SPOILER ALERT – Title Change To Take Place On SmackDown!

NOTE: The following post features major spoilers from this week’s episode of SmackDown! If you do not wish to be spoiled, click away now.

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When I heard that Kalisto had beaten Alberto Del Rio for the United States Championship on RAW, I was all for it. I’ve talked in the past about how Kalisto can become a top star in WWE if pushed right and this was the biggest win of his career. Not even a year into his time on the main roster and he’s already a champion. Not even a year into his time on the main roster and he’s already won a title that was held by John Cena only a few months ago. This was a huge moment for Kalisto and I thought this was the start of something special. A day later though, it seems that this optimism has all been wasted.

What happened on the Tuesday tapings of SmackDown? How did WWE follow up on Kalisto’s big win? Well I can reveal that what happened was that Alberto Del Rio won back the United States Championship in a rematch. That moment on Monday Night RAW and all of that momentum built by Kalisto beforehand seemingly halted as his moment of glory lasted a grand total of 24 hours.

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I was actually planning an article for Kalisto after finding out he won the US title and this was going to be a pretty positive article until I found out what happened on SmackDown! One of the points I was going to make is that WWE should have been careful about when they were to have Kalisto drop the title. It had to be against the right person and he should have something to do afterwards that made him still relevant in the company.

What WWE did was have the title reign last ONE day (three if you’re starting the reign from the date the title change airs) and it was to the same guy that he had beaten before. Therefore, it makes Kalisto look like a fluke champion. What does that do for Kalisto going forward, unless he wins it back at the Royal Rumble?

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Even if the title does change hands again, that’d still be detrimental to the prestige of the title. The US title has been a title that’s rarely been hot-shotted really since Santino Marrella won the belt back in early 2012. He had a surprisingly long title reign. Cesaro had a long title reign. Dean Ambrose had a REALLY long title reign. Sheamus had a long title reign. Rusev had a long title reign. John Cena had a long title reign. That’s what made it stand out as a belt.

Since John Cena dropped the belt to Seth Rollins at Summerslam though, each title reign is making the belt seem less prestigious. OK, I understand that the US title change at Summerslam was really done to give Seth a strong bragging right and really make him seem like the top guy in the company. I understand that John Cena had to win it back in order to continue with his John Cena US Open Challenge to keep elevating the title. I understand the decision to have Cena drop the belt at Hell in a Cell as he was getting time off and what’s more, they put it on the right guy in Del Rio.

With these last two title changes, now we’re back to the title meaning less and less with every title change. Alberto Del Rio is nowhere near as over as he was when he first won the title. Kalisto himself is not even an established star yet. He could have been… but only if you had made his first title reign mean something.

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That first title reign is so important because it has to have mean for those that hold it. You could even claim that Christian’s two day World Heavyweight Championship reign had meaning as it was the catalyst of the biggest program of his life. That gives a character some value. What does Kalisto’s day long title reign accomplish?

It’s not like Kalisto is a 18 year long veteran that’s just won his first world title. This is an exciting new luchador that’s burst onto the scene big time and won his FIRST title in the company (not including his NXT Tag Title run). All the title loss does is make Kalisto out to be a one hit wonder. Christian will not go down as a one-hit wonder as he has a substantial career to his name. Kalisto doesn’t have that.

I feel that WWE’s thinking with these title changes was to make the TV viewers believe that anything can happen. After all, Roman Reigns winning the WWE World title on RAW a few weeks ago pulled one of the best RAW viewership numbers in the year. I would be OK with it if they didn’t do the two title changes in the same week. This is like when the WCW World title would change hands every week in 2000 leaving the viewers confused about who the top guy is.

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If anything, these tactics can prove to be detrimental for the TV ratings. The WCW ratings were at their worst when they were doing that. The viewership for this week’s RAW actually went down from last week, which tells you that the idea of frequent title changes didn’t really do much for them. Maybe the SmackDown! numbers will be up though as WWE have already announced the title change on WWE.com and more people might tune in to see it.

I think WWE will need to have a plan in place to justify these title changes. If not, then the future doesn’t look great for Kalisto.

Could Kalisto Be A Star In WWE?

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Contrary to popular belief, wins and losses are vital to those in WWE. While those in WWE are working in a kayfabe world were wins and losses are predetermined, those predetermined wins and losses make a hell of a difference to a wrestler’s rise to or fall from stardom. One win can make you a star. One loss can be the beginning of the end. However, there was one victory recently that sparked interest from the WWE universe and myself.

There were a number of wrestlers involved in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament which were seemingly brought in just to fill up the bracket. Nobody never believed that Titus O’Neil was going to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. There was no reason to believe that Tyler Breeze would win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship a month after debuting on the roster. There was no chance in hell that Kalisto from the Lucha Dragons would ever beat Ryback in the first round right? However, the whole idea of anything can happen in WWE can strike when you least expect it.

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There’s no way that Kalisto could possibly beat Ryback right? Well as the gods of unpredictability would have it, Kalisto beat Ryback in the first round for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament. Quite the shocker to say the least, but was there a lot more to the victory than just to provide a big upset?

Someone like Tyler Breeze getting a huge upset would make sense as he’s just arrived on the main roster. Someone like Kalisto though is different. Kalisto first arrived on the main roster in March as part of the Lucha Dragons. It’s not like Kalisto was ever built up to be a singles star. It did seem that WWE was trying to promote Kalisto as the star of the team as he usually the one tagged in for the hot tags and he’s got the more flashy moves in him than Sin Cara. However, there seemed to be no real intent of pushing him to challenge for the Intercontinental Championship or anything serious like that. He was just another part of the roster.

On the other hand, Ryback had just been coming off losing his Intercontinental title and has received a number of pushes since he was repackaged as Ryback in 2012. When looking at things like that, there was no real reason for Kalisto to beat Ryback at all unless it meant that there was something  big in store for the high flyer.

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What does WWE want to do with Kalisto? Do they want him to eventually be their top Mexican representative so they can build a bigger audience in that part of the world? Do want him to join a number of high flyers in WWE to build a Cruiserweight Division? What motivation could WWE have had which would have them put Kalisto over Ryback in the first round of the tournament?

On RAW, Kalisto was beaten in the quarter finals by Alberto Del Rio. As much as I love Del Rio, I had a problem with WWE ending this “Cinderella story” before it even began. The unlikely contender defying the odds was the key story going into that match but it was quickly ended by Del Rio. So it was not like Kalisto was going to make it to Survivor Series as pushing Del Rio as a main eventer is a big priority for WWE. However, there’s obviously enough intrigue for WWE to possibly do something with him. In today’s WWE, having something to do is a hell of a lot better than having nothing.

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I’m going to sort of turn this into a “How I Would Book” post for a brief moment as I believe Kalisto losing to Del Rio actually sets things up nicely for if WWE were to ever try to push him. If you’ve ever watched Lucha Underground, AAA or any form of lucha libre, you’ll know that there’s a lot of pride involved. Kalisto should be portrayed as a proud warrior that seeks to be the best wrestling has to offer. Him beating Ryback and losing to Del Rio teaches him that he does have what it takes to become a star but still lacks something (possibly motivation) to truly unlock his full potential.

That’s Kalisto’s motivation as he requests more singles matches. He loses initially but then is able to pick up that one win again against someone like Kevin Owens or Cesaro. He’s starting to learn from his mistakes and looks better and better every time he’s in the ring. Kalisto then gets on a roll from this win and he and Sin Cara team up again and eventually earn a shot at the tag titles at Royal Rumble or Fast Lane. They come close but they eventually get beat. Kalisto is given an opportunity to compete for the United States Championship at Wrestlemania against the champion Del Rio, but only if he and Sin Cara split up. Cara tells him to go for it and Kalisto earns a title shot on RAW. He is finally able to beat Del Rio at Wrestlemania to capture the gold.

That was just a short idea I came up with in my head but it tells you the potential the WWE have now created with this victory that could make a star out of Kalisto.

 

The Problem With Alberto Del Rio vs Jack Swagger In 2015

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I was very excited when I saw Alberto Del Rio return to WWE. In a past article for SLTD Wrestling, I mentioned that he’d be much better continuing on with Lucha Underground and AAA rather than continuing on with WWE. However, I’m still think it’s great that he’s with WWE and so far, he’s been booked well. He beat John Cena clean on his first night and is the WWE United States Champion. However, there are a few parts of his booking which I have a problem with. The partnership with Del Rio and Zeb Colter is one thing but it’s the possibility of Del Rio’s first challenger being Jack Swagger.

Here’s the deal. Alberto Del Rio won the WWE United States Championship by beating John Cena of all people, clean. That’s huge. The idea that the United States Champion and AAA Mega Champion goes from John Cena to Jack Swagger in the space of a few weeks seems a bit absurd and it’s all to do with how Jack Swagger has been treated since the start of the year, when he lost a feud against Rusev. Ironically enough, that feud was over the United States Championship.

What has Jack Swagger done since then? How many pay-per-views has Jack Swagger been a part of in 2015? Two. That’s right… two. Both of these matches were battle royal matches, the Royal Rumble and the Andre The Giant battle royal. He was part of multi-man matches and basically used to fill up the numbers. He’s rarely appeared on RAW and all of a sudden, Swagger is back on RAW television. It’s not a slow build for Swagger no. He’s been entered into a feud with the United States Champion Alberto Del Rio.

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What has Jack Swagger done to earn a United States Championship match? Has he won a number one contendership match? No. Did he win a tournament? No, he’s just started having trouble with Del Rio which will most likely lead to a US title match at Survivor Series. That alone is not going to make Swagger a legitimate challenge to Del Rio. Actually let’s talk about Del Rio. Alberto Del Rio has actually appeared on less PPVs this year then Swagger (obviously, Del Rio only returned recently) and yet somehow, Swagger looks like nothing compared to him. Why? Because Del Rio beat the best upon his arrival and has legitimate WWE credentials. He’s a three time world champion in WWE, won Money In The Bank and won the only 40 man rumble in history. WWE wouldn’t recognise this but he is still currently a world champion in his own right, being the AAA Mega Champion. It’s not like he’s not wrestled at all since he was fired last year. He’s got an MMA background. Getting him back and noticed wasn’t exactly hard. For Swagger, it’s difficult because WWE have allowed it to be difficult.

If WWE knew that Jack Swagger was going to compete for the United States Championship soon, surely Swagger be put on RAW a lot more frequently. The Del Rio signing was a bit sudden so it’s not like WWE have been planning this. However, if you’re building up a contender it helps to build him up a little. Nobody is going to care that Jack Swagger is winning on house shows or Main Event or SmackDown! RAW is the flagship show for a reason. He needs wins on RAW and he needs to look credible and not just be among the crowd, especially if you’re first feud in a year for him is him going up against a man that just beat John Cena.

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What’s disappointing about the negative aspect of this feud is that on paper, it’s actually a decent feud. These two have feuded before with Alberto Del Rio beating Swagger for the World title at Wrestlemania 29 and again a month later. Swagger’s never gotten a big win over Del Rio and must prove it to himself that he cane beat the man. That on paper is great and is all you really need to get this feud running. You don’t really need Zeb Colter at all, although his involvement does add a bit to it. The point is that it’s got the ingredients for a great feud. All you need is for Jack to look credible enough to validate him going up against Del Rio. With that along with the storyline mentioned earlier, people can get behind Swagger and you can get him over. You don’t need Michael Cole to sit there on commentary and say “Man, these two have had quite the rivalry in the past few years,” or “Man, this rivalry has gotten personal” or anything like that.

Give Swagger a lot more motivation to go up against Del Rio over rather than having Zeb Colter being the focal point. Del Rio and Swagger have actually had good matches in the past so you can actually have a decent feud with Swagger proving himself being the focal point instead. It takes away people’s interest in Swagger if you make the match about Colter.

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If all of this business with Del Rio and Swagger is filler until John Cena returns, fine. Whatever. However, you can still make Swagger and Del Rio good coming out of it except Swagger’s not looked good going into it. There’s no real reason for the audience to believe that a man that’s not done anything note worthy in the last year despite being active is going to be on par with a man that holds the second most important title in the company and has beaten the best to win it.

How WWE Got It Right With RAW This Week (26/10/15)

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The majority of RAWs in the past month have been well below par. It’s featured a lot of repetitive booking which have prevented the show from gaining any good ratings as TV viewerships went to record lows. However, this RAW was actually a pretty good one for a number of reasons. I think the biggest reason for it’s success though is that it appears that the writers have “re-booted” the storylines as it gave wrestlers fresh new material to work with.

It wasn’t like the events of Hell in a Cell weren’t followed up on. Bray Wyatt explained his attacks on Undertaker and did reference his match with Roman Reigns in his promo. There’s also the winners of the matches at Hell in a Cell being given spots in WWE Title contendership eliminator matches which we’ll get onto later. However, it just seemed to me for so many weeks that the writers were some what burned out. A part of me still thinks that’s the case but they did a great job with this week. I think the reason it worked so well is that it almost seems like they started from scratch again which is sometimes not a bad thing. With the current WWE storylines going stale, the writers had to try something else. The transition into these new storylines were pulled off so well that it opens up a lot of possibilities for the future.

They had Paige’s heel turn finally cemented which was a big plus from me. It was almost like they were milking this apparent PCB reunion storyline for so long that it just lost it effect. It was almost making little sense as Charlotte and Becky would have came off so bad for falling for Paige’s act. Paige turning heel for good now shifts the focus onto Charlotte vs a fully heel Paige.

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The best part of the episode was the series of qualifying matches for a number one contendership match at the WWE World title. This was exactly the type of thing that WWE needed. I mentioned WWE following up on what happened the night before. With this little concept, all the winners from the night before were actually rewarded for winning these big matches at this big event. All of a sudden, the winners are actually starting to get over as top talent. They’ve earned the right to fight for the championship.

For the majority of the year, there’s rarely been a time where the number one contenders for the WWE World title have actually had to earn their title match in such a way. Usually, just beating Seth Rollins would get you the opportunity. The problem with that is simple… EVERYONE had started to beat Seth Rollins on RAW and SmackDown! Therefore, anyone could have theoretically been the number one contender. With this, only the strong will survive and get the opportunity at the title.

It could be argued that WWE should have stretched this out so it could take place over the course of a few weeks and build up anticipation for future shows. However, I think that’s very difficult considering that the writers have to fill up three hours worth of television RAW every week. I’m happy with the way they went as it could have built up anticipation for the main event.

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Another reason why this worked so well is that they could have easily killed the momentum of a lot of the winners from last night, but no one really suffered badly. Kofi Kingston and Big E both lost, but the New Day were coming off a big win of the Dudleyz the night before anyway. Cesaro and Neville didn’t really get a lot from this night after losing but they weren’t stars with a lot of direction in the first place. Cesaro and Neville won in the pre-show match of Hell in a Cell so it’s not like they won a big match of importance.

Then there’s the fatal four way itself. Usually, I’d be mad that they brought Alberto Del Rio back just for him to get beat in the main event of his first RAW with the fatal four way. However, Del Rio looked really good in this match. Hell, everyone in that fatal four way looked strong in their own right. Kevin Owens started to look like a legitimate threat alongside Del Rio. I didn’t believe that Ziggler was going to win the match but he didn’t look that bad himself.

This was a main event that lived up to the anticipation built over the course of the night. It was a main event that actually seemed like a main event. It’s not like the crowd was bored and burned out by the end of it. They got really pumped for the finish of the fatal four way when Kevin and Roman Reigns were staring each other down.

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Finally, Roman Reigns won. The right man won this mini-tournament and looked great when he did. He was actually built up to be a great contender by beating up everyone else to do it. These were not just over people too. He defeated the US and Intercontinental champions who were coming off two big wins in the course of 24 hours or so. I think with his win over Bray at Hell in a Cell as well to take into account, Roman now suddenly looks like a main event title contender.

It was just a great show in general that was exactly what the WWE needed heading into November. I’m praying that booking like this can continue on into next week. If that’s the case, the viewership numbers maybe about to turn around and a new star COULD be made.

WWE Hell In A Cell 2015 Review – Lesnar vs Undertaker III Delivers On Really Good Show

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Hell in a Cell brought a lot to Los Angeles, California. It featured hard-hitting matches, shocking moments and a hell of a main event with Brock Lesnar and Undertaker squaring off inside the demonic structure. However, did they bring all they could to the state of California? Could the WWE make up for a poor month of RAW ratings with a quality event on the WWE Network? Could this be the turning point the WWE need to get back on the right tracks? Well, let’s run down the card with this review.

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The night started off with the US Title Open Challenge. Cena cut his usual promo and opened the challenge up to the roster. Zeb Colter of all people came out on some kind of scooter.He called John a divider and said that it was time for people to come together. He introduced the man that he claimed would become the United States Heavyweight champion. That man was Alberto Del Rio! No words can describe how much joy I had at that moment. I truly never believed that Del Rio would be the one to answer to call for a few reasons. I was talking with a few writers from SLTD Wrestling about who would take up the challenge. Someone actually threw Del Rio’s name into the mix but I shot it down. A reason for that is I had no idea if Del Rio was still under contract with Lucha Underground or not. I heard that Del Rio could have gotten out of that contract any time he wanted but I figured it would taken a lot of time to get the paperwork through in time for Hell in a Cell. Alberto Del Rio is also still the AAA Mega Champion too which is a huge missed opportunity for WWE! After the PPV, I looked onto NoDQ.com and this how Del Rio was able to sign with WWE so easily:

“Regarding his contract with the company, Del Rio’s deal was a lot easier to put together than most. Del Rio’s deal calls for less dates, and he will also be allowed to work through his remainder indie dates that he has previously agreed on. Money played a major factor in Del Rio’s return to the company. Lucha Underground was his main source of income, but both parties had a falling out because Del Rio couldn’t agree with creative and returning to WWE was his only option to making any kind of real money again.”

I did not believe it was going to be Daniel Bryan. I did not believe it was going to Tyler Breeze. I didn’t really know who I thought was going to challenge Cena but I didn’t think it would be Alberto Del Rio. Putting Del Rio with Colter is an interesting mix. I’m not sure if it’s going to work but then again, I was critical when Colter was put with Cesaro and Cesaro ended up benefiting from it in the end. So you never know.

John Cena (c) vs Alberto Del Rio for the WWE United States Championship

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When I was doing the predictions for this on SLTD Wrestling, I really didn’t know what to think. I’d changed my mind over and over regarding whether the mystery challenger was going to win. On the predictions, I predicted that Cena would retain. When I saw Del Rio, my predictions were in a constant state of flux! I thought right away that to bring Del Rio back just to beat him on his first match back would be preposterous unless this was a one-off appearance. However, John Cena is John Cena. Having anyone beat Cena is very hard for the writers to do. They have to protect Cena. So I was thinking of all of these ways that would protect both Cena and Del Rio regardless of who win. I thought either Del Rio would win due to Zeb or Cena would just go over. Again, I was wrong. Low and behold, Del Rio pinned Cena after seven minutes… clean.

It was mind-blowing! The whole world went nuts when Kevin Owens pinned John Cena clean at Elimination Chamber. Not only did Del Rio beat Cena clean here, he did it seven minutes. He won off a backstabber and a super kick. The super kick is done by every other wrestler on the roster and is Del Rio’s signature move. It’s not even his proper finisher and Del Rio won clean. CLEAN!

Now I’ve seen a lot of fans on Twitter tweet about the logic of Cena beating the WWE World Champion Rollins clean but losing here clean to Del Rio. Let me just point something out. When John Cena beat Seth Rollins clean at Night of Champions, Seth was preparing for two opponents that night. It was not as clean a finish as you would have thought as Seth was preparing for two opponents. On the other hand, Del Rio had not been in WWE for over a year. Del Rio’s schedule in the last year has been a lot lighter than Cena’s. Cena’s been on the road with WWE nearly all year long. Del Rio’s worked for the likes of AAA, Lucha Underground and ROH but has not been wrestling as much as Cena in 2015. Cena’s body, in terms of the storyline, is hurt after putting up his US title every week. Del Rio is a lot fresher and simply took advantage of a wounded champion. It makes perfect sense as Cena was more prepared than Rollins at Night of Champions but not as prepared as Del Rio for Hell in a Cell. This is alright with me.

The only thing that took away from this moment with Del Rio coming back was Jerry Lawler down-playing Del Rio’s return like it was nothing. He criticised Cole and JBL for making it seem like he was the greatest thing since sliced bread. As someone on Twitter pointed out, he was aghast at the thought that Cole knew so much about Del Rio. I don’t know if Jerry Lawler is aware of this or not but MICHAEL COLE IS A JOURNALIST! It’s his business to know all of this stuff. You’re mad that he knew so much about a wrestler that you bury him for it? You can be a good guy all you want and you can bury the heels when you need to but not when he’s just made his return. Cole and JBL were making Del Rio out to be a star and Lawler thought it was no big deal. This was the start to a horrible night on the commentary table for Jerry Lawler. However, Del Rio’s return was still lovely despite Jerry Lawler on commentary. The pressure is now on WWE to make sure they don’t drop the ball with him.

There was a backstage segments that followed with Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Seth Rollins and Corporate Kane all taking about the WWE World Heavyweight title match. Seth vowed to retain the title but Kane just wished Seth good luck as he would need it. Scary.

Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt in a Hell in a Cell match

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Initially, I thought it was kind of strange that there was no cool-off match between Del Rio winning the US title and the first Hell in a Cell match. Having thought about it, I understand now that it was probably WWE not wanting the Cell matches to be too close together so I kind of get it. I’m going to actually give Michael Cole credit for bringing up the statistic of only 35 men or so ever competing in a Hell in a Cell match. That actually helped make the match itself a bit more sacred and special as if it’s not competed in a lot. It may be a small thing, but I think that added to the Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt match with two competitors that were in this match for the first time.

It was a decent Hell in a Cell match. Early on, Roman did his drive-by kick to Bray which caused Bray to tumble a few steps and then slam himself into a cell wall. Other than that, I thought Bray was great during this match. Bray was just innovative in general when it came to using the weapons inside the cell. I remember he was like this when he was feuding with Dean Ambrose. When he and Dean had that TLC match last year, they had a WHOLE lot of fun with the weapons. Bray grabbed the chair and was about to hit Roman with it. Bray stopped himself, sat down on the chair, picked up the Kendo stick that was used earlier on in the match and then smacked Roman over and over in the chair while sitting down. I thought that was awesome. Bray was great during this.

The crowd loved Roman hitting Bray with double kendo sticks. The match was very slow paced sometimes to a point where it seemed that they didn’t know what was going on. They were stalling for time quite a bit. What I can say is that both men looked really good coming off this match. Bray and Roman both kicked out of a lot of big moves. Roman did a big powerbomb on Bray through the table but Bray immediately kicked out. There was an awesome sequence with Roman reversing Sister Abigail with a roll up and then hitting the Superman punch. Three tables broke during this. Roman hit a spear from the apron onto the table on the outside which looked really good but Bray kicked out. There was a fan that told Roman to “take his soul.” That made me laugh. Bray had planned to throw Roman into a kendo stick that was wedged into the turnbuckle but Roman threw Wyatt into it and hit the spear for the win.

This was a darn good Hell in a Cell match which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was every bit as fun as I hoped it would be. It was a suitable finish to the feud with Roman getting Wyatt in the cell by himself. It was a great story told with the right man going over. I believe this is a great way to get Roman back into the main event picture if that’s what’s going to happen. At the end of the day, this feud was actually a worthwhile. There’s been times which I’ve been annoyed at the feud but it gave us a quality finish. Judging by the end of the PPV, it seems that both men are going to get a lot out of it. Very satisfied with this one.

The New Day (c) vs The Dudley Boyz for the WWE Tag Team Championship

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Xaiver Woods was not a ringside for this one. The announcers claimed it was because of Xaiver being put through the table on Monday Night RAW. I actually think Xaiver Woods was away because he was being married or something. I think that was the reason if anyone was wondering. Big E and Kofi dedicated this match to him. Kofi said he was going to play the bongo drums on D-Von’s head. Big E said he would slap Bubba’s belly like it were a drum. They told everyone to show off their “unicorn horns” which is really just putting your finger on your head. What this lead to was JBL telling Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler to “get their horns out!” I was critical of Jerry Lawler earlier but JBL was great during this show. There was a lot of stuff he threw in which I don’t think were planned. When he just goes off on his own, JBL is so awesome. It’s such a shame that Vince usually limits what JBL can say. Here, he was great somehow. Great promo as usual even without Xaiver Woods!

The match itself was much worse then the stuff they’ve done at Night of Champions and Madison Square Garden. The Dudleyz have been together for twenty years and messed up a tag team spot so bad in this match. Let me cut to the chase. Bubba had Kofi up for a side slam. D-Von came off the rope and it appeared that he was going for a leg drop onto Kofi. However, D-Von instead while running decided to switch legs at the last minute. So he got to his spot, jumped up to do the leg drop on one leg, then went for the other, but Bubba didn’t go down at the same time and didn’t drop Kofi either. It was such a bad mess up and it came from the Dudleys. Unbelievable.

Kofi tried the old Eddie tribute spot where he got the trombone, threw it to Bubba and went down. The ref didn’t buy it and the match continued. What was funny actually was that Bubba was begging the referee to not DQ them and told them to listen to the fans. However, not only were the fans mostly behind the New Day during the match, when Eddie usually did this spot, he would be cheered! Big E would then hit Bubba with the instrument behind the ref’s back and Kofi hit Trouble in Paradise for the win. I thought this match was very underwhelming as I expected more considering the amount of months this feud has went on. However, all I can say is the right team went over. With that being said and the botched spot earlier in mind, it was still a pretty average tag team match. Not the best pay-off to months of build though.

Charlotte (c) vs Nikki Bella for the Divas Championship

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It was announced on the pre-show that no divas were allowed at ringside for this match, which completely derailed my prediction of Paige screwing over Charlotte! However, I was still convinced that Nikki was somehow going to win the title. I predicted this on SLTD Wrestling. However, it appeared that I was wrong all along!

There’s something about how Charlotte throws her punches that was really off-putting to me. She doesn’t do like a jab, an uppercut or a hook or anything like that. What she does is make a fist and pokes Nikki with her fist. I think Charlotte needs to work on her striking game in the future because it came off so bad in this match.

There were “We Want Sasha” chants. There was a German suplex spot which I thought was so badly screwed up. Nikki was going for a German suplex from the top rope but she had hardly any grip. So what happens is that looked like she was going to try and suplex Charlotte by wrapping her arms around Charlotte’s waist rather than her stomach. It was the most ludicrous looking German suplex I’ve ever seen. The only redeeming quality of it was that Charlotte was able to land on her feet after Nikki tried this “German suplex” which actually made it look sort of cool. Nikki hit the Alabama slam on Charlotte onto the ring apron which looked like it sucked for Charlotte. This went along well with the story of the match, with Nikki targeting the back. Nikki went for the Rack Attack but Charlotte countered it into a botchy looking figure-eight leg lock for the win.

I didn’t like this match. It was certainly not the worst women’s match I’ve seen on PPV. However, it just didn’t come off looking good. I like the idea of wrestlers working over body-parts during the match and it worked well during their match at Night of Champions. However, it did not look good when they did it in this match. This match just seemed like a desperate attempt from WWE to turn this Divas Revolution thing around with Charlotte and Nikki pulling out all the stops and put on a very good match. The only problem with that is you’re asking Charlotte and NIKKI BELLA to put on this “great” match. Nikki is not good enough to put on this type of match and Charlotte is not THAT experienced in the ring. It just came off a cheap rip-off of the stuff Bayley and Sasha were doing on NXT. Nikki and Charlotte were going for all of these great spots in theory but a lot of them were just messed up. The only one which kind of looked cool and was pulled off great was Nikki’s Alabama slam. It was not worth giving the ten minutes they gave them on this show. This match was longer than the Tag Team title and US title matches and it just never justified the amount of time they were given. Sorry girls. You need to do more to impress me. I also don’t think Charlotte was ready for this title run in the first place and this match has not really done a lot to help the cause. Let’s see what they do on RAW anyway.

Seth Rollins (c) vs Kane for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

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This match wasn’t really that great. It was certainly not that great considering all of the weeks of hype this feud has been given. The issue is that Seth wrestled this match with Kane like it was just another guy, with the exception of the spot where Seth tried to knock Kane down but he wouldn’t budge. For weeks, the storyline was that Seth was trash-talking Kane when he was in a suit but was scared of him when he had his ring-gear on. However, he treated this match like it was nothing and pinned Kane clean in the middle. The storyline they had built up for so long didn’t even play into the match itself and the finish. All I can think at this point is that it’s going to continue on into RAW where Kane is fired or somehow spared from being fired. We shall see.

Bryan Alvarez thinks that Kane got injured when he took the powerbomb from Seth onto the table. It actually makes sense as Kane didn’t really do a lot after the spot happened and the doctor came to check on him. I hope that’s not the case but it’s really not good news for Seth if he is hurting all of these lads in high-profile matches, whether it was a mistake or not. He broke John Cena’s nose, we have no idea what the future is of Sting after what happened at Night of Champions and he might have injured Kane too. Maybe he has to tone down a lot of his hard-hitting moves because it’s getting people hurt.

Kevin Owens (c) vs Ryback for the Intercontinental Championship

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This was a pretty bad short match. Usually when a match is a short, the wrestlers try to get in as much good spots as they can. However, it just played out like a normal match which had an abrupt finish after five minutes. Ryback got hardly any reaction when he came out which was worrying. I’m shocked that people are still chanting “Goldberg” at him after all of these years. It’s amazing.

Ryback did a powerbomb on his own to Kevin Owens and the announcers just completely no-sold it. He did his opponent’s finisher and the announcers didn’t even think to mention this. Some stuff happened and Kevin raked the eyes and hit the pop-up Powerbomb on Ryback for the win. It wasn’t a very good powerbomb but at least it played into what happened on RAW with the announcers suggesting that Kevin could do the powerbomb to Ryback as well. Hopefully, Kevin gets a much different opponent than Ryback. When Kevin has to work with a fellow big man, it just doesn’t seem like it works. It certainly didn’t work with poor Ryback.

Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match

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This was it. The biggest rubber match in recent memory. Brock got busted open very early into the match by going into the ring post. What’s funny is that the announcers mentioned that Brock stopped himself from hitting the post by using his arm but he was bloody anyway. Undertaker was also bloodied in the match too. According to Bryan Alvarez, “Vince freaked the fuck out” after there was blood in the match. That’s what Bryan said on the Bryan and Vinny show but here’s a bit more from the report I read earlier:

“Bryan Alvarez mentioned on the latest instalment of Wrestling Observer Radio that he received texts from someone that was backstage and the event and witnessed Vince McMahon’s reaction to the blood. Alvarez said that Vince and Kevin Dunn were freaking out over the incident because the company has a no blood policy. Dunn was seen screaming for a doctor to get out there. However sending the doctor out there didn’t do much, as Lesnar shoved the doctor down and after that, the doctor did not return.”

I will never say that wrestlers should blade for a sake of making the match better. I was especially not at ease by the “we want blood” chants that were going on during the match. However, blood just seemed to work for this match in a weird way. They showed a shot of Undertaker busted open and he looked very scary! You could tell it was a scary and serious situation which did add to the match.

Undertaker did the chair guillotine which he hardly ever does but it always looks cool whenever he does it. Brock hit a F5 but Undertaker kicked out. As mentioned earlier, a doctor was sent down to the cell. Brock threw the doctor out the ring and just hit another F5 on the Undertaker but he kicked out again. Lesnar hit Taker with the steel steps and Michael Cole was just like “this is it” as if this was going to be the finish. I know he did that to hype up the kick out but there’s no way that it was believable that Cole thought the match was over after that! Brock went to break Taker’s leg with the steel steps. If you’ll recall, Brock did the exact same thing to Kane a few months ago to take him out. In fact, Michael Cole referenced that on commentary. A nice little bit of story-telling there. Michael Cole was actually pretty good himself tonight on commentary.

Taker locked on Hells Gate and Brock was clenching his fist as he was considering tapping. All I kept thinking was “JUST PUNCH HIM!” He eventually took my advice and he beat the crap out of Taker as if this was the end of a UFC fight and if he was just waiting for the ref to pull him away. I liked this. It played to his time in UFC as a legitimate fighter. Brock then ripped up the ring mat but Undertaker used that to his advantage. He chokeslammed and tombstoned Lesnar onto the hard floor but Lesnar kicked out. Brock won the match with a low blow and a F5 to pick up the win. The right man won this one. I don’t think it was as good as their Summerslam match but it was a good Hell in a Cell match. It finished as it should have and it was a fitting end to the feud.

At the end of the night, Undertaker was stood alone in the ring as the crowd applauded him. The Wyatt Family came out. They came out and simply beat up the Undertaker. JBL was well into this angle and even called the Wyatts “sick bastards.” They then carried him out to end the show. I’m guessing this will lead into Survivor Series, as it appears that Undertaker is promoted for that event. I think it’ll be a four on four with Undertaker, Kane, Sting if he’s healthy and somebody else against the Wyatts. I’d like to see that as Undertaker wouldn’t have to do a lot physically but we’ll see where it goes.

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Hell in a Cell was a very good show. It was a great showing by WWE with a lot of good matches to talk about. The Hell in a Cell matches were the best matches of the night which is great as it’s the marquee match of the night. There was a lot of shocking moments and I really hope the WWE can capitalize on them as they hope to turn their RAW ratings around.

UPDATE: News On Alberto Del Rio’s Release

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The news was broken last night, ladies and gentlemen. Just before I went to bed, WWE.com released a statement announcing that.

“WWE announced the release of Alberto Del Rio due to unprofessional conduct and an altercation with an employee.”

I posted this out on the blog last night before I went to bed. You can check this out on this link but it doesn’t tell you much since I posted it about 10 minutes after WWE.com announced it.

Since then, in the States everyone is trying to make sense out of everything that happened with the suddenness of this announcement regarding Del Rio.

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As you probably guessed, Internet Wrestling sites are all being bombarded with rumours about how the incident occurred, who was involved and where Del Rio’s career goes from here.

Well WWE.com stated that Del Rio was release for “unprofessional conduct” after and altercation with an employee. We don’t know for sure who that employee is for sure but  ROH Founder Rob Feinstein of RF Video posted an update on his Facebook of what supposedly went down between Del Rio and another employee.

According to Rob…

“I am sure the reason ADR (Alberto Del Rio) was released will come out but he was 100% let go after TV incident that took place in the back at TV. He did get into a altercation with a employee who does stuff for the company with social media. I was told that there were words exchanged and a slap which is all just allegations at this point. When I first read the WWE release the wording struck me very strange as WWE would never say that unless they were super hot about the firing. It’s no secret that he has expressed lots of interest in going back to Mexico as soon as his contract expired, and he is very well off.

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Feinstein later posted an update on the story saying:

“I was also told by someone who was there that this was involving a (WWE).com guy who works for their website and there are a few versions out there that one the guy said something racist to Del Rio or that Del Rio left catering and did not put his trash or plate away and a comment was made to him which made him snap. Again these are just the rumours that I was told but usually they are pretty dead on. ADR is one of those guys who does not take shit from everyone. He has a legit MMA background and is very well off. This was his last year in the WWE as he wanted out but decided to stay with the company for his last year because he was basically doing it for a friend. The office frowned down upon that because of his stance from what I told and I guess there were already hard feelings between the parties. No matter what you can be sure that he will be going back to Mexico but no doubt he will be a top name on the indy scene in the states for some time to come. We already have made contact for a bunch of signings and interviews so we will keep you posted.

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I think the general consensus among us is that Alberto Del Rio was definitely not happy in WWE prior to this incident. Del Rio wasn’t going anyway in the WWE and had essentially become a glorified jobber to the main event talent. I was annoyed because Del Rio deserved much better but got lost in the loop. If you believe the reports, Del Rio was apparently reaching the end of his contract in WWE and was probably not going to resign. So it does seem a bit suspicious in that sense that WWE would just release him and not just wait for his contract to end.
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It also seems suspicious as to why Del Rio actually got FIRED for an incident like this. I mean Del Rio’s been in incidents like this before and the most he’s ever gotten for them is stern warnings. Like with the incident involving him and Drew McIntyre last year. I don’t think anything happened to either of them. However, the circumstances were very different. When that incident happened, Del Rio was the World Title and he had just gotten into a fight with random guys. This is a fellow WWE employee and Del Rio was in hardly any of WWE’s future plans. So the consequences had to have been a bit different.

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Now we can’t take a lot of this talk about what Del Rio did or didn’t do for the truth. It’s just what WWE says happened and a bunch of rumours at this point. The plot could be a lot thicker than we imagined and I believe there is a lot more to this than just a small altercation with an employee. You could argue that WWE simply overreacted just like they did with Emma’s arrest and just said “Right. Del Rio. You’re outta here”. However, if it was I’m fairly certain WWE would have went back on their decision and allow Del Rio to see out the rest of his contract. But again, the key thing to this whole thing is Del Rio’s contract apparently coming to an end.

 

Did WWE use this incident as an excuse to just fire him before his contract was up? Or as I suggested earlier – does the plot thicken even further?  I personally am sad to see Del Rio to go because he was a very gifted technical wrestler. I think, at the least, I would have liked for Del Rio to get one last storyline before his run ended so both parties could part on good terms. But unfortunately, that was not Del Rio’s destiny…

BREAKING NEWS – Alberto Del Rio Released!

BREAKING NEWS!

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WWE.com have released details on the release of a former WWE Champion for “unprofessional conduct”.

The WWE.com statement reads:

“WWE announced the release of Alberto Del Rio due to unprofessional conduct and an altercation with an employee.”

 

I will write more about this tomorrow but I will just leave you with this breaking news that Alberto Del Rio has been fired from WWE for apparently having an altercation with an employee.