The John Report: WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 Review

Welcome to the WWE Hell in a Cell review on TJRWrestling. It’s the annual WWE October PPV with three Hell in a Cell matches on the card this year.

Here’s the Kickoff Show match. It was called by the Raw announce team of Tom Phillips, Samoa Joe and Byron Saxton.

24/7 Championship: R-Truth vs. Drew Gulak

R-Truth greeted Little Jimmy, the imaginary friend, in the match. Gulak mocked interaction with Jimmy and booted the imaginary friend, so Truth tackled Gulak with punches. Truth with a hiptoss for two. Truth sent Gulak into the turnbuckle followed by punches and then Gulak came back with a clothesline. Gulak twisted the left leg of Truth to ground the champion for about a minute or so. Truth tried a leapfrog, but Gulak countered it into a sunset flip for two leading to another leg lock on the mat. Gulak stretched Truth across his back, Truth countered that and Truth hit two shoulder tackles. Truth hit the spinning slam like “childhood hero” R-Truth. That led to Truth hitting the Five Knuckle Shuffle fist drop. Truth blocked the Attitude Adjustment attempt, Truth bounced off the ropes and hit a running forearm for two. Gulak came back with a corner clothesline, then kicks to the body and Truth pulled himself to the top rope. Gulak went after Truth there, Truth managed to set up Gulak on his shoulders and Gulak went for a pin attempt, but Truth countered that into a bridging pin where he was on top for the pinfall victory at 5:25.

Winner by pinfall: R-Truth

Analysis: *3/4 It was fine for a five-minute match with the champion Truth finding a way to get the win after some comedy to start the match. When they decided to do some wrestling in the last couple of minutes it was solid enough. Gulak is better used as a technical wrestler instead of a comedy guy.

After the match, Lucha House Party and Akira Tozawa went down to the ring to after Truth’s 24/7 Title, but Truth already got out of the ring. Truth left the ring to greet the Kickoff Show panel of Charly Caruso, Jerry Lawler, Booker T, Jeff Jarrett and Peter Rosenberg. When Truth saw the wrestlers going after him, he took off again. Gulak went over to the Kickoff Show panel and said that R-Truth’s childhood hero John Cena sucks. Gulak left. That was the end of that.

WWE Hell in a Cell
WWE Thunderdome at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida
October 25, 2020

The opening video package focused on the three Hell in a Cell matches. It was pretty good as they showed clips of past Hell in a Cell matches as well.

There was a pyro display in the ThunderDome to start the show along with some simulated flames to put over the “hell” factor that’s involved with a show like this.

The red Hell in a Cell structure was lowered around the ring with Michael Cole noting it was 20 feet tall and weighing five tonnes. It was Cole with Corey Graves at ringside to call the Smackdown matches on the show.

It’s Universal Title time up first with Roman Reigns defending the blue title from Smackdown against cousin Jey Uso. The story is that Roman wants Jey to acknowledge him as the Tribal Chief of their family.

Jey Uso entered first as the challenger wearing a white lei around his neck with Cole noting that it represents family and opportunity. Graves said that the lei also represents the love that Jey has for his cousin Roman Reigns.

Roman Reigns made his entrance as the Universal Champion with the ThunderDome crowd booing him, or at least that’s the noise WWE wants us to hear so they piped in the boos. Cole noted that this was Roman’s fourth time inside Hell in a Cell and he’s never been beaten. Paul Heyman was with Reigns as he stared at Roman in awe while also staring at the Universal Championship as well. A clip aired from the Kickoff Show with Heyman saying that when Jey Uso says “I Quit” he will be like an indentured servant at Roman Reigns’ command, which means that Jey will have to do what Roman tells him to do.

Hell in a Cell “I Quit” Match for the Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Jey Uso

The match began with Reigns saying he only changed because he had to do it for their family. Reigns with a shoulder tackle followed by an uppercut punch. Reigns was wearing a gold glove-like cover on his right hand/wrist that is new for him. Reigns with a suplex followed by a whip into the turnbuckle and a clothesline. Reigns with another corner clothesline. Jey with a boot to the face, then a jumping kick to the face and uppercut that knocked Reigns out of the ring. Jey with a suicide dive that sent Reigns back first into the cell. Back in the ring, Jey with a clothesline to the floor followed by another suicide dive where he sent Reigns into the cell again. Jey whipped Reigns into the cell two more times. Jey had a line about how he doesn’t “quit shit” and there was a bit of a muting, but I did hear the swear word. They went back into the ring with Reigns stopping Jey’s momentum with a Spear. Reigns told Jey he was going to wish he stayed at home. Reigns grabbed a chair and Jey hit a dropkick into the cell. Jey went for another dive, but Reigns blocked it with a punch and then Reigns hit a Spear. Jey told the referee that he did not quit. Reigns told Jey he didn’t want to have to do this. Reigns charged with another Spear attempt, Jey blocked with a knee and Jey hit a superkick. Jey went up top and hit an Uso Splash on Reigns. Jey went up top and hit another Uso Splash as Roman said that the head of the table never quits. Jey grabbed a leather strap from under the ring. Jey hit Reigns in the back three times, but Reigns was back up and hit his third Spear of the match. Reigns got his hands on the strap and he hit Jey in the back with it two times while telling Jey that he (Roman) did the whipping around here. Reigns continued to whip Jey with the leather strap. Reigns tied the strap to Jey’s right wrist and then Roman whipped Jey in the chest with it as Jey told the referee “no” when asked if he would quit. Jey managed to get some momentum going after some punches and he tried to choke out Reigns with the strap as the referee asked Reigns if he quit. Reigns looked like he was going to pass out from being choked out, but then Reigns showed some life and then Reigns looked like he was out again. The referee told Jey that Roman shook his head no. I guess choking with a strap in a match is okay, but don’t do it with a tie like Daniel Bryan did ten years ago when he lost his job for a few months. Anyway, Jey grabbed a chair and Reigns stopped his attack with a Superman Punch to the face. Reigns slapped on the Guillotine Choke with Jey collapsing to the match selling as if he was knocked out. The referee Ryan Tran asked Jey if he quit as Reigns sat up beside his cousin. Reigns said all that Jey had to do was acknowledge him and say “I quit” to end this. Reigns told Jey to quit and Reigns said he can’t be held responsible for what he does.

Reigns set up Jey on the apron and gave him the Drive By dropkick so that Jey’s head was up against the ring post. The referee kept asking Jey, who wasn’t answering and Reigns told Jey that he was being selfish. Reigns took off the top half of the steel steps, which he put against Jey’s head by the ring post. Reigns hit the Drive By dropkick into the steel steps into Jey’s face against the ring post. Referee Ryan Tran kept telling Jey that he had to hear to it to end it. The referee was about to call the match, so Reigns grabbed him and tossed him over the top to the floor. Another referee, Jason Ayers, went into the cell to check on Ryan Tran. That led to WWE Officials like Adam Pearce, Pat Buck, Jamie Noble and other referees went into the ring. Reigns closed the door and tossed the steel steps into the ring, so the WWE Officials left the ring. Reigns put the steel steps on top of Jey’s upper body. Reigns said he understood when they were kids they would try to be better than him, but now 35 years old they still are trying. Reigns said that all Jey had to do was acknowledge him. Reigns said that there is no going back when you’ve gone this far. Reigns held the steel steps above his head as Jimmy Uso went into the ring to check on his twin brother. Jimmy said “this is Josh, fool” (Jey’s real name is Josh) and wondered what he was doing. Jimmy: “What is wrong with you?” Jimmy said whatever he is going through, we can fix this is. Jimmy told Roman that this is Josh laying in this ring. Reigns looked emotional as he sat in the ring. Jimmy said that Roman knows that The Usos got him, but this ain’t it. Reigns broke down crying saying he didn’t know he was anymore. Jimmy said that this is Jon and Josh right here. Jimmy said this is family and said “please, no more of this.” Jimmy stuck out his hand, Roman shook it and then Roman choked out Jimmy, who has been out of action since April with a torn ACL. The announcers were shocked, but it was fitting for Roman’s heel character. Roman held onto Jimmy in the Guillotine Choke, Jimmy was selling like he was passing out while Jey was asking for Roman to let him go. Jey said “I Quit” repeatedly and the bell rang to end the match. It went 29:06.

Winner: Roman Reigns

Analysis: ***1/2 That was very intense. As a match, it was very good, but not necessarily an all-time great match. It was heavy on pushing the storyline, which is fine because the Roman Reigns heel persona is still evolving. think it was a very emotional, physical match with both guys working hard, Jey getting more offense than I imagined and they went longer than I thought it would go as well. Reigns winning was obviously the outcome that most of us expected, so there were no surprises here. Using Jimmy for the finish is similar to Clash of Champions although this time it was more physical with the Guillotine Choke involved, but that’s a safe move to do without hurting Jimmy’s surgically repaired knee. I also liked Jimmy saying the real names of the guys to make it feel even more personal. I really liked all of the trash talk they did and the last few minutes were excellent, but it definitely dragged a bit. It’s still a good match and I like the direction of this storyline.

After the match, Reigns held up the Universal Title while Jey was saddened about the fact that he quit. The announcers made the point that Jey quit because he knew it was the only way to save his brother Jimmy from the clutches of Reigns. Roman nodded at his cousins and left while Paul Heyman had a shocked look on his face.

When Reigns walked up the ramp, his father Sika and uncle Afa were on the stage. Reigns hugged his father and uncle as they put a red lei around Roman’s neck. The Usos looked on from inside the ring. Reigns held up the Universal Title in the air with his father, uncle and Heyman standing by proudly. Jey and Jimmy continued to look sad about this whole thing.

Analysis: That was a nice touch to have Afa and Sika there to crown Roman as the “Tribal Chief” of the family now after that win. It also means that Jey has to fall in line behind Roman. It’s a different kind of storyline, that’s for sure, but it’s about putting over Roman’s mindset as a top heel in WWE right now.

The Raw announce team of Tom Phillips, Samoa Joe and Byron Saxton talked about what happened with Reigns and Jey Uso. They showed replays of Jey saying “I Quit” to end the match.

Elias did a pre-match song where he trashed Jeff Hardy prior to their match. I’m not recapping the lyrics. Jeff Hardy entered for their match.

Jeff Hardy vs. Elias

Elias was in control early on with punches, but then Jeff hit a snapmare leading to a necksnap. Jeff slapped on an armbar, then Elias got up, ran around a bit and sent Jeff out to the floor. Elias went after Jeff on the floor, but Jeff sent him into the barricade and back into the ring with Jeff hitting a sliding dropkick. Jeff went for an attack on the floor, but Elias moved and sent Jeff into the barricade. Jeff got back in right before the ten count. Elias worked over Jeff with a barrage of punches, a boot to the face and a running clothesline for two. Elias grabbed a headlock, Jeff hit a spinning back kick and both guys were down. Jeff clapped to get the crowd going, so it slowly led to some clapping from the Thunderdome crowd and Jeff hit a running forearm. Jeff with an atomic drop, the double leg drop, dropkick and splash for two. Elias came back with a move where he had Jeff on his shoulders and hit a spinning Powerbomb for a two count. Jeff with a back elbow, then Jeff went up top and hit a Whisper in the Wind spinning attack for a two count. Jeff hit the Twist of Fate neckbrekaer. Jeff went up top, Elias to the apron, Hardy turned his body by going on top of the ring post. Jeff left the ring and Elias grabbed the guitar, but Jeff kicked him in the gut to stop him. Jeff grabbed the guitar and hit Elias in the back for the DQ finish. Elias gets the win at 7:55.

Winner by disqualification: Elias

Analysis: *1/2 A below average match with a cheap finish to keep the rivalry going. When Hardy was getting all that offense I figured he was losing, but I thought they would do something where Elias won by cheating instead of going the DQ route. It likely means the feud will continue where they have a gimmick match with guitars as weapons.

There was a video summary of the Law & Otis segments on Smackdown to set up Otis vs. Miz at this show.

Otis and his buddy Tucker were interviewed backstage by Kayla Braxton. Otis complained about all of the things that The Miz has done to him, so he feels angry at The Miz and added he was real angry.

The Miz entered with his buddy John Morrison by his side. Otis was with Tucker as I remind you that Otis is on Smackdown while the other three are on Raw now. Otis has a new theme song where he says “Blue Collar Working Man” at the start of it and then there’s a song with lyrics.

Money in the Bank Contract Match: Otis (w/Tucker) vs. Miz (w/John Morrison)

This match is Otis defending the Money in the Bank contract as if it’s a championship.

Otis tossed Miz across the ring, then he hit a shoulder tackle and a body slam for two. Miz with a jawbreaker, Miz avoided a slam and Otis sent Miz to the apron. When Miz tried a pin attempt, Otis stood on his chest. Miz sent Otis out of the ring, Otis avoided an attack on the floor and Otis hit a clothesline on Miz. Otis sent Miz into the hood of the announce table two times, then Morrison with a distraction and Miz hit a kick to the knee along with a DDT for two. Miz choked Otis across the top rope, so Morrison got in a cheap shot forearm to the face when the referee wasn’t looking. Miz with a corner clothesline, then up top and a double axhandle got a two count. Otis with punches, Miz slapped on a sleeper, Otis went down to one knee and Otis powered out of it. Miz came back with a boot to the face. Miz with kicks to the chest, Otis was doing his no-selling routine as he powered up by doing some dancing and that led to a shoulder tackle, elbow and another shoulder tackle. Otis with a flapjack sending Miz face first into the mat. Otis with a corner splash. Otis did the Caterpillar slide across the ring and Morrison pulled Miz out of the ring. Otis whipped Miz into the barricade. Back in the ring, Miz with a boot to the face, Otis with an elbow and Morrison grabbed the MITB briefcase, but referee Jessika Carr caught him, so she sent Morrison to the back. Otis got a rollup on Miz for two. Otis with a spinning clothesline for a two count. Miz sent Otis into the ropes while grabbing the apron, so the referee had to put the apron back in its proper place and Tucker hit Otis with the briefcase to the shoulder. Heel turn by Tucker! Miz covered Otis for the pinfall win at 7:25.

Winner by pinfall and New Mr. Money in the Bank: The Miz

The win means that The Miz is holding the Money in the Bank briefcase/contract for the second time in his career. The last time he held the MITB contract was in 2010.

Analysis: ** It was just an okay match that was really about the story of Tucker turning on Otis after years of being a team. When I wrote our preview of this match I noted that the only way I saw Miz winning was by cheating either by getting help from Morrison or a Tucker heel turn, so that’s what happened. I figured Otis wasn’t going to lose clean. They set up the finish well with Miz pulling up the apron, the referee was distracted by that and that led to the Tucker turn. I liked the creativity of it.

Post match, Miz celebrated with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Miz sold it like he was shocked by Tucker’s actions and had no idea he was going to do it. Tucker had an angry look on his face. The announcers wondered what happened as if they have never seen a heel turn in wrestling before.

Analysis: I liked the reaction of Miz here. The announcers reacted like they haven’t seen a turn before, but they did a nice job of putting it over as a big deal.

The Miz and John Morrison were interviewed backstage by Kayla Braxton. Miz said that for 15 years, he’s been a star that has made people better and he’s not going to squander this contract. Miz said to the WWE Champion and Universal Champion, you are on notice. Miz said he’s cashed this in before and he’ll do it again successfully. Miz said that Otis took Money in the Bank for granted, he took his best friend for granted and Tucker showed up. Tucker told Miz this isn’t about him. Tucker said that they were supposed to be a team, he carried the load and he put Otis first for the team. Tucker said he put Otis first and Tucker was an afterthought. Tucker said that Otis can’t function without him. Tucker said he gave Otis the confidence to ask out Mandy Rose and said that Otis can’t tie his own shoes without him. Otis ran to the back, he knocked Miz down, got into a fight with Tucker and Tucker ran away.

Analysis: I thought Tucker did a nice job with the explanation because it made sense from his perspective. Tucker was in the background a lot when they were in the team, Otis got the bigger reactions from the crowd and obviously, Otis got more of the singles push since he won the Money in the Bank contract. The issue is that Tucker is on Raw while Otis is on Smackdown, so WWE is going to have to do a trade or something to give them a proper rivalry. Survivor Series is also Raw vs. Smackdown most years, so maybe that’s a way to do it. The promo from Miz was good too. Miz hasn’t been booked in a serious way for most of the year, but maybe with the MITB contract in his possession he could thrive once again.

A video package aired to set up Bayley vs. Sasha Banks up next. There were rumors in the last few weeks that this might go on last, but it’s not happening.

Sasha Banks made her entrance with Cole noting that this is the third Women’s Hell in a Cell match and Sasha has been in all of them. Bayley was up next as the Smackdown Women’s Champion with Bayley bringing a steel chair into the ring. Bayley had a bit of a different look in terms of her gear and going for shoes instead of traditional wrestling boots that she has usually worn for the past few years. Bayley’s chair had an “X” on it. Banks hit a dropkick to Bayley’s chair to knock it out of the ring as the cell lowered, so Bayley would not be able to use her chair that was outside the cell.

Smackdown Women’s Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Bayley vs. Sasha Banks

Banks was very aggressive early as she got a headscissors into the Bank Statement and Bayley bit Sasha’s hand to break the hold. Bayley to the floor, Banks tried to attack, Bayley moved and Bayley drove Banks back first into the steel red cell two times in a row. Bayley attacked with a kendo stick, Banks grabbed it and sent it out of the ring. Bayley got another kendo stick and Banks hit her with a knee to the face. Banks set up a table on the floor, then Bayley knocked Banks and they fought over the table with Banks jamming the table into the ribs of Bayley three times while sending Bayley back first into the cell. Banks with the meteora double knees into the cell. Back in the ring, Banks hit the meteora double knees off the top for a two count. That was a unique spot on the floor by Banks. Sasha grabbed a chair, Bayley avoided it and got a rollup. Banks was on the apron and Bayley knocked her down. Banks avoided an attack on the floor and Bank drove Bayley back first into the cell. They were both on the apron, Banks managed to land on the cell with her feet and Banks did a headscissors that sent Bayley into the cell. Banks hit a running dropkick that sent Bayley back first into the steel steps. Two kendo sticks were set up between the steel steps/cell and Bayley tripped Banks so that Sasha’s throat went into the kendo sticks. At least that’s the idea of the bump. Bayley with a catapult that sent Banks into two kendo sticks and that led to a two count in the ring. Bayley hit a neckbreaker for a two count. They battled on the apron leading to Banks hitting a sunset flip Powerbomb into the cell with Bayley taking that bump hard on her back and it led to Banks getting a two count. Bayley avoided a chair attack to send Banks face first into a chair that was in a seated position. Bayley wedged a chair against the turnbuckle. Banks managed to send Bayley into the chair, then Banks stopped herself before she hit the chair and Bayley hit a sunset flip Powerbomb into the chair/turnbuckle for a two count. There are no chair shots to the head in WWE, but apparently you can send the back of a head into a chair. Bayley went up top and hit an elbow drop for a two count. Banks slapped on the Bank Statement submission, Bayley got out of that, but getting to the apron and sending Sasha’s head into the steel on the edge of the apron. Bayley hit Banks in the back with multiple kendo stick shots.

Bayley grabbed some grey duct tape under the ring and she taped two kendo sticks together. Bayley set up a kendo stick bridge of sorts from the apron to the cell. It really didn’t look as intimidating as Bayley likely thought it was going to look. Banks got back into it by spraying some fire extinguisher spray into Bayley’s eyes with Bayley wanting the referee to open the door. The steel chair that Bayley brought into the ring earlier was against the cage, so Bayley brought it inside the cell. Banks beat on Bayley with repeated punches and a whip into the cell. Banks whipped Bayley into the cell again, double knees to the face by Banks and Banks tossed Bayley back in the ring as Banks brought a kendo stick back in the ring. Banks hit Bayley in the back eleven times with a kendo stick. I counted. Banks trash-talked during the attack saying Bayley was not a role model or a champion. Bayley crawled to the steel chair that she used when she turned on Banks. That led to Banks stomping on Bayley. Banks went up top, jumped off with a Frog Splash and Bayley got the chair up to block it. Why would she do the move when Bayley was clearly by the chair? That didn’t look like a spot they planned out well. They left the ring, Bayley got a hold of Banks and slammed her face first on the floor. It was Bayley’s newer finisher that doesn’t have a name that is like a reverse legsweep that put Banks down.

Bayley went under the ring and brought a silver steel ladder in the ring. Bayley placed the ladder across two seated chairs in the ring. Banks was back in the ring and Bayley sent her face first into the ladder. Bayley laid out Banks across the ladder. Bayley grabbed some spray paint and sprayed the body of Banks with an “X” just like what was on the chair. Bayley jumped off the middle ropes with the chair that had the “X” on it, but Banks moved and Bayley hit the ladder. Banks with a double knee attack against the turnbuckle and then the belly to belly slam onto the ladder got a two count. That was Bayley’s old finisher. Bayley managed to come back with a running knee and then a Bayley to Belly suplex for two. As I said, that is Bayley’s old finisher and Banks kicked out of it. Bayley with two chair shots to the back of Banks. There was a trip by Banks, then she grabbed the chair and slapped on the Bank Statement submission with the chair and Bayley tapped out. Sasha Banks is the new Smackdown Women’s Champion at 26:33.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW Smackdown Women’s Champion: Sasha Banks

Analysis: ****1/2 This was an excellent, grueling match with a lot of weapons being used and a nice payoff with Banks ending the long title reign of Bayley in a decisive way. The use of the steel chair for the finish was fitting because that’s the weapon that Bayley used when she turned on Banks, so having Banks apply her submission with the steel chair was the right way to end this match. There were several moments leading up to the finish where each woman looked like they might win. I liked all the creative spots with the weapons although they probably relied on the kendo stick spots too much. There was that minute or so when Bayley tried setting something up with kendo sticks and duct tape, which didn’t work and then they moved on from it. I think it’s hard to pull off unique moves inside Hell in a Cell because we have seen so many HIAC matches, but Banks and Bayley deserve a lot of credit for trying some different things. They made it work. I wish there was a crowd there to react to it because I think they would have loved this.

Sasha Banks was handed the Smackdown Women’s Championship with Cole noting that she just ended the 380-day title reign of Bayley. Banks stood over top of Bayley with the title.

Analysis: Congrats to Sasha, who is now the Smackdown Women’s Champion for the first time to go along with the NXT Women’s Title, Raw Women’s Title and Women’s Tag Team Title, so Banks is a Grand Slam Champion like Bayley is.

The Hurt Business foursome were standing backstage with Charly Caruso showed up for an interview. It looked like Bobby Lashley was the only guy in wrestling gear while MVP, Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander were in suits. MVP said that Lashley is the CEO of The Hurt Business and he leads them. Shelton suggested that they face Slapjack in a match. MVP said that they are driven by profit, but also for inflicting pain. MVP suggested two men facing eachother one on one with no cornermen and no backups. MVP said that Lashley is prepared to make this a US Title match. Lashley said if anybody from Retribution wants to fight then he’ll be out in the ring waiting for them.

Analysis: This match wasn’t advertised in advance. It was added earlier in the day likely as a buffer between two Hell in a Cell matches.

Bobby Lashley made his entrance alone for the US Title defense. Slapjack is a guy with a white/black mask on his face. He used to be known as Shane Thorne.

United States Championship: Bobby Lashley vs. Slapjack

Lashley sent Slapjack into the turnbuckle and beat on him with punches along with a shoulder tackle to the ribs. Lashley whipped Slapjack hard into the turnbuckle followed by a delayed vertical suplex. Slapjack managed to send Lashley into the turnbuckle followed by a cannonball attack for two. Lashley charged, Slapjack got the feet up and Slapjack hit a DDT for two. Slapjack went up top, Lashley got a hold of him there and slammed Slapjack across the ring. Lashley with a belly to belly overhead suplex across the ring. Slapjack bounced off the ropes leading to a huge spinebuster by Lashley. Lashley slapped on the Hurt Lock submission and Slapjack gave up at 3:50.

Winner by submission: Bobby Lashley

Analysis: * A short match to put over Lashley in dominant fashion. Slapjack got in a few moves that were more than I expected from him. Lashley winning was an obvious result of this match.

The bell rang to end the match and that led to T-Bar and Mace hitting the ring. Lashley fought them both off while Mustafa Ali wanted his guys to take him out. The Hurt Business members went into the ring to stand beside Lashley as Retribution retreated.

Analysis: This is not a good look for Retribution in terms of booking because they have lost matches and retreated multiple times now.

There was a commercial for Survivor Series on Sunday, November 22 that promoted 30 years of The Undertaker at this year’s event.

The Hell in a Cell structure lowered again as some flames were surrounding the cell for special effects.

The Raw announce team talked about Survivor Series as a celebration for Undertaker. They didn’t say anything in terms of matches.

The video package aired for Drew McIntyre’s WWE Title defense against Randy Orton. It’s their third WWE Title PPV match after McIntyre beat Orton at SummerSlam and Clash of Champions.

Drew McIntyre entered first as the WWE Champion. Drew stared at the Hell in a Cell structure for a few moments before he entered the cell. Randy Orton was disguised as a camera guy or something like that, he tried to attack and McIntyre was ready for him. They brawled outside the ring with Orton whipping McIntyre into the steel structure. Orton cleared off the announce table, but McIntyre blocked a slam attempt and punched Randy down. McIntyre managed to get Orton inside the cell, so that led to the bell ringing to start the match.

WWE Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton

They looked at the cell structure surrounding them to start the match. McIntyre sent Orton out of the ring and pressed his face against the cell. Back in the ring, McIntyre got a two count. Orton was still wearing pants that were part of his disguise. McIntyre drove Orton back first into the cell and ring post. McIntyre hit Orton in the back with a steel chair followed by Drew sending Randy back first into the cell. McIntyre hit Orton with the steel steps. McIntyre launched the steps, but Orton moved and the steps hit the cell. When they went back into the ring, Orton avoided McIntyre, then a chair shot to the knee and a chair to the back. Orton went after the fractured jaw of McIntyre by driving the steel chair into the jaw. Orton finally removed the steps that he wore as part of the disguise before the match, so Orton was in his regular wrestling gear. Orton with a slingshot that sent McIntyre throat first into the bottom rope. Orton stomped on McIntyre’s hand against the bottom half of the steel steps. Morton pushed McIntyre’s face against the cage with Orton almost laughing about the pain he was causing. Orton whipped McIntyre into the steel steps. McIntyre got back into it with a headbutt, then he sent Orton into the steel steps and Orton did a thumb to the eye. Orton sent McIntyre into the steel steps. Orton set up a table against the cell. Back in the ring, McIntyre with strikes and Orton hit a modified backbreaker for just a one count because we have seen McIntyre kick out at one a lot during his title reign. They exchanged punches, McIntyre with two clotheslines and an overhead belly to belly suplex across the ring. McIntyre with another overhead belly to belly suplex across the ring leading into a neckbreaker from McIntyre as the fans in the ThunderDome were cheering him. McIntyre lifted Orton up, Orton with elbows to break free and back out of the ring with Orton sending McIntyre into the cell. McIntyre with a belly to belly suplex into the table that was against the cell, which Orton set up earlier. There were “this is awesome” chants from the crowd that was likely piped in noise, which is fine when there’s no actual crowd there. They went back into the ring, but when McIntyre was between the ropes, Orton kicked the ropes two times to kick the ropes into the groin of McIntyre (like a low blow) and Orton hit the draping DDT for a one count again. Orton was frustrated by that. Orton grabbed bolt cutters and cut the lock that was on the cell door, so Orton walked out of the cell and up the ramp. McIntyre went after Orton on the ramp, sending him into the barricade and then Orton whipped McIntyre into the cell. The referee told Orton that the match had to end in the ring as Orton stared up at the top of the cell. Orton climbed up to the top of the cell, which is about 20 feet above the ground. McIntyre stared up at Orton near the top, so Drew climbed up after him.

McIntyre met Orton on top of Hell in a Cell as WWE did some wide shot camera angles to show how impressive of a structure it was. Orton got his hands on a steel pipe that was apparently placed up there. McIntyre tackled Orton and punched him repeatedly. McIntyre let out a yell, so Orton hit him with a low blow with steel pipe. Orton and McIntyre climbed down the side of the cell by the announce table. They were standing side by side on the middle beam that’s part of the cell about 10 feet high. Orton punched McIntyre off the cell with Drew going through the announce table. It’s a bump we have seen before, but it’s still impressive for a 260-pound guy like McIntyre to take a bump like that. McIntyre was bleeding from the mouth after that to sell the idea that he had internal damage. That’s a classic wrestling trick. There are no blade jobs in WWE, but they will go with internal blood to help tell the story of a physical match. The referee of the match stayed in the ring because the pinfall or submission had to be in the ring. McIntyre sold the bump by struggling to get back to his feet. There were replays of McIntyre’s bump from different angles to show how big of a bump it was.

Orton and McIntyre were on the other side of the cell by the door with Orton helping McIntyre in the ring. This was after McIntyre was selling the bump in a big way and struggling to get back to his feet. Orton smacked the mat to set up for the RKO while McIntyre struggled to get back to his feet by using the ropes for assistance. McIntyre countered an RKO attempt leading to a backslide pin for two. McIntyre hit a Claymore Kick to the face that led to Orton rolling out of the ring, so Drew was unable to cover Randy after hitting his finisher. McIntyre was grabbing his ribs to sell the internal injuries after the table bump. McIntyre set up Orton I the ring, McIntyre set up in the corner, Orton slowly got back up and as McIntyre charged, Orton ducked and Orton popped up with the RKO for the pinfall win at 30:35. Randy Orton is the new WWE Champion.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW WWE Champion: Randy Orton

Analysis: ***3/4 I thought it was a very good match that was structured very well. Orton realized he couldn’t beat McIntyre in a regular match since he failed in the past, so he took advantage of the elements by going up the cage, using a steel pipe while on the cell and then sending Drew through the table. The table bump played a major part in the final few minutes with McIntyre selling in a big way with the internal blading as a visual sign of pain and McIntyre moving slowly as well. I thought it would take more than one RKO to win the match, but that’s fine with me because the RKO is one of the most well-protected finishers in WWE. When McIntyre hit his Claymore Kick, Orton didn’t kick out of it because he rolled to the floor. The story of the match was that Orton outsmarted McIntyre since Orton is a veteran of Hell in a Cell matches that used the structure to his advantage. I liked the match a lot.

Randy Orton is now a WWE World Champion for the 14th time in his career. It was noted by Tom Phillips that Orton is now tied with Triple H with 14 WWE/World Title reigns while John Cena and Ric Flair have the most with 16 World Title reigns although most of Flair’s were not in WWE. Anyway, those are the numbers that are recognized.

Orton was on the ramp as he stared at the WWE Championship that was in his hands once again. Orton had an evil smirk on his face. McIntyre looked on from inside the ring, there were boos and the camera focused on Orton again. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: It sucks that Drew’s reign is done because I’m a huge fan of the guy and he did very well as the champion. I really hope Drew gets a title reign with fans in the arenas because he deserves that and maybe next year he’ll get another shot. I just feel like it was time for a change. Randy’s been a tremendous all-around performer this year as well, so I certainly don’t mind the title change.

This event had a runtime of 2:57:25 on WWE Network. The last PPV, Clash of Champions, also went right around three hours as well. That’s good. These shows don’t need to be longer than that.

Five Stars of the Show

  1. Sasha Banks
  2. Bayley
  3. Randy Orton
  4. Drew McIntyre
  5. Roman Reigns/Jey Uso

Final Thoughts

I’m going with a 6.75 out of 10 for this show.

The show was all about the three Hell in a Cell matches that all went longer than 25 minutes. The three non-HIAC matches all going seven minutes or less. I thought Sasha Banks and Bayley had the best match. If that went on last then that would have been fine with me, but I think they went Orton/McIntyre due to the battle on the cell followed by the big table bump. Banks and Orton winning their titles isn’t a surprise at all and I think the stories for both of them were told well. Banks beat Bayley by using a steel chair, which is what Bayley used to turn on Banks several weeks ago. Orton beat McIntyre because of his experience in HIAC matches that caused him to leave the cell, use a steel pipe and cause Drew to bump through a table (off the cell) and that led to Orton’s win.

The Roman Reigns match with Jey Uso was a lot like their Clash of Champions match with a slow pace, Jey refusing to give up and Jimmy Uso getting involved for the finish. This time, Jey did say “I Quit” and now he has to work for cousin Roman. I enjoy heel, “Tribal Chief” Roman a lot, so that should be an interesting dynamic.

It was a predictable event in terms of match outcomes because I got everything right in the preview we did. Miz beating Otis for Money in the Bank shows that WWE has likely soured on Otis a bit while Miz benefits from the Tucker heel turn, which I thought was a possibility, but not a lock. Maybe Miz will be booked in a more serious way now.

I enjoyed the show overall, but I wouldn’t rank it alongside the best WWE PPVs of this year. Good for three hours of wrestling content thanks to the quality of the HIAC matches. I just wish the rest of the card was more interesting.

My WWE PPV Rankings for 2020 looks like this so far:

Royal Rumble – 8

SummerSlam – 7.75

Payback – 7.25

Clash of Champions – 7

Money in the Bank – 6.75

Hell in a Cell – 6.75

WrestleMania 36 – 6.25

Backlash – 6

Elimination Chamber – 6

The Horror Show at Extreme Rules – 5.75

Super Showdown – 3


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