Reality From Ringside #84
October 4, 2010
By: Doug Lackey of

WWE Hell in a Cell 2010: The Hangover

Fatal Four-Way… Triple Threat… Steel Cage… “I Quit”… Elimination Chamber… Last Man Standing… Punjabi Prison… No Holds Barred… Ironman… First Blood… Casket… Buried Alive… Ambulance… Stretcher… Handicap… Hardcore… Tables… Ladder… Chairs… TLC… These are just a handful of the different types of stipulation matches that WWE has used on their pay-per-views in the past 7 years.

It was confirmed last night; there is no stipulation more pointless and irrelevant than ‘Hell in a Cell’, regardless of its history or its consequence to the professional wrestling industry.

There have been 5 Hell in a Cell matches since last year, 21 since its inception in 1997. This specification is beginning to reach TNA levels of mediocrity (23 ‘Ultimate X’ matches since its origin in 2003).

Was ‘Hell in a Cell’ really needed 14 days following Randy Orton’s crowning as WWE Champion in a “6-Pack Challenge Elimination Match” at ‘Night of Champions’? Did they even use the device during their contest? What happened in their title match that absolutely demanded the insertion of not just any stipulation but THE stipulation… one that has been lauded and heralded by WWE as the most destructive and unmerciful of all?

I can already hear the screams from the opposite side.

“It needs blood!”

“WWE-PG can’t do Hell in a Cell!”

“It will scare the kids! TNA & ROH is for grown people like us!”

This argument has nothing to do with blood, gore, or violence. You don’t need type-A flowing like a river to validate Hell in a Cell as the career-threatening provision it has been trumpeted as. All you need to do… is SELL! Scream in agony, grimace in pain, reflect to the paying audience and the live public that the structure you are housed inside magnifies what you would normally face a thousand fold.

Randy Orton and Sheamus reduced Hell in a Cell into nothing but a viewing obstacle to those who paid to watch them perform; a chain-linked fence meant to do nothing but obstruct the view of a No Holds Barred match. There is no purpose for this prerequisite if the wrestlers are not going to reflect how agonizing it is.

World Wrestling Entertainment, stop trying. Eradicate the Hell in a Cell stipulation. It served its purpose in the late 1990s. It is now time to move on just as you have in other ways.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, it’s now time to reflect, remember, and regret…

Why was John Morrison on this pay-per-view?

Was it to confirm all the parkour, ‘Ninja Warrior’-like segments we were force-fed for the past 3 weeks? Was it just so we could see the minute-long setup to a freefall from the top of the stage?

I have discovered that the only reason people would ever be remotely interested in seeing John Morrison perform is for the fact that he does stuff that no one else can do, regardless of whether it is done successfully or warranted at all.

In kindergarten, I’m sure many of these same people were treated to the circus, amazed at the acrobatic skills of trapeze artists and trampolinists. 20 years later, John Morrison now provides them with that same joy. Whether there is a purpose to it or not is irrelevant, story-telling be damned.

John Morrison brings long hair and 22 abdominal muscles in a whirling dervish of corkscrews, moonsaults, and somersaults that would make any child cheer and any grown adult marvel that he/she had seen the same thing in a YouTube clip from Japan. People are going to enjoy him, despite his botch-a-rific spots and charismatic angle devoid of charisma.

I’m very open-minded, mind you. I can be swayed with logical argument, empirical data, and most of all, time. What I like or abhor is not the same as yours or anyone else’s and right now, John Morrison is falling into the perception of the latter.

Could the card have been arranged differently?
Should another match have been added to the card?

It’s not very often that this question is asked; more often we ask if a match should have been taken away from an overloaded or overbooked pay-per-view. With the tepid reception bestowed upon us by the paying in attendance, this question arises.

While Edge-Swagger was impromptu, it did not help the cause by any stretch of the imagination. Following the 22-minute debacle of Orton-Sheamus HiaC, there was no hope in reviving a crowd sucked dry of all enthusiasm that might have been there. Beginning the event with a Triple Threat Submission Count Anywhere did not help either, making over half of the live audience not care about the show in general since they can’t see anything.

The insertion of Edge-Swagger was warranted and its culmination was commendable, but the entire pay-per-view could have been received a lot differently if only two more individuals were added to the impromptu match. It would not have hurt any storyline progression at all. Check out the new card:

Match #1: Daniel Bryan © vs. The Miz vs. John Morrison – United States Title – Triple Threat Falls Count Anywhere (Get rid of the ‘submissions’ moniker)
Match #2: Randy Orton © vs. Sheamus – WWE Title – Hell in a Cell
Match #3: Edge/Rey Mysterio vs. Jack Swagger/Alberto Del Rio- Tag Team Match
Match #4: Wade Barrett vs. John Cena
Match #5: Michelle McCool © vs. Natalya – Unified Divas Title
Match #6: Kane © vs. Undertaker – World Heavyweight Title – Hell in a Cell

Imagine the pop from the crowd when Rey Mysterio’s music hits after all three previously mentioned are in the ring.

What do you think should/should not have been done to last night’s card? And think about the live crowd before you start sending in your suggestions… let’s be a little realistic. Kaval-Chris Masters sounds great to me but not for a PPV card.

Until next time, mouth-breathers!

Annoy me with your assumptions and affronts… adore me with your adulations and acknowledgements:

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