Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the rip roaring, loud snoring, runaway bear that is Cewsh Reviews! We have a special treat for you tonight as we cover the only show of the year that FORCES us to curse just talking about it (aside from IWA:MS shows), WWE Hell in a Cell 2011. Tonight 5 men will enter the cell structure in which so much brutality has been done over the years. The images are so vivid and brutal that they’ve reached unforgettable status. Foley being thrown off of the cell, Lesnar atop the cell over the broken body of the Undertaker, a beaten and battered Triple H lifting the sliedgehammer for one last desperation shot before being Batista Bombed into oblivion. These matches are greatest among all those in WWE when it comes to instilling a sense of brutality and destruction. And tonight, we will have two. But that’s not all we have here on this magical night. Many titles are on the line, a few feuds are kicking into to overdrive, and what’s this I hear about a new title belt…? As always, there’s only one way to find out.
Cewsh: Normally here, you’ll see me describe these videos as “affecting” or “brilliant” or even “shitsheeped” if I’m feeling feisty; but none of those words are coming to mind after watching the hype video for this show. For this video, all I can think of is “FUCKINGSWEEEEEEEEET”. And while that may not be what a sensible person might recognize as a real word, it certainly sums up my thoughts here, as once again WWE takes their Hell in a Cell concept and uses it to knock a video out of the park. From the evil voice, to the brilliant framing of the cell always pushing its way to the forefront to the way it makes the two cell matches sound like death traps for incredibly brave men, every bit of it just sells this show so much more than a promo or advertisement could.
I’ve said before that I feel like WWE and TNA really miss out on an opportunity by saving these videos for the shows themselves. I understand the idea of hyping people up at the beginning of the show, and I fully agree with it, but they’re sitting on what could possibly be their single most effective marketing tool and it’s a shame. Because with videos like this, my wallet starts trying to grow legs and hitchhike to Vince McMahon’s house, and god knows WWE could use anything that inspires that from their fans these days.
In fact, while we’re at it, they should bring back the Brawl 4 All tournament. I’d pay to see that too.
Cewsh: Alright, now the story behind this one goes back basically all the way to April. Sheamus came over to Smackdown from Raw and Christian was the babyface champion, and ever since then, these two men have each begun a total transformation. Christian from the underdog hero to the crybaby villain and Sheamus from the brutal ass kicking heel to…the brutal ass kicking face who tells jokes. At any rate, thanks to the thin Smackdown main event, these two have been stepping all over each other trying to get at whatever title shots were available until Mark Henry just went ahead and leapfrogged them both. Now tensions have boiled over with the title out of sight and Sheamus has been making a fool of Christian for weeks, so now they’re set on doin’ some fightin;
Before they can, though, we get a shot of the crowd and specifically one dude in glasses wearing a “We Hate Cena” t-shirt. Before we get a chance to wonder why the fuck he’s so important, a security guard forces him out of the way to reveal Miz and R-Truth standing behind him holding tickets. You may recall that Triple H fired and then personally ejected (like DJ Jazzy Jeff ejected) both of them the previous week so this is certainly a matter of interest. Also i’d feel bad for the guy who got ejected from his seat, but honestly I feel even worse for Miz and Truth, who can’t even afford front row tickets.
Anyway, naturally John Laurenitus shows up at this point with some goons and kick them out, even if they are totally ticket holding customers. The crowd then bursts into “let them stay chants” which, much like phone calls from Chris Hero, Laurenitus ignores.
At any rate, then we have ourselves a match, and some match it is. The deal is that Christian is a slippery and wily veteran who has Sheamus entirely scouted and is just looking for any chance to get the Killswitch on him because he knows that’s the only real weapon he has to defeat the big man. Sheamus, for his part, is here to maul Christian at every opportunity, so the match involves Christian running away and taking every opportunity while Sheamus puts a beating on him whenever he can be caught. Not only is this a simple and effective formula, but they carry it out beautifully here as the match becomes almost a showcase for Sheamus. The fans really respond to everything the man does, and when he goes from the ground to the top rope in one smooth rolling motion, you would think the man slammed Andre the Giant for the reaction. After he finally buries Christian with the Brouge Kick, they give him practically a standing ovation. I’m not going to be the first to say it, I’m sure, but babyface Sheamus has some serious, SERIOUS potential. You don’t get a likable killing machine everyday. Or any day, come to think of it.
This match was an utter success, both in culminating their storyline, and in putting both men over as masters of their respective styles. Sheamus got the win, but Christian isn’t diminished, and the only bad thing here is that the clean win for Sheamus might mean we wont get a sequel. Which, judging by this match, would be a fucking crime.
Cewsh: Our World Heavyweight Champion is backstage with the evidently not fired Matt Striker as Striker tries to dance around the question of how Henry can really expect to beat Orton tonight in a Hell in a Cell match.
Henry responds to this by unleashing the world’s most accurate Matt Striker imitation before explaining that he’ll kick Orton’s ass up in the air, he’ll kick in ass right in a chair. He’ll kick his ass inside a box, he’ll kick his ass and enjoy some lox. There is no limit to areas in which Henry will fight, confident as he is with his incredible might. So he hopes that Orton has prepared himself well, because his next nap will take place inside of a cell.
Dr. Seuss? More like Dr. Cewsh.
Cewsh: Mistaken identity! Twins! Bitter jealousy! Double crossing! Shirtless men! All this and more on the next episode of Telemundo’s hit show Dos Sin Caras Ay Yay Yay!
For the past few weeks, something has been odd about Sin Cara. After he made his comeback from his injury at Money in the Bank (*cough**cough*) he began to show a much more aggressive side in matches, first showing frustration and anger and then blatantly heeling over Daniel Bryan at every opportunity. Even more shocking, the man actually spoke and said that everything was the same and nothing was wrong. As the weeks went on, though, it became clear that something was very different. Finally one day we found out just how different when ANOTHER Sin Cara appeared and ran to the ring. This Sin Cara made it clear that he felt that he was the real Sin Cara and the other man was a usurper. The other Sin Cara proceeded to attack the original Sin Cara at every opportunity and finally cut a promo on Smackdown claiming that he had been Mistico before Sin Cara stole his identity in Mexico (true, though with quite a few details left out) and that here in the WWE he was just repaying the favor. So now they are to finally meet here to determine who is the real Sin Cara once and for all.
Right from the entrances, you can tell that this is sort of a special situation. Sin Cara comes out in his usual way, though he looks more agitated than usual. But then comes Negro Cara comes out to a slowed down and perverted, almost demonic version of Sin Cara’s theme, with black and red everywhere instead of blue and gold. He does all of Sin Cara’s mannerisms including his pyro jump into the ring and then they stand across the ring from each other. Inverted reflections from the same mold, with the slightly bigger Negro Cara leering down at the original, savoring every moment of the mockery he has made of the other man’s legacy. Savoring his sweet revenge. If this doesn’t sound awesome to you, then I question your eligibility as part of the human race.
You know who it doesn’t sound awesome to, though? Every person in attendance at this show. From the very start, the fans are almost absolutely silent during the match as these two fly all over the place in dazzling fashion.
Despite some missteps here are there (oddly enough, most of them by Negro Cara), this was truly an exhibition of exactly how great Sin Cara could be when given the chance, and Negro Cara keeps up with him every step of the way, making for an entertaining and exciting lucha match the likes of which has never really been seen in WWE. Maybe the whole never been seen part is why the fans could not have given less of a shit if the people under the mask were Mark Jindrak and Eric Escobar. Whatever the reason, the complete lack of interest from them really put a damper on what otherwise could have been a very solid match from these two, and probably Sin Cara’s best to date, and I want to give credit to the man where its due, what reactions there were were purely due to the crowd pandering that comes so naturally to Mr. Mistico. But ultimately, a hot crowd can amplify a match’s quality considerably, and you’d best believe that a dead crowd can send it in the opposite direction. These people just did not like them some Sin Cara.
As I sit here in my Sin Cara mask typing this, I will have to respectfully think that they are assholes.
75 out of 100.
Cewsh: Well thanks for the movie magic of David Otunga, an argyle sweater and a story revolving around the former trying to start a wrestlers union you can!
CM Punk: “Do you still work for me or what? Because if you do, you’re fired.”
Cewsh: As I may have mentioned once or twice, I will care about what Kofi Kingston does when WWE does, so let’s just ignore that he’s here.
The deal here has much more to do with the teaming of Ziggler and Swagger than it does with their opponents, and much is made of the fact that they work together rather seamlessly here on Vickie’s behalf. However, being heely heels, they both try to grab the spotlight for themselves and Ziggler especially tries to show up his partner to get all the glory and credit for himself. Unfortunately, as such things happen, Swagger gets caught when going for a Super Powerbomb off the top rope after Evan Bourne gives him the ol’ Rusty Frankensteiner off the top for the win as Ziggler looks on incredulously. After the match the short lived teams argues excessively as even Vickie can’t cheer them up and they roll off into the sunset, utterly without new gaudy beltbuckles.
As a match this was more than fine, though it didn’t have much substance going on between the two teams, mostly because Air Boom haven’t seen a microphone cumulatively since the Bush administration. Dolph Ziggler, though, continues to be a revelation, both as a character and as an in ring performer. I actually feel bad for Swagger, because he’s a man with plenty of potential himself, but when he’s around Ziggler he simply fades into the background like an unnecessary sidekick to the Dolph show. It sucks for him, but with so few people truly seeming capable of breaking out of the pack now that the previous crop of upper midcarders have been elevated, its refreshing to look at a guy in the midcard and be able to say, with complete certainty, that one down you will see a(nother) World title around his waist.
The sooner the better when it comes to perfection.
71 out of 100.
Cewsh: As they make their way into the cell, all the talk from the announcers is of Mark Henry’s inexperience in these matches, and he certainly seems much more nervous than usual as he steps into the structure clutching the title belt to him. Orton approaches much more confidently, being 2-1 in these matches in the past, and knowing full well what he can do in there. This leads clearly to the start of the match as Orton takes control and bashes Henry into the cell, taking advantage of Henry’s unfamiliarity with where he is and what he’s supposed to be doing. Orton stays on him early, stomping away and generally trying to use his usual methodic, painful offense. But this isn’t a normal opponent he’s in the ring with, and from the moment Henry catches him and slams him twice into the cell and once HARD into the ring post, things start to go horribly, horribly awry for Randy.
Orton tries to recover his momentum multiple times, standing toe to toe with Henry and giving him all he has, but every single time Henry shuts him down in brutal fashion, growing more confident by the second. Too confident, perhaps, as Randy finally manages to make his comeback, beat up and pained though he may be. This dead crowd wakes right the fuck up as Orton starts to go mental, delivering dropkicks, his signature DDT and getting ready for that special RKO, the one he built this whole match around waiting for the opportunity for, the one he made clear was his first and only chance of defeating Mark Henry and recovering his lost championship. He wins up, going crazy, as everyone in the crowd holds their breath, sure that Mark Henry is done for, and once again Randy Orton has found the combination to gold around his waist. All through wrestling forums and across Twitter and Facebook all over the world, the expectation of 15 years and 2 weeks had gone up, describing Mark Henry’s wait for the title, and the length of his expected reign. His push had been nice and a bright spot, but now it was over as Orton leapt into the air for that perfect RKO as he had so many times before.
But Henry kicked out.
And now it all starts to sink in for Orton. Maybe this time is different. Maybe Night of Champions wasn’t a fluke. Maybe he really can’t beat Mark Henry.
All these thoughts seem to run through his head as he stares in disbelief at one of the very, very, very few men ever to kick out of his finisher. Then it comes to him. He has one more weapon, the only one greater he knows. The punt. He has to punt this big bastard before he gets a chance to recover. He has to put this man OUT in order to beat him. He sets up in the corner, charges forward with malice…and meets an enraged Mark Henry coming the other way. Henry uses Orton’s own momentum against him and drops him with a devastating World’s Strongest Slam. Three seconds later, Mark Henry raises the World title over his head over the crumpled body of one of the institutions of the WWE. Randy Orton has beaten everyone. John Cena, Triple H, the Undertaker. But he cannot beat Mark Henry.
Henry makes as if to leave, but thinks twice about it, grabbing a chair and sliding back into the ring. He puts Orton’s foot in the chair, mirroring the way he put out Kane and the Big Show and the Great Khali, preparing to put Orton on the shelf every bit as much if not more than Orton ever managed with his punt. At the last second, Orton manages to slide his leg out of the way and grabs the chair. He unloads on Henry with it, full of fury and chases him up the aisle way, wasting Henry over and over with the chair, until Henry cheap shots him and heads for the back, with things left far from finished between these two.
This match was really terrific. It dragged at points and didn’t hold together near as well as their unexpectedly sensational Night of Champions match, but the characters here are so strong and so interesting, and Henry is so dominant and unstoppable that its impossible to pull my eyes from anything these two do. If you had told me a year ago that Orton vs. Henry would be stealing shows all over the place I would have thought you were fucking with me. Jokes on me, as it turns out. Because this is, for my money, the best thing going in WWE.
Cewsh: Cody Rhodes makes his out down to the ring for an unscheduled pow wow with the capacity audience. He says his usual spiel about how they’re ugly and should wear paper bags, before really getting down to business. He has one of his flunkies hand him a velvet bag, and what could possibly be inside?
The old school Intercontinental Championship. That think couldn’t be more gorgeous if it were a picture of my face, and couldn’t be more classy if it were a cat in a top hat and monocle. Cody lists off some of the legends who have held the title over the years and says that he’ll be a much better champion than they ever were, and says that he’ll defend the title “feverishly”. Apparently that was today’s special word, because out pops John Laurenitus to tell him that Triple H has made a match. What match? Well…
Cewsh: Oh snap, its Mr. Mystery Opponent himself, John Morrison!
Morrison gets on in there and goes after a still besuited Cody Rhodes, who jets outside the ring and decides to fasten himself to a ring post until he got counted out, making him look like the world’s least appealing stripper and that’s saying something.
Unfortunately for him, a huge kick from Morrison drives him away, but Rhodes uses the mask to gain the advantage and then just straight up kicks Morrison’s ass for like 5 straight minutes. Morrison gets some offense in here and there until Rhodes Oklahoma Rolls up Morrison and thar she blows. The crowd didn’t care, Rhodes wasn’t fazed and Morrison didn’t win. Not much else to say.
Well I guess I could say “Kel loves orange soda” but I don’t see how that’s relevant.
70 out of 100.
Cewsh: Triple H is backstage on the phone ordering the food for the big pool party they’re having after the show (probably). Johnny Ace comes running into the room, all but foaming at the mouth to tell Triple H something real, real important.
Triple H takes a moment to scold John for making matches himself and crediting them to Triple H (referring, I assume, to the Rhodes/Morrison match) before letting the man continue. Laurenitus then blurts out that Miz and Truth are in the building attacking people and they run down the hall to find Air Boom sprawled out and destroyed and tons of security guards trying to haul Miz and Truth away. Triple H takes out his frustrations on Laurenitus and then curses and marches away, conceivably to Pedigree someone in accounting.
Cewsh: And now, let us enjoy another classy edition of “Haikus With Cewsh”.
74 out of 100.
Cewsh: I think we’re all caught up on how this match came to be with no confusion right? No? Yeah that makes sense. Okay, here’s the deal. So CM Punk and John Cena had their whole to do earlier this summer. You may have heard of it, what with it being the first storyline in 10 years that even non wrestling fans were talking about. It culminated in a match at Summerslam to determine the Undisputed WWE champion. Punk won, but Del Rio cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase and won the title off of Punk. However, at Night of Champions, Cena won that shit right back, so now both Punk and Del Rio have reasonable claims to the title here at Hell in a Cell. Rather than choose one of the other, Triple H went ahead and chucked them both into the match, giving us our very first ever Triple Threat Hell in a Cell match. Simple right? It sure seems like it, especially since I left out all the intrigue about someone controlling the title from behind the scenes and the continuous involvement of Awesome Truth as they make their presence known even while fired, and then there’s the Kevin Nash situation and the Laurentius meddling and…
Whew. This is getting exhausting.
It the interest of making things less exhausting, let’s skip ahead a little ways into this match to where things get really significant. Let’s just hit the ol’ fast forward button here…and…STOP.
Whoops, a little unfortunate for Mr. Punk there, and not what I was looking for. Let’s try again. Go…go…go…STOP.
Hmm, well alright, let’s give it another spin, should be just about there…
OH COME ON. We get it, CM Punk gets turned into Mashed Punktatoes in this match. But that’s not what i’m talking about. I mean the moment where this match turned from “interesting match with back story” into “transcendentally genius booking”. Ah, here we are.
Allow me to explain.
As John Cena locks in the STF on Alberto Del Rio after a long and grueling match, suddenly Ricardo decks the referee at the cell door and grabs the key. He runs in to attack Cena, but Cena easily disposes of him and walks him to the door where he gives him the Attitude Adjustment out the door to the ramp below. But while he was distracted Del Rio was sneaking up with a pipe and he nails Cena with it, and shoves Cena out of the cell, promptly locking it after him and throws the only key under the ring. It takes a moment for it to sink in what has just happened here, but once it does you can hear the crowd murmuring trying to figure out what is going to happen next. The champion has literally been locked out of the match for his title, effectively making it a one on one match between Del Rio and a badly roughed up CM Punk. Punk fights back with everything he has, putting up the fight of the century to keep Del Rio’s plan from succeeding as John Cena looks on, helpless and humiliated, utterly outsmarted by the Mexican aristocrat.
Finally Del Rio grabs that pipe again and belts Punk with it. Punk fights back into the GTS, but before he can hit it, Del Rio gives him a pipe to the gut and then another shot to the eye for good measure. All the fight in him gone, Del Rio pins Punk finally to regain his lost title in one of the single most brilliant and well executed maneuvers in wrestling history.
After the match officially ends the cell begins to raise and immediately Cena is inside, raining down ten kinds of hell on the unsuspecting new champion. But before he can do more than brush him, two figures in jeans and black hoodies race in from the crowd and begin beating the ever loving fuck out of anything with a pulse with pipes of their own. Its none other than Awesome Truth. But before Triple H can run down to solve this with his fists the cell is mysteriously lowered back to the crowd keeping anyone else out. Now free to do whatever they want, Miz and Truth proceed to absolutely destroy everything side the place. The entire locker room comes down to try to find a way into the cell and its eerie watching dozens of men rattling the cage, trying to rip it open with their bare hands and Miz and Truth carefully and methodically dismantle the three biggest stars in the company one by one.
Finally someone comes running with bolt cutters, and before anything else can be done, Miz and Truth kneel down in the middle of the ring, amidst the incredible carnage they’ve created and put their hands behind their heads, having utterly proved their point.
They’re led out past the entire shaken locker room as an enraged Triple H comes flying out of nowhere in a fury, pounding them both into mush before the cops drag him off too. The show goes off the air as Miz and Truth are dragged backstage and Triple H is restrained as his lackeys try desperately to calm him down.
I don’t know what I was expecting coming into this match. Actually, I take that back. I know exactly what I was expecting from this match. Decent match, Cena retains, onwards to the Rock. What I never could have expected was for Alberto Del Rio to dominate the match AND outsmart Cena utterly, and what I CERTAINLY couldn’t have expected was for Miz and Truth to bring about one of the most memorable show closing moments in WWE history. They looked so casually insane here, so pushed past any limits or negotiations, as they disassembled everything the WWE worked so hard to build and did it with such an air of complete calm that it made them look like serial killers. And all of this is on fucking top of what would have been a terrifically good match anyway. To say I’m impressed would be wrong. I am flat out blown away by what may have been the single best booked main event match of this, or any, decade. I don’t want to alarm you guys, but honestly if this has been the plan all along, these jokers at World Wrestling Entertainment might just have some kind of idea what they’re doing.
Cewsh: Well what can I say, kids? I liked this show. I liked it a lot. I liked it so much that if it were a puppy I would feed it bacon. Actual bacon. Off of my own plate.
Recently WWE have been doing this thing where they provide shows with almost no real weakpoints, that are consistently high quality all the way through and then culminate in a satisfying and well thought out main event between two character I’m interested in seeing wrestle. I think I may actually need them to knock it the fuck off actually, because at some point I have to review a TNA show, and the disparity is going to make my brain explode.
Well that’ll do it for us this time boys and girls. We hope you enjoyed our review of the most flaming show of the year, WWE Hell in a Cell 2011. Next week we’re heading back to Japan for the 3rd of our 4 part Puro Panda Party as we go back in time to visit the wonderful world of Pro Wrestling NOAH, with NOAH Destiny 2005. Part fond remembrance of the great Mitsuharu Misawa, part card stacked to rafters with greatness and part commentary on how everything could have gone wrong for them so fast in the years afterwards, its going to be a show stuffed to the gills with awesomeness. So until then be sure to keep and reading and, as always, be good to one another.