- Kickoff show: Mark Henry pinned Bo Dallas early following a premature Worlds Strongest Slam.
- 2 out of 3 falls match for the Intercontinental Championship: Dolph Ziggler wins 2 pins over Cesaro to retain the title.
- Loser has to be the winner’s personal assistant for 30 days: Nikki Bella got the pinfall on her sister Brie to earn the right to be her’ boss.
- Tag Team Championship match: Gold and Stardust retained the titles against the Usos after a distracted referee missed a low blow from Stardust, which allowed Goldust to hit his finisher.
- Hell in a Cell match, winner becomes number 1 contender for WWE World Heavyweight Championship: John Cena won by pinfall hitting an Attitude Adjustment to Orton off the second rope putting him through a table and becoming no 1 contender for the title.
- United States Championship match: Sheamus Brogue kicked an airborne the Miz to retain his United States Championship.
- Rusev won a submission victory over Big Show after locking him in his signature submission manoeuvre.
- Hell in a Cell match: Seth Rollins managed to get the pin on Ambrose for the 3 count following interference from Bray Wyatt, who after Rollins left also delivered the Sister Abigail to Ambrose.
- Divas Championship match: AJ Lee defeated challenger and former champion, Paige to retain the belt. Paige’s new friend Alicia Fox rolled Paige back into the ring after a fall off the barricade to prevent her friend from being counted out. Paige had not yet regrouped after the fall and stumbled, dazed and confused into the Black Widow. This led to another submission victory for AJ Lee.
I found the Pre-show match to be quite harmful to the push that Bo Dallas is getting at the moment. The problem isn’t that he lost; it is the manner he lost in. They could have even had a match where Bo Dallas got completely dominated by Mark Henry like in the Brock Lesnar vs John Cena match at Summerslam and I wouldn’t have minded. My problem with it was that the match was so incredibly short, Bo Dallas barely got in a single shot before Henry clubbed him repeatedly on the back, threw him into the corner and then lifted him up, planting him into the mat with the World Strongest Slam. It made Bo Dallas look incredibly weak, which makes no sense given how strong he has looked lately.
However on the upside, the 2 out of 3 falls match for the Intercontinental Championship between Cesaro and Ziggler was an excellent start to the PPV itself. Cesaro took his own advice in this match, as he said in the run up to this match on commentary if he were competing for the title he would never give the champion any chance to regroup. Throughout this match the dominant strength and speed of Antonio Cesaro was clear, he was true to the strategy he has talked about; giving the champion no respite. The match was fast paced and relentless, Cesaro dominated the Intercontinental Champion hitting him with moves that visibly illustrated the freakish strength of the man. He delivered two particularly vicious moves, one a powerbomb, throwing Dolph right down onto his back from full elevation, holding nothing back. The other was a brutal suplex off the top rope in which Cesaro flung Ziggler backward so hard his body snapped up into the air, straight as a board. Ziggler’s grappling was once again technically on-point; he pulled off classic moves but with his own flashy spin on them. This match was a technical master class with lots of pin variations and moves you don’t see in mainstream wrestling.
Though I have personally found the Nikki Bella vs Brie Bella feud a little bit tedious it has managed to claw some momentum these past few weeks. They are both talented in ring competitors, WWE creative just need to let that do the talking as when Nikki and Brie Bella get on the microphone unfortunately their acting drags segments down somewhat. This match had a lot of intensity but was very thin on the ground in terms of technicality or dramatic moments; the only high spot to speak of was Brie Bella’s suicide dive through the ropes, which to be fair was impressive.
The Tag Team Championship match was once again fun, Gold and Stardust have great chemistry with the Usos in these title matches. Though the Usos matches on tapings can be very formulaic this is only because they are holding back the really interesting stuff for the PPV matches. Every member of the match but on an angry and aggressive performance, the excellent development of the feud after months and months of conflict is responsible for this. The idea that the two teams once had mutual respect and were only fighting over the title until things got more serious and personal, is the right way to do a feud over the tag titles. Gold and Stardust and the Usos always put on a enthralling performance, their characters are always well executed and focussed, they take a standard move and put their own flair on it. Usually taking a basic move such as an elbow drop to a downed opponent and making it their own, usually incorporating some kind of impressive flip.
Randy Orton and John Cena’s match was surprisingly compelling despite being one of so many before it. Orton and Cena clearly knew everyone was bored of their feud and wanted to prove that they could still have fresh Cena vs Orton matches. This is why they intentionally made this match venomous and exciting. Both characters thrived inside the steel structure, playing off and to the crowd in the best way for their character at the right moment. Cena and Orton experimented inside the cage utilising the cage to create variants of the moves they are known for; such as Orton backbreaking Cena after running him groin first into the ring post on the outside. There was a strong anti-Cena sentiment in the crowd on Sunday, as his nemesis Orton fed off of this very well. At one point in the match Cena was building up to his usual comeback moment, mustering up the energy to rebound off the ropes and hit Orton with the running shoulder tackles. It was at this point that the Cena haters began to boo as they are disillusioned with Cena getting a beating and then miraculously winning in this fashion. Randy Orton satisfied these Cena sceptics by cutting off Cena before he could get into his’ “five moves of doom” hitting him with a beautiful RKO just as Cena had rebounded off the ropes. There were some fun high spots such as Cena throwing the steel steps against the wall of the cage almost crushing Orton between the steel as well as the finisher war the two had in the end of the match. The AA off the second rope putting Orton through a table looked impressive and felt like an appropriate way for Cena to earn the victory.
Sheamus vs the Miz was a fun match, Sheamus dominated but the Miz seemed dangerous and aggressive as well at times. Mizdow was once again hilarious; particularly post match when Sheamus was moving an unconscious the Miz and Mizdow was reacting to it like a puppet.
Big Show and Rusev were both powerful in their match, at one point Rusev actually managed to suplex the big man. Both giants flying around the ring, spearing and tackling each other made for an entertaining watch. Rusev felling the giant in convincing fashion after taking a chokeslam and kicking out at 2 served to add to the myth about Rusev being unbeatable. However the USA vs Evil bad guys story needs to be toned down, it feels like a throwback to the bad elements of old school WWE/WWF. It makes the WWE look archaic and out of touch. However what the Rock said to Rusev about it being more about them trashing the US not supporting Russia made much more sense. Although it could be better than that it should be about who is strongest, given that Rusev and the people he fueds with like Mark Henry and the Big Show are all alpha male types.
Ambrose walking out with a Kendo stick on his back like a samurai before filling the ring with chairs and starting on the roof of the cell set the tone for the match. Dean Ambrose beating the hell out of the security guards with the kendo stick before he and Rollins punched the hell out of each other was an amazing start to the chaos. This matchup was dangerous and death defying, it was brutal and entertaining. It may be one of my favourite matches ever. Never has a match began in such a dangerous manner, anytime either man got anywhere near the edge of the cage you felt nervous for them. At one point Rollins was standing dangerously close to the edge and it looked like he almost fell off backwards. He managed to regain his balance luckily but the crowd let out a collective gasp. Ambrose and Rollins exploding through an announce table each from half way up the cell was an amazing high spot from the beginning that had the crowd chanting “this is awesome”.
This was a brutal match, every time one threw the other against the steel walls, the whole structure shook, and every chair shot rang out across the arena. Ambrose has a terrifying lack of concern for his own well being and a fiendish love for elbow dropping people through tables it is gripping to watch him in no disqualification matches. The finish to the match was pleasing as it is no doubt going to lead to a feud between Wyatt and Ambrose. While this means that Rollins-Ambrose will end for now Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose will have some fantastic matches.