Monday Night Raw Warm Up for October 3rd, 2011

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WWE’s third annual Hell in a Cell event was held last night in New Orleans. Again, neither of us watched the pay-per-view, but recaps of the show’s results are readily available. I actually followed live updates throughout the night and was happy to see that additional matches were added to the five that were announced before the show. A lot happened last night that is sure to be a part of tonight’s Monday Night Raw at the Cajundome in Layfayette, Louisiana.

We’ll be talking openly about where everything things stands heading into tonight’s edition of Monday Night Raw.

PTB: The big story for tonight is likely to revolve around Miz and Truth showing up at Hell in a Cell last night with front row tickets, which is to be expected at this point. John Lauranaitis had them removed but they came back at the end of the night and took advantage of the John Cena, C.M. Punk and Alberto Del Rio being trapped in the Cell after their match. WWE really should have started Laurinaitis’ involvement before his appearance in the Cena/Punk match at Money in the Bank if they were going to use him so extensively.

Brian: How about Lauranaitis having zero involvement?! He stinks. I would be more intrigued if his role was taken by Stephanie McMahon. Having it seem like she’s working to undermine Hunter in order to get someone, possibly daddy, back into power would be cool.

Sheamus is getting a huge face run right now. Every match he’s been in recently has seen him get the pinfall victory. The fans seem to be eating it up. Has your view of Sheamus changed or is he still unwatchable?

PTB:I’m warming to him somewhat, but it’s going to take more than booking him against villains to make him watchable. He needs a solid feud that gives him a chance to really work in the ring and while it looked like his next was going to be with Mark Henry at one point, Christian is a much better option for that.

In terms of fan reaction reversing, it sounds like the Sin Cara match didn’t go over well with the crowd at the pay-per-view, but has it gone over with any crowd lately? Both men were a factor in the battle royal for Cody Rhodes’ Intercontinental title last week, but it added up to about sixty seconds of dedicated air time. I think they dedicated a few minutes to it on Smackdown as well, but for a card with five matches this one seemed like an afterthought.

Brian: The Sin Cara vs Sin Cara feud was handled very poorly in my opinion. Part of the problem was the confusion that was created by the announcing team. It seemed like any time the original and impostor were in the ring, they couldn’t figure out who was who. The fans were utterly confused too.

Before the original Sin Cara was suspended, he wore a white outfit. Why not bring him out in that? Also, why was there a second Sin Cara. In his promo from Smackdown on Friday, the impostor said something about the original “stealing his identity”. Why not have him state that the minute the original came back and build the feud off of that?

I would have been excited to see that match, but the horrible build up and execution by creative ruined it.

PTB: Speaking of afterthoughts, a bonus tag team title match was added to the card that saw “Air Boom” defeat Vicky Guerrero’s team of Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. This was set up pretty clearly on Raw last week after the champions came out to save Zack Ryder and the ensuing six-man tag match. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t promote the match at all.

Brian: The other thing I don’t understand is why you wouldn’t put the belts on Ziggler and Swagger. Ziggler already has the US belt. Make Guerrero the manager of champions and have her put together a monster stable of about 5 guys. She’s already the most hated person on WWE TV, next to Michael Cole. She could really get some people over that need it.

PTB: Five guys is a lot, but I like what you’re thinking there.  A second bonus championship match came later in the night as Cody Rhodes defended the Intercontinental Championship against John Morrison. This one wasn’t as obvious a pairing as the tag match, but throwing these things in late doesn’t help sell the show and I know I’d be gunshy about paying fifty dollars for a five match card.

Brian: $55 at my house. Remember when they were $24 and they meant something?

PTB: An interesting element of Rhodes appearance on the show was his bringing back the classic Intercontinental title belt with the white strap. Anything they can do to breathe life into the mid-card championship is welcome. I think Ziggler and Rhodes could do great things if they’re given some time to develop.

Brian: Love love love the classic belt!!! Maybe now they will give it the attention the old one was given.

To be honest, i wouldn’t mind seeing Rhodes vs Morrison. Morrison is phenomenal in the ring, but apparently has some issues backstage which continue to keep him off that top tier. Rhodes isn’t bad in the ring, he’s just completely devoid of charisma. It’s as if any drop of mic skills was transferred from Dusty to Dustin.

PTB: The bonus matches pushed the tension between Triple H and John Laurinaitis. As glad as I was to see Laurinaitis involved in a straightforward angle with the disgruntled group represented by Otunga on Raw last week, it now looks like he’s going to be involved in everything.

Brian: Ugh!!!!

PTB: I was really happy to see Mark Henry fend off Randy Orton and remain World Heavyweight Champion. A lot of that is wrapped up in not really caring for Orton, but it definitely helps keep Henry as a monster heel. He even kicked out from an RKO.

Brian: Couldn’t agree more. I just want to see someone hold on to a belt for more than a month. I do like this monster heel push they are giving Henry. I love the concept of having an unbeatable bad guy taking down everything in his path. I’m afraid that they are setting up Henry to get beaten by UT at WM. It just sucks that they are going to put so much stock into a guy just to have him beaten by someone that wrestles once a year.

PTB: The Divas title match finally saw Beth Phoenix finally take the championship from Kelly Kelly. From what I read, it looks like this match saw another impressive display of moves and submission holds, but it looks like it still may have been shorter than every other match on the card.

Brian: In many cases, the divas are more technically sound than their male counterparts. My wife makes fun of me because she thinks I like them for their boobs only. :). The divas are actually pretty impressive.

PTB: I was honestly a little surprised by the outcome of the WWE Championship match. Putting the title back on Del Rio doesn’t add all that much for me here but I did like the booking for the finish. It made good use of both aspect of the gimmick match type seeing the Champion literally locked out of the finish to a triple threat title match.

Brian: I was surprised to see the title switch hands too. Del Rio is still one of my favs in the ring. He’s such a great technician and I love the way he focuses on a single body part. Every move has a purpose. However, his mic skills seem to be diminishing. It’s especially noticeable around guys like Cena and Punk.

The creative booking of getting Cena outside the cell was pretty cool. We’ll see where all of this goes on Raw.

Below is a complete run down of results from last night’s Hell in a Cell. All photos courtesy of WWE.com.

  • Sheamus defeated Christian by pinfall
  • Original Sin Cara defeated Dark Sin Cara by pinfall
  • Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston retain their WWE Tag Team Championships against Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger with Vicky Guerrero
  • Mark Henry defeated Randy Orton to reamin the World Heavyweight Champion
  • Cody Rhodes defeated John Morrison to remain the Intercontinental Champion
  • Beth Phoenix defeated Kelly Kelly for the WWE Divas Championship
  • Alberto Del Rio defeated C.M. Punk and John Cena in the first ever Triple Threat Hell in a Cell match for the WWE Championship

Read more about World Wrestling Entertainment on MyLatestDistraction.

Keep up with all of our weekly Monday Night Raw Warm Ups:
Hell in a Cell 2011 edition / October 10th, 2011 edition

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