October 23, 2014 by Joey Keogh
It’s the go-home show before Hell In A Cell and, following whatever the hell last week’s show was – contract on a pole match? really? – we open with a nice little replay, scored like Gladiator, which serves to pretend that it was all very exciting and fun. That is, except for the small fact that Cena didn’t actually lose and we are never going to openly say out loud that he lost. Rather, Ambrose won and that’s that. No consequences whatsoever. The cell is here, with its own entrance theme as normal, but the question is, will it be involved in any shenanigans later on? The suspense is killing us. The Authority open the show, announced by fucking Lillian Garcia who has just taken over from our dearly-departed friend, Justin Roberts, because clearly she’s sucking someone’s dick backstage. Seriously, though, she’s terrible at this and her voice is grating.
Everyone is in a suit and tie apart from the always badly-behaved Randy Orton and Seth Rollins, who are open-collared and cool. They all look up and coo at the cell for a bit before Michael Cole is cut off mid-non-thought by Trips welcoming everyone to whatever this show is we’re watching, Masterchef Junior or whatever. Tonight, we are going to be treated to yet another stupid, needlessly complicated Main Event match as Kane, Orton and Rollins take on Ambrose in Cena in a 3-on-2 handicap street fight. If they don’t die, “hell is literally hanging over their heads”. There’s some of the by now obligatory Network shilling, before Trips gravely intones that “Hell In A Cell changes your life”. Not to brag, but he’s won more of these matches than anyone else and besides, they’re not the kind you win anyway, but rather the kind you survive.
Kansas City greets Rollins with a rousing “You sold out” chant as he takes the mic and makes his first attempt at speaking, under the watchful eye of Papa Trips. He loves the hate, in fairness, but what he’s tired of is being Mr. Money In The Bank. From now on, he’d prefer to be referred to as “The undisputed future of the WWE“. Orton is visibly unimpressed with this suggestion, and he interrupts to claim that the real Main Event on Sunday is his, because theirs is a decade long feud – to whom is he referring? The fans versus John Cena? Trips reveals to Orton that whoever wins their fight on Sunday gets a shot at Brock Lesnar. Oh great, so Cena again then? Oops, spoilers! It doesn’t matter anyway, they’re all gonna make Trips proud because, unlike Kansas City, The Authority always wins. And that’s what’s best for business.
Elsewhere, Damien Sandow impersonated Sheamus on Main Event, by dressing up in a ridiculous orange wig and dying his beard to match. Sheamo was into it, but he kicked his butt after making a dad joke about slapstick humour. Har de har. They’ll be facing each other next. Or rather, The Miz will because, just in case it isn’t clear, he’s the star, not Sandow.
6-Man Tag Team Match: Sheamus & The Usos -v- Stardust, Goldust & The Miz
Nothing like a 6-man tag to reiterate how little WWE cares about this lot as individual performers. After all, Sheamo and Miz are due to fight on Sunday, and the art freaks are going to take on The Usos for the tag team championships, so why mess everything up with a 6-man? Give them all a go! Before we get started, The Usos point out, once again, that they’re those jocks who think they’re funny but really aren’t as they cut a promo in the black box about how great they are. The weirdos follow and immediately do a better job, citing their science fiction versus science fact thing from before. The camera focuses on Sheamo as Miz enters but he looks as though he’s thinking of something else the whole time. Just when we’re about to kick things off, Miz tells Sandow that he’s fighting tonight instead. “This is an opportunity for you” he emphatically tells him. Cole calls Miz a chicken as he takes his seat to do commentary, but Miz argues that he’s a giver, and he likes to give back to the little people when he can. Stardust starts off getting his butt kicked, before his brother tags in, takes some of the bumps, and then heads back out again. Stardust manages some offence as Sandow is tagged in and everyone goes nuts – Miz notes they’re technically cheering for him – but soon eats a boot as Stardust takes over again, and a hot tag to Sheamo is made. He immediately strands Sandow in the corner with a running knee, as Goldust and an Uso break up his attempt at a pin. Sheamo powerslams the Uso for his intrusion, and gets superkicked for his trouble. He Splashes to the outside, Stardust follows suit and then Sheamo, echoing last week’s shenanigans with Ambrose et al. Sheamo Brogue kicks Stardust, Sandow takes advantage of the distraction and rolls him up into a schoolboy pin to win. Miz loses his shit and the two shout “I won!” all the way up the ramp.
Winners: Goldust, Stardust & The Miz
Backstage, Orton is thanking Trips for giving him a shot at Lesnar when his Pop reveals that actually it was Rollins’ idea. This does not sit well with Orton, who says he’s off to “thank him personally”, only he says it kind of like a Mafia boss. Some dude yells “Yeah!” because he’s really into this for some reason.
Divas Match: AJ Lee -v- Alicia Fox
Paige is watching from ringside throughout, flirting with JBL and making him fear for the safety of his hat, which he reckons everyone wants. She’ll be facing AJ this Sunday, but for now we just have to deal with Alicia Fox and her non-talent, in the ring, against the champ. To be fair, this is a decent Divas match, with a load of killer spots and more than a few actual moves – how sad to be typing that about female wrestlers without a hint of sarcasm for only about the third time this year. There’s a cool Suplex into a bridge, by Fox, before a spinning backbreaker leads to a near fall. Paige is cheering and shouting inaudible shit the whole time. AJ manages her first move of offence, a neckbreaker, Fox is chucked into the barricade and Paige, like the good friend she is, immediately throws her back into the ring after the two squabble a bit like the upstanding ladies they are. There’s an awesome hurricanrana by AJ, which Cole neglects to call because he’s too busy thinking about JBL’s hat, before Fox rolls her up to win while she’s distracted by her ex-BFF.
Winner: Alicia Fox
In the locker room, Orton interrupts Rollins’ private reflection time with his briefcase to ask him what the hell his deal is. Rollins is all “take it easy, I did you a favour” but Orton remains skeptical. He appeals to his ego, and Orton softens a little. The “Yeah!” guy goes “Yeah!” again. Orton then strolls out, still wearing pants, as some kid freaks out about how much he hates him – he seriously looks on the verge of tears. Orton cuts a promo about how angry he is that it’s no longer 2002. We miss Limp Bizkit too, Randy. There’s some sort of sports reference that makes everyone mad and he’s booed out of it as he tries to discuss Cena. The crowd starts to pay attention again when he uses the word “ass” and they all go “oooooh”, sitcom audience style. Cena shows up, Orton removes his jacket as he pauses to pose with fans, and then he tells him to shut up and that he’s “Stoooopid”. Goofy Cena is the worst. Even worse than Disney Princess Cena. He manages a cheap pop for the city as the audience still collectively thinks “Kill him, Randy”. Cena reckons the last time Orton was relevant was 2002, which is rich coming from someone in jorts who was not the youngest champ in history. He wants Lesnar, not Rollins, because he’s like a dog distracted by a spoon and has already forgotten they were feuding just a moment ago. He wonders if Orton is ready for Sunday, “to come face to face with the guy who runs the place” Thank fuck, Paul Heyman is here to call bullshit on their “revisionist history” and to put us out of our msiery. There’s a small child dressed up as Bray Wyatt in the front row, who only becomes visible as Heyman enters. He looks kind of sad. Heyman does not have good memories of the cell, having been beaten up on top of it last year by that tattooed fellow we no longer discuss. Lesnar has no equal, Heyman explains, so whoever wins this match on Sunday is actually the ultimate loser. Cena grabs Heyman and sets him up for the AA, leading him to go “Oh my god no!” but of course that’s a heel move that would make Cena a little bit interesting, so he doesn’t do it. Instead, Orton RKOs Cena and then Heyman. “Who’s stupid now!?” he asks their unconscious bodies, before turning his attention to the crowd. He teases the pose, pointing to the cell above, before finally doing it, leading every woman in attendance to cream her pants in barely-concealed ecstasy.
Rusev -v- Big E
Oh man, is their feud still going? No? Hello? Anyone? It’s been so long since we’ve seen poor E that we could be forgiven for thinking WWE forgot about his push, but he’s a good match, weight-wise, for Rusev. The “I’ll Be Your Putin Lana” sign is not as clever as the owner thinks, surely “Lana I Want To Putin In Your [Expletive Deleted]” would be better? E is dominating for most of the match, before of course Rusev somehow manages to take over as the commentators, almost on cue, remind us yet again that he’s never been pinned. E tries desperately to power out of a headlock as the crowd chant “USA!” and later he does a cool leapfrog over his opponent, followed by a pretty impressive throw, considering his size. Rusev dropkicks him in retaliation, before sticking him in the Accolade, out of which he taps. Big Show then turns up as the Russian flag is revealed to have been swapped for an American one. A soldier then gets kicked in the head, and for some reason this is a big enough deal that Show comes out to tell us how well his sensitivity training has been going. “There are some lines you don’t cross” he explains – oh, like, disrespecting someone’s flag, you mean? “Kurt Angle!” some dude yells. This promo goes on too long, but suffice to say he wants Rusev now because he can’t wait till Sunday and he goes backstage and kicks down his dressing room door but he isn’t there and that’s it. Hey, remember when The Rock came and explained that this wasn’t a xenophobic thing? Well you shouldn’t, because all of that good work has been undone now. Yay, America!
Backstage, Ambrose is watching a horror movie in preparation for tonight’s match (it’s WWE production See No Evil 2, starring Kane, in case you’re wondering) when Cena shows up and scares the shit out of him. He’s all “take this seriously, bro” and Ambrose is like “nah, this is like Superman teaming up with Batman and that’s weird”. We all know Ambrose is more of a Joker, but anyway. Street fights are Ambrose’s speciality, he explains, so no need to worry big, personality-vacuum. The crowd are loving this for some reason. Possibly because it involves Ambrose. “You’re much more like The Joker” Cena notes, before wandering out, leaving Ambrose to ask “Why so serious?”
Total Divas Match: Brie Bella -v- Summer Rae
Following the rather good Divas bout earlier, it seems almost mean to trot this bullshit out, but anyway. Nikki is watching backstage, dressed as a sexy devil, as the commentators remind us that whoever loses the Bella match on Sunday has to be the winner’s P.A. for a whole month. Surely this stipulation only further proves that the powers that be have zero faith in this match-up? Anyway, there’s lots of screeching and hair-pulling and dropkicks and a few clotheslines here and there, before a flying dropkick from the top rope by Brie leads her to pin Summer to win.
Winner: Brie Bella
Ambrose has a big duffel bag, en route to the ring, and when he arrives, he admires the cell for a bit, as is customary at this stage. He then cuts a promo about how much he wants to touch Rollins – hellloooo Tumblr – before calling him a Power Ranger and finally taking a dummy, dressed up like him with the two-tone hair and everything, out of his bag to use for his own…purposes. “He’s never looked better” King teases. In fairness, this is a pretty genius bit. We watch as Ambrose removes the dummy’s arm and hits him with it, before telling him “You’re a smart guy, you’re no dummy” He then takes various tools to him, including a hammer, with which he’s going to “hammer the point home” and the tongs, which he squeezed Rollins’ balls with last week. Although, this time around he notes that Rollins already sold his testicles “to The Authority”. Finally, he piledrives the doll, knocking his hair off, leading the real Rollins to show up, with Mercury and Noble in tow, to congratulate Ambrose for finally finding “someone you can relate to on an intellectual level”. Ambrose wants everyone to give him a big hand, which he then throws at him, narrowly missing, as a “You sold out” chant erupts. “You’re damn right I sold out!” Rollins agrees, because, unlike his fellow Midwesterners, he knew he was destined for greatness, he knew he wasn’t a loser like the crowd here tonight. Ambrose kicks his empty duffel bag around as Rollins talks, before picking up a power drill and offering a preview of Sunday night. Rollins ain’t scared of no power drill, and starts to advance on him when suddenly Mick Foley‘s music drops and the man himself strides out, resplendent in his Christmas best. Claiming he’s there to “visit an old friend”, which is naturally hanging above them at this very moment, Foley reveals that his kids love The Shield, and that they all frequently watch Raw together, along with all the other shows on the Network, to which he subscribes “for an undisclosed monthly sum”. Ambrose looks skeptical as Foley cleverly intones that, ordinarily, he’d expect Rollins to win on Sunday, but that Hell In A Cell is no ordinary situation and that often, the emotional wounds one suffers during it are much harder to heal. Rollins dismisses him as an “old dinosaur” – as opposed to a young one? – as a “Thank you, Foley” chant fills the arena. Ambrose don’t fear no scars, and he’s ready. “You get me” he tells Foley, who looks confused at such an assumption. “You’re both crazy” Rollins tells them, especially if they think Ambrose is going to win on Sunday. Foley gets in a cheap pop for the city – “Real cheap” says Cole – before explaining how he thinks of his life in two stages, as pre- and post-cell, and promising the young sprites that this will be the match of their lives. Suffice to say that, whether they’re marking out on the inside or not (and given they’re both around 25, they definitely are), there ain’t no promo like a Mick Foley promo. Ambrose chucks the dummy at Rollins, Noble and Mercury as they try to leave and that’s the end of that.
Dolph Ziggler -v- Cesaro
How sad that these two are so low on the card their HIAC match-up will probably be down-graded to the pre-show, but hey, it’s great to see them included at all, and tonight their match is the last before the Main Event, so that’s pretty cool too. It’s also an awesome bout, but that’s a given at this point. Cesaro cuts a promo in a very dark room before things kick off, about how great he is and how he always wins and damn it let this man talk more! He attacks Ziggler before the bell has rung, before he’s even got his shirt off, and dominates from the get-go with lots of shoving and headlocks. The commentators reveal these two are in a Twitter war and, funnily enough, it’s actually been pretty amusing for once. Ziggler manages a swift dropkick as his first act of offence, leading to a shoulder by Cesaro, after which Ziggler clotheslines him out of the ring and into the barricade. “More pain!” some dude yells. There’s a quick succession of elbows and uppercuts by Ziggler, after which he attempts a sunset flip, but Cesaro counters by lifting him above his head, bodybuilder-style, and administering a backbreaker. Cesaro then aims from the top rope with a flying elbow, but Ziggler counters with a dropkick and follows it up with a backbreaker, leading to a near fall. Ziggler then tries for another kick, but Cesaro counters with an uppercut to win. After the bell has rung, he also adminsters the Neutraliser.
Backstage, Rollins, Kane and Orton are arguing amongst themselves until Papa Trips shows up to be like “shut up, Kane is in charge tonight, bye”. Kane tells them all to be good so they can take care of business. Some kid is yelling “You suck!” throughout. A promo for the cell itself follows, with only Punk’s bloodied back shown along with everyone else’s face. It’s very emotionally stirring, but there isn’t enough Foley, especially since he just showed up. The creepy Wyatt vignette follows, and damn it never gets old.
Main Event: 3-on-2 Handicap Street Fight: John Cena & Dean Ambrose -v- Kane, Randy Orton & Seth Rollins
Ambrose goes straight for Rollins, even before the bell has rung, leading him to drop his briefcase in shock. Cena takes over as Ambrose turns his attention to Orton, before the bell signals that everyone should disperse and fall into respectful tag team formations, even though this is, by its very title, a street fight so there are no rules. Ambrose and Rollins are first, with Ambrose piledriving him just like he did with his dummy earlier on, before following it up with a brutal clothesline. He then takes the announce table apart, but Orton and Kane stop him from doing anything with it. Cena intervenes, leading to a flying elbow by Ambrose off the announce table, to tackle all of them at once. He grabs a chair and stabs Rollins in the gut with it, before using it on his back. Everyone cheers as Ambrose assembles a table on the outside, but Kane stops him dead in his tracks with an uppercut to he and then Cena, who he also chucks into the steps. Rollins has Ambrose in a facelock when we return from commercials, and Ambrose bites his finger to get out of it. Orton is tagged in and balances Ambrose on the top rope so he can whack him over and over. Rollins tags and strands Ambrose in the corner with a flurry of elbows, followed by punches to the gut which leave him crawling desperately towards Cena, only to be stopped by Rollins’ boot to his back. “Punish him” someone yells. Ambrose blocks another punch and delivers a few of his own before a flying dropkick from the top rope finally leads to a hot tag to Cena, who is begging for it. A shoulder tackle to Rollins leads to the 5-Knuckle Shuffle, after which he grabs the table and sets Rollins up for the AA but he kicks it out of the way before chucking Cena into the chair. On the outside, Ambrose is thrown into the steps by Orton. Kane then holds up another set of steps so Orton can send Ambrose flying into them. “Randy sucks!” someone yells, as Orton strolls around the ring like “what? what’d I do?” Kane throws Cena onto the announce table, and then the steps, as a sign which reads “Sign Guy Blows” is revealed. He then chucks him through the table in the ring as someone yells “You’ve nothing to do with this!” as though that has ever mattered before. Kane kicks Ambrose out as he tries to re-enter the ring, as suddenly the lights go down and the cell is lowered. Rollins, terrified after what happened last time, hurries to get inside. Orton is taking out Cena as a hot tag to Ambrose is made, leading him to Splash out and tackle everyone at once. He then clotheslines Kane out, kicks Rollins out and clotheslines Orton too for good measure. Ambrose grabs a Kendo stick and starts unloading on Orton, before getting a chair and leaping from the top rope with it, cracking it over Orton’s head. He shoves the chair into Kane‘s gut as he attempts to intervene, before chucking Orton and Rollins out once more. Kane takes the opportunity to chokeslam Cena, leading Ambrose to perform the Dirty Deeds on him. Orton seizes his moment to deliver an uppercut to Ambrose, followed by an RKO, to win. Following the match, Rollins curbstomps Orton and then celebrates alone on the top of the cell, in what hopefully is not a sneak peek at what’ll happen this Sunday.
Winners: The Authority
Anything would’ve been better than last week’s episode, but Raw was mostly good fun tonight, with the exception of that dreadful Total Divas match and the abundance of Goofy Cena on display. The Main Event was stupidly over-complicated, but the street fight element allowed for some cool spots and everyone was on fire. Ambrose, once again, proved that he is the best thing about the WWE right now while Sandow, who is growing in popularity every week, was given an opportunity to showcase his talents inside the ring for once.
Although they’ll probably be relegated to pre-show – even though it really should be the Bellas – it’s great that Cesaro and Ziggler are being given a spot at the PPV on Sunday, and tonight further exemplified their skills as both wrestlers and personalities. It sucks to have Cesaro raise his hands in victory to a near-silent crowd, but he’s got what it takes to be a star and he will get there, as will the seemingly always-over (and rightly so) Ziggler.
Considering The Rock showed up just a couple of weeks ago, Foley’s appearance shouldn’t really have been as big of a surprise as it was (although apparently even his kids didn’t know), but he’s always welcome and he can still cut a promo like no other. Likewise, the inimitable Paul Heyman, who makes everything better.
The stage is set for Sunday, and even though we have two Main Events, which is kind of stupid, the card is still loaded with good stuff. There’s no reason why this shouldn’t be a good PPV, even if it isn’t a great one.
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