After the 2013 version of the Hell In A Cell PPV, I am wondering if the PPV needs to be retired. I have nothing wrong with the “diabolical” structure, and over the years, both on and off of the named PPV, there have been a number of memorable matches. But many of the battles that define the structure were in the mindset of the Attitude Era-and that is an era that WWE suits are not looking to go back to any time soon. Want something to underscore that point? Something I saw noted in several reports and comments off of the HIAC on Sunday, there was no bleeding in any of the cell matches, but there was bleeding from a non-cell match (Langston/Ambrose). Not that there has to be bleeding in a cell or a cage match…but having the wrestlers wearing the crimson mask was, at one time, expected as a result of participating in one.
So is it time to go away from the PPV? Maybe so. Looking over the history of the structure, it’s been employed numerous times, not always limited to once a year on it’s dedicated PPV. Surely, the structure would not need to be taken away-I kind of prefer it to the regular chain-link steel cage matches. And it’s easily better than the old blue rebar steel cage matches. But do we need a pay per view, once a year, named for it, if the matches are going to struggle to live up to expectations of brutality? I think so. By not having Hell In A Cell as a pay per view, it would do a couple things for WWE. For one, just using the 2013 PPV schedule as an example, WWE did not really need 2 major events in a calendar month. It’s a lot, asking fans to spend for PPV not once, but twice in October, and while neither was an outright stinker, that is a lot of money in one month for WWE programming. This is a year they could have easily skipped one of the two events, spaced things out a bit, used more time to build up feuds and the like. None of the matches inside the structure on Sunday created long-lasting memories for me…OK, I might remember Punk and Heyman on the roof, but in the main event, the structure which is “supposed” to keep outside interference outside, it failed. Understanding that was the COO getting in, and a key to the ongoing storyline, the cell seemed wasted. These two have been in a bitter feud for months. It’s gotten personal. There should have been blood. There were certainly enough chairs.
But, if the Hell In A Cell goes away, what replaces it? For one, WWE could always revive a defunct WCW pay per view moniker (please no not Road Wild). But with Halloween Havoc sitting there, why not resurrect that? Or, if you are trying to be overly sensitive to the use of Halloween, dig up Fall Brawl. I know WWE wouldn’t recreate World War 3-even though it employed three rings, the concept itself is too similar to the Rumble, and I don’t know that the roster could really fill up three rings and be worth watching. I’ve also heard cries for a Starrcade revival. Point is, there are a number of WCW PPV that could be picked from. Or, as WWE has done in the recent past, just come up with a whole new name and run with that. The name doesn’t matter a great deal if it’s just another PPV. If they choose to theme it, then it makes a difference. IE, if WWE ever stopped having true Survivor Series elimination matches on the Survivor Series PPV, I’d pull out the Soap Box and beg for that to be re-branded (here’s hoping that never happens).
I am sure we will see them continue to use the structure, but in this much more toned down era of pro wrestling, where seeing guys bleed is much more rare and, while matches can still be brutal, we won’t likely be seeing Mick Foley-esque bumps from the top of the cell through an announce table again any time soon. Nope, instead we are relegated to seeing Paul Heyman using a scissor lift to get up to the roof and use it as a safe haven. If that is how the structure is expected to be utilized now, then do away with a HIAC-themed PPV, so that the wrestlers and WWE Creative aren’t saddled with forcing matches to work with a gimmick that they really don’t need.
Would you like to see Hell In A Cell taken off of the yearly rotation? If so, would you resurrect a pay per view or create a new one? Would you have a themed event? Sound off with your thoughts.