HELL IN A CELL MATCH
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
Best Case Scenario: This goes on last, the crowd eats it up, and someone — for the love of God/all that is holy — gets busted open.
What Nick Wants to Happen: For this to be good enough for a blowoff match, but not quite the denounement we are looking for. This should keep going, with the stakes getting increasingly higher until Seth finally puts his Money in the Bank contract on the line at WrestleMania, which is then subsequently won and cashed in by Dean on Roman Reigns after he survives Brock Lesnar.
What Will Happen: Seth Rollins will win by hook/crook, allowing people to complain it wasn’t a clean finish/what the Hell is the point of a Cell anyways if you are just going to have interference while ignoring that the original HIAC had the same thing, possible with the same person (Kane)/it should have been given more time while also giving The People What They Want: moar Dean Ambrose tong action.
To begin: By almost any definition of than “things smarks want because they are the worst people on earth”, this match and its relatively shocking conclusion were exactly what you buy PPVs (or the Network) for. And the idea that this feud needed a definitive ending (especially when the match did, as the result was definitive if not at all clean) is the kind of stuff that should get your writer’s license taken away.
Now that we’ve gotten at least some of the stupid out of the way, let’s get to brass tacks: this feud is the money feud for the next two-three years for the company. It’s a ready-made Stone Cold-HHH feud where no one has a broken neck already. Why anyone would think having this end any time soon is a good idea has never tried to make money doing something, let alone run a successful promotion.
That this match started off on top of the Cell was a nice touch/homage to 1998, and the bump was — as Andy pointed out during our discussion of the match, which you can here below — clearly a reference to what Shawn Michaels did during the inaugural Hell in a Cell match against Taker. Then they proceeded to work what was easily the best non-blood Hell in a Cell match ever, with both performers living up to the considerable expectations of this match by trying as hard as was humanly possible to do their own things after the onslaught of nostalgia to start the match.
Dean Ambrose continues to articulate his body in a way emanates “main eventer”, and Seth Rollins continues to be the workhorse to the stars, with both wanting to do whatever they can to be the best performer and get the crowd as hot as possible. It’s a pleasure to watch two people who enjoy their jobs as much as this pair does, and the chemistry they have is on some next level shit. Even if this match ended with Dean Ambrose winning clean, it would have likely been on a first draft of WWE matches of the year and is likely the best match either one has had since the Shield broke up.
But, man, that ending. It is perhaps the finest microcosm of what the WWE is, and if you didn’t like it for any reason other than “I don’t like it when soap opera gets in my wrestling”: fuck all y’all. And if that’s reason you didn’t like it, maybe WWE proper isn’t the wrestling program for you. Some people don’t like SEC football, and it doesn’t make them a bad person. What would make them a bad person is if you did like SEC football, you are an idiot. Watch ROH, watch CHIKARA. Fuck, watch TNA if it floats your boat.
Finally, for the people that didn’t like the hologram: it wasn’t meant to be a “ghost”, it was meant to be mind games from Bray Wyatt because he’s a weirdo with a sizable production budget. To say that it ruined the match, or even did any great damage to it seems either short sighted or sour grapes over your favorite wrestler not getting what you think he deserves. For the people who don’t worry about things like who is getting pushed, and who is friends with whom, this match was everything it needed to be, everything we could have wanted and everything we needed. But most importantly, this match (and the PPV) did something significant, which Marc Normandin said last night:
Btw, Hell in a Cell made me want to watch RAW tomorrow for a reason other than “It’s Monday”. That matters.
— Marc GOREmandin (@Marc_Normandin) October 27, 2014
In fact, it’s the only thing that matters.
The Bottom Line
This was a fun PPV. It wasn’t an instant classic, and it definitely didn’t do much for a number of feuds other than end them — ceremoniously or otherwise — but for the October PPV graveyard that’s existed since Halloween Havoc was around, this show was well worth the 9.99. And while the UsosCrazy feud and Paige/AJ clusterkerfluffle were seemingly finished, Damien MizDow nearly stole the show, Rusev has started to become a star in front of our very eyes and Ambrose and Rollins are the first newcomers to main event a PPV in nearly three decades, and the company may be finally moving past the cornerstones of the last decade.
Of course it remains to be seen whether or not they can keep this up, but after making it through the last two PPVs relatively unscathed, the WWE is in pretty great shape as they head into Survivor Series. And if this is the worst PPV that the WWE has to offer every year, we would be in wrestling fan heaven.
Overall PPV 4.4 | Match Avg. .55