The WWE gives Triple H two thumbs down, Del Rio recaptures the gold, and Vince’s impending return.
The circus that is the WWE, amidst all this “chaos,” seems to be following a more logical progression in just the last two weeks. Although storylines may seem more complex on the surface, I’m growing more optimistic that everything will be clearly defined (and done well) in time for November’s Survivor Series.
The big fallout from Raw this week was (most of) the WWE locker room walking out on Triple H during the body of confidence segment to conclude the show. Even though Triple H is getting too much airtime for someone who no longer wrestles regularly, the episode’s end was done well. I like how we heard from different segments of the roster, including superstars, divas and even the refs, and having everybody walk away really makes it feel like the locker room has lost faith in Hunter. The cameramen dropping their equipment added a particularly good touch.
The omission of the top faces from ringside during the segment was certainly apparent, but understandable. Yeah, the WWE hid them so they wouldn’t draw heat, but it makes sense in this context. They’re trying to convey that the locker room has turned against Triple H and it’d be unwise to have John Cena out there; if he walked out, it would contradict his righteous character, and if he went out to the ring and supported the COO, the sense of desperation wouldn’t be as strong. Perhaps they could have tied CM Punk in somehow, as he has been Triple H’s biggest critic (and they just had a big feud), but given Punk’s total face turn, the problems listed above regarding Cena also seem applicable.
Sunday’s Hell in a Cell was better than I expected. I didn’t think pay-per-view would be that good because it’s way too close to the previous one (only two weeks apart) and some of the matches would (and did) feel like carryover, but it was a quality pay-per-view nonetheless.
The main event, the triple-threat Hell in a Cell match between Cena, Punk and Alberto Del Rio for the WWE Championship was really good. Having Cena locked out of the cell was clever and the outside interference from R-Truth and the Miz came right after the match, helping to advance their agenda without comprising the main event match. Should they have bothered having Del Rio lose the title to Cena at Night of Champions? Of course not, but at least it was a fun match and he’s wearing the belt again.
The impromptu WWE Intercontinental Championship match between Cody Rhodes and John Morrison was also impressive, though I wish it would have been longer and Michael Cole would tone it down a bit. I know his character now is a heel sympathizer, but when he’s not actually calling the match and just ranting about his love of (insert heel), it gets annoying. I feel like the only person who finds Cole’s hyperbolizing amusing is Cole himself.
The other Hell in a Cell match between Randy Orton and Mark Henry for the World Heavyweight Championship wasn’t so great, but it wasn’t the worst Hell in a Cell match, either. The buildup towards the end worked well, as I got pretty excited when Orton delivered his signature rope-hung DDT and went for the punt to the head. I’m annoyed that the WWE is giving Henry such a strong push, but at least they’re being consistent with his push, having him beat Orton cleanly in consecutive pay-per-views.
The only guy that I can imagine Henry feuding with next is Sheamus. I just don’t see Orton-Henry III happening so soon and Sheamus appears to be getting a push. He won his match at Hell in a Cell against Christian and scored the pin in the 12-man tag team match on Raw earlier this week. Smackdown would be far more interesting if people actually cared about matches with Smackdown superstars that are actually on Smackdown, but I still think Sheamus-Henry will get my attention more at this point than another match between the Viper and the World’s Dullest Man. Of course, the Big Show is returning to Smackdown this week, so maybe we’re in for a bout between him and Henry at Vengeance.
Ultimately, the interferences from Miz and R-Truth and the locker room’s disapproval of Triple H are all paving the way for Vince McMahon’s on-air return. It’s been reported that he is going to return in the not-too-distant future, so I think he’ll definitely be back in time for Survivor Series and possibly before this month’s Vengeance. It’s only a matter of time before they reveal that McMahon is John Laurinaitis’ texting buddy and that Miz and Truth are doing his bidding.
To wrap things up, I’m predicting (it’s definitely too early to say, as the WWE hasn’t ironed out who will be in the tag-team elimination match at Survivor Series) in some capacity, it’ll be Team Triple H vs. Team Mr. McMahon.