Last night was WWE’s Hell in a Cell. Oh Hell in a Cell, once you were the defining feud ending match, something brought in when drastic measures needed to be taken. That isn’t true actually, after all the WrestleMania 15 HiaC was rather pointless. But one match that did deserve the HiaC treatment was last night’s main event of Dean Ambrose. For months now Ambrose has been chasing Rollins, with Rollins portraying the sneaky bad guy perfectly and escaping by the skin of his teeth. The closed structure of the Cell was the perfect place to settle it once and for all.
Except it wasn’t settled, many expected Ambrose to get the much deserved win over his arch rival, but instead we saw a bizarre repeat of the 1997 event Badd Blood. On that event was the main event between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker, the first ever HiaC match. For months before that, Paul Bearer had been tormenting Undertaker with talk that his younger brother Kane had survived the fire that killed their parents (storylines, they don’t make them like they used to). On that night, Undertaker savagely beat Shawn Michaels, throwing him around the ring, off the cell and busting him wide open. Then it went dark. And the music played. The lights went red. And out came Kane. It’s hard to think of a WWE without Kane, he’s become such a staple. But that night was his night, he came to the ring, ripped the door off the Cell, attacked referee Earl Hebner, tombstoned The Undertaker and turned the lights back on with his now signature are movement. Michaels then was able to cover Undertaker and the while being fearful of Kane. Kane was made. That clip of him ripping the Cell door off was replayed for years.
And last night, we got a very similar ending, except this time it wasn’t a debuting worker, instead it was the returning Bray Wyatt, he seems to have ramped up the supernatural aspect quite a bit. I’m glad, with Undertaker pretty much retired and Kane being corporate, WWE are missing that supernatural element and Wyatt is the perfect fit for it. A lot of people say gimmicks like that are cartoony, I say WWE should play it up more, we are at a time were the mainstream thing, the coolest thing to be into, is superheroes. WWE in the 90’s was like seeing real life superheroes, the bright colours, the facepaint, the characters. The OSW review podcast recently reviewed Night of Champions and counted how many people’s outfits were just black trunks. If the mainstream can welcome the Avengers and make it be the coolest thing, the WWE should take more risks with characters.
Last night felt like a superstar moment for all 3 men involved. I’ve written before about how the WWE feel like right now they’re in a transition period, breaking off the shackles of the past few years along with the idea of the Attitude era. Interestingly, they got the main event spot, a lot of people assumed that would go to Orton against Cena. But WWE decided to take the risk and it paid off, Rollins and Ambrose had a brutal match, with Ambrose dominating for much of it much like Undertaker did 17 years ago.
Then when it seemed like Ambrose was going to do it, the lights went off, weird chanting was heard, a lantern was seen in the ring, the smoke from it portraying a shadowy figure, then emerged Wyatt. He attacked Ambrose then did his little creepy spider walk thing, Rollins got the cover and quickly left the ring, while Wyatt hit Sister Abigail on Ambrose and started demonically laughing as the show went off the air.
I can’t help but think that WWE knew what they were doing by replicating the finish of the match. Much in the same way that night in 1997 solidified not only Kane but the Hell in a Cell match itself, I felt like last night solidified this new era of the WWE. While I don’t if the repercussions will be felt straight away, I feel like in 10 years times when all 3 of these man have had countless title reigns, will look back on last night as a career maker.
So it looks like we’re getting an Ambrose/Wyatt feud, something fans have been asking to see for ages, Ambrose being the loose cannon and Wyatt with a loose screw, the promos between these 2 should be amazing. And what of Wyatt, he is now apparently without Harper and Rowan and rumours were that NXT tag team Ascension were going to be brought up as his new family. Tonight’s Raw should be very interesting.
And as for Ambrose and Rollins, chapter 1 is complete but this isn’t over. WWE have tried to bill Orton and Cena as their new version of Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock, or The Rock and Triple H, but it’s largely fallen deaf ears, Rollins and Ambrose will be this generations epic feud, after all Ambrose has promised that he will not allow Rollins to cash in his Money in the Bank, maybe Ambrose will go 1 better and beat Rollins for it after he’s won it.