It’s time for WWE Hell in a Cell, which is the second Raw brand pay-per-view of WWE’s “new era.” It features three Hell in a Cell matches that are a part of a triple main event. Here’s my full review.
WWE Hell in a Cell
October 31, 2016
There was one match on the Kickoff Show. Here’s what happened.
The announcers for the Kickoff Show are Mauro Ranallo even though he’s a Smackdown announcer. He’s with Corey Graves.
Cedric Alexander, Lince Dorado & Sin Cara vs. Tony Nese, Drew Gulak & Ariya Daivari
Sin Cara hit backbreakers for all three heels to start the match. Daivari hit a neckbreaker on Sin Cara after a distraction from Nese. Sin Cara came back with a moonsault off the middle ropes. Dorado tagged in against Nese with a hurricanrana by Dorado, then a back elbow and a spinning heel kick. Dorado nailed a Shooting Star Press for a two count as the heels made the save. Double clothesline sent four guys out to the floor. Nese caught Dorado and launched him over the top rope onto the other four guys that were outside the ring.
(That awful KFC commercial with Ziggler and Miz aired. Then a commercial aired for this show that we are already watching.)
Back to the match, Daivari worked on Dorado. Running knee strike by Daivari gets two. Gulak locked up Dorado in a submission move working on the legs. Nese tripped up Dorado and hit a springboard moonsault, but he didn’t connect with the splash part of it very well. Dorado with a hurricanrana on Gulak gets two and he tagged in Alexander. Great back elbow by Alexander on Gulak followed by a roundhouse kick. The three faces hit diving attacks onto the heels outside the ring. That was sweet. Gulak grounded Alexander with a Dragon Sleeper submission. Dorado made the save with a top rope legdrop. There were some nice moves by the guys that weren’t the legal men. Gulak went for a rollup pin on Alexander, but Alexander kicked out. Alexander hit the Lumbar Check (double knees to the back) for the pinfall win after about 10 minutes. That’s a great move.
Winners by pinfall: Cedric Alexander, Lince Dorado & Sin Cara
Analysis: **3/4 A very good match as expected from these guys. I liked the triple dive spot outside the ring. Then it led to some big moves from each man until Alexander was able to stop Gulak with his impressive finishing move. No surprise that the faces won because they have WWE contracts while the heels are just used once in a while by WWE. I liked that choice for an opener because they are exciting wrestlers that can get a crowd hyped up about a show like this.
Here’s the main card that started at 8pmET.
There was a video package about the destruction that might take place inside Hell in a Cell. Then it featured clips of the people involved in the three matches in the advertised triple main event. The video was very good as usual.
The pyro went off to welcome us to the show and the cell was already surrounding the ring.
The raving Russian appeared on the stage in a fantastic looking outfit. She introduced her husband Rusev. It says “US CHAMP” on Rusev’s tights.
The announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show from their Raw announce position by the entrance ramp. The Spanish announce team is at ringside and so is the German announce team.
The United States Champion Roman Reigns made his entrance. It was a typical mixed reaction for him. Maybe more boos than cheers. Cole noted it’s the first time the US Title is on the line inside Hell in a Cell.
United States Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Roman Reigns vs. Rusev
No sign of Lana at ringside. Rusev was aggressive early on as there were dueling chants for Rusev. That’s certainly different. Rusev took control with a hard kick to the ribs. Reigns sent Rusev out to the floor, then Rusev stood on the apron and Reigns hit a shoulder tackle that sent Rusev into the cell. Reigns tossed Rusev into the cell three times in a row followed by an uppercut. Reigns whipped Rusev hard into the steps. Reigns grabbed a table from under the ring, but Rusev recovered by whipping Reigns into the cell. Rusev nailed a kick to the back as they continued to battle outside the ring. Rusev rolled Reigns into the ring as the announcers noted Rusev’s arm was bloody after he was tossed into the cell earlier. Hard whip into the corner by Rusev gets two. Reigns avoided a corner splash, Rusev did a hip toss and Reigns avoided a running splash. Corner clotheslines from Reigns in the corner and a running kick to the face. Rusev left the ring, Reigns went for a Drive By dropkick, Rusev avoided it and clotheslined him. Rusev whipped Reigns shoulder first into the steps. Fans chanted “Get The Tables” because they saw them earlier. Rusev whipped Reigns into the cell. Rusev grabbed the steel stairs and rammed them into Reigns’ face two times in a row. Rusev placed the steel steps on the top rope, but Reigns stopped him with some uppercuts as well as a clothesline that sent Rusev over the top to the floor. Reigns kicked Rusev into the cell as the crowd chanted “table” in reply to that.
Rusev put Reigns on his shoulder and drove him face first into the cell. Rusev grabbed a kendo stick instead of a table. Reigns hit a Drive By kick and Reigns attacked with the kendo stick with several hard shots to the back and the chest. When Reigns was trying to get in the ring, Rusev kicked the ropes to stun Reigns. Rusev locked Reigns’ arms in the ropes. Rusev attacked with many kendo stick shots to the chest and then he broke the kendo stick. Reigns nailed a clothesline for two. Reigns nailed a Superman Punch for two. Rusev nailed a hard kick to the face and sent Reigns head first into the steel steps that were on the top rope. That earned a two count for Rusev. Really good nearfall. Rusev applied the Accolade submission with some fans chanting “tap” because they wanted Reigns to lose. Reigns fought out of it, ran the ropes and Rusev dropped him with a roundhouse kick to the head. Rusev grabbed a steel chain from under the ring. Reigns nailed him with an uppercut to avoid getting hit with the chain. They went back in the ring with Rusev hitting Reigns with the chain in the stomach as well as the back a few times. More dueling chants for Rusev. Rusev brought steel steps into the ring again, whipped Reigns into them and then hit a leaping kick to the face for a two count. Rusev grabbed the chain and set up Reigns for the Accolade on the steel steps. He put the chain over the mouth of Reigns, which did look pretty painful. Reigns powered out of it and gave Rusev a Samoan Drop onto the steel steps. Good spot. With Rusev standing on the steps, Reigns ran at him and gave him a Spear so that it was a Spear off the steps, which elevated it by a couple of feet. Reigns covered for the pinfall win after 25 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns
Analysis: ***1/4 A very good effort from two guys that have wrestled many times in the last three months. It was a long match that was very physical. I like how there were several moments where the match could end, yet they were able to keep going and hit some even bigger moves. I thought it was a bit too long, though. I get wanting to go a bit longer to make it stand out more than their other matches. It just felt like they could have taken out 7-10 minutes and it could have been a better match. No surprise that Reigns won. This likely ends the feud for now.
After the match was over, the crowd gave them a big ovation. Reigns celebrated with the US Title that he may not lose for a while.
The announcers talked about what happened on Raw when Seth Rollins pinned both Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho in a triple threat match. Post match, Owens gave Rollins a Powerbomb against the side of the ring.
Kevin Owens, the Universal Champion, was interviewed by Tom Phillips backstage. Owens said that Rollins was beaten down, wrecked and broken after what Owens did to him on Raw. Owens said that Rollins was the one that spent Raw writhing in pain. Owens mentioned that the last time he Powerbombed somebody like that was John Cena and it took weeks to come back, but Rollins is going to try it just six days later. Owens said when he’s done with Seth he’s not going to call himself The Man because Seth will barely look like one. He also claimed that Rollins won’t look like a winner, but you can still call Owens the Universal Champion and that makes him The Man.
Analysis: A good promo from the champ like usual. They needed to do an interview and fill time so that they could get the cell raised, so that’s fine. I like hearing from people in big matches. It lets us know their mindset going into the match.
Bayley made her entrance and then Dana Brooke entered. Other announcers were shown in the arena: Portuguese, Japanese and Russia.
Bayley vs. Dana Brooke
Bayley has the tape on her right arm to sell the injury. Corner dropkick by Bayley early on. Arm drag by Bayley, but then Brooke caught her and sent her shoulder first into the top turnbuckle. Brooke nailed a hard clothesline for a two count. Brooke choked Bayley against the bottom rope and then rammed her arm into the apron. Brooke continued to work on the arm of Bayley. When Brooke went for a handspring, Bayley kicked her away. Brooke grabbed the arm of Bayley and yanked on it against the top rope. Bayley was able to stun Brooke against the middle ropes. Bayley hit her back elbow in the corner followed by a suplex and a clothesline. Bayley hit a back elbow smash off the middle ropes. Bayley went for Bayley to Belly, Brooke hit her arm, but Bayley ended up hitting the Bayley to Belly suplex to win after 7 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Bayley
Analysis: *1/2 A predictable win for Bayley. Brooke was in control for much of it and Bayley did a good job of firing back. Brooke’s offense is still poor, but at least in this match it was basic stuff working on the arm. Bayley could get into the title picture again although she’s likely just going to be a part of the elimination tag at Survivor Series.
The KFC commercial featuring Ziggler and Miz aired.
A WWE 2K17 commercial aired.
The Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and GM Mick Foley talked about Survivor Series. They mentioned the elimination matches as well Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg. Chris Jericho talked about how Smackdown has a formidable roster with guys like AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose. Foley asked if Jericho had a point. Jericho asked what happens when you interrupt Jericho and that he’s already been on it before. Jericho told Foley to watch…it. Jericho said that their first choice for Team Raw should be Chris Jericho and the second choice should be Kevin Owens. Stephanie said they will take it under advisement. Jericho said that Team Chris and Kevin should be co-captains of Team Raw. Foley mentioned Owens in the Hell in a Cell match later. Jericho teased writing something on The List and left.
Analysis: Good way to get people thinking about Survivor Series. It didn’t accomplish much aside from putting an idea in people’s heads. You would think Jericho would be mad about not having a match on this show. Apparently he’s not upset about it.
There’s a show called Raw Talk immediately following Hell in a Cell only on WWE Network.
Analysis: They did a special Talking Smack following No Mercy earlier in the month. The PPV ended about 20 minutes before the third hour, so it was a way to fill time.
Enzo & Cass made their entrance. Enzo called The Club “Andy and The Big Gal.” Enzo said he’s been with girls bigger than Gallows. Cass reminded us the names are Andy and The Big Gal. Cass talked about the Times New Roman font again as a way to insult. Cass did a rhyme that ended with “Big Papi” (David Ortiz) to suck up to the Boston crowd. Enzo made a Toy Story reference for Andy because that’s the name of the kid in Toy Story. They ended with their SAWFT bit. Graves was happy it was over.
Analysis: I didn’t know there would be a Toy Story reference on the show. WWE is just so unpredictable these days! Now that’s sarcasm. It was a fun promo.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass
Enzo whipped Anderson into the corner. Cass tossed Enzo into Gallows and then into Anderson in the corner. Both heels were outside the ring, so Cass picked up Enzo and tossed the little man with the big hair onto the heels on the floor. Gallows tagged in and crushed Enzo with a huge clothesline outside the ring. That led to the heels working on Enzo for a bit. Anderson put him on the top rope, Enzo kicked him away and hit a leaping DDT. Cass tagged in against Gallows with clotheslines and a running boot to the face. Cass punched Anderson in the corner, then hit corner splashes on both guys. Anderson landed on the apron and Cass nailed him with a big boot to knock him down. Cass with a slam and Empire Elbow on Gallows. Fallaway slam by Cass. Enzo tagged in as Anderson hit Cass with a running kick to knock him out of the ring. Enzo cross body block on Anderson. Enzo got in some offense on Gallows, but was stopped with a kick to the head. Anderson tagged in and the heels hit the Magic Killer on Enzo to win the match after about 7 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Gallows & Anderson
Analysis: **1/2 It was a standard tag match with the predictable formula that we see for every E&C match. It’s always Enzo getting worked on to build up for the hot tag to Cass. That’s why I get tired of Enzo & Cass matches. It’s always the same thing every time. If they lose the match, it’s Enzo that takes the pin too. I’d love it if they changed it up once in a while, but that won’t happen because WWE wants Cass to always look strong. I thought Gallows & Anderson would win because WWE needs to establish them as a credible tag team. They will likely be the ones to take the titles off New Day in December or January. Enzo & Cass may win them at WrestleMania. It would make sense at least. I’m 4-0 in predictions so far counting the Kickoff Show.
There was a plug for WWE’s work with Komen to raise money for cancer awareness.
A Survivor Series graphic reminded us that Goldberg vs. Lesnar takes place at Survivor Series in Toronto on November 20.
Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins is up next for the Universal Title in a Hell in a Cell match. A video package aired to set up their feud with Chris Jericho talking about why Owens deserves that title.
Analysis: This also confirmed that the main event is Banks vs. Charlotte.
The Universal Champion Kevin Owens made his entrance first. There were a lot of boos, but some cheers as well. Seth Rollins entered to a loud ovation from the crowd in Boston. The face turn is working for him although he hasn’t changed much about his look and character. When they were both in the ring, the introductions for each man took place. Rollins has tape on his back to sell the back injuries from Raw.
WWE Universal Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins
Owens left the ring to look for weapons under the ring. Rollins went right after him and tossed him into the cell. Back in the ring, Slingblade by Rollins. After some trash talk, Rollins hit a blockbuster off the middle ropes. Rollins grabbed a table from under the ring, which he set up between the ring and the cell. Owens with a hard whip into the corner followed by a senton splash on the bad back of Rollins. Owens sent Rollins into the cell a few times and pulled off the tape that was on Seth’s back. When they were back in the ring, Rollins tried to fight back, but Owens launched him between the ropes and face first into the cell. That was an impressive bump by Rollins that would have led to a blade job if this was before 2008, but not in today’s WWE. Blood helped tell a story although I don’t miss seeing it in matches. Owens continued his aggressiveness with a cannonball attack in the turnbuckle. Rollins was seated against the cell, so Owens hit a cannonball splash into the cell. Back in the ring, they exchanged superkicks, then Rollins nailed a roundhouse kick and Owens hit a clothesline as both guys were down. Great sequence there as the crowd gave them a big ovation. Both guys were down for a bit.
Owens brought out another table and thought about what he should do with it. He wedged the table against the cell and placed it above the other table that was set up against the cell. They battled on the other side of the ring with Rollins hitting a Falcon Arrow suplex on the side of the apron. On Smackdown, AJ Styles hit a snap suplex on the apron on Ambrose. That was cool, but this was better. Rollins hit two suicide dives while driving Owens into the cell. Rollins bailed to the floor again. Owens had the fire extinguisher in his hands and hit Rollins in the ribs with it. Owens “accidentally” sprayed stuff from the fire extinguisher into the face of referee Chad Patton. Then he did it again. Another ref John Cone was there to help Patton. The cage door was open, fans chanted “Y2J” and right on cue there was Owens’ buddy Chris Jericho in street clothes, which includes leather pants and a scarf. Jericho went into the cell, Cone tried to stop it, but Jericho locked the door because he had the key. Owens kissed him on the cheek because he was happy to see him. Rollins sent Jericho into the cell and Owens hit a package Powerbomb for a two count. Rollins nailed a springboard knee attack on Owens. Jericho got back to his feet and went for a move off the top, but Rollins nailed a Pedigree on him. Owens capitalized with a kick to the face of Rollins. Owens went for a Powerbomb, but Rollins fought out of it, he powered up Owens and sent him Powerbomb style through the table that was above the other one. Wow that was impressive. That’s a pretty nasty looking bump, but it looks like Owens was fine with the landing. That drew a huge ovation from the appreciative crowd. Rollins rolled Owens back in the ring, went up top, hit a Frog Splash for the one…two…no because Jericho pulled ref John Cone out of the ring.
Rollins went after Jericho. He tossed Jericho into the cell. Rollins picked him up Powerbomb style and sent him into the side of the cell. When Rollins went back in the ring, Owens hit a superkick and Popup Powerbomb for a two count. Awesome nearfall there with Owens looking stunned that he couldn’t beat Rollins with that. Jericho had a steel chair, which he gave to Owens. That led to Owens using the chair as a weapon to the back of Rollins. Rollins was able to get the chair from him, he nailed Owens in the back and hit Jericho with some chair shots as well. Owens recovered with a DDT onto the chair. There are no chair shots to the head in WWE, but apparently that’s fine I guess if he didn’t really connect with it. Owens with another chair shot to the back. Owens put the chairs side by side and opened them up. Owens gave Rollins a Powerbomb through the two chairs. He covered for the pinfall win after 24 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Kevin Owens
Analysis: ****1/4 That was a very good match even with Jericho in there to make it feel like a handicap match more than a singles match. The idea was to make it a cheap win for Owens, which makes Rollins a sympathetic face that came close to winning so many times. They worked very hard, took some big bumps and told a predictable story with Jericho as the difference maker for the second straight title match between them. Rollins was awesome throughout the match with a mix of high flying moves, some crazy bumps and that Powerbomb that sent Owens through the tables was awesome. Owens showed a lot of aggressiveness as the heel champion. I liked the ending of the match because Rollins already kicked out of a Popup Powerbomb during the match, so they needed to do something more creative to finish it off. That’s where the two chairs came into play. During the preview, I wrote that Owens was going to win thanks to Jericho and I doubt that I was the only one that thought that. That’s what happened because it was obvious WWE didn’t put Jericho into another match so he could be involved with this. Foley’s probably going complain about Jericho’s interference yet they did nothing to prevent it during the match. That’s a problem with the stories on Raw because they let the interference happen and then try to make stories of it after instead of during the matches. Great performance by Owens and Rollins, who are two of the best performers in WWE.
Post match, Owens and Jericho celebrated the win. When Rollins finally got back to his feet, Jericho went back into the ring and hit a Codebreaker on him. Jericho’s music played while Owens was up the ramp with the title.
Analysis: We can probably pencil in Rollins beating Jericho on Raw this Monday or soon after so that Rollins can get his revenge.
The Hell in a Cell Kickoff panel talked about the show to kill some time. Time to hit fast forward.
There was a clip from earlier in the night when Brian Kendrick told TJ Perkins he needs the Cruiserweight Title. Perkins told him to try to win. Kendrick said he needs Perkins to let him win and he left.
Analysis: That was similar to what they did on Raw when Kendrick said the same thing to Perkins.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick
They did a monkey flip exchange leading to Kendrick getting a rollup for two. Cradle by Perkins gets two with Kendrick looking upset about it. Perkins got some more athletic offense in, but Kendrick slowed him down by kicking him when he was against the ropes. Kendrick grabbed the athletic tape on Perkins left hand and tapped it to the bottom rope. Trash talk by Kendrick. The crowd wasn’t into the match very much as Perkins nailed a neckbreaker. Shoulder to the gut by Perkins and then a missile dropkick. Perkins nailed a slingshot dive over the top to the floor. Some fan in the crowd: “Get a fuckin’ haircut, hippy.” Back in the ring, Perkins with a vertical suplex into a belly to back suplex. Perkins went for a missile dropkick, but Kendrick nailed a dropkick of his own. Perkins nailed the Detonation Kick for a two count. I think that should be his finisher, but he just uses it as a setup move. Kendrick nailed a belly to back suplex into a two count. Perkins went for a pinfall, but Kendrick countered into the Captain’s Hook submission with Perkins countering into a pinfall attempt for two. There’s no crowd reaction for this. Perkins rolled through with the knee bar, but Kendrick got to the bottom rope to break the hold. Kendrick sent Perkins face first into the middle turnbuckle. Kendrick went for the Sliced Bread #2, but Perkins avoided it and Kendrick went down in pain as if his knee was hurt. The referee asked Kendrick if he wanted to continue. Perkins looked sad in the corner while the crowd booed the stop in action. When Perkins checked on him, Kendrick did a headbutt and then slapped on the Captain’s Hook submission. Perkins tapped out after 11 minutes.
Winner and New Cruiserweight Champion: Brian Kendrick
Kendrick smiled as he held the Cruiserweight Championship while Graves said that Kendrick fooled everybody. As he said it, the “man with the plan” part of his song played, so that was timed well.
Analysis: **1/2 It was a good match that wasn’t at the level of their other matches. They weren’t helped by the fact that they followed a great Hell in a Cell match because the crowd barely reacted to any of it. I mean it was really quiet with barely a reaction to anything, even the finish. It was a crafty win for the heel challenger, who played mind games to get the title from Perkins. It made Perkins look bad because most of us could see Kendrick outsmarting him and that’s what happened. I picked Kendrick to win, so I was 6-0 in predictions up to this point. While I’m a bit sad that Perkins lost the gold after less than two months, it’s okay because WWE should build up other challengers. Kendrick is a heel champion that can feud with the likes of Rich Swann, Cedric Alexander and others that WWE may want to elevate by putting the title on them.
A commercial aired about WWE Network while also promoting WrestleMania as well.
The announcers talked about how if you sign up for WWE Network now you can get Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Samoa Joe at NXT Takeover Toronto on November 19 and also Survivor Series from Toronto on November 20.
Analysis: I’ll be at both of those shows. I live a couple of hours away from Toronto, so it’ll be nice to make the short trip. I’m going to skip Raw also in the same building at the Air Canada Centre.
The odd couple tag team of Sheamus and Cesaro were backstage in the locker room. They bickered about things with Sheamus telling Cesaro to follow his lead and Cesaro said he was the reason they beat New Day on Raw last week. Sheamus said he’s the one that got the pinfall. Then they bickered about rental cars and Sheamus wanting to go to Irish pubs in every town.
There was another plug for “Raw Talk” on WWE Network after the matches.
The New Day made their entrance with Xavier Woods saying they defend their WWE Tag Team Championships against Cesaro (crowd cheers) and Sheamus (crowd boos). Kofi Kingston said they thought they would be fighting like two fat dudes over Fenway Franks to suck up to the locals. Big E said he’s hearing that sponsorship deals have been rolling in for Cesaro and Sheamus including shoes for Cesaro. Kingston said that he’s wearing the signature shoe of Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots. Kingston said he’s from Boston and feels like nobody knows it with the whole Jamaican thing. Kingston said he loves this city. Woods pointed out Kofi’s mom in the crowd. The fans chanted “shame” when they mentioned Sheamus getting sponsorship deals on things like trash cans. They ended it with their “New Day rocks” chant.
Analysis: A good promo from the champions. It was needed because the crowd lost a lot of energy from the previous match, so this got them fired up. Nice to see Kingston mention he’s from the Boston area because he’s right that fans don’t think of him as a Boston guy.
Normally it’s Big E & Kofi defending the titles, but we get Big E & Xavier for this match. The tag title reign is 434 days for New Day. It’s second longest to Demolition, who held them for 478 days. I think they’ll get that record, which means holding the titles into mid-December.
WWE Tag Team Championships: The New Day’s Big E & Xavier Woods (w/Kofi Kingston) vs. Sheamus & Cesaro
Cesaro started with Woods, which led to Sheamus hitting a cheap shot on Woods to knock him off the apron and Cesaro didn’t like that. Forearms to the chest by Sheamus, then Cesaro tagged himself in and hit a forearm smash. Each guy kept tagging themselves in to piss off the other guy. Sheamus hit the backbreaker on Woods to prevent him from tagging out. Woods got a boot to the face of Cesaro and then nailed a leaping kick off the middle ropes. Big E tagged in against Sheamus with Big E hitting three belly to belly suplexes, which is what he usually does after the tag. Running splash by Big E on Sheamus. Big E sent Cesaro out of the ring and Woods took out Cesaro with a somersault dive over the top to the floor. Sheamus went for the Brogue Kick, Big E caught him and hit a Powerbomb for two. Impressive strength by Big E. Sheamus came back with a powerslam for a two count. Woods tagged in with a cross body block. Sheamus nailed White Noise on him for a two count. “Shame” chants for Sheamus. Rolling senton for Sheamus, Cesaro tagged in and hit a double foot stomp for a two count. Woods nailed Cesaro with a kick. Kick for Sheamus on the apron too. Woods up top, he walked across the top rope a bit and hit a great flying elbow for a two count. That was awesome. Cesaro came back with uppercuts on Woods after he knocked Big E off the apron. Cesaro Swing time on Woods leading to the Sharpshooter. Big E into the ring and he hit an overhead belly to belly on Cesaro that sent him into the turnbuckle. Big E tagged in, put Cesaro on his shoulders and tagged Woods. Sheamus made the save, went for a Brogue Kick on Big E, he moved and Sheamus hit Cesaro with the Brogue Kick. Big E clothesline sent Sheamus and him out of the ring. Woods with the one arm cover, but Sheamus was there to save Cesaro as they showed some continuity for a change. Sheamus sent Woods out of the ring. Sheamus went to the top rope and jumped onto all three New Day guys. Sheamus rolled Cesaro back in since he was the legal man. Cesaro tripped up Woods and applied the Sharpshooter. Cesaro dragged him to the middle of the ring. Big E tried to save, but Sheamus pulled him out of the ring. Big E shoved Sheamus down. Sheamus hit Big E in the back with Francesca II the trombone. While still on the floor, Sheamus went after Kingston with the trombone, Kingston moved and Kingston hit Trouble in Paradise on Sheamus. The referee turned around to see Kingston hit the move, so the referee called for the bell to disqualify New Day after 12 minutes of action.
As all of that was going on, Woods was tapping out while the referee was signaling for the bell. Sheamus & Cesaro were announced as winners by disqualification while New Day retain the titles. Replays aired of the finish with the announcers explaining it to the viewers. Sheamus and Cesaro argued about it.
Winners by disqualification: Sheamus & Cesaro (New Day retains the Tag Team Titles)
Analysis: ***1/4 A fun tag match like they had on Raw with a finish I wasn’t expecting. I give WWE credit for coming up with a creative finish that you don’t see very often. It accomplishes the goal of keeping the titles on New Day so they can get the tag team title reign record and also sets up another match between these teams. I liked a lot of the nearfalls. People will hate the ending because they like to complain, but I thought it was fine in terms of doing something different to end a match while not hurting the champions or challengers. It leaves us wanting more.
That’s the first prediction I got wrong because I thought New Day would win.
A video package aired about Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series. Lesnar said he didn’t give a shit about Goldberg’s wife or kid. Lesnar’s message to Goldberg’s wife and son is “don’t watch” and said “please don’t watch.” Lesnar said he’s going to suplex the shit out of Bill, he’ll F5 him, 1-2-3 and he’ll go home while Goldberg doesn’t. The graphic tells us it’s “Fantasy Warfare” to promote the match as well as the WWE 2K17 video game.
Analysis: Always good to hear Lesnar talk. He comes off as a such a jerk when he’s just trying to be honest. Please don’t hurt me, Brock.
Goldberg is on Raw live this Monday.
The video package aired to set up Sasha vs. Charlotte for the Raw Women’s Championship. The video package showed clips of women wrestlers in WWE over the years as well as the history of both women and Foley lecturing them about the pain involved with Hell in a Cell matches.
The challenger Charlotte Flair made her entrance as four dudes carried her down to the ring while she sat on her throne since she calls herself The Queen. I put Charlotte Flair because it seems as if WWE has put the “Flair” name instead of just naming her Charlotte. She also has “CF” on her boots. Cole noted that Charlotte is 13-0 in PPV matches and 12-0 in title matches, which is the longest streak for any WWE superstar to begin their career.
The crowd chanted “We Want Sasha” as the Raw Women’s Champion Sasha Banks made her entrance in her hometown of Boston. Banks entered in a Cadillac Escalade. It says “Boss Town” on the back of her entrance gear since it is Boston after all.
Both women were introduced without the cell being around them. The cell was lowered as both of them stood in the ring facing the hard camera while the announcers put over the significance of the first women’s match inside Hell in a Cell.
Charlotte attacked Banks before the cell could hit the ground and the cell was stopped. Charlotte attacked Banks outside the ring. Banks tossed Charlotte over the barricade. They brawled into the crowd with Banks tossing Charlotte back over the barricade into the ringside area. Banks cleared off one of the announce tables as the cell was lowered to the ground. Charlotte climbed up the side of the cell, Sasha chased after her, Charlotte dropped down first, then grabbed Sasha off the cell and gave her a Powerbomb through the announce table. Banks was out while referees checked on her.
Analysis: That was a fast start for these women. It didn’t officially start because they were yet to get into the cell, but it got the crowd fired up just by having them brawl before the bell rang.
Fans were chanting “Let’s Go Sasha” as Banks was stumbling around ringside. Hey look there’s former WWE superstar Chris Nowinski at ringside. Banks continued to stumble around the cell and then she collapsed outside the ring. Other referees kept Charlotte from attacking Banks. The stretcher came out for Banks as the announcers used SERIOUS VOICES~! to talk about it. Charlotte went into the ring saying she wants her title back. Banks was placed on the stretcher. The ring announcer Jojo said that the winner of the match due to forfeit and the new…but there’s Banks. She got off the stretcher and entered the cell. The door locked to begin the match. Banks got up when she heard the near announcement that Charlotte would the new champion, so that’s what motivated her to keep fighting.
Analysis: It was a good angle to get the crowd to have the heel Charlotte use a cheap attack to weaken Banks before the match could even begin. It also led to the crowd supporting Banks even more than they already were. Sympathy heat is an easy story to tell especially when Hell in a Cell is involved.
After all of that, the match began at about 10:52pmET.
WWE Raw Women’s Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte
Banks slammed Charlotte into the side of the cell. Hard slap by Banks while Charlotte said she wanted out of the cell. Charlotte drove Banks face first into the ring post. Monkey flip into the cell by Charlotte. Cool spot. Back in the ring, Charlotte worked on the back of Banks. Charlotte suplexed Banks back first into the turnbuckle for a two count. Charlotte picked up Banks and dumped her over the top to the floor. Charlotte grabbed a steel chair from under the ring. Banks came back with a two baseball slide dropkicks and then a suicide dive into a cross body block in the cage. Charlotte came back with hard chops in the corner. Banks fought back with punches followed by a drop toe hold that sent Charlotte face first into the seated chair. Charlotte came back with a back breaker onto seated chair for a two count. Good spot as the focus on the match remains on the injured back of Banks. They were outside the ring with Banks kicking her down. Charlotte launched her into the cell, Banks grabbed onto the cell and hit a double knee attack to take down Charlotte outside the ring. That was an awesome spot. Banks whipped Charlotte into the cell and hit the double knee attack two times in a row.
They went back into the ring with Banks hitting double knees into the corner. Banks hit three rolling vertical suplexes like her hero Eddie Guerrero as the crowd chanted “Eddie” for that. Banks went up top with a Frog Splash like Eddie for a two count. Nice tribute to him. Bank Statement submission applied by Banks, but Charlotte got out of the ring. Banks set up Charlotte on the middle ropes, put the chair under her and Banks nailed the double knee attack to send Charlotte butt first into the chair for the two count. Charlotte sent Banks face first into the top of the ring steps. Charlotte brought out a table and set it up between the ring and the cell. She teased a suplex, but it was obviously not going to happen. Banks kicked her and Charlotte landed on the table, but she didn’t go through it. The table just collapsed under her without breaking in the middle like we’ve seen many times. Banks grabbed another table, but Charlotte drove it into the throat of Banks to send Banks into the cell again. Charlotte set up the table in the ring. Charlotte with a backbreaker followed by a big boot. Charlotte applied the Figure Eight submission, but Banks used a chair to break free by hitting Charlotte in the hip with it. That was a creative way to break the hold. Charlotte came back with backbreakers and a sidewalk slam. Charlotte put Banks onto the table while teasing a moonsault, but Banks knocked her down. Banks moved the table against the turnbuckle on the other side of the ring. Banks went for a Powerbomb through the table, but her back gave out. Charlotte tossed Banks onto the table and Banks’ shorts rode up so it was like she had a wedgie. I doubt most male viewers are going to complain about that look. Just saying. The table didn’t break. Charlotte tossed Banks onto the table again. It didn’t break. I assume it was supposed to. Charlotte hit the Natural Selection neck snap for the pinfall win after 23 minutes.
Winner by pinfall and New Raw Women’s Champion: Charlotte
It’s the third-time Charlotte has won the Women’s Title. She smiled when she was handed the title.
Analysis: ***3/4 That was very good with some issues too. Nearly four stars of five for their first time in the Cell is impressive. A better finish could have helped. The match result was an outcome that I didn’t expect, but I’ll reflect more on that a bit later. I think some of the spots they planned towards the finish did not go the way they wanted, but they managed to make it work as best they could. Those table spots at the end were likely done so that they could break the table leading to a pin, but it wouldn’t break. Perhaps 110 pound women like Banks (she may weigh less than that) are not made to break tables. I doubt Charlotte was going to win with just a Natural Selection, so that was part of it. The best thing about the match was Banks selling the back injury the whole match, Charlotte targeted it the entire time and it played into the finish as well even though that table didn’t break. I don’t know if this was their best match. I liked some of their regular matches better. Give them credit for doing some different things, though. I have a lot of respect for what they did.
Regarding the victory for Charlotte, I’m very surprised by it. Why change the title every month? Banks won it in July, Charlotte won it back in August, Banks won it on October 3 and now four weeks later it’s another title change. What’s the point? With other title reigns that are long we hear WWE put over how impressive the champions are, but in this case it hurts both women. The match quality is good. The repeated title changes isn’t that interesting to me. I figured Banks would win this match in her hometown to put an end to this feud although WWE does tend to have people lose in their hometown. Instead, it’s going to keep going. Will Banks win the title back in another rematch? I hope not because they need to move on although Survivor Series has the elimination tag, so it might be another PPV. They might want to do Charlotte vs. Bayley as a feud in the near future.
The show ended with Charlotte holding up the Raw Women’s Title while Banks was still in pain.
The PPV portion of the show ended at 11:16pmET. There was a 44-minute edition of “Raw Talk” to put the broadcast at four hours. I’m not going to review that.
Analysis: I expected the women to main event the show, but I figured the night would end with Banks celebrating with her title in front of the hometown crowd. Charlotte winning back the title was an ending that a lot of us didn’t expect.
Five Stars of the Show
1. Seth Rollins
2. Kevin Owens
4. Sasha Banks
5. (tie) Roman Reigns
5. (tie) Rusev
It gets a 7.5 out of 10 from me.
It was a history making night with a women’s match main eventing a WWE PPV for the first time. I thought Owens vs. Rollins was the match of the night, but Charlotte vs. Banks was excellent as well. Three 20+ minute matches that were all above average helped the show a lot.
The three cell matches were all very good, but felt a bit repetitive since they did tables spots and used other weapons. It’s hard to make every weapon spot feel like a big deal when you see so many of them on the same card.
I’m not a fan of the length of this show. Just because Raw is a three-hour show that often goes ten minutes over that does not mean a PPV needs to run more than three hours. I get it for Survivor Series going four hours next month, but not this show too.
I think what’s hurting with WWE PPVs is they don’t do major events very often. It’s all about the matches, which is cool, but was there anything “can’t miss” on the show? Not really. I miss when they would do bigger angles and things that made shows stand out. It’s been this way all year.
Please put Sami Zayn on every PPV. It’s ridiculous that he was not a part of the show, even in a match against Braun Strowman.
In terms of in-ring action, it was a strong show. Some of the booking was questionable, but a lot of it was predictable too. I went 6-2 on the predictions because I didn’t have Sheamus & Cesaro by DQ win and Charlotte leaving with the Women’s Title.
WWE PPV Rankings In 2016 So Far
Money in the Bank – 8
Battleground – 8
Hell in a Cell – 7.5
Payback – 7.5
Backlash – 7.5
Royal Rumble – 7.5
SummerSlam – 7
Clash of Champions – 7
Extreme Rules – 7
No Mercy – 6.5
WrestleMania 32 – 6
Fastlane – 6
It’s been a weird year with no standout PPV. Normally my top score will be a 9/10, but I don’t think there’s been a PPV at that level this year.
Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Raptors. Go Los Angeles Rams.
John Canton – firstname.lastname@example.org