Hello everyone and welcome to Talking Theatrics. This week is going to be a little different from the usual format due to the upcoming WWE Hell in a Cell PPV. I do intend for this to be the first article of an ongoing feature which will correspond to the WWE PPV’s. Please note that this is not a prediction column. However, in some instances I may mention who I believe the winner will be, simply because it relates to the build or where I see the storyline heading. I’ll discuss each build, how well the stories have been told leading up to the PPV, the characters and their effectiveness (or lack thereof) and any other noteworthy dramatic elements. I’ll then proceed to rate each build out of 10. I’ll give a final rating out of 10 in terms of how well the PPV on the whole is being built towards.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. You can do so by commenting at the bottom of the page – although please be aware that this was posted on Wrestling-Edge so I am more inclined to respond there. You can also contact me through the Talking Theatrics Facebook Page – the page has updates on new articles, plus a handful of other items (such as a recording of Limp BizKit’s Rollin’, whom I saw this past Friday). Finally, I’d like to take the chance to quickly plug another Facebook page – Broken Touch Productions. The small production company is run by a friend and I. Our recent film ‘Dorothy’ which was incredibly successful on the festival circuit is due to be released this coming Halloween – it’s a fun little horror and there is a new trailer available now for your viewing pleasure. Head on over and Like the Facebook page, enjoy the trailer and be sure to stay tuned for the film which is set to be released later this week.
With everything else out of the way, let’s proceed into this month’s PPV column – as of writing this, there are currently 6 matches announced – Big E Langston and Curtis Axel were originally scheduled to have a Intercontinental Match on the pre-show but the match has mysteriously been removed from the WWE website. Regardless, I’ll post what I have written already.
- Pre Show Match for the Intercontinental Title
Curtis Axel (c) vs. Big E Langston
Quite simply a contest to prove that one, namely Big E, is better than the other. Sometimes when it comes to wrestling feuds, it can be that simple. However, I believe that had these men had time to build some actual animosity towards the other, it may have garnered a little more interest – especially as both men are intertwined with the ongoing Punk and Heyman feud. Whilst the two men have crossed paths in recent weeks, I believe this match will serve as the seed from which the true feud will grow. Considering that Heyman is likely to move on from his feud with Punk after this Sunday, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him direct his attention towards Langston.
Build Rating – 2 / 10
- Singles Match for the Divas Championship
AJ Lee (c) vs. Brie Bella
AJ is arguably one of the best characters on WWE TV today, amongst men and women. Her biggest downfall though is the lack of genuine competition. Brie Bella may be of interest at the moment due to her recent engagement but it’s still very difficult to cheer for someone who was a bitch for years prior.
Considering the two women involved, I hoped that more focus would be placed upon AJ’s past involvement with Daniel Bryan and Brie’s engagement to the man, but it hasn’t come to fruition. Furthermore, had AJ targeted this aspect of Brie’s life, it may have done wonders for the twin simply via association. Still, it was not meant to be.
Additionally, the great promo that AJ delivered recently seems wasted because it has hardly been incorporated. Furthermore, Brie is the worst candidate to battle AJ following the scathing attack, because she embodies everything the champion said and most fans believe. Natalya would have been a suitable choice.
Two missed opportunities.
Build Rating – 1 / 10
- Tag Team Match
Los Matadores vs. The Real Americans
Have you played the latest instalment of the Grand Theft Auto series? There’s a set of random missions for the character of Trevor, whereby he meets and works with the civil border patrol, rounding up illegals who have crossed the border from Mexico. This match seems a lot like that set of missions.
You could argue that this match has been thrown together for the PPV but I tend to disagree. Los Matadores are outlandish cartoon characters, but more to the point, they’re Mexican’s who have crossed the border into America. How would you imagine Zeb Colter and company responding to such people? Their characters are expected to react to these illegals in the manner in which they have. The big hate speeches were never necessary because these characters compliment each other perfectly – if anything, this match could be the most logical pairing on the card.
However, Los Matadores are no Los Guerreros, they don’t incite enough interest to warrant a high level of excitement so ultimately, this is where the match is harmed. This is the random side mission of the PPV – it doesn’t affect the overall product and people can choose whether they wish to be involved in the amusing distraction or not.
Build Rating – 4 / 10
- Tag Team Triple Threat for the Tag Team Titles
Cody Rhode and Goldust (c) vs. The Shield vs. The Usos
Leading into WWE’s Night of Champions PPV, the story of Cody Rhodes was on everyone’s mind. After being fired by Triple H, Rhodes went on to deliver an intense and personal promo which highlighted his family’s ongoing history with the McMahon clan. The proceeding weeks consisted of his father, the legendary Dusty Rhodes and his brother, the bizarre Goldust attempting to assist Cody in regaining employment. Dusty was to fall upon the deaf ears of Stephanie and punished for his behaviour. Goldust would lose in a battle against Randy Orton and ultimately, lose the opportunity to help his younger sibling.
Each character had a significant role in the ongoing drama and whilst the storyline serves to propel Cody as a star, essentially this is the story of the Rhodes clan fighting back against the McMahon’s – whom they share a storied history with. The Tag Title Match at Raw was more than a title win, it was a statement – a statement to say that you can throw what you want at the Rhodes family, but they will overcome the odds and come back better than ever before. I imagine this will be the final win in the story arc of the Rhodes’ Comeback and from here, they will move on – perhaps to even bigger challenges and opponents.
Build Rating – 8 / 10
- Singles Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. John Cena
John Cena was expected to be sidelined with his Triceps injury for several more months, but here we are two months later and Cena is ready to return and fight Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Del Rio is known for targeting the arms of his opponents so this is an uphill battle for the Cenation Leader. Coming off such an injury and going against such a competitor is the perfect opportunity for Cena to prove he is back and as capable as ever. The looming question is whether Cena is in fact ready to return to the squared circle or not – that’s the extent of the story surrounding the match. This particular type of build wouldn’t work with many other performers but Cena is big enough to warrant just being placed into such a match. Furthermore, he is important enough for the majority of the crowd to care.
Whilst Del Rio is a tough test for Cena’s return, he is essentially an afterthought in this case. This entire match and most importantly, the build is built exclusively around Cena’s return and I believe the company have handled it extremely well. People want to see Cena – granted, not the entire audience, but nonetheless, a large portion. In keeping him off TV and promoting his returns via vignettes and interviews, it enhances the desire to see him. Quite often, Paul Heyman will mention that his clients do not fight for free – a similar sentiment can be applied to John in this instance. WWE is a business and capitalizing on Cena’s return is a very smart move.
Build Rating – 7.5 / 10
- Handicap Hell in a Cell Match
CM Punk vs. Paul Heyman and Ryback
Everything about the feud between CM Punk and Heyman has been perfect – the themes of betrayal and revenge have been highlighted exceedingly well throughout its course, the characters have logical motivation and the stakes are high. Granted, it has been harmed a little since Lesnar stepped away, but Punk and Heyman have still managed to keep the audience captured. I assume the hero will finally get his retribution and bring this feud to an exciting climax.
SIDE NOTE – I’ll write a more substantial review of this feud in the coming weeks – I feel it deserves more than a few condensed paragraphs.
Build Rating – 9.5 / 10
- Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE Title with Special Guest Referee Shawn Michaels
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton
Following Summerslam, the Authority plot was hot property. Daniel Bryan was the perfect underdog, Triple H was the powerful antagonist and Randy Orton was annoyingly handpicked champion and face of the company. In general, I think the Authority plot has progressed quite well – the aforementioned Rhodes angle has been a particular highlight and whilst it has had its flaws, namely the frequent crying and the inconsistencies since the firing, the Big Show angle has worked and as a result, the audience is responding favourably to the big man. It’s particularly frustrating that these two stories have been handled with considerable care and the WWE Title picture has not.
Where to begin? Firstly, Bryan’s win over Orton and subsequent stripping will undoubtedly lessen the impact when he regains championship gold –overcoming the odds and winning the title again should have been the wonderful climax to The Rise of Daniel Bryan story. Secondly, whilst Triple H is the primarily antagonist, Orton should have been treated as a big speed bump, but his loss at Night of Champions and Triple H then questioning whether he made the right choice doesn’t do anything for Orton’s character, if anything it devalues him and suggests to the audience that he isn’t on Bryan’s level. Thirdly, too much emphasis has been placed on the Big Show – this is the story of Daniel Bryan, not Paul Wight. Finally, whilst Shawn Michaels has been selected to referee this encounter, his input hasn’t made much of a difference – if anything, he just seems like another character for Triple H and Stephanie to argue with.
In the build towards Night of Champions, this was a hot topic and would’ve scored very highly but I feel the mishandling of the two key individuals in this instance has severely harmed the feud – it is time for both characters to move on.
Build Rating – 5 / 10
I feel the PPV has been built towards quite well – the Punk and Heyman feud and the Rhodes storyline in particular are strong enough to warrant purchasing. With John Cena’s return and Shawn Michaels also scheduled to appear, it feels like a PPV that shouldn’t be missed.
I also have high expectations for the match quality – the Tag Team Title Match should be a lot of fun because all three teams are great in between the ropes, the Handicap Match should be entertaining with a incredibly enjoyable payoff and I’m sure both title matches will be quite good, with HBK making a significant impact on the main event. Plus, there’s a good chance we shall see a Cesaro Giant Swing on that annoying bull. Sounds pretty groovy to me.
PPV Build Rating – 8 / 10
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That’s it for this week folks. Enjoy the PPV and I’ll be back soon with Part 3 of my Heightened Characters Columns.
Until NXT Time…..