Pay-Per-Review: 2011 WWE Hell in a Cell

Nick Paglino

Mark Henry and Randy Orton was pretty much what I expected.  Henry still looked like a monster by the end and Orton saved face some by countering Henry's post-match attack and beating him to death with a chair.  My main beef with the match was the lack of cage use.  It's typical though as WWE often saves the cage for just one of the main events.  Outside of a couple of decent spots, this match could have just as easily taken place out of the cage and it wouldn't have been much different.  With Mark Henry involved, that seems bass-akwards to me.  He should have used to steel structure for all it's worth and WWE simply didn't allow him to do that.

On a quick side note: kudos to Orton for all the work he's done over the past couple years trying to help get other talent over as much as he has. I don't attribute all of Henry's recent success to Orton, but it's a lot easier to get to the top when you're working with someone already there and "that" person is willing to help bring you up to their level.

THE MAIN EVENT: I enjoyed the match, honestly.  It had a great pace to it and each men worked hard.  I enjoyed the creativity of the finish with Cena being locked out allowing Del Rio to work one-on-one with Punk.  It makes it more believable that he win it that way.  As I mentioned earlier, I hate the fact that the title changed AGAIN, but don't hate that it's on Del Rio.  I like ADR and want him to succeed, but WWE just isn't doing him any favors right now.  Taking the post-match stuff out of the equation, the main event was very enjoyable and well scripted.  Del Rio just should have been retaining the title in this match, rather than regaining it.

Miz and Truths' involvement after the match was chaotic and entertaining…to me.  It offers a lot of speculation and conspiracy talk as to who overtook the controls working the cage, how Miz and Truth got back into the building, etc.  The obvious choice seems to be John Laurinaitis and I'll be okay with that if they choose to go in that direction, but only because it is reasonable.  NOT because I enjoy John as a regular wrestling personality.  My personal bet (and preference) is Vince McMahon.

Having most of the WWE locker room outside of the cage trying to get in was a cool visual.  It also gave it that "nWo throwback" feel featuring Miz and Truth as two rebel outsiders causing chaos all the time and the rest of the roster trying to prevent them from taking over.  It's definitely a foreshadowing moment that WWE can take in a variety of ways.  What's great about it is that WWE still has seven weeks and another pay per view to let this story tell itself before we get to Survivor Series.  And it will by then, I promise.

OVERALL THOUGHTS: "Hell in a Cell" was exactly what I thought it would be, with the exception of the WWE Championship changing hands (which I HATED if you weren't aware).  It furthered the Miz/Truth story and relied heavily on the two main events to carry the show.  Other matches could have and should have played a part in the results, but due to a lack of build in certain programs and a VERY weak live audience, most of the them fell flat.  VERY flat.

The dead live crowd (there's an oxymoron for ya) isn't necessarily WWE's fault, but the inability to make fans care about 75% of the matches on a given pay per view is.  But with just two weeks in between PPV's, you can't expect much more.

I told you in my preview editorial on Thursday to save your money and I stand by that in case you're considering a replay.  At the same time, I do encourage you to watch Raw tonight as I think things are about to pick up in the WWE.  I'm ready.

Tune in live tonight from 7-8 EST to hear Chris Cash and Nick Paglino discuss last night's HIAC pay per view further, plus they'll take your phone calls throughout the broadcast.  Visit for a live link to the show.  You can follow Chris Cash on Twitter @RealityofChris.  He WILL be tweeting live during tonight's WWE Raw.

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