HELL IN A CELL MATCH FOR NO. 1 CONTENDERSHIP
John Cena vs. Randy Orton
Best Case Scenario: The crowd actually lets this build into something, as these two rarely — if ever — fail to perform under the spotlights. Also, this to go one second to last, not because it deserves to, but because it will shut whiny smarks up. Which is always the Best Case Scenario.
What Nick Wants to Happen: A match that goes 25+ minutes, and features Randy Orton at least once SCREAMING at the crowd and/or flipping them off because they’ve decided to start chanting “JBL”.
What Will Happen: What Nick Wants to Happen, but with John Cena John Cena-ing the shit out of Randy Orton.
This wasn’t the most exciting Randy Orton-John Cena match — that’d probably be Breaking Point’s “I Quit” match — or the one with the best story — 2008’s No Way Out wonderful “Randy slaps the referee” match — but it may have been the most important. In large part because it might be one of their last on the big stage. Or, more accurately, the last one with stakes anywhere near as high as these.
Because while this was definitely a “mid card” match, both Orton and Cena carry gravitas and serious bank with them that is befitting of their status as main eventers. This had that ever important “big fight feel”, which is of course a nice way of saying “a match where the fans know who both guys are and care about them” and while it didn’t bring the house down, it was definitely an enjoyable bit of work from both man as they drift ever close to the positions of “main eventer emeritus”. These two defined “main event” for much of the last decade, and the idea that they would be fighting for the chance to face than man who essentially let them do so almost exclusively through his unwillingness to work full-time is both a nice bit of meta-storytelling and as crystalline a picture of where the company is going over the next year and a half.
And if this was, essentially, their last hurrah, they did a lot of nice — if, and this is something we talked about EXTENSIVELY during our discussion of this match (which you can listen to below) insanely predictable — work that didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but definitely did enough for them to earn their keep. However, given the expectations game, this isn’t exactly a match I will be watching over and over again any time soon.
Match .3 | PPV 2.1