Deadshirt Is Watching…is a weekly feature in which Deadshirt staff, contributors, and guests sound off on the television shows we’re tuned into, from intense dramas to clever sitcoms to the most insane reality shows. This week: WWE Hell in a Cell and Brooklyn Nine-Nine!
Dylan Roth is watching…
WWE Hell in a Cell 2015
Sunday, October 25th at 8/7c on WWE Network
25 years after his debut in what was then called the World Wrestling Federation, The Undertaker (Mark Calaway) gets one last shot to reassert dominance over Brock “The Beast Incarnate” Lesnar, the man who broke his legendary Wrestlemania winning streak back in 2013. “Hell in a Cell”—a no-disqualifications match in which the ring and ring apron are enclosed in a steel cage— is considered Undertaker’s signature event, and after his dirty win over Lesnar at SummerSlam, he’s yet to prove he can truly slay the Beast. And after a riveting thirty-minute battle…Lesnar pins ‘Taker, settling their feud once and for all. The younger fighter walks away victorious, but it doesn’t matter; as the fifty-year-old ‘Taker struggles to his feet, he’s treated to a three minute standing ovation from the Los Angeles crowd, who knows they’re unlikely to see him perform again.
The main event of this year’s Hell in a Cell is brutal and emotional, for the superstars in the ring and for the audience. It’s a true passing of the torch, as the WWE’s most prolific performer steps aside to establish Brock Lesnar as the new Unstoppable Monster of the promotion. ‘Taker will almost definitely have one last moment in the spotlight at next year’s Wrestlemania, but if this were to be his last match, it could stand as a satisfying capstone to a legendary career.
Of course, this is only one of a half-dozen matches at Hell in a Cell, and there are a number of doozies. John Cena drops the US title to returning heel Alberto Del Rio, Charlotte defends her Divas Championship against former champ Nikki Bella, and Roman Reigns survives the torment of Bray Wyatt, but it’ll be the ‘Taker match that fans will be talking about for months to come.
Episode Highlight: Outside of the main event, my favorite moments at Hell in a Cell comes from tag team champs the New Day—Big E and Kofi Kingston. Even without their usual mouthpiece Xavier Woods by their side (he’s “injured”), the New Day continues to be the most entertaining mic presence in the WWE today. The trio’s latest gimmick: calling themselves “unicorns.” There’s a cheesy t-shirt that goes with it, it’s magical.
Joe Stando is watching…
Season 3, Episode 5: “Halloween III”
Sunday at 8:30/7:30c on FOX
Now that the show’s status quo has settled back down, Brooklyn Nine-Nine can play with some of their more classic tropes, and nothing is more established stylistically for the series than their Halloween episodes. I remember I was kind of skeptical last year that they’d attempt to reprise an episode so soon, but I was proven wrong then, so I’m up for anything now. “Halloween III” is a clever evolution of the previous episodes; Peralta and Holt are still embroiled in a zany heist competition, but it’s more formalized and defined. Drafting characters onto their teams is a clever touch, and the B-plot of the episode, that Amy had been left out, is superb. Amy and Jake as a couple has been pretty rewarding so far, and this was a good twist to prevent the episode from falling too hard into established patterns. It’s not quite Treehouse of Horror, but I’m glad Brooklyn Nine-Nine is leaning into becoming a FOX holiday tradition.
Episode Highlight: The cold open with the quick Halloween costume changes was pretty good, and a solid bit of cartoon logic that didn’t hurt the rest of the show’s verisimilitude (such as it is) too badly. But the highlight of this episode was easily anything having to do with Amy Santiago. Amy is a fun character because she’s such a people pleaser, so it’s easy for other characters to underestimate her or walk all over her. The twist that she had been playing everyone as revenge was great, and Melissa Fumero did a great job being proud but still empathetic.