There have been a few great Hell in a Cell matches. Every one that Shawn Michaels was in was above-average. Obviously the Foley/Undertaker one will never be forgotten and after re-watching it, the six-man cell wasn't that bad.
There are a lot of HiaC matches that are just not that memorable. We've had 30 now...how many can you really remember? They weren't bad, just not memory-creating, like the Cena-Orton one from this weekend was. It worked, but I won't remember it in a year or two.
And there are the horrible, horrible ones. The Kennel in a Cell will always rank No. 1, but I now put Ambrose vs. Rollins at number two.
I will explain, and let me say that this is not an indictment on either wrestler. Save your breath. We all love these guys. I love them both and hope for great things for their future and will continue to support both. This is not an anti-Ambrose or anti-Rollins rant, so just take your blinders off and go with me here. They are employees of a company that put out a bad match. I don't blame them and it doesn't make me less of a fan to criticize a certain match.
First, unless you're going to do something that shows reckless abandon, don't do anything on top of the cage. The visual of Dean standing up there with a kendo stick was amazing. Making Noble and Mercury climb to the top was original. And then until Ambrose and Rollins climbed down the side, it looked like sixth graders at their first dance, very nervous to touch each other. We're all concerned the ceiling will cave in, but it can't be played that way if you're going to actually engage in hand-to-hand combat on the top of it. You have to think "screw it, I'm going to beat your ass as hard as I can and I hope we both fall through!" A snap suplex of a 170 pound guy that doesn't get more than 3 feet off the ground doesn't scream reckless abandon. It was like a scaffold match where you knew nobody was going to do anything exciting. At the beginning of this match, you built a level of excitement you can't deliver, and one that couldn't be built off...there's no place to go but...climbing down.
From there we went to the side of the cage spot, which is getting good reviews from people and was one of the more impressive bumps from a physical standpoint...but the choreography it took completely took me out of the match. For a bump off the top or off the side of the cage to work and be believable, the wrestler needs to be legitimately thrown, have damage done that causes a fall, or slip. The problem is, when Ambrose and Rollins are standing in the ring going toe-to-toe with 100% power behind their blows, they don't knock each other down. Now, I'm supposed to believe that punches thrown at 20% the power -- simultaneously! -- are going to knock either off a cage where I would assume, they are holding on for dear life? OK, fine, I'll let that go. The next key is to not look like you're jumping. Part of making that work is not looking at where you're going to land multiple times before the last weak punch is thrown and even more so is to not jump off at the same time. I get it, it's a big bump. It was cool, but it was cool like a Shane McMahon bump, not like an ECW bump. It was cool for what it was, but it didn't belong in this match, at this point.
Then, we do a double-stretcher job. Does anybody remember the last time a single stretcher job ended a match that early? Me neither. What about the last time a double stretcher job happened, even at the end of a match? I can't remember that either. Are we really supposed to believe that a higher than average announcer table bump is going to take both men out of action? I can suspend disbelief, but at least do something that I can believe might be true.
There was little rhyme or reason to the match, but once inside the cage, I did enjoy the plunder and the back and forth with the tables and chairs, that we all knew was building to something...but it built to...
You've just taken me out again. This is like my problem with HHH's sledgehammer. If you do it correctly, you can kill a person. There should not be a moment in wrestling when a weapon is brought in the ring that, if implemented in a particular way, has a high likelihood of killing someone. I understand that they had to write Ambrose off TV for a month a while back, and this use of cinder blocks was just a callback to that, but it was stupid back then too. Lethal weapons shouldn't be used in wrestling. Oh, and as an aside, when they are, at least make it look lethal. Has anyone actually seen HHH swing the sledgehammer? He seems to think its only use is as a gut-batterer. It again, just pulls realism out of the match.
And then the lights go out, which is always the sign for screwjob ending. And then the lights stayed out. Oh boy, this is really going to be screwy. Then we get chanting that sounds like it's coming from that weird room of sacrifice in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. OK, so it's Bray Wyatt's voice...this could get interesting. And then the lights stayed out.
Wait, the lights aren't actually out...the screen is dark. When we come back to the cage, half the audience has their cell phones on. So not only has Bray summoned the power to kill the lights in the arena, he also was able to kill the video on the satellite feed. Thankfully though, he doesn't have the power to kill a couple of spotlights. Or the Exit signs, cause that would be potentially dangerous. I think he just nosed-up the mainframe couplet, nosed-it right up.
Smoke shoots out of the ring -- always a sign things are going well, and we're treated to a hybrid 1950s Disneyworld Haunted House meets 1970s George Lucas hologram that really isn't all that visible. It's something, but, I don't know if it's supposed to be Sister Abigail or just a random ghost, or even a ghost at all. It actually looks like someone flashing a light at smoke.
And at this point Rollins pins Ambrose, Wyatt does something that seems creepy only because it's not a 7-year-old in gym class doing it, he hits his finisher and we fade to black, unlike the WWE's bottom line.
Again, I really like Rollins and Ambrose. I think Wyatt is going to have to develop some real depth beyond "creepy cult dude" soon or he'll just be what Waylon Mercy was supposed to be, not the second coming of Undertaker. He's starting to enter a territory of just being the crazy guy at the city park who talks to himself. Please don't view this as complaining about these guys' talent or their roles and yes, I understand that feuds don't always end well, and maybe it's not the end of Rollins/Ambrose and yes, I look forward to the promos between Ambrose and Wyatt. I just pray they work better than the Jericho/Wyatt ones.
My complaint is the match itself. The lumberjack match was far more satisfying and you knew it was just a stop on the overall story. If this was the final chapter, even if just for now, it pulled me right out of the best feud WWE has offered in a long time. I just don't see Rollins/Orton or Wyatt/Ambrose being able to build to where Ambrose/Rollins were before last night's foray into Fantasy Land.