Hello there. Welcome to the blog that will always sell the back rake.
Before I get into the review, a little housekeeping:
1) Some of you who enjoy this blog might be saying to yourselves, “vol 4, what happened to vol 3?” Well, vol 3 has been written and published…. But sadly it was not “promoted” to the front page of this website. I have no idea why, I don’t make the rules. However, if you’re interested, please click my profile page and check it out there. It’s a piece I’m very happy with that covers Savage vs Warrior from Mania 7 and SummerSlam 92.
2) Another question you may be asking is, “wait, Punk vs Ryback? What the hell? Are you out of ideas for good feuds already?” Don’t worry, I still have plenty of iconic matches to get to. I actually decided to cover these two matches on a whim. I wondered, “how many times has the same match-up taken place in more then one Hell in a Cell match?” Depending on how you look at it, you could either say “never” or “once.” Personally, I like to go with “once.” So, almost like a rib on myself, here we go.
Vol 4 – Punk vs Ryback – Hell in a Cell 2012, Hell in a Cell 2013
Hell in a Cell 2012
Right before the pre-match video package, we get this line from JBL: “Matt Striker’s as bad as my commentary on that divas match.” It has nothing to do with anything but makes me laugh.
If there’s one thing we learn quickly from this video package it’s that there’s not much actual feud here… Let alone enough to necessitate a Hell in a Cell match. We get some footage chronicling Punk’s year long (up to this point) title reign. Enter: Ryback. A brief montage of him destroying local jobbers and undercard guys. Playing off his catch phrase “feed me more,” we get “feed me Punk.” We’re also treated to some footage of Ryback dominating Punk in a lumberjack match.
Now, for the purposes of these reviews, I usually only work with what I’m given from the announcers and video packages. But, in this case, I will make a note that this match was supposed to be Punk vs Cena. Plans changed when Cena suffered a shoot injury and WWE was left needing a last second replacement. Ryback was the guy they went with.
The champ, Punk, out first (boo) w/ Heyman. We are told Punk has been champ for 343 days. After a handshake and a hug, Punk enters the cell.
Ryback out next to a modest pop. He is undefeated (as Ryback) and this match marks his first title shot.
Punk takes his first powder seconds after the bell rings. Moments after reentering the ring he takes powder #2. Heyman offers words of encouragement from outside the ring.
Ryback no-sells a chop and takes over with power moves including a big boot. Punk whipped into the corner but gets a boot up as Ryback goes in for the running splash. Punk attempts a spinning DDT but is tossed away. Punk clotheslined to the outside.
Punk tries the cage door… locked. After tasting the steal of the cage wall a couple times, Punk scrambles away and slips under the ring. Heyman tries reasoning with Ryback, “he’s a human being.”
Ryback checks under the ring and is blinded by fire extinguisher smoke to the face. He’s driven into the cage wall. Chair in hand, Punk runs at Ryback only to have the chair kicked into his own face.
Punk powered back into the ring. Guerrilla press slam. Ryback misses the meathook clothesline and eats the middle turnbuckle.
Spring board clothesline from Punk. Top rope ax handle x2 drops Ryback to a knee. A third attempt is caught and Punk is driven into the corner.
Punk back in control with a heel kick. Suicide dive to the outside and Ryback is slammed into the cage. Ryback misses an attempted spear and slams right into the ring steps.
Back in the ring, Ryback counters a rest hold with a modified jaw breaker. However, Punk uses his quickness to regain control. Running knee, short arm clothesline, elbow drop.
Punk grabs a kendo stick and gets in a couple good shots… But it only helps Ryback to “Hulk Up.”
Ryback with clotheslines, a back body drop, and a spine buster. Meathook clothesline connects.
Ryback lifts Punk on his shoulders for Shell Shock but he’s stopped short of delivering it by the ref (Brad Maddox)…. Low blow. Roll-up by Punk. Fast count. 1, 2, 3. (11:22)
Maddox and Punk scramble to the cage door but the outside ref is having problems with the lock. Ryback recovers and gets his heat back on both men. Maddox eats a Meathook clothesline before getting tossed from the ring into the cage. Punk tries to crawl away… Caught. Heyman sprints up the ramp in fright. Punk climbs the cage and Ryback follows. No where for him to run, Punk gets Shell Shocked on top of the cell. A “feed me more” chant to close the show.
***. I actually liked this match. I thought given everything these two guys had working against them, this was as good a match as anyone could expect. It was fast paced, hard hitting action with a few “modern WWE” hard hitting spots. I thought Punk was great as the cowardly heel and he bumped like crazy for the very green Ryback. All that being said… This was a Hell in a Cell match. And it was the match to close the show. It went just over 11 minutes with a screwy finish. It was the right finish in the sense that they needed to protect Ryback but the fact remains he’s a monster face that just had his first loss after being undefeated for several months in a match that had very little build. And it’s not the guys fault, but a little bit of blood would have gone a long way. Or Punk doing a stretcher job. Anything to put over the dangers of the cell.
Next – Hell in a Cell 2013
No pre-match video package. Just footage of a beat-the-clock-challenge from Raw. Whoever had the better time, between Punk and Ryback, could choose the stipulation for their upcoming match. Punk had the better time so he chose a handicap match with himself vs Ryback and Paul Heyman… In Hell in a Cell.
Ok, so I guess I’ll have to provide info again cause that’s all we got. At Wrestlemania 29, Punk (w/ Paul Heyman in his corner) lost a singles match against the Undertaker. Around a month later, Chris Jericho came out and said “hey, where’s Punk?” Heyman more or less said, “you want Punk, you can have him at Payback in Chicago. Punk comes back, wins the match, but is a little ticked at Heyman for booking him in matches without his consent. This leads to Heyman turning on Punk at MitB 2013 and then “Paul Heyman guy” Brock Lesnar vs “former Paul Heyman guy” CM Punk at SummerSlam. Post SummerSlam, Lesnar left but Punk continued to feud with other current “Paul Heyman guys” Curtis Axel and Ryback. This match is the blow off to the Punk/Heyman feud.