to "look it up."
At 7:00, all three men brawled in the crowd. Miz got the better of the situation by dropping Morrison on the guardrail, and then ramming Bryan through a guardrail of some type. They fought near the stage, where Miz tried to ram a crate into Morrison, but Morrison blocked it with his foot and then leapt over it and took a shot at Miz.
Miz came right back with with a Skull Crushing Finale on Morrison on the floor. Miz and Bryan fought on the stage. They both went for submissions and countered and hit a double clothesline. Morrison climbed the set. Cole said he looked like Spiderman. Morrison climbed onto a lighting right that was on top of fencing and dove onto both opponents on the stage.
Powell's POV: Cool spot, but it looked really choreographed with both guys essentially waiting to brace Morrison's fall.
At 12:40, Morrison applied a Texas Cloverleaf on Miz. Alex Riley ran out to break up the hold. Bryan ran Riley into a camera and apparently off the stage. Bryan applied the LeBell Lock at 13:25 on the stage. Miz tapped out moments later and the crowd popped. "Okay, I admit it, Daniel Bryan is for real," Cole said after the match. He later told the other announcers that he needed to go check on Miz...
Powell's POV: Strong opening match. Miz didn't waste much time before tapping, but he looked strong in defeat by dominating a good portion of the match. Morrison spent a lot of time selling, yet also had some key moments including the big dive off the set.
An ad aired for "Legendary"... Cole was still fretting over Miz's health as the announcers set up the Randy Orton vs. Sheamus video package, which was then shown...
Powell's POV: I was curious to see how they would handle the match order with two Hell in a Cell matches on the show. They had three last year and actually had the first HIAC match open the pay-per-view.
2. Randy Orton defeated Sheamus in a Hell in a Cell match to retain the WWE Championship in 22:50. Cole said this would be the twentieth Hell in a Cell match in history. The live crowd was hot for Orton's entrance and broke out an "RKO" chant after the in-ring introductions.
Sheamus and Orton fought on the ropes. Sheamus got the better of the exchange and rammed Orton into the cage. He took control of the match and removed a pad from the turnbuckle. He failed to slam Orton's head into the exposed turnbuckle, so it will probably come into play later.
Orton regained control. He looked up at the exposed turnbuckle from his knees and then moved aside when Sheamus charged at him. Sheamus hit the exposed turnbuckle, but it didn't play an important part in the match (yet). The announcers spent most of the match putting over Orton, but they did give Sheamus the edge in power.
The ring steps that came into play earlier in the match were brought inside the ring. Sheamus dropped Orton onto the steps at ringside earlier, and Orton sold a rib injury. However, Orton hit a snap slam onto the steps in the middle of the ring in a cool spot. He went back to selling the ribs a short time later.
Orton also sold a shoulder injury and the announcers pointed out his past problems. Sheamus set up Orton for an apparent Rock Bottom on the ring steps in the middle of the ring. However, he hit a backbreaker instead, so the ring steps never even came into play on that move.
Sheamus followed up with the Brough Kick for a quality near fall at 18:40. Sheamus went to ringside and pulled a chair out from underneath the ring. Sheamus slammed the chair over Orton's back a few times and got another near fall. Sheamus slammed the chair on the mat and went for a shot to the head, but Orton avoided it and hit the RKO.
Sheamus's momentum took him to ringside. Orton expressed frustration over not being able to pin Sheamus. Randy went to ringside and went for the punt kick. Sheamus avoided the kick and then followed up with a great Brough Kick at 20:00. Sheamus rolled Orton back inside the ring and went for a cover. Orton kicked out and the live crowd cheered as Sheamus threw a fit.
Sheamus stood up and played to the crowd and drew boos. He set up Orton for a move on the ring steps when Orton hit him withe RKO out of nowhere and scored the clean pin. Huge pop for the RKO and Orton going over.
Orton went to ringside and put the belt on backwards. He climbed to the top of the Hell in a Cell structure and played to the fans by raising the belt in the air. There was a great camera shot taken from within the ring that pointed up at Orton on top of the cage. Cole nearly ruined the moment by saying they should name the Hell in a Cell match after the Viper or something lame...
Powell's POV: A damn good match. Honestly, the Hell in a Cell structure didn't add much to it, though. Granted, the fact that they were enclosed was kind of cool, but the HIAC structure doesn't mean as much in the modern era because you don't expect blood or anyone to be thrown off the top of the structure. I just don't get as fired up about the match as I once did, but that doesn't change the fact that this was a strong title match with good intensity from bell to bell.
An ad aired for the Bragging Rights pay-per-view. They played up the Raw vs. Smackdown theme, and the Wade Barrett delivered the "Nexus or against us" line...
Backstage, Josh Matthews tried to interview the cast of NXT season three for God knows what reason. Fortunately, Nexus played the babyfaces by entering the picture and scaring them away. Wade Barrett said there was something in the air tonight. He promised that John Cena would be with them after tonight, and had Michael Tarver show the Nexus armband that they intend to present to Cena on Monday's Raw...
Alberto Del Rio made his standard entrance with the legendary R-Rod as his personal ring announcer. Del Rio came to the ring wearing street clothes and cut a mid-ring promo. He noted that this was his pay-per-view debut. Del Rio said he wants to make it special.
Del Rio posted a shot of the dog he had in the Rey Mysterio mask on the live edition of Smackdown. I would totally buy that mask for my dog. Del Rio said he's richer than Mark Cuban, better Nolan Ryan, and more handsome than Tony Romo. He said the crowd thinks they're better because they're Americans. He told the crowd he's better than they are.
Edge's entrance music interrupted Del Rio's promo. He said he wasn't there to defend Rey Mysterio, Texas, or Christian. He said he's there to fight against stupidity. He said Del Rio's dog mask was stupid. I strongly disagree, sir! Edge continued to rip Del Rio and then ripped off the R-Rod's sleeve.
Del Rio and Edge squared off, but they were interrupted by Jack Swagger's entrance music. Swagger took offense to Edge roughing up his mascot on the live Smackdown. "It wasn't even a real eagle, there was a human being inside," Swagger said in the line of the night.
Edge said he'd pay for the mascot's medical bills. He said he might as well do the same for Swagger and Del Rio. Edge attacked Swagger, but was quickly outnumbered by Swagger and Del Rio.
The anonymous general manager chime sounded. Michael Cole stood up and read the message on the "upgraded computer." Cole said Edge must apologize to the general manager on Raw tomorrow night, and must face Swagger tonight...
3. Edge defeated Jack Swagger in 11:30. Striker said Swagger was on the sideline calling plays during the Oklahoma vs. Texas game because he has that much clout. Nice. There wasn't much heat for the match. Swagger ended up bleeding from the mouth at one point, which is probably the most blood we'll see on the HIAC pay-per-view.
Swagger was sent to ringside. He reached and pulled out Edge by his ankle and attempted to apply the ankle lock at ringside, but Edge twisted out of it and flipped Swagger into the ring steps. Cool spot.
At 9:00, Edge went to the top rope, but Swagger ran up and caught him in Kurt Angle style and suplexed him. Another cool spot, but the live crowd died again shortly thereafter. Swagger went for the Swagger Bomb, but Edge stood up and caught him with a kick to the gut.
Edge followed up with a DDT. He did get the spear he went for at this point, but he connected with one a short time later and scored the clean pin. Nice pop for the finish. The announcers played up Edge being forced to apologize to the anonymous general manager on Raw...
Powell's POV: The live crowd just never got into that match with the exception of reacting to a big move here and there. I guess it doesn't help that Edge never really turned babyface. He's just a heel who is feuding with the general manager, and he doesn't have an established beef with Swagger.
A "Don't Not Try This at Home" video aired...
Backstage, David Otunga told the rest of Nexus that he has a plan that he hasn't run past Wade Barrett. He assured them it wouldn't get them disqualified, as their interference could cost Barrett the match. The others looked apprehensive...
A video package set up Wade Barrett vs. John Cena...
4. Wade Barrett defeated John Cena in 17:50. Nexus must disband if Cena wins. Cena must join Nexus if Barrett wins. The announcers questioned what would happen to Nexus if they were forced to disband. Striker said some would probably end up on Raw and some would probably end up on Smackdown.
Cole said Cena stands for everything that WWE stands for. Striker said it won't be a popular opinion, but it's time for a change. Cole questioned how Striker could say that and stood up for Cena, so I guess he's just going to be pro-Miz.
Cena went for an Attitude Adjustment at 3:15, but the rest of Nexus ran to ringside and distracted him. Barrett slipped out and nailed Cena with a shot. Barrett went to ringside and scolded his Nexus stablemates. He questioned what they were doing and asked them who was in charge.
The announcers reminded viewers that if a member of Nexus touches Cena, Barrett loses the match. The match continued with Barrett in control at 5:00. There were dueling "Let's Go Barrett" and "Let's Go Cena" chants. It sounded about 50/50.
Cena made his comeback and Nexus surrounded the ring as he was setting up for the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Big Show ran out and was followed by MVP, Daniel Bryan, Hart Dynasty, John Morrison, Goldust, Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne, Chris Masters, Dolph Ziggler, and maybe others.
The WWE crew roughed up the four Nexus wrestlers and ran them off as Cena watched with a smile on his face. The WWE crew headed backstage. Cena held up both of his index fingers and mouthed the words "one-on-one" with a smile. Cena went for the Attitude Adjustment at 11:30, but Barrett fought out of it and hit a suplex. Cole was openly cheerleading Cena on commentary.
At 13:30, Cena started to climb the ropes for an apparent legdrop. Cole pointed out that Barrett was in perfect position for that move. Well, he may have been when Cole thought of that, but Barrett was on his feet stopping Cena before Cole completed his sentence.
Cena won the better of a brief exchange on the ropes. Cena hit the legdrop on the back of Barrett and went for a cover, but Barrett kicked out. Striker praised Barrett and told him to hang in there. The live crowd bought into the near fall. Cena went for the Attitude Adjustment, but Barrett slipped out and hit his own finisher for a great near fall.
At 16:15, Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment out of nowhere. He went for the cover, but Barrett kicked out for a great near fall. A short time later, Cena was going for the STF when a "fan" (Michael McGillicutty?) entered the ring and distracted Cena and the referee. Another "fan" (who looked like Husky Harris) ran by and struck Cena with a lead pipe while the ref was distracted. Barrett covered Cena and the ref turned and made the three count.
The other Nexus members ran out and celebrated with Barrett while Cena was lying in the ring. Cole complained about this being a travesty. The Nexus headed to the stage and looked back at Cena with smiles on their faces. As Nexus headed backstage, Cena sat in a corner of the ring with a discouraged look on his face.
The production crew aired shots of fans who were shocked or at least were born with surprised looks on their faces. Cena sold it in the ring for a couple minutes and then slowly walked to the back. He stopped to rub a small child on the head. Lawler said it was like he was kissing the young fan goodbye. Is he going somewhere?...
Powell's POV: I thought Darren Young might interfere since he's technically no longer a member of Nexus, but I love the idea of McGillicutty (Mr. Perfect's kid) and Husky interfering. I'm fairly certain that was Harris, but not positive about McGillicutty. The announcers never even bothered to speculate about the identities of the two "fans." Cole was too busy throwing an over the top tantrum about Cena losing. This would have been a great time for the announcers to lay out given how ineffective they were with the post-match call.
Backstage, Josh Matthews was walking in a dark hallway. Unfortunately, Abyss didn't show up and drag him off to his S&M lair for some branding fun. Rather, Paul Bearer showed up and said that while Kane may be the devil's favorite demon, he'll never be the father of destruction's favorite son...
Powell's POV: Paul is supposed to be Kane's father. Taker has his own father. Paul just hooked up with Taker's mom for a wild night of gothic action, and that's when baby Kane was conceived. Years later, Taker burned his mother and his own father alive and blamed Kane for it. Many years later, he put buried Paul Bearer alive in cement on a WWE pay-per-view. Yet for some reason, Taker is Paul's favorite son. I think I have that right.
5. Natalya defeated Michelle McCool (w/Layla) by DQ in a Unified Divas Championship in 5:00. Natalya had a pin at one point, but Layla stood on the ring apron. The ref blew off his count and turned his attention to Layla. There was a similar spot later where he stopped Layla from getting involved. Natalya locked in the Sharpshooter on McCool. Layla threw her she in the ring and the ref DQ'd her...
Powell's POV: Wow, they made the poor referee look like the most incompetent referee in history. Disappointing match in that it was all about the Layla silliness. They made the poor referee look more obsessed with Layla than our own Marv Hermanstyne is. I assumed they'd go with a cheap finish to set up the rematch, but I was hoping we'd get more action from McCool and Layla.
A Kane and Undertaker video package aired...
6. Kane defeated Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) in a Hell in a Cell match to retain the World Hvt. Championship in 22:30. Cole noted that it was the 21st HIAC match, and Kane's third HIAC match. Kane attacked Taker as he entered the HIAC structure. The bell rang shortly thereafter, so Tony Chimmel was denied the opportunity to handle the in-ring introductions for the championship match.
They fought around the ringside area while inside the structure. Kane took the advantage and targeted Taker's left knee with a few chair shots. The crowd was really flat at Kane put Taker in the ring and then wrenched his left leg around the ring post. He followed up by slamming the steps into Taker's knee. A small Taker chant started, but didn't pick up steam.
The crowd pepped up a little as both wrestlers entered the ring. An "Undertaker" chant started as Kane continued to work over Taker's left knee. Kane suffered a cut on top of his head at some point. It didn't produce much blood. Kane continued to work over Taker's leg by wrenching on it as both men were lying in the middle of the ring.
Taker broke the hold with punches to the back of Kane's head. They got to their feet and traded punches, which woke up the crowd as they fired into the "yeah" and "boo" routine. Kane got the better of it, but Taker came back with his diving clothesline after running the ropes.
Taker went up top for the old school bit at 11:30, but Kane reached up and took a shot at his knee to knock him down. Taker fired a shot at Kane, who came back with a big uppercut. The crowd was quiet enough when Kane was on offense that people in the second tier may have been able to hear the announcers' commentary.
At 12:45, Kane hit the top rope clothesline. When he tried to follow up, Taker applied the Hell's Gate submission hold. Kane eventually broke the hold by pulling away and falling to the floor at ringside. Kane sold the hold by choking at ringside. When he climbed back inside the ring, both men performed a simultaneous big boot.
Both men got to their knees at the same time. Taker flashed Kane a sinister look and then they exchanged more punches. Taker ended up getting a near fall at 15:00. Taker followed up with a chokeslam for another near fall. "Damn, damn, damn," Bearer said at ringside. Florida Evans should sue for copyright infringement.
Powell's POV: Yes, that's two Florida Evans jokes in one week for those of you keeping score at home.
Kane stood on the second rope and punched Taker, who recovered and turned it into the Last Ride for a near fall. The live crowd was into Taker's offense. Taker muscled up Kane for the Tombstone, but Kane countered and hit his own Tombstone, but Taker kicked out unlike the last time they met.
Kane threw a major league hissy fit in the middle of the ring. He reached up and tagged the referee with an uppercut. Several referees came out and carried the fallen ref away. Paul Bearer entered with the referees and remained inside the structure after the refs left.
Kane looked down at Paul Bearer and went after him. It was the slowest chase scene ever as Paul Bearer walked away from Kane, who slowly stalked him. Bearer entered the ring and begged off in the corner. Kane said Paul should have stayed away and asked if he had any idea what he was going to do to him.
Taker sat up. When Kane turned around, Taker chokeslammed him. Taker did the throat slash gesture and bunch of purple lighting and lighting flashed in the arena. Taker picked up Kane for the Tombstone. Bearer opened the top of the urn and flashed a light into the eyes of Taker, who released the hold.
Paul Bearer stood between Kane and Undertaker. Bearer eventually handed the urn to Kane, who struck Taker with it. Kane chokeslammed Taker and pinned him. Kane and Paul Bearer left the ring together. Bearer held the open urn in front of his face with the glowing light from inside as they headed to the stage. They stood at the top of the stage together with the light shining on them as they looked back at the fallen Taker to close the show...
Powell's POV: Wow, that was horrible. The match was slow and poorly received, although the live crowd was into Taker and was still cheering for him late in the match. As if the punching and kicking wasn't dull enough, the silly urn finish would have been campy had they done it at the peak of the Undertaker and Kane special powers silliness years ago.
Why did Paul Bearer even bother to tease an alliance with Taker just to turn on him? So he earned Taker's trust to turn on him in this match even though he technically would have had no clue that he would ever be allowed to remain inside the structure?
I can't believe they closed the show with that match. Did they really think that campiness was going to send anyone home happy? Awful. I was fine with most of the show through the Cena and Barrett match, but it was all downhill after that. I'll have more to say later tonight in Dot Net Members' audio, and in the WWE Hell in a Cell Hitlist on Monday. Thanks for watching along with me tonight.