By: Todd Martin
Date: 09/26/11 from Kansas City, MO.
The Big News: Hell in a Cell is so dead as a pay-per-view attraction.
Booker T replaced Jerry Lawler on commentary for this show alongside Michael Cole and Jim Ross, due to Lawler’s injury suffered last week.
HHH came out to the ring and said that he fired Miz and R. Truth for attacking WWE officials and an insincere apology. He said that he knew he was going to fire them but used them for one last match before firing them. He then announced Mark Henry was fined $250,000 for attacking Jerry Lawler. HHH said he will always do what’s right for WWE, even if it means firing a friend like Kevin Nash.
Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler interrupted, with Ziggler complaining about being punched by Hugh Jackman. He claimed to have a hairline fracture of the jaw but he can still compete. HHH mockingly offered Ziggler security when the Muppets are on Raw next week. That brought out Cody Rhodes, who complained about being hit with the ring bell by Randy Orton. HHH told Rhodes to suck it up and get his revenge like he did when he feuded with Orton. Christian was the next to come out and he complained about Sheamus involving himself in Christian’s match Friday. “It was a lumberjack match, idiot,” HHH replied. That was funny.
Christian threatened to file a lawsuit unless HHH gave him one more match. So HHH announced Christian vs. Sheamus at Hell in a Cell, Christian vs. Orton on Smackdown and Christian vs. John Cena on Raw in a non-title match. HHH further announced Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder for the US title on Raw. He then gave Rhodes the night off, but Rhodes kept talking back until HHH ultimately made him defend his IC title in a 10 man battle royal.
Cody Rhodes won a battle royal to retain the Intercontinental title. Drew McIntyre was the first wrestler eliminated. Sin Cara 2 pulled out Sin Cara 1 and went into the match himself, but he was then quickly eliminated so both Sin Caras were out. Sheamus dumped Alex Riley and Justin Gabriel. Ezekiel Jackson took out Daniel Bryan and John Morrison. Sheamus and Jackson then squared off with Sheamus getting the best of it. Rhodes eliminated Ted DiBiase. Jackson threw Rhodes over the top but Rhodes’ feet didn’t hit the floor and he pulled down the top rope to eliminate Jackson when Jackson charged at him.
Sheamus went for the razor’s edge on Rhodes but Rhodes got out. Christian came out to distract Sheamus. Sheamus missed a Brogue kick and then basically climbed over the top rope on his own. Rhodes went to knock Sheamus from the ring apron with his face mask but Sheamus avoided it. Christian then went after Sheamus. Sheamus kicked Christian off but it gave Rhodes the chance to hit Sheamus with the mask for the elimination. Christian posted Sheamus after the match. I’m not a fan of the idea of putting a title on the line in a battle royal but at least there wasn’t a switch under that scenario.
Backstage, David Otunga (without Michael McGillicutty but with a big bowtie) complained to John Laurinaitis about HHH’s decisions. Laurinaitis suggested Otunga take advantage of his Harvard Law degree. Otunga said wrestlers do come to him for his legal advice. Laurinaitis said that maybe he will assert his influence a little bit more and took out his cell phone for some texting.
Natalya and Beth Phoenix beat Eve Torres and Kelly Kelly. Natalya and Beth worked over Eve. Kelly tagged in and hit a top rope Thesz press, whirlybird, handspring elbow and bulldog on Beth. Kelly then sent Natalya out of the ring, but Beth took advantage of the opportunity to hit a double sledge to the face and glam slam for the win.
Mark Henry was supposed to wrestle Great Khali but the match never started. Henry hit Khali with the title belt and gave him the world’s strongest slam.
John Cena cut a relatively brief promo in the ring. He said that a triple threat Hell in a Cell match is necessary to resolve the controversy between himself, Punk and Del Rio. He put over the Cell as a problem solver. He then cut a cheesy, melodramatic promo about the Hell in a Cell concept. Cena said there is no way in hell he is losing the title.
John Cena beat Christian via DQ. CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio came out for commentary, with Punk burying Booker T’s commentary. Christian hit a dropkick off the ropes but missed a top rope splash. Cena hit his shoulder blocks but Christian got out of the Cena slam attempt. Cena then caught him with the Cena slam and five knuckle. Christian bailed to the outside as Cena went for the FU.
Cena knocked Christian into the announce table by Punk and Del Rio. Del Rio attacked Punk. Christian attacked Cena. Christian went for the spear back in the ring but Cena lifted him up for the FU. Del Rio then gave Cena an enzuigiri for the DQ. Punk went after Del Rio but Del Rio bailed. Del Rio said his destiny is to become WWE champion again. This was woefully short for a Christian match with a terrible finish.
Dolph Ziggler beat Zack Ryder to retain the US title. Ziggler had the advantage early. Ryder hit a kick to the face but Ziggler escaped the Rough Rider. Swagger then snapped Ryder’s neck on the top rope and Ziggler hit the zig zag for the win. After the match, Ziggler and Swagger shook hands and started to beat up Ryder some more when Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston made the save. Teddy Long then told Ziggler and Swagger to find a partner because a six man tag was coming immediately.
Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne and Zack Ryder beat Mason Ryan, Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. This started as a handicap match as Vickie Guerrero searched for a partner. The heels worked over Bourne until Kingston got the tag. At that point, Mason Ryan came out. The faces worked over Swagger a bit but Swagger hit a head over heels clothesline on Ryder and tagged Ryan. However, Ryan came in and attacked Swagger. He tagged Ziggler and then gave Ziggler a press slam into a uranage. Ryder then hit the Rough Rider on Ziggler for the win. So they set up a face title challenger by having him lose a one-on-one match and then get the pin in a four-on-two. And just what we need is another green musclehead face.
Backstage, David Otunga met with Vickie Guerrero, Dolph Ziggler, Christian and Cody Rhodes. Otunga said they had an unsafe working conditions claim against WWE. He said he wasn’t sure if a lawsuit was the way to go, but that if it is, they need to be together. They all agreed to this. I like this usage of Otunga.
CM Punk beat Alberto Del Rio. John Cena did commentary and Punk threw Del Rio into him as a receipt for earlier. Del Rio worked over Punk’s arm and then Punk just hit a high kick for an abrupt pin. The cell then lowered. Ricardo Rodriguez attacked Punk and went to run away but Cena stopped him. Punk gave Rodriguez the GTS and Cena gave Rodriguez the FU. Punk went to give the GTS to Cena but Cena escaped. Cena went for the FU on Punk, but Del Rio came back in to attack both guys repeatedly with a chair.
This was a pretty standard 2011 WWE television show. It wasn’t bad when you compare it on a week by week basis to what they have been doing, but there are just so many big picture problems with what they are trying to do.