SHEAMUS def. CHRISTIAN
As evident by starting Wrestlemania with the World Title Match, WWE seems to be experimenting with having a different style of match open the PPVs. This time, it was Sheamus vs. Christian. This match would probably have been either the second or third match on the show traditionally, but was placed as the opener here. Both men worked hard in this match, but it felt like the crowd didn’t get into it until the end.
SIN CARA I def. SIN CARA II
You think Low-Ki/Kaval regrets leaving now? With the renewed emphasis on faster, more Cruiser-style matches, having an evil Kaval is really needed here. However, we are left with Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara. Having the two share the same name can be really confusing for the live crowd. Who do you cheer for? Perhaps giving the “darker” Sin Cara a new name, and more aggression would give the fans more to get emotionally invested in. Don’t worry, we will see this match again. Raw and SmackDown will be in Mexico City this month. So, I would expect a better performance there.
WWE Tag Team Champions AIR BOOM (Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne) def. JACK SWAGGER & WWE United States Champion DOLPH ZIGGLER
Outstanding tag match as the reigning champions defeated the two former World Champions. Plenty of near falls and high drama made this match stand out. While the fans can see that WWE is serious about pushing the tag division again, the division needs at least two, preferably four, new teams with feuds in the tag team division that don’t include the titles.
World Heavyweight Champion MARK HENRY def. RANDY ORTON in a Hell in a Cell Match
Great story told by both men here in this match. WWE is making Henry a dominant champion, something that has been missing for a long time. Once again, Mark Henry cleanly pinned Randy Orton. No outside interference needed. The loss won’t hurt Orton at all, as the crowd will always express sympathy when he loses. However, the win will definitely help Mark Henry, as he prepares for main event matches with Orton again, Sheamus probably, and the returning Kane and The Big Show. Perhaps WWE is preparing to present Mark Henry captaining a Survivor Series team against the men he has hurt over the last several months (Orton, Sheamus, Lawler, Kane, and Big Show)?
WWE Intercontinental Champion CODY RHODES def. JOHN MORRISON
This segment will be more remembered for the classic IC Title Belt coming back, more than the match itself. Not that the match was bad, but it was one of those deals where something that should have been made to be special, was just thrown out there at the last minute.
BETH PHOENIX def. KELLY KELLY to become the NEW WWE Divas Champion
Why did it take this long for this result to happen? The fluke win at SummerSlam was OK. But, it shouldn’t have taken Beth three times to defeat Kelly Kelly. Now, the Divas of Doom have the title. Hopefully, WWE will not take the belt off of Phoenix, and allow her to defend against the returning Kharma at WrestleMania, in what could be the Hogan/Andre match of the Divas division.
ALBERTO DEL RIO def. JOHN CENA and CM PUNK in a Hell in a Cell match to become the NEW WWE Champion.
This was a great main event match that had the story that I have always wondered why it took 14 years to do…Make someone pay for being outside the Cell. Having Cena locked outside of the Cell was smart. Watching Cena realized that he was locked out, and could not successfully defend the title (as the key was thrown under the ring by Del Rio) was smart booking. What wasn’t smart was taking the title off of Del Rio in the first place, just to give it back to him. Once again, the Mexico City tour plays a major part here. Having Del Rio go home as Champion gives the visual that WWE is looking for when Raw and SD are there later this month.
Watching The Miz and R-Truth attack everyone afterwards, with the Cell being raised and lowered again, reminded me King of The Ring ’98, when the Cell has lowered and raised during the WWE Title match there. Also, with the unpredictability of the segment (Truth & Miz attacked all three participants), you have to go back to the Original NOW, when they attacked everyone (Four Horsemen and Dungeon of Doom….it didn’t matter). You could go even further to the classic finishes and brawls that Bill Watts used to write for the old UWF Universal Wrestling Federation shows from the 80s. Survivor Series seems to be the focus here again, as it seems that Triple H is going to have to recruit a team to stop these “Outside” attacks. Triple H, The Rock, John Cena, CM Punk, and a mystery partner (a returning Mick Foley to Madison Square Garden would blow the roof off of the place) vs. The Miz, R-Truth, and Kevin Nash (The Outsiders, those fired by Triple H), along with Christian and Cody Rhodes (two men very vocal about Triple H’s reign), or even Dolph Ziggler would make Survivor Series a definite must-see event. The road there would be great as well.
By the way, if The Miz and R-Truth can get arrested for what they did, shouldn’t Triple H have been arrested as well? Just a question.
Overall thoughts: The pacing and delivery of the show was good. Production was top-notch, as usual. However, I think that, after this year, WWE should eliminate the B-show “themed” PPVs. A long feud, like Randy Orton vs. Christian, should have ended in a Hell In A Cell match. Instead, because the feud started earlier in the year, they couldn’t stretch it out long enough to make this PPV, which is a shame. Perhaps with “WWE Vengeance” coming back, maybe the company will go back to the original B-show PPVs like No Mercy, Backlash, Judgment Day, Unforgiven, etc.
The audience is New Orleans were not as hot as they should have been for hosting a PPV. They seemed burned out before the show even started. Maybe too much celebrating the Saints victory from earlier in the day.
It was good to hear Jim Ross back on PPV commentary. However, WWE must make Ross the lead PBP commentator, in order to ensure that the storyline gets over the way they had intended. Right now, Michael Cole’s character is becoming more of a distraction. There’s a difference with being a heel commentator (like Jesse Ventura, Bobby Heenan, and Paul Heyman), and being the unnecessary antagonist that Michael Cole has become. The only way this can work in the future is if Triple H fires Michael Cole as well, and Michael Cole returns as the manager for The Miz and R-Truth (and maybe Kevin Nash). Everyone suspects that Vince McMahon is the one behind all of the “Chaos” that is going on since Triple H took over. Putting Michael Cole in that spot would be a huge swerve that no one would see coming.