Last night WWE held its annual Hell In A Cell-themed PPV. Fans didn’t get their hopes up for a Divas’ HIAC match – but we were lucky to get Divas’ action at the PPV. It was round number 3 in the AJ vs Total Divas saga as AJ once again put her Divas’ title on the line against a member of the reality show. She had beaten Brie Bella at Battleground but the doubts were in the air – wondering if she could do it a second time. But that wasn’t the only Diva surprise the PPV had to offer. In the spirit of Halloween, WWE gave Diva fans a treat – Summer Rae making her in-ring debut. So we have two matches, AJ vs Brie Bella for the Divas’ Championship – and Fandango & Summer Rae in a mixed tag match against the Great Khali & Natalya.
The Great Khali & Natalya vs Fandango & Summer Rae
The mixed tag match is first up, having been added at the last minute. Summer has also got herself some ballroom dance-themed wrestling gear for the occasion. The men start off the match with Fandango playing cat-and-mouse games. Naturally he gets chopped quite a bit before tagging Summer Rae in. She has words with Khali but gets more than she bargained for when Natalya comes in. Headlock takeover from Natalya to start off, which eventually leads to a hip toss from Summer. Natalya rolls back into a kick but Summer gets a jackknife cover. Natalya bridges up and gets a backslide for two. Dropkick from Summer but she takes too long posing – and gets tripped by a takedown from Natalya. The Dungeon Diva follows up with a fireman’s carry takeover, though Summer counters with a headscissors hold. Natalya kips out and gets her in a hammerlock. She throws her off the ropes and gets a drop toe hold. After an arm drag, Summer has had enough and tags Fandango in. Natalya doesn’t take too kindly to his swagger and actually pulls his legs out from under him, attempting the Sharpshooter! He runs for cover outside the ring and nearly attacks Hornswoggle for laughing at him. Khali pulls him back into the ring but Fandango gets a dropkick to the leg. He works Khali’s leg for a bit but the Punjabi Playboy hits him a massive chop and big boot. The women tag back in now and this time Summer tries to dance for Khali. Natalya comes in from behind and slaps her in the face – payback for what happened on Smackdown. Natalya gets a snap suplex followed by a Michinoku Driver. She then floors Summer with her discus clothesline and goes for the Sharpshooter. Summer however drops Natalya onto the middle rope and rolls her up for the surprise win.
Winners: Summer Rae & Fandango via roll-up (on Natalya)
Well I was getting all excited for Summer Rae to transition into a wrestling role on Friday and now she just has. I expected them to build towards a program between her and Natalya but I was surprised to get a match so soon. And it was a nice opportunity for both of them. With Khali in the match, the women were going to have the majority of ring time. Natalya did get dropped rather abruptly from the Divas’ Championship picture but here was a nice consolation prize. I know people keep complaining about her getting stuck in this comedy gimmick. But I personally remember the days when she was farting and jobbing to everyone else on the roster. Since hooking up with Khali, she’s been treated much better than in the past. And she’s been on three PPV matches this year I might add. This one in particular I’ll admit wasn’t that mind-blowing. I wasn’t expecting it to be considering Summer has never wrestled on live TV before and this match was likely very last minute. She hit all her spots and got through the match without looking lost. The only part that didn’t look too good was the minute or so before she tagged out. They went for a more back-and-forth approach here, rather than having Summer work over Natalya before the latter came back. I can see why they went that way, as Summer is in kayfabe supposed to be just a dancer while Natalya is a tenured wrestler. Plus it makes Natalya look a bit better for her to have the upper hand for a lot of the match, only for Summer to sneak a sly win. Anyway it does mean that Summer has now officially entered the women’s division and we can look forward to her wrestling more on the main roster.
AJ Lee* w/Tamina Snuka vs Brie Bella w/Nikki Bella [WWE Divas’ Championship]:
And we return to our regularly scheduled Divas’ programming with the second Diva match of the evening – AJ Lee vs Brie Bella for the Divas’ Championship. AJ is once again sporting pigtails to please me, Tamina Snuka in tow behind her. They start up with quite an aggressive lock-up until they’re forced to separate. It’s then time for a healthy slap off before Brie tries several quick fancy pins. AJ gets her in a wristlock and Brie impressively rolls through into a Northern Lights throw. Brie goes to the top rope but AJ pulls her down to the apron and neckbreakers her across the rope. AJ throws her back into the ring and pins her for one. AJ locks in a dragon sleeper which Brie fights out of – and gets slammed to the mat. AJ chokes Brie at the ropes before hitting a neckbreaker. She skips around the ring before hitting a spin kick. Brie hits her with a knee but AJ gets back on top with a front guillotine. Brie escapes by ramming her into the turnbuckle. She’s then able to scale the top rope and blast the Divas’ Champion with a missile dropkick. Brie mounts her comeback with more dropkicks and a flying clothesline. AJ throws her face-first onto the middle turnbuckle and goes for the Black Widow. Brie throws her off and goes for the Bella Buster. AJ blocks this and seems to be going for a jackknife bridge but Brie throws her back and rolls into her one-legged Boston Crab. Tamina gets up on the apron, hoping to distract Brie. This time Nikki pulls her down and brawls with her. Meanwhile AJ has gotten to the ropes. Brie however sees that AJ is in perfect position for her running knee. But AJ moves out of the way and Brie knees her sister in the head by accident. AJ locks in the Black Widow this time and Brie is forced to tap out.
Winner and STILL WWE Divas’ Champion: AJ Lee via Black Widow submission
I thought this was a better match than their previous encounter at Battleground. They did quite well considering they were in the death slot between Cena/Del Rio and Orton/Bryan. The crowd weren’t that interested, though AJ and Brie did their best to get them going. I’m guessing WWE turned Brie face hoping that her real life relationship with Daniel Bryan would cause the fans to root for her. That doesn’t seem to be the case as she’s been getting lukewarm reactions ever since her turn. It’s not for lack of trying on WWE’s part as they have been giving Brie exposure and mic time. I’ve personally enjoyed this feud but the fan reception leaves a lot to be desired. I’m wondering how we can really judge the fan attitude towards Brie if WWE keep putting her big matches in the piss break slot between main events. They did liven up a little when AJ and Brie addressed them but, given how much effort WWE have actually put into this feud, it doesn’t look promising.
The ring work itself was pretty good. I continue to be impressed with just how well Brie has improved in the ring. When I think Brie Bella, I tend to just remember endless flying snapmares, monkey flips, arm bars and arm wringers. But she has stepped her game up. AJ has as well; we saw her get more creative during her part of control and those dragon sleepers and guillotines were good submissions to bust out. She did seem a bit slow in her execution of a few moves – almost like she was being gentle with Brie. It’d be more in character for her to pull hair and drag Brie around the ring but that’s just me nit-picking. The ending parts of the match really set it apart. I wonder if my wrestling school is being bugged because this is exactly what my trainers have been saying lately. Near falls and finisher teasing is what really makes the end of a match exciting. I felt it was a really good way to end the match too. It doesn’t make Brie look weak at all and it gives AJ a strong title defence. AJ isn’t someone who needs clean wins; she needs to be able to sneak wins out from any opportunity. I wonder if WWE will build on what happened between the Bellas; but more importantly, I wonder if we’ll actually get some build towards a highly hoped-for Survivor Series match with the Total Divas cast against AJ and her minions.
Kaitlyn was also on the Superstars panel and put over the Divas’ Championship match. She spoke very well and showed off her new brown hair. I don’t like it much – it looks like she just dipped her head in maple syrup. I’m sure she’ll find something that works for her soon.
Full PPV Results:
*Cody Rhodes & Goldust* def. The Shield and The Usos to retain the WWE Tag Team Championships
*Fandango & Summer Rae def. The Great Khali & Natalya in a mixed tag team match
*Dean Ambrose* vs Big E Langston for the US Championship went to a DQ
*CM Punk def. Ryback & Paul Heyman in a handicap Hell In A Cell match
*Los Matadores def. The Real Americans
*John Cena def. Alberto Del Rio* to win the World Heavyweight Championship
*AJ Lee* def. Brie Bella to retain the WWE Divas’ Championship
*Randy Orton def. Daniel Bryan (Shawn Michaels acting as referee) in a Hell In A Cell match to win the vacant WWE Championship
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