Tonight was the annual Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, which capped off premier week for WWE. The season premier of Raw and the debut of Smackdown brought a lot of excitement, but going into tonight there was not a lot of build or expectations. The only two matches that had any real build to them were the two Hell in a Cell matches that had championships involved. The biggest question going into tonight, is how would the under-card would shape and deliver? Before I answer that, here are the results of tonight’s show:
-Kickoff Show: Natalya defeated Lacey Evans
-Becky Lynch defeated Sasha Banks inside Hell in a Cell to retain the Raw Women’s Championship
-Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan defeated Erick Rowan and Luke Harper
-Randy Orton defeated Ali
-War Raiders and Braun Strowman defeated The O.C. by DQ
-Chad Gable defeated King Corbin
-Charlotte Flair defeated Bayley to win the Smackdown Women’s Championship
-Seth Rollins and “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt ends in a No-Contest.
The opening match of the night was for the Raw Women’s Championship between Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks. These women were locked inside Hell in a Cell. These two brought the fight and really set the bar high for the rest of the night. These two really got creative and innovative with their attacks on each other and did something I have never seen before. I think Lynch and Banks should be very proud of the match they put on because it’s easily a match of the year candidate. We go from chaotic match to another because Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan battled Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. This match was all over the place and looked like there could have been injuries to all four of them. At the end of it, Bryan and Reigns stood tall and hugged it out.
One match that was put together last minute was Randy Orton and Ali. If you remember during Wrestlemania season Ali had a lot of momentum and was in the WWE Title picture, but one match with Orton put him on the sidelines for quite a few weeks. Many people believe that changed the entire complexion of things going into Wrestlemania and as a result we got Kofi-Mania. Unfortunately for Ali, he got the same result and was the victim of an RKO. Another match that was setup last minute was for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross defended against the Kabuki Warriors who really haven’t been showcased properly since they were put together. Tonight, they all of a sudden became heel and cheated to win the Women’s Tag Team Championships. I think they should have gotten the titles a while ago but there was absolutely no build or turn to them being heel. The title change was surprising but also felt lackluster at the same time. I hope them turning doesn’t go to waste.
There were a lot of matches that were put together last minute and the 6-man tag match was yet another one. The O.C. taking on the War Raiders and their mystery partner who happened to be Braun Strowman. I think this match was more about building up Braun for Tyson Fury than it was anything else. The War Raiders should really be challenging for the Raw Tag Team Championships by now. A feud that’s been going on since the King of the Ring Finals has been between King Corbin and Chad Gable. Corbin has this heat about him that the booking team loves because he has gotten a lot of chances to succeed. Chad Gable is a world class wrestler and is finally being used in a much better way than he was before.
With the draft coming up in a week, I had a feeling the Smackdown Women’s Championship was going to change hands. I believe Bayley will be back on Raw and Charlotte Flair will be the face of Smackdown Women’s Division once again. I think the landscape of WWE will completely change by the time the draft is over. FOX and USA are going to have to different types of shows and presentations, and are going to want specific talents for those shows. This title win makes Charlotte a 10-time Women’s Champion, which makes her to first woman in WWE history to have double digit title reigns. The first Hell in a Cell of the night really set the bar high for Rollins and Wyatt. From a creative standpoint it matches what the women did, but the women had the better wrestling match. The match had great psychology until it became a no contest. When you are getting chants of “AEW,” and “Restart the match” you should probably listen to your fans.
I had very low expectations for Hell in a Cell because of the lack of matches and build up. The ending reinforced my low expectations and ruined the pay-per-view. Bray Wyatt has been the hottest thing on TV, one of the highest selling wrestlers in merchandise right now and one of the very few reasons to watch WWE programming these days. I am giving Hell in a Cell a 4 out of 10. The only thing hellish about it was the opening match. Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch should be proud that they out shined everyone else on the card. With the WWE Draft starting this coming Friday, I hope WWE gets in the right direction and makes some serious changes.