You’re new WWE Champion is Randy Orton, after a hard-fought brutal Hell in A Cell match. Earlier in the Daniel Bryan delivered a nice underdog promo about grabbing the title in the city that essentially made him the star he is now. Miami made his phrase a Universe-wide chant, as they started the chant that has become his calling card. And while Bryan was essentially canonized in Miami the night after Wrestlemania 28, he will once again be remembered for years to come after the events of a night in Miami. That bit of history repeating itself was the start of a wider trend with the Main Event; the WWE let history repeat itself nicely in playing out this whole fiasco.
Bryan and Orton used the Cell better than I’ve seen anyone use it in recent memory, including the WM 28 match between Taker and Triple H, which also happens to be the last time we saw HBK in an officiating role in an HIAC. Both men were able to shine as they both displayed mean streaks that really brought home the brutal nature of this match. The announcers don’t have to do too much selling on Raw about how dangerous this match was, because it was clear based on how these two competitors battered each other. Chairs, stairs, fence panels, and more were all used to inflict damage on the opponent tonight with alarming creativity—the backbreaker to Bryan as he was wrapped around the ring post, Bryan’s suicide dive into the cell , Bryan wailing on Orton with that chair, etc. The intensity of this match clearly communicated the intensity of this feud, and that’s what should theoretically make a HIAC great. The competitive nature of the match also imbued the WWE Title with importance, as it conveyed what each man was willing to do to himself and his opponent to finally win the title that has long been vacant.
The finish made sense and was great in the sense of furthering the story. As we alluded to, there were certainly swerves in store. Triple H takes a jaw-shaking knee from Daniel Bryan which led to a superkick from HBK, who was trying to defend a friend. That superkick finally gave us a definitive champion—unless Vince returns and swerves things tomorrow night. Many had suspected that HBK would be central in the finish of the match, but no one knew for sure how they would have done it. They mixed in real life with a finish that HBK had been involved in years ago. With the logic being that HBK was looking out for a friend, he’ll likely get a pass on the superkick. Once again, like in 1997 when Undertaker faced Bret Hart for the WWF Title at Summerslam with Michaels as the special referee, HBK makes a reluctant 3-count after he delivers a superkick that effectively decides the match. It’s no coincidence that the WWE used the finish for the match that led to the first Hell In A Cell to create the finish for last night’s Main Event. We all know Orton, Bryan, and Triple H aren’t done and this HBK twist makes you wonder where they’ll go with this.
The American Dragon and the WWE’s Viper gave us an intriguing perspective to look at their continuing feud and a great gimmick match last night to prevent their feud from growing stale or becoming too predictable. We had HBK refereeing a bitter HIAC match again, HBK costing the face the WWE/WWF title in an officiating role again, Triple H being involved in a high-profile HIAC match with HBK again, and Daniel Bryan becoming a star in Miami (by virtue of his stellar performance in his first HIAC) again. With this finish and many other factors concerning this match, the WWE went back to the past, allowing history to repeat to create the present. And they now have a world of interesting, fascinating questions to answer come Monday night.