I’ve been a fan of WWE since 1991, but it feels like it’s becoming more and more of a chore to watch these days.
Why? Well the main reason is undeniably the not-so-recent move to 3 hour episodes of Raw.
It’s just too much. On Tuesdays I now watch through it in about 20 minutes by just fast forwarding the vast majority of the show just to get the gist of it.
What is there interesting to watch? It’s the same wrestlers fighting each other in the same matches every single week, leading up to them expecting viewers to pay however much it is once a month to see the same matches that they just saw for free a few days earlier.
The product has become over-saturated to the point of death by drowning.
On top of their 3 hours of Raw, there’s also Smackdown; 2 hours of TV time in which nothing of consequence ever happens. I’ve not watched Smackdown in a good 10 years and I don’t think I’ve missed a single important development.
WWE’s problems have been compounded by their inability to identify the flaws in their product.
They don’t realise that the idea of the slow burn is dead. You can’t have storylines being presented in two or sometimes three segments of an episode of Raw every week and expect it to be fresh and interesting twelve weeks – or worse – six months later. But that’s what they are doing.
I initially enjoyed the Daniel Bryan/Face of the WWE storyline, but since Summerslam we’ve seen him have the same tiresome confrontation with Triple H over and over again, and also seen him face Randy Orton on three consecutive PPV events in a mere 2 months. So what is there left? Compare that to a storyline like the Jake Roberts vs Randy Savage feud from 1991. The two of them met face to face fewer times over six months than Daniel Bryan/Randy Orton/Triple H met in two weeks.
They should run storylines over shorter periods, and if they find that means that they have to use more wrestlers in programmes to keep things interesting, then use more.
But for God’s sake, my interest in the product is now at an all time low. Something’s got to give.
Anyway, here are my thoughts on the good and the bad of Hell in a Cell
WWE Hell In A Cell Review: The Good Points
- In spite of The Shield wrestling in long matches almost every week, they once again put on a great show alongside The Rhodes Family and The Usos to kick things off. The match in question started slow, but it built up to an exciting and rewarding conclusion.
- That Goldust remains a hugely popular figure in WWE is testament not only to his ability in the ring, but that they simply do not make characters that are anywhere near his quality anymore.
- There was a new wrestler to watch in the form of Summer Rae
- Antonio Cesaro’s Giant Swing was great to see again. The way he managed to get a second wind and swing Primo or Epico faster and higher was tremendous.
- AJ Lee won, and that means Brie Bella didn’t.
- The fans cheered when Kane chokeslammed The Miz (who must be one of the all time worst babyfaces)
- Big E Langston’s spear through the ropes on Dean Ambrose was visually impressive.
- Alberto del Rio lost.
- Bob Backlund provided an unintentional laugh (WWE doesn’t provide intentional laughs these days) with his line about how he “…takes an interest in children”. He couldn’t have said that in the UK without raising a few eyebrows
WWE Hell In A Cell Review: The Bad Points
- Randy Orton winning his match – as a result of some kind of crappy, nonsensical heel turn by Shawn Michaels – was probably the worst thing that could have happened. Again, it comes down to WWE’s idea of the slow build, but the phrase “Strike while the iron is hot” is apt here. Daniel Bryan can’t come out of this with momentum. The fans wanted him as Champion, but instead they’ve got Orton, who they don’t particularly care about.
- I think everyone knew that the match would end with Michaels somehow costing Bryan the match.
- I didn’t even bother to watch the CM Punk match. As sick as I am with the Orton/Triple H/Bryan storyline, I’m even more tired of CM Punk’s never-ending, holding pattern feud with Paul Heyman. Chances are the match was dull anyway.
- Dean Ambrose is supposed to be a great worker, but once again he was part of a mostly sloppy match. Plenty of audible spot calling and clumsiness.
- Brie Bella’s constant grunting in the ring is hugely irritating.
- Hornswoggle, Natalia and The Great Khali have no place in WWE anymore, let alone on PPV.
- John Cena won. Now, I’m not a John Cena hater, but I just don’t see the point in having him win that title. Bringing Cena back so soon after his injury is the same level of fix as someone curing a hangover by getting pissed again.
- It’s insulting to the intelligence of even the simplest of viewers for WWE not to acknowledge that Los Matadores are Primo & Epico. Though they won last night, you can bet 3 months down the line they’ll be jobbing out to all and sundry.
- Sometimes, theme music mashups work. But the mashup of Goldust and Cody Rhodes’ themes is not one of those times.
WWE Hell In A Cell Review: Final Thoughts
If it wasn’t for the opening contest, I doubt there would be anything worth praising at all.
Nothing interesting or exciting ever seems to happen, and their idea of “unpredictable” is the exact opposite.
Give it two weeks and nobody will remember a single thing from this humdrum chore.
Buck up your ideas WWE!!