Alberto Del Rio returns, wins U.S. Title from John Cena

Hell in a Cell kicked off with John Cena’s United States Championship Open Challenge, and it began with Zeb Colter returning after a lengthy absence, riding in on a Rascal. Though fans initially moaned at the prospect of Jack Swagger predictably coming out, Colter threw a curveball after cutting a great promo about unifying the WWE Universe before introducing Alberto Del Rio, who returned to the company after a year’s absence.

Sure enough, Del Rio managed to pull off a great win to become the new champion.

Cena and Del Rio began by a simple grapple hold, only to start circling each other shortly afterward. Sure enough, the entire crowd got behind the Mexican sensation before more grappling took place.

Del Rio then hit Cena with a leg kick, forcing the champ out of the ring. Cena also appeared hampered by it, but stayed in. No surprises there.

Cena then took Del Rio to the corner and rained punches down on him before Irish-whipping Cena into the corner. The fight was then taken to the ground as Del Rio tried to lock in his signature armbar, but to no avail. After more grappling, plus a fly outside the ring, Del Rio took it to the top rope and jumped right on top of Cena. He attempted a pin, but Cena kicked out.

Once again, the two stood up and grappled, with Cena slamming Del Rio. Cena then went to the top rope, only to be kicked by Del Rio. At this point, it became obvious that Del Rio’s kick were indeed having an impact on his mobility.

The former champ then went to the top rope and landed his jumping punch again, only for Cena to kick out again. Del Rio then went for the armbar, only for Cena to power through him and then turn up as they traded punches. Cena then put Del Rio down with his Five Moves of Doom and landed a Five Knuckle Shuffle, only to be nailed with a backbreaker right afterward.

A stunned Cena fell to his knees, then was kicked in the face by Del Rio. The champ was then pinned and lost his title, and the crowd ROARED.

Simply put, this was great for WWE. Rather than try to force someone over, the company brought back a familiar face who can do the title justice while Cena takes time off.

What does Del Rio’s new title reign and alliance with Zeb Colter mean for the future? Guess we’ll have to find out!

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to WWE