Held at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on October 3rd, 2010, the WWE's second (and latest) Hell In A Cell pay-per-view event was one of the year's best. Like most WWE pay-per-view events, this one took a bunch of the storylines that were running through the RAW and Smackdown leagues and brought some of them to a boil, the most obvious examples being the rivalry between Orton and Sheamus and the rivalry between Kane and The Undertaker. These had both been building for a while and here fans get a pretty good chance to see where they're going to go in the future.
Made up of six matches in total, only two of them take place in the titular cell, but that doesn't take away from the excitement factor of the other four bouts. Sure, the cell novelty is a good one and it certainly increases the feeling of danger and risk but good wrestling is good wrestling and thankfully pretty much every one of the people involved in the in-ring action bring that and more to the table. Here's a look at how this one places out...
Falls Count Anywhere Submission Match For The US Championship - Daniel Bryan Versus The Miz Versus John Morrison: The night starts off with a bang in this three man competition in which the last man standing gets the belt. Morrison is the consummate showman here, with lots of rope work and showing off plenty of the high flying moves he's made a name for himself with. His style contrasts nicely with the other two men. The Miz gets some great moves in here as well and pulls out a few surprises before it all ends, while Bryan shows us once again why he's considered such a pro by so many fans. A very strong opening match indeed.
Hell In A Cell Match For The WWE Championship - Randy Orton Versus Sheamus: Regardless of how you feel about these two, if you're a wrestling fan then this match will entertain you from start to finish. Orton is at the top of his game here, prowling around the ring like a jungle cat as he is apt to do, while Sheamus gives as good as he gets. A very tense match from start to finish, these guys are good at what they do and having the cage factor come into play really helps give this fight a sense of urgency that adds to the excitement. If not the best match of the night, then pretty damn close, though it does take a little bit of time to really start to build.
Edge Versus Jack Swagger: This match just sort of comes out of nowhere, but that shouldn't diminish it even if it doesn't have the sort of anticipation going for it that some of the other bouts on this card do. Edge dominates through much of the fight but Swagger holds his own against the more experienced Rated R Superstar and if this one doesn't have the preinstalled tension as some of the other matches, it isn't short on action.
John Cena Versus Wade Barrett: The whole gimmick behind this match was that if Cena wins, Nexus disbands and if Barrett wins, Cena joins Nexus, so obviously both contenders had every reason to want to give it their all, as the results of this one could have had pretty serious implications on their careers. This is a pretty solid match through and through, with Cena showing a lot more style than he usually does while Wade gets in plenty of licks of his own. Nexus shows up and does their gang thing, while some of Cena's pals show up in his defense and the crowd gets pretty into it, seemingly evenly divided as to who they're rooting for. Overall this was a very tense, exciting and highly anticipated match that didn't disappoint.
Unified Divas Championship - Michelle McCool Versus Natalya: Not surprisingly, this is the weakest match of the night and by quite a margin as well. There's no suspense here and it's easy to pick out the winner in the opening minute or two. Natalya completely dominates and as such, the suspense is minimal at best. There are some good moves here but they're few and far between and overall this is a very pedestrian competition with obvious signs of boredom evident in the crowd response.
Hell In A Cell Match For The World Heavyweight Championship - Kane Versus The
Undertaker: This is the match that the audience was obviously waiting for and they show just as much enthusiasm here as they did for the Cena/Barrett match. There's really good use of the cage here, with both parties using it to their advantage as often as possible, and things get pretty violent early on and stay that way throughout. Things slow down in the middle of the match and they lose the crowd a little bit but these two are pros and you know that by the time it's all said and done they're going to bring everyone back around - and they do, with a spectacular ending that finishes the night off rather appropriately way, and hey, how cool was it to see Paul Bearer back with The Undertaker?
Overall, while the Divas match was predictably stale, the other matches on this card are all above average, delivering a pay-per-view special that's just that - better than the standard wrestling we watch every week for free on TV. Most of the athletes involved give 110% and there are plenty of fun twists delivered throughout the night making this a blast for WWE fans and a special well worth checking out.
This pay-per-view event was broadcast in anamorphic 1.78.1 widescreen and that's how it's presented on this DVD, even if the picture is interlaced. The quality is pretty decent, not showing any annoying compression artifacts e during any of the matches and only showing some minor shimmering in some scenes. Color reproduction looks alright and skin tones are fine but the black levels can sometimes be a little less than perfectly defined.
WWE Hell In A Cell 2010 has a strong Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound mix. There are no alternate language dubs, subtitles or closed captioning options. The audio here is fine, there aren't any obvious problems to report. The dialogue is always easy enough to understand and there are no issues with hiss or distortion worth complaining about. The 5.1 track sounds nice and full, with some nice crowd noise coming from the rear channels but it remains front heavy for the most part. There's nothing reference quality here, but the sound is good. An alternate Spanish language dub is also included.
Aside from menus and match selection, there's a couple of quick extra features included here, the first of which is a segment that shows us the aftermath of the Orton/Jericho match from the previous week's RAW episode. There's also a quick interview with Cena that was conducted after his match with Barrett. Both are welcome additions to an already strong event.
WWE Hell In A Cell 2010 is one of the better pay-per-view events that the WWE hosted in 2010. A solid selection of the league's best combatants square off in some tense matches that tie in nicely to the storylines and that throw in a few welcome surprises along the way. The audio and video quality is on par with their other recent releases - good, though not exceptional - and the inclusion of a couple of bonus features this time around helps things a bit. Recommended for wrestling fans.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.