WWE Pay-Per-View Review : Hell in a Cell 2011
By Phil Allely
The Hell in a Cell gimmick is still by far one of my personal favourites in the world of sports entertainment. The HIAC bouts are usually hard-hitting and exciting feud-ending cage-based scraps that make for must-see viewing. This year the card looked pretty well stacked and there was great potential that we may even see a few titles change hands too. So what did 2011’s effort bring to fruition?
Sheamus versus Christian as an opener worked very well indeed, both men trading trademark moves and two counts. After some decent back and forth action it was the Irishman who took the advantage and nailed Christian with a Brogue kick for the win.
With Sin Cara’s recent suspension and replacement with a stand-in it was inevitable that we would take a trip down Undertaker v evil Undertaker mode once more and see two versions of the same character face-off. Here it was blue/silver Cara (the original) taking on the imposter Black/silver. The action here was well paced and enthusiastic, proceedings certainly proving that Cara is best when working with a fellow Mexican trained athlete. The end saw our blue suited hero put his foe away with a powerbomb.
The WWE Tag Team Title match between the combos of Air Boom (champs) and Jack Swagger/Dolph Ziggler was up next and whilst having its moments it never really caught our attention too much. The champs retaining after Bourne converted a powerbomb from Swagger into a hurricanrana.
The first Hell in a Cell match of the night saw World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry defend his belt against former champ Randy Orton. As with their previous encounter for the gold this was an above average affair, Orton carrying the larger and less mobile Henry to a well worked match. The Champ hit a huge slam to put ‘the Viper’ down for the three-count. Orton did however get some form of revenge by utilising a steel chair to beat down Henry.
The Intercontinental Title(now using the classic white version of the belt) encounter between champion Cody Rhodes and John Morrison had a few fine moments. Morrison and Rhodes working well together, Rhodes retained his belt with a swift roll-up when Morrison missed a springboard move.
Divas Beth Phoenix and Kelly Kelly took to the ring next to wage war for Kelly’s Diva Title. OK in parts this match became one where outside interference and slightly botched moves prevailed. Natalya interfering on Beth’s behalf paid off as ‘The Glamazon’ hit her glam slam move to win the belt.
The main event was another HIAC bout and it was also the point where this event went just a little bit odd.
Pitting Alberto Del Rio, CM Punk and John Cena in a cell-based scrap for Cena’s title. With chairs, the cage itself and anything else they could use the trio battered each other wildly around the ring. This was indeed Del Rio’s night as his heelish tactics and ever reliable cohort Ricardo Rodriguez worked in his favour. With Cena locked outside the cage Del Rio took advantage of the situation and used a steel pipe to level Punk for the win and his second piece of Heavyweight gold in a very short space of time.
As Del Rio celebrated his win Cena re-entered the ring to confront him, the previously banned R-Truth and Miz then entered the fray and as the cage lowered once more they pummelled the three combatants as an angry Triple H and WWE locker room watched on. The show ended with Truth and Miz being arrested and chaos surrounding he ring.
HIAC 2011 was certainly an event where many things happened, it did however feel like a slightly bigger budget Raw or Smackdown episode instead of a PPV. The Hell in a Cell format has lost an awful lot of its appeal in these non-bloodletting days of the WWE and that of course has a knock on effect with fans and the PPV buying public.
The new storyline with Triple H and the roster losing faith in him will be interesting to see develop and just where will the careers of Truth and Miz go now?