We previewed the show for the website yesterday.
There have been a couple of changes to the show just today. Curtis Axel is out of the pre-show match because of an injury. The new pre-show match is Kofi Kingston vs. Damien Sandow. Also, Big E. Langston will face Dean Ambrose on the actual show instead.
Let’s get to the Hell In A Cell play by play:
1. Kofi Kingston vs. Damien Sandow
Sandow won the match with a full nelson slam. Kofi did some great stuff on the outside where he hurdled the ring steps and did a flip dive off of it. At least if Sandow has anything to do tonight’s World title match, he’s going to do so off a win.
Winner: Damien Sandow
2. Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. The Usos vs. The Shield
They did some very smart triple threat spots. The Shield had the advantage on Goldust for quite a while and before he went to tag Cody, Cody was knocked off the apron. The Usos called for him to tag them and as he went to, the Shield pulled them off the apron too.
Goldust hot-tagged Cody who ran wild. He went for the Disaster Kick on Seth Rollins and one of the Usos tagged in. He hit a high cross on Rollins for a two count and then a Samoan drop for another. Continue reading
Fantastic photo by WWE.com
I apologize for missing out on last week’s show, but after catching most of it, it wasn’t all that noteworthy. I saved up all my time and strength for the opening Raw of 2013 which was a very entertaining show. They brought out the big heat for this show including the return of the Rock and a good CM Punk vs. Ryback TLC match.
1. The Rock returns.
This was really CM Punk’s show, but the Rock was the big news. I was impressed with Punk’s ability to not allow Rock to steal all the spotlight. He really came out geared to put on some of his best work in WWE. And one could argue that this was some of his best work. He’ll probably never top the original pipe bomb and his big promo tonight did seem more prepared, but nonetheless, it was really good. I added it to the site earlier tonight.
He put himself over as the hardest working champion ever, which puts the belt over just as much. And that’s key because on the day after WrestleMania last year, Rock made it clear that he was coming back to be the champ again. He also categorized himself as the anti-superstar, which makes him unique even if it’s not really true since he sells a boat load of t-shirts too. He even criticized Daniel Bryan for smiling for the WWE cameras even though he’s the baddest submission wrestler they have.
If you were scoring at home, Punk probably wins their toe-to-toe mic battle in a close 10-9. What made it work is what made Cena’s promo work not really work last year. Punk didn’t try to out-Rock the Rock. He was just a more courageous version of himself. He had a little bit of Stone Cold Steve Austin in him too.
Rock himself was fine, but he did a few cutesy lines like trying to get #cookiepuss to trend on Twitter for whatever reason. He explained why he was there, but more importantly, he also put Punk and his title reign over. At some point, it’s hard to sell this match completely seriously unless they swerve the ending and Punk is really going to win. But they did a pretty darn good job. Punk was Rock Bottomed to end the show, which means that either Punk has to go crazy next week and just kill dudes, or he gets retribution on Rock in a more fierce way than normal.
It’s my favorite PPV of the year and it generally delivers. We’ve done tremendous coverage on the show on the site so far with our preview articles and all that’s left is the wrestling.
1. Daniel Bryan vs. Mark Henry vs. The Big Show
The story of this match is that Daniel Bryan is a pinball and he’s bouncing around for Big Show and Mark Henry. Mark Henry couldn’t really do anything. He was not the world’s strongest man tonight. He could barely get his foot off the ground.
Bryan went to the top of the cage to try and leave, but the every so swift Big Show kept catching him. Big Show trapped Daniel Bryan’s arm and then also had him by his head so it looked like Bryan was hanging from the top of the cage, which was pretty cool. Show had a grip on him and Bryan was hanging from Show’s wrists, and finally let go and won the match.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Bryan did the “Yes” screams after the match. (Photo sent in by my friend Jenn who is there live.)
2. The Bellas, Natalya, and Beth Phoenix vs. Alicia Fox, Eve, Kelly Kelly, and Tamina
Beth Phoenix tagged herself in by slapping one of the bellas pretty hard, immediately gave Kelly Kelly the Glam Slam for the win. Beth projects her character better than most of the dude wrestlers.
Winner: The Bellas, Natalya, and Beth Phoenix
3. John Cena vs. Kane
I say this every year and I’ll say it again; the Royal Rumble is my favorite show of the year. There’s something about the intrigue of the Royal Rumble as it pertains to the booking on the Road to WrestleMania.
Underneath the big rumble, The Undertaker and Rey Mysterio should be fun, and Randy Orton vs. Sheamus will be interesting to say the least. Let’s hope young Randall Orton keeps his cool if Sheamus isn’t exactly in the right spot.
1. Christian vs. Ezekiel Jackson
Early on, it was a cat and mouse game with Christian running around like a chicken with his head cut off. They had some fun big man/little man stuff that was fun. When Big Zeke was on the offense, he hit all his big power moves and Christian sold very well. But the match slowed down a little.
They showed some creativity during the finish as Christian was looking to hit the Killswitch/Unprettier and Zeke was looking to hit power moves. Christian finally hit his finisher for the win. It was much better than it had any right being and that’s thanks to Christian, but Zeke was fine too.
To show you how out of touch the WWE can be at times, Cryme Tyme was trying to get into the Royal Rumble and tried to finagle The Great Khali out of his spot so they could both get in. The Great Khali said no, and Ranjin said that they learned their hip talk from watching Family Matters reruns. On queue, Khali said, “Did I do that?” And then Teddy decided to start singing Pants On The Ground at Cryme Tyme. The Miz came out and Teddy told him that he has to face MVP next. Then Khali started to sing, “Who let the dogs out?”
Cody came out and told Randy that he was on board, but Ted wasn’t and Ted wanted to win the Rumble and face Orton for the World Title (of course assuming that he could beat Sheamus tonight).
2. The Miz vs. MVP
This is WWE’s first post Jeff Hardy PPV since he became their hottest babyface. With the Undertaker back, we’ll see if he can take Hardy’s place.
1. Chris Jericho and The Big Show vs. MVP and Mark Henry
Henry and MVP have matching body suits. On the back of MVP’s, his has the letters MVP going vertical down his back. Henry’s has the same except it’s the letters WSM for World’s Strongest Man.
The match had a good story, but it was hurt by some sloppy work and it seems, MVP just being overly excited. He and Jericho didn’t really work all that well together early on. But they did some good stuff later. My favorite spot in the match was Show doing a Stinger splash in the corner and MVP catching him repositioning him in the corner.
The finish was Show punching Henry in the face after Henry doing some impressive power stuff with Jericho and Jericho getting the pin. MVP came in for the save, but too late.
Winner: Chris Jericho and The Big Show
2. The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston
We have a half house here watching SummerSlam. Not quite the type of turn out that we’d get for a UFC PPV, but larger than usual. I think it has something to do with Super China Buffet Day~!
Acid Helm, djac13, Eddy Zucko, Young Randall, HJ, my two boys and I are in the building.
The show opened with DX hijinx.
1. Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler
Really good opener. Ziggler is a keeper as long as he works guys like Rey. They went back and forth and Ziggler had a ton of near falls which saw the fans actually get behind him. Finally, Mysterio hit a hurricanrana from the top rope and finished him off.
Winner: Rey Mysterio
Acid Helm’s rating: ***
2. Jack Swagger vs. MVP
Really solid match for how short time it was given. Both guys were put over strong, and it was one of those where the first guy who hit his finisher first won. That was MVP. Swagger missed the Vader bomb, took the Yakuza kick, and MVP hit the Playmaker for the victory.
Djac13’s rating: ** 1/2
3. The Big Show and Chris Jericho vs. Cryme Tyme