WWE Hell in a Cell (2012) Review

WWE painted themselves into a corner in a variety of ways with WWE Hell in a Cell 2012. The outcome to the CM Punk/Ryback match for the WWE Championship was bound to be disappointing no matter how it unfolded. At least a run-in could have added an unexpected twist to it. It wouldn’t even necessarily have to be Brock Lesnar (though he probably would have been the best choice). Instead what fans got was a lame nut shot from the referee. Going beyond the main event though WWE had to have known that Sheamus/Big Show was going to be a slow mess that couldn’t possibly make up for Punk/Ryback. While Sheamus/Show was not the worst bout on the card it by no means was a great battle. Even the undercard suffered from a mixture of terrible booking (the chief cause) and matches that didn’t look that exciting to begin with. The match of the night is tough to say. It was either the Randy Orton/Alberto Del Rio opener or Antonio Cesaro defeating Justin Gabriel, but even that was way too short. When one of the best matches on the card is just over seven minutes and features someone who has been treated like a glorified jobber for the past year then it is clear that the show is in big trouble.

Randy Orton defeated Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez)

Del Rio shows some great in-ring psychology in this bout. He works on Randy Orton’s arm early and often to set up his finisher. Del Rio also uses some standard heel tactics including repeatedly mocking Orton with Orton’s own poses. At one point Del Rio even attempts the RKO! The best move of the match though has to be when Alberto hits Orton with a double stomp from the top rope while Orton  is in the tree of woe position. This proves to not be enough and despite some minor interference from Rodriguez on top of Del Rio’s assault Orton pulls out the victory with an RKO.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Team Rhodes Scholars defeated Team Hell No (c), but did not win the WWE Tag Team Championship

Some cookie cutter back and forth action that makes one almost overlook just how underutilized Bryan is in this tag team. The action picks up when Bryan tags himself in and nearly annihilates Rhodes with a diving headbutt! Kane is jealous and pulls Bryan off while Daniel is covering Cody. The Rhodes Scholars come back and the fight spills to the outside where Team Hell No is winning the brawl. Bryan and Kane start arguing again and Kane eventually causes the team to get disqualified when he won’t stop attacking the Rhodes Scholars as an illegal man. Lame!

Rating: 2.5 stars

Kofi Kingston (c) defeated The Miz to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship

The match has an unbelievably slow start and the audience responds accordingly. Kofi gains momentum when he wallops The Miz with a clothesline while Miz is attempting an attack to the corner. Miz shortly after starts to work over Kofi’s left leg and even takes off his boot. Kofi battles back and wins it with a thunder in paradise. Decent, but not a show stealer (even on this show).

Rating: 3 stars

Antonio Cesaro (c) defeated Justin Gabriel to retain the WWE United States Championship

The two work in some technical wrestling to start. This allows Cesaro, the superior technician to gain an early advantage. Jim Ross mentions that Gabriel is showing shades of Chris Jericho when Gabriel hits a springboard moonsault off of the ropes. Gabriel tries two more aerial maneuvers, but he is not as lucky with either one. First, Gabriel misses a 450 splash. Next, Gabriel dives to the outside, but Cesaro hits him with the European uppercut from Hell! Gabriel sells it like a champ and acts like he is out cold. Cesaro hits a gratuitous neutralizer before the pin. The fans were robbed! This should have been at least another five minutes (in a perfect world at least ten more).

Rating: 3.5 stars

Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara defeated The Prime Time Players

It doesn’t make much sense to put this match after the more prestigious bout for the WWE Tag Team Championship, but oh well. Titus O’Neil barks a bit when he is charge of the match. I guess he keeps trying to sound like a dog, but he reminds me more of a muscular walrus. Also, the baldness isn’t helping. Mysterio wins it after a top rope splash onto Darren Young. Sin Cara had earlier already taken care of O’Neil with a crossbody to the outside. WWE officials come down to the ring after the match and it looks like Sin Cara might be hurt again. However, it is made clear that he is okay.

Rating: 3 stars

The Big Show defeated Sheamus (c) to win the World Heavyweight Championship

At least if this was an actual Hell in a Cell match it would have had a gimmick to add to the action. Instead what fans got was a lot of slow moving, a lot of rest holds and a lot of mildly decent brawling. The only good part about this over 20 minute match is the end. Okay, maybe Sheamus managing to hit Big Show with white noise was kind of nifty too. Right before the end Sheamus kicks out of a WMD. Not to be outdone The Big Show kicks out of a brogue kick. Sheamus attempts to hit the big man with another brogue kick, but instead gets hit in mid-kick with a WMD.

Rating: 2.75 stars

Eve Torres (c) defeated Layla and Kaitlyn to retain the WWE Divas Championship in a three way match

This is the weakest match of the night and the fans are appropriately dead for it. Perhaps more surprisingly the commentary team is dead for it too. At one point JBL says something about all the divas looking alike and it is pretty obvious that he is getting an earful on his magic headset after the comment. Michael Cole tries to call the match, but neither JBL or Jim Ross seem to care instead changing the subject to football. Eve wins following a senton bomb. The Team CoBro skit before the match with Zack Ryder dressed as Eve and Santino Marella dressed as Lady Gaga with a cameo by Ron Simmons was more entertaining.

Rating: 2.25 stars

CM Punk (c) (with Paul Heyman) defeated Ryback to retain the WWE Championship in a Hell in a Cell match

Throughout the night Paul Heyman had begged Vickie Guerrero to call off the match with no success. Shortly before the championship encounter Punk even personally begged Vince McMahon, but with no success.  After some stalling Punk first really takes charge of the match by using a fire extinguisher and then attempts to nail Ryback with a steel chair. Ryback catches Punk and instead kicks the chair into his face. However, Punk is persistent and after some time gets a chair shot in. The match has only gone on about eleven minutes when Ryback is about to make Punk shell shocked. The weak twist comes when the referee, former Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) star Brad Maddox hits Ryback with a low blow and makes a fast count. Punk and the ref then try to leave the cell, but Ryback is too quick and assaults both of them. The show ends with Ryback celebrating after he performs his shell shocked finisher on top of the cell on Punk. Nope, there are no spots off of the cage or breaking through the cage tonight.

Rating: 2.5 stars

Photo Credit: en.wikipedia.org

Categories: Wrestling Reviews

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