Vintage Vault “Pre-Viewing of Punk”: Hell in a Cell 2009

CM Punk vs. the Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match for the World Heavyweight Championship

We continue on through the fall of 2009 and we have a new PPV to talk about as after being one of the most anticipated matches in history, Hell in a Cell gets its own PPV which itself is a debate many have had as many feel it diminishes the value of the gimmick. Coming out of Breaking Point, the feud between Taker and Punk took a weird turn that involved GM Teddy Long and it felt like Punk was taking a back seat for a bit even though he was still putting on great promos, and the fact that they were already going into the Cell after only a month did feel a bit rushed though it made some sense as to keep Taker from getting screwed again. Now, the only question was whether Punk would actually get a clean win over Taker to continue establishing him as the top heel, or if they would have Taker get some revenge and become champion again at the expense of Punk.

On the 9/18 Smackdown, Teddy Long appeared with numerous bodyguards and referee Scott Armstrong cut a promo saying he wasn’t proud of what he did at the PPV, but was told to do so by someone higher up than him. Later that night, Long cut a promo apologizing for his actions as there was a plan in place that included Punk and Armstrong to keep Taker from becoming champion, and he would leave the arena only for Taker to be in the driver’s seat as he drove the limo off with Long in it. Also that night, Punk would come out and brag about making Taker “tap” at the PPV as he declared himself to be a prophet and a champion that the fans can be proud of. On the 9/25 Smackdown, Punk cut a promo bragging about his accomplishments until druids brought a casket to ringside, and Long was revealed to be in the casket as he announced that Hell’s Gate was legal again and Punk would face Taker in Hell in a Cell at the PPV as well as later that night. In the main event, Punk would defeat Taker by countout as he escaped with the title and on the 10/2 Smackdown, Punk crashed the anniversary party as he said no one should be drinking. Later that night, Taker cut a promo on facing Punk at the PPV and in the main event, Taker teamed with John Cena and D-X as they defeated Punk and Legacy in a 8-man tag match. For only having 3 weeks to build this match, they did a fine job as now the odds seemed to be stacked against Punk as Taker’s submission hold was legal again and the fact the match was in Hell in a Cell.

Taker gets a big pop from the crowd while Punk was pretty hot as a heel, and it was interesting that this match was opening the show though of the 3 Cell matches it was probably the least built one. The two men square off to start the match as Taker backs Punk into the corner and Punk avoids a shot as he pounds on Taker, and Punk rolls outside to regroup and Taker chases him back into the ring as he trips Punk up and pulls him back outside. He rams Punk into the Cell and pounds on him as he whips him into the Cell and then he rams his head into the Cell again, and he continues to pound on Punk and hits a headbutt as Punk rakes the eyes only for Taker to block a ram into the Cell. He gets a knee in and rams Punk into the Cell before throwing him back into the ring though Punk rolls out to the apron, and Taker hits a big boot that knocks Punk off the apron into the Cell and he goes outside as Punk crawls under the ring. He comes out the other side and dropkicks the steps into Taker’s knee as he stomps on the knee repeatedly, and he rams the leg into the Cell and continues to stomp on the knee before throwing him back into the ring. He drags Taker to the corner only for Taker to shove Punk off into the Cell and he grabs Punk by the throat, but Punk gets a kick in and gets on the apron as he hits the running knee on Taker only for Taker to block the bulldog by shoving Punk off the apron into the Cell. Taker throws Punk into the ring and drapes him across the apron as he gets on the apron and hits a legdrop on Punk, and he throws Punk back into the ring only for Punk to hit a low dropkick that sends Taker into the Cell. He hits a suicide dive that sends Taker into the Cell again and pounds on him as he throws him back into the ring, and the two men trade blows on their knees until Punk kicks at Taker twice only for Taker to knock him down. He fires up on Punk and whips him into the corner as he hoists him up only for Punk to slide off his shoulder, and he sends Taker into the corner only for Taker to hit the big boot and a legdrop for a two count. He grabs Punk by the throat only for Punk to kick at his knee twice and he hoists him up for the Go 2 Sleep, but Taker slides off and he hoists Punk onto his shoulder though Punk slides off again and he kicks Taker’s leg out from under him. Punk rolls outside and brings a chair into the ring as he hits Taker in the head with it for a two count, and he hits the running knee in the corner only for Taker to catch him in the Last Ride for a two count. He grabs the arm and goes up top only for Punk to pull him down into a modified Go 2 Sleep for a two count, and he grabs the chair and charges only for Taker to kick the chair back in his face as he grabs him by the throat and hits the chokeslam. He hoists Punk onto his shoulder and hits the Tombstone which gets the three and we have a new champion.

The match itself was pretty good as both men worked hard and put on a solid match that was much better than their match at the previous PPV, but it was still a bit of a disappointment considering who was involved. Even though the match felt shoehorned into the Cell, they did a good job early on using the Cell to their advantage though they didn’t get a lot of time at only 11 minutes as they could’ve used a few more minutes to get to the next level especially as the opener. It did suck that Punk’s reign ended as quickly as it did as he was really gaining steam as the top heel, but after the chicanery the previous month you figured Taker was going to win and get at least one more reign as champion. The crowd was into the match and pretty split for most of it, but they did pop big for Taker when he won. Taker gets the win over Punk and is once again World Heavyweight Champion, but this issue isn’t over yet as two new players get added to the mix.

Final Grade: ***