The greatest challenge WWE has faced since Undertaker sent Mick Foley flying 20 feet onto an announce table in 1998 has been how to give Hell in a Cell a relevant feel of danger without actually risking a life.
Count Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins among the few who have figured it out.
The pair sent each other off the cell onto announce tables during the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view Sunday night before the match even started, honoring Foley's epic drop and establishing Ambrose and Rollins' own era of stardom at the same time.
And that was before Bray Wyatt stole the show.
Ambrose came out first and scaled the cell. Rollins came out next and ordered flunkies Mercury and Nobile to bring Ambrose down. The pair was attacked by Ambrose, allowing Rollins to scale the cell and start a triple-team of Ambrose.
Ambrose fought back, and eventually Ambrose and Rollins fell halfway off the cell onto the announce tables while trying to climb down.
The pair came off stretchers to continue the fight, and Ambrose looked to have the upper hand until the lights went out and someone was heard speaking in tongue.
When the lights came back, a hologram of a ghost rose from the mat and Wyatt hit the ring to nail Ambrose.
Wyatt's move allowed Rollins to get the pin. Afterward, Wyatt hit his Sister Abigail finisher on Ambrose to end the show.
Unlike the squeaky clean John Cena, Ambrose may actually be the opponent Wyatt has been needing. They give WWE a lot of options instead of the strictly good vs. evil storyline of Cena and Wyatt.
John Cena beat Randy Orton in a Hell in a Cell match to become No. 1 contender for WWE world heavyweight title
WWE didn’t do Cena or Orton any favors with this match. The video package before compared Cena and Orton to rivalries such as Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, or The Rock and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. A good argument could be made that Cena's greatest opponent of this era was actually Edge. But he's retired, so naturally this match was billed as the best of their generation going at it.
The pair put on a good show featuring Orton straddling Cena against the ring post becore Cena gave Orton an attitude adjustment off the ropes onto a table to get the pin.
Cena becomes the No. 1 contender to face champ Brock Lesnar, but the bigger news is that this match started at 9:06 p.m. Ambrose and Rollins were chosen for the main event Hell in a Cell match, so hopefully the next generation is already here.
Nikki Bella pinned Brie Bella
WWE continues to forget that its greatest success with Divas featured those who could actually wrestle. Anybody remember Trish Stratus or Lita?
On Sunday, the Bella Twins put together a match that hopefully will remind WWE to do more with the Divas than reality shows. Brie Bella showed off an impressive aerial attack that included a missile dropkick and a plancha through the second and third ropes onto the floor.
Nikki Bella eventually got the win by hitting the second “Rack Attack” of the night, but the storyline of Brie having to be Nikki’s personal assistant isn’t the point. WWE needs to re-establish a little thing called work rate among its female competitors.
BEST OF THE REST
Rusev beat The Big Show
Is WWE going to have to bring back Lex Luger in an American flag outfit to get this guy a loss? Maybe Goldberg to end somebody else's streak?
United States champion Sheamus pinned The Miz
This match didn't start until it ended, with Miz's "stunt double" Damien Sandow mimicking Miz's hand going up and down when Sheamus raised it. While it appears that Sandow is Miz's flunkie, the crowd reaction proves it's the other way around.
Intercontinental champion Dolph Ziggler defeated Cesaro in two straight falls
A two-out-of-three falls match that didn’t go to the third fall? To quote Dr. Brown from “Back to the Future,” “...that would unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum and destroy the entire universe.” Or, at least we thought it would. We learned two things: Two straight falls isn’t the end of the world, and Ziggler’s star once again is rising.
AJ Lee retained the Divas title by beating Paige
While the Bella Twins showed off what can happen when you give the Divas some time to wrestle, this match showed what happens when you give them two or three minutes before the main event -- not much.
Goldust and Stardust retained the WWE tag team titles by beating the Usos
Little has changed. Why is Cody Rhodes wearing a gold unitard to match his brother when WWE sorely needs main-event stars and Rhodes is one of the answers?
On the pre-show, Mark Henry pinned Bo Dallas
Normally people change their names to avoid facing people. But Dallas hit the ring and announced to the Dallas, Texas, crowd that he was changing his name to “Bo Washington” before facing Henry. One “World’s Strongest Slam” from Henry and Dallas knew neither what his name was nor where he was.