WWE CHAMPIONSHIP HELL IN A CELL MATCH RANDY ORTON vs. DANIEL BRYAN | ****
Results: Shawn Michaels takes a bump as the special guest referee, and Triple H has the officials open the Cell door. Daniel Bryan hits the running knee on the COO, Shawn Michaels hits Sweet Chin Music on Daniel Bryan, and Randy Orton makes the cover to become the new WWE Champion.
Well, I definitely didn't see that one coming. I predicted about ten other things, but no part of me thought they'd turn Shawn Michaels heel on Daniel Bryan. To what end? What does the family get by having Shawn Michaels on their side. The answer is, they had Big Show, now they don't, and after a month of him toying with the authority, it's nice to have an ace up their sleeve. And like I've been saying, this story isn't about Daniel Bryan. He's the Mick Foley in this equation. If he won tonight, they'd just have to find another way to get the belt off him, to keep the new and 'improved' corporation hot. It's a decision I didn't see coming, but I now understand.
A great match between Bryan and Orton. I don't feel the finish was over-booked. That might seem a tad hypocritical, as I steamrolled TNA for Dixie Carter getting involved at Bound for Glory, but there's a pretty huge difference: Triple H is a great heel, and TNA doesn't have Shawn Michaels. I like it. It was unpredictable, a shocking end tot he pay-per-view, and ratings for Raw tomorrow should be pretty solid.
This was very much a one trick pony kind of pay-per-view. Outside of the main event, there were a couple interesting pieces of news – Cena wins the world title, Kane returns, the tag team division had a decent showing – but nothing you're going to write home about. Cena and del Rio were OK, but they've been better. The intro match was the only true highlight for the first 140 minutes of the show. Cody Rhodes and Goldust continue to be one of the best things in wrestling today.
You can't even blame Curtis Axel's last minute injury for screwing up the card. He was booked for the pre-show. Langston getting bumped up to the actual PPV should have made a lot of people happy. I get why the fans weren't into it, but it doesn't sadden me any less. I don't blame the build, as it was actually rolling along quite nicely heading into tonight. Most of the matches just didn't deliver. Some were unnecessary; if I never have to see Great Khali on pay-per-view again it'll be too soon. Others were just too quick, their pacing was off, or the crowd just wasn't into it.
At the very least, WWE came out with a strong opener, and a strong finish, which in the performing arts world is what you aim for. Statistically, crowds are going to remember what you started with, and the last thing they saw before leaving. So even if your entire mid-card is void of meaning, which it really wasn't in this case, you can send people home thinking they got a good performance. This clearly isn't the worst pay-per-view of October, and I'd put it above Night of Champions for sure, but I can't help but be disappointed by matches like Punk/Ryback, and Cena/ADR that was good, but had the potential to be much, much better.