Hilarious Worst, Right Out Of The Gate: GOOD EVENING I AM THE LIVING MAN KNOWN AS HELL IN A CELL
Whoever made the creative decision to give the Hell In A Cell structure a villainous inner monologue about how it “brings out the worst” in WWE Superstars needs to either be fired or given a raise, I haven’t decided. “Welcome to the unforgiving confines of HELL, my wicked children of the night! I am a Godless structure, providing a wall a few feet away from ringside into which wrestlers may be thrown! No, not the security railing. I have holes in me! ABANDON HOPE ALL WHO ENTER ME and spend most of the match in the ring about ten feet away from me at all times! And nobody bleed!”
Full disclosure: getting thrown into a big wall of chain-link fencing doesn’t hurt that much. You’re just jumping face-first into an uncomfortable trampoline. The idea behind the chain cage, as I’ve learned repeatedly from a childhood of watching Ric Flair’s hair turn orange, is that sure, you can toss them into the cage, but you’ve got to keep their face there and cheese-grater it back and forth. The jagged piece of cage catch and slice the guy open. If you want to hurt somebody by throwing them into a cage wall, you’ve either got to throw them into where the mesh pieces meet, or use the cage with the blue bars.
Also, you can’t call this “The Devil’s Playground” when you have an Elimination Chamber DVD called “Satan’s Playground”. Maybe Hell in a Cell used to be where the Devil swung on swingsets but now rides the little horse on springs at the Elimination Chamber.
Best: Sheamus, Christian and Three Stars Worth Of Wrestling
A lot of reports I’ve read this morning say they were underwhelmed with Sheamus versus Christian, and I couldn’t disagree more. This was my favorite match on the show, for almost the same reason it underwhelmed — nothing stupid happened. It was two guys having a great wrestling match based on the characters, motivations and movesets they’ve been building over the last few months. I’m a huge sucker for basic “signature moves” being avoided or reversed, and it’s a big factor in helping me believe what I’m watching is real. If you’re Sheamus and you’re signed to wrestle Christian, wouldn’t you know that he’s going to drape you across the middle rope, jump over the top, land on the floor and punch you in the face? Wouldn’t you really be looking for that if your first real feud in WWE was against Goldust? Of course you would, and Sheamus avoided it here, pulling Christian up into his rope-tangle forearms, something Christian had avoided earlier. That’s really all I ask for when I sit down to watch a match: wrestlers wrestling in a way that makes sense. Like almost every Christian match since his return from Instant Classic exile (and most of the ones IN exile), I got what I asked for.
I’ll take something simple and effective like this, something that ends with both guys looking good but one guy actually f**king winning, over an Attention Deficit Disorder WWE-Style Main Event Brawl™ any day of the week, pending said brawl including Stone Cold Steve Austin but not including the Undertaker.
Worst: That Killswitch Set-Up Took Up 2 1/2 Hours Of This 3 Hour PPV
I don’t want to keep ragging on this, but Jesus, Christian, speed up that Killswitch process. Or do a Matt Hardy “swatting away farts” taunt while you’re waiting for them to get up so we can get prepared for the reversal. Third suggestion: hit the Killswitch once after doing the super slow turn-around like that, so we don’t subconsciously see it as wrestler code for “get ready to push me away”.
Best: Sheamus, White Ninja
I will never get tired of seeing Sheamus slumped in the corner, grabbing the top ropes with both hands and monkey-barring himself upside down and onto the top turnbuckle. Never. It’s like 2011’s Diamond Dallas Page Frankenstein attack, where he’d be dead in the corner and suddenly he’s up like Donatello pantomiming a clown punching bag in Secret Of The Ooze and grabbing you by the neck. Sheamus and Mark Henry are both awesome right now and work as engaging foils for each other because they aren’t doing viral videos to get over, they aren’t trying to organize tailgate parties, they’re playing up their strengths, downplaying their weaknesses and doing a few cool things in every match so people can remember them and smile when they do.
Long story short, if I was ten years old and this stark white 300-pound muscly ginger dude with Scotty 2 Hotty hair was doing gymnastics up the corner and shoulderblocking people from the top rope, I wouldn’t be sitting on my hands when I watched it.