Tuesday, October 30, 2012

REACT: WWE Hell in a Cell

It’s time to take a look back at this past weekend’s Hell in a Cell pay per view presented by WWE, and how Tom and Jim fared in their picks on the Head 2 Head podcast!  (Special note: all Two Spot Monkeys podcasts are now available via iTunes, so head there and subscribe to be sure you get the newest ones as they come out!). 

Tom and Jim each went 3-3 in their picks.  Tom got the WWE Title Match, Women’s Title Match, and Intercontinental Title Match right, while Jim got the Tag Title, Women’s Title and IC Title Matches right, thus leaving Jim still with a one match lead in their year long Head 2 Head competition, 37-21 to 36-22.  With two PPV’s left, the time for Tom to catch up is running short!  Let’s take a look at what each of us thought of the direction they took with Hell in a Cell. 

Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio

Jim’s Take:  This was a match that could have made Del Rio, they’ve spent ample time building up his cross arm breaker as a devastating hold, why not have him go over with it and finally get him right in the top of the mix again, but this time much more dangerous than it was portrayed he was before?  Instead, you took Orton, who could lose for the next month straight and not have it affect his over-ness, and put him over basically cleanly.  So, why do I care about Del Rio at this point?  WWE just doesn’t get it when trying to “make new stars”, they get so locked in on a certain few guys that they just don’t get it. 

Tom’s Take:  When this match happened it made zero sense in the moment for why Orton would get the win over ADR.  Thinking to what would happen later in the night, seeing Orton as the next title contender as a result of this win, that could make sense…but let’s see if that actually happens.

Tag Title Match

Team Hell No vs. Rhodes Scholars

Jim’s Take: While I’m fine with having Rhodes Scholars get the DQ win, if you wanted to keep the belts on Kane and Bryan (thus not having them pin either Rhodes or Sandow clean), why not have it where Kane hits one with a chair or something other than attacking in the corner until the ref throws it out.  That’s always been a lame DQ in my eyes.  Obviously the story between these two isn’t over yet, and I still think Rhodes and Sandow will end the reign at some point.  So, it was ok, but kind of a weak finish if you ask me. 

Tom’s Take:  Absolutely a weak finish.  The continued deepening of both teams and their respective characters could have really taken another step here and it did not.  I look forward to seeing where they go next in this feud.

Intercontinental Title Match

Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz

Jim’s Take:  As both Tom and I said, there was no way Kingston could lose here, and he didn’t.  I like that they are putting a spotlight on Kingston and I hope they continue to, as he’s someone I’ve long felt they could make alot of money off of in a top spot, so let’s see the build to that start.  As for The Miz, he’s been great in this as well, and if he’s done with Kingston now (not sure that he is), I hope he still has a prominent role as well, because he’s more than earned it.  He’s so charismatic, he can help get guys over without much trouble at all if given the shot. 

Tom’s Take:  Kofi is the man.  He proved it again here and The Miz gets a lot of credit and respect for me too.  These two could continue to feud, but again going back to a comment from above, I don’t know that I have the faith of WWE to allow for the depth to continue it to happen.  I do have hopes for Kofi to have meaningful feuds and issues so that the WWE Universe can really see Kofi as a main event player.

United States Title Match

Antonio Cesaro vs. Justin Gabriel

Jim’s Take:  The Cesaro train keeps on rolling as he avenges his non-title loss from Monday night with a defense here against Gabriel.  As I said on the Head 2 Head podcast, I’m really high on Cesaro’s chances to be a main event level player in WWE in the next year or so, so I obviously approve of the win here.  If this can lead to Gabriel getting a bit more of a push, that’d be fine too as I think he is a heck of a hand who just can’t seem to get a chance to really shine in a program with someone.  Maybe continue this feud somehow?  Or move him into a feud (with Tyson Kidd) against the 3MB (where they win please). 

Tom’s Take:  Cesaro does continue to roll on and it is fun to watch.  Having watched NXT from last week, there is something coming from Cesaro vs. Kidd on that show within the next few weeks, so I am eager to see things there and hope it comes to either RAW or Smackdown.

Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. The Prime Time Playas

Jim’s Take:  It seems that the rose has come off of the Prime Time Playas with their loss here, as well as a loss to The Usos on Superstars last week.  There was a time when it seemed like a title run was absolutely in the cards for them, but I don’t know if they upset someone backstage or what has happened, but they are a total after thought right now in the tag title picture.  That being said, it’s completely the opposite for Mysterio/Cara as I fully expect them to be the first feud for Rhodes Scholars once they win the tag titles.  Rhodes Scholars vs. Mysterio/Cara will be alot of fun (it already has been) and could lead to Sin Cara getting his first taste of WWE gold. 

Tom’s Take:  I agree with much of what Jim shared.  I do see Rey & Sin Cara as the team who is ready to challenge for the Tag Team Titles when Team Hell No and the Rhodes Scholars conclude their issue.  If WWE were to go with it sooner than the conclusion of their feud, I could see all three teams in Ladder Match for the Tag Titles in December at the TLC pay-per-view, a spot where Rey and Cara could really shine in their high spot element.

World Heavyweight Title Match

Sheamus vs. The Big Show

Jim’s Take:  This one makes me want to bang my head against a wall.  Sheamus should have gone over here to continue to put over the Brogue Kick as a devastating finisher that even put down a giant.  Show did not need the title win here...not at all.  Unless Sheamus is hurt and taking time off, or failed a drug test or something (and I’m not at all suggesting either), there is NO reason to have Sheamus lose his title to Show here, none whatsoever.  And then on top of it all, you have Ziggler saying he’ll cash in at Hell in a Cell, only to show him backstage watching and then....oh wait.  That was it.  No follow up.  At least have him come out and have Show look at him threateningly and then have Ziggler decide against it.  Or have Vickie say now the briefcase could be used for either title and Ziggler comes out after the main event.  Something!  No payoff at all, no attempt at cashing in, just Ziggler watching from the back.  UGH.  WWE, seriously, get a damn clue. 

Tom’s Take:  Sheamus has had a really good reign.  It is really too bad that somehow, some way he has not just taken the next step to really break out and become a top level superstar, specifically in the eyes of fans.  It is a challenging situation: who is at fault – Sheamus or WWE?  Could either side have done more to make this reign more successful?  The idea that Big Show is something of WWE’s “fall back” champion at times like this shows two things; one, their respect for him and his place in WWE hierarchy and two, the lack of young building up of new talent and new stars that they feel confident in (see: Del Rio, Alberto) to hold and be successful as champion.  When this result occurred, the Orton win made more sense in hindsight.  Gotta say, though, that a possible Big Show vs. Randy Orton feud isn’t getting me excited.

Divas Title Match

Eve vs. Layla El vs. Kaitlyn

Jim’s Take:  Pretty much what we expected, Eve finds a way to sneak herself a win and keep the title.  I like that she didn’t pin Kaitlyn, and hopefully we get another one on one between them where Kailyn finally gets revenge.  Not much else to say here.

Tom’s Take:  Storyline-wise, things made sense.  I really think they should have given Layla a title run, even if she lost it on RAW or Smackdown.  With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the partnership with Susan G. Komen and Layla’s personal story (you’ve had to seen it on WWE TV over the last few weeks), it would have made for a feel good moment. 

Hell in a Cell - WWE Title Match

CM Punk vs. Ryback

Jim’s Take:  Well, I went out on a limb and picked Ryback, and was wrong, it certainly happens!  While the ref hitting a low blow seems a bit of a weak way out, at least they had Ryback come back and look strong by laying out Punk on top of the cell, that should be a good visual and kept Ryback as a strong contender and someone who is hot on the heels of CM Punk as he continues his reign.  It also continues Punk’s way of finding a way out of everything that gets put in front of him.  If he’s going to do the cowardly heel thing (which he’s so much better than and shouldn’t be doing), at least he’s really, really good at it.  I liked them having Punk and Heyman trying to get anyone they could to cancel the match throughout the show as well, as it made Ryback seem even more of a monster and more of a man not to be messed with, especially inside a cell.

Tom’s Take:  I know I made the Punk pick on the podcast and I was confident, but there some shadow of doubt as well.  I think the time we are in with Punk right now is a special time, one that defines an era of WWE history.  To have Ryback win the title would have been damaging to that.  Whether people were satisfied or not with the ending, it was necessary to keep Punk as champion and keeps Ryback strong.  I do not think the story is done here and hope that Punk can really do wonders to help continue Ryback be the best he can be.

Don’t forget, our next podcast is coming this week Thursday night, November 1st at 9:30pm EST.  We will be talking about the upcoming Dragon Gate USA shows scheduled for this coming weekend. Please join us or listen once uploaded via the link here or at iTunes.

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