clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WWE Raw preview (October 27, 2014): Controversy isn't creating anything

What you need to know

A show with a name that implies violent resolutions to long-standing rivalries delivered some of those things.  But not all of them, and rarely in the same match.

Hell in a Cell was a good show, one well worth $9.99 if you're lucky enough to live in a place where you can get WWE Network access for that price.  All of the company's second tier titles were defended - and successfully.  There were no title changes at the pay-per-view (PPV) in Dallas, Texas.

Dolph Ziggler and Cesaro opened the show in a hastily booked two-out-of-three falls match the Intercontinental champ swept.  The Swiss challenger looked like a beast and did the (literal) heavy lifting with his usual impressive spots, but where he goes coming off a decisive loss here, and this coming directly from decisively failing to regain his United States title from Sheamus, is anyone's guess.

The Celtic U.S. champ continues to put on some of the most reliably entertaining matches in the company...and be the third most entertaining person in the program centered on his strap.  Sheamus pinned The Miz following a Brogue Kick, and then hit him with another one while trying to determine the extent his stunt double would go to to mimick his boss.  There may be issues between the two Hollywood-types, as the Moneymaker seemed to rankle at Damien Mizdow taking credit for some of his own success on the pre-show, but in the match itself, the pair remained on the same page of the script.

Divas titleholder AJ Lee defeated Paige in their fourth straight PPV match, and will probably move on to something else for a while.  The Anti-Diva attacked her "bestie" Alicia Fox after the loss, and would appear to be revisiting that feud from early this Summer.  Tag champs Goldust & Stardust retained against their long-time rivals The Usos...and will probably keep feuding with them anyway, because there are no other tag teams that win matches on television.

Russian supremacy continues, as Big Show joined the ranks of Mark Henry and Big E among those who have fallen before Rusev and his Accolade.  The widely predicted Henry heel turn didn't happen, either, as both giants fell to kicks from the big Bulgarian, who remains unpinned or submitted on the main roster.  Henry broke his own losing streak to Bo Dallas on the pre-show, which might explain why he wasn't in the mood to betray America.

The personal assistanceship of Brie Bella to her sister Nikki began following a Rack Attack from the Total Diva.  The victorious sister's man, John Cena, was also a winner over his long-time rival Randy Orton in the Cell, earning him another shot at WWE World Heavyweight Champ Brock Lesnar, who was not in attendance last night.

Finally, in a main event that was initially noteworthy just for being the main event over the other Cell match, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose bumped on and around the cage before their match even started, really selling the personal issues between them - the kind that usually merit a blow-off stipulation like Hell in a Cell.  Then, they put each other through tables inside the cage in what looked to be revenge for Ambrose and the millions of fans who felt betrayed by Seth turning his back on The Shield to join The Authority.  But in a finish that left the WWE Universe buzzing - and mostly negatively - Bray Wyatt returned.  And he brought a holograph-projecting lantern with him.  That allowed Rollins to pin Dean, Bray to hit his finisher on the Lunatic Fringe and the rest of us to scratch our heads.

What to look out for

WWE heads to the home of the NBA champs, and will let the fallout of Hell in a Cell settle by the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas tonight.

The questions coming out of Sunday's big event are obvious, and the ones with any suspense to them deal with the finish of the show.  Did Seth Rollins, or anyone in The Authority, plan for Bray's interference?  What motivation did the Eater of Worlds have for attacking Ambrose?  Dean's next conflict is clear, but what's next for Seth while he waits for the WWE champ to actually show up so he can at least tease using his Money in the Bank contract?

Speaking of the Beast Incarnate, can anything be done to make John Cena's never-ending pursuit of him feel fresh?  He's already done everything short of assaulting Paul Heyman.  The Advocate's skills will be put to the test as he tries to proxy for his client for the next month.  Or two.  Or three.

Will Randy Orton continue to tease a face turn if The Authority gives him the cold shoulder following his latest setback?  Can Dolph Ziggler actually string a few wins together?  Will the Dust Brothers find someone else with whom to battle over the Cosmic Key?

HiaC, like most PPVs these days, asked more questions than it answered.  Let's see how Raw starts answering them tonight.

What they should do

In a business sense, the fact that tongues are wagging about the end of the show is a good thing.  Unless fans are so outraged they'll cancel their Network subscriptions or not follow tonight's action (either live, or on DVR or Hulu, or via the internet), than the controversy keeps the product in mind, which is a goal of the booking.

But it would be nice if we were respected enough to at least have that controversy serve the story.

They don't need to lay it all out on a silver platter for us, but having Rollins confess to employing Wyatt as a back-up plan would provide a connection to the great rivalry he and Ambrose have been having.  We were obviously denied resolution in Dallas, but make it clear that this wasn't just an act of God.  Make it another obstacle that Dean has to get through to finally get revenge.

Allude to another long dangling plot thread, the "devil made me do it" proclamations that Bray has made in the past.  Hint at a connection to Kane, and his long ago kidnapping by the Family.  Convince us that this is a planned story beat, and that Creative has reasons for characters' actions, now and in the future.

There are talented young performers in your main event now, and, kudos for that, but trust them to do more than just go on last.  Trust them to explain things, and do some longform storytelling.  If you reward us that way, more of us will reward you by sticking around.

What we're afraid they will do

Triple H mocks the internet fans, Bray says cool stuff that means nothing and WWE keeps drawing the same ratings and selling the same number of tickets with older, established acts main eventing to draw in casual fans and younger workrate guys to placate us hardcore types.

If nothing changes, nothing changes.

See if anything changes tonight with your fellow Cagesiders in the live blog, or at least commiserate and debate with some fun, smart fans, anyway.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats