As it turns out, going through “Hell” has its rewards. Like, for instance, a shot at getting to heaven, at least in the metaphorical sense. Thanks to Triple H, either John Cena or Randy Orton will have the chance to ascend once again to supreme glory. The King of Kings declared that whomever survives their trip inside the 20-foot tall, 5-ton Hell in a Cell will go one-on-one with The Conqueror himself, Brock Lesnar, with the championship on the line. Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah.
Maybe all those crowds chanting Damien Mizdow’s name are onto something. The Miz’s long-suffering stunt double got a taste of glorious victory for the first time in a long time when he led a three-man squadron — Gold & Stardust rounded out his ranks — to victory over The Usos and Mizdow’s tormentor of late, Sheamus. That’s not bad for a guy who wasn’t even supposed to be in the match. Miz was initially slated to compete but subbed in his understudy just before the bell, and after some lengthy brawling by the cosmic twins and their No. 1 contenders, Mizdow was finally ready for his closeup against Sheamus. Thanks to a bevy of aerial maneuvers in a late-game brawl, the match was anyone’s game in its final minutes, but Stardust came to Mizdow’s rescue at the last minute by eating a Brogue Kick meant for the stunt double’s minor-league “Moneymaker.” Mizdow capitalized on the Tag Champion’s self-sacrifice with a rollup, finally seizing the spotlight for himself.
As the Paige-AJ Lee saga rumbles toward its latest crescendo at WWE Hell in a Cell, The Diva of Tomorrow’s BFF Alicia Fox did the raven-haired villainess proud, softening up AJ just six days before the champion puts her prize on the line. The loss came as a result of some well-planned collusion between Paige and Fox, who came to blows when the latter failed to put AJ away in a timely fashion. Paige then revealed the dust-up as a ruse when she cold-cocked AJ to ensure a Fox victory and a stumble in the momentum of the “One Girl Revolution.”
John Cena and Randy Orton’s rivalry has long been a tale of two Superstars, but with a match for the WWE World Heavyweight Title at stake, their ongoing battle has now pulled a third player into its orbit: the WWE World Heavyweight Champion himself, Brock Lesnar. So it was no surprise that Lesnar’s advocate, Paul Heyman, resurfaced in the midst of Cena and Orton’s latest war of words to deliver a warning of his own. It was actually more of a promise that whomever emerged from Hell in a Cell as the No. 1 contender would become little more than fresh meat for The Conqueror when their title match did go down. Only, Orton wasn't having any of Heyman's bravado, to say nothing of Cena’s. No sooner had Cena threatened Heyman with an Attitude Adjustment than The Viper pounced from outta nowhere and RKO’d both men into unconsciousness.
Like a Timex watch that sprouted legs and hit the bench press, Big E took a licking and kept on ticking as he squared off yet again against Rusev in a rematch of their WWE Main Event collision. The Super Athlete has emerged as the most persistent thorn in the former Intercontinental Champion’s side, and Big E attacked the Russian warrior with near reckless abandon in an effort to hand Rusev his first decisive defeat. For all Big E’s power, his efforts fell short when Rusev snared him, once again, in the Accolade. But a well-deployed stunt by Big Show left “The Fist of Russia” with egg on his face and a target on his back. Show rigged a giant American flag to descend from the rafters in place of Rusev’s typical Russian colors, but Rusev then attacked an American soldier who rushed in to defend the flag before Rusev could desecrate it. Moments before an enraged Show came to the soldier’s aid, Rusev was forced to employ a time-honored military tactic: retreat.
If Brie Bella is, indeed, destined to become a personal assistant for the next month, she can at least take comfort in knowing she went out with a win. The Bella Twin gave herself a big boost in advance of WWE Hell in a Cell — where she’ll battle sister Nikki with servitude at stake — by taking on fellow “Total Diva” Summer Rae in a winning effort on Raw. Having already succeeded where Nikki failed by winning a series of stacked Handicap Matches, a one-on-one contest was little trouble for the former Divas Champion. Brie bounced back after Summer swatted her out of the air with a second top-rope dropkick that hit its mark and a facebuster for the win. Cue the “Yes!” chants.
Dean Ambrose’s demonstrations have long veered toward the bizarre, but how could he possibly follow up an air cannon of slime and a weaponized hot dog cart, while still conveying his overall mission statement that Seth Rollins is a dead man walking? Well, for starters, he brought out a crash-test dummy and tore it apart while illustrating, in detail, what he planned to do to Rollins inside Hell in a Cell (tongs were involved). When Rollins emerged to confront his onetime “brother,” a physical confrontation seemed inevitable … until a Hardcore Legend walked in to play mediator. With his Santa Claus beard flowing and a resplendent Yuletide shirt bearing Christmas cheer even in October, Mick Foley returned to Raw to inform both the boastful Rollins and the unstable Ambrose that, as ready as they think they are for each other, they’re not ready for Hell in a Cell (he would know). And then Ambrose threw the dummy in Rollins’ face. Now that’s a follow-up.
Cesaro has been crowing for weeks about how he’s rightfully owed a match for the Intercontinental Championship. With Dolph Ziggler hesitant to offer The Swiss Superman an opportunity at his title, however, Cesaro ditched the five languages and opted to make his case with his fists. It may go down as his most persuasive argument yet: The King of Swing beat the snot out of the champion in a non-title contest for the better part of 20 minutes. Ziggler, who has been battling a slump of late, never really got going and Cesaro capitalized, expanding his already diverse arsenal even further before cutting The Showoff’s late-game superkick short with a European uppercut that earned him the pin. A post-match Neutralizer seemed to cement his argument. Point well made.
After weeks of outright losses, disqualifications that turned the tide against them and left-field humiliation, The Authority was due for a dominant win. Well, they got one just in time: Randy Orton, Kane & Seth Rollins’ Street Fight–rules win over John Cena & Dean Ambrose ensured that Triple H’s foot soldiers will march into Hell in a Cell with some much-needed momentum. Perhaps more importantly, the win casts doubt for the first time in weeks on Cena and Ambrose’s ability to prevail in their fourth and first, respectively, trips inside the place where rivalries are resolved forever. Despite Kane’s designation as The Authority’s “general” per Triple H, Mr. Money in the Bank took charge in a gang-up on The Lunatic Fringe and handily neutralized Cena as well. He rammed the “face that runs the place,” as Cena called himself earlier in the night, straight through a chair before Kane tagged in and commanded the Hell in a Cell structure be lowered. The brawl ignited anew once the steel hit the ground, but it was Orton who struck the final blow with an RKO to Ambrose for the win … only to suffer a Curb Stomp from outta nowhere courtesy of Rollins, who clearly doesn't see Orton as the future, regardless of whether he gets a match with Brock Lesnar. Hey, anything goes in “Hell.”