Eh, what a letdown. Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose in the main event at WWE Hell in a Cell had a lot of promise, but the writers ruined what could have been one of the better main events in the past few years.
Not only did the match end with a run in, but having it be Bray Wyatt made no logical sense, with no buildup of any heat between Wyatt and his target, Ambrose, who was about to finish off Rollins when the lights dimmed, the sound system blared the sound of someone gibbering, perhaps in Latin, perhaps just in gibberish, and Wyatt appeared.
It’s obvious that what was intended was the setup to a big feud between Wyatt and Ambrose. What’s not obvious is why WWE felt compelled to use a pay-per-view event the way it could otherwise use an installment of Monday Night Raw. The run in means no payoff to the hot feud between Rollins and Ambrose, and also nothing new on the teased heat between Rollins and Randy Orton, who was nowhere to be seen during the main event, despite protesting backstage earlier in the show that he expects Triple H and The Authority to do something about Rollins, after the Rollins attack on Orton at the end of this past week’s Raw.
And with Orton dropping the other part of the so-called double main event to John Cena, with the spoils being that Cena earns another title shot against absent WWE champ Brock Lesnar, we have no compelling reason for Cena to go after the suddenly dance-partner-less Rollins, who had been the focus of both Cena and Rollins the past few weeks.
Maybe that opens the door for an Orton-Rollins feud. We’re getting Wyatt-Ambrose, which, despite the protestations about the convoluted ending to Hell in a Cell, should be entertaining. Cena could turn his attention to Rusev, who blew through Big Show to continue his rise through the midcard, though it’s likely that the anticipated Cena-Rusev matchup will come in WrestleMania season.
But that’s for later on. Tonight was underwhelming from the get-go, and the ending was the sort that could get people on the fence about signing on for WWE Network or considering re-upping to just hold off until Royal Rumble or even WM31.
To put it bluntly, you need to treat your fans better than to schmozz up the ending to an anticipated main event.
Main Event: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins The match started on top of the cage, featured a fall from the side of the cage, tables, chairs, cinderblocks. The only thing missing was the bingo hall backdrop. The match seemed to have no cohesion, logic, game plan. The psychology was awful; the combatants seemed literally to be calling it on the fly. Sad to say, but these guys are not ready for prime time.
The Other Main Event: John Cena vs. Randy Orton It’s hard to call a match part of a double main event when it comes on at 9 p.m. Eastern, but at least this one seemed to flow like a real wrestling match. If only we hadn’t already seen it a hundred times before. The 11-year-old at my watch party called most of the spots.
Rusev taps out Big Show This one did what it needed to do. I saw Rusev at a live Raw TV show in Richmond, Va., in the summer, and you couldn’t hear Lana talk, the crowd chanting “USA! USA! USA!” was so loud. The gimmick is so over that WWE, being WWE, is probably itching to blow it up, since that’s what creative seems to want to do to anything that’s working. For now, at least, Rusev continues to plod his way up the card.
Paige taps out to AJ I like both wrestlers, but it’s definitely time to move on from this feud, compelling as it was. Alicia Fox’s ill-timed assistance to her now-former bestie, Paige, will help facilitate the next steps for both.
Bella melodrama persists Nikki beat Brie, who is now forced to be her twin’s personal assistant for 30 days. We saw backstage after the win what this will involve when Nikki poured a smoothie over Brie’s head. Yippee.
Spot of the Night: Sheamus pins The Miz It was comic relief, but the gimmick with Damien Sandow, er, Mizdow, playing the role of stunt double to the extreme of acting out the match at ringside is hilarious.
Match of the Night: Dolph Ziggler defends Intercontinental title vs. Cesaro It’s a shame that these two either open shows or work the pre-shows. They’re the best workers in the company, and it showed again in their match Sunday night. I like the way Ziggler is being booked of late, including his recent defense on Raw against Orton. Creative needs to do more to elevate the midcard with the weakness at the top right now.
– Column by Chris Graham