David Otunga thinks he has a way they can help Wade without getting disqualified. David Otunga has a plan? Unless it involves marrying up I trust it about as much as Acme merchandise. That match is now? Isn’t there a Divas match still to come? They are putting that on after this? Did you know Nexus have beat up a lot of people? They tend to highlight the old guys they’ve beat down. Will John Cena join Nexus? Or is Nexus done forever?
Matt Striker has decided he approves of Nexus now. The other two, rightly, point out Nexus beat the crap out of him. I guess it’s Stockholm Syndrome. Nexus shows up early and Barrett is not happy about it. Nexus can’t so much as touch Cena so I see no point to them coming out. In the end it doesn’t matter as Big Show leads about a dozen superstars from both brands, mostly faces but Dolph Ziggler is there, and Nexus is sent packing. Barrett is still pretty limited but at least he has a moveset of power moves instead of pure brawling. Striker claims kids and girls are cheering for Cena while the guys are cheering for Barrett. I doubt it’s that simple but there are certainly people so anti-Cena they are cheering Nexus.
Cena actually climbs the top turnbuckle looking for his Flying Legdrop but he and Barrett wind up in a contest of strength on the corner ropes. Cena comes out ahead with a Headbutt and hits the Legdrop after all. Only a two-count results. Cena sets up for the Attitude Adjustment only to be countered into Wasteland. It looks over but, somehow, Cena kicks out. Next comes an AA but now Barrett kicks out. This is dramatic at least. Cena tries the STF as Cole screams “Tap out!” over and over again. A mystery man in street clothes runs in, but gets stopped by security and the ref, only to have another mystery man attack Cena with a foreign object. Barrett capitalizes for the pin. So there you have it, John Cena must join Nexus and at least two other people have arrived with a stake in the outcome. Once again, a long enough match that was just fine, especially considering the people involved. A lot of time gets wasted as a forlorn Cena leaves the ring slower than the Big Show.
Josh Matthews interviews Paul Bearer. He’s been waiting six years and he’s developed a master plan in that time. And that plan involves reuniting with a man who tried to drown him in concrete?
The Divas match between Michelle McCool and Natalya Neidhart is the worst match on the card so far but it’s still not bad. Natalya gets a Sharpshooter locked on but Layla throws a shoe (nice Austin Powers reference by Striker) at her to draw a DQ. Michelle taps seconds later but the title doesn’t change hands on a DQ. Short but not too short.
And now the main event. This match has tons of history, since we’ve already seen it several times before depending how long and when exactly we were watching. The video, however, only talks about the first feud and the recent one. The return of Paul Bearer and the urn evokes supernatural elements of this feud that are out of place in modern wrestling, especially when neutered to PG level.
Paul Bearer stays outside the cage, but Kane attacks before the bell and they brawl on the outside at first. The cell and a chair are brought into play before the bell even rings. Trivia buffs, the cage weighs five tons. Ring steps again? Kane hurts his brother’s ankle early on so Taker hardly seems superhuman again. The ankle messes up Taker’s first attempt at Old School. Kane does get a small cut on the top of his head so we see a bit of color after all. Kane barely escapes Hell’s Gate. There is no dissention in the crowd; they are firmly behind the Undertaker.
They do a double Zombie up and each competitor gets in a Chokeslam. But it’s not enough to end it. A Last Ride isn’t even enough to stop Kane. Kane lands a Tombstone Piledriver and steals his brother’s rest in peace pose, but Taker kicks out. A frustrated Kane punches out the referee. The cell is opened to allow a new ref in and the old one out. That lets Paul Bearer slip inside the cell. Kane goes after Paul Bearer in a chase that makes OJ’s Bronco look speedy. All this does is give Undertaker time to recover. A Chokeslam follows and Taker gets theatrical. He culminates in the cut throat gesture and the lightning starts up.
Okay, this is real. When the lights go low for the lightning Paul Bearer opens the urn and bright light shines out blinds Taker. Then Paul Bearer hands the urn over to Kane. Kane clobbers his brother with it. One more Chokeslam and Kane retains the championship in what I have to call a surprise.
So how did the show fare overall? There were no bad matches, most of them were pretty good. With a two hour and forty-three minute runtime it was of sufficient length. But the two Hell in a Cell matches did not live up to the hype. They are never going to give us the spectacular bloody scenes we remember from the past. Also, Hell in a Cell is better when it’s a surprise, not a regular occurrence. I sincerely hope we don’t repeat this PPV next year. This may be the last PPV I can afford for a while. Having seen this one I might have been better off waiting and buying Bragging Rights or Survivor Series.