Mount Killamanjaro: 2011 WWE Hell in a Cell Review

Mike Killam

As many have already stated, Hell in a Cell was set up as a filler PPV transitioning from one event to the other while still maintaining that “big fight” feel. Now that the dust has settled on our second Pay-Per-View in just three short weeks, I can honestly say the WWE did better than I had expected given such a short amount of time and preparation. When I wrote my Preview for the event all the matches seemed thrown together and disjointed, but much to my surprise it all came together as one very cohesive unit. Don't get me wrong, there were still a lot of things that could have been much better, but given our collective expectations for Hell in a Cell, there were a surprising amount of things done really well.

Christian vs. Sheamus

In Josh Isenberg's recent “Title This” column, he gave this segment an A+, and while I do agree on several things he said, I have to disagree with the overall product this match put out. Sheamus and Christian work excellently together, and they put on one hell of an opening match. But in contrast to Isenberg's column, Sheamus did not carry the majority of the in-ring action. In fact I've found that the opposite is true after going back to watch it again. The “Great White” was much slower than usual, lagging around the ring and allowing Christian to land most of the offense. This may be completely off-base, but I think Sheamus actually had a head-cold going into this match. If you go back and watch, you'll see that his face is very red, his breathing is labored, and his pace is way off what he normally puts out in the ring. He actually looked kind of disoriented, and it's not until the very end that Sheamus really comes back to land his move-set and pick up the victory. Still, a great contest that showcased both men's ability and kept the momentum for both going strong. I hope they continue working together through Vengeance, possibly making the World Heavyweight title picture a 4-way at Survivor Series.

Rating: 8/10

Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara

It's great that the “evil” Sin Cara now has black wrestling gear, and it appears that he even brought along his pet elephant to the arena to help us further distinguish between their entrance songs! But you would think two lucha-style wrestlers could put together a solid match that captivated the audience with high flying maneuvers and flashy finishers. Unfortunately, if this is the future of WWE's revamped “cruiserweight division” I'm afraid they can send these two to whatever corner of the  Earth Jamie Nobel and Paul London disappeared to. In fact, if they want to bring them back in an even trade, at least those two can bring down the house inside the ring. The only part of Hell in a Cell with more botches was Cole and Booker botching the Spanish language trying to derive some sense from this under-booked match. I mean, Sin Cara 1 and 2? Azul and Negro? Unfortunately, they didn't have much else to go on…

On the bright side, this was probably one of the better matches from either of the two Sin Caras with some good action mixed in with all the bad. They definitely work together better than with most of the under-card roster they've been matched up against, but that's not really saying a whole lot. While I can never justify a “boring” chant from the one idiot smark in the crowd, it's hard to disagree. The fans couldn't care less about this feud, or Sin Cara in general. My opinion? Scrap the Mysterious Case of Sin Cara angle, and repackage them as a Bashams-esk tag team, utilizing them to revamp one division at a time. Dos Sin Caras.

Rating: 5/10

David Otunga and CM Punk backstage… Punk can work with just about anyone in a backstage promo, but there's nothing he can do about David Otunga's awkward delivery. Much like his backstage segments on Raw and Smackdown lately, I'm intrigued by the angle but turned off by his delivery. He feels overly scripted and unsure of what he's supposed to say. We get it guys, Otunga has a fake Doctorate's from Harvard and Johnny Ace is the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations. Move on…

WWE Tag Team Championship

“Air Boom” Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne vs. Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler
I'm a sucker for good tag team wrestling, and these guys put on the best pure in-ring action of the night by far. I'm not sure what that says for the PPV as a whole since this wasn't even an advertised match on the card, but I digress… Dolph Ziggler continues to impress in the ring, and as much as I hate to say it, Jack Swagger works really well in the Vickie Guerrero camp. When they put these two together, I didn't expect them to be challenging for the straps right away, but it works for them. They have the classic heel roles down perfectly, and Vickie Guerrero's added heat makes them a group worth watching. It's rare that I'll compliment Jack Swagger for anything, but he finally has a place in the WWE that doesn't feel forced upon on. But Swagger and Ziggler are not the only two men to show their skills in this tag team match. I'm loving the new matching outfits from the champions, and it's great to see they are taking their union seriously. Both Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne are excellent high flyers who are finally putting their arsenals together for some unique tag team moves. Most of all, this match managed to cure my biggest grievance against them since winning the titles off of Otunga and McDouble. Normally, Bourne plays the whipping boy throughout the majority of the match, bringing in Kofi for the hot tag and the victory late game. The most he even manages to do is hit the Shooting Star Press to finish off the match. But tonight both teams got tons of offense, with Evan actually leading “Air Boom” for the majority of their time in control. It's nice to see Bourne getting noticed as an equal part of the Tag Team champions. I love how they almost teased the heel disqualification but brought in Kofi to take out the other illegal man at the last moment. The finish was solid, and Ziggler reaching with everything he had to break up the pin was a creative touch. Well done all!

Rating: 9/10

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