Prudential Center – Newark, New Jersey – October 4, 1999
MATCH #1: Hell in a Cell Match for the World Heavyweight Championship – CM Punk vs. Undertaker
This is Undertaker’s tenth Hell in a Cell match, Punk’s first. Punk has been the champion since 8.23.09 and this is his third defense. The champ tries to strike early but Undertaker is having none of that as he pulls Punk to the floor and repeatedly hurls him into the cell. Undertaker uses the best pure strikes in the game to continue controlling the champion. He throws him back in the ring and Punk rolls right to the apron, so Undertaker boots him off the apron and once again into the cell. Punk crawls under the ring to hide from the Dead Man, and he emerges to dropkick the steps into Undertaker’s knees. The champ is getting quite a bit of support in the dueling chants as he works over Undertaker’s left knee. Punk hits his running knee in the corner but on the apron, and when he tries the bulldog Undertaker pushes him off into the cell. Undertaker sets Punk on the ring apron and hits the legdrop. Punk fights back and kicks Undertaker back into the cell, and then follows him out with a suicide dive. Both men are down on the floor trying to recover. Punk is up first and he rolls Undertaker back in the ring.
They trade strikes from their knees and one must not try to strike with the best pure striker in WWE history. Punk avoids a Tombstone but can’t avoid the big boot to the face. Undertaker hits a legdrop for a two-count. He goes for another Tombstone but Punk avoids it and goes back to the knee. Punk goes out and grabs a chair, and then waffles Undertaker in the face with it but only gets two! He hits the running knee in the corner and Undertaker catches him and hits the Last Ride! Finally someone who doesn’t get into that move by stupidly doing mounted punches. Anyway Punk kicks out at two. Undertaker goes for Old School but Punk counters with a modified Go to Sleep (a fact that seem lost on Jim Ross and Todd Grisham) but can’t get the pin. Punk tries to charge at Undertaker with a chair but he gets it kicked back into his face. Undertaker then hits a Chokeslam and follows up with the Tombstone Piledriver to get the pin at 10:25. That was curiously short but they told a good story and the energy level was high. I remember people cried a lot about Undertaker “burying” Punk, but really Punk got lots of offense in, kicked out of the Last Ride, and for crying out loud got to work a main event program with the Undertaker that culminated in a Hell in a Cell match for the title; it’s not like everyone in WWE gets to say that so STFU you bunch of crybabies.
MATCH #2: Intercontinental Championship Match – John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler
Morrison has been the Intercontinental Champion since 9.4.09 and this is his first defense. They start off with some chain wrestling and take it to the mat. Both men get a couple of near falls and neither shows obvious superiority as they wrestle to a standoff. They take it down to the mat again and wrestle to another standoff. The pace quickens and Morrison lands a quick dropkick to the face for a two-count. Morrison bodyslams Ziggler and hits a fancy legdrop for two. He locks on a chinlock and Ziggler powers his way out of it. Ziggler works a chinlock of his own now. He changes it up to a side headlock. Morrison fights his way out and trips Ziggler, and then hits a springboard cross body block for two. He hits another dropkick that sends Ziggler into the buckles. He goes for Starship Pain but Ziggler moves out of the way. Ziggler gets a two-count and goes back to work on the champion. He hits a dropkick for another two-count. The challenger is focusing on the neck. He hits a powerslam but Morrison once again kicks out. A Stinger Splash gets another two-count for Ziggler.
The challenger is completely in control of the champion, and he’s getting more and more confident. IN fact he gets too confident, as Morrison counters a side suplex with a DDT to buy himself some time to recover. Both men rise and exchange strikes, and Morrison gets the better of it. He hits a leg lariat and then the standing shooting star press but Ziggler kicks out. Ziggler comes back with an O’Connor Roll and grabs the ropes but the referee sees him and won’t make the count. Morrison responds with a schoolboy rollup for two. Ziggler ducks a running knee and hits a chin checker for yet another near-fall. He takes Morrison up top but gets knocked down. Morrison goes for a flying something, and Ziggler tries to dropkick him out of the air, but Morrison catches him with a catapult for two! That was a cool spot. Ziggler comes back with a bridging German Suplex for a two-count. He follows up with a Fame-Ass-Er for another two-count. Ziggler is visibly frustrated now. He charges into a boot and Morrison goes for Starship Pain but Ziggler awesomely counters it with a slam for two. Ziggler tries the Zig Zag but Morrison hangs on to the ropes and Ziggler’s head crashes into the mat. Moments later Morrison hits Starship Pain to get the pin and retain the title at 15:42. The crowd was dead for most of this, and since there wasn’t really a good reason for them to feud (Mr. Ziggles is terrible). I mean these guys are both good enough so the match was adequate, but nothing more. I really think they should have swapped the running time of this match and the opener.
MATCH #3: Divas Championship Match – Mickie James vs. Alicia Fox
Mickie has been the champion since 7.26.09 and this is her third defense. They engage in a tense lockup to start and no one cares. Alicia goes after the arm but Mickie reverses and gets a quick takedown for a one-count. Mickie hits a monkey flip and a snap mare followed by a dropkick to the face. She hits a neckbreaker and goes up top, but Alicia pulls her leg out from underneath her and Mickie crashes into the canvas. Alicia covers for a two-count. The challenger gets arrogant and it prevents her from being able to put Mickie away. Eventually Mickie fights back with forearms and clotheslines. She hits a hurricanrana out of the corner and then a Thesz Press off the top rope for two. She goes for the DDT but Alicia rams her into the corner and then hits a nice bridging Northern Lights Suplex for two. Alicia goes for the Scissors Kick but Mickie avoids it and almost murders Alicia with the DDT to get the pin and retain the title at 5:21. That wasn’t very good. What do people see in Mickie James?
MATCH #4: Unified Tag Team Championship Match – Chris Jericho & Big Show vs. Batista & Rey Mysterio
Jericho & Show have been the champions since 7.26.09 and this is their fourth defense. They are awesome tag team champions I must say. Mysterio and Jericho start the match, and they brought a lot of awesome in 2009. Jericho strikes first but Mysterio fights back with an awesome Asai Moonsault for two and then makes the tag. Batista uses his power to wear Jericho down in the “bad part of town.” Mysterio and Batista make quick tags and keep Jericho grounded. After a few minutes Show tags in and Batista asks Mysterio to tag in the Biggest Little Man wants to face the Biggest Big Man. It goes about how one would expect, with Show absolutely dominating. Show sets Mysterio up on the top rope and chops him down to the floor. He pulls Mysterio into the ring with one hand and drops him with a boot to the face. Jericho tags back in and things are going the champions’ way. Mysterio comes back with an enziguiri and tries the 619 but Jericho was waiting for him and clobbers him with a clothesline. Jericho goes for a super belly-to-back suplex but Mysterio shoves him back to the mat and hits a seated senton off the top rope. Finally he makes the tag.
Batista is on fire, knocking Show off the apron and hitting Jericho with a sidewalk slam for two. He catches Jericho in a cross body attempt and when Jericho slips out Batista nails him with a Spear. Batista goes for the Batista Bomb but when Show comes in the ring he switches gears and throws Jericho into Show to send the big man to the floor. Batista then flattens Jericho with a spinebuster but it only gets two. Show grabs Batista’s leg from the floor to distract him and Jericho lands the Codebreaker but Batista kicks out at two! Jericho tags out and Show goes for a legdrop but misses. Batista tries to fight back but Show grabs him with a Chokeslam and Mysterio has to break up the cover! Jericho comes back in and misses a Lionsault. Tags are made and Mysterio and Show are going at it. Mysterio uses his speed and agility to maneuver Show into a DDT for a two-count. Back on their feet Show charges and Mysterio low bridges him to send him to the floor. Jericho also charges and Mysterio positions him for the 619, and Jericho moves but Mysterio is able to connect with Show on the floor! That’s awesome. Mysterio then backdrops Jericho and Show catches him, only for both of them to get taken down with a Batista spear. Back in the ring Mysterio finally hits the 619. He goes for the West Coast Pop but Show swats him out of the air with a knockout punch to get the win and retain the titles at 13:43. JR calls Show’s right hand “carcinogenic. Bummer for Rey Mysterio getting punched in the face AND cancer from it. As far as the match though, this is kind of an overlooked gem because these four worked awesomely together, highlighted each other’s strengths and did all kinds of cool spots.
MATCH #5: Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE Championship – John Cena vs. Randy Orton
Cena has been the champion since 9.13.09 and this is his first defense. In a huge shock, Cena is the aggressor early on. Orton tries to escape but the door is padlocked shut. Cena gives chase and back in the ring Orton slugs away. Orton hits a powerslam for two, and appears to be one step ahead of the champion so far. He knocks Cena off the apron and into the cell. He follows Cena out and stomps away at him. Cena fires back with punches. He picks Orton up in a slam position and rams his back into the cell. He tries to ram Orton’s face into it but Orton slides out the back door and hurls Cena into the cell, and then into the ring steps. Orton stomps on Cena’s hand and throws the ring steps into the ring. He goes for the hanging DDT onto the steps but Cena blocks it and backdrops him to the floor. Cena tries to throw the ring steps at Orton but it misses. Back in the ring Orton hits the inverted backbreaker for a two-count. Orton drops a knee. He tries a charge in the corner but runs into a boot. Cena fires up and hits a couple of shoulderblocks and the Proto-Plex. He hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle and tries the Attitude Adjustment but Orton slips out and drops Cena’s neck across the top rope. Now Orton hits the hanging DDT for a two-count.
Orton tries the RKO but Cena slips out and hits the Attitude Adjustment, but Orton kicks out at two! Cena sets up for a Super Attitude Adjustment but Orton slips out and hits an electric chair (actually called by Lawler) for a two-count. They take the battle up to the top rope and Cena knocks Orton down but misses the Cena Slice. Orton goes under the ring and grabs a steel chair and slams it into the back of Cena’s neck. He turns Cena over and hits him with the chair again but only gets a two-count. Orton is visibly frustrated now. He tries a knee drop but Cena moves and Orton’s knee falls right onto the chair! Cena locks on the STF and Orton tries to crawl out of the ring. Orton kicks Cena back into the referee to wipe him out. Cena once again locks on the STF and Orton taps! Unfortunately the referee is knocked down and didn’t see it. Cena tries to revive him and that gives Orton the chance to recover and hit the RKO but it only gets two! Orton ties Cena up in the ropes Andre the Giant style and chokes him out. That is an awesome spot. He then finishes Cena with a punt to the skull to win his fifth WWE Championship (sixth World Title overall) at 21:24. The finish was pretty great but the match leading up to it was pretty dull and plodding, and the cell had absolutely no impact on the match whatsoever.
MATCH #6: R-Truth vs. Drew McIntyre
McIntyre has HORRIBLE music here. I don’t remember when he got his current (and awesome) theme music. Even so, he takes Truth right down with a headlock. Truth powers out of it and hits a nice dropkick. He hits a leg lariat and a falling hiptoss for a near-fall. McIntyre cowers in the corner and the referee tries to keep Truth back for reasons I can’t figure out, allowing McIntyre to take a cheap shot and gain control of the match. He hits a couple of Roots clotheslines and then a short-arm clothesline for two. He tries to wear down as a “boring” chant breaks out. Both men go for a flying forearm and knock each other down. Back on their feet Truth unleashes a series of offense including a boot to the face (or a scissors kick if you ask JR) for two. He goes for the Axe Kick but McIntyre avoids it, only to get trapped in a jackknife pin for two. Truth goes up for mounted punches and McIntyre slams him down to the mat. McIntyre follows up with the Future Shock DDT for the pin at 4:39. I don’t see why that match couldn’t have been on TV and the opener could have gotten more time. This was pretty brutal.
MATCH #7: Triple Threat Match for the United States Championship – Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz vs. Jack Swagger
Kingston has been the champion since 6.1.09 and this is his eighth defense. The champ fights off both challengers in the early going. Swagger catches him with a Northern Lariat. Now Miz joins in and they double-team Kingston. They hit a double vertical suplex and Miz goes for a cover, much to Swaggers chagrin. Kingston traps Miz in a quick rollup for two but then the challengers are right back on the attack. Moments later Miz finally turns on Swagger and levels him with a clothesline. Miz goes up top and hits a double axe handle on Swagger, and then hits the Reality Check on Kingston for two. He takes Kingston up to the top rope and Swagger sneaks in from behind and puts Miz on his shoulders, and Kingston comes off with a cross body block for two. He tries to pin Swagger but only gets a one-count. Swagger fights back and hits a modified Snake Eyes, and then hurls Kingston into Miz. He hits Kingston with a belly-to-belly suplex for a two-count. He ties Miz up in the Tree of Woe and tries to throw Kingston into him but that backfires. Kingston winds up hitting Miz with a super belly-to-back suplex for a two-count. Swagger gets back in the mix and everyone is trying to pin someone but no one can put anyone away. Kingston hits Swagger with the Boom Drop and Miz breaks up the cover. He nails Swagger with the Trouble in Paradise, and the Miz grabs Kingston for the Skull Crushing Finale. Swagger breaks that cover up, and moments later hits Miz with the Gut Wrench Powerbomb. Kingston then takes Swagger out with the Trouble in Paradise and pins Miz to retain the title at 7:54. That was fun but seemed misplaced on the card and the crowd wasn’t too into it. Kingston had a quietly impressive run with the U.S. Title, but I’m sure people would find something to complain about.
MATCH #8: Hell in a Cell Match – DX vs. Legacy
Rhodes and DiBiase attack DX during their entrance and the fight begins at ringside before the bell can even ring. The veterans rebound and take Rhodes over to the announce tables and suplex him onto the Smackdown announce table. DiBiase comes over and pairs off with HHH and they fight into the crowd while Michaels and Rhodes fight elsewhere around ringside. Rhodes produces a chain and bashes Michaels’s knee with it. He then finds HHH and hits him in the face with it to save DiBiase. Legacy then destroys HHH with a double-DDT on the entrance stage, and then Rhodes hits the Cross-Rhodes. They turn their attention back to Michaels at ringside and go to work on his knee. Finally they get into the ring and lock the cage door shut with the chain. Michaels is rolled into the ring and Legacy joins him and the bell finally rings.
Michaels gets up and realizes that it’s two on one and his partner is nowhere to be found. Legacy is vicious, going after Michaels’s knee with no fear of HHH coming back. They work him over for several minutes, focusing especially on the knee. HHH recovers and is at ringside but still can’t get into the cage. Michaels is able to hit Sweet Chin Music on DiBiase, but Rhodes is waiting to crack him across the back with a steel chair. DiBiase and Rhodes continue to taunt HHH, who is desperately trying to get into the cell. Finally HHH gives up and heads backstage. Michaels continues to get destroyed, as Legacy uses a steel chair just to be jerks. They lock on the ring post figure four leglock / Million Dollar Dream combo that made Michaels tap out at Breaking Point a few weeks ago, but HHH makes his way back with bolt cutters! Finally HHH makes his way into the cell and it’s Game Time. He throws Rhodes and DiBiase around a bit, giving Michaels the chance to recover he’s needed. He uses the chain to knock DiBiase out, and then Pedigrees him on the floor! DX then locks DiBiase out of the cage, leaving Rhodes all by himself. HHH hits a spinebuster, and then wraps a chair around Rhodes’s neck. Michaels comes off the top rope with an elbow drop. HHH gets a sledgehammer out, while Michaels sets up for Sweet Chin Music. Michaels hits the kick and HHH adds a sledgehammer shot to the head. That’s obviously enough for DX to get the win at 18:03. That was a phenomenal story and for anyone who says HHH and Michaels don’t put people over that’s a crock because they made Rhodes and DiBiase look like a million bucks here. They actually used the cell to their advantage, unlike the two title matches.