Hell in a Cell took place this past Sunday night and, sadly, I found the entire event to be extremely predictable. On top of that, the total match time ended up being around 95 minutes. An hour and a half of match time on a three-hour card. Hell (in a Cell), most of the card was just blah to me, and I honestly kicked myself for staying up so late just to watch it all go down exactly how I figured it would.
Outside of a handful of matches, there is so much more that could have been done here. Honestly, my biggest gripe with WWE at the moment is that it is entirely too predictable. You’d think that they would find a way to make you surprised but nope. It’s honestly why I am watching the Joshi scene and AEW more these days. That said, I’m gonna go match by match today and ‘rebook’ each match. And if I manage to piss off some snowflakes along the way, even better! Let’s get into it, shall we?
I’m not even going to touch Natalya vs Mandy Rose on the pre-show. That match never should have happened and was just a boring filler.
Hell in a Cell Match: Bianca Belair def. Bayley (19m:45s)
I’m going to say that, for me, this was the match of the night. I thoroughly enjoyed this match from bell to bell and while I figured Bianca would win, there are some things that come to mind in the build-up to the match itself. For one, there was a lot of just back and forth jawing at each other which makes me wonder if there was a minor injury to one, if not both, of the competitors.
The weeks preceding the event just did nothing for me to invest in the feud. The match delivered, as both Bianca and Bayley are two of the best WWE has at the moment, but I was just tuning out the entire build-up. At the present time, there really aren’t any viable contenders for Bianca Belair so having Bayley face her was the right choice to make. The only way this match could have been any better for me was if Sasha Banks made her return and kicked Bianca’s ass after the match ended to extend their feud.
My Booking: Belair retains, gets beaten down by Sasha Banks after the match. 30 minutes.
Seth Rollins def. Cesaro (16m:15s)
Just like at Wrestlemania, Rollins and Cesaro delivered a highly entertaining match for us to enjoy. This time, however, Cesaro ate the pin clean with the most powerful move in Professional Wrestling, the roll-up pin. Yes, the sarcasm is real. Honest to god, I would have preferred this feud end at Hell in a Cell with Cesaro defeating Rollins one more time. He is more than deserving of a true main-event spot in WWE and finishing the feud with Rollins would have just been the start. But we all know how much WWE loves repetition.
We get the same damn match week after week after week with very little variance. Hell, we got Nakamura vs Corbin for almost a month straight! So I figure WWE wants this feud to continue until probably Summerslam, which I just don’t understand. There’s no one on Smackdown at the moment to challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship, and I know he already beat Cesaro, but I would have much rather seen that feud continues with Cesaro finishing Rollins first.
My Booking: Cesaro defeats Rollins, ending the feud, then resumes the program with Roman Reigns. 20+ minutes
Alexa Bliss def. Shayna Baszler (7m)
Alright… I have a lot to say about this one. I’m going to get the most obvious thing out of the way first. I have absolutely no problem with Alexa Bliss having supernatural abilities. Hell, we got the Undertaker as a mystical force for the better part of thirty years, it’s something that WWE has used time and time again. You have to give Alexa a chance to make the gimmick work and get used to playing the roll she has been given.
That said, I completely disagree with WWE making her first ‘target’ be Shayna Baszler. There were absolutely zero previous histories between the two and it makes no sense why Shayna would be Lilly and Alexa’s first target. Nia Jax? I could have seen that. Charlotte Flair? I could have seen that too. Shayna? What the hell WWE? Shayna is a legit badass who could probably beat up more than half the roster, men and women included, and she has had the shit end of the stick ever since she got called up to the main roster.
What else pisses me off about this match.. how about that it was the shortest match on the damn card lasting a meagre seven freaking minutes. Come the hell on WWE. Stardom just had a match that went to a 30-minute draw between Sayuri and Utami Hayashishita and then went another 13:19 which ended in a double knockout. A forty-three-minute match between two amazing female performers will likely be the match of the year, if not the decade.
I won’t pretend that Stardom makes this a common practice, as most of the Cinderella 2021 matches were less than ten minutes long each, but they do give their women a lot more time usually than the WWE does. This match. this is what WWE should be striving for with their women’s division. They have plenty of performers who can go that distance and yet the women have to fight just to make it to the ten minute plus mark.
It’s downright ridiculous. If WWE was indeed the land of prominence, the place everyone wants to be, then their women would get a very equal match time to the men. But they don’t. It sucks, especially since the women are usually a hell of a lot more entertaining than the men are.
Getting back on track after that rant… I would not have had Shayna Baszler face Alexa this night. And if the match absolutely had to happen, I would have had the Lilly reveal. Nothing else could have saved this match.
My Booking: Alexa Bliss defeats Nia Jax or Charlotte Flair (or even Shayna Baszler if absolutely necessary) after Lilly reveals herself, match at least fifteen minutes.
Sami Zayn def. Kevin Owens (12m40s)
Owens and Zayn can literally fight forever and it will be entertaining as all hell. Tonight, we saw Owens selling the effects of the beating he got from Smackdown and Zayn taking advantage of that and picking up the win. Honestly, I don’t have much of an issue with how this match went down. Owens did a masterful job of selling the damage from the previous Smackdown and Zayn played the opportunistic heel perfectly.
I figure that WWE booked this match as they did due to Owens being given some time off, as he announced on Twitter after the event. The only thing I would have done was make this match a bit longer, top it around 22/23 minutes. This was definitely my third favourite match of the night. This, also, could’ve been a Cell match.
My Booking: Zayn def. Owens after 25 minutes, Owens goes on hiatus afterwards.
Charlotte Flair def. Rhea Ripley (14m10s)
Let’s start this with the obvious. Nikki Cross has wins over both of these women in the preceding weeks so why the hell wasn’t she included? This could be a Cell match and probably should’ve been. This match seriously should have been made a triple threat match with Cross vs Flair vs Ripley. At least it would have been entertaining with Nikki in there. What we got was the same old shit with Charlotte being put in the championship spotlight when she didn’t actually earn it and WWE refusing to make her lose clean to anyone. It’s the same tired song and dance week after week after week and I’m sick of it. Flair is boring as hell. She’s never evolved as a character and she always plays the same damn character. Even John Cena evolved a bit over the years.
So to the booking. Rhea Ripley absolutely should have beaten Charlotte clean here. You put her over Asuka, who is the best female wrestler on the main roster, as clean as the day is bright. So why the hell can’t she get the same push over Flair? I’ll tell you why. WWE bends over backwards to make Charlotte happy. They only push her because she is a Flair and despite what they, and her stans, may think.. Charlotte Flair is nowhere near as good as you people think she is. She’s overrated as hell and boring to boot. It’s high time WWE let someone other than Charlotte and Asuka challenge Ripley. Hell, it’s time for a new crop of challengers period. It is getting boring seeing the same challengers time after time. Give us something new, dammit!
My Booking: Rhea Ripley defeats Charlotte by pinfall @ 18+ minutes. Rhea ends this feud before it gets as stale as Flairs booking and character.
Hell in a Cell Match: Bobby Lashley def. Drew McIntyre (25m45s)
McIntyre can never challenge for the title as long as Lashley is Champion.
So… You build Drew up over the last year, make him a great champion, and now all of a sudden he cannot challenge for Lashley’s title anymore when he doesn’t win a Hell in a Cell match. Yup, WWE logic right there. The only way that this makes any sense is if there is indeed going to be a draft later this year and McIntyre is headed to Smackdown. Bobby Lashley is not a bad champion. I’m not saying that he is at all. But we got this match month after month since WrestleMania and the payoff just seems dull to me.
Frankly speaking, you have Drew as a major babyface currently and you’re about to return to touring. Why wouldn’t you want that draw as Champion? Why keep the belt on a heel that, honestly, isn’t going to draw the same. Hell, I hate to make the comparison, but Lashley can’t even draw as much as Lesnar does. And I hate seeing Lesnar in the ring, but that’s another can of worms.
If you were going to do this to Drew, at least bring Lesnar back and have him cost McIntyre the match instead of having him lose to a freaking schoolboy. I just can’t even with this shit. Raw is a mess, and this match’s booking just proves that it is maybe beyond fixing at this point. In a cell. Urgh.
My Booking: McIntyre defeats Lashley to regain the WWE Championship. Or, Brock Lesnar returns (breaking the Cell? flipping over the Cell? who cares) and costs Drew the match, setting up a feud between the two to finish what they started last year.
There you have it, folks. Now that I’ve given myself a headache trying to make sense of WWE’s bull crap booking and boring as Hell in a Cell event, I’ll leave you all to it and see you next time…