First of all, I'd like to say that I was really confused going into this. I think I may have been the only one who didn't get that the top-card championships were the only two that were going to actually be in the cell, but I was actually really happy about that. That being said, let's take a look at the feast WWE programming laid out for us:
1. Christian v. Sheamus: 4 out of 5. I think I mentioned this before, but I really like both these guys. Christian is a consistently good performer, and although I think Sheamus' Brogue Kick is the new Sweet Chin Music, he and his enhanced red hair have really been making themselves noticed with this feud. I've heard some nay-sayers on this story, but the top championships are already tied up, these guys are too big to go back to midcard titles, and they both deserve to be on TV. So this is one I'm enjoying the development on.
2. Air Boom v. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger (Tag Team Championship): 3 out of 5. There was no surprise here. As I said in my predictions, Ziggler and Swagger's story is likely not over. The match was decent enough, but nothing super memorable.
3. Sin Cara v. Sin Cara: 3 out of 5. This was my ONLY mis-call of the night, with Face Cara going over Heel Cara in the end. In hindsight, I suppose it makes sense to give the first win to Blue and Gold. After all, Black and Silver's whole grief is that he stole his identity, so an immediate win by him would more likely have an "Oh, Okay." feel to it. More than one person has suggested that they should just shake hands and become a tag team (boyfriend's idea: Los Conquistadors). Start them against ZigSwag (Reta Repulsa v. the Power Rangers, anyone?)
4. Randy Orton v. Mark Henry (World Heavyweight Championship): 2 out of 5. I was so excited for this match going in, but it didn't deliver the way it should have. Of course Henry was going to retain, but this match may as well have not even had the cell around it. I think they remembered it was there once, and Henry smashed Orton up against the links. Otherwise, I was just left disappointed. Orton and Christian gave us increasingly more entertaining PPV battles during their rivalry, and Orton and Henry should be taking that and turning it up to 11. FAIL.
5. Cody Rhodes v. John Morrison (Intercontinental Championship; impromptu booking by... someone.): 3 out of 5. I hate giving this match a 3. It should have been a 4, especially with the fine scouting work Rhodes did. However, this was basically a squash. On the plus side, Cody re-introduced the classic belt and that paired with his dominating the match solidified the title's return to legitimacy. I was pointed to this article at a forum, and I recommend everyone to read it.
6. Beth Phoenix v. Kelly Kelly: 3 out of 5. That's saying something. With the state of the Diva's division (or rather, lack thereof), I feel like a 3 is the highest I can rate the women at this point. It was everything you've come to expect from the 4 performers involved (Nat quickly disposed of Eve when she tried to get involved). Kelly screamed a lot, got off 4 of her 5 Moves of Doom, and failed to correctly land on the Glam Slam again. The plus side is that Beth finally took out Barbie and ended her worthless title reign. For the Divas, that's a win. This one should have been in the cell. Maybe a regular cage match for these two at Survivor Series?
7. CM Punk v. Alberto Del Rio v. John Cena (WWE Championship): 4 out of 5. The predictions were right: the cell WAS an asset for Del Rio, in more ways than one. It allowed him to be as ruthless as he wanted against goody-two-shoes Cena, and later on, he and Ricardo Rodriguez were able to lock THE CHAMP outside the cell, leaving him helpless to defend that stupid title. Punk did his share, by setting up a table for a move that never flushed out, and then going through that table a few minutes later. He's no pushover, but Del Rio has acres of determination.
I can't end the article without mentioning the volatile ending. Miz & Truth, who had been seen with tickets in the crowd, and then later being thrown out after attacking Air Boom in the locker room, returned in hoodies and absolutely demolished everyone inside the cell. Even the cameramen weren't safe. Once the chain was finally cut open, they surrendered quickly, but Triple H had had enough by then and attacked what were technically two totally defenseless civilians, as well as The Executive Vice-President of Talent Relations, John Laurinaitis.
Ho boy, this is gonna be one hell of a shitstorm for Raw.