The devils favourite structure played host to settle old scores as San Antonio, Texas played host to the event named after WWE’s most infamous match, Hell In A Cell. But was it hell to watch or a hell of a good time?
WWE Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship Match- New Day (c) vs Rusev Day
Result: New Day retain via pinfall
Thoughts: The story played out pretty much exactly how everyone expected but that’s not a bad thing necessarily. Aiden got too overconfident and it cost Rusev Day. The match itself deserved to be on the main show but the stand out, for me at least, was that this was the best match Aiden English has had in his WWE career. He completely held his own; pulling out amazing athletic and storyline spots in the process. Whilst many expected Rusev to fully turn heel on Aiden after the match- it’s going to be interesting to see what happens next for the trio. New Day were as consistent as usual and I feel The Bar are next on the horizon for the pancake throwing machines. Very fun match.
Randy Orton vs Jeff Hardy- Hell in a Cell Match
Result: Orton wins via pinfall
Thoughts: HE HAD A SCREWDRIVER THROUGH HIS EAR. How Jeff Hardy is still able to walk, never mind stay alive, will remain a constant mystery to me with this match being evidence A. The bizarre ladder spot, constant chair shots, multiple throws into the cell before the final…mental-ness, which is the only way I can describe it. This was SO much better than it had any right to be. Many people, myself included, didn’t understand why this was inside the Cell in terms of storyline. However- JESUS this was without a doubt the most brutal Cell match in WWE for so, so long. Orton and Jeff both played their parts perfectly and I can’t wait to see where both men go from here. PLEASE, for Jeff, let it be at least six months of rest. He absolutely deserves it.
WWE Smackdown Live Woman’s Championship Match- Charlotte (c) vs Becky Lynch
Result: Lynch wins via pinfall- New champion
Thoughts: BECKY LYNCH IS THE NEW SMACKDOWN LIVE WOMEN’S CHAMPION. OH. MY. GOD. YES. I AM SO HAPPY. YES. That was the decision I think everyone wanted but no-one truly expected. It makes complete sense to give that title to Becky. The match itself was really great; based entirely on mat work that Becky is vastly superior at. Lynch was surprisingly dominant for large aspects of the match- it wasn’t near a squash or anything- but Becky was in control for a lot. The finish was incredibly clever- Becky twisting through the spear in order to pick up the pinfall. The grade might seem a bit high, the same as the awesome opener, but BECKY HAS WON. GET IN BOYS.
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match- Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler (c) vs Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins
Result: Dolph and Drew retain via pinfall
Thoughts: How good is this show man?! Probably the best match that has involved any of these four during the entire feud that showcased every single man fantastically. The story of Drew and Dolph cutting off half the ring during the mid-way point in the match, preventing Seth making the tag, the entire brawl breakdown where everyone was just…flying around paired with one million counters before the eventual finish of Dolph being in the right place at the right time after Drew caught Rollins by surprise. One of the best tag matches of the year without a doubt and it’s going to be incredibly interesting to see where the champs go from here. Seth and Dean on the other hand continue down the Shield storyline with the eventual split coming, I assume, ever closer. Match of the night so far.
WWE Championship Match- AJ Styles (c) vs Samoa Joe
Result: Styles retains via pinfall amidst controversy
Thoughts: This is unbelievable- I worry people are going to feel like I’m un-inspired by basically giving the same grade to every match but they’ve ALL been at this level. Obviously, as expected, Styles vs Joe was amazing but actually played a very interesting angle with the finish. Joe had styles locked in the coquina clutch which Styles rolled through into a pinfall. Just before the ref hit three, Styles was shown tapping out however, the ref didn’t see it so counted the pinfall. Therefore- Joe has a legitimate grievance as to why he isn’t champion. Smackdown is certainly going to be interesting after we see that Joe is actually right in his anger. The match itself was hard-hitting, crisp, effective and just fantastic. The crowd was a bit quiet for the majority of it however, after the insane first hour, it’s kinda to be expected. They did wake up for the finish though which is great.
Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella vs The Miz and Maryse
Result: Maryse and Miz win via pinfall
Thoughts: This was…fine. I don’t know why but this never got interesting for me? I personally don’t enjoy watching Brie wrestle because…yeah but it just felt very paint by numbers mixed tag wrestling paired with heel vs face dynamics. I can tell I’m in the minority here which is totally cool as I saw Twitter really enjoying it (until the finish it seems)- I really wish I did but I just didn’t. Miz and Maryse won in a…weird way that felt like a botch and we move on to, hopefully, better things.
WWE Raw Woman’s Championship Match- Ronda Rousey (c) vs Alexa Bliss
Result: Ronda retains via submission
Thoughts: This was…weirdly competitive. I expected this, I don’t know if I was right to, to go shorter than their Summerslam match. But for the majority of the match- Bliss weirdly almost had the upper hand? And yeah, I understand that the story was Ronda had knackered ribs so it shows that she is a proper babyface fighting against all odds…it was still weird though! Ronda winning was obvious as…it’s Ronda bloody Rousey but the match was actually pretty decent; even with Bliss potentially getting a bit too much offence in.
WWE Universal Championship Match w/ Mick Foley as Special Guest Referee- Roman Reigns (c) vs Braun Strowman- cashing in his Money In The Bank contract
Result: Match ends in a no contest
Thoughts: This was just PURE insanity. The match prior to it was…fine with nothing hugely notable happening apart from Mick botching the two-count. Then the carnage just kinda…happened and no-one knows what to do. Roman, Braun, Dolph, Drew, Seth and Dean all just went absolutely mental and I have no idea what to say about it. The nod to Seth vs Dean from three years ago was really nice with Dolph and Seth going through both announce tables. The surprise of Brock was amazing and he absolutely cleaned house. We…don’t really know where we go from here which can only be a good thing. The ending however was quite abrupt; the first ever HIAC match to end in a no contest really doesn’t feel great and made the show end with a bump instead of a bang however RAW tomorrow night has just become absolutely must see; Does Braun lose his contract now? Is Brock back properly? WHO KNOWS.
Overall Thoughts: This show was absolutely amazing- probably the show of the year which I NEVER thought I’d be saying. With only one match on the card that I didn’t think was very good, we had at least two match of the year contenders. Whilst the weekly product WWE is producing hasn’t been that great- the PPV’s have been consistent for the past number of months. We now have to deal with all this fallout tomorrow night…