LaBar: WWE delivered with a dose of old school
WWE hit us with quality tonight.
Quality content and for the most part it seems a quality feed for its controversial WWE Network stream. Heard of some problems, but many noted they were few and minimal interruptions. Mine was perfect for the first time.
The quality of the show was of a high level. There wasn't one match that didn't live up to the standard of action. Not one booking move that made me want to throw something. Everything was justified or intriguing.
I couldn't help but feel like the whole final match was something out of the 1990s. The Ambrose versus Rollins match had an Attitude Era feel. Many elements or attributes paying homage to Mick Foley could be seen. Foley is a man Ambrose told me in an interview weeks ago that he is inspired by and wished he could have fought.
The starting of the match on top of the cage, the lengthy chaos teasing an early exit before the match event started and even the way Ambrose put two arms up while diving onto Rollins on a table. It all screamed of Foley in Hell in a Cell or hardcore matches of his prime.
The ending reminded me of the inaugural Hell in a Cell match in October 1997. Just as the finish was about to happen, the lights go out. This time it wasn't the debut of Kane but the reappearance of Bray Wyatt.
The ending surprised me. I didn't expect to see Wyatt appear. I felt with all the teasing of his appearance after a month absence, we would see him Monday night on RAW. Wyatt made a cool appearance introduced with darkness, then lantern light, smoke and a hologram.
The entire night delivered. Cena beating Orton is disappointing in a way because I felt there is a lot of potential and fresh booking to be done with Orton getting that win and having a shot at Brock Lesnar. However, you can never be surprised to see Cena win a big-time match that leads to a title shot.
The complaints I got from fans was a bad ending or that Hell in a Cell matches are no good in the PG era. Both statements cry of people who don't get it and shouldn't watch.
We've gotten many lackluster endings to pay-per-views this year. You certainly can't label the surprise, spectacle and intrigue of this ending as lackluster. You have to tune in Monday night to see what's next. The PG era argument is stupid. The only thing we didn't get is ounces of blood, which isn't needed to tell the story. We got a fight on top of the cage, crashing through tables, weapons, violence and a surprise finish.
I think those who argue about the PG era don't realize they've seen the craziest of the craziest things happen in Hell in a Cell and you can't have that every time, or maybe ever again. That doesn't mean this was a failure. If you think it was, go watch some death match on a trampoline on the Internet.
For the professionals, for the fans who get it, Sunday night's Hell in a Cell event on the WWE Network was three hours of a success that is much needed right now. Next step, keep the momentum and make it count on Monday night.
For more on the event including what I'm learning about the title belts, check out the exclusive CineSport video conversation above.
Justin LaBar is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7949 or [email protected].