If you were to take 100 average WWE fans and ask them about Hell in a Cell, the vast majority of them would immediately talk about Foley’s brush with death during his seminal Cell match with Undertaker. Some might also mention the bloodbath that was Michaels vs. HHH, back in the day.
Last year’s CM Punk vs. Ryback match is likely not going to be on the top of many wrestling fan’s minds when HIAC is brought up, and after watching it last night, I can totally understand why. It was a boring, boring match. No blood. Very few high spots, save for Punk’s beatdown of Heyman after defeating Ryback and some quite creative suplexes Mr. “Feed Me More” gave to the future GFW World Champion...
See what I did there? Got your attention, didn’t I?
So what was wrong with that match? The story was there, both competitors certainly did their part to try to make it as exciting as possible. Yet, something still was missing.
I couldn’t figure it out, then all of a sudden, it hit me.
Hell in a Cell matches don’t really work in the PG era.
Now, I have never claimed to be an expert in recent WWE. In fact, I’ve gone out of my way to make sure people know that up until July or so, I wasn’t really watching very regularly at all. So perhaps there are some Cell matches of the last few years that were absolute slobberknockers, in which case I’ll gladly admit to being wrong.
But it seems to be that Hell in a Cell is a match that NEEDS to be bloody. There needs to be gratuitous violence in these types of bouts, otherwise what’s the giant metal thing for? When I watched that Cell match last night, I knew nobody was going to go flying off of the top (especially Heyman, who practically super glued himself to that support structure). I knew there wouldn’t be a ‘scarlet mask’, unless it was a complete accident. That’s not what the PG era is all about.
Ever since Night of Champions (and actually, well before that), people have been debating on Twitter what is going to happen with this month’s Hell in a Cell event. Would it be Lesnar vs. Cena III? Ambrose / Rollins? Most people, in fact, assumed both matches would take place inside the Cell, and couldn’t believe that I disagreed with that idea. Why wouldn’t I want to see 2 Cell matches?
Because this is the PG era, that’s why. There are only so many ways to use a giant metal cage if you’re not able to bleed or be overly violent. Nobody is going to rub their opponent’s face into the cell, there won’t be any chairshots to the head and I doubt anyone is even going to ascend the structure, unless they’re posing at the end of the night.
In an age where WWE feels they need to apologize for Big Show pulling down a Russian flag (onto the mat, mind you, technically not the ground. Can the American flag in my classroom not touch a desk?), you can bet your bottom dollar there won’t be anything over the top at Hell in a Cell, so why do I want to see 2 of those matches?
Too much of anything is no good, as anyone who has been in an elementary school can tell you. Survivor Series changed because people were bored of too many elimination tag matches, and King of the Ring disappeared, I think, because people couldn’t attend long enough to appreciate a singles’ tournament. WWE fans demand variety in their matches, and seeing 2 Cell matches, no matter who the wrestlers involved are, wasn’t going to work when nobody can bleed or do the creatively violent things necessary to make a Cell match truly exciting.
Honestly, if WWE insists on staying PG (which I’m not sure they will, at least not for much longer), they should get rid of HIAC altogether. PPV’s built around a gimmick are always strained, since you’re building a feud (or two) around what PPV is next instead of vice versa.
For this month, we need to see a Fatal 4 Way in the Cell. Cena, Ambrose, Rollins and Orton. There’s enough interwoven stories there to justify it and having multiple men inside the structure for a single match will, in my mind, make it easier to pop the crowd.
Your thoughts? Can Cell matches work PG? What do you want to see at HIAC?