10/25 Powell’s WWE Hell in a Cell 2015 live review: Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match

By Jason Powell

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WWE Hell in a Cell 2015
Aired live on WWE Network and pay-per-view
Los Angeles, California at Staples Center

The usual pay-per-view broadcast team of Michael Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler called the show from ringside… A video package opened the show… Pyro shot off on the stage as Cole said there were 17,505 fans in attendance at the sold out show. “Ironically, the City of Angels hosts Hell in a Cell,” Cole said…

John Cena made his entrance and was greeted with loud boos and the usual “John Cena sucks” singalong. Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello were shown in the crowd together. Cena took the mic and said he is still the man to beat. He issued the open challenge.

Zeb Colter’s music played and he drove a motorized scooter onto the stage. Zeb said some people like Cena and some people don’t. He said Cena is a polarizing figure. Zeb said he thinks it’s time for people of all different backgrounds to come together. He also said it’s time for Cena to lose the U.S. Title. Colter introduced Alberto Del Rio as Cena’s challenger…

Powell’s POV: It was a nice surprise to see Colter, who has been sidelined for months after undergoing a surgery of some kind. Del Rio is not completely unexpected for diehard fans, yet still a satisfying payoff even if you had a hunch it was him. He looks like a million bucks. Am I the only one who was hoping that Ricardo Rodriguez was going to give Lilian the boot and deliver the ADR introduction?

1. John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio for the U.S. Championship. Lilian Garcia handled the in-ring introductions for the title match. Colter watched the match from ringside on his motorized scooter. Del Rio targeted the arm early on. Cena dodged a charging Del Rio, who went through the ropes and hit the floor hard. Back inside the ring, Del Rio performed a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Later, Del Rio hit the Backstabber and then tagged Cena with a superkick and pinned him clean. Del Rio celebrated with Colter at ringside…

Alberto Del Rio defeated John Cena in 7:45 to win the U.S. Championship.

Powell’s POV: Well, that finish was a bit unexpected. It wasn’t unexpected in that Cena is expected to take time off, but the Backstabber followed by the superkick definitely caught me and apparently the live crowd by surprise. I am also surprised that they didn’t do something to write off Cena, who is expected to take some time away after this show. I’m not really sure why the ADR and Zeb characters would suddenly be chummy, but it was still very nice to see both men back.

Backstage, Seth Rollins entered Triple H and Stephanie’s office. Corporate Kane entered the room and said he wanted to apologize for his actions that got him suspended from Raw. Rollins told him to cut the crap because everyone knows that Corporate Kane and Demon Kane are the same person. Hunter told Kane it’s a private meeting. Kane said the only thing left to say to Rollins is “good luck… you’re going to need it”…

A video package aired on the Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt feud…

2. Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt in a Hell in a Cell match. Cole said Reigns and Wyatt are the 34th and 35th men to work an HIAC match. Wyatt pulled a kendo stick out from underneath the ring early on and struck Reigns with it repeatedly. Cole reminded viewers there are no disqualifications in an HIAC match. Wyatt set the stick up in the fence and then slammed Reigns’ face onto it.

Reigns ended up with the kendo stick and struck Wyatt with it repeatedly. Reigns set up a table at ringside and then set up for a suplex off the ring apron. Wyatt blocked it and performed a uranage that drove Reigns through the table. After Wyatt controlled the next few minutes of offense, Reigns got the better of a battle on the ropes. Reigns slipped under Wyatt and powerbombed him through a table that Wyatt had set up in the ring.

Wyatt came back and set up for his finisher, but Reigns avoided it and rolled him up for two. Reigns tagged Wyatt with a Superman Punch for a two count. A short time later, Reigns speared Wyatt off the ring apron and drove him through another table that was set up at ringside. The crowd chanted “this is awesome.”

Reigns picked up Wyatt and rolled him back inside the ring and covered him for two. Wyatt came back with Sister Abigail and scored a two count. Wyatt sat up and laughed. Wyatt set up two kendo sticks inside the top and middle turnbuckles so that they pointed outward. Whatever Wyatt was going for didn’t happen, as Reigns pulled out one of the sticks and clubbed him with it. Reigns followed up with a spear for the win…

Roman Reigns defeated Bray Wyatt in a Hell in a Cell match in 22:05.

Powell’s POV: I’m not really sure what type of “American Horror Story” Hotel” sexual torture Wyatt was going for with the kendo sticks at the end, but both men put in a hell of an effort. The crowd was pretty flat early on, but they seemed to be completely invested by the end. I am curious to see whether Reigns enters the title picture or has to clear the Braun Strowman obstacle next.

Commercials aired, including one for Randy Orton in “The Condemned 2″… Mark Wahlberg was shown in the crowd, as was Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top fame. They did not show Dot Net’s Will Pruett, the biggest celebrity of them all. They are probably saving that for later and will include a caption that reads “Will Pruett: Seeing Star Wars After Jason Powell” when he is shown…

The broadcast team recapped The Dudleys putting Xavier Woods through a table, then they noted that he will not be able to appear on the show due to being injured…

New Day made their entrance. Kingston and E brought out the trombone and cut a promo as they headed to the ring. Kingston said Woods would perform a song of gratitude for the fans if he were there. He called for the fans to do a unicorn sign for Woods. E took a shot at the Lakers. E said trombone players around the world are mourning the loss of Woods. Kingston said it’s the entire orchestra. Kingston said he would play the bongo drums on D-Von’s head, and E said he’s going to play the bass drum on Bubba’s belly “like the caucasian Kamala.” The Dudleys pyro cut them off…

3. Kofi Kingston and Big E vs. The Dudley Boyz for the WWE Tag Team Championship. There was a really awkward spot with the Dudleys performing a clunky spot on Kingston that drew some boos from the crowd. The broadcast team didn’t even seem to know what they were going for. All was forgiven when E checked in and swiveled his hips. New Day isolated D-Von, and E splashed him for two.

Ray took the tag and slammed E, then thrusted his pelvis before D-Von performed the Whassup spot. Bubba was about to tell Devon to get the tables, but Kingston caught both Dudleys with a dropkick. Kingston brought a trombone into the ring and tossed it to Bubba, then Kingston fell down and acted like he was hit. The referee teased calling for the DQ, then waved it off and noted that he didn’t see it. Bubba broke the trombone and threw it to ringside.

The Dudleys hit a neckbreaker combo on Kingston and D-Von got a two count. Bubba checked in and they called for their finisher, but Big E returned and struck Bubba with the trombone. D-Von clotheslined E and they both tumbled to ringside. Kingston performed Trouble in Paradise on Bubba and pinned him…

Big E and Kofi Kingston defeated The Dudley Boyz in 8:25 to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship.

Powell’s POV: The clunky spot was rough, but that wasn’t the problem with the match. The match never hooked me in a way that made me care about the near falls, nor did the finish leave me wanting to see the Dudleys get revenge. The Dudleys are losing steam quickly. They rarely let Bubba talk and they feel like a nostalgia act even though I think the fans didn’t see them that way initially.

A video package set up the Divas Championship match…

4. Charlotte vs. Nikki Bella for the Divas Championship. Eden Styles was the ring announcer and noted that no one is allowed at ringside. Nikki had the first prolonged stretch of offense. Charlotte came back with a series of chops that woke up the crowd.

Nikki caught Charlotte standing on the second rope. Things nearly got pornographic for a moment. Nikki went for a German suplex, and Charlotte didn’t really land on her feet, but that was the idea. Charlotte went for the Figure Eight, but the story was that she could not bridge because her back was hurting from all the damage she took earlier, so Nikki rolled over and reached the ropes to break the hold.

They ended up at ringside and Nikki performed the Alabama Slam on the ring apron, which looked vicious. However, Charlotte ended up applying the Figure Eight a short time later and got the submission win. After the match, Paige and Becky Lynch ran out and celebrated with Charlotte…

Charlotte defeated Nikki Bella in 10:40 to retain the Divas Championship.

Powell’s POV: Charlotte’s flip out of the German suplex was scary because they were so close to hitting heads. It was even scarier than the spot with Reigns spearing Wyatt off the ring apron and through the table earlier. The announcers put it over as a hell of a championship match. It had it’s moments, but we’re still waiting for the first truly standout match on the main roster that rivals the greatness we’ve seen from the NXT women. And, no, I have no idea what they are doing with Paige.

An ad aired for Survivor Series that hyped it as 25 years of Undertaker…

Backstage, Dean Ambrose congratulated Roman Reigns on finishing his feud with Wyatt. Ambrose said they both know what’s next. Reigns said he hopes he does, but they didn’t elaborate. Ambrose said it was time to celebrate. Reigns said he would see him in a little bit… Bill Simmons and Seth Green were shown in the crowd. Rick Rubin scratched his ear behind the broadcast team, but he was not acknowledged… A Seth Rollins vs. Kane video package aired…

5. Seth Rollins vs. Kane for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Garcia delivered the in-ring introductions for the title match. Corporate Kane is out as Director of Operations if Demon Kane loses. Rollins performed an early flip over the top rope and caught Kane with a kick on the way down to the floor. Damn. Cole asked what this match means for The Authority.

Powell’s POV: Who gives a damn?!? The WWE World Heavyweight Championship is on the line and they’re talking about how the match affects Triple H and Stephanie McMahon?

At 8:15, Kane clotheslined Rollins a couple times and gave him a big boot for a two count that no one took seriously. Kane went to the ropes, but Rollins cut him off. Kane ended up dropping Rollins from the ropes and then followed up with a clothesline. Kane called for the chokeslam, but Rollins slapped his arm away and caught him with a kick. Rollins went for the Pedigree, but Kane avoided it and chokeslammed him for a near fall that some fans counted along with.

Kane gave the last rites sign and went for the Tombstone, but Rollins slipped away and rolled to ringside. Kane followed and performed a side slam onto the broadcast table. Kane took Cole’s table apart and threw Rollins over it. Kane stood on the table and went or a chokeslam. Rollins slipped under him and ended up powerbombing Kane onto the Spanish broadcast table, which just tipped over rather than break. Kane made it back inside the ring to beat the count.

Rollins performed a springboard flying knee to the head of Kane at 12:45. Rollins followed up with another. Rollins performed a pair of ADR superkicks, then followed up with a frogsplash for a two count. Rollins acted stunned, but the fans didn’t seem to be. Rather, the fans chanted for Eddie Guerrero following the frogsplash. Rollins performed the Pedigree on Kane and covered him for the clean win…

Seth Rollins defeated Kane in 14:40 to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Powell’s POV: There wasn’t any real drama for Kane’s near falls, but it was refreshing to see Rollins get a clean win. One can only assume this means we’ve seen the last of Rollins vs. Kane on pay-per-view. I was worried they were going to drag this out for months as they tend to do when they put Kane in the title picture. I think we’re supposed to be wondering what’s next for Corporate Kane now that he’s out as Director of Operations, but I don’t think anyone cares. Here’s hoping they move Rollins into something new and then Kane is positioned in a more appropriate slot on the card.

A breast cancer charity video aired… The Kickoff Show panel discussed the show from their spot on the arena floor…

6. Kevin Owens vs. Ryback for the Intercontinental Championship. Ryback had Owens up for his finisher at 5:00, but Owens grabbed the ropes to break away. As Ryback was trying to get to Owens, it appeared Owens kicked him in the eye. Owens followed up with the Pop-Up Powerbomb and scored the clean pin, then Ryback sold his eye afterward…

Kevin Owens pinned Ryback in 5:40 to retain the Intercontinental Championship.

Powell’s POV: I had to go back and watch the finish again because the broadcast team didn’t even seem to acknowledge that Ryback was selling his eye. There was no replay shown, as they instead went right into a video package.

A WWE Breaking Ground video aired… The broadcast team recapped Alberto Del Rio defeating John Cena to win the U.S. Championship… A video package set up the main event…

Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman made their entrance. The crowd roared in anticipation of Undertaker’s entrance, then popped once the gong sounded. Cole noted that it was 25 years ago at Survivor Series when Undertaker first arrived in WWE. Cole noted that they will celebrate Taker’s anniversary at Survivor Series. Taker has a goatee, which would make it an evil goatee since it’s on Taker…

7. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match. Lesnar and Taker engaged in a staredown with Lesnar smiling at Taker, who then did the throat slash gesture. Lesnar smiled and backed into his corner, then the bell rang to start the match as Cole said it was the last time they would ever meet. There were dueling chants for the wrestlers with the Taker chants winning the first battle.

Taker ran Lesnar into the ring post early. It looked like Lesnar put his hand up and didn’t make contact with the post, but he came up a bloody mess a short time later. A short time later, the trainer wiped the blood away. Lesnar hit Taker with a chair shot to the side at ringside. Lesnar removed the glove on his right hand (blade?) and went after Taker, who suplexed him on the floor. Taker also came up bloody at one point.

Lesnar took control in the ring and performed three German suplexes and then followed with an F5. Lesnar went for the cover, but Taker kicked out. The trainer entered the ring and checked on Taker, which drew boos. Lesnar performed another F5 once the trainer left and got a good near fall at 10:05. The fans chanted “this is awesome.”

Lesnar went to ringside and pulled the stairs apart, then threw the top piece inside the ring. Lesnar rammed the ring step piece into Taker. Cole said that should do it, then acted shocked when Taker kicked out. Weak call. Lesnar picked up the piece of the ring steps and tried to slam it on Taker, who rolled out of the way. Lesnar tried again, but this time Taker put his feet up and blocked the stairs, which caused Lesnar to fall over.

Taker caught Lesnar in Hell’s Gate at 13:15. Lesnar teased tapping as Cole said “The Beast is fading.” Lesnar fought his way free and then threw punches at Taker, with the last few looking especially vicious. At 14:30, Lesnar spotted a hole in the canvas. He pulled back the top layer and then removed the padding so that the boards were exposed. Taker ended up chokeslamming Lesnar onto the boards at 15:20. The fans chanted “this is awesome” again.

Taker got back to his feet and waited for Lesnar, who stumbled and then got back to his feet and walked into Taker, who performed the Tombstone in front of the exposed boards. Taker folded Lesnar’s arms over his chest and went for the pin, but Lesnar kicked out at the last moment. Great near fall.

Taker got back to his feet and did the throat slashing gesture. Lesnar low-blowed Taker in a SummerSlam payback and then smiled. Lesnar put Taker away with the F5…

Brock Lesnar defeated Undertaker in 18:05 in a Hell in a Cell match.

After the match, the cage raised and Lesnar struggled as he left the ring with Heyman. Lesnar sold by falling over. Once he got back up, Lesnar and Heyman backed up the ramp while looking at Taker, who was still lying on his back in the ring. Once Lesnar and Heyman were gone, Taker made a failed attempt to sit up, then pulled it off on the second try. The fans chanted “thank you, Taker.” Taker struggled and finally got to his feet and soaked up the respectful ovation.

The Wyatt Family video flashed. Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, Braun Strowman, and Erick Rowan surrounded the ring. They eventually entered and attacked Taker with Bray Wyatt calling the shots. Harper, Strowman, and Rowan carried out Taker with Wyatt leading the way. The Wyatt Family music played as they walked toward the back with Taker to end the show…

Powell’s POV: Another excellent match from Taker and Lesnar. Great drama and I like that the rest of the show wasn’t filled with kickouts of finishing moves, as it meant more when that occurred here. The low-blow finish was disappointing even if it was a case of turnabout being fair play in the storyline. You hope to see a clean and decisive finish in a Hell in a Cell match. That said, there are no disqualifications in an HIAC match, so I’m not completely down on it.

Overall, the main event made the show. The rest of the show wasn’t bad, but there was very little that felt memorable, which is crazy considering we saw John Cena pinned clean. I assume Taker gets a decisive win over The Wyatt Family in a Survivor Series match to send him into WrestleMania on a winning note. I assume Kane will be one of his partners if that’s the direction they are going in. Thanks for watching along with me tonight. I’ll be back with a members’ exclusive audio review with Jake Barnett later tonight, and then Will Pruett and I will get together for audio on Monday to discuss his in-person perspective on the show.


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