Monday Night Raw Warm Up for Hell in a Cell (10/2/2011)

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WWE presents one of the newer additions to their pay-per-view line up tonight with the third annual Hell in a Cell event live from New Orleans, Louisiana. There aren’t many matches announced for the card, so last week’s Monday Night Raw in Kansas City, Missouri spent a lot of time building up the triple threat main event that sees Alberto Del Rio and C.M. Punk challenge John Cena for the WWE Championship. Three competitors in the cage is a first for the Hell in a Cell match and the new twist is likely a consequence of having an event dedicated to a match that was once reserved for only the most heated of rivalries.

PTB: The show opens with the recap of the Miz and Truth’s firing from last week’s show. I was really happy to see they didn’t appear on the show last Monday.

Brian: I was happy to see the storyline progress, but I enjoy both of those guys.

PTB: I enjoy them as well, I just think not having them on the show the week after being fired helps sell the story. In some ways their angle is similar to Punk’s as we see they’ve been producing “viral” videos and the like while they’re backstage and now off the air.

Brian: I think WWE realizes that they can use social media to move stuff along on the show. Maybe we’ll see more than 30 minutes of wrestling on a 2 hour show!!!

PTB: That would be a welcome change. It also allows them to produce stuff outside of a live event which has it’s advantages.

Triple H has put together a few decent promos since beginning his stint as COO, but he’s inconsistent from week to week. His line about added security for the Muppets next month was a highlight in a decent appearance this time around.

Brian: I think he’s been pretty solid since Nash hasn’t been around. I’m already getting tired of seeing him week after week though.

PTB: I did like seeing him interrupted by Dolph Ziggler and Vicky Guerrero for a change as they came out fuming over Hugh Jackman taking out Ziggler last week. Cody Rhodes and Christian getting in on the action was fun too.

The four of them working with David Otunga to strike out against the dangerous work environment Triple H has created has a lot of potential. He’s not great here, but this is the best work we’ve seen from Otunga.

Brian: Otunga is horrible. Everything that comes out of his mouth seems so forced and rehearsed. This is the best potential gimmick for him, but he needs to show some sort of feeling or emotion.

PTB: I really liked the booking of the Intercontinental title battle royal. That “spontaneous” kind of stuff has been missing for a while. Also, the Divas tag match got a segment and a half this week and I think what happened in the ring benefitted from it. The match had some room to breathe, there were some high spots and Natalia threw a submission hold on Eve that you’d really only see the women pull off at this point.

Brian: That move was impressive. I’m glad to see Natalya get focused on recently. She’s a phenomenal wrestler. It just sucks that my Bella twins have been off TV. 🙁

PTB: The best feud that could come out of this would be Eve against Beth Phoenix. The super hero outfits they wear are a big part of that.

Brian: Ugh!!! I can’t stand Beth Phoenix’ new ring gear. The skirt is horrible!! Bring back the pants.

I think a feud between the two of them would be good simply because they are so close in size.

PTB: Mark Henry and Khali was the quick match this time around. What a complete waste of time.

Brian: I hate Khali. I hope he’s gone soon.

PTB: Vicky, Ziggler and Jack Swagger got a lot of air time again last week. Zack Ryder getting a match for the US title was nice to see, but following it up with a six-man tag match including “Air Boom” and Mason Ryan didn’t do it for me. Ryan turning on Vicky’s crew made up for it a bit though.

Brian: I’m wondering if all of the support from his co-workers is finally going to pay off for Ryder. Cena, Punk and others have been pushing hard via Twitter. He’s had prominent roles in both shows week after week. Let’s see if he can deliver.

The follow-up 6 man tag was horrible. I just can’t stand Air Boom. It turned around for me when Vicky brought Mason Ryan. I thought to myself how awesome it was that a big enforcer joined the group and I was excited that her stable was coming together. It all went south with the quick turn.

PTB: John Cena spent some time talking up Hell in a Cell’s significance and later mentioned the WWE Championship having lost some credibility and the Hell in a Cell Triple Threat match will restore it. Are either of those things even remotely reasonable in your eyes?

Brian: I don’t think Cena himself has lost credibility recently. If anything, his recent matches with Punk have showed he’s a solid worker. If anything, another strong performance at Hell in a Cell could show that there is a valid reason for him to be “the man.”

PTB: He also talked about the Boston Red Sox losing their way out of the playoff picture. They actually went through one of the biggest collapses in baseball history. I feel like WWE’s booking since Punk/Cena at Money in the Bank in Chicago is suffering the same thing sometimes.

Brian: I totally agree. They tried to rush things that could have been used as storylines through WrestleMania. My feeling is that they are rushing everything due to the fact that the Rock needs to somehow be thrown into the picture soon in order to build up to WreslteMania.

PTB: I like Alberto Del Rio, but I really don’t think he should have been put in the middle of this feud between John Cena and C.M. Punk. They gave all three a lot of air time last week and it was hard not see Del Rio as the odd man out. Del Rio is good, but Punk and Cena have been carrying a feud since February and it has been great when other factors are kept out of it.

Brian: It’s all the Rock’s fault. They’re going to throw away great booking plans so he can come in, have a match and then leave again. So dumb.

Also, Del Rio was slated to win the total at least 3 times in the last year. It was shelved a bunch of times and I think he’s being thrown in here to make up for it.

PTB: Cena versus Christian was a decent match, but I don’t get booking Punk and Del Rio in the main event. The whole angle would have been much better served with singles matches for all three and the close to the show could have been identical.

Brian: Solid match. What else would you expect from Captain Charisma? Totally agree on the singles matches, but I think we are seeing the beginning of a Punk/Del Rio program that will last for a while as things with Cena and Rock start to heat up at Survivor Series.

PTB: I don’t know that I’ve ever watched a Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. Are all of the matches contested in the Cell?

Brian: Just the main events. After seeing the cell on Monday, I’m glad I’m not going to watch. The way that they’ve built the cell now will make it so difficult to watch. They have at least a foot thick beam connecting the top and bottom of the cell. It ends up being right at the level of the wrestler’s heads. This means no wide shots. All camera angles have to came from the cameras inside the cell or from a camera man just outside the cell using a couple of holes cut in.

Another funny thing I forgot to mention was that Cole said a week or two ago that the cell ways either 5000 lbs or 5 tons. Are you serious, bro?

WWE Hell in a Cell begins tonight at 8PM only on pay-per-view. Matches scheduled include:

  • C.M. Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena in the first ever Triple Threat Hell in a Cell match for the WWE Championship
  • Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry for the World Heavyweight Championship
  • Beth Phoenix vs. Kelly Kelly for the WWE Divas Championship
  • Sheamus vs. Christian
  • Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara

Read more about World Wrestling Entertainment on MyLatestDistraction.

Keep up with all of our weekly Monday Night Raw Warm Ups:
September 26th, 2011 edition / October 3rd, 2011 edition

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