Really? How were the near-falls anti-climactic?
No excitement and weren't built at all. Finlay kicked him to the outside and just smacked him with Celtic Cross. That was it....oh and Sami kicked out randomly at one. The only real nearfall that was built up was the Tombstone due to their previous match and I didn't really care for it. Plus Sami not knowing where to appropriately taught made his deviant acts seem like amateur hour.
How is stiffness random? Especially when the whole match was stiff? How is there no drama in a match where the resilient youngster that has no respect tries to take the torch by force from the grizzled veteran, but the veteran is too smart for him? I will take this "drama" over the Hell in a Cell B-Movie bad acting + dialogue "drama" any day of the week.
Being stiff is awesome like Finlay headbutting the nonsense out of Calihan but they began to over do and made me not care at all about it. Instead of structuring a great match, it was just "O
LEZ HIT ECH OTTER HARD". If there is no real importance on selling, timing, or facial expressions, it isn't real hard for your average Joe to replicate. It's real fucking boring compared to a match with Ki/KENTA where they have the insanely stiff match but the other elements which make a match great(Like comebacks, storytelling, and facial expressions).
Your idea if what you thought was drama/story is great and all but if it isn't executed properly, there isn't exactly a reason for the crowd to give a fuck. I got the idea of Callihan didn't like Finlay and Finlay was some combination of a hard hitting vet but the way it was portrayed was done absolutely poorly. Sami's drooling and attempts at saying f you didn't draw sympathy or really lead to great face in peril like in his last match. The one where he was getting his ass beat and there actually didn't seem like there was nothing he could do about it. HHH/Taker had a near flawless match because everything made sense and while you may say there was a over acting(All opinionated of course), it was built up off of previous matches. More importantly from last year.
Triple H beat the ever loving dog shit out of Taker the previous Mania and it was so bad that Taker couldn't even show face despite being the victor. As soon as HHH gets the chance in the Cell, he makes Taker his own personal Kunta Kinte and HBK, a former wrestler with injuries and has also got his ass whipped by HHH on several occasions, tries to stop it so Taker(A man he respects) can at least do a feat he didn't do last year and that is not look a vegetable. It makes sense, it is executed well, and everything is on point.