WWE presented Hell in a Cell, the first-ever pay-per-view of the ‘new era’ , and it is safe to say that the company couldn’t do anything new. Originally advertised as a PPV with just four matches, WWE brought the number up to 9 with several inconsequential and filler matches.
It was quite clear that WWE had forgotten about this PPV in the lead up due to several high profile episodes of weekly programming last week. We look at the results and analyze what went right and wrong during the PPV.
Kickoff: Natalya vs Lacey Evans
The first of the late additions to the card, the only secondary feud of the women’s division saw the former champ Natalya take on Sassy Southern Belle Lacey Evans. Both the individuals went at it before Natalya picked up the victory with a Sharpshooter.
Result: Natalya defeated Lacey Evans
Analysis: WWE giving a victory to Natalya is quite weird and confusing as Evans was on a steak in recent weeks. Both these women will compete in a Last Woman Standing Match on RAW which will probably result in Evans taking back the win.
RAW Women’s Championship Match: Becky Lynch(c) vs Sasha Banks
The two women took their deeply personal rivalry to the satanic structure, and produced a fantastic encounter. They started off on the ramp as the cell was being lowered. The action inside the ring saw the introduction of kendo sticks, ladders and chairs. After Banks put Becky down with several chair shots, she introduced a few more steel chairs into the ring. Her move was countered by Becky, who delivered a Bexploder from the top of the rope onto the pile of chairs to retain her championship.
Result: Becky Lynch defeated Sasha Banks to retain the Raw Women’s title
Analysis: A strong contender not only for the Match of the Night but the Match of the Month. Both the individuals proved why they are at the top of the WWE division, and produced a potential five-star encounter.
Tornado Tag Match: Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan vs Luke Harper and Erick Rowan
The match got off to a flying start as Bryan and Reigns looked to finish it early. However, the heels fought back and tried to keep Reigns out of equation to focus on the smaller frame of Bryan.
Harper and Rowan tried to end Bryan’s match after clearing the announce table, but Bryan countered with a headscissors to Harper. Rowan emerged from the crowd to deliver a massive spear to Rowan, taking him out of the match. Roman and Bryan teamed up to take down Harper and win the match. Post match, Bryan confirmed his face turn with a hug to Reigns.
Result: Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan defeated Erick Rowan and Luke Harper
Analysis: Tornado Matchups rarely disappoint and it wasn’t a surprise to see four extremely talented superstars deliver a masterclass. There were rumours of Bryan turning on Reigns, but both the former world champions worked together in tandem quite well.
Hopefully, Harper and Rowan get more recognition in the tag division and their momentum isn’t completely squashed.
Randy Orton vs Ali
Two contrasting personalities battled in the ring, as the slow and vicious Orton took on the high-flying Ali. Ali produced lots of rapid moves but couldn’t keep the viper down for long. He went for the 450 but Orton countered it. Orton set him up for an RKO but it was once again countered quite masterfully. Ali went for the rolling facebuster, only to be caught with an RKO out of nowhere for the finish.
Result: Randy Orton defeated Ali
Analysis: This wasn’t exactly a PPV level match with zero build and intrigue surrounding the match. However, both the superstars did their job quite well and produced a decent matchup. A win for Ali would have propelled this to a better grade, but he would get his chances in the future.
Women’s Tag Team Championship Match: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross(c) vs Kabuki Warriors
The Kabuki Warriors received a shot at the Women’s tag titles after defeating Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose on SmackDown last week. Asuka and Sane worked as heels in this match, and brought their hard hitting Japanese style to the fore. In a tribute to fellow Japanese wrestler Tajiri, the finish saw Asuka spit green mist in the eyes of Cross and win the match.
Result: Kabuki Warriors defeated Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross to become the new Women’s Tag Team Champions.
Analysis: Yet another match which was hurt by lack of proper build, the match felt lackluster at times. The crowd wasn’t into it after two stellar opening matches. Asuka and Sane winning the titles is definitely a promising move, as it gives them some relevance in the women’s division. Hopefully, WWE will book them properly and don’t screw up their reign like the IIconics.
The OC vs The Viking Raiders and Braun Strowman
The two teams continued their feud in yet another late addition to the card. Both the teams had some hard hitting action, courtesy of the monstrous personalities involved. Styles was caught by Strowman who went for the powerslam, before Gallows and Anderson laid out Braun for a DQ finish.
Result: Braun Strowman and Viking Raiders defeated The O.C.
Analysis: WWE usually has one or two filler matches but this PPV was filled with a barrage of such encounters. This match was simply a set-up for AJ and Braun for the United States Championship down the line. PPV shouldn’t be used for building feuds, rather they should be utilised to provide closure to a rivalry.
Chad Gable vs Baron Corbin
This was a late addition but thankfully, it had some build before it. Gable went at Corbin with fast paced offense but Corbin eventually took control with his methodical approach. Both went back and forth before Gable took advantage of a distraction to win the matchup.
Result: Chad Gable defeated Baron Corbin
Analysis: Gable’s push is a refreshing sight but it comes at the cost of WWE renaming him ‘Shorty Gable’. Corbin is slowly becoming one of the best heels in the wrestling industry, and his ability to get other superstars over is invaluable.
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley(c) vs Charlotte Flair
Charlotte overwhelmed Bayley to start off the match but the champion regained control. Charlotte went for the Figure Four but Bayley survived. Both the competitors focused on leg based offense throughout the match, and Charlotte Flair eventually locked in the Figure Eight to win her tenth women’s championship.
Result: Charlotte Flair defeated Bayley to become the new SmackDown Women’s Champion.
Analysis: This encounter was leaps and bounds better than their match at Clash of Champions, and resulted in a proper finish. Bayley’s heel character is still a work in progress and she could stay in the main event scene for the foreseeable future. WWE will also need to start booking superstars outside of the Four Horsewomen, giving chances to individuals like Liv Morgan.
Universal Championship: Seth Rollins(c) vs Bray Wyatt
The Fiend challenged for the Universal Championship in the main event of the evening. The arena was covered in red light for the match, and both the superstars went back and forth to start it off. Wyatt no-sold all the moves by Rollins, and delivered a Sister Abigail for a two count. Rollins regained control and went on to deliver 11 CURB STOMPS, a Pedigree and several chair shots, including a shot straight to the head. Wyatt still survived until Rollins brought a sledgehammer and hit the Fiend with it, resulting in Referee Stoppage. Wyatt delivered a Mandible Claw and Sister Abigail to end the night. The crowd chanted “bullsh*t” and “AEW” in disgust.
Result: The Fiend defeated Seth Rollins via disqualification.
Analysis: Trust WWE to completely mess up a potential Match of the Year. Both the superstars had a stellar rivalry over the past few weeks, which all amounted to nothing. WWE was clearly looking to make Wyatt the strongest superstar in the company, even stronger than the likes of Lesnar and Reigns, and they were successful in doing so.
However, this came at the expense of a false finish which made zero sense. WWE once again hesitated in pulling the trigger on an ‘over superstar’ which will have negative ramifications in the upcoming days.