Hell in a Cell (2015)
Hell in a Cell (2015) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event and WWE Network event produced by WWE. It took place on October 25, 2015, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. It was the seventh event under the Hell in a Cell chronology. This is also the first WWE pay-per-view, other than SummerSlam, to be held in the city of Los Angeles since 2007's No Way Out.
|Hell in a Cell (2015)|
|Date||October 25, 2015|
|City||Los Angeles, California|
|WWE Network event chronology|
|Hell in a Cell chronology|
Eight matches were contested at the event, with one match on the pre-show. In the main event, Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match, their second such match, the first one being at the 2002 No Mercy event. Also on the show, Alberto Del Rio returned to the WWE to answer John Cena's open challenge and defeat him to win the WWE United States Championship.
The card consisted of eight matches, including one of the preshow, that resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed villains, heroes, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches, with results predetermined by WWE's writers. Storylines between the characters played out on WWE's primary television programs, Raw and SmackDown.
At WrestleMania XXX in 2014, Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker to end the streak. A year later at Battleground, Lesnar was about to defeat Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, when the lights went out and Undertaker attacked Lesnar; Lesnar won the match by disqualification but not the title. After a vicious brawl between the two on Raw, they would face in a rematch at SummerSlam. Undertaker defeated Lesnar in controversial fashion; the timekeeper ringing the bell after seeing the Undertaker supposedly indicating submission; since the referee hadn't see a submission and never stopped the match, the match continued. The confusion allowed Undertaker to surprise Lesnar with a low blow before trapping him in the Hell's Gate submission hold, causing Lesnar to pass out, giving Undertaker the win. At Night of Champions, Lesnar was scheduled to face Undertaker one last time in a Hell in a Cell match at the event. This would be their second, as they faced 13 years ago for the WWE Championship at No Mercy 2002.
At Battleground, Bray Wyatt defeated Roman Reigns after interference from Luke Harper. At SummerSlam, Reigns and Dean Ambrose defeated Wyatt and Harper. At Night of Champions, Wyatt, Harper and Braun Strowman defeated Reigns, Ambrose and Chris Jericho. On the September 21 episode of Raw, Randy Orton helped Reigns and Ambrose fend off an attack by Wyatt, Harper and Strowman. Subsequently, Reigns challenged Wyatt to a Hell in a Cell match at the event, which Wyatt accepted. A match pitting Ambrose and Orton against Harper and Strowman was also scheduled for the Hell in a Cell pre-show but after Orton suffered a Shoulder injury, the match was cancelled.
At Night of Champions, Kane returned from injury as "Demon" Kane and attacked Seth Rollins after Rollins retained the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Sting. At Live from Madison Square Garden, Demon Kane attacked Rollins after Rollins lost to John Cena in a steel cage match. Subsequently, Rollins was scheduled to defend his title against Demon Kane at the event, but that should Demon Kane lose, Corporate Kane, Kane's alter ego, would be fired from his role as Director of Operations.
At Night of Champions, The Dudley Boyz had defeated WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day by disqualification, therefore not winning the titles. At Live from Madison Square Garden, The Dudley Boyz again won by disqualification. This led to another rematch for the title at Hell in a Cell.
The event also included two more rematches from Night of Champions: Charlotte had defeated Nikki Bella to win the Divas Championship and Kevin Owens had defeated Ryback to win the Intercontinental Championship. Both champions had to defend their newly-won titles against the former champions.
On the October 19 edition of Raw, Sheamus, King Barrett, and Rusev defeated Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro, and Neville. Later that night, a rematch between the trios was scheduled for the Hell in a Cell pre-show.
|English commentators||Michael Cole|
|John "Bradshaw" Layfield|
|Spanish commentators||Carlos Cabrera|
|Ring announcer||Lilian Garcia|
|Pre-show Panel||Renee Young|
During the pre-show, Sheamus, King Barrett, and Rusev faced Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro, and Neville. In the end, Ziggler performed a superkick on Barrett and Cesaro performed a Cesaro Swing on Barrett. Neville executed a Red Arrow on Barrett to win the match.
The actual pay-per-view opened with John Cena's open Challenge for the WWE United States Championship. Zeb Colter interrupted Cena's pre-match promo, introducing the returning Alberto Del Rio as Cena's opponent. The ending saw Del Rio counter an Attitude Adjustment, perform a backstabber and a superkick on a kneeling Cena, and pinned him to win the title for the first time.
Next, Roman Reigns faced Bray Wyatt in a Hell in a Cell match. During the match, Wyatt performed a side slam off the ring apron though a table on Reigns and scored a near-fall. Reigns performed a powerbomb on Wyatt through a table for a near-fall. Reigns performed a spear on Wyatt off the ring apron through a table and pinned Wyatt for a near-fall. Reigns attempted another spear only for Wyatt to counter it into a Sister Abigail on Reigns for a near-fall. In the end, Reigns threw Wyatt into a kendo stick wedged in the padding of a turnbuckle and pinned Wyatt after a spear to win the match.
After that, The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) defended the WWE Tag Team Championship against The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley). In the end, Big E hit Bubba Ray with Xavier Woods' trombone. Kingston pinned Bubba Ray after performing Trouble in Paradise to retain the titles.
After that, Seth Rollins defended the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Kane. During the match, Kane performed a chokelslam on Rollins for a near-fall. Kane attempted another chokeslam through a broadcast table on Rollins, but Rollins countered with a powerbomb onto another broadcast table. In the end, Kane attempted another chokeslam, however Rollins pinned Kane after a Pedigree to retain the title.
In the main event, Brock Lesnar faced The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match. This was the second encounter between the two inside the Cell, with their first encounter occurring at No Mercy. During the match, Undertaker shoved Lesnar into the ring post, causing Lesnar to bleed profusely for which he needed medical intervention and 8 stitches post-match. Lesnar hit Undertaker with a steel chair, causing Undertaker to bleed. Undertaker drove the chair into Lesnar's throat for a near-fall. Lesnar performed two F-5s on Undertaker for near-falls. Lesnar struck Undertaker with the steel steps for a near-fall. Undertaker applied the Hell's Gate on Lesnar, but Lesnar fought out of it. At the end of the match, Lesnar removed the ring cover, exposing the ring floor underneath. Undertaker executed a chokeslam and a Tombstone Piledriver on Lesnar, both onto the exposed ring floor, for a near-fall. In the end, Lesnar attacked Undertaker with a low blow and executed a third F5 on Undertaker onto the exposed ring floor to win the match.
The night following the event, on Raw, Bray Wyatt explained that he wanted to claim The Undertaker's Soul and obtain its powers. Kane then tried to attack Wyatt but got ambushed and attacked by The Wyatt Family and was also carried out to the backstage. On the November 9 episode of Raw, The Undertaker and Kane reemerged and attacked The Wyatt Family. On the November 12 episode of Smackdown, Wyatt challenged The Undertaker and Kane to a tag team match at Survivor Series against two members of The Wyatt Family of his choosing, which they accepted later that night.
On the Raw following the event, The Authority held a tournament by pitting the winners of their respective matches at Hell in a Cell against each other to determine the next No.1 contender to Seth Rollins's WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Roman Reigns would win the final Fatal 4-Way match also involving Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Owens, and Alberto Del Rio to become the No.1 contender and face Rollins for the championship scheduled for Survivor Series. On November 4, however, Rollins suffered multiple knee injuries during a house show in Dublin, Ireland. The tournament was now scheduled to determine a new champion, with the finals held at Survivor Series. Reigns won the tournament and the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship at the event but immediately lost it when Sheamus cashed-in his Money in the Bank contract and pinned him for the title.
On the October 26 episode of Raw, Paige continued to persuade Charlotte and Becky Lynch that she did not attack Natalya. While still not convinced, Charlotte and Becky allowed Paige to join them as PCB and faced Team Bella on that night in a losing effort. After the match, Paige attacked Charlotte and Becky, cementing her heel turn. On the November 2 episode of Raw, Paige defeated Becky, Sasha Banks and Brie Bella in a Fatal 4-Way match to determine the number one contender for the WWE Divas Championship.
After Hell in a Cell, Jack Swagger briefly feuded with Alberto Del Rio after confronting Zeb Colter about joining Del Rio. Swagger saved Neville, who was assaulted by Del Rio after a match but lost to Del Rio in a Chairs Match at TLC. Meanwhile, John Cena took a hiatus from wrestling to film the reality series American Grit. He returned on the December 28 episode of Raw and challenged Del Rio to a title match, which Cena won by disqualification after The League of Nations interfered. Cena then took more time off after undergoing shoulder surgery on January 7, 2016 but introduced Kalisto to challenge Del Rio in his stead. Kalisto defeated Del Rio for the US championship. Cena did not return full-time until the May 30 episode of Raw.
The event received generally positive reviews from critics. Larry Csonka from 411MANIA gave the event a 7/10. He praised Wyatt vs. Reigns and Lesnar vs. Undertaker saying that both matches delivered. The main event went on to win the Slammy Award for Match of the Year.
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