The past few years have left me rather cold towards this particular pay-per-view event. Hell In A Cell being on a predictable timetable each year takes away from how special the titular match should truly be. I hoped and prayed that this year would prove to be a game changer. In some ways, I was correct.
ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. JOHN CENA (United States Championship): News leaked earlier this month about Alberto (El Patron) Del Rio negotiating a return to WWE. Little did I know that he’d return to television this soon, let alone in a title match against Cena. And it’s a good thing that Alberto was working steadily in Mexico, as it looked like he never lost a step. He wisely took to a ground/mat game to slow the pace and wear Cena down. Every time Cena tried to build momentum, Del Rio either derailed it with a well timed arm bar, or a high impact kick to the head. Cena looked gassed for the duration of the match, so I was expecting a quick finish. However, no one could have guessed that Del Rio would get the One-Two-Three and pin Cena, winning the United States Championship. WINNER: ALBERTO DEL RIO
BRAY WYATT vs. ROMAN REIGNS (Hell In A Cell): This has been a long and arduous feud to keep up with as it has been pretty uneventful for the past two months. Bray is such an amazing mic worker that it’s sometimes agony when Reigns tries to retort. However, when it came to physicality, Roman put a hurting on Bray in the early minutes of the match. Bray turned the tide once he got a kendo stick in hand. This was a methodical game of one-upmanship. Each time one of the combatants gained the upper hand with a chair, the other would use a table. The match did run significantly too long, and in the Rated PG era, a long Hell In A Cell match can be a chore to watch. But a spear through the table picked things back up. Bray’s sadistic weapons traps backfired on him and allowed Reigns to pick up the victory. And here’s hoping that this overdrawn feud is finally over with. WINNER: ROMAN REIGNS
DUDLEY BOYS vs. THE NEW DAY (Tag Team Championship): And now we get to a feud that has been thoroughly enjoyable. The Dudleys returning to the WWE has lit a fire underneath the tag division and their presence has made the New Day that much crisper on the mic and in the ring. One thing that wasn’t crisp tonight was the Dudley’s timing. One major and a few minor miscues made the match much sloppier than usual. They recovered by the halfway mark of the match and nearly had it won with a Dudley Death Drop. But the clever usage of the broken trombone belonging to their missing comrade Xavier Woods allowed the New Day to outsmart their opponents. WINNERS: THE NEW DAY
NIKKI BELLA vs. CHARLOTTE (Divas Championship): And now, the feud I hope to be over soon because one of the performers (Charlotte) deserves much better competition. I will give the devil their due, Nikki has stepped her game up in recent weeks. In the opening minutes of this match, she wisely kept the pressure on Charlotte, working on the back and ensuring that Charlotte’s Figure-8 submission move wouldn’t be an option. Charlotte did mount a comeback, serving up chops in Los Angeles that would make her father, Ric Flair, proud. Nikki pulled out several unorthodox moves, including an Alabama Slam onto the edge of the apron. Even with her injuries, Charlotte was able to lock in her finishing move, retaining her championship. WINNER: CHARLOTTE
KANE vs. SETH ROLLINS (WWE World Heavyweight Championship): The whole Jekyll & Hyde angle has given a fresh coat of paint to Kane’s gimmick. The animosity between these two competitors has reached a boiling point and this match allowed both to blow off steam. The stakes were quite high, as the stipulation of this match was that if the demon Kane lost the match, then his alter ego, Corporate Kane would be terminated as Director of Operations for The Authority. Rollins never ceases to amaze with his high flying offense (despite the fact that I believe he needs to tone it down a bit, otherwise he may accidentally injure yet another performer). But for every plancha or suicide dive, Kane seemed to have a vicious and powerful response. A botched powerbomb through the Spanish announcer’s table only stunned Kane momentarily. A barrage of knees from the top rope, courtesy of Rollins, wore Kane down. A Chokeslam was only able to keep Rollins down for a two count. Rollins hit a Pedigree out of nowhere and ensured that not only he retained the championship, but that Corporate Kane would be relieved of his duties as Director of Operations. WINNER: SETH ROLLINS
RYBACK vs. KEVIN OWENS (Intercontinental Championship): The push that Ryback still gets, despite his ring work not being up to par, his mic skills being non-existent and the numerous people he’s injured still baffles me. Nonetheless, Kevin Owens has tried to make the best out of a bad situation for the past few months. Ryback looked better than he usually does, but it did appear that Owens carried him through the entire match. They both delivered several high impact moves to each other, but the slow pacing made it a bit of a chore to watch. When a wrestler in the shape of Ryback can’t keep up with a wrestler in the shape that Kevin Owens is in, it’s quite disconcerting. Hopefully this feud will be taken out back and put to rest so Owens can move on to bigger and better things. WINNER: KEVIN OWENS
BROCK LESNAR vs. UNDERTAKER (Hell In A Cell): I have had mixed feelings about this feud for quite some time. Despite how entertaining it is watching these two gladiators beat the holy hell out of each other, I’m concerned that Undertaker, much like Randy The Ram from the film The Wrestler, doesn’t know when it’s time for him to walk away and he may wind up going down in the ring and not get back up. These men wasted no time in trying to hurt each other, with Taker busting open Lesnar’s forehead less than five minutes into the match. Brock retaliated with over a dozen chair shots to the Undertaker. These men both lost a substantial amount of blood and in Brock’s case, I was concerned for him continuing the match. But he charged on, at one point tearing the mat up from under the ring apron, exposing the boards. He paid the price for this as Taker delivered a Chokeslam and a Tombstone Piledriver to the exposed boards. Brock kicking out of that pinfall was shocking. Before Taker could recover from his surprise at this, Brock delivered a low blow, then a third F-5 (this time onto the exposed boards). This was a brutal rivalry that wasn’t going to end without broken bones and a significant amount of blood. WINNER: BROCK LESNAR.
This pay-per-view had several sharp peaks and valleys, but was still enjoyable enough to justify my three hours of time watching. How would you rate Hell In A Cell 2015?