Fans were shown entering the building as Renee Young introduced the show. The HIAC structure was shown hanging above the ring. The panel featured Young, Booker T, Alex Riley, and guest Paul Heyman. Young gave the network price pitch, but Heyman didn’t play along. He said he was there on behalf of Brock Lesnar and had an agenda. Heyman said that either John Cena or Randy Orton are next in line “to be fed to my carnivore.”
A video package recapped Seth Rollins turning on Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns, and set up the Rollins vs. Ambrose match… Riley broke down the keys to victory for the Rollins and then Ambrose. Heyman explained why he felt Rollins has the advantage over Ambrose, and Riley predicted an Ambrose win.
Tom Phillips checked in from the social media lounge and read a bunch of fan tweets and pimped the network… A video package focussed on the John Cena and Randy Orton feud and compared it to Ali vs. Frazier, Bird vs. Magic, and Brady vs. Manning… Riley said Cena wants to break Ric Flair’s record for most world title reigns. Heyman said the match will be a winner’s nightmare because the winner steps out of hell and goes seven rungs down the ladder to face Lesnar…
Powell’s POV: Heyman is a million times better at the pre-game show schtick than the panel regulars. He’s never tongue in cheek and he doesn’t engage in the silly laugh-a-thon approach that every pre-game show (WWE and otherwise) employs. His comments make the matches more compelling even while he stays true to his character.
Michael Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler checked in on commentary as The Miz and Mizdow made their way to the ring for Mizdow TV. Once in the ring, Miz took credit for bestowing the honor of giving his stunt double his own show. Mizdow said this is the greatest moment in the history of his career, then introduced Miz as his first guest.
Miz coached Sandow on the question to ask him, then looked perturbed when Mizdow took credit for beating Sheamus on Raw. Mizdow corrected himself and said that he works for Miz, who actually beat Sheamus. Mizdow told Miz that he’s the best friend he’s ever had. Miz said he’s touched and generous enough to give them back.
“Damien, you’re a damn good stunt double, one that I am truly proud to call my friend” Miz said. Miz and Mizdow hugged. Sheamus popped up on the big screen and said Mizdow should get down on his hands and knees and kiss his ass goodbye. Sheamus set up his “trailer” and said he was giving away the best part before Brogue Kicking the camera…
Powell’s POV: I get a kick out of Miz and Mizdow, so the comedy worked for me, and they tied it together at the end by having Sheamus interrupt to set up his match with Miz.
The panel discussed the tag title match. Heyman said the Usos have momentum and the champions have their backs up against the wall. Shockingly, Riley and Booker went against Heyman by predicting the tag champs retain… The focus shifted to the Nikki Bella vs. Brie Bella match. Booker did his shucky, ducky, quack, quack routine. Heyman asked what the hell that means. Booker laughed for no reason, which is par for the course with his Jamie Dukes/Michael Irvin routine… A video recapped the Bella vs. Bella match…
After Booker made some bizarre comment that seemed to imply that twins have the same thoughts at all times, they shifted the focus to Rusev vs. Big Show and aired a video package… Lilian Garcia introduced the Kickoff show match…
1. Mark Henry vs. Bo Dallas. Bo cut a promo on his way to the ring. Bo said he’s the new World’s Strongest Man because he beat Henry four times. Bo said he’s embarrassed that the city shares his last name, so he is changing his name for one night to Bo Washington. Cole explained the joke for non-NFL fans. Henry attacked Dallas when the bell sounded and finished him off quickly with the World’s Strongest Slam.
Mark Henry defeated Bo Dallas in 0:35.
Afterward, Bo said he wasn’t ready. “You cheated and cheaters never win,” Bo said. Bo claimed that he’s the winner in the record book of life because he Bolieves. Henry went to ringside and threw Bo into the barricade…
Young hyped the Divas Championship match, then Byron Saxton interviewed Paige and Alicia Fox on the backstage set. Paige said Lee ripped her heart out, but Alicia was there to pick up the pieces. Paige kissed Fox on the cheek, then said she will rip out Lee’s heart and steal her best friend – the Divas Championship… The panel delivered more hype and set up the numbers video…
WWE Hell in a Cell Pay-Per-View
A HIAC themed video opened the show… Cole listed the attendance as 15,103…
1. Dolph Ziggler vs. Cesaro in a best of three falls match for the Intercontinental Championship. Ziggler was cheered and Cesaro drew some boos during the entrances. Cesaro had a clean shaven head, yet kept the beard. Both men treaded near falls within the first few minutes. At 3:00, Cesaro set up for the swing, but Ziggler caught him with an inside cradle. Cesaro came back moments later and performed the Cesaro Swing, which received a favorable reaction from the live crowd. Ziggler kicked out out of a cover and rolled into one of his own to take the first fall at 3:35.
Cesaro showed off his power with an impressive powerbomb. Ziggler came back and caught Cesaro in a submission hold, which Cesaro eventually broke by slamming Ziggler into the corner. Ziggler held onto Cesaro’s arm, and Cesaro climbed to the second rope and then performed a great superplex. The fans responded with “this is awesome” chants. Ziggler dodged a charging Cesaro in the corner and then put him down with a Fameasser, but Cesaro kicked out at two. Good near fall.
Ziggler went for the Zig Zag, but Cesaro avoided it, threw Ziggler into the air, and caught him with an uppercut on the way down for another good near fall. Cesaro performed a backbreaker for a two count, then went for his finisher, but Ziggler dodged it and then hit a series of moves that concluded with the Zig Zag for the win in 12:25.
Dolph Ziggler beat Cesaro two falls to none in 12:25 to retain the Intercontinental Title.
Powell’s POV: A very good match to start the show. Ziggler winning both falls was surprising. I hope it somehow leads to something for Cesaro. Hell, I hope it leads to more than a bunch of televised non-title losses for Ziggler. Either way, a strong show opening match.
The broadcast team told viewers who were watching on pay-per-view that they are missing out. They pimped the network alternative…
Backstage, Triple H told Randy Orton to finish John Cena and take back the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Orton told Hunter, Stephanie McMahon, and Kane that if they don’t deal with Seth Rollins then he will…
2. Brie Bella vs. Nikki Bella. The loser becomes the other sister’s servant for a month. Brie did the Yes! routine during her entrance. Cole noted that Daniel Bryan encouraged his online followers to cheer on his wife. Eden served as the ring announcer for the match. The announcers questioned whether they have ever had sister vs. sister in WWE. Shouldn’t one of them have figured that out by doing some prep work?
Nikki took offensive control and got a two count. She told her sister to “just give up.” Brie came back and hit the running knee as her sister was seated in front of the ropes. Nikki rolled to ringside to avoid taking the move again. Brie performed a suicide dive onto Nikki, who came up holding her shin. Cole recalled Nikki’s previous shin injury and said it nearly ended her career.
Brie went up top and performed a missile dropkick for a two count at 4:35. Nikki came back and performed her Rack Attack finisher, but Brie kicked out. Brie went for the Yes Lock, but Nikki reached the ropes before she could lock it in. Nikki stood up and knocked Brie down with a big punch, then hit the Rack Attack for the win…
Nikki Bella pinned Brie Bella in 6:25.
Powell’s POV: It’s hard to find fault when both women were working to the best of their abilities. I was surprised to see the clean finish. Was the idea that Nikki cheated by throwing a punch? If so, the broadcast team didn’t sell it, and I can’t blame them since we see punches go unpunished all the time. Meanwhile, Lawler stated immediately after the match that Brie being her sister’s servant “is going to be entertaining.” At least Cole tried to sound a bit somber about the babyface being forced to work for her sister.
A WWE video game commercial aired… The pre-show panel checked in and Booker got in his latest shucky-ducky line. Ugh…
3. Goldust and Stardust vs. The Uso Brothers for the WWE Tag Team Championship. Stardust has added some blue to his ring gear. The Uso Brothers got the better of Stardust and worked him over early on. The Uso Brothers got the better of Stardust and worked him over early on. The champs ended up working over Jimmy Uso until he disposed of Goldust over the top rope. Jey tagged in and performed separate running dives over the top rope onto Goldust and then Stardust. Jey performed a high cross body block on Goldust for a two count at 6:30.
Goldust came back with a spinebuster and an animated cover for a two count at 8:00. Goldust threw chops in the corner that drew the obligatory “woooo” response from the crowd. One of the Usos superkicked Goldust for a two count. The Usos followed up with stereo superplexes. A short time later, Stardust kicked the back of Jey’s leg when he had Goldust up for a move. Goldust took advantage and hit his finisher for the win…
Goldust and Stardust defeated The Uso Brothers to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship in 10:20.
Powell’s POV: Good work from all four men, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d seen it all before. It’s sad, but even the big spots from the Uso Brothers are starting to feel a bit repetitive. These teams have worked together a lot, but I feel some of the problem with the Uso spots feeling repetitive is that they are asked to work so many long six-man tag matches on Raw, which has led to overexposure.
A Susan G Komen video aired… Byron Saxton interviewed breast cancer survivor Nikia Hammonds Blakely and the president and CEO of the Komen group at ringside… The HIAC music played, then a video package for the Cena vs. Orton match aired…
4. John Cena vs. Randy Orton in a Hell in a Cell match for a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Cole noted that this was Orton’s sixth HIAC match and the 29th overall HIAC match. JBL ruined the good prep work moment by saying that if there was anyone made “to be a sports entertainer it’s Randy Orton.” Yuck. Once Cena made his entrance, JBL said Orton and Cena have held a combined 27 world titles.
Orton brought a chair into play and both men made early attempts to use it. Orton ended up jabbing Cena in the gut with the chair, then slammed it over his back and got a throwaway two count. Cena came back with an Attitude Adjustment attempt, but Orton dodged it and DDT’d Cena for a two count. Orton took Cena to ringside and ground his face into the cage, then brought him back inside the ring and covered him for another two count at 4:50.
There were dueling chants for Cena. Orton struck his pose, then Cena clotheslined him. Orton quickly regained offensive control. Rinse and repeat with Orton running Cena into the cage, then getting a two count back inside the ring. Cena started to make his comeback, but Orton cut him off with a power slam for a two count. Orton went for a hanging DDT, but Cena avoided it and backdropped Orton to ringside at 9:25.
Cena picked up Orton and rammed him back first into the cage. Orton fought out and crotched Cena on the ring post at 10:00. There was a loud “RKO” chant from some adult male fans as Cena and Orton fought at ringside. Cena whipped Orton into the cage a few times. Cena reached under the ring and pulled out a table. “More toys,” JBL said. “It’s Christmas time in Dallas.” Vomit.
Cena set up the table in the ring and went for his finisher, but Orton slipped away and ran Cena into a chair that he’d wedged in a corner earlier. Orton got another two count, and Cole sold the story of Orton dominating the match. Orton set up the table in a corner of the ring. Orton tried to whip Cena into the table, but he slid short of it. Cena performed a shoulder block and went for another, but Orton caught him with an RKO for a great near fall at 15:00.
Orton ran Cena through the table that was leaning in the corner of the ring and got another two count. Orton barked at the referee over the pace of the count. Orton brought the ring steps inside the ring, then struck the Viper’s Pose. Orton went for the RKO, but Cena dodged it and then slammed Orton onto the ring steps. Cena went for the Attitude Adjustment, but Orton slipped out and low blowed Cena. Cole quickly pointed out that the low blow is legal in an HIAC match.
Orton backed up and went for the Punt Kick, but Cena went all Lucy to his Charlie Brown by moving out of the way. Cena applied the STF. Orton reached the ropes, but Cole reminded viewers that the referee didn’t have to call for a break in an HIAC match. Orton rolled to ringside. Cena picked up the ring steps and threw them at Orton, who dodged the stairs, which then hit the floor and the cage.
Back inside the ring, Cena hit an Attitude Adjustment for a two count at 2:20. Cena went for the move again, but Orton countered into the RKO for another near fall. Great spot. Cena came back and placed Orton on the table and then went to the top rope where Orton cut him off. Orton went for an RKO off the ropes, but Cena blocked it and ended up hitting an Attitude Adjustment through the table for the win. After the match, Cena walked to ringside and stared at Paul Heyman, who was at the pre-show panel desk…
John Cena defeated Randy Orton in a Hell in a Cell match in 26:25 to earn a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match.
Powell’s POV: Cena and Orton working for 26 minutes was a ballsy move. After all, we’ve seen the fans turn on their matches in the past. The fans weren’t electric by any means, but there were no “boring” chants or other catcalls chants. I had very little interest in seeing them wrestle one another again, but they more than held my interest with a strong back and forth match with some great near falls and innovative counters. Great work from both men and the match will be tough for Ambrose and Rollins to top. By the way, I love that Ambrose vs. Rollins is in the main event slot where it belongs. We know WWE loves to send the crowd home happy, which would seem to bode well for Ambrose.
Backstage, Big Show was shadow boxing as Mark Henry shouted encouragement. Show said he was going to knockout that bastard Rusev. Show said he would beat Rusev for his country, himself, and Henry…
5. Sheamus vs. The Miz (w/Mizdow) for the U.S. Championship. Prior to the match, footage aired of Mizdow TV from the pre-show. Sheamus went for his finisher to start the match, but Miz avoided it. It was all Sheamus early. Mizdow distracted Sheamus. Miz charged and Sheamus dodged him, causing Miz to clothesline Mizdow. Miz took control when he caught Sheamus with a boot to the face as he was returning to the ring.
Sheamus caught Miz with a shoulder block off the second rope for a two count. Miz caught Sheamus with a kick, but Sheamus performed the Irish Curse backbreaker for another two count. Miz continued to make kicks the biggest part of his offense, as he went back on the offensive after a couple of them and then performed a neckbreaker for a two count that fans didn’t get with. Miz got cocky and slapped Sheamus a couple times. Miz performed a DDT for a two count. Mizdow was mimicking everything across from the hard camera, leading to a “Mizdow’s awesome” chant.
At 7:10, Sheamus set up for his finisher. Mizdow climbed onto the apron and yelled, “Cut, don’t do this.” Miz rolled up Sheamus, who rolled through and had Miz pinned, but Mizdow distracted the referee. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale and went for a cover. Sheamus kicked out. Miz hit a clothesline in the corner and then a series of punches. Miz went up top and jumped into a Brogue Kick, which led to Sheamus covering him for the win…
Sheamus defeated The Miz in 8:30 to retain the U.S. Championship.
Powell’s POV: It took the fans some time to come down from the previous match, but they seemed to develop some interest in the match down the stretch. Mizdow was a riot, as he jumped off the ring steps at the same time Miz jumped off the top rope for the finish. They did a bit after the match where Sheamus held up Miz’s limp body and even did the YMCA while Mizdow emulated him.
Backstage, Brie was already in servant mode for Nikki by loading her luggage into the back of her vehicle. Nikki poured her drink over Brie’s head. “That one was for you,” Nikki said. She told Brie to go make her drink the same exact way. Nikki drove away… A video package set up the Rusev vs. Big Show match…
6. Rusev (w/Lana) vs. Big Show. Lana asked the fans to stand for the Russian anthem, but Show’s music played instead. Rusev dodged a charging Show in the corner. He also avoided a kick from Show and wrenched his leg down over his shoulder and then went to work on the leg. The fans chanted USA as Show sold the leg. Show broke free of Rusev’s hold on his leg with a kick. Rusev came right back with an impressive suplex and went right back to focussing on Show’s leg as the USA chants started up again.
At 3:30, Rusev caught Show with a dropkick and let out a primal scream that the fans responded to with boos. Rusev kicked Show’s back and set up for his finisher, but Show slid between Rusev’s legs and then applied a leg lock. Rusev cried out in agony and Lana yelled at the referee. Rusev reached the ropes to break the hold.
Show regained offensive control and Mark Henry walked to ringside. Show grabbed Rusev for a chokeslam, but Rusev kicked his leg to break free. Rusev went for another kick, but Show grabbed him by the throat and then chokeslammed him. Show covered and Rusev kicked out at two. Show and Rusev went to ringside at 6:40, and Henry shouted encouragement to Show as Show threw Rusev back inside the ring.
Rusev caught Show with a kick as he returned to the ring, then kicked Henry off the ring apron. Rusev caught Show with a superkick at 7:25. Rusev applied The Accolade at 7:35. The fans chanted USA. The referee called for the bell. Cole said Show tapped to the Accolade and Rusev remained unstoppable…
Rusev defeated Big Show in 8:00.
Powell’s POV: This wasn’t bad, but everything about their Raw match was better, including the much stronger call from Cole. The live crowd was into the match and chanting USA, but Show apparently tapping out (I didn’t see it) was deflating. I thought they would have Show lose due to Henry or some other way that would allow him to save face and set up the need for one more match.
Another Susan G Komen video aired… An ad for Survivor Series was shown…
Dean Ambrose delivered a promo backstage. He mentioned that Halloween is on Friday and that Seth Rollins will look like a zombie that had sex with something dead and threw in a few more gross lines…
7. A.J. Lee vs. Paige (w/Alicia Fox) for the Divas Championship. Lee got the better of the opening exchange and caught Paige with a kick. Paige went to ringside. Lee followed and eventually jumped onto Fox and hit her with a series of punches. Paige came back by catching Lee and then whipping her into the barricade a couple times.
Back inside the ring, Paige drove her knee into Lee’s back while wrenching back on her arms. Lee came back by kicking Paige out of the corner and then performing a Thesz Press on her. Lee came back and got a near fall that the live crowd didn’t respond to. Fox even slammed her hands on the mat repeatedly and never got a reaction out of the crowd.
Paige carried Lee while she skipped for a bit and then performed a fallaway slam. Lee rolled to ringside. Paige followed. Paige set up on the barricade and then Lee swept her legs out from under her, causing Paige to crash on the mat. Lee took the match back inside the ring, applied the Black Widow, and got the win. After the match, Paige smacked Fox and left the ring yelling, “I hate you!”…
A.J. Lee defeated Paige to retain the Divas Championship in 6:55.
Powell’s POV: Another forgettable Divas Championship match. They continue to pay for the confusing and lousy setup for their feud. What has Lee done to connect with the fans since she returned? She skips and smiles. This feud should be so much better, but it’s not like their ring work is so good that it’s making up for the poor booking.
The HIAC music played as the structure lowered around the ring for the main event… A video package set up the main event…
Powell’s POV: My late wishful thinking prediction? The Wyatt Family emerge from underneath the ring and help Seth Rollins win, which sets up Ambrose with fresh opponents and frees up Rollins for his program with Randy Orton.
8. Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins in a Hell in a Cell match. Ambrose made the first entrance and brought a kendo stick to the ring in an archery arrow holder. He immediately pulled chairs and a table out from underneath the ring. Ambrose looked up and then decided to climb to the top of the the cage. Rollins came out carrying his Money in the Bank briefcase.
Rollins went to ringside and asked if Ambrose wanted him up there. Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury tried to talk him out of going up. Rollins told them that they don’t tell him what to do, he tells them what to do. Rollins started to climb the cage, then stopped and told the new stooges to go up and get Ambrose. “You do what I tell you to do,” Ambrose said. “You work for me.”
Mercury and Noble climbed up opposite sides of the structure. Ambrose hit both men with kendo stick shots. Rollins climbed up another side of the structure and went after Ambrose. Rollins and Ambrose traded punches. The stooges held Ambrose down while Rollins picked up the kendo stick and used it to repeatedly hit Ambrose with it. The fans booed. Rollins dropped the kendo stick off the side of the cage. The fans chanted for Ambrose.
Rollins instructed the new stooges to throw Ambrose off the side of the cage. Ambrose fought them off and suplexed Noble on top of the cage. The fans chanted “this is awesome” even though nothing had really happened. Rollins climbed down hte side of the cage and Ambrose followed. Ambrose caught Rollins halfway down. After exchanging blows, both men crashed through the two broadcast tables. The fans chanted “this is awesome” again as referees and trainers checked on both men.
EMTs brought stretchers to ringside. They placed Rollins onto a stretcher first and then placed Ambrose on the other. Rollins was being wheeled up the aisle when Ambrose got up and chased after him. Ambrose attacked Rollins and eventually threw him inside the HIAC structure, then slammed the cage door on his head, which had to happen in Dallas.
Ambrose entered the HIAC structure and the bell rang to start the match eight minutes after they started fighting on top of the cage. Ambrose picked up a chair and yelled, “You stabbed me in the back, you son of a bitch.” Ambrose hit Rollins with repeated chair shots and the crowd cheered. A short time later, with Rollins standing on the ring apron, Ambrose got a running start and dropkicked him off the apron and into the cage. Cool spot.
Ambrose performed a suicide dive that drove Rollins into the cage. The fans chanted for Ambrose, who then placed a few chairs on top of one another. Ambrose tried to suplex Rollins, who avoided it and then countered by dropping Ambrose onto the stack of chairs. Rollins went to ringside and slid a table the ring, which was eventually draped over the ring apron and against the cage. Ambrose came back and placed Rollins on the table and then elbow dropped him and drove Rollins through the table at 6:20.
Ambrose grated Rollins face against the cage. Kane showed up out of nowhere and sprayed a fire extinguisher into Ambrose’s face. Rollins put Ambrose through a table, then dragged him back into the ring. At 8:10, Rollins hit his Curb Stomp finisher and covered Ambrose, who kicked out at two. The fans didn’t buy into that being the near fall, but they were into the match.
At 8:50, Rollins went to ringside and grabbed his MITB briefcase and set it inside the ring. Rollins picked up a chair and slammed it over the back of Ambrose repeatedly, then took three swings at Ambrose’s chest and arms. Rollins put Ambrose’s face over the MITB briefcase and backed up for another Curb Stomp, but Ambrose stood up and fought him off.
Rollins avoided Dirty Deeds and caught Ambrose with a kick. Ambrose came back with a clothesline that folded up Rollins like an accordion and covered him for a two count that a good portion of the crowd bought into. Ambrose went to ringside and pulled out a pair of cinderblocks from underneath the ring and then set them next to Rollins. Ambrose put Rollins’ face over the blocks and set up for his own Curb Stomp.
The lights went out. A voice could be heard repeating the same line over and over. Even the subtitles listed it as “inaudible.” When the lights turned on again, Bray Wyatt’s lantern was in the middle of the ring. There was also a hole in the ring and smoke came out of it. An image appeared in the smoke, then Bray Wyatt charged at Ambrose and clotheslined him. The lights went out again.
The lights turned on again and Wyatt did the crab walk, then slammed Ambrose to the mat with a uranage. The fans booed. Rollins covered Ambrose and pinned him while Wyatt knelt by them and stared down. After Rollins left the ring, Wyatt hit Sister Abigail on Ambrose.
Seth Rollins defeated Dean Ambrose in a Hell in a Cell match in 14:00.